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The Microcirculatory System

Medical researchers now know that poor microcirculation is one of the single biggest contributing factors to the health problems we commonly associate with the macrocirculatory system. In other words, a heart attack is most likely the long-term result of a damaged microcirculatory system.

For example, we’ve all heard of blockages in the coronary artery, and we all know those are bad. If a doctor tells you that, in the very next sentence he is probably going to send you to a heart surgeon to schedule by-pass surgery.

But what really caused the blockage and why is it in that particular place? Was it cholesterol? Arterial calcification? If that was the case, shouldn’t the blockage extend the length of the entire artery? Why do these blockages tend to form in just one place in an artery? For years, the explanation given by heart specialists is that these blockages are skip lesions, meaning they skip around and form randomly.

A new theory in cardiovascular health appears to make a lot more sense. This theory, which is becoming more and more accepted by alternative health experts, is that arterial blockages form where the minute microcirculation blood vessels that feed the main arteries with oxygen and nutrients, shut down. When these extremely small blood vessels, called vasa vasorum, (from Latin—vessels of the vessels) become clogged and can no longer feed an artery, atherosclerotic lesions or atherosclerotic plaques can form.

It’s these atherosclerotic plaques that eventually choke off healthy arteries, preventing blood flow to and from the heart and to and from vital organs. And they might very well have never formed if the vasa vasorum, the tiny blood vessels that feed the arteries and remove waste, had continued to function properly.

So you see, all this focus on keeping the large veins and arteries healthy misses the point. It’s the microcirculatory system, the one that contains upwards of 60,000 miles of capillaries, arterioles, venules, and vasa vasorum that needs to be nourished and protected.

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