Literatus: Against atherosclerosis

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I ALLUDED in a previous article the inevitability of atherosclerosis as we age. Yes, in you and me, as we advance in biological age.

Still, the Divine Providence operating in nature makes available substances we may use to slow down the buildup of these metabolic messes—if we know which substances they are. Luckily for us, science and technology have made so much stride towards that direction, albeit slowly.

Niacin (Vitamin B3). Studies have noted that pharmacological doses (1000-3000 mg per day) of niacin tend to improve the levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the so-called “good cholesterol,” as well as its size and function. It also enhances the size of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or the so-called “bad cholesterol,” making it larger than its usual smaller and more nasty forms and minimizes its “badness.” It also lowers the level of lipoprotein A, a genetic variant of LDL that promotes atherosclerosis.


Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). Vitamin C is an antioxidant in blood vessels. A study in 2007 noted that it inhibited inflammatory process in blood vessels. It has modulating effect on high blood pressure and its functions, according a study in 2006 and 2008.

The Mullan study in 2002 noted its therapeutic properties against arterial stiffness. A natural regulator of cholesterol at moderate doses, increasing the doses to over 150 mg per kg body weight daily may confer significant protection against atherosclerosis even under elevated cholesterol levels, as noted in a 1974 study and repeated in 2006.

Omega-3 Oils. These oils have significant protective effects confirmed by six double-blind placebo-controlled human clinical trials. They exist in rich amounts in the muscle of some deep salt water-living fish species.

Menaquinone (Vitamin K2). Vitamin K2 (not K1) intake had been associated with reduced risk of congested heart diseases in several studies between 2004 and 2008. It also reduces all-cause death and severe aortic calcification.

Be careful, however, to reduce intake in homocysteine and uric acid. Both compounds promote atherosclerosis even at moderate amounts. Vitamin C deficiency too contributes in the development of atherosclerosis and high cholesterol levels.

We have limited space to cover homocysteine and uric acid right now. However, you may check on these compounds yourself. The Web can be a faster resource. (Of course, you may email me if you want either covered here.)

Father Gabriele Amorth, in his book An Exorcist Tells His Story (2008), wrote: “Everything that God created follows a harmonious design.” The healing properties of certain compounds in nature are part of that harmony. Using them for good reasons allows us to participate in that harmony.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 22, 2014.


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