High cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis in the vertebral arteries that nourish our spine and result in disc degeneration and lower back pain, a leading cause of disability.
Image thanks to LadyofHats via Wikimedia Commons.
Every part of the body needs sufficient blood to function properly Cholesterol can clog arteries in our inner and outer organs, causing heart attacks, strokes, and sexual dysfunction. what about blood flow to our spine?
Our spines are very vascular, and cholesterol clogs in the vertebral arteries can lead to the degeneration of our disks and low back pain, the second leading cause of disability. Autopsy studies confirm this is what happens when your cholesterol gets too high. This is what the openings to the arteries to your back should look like on the left, and on the right you can see how clogged off they are.
With the standard western diet atheromatous plaques begin to appear early in adult life, and by the age of 20 years roughly 10% of the population already has advanced lesions.
Smoking and high serum cholesterol levels were found to have the most consistent associations with disc degeneration and low back pain. Much of back pain related disability appears to be an open or shut case, depending on our diet.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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The three most common causes of disability in the United States are arthritis, lower back pain, and heart disease, all of which can be affected by diet. For arthritis, see Diet & Rheumatoid Arthritis and Preventing Arthritis. There are 89 videos on heart disease. Good places to start include the story about my own grandmother's disability, Resuscitating Medicare, as well as Heart Attacks and Cholesterol: Purely a Question of Diet, Our Number One Killer Can Be Stopped,China Study On Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Convergence of Evidence andEliminating the #1 Cause of Death. And for more on the impact of cholesterol on quality of life issues, see yesterday’s video. FYI, there are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.