On Wednesday, 24th June, 2015, the British National newspapers (e.g. ”The Times” page 23) published reports of research published by Halonen et al., in the European Heart Journal. This report, produced by researchers at the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggests a link between traffic noise and the risk of suffering a stroke. Dr Halonen is quoted as saying, “Road traffic noise has been associated with sleep problems and increased blood pressure, but our study is the first in the UK to show a link with deaths and strokes.”
This is very useful research, but it is not surprising, because it has long been known that aircraft noise is associated with increased cardiovascular disease (e.g. Hansell et al, BMJ 16.8.2013). The essential point is that cardiovascular disease, of which stroke is one of the fatal consequences, is caused by oxidisation of cholesterol particles in the arteries and veins. Oxidation/free radicals are the underlying initiator of over 70 chronic diseases, including heart disease (Davies, “Oxidative stress: The paradox of aerobic life,” Biochem Soc Symp, 61 (1995), 1-31).
What are the causes of oxidation within the body? The answer is well known:
* Air pollution
* Food pollution
* Trans fats in processed foods
* Heated oils, except coconut oil
* Excessive exercise
If you live on a busy road, or under a flightpath, you are likely to suffer from both stress and pollution. It is therefore wholly unsurprising that those living in a noisy and/or polluted environment are likely to have greater cardiovascular disease.
The solution is really quite simple. Either move away, or, better still because even those in the deep countryside can suffer heart disease, take antioxidants. The most important antioxidant is, of course, L-arginine, which turns into Arginine Derived Nitric Oxide (please click on the ADNO page for more detail). Right back in 1989 Dr Daniel Steinberg published material in the New England Journal of Medicine (320 (1989), 915-924) suggesting that adequate intake of antioxidants prevented oxidization of cholesterol. In 1997 it was concluded that subsequent studies established that the higher the intake of antioxidants the lower the coronary artery disease (Ross “Atherosclerosis: An inflammatory disease,” New England Journal of Medicine, 340 (1999), 115-123).
We cannot all live lives free of noise, stress and pollution, but we can all take antioxidant supplementation.