Researchers in London have found an enzyme responsible for causing clogged arteries.
They say matrix metalloproteinase-8 enzyme (MMP8) plays a crucial role in raising blood pressure and causing abnormal build-up of cells in the arteriesboth of which increase the risk of heart disease.
“Our research tells us that this enzyme plays a crucial role in the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries which causes heart disease,” said Shu Ye from the University of London.
The study, appearing in the journal Circulation Research, tested two groups of mice, one of which was genetically altered to not produce the MMP8 enzyme. Both groups were fed a Western-style diet high in fat and cholesterol. The mice which lacked the enzyme had clearer arteries and lower blood pressure.
Tests on humans found that out of 2,000 patients undergoing artery testing, 25 percent had a similar version of the gene for MMP8. They also had more clogged arteries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.
Natural solutions that help avoid clogged arteries and heart disease include natural supplements that lower cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as a healthy lifestyle, a low-fat diet and plenty of exercise.