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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Saunas could heal your mood and your heart

By Linda Geddes





JewishWorldReview.com | That warm, fuzzy feeling you get from sitting in a sauna isn't in your imagination -- and it may also help your heart.

People with chronic heart failure who took saunas five times a week for three weeks improved their heart function and the amount of exercise they could do. Meanwhile, neurons that release the "happiness molecule" serotonin respond to increases in body temperature, perhaps explaining the sauna's pleasurable effects.

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to supply enough blood to the body, resulting in shortness of breath and difficulty exercising. Previous studies have hinted that saunas might boost health.

To investigate, Takashi Ohori at the University of Toyama in Japan and colleagues asked 41 volunteers with heart failure to take 15-minute saunas five times per week, using a blanket for 30 minutes afterwards to keep their body temperature about 1 C higher than normal.


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Sauna treatment increased the heart's ability to pump blood, and boosted the distance participants could walk in 6 minutes from 337 meters to 379 meters. The team also noticed improved function of the endothelium -- the membrane lining the inside of the heart that releases factors controlling the diameter of blood vessels, and clotting. The researchers also found more circulating endothelial progenitor cells -- adult stem cells that can turn into endothelial cells (The American Journal of Cardiology).

In a separate study, the same group temporarily cut off blood supply to rats' hearts to mimic a heart attack, then gave them a sauna every day for four weeks. Later examination saw fewer of the changes to the heart's chambers that usually occur after heart attacks in rats not exposed to a sauna. In addition, the sauna rats showed increases in endothelial nitric oxide synthase, an enzyme that regulates blood pressure and the growth of new blood vessels (AJP: Heart and Circulatory Physiology).

"We think that repeated saunas trigger pathways that produce nitric oxide and other signaling molecules that eventually reduce resistance to the pumping capacity of the heart," says Tofy Mussivand at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Ontario, Canada, who was not involved in the research.

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Heating might have other benefits, says Christopher Lowry of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has identified a group of serotonin-releasing neurons in a region of the brain called the dorsal raphe nucleus, which fire in response to increases in body temperature. They seem to initiate cooling, but these neurons also project into a region of the brain that regulates mood, which may account for the pleasure of a sauna.

Intriguingly, these same neurons feed into the sympathetic nervous system. Activation of the SNS boosts blood pressure and heart rate, but "by heating up the skin you inhibit the sympathetic nervous system, which is probably a good thing if you've had a heart attack," says Lowry.

Mussivand cautions against people with heart failure rushing to the nearest spa, though. "Cardiologists currently don't recommend that heart failure patients should be exposed to heat, so this has to be done under medical supervision," he says.

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