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Nat Rev Cardiol. 2012 Nov;9(11):634-43. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2012.117. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

The role of nutrition and body composition in peripheral arterial disease.

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Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, 1334 Eckles Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55108, USA.


Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) has not been as extensively investigated as other cardiovascular diseases. However, the available data suggest that nutrition-based treatment strategies have the potential to reduce the cost-economic burden of PAD substantially. Abdominal obesity is associated with PAD and prospective and cross-sectional studies have shown that a low dietary intake of folate and reduced synthesis of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of PAD and severe walking impairment in patients who have the disease. However, dietary patterns that are associated with decreased cardiovascular risk might protect against PAD. A small number of clinical trials have provided evidence that increased intakes of niacin and insoluble fiber might be associated with decreased levels of LDL cholesterol and thrombogenic biomarkers, as well as increased serum levels of HDL cholesterol in patients with PAD. However, little evidence that antioxidants, vitamins B(6) and B(12), or essential fatty acid supplements improve clinical outcomes in these patients exists. Overall, data on the effects of nutrition, body composition, and nutritional supplementation on the risk, progression, and prognosis of PAD are scarce. Further research into these areas is required to allow the development of evidence-based nutritional guidelines for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

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