Harvard Health Letter

Can we reduce vascular plaque buildup?

Making plaque disappear is not possible, but it is possible to shrink and stabilize it. Drugs called statins can help with this by lowering LDL cholesterol. They block the liver enzyme that promotes cholesterol production. Lifestyle changes can also help. These include eating a heart-healthy diet, which can reduce heart disease risk by 30%; smoking cessation, which can raise HDL levels; and exercising, which can lower LDL levels when combined with weight loss.
To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »