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How does the heart supply itself with blood?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The heart gets its own supply of blood from the coronary arteries. The two main coronary arteries (right and left) and their branches supply blood throughout the heart muscle. This animation explains how these arteries transport blood.

 
When your heart's left ventricle (one of the four chambers of the heart) pumps blood into the aorta (the largest artery in the body), the first muscle to receive the oxygen-rich blood is your heart itself. It receives this blood through the coronary arteries on the surface of the heart. These coronary arteries branch off into smaller and smaller collateral arteries that feed every part of your heart muscle.
Your heart's blood comes from the coronary arteries. When we are born, the arteries are big, smooth and soft. But as we grow older, we cause damage to those once-supple arteries through fast food, stress, lack of exercise and age. Through the decades the arteries gather fatty deposits, known collectively as plaque, along their inner walls. That causes the arteries to harden and narrow in a condition called atherosclerosis. When it is unchecked, atherosclerosis may worsen and turn into coronary artery disease, which is known as CAD.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.