Preventing plaque build up in arms averts the signs of heart attacks. Plaque is the deposit attached to the walls of blood vessels that is caused by high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is specifically high levels of LDL or low density lipoproteins that cause these deposits of plaque to be formed. These deposits cause hardening of the arteries which prevent the blood pumping around the body. They can also form partial or even total blockages in the blood vessels, this, especially if in the artillery surrounding the heart, can reduce the oxygen feed to the heart so preventing it from functioning correctly or even stopping it completely in a full blown heart attack .
These plaque deposits are often unstable and if pieces of plaque break free into the blood stream they can do immense damage to vital organs. Plaque frequently builds up in the main artery in the neck that supplies the brain. Any pieces of plaque that dislodge from here will be transported straight into the brain and this is a major cause of TIA's Transient Ischaemic Attacks, a type of mini stroke which can disable the patient for maybe just a few minutes up to several days. These plaque deposits can also result in a full stroke with permanent disablement of movement, swallowing and even immediate death.
New research at the Institut National de la Sante Et de la Recherche Medicale in France has been studying the formation of these plaque deposits in elderly people. They surveyed nearly seven thousand people, they looked at the signs of heart attacks, their eating and drinking patterns and ran an ultrasound test on each patient which measured the amount of plaque in their carotid artery. The Carotid artery is the main artery that supplies the head and neck and a major site for the deposit of plaque and a cause of arteriosclerosis as well as strokes and heart attacks.
When comparing the diets of the men and women in the study, they found different results between the sexes of those people who drank tea. They established that in women, those drinking at least 2 cups of tea a day were less likely to have deposits of plaque in the carotid artery than those who drank none. The results were even better for those who drank at least 3 cups a day. Comparing the results that they received from the men in the study, they found that tea did not give this same protection for men. Further research is being endeaken to establish why there is this big difference in results between men and women. Early indications show that it may be linked to oestrogen levels in women and may be the antioxidant properties in the tea that are working in partnership to give this protection against plaque formation.
So, for women, three cups of tea a day may reduce your chances of plaque build up in your arms and in so doing, help reduce your risk of having a stroke or the signs of heart attacks.