top of page

Sauna effects on cardiovascular disease and alzheimer's

Updated: Aug 31, 2023


Hey Dr. McNamara here at McLaughlin Care. And I got another wellness wednesday for you guys. And today, since it's so cold this late in April, what I wanted to talk about is the benefits of sauna use. Obviously one of the first benefits is it's going to get you out of that cold and it's going to make you feel a little bit better, which is awesome.

But I do really want to focus on some cardiovascular benefits as well as some neurological benefits that can result from increased duration as well as increased frequency of sauna use. Now I got a couple studies I want to talk about the first one looked at cardiovascular mortality and risk prediction in men and women.

In terms of how often they're using the sauna and how long they're in the sauna. So for this study, they took. 1,688 participants, and about half are female, and about half are male. And what they did was they separated these individuals into different groups based on duration of sauna use anywhere from 10 to 20 to 30 minutes, or more, as well as frequency of using either one time per week, two to three times per week or four to seven times per week.

The cool thing about this study is that they found that the higher frequency and higher duration of sauna bathing are each strongly inversely and independently associated with fatal cardiovascular events in both middle aged and elderly males and females. So pretty much the frequency of sauna bathing is going to improve your risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

And that is really awesome to know, as we know that is, the leading cause of death in the United States. So if we can improve cardiovascular outcomes with just use of sauna, that's awesome. Now the other study I wanted to talk about. It has to do with our neurological system and how sauna bathing has been shown to inversely be associated with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

This study here was done on Finnish men. And in this study, they also had a great population size. It was about 2,315, apparently healthy men. And they were age 42 to 60. Again, with this study, they had a similar kind of design where they looked at duration of use as well as frequency of use. And again, more frequency one time a week for two to three times a week or four to seven times a week being the best have the best outcomes as well as longer duration.

Use of sauna in terms of preventing Alzheimer's and dementia risk. So it really reduced the probability of these individuals developing these chronic diseases that are so common that we see so often. Now the mechanisms are still being teased out to figure out exactly what is going on with sauna, because there's so many awesome effects, but some of the ones that are really well-known, I'll go over with you guys, right now.

One of the main things a sauna is going to do is really going to increase the demands on your cardiovascular system. Sauna bathing can increase your heart rate, which is going to heat up your body as well as be a little bit of a workout for your cardiovascular system. And it's going to mimic that zone two type cardio around 120 to 150 beats per minute.

For most people very similar to a moderate, intense type exercise. It's mimics cardio for, so for individuals that can't get out in that run and exercise as easily as others song is a great option to get some cardiovascular training without actually performing the work. If you're unable to, I will suggest though, if you are able to exercise, that's going to be a little bit better than the sauna, but you can also combine the two for the most benefit. So give that a try if you're interested.

Another mechanism that has shown to help is it has a blood pressure lowering effect. Now that's not during the sauna use, always because sometimes it can activate your sympathetic nervous system and it can raise the blood pressure. But afterwards there is a lowering of blood pressure that is takes effect for hours afterwards. Other things that's going to do. It's going to decrease the peripheral vascular resistance. That's one of the reasons why the blood pressure's improving and that's just due to, improve blood flow within our cardiovascular system.

It's going to decrease the stiffness of our arteries. Less likelihood of forming plaques and things like that, as well as just improve the overall arterial compliance and the ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide between tissues.

So the big takeaway, that I want you guys to take from this. Is that the sauna can have great benefits in terms of physiological health. And it's something that's very simple. All you have to do is just passively be involved in it. So if you guys are interested, if you guys are too cold, make sure to give us a call. We have an infrared sauna in our office, I'll probably be getting into it sometime this afternoon, because I myself have been cold but make sure to give us a call, check that out and don't forget to check out our supplement store. We have tons of great supplements for you guys. That's all this Wednesday Dr. McNamara out.

8 views0 comments


bottom of page