What are Coronary Artery Disease and Atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is defined as the build-up of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in the arteries. Because this build-up can form solid, rigid masses, it is also known as ‘hardening’ of the arteries. When atherosclerosis affects the arteries of the heart, it is considered coronary artery disease. This is extremely deadly, as blood clots and plaque ruptures in the arteries can cause fatal heart attacks.
The Role of Oxidative Stress in Atherosclerosis…
Over the past couple decades, research has shown that atherosclerosis is characteristic of heightened oxidative levels in the body and this oxidative stress is correlated to the production of plaque build-ups, as well as more superoxide compounds. Reactive oxygen species, or ROS, mediate enzyme systems that control vascular inflammation, and plaque accumulation.
An increase in the ratio of antioxidants to oxidants in the body can neutralize the ROS, which will prevent the precursor enzymes of atherosclerosis and decrease the oxidative environment that propagates the build-up of cholesterol.