Placebo Cheese!



  • Is this the weirdest blood pressure remedy ever?
  • Was I wrong about afternoon naps – are they bad for you?
  • Well, maybe… or maybe not – find out below!

Okay, okay, I think I finally might be going mad.

But maybe you can help….

Is it just me or is this article from the Telegraph completely weird?

Afternoon naps can raise blood pressure

The article starts like this…

“It might seem the ultimate relaxing indulgence, but having an afternoon nap can damage people’s health, scientists have warned.

New research has found that taking a snooze in the middle of the day can raise the risk of high blood pressure by up to a fifth.

But, despite the perceived wisdom that eating cheese before sleeping gives you nightmares, another study has discovered that small amounts of Italian cheese can keep blood pressure at safer levels.”


Let’s think about this…

Sleeping during the day is bad for blood pressure.

But to heck with it, EAT MORE CHEESE.

And not any cheese either…

According to scientists you need to get down to your local deli and buy some Grana Padano, an Italian hard cheese’.

The world’s going crazy.

This is health advice?

Let me tell you why this is annoying…

Contradictory reports that don’t help us make decisions

As you know, I’ve been researching recent scientific studies about sleep. On the 16th June I posted an article that explained why the conventional ‘8 hours a night sleep advice’ was unrealistic and not based on human physiology. You can read it here if you like.

Yes, a good night’s sleep is fantastic, but we don’t all have the privilege of quiet streets, stress-free lives, good health or perfect bodies.

What’s more, it has been proven than naps boost memory, concentration and energy. Vincent Walsh, professor of human brain research at University College London has even recommended that let staff take naps at work.

‘It’s best to give your brain downtime,” he says.

So what should we make of this research from the Mayo Clinic telling us that afternoon naps cause high blood pressure?

Is it a case of better brain function OR lower blood pressure?

Well no.

Because if you read the article, one of the team, Dr Wisit Cheungpasitporn [AMAZING NAME!], says this:

“More research is needed to better understand if the duration of midday sleep, or if diet, exercise, or an underlying medical condition, might be impacting risk.”

Ah, right. So in other words…

They don’t know if it’s the sleep… or the diet… or the exercise levels… OR an underlying medical condition that’s causing the high blood pressure.

Okay, so let’s all go back to bed.

Panic over.

And what about this cheese remedy then?

Dr Giuseppe Crippa, one of those involved in the sleep study also studied cheese and found that an ounce of Grana Padano a day helps relax your blood vessels as effectively as prescription blood pressure drugs like Lotensin and Capoten.

This is interesting, and worth pursuing. But perhaps not so surprising when you consider there are another ‘fatty’ food that help control blood pressure.

For instance, avocados contain beta-sitosterol, a chemical which helps maintain healthy levels of good cholesterol. They also contain potassium, which helps keep your blood pressure under control. They can also decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome by 50%, lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes.

Or you could also try cashews and almonds. These fatty, oily nuts are high in magnesium content, an essential mineral linked to 300 metabolic processes. People with low magnesium in their diet often have high blood pressure.

If you’re concerned about a lack of magnesium in your diet, or high blood pressure, you can always try a supplement like this one.

But back to the cheese…

This is what really made me laugh about the whole ‘blood pressure and cheese’ story….

In Dr Giuseppe Crippa’s study, half his research subjects were given Grana Padano for two months, while the other half were given when the article calls a “placebo imitation cheese.”

That’s… just…bizarre….

I’ve heard of placebo drugs but…

…Placebo cheese?

You can’t make this sort of stuff up can you?

Or have I gone bonkers?

It’s entirely possible.

Answers on a postcard please. Or an email will do!

Until next time, stay healthy!


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