The Cause of Early Aging in Blood Vessels
Dear Longevity Insider,
Dr. Anil Bajnath here with your Monday roundup.
It’s good to get the blood pumping! That’s why I exercise every weekend. As we age, our blood vessels begin to age as well. There are two main functions of your blood vessels:
- Transport blood around the body.
- Control your blood pressure.
There are five classes of blood vessels: arteries and arterioles (the arterial system), veins and venules (the venous system), and capillaries (the smallest blood vessels). And as we age, the walls of the arteries and arterioles become thicker and the elastic tissue within these walls is lost. This results in stiffer and less resilient vessels.
Even more extreme, stiffer vessels place more responsibility on the heart, forcing it to work harder to pump blood into the arteries. This can ultimately lead to cardiovascular disease.
Thanks to a recent study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2021, we now know what jumpstarts this aging process much earlier than it should begin.
What’s in Your Glass?
All signs point to what’s in your glass at an early age. Studies associate alcohol consumption in adolescents and young adults to accelerated arterial stiffening.
Mr. Hugo Walford, a medical student at University College London, UK, says:
There was some evidence of a graded increase with heavier usage, meaning that the more you drink, the greater the increase in arterial stiffness… The relationship was not explained by other predisposing factors for heart disease, suggesting that risky behaviour during this period has a direct effect on vascular health.
Alcohol consumption isn’t the only factor on Mr. Walford’s radar. In fact, he believes that the elimination of other factors can greatly impact vascular health too:
The results suggest that arterial damage occurs in young drinkers and young women who smoke heavily. Never smokers and ex-smokers had similar alterations in arterial stiffness, indicating that quitting can restore vascular health at this young age.
The Breakdown of the Study
The study focuses on the age range of 17 to 24 years old. In a survey, 7%, 52%, and 41% of participants classify their alcohol consumption as never, medium, and high, respectively. Meanwhile, 35%, 23%, and 5% participants classify their smoking as never, past, medium, and high, respectively.
These numbers aren’t shocking. While this study is based in the UK, young American adults also commonly drink alcohol socially. It’s part of the college culture. And studies show that binge drinking and a sharp rise in e-cigarette use can contribute to this early arterial stiffening, which may result in heart disease or stroke.
Another Cause for Early Aging
There’s another cause for early aging that is less known than alcohol consumption. It begins with a process that takes place on a cellular level. And once this process runs its course, it leaves the body filled with toxic cells. These cells can wreak havoc on the body, leaving people feeling tired, sick, and fat. But I’ve discovered a method that many have used to outsmart this trap. Just watch my presentation right here.
To your longevity, Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ
To your longevity,
Anil Bajnath MD