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Blocked Arteries: Clean Them Out Naturally



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Chest Pains Reduce Rapidly With a Vegetarian Diet

When an individual experiences frequent chest pain typical of coronary artery disease, they will often undergo a coronary angiogram. An angiogram determines if the patient does indeed have significant coronary artery disease. If blockages are present, the test measures exactly where and how severe the blockages are. Partially blocked arteries reduce blood flow to heart muscles, causing pain in the muscle.

In several studies presented in this chapter, the participants were individuals who had heart-related chest pain, or angina, on a frequent basis. It was this pain that triggered the examination of their coronary arteries in the first place. We have seen that the vegetarian group in the Lifestyle Heart Trial had significant improvement in their overall cholesterol levels and reductions in their arterial blockages. What happened to their chest pains? When the study started, the average member of the experimental group experienced chest pain approximately five times per week. Chest pain comparisons of the lifestyle group and the control group in the Lifestyle Heart Trial are shown in Figure 16: Heart Related Chest Pain in the Lifestyle Heart Trial.

Chest pains in the experimental group (vegetarian diet) decreased 91 percent, to less than once per week. On the other hand, in the control group (meat diet recommended by NCEP) they worsened by 165 percent over the course of a year. These results are as expected, and in agreement with the reduced blockages in the heart arteries of the first group and increased blockages in the latter that were shown in Figure 4: Results of 10% Fat and 5mg Cholesterol Diet in the Lifestyle Heart Trial.

One result of this study was largely unexpected. The dramatic 91 percent reduction in chest pain of the experimental group occurred in the first three weeks--long before we could reasonably expect any significant physical reversal of their blockages. Such quick reductions in chest pains were startling to many in the medical community. However, others of us were well aware of the dramatic short-term changes that could take place with lifestyle changes. I personally have seen many patients who, initially, would merely walk across the room and develop crushing anginal chest pain. After two or three weeks on a vegetarian diet and exercise program, many of those same patients would be walking five miles a day--without chest pain and using less heart medication than before. The results are often so amazing that you would have to see it first hand to fully appreciate the dramatic improvement.


High Blood Cholesterol Prevents Blood Vessel Relaxation

Although some people think of blood vessels as tubes or pipes that pass through our bodies, such a characterization is misleading. Actually, healthy arteries are muscular organs that have the ability to control how much blood flows through them by changing their diameter. They can relax and allow more blood to pass through, or they can constrict and permit less blood flow. Blood vessel relaxation is extremely important for the work of the heart. Relaxation of the coronary arteries allows greater blood flow to the heart muscle. Relaxation of blood vessels elsewhere reduces the heart's workload by decreasing the resistance that the heart pumps against.

If reductions in the amount of blockage could not explain their improvement in chest pain, what could? The reasons for this impressive reduction in angina on the vegetarian diet are only recently becoming clear. The answer probably relates--at least in part--to how a vegetarian diet can help relax blood vessels.



Notice of Credit
The article above is compliments of the Uchee Pines Institute, Seale, Alabama, a teaching and treatment facility devoted to natural remedies. For mor information, call 334-855-4781,e-mail: ucheepine@csi.com, or visit their Website: http://www.ucheepines.org.



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