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Atherosclerosis

Also indexed as:Arterial Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Heart Disease, Hardening of the Arteries, Plaque (Arterial)
Get your blood flowing freely and protect your arteries from hardening with a few healthy habits. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Garlic
900 mg daily of a powder standardized for 0.6% allicin 3 stars[3 stars]
Garlic has been shown to slow down the process of the arteries hardening. Aged garlic extract has been shown to prevent oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, a significant factor in atherosclerosis development.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Follow label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Though the effect has not been studied with supplements, an analysis of several controlled trials found that replacing saturated fats in the diet with omega-6 fats reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
Fish Oil
3 to 6 grams fish oil daily, containing at least 30% omega-3 fatty acids 2 stars[2 stars]
Fish oil may reduce risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart disease. One trial showed that people who took fish oil had a slowing of the progression of their arterial plaque and had a decrease in cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.
Flaxseed

(Hypertension)
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, eating foods with milled flaxseed lowered both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with atherosclerosis of the lower extremities.
Folic Acid
Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner2 stars[2 stars]
Blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine have been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease in most research. Taking folic acid may help lower homocysteine levels.
Horny Goat Weed
5 grams three times per day2 stars[2 stars]
Horny goat weed has historically been used in people with symptoms caused by hardening of the arteries. Preliminary research has suggested that it may improve markers of artery health in seniors.
Selenium
100 mcg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Some doctors recommend that people with atherosclerosis supplement with selenium, which has been shown in one study to help reduce the risk of death from heart disease.
Tocotrienols
200 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Tocotrienols are potent antioxidants that may help slow down the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
2,000 mg per day (only under a doctor's supervision)2 stars[2 stars]
In a preliminary trial, doctor-supervised supplementation with extended-release niacin in combination with a cholesterol-lowering statin drug appeared to reverse atherosclerosis of the carotid arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the brain).
Vitamin C
250 mg twice per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may help reverse the progression of atherosclerosis and protect against heart disease.
Vitamin K

(Vitamin K1, for coronary calcification )
500 mcg per day of vitamin K1 2 stars[2 stars]
In a double-blind trial, supplementing with vitamin K1 for three years appeared to slow the rate of progression of coronary artery calcification in seniors.
Betaine (Trimethylglycine)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
For the few cases in which vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folic acid fail to normalize homocysteine, adding betaine (trimethylglycine) may be effective. Regular (anhydrous) betaine is preferable to betaine hydrochloride for most people (check with a doctor).
Bilberry
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Bilberry has been shown to prevent platelet aggregation.
Butcher's Broom
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Butcher's broom exerts effects that protect arteries.
Chondroitin Sulfate
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Preliminary research shows that chondroitin sulfate may prevent atherosclerosis and may also prevent heart attacks in people who already have atherosclerosis.
Evening Primrose Oil
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Taking evening primrose oil has been shown to lower cholesterol in double-blind research. Lowering cholesterol levels should in turn reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Ginger
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with ginger may reduce platelet stickiness.
Ginkgo
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The herb Ginkgo biloba may reduce atherosclerosis risk by stopping platelets from sticking together too much. It also increases blood circulation to the brain, arms, and legs.
Lycopene
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The carotenoid lycopene, present in high amounts in tomatoes, may help prevent atherosclerosis.
Peony
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Peony has been shown to prevent platelet aggregation.
Quercetin
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Quercetin, a flavonoid, protects LDL cholesterol from damage.
Resveratrol
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Studies have found that in moderation red wine, which contains resveratrol, lowers risk of death from heart disease. Its antioxidant activity and effect on platelets leads some researchers to believe that it is the protective agent in red wine.
Rice Protein
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Though not yet proven in clinical research, animal studies suggest that rice protein-based diets result in less buildup of atherosclerotic plaque compared with animal protein-based diets.
Rosemary
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Rosemary is traditionally reputed to have a positive effect on atherosclerosis.
Shelled Hemp Seed
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Shelled hemp seed or its oil may theoretically be useful for people with atherosclerosis due to its essential fatty acid content.
Turmeric
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Turmeric's active compound curcumin has shown potent anti-platelet activity in preliminary studies.
Vitamin B12
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine have been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease in most research. Taking vitamin B12 may help lower homocysteine levels.
Vitamin B6
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine have been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease in most research. Taking vitamin B6 may help lower homocysteine levels.
Vitamin E
100 to 200 IU daily1 star[1 star]
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage and has been linked to heart disease prevention. Many doctors recommend supplementing with vitamin E to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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