According to Dr. Douglas Seals, a University of Colorado physiologist, and a preacher of the gospel of arteries, “flexible, unclogged arteries are the key to successful aging” (Kessler, p. 64). And, apparently, a 17th century British physician is believed to have opined: “A man is as old as his arteries.” Dr. Seals conducts research on arteries, including oxidative proteins, velocities of pulse waves, and flow-mediated dilation. He also investigates LPW and HPW. Even though he does research on a variety of aspects related to arterial health, he says there is a ‘poor person’s way of measuring arterial health’ – just track your blood pressure. “If, over time, systolic pressure (the top number) goes up, and there is a widening gap between it and the diastolic (bottom) number, your arteries are aging. You are aging from the inside out. Behind that blood pressure number lurks inflammation in the artery walls, inelasticity, and impaired dilation” (Kessler, p. 65). Additionally, LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, is also related to arterial health, although we don’t know at this point which is more important to make sure stays within normal limits – blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
My blood pressure has been about the same since I first remember it being measured, so I think I’m good on that aspect of health and longevity! Also, my cholesterol levels have been in the low normal range as long as I’ve been having them tested. What about you – how is your blood pressure, and is it increasing, decreasing or staying the same? And, what about your cholesterol levels? Get ‘em checked out and see where you are, and keep your arteries healthy!
Kessler, Lauren (2013) Counterclockwise: My year of hypnosis, hormones, dark chocolate, and other adventures in the world of anti-aging. Rodale.