Our immune systems are supposed to keep us healthy, but occasionally they do their jobs a little too well…well enough to kill us, in fact.
You can read about one example of this in a new study by German scientists, in the journal, Nature. They’ve been looking at the process that forms cholesterol plaques in arteries, and how they break up to cause heart attacks and strokes.
For those who don’t know: when cholesterol sticks to your arterial walls, it poses a danger to your health.
Your arteries are flexible hosepipes that transport oxygen-rich blood around your body, and when cholesterol plaques form inside them those hosepipes get narrower—so your heart has to pump harder to get the blood through—and they also damage your arterial walls by hardening them.
And worse still, when those cholesterol plaques break off from your arterial walls the pieces can end up anywhere. They can get swept into the heart and block its blood supply, so you have a heart attack, or travel to your brain, giving you a stroke. And if the blood supply to your legs gets blocked by plaque debris then you might end up with gangrene and need to have them amputated.
With all those horrible consequences in mind, the German scientists behind this study were keen to understand why the plaques break up so they could find a way to stop it.
They discovered that when a cholesterol plaque starts to form somewhere, the immune system realizes something is wrong and sends in the cavalry, which in this case is white blood cells called neutrophils.
Neutrophils use inflammation to kill foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria, and they do the same for cholesterol plaques, too.
But cholesterol plaques are tenacious beasts. They embed themselves in your arterial walls, so, unfortunately, when the neutrophils attack them with inflammation, the smooth muscle cells inside these walls are also damaged.
And actually, the smooth muscle cells are damaged anyway by the toxic proteins released by the cholesterol plaques. These smooth muscle cells do their best to keep the plaques in place, preventing them from breaking off and causing things like heart attacks, but they end up being attacked from both sides, by the plaques and by the neutrophils that are trying to help.
So, as you can see, the body just isn’t capable of combating cholesterol plaques. When they attach to the walls of your arteries they damage them, and when your immune system tries to help, it causes even more damage.
So, the only sure way to help avoid all of this destruction is to make sure your liver can do its job of removing cholesterol in the first place before plaques can form.
You need to keep your bad cholesterol level low so that your system can clean itself, and you can easily do that with this effective approach to lowering cholesterol. There’s no need to resort to dangerous pills when you know how to give nature a helping hand…