Endothelial Dysfunction is thought to play a major role in the development of Plaque Buildup in your arteries. Researchers have found that taking CoQ10 Supplements provides a significant improvement in people with Endothelial Dysfunction. See study done by Department of Geriatric Cardiology in Beijing
What is the Endothelium?
The Endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels. This lining is actually only one cell thick. The Endothelial cells produce chemicals that allow for the normal expansion and relaxing of the blood vessel. It also helps to regulate blood clotting and your immune system response.
The walls of our Arteries are not stiff, they are composed of smooth muscle that work in unison with the pulsating of the heart. The Endothelium is very sensitive to damage. Damage from Inflammation brought on by Oxidative Stress (Free Radicals) can cause problems for this delicate layer.
So What Is Oxidative Stress and What are Free Radicals?
The Big buzzword in the news lately is Free Radicals. In every cell, there are hundreds of Mitochondria that convert Glucose and Oxygen into the energy that powers our bodies. The Mitochondria also form water by combining Oxygen with Hydrogen. This is similar to a Hydrogen powered car that produces energy with hydrogen and gives off water as the exhaust.
However, during this energy creation process in our bodies, an Oxygen molecule that carries an extra electron is produced and escapes. This molecule is called a Free Radical. These little terrorists go throughout your body trying to steal electrons from other molecules. This is how the damage to our body occurs. When there are too many free radicals, cells in your organs can become damaged over time.
Our bodies respond to free radicals with anti-oxidants. Nutrients like CoQ10, Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals so they can’t damage your cells.
There are other outside sources of Free Radicals besides the ones made in our body and they come from the list you see below:
- Poor Diet
- Elevated Insulin
- High Blood Pressure
- High Stress
You may not be a smoker and you may also watch what you eat and exercise but things like Car Exhaust, Sun Exposure, X Rays and other environmental pollution can also introduce free radicals into your body.
As a matter of fact, radiation therapy relies on free radicals generated by the radiation to kill cancer cells.
How Does Oxidative Stress on the Endothelium Lead to Plaque Buildup?
1. The Endothelial cells can become irritated by any combination of the toxic elements listed above. Once this happens, small cracks open up in the Endothelium lining and allows LDL cholesterol to wriggle in and get stuck there.
Now we have a big problem. Remember free radicals? If there are too many of them and your body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to gobble them up, then they can damage the LDL cholesterol by oxidizing it.
2. Now the cells surrounding the damaged LDL sound the alarm, which starts the inflammatory response. Macrophages (seek and destroy cells) swarm in and try to eliminate the LDL from the area. However, the oxidized LDL is toxic to the macrophages. It stuns them, which prevents them from returning to the bloodstream. Now the macrophages send out a distress signal that brings in other white cells in, where they are also destroyed.
3. This is what scientists see when they look through a microscope at arterial plaque. A streak made up of dead microphages, other white blood cells and oxidized LDL cholesterol. The chain reaction has begun. The inflammation response makes the endothelial wall sticky to attract more responders to the inflammation site. Bacteria and toxic metals start to stick to the area. The lesion starts to grow.
Endothelial Health Supplements
You can see why it’s so important to keep your levels of antioxidants up. Preventing the formation of dangerous plaque in the first place should be of primary concern. So take a quality supplement with a combination of fish oil and Coq10 for your good health.