Arterial Plaque Defined
Over 50% of all westerners die of diseases that have an underlying cause of arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, caused by blocked arteries.
Arterial blockages cause poor circulation, senility, strokes, gangrene, heart attacks and ultimately, death. The plaque that blocks arteries builds up over many years. Early on, plaque was only found in middle-aged adults and seniors. Now autopsies are finding the beginnings in young people in their preteens and teens.
Plaque is a composite of fibrin, collagen, phospholipids, triglycerides, cholesterol, mucopolysaccharides, foreign proteins, heavy metals, muscle tissue and debris-all bound together with calcium. As you can see, cholesterol is only one component of plaque.
The Causes of Arterial Plaque
Your arteries have an inner muscular layer. Plaque forms when this inner muscular layer is damaged. Something causes these cells to mutate, forcing them to duplicate at an extraordinary rate, and eventually creating a bulge inside the arterial wall. The bulges created by the uncontrolled growth of muscle cells are really small, benign tumors called "atheromas". They can grow so large that they cause the inner lining of the artery to rupture.
When the arterial inner lining ruptures, the bloodstream lays down fibrin (clotting fibers) to patch the tear. Minerals, especially calcium get trapped in the fibrin net. Because of opposing electromagnetic charges, the minerals attract fats into the patch.
Gradually more and more debris build up over the site of the injury. Cholesterol, a slippery, waxy substance, is one of the later substances to be laid down... and it may have a protective role in this regard... preventing blood cells from being damaged by what would otherwise be a rough surface.
The buildup of plaque in the inner layer of the wall of an artery may lead to narrowing and irregularity. Where the narrowing is severe, there is a risk that the vessel can block completely if a thrombus forms in the diseased segment.