Thick Blood Creates Friction
- Increased Blood Viscosity (Thicker)= Damage to inner lining of blood vessels
- Healthy Blood Viscosity is thinner and doesn't damage blood vessels
Blood, like any liquid when it gets too thick, increases pressure that can damage the "pipes" or arteries. Thick blood creates friction and pressure that erodes the inner lining or the artery, especially at branched areas.
The body protects itself from this erosion by patching itself with plaque, which narrows the artery, which in turn increases pressure and leads to more injury, and on and on, making the problem worse. Heart attacks are the result of clots that break off from these plaque-repaired areas and block the flow of blood that brings oxygen to the heart tissue.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
The concept of viscosity from the lubrication engineer's lexicon has helped researchers identify and understand at least seven other risk factors that contribute to heart disease. All are related to blood viscosity. From Dr Robert J Rowen:
- Cholesterol: High LDL cholesterol increases blood viscosity, while high HDL thins the blood.
- Smoking: Thickens the blood by increasing fibrinogen and inflammation.
- Diabetes: Makes red blood cells stiffer, and red cell stiffness makes blood thicker.
- Blood Pressure: When blood is thicker, you need more pressure to move it. More pressure results in more injury to the arteries.
- Obesity: Increases blood viscosity and fibrinogen. It's a known fact that when you lose weight, your viscosity and fibrinogen drop.
- Gender: Pre-menopausal women have a much lower rate of heart disease than men. Why? Because menstruation thins the blood. After menopause, when menstruation ceases, the risk for men and women is equal.
- Blood Count and Age: Young red blood cells (RBC's) fresh from the bone marrow are soft and flexible. This is especially important at the extreme end of the vascular system where blood vessels are capillary size and are naturally smaller in cross-section than RBCs, requiring the RBCs to be pliable enough to squeeze through. As cells age, they incur damage, which does to red blood cells what it does to your joints: makes them stiffer. Until the oldest and stiffest RBCs are taken out and recycled in your spleen they have trouble going through your arteries. So higher pressure is needed to drive these very stiff RBCs through the capillaries. Result: heart attack risk skyrockets.
Proper Viscosity Protects Your Heart
Total cardiovascular health and youthfulness depends on the body's ability to maintain proper blood viscosity; and the limiting factor is healthy micro-circulation to nourish and supplyample oxygen (and remove wastes) to and from the peripheral organs, such as heart muscles, eyes, brain, prostate, etc. at the extreme end of the vascular system.
Congestion Starves Cells
If there is congestion in the system, then parts of the body are slowly starved and not cleansed, which can cascade out of control. Proper circulation literally brings the essence of life, health and vitality to the total body, while removing the "bad stuff." This is a model the lubrication specialist understands and applies every day.