Your Choices Affect Your Health

Heart Disease

What Causes Heart Disease?

Heart disease and strokes occur when a plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis, accumulates inside arteries and blood vessels. This plaque is made up of pockets of cholesterol-rich fatty material that builds up beneath the inner linings of the blood vessels. This process begins with damage to the endothelium (the thin layer of cells that line the inner walls of our arteries). Endothelial cell injury can be caused by bacterial or viral infection, oxidative stress, turbulent blood flow, stress or dietary intake. Endothelial cells produce nitric oxide which is essential to protecting our blood vessels. It keeps our blood flowing smoothly. It is the strongest dilator (widener) of our blood vessels. It inhibits the formation of blockages (plaques) and it inhibits inflammation. Fewer functioning endothelial cells results in less production of the protective nitric oxide. Without enough nitric oxide the plaque blockages build up and grow creating eventually heart disease and strokes.

Reverse Heart Disease Study
Heart Disease

Reverse Heart Disease Study

Dr. Esselstyn of the famed Cleveland Clinic discusses how he set up his wildly successful 25-year study proving that a low-fat plantbased diet can arrest

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Engineering a Cure
Heart Disease

Engineering a Cure

Lifestyle medicine pioneer Nathan Pritikin, who reversed his own heart disease through diet and went on to help millions of others, wasn’t a doctor or

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Endothelial Cells & Nitric Oxide
Heart Disease

Endothelial Cells & Nitric Oxide

Forks Over Knives (2011) – This video clip describes how the Endothelial Cells which are the lining in the arterial walls produce the gas Nitric

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