In the SENS rejuvenation research view of atherosclerosis, a primary cause is the presence of oxidized lipids in the bloodstream. Rising levels of oxidative stress with aging, with mitochondrial dysfunction as a primary cause, means an increasing number of oxidized lipid molecules. Atherosclerosis begins when these lipids irritate the blood vessel walls, attracting macrophage cells to clean up the problem. The normal process involves macrophages ingesting the problem lipids and either breaking them down or handing them off to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles to be carried to the liver where they can be dealt with. Unfortunately, some species of oxidized lipid cannot be processed well by macrophages, and the cells become overwhelmed. They either die or become inflammatory foam cells, making the area of damage worse. The fatty plaques of atherosclerosis that narrow and weaken blood vessels are formed of dead macrophages and the lipids that they should have removed.
The SENS approach is to find ways to break down the problem oxidized lipids, remove them before they can cause harm to the macrophages that are critical to maintenance of blood vessel walls. Some progress in this LysoSENS
Article originally posted at