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Blog Posts by Dr Niamh O’Kennedy BSc MSc PhD

Dr O’Kennedy is a research chemist, specialising in the field of natural products chemistry. Her guidance has been pivotal in the development and integrity of Provexis’ product portfolio.

How cold weather can affect blood circulation and cardiovascular health – the chilling facts

How cold weather can affect blood circulation and cardiovascular health – the chilling facts

With snow finally falling in parts of UK, many are feeling cold to their core but what most people don’t know is that cold weather can actually bring more than a chill to their bones. Cold weather can impact how blood flows around ones body and can raise the risk of a heart attack.

How Carrie Fisher’s tragic death is helping educate other women on the risk of heart disease

How Carrie Fisher’s tragic death is helping educate other women on the risk of heart disease

With the sad news that Carrie Fisher (better known as Princess Leia from Star Wars) suffered a heart attack on a transatlantic fight during the Christmas period and died just days later, fortunately media are now rallying to raise awareness amongst women of the threat of heart disease. Interestingly, although the risk of cardiovascular disease increases for everyone as they get older, the increase is more age-dependent in women.

Pregnancy, Periods and Post Menopause: The reasons why women should better protect their heart health

Pregnancy, Periods and Post Menopause: The reasons why women should better protect their heart health

Whilst many take blood flow for granted, and think that if their heart is pumping then their blood must be circulating smoothly too, this is NOT always the case and the simple truth is that women’s blood flow is more prone to problems than men.

One in ten healthy Brits take aspirin as a blood ‘thinner’ just in case – regardless of the side effects and against medical guidelines

One in ten healthy Brits take aspirin as a blood ‘thinner’ just in case – regardless of the side effects and against medical guidelines

Recent research reveals that one in ten of us - or nearly 3 million people over 45 - take low dose aspirin daily as a blood thinner, ’just in case’, although they are not at high risk of a cardiovascular event. All this, whilst worldwide clinical guidelines have advised for years that healthy people (those not at high risk of CVD) should not be taking aspirin as a preventative, as the risk of side effects outweighs the benefits.

Cardiovascular disease proving a greater risk in people aged over 40, as the body’s natural cardioprotection decreases

Cardiovascular disease proving a greater risk in people aged over 40, as the body’s natural cardioprotection decreases

Our bodies naturally produce chemicals which help to keep our platelets under control and circulating smoothly. The most potent of these is an important molecule called nitric oxide (NO). NO is responsible for calming blood platelets, which allows blood to circulate smoothly and keeps blood vessels relaxed, which also controls blood pressure. Unfortunately, from the age of 40 NO production decreases, and the natural cardioprotection it gives us decreases too.