A Vegan Diet Rich in Fats of Plant Origin May Reverse Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is currently being reversed using lifestyle interventions that includes a low-fat plant-based diet or a vegan diet that is restricted to 10–12% of energy as fat by restricting the use of free fats and fat-rich foods. There is now evidence from the PREDIMED study that atherosclerosis is reversed by adding nuts to a Mediterranean diet that already had 30% of energy as fat. CAD was also reversed in a clinical case using a vegan diet with added nuts, but the fat content was not reported. Here we report a clinical case showing reversal of CAD with a vegan diet that contained 38% of total fat from nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados.
A 75 year-old male that developed angina was diagnosed with moderate coronary arterial stenosis using a treadmill nuclear stress test. He chose a lifestyle intervention consisting of a vegan diet and exercise rather than taking the routinely prescribed medications and surgical interventions. The patient began consuming a customarily prescribed low-fat vegan diet for reversing CAD for two weeks, but then he increased the total content of his vegan diet to 38% of energy as total fat while maintaining only 4% of energy from saturated fat, coming from nuts and seeds, avocados, olives, and small amounts of vegetable oils.
Angina disappeared within 6 months of lifestyle intervention and no coronary arterial stenosis was detected by the same nuclear stress test 2.25 years later.
Discussion and Conclusion
The results of this clinical case are consistent with the evidence from the PREDIMED study using nuts added to the Mediterranean diet; and with a clinical case using a vegan diet with added nuts. We therefore hypothesize that a vegan diet not restricted in fats of plant origin while preserving a very low saturated fat content is effective for reversing CAD, together with exercise. This dietary approach could open the way for more people to adopt lifestyle interventions to reverse CAD by providing a more palatable diet. This new lifestyle approach could have a favorably impact on public health and the epidemic of cardiovascular disease in this country and abroad.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Journal
Supplement number 1
Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness
Mejia, Maximino Alfredo; Sanchez, Albert; Sanchez, Joanie; and Runte, Eric, "A Vegan Diet Rich in Fats of Plant Origin May Reverse Coronary Artery Disease" (2016). Faculty Publications. 646.