Here Are 7 Nutrients To Remove Calcium Plaque From Your Arteries

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

While many people think that eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol from animal products causes coronary artery disease (CAD), this is simply not true.

7 Nutrients to Remove Calcium Plaque from Your Arteries

The real issue behind CAD is actually coronary artery calcification (CAC) – a sign of ongoing inflammation and repair in the coronary arteries that wrap around the outside of the heart. In fact, calcification is present in all individuals with heart disease, and is not just a random occurrence.

First, let’s look at how CAD happens:

Coronary artery disease develops when calcium starts building up in the arteries, often as early as age 40, rather than staying in the teeth and bones where it belongs.

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This calcification is directly linked to the inflammation and injury occurring in the blood vessels, with over 90% of men and 67% of women having some degree of coronary artery calcification by age 70.

While the buildup of calcium is most common in the coronary arteries, it can also occur in the arteries of the legs, kidneys, neck, and the main aorta artery leading from the heart.

This calcium buildup is a key part of atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other waste materials develops and causes the arteries to stiffen and narrow over time. While some plaque hardens and calcifies, other plaque remains soft.

As the arteries become increasingly blocked, the heart muscle weakens, potentially leading to life-threatening heart failure. Alternatively, if the plaque ruptures and creates a clot, it can block blood flow and cause a heart attack or stroke.

Unfortunately, calcification does not show any symptoms, and the only sure way to know is to get a coronary calcium scan. The good news is that you can start reversing this calcium buildup by addressing the underlying inflammation.

Here are 7 nutrients that can help remove calcium plaque from your arteries, so let’s get into it.

First, the most important thing to do, in order to reverse calcification, is to reduce levels of “plaque protein” in the blood.

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This brings us to our first nutrient. Number 7 is, “Vitamin K2.”

When you have high levels of the protein “uncarboxylated matrix Gla-protein”, (ucMGP), which we’ll refer to as “plaque protein”, it can lead to calcified arteries. Plaque protein, is the inactive form of matrix Gla-protein (MGP), which normally helps prevent calcium buildup in blood vessels. However, for MGP to work properly, it needs to be activated first, and this requires vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone.

Now, many people do not get enough vitamin K2 in their daily meals, because of dietary habits. As a result, plaque protein builds up to high levels, and triggers inflammation and calcification in arteries. So, the first thing to do to reverse calcification, is to lower levels of plaque protein in your blood.

To do that, you need to get enough vitamin K2, especially in the form of MK-7, from foods or supplements. Why MK-7? Because it is the form of vitamin K2 that is well-absorbed by your body, and works longer, compared to another form, MK-4.

Two food sources with the highest concentration of vitamin K2 as MK-7, are the fermented foods, natto and sauerkraut. Other rich sources of MK-7 are fermented dairy products, like kefir and yogurt, and certain aged cheeses, such as Gouda and Camembert cheese. Animal foods, like beef liver, goose liver, pork chops, and pastured egg yolks contain vitamin K2 as MK-4.

There is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating vitamin K2 can help reduce vascular calcification. One clinical study found that a patented form of vitamin K2 as MK-7 is highly effective at reducing harmful plaque protein levels in the body.

In the study, 243 men and women were split into two groups – one group took the vitamin K2 as MK-7, while the other took a placebo. The vitamin K2 MK-7 group had 527% less of this plaque protein, and their arterial flexibility improved by an impressive 300%.

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So, in short, make sure you get enough vitamin K2, to prevent calcium from building up and hardening your arteries. For supplementation, research suggests the minimum effective dose of vitamin K2 is between 90 to 360 micrograms per day.

Next, we look at another type of deficiency that leads to calcium deposits in the arteries: low nitric oxide levels.

Nitric oxide is a crucial molecule that helps keep your arteries healthy and flexible. It’s produced in the endothelium, the thin layer of cells lining the inside of your arterial walls.

When nitric oxide levels are optimal, it improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and prevents calcification from occurring in the arteries. That’s because nitric oxide activates signaling pathways that actually stop the cells from turning into calcified deposits.

Unfortunately, many people have low nitric oxide levels due to factors like aging, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and atherosclerosis.

When nitric oxide is deficient, its protective effects are disrupted. This allows the calcification process to progress, leading to the hardening and narrowing of your arteries, and significantly increasing your risk of developing heart disease. Multiple studies have shown that low nitric oxide can directly contribute to and worsen the buildup of calcium in the arteries and aortic valve.

To maintain healthy endothelial function and high nitric oxide levels, you can try breathing exercises, stay physically active, and consume nitric oxide-boosting foods and supplements.

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This brings us to our next nutrient. Number 6 is, “Natural Nitrates.”

Consuming nitrate-rich vegetables like beets, spinach, kale, arugula, and cabbage is an excellent way to naturally boost your body’s levels of nitric oxide. The nitrates in these veggies get converted into nitrites by the bacteria in your saliva, which are then further transformed into beneficial nitric oxide within your body.

And the antioxidants present in these foods help prevent free radicals from breaking down the nitric oxide, allowing it to be more readily available and effective. To support optimal nitric oxide production, try to incorporate 2-3 servings of nitrate-rich foods like beets into your daily diet.

For added convenience, you can also take a beetroot extract supplement – studies show that just 2-3 teaspoons of beetroot powder per day can significantly increase your plasma nitric oxide levels.

And while they don’t contain natural nitrates, other foods like garlic and citrus fruits can also help stimulate your body’s nitric oxide production.

Our next nutrient deserves special mention. Number 5 is, “Pomegranate Juice.”

While pomegranates may not contain as much nitrate as beets, they make up for it with their impressive polyphenol content. These polyphenols, including powerful compounds like punicalagins, can provide a significant boost to your body’s nitric oxide levels and improve how nitric oxide works. Plus, the polyphenols in pomegranates have also been shown to help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which can worsen calcification in the arteries.

Pomegranates also contain urolithin A, a compound produced when gut bacteria break down substances found in pomegranate. Urolithin A has been found to actually help reverse harmful calcification in the body.

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In fact, a 2004 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology discovered that drinking pomegranate juice daily for 3 years reduced artery wall thickness by up to 30%, compared to a control group where it increased by 9%. This significant reduction in arterial plaque correlates with a lower risk of atherosclerosis, a major cause of heart disease.

Our next nutrient is Number 4. “Magnesium.”

A lack of magnesium can really put a strain on your heart. Without enough of this essential mineral, you’re at risk of developing high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, an enlarged heart, and a dangerous buildup of calcium deposits in your arteries. Magnesium deficiency can also lead to issues with abnormal cholesterol levels and trouble controlling your blood sugar.

In fact, it’s estimated that between 53% and 75% of the population isn’t getting enough magnesium in their diet, which is why making sure you get enough is so crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. The good news is that people with higher magnesium levels tend to have more nitric oxide production and less calcification, especially in the coronary arteries around the heart.

Foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dark chocolate, and avocados are all excellent sources of magnesium that can help boost your nitric oxide levels. The recommended daily amount of magnesium for adults is 400-420 mg, so be sure you’re getting enough of this vital nutrient.

The next key nutrient is, Number 3. “L-citrulline.”

L-citrulline is an amino acid that gets efficiently converted into L-arginine in the kidneys, and this arginine then helps produce nitric oxide. Interestingly, research has shown that taking L-citrulline supplements can actually increase nitric oxide levels even more effectively than taking arginine supplements directly.

This is because citrulline can bypass the digestive process and get into the bloodstream faster, making it a more potent booster of arginine and nitric oxide compared to arginine supplements alone. The recommended daily dosage of L-citrulline is 2-6 grams, and you can find good natural sources of this amino acid in foods like watermelon, Casaba melons, cucumbers, and cantaloupes.

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Coming in at Number 2, we have, “Hesperidin.”

Hesperidin is a beneficial plant compound found naturally in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Research has shown that hesperidin is effective at stopping the buildup of calcium in the arteries. This is because hesperidin helps lower oxidative stress and inflammation, which are major contributors to the development of atherosclerosis.

And our Number 1 nutrient is, “Vitamin C.”

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your arteries from the damage that can lead to plaque buildup and calcification. It also plays a key role in keeping your endothelium healthy and functioning properly. Studies have shown that high doses of vitamin C, up to 4 grams per day, can actually stop the progression of calcification in the coronary arteries.

But vitamin C’s benefits for arterial health don’t stop there – it also supports the production of collagen, which directs calcium into your bones instead of allowing it to accumulate in your arteries. It even activates a hormone called osteocalcin, that helps move calcium out of your bloodstream and into your bones.

Remarkably, vitamin C can even counteract the calcification-promoting effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

To get more of this essential antioxidant, look to tart cherries, pomegranate juice, blueberries, strawberries, and citrus fruits.

Now, instead of having to track down all these individual nutrients from various foods, you can now get them all conveniently combined into a single supplement – click the link below to see our recommended product for removing calcium plaque from your arteries.

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Other than getting these nutrients, here are a few lifestyle tips to help reverse calcification: Avoid eating ultra-processed foods; stay physically active, get enough sunlight, reduce toxin exposure, and get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night.

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