I have had reason to read up on cardiovascular disease lately. Not in connection with my own health, you will be glad to hear. The book I am reading, Reverse Heart Disease Now, is focused, yet it is easy to see that much of what they are talking about goes far beyond the health of the heart. What is healthy for the heart is healthy for the whole body, and may have implications for allergies, although the book does not discuss allergies. The book does stress that cardiovascular disease is an inflammatory disease – the inappropriate inflammation of the arteries.
What strikes me as I read the book, that much of the advice promotes general health, not just the health of the heart. Too often, specialists recommend treatment that may cover the primary symptoms, but ignores the health of the rest of the body – and in some cases may cause other health problems. This book is much more holistic, and I feel that some of what I am learning in this book also applies to allergies.
Is Inflammation related to allergies in any way? You bet. The most severe type of reaction, the so-called type 1 hypersensitivity, is “an inappropriate immune response triggering inflammation”.
Allergies and heart disease are not the same, obviously, but I do see a connection between inappropriate inflammation of the arteries, and inappropriate inflammation due to an allergic reaction.
According to Reverse Heart Disease Now, a major factor in the inflammation that takes place in arteries is free-radical damage, in other words, oxidation. It follows that to combat cardiovascular disease, antioxidants are required to deal with the free radicals.
Given their damaging effect, free radicals may well be involved in allergies – possibly contributing to their cause in the first place, and their ongoing damage.
Antioxidants are generally health-promoting, and are indicated in dealing with allergies.
No doubt, you have heard of:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C (which helps the body to recycle spent vitamin E)
- Bioflavonoids (which help the body to recycle spent vitamin C)
- Beta carotene
These antioxidants are found in certain fresh foods, and of course vitamin supplements.
These antioxidants are less talked about, but are also very powerful, especially in combating of heart disease. They may be useful in general health promotion and therefore useful in dealing with allergies:
- CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)
- alpha-lipoic acid