Saunas & health

Dry saunas may help improve heart health

Saunas may help improve blood flow going to the heart and prevent coronary disease, according to a study by Japanese researchers published in the last issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

According Chuwa Tei, from the Kagoshima University in Japan, sauna therapy benefits are similar to those of physical exercise, but sauna has an advantage over it because it can be used to treat people with problems to do some light exercise and/or straining since it does not overwork the heart.


Risk factors

Tei and his colleagues compared 25 men with at least one coronary disease risk factor, i.e., high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes or smoking with another group composed of 10 healthy men.

Each participant in the study spent 15 minutes in a dry sauna at 60ºC, followed by 30 minutes lying in a bed with fresh linen, once a day, for two weeks.

Researchers measured then the ease with blood vessels expanded and contracted, as it is a health sign.

The group that had at least a risk factor showed improvement in circulatory functions

Researchers also found that sauna therapy lowered blood pressure in the participants.

The study suggests that ‘the arteries of patients with risk factors showed signs of being in a reversible condition’.


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