Healthy Cardiovascular Function - Beyond Cholesterol

Cardiovascular health has been concerned with cholesterol. HDL being considered the "good" cholesterol while LDL being the "bad". However, additional factors must be taken into consideration when identifying risk factors.

(1) LDL is classified as to particle size. Small dense LDL poses the greatest threat for the development of atherosclerosis. Large LDL (which are more buoyant), have minimal risk. Most LDL tests do not discern between the two types - specific tests for LDL must be specified.

(2) Inflammation (as indicated by CRP - C-reactive protein) is considered the key factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Inflammation injures the arterial wall, which then experience an influx of cholesterol into the site of the injury. Oxidized cholesterol accumulates in the endothelium and causes further damage.

(3) Oxidized LDL receptor (LOX-1) on the endothelium markedly increases the uptake of oxidized cholesterol. Suppression of the LOX-1 receptor greatly decreases cholesterol intake into the arterial wall.

(4) Blood Sugar / Insulin Resistance - higher levels of blood sugar results in increased damage of the endothelium.


Natural support for cardiovascular health:

• Bergamonte® is a citrus extract which supports healthy cholesterol, including increasing HDL and LDL (large particle - considered as healthy) and decreasing small dense LDL (the harmful LDL). Furthermore, Bergamonte® supports lower inflammation (lower CRP), and reduced blood sugar.(1)

• Magnesium is of major importance in cardiovascular health. Benefits of magnesium include reduction of hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmias.(2) Magnesium also reduces CRP levels (3) and improves endothelium tone.

• Curcumin is a multi-faceted cardiovascular health promoter. As a powerful anti-inflammatory, curcumin provides systemic inflammation reduction.(4) Curcumin is also anti-hyperglycemic and enhances insulin sensitivity.(5) Insulin resistance is considered a major risk factor for atherosclerosis.

• Taurine acts as a vasodilator and myocardial protective. (6)

• Vinpocetine plays several significant roles in the inhibition of atherosclerosis. First, it decreases the uptake of cholesterol by reducing the Lox-1 receptor sites (7). Additionally, vinpocetine suppresses the pathological changes in the artery which include proliferation of vascular smooth muscle (8) and inhibits NFKappa-B arterial inflammation.(9,10)




(1) HP Ingredients Bergamonte® Research. 2015.

(2) Kolte D, et al. Role of magnesium in cardiovascular diseases. Cardiol Rev. 2014 Jul-Aug.

(3) Dibaba DT, et al. Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with serum C-reactive protein levels: meta-analysis and systematic review. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr

(4) He Y, et al. Curcumin, Inflammation, and Chronic Diseases: How Are They Linked? Molecules. May 2015.

(5) Ghorbani Z, et al. Anti-hyperglycemic and insulin sensitizer effects of turmeric and its principle constituent curcumin. Int J Endocrinol Metab.2014 Oct.

(6) Karabacak K, et al. Effects of taurine on contractions of human internal mammary artery: a potassium channel opening action. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 2015 Apr.

(7) Cai Y, et al. Vinpocetine attenuates lipid accumulation and atherosclerosis formation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 May.

(8) Cai Y, et al. Vinpocetine suppresses pathological vascular remodeling by inhibiting vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2012 Nov.

(9) Jeon KI, et al. Vinpocetine inhibits NF-kappaB-dependent inflammation via an IKK-dependent but PDE-independent mechanism, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010 May. 

(10) Zhuang J, et al.Inhibitory effects of vinpocetine on the progression of atherosclerosis are mediated by Akt/NF-êB dependent mechanisms in apoE-/- mice. PloS One. 2013 Dec.

Gail Paige
Gail Paige