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Success Stories: Amy A. - 63% Plaque Reversal!
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When we met Amy at age 52, she was at the height of her career.

She had started a small business with her husband seven years earlier, and they were now enjoying enormous success. She and her husband, Tim, decided it was time to devote less time to their flourishing business and more time to travel, health, and just sitting back and enjoying life.

Both got heart scans. While Tim’s heart scan score was a modest 21, Amy’s was higher at 117. For a woman, this put Amy in the 90th percentile (worst 10% for her age group). The score came as a surprise to her, despite the fact that her brother had his first heart attack at age 48, her mother had a heart attack at age 50. As an entrepreneur with a big success under her belt, perhaps she felt invincible.

A severe lipoprotein (a) pattern, Lp(a), proved to be the crucial cause behind Amy’s coronary plaque, along with a marked excess of small LDL. (Seasoned Track Your Plaque followers will tell you that this combination is an especially potent trigger for coronary plaque.) We advised Amy to embark on a program of fish oil, vitamin D, and niacin for Lp(a). We advised Amy on how to use diet to correct the small LDL pattern.

Amy promptly lost 10 lbs with these changes and was well on her way. However, Amy and Tim’s daughter unexpectedly suffered a fatal injury in a work-related accident.

The parents were devastated. Amy returned to us after a few months, shaken but bolstered by the support of her husband, her family that came back together after the tragedy, and friends. We picked up where she left off.

A second heart scan 15 months after her first revealed a score of 43—a 63% drop.

Dr. Davis:

In the Track Your Plaque program, we’ve come to respect the profound effects of stressful events, particularly one as exceptionally difficult as the loss of a loved one.

It is powerful testimony to this woman’s strength that she maintained her health program after picking up the pieces of her life. Thankfully, she had the support of a loving husband and family.

I believe that the lesson we need to learn from Amy’s important story is that, while great stress like the death of someone close to you, divorce, financial ruin, etc., can have enormous effects on health—drop in HDL, increased inflammatory measures, increased cancer risk, loss of control over heart disease, even profound reductions in heart muscle strength (a phenomenon that was validated by studies performed in New York City immediately post September 11)—it does not necessarily have to overwhelm you and undo all the good still achievable. In fact, despite the odds, Amy achieved the largest percentage decrease in score of anyone ever participating in this process.

Perhaps other people experiencing the same severity of stress that Amy experienced would not have had the same level of success that she did. But I do believe that this is yet another example of what is possible in the big picture of heart disease reversal.

Nothing can replace the loss of a loved person in our lives. But if the Track Your Plaque approach allows real people like Amy to continue their lives uninterrupted by the devastation of heart disease, I believe that we’ve added something positive to the human experience.

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