Less oxygen may help during heart attacks: study

May 24th, 2008 - 8:40 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 24 (IANS) Cutting off oxygen supply to the heart in moderate doses may enable the vital organ to withstand coronary attacks much better. Hypoxia, or the progressive reduction in oxygen supply to the heart, is considered harmful to the organ.

But researchers at the University of North Texas, overturning prevailing dogma, have demonstrated that hypoxia can, in many cases, benefit the heart.

During a 20-day programme on dogs, the study demonstrated that brief, repetitive, moderate reductions in oxygen in arterial blood helped the heart resist more severe attacks.

The reason, according to the study, could be that intermittent hypoxia suppressed harmful over-production of nitric oxide, the precursor of a host of toxic compounds, by the heart tissue.

These discoveries, published in the June issue of the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, may lead to a new paradigm to protect hearts of patients at risk of coronary disease.

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