As a matter of fact I have been noticing this phenomenon first hand!
Jessie 50 had a heart attack and pace maker put in about 1.5 years ago. The doctor had prescribed a million pills and asprins and all sorts of stuff. The pills didn't seem to do a whole lot and it got to a point where walking more than a few dozen feet was almost imposible without stopping to rest.
Well as most of you know I started smoking my sausages about a year ago. As it turned out since the almost constant dose of smoked meats and sausages the distance walked went from about 30 feet to almost 3/4 mile (not with practice just a trip to Maine) and the triggering of the pacemaker went from 65% to 30% in abut 6 months with no medications (long story)!
I started questioning this phenomenon about May and found out that they treat heart problems with nitrates. I though well it works lets not mess with it.
Well after a checkup and pacemaker query a few weeks back the doctor was amazed. He asked about lifestyle changes, diet chages etc. He almost fainted when he was told smoked meats and sausage were the cause of this seemingly miraculas change. When Jessie explained my theory of the nitrates he laughed and said "your right - that would help but we don't usually prescribe it because their still not entirely sure of it's affects.
So there ya go - I'm a nut but not imagining things!