Our Top 5 Interesting Heart Facts
Our Top 5 Interesting Heart Facts
by Mackenzie Thompson
Life Saver, AMC
posted on Feb 25, 2015, at 9:48 pm
HAVE YOU EVER SUFFERED A BROKEN A HEART? Been told you have a big heart? What about a cold heart? We often refer to the human heart this way, but how much do you really know about this vital organ? Here are our top 5 heart facts.
1. Laughter is the “best” medicine, or at least a good one!
You’ve heard the phrase before, but why laughter and not other emotions? What about crying or simply smiling? According to a
study reported by Hasan, researchers at the University of Maryland found beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system from laughter. The researchers tested brachial artery constriction of 20 volunteer patients for five minutes after the volunteers watched two videos conveying extreme emotions. One video conveyed distress, while the other conveyed humor. The results proved that laughter increased blood flow by 22%, while distress decreased blood flow by 35%.
Obviously, laughter alone cannot prevent or treat any forms of heart disease. Humans are, however, social beings, and environmental and social health play a huge role in physical health. Have you laughed today?
2. Have a glass, or two!
The grape skins that are used to make red wines contain a phytoalexin polyphenol known as resveratrol, which have been shown to possess a diverse array of health benefits like chemotherapy prevention and cardiovascular protection, according to a
study by Das, Mukherjee and Diptarka. More recently, resveratrol has been found to have anti-aging properties as well, and could be an aid to lower cholesterol levels and inflammation. If you are considering adding red wine as a daily staple for heart health, however, you should always talk to your doctor beforehand.
3. Your heart was your very first vital organ
Your heart’s specialized cells began developing just 4 weeks into your life when you were still an embryo. The human heart is the first vital organ to develop because as cells begin to rapidly multiply, they need a constant stream of nutrients and a way to expel waste, and the heart is the foundation of the circulatory system which provides those functions.
4. Heart attack season – it’s real!
According to a Circulation journal entry by Robert Kloner, Americans typically experience the highest number of heart attacks during Christmas and New Years. This is thought to be attributed to an increase in alcohol consumption and unhealthy dietary changes during that time of year, but can also be caused by the high levels of emotional stress that individuals typically face during the holiday season. Furthermore, Americans are usually busier this time of year, which is a reason why one would neglect to seek medical attention if mild symptoms of heart disease or pain are present.
5. Your heart is a pumping machine
According to PBS, the human heart beats on average 100,000 times per day, which is about 35 million times in just one year. During the average human life, that is more than 2 and a half billion times! Additionally, your heart will pump about a million barrels of blood during your lifetime.
We want to know: How do you keep your heart health in check?
Hasan, Hunaid, and Tasneem Fatema Hasan. “Laugh yourself into a healthier person: a cross cultural analysis of the effects of varying levels of laughter on health.” Int J Med Sci 6.4 (2009): 200-11.
Das, Dipak K., Subhendu Mukherjee, and Diptarka Ray. “Resveratrol and red wine, healthy heart and longevity.” Heart failure reviews 15.5 (2010): 467-477.
Kloner, Robert A. “The “merry Christmas coronary” and “happy New Year heart attack” phenomenon.” Circulation 110.25 (2004): 3744-3745.