Blood flow: A simple idea wrapped in a complex network that is one of the most important aspects for preventing heart attacks and strokes. There are many things which can disrupt the flow of blood, and that is why it is crucial that the tissue which surrounds the blood is smooth and healthy.
In today’s article, we will nerd out a little on anatomy and describe the intricate network of cells which create the tissues of our blood vessels. However, our goal is to introduce you to the Exclusion Zone, which is where the real magic happens. Stay with us, it will be very educational.
Structure of an Artery
Arteries have three layers:
- The adventitia is the outermost layer and contains the two inner layers below.
- The media is the middle layer, which contains the muscle.
- The intima is the layer closest to blood flow and contains a layer of cells called the endothelium. The endothelium is only ONE cell thick and is covered in a special coating called the glycocalyx. If you are dozing off at this point, now is a great time for some Cardiology Coffee!
What is the big deal about the glycocalyx?
The big deal is, it is part of an area called the “Exclusion Zone” which is the KEY to preventing heart attacks and strokes. It is the hydrophilic (water-loving) component of the Exclusion Zone which triggers water’s fourth phase (that’s right…it’s not a solid, liquid, or gas).
You’ve made it to the major focus of this article!
What is the Exclusion Zone (EZ)?
You can see from the above image that the tube on the right is like a blood vessel. Negative charges collect near the wall of the vessel (hydrophilic material), leading to an area that “excludes” everything but water. The bigger the Exclusion Zone (EZ), the more protection it provides for the endothelium, which means less chance of arterial damage.
How do we support our EZ? It’s EZ!
Maintaining a substantial Exclusion Zone means you need the following things: light (sunshine), quality water for energy, as well as sulfur containing foods (i.e. eggs, onion, garlic, broccoli, San Pellegrino etc.) for a healthy glycocalyx.
Over 60% of our body weight is water. Dr. Gerald Pollack has written a book called “The Fourth Phase of Water,” depicting how this negatively charged phase of water produces energy like a battery. What charges the battery? Light, specifically infrared light from a sauna or from the sun.
So when we promote getting outside, it’s not only for vitamin D levels, improving your mood, fresh air, or a good tan. It’s to “recharge” your cellular batteries (which again, make up over half of your body weight) and protect your blood flow.