The main cause of death in the world is cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Atherosclerosis is considered a main cause of CVD. I have previously written about the use of melatonin to prevent or treat CVD here :
The dominant cause of CVD is atherosclerosis as confirmed by the following article :
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3658954/#:~:text=Atherosclerosis is the dominant cause,heart failure, stroke and claudication.
Here is a relevant quote from the article :
‘ Atherosclerosis is the dominant cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) including myocardial infarction (MI), heart failure, stroke and claudication. ‘
Atherosclerosis is the name for the buildup of fatty plaques on the inside of the arterial walls which can eventually significantly reduce blood flow or completely block it, greatly increasing the chance for heart attack or stroke. If you’ve ever seen the inside of old galvanized plumbing and the buildup of minerals and rust inside of the pipe that gets so thick that you can no longer see daylight when looking through the inside of the pipe from one end to the other, this gives a good idea of what atherosclerosis is like.
There are several supplements that are useful for atherosclerosis besides melatonin and it is good to have an alternative to melatonin since some people do not tolerate melatonin. The one I would like to discuss today is grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) because it is highly tolerable, is a very potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects and it is beneficial for multiple other health issues. I like when a supplement can do more than just one thing: treating the problem at hand and improving overall health.
In the following study linked to below, GSPE showed that it can not only stop atherosclerosis, but it can actually slowly reverse it, which is actually a very safe way to do it. If you take something that starts breaking the plaques down too quickly, pieces of the plaque can break away and flow with the blood to another restricted area in the blood vessel and cause a complete blockage. So a slow and steady approach is likely a safer way to reverse atherosclerosis.
The reason this is very important is because doctors don’t actually have a treatment for atherosclerosis. Statins can reduce high cholesterol, but they don’t stop atherosclerosis. If you start having problems caused by atherosclerosis your doctor will put you on a blood thinner such as Warfarin, but this does nothing to stop or slow atherosclerosis progression. Worse yet, Warfarin has some pretty serious side effects as listed here:
I didn’t cut and paste the side effects into this post because it looks like there is well over 50 of them and some are very serious such as this one :
Frequency not reported: Hemorrhage, purple toes syndrome, infarction, systemic cholesterol microembolization, vasculitis, systemic atheroemboli[Ref]
I don’t understand how you treat a health issue with something that can cause much more damage than it can fix! One look at that list of side effects and Warfarin is now a drug that I will avoid like the plague!
If your atherosclerosis is more severe, the doctor can surgically put stents in the blood vessel where the plaques have built up so much that blood can barely flow past the built up plaques or can no longer flow past the blockage of fatty deposits. A stent is basically a tube that is inserted into the blood vessel where the blockage is to allow the blood to flow through that area where the clog is. Again, this does nothing to slow, stop or reverse atherosclerosis.
Here is a link to the study with 287 participants with established atherosclerosis :
Here are some important quotes from this study illustrating how GSPE reduced plaque deposits over time whereas the control group continued to increase plaque deposits in their arteries :
‘ Consecutive 287 patients diagnosed with asymptomatic carotid plaques or abnormal plaque free carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) were randomly assigned to the GSPE group (n = 146) or control group (n = 141). The patients in the GSPE group received GSPE 200 mg per day orally, while patients in the control group were only enrolled in a lifestyle intervention program. ‘
‘ As anticipated, after treatment, GSPE resulted in significant reduction in MMCIMT progression (4.2% decrease after six months, 4.9% decrease after 12 months and 5.8% decrease after 24 months) and plaque score (10.9% decrease after six months, 24.1% decrease after 12 months and 33.1% decrease after 24 months) for the primary outcome, while MMCIMT and plaque score were stable and even increased with the time going on in control group. The number of plaques and unstable plaques also decreased after treatment of GSPE. Furthermore, the carotid plaque can disappear after treatment with GSPE. The incidence rate for transitory ischemic attack (TIA), arterial revascularization procedure, and hospital readmission for unstable angina in GSPE group were statistically significant lower (P = 0.02, 0.08, 0.002, respectively) compared with the control group. ‘
‘ GSPE inhibited the progression of MMCIMT and reduced carotid plaque size in GSPE treated patients, and with extended treatment, the superior efficacy on MMCIMT and carotid plaque occurred. Furthermore, the GSPE group showed lower rates of clinical vascular events. ‘
The following graph clearly illustrates how GSPE reverses the plaque score from a steady rise to a steady decline over time. Here is the link to the study that contains this graph. Again a steady decline as opposed to a too fast decline is a safe way to deal with atherosclerosis. The first graph illustrates the gradual reduction in intima media thickness by GSPE :
So this is an important study regarding one way to deal with atherosclerosis. This study was done in 2015 and had this study used a new prescription medication instead of GSPE, every cardiologist in the world would be prescribing such a drug to all of their patients as well as taking it themselves! It would be a blockbuster drug and any pharmaceutical company would be proud to have and sell it for a huge amount of money. GSPE is relatively inexpensive and readily available and its biggest side effects are other health benefits!
These were extraordinary results in fighting atherosclerosis, but imagine if you added another antiatherosclerosis supplement with the GSPE, such as melatonin. Something interesting about this study is the dose of GSPE that they used of just 200 mg per day. Currently, many suppliers of GSPE are selling their products in 400 mg capsules. The GSPE that I take are also 400 mg capsules, and I take the label recommended dose of 3 capsules per day for a total of 1200 mg of GSPE per day. One can only imagine what this study would have shown had they used 400 mg or 1200 mg per day.
One important side effect (health benefit) of GSPE is that it helps reduce insulin resistance which is much more common than many people think and you don’t have to have diabetes to have insulin resistance.. I wrote a little about GSPE and insulin resistance here :
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