Breakfasts and a healthy heart

Breakfasts and a healthy heartFor help with Heart Failure call 0800 9788133

The BBC has reported that research conducted in the US shows that people who eat breakfast stand a chance of keeping their heart healthy.

The study of 27,000 men, in the journal Circulation, showed those skipping breakfast were at a greater risk of heart problems.

The team at the Harvard School of Public Health said missing the meal put an “extra strain” on the body.

The men, aged 45-82, were studied for 16 years. During that time there were more than 1,500 heart attacks or cases of fatal heart failure.

However, people who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to have heart problems than those who started the day with a meal. The researchers adjusted for other lifestyle risk factors such as smoking and exercise.

Researcher, Dr Leah Cahill told the BBC: “The take-home message is eat in the morning when you wake up, preferably within an hour.

“The results show that something is better than nothing, but it’s always better to have something healthy and balanced.”

She said the timing of the meal seemed to be key and waiting until lunch rather than “breaking fast” may be straining the body over time.

She said this could be increasing the risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes which could in turn damage the heart.

“Don’t skip breakfast,” Dr Cahill concluded.

Victoria Taylor, a dietitian with the British Heart Foundation, said: “These researchers only looked at men aged over 45, so we would need to see further research to confirm that breakfast has the same impact on the heart health of other groups of people.

“What we do know is that a healthy and filling breakfast can make that mid-morning biscuit less tempting, as well as giving you another opportunity to widen the variety of foods in your diet.

“Wholegrain toast, or cereals like porridge with low fat milk are a good way to start the day. Try a sliced banana or dried fruit on top and you’ll be on your way to five-a-day before you’ve even left the house.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fish oils and Atrial Fibrillation

Fish oils and Atrial Fibrillation 

Fish oil caps
Fish oil supplements

It is important you read this report in context that the information only pertains to preventing AF in patients who have had an AF diagnosis with fish oils. There are lots of other benefits to individuals who take omega-3 fish oils.

Fish oil supplements did not prevent atrial fibrillation in patients who have already experienced episodes, a new clinical trial has found.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“The results for atrial fibrillation are important negative findings, answering key clinical and research questions,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an omega-3 expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the study.

The new research, combined with other trials, “indicates that short-term fish oil use is unlikely to prevent recurrent atrial fibrillation,” he said.

Atrial fibrillation, in which the heart’s upper chambers beat out of step with those below. The condition is linked to strokes and heart failure.

Although doctors prescribe certain medications to treat the condition, none to date has proven particularly effective. As a result, most drug treatment focuses on preventing strokes by administering blood thinners to dissolve clots caused by the fibrillation.

Some evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish like sardines and tuna, might reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, although exactly how they would produce their effect is not clear.

A study published earlier this year in Circulation, for example, found that people with the most omega-3s in their blood had a 30% lower chance of developing an irregular heart beat than those with the lowest concentrations of the substances.

That 30% difference would work out to eight fewer cases of atrial fibrillation per 100 people – which would be a meaningful benefit if it could be enjoyed by those with fibrillation or at risk for it, just by consuming more omega 3s.

But the latest study suggests that it probably can’t. The trial included 586 men and women with a history of atrial fibrillation who were given a gram a day of fish oil or dummy capsules for a year. Participants also were allowed to take other drugs to control their heart rhythms, as prescribed by their doctors.

At the end of the study period, about 24% of the people who took fish oil, and 20% of those who did not, had experienced a recurrence of atrial fibrillation – a difference so small, statistically, it was likely due to chance.

The findings on atrial fibrillation echo results from a study led by Mozaffarian published in November, of patients recovering from heart surgery.

Even so, Dr. Alejandro Macchia, a cardiologist at the GESICA Foundation in Buenos Aires, who led the current study and collaborated with Mozaffarian on the previous one, said fish oil may still prove beneficial for heart health, at least in some patients.

Enhanced by Zemanta