Heart Matters: 9 Interesting Facts About Human Heart
May 25, 2023
From the very beginning of time, scientists and poets have both been fascinated by the heart.
Irrespective of the “epicentre of life’s” literary value, it’s intriguing to consider why the heart is so crucial to the maintenance and operation of human existence.
Here are 10 fascinating facts about the heart that you may not be aware of
1. It is the first organ to begin working after conception
The appearance of a small beating heart indicates that a new life has begun inside a woman’s womb. The first organ to begin growing and working during embryogenesis is the heart.
By the end of gestational week 3, the little heart begins to beat, and by the end of week 4, it starts to take part in the circulation process. It grows into a four-chambered foetal heart by the end of the seventh week and may support the foetus in the hypoxemic uterus while relying on the placenta for its metabolic processes, nourishment, breathing, and waste disposal.
In addition, the foetal heart goes through number of physiological, anatomical, and functional changes once the foetus is born as a baby to begin maintaining the human body in the extrauterine environment.
Hence, it is said that life begins from the heart. Aside from its literary significance, the heart is the first organ that assists a person in starting their journey from a scientific standpoint.
2. Heart is the most hardworking organ
The human heart, which may weigh a maximum of 350 g, is the most hardworking organ. It begins functioning four weeks earlier than all the other organs of the body and keeps going nonstop till death.
In a minute, the heart beats about 72 times. How many heartbeats does that equal in a day? In one day, this corresponds to around 1,00,000 times.
Male and female hearts beat at different rates. A woman’s heart beats on average 78 times per minute, whereas a man’s heart beats on average 70 times per minute.
The heart circulates about 2000 gallons (7570 litres) of blood every day during its whole lifespan.
To establish a pressure that will guarantee constant and optimal blood flow to all regions of the body, it employs an intricate network of arteries.
The heart transports hormones, carbohydrates, and amino acids to various regions of the body in addition to oxygenated blood. It is responsible for receiving blood that has lost oxygen. Additionally, it gathers the body’s metabolic waste products and transports them to the lungs for oxygenation.
3. Men and women have different hearts
As absurd as it may sound, a woman’s and a man’s heart differ somewhat from one another.
To begin with, women have smaller hearts than men. The hormonal variations between the sexes are thought to be the cause of this size disparity. Men’s testosterone is known to widen the arteries, whereas oestrogen and progesterone shrink them. Women are therefore more susceptible to artery blockages beyond a particular age.
A woman’s heart pumps less blood every beat than a man’s because it is smaller. As a result, a woman’s heart must beat faster than a man to make up for the lower volume with a greater ejection rate.
When it comes to cardiac conditions, women exhibit fewer obvious and severe symptoms than males. As a result, their diagnosis is delayed, which makes it harder for women to recover from these issues.
4. Oestrogen improves women’s cardiovascular health
Although the function of the hormone oestrogen in a woman’s reproductive health is widely recognised, it is important to remember that oestrogen also promotes and supports a woman’s heart health in several ways.
In fact, oestrogen is the primary factor—aside from inherent flaws and harmful learned behaviours like smoking—that contributes to women experiencing cardiac issues at a rate that is over 10 years later than that of males.
Oestrogen contributes to raising good cholesterol levels while lowering bad cholesterol. The blood arteries are able to expand and become smoother as a result, allowing the oxygenated blood to flow more easily. Oestrogen aids in the absorption of free radicals, which cause tissue and artery damage and induce inflammation.
As a result, when a woman enters menopause, the decline in oestrogen levels increases her risk of developing cardiac issues.
Women who experience a decline in oestrogen are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, abdominal (visceral) fat storage, subcutaneous fat storage, and obesity, all of which are significant risk factors for heart disease.
Young or premenopausal women who lack oestrogen are more susceptible to coronary atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems.
5. Heart has a unique electrical system
The fact that the heart has its own electrical system, known as the cardiac electrical system, adds to the organ’s fascination.
It is a crucial component of the heart because damage to the cardiac electrical system can induce a rapid heart attack that can be deadly, even if there is little to no obstruction in the arteries or the valves are working properly.
The cardiac electrical system regulates heart rate and coordinates the contraction of the heart muscles to evaluate how well the heart is working.
The body’s ‘natural pacemakers’ are referred to as the sinus nodes.
Shortness of breath and arrhythmia can result if another area of the heart takes over the pacemaker function and if/when the sinus nodes are injured.
Because of this cardiac electrical system, the heart may continue to beat for a while even after the brain has stopped functioning as long as it receives oxygen. When the heart is taken out of the body, the same thing may occur.
6. Extrovert personality increases heart health lifespan
Stress is widely recognised to have negative effects on the human body. It damages the immune system, causes psychosocial issues, and even has a bad impact on heart health.
Being an extrovert may be a terrific stress-buster and greatly enhance cardiovascular health, but therapy and medication are other strategies to regulate stress.
Being an extrovert entails being forceful, outgoing, and friendly. It entails choosing to focus on opportunities rather than draw attention to flaws. It also means not allowing fear or worry to consume you when faced with difficulties.
Extroverts have decreased heart rate reactivity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia withdrawal, according to studies. Additionally, they respond more quickly to the systolic blood pressure that is generated during stressful situations.
These elements aid extroverts in recovering from stressful events more quickly, resulting in less cardiac damage.
7. Sex increases heart vitality
Sex may be a good mental and physical workout as well as a terrific stress reliever, all of which can improve heart health.
Sex helps you lose a little weight and raise your heart rate to a healthy level while burning about 5 calories each minute.
It causes a spike in “feel-good” molecules like oxytocin and endorphins, which aid in controlling sadness and anxiety and lessen the likelihood of cardiac issues in the individual.
Additionally, it lowers cortisol levels that may have been generated during stressful events, making the body more resistant to inflammation that can cause cardiac problems.
Prolactin and oxytocin, two hormones that calm the body and improve sleep, are released during orgasms. If blood pressure isn’t controlled, it plays a significant role in raising the risk of developing heart disease. Good sleep can assist.
Sex contributes to the maintenance of balanced levels of testosterone and oestrogen in both men and women. Heart problems can be brought on by an imbalance in any of those.
8. Laughter brings happiness and excellent health
The best remedy for all the bad emotions that tension and wrath engender is a big, hearty laugh.
The body may be more susceptible to heart disease and vascular problems due to the chemicals produced during worry. Similar to how anger causes the release of hormones, anger may cause inflammation and muscle spasms, which can result in heart attacks or increase the risk of them.
Endorphins, a feel-good hormone, are released when we laugh, and they lighten the strain on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenaline (HPA) axis, which becomes overworked when we are angry or under stress. This strengthens the immune system and counteracts the negative consequences indicated above.
Endorphins cause the body to relax, which decreases blood pressure, which rises during anger or stress and leaves the body susceptible to arterial blood clots.
Laughing heartily boosts oxygen intake, which reduces the risk of vascular issues by increasing the amount of oxygenated blood in the circulatory system.
9. ‘Broken heart syndrome’ is real
People passing away from shattered hearts are a common occurrence. But if you believe it to be only a literary concept, reconsider.
When the heart experiences extreme mental or physical stress, the heart’s muscles weaken significantly, resulting in broken heart syndrome, also known as Takotsubo syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy.
Shock, extreme sadness, separation/betrayal agony, or an unexpected incident that causes great dread are a few examples of emotional stresses that can cause a shattered heart.
Seizures, extensive bleeding, a high temperature, or extreme breathlessness are a few examples of physical stresses.
Adrenaline and noradrenaline are created in excessive amounts to help the body and mind deal with stress when they are overpowered by these strong emotions or the causes of the stress.
The little arteries that provide oxygenated blood to the heart are constricted by this high adrenaline, which temporarily reduces the amount of blood given.
Additionally, the adrenaline may directly connect to the heart cells, allowing calcium to enter the cells. The heart cannot beat normally as a result.
Women are reportedly more likely than males to experience the broken heart condition.
The good news is that recovery from broken heart syndrome usually takes 4-6 weeks. Only a tiny portion of them could have deadly consequences.
Since our hearts are where life first begins, maintaining their health is important for maintaining our own. It is crucial that you be informed on intriguing facts relating to the human heart.
Do get a yearly health exam to, among other things, determine the condition of your heart.
It is especially more crucial to start these examinations right once if your family has a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. The same is true if you smoke, have diabetes, or lead a sedentary lifestyle.
If treated in time, majority of cardiac conditions are treatable. Early prevention will help you maintain long-term heart health.