New Research Finds Environmental Factors That Could Stiffen Arteries

There are several risk factors for cardiovascular disease from hypertension, obesity, genes to stress, insomnia, and more. Now a new study has found some lifestyle factors which may lead to the hardening of arteries.

Arterial stiffness is a condition in which blood vessels that transport oxygenated blood get narrowed because of fat deposits and then they are hardened due to calcification and fibrous tissue. This can cause heart attack, heart failure, stroke as well as TIA. Arterial stiffness can lead to cardiovascular disease which already is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

2016 stats reveal that every 38 seconds, a person dies from CVD and 2,303 deaths take place each day. Looking at this, it is crucial to take steps to reduce risk factors and protect one’s health.

What Did This Study Reveal?

A latest research which has been carried out by researchers from the University of Georgia has found lifestyle factors which can harden arteries. This study has been performed on the basis of a previous one. Basically, the scientists involved did metabolomics profile of above 1200 people who had participated in the Bogalusa Heart Study. This was done to find out which metabolomics wee associated with the stiffening of arteries.

Metabolomics is a study that can find out how different factors can influence health. It studies metabolites which are formed in the body at every transfer of energy. These metabolites play a key role in our system as they maintain normal functionality. Using the latest technology, researchers performed an analysis on the blood samples of participants to see which environmental factors hardened arteries. 27 new metabolites were found to be linked to arterial hardening.

Li, an assistant professor at the university said, “We were able to identify some environmental and lifestyle related-metabolites, build metabolite networks to shown how the body reacts to the environmental exposures, and more importantly, tested the effect of those metabolites on arterial stiffness.” Some of the metabolites found were high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes which are already known to cause arterial stiffness.

However, some new ones were found which are ingredients and additives commonly found in kitchens. Two were gamma-glutamylvaline and gamma-glutamylisoleucine which give chicken broth its savory taste. More investigation, hence, needs to be conducted to see which common kitchen ingredients are harmful for cardiovascular health. The current study’s team is also planning to perform a more detailed study by employing longitudinal data.

Key Takeaway

A new study which has been conducted by using the metabolomics profile technique has found some lifestyle factors which can harden arteries. It was been concluded that some common kitchen ingredients can lead to arterial stiffness.

In this regard, more studies need to be conducted to confirm these results. Keeping in view how arterial stiffness can lead to a poor quality of life and even death by causing heart-related-problems, people need to take steps to reduce risk factors.