April 23, 2021

Saunas help reduce risk of Alzheimer’s, other diseases

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By Lynn Allison From Newsmax

If you love leisurely sauna baths, you may be reaping more health benefits than you imagined. New research published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings examined sauna bathing, an activity that has been a tradition in Finland and other European countries for thousands of years. They found that beyond its use for pleasure, sauna bathing has been linked to several health benefits, which include reduced risk of vascular diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and neurocognitive disease such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

They also found that relaxing in a sauna can also improve nonvascular conditions such as pulmonary disease, skin conditions, headaches and reduce overall mortality rates. The infrared heat is also beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis pain.

Here is a summary of the reported benefits:

Blood pressure. In a long term study, it was found that men who took frequent sauna baths had a whopping 47 percent reduced risk of developing hypertension.

Cardiovascular disease. A study of Finnish men followed for 20 years showed that the longer and more frequent sauna baths they took, the less likely they were to suffer sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

Neurocognitive disease. Men who take sauna baths four to seven times weekly may be reducing their risk of dementia by a whopping 66 percent. This particular study, conducted by the University of Eastern Finland, involved more than 2,000 men and revealed that the more frequently saunas were taken, the lower the risk of dementia.

Pulmonary disease. Evidence suggests that sauna bathing improves lung function by improving vital lung capacity and volume. Folks suffering from asthma or chronic bronchitis have also reported improvement in breathing. Another study reveals that regular sauna baths slashed the incidence of getting a cold by half.

Other benefits. Research shows that sauna bathing has been linked to improvement in pain and symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. In other studies, those suffering from chronic tension-type headaches also reported relief not in their symptoms but in the intensity of the pain. Even those suffering from the skin disease, psoriasis, reported that taking sauna baths improved their condition by stabilizing the function of the epidermal layer of the skin.

Dr. Kevin Campbell, a prominent cardiologist from North Carolina, warns that “while sauna bathing may be safe for most people—even those with coronary heart disease—those with congestive heart failure and unstable angina should check with their doctor before participating.”

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic also warn that sauna bathing and alcohol don’t mix. This can increase the risk of sudden death due to low blood pressure and cardiac complications. They also caution that one should avoid touching the hot stove or stream which can cause burns. Although the tradition of jumping from an icy bath or shower into a hot sauna has been practiced by athletes and other health advocates for years, this cause dangerous heart arrhythmias in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Image: Saunas Help Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s, Other Diseases
(Robert Kneschke/Dreamstime)

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For more on this story go to: https://www.newsmax.com/health/health-news/sauna-heath-health-alzheimers/2018/08/07/id/875901/?ns_mail_uid=6952f1f9-507d-4a20-8cc0-0a1db158d76e&ns_mail_job=DM4726_08092018&s=acs&dkt_nbr=010502w3mtfm

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