Charlottesville (VA) - A research study carried out at the University of Virginia is shedding light on the claim that static magnetic fields can provide health benefits. The $5 billion annual industry of magnetic bracelets, charms, necklaces, and other "medicinal" products, may actually have a medical basis founded in real science.
The research study began with 70 milliTesla (mT) magnets, approximately 10x stronger than the refrigerator variety. The team used them on laboratory rats to study the effect on blood vessel dilation. Measurements taken before and after exposure to the magnetic fields indicated that contracted vessels dilated, and dilated vessels contracted. The magnetic field is somehow inducing the vessels to relax to their normal state, restoring blood flow.
Swelling at the sight of an injury is often the direct result of increased blood flow due to blood vessel dilation. It is believed this research will allow for a real form of magnetic therapy which could be applied immediately after injury, in much the same way cold or warm packs are applied today. A portable strong field magnet could be applied to the location of the wound, resulting in the same effects.
Thomas Skalak, professor and chair of the biomedical engineering center at the UofVa, said, "We now hope to implement a series of steps, including private investment partners and eventually a major corporate partner, to realize these very widespread applications that will make a positive difference for human health".
Read more ... University of Virginia.