Are HSPs really protective against Cardiovascular Diseases?

Heat Shock Proteins and Sauna Therapy

In recent years, sauna therapy has gained popularity as a relaxing and therapeutic practice that can even have medical benefits. But did you know that beyond its soothing effects, sauna therapy can have a profound impact on our cellular health? At the heart of this connection lies a group of remarkable proteins known as Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs).

What are Heat Shock Proteins

Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) are a group of molecular chaperones found in all living organisms. These remarkable proteins act as guardians of cellular health, safeguarding cells from damage caused by various stressors, including heat, toxins, infections, and oxidative stress.

Sauna Therapy and Heat Shock Proteins

Heat Shock Proteins were discovered by Ferruccio Ritossa initially coined due to their discovery in response to heat stress, but further research revealed that they are activated in response to a wide range of stress-inducing conditions. HEAT is a one of them!

This ancient practice has been embraced by cultures worldwide for its numerous health benefits, including relaxation, improved circulation, and stress relief. However, the association between sauna therapy and Heat Shock Proteins adds an interesting dimension to its benefits.

When the body is subjected to the elevated temperatures of a sauna session, it triggers a natural stress response. In turn, the activation of Heat Shock Factors prompts the upregulation of Heat Shock Proteins. 

The synthesis of HSPs during sauna therapy serves as a protective mechanism, enhancing the cellular response to stress and facilitating the repair of damaged proteins. 

Are Heat Shock Proteins a Potential Cure for Cardiovascular Diseases?

The roles of HSPs in heart function have been extensively studied and recent studies highlighted their therapeutic effects in cardiovascular diseases. There are numerous studies indicating that HSPs play critical roles in protecting cardiomyocytes (which are the cardiac muscle cells) against stress situations such as hypoxia, ischemia, and infection. Therefore, increasing these HSPs are thought to be a therapeutic potential for CVDs.

How HSP22 slows down Inflammation, Atherosclerosis and protects the Heart

HSP22 inhibits the Rho GTPase pathway, which is activated during the onset and progression of atherosclerosis. In that way HSP22 lowers the production of stress fibers and inhibits the lowering of peak calcium transients, which stabilizes cardiomyocyte structure (so it stabilizes the heart muscle cells) and safeguard the atrium’s electrophysiology and contractile function. This means it helps the heart’s pumping system to function better. 

HSP27 protecting cells from free radicals, heat, ischemia, and harmful chemicals

HSP27, a member of the small molecule HSP family, is found in abundance in a variety of malignancies and normal tissues, particularly in heart tissue. The physiological functions of HSP27 linked to CVD are protecting the heart cells from free radicals, heat, ischemia, and harmful chemicals.

Studies in rats show that HSP27 in rat heart under ischemia (meaning too little oxygen for the heart cells) showed better oxygen availability for the cells, which suggests a role of HSP27 in myocardial ischemia prevention. 

In humans, studies showed that patients with atherosclerotic plaques in the heart and circulation have reduced or no HSP27 production compared to healthy people, according to these studies.

HSP70 helps the Heart to Pump better

In other studies in humans, it has been shown that HSP70 can increase the myocardial cells to contract better and exert myocardial protection through enhancing the internal environment of ischemic myocardium Ca2+ channels and reducing cardiac Ca2+ overload. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended!). As a professional in the spa and wellness industry you and your company need to work science based for the health and safety of people. Learn this in The Thermalist™ Education.

The Thermalist™ Education

There is much more to be said about Heat Shock Proteins (HSPs) and their intricate role in safeguarding our health, as evidenced by scientific research. In The Thermalist™ Education, we delve deeper into the fascinating world of HSPs, unraveling the mysteries of how these remarkable proteins are activated through heat therapy. You'll gain a comprehensive understanding of the conditions and mechanisms that trigger HSP responses, empowering you with valuable insights into the profound benefits that heat therapy, such as sauna sessions, can offer to your overall well-being. Explore the science behind HSPs and their relationship with sauna therapy, and unlock the secrets to optimizing your cardiovascular health and cellular resilience.

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