• Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease. Blood vessels that bring blood to the heart muscle are narrowed. It can slow or stop blood flow to the heart. Blood vessels are narrowed by a process called atherosclerosis. Fat, cholesterol, and calcium stick to blood vessel walls and form a plaque. The plaque can damage the blood vessels walls. This can lead to blood clots. The clots and plaque both make the blood vessel more narrow. It also makes it easier for more plaque to develop. Blocked blood flow in these blood vessels can lead to a heart attack.

Treatment can help to slow or stop buildup of plaque, open narrow arteries, and decrease the risk of clotting. One step is to manage factors that lead to CAD. This includes:

  • Decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Managing diabetes
  • Losing weight if overweight
  • Quitting smoking

Information on these issues can be found in separate articles. The following include supplements that were specifically studied for impact on CAD.

Natural Therapies

Possibly Effective

Dietary factors that may reduce the risk of CAD:

  • Chocolate A9, A10
  • Garlic preparations may reduce blood pressure. A1-A3, A5, A8
  • Green Tea or Black TeaA7
  • Moderate coffee consumption (three to four cups a day) A4, A6

Therapy that may affect CAD include:

  • Music therapy may reduce anxiety and possibly chest pain in patients with coronary artery disease. C1
  • Yoga may reduce blood pressure. C2

Possibly Not Effective

These supplements may not be effective:

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any alternative therapy you are taking to make sure it does not interfere with your treatment plan. Some supplement discussed here have certain concerns such as:

  • Vitamin C can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications, such as blood thinners.
  • Vitamin E has a blood-thinning effect that may cause problems in those who also take blood thinners. If you have diabetes or are being treated for cancer, talk to your doctor before you take vitamin E.

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