Aging is the number one risk factor for hardening arteries.
Over the years, our mitochondrial function declines, and our inflammatory IL-6 levels rise. As a result, atherosclerosis affects upwards of 65 percent of adults over 60.
That’s a LOT of potential customers. So cooking up something that stops our arteries from turning to stone is the kind of thing the drug industry dreams of.
But Big Pharma may have missed the atherosclerosis boat. Because slashing our risk for this killer could already be a reality for the rest of us.
The latest research reveals a surprising method to help block the driving force behind hardening arteries.
But it’s not a drug that’s worth billions. In fact, it’s something you can literally find at your local grocery store.
The secret to healthier blood vessels
To understand why this solution works, you need to first understand how we’ve been misled about atherosclerosis. Because the real cause of damage to your blood vessels typically isn’t the stuff that tends to get all the blame.
It’s not the plaque that builds up on the walls, causing them to harden. At least, not in the way you might think. It’s HOW the plaque actually gets there.
And that’s what the new study hones in on. The researchers focused on inflammation.
Some inflammation, of course, is good. It’s your body’s natural response to an injury or an attack.
But like everything else, you don’t want too much of it. And you don’t want a state of inflammation to persist for too long, either. (For more on chronic inflammation, including a handy checklist to see if you might be a victim, click here.)
Excessive inflammation inside your blood vessels is the hallmark of atherosclerosis, which allows plaques to build up and arteries to harden.
Your blood vessels have a built-in defense against this happening. Molecules called resolvins are supposed to fire off the “STOP” signal to end the inflammation and start the process that leads to healing.
The system works great… until it doesn’t. This process starts to sputter for many of us as we get a little older.
You don’t make enough resolvins, so the message never gets out, and the inflammation never quite shuts down. Atherosclerosis kicks in.
Your arteries start to harden, and next thing you know, you’re facing a heart attack or stroke.
Build up omega-3s to bring down atherosclerosis risk
But the study suggests you might be able to restart the resolvins process all over again. Kind of like soft-booting your PC. Not with medication, but with ordinary omega-3 fatty acids.
Your body can send omega-3 fatty acids to what’s known as your GPR32 receptors, which can use them to bump up the production of resolvins. And that, in turn, can lead to less inflammation in the blood vessels and natural protection against hardened arteries.
The new study was done on an experimental model, not in humans. So more research is needed, and we should take these results with a healthy grain of salt.
But the results do jibe with what we already know. Omega-3s are potent inflammation-fighters that can help protect blood vessels and cut the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
We can probably rest assured that the drug companies are right now looking for a way to turn this discovery into a synthetic treatment. One that will undoubtedly cost way more than the natural approach and could turn out to be less effective and have side effects.
Don’t wait for them to figure it out. You can go ahead and boost the amount of omega-3s you’re getting right now and potentially lower your atherosclerosis risk. It’s easy. Just add more cold-water, wild-caught, fatty fish to your meals.
Plus, you can also take a high-quality fish oil supplement. Your doctor can help figure out the dosage that’s best for you.