MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

In the realm of alternative medicine, the Internet is a double-edged sword. It can be most useful to many, particularly to those who are able to think critically. To those who do not have this ability, it can be outright dangerous. We have researched this area in several way and always arrived at this very conclusion. For instance, we evaluated websites providing advice for cancer patients and concluded that “the most popular websites on complementary and alternative medicine for cancer offer information of extremely variable quality. Many endorse unproven therapies and some are outright dangerous.”

This makes it abundantly clear that, for some, the Internet can become a danger to their health and life. Recently I was reminded of this fact when I saw this website entitled ‘Foods that will naturally cleanse your arteries’. Its message is instantly clear, particularly as it provides this impressive drawing.

.

The implication here is that we can all clear our arteries of atherosclerotic plaques by eating the right foods. The site also lists the exact foods. Here they are:

START OF QUOTE

Salmon

Salmon is one of the best heart foods as it is packed with healthy fats which reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation. However you must make sure that the fish is organic.

 

Orange juice

Orange juice is rich in antioxidants which strengthens the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Simply drink 2 glasses of fresh orange juice a day and you’re good to go.

 

Coffee

According to numerous studies 2-4 cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by 20%. However don’t drink excessively as it may cause problems with your digestion.

 

Nuts

Nuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, healthy properties and unsaturated fats which regulate your memory, cholesterol and prevent joint pain.

 

Persimmon fruit

The persimmon fruit is packed with fiber and sterols which help lower cholesterol. It makes a great addition to salads and cereals

 

Turmeric

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric provides a large variety of health benefits. It helps reduce tissue inflammation and prevents overactive fat accumulation. Feel free to add it to your meals or to your tasty cup of tea.

 

Green tea

Aside from having a soothing effect, green tea helps energize the whole body, boost the metabolism and lower the absorption of cholesterol. Just drink 1-2 cups of green tea a day and you have nothing to worry about.

 

Cheese

Cheese can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

 

Watermelon

Watermelon is the most delicious summer fruit. But aside from its amazing taste, it also improves the production of nitric oxide which enhances the function of the blood vessels.

 

Whole grain

Whole grains are rich in fiber content which helps lower cholesterol and cholesterol accumulation in the arteries. Consume more whole grain bread, brown rice and oats.

 

Cranberries

Cranberries have been long known to be the richest source of potassium. Due to this, they can easily lower bad cholesterol and increase the good one. 2 glasses of cranberry juice a day can lower the risk of heart attack by 40%.

 

Seaweed

Seaweeds are packed with vitamins, proteins, minerals and carotenoids which easily regulate your blood pressure.

 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon prevents buildups in the arteries and lower cholesterol.

 

Pomegranate

It is an exotic fruit that provides a healthy portion of phytochemicals. These improve the production of nitric oxide, and boost circulation. Add pomegranate seeds to your salads.

 

Spinach

It is high in folic acid and potassium. You need this to lower your blood pressure, strengthen muscles, and prevent heart attack.

 

Broccoli

Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, which help lower blood pressure and cholesterol when eaten steam-cooked or raw.

 

Olive oil

Olive oil helps maintain your health at its peak. Be sure to use cold-pressed oil as it is rich in healthy fats which lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack by 40%.

 

Asparagus

Asparagus prevents inflammation, clogging and lowers cholesterols. Implement it to dishes, noodles, soups or potatoes.

 

Blueberries

Blueberries are high in potassium and as we mentioned above, potassium is the key to reducing bad cholesterol and increasing the good one. Drink 2 glasses of blueberry juice a day.

 

Avocado

Avocadoes are without a doubt – one of the healthiest fruits known to man. They’re rich in healthy fat and improve the balance of bad and good cholesterol.

 

END OF QUOTE

As far as I know, there is no good evidence for the claim that any of these 20 foods will clear arteriosclerotic arteries. There is some evidence for fish oil and some for green tea to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But surely, this is quite a different matter than reversing atherosclerotic plaques.

What’s the harm? I believe the potential for harm is obvious: people at high risk of suffering a major cardiovascular event who read such nonsense and believe it might think they can abandon the treatments, drugs and life-styles they have been advised to follow and take. Instead they might eat a bit more of the 20 ingredients listed above. If they did that, many would die.

I think many of us who know better have become far too tolerant of dangerous nonsense of such nature. We tend to think that either nobody is as stupid as to follow such silly advice, or we assume that taking a bit of daft advice will not do much harm. I fear we are wrong on both accounts.

 

 

22 Responses to ‘Foods that will naturally cleanse your arteries’

  • The Professor should have started his quote from this website a line before:
    “Down below are the top 20 foods and drinks that will cleanse your arteries and prevent this condition:”

    Note, these foods as recommended WILL cleanse your arteries and (WILL) PREVENT plaques.
    No evidence whatsoever is offered to support these claims.

    The site is that of ‘Bewellhub’ – not to be confused with others who use the ‘bewell’ moniker such as ‘Bewellinnovations’.

    The issue here, and for the hundreds of sites which have been set up to secure a readership to which they can advertise, and a market for whatever they want to sell, is that there is absolutely no authority whatsoever for their proclamations.

    Advice of any sort is only as good as the authority of the adviser.
    In this case – none.

    DoI: I try to eat pretty much as they suggest – but not because they suggest it. And I certainly do not expect the benefits they claim.

  • “Just drink 1-2 cups of green tea a day and you have nothing to worry about.”

    hmmm, I wonder if green tea by itself does the job, or if it’s in conjunction with all the other items on the list? 🙂

    • If so, no Chinese would die of heart attack..

      Few years ago the miracle food on USA was pinto beans. Even with 96% of 200 million Brazilians eating pinto beans every single day, they age and die just like any other people on the world.

  • I agree that the title is misleading. Perhaps listing the recommended foods as being simply more heart-healthy would have been superior to claiming that they cure or prevent atherosclerosis.

    I think it’s time for a burrito at Chipotle….heavy guac. Cheers, all.

  • “As far as I know, there is no good evidence for the claim that any of these 20 foods will clear arteriosclerotic arteries.”

    The page you link to doesn’t claim that these food will clear arteriosclerotic arteries. They talk about prevention.

    • Not an accurate reading, jm. Here’s the full title of the article: “20 Foods That Will Naturally Cleanse Your Arteries And Prevent Heart Attacks”.

      So the claim is perfectly clear, and exactly what Edzard says. It’s to clear arteriosclerotic arteries (see also illustration, for Pete’s sake!) and (thus) prevent heart attacks.

    • “The page you link to doesn’t claim that these food will clear arteriosclerotic arteries. They talk about prevention.”

      They do talk about prevention and to be fair there is probably some sensible advice there but at two points (including the main title of the page) they claim these foods will ‘cleanse’ the arteries. To me that strongly suggests they will get rid of deposits which have already built up. Misleading IMHO, although at least they’re not trying to sell something off the back of it.

      Niall

      • They are selling advertising – to do which they need to entice readers – by making false claims to attract their interest.

        “No proven benefit from 20 often recommended foods” will not get the gullible punters to explore the site.

        ‘Twas ever thus. God told Moses “Keep taking the tablets” – but there was no evidence they did any good!

        • @Richard

          “‘Twas ever thus. God told Moses “Keep taking the tablets” – but there was no evidence they did any good!”

          What the heck does this statement mean to you, Richard? Biblical hermeneutics is obviously something you know zero about, won’t you admit?

          • D.D. Palmer hermeneutics is obviously something you know zero about, won’t you admit?

          • @Logos-Bios on Wednesday 08 March 2017 at 23:51

            “What the heck does this statement mean to you, Richard? Biblical hermeneutics is obviously something you know zero about, won’t you admit?”

            Why would Richard want to have any knowledge of a work of fiction anyway? Methinks perhaps you do have such knowledge, as well as knowledge of the fairy of chiro. lol

          • @Pete

            D.D. Palmer “hermeneutics” is not relevant to current chiropractice. Why did you mention relative to my post to Richard?

          • @Frank Collins

            It’s unfortunate you make statements regarding topics about which you are obviously uninformed. The Bible contains historical, prophetic and poetic writings. Whether or not a person is a believer or not should not obscure his desire to avoid incorrect comments about the Bible(or any subject matter): no learned person would call the Bible fiction.

    • Frank & Neil,

      I wonder if you would have come to the same conclusion if you had just stumbled across the page on you own, rather than reading Edzard’s assessment. It’s quite clear that the target audience is folks who fear a health problem, not those who have one.

      I guess Edzard was right to fear the danger of the internet.

      • “I wonder if you would have come to the same conclusion if you had just stumbled across the page on you own, rather than reading Edzard’s assessment.”

        Of course I would. I read websites like this every day and they enrage me with their insinuations and semantic weasellings as they mislead trusting people and make false promises. I’m just glad people like Edzard have the patience and persistence to highlight their nonsense.

        “It’s quite clear that the target audience is folks who fear a health problem, not those who have one.” Well, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that one. To my mind an article entitled “Foods that will naturally cleanse your arteries” is clearly directed at people who have been told by their doctor their arteries are ‘clogged up’ with the strong suggestion this advice will “cleanse them”, not “stop them getting to the point they will need cleansing”. The fact the author changes this advice somewhat in the main body of the text is beside the point, worried people are drawn in by false promises so the author can simply sell advertising. It is misleading and potentially dangerous advice. And even the idea this advice will act as a preventive is questionable – I don’t see any references.

        Niall

      • @jm

        “It’s quite clear that the target audience is folks who fear a health problem, not those who have one.”

        I really don’t think this is true (see Niall’s comment), but if it were, does that justify feeding such people with pure nonsense?

        Your remark suggesting I am incapable of thought independent of Edzard Ernst is simply insulting.

      • “does that justify feeding such people with pure nonsense?”

        Of course not. But it’s also pure nonsense that the page is claiming to treat arteriosclerotic arteries. The term “worried well” is used quite a lot on this site, and that’s the target audience. (And, the impressive drawing would be reversed if the target was folks with arteriosclerotic arteries – the drawing is “don’t let this happen to you” not “look what these foods can do”.)

        “Your remark suggesting I am incapable of thought independent of Edzard Ernst is simply insulting.”

        That’s a pretty broad conclusion, Frank. I find it insulting that you jumped there.

  • Never mind the science…

    Turmeric… IN TEA! That is simply gross!

    Niall

  • Sites like the one Ernst quotes from are rampant. The intended target is anyone gullible and ignorant enough of the subject matter, but who represent a vast audience of what might be called natural health enthusiasts. In an effort to garner higher rankings in Goggle search analytics, some of these sites include links to PubMed abstracts. Just the other day, I found one based in the U.S. with a board composed of an MD, along with an assortment of people with science degrees, including a dietician. But I have to wonder if any of them write the drivel they post. Assuming they do, it’s obvious that they know little about natural products and especially medicinal plants. As a case in point, in an article explaining the nature of goji berries, the site mentions that the fruit contains a ‘chemical called beta-sitosterol’. Yet they give no information about the chemical, let alone the fact that most species of plants contain the same sterol. The knee-slapper is that the quantities of beta-sitosterol in goji berries and countless other plants are too small to be of any benefit. While that might explain why the site fails to give a reference in support of the sterol in the fruit, I suspect the board chose not to reveal the source to avoid scrutiny by the curious.

  • Sorry- cheese?!

  • Has no one else noticed this?

    Orange juice…Simply drink 2 glasses of fresh orange juice a day and you’re good to go.

    Coffee…According to numerous studies 2-4 cups of coffee a day can significantly reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by 20%.

    Green tea…Just drink 1-2 cups of green tea a day and you have nothing to worry about.

    Cranberries…2 glasses of cranberry juice a day can lower the risk of heart attack by 40%.

    Blueberries…Drink 2 glasses of blueberry juice a day.

    BUT…be sure not to overdo it on the coffee.

    However don’t drink excessively as it may cause problems with your digestion.

  • Christine,

    YES, thank you!! I was going to calculate the calories and sugar content of all that juice but never got around to it.

    And the altie mantra is to avoid all sugar (“it feeds cancer”) and foods that cause the “body’s pH balance to shift from alkaline to acid” because “that causes cancer.” Orange juice, cranberries and blueberries are all well-known to be alkaline in the altie world. But I guess that acid works like Drano to burn away all the gunk in one’s arteries.

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