Clear Your Arteries
If you're like me, you accumulated decades of arterial plaque slowly and
steadily from a Western lifestyle (and in my case low testosterone). This plaque buildup
causes all kinds of problems and one of the first major signs is often erectile
dysfunction. There is good news though:
you can actually clear out your arteries!
I don't mean totally, of course,
but you can actually reverse some of the damage and gain dramatically improved
blood flow in the process. Amazingly enough, there is actually now more
than one way to do this. And, no, it's not by taking massive doses of statins! (There
is one study taking large doses of statins showing a reversal of plaque, but statins are controversial and I talk about some of the issues in my link
on The Dangers of Statins. Discuss with your
Below we will outline Four Ways to Clear Out
Your Arteries. The significance of this cannot be overestimated, because
arterial plaque can lead to the following:
1. Less nitric oxide and, therefore, worse erections and increase heart
Hardening of the arteries
3. Increasing blood pressure, a risk factor for erectile dysfunction,
stroke and many other medical conditions.
4. Many heart attacks are triggered by "pieces" of this plaque breaking off
(coupled with coagulation)
5. Surgeries, stints, angioplasties and countless office visits and drugs.
CAUTION: If you have existing heart disease or medications, talk to your
doctor before making any changes. Obviously, cardiovascular issues can be
very serious and medical advice is always required.
I constantly say "testosterone affects everything." I could just as
easily say "blood flow affects everything." Decreased blood flow, for
example, has been linked to both dementia and Alzheimer's.  Many tissues
require good blood flow to deliver nutrients. The point is that clearing
out your arteries can be a key factor in improving endothelial health and thus
boosting your overall health and energy.
Here are the 4 more-or-less natural ways that I know of to actually partially reverse
1. Low Fat Diet. The most famous way to clear out your plaque is
through a Low Fat Diet. And this makes sense because modern oils, lards, butters
and margarines are all a modern invention and very new in the history of mankind.
Therefore, it is no surprise that a Low Fat Diet works so well, because it is
simply a reflection of how man has eaten the vast majority of his time here on
planet earth. As I often point out, wild game is actually
generally low in fat - generally very close to the level used in the studies (10-15% of
In fact, it is tragic that a Low Fat Diet is called "low fat", because it is
really not low in fat at all. The typical person on a Low Fat Diet will
consume between 20-30 grams of fat per day which is plenty. Furthermore,
even foods like grains, legumes and beans will supply a significant amount of
saturated fat, more than enough to trigger ample production of cholesterol for
the body's needs.
Before I go on, let me just briefly go over the research evidence for the
decreased evidence seen from undergoing a Low Fat Diet.
How does a Low Fat Diet clear out arteries? What is interesting is that the
research shows it does it by hitting almost every major pathway that leads to
a) Lowered Cholesterol. A Low Fat Diet brings saturated fat
consumption down to more natural levels and this, in turn, almost immediately
drops cholesterol into the range where there is no heart disease.
(Actually, it is possible to have a heart attack with cholesterol below 150, but
it is much less common.)
b) Increase LDL Particle Size.
Many of the experts consider the baddest of the bad boys are the very small LDL
particles. LDL, as many men now know, is the "bad cholesterol" of the
lipid world. However, it is really the small particles that do the most
damage according to one school of thought. Well, one study showed that a Low Fat
Diet increased LDL particle size.  Of course, this makes sense since we know
a Low Fat Diet reduces total cholesterol so dramatically.
c) Decreased Oxidation.. Again, small, bad cholesterol
particles need to be oxidizied
in order to do their damage
to arterial walls. The above study showed very significant decreases in
oxidation levels as well from a Low Fat Diet. 
d) Decreased Blood Pressure. Hypertension is a plague in
modern society and high blood pressure damages arteries, capillaries and
surrounding tissues throughout the body, especially as the years and decades go
by. A Low Fat Diet has been shown to decrease blood pressure levels
significantly in a number of studies and I document this in my link on
Lower Your Blood Pressure. (See #2.)
e) Diabetes Reversal and Blood Sugar Control. Dr. Neil Bernard, in
his book Dr. Neil Bernard's Program for Reversing Diabetes, outlines how easily a Low Fat Diet can actually reverse diabetes.
He shows how it can lower glycated hemoglobin levels and normalize blood sugar.
This also helps heal and restore your arteries (and about a 100 other tissues.)
The key here is to make sure that you eat low glycemic Low Fat foods, i.e. not
cheating with sugars and some of the higher
Finally, remember that if you eat Low Fat, you in good company. Most of the
supercultures, who enjoy incredible longevity with perfect blood pressure and
heart disease, hypertension or cancer, eat an almost Low Fat Diet. They don't follow
perfectly the formula outlined by Esselstyn and Ornish, but quite close.
I outline this in my review of the book
Healthy at 100.
NOTE: This is how I eat myself and I outline the research of this way of
eating in this link on
The Many Benefits of a Low Fat (Ornish) Diet.
I do tweak a Low Fat Diet, though, to include more protein for building muscle
and a few other things.
2. Pomegranate Juice. It is hard to believe
but just a little pomegranate juice could actually clear out arterial plaque,
but this is exactly what one study showed.  The group of pateints in
this study had advanced arteriosclerosis. However, almost anyone reading
this article wondering how to clear their arteries is likely in that category or
close. And in those with more normal narrowing of the arteries, other research
showed that pomegrante likely slowed arterial plaque buildup even if it didn't
actually clear it the arteries.
In fact, pomegranate juice is a wonder worker for your arteries in many ways:
it lowers blood pressure, boosts nitric oxide, protects against oxidized LDL and
lower cholesterol levels. In short, it does everything you could possibly
want a foood or supplement to do to protect your cardiovascular system.
(Talk to your physician if you're on any medications as it can alter absorption
rates of other medications.) For more information, see my links on
The Power of
Pomegranate Juice and
The Benefits of Pomegranate Extract.
3. Gum Disease. One small study showed that by reversing gum
disease patients actually reversed arteriosclerosis. This may seem
implausible at first, but researchers have noted that "infections" of the mouth
raise inflammation levels throughout the body and correlate to heart disease.
 Again, keep in mind that this is one study and the fact that it was small
and on patients with some periodontal disease. Read my links on
How to Control
Inflammation and Erectile Dysfunction for some related information.
4. Track Your Plaque Program. Cardiologist Dr. William Davis runs the
Track Your Program and has a web site devoted to not only tracking your plaque
but reversing it as well. His basic strategy focuses on some of the same ones mentioned
above: reducing inflammation, reducing certain kinds of LDL and one more:
increasing HDL. I do not know of any studies proving his techniques nor do
I know their success rates. However, I mention the program because a) his
practice is widely accepted in a manner similar to Dr. Esselstyn and b) his
strategy may appeal more to those who want some fat in their diet.
The Paleo and Low Carb crowds have adopted Dr. Davis, because he dislikes grains
and thinks cholesterol is not a good marker for cardiovascular outcomes.
he actually goes against many of their core "doctrines". For
example, he is NOT a fan
of saturated fat and actually goes on record saying that he prefers
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
He also is defiitely not a low
carb or high fat promoter either.
From what I can tell, Dr. Davis is somewhat
of a moving target and includes a wide range of protocols, including elimination
of wheat, megadosing niacin, higher dosage fish oil, etc. All of this seems a
tad "unnatural" to me, but if you absolutely want to have fat in your diet and
reverse heart disease, then his program may be just what you are looking for. (Also, you may be interested in
Review of Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis.)
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 1996, 16:201-207,
"Effects of Diet and Exercise on Qualitative and Quantitative Measures of LDL and Its Susceptibility to Oxidation"
Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33, "Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by
patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media
thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation"
The American Journal of Cardiology, Oct2009, 104(7):936-942, "Effects of
Consumption of Pomegranate Juice on Carotid Intima–Media Thickness in Men and
Women at Moderate Risk for Coronary Heart Disease"
4) Neurology, Oct 1 1977, 27(10):905, "Cerebral blood flow, oxygen utilization,
and blood volume in dementia"
5) Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Oct 2007, 55(10):1613–1617,
October 2007, "Assessment of Endothelial Function in Alzheimer's Disease: Is
Alzheimer's Disease a Vascular Disease?"
7) FASEB J, 2009 Apr, 23(4):1196-204. "Treatment of periodontal disease results
in improvements in endothelial dysfunction and reduction of the carotid