The Heart Attack Vaccine?



What if there was a vaccine for a heart attack? Would you rush to your local health clinic? Is there a magic pill to prevent heart attacks? According to recent research, conducted by the Imperial College London, antibodies – large, Y-shaped proteins – could protect against heart attacks. But, how does it work?

Conducting The Research

During the study, researchers studied patients with high blood pressure. They found 87 of them developed coronary heart disease. Researchers determined the patients who had heart attacks had lower levels of an antibody called IgM anti-MDA-LDL. Their arteries also had unstable fatty plaques, which break off and trigger a heart attack. On the opposite end of the spectrum, patients who had higher levels of the antibody were more protected against heart attacks and had a 70-percent less chance of developing heart disease in the next five years. This new research helps medical professionals determine not only what causes heart attacks but also how to prevent the risk of plaque build-up. But while scientists know you need more antibodies, what does that mean? How can you improve your immune system, getting more antibodies into your body? Lead researcher Dr. Ramzi Khamis commented, “We are one step closer to figuring out how the immune system protects from dangerous heart attacks. We hope that our research will help us find patients at the highest risk, as well as help us to develop therapies that target the immune system, which seems to play an important part in preventing heart attacks.”

Preventing Heart Attacks

There are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of heart disease and/or a heart attack. This includes choosing good nutrition (eating foods high in vitamins C and E), stopping smoking, being physically active every day, limiting your alcohol consumption, reducing stress, and lowering your high blood pressure. It’s your responsibility to take care of your health. A healthy immune system improves your heart. “We already know that our immune system takes part of the blame in causing these fatty deposits to form and rupture,” said Dr. Noel Faherty, Senior Research Advisor at the British Heart Foundation.

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