Home Human Behavior Here is one of the biggest causes of cardiovascular disease that is often overlooked Here is one of the biggest causes of cardiovascular disease that is often overlookedMedical science has long considered cholesterol to be one of the worst enemies of heart health. But now research has shown another and much bigger threat. Human Behavior 27/05/2023 by Space Navy 0 Comment Medical science has long considered cholesterol to be one of the worst enemies of heart health. But now research has shown another and much bigger threat. Academics have reviewed the results of three large studies in which different treatments against stroke and blood clots in the heart were tested on a total of 31,245 patients. Cardiovascular disease kills more people than any other disease, and for decades doctors were convinced that cholesterol was the big culprit. Previous studies have shown that more people who had high blood levels of “lead” cholesterol – also known as LDL (low density lipoprotein) – had more fatal strokes than people who had less of it. At the same time, the researchers knew that cholesterol is one of the main components of atherosclerosis, which narrows the blood vessels and, in the worst case, can break so that fragments of calcium get stuck in the coronary arteries with the risk of fatal blood clots in the heart. However, we may have focused our attention in the wrong direction. Cholesterol is not the biggest threat. A much bigger risk factor Heart attacks are more dangerous. American research shows that in people taking cholesterol-lowering statins, heart inflammation is a much greater risk factor for stroke and blood clots in the heart than if the concentration of cholesterol is higher. “It goes without saying that if we don’t monitor the body’s inflammatory response, we will never defeat these diseases. This is no longer a hypothesis but a documented fact,” says Paul Ridker, an epidemiologist and biochemist and one of the scientists behind the study published in The Lancet. C-reactive protein demonstrates inflammation Researchers have separately analyzed the results of three large studies in which different treatments against heart clots and strokes were tested on a total of 31,245 patients, all of whom were already on cholesterol-lowering statins. At the beginning of the research, the blood of all participants was analyzed for cholesterol and a natural substance called “C-reactive protein” (CRP), which is a so-called guide to inflammation in the body. All three studies found that elevated levels of CRP were a measurably greater risk factor for fatal cardiovascular disease than cholesterol. The death rate 268 percent higher Patients with the highest CRP levels had a 268 percent greater risk of fatal cardiovascular disease than patients with the lowest CRP blood levels. In comparison, increased cholesterol was only associated with a 27 percent higher rate of cardiovascular death. Elevated CRP levels mean increased inflammation, so it’s clearly inflammation and its effects that are the problem. It also turns out that atherosclerosis is underpinned by inflammation and immune cell activity. Animal experiments have also shown that atherosclerosis with high inflammation is more likely to rupture and release deadly calcium fragments into the blood, so it is important to find ways to counteract the inflammation. Nutrients can provide protection There have long been theories that support the fact that cholesterol is not dangerous unless it is oxidized by free radicals and inflammation is seen. Studies have shown that certain nutrients actually have anti-inflammatory effects. This applies, among other things, to omega-3 fatty acids from fish as well as vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium and zinc. One of the most extensive studies to date was conducted by researchers from Linköping University Hospital and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. By giving the elderly a combination of selenium and coenzyme Q10 for four years, they were able to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease by 54%. The researchers believed that the treatment reduced CRP levels in the blood, and it also reduced other markers of inflammation such as osteopontin and sP-selectin.