Inhaling Candle Smoke Improves Heart Rate

March 26, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. monitor /ˈmɒnɪtər/ (v.) – to observe and analyze
Example: Scientists monitored the sleeping habits of the participants.

2. rhythm /ˈrɪðəm/ (n.) – movement in a fixed and repeated manner
Example: A healthy heart has a steady rhythm.

3. emit /ɪˈmɪt/ (v.) – to release into the air
Example: Some car fresheners emit a fruity smell.

4. solely /ˈsoʊlli/ (adv.) – without any other
Example: Expensive candles must be used solely for special occasions.

5. fragrant /ˈfreɪgrənt/ (adj.) – having great smell
Example: The participants were asked to wear fragrant shirts.


Read the text below.
While candles are mainly used for lighting purposes, a study in Sweden revealed that inhaling candle smoke can be good for the heart.

Dr. Christina Isaxon [kri-STEE-nuh ee-sak-SOHN] of Lund [loond] University gathered 13 pairs of men and women for the study. Without mentioning about the presence of candles, the participants were asked to stay inside a room. While researchers monitored their heartbeats, candle smoke was occasionally mixed into the air they breathe.

As the pairs inhaled air with smoke from the candles, the rhythm of their hearts enhanced. According to experts, this change in the heart rate variability is a good indicator of an active brain and a healthy heart. But as people grow older or experience heart ailments, the body’s capability to do so decreases. Thus, the study concluded that inhaling candle smoke may improve one’s heart health.

Isaxon said the results could be caused by tiny amounts of sodium and potassium elements that candles emit. However, she admitted that the study did not look into the possible negative effects of inhaling candle smoke.

She noted, however, that fragrant and colorful candles should be avoided because of the dangerous chemicals that might be present. Instead, use candles made solely from natural materials like soy, beeswax or animal fat.

The American Chemical Society also suggests that people should avoid paraffin candles which have been linked to cancer, asthma, and eczema [EK-suh-muh].

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·          Do you find this finding on candle smoke significant? Why or why not?
·          Would you ever consider using candles for health purposes? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         In your culture, what occasions require the use of candles?
·         What types of candles are available in your country?


March 26, 2014