Compound in 4 fruits may increase number of blood capillaries in weeks

Dr Nighat reveals heart attacks symptoms in women

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Heart attacks occur when blood flow to the heart comes to a sudden halt due to an obstruction. Fortunately, some people grow arteries that allow blood flow to bypass these blockages. One natural polyphenol that has been detected in more than 70 plant species may facilitate the formation of these collateral capillaries, allowing blood flow to circumvent any deadly blockages.

Scientists have long tried to determine how the body builds new capillaries, and the answer is becoming increasingly clear.

Developmental biologist Kristy Red-Horse, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Stanford University, highlighted the importance of the mechanism earlier this year.

She said: “They connect like ladder runners to larger arteries.

“We can use the heart’s natural mechanisms and push it towards making its own natural bypasses.”

One compound that may facilitate the remodelling of the blood vessels is resveratrol.

The polyphenol is found mainly in the seeds and skin of grapes, with modest amounts available in red wine.

It has gained a significant amount of traction for its preventative role in plaque formation and other vascular hindrances.

While grapes, blueberries, mulberries and cranberries, contain ample amounts of resveratrol, other sources including peanuts, pistachios, cocoa and dark chocolate also have good concentrations.

In an early study on laboratory animals, researchers found that the administration of resveratrol improved the formation of collateral blood vessels leading to the heart.

Just three weeks of resveratrol after a heart attack increased the number of capillaries forming around the blocked coronary arteries, according to the study.

Researchers also observed significant improvements in the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body.

How do collateral blood vessels form?

Blockages in the arteries leading to the heart can prove fatal as blood supply is critical for heart function.

The body is believed to adapt to these hurdles by forming new vessels that interconnect the supplied areas, known as “collateral vessels or natural bypasses”.

When the blood supply gets cut off in a major vein, the body responds by producing collateral blood vessels to reestablish and maintain blood flow to the heart.

The formation of these small capillaries leading to the heart is known as angiogenesis.

This protects the heart from a lack of oxygen and prevents the death of heart muscle cells in case the main supply gets cut off.

Further research is needed to establish whether these findings are replicable in humans, but other health benefits of resveratrol have already been confirmed.

Because of its antioxidant properties, resveratrol has also proven to be a promising supplement for lowering blood pressure.

Several studies have also suggested it may change blood fats in a healthy way, lowering total levels of cholesterol.

Some research on organisms has even noted significant increases in lifespan of almost 60 percent, but these organisms were not closely related to humans.

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