What is the cause of narrowed arteries?
The prevailing medical theory is that high cholesterol levels, oxidized LDL, or bacteria damage the vascular wall leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries. That is why many medical professionals urge us to take cholesterol lowering medication, even before we have narrowed arteries.
Dr. Linus Pauling and Dr. Matthias Rath came up with an alternative theory which is worth considering because their solution to the problem is so simple. Dr. Pauling died in 1994 but Dr. Rath has continued their work.
They ask us to refocus our attention away from the blood stream and towards what they consider the relevant target – the stability of the blood vessel wall.
Animals never get heart disease. Perhaps the reason is that animals can create vitamin C in their bodies, but we human beings can’t create our own “C.” We have to digest it from outside sources – food and supplements.
Lack of C creates scurvy which means that blood vessel walls weaken, break, and a person bleeds to death. Hundreds of years ago the British found that when sailors were fed citrus fruit such as limes, they no longer got scurvy, hence the word Limey for a British sailor.
Dr. Pauling claimed that lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) creates weaknesses in vessel walls. On the other hand, he claimed that adequate C induces the natural repair of the blood pressure wall leading to a halt in progression and even to natural regression of vascular lesions.
When blood vessel walls tear or crack, the body has a solution which is to envelope a low density protein with a sticky coating called lipoprotein (a). Lipoprotein (a) is now recognized as a risk factor for heart disease.
According to Dr. Pauling, a world famous chemist and medical researcher, sufficient amounts of vitamin C and lysine, dubbed the Pauling Therapy, may prevent and may even reverse atherosclerotic plaque build-up caused by lipoprotein-(a). To learn more click here.
Lysine is an amino acid found in meats so most of us get adequate amounts. Vegetarians may be deficient.
Dr. Rath claims that adequate C (1,000 or mgs per day) will reduce the amount of lipo- (a) because the body no longer needs the lipo and (b) for vessel repair work because the blood vessels remain strong and limber.
Whether or not Dr. Rath is correct with his theory, we don’t think you can go wrong by making sure you get one gram of vitamin C a day. Eat plenty of fruit and take supplements. Vitamin C is an inexpensive vitamin and you can actually buy ascorbic acid in bulk at many health food stores.
If you’re ready for heavy reading, please click on Dr. Rath’s presentation regarding the subject at Stanford University. He goes into great detail in highly technical jargon.
Lipoprotein repairs weak artery walls
Our bodies repair artery walls. Among the repair molecules, one is particularly efficient – lipoprotein (a). This molecule carries cholesterol and other fats as building blocks for new artery wall tissue, and a biological adhesive tape wrapped around it glues this molecule to weakened artery walls. In other words, in order for “bad” LDL cholesterol to stick to artery walls, there must be adhesive surrounding the LDL molecule- apolipoprotein (a).
Why do deposits in artery walls develop, and eventually clog them?
With insufficient vitamin intake over many years, the artery wall becomes weaker and more and more repair becomes necessary. Eventually the repair efforts overshoot and deposits develop, somewhat like piling on the band aids until they reduce the space available for blood flow. Then if a clot comes along it can totally block the artery. Eureka, a heart attack.
The “band aids” are called “atherosclerotic” deposits. Atherosclerotic deposits are Nature’s plaster cast for an artery wall weakened by vitamin deficiency.
A review of how hardening of the arteries develops
Your coronary arteries are hollow tubes. Inside, they are smooth and elastic, allowing blood to flow freely.
Before your teen years, fat starts to deposit in the blood vessel walls if you have a poor diet and don’t exercise. . As you get older, the fat builds up. This causes injury to your blood vessel walls. In an attempt to heal itself, the cells release chemicals that make the walls sticky.
Then, other substances such as cholesterol, inflammatory cells, proteins and calcium that travel in your bloodstream start sticking to the vessel walls. The fat and other substances combine to form a material called plaque. The plaque builds up and narrows the artery.
Many of the plaque deposits are hard on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside. The hard surface can crack or tear, exposing the soft, fatty inside. When this happens, platelets (disc-shaped particles in the blood that aid clotting) come to the area, and blood clots form around the plaque. This causes the artery to narrow even more.
When a clot can’t get past the plaque, the vessel becomes blocked and no blood is returned to the heart. What happens then is called a heart attack.
Since 1994 there have been a few studies that have shown that those who do have a higher intake of vitamin C do have a lower risk of plaque in the arteries, i.e. atherosclerosis. However, we don’t know of any serious study.
You can help answer the question
If you know that you have any degree of blockage in your arties as shown by some form of medical scan, try taking the following for at least three months:
- 1,000 mg of vitamin C a day, and
- 1,000 mg of Lysine a day
A lifestyle that avoids plaque buildup in your arteries.
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again. If you want to avoid arterial diseases, stop smoking, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and drink less alcohol. Make the following lifestyle changes:
- Avoid fatty foods. Eat well-balanced meals that are low in fat and cholesterol. Include several daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
- A healthy diet is a key weapon and, fortunately, there are many anti-inflammatory foods.
- Don’t drink more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day.
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods. For starters, eat more cold water fish like salmon, which contain anti-inflammatory fats called omega-3s.Adding fish to your diet at least twice a week may be helpful. However, avoid fried fish.
- Exercise regularly for 30 minutes a day if you are not overweight, and for 60 – 90 minutes a day if you are overweight.
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