High Fat Diet Destroys Arteries Early
Marie Billaud and colleagues, from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, initiated a study in mice and the results have been reported in the Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research.
As an individual grows older, the internal wall of the large intestine becomes thinner and increasingly elastic and this in turn leads to obesity, metabolic disease, atherosclerosis and abnormally high BP.
Although, at present, researchers and physicians are engaged in measuring arterial compliance of the large arteries (as a means to evaluate arterial stiffness) during the advanced stages of a health condition, it is not expected to provide adequate information about the initiation or progress of the disease.
Earlier studies have indicated that changes in the walls of small arteries are the most potent indicators of CVD and, early detection of these changes is important in the treatment and management of the condition.
Billaud and colleagues, as part of their research, compared the arterial compliance of two arteries of different sizes-the carotid artery (large) and thoracodorsal artery (smaller)- in mice.
The mice were divided into two groups. One of the groups was given high -fat diet for six weeks and the other, which formed the control group, was fed a normal diet.
Subsequently scientists observed rapid changes in the structural and mechanical properties of the small arteries in mice that were fed for six months on high-fat diet.
The scientists conclusively state, "These results suggest that, at an early stage of obesity, the structural properties of small and large arteries are altered whereas arterial stiffness is only observed in small vessels."
Other studies have shown that in humans the adipose cells surrounding the coronary arteries tend to become highly inflamed and this, in turn, could cause inflammation in the blood cells surrounding the arteries. When mice were fed with high-fat diet the inflammation of the fat tissues around the arteries increased.
The fact remains that inflammation of the adipose tissues around arteries is an important event in atherosclerosis, and that the lipid or cholesterol levels in these patients can appear normal.
Research therefore cautions us to go easy on high -fat diet and prompts us to adopt regular exercise to stay fit. After all, a healthy heart not only prolongs life but also adds quality to one's years...!