The term “heart health” really refers to the entire cardiovascular system because if the “pipes,” your blood vessels, get clogged then the “pump,” your heart, will not work well.
Too many people are letting their doctors just look at cholesterol levels and, in some way, thinking those levels have some sort of bearing on the overall health of your heart and cardiovascular system. Do not let your doctor take a blood test, see high cholesterol and put you on statins (medication for high cholesterol). This shows a great lack of understanding of how the body works. Before you make the choice to take a statin, at least have a calcium CT first and look for plaque. A blood test that doesn’t even look for plaque should not determine plaque drug choices. If you have high cholesterol and a low calcium score, you do not need medications for plaque because you do not have any.
Plaque is what we are worried about, and while plaque is made of cholesterol, just because you have high cholesterol does not mean you have plaque. In fact, large numbers of people with normal or good cholesterol levels die of a heart attack or stroke because of plaque. This should tell everyone that cholesterol is not the most important thing to look for but for some reason most doctors still focus on it.
What causes the cholesterol in the blood to form a plaque? Your body makes cholesterol plaque “patches” around damaged areas. Damage can occur from a variety of factors, however the main one is reactive oxidative stress, or ROS. This is basically where the body has free radical damage and it starts to break down the blood vessel, making it thin and eventually is starts to “dissolve” for a lack of better term.
There are tests to look for ROS, and those should be given every so often depending on the person. Another test that can be helpful is high sensitivity C-Reactive protein. This is a chemical released by the liver when there is inflammation. This test gives a good picture of what is going on in the entire body.
If you are going to have a cholesterol test, also take an oxLDL, or oxidized LDL. This lipid is created from normal cholesterol when there is a lot of oxidative stress in the body and is the molecule we see form thrombosis. This, in conjunction with a calcium CT or Doppler US, would be a reason for statins.
If you take these tests and discover you have issues, what do you do? You have to remove the oxidative stress. The main way to do this is with hyperbaric oxygen. If you can afford a hyperbaric chamber, this is the best way. Other options are higher levels of CoQ-10, Methylated B vitamins and other liver cleaning options such as coffee enemas.
Nitrous Oxide is a power vasodilator, which means it makes your blood vessels open and allows blood to flow faster and at higher quantities. This allows more oxygen to get through and oxygen destroys many bad chemicals including ROS. Blood vessels have cells called endothelium cells. These cells are critical to the health and function of the body. When they get damaged that is when real issues start. Nitrous Oxide is one of the chemicals that protect them. If you run low on Nitrous Oxide, you will have damage.