This study consisted of a group of 20 people with chronic heart failure (CNF) ages 30-75. Ten were treated with 140 oF infrared sauna therapy for 15 minutes for two consecutive weeks, the other ten acted as the control group. People with CHF suffer from the following:
• Muscle fatigue
• Reduced peripheral perfusion (delivery of blood to feet and hands)
• Heaviness in the limbs
• Appetite loss
A few important explanations of the scientific terms presented are:
• Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule that dilates veins and decreases the workload of the heart.
• Endothelial dysfunction (improper constricting/dilating of the inner lining of blood vessels) is measured in percent change in flow-mediated dilation (%FMD ).
• Brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a polypeptide released by the ventricles of the heart that lowers blood pressure.
Results of the study:
Seventeen of the twenty patients had their clinical symptoms improved. The study found that blood flow of the brachial artery significantly increases by 68% after 15 min of sauna therapy and remains elevated by 51% at 30 min after sauna therapy in patients with coronary risk factors.
The study found patients treated with an infrared sauna showed positive results in %FMD, which had a significant correlation to increased concentrations of BNP produced. These two factors combined lead to improved endothelial function, causing an increase in NO production. In plain English, their blood was flowing a lot smoother through their arteries and veins, causing less workload on their hearts, i.e., their blood pressure was lowered by using an infrared sauna.