We often marvel at the complexities of the human body and how it continues working without interfering in our daily life. For instance, your heart maintains its beats, through thick and thin; sometimes slightly faster yet always working to keep you going. Clogged arteries and cardiovascular disease take a huge toll on our society, for this reason alone you should be kinder to your heart and arteries and ensure that all is well with this essential organ.
What is Endothelial dysfunction and how does this clog up our arteries?
Cardiovascular disease begins as a malfunction of specialized cells which line our arteries, called endothelial cells. Damage to these endothelial cells results in the toxins and lipids penetrating the damaged layer, resulting in an oxidative and inflammatory cascade, called endothelial dysfunction.
Which other risk factors lead to clogged arteries and ultimately heart attacks and strokes?
- Elevated LDL; the Lethal cholesterol particle can penetrate the endothelial wall (the inner lining of arteries) and trigger inflammation.
- Low HDL Levels; the Healthy cholesterol particle will impact cholesterol transport negatively because HDL protects arteries from getting clogged up by transporting the cholesterol from the blood vessels to the liver for disposal called “reverse cholesterol transport”. High HDL levels are essential for healthy arteries.
- Elevated Triglycerides will also contribute to plaque formation/ clogged arteries. Keep your Triglycerides low by decreasing your carbohydrate intake.
- Oxidized LDL leads to vascular damage. Powerful antioxidants such as Vit E, Vit C, and CoQ10 minimize oxidation of the Lethal cholesterol particle LDL.
- Decreased CoQ10 levels lead to vascular disease. Please note that taking a Statin such as Crestor or Zocor will lower your CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 is beneficial as it inhibits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and ensures optimal mitochondrial function.
- Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation, causes endothelial dysfunction and thus increases risk factors for stroke, heart attack and peripheral vascular disease.
What other important parameters and lifestyle factors contribute to clogged arteries/ endothelial dysfunction?
- High Blood pressure aggravates endothelial dysfunction. Optimal blood pressure is below 115/75.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) causes increased inflammation in the body and endothelial dysfunction.
- A high Omega-6: Omega-3 ratio also contributes to inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids (also referred to as n-6 fatty acids) are a family of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils e.g. sunflower oil. Ensure that you keep this ratio under 4:1 by supplementing with a good source of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids and decreasing your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids.
- Elevated glucose levels cause microvascular damage which leads to the acceleration of the atherogenic process.
- Elevated Insulin levels indicate that one's glucose levels are too high which result in the pancreas producing insulin to compensate. This leads to Insulin Resistance. Excess insulin levels aggravate vessel disease.
- Elevated Homocysteine levels lead to endothelial dysfunction.
- Elevated Fibrinogen levels, a marker of inflammation increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Insufficient Vitamin D3 is associated with increased cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D reduces chronic inflammation in the body. Supplement with natural Vit D3, not synthetic Vit D2.
- Insufficient Vitamin K2 predisposes aging humans to vascular calcification. Vitamin K2 directs any absorbed calcium to the bones and out of the arterial walls and is available as a supplement. Great for anyone suffering from osteoporosis.
- Low testosterone levels lead to increased risk of heart attacks and stroke due to the role of testosterone in the "reverse cholesterol transport’’ process.
- Excess Estrogen (in men) is linked to raised CRP levels, a marker for inflammation.
What is the Health Renewal team’s approach to healthy arteries?
At Health Renewal we target the above-mentioned risk factors for endothelial dysfunction with nutritional supplements. In order to combat this disease which leads to heart attacks and strokes, ALL the underlying risk factors have to be addressed as early as possible.
At Health Renewal we use diagnostic blood tests to look for important markers of inflammation such as fibrinogen, ferritin, homocysteine and C-Reactive protein. If indicated, an overnight Sleep Study in the comfort of your home will be ordered to exclude this seriously important risk factor. Our functional doctors will then develop a personalized treatment regimen to treat these risk factors and improve endothelial dysfunction and the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
How does Bioidentical Hormone Replacement therapy protect the heart and arteries?
Bio-identical hormone balancing – our hormone levels decline with age and restoring these levels will help protect our cardiovascular system as well. DHEA in men and women is a precursor to sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Higher levels of DHEA are associated with lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers and it shows greater protection against atherosclerosis. Progesterone in women (specifically bio-identical progesterone), inhibits the process of atherosclerosis.
Sleep Studies- Sleep-related breathing disorders are highly prevalent in patients with established cardiovascular disease. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects an estimated 15 million adults in America and is present in a large portion of patients with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. Sleep apnea may increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases.
C solution - These IV infusions can achieve Vitamin C blood levels which are almost impossible to achieve through oral tablets.
GliSODin - an orally effective form of the potent antioxidant superoxide dismutase. Especially beneficial in those of us with genetic poor superoxide dismutase functioning. GliSODin is not only a potent antioxidant itself, but also promotes our bodies’ further production of its own antioxidants within cells, boosting protection against free radical damage.
What other additional therapies to improve endothelial dysfunction/clogged arteries do we offer at Health Renewal?
Healthy Heart intravenous therapies - containing the ingredient Phosphatidylcholine PC derived from soy lecithin, which has been shown to improve cell membrane integrity, restore healthy liver function and reduce fatty plaque deposits in blood vessels, resulting in improved cholesterol fractions by an overall average of 15%. These infusions have been shown to lower cholesterol and homocysteine levels, as well as lipoprotein which plays an important role in blood clot formation.
Medical Ozone therapy - ozone improves the circulation and oxygen levels within our cells, reducing cardiovascular demand, and the load on our heart. This can reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and aids in reducing oxidizing molecules which cause damage to the blood vessel wall.
Make an appointment with your Health Renewal Functional doctor to ensure that you have the right supplementation for your heart and arteries.Read More