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More than half a million Americans received angioplasty in 2007 (the most recent year for which data is available). This invasive procedure involves inflating a thin balloon in a narrowed artery; a stent (a wire mesh tube) is often then left behind to keep the vessel open.

When used during a heart attack, angioplasty can quickly open a blocked artery and save lives. However, oftentimes heart disease patients receive angioplasties and stents when there is no heart attack, even though a new analysis of eight clinical trials involving over 7,000 people found that “Initial stent implantation for stable CAD (coronary artery disease) shows no evidence of benefit compared with initial medical therapy for prevention of death, nonfatal MI, unplanned revascularization, or angina.”

With stable heart disease, initial treatment should usually be lifestyle changes (diet, exercise, stress management and supplements).

Angioplasty comes with risks such as blood clots, coronary damage, stroke, heart attack, bleeding, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney damage, re-narrowing of your artery and death. It costs our health care system $$$.

The alternative treatment to angioplasty noted in the study above included drugs such as statin drugs, in addition to lifestyle changes. However, statins, taken by millions of Americans, can be avoided. (Statins have been linked to decreased heart muscle function and increased risk of stroke. They have been linked to other serious side effects as well.)

Statin drugs are prescribed and taken to lower cholesterol even though higher cholesterol levels may actually help prevent heart disease (high cholesterol is not actually linked to heart disease). A study in Clinical Cardiology found that heart muscle function was significantly better in a control group that did not receive statins than in those taking statin drugs!

Not to beat a dead horse to death, but statins and other common heart disease medications, like high blood pressure drugs and even aspirin, do little to address the underlying cause of the condition, and instead will leave you with a few more problems….

If you have stable heart disease, lifestyle changes should be your Go-To-Treatment.

Proper food choices

Focus on whole, unprocessed, organic foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts and so forth). Eat some of your food raw, and include fermented foods which contain probiotics and vitamin K2, important for preventing arterial plaque buildup.

Exercise program

Exercise several days a week; include some high intensity exercise

Stress Reduction

Learn coping mechanisms to reduce the inflammation caused by the disease

Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for your heart and cardiovascular system. Low vitamin D results in stiffer arteries and elevated blood pressure.

High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

Fish oil or krill oil – improves endothelial function, has beneficial effects on your heart’s electrical system, and can prevent potentially life-threatening heart rhythms disorders.

Remember, if you have type II diabetes, you are automatically at risk. Implement the above recommendations because the only side effects are improved health. Add hawthorn, COQ10, folic acid and B6, a little beetroot juice and some pomegranate (to prevent plaque from forming).