Understand to Prevent 17 Million Heart Attacks and Strokes Worldwide
Heart attacks and stroke are called cardio-vascular diseases (CVD). The WHO states 17 million deaths in the world annually result directly from cardio-vascular disease. That's 31% of ALL deaths, from any cause. More people die from CVD than any other cause, by a significant margin. Science Daily, an American publication, reports 48% of all Americans have some form of CVD. Statista.com publish figures for the percentage of CVD sufferers by country using only drug management, showing a range from 17% in China to 63% in Japan. These are mind-blowing figures considering the majority of these cases are preventable.
It is acknowledged by western medicine that CVD is primarily a lifestyle disease, yet the thrust of efforts to stem it are with drugs rather than addressing the cause. Sure there is plenty of information out there from the likes of the WHO and the Heart Foundation, but why is it not afforded the same level of publicity as the covid virus? It kills infinitely more people annually, EVERY year, not just in pandemic years.
Taking a broad objective view of CVD, not being sidetracked by minutiae, the underlying cause is plain to see. Fundamentally it's simply bad food and nutritional deficiency. If you're one who refuses to accept anything without stats, I'm going to disappoint you because this article is about prevention. You may however look to the work done by Dr Dean Ornish who can provide all the stats you need, with graphs, angiograms and before & after stories to satiate your appetite.
So what has Bad Food and Deficiency got to do with Heart Attack?
Plainly put, the reasons are Inflammation and Failure to Repair. It really is that simple. Let me explain.
Inflammation is an integral part of the process of tissue repair. It is triggered when there is tissue damage to any body part. Inflammatory chemicals released after tissue damage directs the repair operation, engaging a wealth of chemicals, from hormones to nutrients. Imagine you cut your finger which bleeds. Blood indicates there is a hole in a blood vessel. In order to block that hole quickly, platelets in your blood release something called fibrin, which as its name suggests is a fibrous protein. In addition, red blood cells (RBCs) become sticky allowing them to adhere to the fibrin, effectively forming a mesh over the hole in the blood vessel. Blood exposed to air coagulates, forming a scab, which seals the wound from the outside. Once sealed, the process of full repair can take place over the next few weeks.
This response to tissue damage is non-specific however. Your heart pumps all 5 litres (approx.) of your blood around the body in approximately 70 beats. That's about one minute. So when inflammatory chemicals are present, they go everywhere, quickly, plugging up any damage the blood sticks to. Despite the injury being in your finger, RBCs get a bit sticky everywhere. This is an effective response when there is actually damage needing repair.
Now imagine another scenario. Suppose the integrity of your blood vessels is already poor through malnutrition. This means the walls of those tubes are weak and contain microscopic cracks. Those cracks represent damaged tissue just like the cut finger, producing the same response, i.e. sticky RBCs. As they start to adhere to the inside of the blood vessel wall a lump is formed, causing turbulence behind it, forcing other RBCs to get stuck at that point. It's the same process as silt building up behind a boulder in a river. If repair of the blood vessel isn't completed within a normal time frame, there is a chance that lump will grow until the blood vessel is actually blocked completely. If that happens, the target tissues are starved of blood and oxygen, and they die. If that happens in the heart, this causes a heart attack, if it's in the brain, that's a stroke. It's the same process, just a different location.
Poor health causing underlying tissue damage is one mechanism leading to blockage of blood vessels. Another mechanism is when inflammation is triggered by the immune system. In yet another scenario, imagine this time you are allergic to seasonal pollens, and have an allergic reaction. This produces red, watering, swollen eyes, swollen airways, swollen irritated sinus membranes, headache, sneezing etc. Your allergens trigger an immune system response involving chemicals which cause inflammation. If this happens once, that's usually no big deal, because your immune system deals with the problem within a few days and tissues repair returning to damaged membranes to normal. But suppose your are repeatedly and frequently exposed to that allergen. Each time, the immune system is triggered and inflammatory chemicals released. Before damaged membranes have a chance to repair fully, the process is triggered again. In this very common situation, those damaged membranes may never heal properly, and if they don't heal that means they are still damaged, leading to chronic inflammation and sticky RBCs all the time.
Allergy is a specific abnormal condition, but similar to allergy is intolerance. This produces a similar but less severe response. Intolerance is also a function of the immune system, producing among other things, inflammation, and as we have seen, inflammation causes sticky RBCs, everywhere.
Now imagine yet another scenario; you are intolerant to modern wheat grains, as so many people are. Eating refined wheat every day, in the form of white bread, burger buns, pizzas, cakes & cookies, cheap spaghetti, battered fish or chicken drumsticks and myriad packet foods using wheat as a binding agent, is guaranteed to produce inflammation. It is easy to appreciate how this situation may cause the lengthy list of symptoms associated with intolerance, from digestive problems to headaches and infertility. Now suppose those sticky RBCs congregate in your heart or brain, the result is predictable.
Modern wheat grains have been undergoing changes since the 1960s when the drive to increase yield and pest resistance led to hybridization and genetic modification. Today, biologically, wheat doesn't much resemble wheat grains of old. Unfortunately out immune systems have not kept pace with these rapid changes, and frequently identify today's wheat grains as 'foreign', triggering intolerance reactions. Add to this the residue from pesticides and chemical fertilizers, explains why so many people react adversely to it.
So what about poor tissue repair?
Damage to any tissue from any cause will trigger an attempt at repair. The chemicals of inflammation comprise the chemical messengers which 'call the troops' to action, bringing in everything necessary to heal the damage. Different tissues each have their own set of requirements. Collagen is a molecule made by the body and found in varying proportions in most tissues, from bones to arteries, and the heart and brain. Loosely speaking, collagen holds everything together. The process of collagen synthesis is nutritionally dependent however, and one of the key ingredients is Vitamin C. Hence we see in cases of scurvy, the affliction suffered by mariners of old, insufficient Vitamin C made their teeth fall out; the ligaments normally holding them in broke down.
It won't surprise you to hear the walls of arteries and capillaries comprise collagen too. The cracks in those structures we learned about earlier are primarily the result of Vitamin C deficiency. There is reams of evidence available in the public domain supporting this should you choose to do your own research. Vitamin C of course is not the only deficiency leading to poor collagen synthesis, it might be any one of the other elements involved in its manufacture, but the end result is the same; poor collagen integrity. Ladies conceding the battle for youthful 'firmness' to gravity would do better to look at collagen synthesis rather than injecting it into their lips, and other places.
Now the picture is more clear. These two mechanisms, Inflammation and Tissue Repair, can, and do, lead to the vast majority of heart attacks and strokes. Now you know what causes it, you can appreciate that its actually not that hard to avoid. All you need to do is ensure you get a full complement of nutrients daily and avoid bad foods to which you are intolerant (or allergic). This will stop inflammation and allow proper repair.
There are some classic signs of these failing processes. The most obvious being broken blood vessels in the face and eyes. See the face picture below. Varicose veins indicate poor collagen integrity, those vessels no longer having the strength to support the column of blood returning to the heart above. For sportsmen, frequent joint and muscle injury is also a clue. Sagging muscles is another sign. Osteoporosis is a more advanced and serious warning; the underlying structure of bone is collagenous, therefore there's little point throwing calcium supplements at that!
One can only wonder why this simple advice is not given the same exposure as a covid vaccination, given that it kills 17 million people, EVERY YEAR, year after year, even with sophisticated medication. 31% of ALL deaths versus a 99.7% survival rate without medication are astounding statistics.
Article by David Wells 2021
All these topics and many more are presented in my upcoming book 'Finding Awesome, Proven Steps to Extraordinary Health' is available at Amazon.