Thursday, April 4, 2013

Berries and Job Stress: Heart Attack Risk Factors

Dr. Weil this week wrote about berries this week. A study found that blueberries and strawberries reduce the risk of a heart attack by 1/3. It is easy to imagine how this could happen if the berries were just crowding out lower-quality foods, but that’s not the effect being observed here. It’s an effect that seems to be independent of everything else. It could be the anthocyanins that berries contain — they are known to help keep blood vessels clean — but that is just a guess.

Separately, a recent study reported in Fortune found that job stress can increase the risk of a heart attack. The link between low job satisfaction and heart attack has been known since the 1980s at least, but the effect may be larger than previously thought. Workers who can’t stand their high-stress jobs get about twice the rate of heart attacks as less-stressed workers doing the same jobs.

The way I see it, if you must work in a high-stress job year after year, it becomes all the more important to take the time to eat berries. You can expect the berries to undo some of the damage.