heart health and alcohol

Have you ever heard someone say alcohol is good for your heart or claim that drinking a bit of wine every day is good for your health? Some even claim that alcohol can remove plaque from the blood vessels.

Is there any truth behind these claims and what will be the result if you actually drink small amounts of alcohol every day.

How does alcohol affect our cardiovascular system?

A great number of studies have concluded that moderate consumption of alcohol (1 drink per day) actually has a number of positive effects on the cardiovascular system. 1

yoga for hypertensionUncontrolled hypertension, is undoubtedly, a major threat to public health worldwide based upon the amount of evidence available. Likewise, there is an abundant amount of evidence-based knowledge available on how to prevent this costly disease. Yet there has been a widely acknowledged failure achieving adequate prevention and treatment in our society. There are many contributing factors explaining this failure. One obstacle in the prevention of hypertension is that it is a disease that typically has few, if any, symptoms. An obstacle in the treatment of hypertension is patient adherence.

This is a question that concerns many people with heart disease. On the one hand, exercise strengthens the body. But on the other hand, can the heart handle the additional stress? This is a very important issue which will be addressed in this article.

exercising with hypertension

Sedentary Lifestyle – the main cause of heart disease

People that are inactive, do not participate in any active sports, do not go to the gym, and barely move at all, are at a very large risk of becoming fat. Unless you have a very fast metabolism, which can slow down as you age, you will eventually grow fat, unless you burn off those extra calories. And, as you might know, this is the main risk factor for heart disease, including hypertension, angina pectoris, and heart attack.


There is a logical answer to this question – if your heart hurts, then it is no longer healthy. But in reality, other conditions may be revealed. People who complain to doctors about pains in the heart may often are given an unclear diagnosis – cardialgia or false angina. This term, unless there is strong indication of angina pectoris, usually applies to all types of pain localized to the left of the sternum or anywhere in the left half of the chest.

 Human psychology is such that it demands an explanation for any disease a person may suspect having. Knowing perfectly well that the heart is located in the left side of the chest and having only vague understanding of what else could hurt in that area, most people would think that it’s the heart that hurts. This situation is facilitated by the fact that the overall level of common medical knowledge is limited to believing the most dangerous diseases are those of the heart. 

The-Heart-of-the-Matter 2

As you live your life, you gradually begin to realize how important it is to keep healthy. Some people realize it too late, when they are affected by a disease. It should be easy to realize early on. All you have to do is look around and see how poor health hinders a person’s life. Notice an overweight man at a bus stop wheezing and trying to stand up to catch the bus. He is not just overweight; the wheezing and shortness of breath with overweight people is usually caused by heart problems – one of the most common and debilitating problems a modern person can face.

The overabundance of food and the lack of movement have done their job and now more than 70% of people in the United States are either overweight or obese, with half of them having some sort of heart problem. However, even people who are not overweight can suffer the same fate. This can either be caused by poor genes which promote the development of atherosclerosis, or by some other heart-damaging disease.

The risks for developing a cardiovascular disease differ depending on various factors, including a person's job and place of work. Researchers have found the risk of heart diseases may also depend on the industry sector in which a person works.

There are 2 main groups of occupations that are harmful for the heart.

pilot 2If your occupation falls into any of these two groups, you should take increased care of your heart and vessels in order to avoid the negative influence your job has on your heart and to prevent serious health problems. 

The 1st group includes occupations that combine:

  • Low physical activity;
  • Situations in which one needs to quickly evaluate a situation and make crucial decisions;
  • Responsibility for a large number of people;
  • 24-hour shift schedule and night shifts.


When people discover something is good for them, they seem to think that the more of that “good” thing the better. As Paracelsus has said “All things are poison and nothing (is) without poison; only the dose makes that a thing is no poison.” The same goes for exercise. Regular, moderate exercise is extremely beneficial for a person’s health. However, when we delve into the realm of competitive sports, our thinking makes a 180 degree turn.

Not only do professional athletes go through exhaustive training regimens, they also, quite frequently, resort to doping. The time when it was possible to win without doping is long gone. Now it’s all about who gets caught. For example, in strength training, even if a person has amazing genetics and doesn’t use drugs, he will have no chance of winning when going further than a regional competition.

A healthy person has a balanced of substances that maintain the tone of the vascular wall and keep it in a healthy state. But for people with a cardiovascular pathology, this balance is disturbed – vasoconstrictor substances are produced in excess and the production of vasodilator substances are lessened. Since adaptability is reduced, any stress, including climatic, causes unpleasant changes in the body of such patients resulting in high blood pressure, headaches and dizziness. Those with coronary heart disease may have more frequent attacks of retrosternal pains.

Summer heat


The best environmental temperature for the human body is 72°F (22 ºC). This temperature is recommended to be maintained in the room where a person sleeps. Sudden temperature changes are particularly dangerous for the health. At first the reserve forces of the body to help the heart work, but the resources are not limitless. That is why prolonged heat may worsen how a person with a weak heart and weather sensitivity feels. When it is very hot outside, people with heart problems experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, their peripheral vessels dilate, legs swell and the risk of blood clots becomes higher which leads to increased risk of stroke.


What do you do when you see a person fall on the street clutching at their chest? Regretfully, statistics show that most people just walk on by. It is called the bystander effect. The more people there are on the street, the less likely that the person in peril will receive any help.

Please be aware of this phenomenon of the human psyche and when you see a person on a crowded street who doesn’t feel well, make sure that you at least have the decency to call an ambulance, since no one else will. If the person is having a heart attack at that moment, every minute is vital; since the faster the help arrives, the more likely the person will survive.

Moreover, a heart attack often leads to a ventricular fibrillation – a life-threatening condition which prevents the heart from pumping the blood properly.

Thus, if you’re a good person, here are the things you should do if you see a person falling unconscious on the street.

ginger root

Ginger root has been used for hundreds of years as a spice and a medicine in Asian countries like Japan, India, China, Thailand and others. Today it is becoming more and more popular in the West – not only can it make our food taste spicier, exquisite and delicious, but it can also be beneficial for our health.

Cardiovascular Benefits of Ginger

It is believed that ginger can reduce the risk of some cardiovascular diseases. A double- blind clinical trial was conducted in 2004 where the main aim was to investigate the effect of ginger on the levels of lipids in blood. The results were published in 2008.1

According to detailed statistics, more than 3 million people travel by plane each day which means millions and millions of people fly every year.

How do flights affect the heart?

heart and planes

During a flight, aircraft cabins are pressurized. The air pressure in the cabin when flying at cruising altitudes (36,000 – 46,000 feet or 11,000 – 12,000 m) is lower than at sea level. It is equivalent to the outside pressure at 6,000 – 8,000 feet (1,800 – 2,400 m) above sea level. In other words, the atmosphere inside the plane during the flight is comparable to the atmosphere at the top of a 6,000 – 8,000-foot mountain. Since the air pressure is lower, the amount of oxygen in the blood decreases and the gases in the body expand. Usually such effects are well-tolerated by healthy passengers because the body enables certain physiological mechanisms to compensate the reduced oxygen in blood.

To learn more about Cardiology, we recommend the following websites: