The Nation's Health + [life]

Heart disease reversal: Go the distance!

How long should it take to stop or reverse coronary plaque growth? How long will it require to stop your heart scan score of, say, 350, from increasing at the expected rate of 30% per year, slow it down (we say "decelerate") to less than 30%, or stop it altogether? Or, actually reduce your score?

It can vary widely. Several simple patterns do seem to emerge, however. Our experience is that lower scores, particularly less than 100 at the start, are easier to gain control over. Scores of 50 or less, in fact, commonly can return to zero.

Higher scores, particularly those >1000, are more difficult to slow or reduce, though we've done it many times. You'll generally have to try harder and it may take longer. It's not uncommon to not stop plaque growth with a starting score this high until your 2nd or 3rd year of effort.

Sometimes it may take even longer. An occasional person requires four or five years to gain control. And there are, unfortunately, some people who never really gain complete control. They slow plaque growth compared to what it would have been with conventional efforts, but never completely halt growth. Why? Sometimes it's a matter of less than full commitment. Other times, we just don't know. Thankfully, these especially difficult cases are few and the majority enjoy substantial slowing or reversal.

Since, in some people, success may take time, you've got to stick it out. Have you ever gotten lost in a strange city only to find out later that the place you were looking for was right around the corner? It can be the same way with stopping coronary plaque growth. If you start with a score of 1000 and, after two years of effort, you've only slowed growth to 11% per year and then give up in frustration, you may have missed the opportunity to have stopped growth entirely in your third year.

All we can do is tip the scales heavily in your favor. We provide you with the best tools known. You've got to provide the commitment, the consistent effort of taking your supplements or medication, making the lifestyle changes, choosing the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones. But you've got to go the distance and not give up too easily.