Coronary Artery Disease

Statins vs Low-Calorie, High-Anti-Inflammatory Diet for CAD

A low-calorie, high anti-inflammatory diet may be just as effective as statins for the regression of atherosclerotic plaque in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), according to an ongoing study.

The study was presented on August 31, 2017, by Dr Lobina Kaniz Kalam at the 19th Annual Cardiology Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Statin drugs have helped decrease morbidity and mortality in patients with known CAD and in patients without clinical evidence of CAD. Existing evidence has shown that with statins alone, plaque regression begins at 12 months at the earliest. Chronic inflammation also plays a role in multiple unstable plaques in different coronary arteries.

In order to assess how a low-calorie, high–anti-inflammatory diet affects atherosclerosis and CAD outcomes vs statin use alone, Dr Kalam will evaluate 1500 patients with hyperlipidemia and known coronary or carotid atherosclerosis for 12 months. Patients assigned to the statin group will receive 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg Zocor and will consume the usual American diet. Patients assigned to the low-calorie diet group will receive a daily meal plan consisting of 3 eggs and any type of vegetables for breakfast; detox juice with 3 red apples, 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of kale, and 1 cup of celery for lunch; and 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of any type of meat, and 1 cup of vegetables for dinner.

Data will be collected over the course of 1 year, and outcomes associated with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, body mass index, C-reactive protein, and carotid and coronary vessel wall thickness will be assessed.

“A low-calorie, high anti-inflammatory diet as the detox juice diet plan, may be as effective as statins in regression of atherosclerotic plaque,” Dr Kalam concluded.

—Christina Vogt


Kaniz Kalam L. Regression of atherosclerosis: a study of statins vs. low calorie high anti-inflammatory diet. Paper presented at: 19th Annual Cardiology Conference; August 31-September 1, 2017. Philadelphia, PA.