Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease. Blood vessels that bring blood to the heart muscle are narrowed. It can slow or stop blood flow to the heart. Blood vessels are narrowed by a process called atherosclerosis. Fat, cholesterol, and calcium stick to blood vessel walls and form a plaque. The plaque can damage the blood vessels walls. This can lead to blood clots. The clots and plaque both make the blood vessel more narrow. It also makes it easier for more plaque to develop. Blocked blood flow in these blood vessels can lead to a heart attack.
Treatment can help to slow or stop buildup of plaque, open narrow arteries, and decrease the risk of clotting. One step is to manage factors that lead to CAD. This includes:
Information on these issues can be found in separate articles. The following include supplements that were specifically studied for impact on CAD.
Dietary factors that may reduce the risk of CAD:
Therapy that may affect CAD include:
These supplements may not be effective:
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Talk to your doctor about any alternative therapy you are taking to make sure it does not interfere with your treatment plan. Some supplement discussed here have certain concerns such as:
A. Dietary changes
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B1. Hooper L, Thompson RL, et al. Omega 3 fatty acids for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD003177.
B2. Lee IM, Cook NR, et al. Vitamin E in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The women’s health study: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2005;294(1):56–65.
B3. Cook NR, Albert CM, et al. A randomized factorial trial of vitamins C and E and beta carotene in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events in women: results from the Women's Antioxidant Cardiovascular Study. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:1610-1618.
B4. Ong HT, Cheah JS. Statin alternatives or just placebo: an objective review of omega-3, red yeast rice and garlic in cardiovascular therapeutics. Chin Med J (Engl). 2008;121:1588-1594.
B5. Sesso HD, Buring JE, et al. Vitamins E and C in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in men: the Physicians' Health Study II randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2008;300:2123-2133.
B6. Mei W, Rong Y, et al. Effect of homocysteine interventions on the risk of cardiocerebrovascular events: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Int J Clin Pract. 2010 Jan;64(2):208-15.
B7. Miller ER 3rd, Juraschek S, et al. Meta-analysis of folic acid supplementation trials on risk of cardiovascular disease and risk interaction with baseline homocysteine levels. Am J Cardiol. 2010 Aug 15;106(4):517-27.
B8. Kwak SM, Myung SK, et al. Efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2012 Apr 9.
B9. Rees K, Hartley L, et al. Selenium supplementation for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;(1):CD009671.
B10. Martí-Carvajal AJ, Solà I, et al. Homocysteine-lowering interventions for preventing cardiovascular events. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 15;1:CD006612.
B11. Jenkins DJA, Spence JD, et al. Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals for CVD Prevention and Treatment. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 Jun 5;71(22):2570-2584.
B12. Hooper L, Al-Khudairy L, et al. Omega-6 fats for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Jul 18;7:CD011094.
C. Other therapies
C1. Bradt J, Dileo C, et al. Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Dec 28;(12):CD006577.
C2. Hartley L, Dyakova M, et al. Yoga for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;5:CD010072.
Last reviewed March 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Richard Glickman-Simon, MD
Last Updated: 3/2/2019