Why Clogged Arteries
Arteriosclerosis may be caused by excessive levels of homocysteine, which is the normal breakdown product of the amino acid methionine. High levels of homocysteine can damage artery walls. The walls become hardened containing calcium deposits called plaque. Arteries containing plague are more disposed to become atherosclerotic.
The normal metabolic breakdown of homocysteine is disrupted when amounts of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are inadequate. Some say high homocysteine levels are better correlated with atherosclerosis and heart disease than cholesterol.
The cholesterol page (URL http://www.modern-diets-and-nutritional-diseases.com/cholesterol.html )can contribute to a better understanding of the importance of cholesterol.
Linus Pauling, a two time Nobel prize winner, showed that cholesterol is the bodies answer to atherosclerosis in the absence of adequate amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Sixty milligrams , the current MDR, is not enough vitamin C. The body needs 8-12 grams a day. This, of course,is disputed by mainstream medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
Malcolm Kendrick M.D., a Scottish physician, obtained data from the WHO MONICA study of many nations that did not show cholesterol as a cause of heart disease. From the same study he showed that saturated fat actually protected against death from heart disease. Eight countries that ate the lowest amount of saturated fat had higher death from coronary heart disease than all eight countries that ate the most saturated fat.
Atherosclerosis is an advanced form of arteriosclerosis characterized by deposits of cholesterol, fats, and blood clots that form within the plaque. This results in roughened raised areas in arteries that can disrupt blood flow. Atherosclerosis and high blood pressure increase with age.
Atherosclerosis is said to be the cause of coronary heart disease (CHD). Anything that obstructs the flow of blood in coronary arteries may produce heart disease.
Studies of the hearts of people who have died of coronary heart disease reveal that about a fifth of those who died did not have obstructed coronary arteries. The arrested blood flow in such cases may have been due to a spasm of a coronary artery that obstructed the blood flow.
Another possibility is a clot formation that dissolved before death. Dr. Ravnskov says the cause of death may not be known in such cases.
A coronary artery may become completely clogged and yet never give any symptoms such as angina, or pain. The reason is that fine branches of the main coronary arteries have branches that communicate with each other.
If the arterial occlusion occurs slowly enough the communicating branches slowly widen enough to take care of adequate blood flow. That is collateral, or alternative, circulation may develop.
A heart attack may occur even though the coronary arteries are perfectly normal, and coronary heart disease may be absent even when coronary arteries are completely blocked.
Dr. Ravnskov maintains that arteriosclerosis, and subsequently atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease are separate conditions. Problem is many researchers have confused our thinking by regarding them as the same thing.
Veins and Atherosclerosis
Veins never become sclerotic possibly because of the low pressure in them. But veins used in bypass operations do become sclerotic.
Arteries may become stiff as a protective measure to prevent the pressure inside them from widening the artery too much.
But highly trained athletes and some isolated tribes who run all day in taking care of their cattle have wide arteries according to literature reports. More about these tribes later.
More details of atherosclerosis and its relation to coronary heart disease (CHD) are given in the book The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov M.D., Ph.D.
Physicians and Homocysteine
Some physicians donít seem to be concerned with homocysteine levels even though a test for homocysteine is readily available. Medicare will pay for it in older people.Two internists, one cardiologist, and one family practice physician never mentioned homocysteine to me. Only when I discovered an East Texas cardiologist, Peter Langsjoen, M.D., had a concern for my blood homocysteine levels. He immediately ordered the test for homocysteine and then prescribed the required vitamins.
Why werenít other physicians concerned about homocysteine levels? I could only guess.
Medical education in this country is controlled by the pharmaceutical industry. And the pharmaceutical industry canít make millions of dollars recommending vitamins. They do have many much more expensive means to prescribe for ailing hearts however.
Do high fat foods always lead to arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis? Read on.
Isolated peoples had extraordinary health on their native diets.
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