PROTECTION OF ARTERIES
Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide. Atherosclerosis is the major precursor of serious cardiovascular conditions and can be described as a chronic inflammatory process in arterial walls that is caused by the accumulation of macrophages and oxidized low-density lipoproteins. Atherosclerosis is caused by elevated total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The condition is a chronic disease showing no symptoms for decades. Several risk factors, such as hypertension, inflammation and oxidative stress, accelerate the disease.
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Atherosclerosis starts with accumulation of oxidized lipids in the extracellular matrix of the subendothelial space, resulting in inflammatory response. Strong evidence indicates that the inflammation of the blood vessel intima is caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed upon oxidative stress. Prevention of functional and morphological changes in the aortas can be achieved by one or several of the following mechanisms: unspecific effect of caloric restriction, influence on smooth muscle function (directly or via nitric oxide (NO) signaling), influence on inflammation process (directly on macrophages or via cytokines) and prevention of lipoprotein oxidation.
Diagram bellow : The area of atherosclerotic plaques as the percent of the total area
In animal study we observed that Belinal® reduced the atherosclerotic plaque formation by 80%. Furthermore, the addition of Belinal® to the atherogenic diet significantly improved the relaxation response in aortas of 37%. We demonstrated that Belinal® prevents morphological and functional changes of the arterial walls caused by an 8-week atherogenic diet.
Belinal® was shown to be a promising agent in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic changes. Atherosclerosis could be reduced by the intake of plant polyphenols, which are the major constituents of Belinal® – silver fir branch extract.