HomeHealthMicroplastics: A New Link to Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Microplastics: A New Link to Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

A groundbreaking study in the New England Journal Of Medicine has unveiled a startling connection between microplastics and nanoplastics (MNPs) found in carotid artery plaque and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A recent study estimated adults take in up to 121,000 microplastic particles per year through air, food and beverages. This alarming finding prompts two crucial questions: What exactly are microplastics, and what steps can be taken to minimize exposure? 

What Are Microplastics?

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles, less than 5mm in size, that have infiltrated various ecosystems, including air, water, soil, and food sources. They originate from the breakdown of larger plastic debris, microbeads in personal care products, and synthetic fibers shed from textiles. Microplastics have become prevalent in our modern environment, contaminating every corner of the planet and posing significant risks to human health and ecosystems alike.

How to Avoid Microplastics:

  1. Filter Tap Water: Each year, the average American ingests more than 70,000 microplastics via their drinking water supply. Invest in a water filtration system or use a filtering pitcher to remove microplastics from tap water before consumption.
  2. Choose Natural Personal Care Products: 9 in 10 cosmetic products contain microplastics. Avoid personal care products that contain microbeads as an exfoliant. Instead, opt for natural, eco-friendly alternatives, such as exfoliants made from ingredients like sugar, salt, or oatmeal.
  3. Choose Fresh, Local Foods: Purchasing fresh, locally sourced foods can help minimize your exposure to microplastics, as a recent Environmental Pollution study revealed that 88 percent of various meat, fish, and vegetarian meat alternatives analyzed contained some form of microplastics. Explore options at your nearby farmers’ market.

This study highlights the critical consequence of microplastics and their link to heightened cardiovascular risk. By recognizing microplastic sources and taking preventative steps, you can safeguard your cardiovascular health and reduce other known risks such as endocrine disruption and weight gain.