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Straight from the heart

Finally, a news report that is music to my ears. Something that works for me both musically and medically. It’s a report that speaks of how sounds can actually impact a reduction in ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, writes Parag Kamani.

music Updated: Feb 03, 2009 15:39 IST
Parag Kamani

Finally, a news report that is music to my ears. Something that works for me both musically and medically. It’s a report that speaks of how sounds can actually impact a reduction in ‘bad’ cholesterol levels (LDL).

The research arrives from the Centre For Preventive Cardiology at the Maryland University, US, which states that listening to your favourite music for at least 30 minutes in a day is not only mentally relaxing but also physically expands blood vessels. This results in the prevention of formation of blood clots and harmful cholesterol.

Calm.. composed
The study continues in the spirit of earlier studies that have stated that songs from Queen (yes!) or Red Hot Chili Peppers are motivational; calmness arrives from listening to Mozart, and mental focus improves by listening to Bach.

On the flip side, ten healthy, non-smoking volunteers (70 per cent m ale, average age 36 years) were made to listen to music that they perceived as stressful, to help the researchers gauge the negative impact of music listening. Not surprisingly, blood vessels were monitored and found to be narrowing by six per cent, similar to eating a large hamburger (junk eaters, please note!), producing a potentially dangerous situation of blood flow reduction.

While most participants in the study selected country music as their preferred genre, ‘heavy metal’ was the one that made them feel anxious. If I was one of the volunteers, I would find blues or classic rock as my preferred listening genre, with stress-related music, for me, being hip-hop.

That healing sound
I came across at least one enterprising entrepreneur who cashed in on these researches and created an album called Skinny Songs. None of the songs sing about lowering cholesterol or weight loss, but the CD could still be considered motivational for the health conscious.

I have to admit that the lyrics, with the obvious limitations of not being able to sound medical or ‘deep’, are clever but, at the same time, amateurish. A sample: Skinny jeans, skinny jeans, you’re still hanging ‘round/In the back of my closet and that’s bringin’ me down/This morning, I woke up, and made me a vow/Skinny jeans, gonna get back, into you somehow.

Pure pop
Meanwhile, if you are curious to sample the recording, it can be streamed from: http://www.skinnysongs.com/listen.html. The songs gave me enough indication that the Paula Abdul sound-alike was performing pure pop for now people.

While the CD definitely has a market –– it’s not available in India though, but can be ordered by mail –– it is upto to you to decide whether you are the market.