You have been told you have arterial plaque build up? That this can and will lead to a heart attack? What is this plaque made up of?
Most of you will answer ‘cholesterol’. After all that is what you have been consistently told on TV advertisements, on displays you always see on the charts in doctors surgeries and of course by the very doctor you are seeing who speaks in a language known as pharmaceuticalese.
Hold on a minute, just what is plaque made up of? Do the Dr. Google thing and most sites will tell you it is made up of a few things but cholesterol and calcium tend to figure big in the mix. WIKIPEDIA on the other had describes atheromas (plaque blockages) as the swelling in artery walls made up of (mostly) macrophage cells, or debris, and containing lipids (cholesterol and fatty acids), calcium and a variable amount of fibrous connective tissue.
That is a little more descriptive of what arterial plaque build-up contains….. NOT simply that evil cholesterol you have been force feeding yourself! In fact cholesterol is fairly low down on the list of ingredients.
Did you happen to notice there was mention of calcium in that matrix? Now what the dickens is that doing there after all calcium is what is needed to keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong…. not your arteries!
OK so we shall skip the cholesterol lecture for the time being… I can toss in a few links for you to read at the end of the rant. Let’s get back to this calcium in your arteries question. It is another of those areas where we are (predominantly women- but not exclusively) lectured incessantly on the need for supplemental daily calcium. So much so that a high percentage of processed foods are now being fortified with calcium.
We are constantly warned about the dangers of insufficient calcium intake being responsible for osteoporosis as we age, and its precursor – osteopenia. They have even devised a test to determine if your bones do in fact have sufficient calcium in their matrix, and if not – then of course they have a drug to fix the problem.
According to the Mayo Clinic: For both men and women, the most widely prescribed osteoporosis medications are bisphosphonates. Examples include:
Risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia)
Zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa)
The article then goes onto tell you about all the drug side effects and some of the more serious problems that can happen to people on these drugs. NOT NICE!
Have you ever wondered why the calcium has not reached your bones where it really belongs? Have you ever wondered what you could be doing to assist it to do this – without resorting to pharmaceutical drugs with hideous side effects?
Nature is a wonderful thing – particularly when you look at the design of the human body. Nothing happens in isolation. If the calcium is not reaching its intended destination (assuming you are not suffering from a metabolic disorder or parathyroid damage etc) find out why.
The body uses vitamins and minerals and enzymes and coenzymes to assist bodily functions. The one needed to help the calcium cross into the bone matrix is Vitamin K2. It does NOT work alone either it requires Vitamin D3.
It is a natural supplement found in some foods. But as we age we seem to take up less of it into our bodies, possibly because we do not breakdown and digest our foods as well. However it is available as a supplement over the counter, so why do doctors not tell you about it? Must have something to do with the pharmaceuticalese they speak to you – only able to prescribe drugs and not supplements!
As this is a RANT – I will simply list some further reading which should stimulate your interests, it will certainly assist you to be able to choose between a prescription drug with a huge list of known side effects and a simple non invasive supplement which works as nature intended it to.
Oh and by the way, if you are taking supplemental calcium without the right biological mechanism to get it into the bones where it belongs, you may well end up with Calcified Arteries….. I think I will leave the cholesterol links and stories for another day.