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Good Diet Can Heal Diseased Arteries

Brian Turner

Posted on October 21 2018

 Until recently, most heart specialists believed that good diet and exercise could prevent further arterial damage in people with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) but couldn’t do much about existing damage. Iris Shai from Ben-Gurion University in Israel and colleagues found that people following a Mediterranean, low-fat or low-carbohydrate diet showed small improvements in arterial health after three years. People who lost weight also showed positive changes in systolic blood pressure (higher blood pressure number), homocysteine (amino acid that increases the risk of heart attack) and apolipoprotein A1 (the active chemical in HDL, the good cholesterol). Many researchers are concerned about the health effects of low-carbohydrate diets because they are usually higher in fat. Weight loss from any of the diets had positive health effects. The authors speculated that the improvements in cardiovascular health were due to decreases in blood pressure that accompanied weight loss. (Circulation, 121: 1200-1208, 2010)