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Life Extension Magazine

Reversing Atherosclerosis Naturally

By Dale Kiefer

Atherosclerosis is Reversed

About a year and a half after commencing daily supplementation with GliSODin®, measurable decreases in subjects’ IMT were detected. Approximately two years after starting GliSODin® supplementation, decreases in IMT values became statistically significant. In dramatic contrast, control subjects not receiving GliSODin® experienced increased IMT values over the same period.21 There were no reported side effects in either group.

This remarkable study demonstrated that reversal of atherosclerosis in adults with multiple risk factors for future cardiovascular disease is possible through a combination of healthy diet and daily intake of GliSODin® (orally bioavailable superoxide dismutase). These findings were confirmed by monitoring of clinical and biological health parameters, and measurements of carotid IMT. The GliSODin® regimen, “improves, significantly, the anti-oxidant status,” noted investigators, “and diminishes, remarkably, carotid artery IMT.”21

It should be noted that these findings echo those of other researchers, who, in previous and subsequent studies, have convincingly demonstrated GliSODin®’s ability to reduce oxidative damage in human volunteers and animal models.25-27

Pomegranate Fights Oxidative Damage, Reverses Atherosclerosis

Scientists have recently shown that pomegranate juice offers cardiac health benefits that complement those of GliSODin®. In the past seven years alone, the amount of published research on pomegranate has increased seven-fold over all preceding years in the medical and scientific literature.40 That’s almost certainly because each new study underscores the potential of this fruit to fight cancer and to combat oxidative stress. The latter is of particular importance for atherosclerosis prevention.

Comparison of the effects of orally bioavailable SOD (GliSODin®) versus rosuvastatin (Crestor®) on carotid atherosclerosis (CIMT) over the course of two years.
GliSODin® significantly reversed carotid atherosclerosis, and the effects were most pronounced at 24 months. Atherosclerosis did not progress in those receiving rosuvastatin, and it showed a statistically insignificant trend toward reversal. Untreated control subjects experienced dramatic progression of atherosclerosis over the course of two years.20,21

In 2004, researchers published the findings of a three-year study on the daily consumption of pomegranate juice (50 mL, or 1.7 ounces) by patients with advanced atherosclerosis.41 These patients were diagnosed with carotid artery stenosis; a serious condition in which the carotid arteries, responsible for supplying blood to the brain, become noticeably narrowed by buildup of atherosclerotic plaques. Such patients are at increased risk of suffering strokes or other “cerebrovascular accidents”. In this study, common carotid IMT increased by 9% within one year in the non-supplemented control group. Remarkably, patients drinking pomegranate juice experienced a whopping 35% reduction in the IMT score and a 44% improvement in carotid artery blood flow over the same period. Investigators also documented a 21% reduction in systolic blood pressure among the pomegranate juice drinkers. Serum total antioxidant status was increased by an extraordinary 130% after one year of pomegranate supplementation. Additionally, the scientists monitored the status of an enzyme that may protect against the development of atherosclerotic plaque by protecting LDL against oxidative modification. Pomegranate drinkers’ levels of this beneficial enzyme increased by 83% after just one year. “For all studied parameters, the maximal effects were observed after one year of consumption,” wrote the researchers.41

3-D spiral CT scan / angiogram of carotid atherosclerosis.
Plaque attached to the wall of left internal carotid artery, 1cm above the carotidal bifurcation.

Other researchers from around the globe have obtained similar results when studying pomegranate’s ability to rapidly improve volunteers’ antioxidant status,42 to reduce oxidative stress, and to reverse processes that contribute to the promotion and progression of atherosclerosis, including coronary artery narrowing and LDL oxidation.43-47


Atherosclerosis is a serious threat to health. Its progression has been linked to increased risk of heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation and dementia, among other potentially fatal conditions. Since it may begin as early as childhood, and aging has been identified as the greatest risk factor for its development, it is vital to combat this arterial-dysfunction disease as early—and as aggressively—as possible. Nature has provided the means to protect ourselves from this insidious threat. By increasing our levels of the natural enzymatic antioxidant, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and by harnessing the potent polyphenol power of pomegranate, scientists have shown that it is now possible to help reverse the course of atherosclerosis—naturally.

Intima-Media Thickness: Advanced Detection of Atherosclerosis

For more than a decade, it’s been possible to detect atherosclerosis before it becomes clinically apparent. This is especially significant, as it may be difficult to reverse atherosclerosis by the time it becomes symptomatic. And given that atherosclerosis has been associated with everything from an increased risk of early cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia28,29 to an elevated risk of stroke, metabolic syndrome,30 abnormal heart rhythm,31 and heart attack,32 there is ample reason to identify and thwart this pathological process as early as possible.

Using advanced ultrasound technology, clinicians are able to image structures within the neck’s carotid artery to determine the thickness of its “intima-media”, or inner/middle layer.33,34 By measuring initial thickness and any subsequent changes, clinicians can detect the progress of atherosclerosis and map its progression throughout the entire body while it is still “subclinical”, or otherwise undetectable.32,35-37 Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is a well-documented and validated measure of atherosclerosis progression, and it is known to be predictive of future cardiovascular health; especially risk of heart attack and stroke.35,38,39 Common wisdom acknowledges that gorging on bacon double-cheeseburgers can negatively impact this disease process, but as European researchers noted recently, aging itself may be a leading factor influencing carotid intima-media thickness.21


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