What if I had a cure for coronary disease?

If I had a cure for coronary disease, what would it look like? What would constitute cure? Would you recognize it if I showed it to you?

In the strictest sense, "cure" means an absolute elimination of any sign of coronary plaque, as well as elimination of any and all dangers associated with coronary disease. It would also mean elimination of the factors that created coronary atherosclerotic plaque in the first place.

In a more practical sense, you could argue that "cure" means a reduction of the amount of material that constitute coronary disease along with a dramatic reduction of the associated risks (i.e., heart attack).

You might call this second, more lax definition "regression" or "reversal".

Is "cure" in the strictest sense possible? No, not to my knowledge in 2006. Yes, there are many (kooks) who claim this is possible, but there's no objective evidence of this occurring.

Regression, or reversal, however, is indeed possible. In fact, I've seen it countless times following the participants in the Track Your Plaque program. If your heart scan score goes from 1000 (a bad score with high risk for heart attack) to 750, you've experienced a large reduction in the amount of atherosclerotic plaque that is behind coronary disease. You've also reduced your risk of an "event" like heart attack to near zero (provided you remain on the program that achieved regression in the first place).

Unfortunately, with present technology regression or reversal does not mean that the original causes of coornary plaque are eliminated. They're just controlled. Fish oil, for example, powerfully reduces triglyceride-containing lipoproteins that trigger coronary plaque growth. But if you stop fish oil, the evil lipoproteins come right back and start injuring your coronaries, causing more plaque growth.

The Track Your Plaque program is the closest thing I know of to a "cure" for coronary disease, that is, "cure" in the sense of regression or reversal. Perhaps in future we'll have a "cure" in the strict sense. Until now, this program is the best there is.