High levels of LDL cholesterol have long been considered to be a major risk factor for heart disease. Many scientists now believe that it is not the LDL cholesterol itself that causes heart disease but the oxidation of the LDL molecule that causes the most damage to arteries. Oxidized LDL molecules are extremely reactive and once deposited in the arteries react strongly with substances in the lining of the arterial wall leading to tissue damage and the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.Read More >>
Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role in cardiovascular health. The chemical is produced in the inner lining of the blood vessels (the endothelium). Numerous enzymes in the endothelium play a role in converting the amino acid arginine and oxygen into nitric oxide through a series of intermediate steps.
Nitric oxide signals the smooth muscle in the blood vessels to relax which improves blood flow Nitric oxide has beneficial effects on many heart disease risk factors. Several studies have demonstrated a link between hypertension and low levels of nitric oxide in the blood.Read More >>
While most people know that cigarette smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer cancer, what many people don’t know is that most premature deaths due to smoking are actually due to coronary heart disease rather than lung cancer. It is estimated that 20% of all deaths from heart disease are attributable to cigarette smoking.
Smoking has many effects on the body that lead to increased coronary heart disease risk. First, toxic substances in cigarettes such as carbon-monoxide, nicotine, and aromatic hydrocarbons lead to inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels in the body.Read More >>
A new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Northern Carolina and published in the journal Dynamic Medicine, has found that young adults with metabolic syndrome are much more likely to have had been physically inactive and had poor aerobic fitness levels as children.
The data from the study came from children aged 7-10 years who were part of the Cardiovascular Health in Children and Youth Study, a follow up of the participants was conducted 7 years later when the individuals were aged between 14 and 17 years.Read More >>
Homocysteine is an amino acid that is becoming an increasingly important risk factor for coronary heart disease and strokes. Homocysteine is believed to degrade and inhibit the formation of the major components of arteries – collagen, elastin & proteoglycans which increases the rate of arterial decline leading to conditions such as atherosclerosis.
Several studies have demonstrated the link between elevated homocysteine levels and an increased risk of hospitalization and death from cardiovascular causes.Read More >>
A recent American study published in the Journal of Circulation Research has suggested that very fine particles emitted from vehicles triggers an inflammatory response in the arteries which in turn leads to atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The five week study involved exposing mice to ultra-fine particles sourced from a Los Angeles freeway. These mice experienced a 55% increase in the formation of atherosclerotic lesions when compared to mice breathing filtered air free of the particles.Read More >>