The Heart Health and Inflammation Connection
- Posted on: Sep 6 2018
Did you know that Heart Disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the US?
Over the years, there has been much speculation about the main contributors to heart disease. Some of the most popular being high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and even Atherosclerosis. Because of this, the pharmaceutical industry has been quick to bandaid symptoms with various statin drugs, beta blockers and blood thinners. What the drug companies miss however is identifying the true underlying cause of cardiovascular issues (HINT: it’s not cholesterol). Instead, a vast majority of Heart Disease cases are caused by inflammation in the arterial muscles and vessel walls.
The truth is, everyone has cholesterol in their bloodstream, and your body depends on cholesterol to produce the hormones necessary for optimal health. The issue arises when you pair it with inflammation, which causes the vessel walls to become weak and break down, narrowing the path for blood flow. Whereas your body’s response is to create collagen to repair the broken walls, often times it cannot produce collagen quick enough for a full repair. This is when the body reverts to plan B – creating lipoprotein (a group of proteins including fat and cholesterol) to bind to the surface of the walls to provide strength and stability. These lipoproteins then attract calcium, causing plaque buildup on the arterial walls and posing a serious red flag for heart health.
Are you starting to see the connection? If there were less inflammation to begin with, then the arterial walls wouldn’t need strength from the lipoproteins, and therefore would not yield calcification.
So, let’s talk about inflammation prevention. We live in a toxic world and are exposed to all sorts of substances daily that can exacerbate inflammation. And aside from heart disease, excessive inflammation has been linked to various cancers, arthritis, strokes, MS, and more. To reduce inflammatory risk, it’s pertinent to maintain a healthy diet, avoid stress, exercise regularly, avoid toxic exposure as much as possible and detox at least twice a year.
Vitamin, mineral and nutrient supplementation is also an important piece of the prevention puzzle.
Some of the top inflammation-busting recommendations include:
The most powerful antioxidant in your body is glutathione. Research has shown that our bodies ability to produce glutathione decreases as we age. By around age 45, our glutathione levels can drop by as much as 50 percent below optimal.
Taking glutathione orally does not work since the molecule is too large to make it through the intestinal walls intact. Luckily, N-Acetyl Cysteine, or NAC for short, is transported into the cell where it is readily converted to cysteine for glutathione synthesis. Taking 500 mg daily of NAC has been shown to increase blood plasma levels of glutathione by as much as 38 percent.
Zinc has long been known to boost immunity, but research shows that zinc is also a natural inflammation fighter. Researchers from the University of Michigan studied the effects of zinc supplementation on 50 adults. The results of the study yielded that those who were not supplemented with zinc (and therefore had lower levels of zinc) had a more significant amount plasma oxidative stress markers and inflammatory cytokines compared to those who did supplement with zinc. Additionally, the incidence of illness was much lower with the group that supplemented with zinc.
The U.S. Population has chronically low zinc levels and helps to explain why our aging population is unable to fight the most common infections. Taking 30mg of zinc per day has been to shown to help fight infection and systemic inflammation.
3) Vitamin C:
Remember the role of collagen in the bloodstream to repair the arterial wall damage when there is inflammation? Well, Vitamin C is vital to the production of collagen. Humans do not create or store vitamin C on its own. It must be ingested. Vitamin C assists in holding cells together in the creation of collagen.
The majority of Americans do not have optimal levels of vitamin C. Consider elevating your intake of vitamin C to 3,000 – 6,000 milligrams per day. You will need to space out your intake and gradually work your way up to prevent loose bowels.
How Can We Help You?
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Posted in: Immune System, Nutrition, Vitamins and Supplements, Wellness