Causes of Atherosclerosis

What are the causes of atherosclerosis and atherosclerosis symptoms? Atherosclerosis is largely a lifestyle disease and, therefore, in a large measure, preventable. That we do not act upon the knowledge available to us on how to avoid this disease is inexplicable. Smoking, perverse dietary habits, obesity, psychological stress, lack of adequate exercise and attention to another largely preventable disease, high blood pressure, are the major modifiable causes of atherosclerosis. An important trigger factor, infection, can be involved in up to 80% of heart attacks and strokes.

A family history of heart disease matters. If you have a first degree relative (father, mother, brother, sister) with the disease, you are two to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than someone with a negative family history. This factor obviously cannot be modified as few of us get to choose our parents. View 2.5 min Video on High Blood Pressure Related Testimonial

While doctors have been getting better at preventing death at the time of a first heart attack or stroke, we have not been successful at finding effective means of preventing death from atherosclerosis (namely, from subsequent heart attacks and strokes). This failure to prevent eventual death is probably due to the fact that atherosclerosis (which decades to develop) is well- advanced before heart attacks and strokes occur. While some studies have shown regression of arterial plaques after treatment, the disease generally follows an inexorable course. Intervention is always worthwhile but, of course, is more effective earlier than late.

What is Atherosclerosis?

Essentially, atherosclerosis or its sister disease arteriosclerosis, (the two terms are often used interchangeably) involve the migration of disease-causing elements into the arterial wall resulting in a loss of elasticity and a decrease in the diameter of the vessel lumen (blood-carrying channel). This narrowing impedes blood flow to the heart muscle resulting in chest pain (angina) and, if a plaque ruptures and a clot forms, total occlusion can occur resulting in a heart attack (death of heart muscle). Rupture of a plaque in a carotid artery (in the neck) can result in a solid particle of plaque or a blood clot being dislodged from the carotid wall and traveling downstream until it lodges in and blocks a smaller artery in the brain. Deprived of blood, the involved portion of the brain dies.

Symptoms and Causes of Atherosclerosis

HYPERTENSION
Hypertension or elevated blood pressure is a major contributor to the development of atherosclerosis. In the U.S., the estimated prevalence is about 33% (this figure is up from 25% a decade ago due to the epidemic of obesity) of adults over 40. Some experts believe that less than 50% of significant hypertension is diagnosed and adequately treated. While genetics and male sex play a role in the development of hypertension (20 to 40% of all cases), environmental factors such as salt intake, lack of exercise, psychological stress and poor diet leading to obesity are the major causes of this disease.

High blood pressure contributes to atherosclerosis by damaging the endothelium (the delicate innermost layer of all arteries). Once damaged by the excessive pressure of the passing blood, the endothelium becomes susceptible to the formation of atherosclerotic plaque.

In the more advanced stages of atherosclerosis where plaques that narrow the arteries already exist, high blood pressure can be the triggering factor in the rupture of a plaque. Once ruptured, a piece of the plaque itself or a blood clot caused by the rupture can be torn loose and may lodge in an artery, stopping the flow of blood to tissue downstream causing a stroke or a heart attack.

Many hypertensives have reported drops in blood pressure after regularly using the mangosteen supplement. Preclinical studies, not involving human subjects, have demonstrated that some of the mangosteen’s phytonutrients (xanthones, catechins and proanthocyanidins) can inhibit the action of a strong vasoconstrictor involved in raising blood pressure. This effect has been seen in only a minority of mangosteen consumers.

SMOKING AND CHOLESTEROL
Smoking produces enormous amounts of free radicals (unstable atoms that damage healthy molecules). Along with pollution and the consumption of fried foods, smoking is the greatest source of free radicals from outside the body.

LDL or low density lipoprotein (the bad cholesterol), which is the basic building block of the atherosclerotic plaques we’ve discussed, is damaged by free radicals (oxidation) while it circulates in the bloodstream. Once damaged, it is carried across the artery wall and contributes to the creation of a plaque.

Mangosteen xanthones, catechins and anthocyanidins (acting as potent antioxidants) in laboratory studies have been proven to counteract LDL oxidation (damage by free radicals). Without such damage, atherosclerosis cannot exist. Please note that these laboratory studies do not provide conclusive proof that the same effects will be seen in the human body.

As present knowledge, no other supplements, in similar doses, can approach the antioxidant power of the mangosteen antioxidants.

OBESITY AND DIABETES
From the 1970s to the latter part of the 80s, the incidence of heart attacks and strokes declined by almost 40% as people began to change their lifestyles. However, we are now in an unprecedented epidemic of obesity. Over 62% of Americans are overweight or worse. Sedentary lifestyles prevail and the incidence of type II diabetes (which increases the rate of atherosclerosis and, therefore, heart attacks and strokes) is skyrocketing. It is now estimated that 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes.

Diabetics have up to four times the atherosclerotic risk as non-diabetics. As a result of this increase in diabetes, the health gains of the last three decades are being rapidly eroded.

Once again, preclinical and human studies with some of the mangosteen phytonutrients have shown that they can be used by the body to both lower cholesterol and assist with the regulation of blood sugar.

INFECTION
Recent studies implicate infection (and the inflammation it can cause) in atherosclerotic plaques as the trigger in up to 80% of heart attacks. As a result, having your gums bleed when you brush your teeth can be as great a risk for heart attack and stroke as having elevated cholesterol levels or being a smoker.

We have more bacteria in our mouths than there are people on the earth (6.5 billion)! If some of these bacteria get into the bloodstream (i.e. bleeding gums), they can cause infection and its accompanying inflammation, triggering heart attacks and strokes.

The four major groups of phytonutrients in the mangosteen have all shown the ability in the laboratory to control the growth of or destroy many bacteria. While these studies do not provide proof that these antibacterial effects will be seen in the body, they do merit a trial of the fruit to assist your body as it battles infection.

Mangosteen and Heart Attack and Stroke

Reversing Atherosclerosis

In summary, the phytonutrients of the mangosteen can be used by your body to fortify its defenses against infection and chronic inflammation. They may also be useful in assisting the body to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and cholesterol. If they do prove to be useful to your body in these ways, your doctor will be able to detect the beneficial changes in your bloodwork.

Many mangosteen users have noted beneficial changes in their C-reactive protein levels. C-reactive protein is a marker for increased cardiovascular risk secondary to silent chronic inflammation.

Recommended Serving

For existing diseases use 1-2 ounces with meals. For prevention, one ounce per day.


NOTE: One of the reasons for designing this website is to educate visitors on the benefits of daily consumption of Pure Mangosteen Juice. It is also a web site sharing resources and info about mangosteen juice benefits and Xanthones.

Mangosteen is a fruit. The health benefits from mangosteen due to xanthones have been shown in laboratory studies to be powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and to have other special properties.

However, laboratory results do not guarantee that the same will happen in the human body. Mangosteen is a supplement and not a drug; therefore, no one can say that mangosteen juice benefits include a cure, treat, or prevent any specific condition or symptom the way a drug prescription is administered by a qualified health practitioner.

The United States government, however, has determined and stated that increasing the amount of plant-based foods and supplements in our diet improves our health and decreases the incidence of chronic disease. Look at the available science on the mangosteen and then answer for yourself - Does mangosteen juice make sense for you?

The only way to find out what mangosteen will do for you is to begin taking it. In the case of mental illness, it is important to do this with the assistance of a qualified professional.

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