Inflammation in Vascular DiseaseThe mechanisms of arterial disease appear to be multiple. Hollander of Boston University suggested that atherosclerosis was an autoimmune disorder with immune complexes injuring blood vessel walls. We think that circulating immune complexes often contain food proteins as antigens and this mechanism is important in causing a wide spectrum of food allergic disease. Since proteins derived from meat, milk, eggs and wheat have the highest risk of appearing in the blood as immune complexes, these foods are reduced or eliminated in the Alpha Nutrition Program.
We ask a simple question - If there is any possibility that chronic symptoms such as attacks of migraine, heart rhythm abnormalities, digestive disturbances, breathing difficulties or brain dysfunction are linked to food ingestion, would it not be prudent to investigate and remove food -causes using diet revision as an inexpensive, safe, effective strategy?
Keaney et al reported that:” background Inflammation within vulnerable coronary plaques may cause unstable angina by promoting rupture and erosion. In unstable angina, activated leukocytes may be found in peripheral and coronary-sinus blood. “
A non-specific indicator of inflammation is the C-reactive protein levels in the blood. Elevated levels are associated with increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. For example, Ridker et al studied 27,939 apparently healthy American women, who were followed for eight years for the occurrence of myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, coronary revascularization, or death from cardiovascular causes. Elevated C-reactive protein levels were a better predictor of vascular events than low LDL cholesterol levels. The researchers reported that: ” 77 percent of all events occurred among women with LDL cholesterol levels below 160 mg per deciliter (4.14 mmol per liter), and 46 percent occurred among those with LDL cholesterol levels below 130 mg per deciliter (3.36 mmol per liter)… C-reactive protein and LDL cholesterol measurements tended to identify different high-risk groups, screening for both biologic markers provided better prognostic information than screening for either alone.”
Myeloperoxidase is another serum marker of inflammation that may be informative. Myeloperoxidase is an enzyme that generates reactive oxygen species, is released from white blood cells. In one study, plasma myeloperoxidase levels were predictive of subsequent coronary events in patients with chest pain. Myeloperoxidase levels, in contrast to troponin T, creatine kinase MB isoform, and C-reactive protein levels, identified patients at risk for cardiac events in the absence of myocardial necrosis.“
Inflammation can be treated by removing the causes of inflammation, treating infection and using anti-inflammatory medication such as ASA and Statins. The role of food proteins and immune complexes as agents of inflammation is rarely investigated and may turn out to be the hidden agent behind many heart attacks and strokes. Several studies are investigating a variety of immune-modulating therapies to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
See Arterial Disease at Alpha Online