We know the exact cause of heart disease and how to reverse it.
Heart disease is ranked as the number one American killer by the CDC.
The CDC defines heart disease as high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Heart Disease is a cardiometabolic disease that is almost entirely caused by lifestyle and environmental changes rather than genetics.
Once we understand the physiology of why this happens and what causes it, we will know exactly how to stop, reverse, and prevent heart disease. Then we just have to do it.
High Blood Pressure:
Caused by the reduction of the space blood flows through, forcing the body to pump harder to provide the same amount of blood required by the body to function.
Blood vessels expand and contract normally in response to contracting muscles from our movement, changes in the metabolic state by eating, increased blood flow needs from exercise or exertion, and stress response.
Blood vessels narrow in response to our stress response and sympathetic nervous system stimulus.
Stress can activate our sympathetic response at any time but will usually return to normal within 25 minutes and lower below baseline in 40 minutes.
The hormone insulin that is secreted in response to food causes a mild to moderate sympathetic stress response depending on the insulin effect of the food. More insulin means more stress response.
Eating multiple meals and snacks daily maintains the body in an elevated stress response physiology elevating blood pressure.
Blood vessel rigidity reduces the ability of the artery to expand.
The number one cause of arterial rigidity is arterial calcification, where calcium deposits accumulate in the muscles that contract and narrow blood vessels, preventing them from expanding and increasing blood pressure.
Calcium also builds up in the lining of the arteries attracting white blood cells that become the glue for plaque to build and block blood flow through the vessels.
Calcium deposits develop in response to inflammation, creating scar tissue that initially reinforces and protects arteries.
Insulin resistance prevents scar tissue from being removed by the body through the recycling system, creating a chronic build-up of calcium-scar adhesions and further narrowing the arteries.
People with elevated insulin levels develop twice as the arterial calcification and associated plaquing as those without insulin resistance.
Blood vessels develop cholesterol plaque, producing inflexibility and narrowing the space through which blood flows.
The production in the liver and cholesterol absorption by tissues and cells in the body are negatively impacted by insulin resistance.
Blood sugar levels at the high end of average (87-99), in the prediabetic range (100-124), and diabetic range or higher (125+) increase the rate of oxidative stress leading to systemic inflammation and oxidation of LDL cholesterol, making them adhere to artery plaque more readily.
Triglycerides are fat molecules generated in response to insulin that travel through the bloodstream when new fat is made or stored in the body. The higher the insulin level in the body, the higher the triglyceride count will be.
In short, the cause of heart disease is chronic exposure to insulin that causes an increase in the production of cholesterol and a decrease in absorption by the body, elevating cholesterol, oxidizing LDL, increasing inflammation in the arteries, causing calcification and scar tissue narrowing the arteries, causes plague formation and prevents plague breakdown, raises triglycerides, and the result is:
- High blood pressure.
- High LDL cholesterol
- High triglycerides
No one can say we don’t know what causes heart disease because we absolutely do.
No one can say heart disease can not be prevented, stopped, and reversed because it absolutely can be.
We can say that the medical approach using drugs and surgery to treat the symptoms does not, will not, and can not prevent, stop the progression, or reverse heart disease.
I will follow up with how to address the underlying cause of heart disease, insulin resistance, but for now, if anyone tells you this can’t be done, walk away and don’t look back.
We can do better!