How Cholesterol Leads To Atherosclerosis In The Veins And Arteries
When your liver produces too much cholesterol and/or your diet contains too much, that extra cholesterol doesnt get to your cells. Instead, it binds with other substances and deposits itself along the walls of your arteries. This cholesterol can then harden, and there the problems begin.
Once this hardened cholesterol forms, two things happen. The passage through which your blood flows becomes narrower. This causes less blood flow and higher blood pressure. Secondly, your veins and arteries become less flexible, which also affects blood flow.
When this happens, it is known as a condition called atherosclerosis.
Paradoxically, it would seem that cholesterol would have an easier time settling in your veins, but this condition only happens in arteries. Your arteries are built to handle a lot of pressure going through them at once. This high pressure contributes to plaques. But your veins are a low-pressure system.
This is also demonstrated when a doctor reroutes a bad part of an artery through a vein. Though veins can work as arteries, they do become vulnerable to atherosclerosis once they are connected to the high-pressure parts of your circulatory system.
Coronary Heart Disease Reduced With Regular Exercise Eating Real Food
The best predictor of heart disease risk involves a high total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein ratio, not low-density lipoprotein. Dietary changes, such as substituting refined carbohydrates with healthful high-fat foods including olive oil and nuts, can significantly reduce the high TC to HDL ratio, the experts explain.
Exercise plays an essential role in preventing heart disease and may increase life expectancy by 3.4 to 4.5 years. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity per day on more than three occasions each week has been shown to make a difference to risk factors for inactive adults. Furthermore, the researchers point out that regular brisk walking may be more effective at preventing coronary disease than running.
Chronic stress is a risk factor for coronary heart disease that should not be overlooked, the team underline. Chronic stress puts the bodys inflammatory response on a continuous state of high alert. Research has shown that environmental stress, such as childhood trauma, can decrease life expectancy by up to 20 years. The authors write:
Combining a complete lifestyle approach of a healthful diet, regular movement, and stress reduction will improve quality of life, reduce cardiovascular, and all-cause mortality.
How Is High Cholesterol Treated
If your child has an LDL cholesterol level of 130 mg/dL or higher, your doctor will talk to you about lifestyle changes or refer you to a dietitian. The goals are to:
- reduce fat and cholesterol in the diet
- increase exercise
- lose weight, if needed
Your doctor will probably do a cholesterol check again after 36 months of lifestyle changes.
Medicine might be considered for kids 10 and older whose LDL cholesterol is 190 mg/dL or higher if changes in diet and exercise havenât worked. Kids with risk factors, such as diabetes or high blood pressure or a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, may need treatment at lower LDL levels.
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Genetic Link To Clogged Arteries Discovered Raises Risk Of Heart Disease Independent Of Cholesterol Levels
A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified a gene called SVEP1 that makes a protein that influences the risk of coronary artery disease independent of cholesterol. SVEP1 induces proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells in the development of atherosclerosis. Shown is a stained section of atherosclerotic plaque from a mouse aorta, the largest artery in the body. Vascular smooth muscle cells are red proliferating cells are cyan nuclei of any cell are blue. Credit: In-Hyuk Jung, PhD, Stitziel Lab
Independent of cholesterol, gene variants raise risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure.
High cholesterol is the most commonly understood cause of atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries that raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. But now, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a gene that likely plays a causal role in coronary artery disease independent of cholesterol levels. The gene also likely has roles in related cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
The study was recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
How To Get Rid Of Cholesterol Naturally And Fast
10 Ways on How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally and Quickly Increase your intake of Vitamin C. Vitamin is an antioxidant that is naturally present in some foods. Consume foods that have High Magnesium Content. Magnesium is an important nutrient that your body needs to function properly. Drink Green Tea. Eat Oatmeal especially for Breakfast. Use honey instead of Sugar. Take some Blueberries. Eat an Apple a Day.
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Procedures To Unclog Arteries
Using invasive procedures, doctors can see and unclog arteries, or provide a path for blood to go around blocked arteries. Treatments include:
- Angiography, angioplasty, and stenting. Using a catheter put into an artery in the leg or arm, doctors can enter diseased arteries. This procedure is called cardiac catheterization. Blocked arteries are visible on a live X-ray screen. A tiny balloon on the catheter can be inflated to compress cholesterol plaque in the blocked arteries. Placing small tubes called stents helps to keep open blocked arteries. The stent is usually made of metal and is permanent. Some stents have medicine that helps keep the artery from getting blocked again.
- Surgeons harvest a healthy blood vessel from the leg or chest. They use the healthy vessel to bypass blocked arteries.
These procedures involve a risk of complications. They are usually saved for people with significant symptoms or limits caused by the cholesterol plaques of atherosclerosis.
American Heart Association: “Atherosclerosis,” “Cholesterol,” “Common Cardiovascular Diseases,” “What is Atherosclerosis?” “LDL and HDL Cholesterol: What’s Bad and What’s Good?” “Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs,” “Phytochemicals and Cardiovascular Disease,” “Effects of Normal, Pre-hypertensive, and Hypertensive Blood Pressure Levels on Progression of Coronary Atherosclerosis,” “Antiplatelet Agents,” “Anticoagulants,” “Anticoagulation,” “Questions and Answers About Statin Therapy.”
How To Unclog Arteries: Diet
If youre looking for foods that clean arteries and veins, you need to think about foods that will reduce the amount of LDL in the bloodstream. LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoprotein and is the type of cholesterol that gets deposited in your artery walls. LDL can be reduced with drugs such as statins, but it can also be managed through a healthier diet and lifestyle.
Some foods that can help clean arteries include:
- Olive oil
Knowing how to unclog arteries means understanding which foods and micronutrients look after your cardiovascular system. Another way to manage this is via supplements.
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Ways To Lower Cholesterol
Check your own cholesterol level and if itâs high, ask to have your kidsâ levels checked.
Here are 5 ways to help keep your familyâs cholesterol in control:
Itâs important to make healthy living a family effort. The steps you take to improve your familyâs lifestyle will have a positive effect on your familyâs health now and far into the future.
The Common Good And Bad Cholesterol Levels Myth Is Not True
We have all heard over the course of the last several decades that ones cholesterol level predicts their risk of heart attack and stroke. Patients frequently ask me, How could I have heart disease my cholesterol level is normal? or report to me, I dont have to worry because my good cholesterol is high. As a cardiologist, I have both bad and good news: Your cholesterol level does not matter!
As you likely already know, cholesterol is a type of fat found within all cells and is free floating in blood on molecules called lipoproteins. The two most common of these lipoproteins containing cholesterol are low-density lipoprotein which carries cholesterol to the tissues , and high-density lipoprotein which carries cholesterol to the liver to be flushed from the body .
Cholesterol carried by LDL can invade the walls of blood vessels and lead to inflammation within the walls of these blood vessels. Cholesterol in this way forms the main constituent of plaque which builds up within the walls of blood vessels, in particular within the walls of arteries which carry oxygen-containing blood to the organs such as your heart and brain. This plaque can increase in size to eventually lead to a clogged artery, or the plaque can rupture which causes the blood near the ruptured plaque to clot. In the heart, these situations lead to chest pain , shortness of breath, or a heart attack. In the head and neck, clogging or obstruction of an artery leads to stroke.
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Good Cholesterol ‘can Turn Nasty And Clog Arteries’
Health and science reporter, BBC News
Good cholesterol also has a nasty side that can increase the risk of heart attacks, according to US doctors.
“Good”, or HDL, cholesterol normally helps to keep arteries clear and is good for heart health.
But the team at the Cleveland Clinic showed it can become abnormal and lead to blocked blood vessels.
They say people should still eat healthily, but that the good cholesterol story is a more complex tale than previously thought.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is “bad” because it is deposited in the walls of arteries and causes hard plaques to build up that can cause blockages, resulting in heart attacks and stroke.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is “good” because the cholesterol is instead shipped to the liver.
The evidence shows that having a high ratio of good to bad cholesterol is good for health.
However, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic say trials aimed at boosting levels of HDL have “not been successful” and the role of good cholesterol is clearly more complicated.
What To Make Of All Of This
I find that many patients will tend to over value their absolute cholesterol levels rather than the entirety of their risk profile. While these levels are important, they only tell one chapter in what is essence the book of your cardiac risk story.
Ultimately, you as the patient and I as the physician care about your risk of having a heart attack or stroke and taking steps to gauge that risk accurately. Those numbers on your cholesterol blood tests tell only a fraction of that risk. Whether through a risk calculator or through a Coronary Calcium Scan, risk assessment is an important step in helping to decide if your risk need to be treated.
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A Closer Look At Cholesterol
One issue at play here, says Susan Besser, MD, a primary care and family medicine doctor with Mercy Personal Physicians in Overlea, Maryland, is that your total cholesterol number isn’t the only number that matters.
“One can have normal total cholesterol but high ‘bad’ cholesterol and low ‘good’ cholesterol,” she says. “The excess bad cholesterol can cause plaque buildup and, over time, might cause blocked arteries.”
Inside the body, the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is the one that can build up on the walls of the blood vessels and form plaque, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is the one that can absorb harmful cholesterol and carry it to the liver, where it then gets flushed from the body. This is why it’s not only important to have normal or low total cholesterol levels, but also healthy ranges of both HDL and LDL cholesterol.
Saturated Fat: Does Is Really Clog Your Arteries
- A 2020 systematic review and doseresponse meta-analysis of the relationship between saturated fat intake and risk of stroke found that Higher dietary saturated fat intake is associated with a decreased overall risk of stroke, specifically that and every 10 gram per day increase in saturated fat intake is associated with a 6% relative risk reduction in the rate of stroke. The authors suggested that dietary limits on saturated fat in current guidelines be reexamined.
- A 2020 paper from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on saturated fat and cardiovascular disease found that There is no robust evidence that current population-wide arbitrary upper limits on saturated fat consumption in the United States will prevent CVD or reduce mortality. Furthermore, they noted that saturated fat in the context of whole foods is not the same as isolated saturated fat in processed foods. Specifically, Several foods relatively rich in SFAs, such as whole-fat dairy, dark chocolate, and unprocessed meat, are not associated with increased CVD or diabetes risk.
- In 2014, a systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted on the association of dietary, circulating and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk. It was concluded that the current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats
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What Are The Warning Signs Of Clogged Arteries
An artery is a type of blood vessel that transports blood to your legs, arms, and other areas of your body. When your arteries are healthy, your blood will flow smoothly throughout your body.
Unfortunately, plaque can build up in your arteries and damage your blood flow. There are a number of warning signs that may indicate that you have developed clogged arteries.
Impacts Of A Complete Blockage
Artery blockages are not created equal. Treatment of an artery that is 97% blocked is much easier than treating one that has been 100% blocked for a long time. The symptoms chest pain, tightness and shortness of breath can be similar, though.Sometimes, when arteries become completely blocked, a new blood supply develops around the blockage. This new blood supply, called collaterals, wonât deliver as much blood to your heart. This can lead to those same symptoms of chest pain and shortness of breath.If you have these symptoms, a stress test can help determine if they are caused by a blockage in an artery or something else. The first step is to see a doctor.
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Plaque In The Arteries
Plaque is a mixture of bad cholesterol, fats, calcium and white blood cells that slowly and silently builds up inside the walls of the arteries. As the plaque grows over many years, it can begin to interfere with the flow of blood through the artery. In severe cases, the flow of blood can be completely blocked.
The development of plaque is affected by what you eat, your weight, how much physical activity you do, and whether youre a smoker. It is also affected by your age and gender, and whether you have a history of high cholesterol in your family.
There are 3 main stages in the development of atherosclerosis:
What Is A Saturated Fat
Fats are considered saturated or unsaturated based on their chemical structure. Saturated fats are so named because they are fully saturated with hydrogen atoms.
Because of this, saturated fats , as researchers call them) do not contain any double bonds in their chemical structure and are very stable, meaning they dont go rancid easily, even when exposed to high temperatures, light, or oxygen
Unsaturated fats are not fully saturated with hydrogen, so they contain at least one double bond. Taking this one step further, monounsaturated fats have one double bond, while polyunsaturated fats have many.
But enough of the chemistry
When it comes to cooking and food, saturated fats stay solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Think butter vs. olive oil.
Saturated fats are found in both animals and plants however most plant foods contain a higher proportion of unsaturated fat. Keep in mind that, with few exceptions, all foods are a mix of both saturated and unsaturated fats.
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Half Of All Heart Attacks
Cholesterol inside a cholesterol carrying molecule is a lipoprotein. Hypercholesterolemia is a term for high cholesterol. According to the National Institutes Of Health , “Historically, cholesterol and, in particular, LDL-cholesterol, has been considered the prototypical risk factor for coronary artery disease. However, lipoproteins alone do not explain all the coronary artery disease risk one-half of all heart attacks and strokes occur among individuals without hypercholesterolemia, and one-fifth of all cardiovascular events occur in the absence of any of the major risk factors.”
Cholesterol Plaques And Atherosclerosis
Cholesterol plaques form by a process called atherosclerosis. Itâs also called “hardening of the arteries.” LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” is the raw material of cholesterol plaques. It can damage the arteries that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Then, once the damage has started, LDL keeps on building up in the artery walls. Progressive and painless, atherosclerosis grows cholesterol plaques silently and slowly.
The cholesterol plaques of atherosclerosis are the usual cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral arterial disease. These conditions together are major contributors to cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in America, causing about 650,000 deaths each year.
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