How Inflammation Can Trigger Heart Disease

| February 16, 2011 | Comments (0)

I must say, I am sometimes amazed at the amount of time spent on research to point out the obvious…

On Monday, the mainstream issued an urgent warning about the danger of being overweight. Experts revealed that being obese nearly doubles the risk of having a heart attack regardless of other known risk factors for cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure, diabetes and arterial disease.

This finding stems from a 15-year analysis conducted at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Glasgow, involving roughly 6,000 middle-aged men. The results suggest that there is something about carrying around excess weight that contributes to heart disease and the risk of having a heart attack…

What exactly that ‘something’ is, remains unclear, although the researchers suggest that chronic inflammation, which typically accompanies significant weight gain might be the driving force behind the increased risk…

And this is where ‘the obvious’ is staring those researchers straight in the face… If they were to look at previous research on this topic, they’d soon see that the answer are all there! For example, they’d discover that…

  1. Inflammation is a well-established, major cardiovascular disease risk factor.
  2. Research by Dr. Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, Professor of Genetics and Metabolism at Harvard University, has shown that chronic inflammation is central to the underlying cause of obesity.
  3. Researchers had already discovered a link between inflammation and obesity, 15 years ago. They also found that an overproduction of TNF-α (an inflammation marker produced by the body to boost the immune system) in adipose (fat) tissue contributes significantly to insulin resistance. Thus, linking inflammation and diabetes.
  4. Research in 2008 discovered that once cholesterol crystals form in the arterial wall, they activate a biomarker called NLRP3 that induces inflammation…

Inflammation is the missing link…

In the case of obesity, the underlying cause of inflammation can be an array of contributing factors such as poor diet and excessive use of alcohol, lack of exercise, stress and smoking… Which in turn can trigger other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes…

It’s a vicious cycle… which can only be broken once people are made aware that a healthy diet and regular exercise are fundamental when it comes to preventing heart disease… and that’s how the mainstream should spend their time… Getting the right message across!

Here’s to keeping your heart strong and healthy

Francois Lubbe
Managing Editor
for The Cholesterol Truth

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‘Harvard expert on inflammation’s role in obesity receives Columbia’s 2010 Naomi Berrie Award’ published online 19.11.10,

‘Obesity Alone Raises Risk of Fatal Heart Attack, Study Finds’ published online 14.02.11,

‘Inflammation, stress, and diabetes’ J Clin Invest. 2005;115(5):1111–1119.

‘Cholesterol Crystals Incite Inflammation in Coronary Arteries, Research Finds’ published online 18.05.10,

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Category: Cardiovascular Risks

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