This article was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Therapy in December 2018.
Epidemiological studies show that vegetarians have a much lower risk of myocardial infarction. Reductions of risk factors and comorbidities such as angina, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity have also been shown.
A low-fat plant-based diet can reverse or prevent further progression of coronary atheroma, improve endothelial dysfunction and is effective even in cases of severe stenosis. Studies show that in addition to regression, there is a remolding of the geometry of the stenosis with consequent improvement in coronary flow reserve.
Those following a plant-based diet have much lower total cholesterol and LDL. They also have lower levels of cardio-reactive protein, apolipoprotein (a) and apolipoprotein (b), plus levels of MPO, MMP-9, MMP-2 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratios. In addition, studies have determined that vegans produce less TMAO than their omnivorous counterparts after dietary challenge.
Long term exposure to persistent organic pollutants can drastically affect the circulatory system. The consumption of animal products is the greatest source of exposure of these toxins, due to bioaccumulation of these lipophilic toxins in animal tissues.
Interventional studies confirm that a plant-based diet is as effective in lowering cholesterol as statin drugs. Interventional studies show that a plant-based diet can help treat heart failure and is very efficacious in treating angina pectoris. Vegetarians also show better improvements in cardiac rehab. Follow-up studies at one and four years confirm continued benefit to the patient, and patient compliance has been demonstrated over several years. Treatment with a plant-based diet is devoid of side effects and contraindications. Continue reading
Open Letter To the Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American College of Cardiology
October 27, 2017
Dear Dr. Fuster,
In your recent update to the Expert Consensus Decision Pathway, (1) no specific mention was made of a safe and efficacious non-statin therapy, the plant-based diet.
Vegetarian and vegan diets can be very efficacious in reducing serum cholesterol and, importantly, LDL. Studies have shown that those following a plant-based diet have significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL levels. (2)
This article is also available in printable pdf form coronary-artery-disease-veg-of-wa-9-7-16
For over 45 years, evidence from interventional studies has strongly indicated that a low-fat plant-based diet is both safe and efficacious in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). Interventional studies have shown that a low-fat (<10% of calories) plant-based diet is a viable and highly advantageous alternative to other interventional strategies. This treatment can be used in combination with standard treatment regimens, including medication, stenting and CABG.
A printable (pdf) version of this article is available: hypercholesterolemia-and-atherosclerosis
Hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis are the subject of intensive research the world over. Epidemiological studies investigating different diets, laboratory studies aimed at elucidating the different etiologic factors and their pathogenic mechanisms, as well as a number of clinical and interventional studies, are all active fields of investigation.
As is well known, hypercholesterolemia raises the risk and is a prime etiologic factor of atherosclerosis, which in turn is an etiologic factor in a number of diseases such as essential hypertension, coronary artery disease, and ischemic stroke, just to name a few.
For the physician, all relevant research comes into actual practice in the clinic. For the patient, the clinic is where they receive their treatment and interact with their doctor on an ongoing basis. Very often, clinical technique makes the key difference for patient compliance and successful treatment. So the Vegetarian Prescription considers the clinical experience of physicians practicing vegetarian nutritional medicine to be a vital source of knowledge and experience. To make this knowledge more widely available, we are posting a series of interviews with various current practitioners.
Interview with Dr Arun Kalyanasundaram, a medical doctor, practicing Interventional Cardiology in the Seattle area: