Researchers have established the first direct association of faulty metabolism with clogged arteries and blood pressure, drawing parallels from an animal study.
Atherosclerosis or clogged arteries happens in the process where fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium etc are deposited on the inner lining of the arteries. This build up is called plaque. Plaques can reduce the blood flow, and if they stop blood from reaching the heart it can cause a cardiac arrest. When plaque stops the blood from reaching the brain, it can cause a stroke.
Research has already linked atherosclerosis with smoking and high cholesterol levels. Researchers have found the current link in cases where neither smoking habit or heightened cholesterol levels is present.
Experimenting on mice, the researchers found out those mice, which overproduced a protein called uncoupling protein-1 on the walls of the artery, with low energy levels, it can cause stress and atherosclerosis. The scientists had used the antibiotic doxycycline in the drinking water for the mice to initiate the process of overproduction of uncoupling protein-1.
As low energy level is one of the direct results of metabolic activities, then it is possible that defective metabolic systems can cause atherosclerosis.
Reference: New Scientist, May 2005