High blood pressure, High Cholesterol, Insulin and Heart Attacks
The accumulation of athersclerotic plaque in the arteries is said to be a primary contributor to the heart attack. Page 111 of Human Biology also states that “a hypertensive person is six times more likely to have a heart attack than an individual with normal blood pressure.” The article on Lowering your Cholesterol states that the damage caused by high blood pressure – is the main culprit in damage to the arteries. The article also claims that of the 40 risk factors there are three “primary contributors to cardiovascular disease: elevated blood cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure.1”
I hope to show that these are not the primary contributors to arterial damage, but research shows they are really secondary symptoms of the real causes of the accumulation of arterial plaque! Dr Rath and Dr Linus Pauling have done extensive research on how plaque accumulates – and even how it is reversed! As the heart pumps blood and the arteries expand to 50% their original size (this may be where HBP is a contributor, but more on that later!) they require collagen to repair the arterial cracks. Vitamin C, l-proline and l-lysine are what the body requires to manufacture collagen. A lack of any one of these ingredients may cause a problem, but since lysine is abundant in vegetables and proline in meats, vitamin C is thought to be the limiting factor in most cases. Much of the research of these doctors focuses on vitamin C and lysine2.
REDUCING ARTERIAL PLAQUE
I have actually met a gentleman scheduled for a coronary multiple-bypass surgery who used Dr. Rath’s protocol and needed no surgical intervention after two months as his arteries had cleared that much! Other antioxidants, such as serropeptase, a proteolytic enzyme from a silkworm, have been shown to reduce arterial plaque3.
INSULIN AS A CONTRIBUTOR
The importance of antioxidants and the prevention of arterial plaque accumulation being said, today I found another possible culprit that may need to be figured in. According to Dr. Rosedale, the increased levels of insulin brought on by our typically high-sugar, high-carb diets are what he claims to be the biggest factor. “If you drip insulin into the femoral artery of a dog, there was a Dr. Cruz [no relation!] who did this in the early 70s by accident; the artery will become almost totally occluded with plaque after about three months.” Dr. Rosedale goes on to say that this has been tested repeatedly with animals and, although we do not know why, something about insulin causes endothelial proliferation, blood clots by increasing platelet aggregation and, “Hyperinsulinemia causes the excretion of magnesium in the urine.3” What is the typical drug turned to to reduce HBP? One is a calcium channel blocker, of which – magnesium, as calcium’s opposite – may be the best without side effects! Interesting to see another factor – the loss of magnesium – contribute to the HBP that is well within our control by keeping insulin levels in check, which may also prevent arterial plaque accumulation… we have so much to learn!
CONCLUSION & HEALTH HACKS
We may not have a perfect understanding of all the factors yet, but we have seen that antioxidant status kept high seems to be able to prevent or slow the bad cycle of the arterial damage or roughness that allows plaque to accumulate on the inside of arterial walls. It is at the point of damage to the arterial walls that the plaque accumulates. Antioxidant status, or lack thereof, high blood pressure (possibly what began as a factor of low magnesium (from low soil content – or more likely a lack of consumption of the leafy greens that may be our best source), and/or hyperinsulinemia may all contribute to the arterial damage that forces plaque accumulation – and may lead to the blockage that increases arterial pressure and then forces a heart attack. The extra pressure that HBP may need to place on the arteries to move the blood through may certainly contribute to weakness and the accumulation of the body’s repair materials in the arteries which can lead to blockage/smaller passages and then starting the vicious cycle again with more pressure required to push the blood through, more damage and more filling with repair materials.
As you can see, HBP is certainly involved in the etiology of heart attacks, but I would not call it a cause so much as one of the symptoms of an underlying condition that needs to be addressed to prevent a heart attack. Covering our bases by including Vitamin C, magnesium, and possibly lysine and proline or collagen/bone broth in our diet may be #HealthHacks that make a lot of sense!
- Chiras, Daniel D Human Biology, eighth edition, Jones & Bartlett Learning
- Exp Biol Med (Maywood).2016 Nov 29. pii: 1535370216681553. [Epub ahead of print] Sericin ameliorated dysmorphic mitochondria in high-cholesterol diet/streptozotocin rat by antioxidative property. Ampawong S1, Isarangkul D2, Aramwit P3