Collagen & Blood Vessel

Normal Artery

Normal Blood Vessel
A normal and healthy artery should look like the one on the left. Notice that the artery has no plaque build -up, the collagen layer and muscle tissue that forms the vessel are intact and very healthy.

The purpose of the collagen layer is to protect the artery from rupture. The muscle tissue surrounding the collagen layer serves as an assistant in helping the blood to circulate through the arteries and veins.

Developing Heart Disease

Blood Vessel develop
As soon as plaque starts to form and accumulate in your arteries, you have the beginning of heart disease that actually starts with a weakening or lack of sufficient collagen that lines the blood vessels.

Having Heart Disease

Blood Vessel disease
Collagen surrounds every blood vessel and serves to protect the vessel from damage. Once your blood vessels start to lose their protective collagen, tiny lesions or ruptures can occur on the artery. When your arteries develop these tiny lesions or ruptures, your body recognizes that this is a serious health problem and it immediately goes to work to repair the damage. Once the blood vessel has weakened due to lack of collagen, tiny ruptures or lesions can occur which the body immediately works to repair through a natural healing process.

The body seals the lesions with a plaque that is formed from Lipoprotein, Which is a "sticky" variant of LDL (low density lipoproteins) Cholesterol. Every time a lesion appears anywhere in your blood vessels, your body will use Lipoprotein to form a plaque that seals and protects the vessels. The lesion is sealed with this plaque, but now your circulation is also restricted. You now have heart disease. The reason for lack of collagen is also discovered.

Having Heart Disease

Dr. Pauling successfully demonstrated the use of Guinea pigs, that a lack of collagen is actually a result of not having enough vitamin C in the diet. When they reduce vitamin C intake for guinea pigs to the U.S. RDA level (adjusted for body weight), they were able to induce atherosclerosis (heart disease) in the guinea pigs. Over time, the vitamin C restriction led to insufficient collagen production, which weakened the blood vessels and caused the lesions that eventually led to heart disease. They also found that the heart disease thy induced in guinea pigs was similar to humans.