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  • David S. Klein, MD FACA FACPM

Damage to the Inner Lining of the Blood Vessels May Lead to Heart Attack and Stroke: treat inflammation to reduce your risk!

Updated: 1 day ago

The Glycocalyx: The inner lining of the blood vessel as well as the inner lining of the GUT

glycocalyx Mend
The glycocalyx is the innermost and most delicate part of the arteries

The following discussion is a bit technical, but it is extremely important. Even if you do not entirely u

The endothelial glycocalyx is a vital structure found on the luminal surface of endothelial cells lining blood vessels throughout the body. Composed of a complex meshwork of glycoproteins, proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and associated plasma proteins, the glycocalyx forms a gel-like layer that coats the endothelial surface. This structure plays a crucial role in regulating vascular permeability, blood flow dynamics, and interactions between blood components and the vessel wall.

Protecting the lining of the arteries, blood vessels and gut inner wall

One of the primary functions of the endothelial glycocalyx is to act as a selective barrier between the circulating blood and the endothelial cells. Its dense and negatively charged composition repels negatively charged molecules such as proteins and blood cells, while allowing smaller molecules like water and ions to pass through. This selective permeability helps maintain the proper balance of fluid and solutes within the blood vessel lumen. Moreover, the endothelial glycocalyx serves as a dynamic sensor of mechanical forces exerted on the blood vessel wall. Shear stress, generated by blood flow, can influence the structure and function of the glycocalyx. In response to changes in shear stress, the glycocalyx may undergo alterations in thickness and composition, thereby modulating vascular tone and blood flow distribution.

Additionally, the glycocalyx plays a crucial role in mediating interactions between circulating cells, such as leukocytes and platelets, and the endothelium. Specific molecules within the glycocalyx, such as selectins and adhesion receptors, facilitate the tethering, rolling, and firm adhesion of these cells to the endothelial surface during processes like inflammation and hemostasis.

Furthermore, the endothelial glycocalyx is involved in regulating vascular homeostasis by modulating the release of vasoactive substances such as nitric oxide (NO) and endothelin-1. NO, produced by endothelial cells, promotes vasodilation and inhibits platelet aggregation, while endothelin-1 acts as a potent vasoconstrictor. The glycocalyx helps maintain the balance between these opposing vasomotor factors, thereby influencing vascular tone and blood pressure regulation.

Moreover, the glycocalyx functions as a reservoir for various bioactive molecules, including growth factors, cytokines, and enzymes. These molecules are sequestered within the glycocalyx, where they can be released in response to physiological stimuli, such as inflammation or tissue injury, to modulate cellular responses and tissue repair processes.

Diseases of the Glycocalyx

The endothelial glycocalyx has been implicated in the pathophysiology of various cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes. Damage to the glycocalyx, caused by factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and hyperglycemia, can lead to increased vascular permeability, endothelial dysfunction, and accelerated atherogenesis.

Additionally, loss or impairment of the glycocalyx has been associated with adverse outcomes in critically ill patients, such as increased capillary leakage, tissue edema, and organ dysfunction. Strategies aimed at preserving or restoring glycocalyx integrity, such as administration of exogenous glycocalyx components or modulation of glycocalyx-degrading enzymes, hold promise for improving vascular function and clinical outcomes in various disease settings.

Glycocalyx Mend

We have treated patients with stroke, angina, chronic kidney failure using 3 capsules every morning. Laboratory data including C-RP, eGFR have demonstrated measurable improvement in 3 to 4 weeks. A positive response response is followed by continued, chronic administration.


The endothelial glycocalyx is a dynamic and multifunctional structure that plays a critical role in vascular physiology and pathophysiology. Its selective barrier function, mechano-sensory properties, role in cell adhesion and signaling, and involvement in vascular homeostasis make it a key determinant of vascular health and function. Further research into the structure, function, and regulation of the glycocalyx may uncover new therapeutic strategies for treating cardiovascular diseases and other vascular disorders.

Functional Medicine Doctor Orlando Florida
Practicing Functional Medicine for 42 years

David S. Klein, MD, FACA, FACPM

1917 Boothe Circle

Longwood, Florida 32750

Tel: 407-679-3337

Fax: 407-678-7246


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