Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier - The Best Alternative Medicine

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Atherosclerosis: CAM Therapies for Specific Conditions

  • According to literature, atherosclerosis patients treated with Qi Gong exercise showed improvements in memory, insomnia, dizziness, tinnitus (buzzing in ears), and numbness.

  • Since excess protein in general, and particularly excessive animal protein, is associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis, it is a good idea to reduce or eliminate animal foods from the diet.

  • Humans cannot synthesize carotenoids, which are nutritious red pigments found in fruits and vegetables, so they must be derived from diet. However, they are not well absorbed. Carotenoids may help to protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, thereby inhibiting atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

  • A 1995 study of 605 heart attack patients documented the value of a Mediterranean-type diet, rich in alpha-linolenic acid, bread, root vegetables, green vegetables, fish, and fruit and low in meat, butter, and cream. After twenty-seven months, there were 73 percent fewer heart attacks and 70 percent fewer deaths.

  • A study of 8,341 men with previous myocardial infarctions demonstrated the long-term benefits of niacin, a component of vitamin B. In a follow-up study, niacin supplementation was associated with an 11 percent reduction in mortality. In a 1985 study, supplementation with the alkaloid L-carnitine was found to increase exercise tolerance in patients with angina.

  • A number of herbal compounds have been used to prevent atherosclerosis.

  • Guggul, an herb, also identified as Commiphora mukul, has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine for the last one thousand years for a variety of inflammatory problems, including osteoarthritis. There is considerable clinical evidence that Guggul lowers blood lipid or cholesterol levels and may protect against cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, and is also beneficial for the liver.

  • An extensive inquiry was conducted into the possible biological basis for why women live longer than men. The in-depth analysis included an examination of the hormone estrogen, which tends to prevent atherosclerosis in premenopausal women. Increasingly women are seeking naturally occurring estrogens, phytoestrogens, in such products as soy for an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

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Copyright © 2000 by Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, Inc.
Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York.

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