Tags: High Blood Pressure | circulatory system | free radicals

What You Should Know About Free Radicals in Your Circulatory System

By    |   Monday, 25 Jul 2016 11:54 AM

The body’s circulatory system includes the heart, blood, and blood vessels. Free radicals can damage cells within the circulatory system and lead to cardiovascular risks.

Free radicals play a role in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which causes heart disease. The fatty deposits from cholesterol and other waste substances build up in the walls of the arteries that could partially or completely block the arteries and prevent blood from reaching the heart, according to The New York Times.

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Along with cholesterol and fatty buildup, oxidation contributes to atherosclerosis when it overproduces free radicals. The excess amounts oxidize low-density lipoproteins, or LDL, causing plaque to stick to arterial walls and resulting in heart disease. The arteries become narrowed, creating difficulty for normal blood flow. A heart attack may occur when arteries become completely blocked.

Free radicals can overproduce when the body is exposed to pollutants, chemicals, alcohol, saturated fat, and cigarette smoke, explains Densie Webb, a registered dietitian, in Today’s Dietitian. Oxidative stress, which occurs from excess free radicals, contributes to cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes.

The cellular dysfunction in the circulatory system weakens the body’s antioxidant defenses to fight free radicals. The excess free radicals continue to create more free radicals after they are formed, causing such complications as insulin resistance and hyperglycemia for diabetics.

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Antioxidants to combat free radicals can be found in vitamins C and E along with other nutrients.

The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in foods with antioxidants because there is not enough evidence to show supplements can reduce the risk of heart disease. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and oily fish contain the antioxidants and nutrients that help fight heart disease.

Limiting saturated fat and processed meats in the diet also helps reducing the risk of heart disease. Along with a healthy diet, the AHA also advocates regular physical activity, the avoidance of smoking, and limited alcohol alcohol consumption to improve the circulatory system.

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The body’s circulatory system includes the heart, blood, and blood vessels. Free radicals can damage cells within the circulatory system and lead to cardiovascular risks.
circulatory system, free radicals
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2016-54-25
Monday, 25 Jul 2016 11:54 AM
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