- Meta analysis gathered results of 196 studies, with data culled from more than 30 million people.
- New study shows regular aerobic exercise improves heart health, even for those who have cardiovascular disease.
- Exercise also seen helping boost endothelial function, lower blood pressure, brush up lipid profile, reduce inflammation, and raise glucose metabolism.
Want to live with a healthier heart? Even if you already have cardiovascular disease (CVD)? Read on...
To get some gain, it takes some pain — the “pain” includes moderate exercise and healthier food choices, evidence from a new study shows. The first "pain", however, is to get your heart checked first, something many of us take for granted.
A recent research shows that exercise — even a minimum amount of daily walks for 8 weeks — enhances endothelial function and general cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) health, according to the study published in the April edition of American Journal of Physiology (AJP).
Why is it important to know and get checked regularly? Here's why: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The endothelium is the inner lining of our blood vessels. They help regulate the contraction and relaxation of blood vessels, control blood flow, and maintain the health of the cardiovascular system.
How does exercise help boost endothelial function?
One is by enhancing the production of nitric oxide — a molecule that helps dilate blood vessels and boosts blood flow.
The AJP research found that aerobic exercise training improves endothelial function, with nitric oxide production being one of the indicators.
In the past, it was not clear how nutrition affects this exercise-induced endothelium adaptation.
Now, the study found that physical activity that increases the heart rate and the body's use of oxygen, even for 8 short weeks, leads to noticeable improvements in endothelial function.
Even more important, it works in both healthy individuals and those with CVD, according to the study.
It is known that physical activity helps reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and other leading causes of death. Exactly how much is needed to have an impact, however, has been unclear.
The authors found that foods and exercise interact to affect endothelial function and the risk of developing chronic diseases.
⦿ The study not only confirms the effects of exercise training on endothelial function.
⦿ The endothelium plays a critical role in maintaining vascular homeostasis by releasing various signaling molecules, such as nitric oxide, prostacyclin, and endothelin, which can cause blood vessels to dilate or constrict.
⦿ These signaling molecules also help to prevent the formation of blood clots, inflammation, and oxidative stress, which can lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases.
The research confirms a growing number of clinical studies, which shows how exercise has beneficial effects on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as insulin resistance, among others.
In general, when muscles contract during exercise, it activates glucose transport. The increase in muscle glucose transport induced by exercise is independent of insulin. As the acute effect of exercise on glucose transport wears off, it is replaced by an increase in insulin sensitivity, allowing the cells of the body to use blood glucose more effectively, reducing blood sugar.
11minutes of brisk walk daily to help prevent early deaths due to cardiovascular disease [https://gulfnews.com/1.94162999]
A bigger study, a "meta-analysis" published in March 2023, gathered results of 196 previous studies which included more than 30 million people to create one of the largest reviews conducted on the subject.
⦿ This results in a reduced ability to produce these signaling molecules and regulate blood flow.
⦿ This can lead to the development of various cardiovascular diseases — including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease.
⦿ Study shows assessing endothelial function is important in evaluating the risk of cardiovascular disease and in preventing or treating these conditions.
The analysis, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM), found that everyone in the previous studies would live longer if they engaged in at least 150 minutes per week — or about 21 minutes per day — of moderate-intensity physical exercise.
That’s the same length of time advised by the British National Health Service. Yet, even half that amount — 75 minutes a week, or less than 11 minutes a day — might stop one in 10 deaths overall.
These improvements included a 17 per cent drop in heart disease and a 7 per cent drop in cancer.
17.9 mnumber of deaths worldwide every year due to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), as per WHO data.
Studies on how exercise benefits heart health:
There are numerous studies showing the benefits of exercise on different health indicators, including cholesterol, insulin and lipids (fats). These are the more recent ones.
Exercise improves lipid profile
A study published earlier this year (2023) in the International Journal of Molecular Science reviewed the impact of different types of aerobic exercise of various intensities and durations on the level and quality of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called "good cholestero".
It cited the fact that for sedentary overweight participants, a combination of high-intensity and high-volume training, like jogging for 20 miles (30km) per week for 8 months led to the improvement of the majority of lipid parameters — a measurable increase in HDL cholesterol, a reduction in LDL cholesterol (bad cholestero) and triglycerides. High levels of triglycerides in your blood can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Exercise reduces insulin resistance
A 2022 study published in Frontiers in Physiology explored the association between exercise and insulin resistance under different levels of lipid indices and serum uric acid. Findings: physical activity has a positive impact on insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant populations — the association between physical activity and insulin persisted even after adjusting for what researchers called “confounding factors”.
It showed that physical activity can significantly lower insulin levels, and high-intensity physical activity still has additional potential benefits for insulin levels, even in the condition of dyslipidemia and hyperuricemia.
Exercise improves glucose metabolism
Regular exercise has been shown to bump up glucose metabolism by increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance. A randomised controlled trial published in Diabetes Care found that exercise training for 16 weeks builds insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
The study found that regular physical activity raises blood glucose control and can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, along with positively affecting lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, mortality, and quality of life. Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Exercise reduces death from CVD and cancer
Regular exercise has been shown to reduce blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials found that exercise reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 5 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 3 mmHg.
The study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, based on a study of 346,627 participants, whose data were taken from UK Biobank linked to the National Health Service death records as of April 30, 2020, concluded that adhering to both quality diet and sufficient physical activity is important for optimally reducing the risk of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular diseases as well as adiposity-related cancers.