When your arteries become clogged and hardened by sticky plaque, this condition is called atherosclerosis. It is the main reason people get heart attacks and strokes, which can be fatal.
Today, we look at where plaque comes from, and how you can reverse clogged and stiff arteries naturally. Scroll to the end to see Sources.
So, the reason that plaque builds up in the arteries is due to damage to the inner lining. This creates inflammation.
Now, if a specific part of an artery is damaged enough, it can tear open and cause bleeding, which is dangerous and can quickly kill a person.
So, the body forms plaque as a kind of “band-aid” to prevent bleeding at the site of injury where the artery walls are weak.
What happens is inflammation chemicals at the site of injury attract oxidized cholesterol and calcium to form plaque deposits.
Now, this sticky and flexible plaque is meant to be a temporary coating while your body catches up with repairing the artery wall.
If there is repeated injury to an artery, inflammation increases, leading to a rise in inflammatory chemicals, and thus, a thicker plaque deposit.
This almost always occurs in arteries with high flow, as plaque is rarely seen in veins due to low blood flow.
Now, as that artery narrows, some of the plaque becomes solid and calcified, not moving but stable; however, the newer layers are soft.
This is called soft plaque, and it is probably the most dangerous. With the sheer force of fast-flowing blood, it can rip off or tear, and cause new inflammation.
So, the body sends in its platelets and fibrinogen and other factors, and you get a clot. The clot blocks the blood from delivering oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues. So, the person could have a heart attack, if the block is in the heart, or a stroke if the block is in the brain, and then they have a problem.
As plaque deposits occur in other arteries, we get stiffness all over the body. As people age, the inner lining of their arteries gets more and more damaged and scarred, resulting in stiffening. This is known as, “hardening of the arteries”.
If you have problems climbing the stairs, and your legs or feet are cold, numb, or painful, you may want to get a calcium score test to check for artery calcification.
In some people, calcium deposits almost turn into bone. When seen in an X-ray, the artery is calcified like a bone and can no longer contract.
At this point, it should be clear that heart disease happens as a result of a buildup of damage to the walls of arteries that is not repaired in time.
Now, let’s take a look at a “vitamin therapy” that supports your body’s ability to repair damaged arteries, heal inflammation, and dissolve plaque deposits. It consists of 7 important vitamins.
We start with Number 7. “Vitamin C”
So, how does your body repair a damaged artery wall? Your body responds to this potentially life-threatening problem by laying down new collagen fibers. Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body, providing strength to connective tissues such as skin, ligaments, and artery walls.
So, vitamin C is the most important nutrient your body needs to repair or replace the collagen fibers that are required to keep the artery walls in good condition. Plus, your body uses vitamin C as an antioxidant to support immune function, aid in stress response, and bind to toxic heavy metals so they can be removed.
The recommended amount of vitamin C or pure ascorbic acid to take is 6-12 g/day. However, to prevent an upset stomach, it is advisable to split this into smaller doses.
Also, because vitamin C does not stay in your system for long, you’ll get the most benefit by dosing throughout the day. For better absorption, choose liposomal vitamin C.
The best type of vitamin C supplement is derived from whole fruits, such as camu camu powder. Food-derived Vitamin C is chemically the same as ascorbic acid, but it also contains other plant nutrients that may improve the bioavailability of vitamin C.
You can get vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, such as bell peppers, citrus, and cruciferous vegetables; however, for most people, it is often not enough.
Now, it’s important to take two other amino acids to ensure good collagen synthesis: L-Lysine and L-Proline. These two amino acids also help dissolve the plaque deposits into very small pieces. This prevents larger pieces of plaque from causing an embolism; meaning, the artery is blocked by a blood clot.
The suggested dosage for L-Lysine is 3-6 g/day. The dosage for L-Proline is 1-2 g/day.
One of the most prominent promoters of this “vitamin C therapy” is Linus Pauling, the recipient of two unshared Nobel Prizes. I have included links below so you can get more detailed information.
Coming up next, is Number 6. “Vitamin E”.
Did you know there are eight types of antioxidant vitamin E? There are four tocopherols and four tocotrienols, and all eight should be present on the back of the supplement bottle.
The recommended dosage is 400-800 mg/day. Vitamin E can make your blood less prone to clot, so it’s important to consult your doctor if you’re on blood-thinning medication.
Studies have shown that this antioxidant has the potential to significantly reduce oxidized LDL; this is the dangerous type of cholesterol that increases inflammation in plaque deposits.
Foods that are rich in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, avocados, squash, kiwifruit, trout, shrimp, olive oil, wheat germ oil, and broccoli.
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Moving on to Number 5, we have “Vitamin K2”.
Did you know that vitamin K2 can prevent calcium buildup in the arteries? A lack of vitamin K2 may be the most important cause of calcified arteries.
First off, there are two main kinds of vitamin K: K1, which comes from green leafy vegetables such as spinach and is important for blood clotting; and vitamin K2, which is mostly found in animal foods and fermented ones as well.
Most people do not get enough vitamin K2. The best foods that are rich in K2 are natto, sauerkraut, pastured egg yolks, grass-fed beef liver and butter, eel, and some types of cheeses (for example, raclette, gouda, Jarlsberg, and Edam).
Vitamin K2 moves calcium away from the arteries and kidneys to the bones and teeth, where it is needed, by activating the hormone osteocalcin.
However, we also need Vitamin D; otherwise, our bones cannot absorb the calcium they need to stay healthy! The best way to get our vitamin D is from the sun.
When supplementing, choose the MK-7 form of K2, as it remains in your bloodstream longer. The recommended dosage is 100 to 200 mcg/day. MK-7 is often paired with vitamin D3 in one supplement, so this is a good option to choose.
Next on the list is Number 4, “B Vitamins”.
B vitamins are essential for heart disease patients in two significant ways.
First, people with high blood pressure will have to make their hearts work harder to pump blood. This requires more energy usage by the heart muscle and therefore a better supply of B vitamins.
Second, high homocysteine levels caused by vitamin B deficiency and certain disease states can irritate artery walls and increase the risk of blood clots. This is a serious problem that can be easily resolved by getting enough B6, B12, and folate.
Luckily, it is easy to load up on foods rich in B vitamins. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leafy green vegetables such as cabbage, kale, spinach, peas, beans, poultry, fish, eggs, and liver.
If you are taking a vitamin B supplement, always opt for natural methylcobalamin over synthetic cyanocobalamin. For even better absorption, try liposomal methylcobalamin. Follow the dosage on the bottle.
Coming into the top 3, we have Number 3. “CoQ10”.
Coenzyme Q10 is required for the production of collagen fibers. It’s needed in large amounts where there’s high energy usage. And, since the heart is the one muscle that never stops working, it needs a lot of CoQ10 to function properly.
Although our bodies naturally produce CoQ10, its production declines with age. Therefore, individuals over 40 years old would benefit from supplementation.
Heart patients, especially those with high blood pressure, which forces the heart muscle to use more energy, can benefit from taking CoQ10 supplements. If the CoQ10 levels of these patients get too low, they might experience congestive heart failure.
Since taking statins to reduce cholesterol also reduces CoQ10 production, supplementing with CoQ10 is a must.
The recommended dosage is at least 100 mg/day.
Moving on next, we have Number 2. “Copper”.
Copper is required for the creation of collagen fibers. A copper deficiency can cause microcytic anemia, wherein the red blood cells are too small, and ischemic heart disease, where there is weak blood flow to the heart due to narrow arteries.
It is best to take zinc with copper if you are deficient in either or both minerals. Zinc is likely to be deficient in a vegetarian diet, and it is also important for healing damaged tissues, including artery walls.
Copper dosage should be in the area of 2 mg/day, and zinc should probably be 30 mg/day.
And at Number 1, we have “Magnesium”.
Many people do not think of magnesium as an electrolyte, such as potassium. As an electrolyte, magnesium helps maintain the electrical current flowing through your heart and blood vessels.
If your diet is poor in magnesium, your heart and arteries will become prone to contractions or muscle spasms, thus increasing the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.
That’s because magnesium is a powerful vasodilator. It helps your blood vessels to relax, thus it stops calcium from building up in plaque.
Studies have found magnesium lowers high blood pressure, reduces chest pain, and prevents abnormal blood clotting.
Taking 200-400 mg/day of this mineral can help treat many heart conditions. The recommended type is magnesium malate for easy absorption, or even better, take a supplement that contains all seven forms of magnesium.
There you have it! A “vitamin therapy” to help your body reduce plaque deposits.
Combine this with an anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the best food sources of inflammation-lowering omega-3s are sardines, wild salmon, mackerel, walnuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, seaweed, spirulina, and chlorella.
If you think about it, an anti-inflammatory diet is really an anti-plaque diet. Click the link below to get your free anti-inflammatory diet plan.
Next, let’s touch on what causes your artery walls to be damaged.
So, the inner lining of the arteries can become damaged due to things such as homocysteine, insulin, glucose, lead, arsenic, mercury, bacterial toxins, and gut bacteria that can get into the arterial wall and trigger inflammation that leads to plaque deposits. Watch out for an upcoming video, where we’ll discuss what causes inflammation in the arteries.
I hope you enjoyed this video, see you in the next one.