We all know people who eat a terrible diet and never have high cholesterol or heart disease. Other people on the same diet come down with high blood pressure or atherosclerosis. Or both.
Why does this happen?
The reason for this may be due to a common virus. This particular virus is so prevalent that it has infected most people worldwide over the age of 40. And a group of researchers recently found a connection between this virus, a high cholesterol diet, and heart disease.
The researchers of this study fed a group of mice a standard diet for six weeks, and gave another group of mice a high cholesterol diet. Then they infected some mice in each group with Cytomegalovirus (CMV). The CMV-infected mice on a standard diet developed high blood pressure; those without the virus had lower blood pressure. But mice on a high-cholesterol diet fared much worse. They not only had high blood pressure, they also developed atherosclerosis. “This strongly suggests that the CMV infection and the high-cholesterol diet might be working together to cause atherosclerosis,” said Clyde Crumpacker, MD, one of the researchers.
Here’s why. CMV enhances the enzyme rennin and the protein angiotensin 11. Both of these substances cause hypertension. CMV also increases inflammation, which can lead to heart disease.
One-third of all adults in this country have high blood pressure. CMV alone can raise it. But when you add a high-cholesterol diet, it can result in atherosclerosis and its consequences.
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So what can you do? First, there’s no way to avoid the CMV virus. It’s widespread and tenacious. And once it (and other viruses) enters your body, it’s there to stay. The best you can do is to keep it inactive by building and continuously supporting a strong immune system. You may not have any symptoms unless your immune system isn’t working properly.
The best thing you can do is to pay attention to your immune system and support it daily. You can do this with sufficient sleep, a diet low in animal fats and sugars, and stress reduction techniques, such as meditation or tai chi exercises. Then, find a good immune support supplement and take it twice a day to keep it circulating in your system.
There are many supplements on the market designed to support immunity. My favorite, based on how well it’s worked for me, my patients, friends, and in studies is Mycophyto Plus, a combination of a variety of medicinal mushrooms. What makes this a superior product in my opinion is that these mushrooms grow on immune-enhancing herbs, which makes the product a powerful immune booster. If you have any type of heart disease, make sure you’re boosting your immune system. It could save your life.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2009, May 16). High Blood Pressure Could Be Caused By A Common Virus, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 18, 2009.