Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reducing Heart Disease Risk Naturally Post-menopause

Date:
March 20, 2008
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
Aerobic exercise significantly decreased the chemical imbalances that can lead to heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women according to a study in the Journal of Women and Aging.

Aerobic exercise significantly decreased the chemical imbalances that can lead to heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women according to a study in the spring issue of the Journal of Women and Aging.

Related Articles


Estrogen is known to reduce the chemical imbalances that can lead to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women. However, recent studies have reported detrimental effects of long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or estrogen replacement therapy, including an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and breast cancer. Faced with these potential consequences, more women are turning to exercise as a natural way to combat postmenopausal effects.

The study found that HRT users and non-HRT users benefited equally from the exercise.

“Given the controversy with HRT, postmenopausal women can now use aerobic exercise training to lower chemical stress levels, thus reducing another risk factor for chronic disease,” said Michael D. Brown, Ph.D., a co-author and associate professor of kinesiology at Temple University’s College of Health Professions.

The chemical imbalance or stress — called oxidative stress — occurs when oxidants, harmful chemicals that damage tissue and cells, outnumber antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants protect cells and tissues against oxidants. Postmenopausal women have higher levels of oxidative stress.

A single bout of intense exercise acutely raises oxidative stress by increasing the production of oxidants. Conversely, regular exercise of moderate intensity appears to reduce oxidative stress through an adaptive process that increases antioxidant activity.

“Regardless of your hormone replacement therapy status, regular physical activity is a good way to not only decrease postmenopausal symptoms, but also to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death of American women,” said study co-author Nicola Fenty-Stewart, Ph.D., also with Temple’s College of Health Professions.

“The similar response of the two groups suggests that aerobic exercise training is a powerful therapy that can potentially serve as a way for women to observe the beneficial effects of exercise,” she said.

The study followed 48 sedentary postmenopausal women (21 on HRT and 27 not on HRT) through an exercise program consisting of three supervised sessions of aerobic exercise per week for 24 weeks. Participants were between 50 and 75 years of age and were postmenopausal for at least two years.

Since changes in habitual dietary intake could influence oxidative stress levels, qualified subjects were stabilized for six weeks on the American Heart Association Step I diet, which is low in saturated and trans fat, and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free and low-fat dairy products, Brown said.

Weight loss was limited to 5 percent or less of the women’s initial body weight in order to determine the independent effects of aerobic exercise training on oxidative stress, not the effect of exercise and weight loss on oxidative stress.

The HRT users and non-users both experienced an 11 to 18 percent drop in plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, an indicator of oxidative stress.

There were also decreases in body mass index and total body fat, and a significant increase in VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) in both HRT users and non-users after the exercise intervention, Brown said.

“Exercise was able to reduce oxidative stress levels in these women regardless of whether or not they were using estrogen replacement. In addition, the women did not lose large amounts of body weight or fat,” Brown said.

“No one is too old to begin an exercise program, but it is imperative to consult your physician before taking part in any exercise program. It is important to start off slow and build your program to your comfort level. Exercising is not difficult. You just have to want to do it,” Brown added.

Other authors are: Selasi Attipoe, B.S., University of Maryland; Joon-Young Park, Ph.D., University of Maryland; and Dana Phares, Ph.D., University of Maryland. Funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "Reducing Heart Disease Risk Naturally Post-menopause." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318084333.htm>.
Temple University. (2008, March 20). Reducing Heart Disease Risk Naturally Post-menopause. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318084333.htm
Temple University. "Reducing Heart Disease Risk Naturally Post-menopause." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318084333.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins