Can you get rid of calcified plaque in arteries?

It's not possible to make plaque disappear, but we can reduce and stabilize it, says cardiologist Dr. Christopher Cannon, a professor at Harvard Medical School. Plaque forms when cholesterol (above, in yellow) lodges in the artery wall. Calcium deposits in the arteries are not related to diet or to any supplements you are taking.

They are produced because blood vessel cells don't work as they should. They may be a sign of heart disease or simply of getting older. So what can you do if you're told you have calcified arteries? First, take any medications your doctor has prescribed. This is very important if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or kidney failure, as these conditions can accelerate the buildup of plaque and calcium in your arteries.

Exercising and eating a healthy diet will help keep your arteries healthy. I routinely observe plaque reversion in patients taking the combination of pine bark and centella extract. Diet can play an important role in improving heart health and reducing the risk of plaque build-up. If you're at risk of coronary calcification, your doctor may prescribe medications to lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL) known as bad cholesterol (e.g., statins) or to increase high-density lipoproteins (HDL) known as good cholesterol (e.g., niacin).

Calcium is a sign of the amount of accumulated fat (plaque) in the arteries, because this buildup contains calcium. The same research team evaluated the effectiveness of the combination of pine bark and centella in asymptomatic atherosclerotic patients with coronary artery calcifications. The goal of treating coronary calcification is to slow (and possibly reverse) its progression and prevent serious consequences, such as a heart attack or stroke. I have used this combination with countless patients in my clinic who have plaques that clog the carotid arteries.

During the three-month study period, pine bark and centella asiatica extracts reduced plaque in the carotid artery and decreased the number of plaques compared to a control group. Since then, I have combined interventional cardiology with the search for lifestyle-based methods and supplements to stabilize and reverse plaque build-up. Once an obstruction has been removed or reduced, it's important that you do everything you can to prevent more plaque from building up so you can live a longer and healthier life. For most people, arteries can start to clog during childhood, and plaque buildup worsens as they age.

By the end of the three years, more than 20% of patients in the standard treatment group and the aspirin group had developed more severe and extensive atherosclerotic plaque. These healthy lifestyle changes are also important if you are undergoing a procedure to remove plaques or bypass a heavily blocked artery. The rate of plaque progression, as measured by ultrasound, was significantly lower in both treatment groups than in the control group. I have dedicated my career as a cardiologist to finding ways to treat atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque on artery walls.

In those who used pine bark + centella, there was a significant 10% decrease in the number of calcifications, a remarkable result.

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