Hydroxytyrosol reduces the development of atherosclerosis
What is it?
In general, the term "sclerosis" refers to any fibrous degeneration of a tissue or organ. With age, the tissues that make up the arteries lose their elasticity and become more rigid. Normal aging of the arteries is called arteriosclerosis.
Arteriosclerosis is the first cardiovascular disease in the world. It was Albrecht Von Haller who coined this term in 1855 by referring to pus (atheros in Greek). It is very often accompanied by lipid deposits (cholesterol) on the inner lining of the arteries. Atherosclerosis associates the thickening of the wall of large arteries (abdominal aorta, coronary arteries, cerebral arteries, leg arteries) and their obstruction by atheroma plaques.
Cholesterol is one of the fats that are carried by the blood. In excess, it is responsible for the formation of atheromatous plaques. This process is similar to the limestone that clogs the pipes of a faucet. Over the years, these deposits are gradually absorbed fibrinogen, platelets, blood cells, calcium and solidify.
Causes and risk factors
A number of factors may promote the onset or aggravation of atherosclerosis:
- Lifestyle: smoking, obesity, stress, sedentary lifestyle, oral contraception, alcoholism;
- Genetic factors: family history of cardiovascular events, menopause;
- Metabolic pathologies: excess cholesterol, diabetes, gout;
Above 10 cigarettes / day, smoking is a very important risk factor. Tobacco poisoning multiplies by 3 the risk of myocardial infarction. Above 20 cigarettes / day, the risk of myocardial infarction is multiplied by 5 and that of sudden death by 6.
The suppression of tobacco makes it possible to reduce by 50% the mortality of vascular origin. Nicotine promotes abrupt narrowing of the arteries (spasms). The smoke decreases oxygen delivery to the tissues and maintains an excessive level of carbon monoxide in the blood.
Stress releases adrenaline that causes spasms on the arteries. When stress is repeated too often, it can induce high blood pressure (hypertension) and repeated arterial spasms that "wear out" the arterial system and promote atherosclerosis.
The lack of physical activity decreases the resistance of the arteries. Exercise increases the rate of "good cholesterol". Walking, swimming and jogging seem to be the most effective sports to prevent or slow the progression of atherosclerosis.
Essential to life, cholesterol is a component of the membranes that surround cells. It is also essential for the production of hormones produced by the genital and adrenal glands.
However, excess cholesterol (and other lipids) in the blood leads to the formation of plaques on the artery wall: it is atherosclerosis. This disease is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and many studies have shown that Hydroxytyrosol, a component of olive oil is very potent with antiradical properties and can reduce LDL (low density lipoprotein) "LDLs take cholesterol from the liver and take it into the body. This cholesterol tends to settle in the arteries and seal them. It's the "bad" cholesterol.
Thus hydroxytyrosol can inhibit platelet aggregation and influence the development of atherosclerosis. Hydroxytyrosol has been officially recognized by the European agency EFSA as a compound that reduces the oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL-Ox).
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