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If you have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, your doctor will tell you that you have to make lifestyle changes.

Atherosclerosis is a condition that leads to coronary artery disease, in which deposits are formed on the inner lining of the arteries that supply the heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients. When these fatty deposits accumulate, the arteries become narrow and thick, and people are at risk of developing blood clots that will permanently block blood flow through the artery. 

A major part of treating atherosclerosis is changing your diet and preventing plaque build-up, and there are some natural therapies to help you achieve that. 

1. Niacin

Niacin, also called vitamin B3, is found in foods such as salmon, tuna, or chicken. There are also niacin supplements available in local drugstores. Typically, niacin is something that the doctor recommends to their patients with high cholesterol because it can help improve good cholesterol levels with more than 30 percent.

Aside from increasing HDL cholesterol, niacin can also help lower triglyceride levels, a type of fat formed by consuming too many calories, and which also puts people at risk of coronary artery disease.

Niacin does have some potential side effects, and the most common ones are skin flushing and nausea. The daily recommended dose of niacin should not exceed 14 mg for women and about 16 mg for men. Pregnant and lactating women might have to take about 17 or 18 mg per day. Always follow the doctor’s recommendations when taking both drugs and supplements. 

2. Red yeast rice

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the efficiency of red yeast rice, a product resulting from fermenting white rice using yeast. For a very long time, Chinese medicine has turned to red yeast rice as a natural remedy for different kinds of ailments. 

Red yeast rice has a substance called monacolin K, which is also found in statin drugs, such as lovastatin. The problem is that the red yeast rice supplements that are now found on the market do not specify the exact amount of monacolin K in the recipe, which led the FDA to restrict the sale of these products.

But the controversy doesn’t lie just in the obscurity of the composition. it is currently being studied whether red yeast rice leads to muscle, liver, and kidney damage. 

However, red yeast rice is still a remedy known for being able to promote heart health and lower cholesterol levels. For example, a study revealed that two months of red yeast rice treatment was able to reduce bad cholesterol levels by about 21 percent, and total cholesterol with about 15 percent. 

3. Garlic

Garlic is an ingredient that barely needs any presentation, and it’s one of the most powerfully scented, but also surprisingly healthy cooking ingredients. Aside from giving food flavor, garlic has also been used as an alternative therapy ingredient to make medicine for a very long time.

While there are many recipes for consuming garlic both raw and cooked, it is also available in supplement form, in tablets or capsules. There is a bit of scientific evidence that suggests that consuming garlic can lower cholesterol levels, which helps slow down the evolution of atherosclerosis. 

Back in 2012, a study showed that the combination of garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 can slow down atherosclerosis progression. Even if you can’t fully rely on the benefits of garlic for heart protection, it is still a very healthy ingredient. 

4. Omega 3 fatty acids

It is no secret that omega 3 fatty acids are recommended for everyone who wants to have a healthy heart. These fatty acids are found in a lot of different fish, which should be part of the diet of every person who has coronary artery disease. You can consume fish such as tuna, sardines, salmon, herring, and many others.

Aside from eating fish, you can also take supplements that contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are found in every drugstore. If you don’t fancy the idea of consuming fish, fish oils, or omega 3 fatty acids supplements, you can also consider eating other foods that contain omega 3, such as walnuts, soybeans, or canola oil. 

But if you choose other dietary sources for fatty acids, remember that they won’t be as rich and effective as eating actual fish. 

5. Sterols and stanols

From a molecular standpoint, plant sterols and stanols are very similar to actual cholesterol, which is why they are able to trick the body into thinking that they are actual cholesterol. This means that less of the bad cholesterol is absorbed into the bloodstream, eliminating more of it through waste. 

You can lower your bad cholesterol levels by consuming more grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Sterols and stanols are also available in some margarine, or yogurt-based products. People who have elevated cholesterol levels should consume about 2 grams of sterols or stanols daily. 

6. Artichoke leaf extract

One of the major health benefits of artichoke leaf extract is its ability to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. According to a study with 700 participants, taking artichoke extract over a duration between five and 13 weeks every day resulted in a reduction of bad cholesterol.

Another study involving 143 participants with high cholesterol revealed that a daily intake of artichoke extract over a period of six weeks managed to lower total cholesterol by 18.5 percent, and bad cholesterol by 22.9 percent. 

Artichoke leaf extract aid with cholesterol problems in two ways. it helps your body process cholesterol more efficiently, but also prevents cholesterol formation because of an antioxidant it contains, which is called luteolin. 

Conclusion

If you have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, your doctor will tell you that you have to make lifestyle changes. In general, this means three things. eating healthier, quitting smoking, and exercising more. Should your coronary artery disease be more advanced, you will most likely have to take prescribed medication as well.

The good thing about coronary artery disease is that adopting alternative treatments can’t really do more harm than good, provided that you take your pills alongside some of the supplements and food mentioned in this article.

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