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  • Writer's pictureVital Human

How to Help Blood Vessels Heal Naturally

Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a crucial role in maintaining endothelial health and promoting vascular repair. As we age, the number and function of EPCs decline, contributing to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, certain lifestyle factors can help naturally boost EPC production and function.


Dietary Interventions


Consuming a diet with sufficient amounts of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ideally from plant based sources), plus lots of nitrates, and antioxidants can positively impact EPC levels and function. Omega-3s found in fatty fish, nuts, and seeds have been shown to enhance EPC survival, proliferation, and migratory capacity[1] but due to the ever increasing amount of environment toxins in fish, the difficulties inherent in eliminating all of them from fish oil [6] and the potential risk of atrial fibrillation from fish oil [7] I typically recommend against those sources.


Nitrate-rich foods like arugula, other leafy greens, and beets can increase nitric oxide bioavailability, improving EPC mobilization and function[2]. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables help combat oxidative stress, which can impair EPC function[1].


Exercise and Physical Activity


Regular exercise and physical activity have potent cardiovascular benefits, including increasing the number and function of circulating EPCs[1]. Both endurance training and shorter bouts of exercise have been shown to mobilize EPCs from the bone marrow and enhance their functional capabilities[3][4]. The intensity and duration of exercise seem to play a role, with moderate-intensity exercise providing optimal benefits for EPC mobilization and function[1].


Weight Management


Obesity is associated with reduced EPC levels and impaired function, likely due to increased oxidative stress and inflammation[1]. Maintaining a healthy body weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity can help mitigate these negative effects on EPCs and promote endothelial regeneration.


By incorporating these lifestyle modifications, individuals can potentially enhance their endothelial regenerative capacity and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. However, it's important to note that individual responses may vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended for personalized guidance.


Sources

[1] Endothelial Regenerative Capacity and Aging: Influence of Diet ... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6300798/

[2] Endothelial Progenitor Cells: New Targets for Therapeutics for ... https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2018.00200/full

[3] CD133+ endothelial-like stem cells restore neovascularization and ... https://www.nature.com/articles/s43587-023-00512-z

[4] Endothelial progenitor cells in the natural history of atherosclerosis https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0021915007002122

[5] Endothelial Progenitor Cells Dysfunctions and Cardiometabolic ... https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/13/6667

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