Heart attack and stroke WARNING: How to prevent a deadly arterial plaque rupture

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man having heart attack(NaturalHealth365) According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 735,000 people suffer from a heart attack – in the United States alone – every year. For strokes, the number is even higher, topping 795,000 per year – or, a stroke every 40 seconds.

For many, the incident will be fatal – a bleak fact that highlights the urgent need for finding new methods of prevention. Fortunately, exciting new research shows that a combination of two natural compounds – an ancient Asian herb, and an extract from the bark of a specific type of Mediterranean pine tree – can reduce the dangers of life-threatening arterial plaque, and slash the risk of death by stroke or a heart attack.

Your heart attack risk starts here: Atherosclerosis can have deadly consequences

Atherosclerosis – a condition in which the insides of the arteries become clogged, constricted and damaged – features deposits of plaque that result from the accumulation of LDL cholesterol and fibrinogen in arteries. The plaque can then block blood flow completely, or – in an even more dangerous development – break free and lodge elsewhere in the bloodstream, causing a life-threatening blockage.

When plaque occurs in arteries that lead to the heart, the results can include chest pain, coronary artery disease and heart attack. If plaque builds up in arteries leading to the brain, the primary danger is stroke.

“Soft” plaque can cause death with no warning

Arterial plaque can be either “hard,” (calcified) – or “soft” (non-calcified). Although hard plaque can restrict blood flow, soft plaque is the more lethal of the two. In a scenario that medical experts compare to a “ticking time bomb,” soft plaque can break loose and produce a clot blockage big enough to cause a heart attack or stroke – with no warning signs or symptoms. (most heart attacks are caused this way)

Normally, soft plaques are covered with tough, fibrous caps that prevent rupture – as long as they are in place. Thinning, weakening caps make the plaque more vulnerable to rupturing, and set the stage for a stroke or heart attack.

Natural remedies to the rescue: Centella asiatica and FMP have lifesaving properties

Researchers have discovered that a combination of natural substances – an Asian herb known as Centella asiaticia, and French maritime pine extract – can increase the stability of soft plaque to help prevent sudden rupture – while slowing and even reversing the accumulation of both soft plaque and hard plaque.

In a study published last December in Minerva Cardioangiologica, researchers found that the two compounds caused significant improvement in plaque stability in patients with Class IV arterial plaque narrowing – meaning the arteries were less than 50 percent obstructed. The combination also reduced the size and number of deposits, while decreasing harmful free radicals in the blood.

On the other hand, patients in the control group – who had received only standard plaque management – experienced no improvements. The research team, impressed by the dramatic study results as well as by the lack of adverse effects, concluded that “plant extracts could be a safe option for prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with carotid plaques.”

Natural compounds outperform conventional medical care

Additional studies explored the effect of the combination on the progression of atherosclerosis. Researchers wanted to see if the two compounds had any effect on preventing the crossover in arteries from Class IV to the more dangerous Class V – in which the arterial blockage is over 50 percent.

To accomplish this, they broke the study group into five subsets. One received only dietary and lifestyle recommendations, three received differing dosages of pine bark extract, or aspirin alone, or pine park extract coupled with aspirin. The fifth group received 100 mgs of Centellica asiata – in a standardized formula called Centellicum – along with 100 mgs of pine bark extract in the form of Pycnogenol.

The results were dramatic.

Using ultrasound, the team discovered that over 20 percent of the plaques in the dietary group had crossed over to the more dangerous class V, with 16 percent crossover in the aspirin group.

The two groups that received French maritime pine extract – and FMP paired with aspirin – fared much better, with respective scores of 8.4 percent and 5.3 percent. And, a combination of French maritime pine and aspirin slashed crossover rates to 4 percent – a very impressive result.

But the most spectacular results – a tiny 1.1 percent of the plaques progressing from Class IV to Class V — were obtained by the combination of French maritime pine bark and Centella asiatica.

In other words, plaque progression was 95 percent lower in the combination group than in the group that received standard recommendations. Additional research showed that the combination resulted in a 7.4-fold reduction in the risk of developing cardiovascular symptoms, and a four-fold reduction in risk of being hospitalized for a cardiovascular event.

Both compounds harness natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers

With powerful antioxidant, neuroprotective and cancer-fighting effects, Centella asiatica has been a mainstay of Ayurvedic medicine for many centuries. Also known as gotu kola, this member of the parsley family is rich in triterpenoid compounds, which stabilize plaque by improving the synthesis of collagen, an important component of soft plaque caps.

Centella asiatica also works against plaque accumulation by reducing the stickiness of monocytes – cells that cause atherosclerosis.

French maritime pine extract has high levels of procyanidins and phenolic acids, giving it potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The extract reduces the risk of clots and interferes with plaque formation by stimulating the production of beneficial nitric oxide, thereby increasing blood flow and decreasing the “stickiness” of blood platelets.

Scientific research has revealed the truth: when taken together, Centella asiatica and French maritime pine decrease the size and number of arterial plaque deposits, along with reducing instability of soft plaque – making them valuable allies in the battle against stroke and heart attack.

Maybe one day we’ll see these compounds advertised on T.V. as a natural way to prevent heart attacks? (just a hope – I won’t hold my breathe)

Sources for this article include:


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  • Megan Rosen

    You will not see this anywhere so most people have no idea of this powerful prevention method. I know so many people who could use this information. However, I wonder how many would actually take advantage of this. Most are under a doctor’s care and on what they assume are the right medications.

  • Michael Welch

    Rethinking how we treat heart disease is the first order of the day. We now have more aging people then ever before. Seniors have made the fastest gain since the 1960s and those over 60 years old will be nearly one quarter of the population by the mid century mark.

    The reality is health care not only has become stagnant, but worst may be heading in the wrong direction. Enjoying aging means anticipating the problems and addressing them sooner than later. This article speaks to me as an opportunity to naturally help prevent heart disease.

  • Jason Tucci

    Health is not negotiable you either have it or you don’t. I know too many people with stents and have seen their heart problems. They are on a number of medicines and have a restrictive activity level. This is not going to put you on the path to healthy aging. No one in their right minds want this type of restrictions.

    I am always interested in a better way to stay healthy. Heart disease is scary. I do everything to protect myself from that. The guidelines keep shifting first it is a no-fat or low-fat diet, now the advise is to have some healthy fats. Because, it is confusing at best I will look at and determine the best way to eat. While at the same time will look at these plant extracts as an add on.

  • Denise Polla

    Does anyone know where to buy these extracts and which are the best brands?

    • Wendy Allen

      This is what helps me:EDTA IV chelations or suppositories may help remove Ca in blood vessels. Serrapeptase may eat up clots and other debris. Taking Vit K2 with my Osteoprocare drink (Ca/Mg/cofactors) may help put Ca into my bones instead of blood vessels. Antioxidants/no gluten may lower inflammation so Ca plaques are not needed to mend blood vessels.

  • Bella Herich

    Improving and repairing the arteries is a proactive approach. It is undisputed that even people in their early fifties through the early seventies are at risk. Now, we even see men inf their mid-thirties showing sides of hardening of the arteries. It is a bonus when reparative solutions come from non-toxic natural time tested herbs and extracts.

  • Wendy Allen

    EDTA IV chelations or suppositories may help remove Ca in blood vessels. Serrapeptase may eat up clots and other debris. Taking Vit K2 with my Osteoprocare drink (Ca/Mg/cofactors) may help put Ca into my bones instead of blood vessels. Antioxidants/no gluten may lower inflammation so Ca plaques are not needed to mend blood vessels.

  • Greg Hill

    This is all very good, of course, but in keeping with mainstream medicine’s allopathic model it is addressing only the symptoms and not the underlying causes of heart disease.

    What ended up saving my life after three heart attacks, the last one nearly fatal, was the vital information contained in Jonathan’s Holistic Oral Health Summit, which is available by clicking on a link on this very same web page.

    After having a holistic dentist properly remove a dead root canalled tooth, which it turns out was quite literally the “root cause” of my heart disease, the progression of my arteriosclerosis was completely stopped. Then after making some important dietary changes like ditching all processed foods, taking vitamin D3 and K2 supplements, and drinking pomegranate and beet juice, all of my symptoms of heart disease gradually disappeared. Today — seven years after my last heart attack — I am 100% symptom free. I also no longer take any medications at all, not even a stinking “baby aspirin.”

  • roundthings

    Isn’t Centella asiatica Gotu Kola? Why not call it by it’s common name?

  • Katelyn Collins

    I co-wrote an article on the risks for cardiovascular disease. There are many that you can control through diet and lifestyle changes! https://www.qunol. com/knowing-risks-can-help-prevent-cardiovascular-disease/