Did You Know?

Live Dirty For Heart Health

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Did you know owning a dog can do wonders for your health? As Dr. Chutkan mentions in her book, The Microbiome Solution, dog ownership and improved microbial health is well-documented. A study conducted in babies showed that infants who live in dog-owning households have more diversified gut bacteria and are less likely to develop allergies. In addition, school-aged children who have a dog possess stronger immune systems and are less likely to suffer from ear infections, asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections.  

The health benefits of owning a dog don’t stop in the gut. Two studies recently published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes, showed that owning a dog improved recovery outcomes after a major cardiovascular event and lowered the risk of mortality in the long-term. This isn’t the first study of its kind. There’s a hefty amount of literature supporting the benefits of dog ownership on cardiovascular health. But how? Scientists believe there are many mechanisms at work here. Owning a dog: 

1) Increases the likelihood of exercise, time spent outdoors, and social interaction (all characteristics associated with improved health) 

2) Reduces stress and lowers stress-related high blood pressure 

3) Improves mental health 

From the gut to the heart to the mind, owning a dog results in better health outcomes. In fact, those who are over the age of 65 and who own a dog are 30% less likely to seek medical attention than those who don’t. Are you looking for a health-filled Christmas gift for a loved one this year? Maybe a dog is in order. Just be sure the receiving party is on board!

Leslie Ann received her BA from the University of Notre Dame and has a Master’s degree in Public Health and Nutrition from Johns Hopkins University. With over a decade of experience working in the health and wellness field as a nutritionist, health writer, and project manager, Leslie Ann is the backbone of the Gutbliss team, overseeing operations as well as the strategic mission of Gutbliss Rx, and authoring much of the content on the site. As a certified yoga teacher and personal trainer, she is an avid believer in integrative methods to treat and heal the body.

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