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Alternative Treatments for Clogged Arteries

Alternative Treatments for Clogged Arteries

Clogged arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, can lead to heart attacks or strokes. There are several drugs on the market for the treatment of clogged arteries, but they all have the potential for serious side effects. However, there are alternative treatments that may prove to be effective without the dangerous side effects of drugs, though patients should not substitute any of these treatments for conventional therapy without consulting with a physician first.

Oral Chelation

Oral chelation is the ingestion of nutrients that have been shown to remove plaque from arteries. It also removes toxins, especially heavy metals. The actual nutrients used in the formula vary by manufacturer, but common ingredients include EDTA, vitamins, minerals, herbs and amino acids. Leon Chaitow, D.O., notes that one advantage to oral chelation is that it does not require monitoring of electrolytes as does intravenous chelation. A disadvantage to oral chelation is that it is much slower than intravenous chelation, though there are fewer side effects to oral chelation, and with long-term use, it removes more mercury from the body than intravenous chelation. Patients should always consult a physician before trying self-prescribed oral chelation.

Vitamin C and Lysine

Two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling patented a formula containing vitamin C and the amino acid lysine that purportedly reverses atherosclerosis. According to Pauling, this combination of nutrients removes current plaques and prevents plaques from binding to damaged artery walls. The required dosage for this to occur is 3 to 18 gt of vitamin C and 3 to 6 g of lysine per day, divided into two to four doses. Patients should consult a doctor before trying Pauling's formula.


Sardines contain high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. One 3.25-oz. can contains 50 percent of the recommended daily amount of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. These fatty acids raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Though mercury content is a concern in seafood, sardines contain less mercury than most other seafood. Patients should check with a doctor before relying on sardines to add omega-3 fatty acids to their diet.

Lecithin Granules

Lecithin is a complex substance found in egg yolks, vegetable oils and soybeans. According to a 1989 article cited by CBS's, lecithin, a well-known emulsifier, can cause fats and water to mix together, something they normally will not do. When a fat is emulsified, it is less likely to deposit on an artery wall and more likely to move to a place where it can be metabolized. Lecithin breaks up cholesterol like this so it doesn’t cause atherosclerosis. As long as the amount of lecithin in the blood is sufficient, atherosclerosis is less likely to occur. Patients should check with a doctor before adding supplements to their diet.

Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice has been used as a medicinal herb for over a thousand years. Dr. Andrew Weil states that red yeast rice contains statins, and is the primary ingredient in lovastatin, a drug manufactured to lower cholesterol. A great advantage to red yeast rice over statin drugs is that statin drugs contain a single statin that has many severe side effects. Red yeast rice contains several statins in a mixture, which minimizes the side effects. Since red yeast rice contains statins, patients should never add this supplement to their diet without consulting a physician first.

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