The Importance of Healthy Blood Flow

Most of the working parts in your body are improved by increased blood flow. Adequate circulation helps with just about everything: supplying nutrients and carrying away excess, bringing healing cells to points of injury, and of course constantly running oxygen to all the far-reaches of your body.

Poor blood flow can be dangerous because it contributes to leg ulcers, swelling, varicose veins, and weak nails and hair loss. You need your blood flow healthy for your digestion, for your daily energy levels, and for supplying the resources your body needs for fighting colds and infections.  The benefits of healthy circulation can literally save life and limb: it reduces the risk of high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, and life-threatening heart conditions.

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A key component of healthy blood flow are cells called EPCs (endothelial progenitor cells), which are made in the bone marrow that enter your bloodstream to regenerate and repair the endothelial lining of your blood vessels. Low levels of EPCs are correlated with almost every major chronic disease.  Endothelial dysfunction has been observed in patients with hypertension, a family history of hypertension, in smokers, in passive smokers, in aging patients, those with diabetes, obese patients, and individuals with inflammatory or infectious diseases.

Healthy endothelial function means improvement all over your body, from your skin’s vitality to the ongoing work of your organs, and it’s almost always a good idea to keep your blood flow robust and growing.

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The Exception to the Rule

But it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Blood flow is needed for healing, maintaining, and growing, but not everything growing in the human body should be there. Abnormal cells, cancers, and unwelcome growths feed from the same blood supply that keeps the healthy aspects of your body vigorous and strong. Cancers are thieves of your body’s resources, and need to be denied the wealth of your blood flow.

So, clearly: increased blood flow isn’t good for every person at all times, and we’re as unique in our needs as we are in our strengths. Some people have a rich, full head of hair all their lives; others need support for hair growth. When you’re in the pink of health, blood flow is well to encourage, but if you’re ill with unwanted swellings or tumors, that’s the time to inhibit growth. Cancer Research UK illustrates that cancer cells grow just like healthy cells, they need oxygen and nutrients to thrive, but the problem of course is that they serve no purpose in your body: they take from you, and grow without logic, and give nothing in return. Without stopping their growth, eventually they’ll take over and cause the death of their host (that’s you; your body and your life). Cancers are only smart enough to be destructive—they take so much that they deplete your body and cause the death of every cell in it (including the cancerous ones).

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The old saying, “feed a cold, starve a fever” can find application here too: feed your healthy cells, and starve the harmful ones. As with all medical and health concerns, trust what you know about yourself, and the advice of your doctor, in finding the best path to health for your own body.

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