Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis – General Overview!

AtherosclerosisThere is a lot of confusion between arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis but one thing is certain, combined they account for nearly 75% of all deaths from heart disease! This unpleasant statistic comes from the American Heart Association 2004 Heart and Stroke Statistical Update. In the United States alone, approximately 1.5 million heart attacks occur annually.

The vast majority of these heart attacks are

caused by complications associated with

arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.


Most people are familiar with heart attacks or strokes. You likely have a family member or friend who either suffers from the consequences of one or has died due to one. Because of this a great deal of emphasis is placed on preventing heart attacks and strokes. While this is important, the real emphasis should be put upon preventing arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis because they are the underlying cause of heart attacks and strokes.

To best address this problem we need to clearly define arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis commonly refers to those diseases in which the arterial wall thickens and loses its elasticity. Atherosclerosis is one of those diseases. More specifically atherosclerosis refers to the formation of plaque-like deposits consisting of cholesterol and other substances on the arterial walls. These deposits become hardened by fibrous tissue and calcification. This can lead to arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. For simplicity the following definitions will be used:

  • Arteriosclerosis is any disease process that leads to the abnormal thickening and hardening of the arterial walls.

  • Atherosclerosis is the disease process that causes plaque formations to develop on the interior surface of the arterial walls.

Both arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis cause problems and complication to blood flow. Arteriosclerosis reduces the elasticity of the vascular wall leading to high blood pressure. Atherosclerosis reduces the interior space of the artery leading to reduced blood flow. Reduced blood flow reduces the ability of your cardiovascular system to deliver needed oxygen and nutrients as well as remove waste products from cellular respiration. This then affects the organs’ ability to function optimally.

The most common arteries affected are those in the brain, heart, kidneys, abdominal aorta, carotid artery, and legs. This can then lead to a whole host of symptoms like leg pain, muscular weakness, numbness, cramps, dizziness, chest pain, poor wound healing, and erectile dysfunction.

As atherosclerosis progresses in its narrowing of the arterial space it not only reduces blood flow but it also increases the potential for blood clots to form as well as plaque-like deposits breaking off. This can then cause complete blockages resulting in the common life-threatening diseases we call heart attacks and strokes.

Both arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis are progressive diseases. This means that they didn’t develop over a short period of time like an infection but they develop over a long period of time. For many in the United States, this disease process can start in early childhood and progressively become more severe as the person ages.

Risk Factors That Can Lead to Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis!

There are certain risk factors that contribute to the development of both arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. These risk factors are commonly categorized as “those that can be changed” and “those that cannot”. Here are the risk factors that can be changed:

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol commonly referred to as “Bad Cholesterol”

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Lack of exercise

  • Western diet, which is excessive in saturated fat from meat, dairy products, eggs, and fast food combined with an inadequate intake in fruits, vegetables, and fish.

These are the risk factors that cannot be changed:

  • Advancing age

  • Being male unless you are a women who has reached menopause.

  • Have a family history of heart disease and stroke especially if it’s based on genetics.

  • African American since this population group has a historically high degree of high blood pressure and diabetes leading to premature stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and death.

As I gathered data for this article many of the websites made the following comment – “The exact cause of arteriosclerosis is not known.”

This author would like to disagree with that statement.

The exact cause of arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis is known!

It is damage to the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system which reduces their ability to properly produce nitric oxide, the master signaling molecule of the cardiovascular system.

We will examine this statement and the standard treatment programs used for these cardiovascular diseases in our next article entitled “Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis – Treatment Programs!”

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about Atherosclerosis and Arteriosclerosis contained in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Certain Carbohydrates Increase Heart Disease Risk!

Heart DiseaseThere is a new published study that sheds additional light on carbohydrates and heart disease in men and women. At least in Italian men and women. It’s entitled Dietary Glycemic Load and Index and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in a Large Italian Cohort.” The study was published in the 4/12/2010 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Dr. Sabina Sieri was the study leader, and she made the following statement:

High consumption of carbohydrate from high-glycemic foods, rather than overall quantity of carbohydrate consumed, appears to influence the risk of developing heart disease in women.”

If you click on the study title you can read the full text but here is a quick overview of this study.

  • Women who ate the most “high-glycemic” carbohydrates had twice the risk of heart disease then those who ate the least.

  • The type of carbohydrate consumed showed no significant differences for cardiovascular disease in men.

Men are most likely cheering.

Women are most likely cursing.

But before you get too far in your celebration or disgust, we need to take a closer look at this study. Why? Because it is not all good news for men and not all bad news for women.

Let’s start with the men first because they’re ready to go watch TV, eat some corn chips, and wash it down with a sports drink. This study looked at the effects of Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index on increasing the risk for heart disease.

Basically, Glycemic Load and Index look at how quickly the food that you eat is converted to sugar to cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. Increased blood sugar levels cause oxidative stress or damage to the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system. This leads to a host of cardiovascular health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, and erectile dysfunction to name just a few.

While this study showed no additional increase in risk for cardiovascular disease for men it does not mean that they were not already at risk. Your food choices play a significant role in your overall health and do, in fact, affect your cardiovascular system. As Dr. Sieri points out,

It’s a good idea for people to choose foods with a lower glycemic index over higher ones.”

This was true for women. It wasn’t the total carbohydrates consumed that was a problem for women. It was the type of carbohydrate they consumed that doubled their risk for heart disease. As women have adopted more of a lifestyle, in both eating and work habits, associated with men, they have also seen an increase in cardiovascular disease. An increase that has now allowed heart disease to become an even greater risk to the health of women than breast cancer and all other cancers combined.

So, the good news for women is to watch the type of carbohydrate that you eat. Choose “good” or “low-glycemic” carbohydrates that do not cause spikes in your blood sugar levels.

To help you better understand the Glycemic Index, please click on the article A Glycemic Index Chart Can Improve Your Health!” This article will help you better understand this whole issue and how to make better food choices. Food choices that can have a significant impact on reducing your risk for heart disease as well as diabetes and a host of other blood sugar related illnesses that can damage your body.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this article about heart disease has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.

Dr. J. Joseph Prendergast Video!

Dr. Joseph PrendergastI came across this short but very interesting video of Dr. J. Joseph Prendergast.  For those who don’t know Dr. Joe (as he prefers to call himself), he is the product formulator of ProArgi-9 Plus.  Dr. Joe is Board Certified in Internal Medicine as well as Endocrinology and Metabolism.  He is an expert in integrative L-arginine therapy and has been using this type of therapy in his practice since 1991.

Due to family heredity Dr. Joe was diagnosed at the age of 37 with severe atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. It was estimated that he had the cardiovascular system of an 80 year old individual.  This led him on a quest to find a solution to his health problem.  Using cutting edge research from Dr. John Cooke and Nobel Prize winning science from Dr. Louis Ignarro and others, Dr. Joe began to work on L-arginine / L-citrulline formulations; formulations that would positively impact the health of the endothelial cells and their ability to repair themselves and produce Nitric Oxide.

The results not only benefited Dr. Joe, by reversing his atherosclerosis, but also his patient population of diabetics who had been suffering from cardiovascular issues.  Prior to his discoveries on how to effectively use L-arginine and L-citrulline, Dr. Joe use to refer many of his patients for by-pass surgery.  Since becoming an expert in integrative L-arginine therapy this has changed dramatically.  In fact, Dr. Joe makes the following statement in this video:

“. . . 80% of the people have diabetes and in 17 years we have had no problems with strokes, no problems with heart attacks, I’ve not even had any admissions in 17 years.  So this is a striking example in how we can use this product for real power for health. . . “

I would ask you to think about that.  Over the last 17 years Dr. Joe has had no admissions to the hospital for cardiovascular disease.  This is remarkable when you consider that most of his patients are diabetics.  It was so remarkable that the American Diabetes Association awarded Dr. Joe the Father of the Year award for 2008.

Please click on ProArgi-9 Plus below to view this video!

Please Note:  This link takes a couple of seconds to load.  Once it loads you have to click on the “play button” for it to start.  It then takes a couple of seconds to play.  Please be patient for what Dr. Joe has to say is well worth waiting for!

ProArgi-9 Plus Small Size

Thank you for taking the time to watch this short but powerful video.  I’d like to leave you with one important question:

How would your life change if you where one of Dr. Joe’s patients, especially if you’re a diabetic?

I’ll let you answer that question privately.  I want to thank Dr. Joet for taking his personal health challenge, combining it with cutting edge vascular research, Nobel Prize winning science, and proven clinical results to create ProArgi-9 Plus. A product that has helped both him and thousands of others improve their health.

Together we can work to save a million lives!

Dan Hammer

Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry and exercise physiology.  He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.
The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam.  The information contained in this article about Dr. Joseph Prendergast has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.