CAD Alternative Treatments
treatment for coronary artery disease consists primarily of making lifestyle
changes that improve your heart health. Becoming or staying physically active
and making conscious decisions about what foods you eat are choices that give
you a great deal of control over whether you develop CAD or whether existing
CAD leads to a heart attack. The heart is a muscle. Like any other muscle, it
responds favorably to physical conditioning. Physical activity keeps stress in
check and helps your heart work more efficiently so that it takes less cardiac
effort to circulate blood through your body.
addition to regular exercise and a healthy diet, there are some nutritional
supplements that can help reduce your risk of CAD.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, derived from fatty fish, are thought to
reduce inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a contributing factor in
heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease triglycerides, lower blood
pressure, and boost immunity. Eating two servings per week of cold-water fatty
fish such as salmon, herring, or mackerel appears to reduce your risk of heart
Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in flax and flaxseed oil,
walnuts, canola oil, soybeans, and soybean oil. The amount of omega-3 fatty
acids in these foods is less than in fish. Evidence of the heart benefits from
eating these foods is not as strong as the evidence for eating fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids can also be taken as a supplement. Talk to
your doctor before taking any supplements. High doses of omega-3s can increase
your risk of bleeding problems, especially if taken with blood-thinning
Phytosterols are found in unrefined vegetable oils, whole grains,
nuts, and legumes. Eating foods enriched with at least 0.8 grams of plant
sterols or stanols daily can reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Lower LDL
levels help to reduce your risk of CAD.
Current research indicates that vitamin D might be beneficial in
reducing your risk of heart disease. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked
with increased risk of heart disease. How much vitamin D you should take is not
clear. Some doctors are recommending as much as 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day. You
should talk to your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements. Too much
vitamin D can cause you to absorb too much calcium, which can cause kidney
stones or damage.
It is a good idea to eat foods rich in vitamin D. Foods that
contain vitamin D include:
- Chinook salmon
- fortified soy milk
- fortified orange juice
- canned tuna
- fortified breakfast cereals
- fortified margarine
Alternative treatments have not been proven to be effective. Some
can be used in conjunction with your medical treatments. Some may interfere
with your medical treatments. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any
alternative treatment for CAD.