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How to Reverse Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries)?
Today, I’m going to tell you how to reverse arthrosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries. Typically, people have the idea that atherosclerosis comes from consuming too much cholesterol. But this is simply not true. So let’s try to dissect what really happens.
Here’s an artery.
There’s always some kind of a pre-existing lesion or crack in the artery before the whole chain of events occurs that causes atherosclerosis.
What really happens when atherosclerosis begins developing is that cholesterol comes in there as a kind of band-aid to heal the bleeding crack in your arteries. Then, cholesterol plus calcium work together to form what are commonly known as plaques.
So, what causes lesions in the arteries in the first place?
1. A lack of vitamin C
What initially causes the lesion or the crack in an artery is usually a lack of vitamin C. Translation: not eating enough vegetables.
I’m not talking about synthetic vitamin C. I’m talking about vitamin C in its whole complex which has a factor... it’s a type of copper in its enzyme form called tyrosinase, which basically helps you form collagen.
Without that factor, you’ll get a lot of cracks and problems in the vascular system.
In fact, you’ll suffer a complete loss of collagen, and then everything becomes overly rigid and hard. So you really need that vitamin C from vegetables, every day.
Here’s a list of foods highest in vitamin C with their percentage of the RDA.
Hint: If you can work on having 1 cup of bell peppers into a salad and/or chopping up into scrambled eggs at breakfast, or trying the pepper omelet with some cheese at breakfast
and later a salad with a cup of steamed, chopped broccoli added to it, you will be able to supply your body with your daily requirement of vitamin C.
A cup of bell peppers, in fact, has 157% of your daily requirement for calcium at only 29 calories per cup. One cup of cooked broccoli, 135% at only 55 calories!
Top Five Foods Highest in Vitamin C
2. High Insulin
High insulin, of course, comes from eating too much sugar and/or refined carbohydrates. These types of foods cause inflammation and micro-hemorrhaging in the arterie s.
Here’s how it happens.
We have a lesion, say, in the arteries, so the body forms a little plaque deposit to try to protect it with cholesterol. Then, we’ve got this combination of cholesterol and calcium plaguing in the arteries. What happens is that the plaguing area starts getting bigger and bigger and bigger and creates a clogging of the artery.
Cholesterol goes way up with high insulin, by the way.
In fact, unless you have a genetic predisposition problem with cholesterol, which is very rare, I will bet anything that this cholesterol in the arteries comes from a problem with excessive insulin.
If you would merely cut out all the carbs, such as refined carbs, sugar, and alcohol, your cholesterol level will come down in one month.
Another thing that can cause calcium buildup is taking too much calcium in the wrong form, especially if you’re taking calcium carbonate—because that’s limestone, folks, sheer cement. And we wonder why we have clogged arteries, right?
What vitamin D does is to help you absorb calcium in the gut by 20 times. Not by 20% but by 20 times.
So, you absorb all this calcium and the blood begins virtually filling up with it, which causes hypercalcemia, an overabundance of calcium in the blood.
So, this combination of Vitamin D with calcium is hyper-fueling the arteries with calcium, especially if you don’t have enough magnesium present, since magnesium helps to buffer calcium.
In order for you to have vitamin D work correctly with calcium, you really need another vitamin called vitamin K2.
Now, vitamin K2, I predict, will probably become very mainstream and popular in the near future because it basically removes calcium from the soft tissues of the body and cleans up calcification on the arteries. It basically prevents your arteries from turning into bone and stone. It makes your arteries more elastic and is really good for blood pressure.
K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it’s in all the fatty foods that the doctors have been telling you to avoid. You can find K2 in
Fatty meat from grass-fed animals
Soy product called natto
Mainly, it’s in fats.
So here’s a person trying to heal their atherosclerosis by consuming a low-fat diet, and their arteries are clogged. Then, doctors put them on Coumadin, which blocks K1, so you cannot get the K you need from vegetables.
If you want to take vitamin C, where do people usually look? A pill, which is usually synthetic, and it only further aggravates everything.
So if you’re on Coumadin, you also need to eat the right amount of vegetables that have low vitamin K along with them.
So here’s my protocol for reversing atherosclerosis
Get your vitamin C from vegetables.
Heal the original problem.
You can take D3 and even some calcium, especially if you have cramps in your calves (which is a sign of calcium deficiency). However, and this is important, most people can get all the calcium and K2 they need in food because they’re eating cheese, egg yolk, and other calcium-rich foods.
The only time I recommend a calcium supplement is if a patient has
Cramps in the calves
I recommend, overall, you get your vitamins naturally from food. Vitamin D is important, but you need the vitamin K2 to keep it out of your tissues. Overall, if you reduce insulin, eat lots of vegetables, avoid the calcium supplements, and take K2, you’ll be able to create highly positive change over time.
**Also, avoid antacids, which are calcium carbonate and basically cement.
Be careful on what you eat and see more Body Conditions from Dr. Berg Video Blog.
Please leave your comments and questions below. I’d love to hear from you!
Dr. Eric Berg