In adults, the formation of new blood vessels can have disastrous effects
During childhood, angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels, is essential. As children grow, blood must be delivered to expanding organs and other body tissues. Angiogenesis in adults, however, can have disastrous effects. Let's briefly look at some of the problems angiogenesis can cause later in life.
Diabetic retinopathy is now one of the leading causes of blindness. In diabetics, the small blood vessels that transverse the retina dilate and develop small ruptures. These ruptures or hemorrhages leave residue which can impede vision. To make matters worse, new blood vessels begin to form and extend throughout that portion of the eye, further hampering vision. Modern medicine offers little hope in these cases. (Those seeking natural alternatives, however, know that bioflavonoids in combination with vitamin C have shown to be very helpful.)
Neovascular glaucoma, while not as common, is another disease that results from an invasion of unnecessary new blood vessels.
Another common disease involving adult angiogenesis is arthritis. Newer research indicates that angiogenesis plays a major part in the calcification of joint cartilage. Researchers have discovered that, in arthritics, the synovial fluid that lubricates and surrounds joint cartilage contains a compound that stimulates blood vessel growth. This substance, called ESAF (endothelial cell stimulating angiogenesis factor), triggers the invasion of blood vessels into cartilage. This leads to its calcification.
One of the most life-threatening circumstances dependent on new blood vessel growth is cancer. Cancer cells are, basically, normal cells that have only one function—reproduction. In their frenzy of uncontrolled growth, a haphazard maze of blood vessels develop that must constantly be expanded and replaced. This constant drain of nutrients, combined with the subsequent flood of toxic wastes, places an enormous strain on the body's reserves. Eventually, the growing tumor mass begins to crowd and divert precious resources away from the vital organs. This eventually leads to their destruction and ultimately, the death of the host organism.