New study on arteriosclerosis: blood lipids are not a cause of hardening of the arteries

New study on arteriosclerosis: blood lipids are not a cause of hardening of the arteries

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Cardiac surgeon: Fat deposits with arterial calcification do not come from the blood
Arterial calcification is a common disease that often leads to fatal cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. Fats from the blood are considered to trigger atherosclerosis. But according to a new theory, this is not the case. A doctor says that the deposits are the remains of dead cells in the vascular wall.

Cardiovascular diseases
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 17.5 million deaths are attributed to diseases of the cardiovascular system every year. In Germany, they are the number one cause of death. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) also has dramatic consequences for the cardiovascular system. The most common are heart attacks and strokes. But how does arteriosclerosis develop? According to a German specialist, fats from the blood do not lead to arterial calcification, but rather supply disorders on the outer wall of the vessel.

Heart expert questions common theory
According to a communication from the Hannover Medical School (MHH), the teaching that has been held for decades regarding the cause of arteriosclerosis assumes “calcification” of the arteries, such as the coronary arteries, because fats from the blood on the inner wall of the blood vessels attach. As a reaction of the immune system, the so-called plaque forms there, which can clog the vessel over time.

But the cardiac surgeon Professor Dr. Axel Haverich, director of the clinic for cardiac, thoracic, transplant and vascular surgery at MHH, advocates a completely different theory in an article in the journal "Circulation".

The doctor is convinced that the fat deposits do not come from the blood, but rather are the remains of dead cells in the vascular wall.

Inflammation of the supply blood vessels
The most common cause of occlusion of the supply blood vessels in the outer wall of the artery - the so-called vasa vasorum - are inflammatory reactions caused by viruses, bacteria and fine dust, but also by harmful fat particles (oxidized LDL cholesterol).

The dead cells including fat residues are broken down by the immune system. The repair processes of the immune system create "cell wastes" there, the so-called plaques, which lead to a thickening of the inner artery wall and which can ultimately cause the mother's vessel to close.

Only certain sections calcified
"During hundreds of bypass operations, we were able to determine that only certain sections of the coronary arteries were calcified, while the same vessel was never pathologically altered in other places," said Professor Haverich.

“We also observed this in other electricity areas, for example in the thigh. Common to the arteriosclerosis-free areas was that they were surrounded by muscle on the outside. Since all smaller human arteries are rarely affected anyway, it must be doubted that the process a) is a generalized disease that b) begins on the inner wall. ”

Discovery of new risk factors
His doubts about the previous doctrine were also fueled by the discovery of new risk factors for arteriosclerosis. Exposure demonstrated.

In addition, more than 30 different microbes were isolated from their DNA in arteriosclerotic plaques. These relationships cannot be explained by the previous theory of increased blood lipids alone.

Healthy eating and physical activity
The new theory on the development of arteriosclerosis offers expanded starting points for the development of innovative treatment approaches for the disease.

Until these are available to the patient, Professor Haverich recommends the prevention of arteriosclerosis: "In addition to the well-known, cheap lifestyle habits such as healthy eating, adequate sleep and exercise, the prevention and control of infections should be taken into account as prevention of dangerous hardening of the arteries. These include, for example, regular flu vaccination, the remediation of chronic inflammation and - above all - physical activity. ”(Ad)

Author and source information

Video: Reversing heart disease: Mayo Clinic Radio (July 2022).


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