Long Life and Health
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Can Atherosclerosis Be Reversed to Increase Longevity?

One of the top causes of death in the United States is cardiovascular disease. It ranks as the primary cause of death in this country and most of the world. 


High cholesterol levels often lead to plaque buildup on the artery walls. This condition brings about a medical condition called atherosclerosis, also called hardening of the arteries. These arterial plaques reduce blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body. Eventually, the flow of blood can become so restricted that it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. 


High cholesterol levels can also cause other medical conditions. It can be behind the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and dementia. Atherosclerosis is also behind the development of COPD and various lung diseases, and it increases your risk of developing cancer.


One research company in the UK, Cyclarity Therapeutics is currently experimenting with a product they developed called Trodusquemine. They have already completed animal testing and are now conducting human trials. The British Heart Foundation is funding the testing. 


The new drug, also being tested in Australia, is said to reduce plaque buildup in the arteries by as much as 70%. They believe that it means that they can reduce (once the drug is approved) heart attacks and stroke by as much as 70% to 80% of the population in those that are candidates for those problems.


Testing so far has led the developers of the new drug to believe that just one dose can reverse the effects of atherosclerosis. It melts the plaque so it can be safely removed from the bloodstream without the risk of causing a heart attack or stroke. 


The drug has also shown promise in treating diabetes and breast cancer. Testing is also ongoing on these diseases. 


So far, there is no other way to effectively reduce plaque buildup on the walls of your arteries naturally. You can only prevent it. The buildup occurs when LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) oxidizes. Taking antioxidants such as vitamin C or E can help prevent further oxidation.


If the situation is bad enough, doctors may use an atherosclerosis treatment called an atherectomy. It involves shaving the plaque away with blades that rotate, or they can vaporize it with a laser inserted through a catheter. 


Reducing cholesterol levels is necessary for longevity in most people. Although Trodusquemine is not yet available, taking steps to reduce and control your cholesterol levels could increase your longevity. 


The primary option you have now is to control your diet. Avoid saturated fats, which contain high amounts of LDL cholesterol. These fats are primarily in beef, pork, dairy, coconut, and palm oil. Start consuming more unsaturated fats, which contain HDL cholesterol – the good kind. It is in fatty fish (salmon, trout, and herring), olives, walnuts, and avocado. 


Fruits and vegetables are also among the cholesterol-lowering foods, and so are whole grains, poultry, and low-fat dairy. Getting enough exercise that raises your heart rate and reduces your stress levels is also beneficial. 


If you smoke – stop. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and atherosclerosis. It makes the plaque deposits grow faster. 


Waiting for a drug that has not yet been proven to work on humans is not a good idea. It may still be years in development and testing, and it may take longer to be allowed in the US. Taking steps now to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease is worth the effort and will help you increase longevity.


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