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When plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries and inhibits blood flow, it doesn’t bode well for your health.
And if you’re one of the more than three million Americans suffering from atherosclerosis, you know this all too well.
Atherosclerosis is the primary cause of heart attack, but it also causes about half of all strokes. And there are often no symptoms until it’s too late and a plaque ruptures or blood flow is completely blocked.
That’s why prevention is key. And this time, it’s pretty easy…
3 powerful nutrients could make one heart-healthy supplement
When it comes to treating or preventing atherosclerosis naturally, three is the magic number. That’s because when used together, there are three ingredients that, when supplemented, may help keep your arteries free and clear, according to research.
Researchers from Cardiff University collaborated with UK nutritional supplement manufacturer Cultech Ltd to test their theory that three was better than one when it came to treating atherosclerosis with nutritional supplements.
“A variety of active food ingredients have been shown to impart beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease although little is known regarding their actions when taken in combination,” co-author of the study Dr. Dipak Ramji from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences.
The artery-clearing cocktail that Ramji and fellow researchers devised included fish oil, cocoa extract and phytosterols. And based on their initial results in cell-based models, it looks like a promising way to stop the progression of atherosclerosis. The next step is to test their results on humans.
Considering what the health world already knows about these three supplements, the results are no surprise. Because of its high content of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish oil has been a frontrunner to promote artery and heart health. And krill, which many believe to be a superior form of omega-3s, works just as well at promoting your heart health — maybe even better.
And, due to its high flavonoid content, cocoa too has developed a reputation as an anti-inflammatory hero that keeps arteries clear and heart-healthy (a reputation that is also backed up by a significant amount of science).
Last but not least, plant phytosterols (available as supplements) have been added to the atherosclerosis-fighting arsenal because they contain fatty acid esters, which are proven to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. According to the Cleveland Clinic, when phytosterols are combined with omega-3 (DHA) they not only lower LDL but also improve HDL (good cholesterol) and lower triglycerides.
Lowering risks means more choices
With research-backed nutritional resumes like these, you would only expect that these three supplements would pack a powerful punch against arterial plaque. But perhaps most important is that this solution is natural and completely non-invasive.
And if you get a jump on the game you could avoid medical options that are risky.
Doctors would recommend stenting, which is often done as a “precautionary measure.” But a review showed that there is no data confirming that these procedures reduce the risk of stroke, which is the stated reason for the surgery and the stent in the first place. In fact, carotid stenosis screenings often lead to false positives, which lead to unnecessary procedures, which lead to people dying unnecessarily.
The results of a major $100-million study on the effectiveness of stents and bypass surgery found lifestyle and medications worked better.
But not all medications are risk-free.
Take statins? There are the studies they want you to see that make it out to be a miracle drug. But other studies show that for every 10,000 people on statins, there were:
- 307 additional patients with cataracts.
- 23 more patients with acute kidney failure.
- 74 additional patients with liver dysfunction.
Just remember, this dangerous condition is often symptom-free and alarmingly common, affecting up to 80 percent of Americans over 30 years old. Taking supplements, along with following a healthy diet and exercising regularly, could decrease these odds so surgery later or risky drugs aren’t your only option.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
Flavonoids: Antioxidants Against Atherosclerosis — The Journal Nutrients
Omega-3 fatty acids in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease — Future Science OA