In terms of cardiovascular health, most people automatically refer to the heart, arteries and veins that feed bodies oxygen and remove waste. For years, modern medicine has focused on the macro circulatory system, which is comprised of the heart, arteries and veins. However, emphasis should be placed on microcirculation and it’s long-term effect on heart health.
Medical research is now pointing towards the microcirculatory system for answers regarding the heart. According to smarpPublications.com, it is considered the single biggest factor to health problems that we commonly associate with the macro cirulatory system. Just as the heart and vessels provide the body with the nourishment and waste removal that it needs, the microcirculatory system provides the same nourishment to the major macro circulatory system. If those major vessels become clogged, a myocardial infarction may occur. In other words, if a heart attack occurs one may conclude that that may be the result of long-term damage to the microcirculatory system.
Just as the vessels that compromise the macro circulatory system, the microcirculatory vessels are lined with endothelium. Endothelium, as defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is composed of a single layer of thin flattened cells, which aids in the flow of oxygen and vital nutrients by allowing the vessel to expand and contract. The body uses l-arginine, an amino acid, to produce nitric oxide, which helps to expand the endothelium and allow the blood to flow freely. If production of the nitric oxide is stopped or interrupted, the vessel may collapse and reduce blood flow. Studies suggest that a build up of dangerous metals in the blood stream like mercury, iron, and lead may interfere with the production of nitric oxide.
Other threats to the microcirculatory system include oxidative damage caused by free radicals, elevated blood viscosity, poor blood coagulation, vessel calcification and of course high amounts of cholesterol and plaque build up. All of these threats can dangerously compromise the microcirculatory system, which may result in a serious event within the macro circulatory system.
While there are several methods to help protect the cardiovascular system, it is important to speak to a physician prior to beginning any change in exercise, diet, or medication modification.