German heart surgeon: Cholesterol is not cause of atherosclerosis

October 7, 2019  10:18

Atherosclerosis, in which narrowing of the arteries occurs, is one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke. Contrary to the generally accepted theory, the German heart surgeon Axel Haverich claims that atherosclerosis does not occur due to cholesterol that accumulates from the inside of the vessels, MedicForum reported.

It is with the accumulation of cholesterol plaques that adhere to the inner walls of blood vessels and arteries that the presence of such a dangerous pathology as atherosclerosis is associated today. Fat deposits on the walls of blood vessels are expected to be calcified and make vascular tissue inelastic, prone to damage. In this case, the vessels narrow, which makes it difficult for the normal blood flow supplying the heart and brain - there are prerequisites for heart attack and stroke.

Prof. Axel Haverich, a cardiac surgeon at the Hanover Medical School, states that in fact, the trigger for atherosclerosis is a violation of the blood supply to the external wall of the arteries, which develops due to inflammatory processes (for example, those caused by the flu). According to him, cholesterol plays a decisive role in the development of atherosclerosis only in people who suffer from congenital lipid metabolism.

A cardiac surgeon indicates that small vessels are located on the outer wall of the arteries that supply them with oxygen and nutrients. When these vessels are damaged due to inflammatory reactions, arterial tissues lose their normal nutrition and blood supply, and their regeneration begins.

Atherosclerosis should be seen more as a microvascular disease. Arteries are affected later, only after them, he noted.

In favor of this theory, Axel Haverich points to an increase in the frequency of heart attacks after epidemics of influenza, in which the level of inflammation in the body rises. The expert is convinced that in order to prevent atherosclerosis, it is important to first prevent infection and, if possible, treat all inflammations in the body.

As a measure, he recommends the usual flu shot, as well as the rehabilitation of chronic inflammation of the gums, gastric mucosa, sinuses, osteoarthritis. Getting rid of abdominal fat also helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, because it produces a lot of inflammatory substances. Among the usual methods of prevention are a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and a large number of physical exercises, he noted.

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