The traditional view of atherosclerosis as a lipid storage disease crumbles in the face of extensive and growing evidence that inflam-mation participates centrally in all stages of this disease, from the initial lesion to the end-stage thrombotic complications. Investiga-tors now appreciate that narrowing arteries do not necessarily presage myocardial infarction and that simply treating narrowed blood vessels does not prolong life. Although invasive approaches such as angioplasty and coronary artery bypass will remain neces-sary in some cases, we now understand that at least some of the cardiovascular benefits attributable to medical treatment and life-style modification (diet and physical activity) may result from re-ductions in inflammatory processes. Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 83(suppl):456S– 60S.
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