Earlier this year a screening revealed that I had blockage in my Carotid Arteries. I immediately set out to understand my condition and in the process discovered that medical treatment could involve removing plaque by surgical means or by reducing the amount of cholesterol in the blood with medication. Looking for a more natural alternative, I discovered that aging arteries and vitamin C deficiency could be the root of the problem.
Here's a little background on arteries...The arteries are blood vessels responsible for carrying oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body and as such they need to be strong and pliable. Unfortunately, just like the rest of our bodies, our arteries age if they are not properly nourished. When arteries age, micro-tears begin to form and if not repaired, the body produces a substance called cholesterol to patch the tear. This cholesterol band-aid, along with other cells and debris, can harden into plaque over time causing atherosclerosis. However, when arterial walls are repaired with the proper nutrients, the plaque can naturally start to dissolve as it is no longer needed. The main nutrients involved in this process are Vitamin C and two Amino Acids, L-Lysine, and L-Proline.
Since humans are one of the few mammals that cannot produce their own vitamin C it is essential to supplement it. Aside from being one of the major antioxidants in the body, it also helps to create collagen fibers in the arterial wall. If the amino acid L-Lysine is added, it too, can help rebuild the collagen and dissolve plaque as repairs are being made. Another amino acid, L-Proline, can also help disintegrate plaque deposits.
With this new knowledge, I immediately began to incorporate these supplements into my nutrition program. I also added a balanced copper and zinc formula as zinc helps repair tissue while copper is needed for the production of collagen. Another thing I learned was that a high quality B complex with methylated forms of B6, B12 and folate can help reduce homocysteine levels thereby preventing damage to blood vessel walls. Other supplements that I found helpful were magnesium and a high quality fish oil to supply omega-3 fats. To ensure you are getting the most effective supplements possible, be sure to buy your vitamins at a health food store like The Natural Marketplace. Supplements sold at big box stores are most often synthetic and poor quality, containing harmful fillers and binders. If you want results, buy quality.
So, what's the end of my story? A few months later, I went back to have another screening and the results revealed that I had normal flow in my carotid arteries. I remember leaving the doctor's office with gratitude and a huge sigh of relief.
Supplements Photographed (Left to Right):
Jarrow Formulas - Zinc Balance
Bio Tech Mineral Supplements - C-Max
Allergy Research Group - Micro Liposomal C
Perque - Potent C-Guard
Dr. Mercola - Liposomal Vitamin C
Douglas Laboratories - L-Proline
Pure Encaplsulations - I-Lysine
Jarrow Formulas - B-Right
Mega Food - B-Complex
Twin Lab - Super B Complex
Nordic Naturals - Ultimate Omega
Nordic Naturals - Omega-3