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Dr K K Aggarwal

Group Singing is good for the heart

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Melody Synchronizes Choir Members’ Heart Rate

When people sing in a choir their heart beats are synchronized and the pulse of choir members tends to increase and decrease in unison.

A study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience from Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg has shown that music in biological terms, affects our body and our health and can be used for medical purposes, primarily within rehabilitation and preventive care.

In December 2012, Bjorn Vickhoff and group brought together fifteen 18–year–olds at Hvitfeltska High School in Gothenburg and arranged for them to perform three different choral exercises: monotone humming, singing the well–known Swedish hymn “HÃrlig Ãr Jorden” (Lovely is the Earth) as well as the chanting of a slow mantra. The heart rhythm of the choir members was registered as they performed in each case.

The results showed that the music’s melody had a direct link to the cardiac activity of the individual choir member. To sing in unison had a synchronizing effect so that the heart rate of the singers increased and decreased at the same time.

Singing regulates activity of vagus nerve, which is involved in our emotional life and our communication with others and affects our vocal timbre.

Songs with long or short phrases achieve the same effect as if breathing slow or fast in yoga. In other words, through song we can exercise a certain control over mental states. Singing leads to a calm and regular breathing pattern, which has a dramatic effect on heart rate variability.

During normal breathing, both the heart rate and pulse decreases when breathing out and increases when breathing in.

Breathing out activates the vagus nerve that lowers the heart rate.

The vagus breathing connection is more pronounced with young people in good physical condition and not subject to stress.

For example, singing a song with long phrases will reduce respiratory rate and in turn the heart rate and vice versa with singing small phrases.

In Vedic knowledge it is well described that people who chant together influence even the people who are not chanting and the health effects in people who chant together are higher than when they chant alone. If one percent of the society meditates together, the health effects are on the whole society.



Chocolate, not tea, good for the heart

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Regular consumption of polyphenol–rich cocoa products like dark chocolate may be considered a part of dietary approaches to lower BP, provided there is no total gain in calorie intake. Drug treatment is the basis of blood pressure control, and it should always be accompanied by lifestyle measures such as exercise and proper diet. The recommendation is an occasional cup of cocoa but not chocolate milk, because it is high in sugar and fat. According to a survey of medical literature by German researcher, Dr. Dirk Taubert from the University Hospital of Cologne, cocoa–rich products, and not tea, help lower high blood pressure. They covered 10 studies on cocoa that included 173 participants and five tea studies with 343 participants. The cocoa studies lasted an average of two weeks, with four out of five trials reporting a reduction in both systolic and diastolic BP. The average reduction was 4 to 5 mm Hg in systolic pressure and 2 to 3 mm in diastolic pressure –– enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 20% and of coronary heart disease by 10%. No such reduction in blood pressure was noted in any of the tea trials, which lasted an average of four weeks. Tea and cocoa contain different kinds of polyphenols –– flavan–3–ols in tea, procyanids in cocoa.

Is caffeine good for the health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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1. Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world,

2. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.

3. At present there is no scientific data to promote or discourage coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet.

4. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.

5. Short term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.

6. Long term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.

7. Long-term benefits are dose-dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

8. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long-term risk factor for myocardial disease.

9. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality.

10. Caffeine withdrawal is a well-documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source: UptoDate)

Is caffeine good for the health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Is caffeine good for the health?

  • Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world.
  • It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.
  • At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet.
  • Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.
  • Short–term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors and insomnia.
  • Long–term adverse affects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.
  • Long–term benefits are dose–dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholic cirrhosis and gout. Coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long–term risk factor for myocardial disease.
  • Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all–cause mortality.
  • Caffeine withdrawal is a well–documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source: Uptodate)

Dark Chocolate good for the heart

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Dark chocolate thought to promote relaxed arteries, also have biochemical effects that may discourage atherosclerosis suggests a report published in the March 2014 issue of the FASEB Journal.

In a randomized, double–blind study, eating dark chocolate—acutely and over weeks—not only improved objective measures of endovascular function, it also improved biochemical markers that reflect leukocyte activation, inflammation, and other signs of atherogenesis.

Changes in endothelial function were reflected in improved flow–mediated dilation (FMD), blood pressure, and augmentation index (AIX), while “changes in leukocyte–cell counts, plasma cytokines, and leukocyte adherence markers after chocolate consumption point toward a less–activated state of cellular adherence and, hence, a less atherogenic milieu, according to the authors, led by Dr Diederik Esser (Top Institute Food and Nutrition and Wageningen University, the Netherlands).

Is caffeine good for the health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , | | Comments Off on Is caffeine good for the health?

  1. Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world.
  2. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.
  3. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet.
  4. Short–term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.
  5. Short–term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.
  6. Long–term adverse affects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.
  7. Long-term benefits are dose–dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  8. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long–term risk factor for myocardial disease.
  9. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all–cause mortality.
  10. Caffeine withdrawal is a well–documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source: Uptodate)

Walnuts Good for Semen

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The daily addition of 75 g of whole–shelled walnuts to a typical Western–style diet appears to have positive effects on the vitality, morphology and motility of sperm in healthy men, according to the findings of a randomized, parallel, 2–group, dietary intervention trial by Wendie A. Robbins, PhD, from the University of California, Los Angeles. The study is published in August 15 in Biology of Reproduction.

Working hard when tired is not good for the health

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Doing mental or physical work while exhausted may harm your health, according to a study from University of Alabama at Birmingham and published in International Journal of Psychophysiology. Fatigued people have bigger spikes in blood pressure than well–rested people while doing a memorization test.

When fatigued people regard a task as worthwhile and achievable, they increase their effort to compensate for their diminished capability. As a result, the blood pressure of a tired person increases and remains elevated until the task is completed or the person gives up.

In this study, Wright and colleagues told 80 volunteers they could win a modest prize by memorizing two or six nonsense trigrams (meaningless, three–letter sequences) within 2 minutes. Compared to volunteers with low levels of fatigue, those with moderate fatigue had stronger blood pressure while doing the two–trigram memorization task.

Who is a Good Teacher?

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A good teacher is the one who follows the principles of listening first, teaching in detail till confusion arises and then teaching with reasoning while going into the minutest details and finally summarizing the ‘take–home’ messages.

This is how Lord Krishna discoursed to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. In the first chapter, he only listens, in the second, he gives detailed counseling and from chapters 2 to 17, he gives reasoning and in 18th chapter, he revises.