Vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque; ever heard of it? It is the most deadly form of cholesterol, plague build-up within the walls of your arteries. It is extremely weak (aka ‘vulnerable’), difficult to detect, and highly unstable. A rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plague can lead directly to heart failure and death. What can you do to prevent vulnerable plaque? How can l-arginine supplements reduce your risk? Read on…

Vulnerable Plaque

We all know what plaque is, right? Plaque build-up within the arteries is caused by unhealthy levels of cholesterol within the body. Through a process called atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries, cholesterol grows along the walls of the arteries, blocking places where blood flow is crucial.

Vulnerable plaque is dangerous for many reasons, some of which are because this form of plaque is well hidden within the walls of your arteries and extremely difficult to detect. The other is because vulnerable plaque is extremely fragile and when it ruptures it sends debris into the blood stream, causing blood clots and heart attack or stroke. According to Forbes, 85% of all heart attacks are a direct result of ruptured vulnerable plaque.

Vulnerable plaque is a ‘large and soft’ pool of lipids underneath a particularly delicate cap, which, under certain pressures, can easily rip or rupture. These certain pressures include high blood pressure, stress, and elements that would normally lead to a heart attack.

Preventing Vulnerable Plaque

Just as you can have control over your heart attack risk, you also have control over your risk for vulnerable plaque. By maintaining a healthy diet, keeping blood pressure low as well as cholesterol levels low, maintaining a healthy weight, taking aspirin, taking l-arginine supplements, and quitting bad habits can lower your risk.