A study from the February 1, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology demonstrates the benefits of making lifestyle changes with diet and exercise.
A group of patients with heart disease or risk factors for heart disease were asked to follow a vegetarian diet with less than ten percent of their calories from fat, get at least three hours of exercise per week, and practice stress management for one hour per day. Another group received the usual standard care.
The patients who followed the vegetarian diet, exercised, and meditated had improved endothelial function or function of the lining of their arteries. They also decreased their C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels, which are markers of inflammation which have been shown to be linked to heart disease.
Source: Dod HS, Bhardwaj R, Sajja V, et al. Effect of intensive lifestyle changes on endothelia function on inflammatory markers of atherosclerosis. Am J Cardiol. 2010;105:362-367.