New Research Into Heart Disease Reveals Surprise
For nearly a hundred years mainstream organizations have been telling us that heart disease is caused by cholesterol deposits in the arteries. All of the most popular medical interventions for heart disease are based on that assumption. But the evidence in support of that theory has been extremely weak all along. And new research has put a final nail in the coffin of that theory. Read on to learn what this means for you. I’ll share with you some powerful and effective steps you can take to improve your heart health.
The Plaque Theory
A hundred years ago researchers started to perform detailed autopsies on people who had suffered heart attacks. And what they found was that most of those people had blockages in their arteries leading to the heart. The researchers called these blockages plaques.
What they found was that the plaques contained a lot of cholesterol. They then made the assumption that cholesterol caused the plaques to form and that the plaques were the cause of heart disease. For a hundred years the majority of researchers have failed to question if either idea was true.
As a result, the majority of treatments have been designed to either remove cholesterol or bypass plaque. Yet it turns out that these treatments have failed to improve men’s heart health.
One reason for that failure is that cholesterol isn’t the problem. As I’ve explained in previous articles, cholesterol is a natural and healthy substance in the body. It is incredibly important because it is the essential insulation for your entire nervous system. Your brain is composed of large amounts of it. Every single cell in your body needs cholesterol. And cholesterol is an important antioxidant in the blood.
Although levels of cholesterol in the blood are higher among those with heart disease, that doesn’t mean that cholesterol causes heart disease. Actually, cholesterol is elevated in heart disease because it is trying to repair the damage.
Drugs such as statins that can lower cholesterol levels don’t actually reduce heart attacks. In fact, they can worsen heart disease and cause other health problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.
But it turns out that plaques aren’t the cause of heart disease either. That’s what new research has shown.
Stress, Not Plaques
New research has revealed that plaques aren’t the cause of heart disease as had been believed for nearly a century. Here’s what the researchers did. They gathered a large group of men who were at high risk of having a heart attack. And they used medical imaging to look at the arteries of the men.
What they found was that the majority of the men had plaques blocking up to 80 percent of the blood flow in one or more arteries leading to the heart.
Then the researchers waited.
Over the next many years they continued to study the men. Many of the men did have heart attacks. And that is where it got interesting.
Based on the plaque theory, the men who had heart attacks should have had heart damage in the area of the heart fed by the artery with the plaque. But that’s not what they found. In fact, the plaques didn’t predict where the damage would occur.
The “gold standard” procedures for treating heart disease are all based on the plaque theory. But now researchers know why those procedures don’t actually reduce the risk of heart attack. It’s because the plaques don’t cause heart attacks.
What researchers have found is that even when arteries are significantly blocked by plaques, the heart still receives plenty of blood. Why? Because the body is smart and produces “collateral blood vessels”. So practices such as angioplasty and bypass surgery are flawed, and that’s why the Mayo Clinic has reported that they don’t actually reduce the risk of heart attack.
What Does It Mean For You?
Now that may all be interesting, but what does it mean for you?
Well, first of all, it means that you should be extremely cautious if your doctor recommends angioplasty or bypass surgery.
It also means you should be very cautious about statin drugs.
But here’s the part that you can put into practice in your life that is proven to improve heart health. Researchers have now found that it’s not plaques that cause heart attacks. It’s poorly managed stress. And that is something you can do something about naturally.
Here are the things you can do that will reduce stress and improve your health.
First off, make sleep a priority. Sleeping for less than 7 hours per night is strongly associated with heart disease. Some men need as much as 9 hours per night. Although we live in a fast-paced society, don’t make the mistake of short-changing yourself on sleep. Get to bed early and give yourself adequate time to sleep and wake feeling refreshed in the morning without an alarm clock. And do that every night. That is the very best thing you can do to protect your heart.
The second thing you can do that will superpower your heart health is to find ways not to sweat the small stuff. Are you one of those guys who gets angry in traffic or maybe anxious about what people think of you? Do you feel that it’s hard to communicate well? Do you take the time to listen to others? The truth is that no matter how well we live our lives, all of us have room for improvement in this department. And there are lots of ways to improve in stress management. Some of the things that I suggest you explore, depending on your preferences, beliefs, and likes, include: progressive muscle relaxation, prayer, meditation, practicing forgiveness, spending time in nature, and doing acts of kindness for others.
And a third powerful thing you can do is to get out in the sun regularly. Sunlight helps to reduce excess stress hormones. It also helps to keep the natural rhythms synchronized. That keeps your hormones in balance. And it also helps with sleep, which, as we know, also helps to keep stress levels low. Probably one of the very best ways to get sunlight is to take a walk on a daily basis. Walking gives you more stress-relieving benefits. And if you make your walk in the sun a social activity with a friend or two, you’ll get even more benefits.
So don’t fall for the dangerous suggestions of the ill-informed. When it comes to your health, you can help yourself naturally and safely.