Life-threatening plaque is now seen as a result of low-level internal inflammation in the body. Clogged arteries start with a lesion that develops like a lump on the inner surface of the walls of the arteries near the heart.
The walls become damaged by this plaque. In most cases it happens over a long period of time. In other cases, the plaque grows very fast. Either way, this can lead to heart attack, stroke or sudden death.
Our circulatory system is 60,000 miles long. The arteries and veins need to be clear to accommodate the force of the heart and permit smooth blood flow. Artery walls are not hard. They are made up of smooth muscle that contracts and expands in response to the pulsating of the heart.
Clogged Arteries Can Start When You Are Young
A middle-aged person may go to the doctor and hear that his cholesterol is too high and he has the beginnings of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries). The news may come as a surprise but it has been going on silently for a long time.
Studies going back to the Korean war show that casualties who were just 18 years old had early arterial disease. More recently, a study reported in the medical journal “Circulation”, found that 25% of young people autopsied after death already had a major lesion in the coronary artery. The study was performed on 3,000 bodies.
Doctors Call This Artery “The Widow Maker”
The major hot spot for blockage is the left main coronary artery. The left anterior descending artery is the where the most deadly lesion occurs. Doctors call it the “Widow Maker”. Blockage here, puts two thirds of the heart in danger.
Narrowed arteries place a big strain on the cardiovascular system and it creates all sorts of other health problems. When the heart gets over stressed it has to pump harder to compensate for the blockage. This in turn raises blood pressure and this leads to further strain on the heart.
So How Do My Arteries Get Clogged?
It all starts with cholesterol particles that are flowing through your blood stream. A few of these particles wriggle themselves into the lining of an artery wall.
Once the cholesterol becomes wedged in place, a chemical process may take place in which the cholesterol particles are damaged by Free Radicals. This forms Oxidized LDL (low-density lipoprotein). The bad stuff. (We will talk about keeping your immune system strong later.)
So now the local cells near the oxidized LDL notifies the immune system and releases chemicals that start the Inflammation response. Much like when you get a cut on your finger and it turns red. Here’s what happens, the walls of the artery secrete adhesion molecules that creates a fly paper like surface to help your immune cells stick to the inflamed area. That’s why fighting inflammation is so important.
Eventually Macrophages stick to the site. These are the search and destroy cells looking for foreign objects to gobble up. Now under ordinary circumstances this is how everything is supposed to work. However, this situation is anything but ordinary.
The oxidized LDL is not very nice. It’s a toxic substance. The LDL stuns the macrophage and prevents it from doing its job. So now the macrophage calls in other white blood cells and they too are disabled by the LDL. This is how plaque is formed. Layers of white blood cells loaded with oxidized LDL cholesterol stack up and clog your arteries.
A Healthy Immune System is So Important
Remember when the LDL cholesterol wedged itself into the artery wall? This alone wasn’t so bad. However, when it became oxidized it became a problem. This is why keeping your immune system strong is so important. Fighting off the Free Radicals can prevent the plaque from forming in the first place.
LDL carries CoQ10 along with it. CoQ10 is a built in antioxidant that protects the LDL from oxidizing and becoming toxic. I recommend taking a supplement that has a combination of heart healthy ingredients.
Fish Oil, when combined with CoQ10, Astaxanthin and Lycopene provides a powerful punch to gobble up those free radical terrorists.
Take a Fish Oil Supplement With CoQ10 and Other Anti-Oxidants
Fish oil helps keep the arteries soft and smooth. This is important because if you have plaque that has been sneaking up on you over the years, the fish oil will keep it stable and not prone to rupture. Because when plaque build-up ruptures it can cause a blood clot that will stop your blood flow in its tracks.
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