By Fraser Smith, MATD, ND

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of mortality in the United States and worldwide. The primary target for medical therapy continues to be levels of LDL cholesterol. While the absolute reduction in risk by targeting LDL can be debated, there is compelling evidence that LDL elevations generally increase risk.

But this is not the whole story. There is a powerful, underlying phenomena that accelerates risk; and like many other chronic conditions, it is inflammation. Let’s examine the nature of atherosclerosis as a process and how inflammation really accelerates it. Then, in the second half of this paper, we will look at some key drivers of inflammation. That will include strategies to detect and avoid them and nutritional and botanical considerations to mitigate their effects.

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