Atheroma - Fatty material that can build up within the walls of the arteries and a reduction of blood flow, on to which
clots may form.
Atheromatosis - The presence or the development of many atheromas.
Atheromatous - Pertaining to atheroma
Atheromatous plaque - A well-demarcated swelling on the intimal surface of an artery; produced by intimal lipid deposit.
Atheroma is a bulging yellow mass or "plaque" that forms within the walls ling the arteries. It contains a mixture of fat,
cholesterol, inflammatory cells and fibrous scar tissue. When it deposit onto the inner well of an artery, it reduces its
Deposition of atherma to arterial walls will lead to hardening of the arteries-atherosclerosis. Thus, it narrows the
pathway for blood at coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis can restrict as much as 70% of the blood that flows through the
coronary arteries-myocardial ischemia. Consequently, this lack of blood will trigger an episode of angina.
Angina is a pain or discomfort in the chest caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle. About 3-5% of
American suffer from angina. The most common cause is coronary artery disease (CAD). The common factors for CAD
include male gender, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Beside medical treatment, the prevention include stopping smoking, weight lose (if you are overweight) and control of
blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.
More than 50 million Americans have elevated cholesterol levels, this elevated cholesterol level is a major risk factor for
coronary heart disease.
Cholesterol is transported through the bloodstream by a vehicle called lipoprotein. There are three types of lipoprotein:
high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). LDL carries fats
from the liver to the other parts of the body, while HDL carries fat back to the liver. The higher the LDL level, the more
fat we have in circulation and the greater risk we have for fat-related diseases-atherosclerosis. In contrast, HDL carries
fat back to the liver, i.e. HDL removes fat from the circulation. We always want more HDL but less LDL, or a high
HDL/LDL ratio. Consequently, people always call HDL as good cholesterol, LDL as bad cholesterol.
What herbs, health supplements and foods may benefit people at risk of atherosclerosis?
B vitamins (Folic acid, vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12) help the body break down homocysteine, an amino acid that has
been linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Omega-3 fatty acid - omega-3 fatty acids (namely EPA and DHA) found in fish oil can help protect against
atherosclerosis by preventing the development of plaque and blood clots.
Beta-sitosterol Chung DW and co-workers at University of Suwon observed feeding a cholesterol-enriched diet
containing 1% or 3% beta-sitosterol, lipophilic derivative, or hydrophilic derivative for 2 and 4 weeks resulted in lowered
levels of total blood cholesterol and reduced the atherogenic index in all groups of rats.
Potassium -- Potassium, a mineral, is important to the proper functions of kidney, heart and muscles.
Policosanol Researchers first noticed that sugar cane wax could lower lipid in rats and mice in 1984.Then, Shimura S.
et al isolated octacosanol (a polycosanol) isolated from sugar cane wax and this policosanol could reduced the content
of both triglycerides and cholesterol in the liversignificantly .
Antioxidant vitamins (beta-carotene, C, E) -- Some studies have shown that people who consume more antioxidant
vitamins may have a lower risk of heart disease.
Selenium -- it is the oxidized form of low-density lipoproteins (LDL, often called "bad" cholesterol) that promotes
plaque build-up in coronary arteries . Selenium is one of a group of antioxidants that may help limit the oxidation of
LDL cholesterol and thereby help to prevent coronary artery disease.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) -- Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant or a free radical scavenger, inhibits lipid peroxidation. Lipid
peroxidation is a normal aspect of the aging process however it also implicates certain age-related diseases.
Polyphenols -- Polyphenols are chemical substances found in plants that have antioxidant properties.
Vitamin D -- Preliminary studies suggest that vitamin D may help protect against heart disease
Bladderwrack - Bladderwrack may benefit people at risks of atherosclerosis.
Cranberry - Consumption of food and beverages containing flavonoids may decrease the risk of atherosclerosis.
Researchers thought that cranberries may be able to decrease the risk of atherosclerosis.
Hawthorn -- Hawthorn has been used traditionally to treat cardiovascular diseases.
Garlic Many websites suggest garlic is a treat for atherosclerosis, but results are mixed. This may be related to how
the dosage prepared - fresh or not and the species selection as well.
Grape seed extract - Researchers from Japan found that proanthocyanidin (grape seed extract) was able to inhibit
thrombus formation in the carotid artery. The anti-thrombotic effect of proanthocyanidin may be due to a direct
inhibitory effect on platelets. Scientists at Universite Montpellier II, France, found commercial grape extracts prevented
the development of aortic atherosclerosis
Olive leaf extract -- One study found that people with mild hypertension lowered cholesterol and blood pressure by
taking olive leaf extract. More studies are needed to confirm the result.
Pomegranate pomegranate juice or its extracts contain antioxidants such as soluble polyphenols, tannins, and
anthocyanins and may have benefits on atherosclerosis. Pomegranate juice is rich in tannins, possesses
anti-atherosclerotic properties, has anti-aging effects, and potent anti-oxidative characteristics.
Psyllium -- Psyllium may help lower cholesterol levels as well as blood sugar levels.
Guggul -- Guggulsterone (7) and cembranoids (8-12) from Commiphora mukul stem bark resin guggul were shown
to be specific modulators of two independent sites that are also modulated by bile salts (1-6) to control
cholesterol absorption and catabolism.
Red yeast Rice - Red yeast rice may benefit people at risk of high cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis. According
to Sloan-Kettering, red yeast rice contains lovastatin, lovastatin is a drug lowering cholesterol levels.
Shanzha (Crataegus Pinnatifida) Shanzha xiaozhi Capsule reduced blood lipid level and the plasma Endothelin
levels, increased the NO levels and the protection to the functions of endothelial cells in a study, Shanzha may help
fight against atherosclerosis.
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atheroma, atheromatosis, atheromatous disease
atheromas definition June 2013