Diets high in fat begin to damage the blood vessels sooner than previously thought, and these structural changes and mechanics can be the first step in the development of hypertension.
This is true at least in mice studied during a recent investigation.
With age, weight gain and metabolic diseases, the inner walls of the large arteries become increasingly thicker and less elastic, which in severe cases may lead to atherosclerosis and hypertensions.
However, the analyzes are made on the status of the main arteries (the largest) have emerged when these diseases or disorders, may not provide a complete picture of when the onset of illness and how it develops. In addition, there are previous works that have suggested that structural alterations in the walls of small arteries are the strongest signal to predict the imminent onset of cardiovascular disease. It is therefore clearly important to identify as early as possible these changes.
Marie Billaud and his colleagues at the School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA, compared the status of two different sized arteries: carotid (large) and thoracodorsal (small) in two groups of mice, one that was fed a high fat diet for six weeks, and the other was the control group, fed a traditional diet and healthier.
The research team found that rapidly alter certain properties of small arteries, even after only six weeks of high-fat diet. Specifically, the state of the smaller arteries became much worse in mice with high fat diet, whereas there was no change in the same basic parameters (essentially the degree of stiffness) in the larger arteries. The researchers also found an accumulation of collagen in the walls of the smaller arteries.
These and other results suggest that, at an early stage of obesity, altered some properties of large and small arteries, whereas only an increase in arterial stiffness in small blood vessels. This implies that small blood vessels are affected before, in comparison with the large arteries.
This fact reveals that the process thus leading to hypertension associated with a diet rich in calories maintained for a long time is in some ways different from what was believed.