Getting rid of plaque in arteries

Researchers suggest new way to possibly eliminate clogged arteries

getting rid of plaque in arteries

Heart attack, clogged arteries and atherosclerosis

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Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. An artery becomes clogged when a buildup of plaque forms on the inner walls. Plaque consists of calcium, fat, cholesterol and cellular waste. If you have clogged arteries due to poor diet and lifestyle choices, you are at an increased risk of having a heart attack, stroke or suffering from heart failure. Medications, stents and balloon surgeries are treatments used to clear arteries and prevent further accumulation.

Is it possible to remove plaques in your aorta or reduce their size through changes in diet or lifestyle? Yes, lifestyle changes, including diet, smoking cessation, stress management and exercise, can decrease the size of atherosclerotic plaques. They can also help to stabilize them so that they are less likely to break off and block blood flow, decreasing your risk of a heart attack. The notion of plaque reduction, known medically as regression of atherosclerosis, arose from a fortuitous observation during World War II. Norwegian scientists noticed that the scarcity of food particularly the scarcity of high-fat foods like milk, cream, butter and cheese was associated with a decreased risk of death from heart disease. This suggested the possibility that dietary changes could induce plaque regression. The first direct evidence of regression came in

Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist who led the study. Daniel Rader, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. The treatment used a laboratory-produced version of an unusually effective form of HDL, the good cholesterol that helps protect against heart disease by removing plaque, or fatty buildups, from the bloodstream. While some existing medicines target HDL, most conventional drug treatment works by reducing levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad kind that contributes to the formation of plaques that can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks. His findings stem from an unusual discovery about 25 years ago in the northern Italian village of Limone Sul Gardia. Italian researchers found that 40 residents there had very low HDL levels, yet paradoxically had low rates of coronary artery disease.

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High blood levels of cholesterol encourage the formation and growth of vascular plaques that put you at risk for heart attack and stroke. So can we reduce plaque buildup? Christopher Cannon, a Harvard Medical School professor. Plaque forms when cholesterol lodges in the wall of the artery. To fight back, the body sends white blood cells to trap the cholesterol, which then turn into foamy cells that ooze more fat and cause more inflammation. That triggers muscle cells in the artery wall to multiply and form a cap over the area.

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