I recently learned about the endothemlium and how it protects your blood vessel as well as keeps it healthy.
The endothelium is the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels, forming an interface between circulating blood in the lumen and the rest of the vessel wall. These cells are called endothelial cells. Endothelial cells line the entire circulatory system, from the heart to the smallest capillary. These cells reduce turbulence of the flow of blood by producing nitric oxide that helps the blood to be pumped with ease and farther. It also helps to dilate blood vessels during physical activity and inhibits the formation of plack. With plack comes inflammation and the nitric oxide helps eliminate inflammation.
The typical American diet has shown to damage the endothelium cell and resulting in clogged blood vessels. Foods like meats and dairy products have shown to be the biggest culprits in damaging the endothemlium .
So how do we keep our endothemlium healthy? Well, the answer to that is pretty simple, stay as away from meats, dairy, and fatty foods as much as you can. Eat more fruits, veggies, and legumes.
It is also my understanding that L-arginine is a great supplement to help keep your blood vessels and endothemlium healthy.
L-arginine is an amino acid commonly sold in supplement form and obtained naturally in the diet. L-arginine-rich foods include plant proteins, fish, and nuts. You can also find it in animal proteins and dairy products but as I suggested before, you may want to stay away from those. Plus there has been several connections made with dairy products and cancer.
Necessary for the production of protein, L-arginine also helps rid the body of ammonia (a waste product) and stimulates the release of insulin. In addition, L-arginine is used to make nitric oxide (a compound that relaxes the blood vessels).
Proponents claim that L-arginine can also help:
- congestive heart failure
- erectile dysfunction
- high blood pressure
- intermittent claudication
- interstitial cystitis
- male infertility
- sexual dysfunction in women and men
- congestive heart failure
Some people also use L-arginine to boost the immune system, improve athletic performance, and shorten recovery time after surgery. L-arginine is also used for bodybuilding.
There are several L-arginine supplements on the market and some sound better than others, but I think I would try changing my diet to a more "whole food" vegan diet and less meat, dairy, and fatty food lifestyle to get the necessary elements into my body before supplementing. The reason I say that is that there are so many more positive effects from changing your diet then just trying a supplements. I have hear and even seen people reverse their diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and much more just by diet change!
I believe the key is to eat healthy first and then supplement.