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4/25/2011 Atherosclerosis alternative therapy with…

Atherosclerosis natural treatment with vitamins, herbs, and supplements, alternative


therapy by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Other names: Arteriosclerosis and Hardening of the Arteries.

Atherosclerosis is a health condition in which fatty material is deposited along the walls of arteries.
This fatty material thickens, hardens, and may eventually block the arteries. If the atherosclerosis
happens to occur in the coronary arteries, further blockage through a blood clot or spasm can lead
to chest pain or a heart attack. Clots can also form around the plaque deposits, further interfering
with blood flow and posing added danger if they break off and travel to the heart, lungs, or brain.
Many physicians now suspect that there is an immune system component to the problem
(inflammation may help cause atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis is just one of several types of
"arterio"-sclerosis, which is characterized by thickening and hardening of artery walls, but the two
terms are often used to mean the same thing. Atherosclerosis can cause erection problems,
including impotence.
Abdominal obesity measured by waist girth is associated with early atherosclerosis. In other
words, the more abdominal fat a person carries, the more likely their coronary arteries are clogged
with fatty material or plaque.

Natural supplements to prevent or reduce atherosclerosis


It is possible to reduce your risk or to improve the condition through natural means. A bad diet is
the most important factor in development of atherosclerosis, following by smoking. See
suggestions for diet that could help you make good selections. See this cholesterol article that
provides a list of dietary supplements you can try after consulting with your health care provider to
lower levels of cholesterol and lipids, factors that influence hardening of the arteries. There are a
number of dietary supplements that could be helpful to you and the cholesterol article will give you
many good options. The following should be reviewed and also others mentioned in this heart
disease article.

Flavonoids should be considered.


Eating fish or fish oil supplements could be of benefit.
Pomegranate supplement may be helpful
Resveratrol pills should be considered
Green tea extract is associated with a lower risk.
Grape seed extract has been studied in animals with good results.

Flavonoids are of benefit


Antiatherogenic properties of flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health.
Can J Cardiol. 2010; Vascular Biology, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario, Canada.
Epidemiological studies suggest that higher flavonoid intake from fruits and vegetables is
associated with decreased risk for the development of cardiovascular disease. The present review
summarizes data suggesting that flavonoids improve endothelial function. inhibit low-density
lipoprotein oxidation, decrease blood pressure and improve dyslipidemia. A large number of
studies have reported the impact of consuming flavonoid-rich foods on biomarkers of
cardiovascular disease risk in healthy volunteers or at-risk individuals. Most studies have focused
on cocoa, soy, and green and black tea. Polyphenols in their purified form, including resveratrol,
berberine and naringenin, have beneficial effects on dyslipidemia in humans and/or animal
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models. In a mouse model of cardiovascular disease, naringenin treatment, through correction of
dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia and obesity, attenuated atherosclerosis.

Green tea benefit


Association between green tea intake and coronary artery disease in a Chinese population.
Circ J. 2010. Department of Cardiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University,
Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China.
There is still conflicting evidence that green tea may protect against coronary atherosclerosis
therefore the present study investigated the association between green tea consumption and
arteriographically determined coronary atherosclerosis in a Chinese population. The study
population consisted of 520 consecutive patients (379 men and 141 women) who underwent
coronary arteriography for the first time. Patients were divided into 2 groups (Non-coronary artery
disease [CAD] and CAD groups) according to the results of coronary arteriography. After adjusting
the established and potential confounders, green tea consumption was associated with a reduced
risk of CAD in male patients. Green tea consumption can protect against the development of
coronary atherosclerosis in Chinese male patients.

Pomegranate juice for atherosclerosis


Pomegranate juice appears to be beneficial in reducing oxidation of lipids and may reduce the risk
for atherosclerosis.

Anti-oxidative effects of pomegranate juice consumption by diabetic patients on serum and on


macrophages.
Atherosclerosis. 2006.
We thus conclude that pomegranate juice consumption by diabetic patients did not worsen the
diabetic parameters, but rather resulted in anti-oxidative effects on serum and macrophages,
which could contribute to attenuation of atherosclerosis development in these patients.

Effects of pomegranate juice consumption on myocardial perfusion in patients with coronary heart
disease.
Am J Cardiol. 2005. The Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Sausalito, California, USA.
In conclusion, daily consumption of pomegranate juice may improve stress-induced myocardial
ischemia in patients who have coronary heart disease.

Weight loss reduces risk


In addition to reducing cholesterol and other known cardiac risk factors, controlling one's weight
slows the build up of calcium on the walls of the coronary arteries and retard the progression of
atherosclerosis.

Dietary intervention to reverse carotid atherosclerosis. Department of Epidemiology and Health


Systems Evaluation, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
It is currently unknown whether dietary weight loss interventions can induce regression of carotid
atherosclerosis. In a 2-year Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial-Carotid (DIRECT-
Carotid) study, participants were randomized to low-fat, Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate diets
and were followed for changes in carotid artery intima-media thickness, measured with standard
B-mode ultrasound, and carotid vessel wall volume (VWV), measured with carotid 3D ultrasound.
Of 140 complete images of participants (aged 51 years; body mass index, 30 kg/m(2); 88% men),
higher baseline carotid VWV was associated with increased intima-media thickness, age, male
sex, baseline weight, blood pressure, and insulin levels. After 2 years of dietary intervention, we
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observed a significant 5% regression in mean carotid VWV, with no differences in the low-fat,
Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate groups. Two-year weight loss diets can induce a significant
regression of measurable carotid vessel wall volume. The effect is similar in low-fat,
Mediterranean, or low-carbohydrate strategies and appears to be mediated mainly by the weight
loss-induced decline in blood pressure.

How atherosclerosis occurs


Fat, cholesterol, and other substances accumulate in the walls of arteries and form "atheromas" or
plaques. Eventually, this fatty tissue can erode the wall of the artery, diminish its elasticity
(stretchiness) and interfere with blood flow. Plaques can also rupture, causing debris to migrate
downstream within an artery. This is a common cause of heart attack and stroke.

Cause of atherosclerosis
There are various causes for atherosclerosis include poor diet, genetic predisposition, stress, lack
of good sleep, smoking, overeating, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and living near heavy
traffic and being exposed to air pollution.

Pactimide and Atherosclerosis


Treatment with pactimibe, an inhibitor of the ACAT enzyme that esterifies cholesterol, does not
limit atherosclerosis in patients with coronary disease and may actually promote atherogenesis.
Findings from animal studies have suggested that inhibition of acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol
acyltransferase (ACAT) may reduce atheroma formation. However, ACAT activity differs among
species, so it was unclear if this beneficial effect would also be seen in humans. The results stem
from a phase III study of patients with angiographically documented coronary disease. In addition to
receiving standard secondary preventive therapy, including statins, the subjects were randomized
to receive pactimibe or placebo. Intravascular ultrasound was performed at baseline and again 18
months later to assess atheroma progression. Changes in percent atheroma volume were similar
in the pactimibe and placebo groups. However, when the normalized total atheroma volume was
considered, regression was seen in the placebo group, but not in the pactimibe group. Moreover,
the amount of regression in the most diseased coronary segment was significantly greater in the
placebo group.

In atherosclerosis, plaque builds up on the inner walls of arteries, the blood vessels that carry
oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. As the artery walls thicken, the pathway for blood narrows.
This can decrease or block blood flow through the body. Plaque is formed from cholesterol, fat,
calcium, and other substances in the blood. When blood cholesterol levels are high, and where
there is a high inflammatory state in the blood stream, there is a greater chance that plaque will
build up on the artery walls. In most people, this process begins when they are children or
teenagers and worsens as they get older.

Questions
Most informative website - please keep up the great work. I'm wondering if you have any opinion on
Linus Pauling's theory about lysine and proline, in combination with vitamin c being very helpful in
the treatment and reversal of atherosclerosis and related conditions.
I have not studied the role of lysine and proline in the treatment or prevention of atherosclerosis.
Vitamin C may be helpful.

I am male, seventy three years old, I cycle about five thousand miles per year and am still capable
of cycling one hundred miles in a day but I was recently diagnosed with, slight calcification and
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atherosclerosis of my coronary arteries. It was suggested that I take aspirin (75mg) on a daily
basis and consider taking statins. I have friends who have taken statins but their side effects
caused them concern and it is for this reason that I am seeking information on an alternative to
statins. Any information you could give on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
The page on how to lower cholesterol levels could be of benefit.

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