Interactive Summaries

Chapter 15: Diet and Health

Cardiovascular Disease/What is Atherosclerosis?

James has , a type of that often results in and . This condition is characterized by the accumulation of lipid-filled deposits called along arterial walls that have been damaged. Certain lifestyle practices can result in damage to the , the cells that line the arteries, and initiate the accumulation of the lipid-filled deposits. Arteries that contain these deposits lose their elasticity and can be blocked by . collect at the damaged site and form a cap that covers the lipid-filled deposit, keeping it intact. Under certain conditions, however, the cap can rupture and enable dangerous clots to form. may make the cap more likely to rupture. A sign of this condition is an elevated level.

James smokes cigarettes and is obese. Additionally he has high blood pressure and elevated , the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated bad cholesterol levels are associated with the development of atherosclerosis that James can control. James can reduce his risk of heart attack and stroke by losing weight, avoiding tobacco products, and exercising regularly. Reducing his intake can help lower his blood pressure. To lower his ‘bad’ cholesterol level, he can substitute for saturated fat.


, the progressive loss of bone mass that leads to painfully disabling and even deadly , is a major public health problem, especially among elderly Americans. By measuring , physicians can estimate bone strength and bone loss, and predict the likelihood of fractures. Advanced age is a major for this condition. have the greatest risk of suffering from the disease because they no longer produce large amounts of , a hormone that protects bone mass. Other personal characteristics that contribute to the development of this disease include small body build, low BMI, history of , physical inactivity, and family history.

What can you do to reduce your risk of this disease? Achieving and maintaining optimal bone mass while you are still young can help. During this time of life, adequate intakes of , fluoride, and help strengthen bones. is needed for proper bone metabolism also. Many elderly Americans suffer from a deficiency of this nutrient. To protect your bones as you age, consume a diet that contains adequate amounts of these nutrients, do not smoke, and avoid excess . Additionally, exercise regularly and include in your fitness program, because physical stress stimulates bones to maintain their strength.

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