Each time you eat a high-fat meal, you damage the inner lining of your arteries and this damage occurs for about 1–6 hours after eating before recovery.
How do we know this?
There’s a test, known as the brachial artery tourniquet test and it’s pretty simple really. Take an ultrasound probe and use it to measure the diameter of a person’s brachial artery. Then, by using a tourniquet on their arm, interrupt the blood flow for a few minutes. Then, after releasing the tourniquet, measure the diameter of their brachial artery, again using the ultrasound and there will be a difference.
The artery will likely be larger than before and this is showing that the artery is compensating — it is known as vasodilatation and is a key component of arterial health. We now know that this is caused by a gas generated by the cells of the inner lining of arteries. These cells are called endothelial cells and the gas is called nitric oxide, for which its discovery in part was responsible for Furchgott, Ignarro, and Murad being awarded the Nobel prize in medicine in 1998.
A study was performed by Dr Robert Vogel using this test, he took a group of people — one half had cornflakes for breakfast and the other half had fried products from a fast food establishment.
The half who ate the cornflakes had normal arterial compensation after the brachial artery tourniquet test, however, the half who ate the fried products did not. In fact, their arteries did not show levels of vascular compensation for up to 6 hours after eating the fatty food.
What this means is that the inner layer of your arteries is damaged with every high-fat meal you eat, and this layer is very important because when it is damaged, inflammation can occur as well as an inability to destroy harmful foam cells which are the start of arterial plaque. It’s also worth mentioning that this lack of vasocompensation is also pegged closely to hypertension which tends to be treated with medicines, whereas when this mechanism is described, it is clearly a dietary issue.
This effect is shown to last up to 6 hours, which is close to the time between meals in the western world. That is to say, the arteries are being constantly damaged.
With ‘full English breakfasts and other high-fat convenience foods (Greggs, Mcdonald’s et all, biscuits, whatever), it is no wonder that cardiovascular diseases remain firmly at the top spot in the league table of the West’s killer diseases.
This stuff doesn’t care how hard your workout was.
Also, please note — taking nitric oxide supplements has been shown ineffective and in some studies, harmful.
You can literally do this at home, just buy an ultrasound probe on eBay for about £50 lol
Attribution, Vogel, R — http://www.ajconline.org/…/S0002-9149(96)00760-6/abstract. << clever chappy
All my love,