Category Archives: 10. Reversing Heart Disease

LifeSpan versus HealthSpan

LifeSpan Versus Healthspan

References:  WEForum 2017Compreh Physiology 2012,  Med Sci-Fi Sport Exercise,

We are living longer. But are we living better? In the 20th century, we doubled our life expectancy with the miracle of antibiotics, clean surgical technique, X-rays, immunizations and clean water.  Babies being born today in advanced societies have a 50:50 chance of living to be 100. But living longer isn’t necessarily better. There have been some disturbing trends lately. Obesity has managed to reverse the climb to longer lifespan in some societies, namely the USA.

As we live longer, we have more choices about lifestyle, making research into factors affecting confoundingly complex. It becomes impossible to do “randomized, placebo controlled” studies over decades without limiting free choice and spending more money than could be allocated. This article, from the World Economic Forum this year, offers insight into the laboratory of fitness, namely masters athletes. I have a dozen or so men and women older than 60 in my practice who would qualify as exceptionally fit. And I see their lab results and their vitality. They are aging differently than those of us who are less active.

Sedentary behavior is being increasingly recognized as the driver of many of our modern conditions. Part of this discernment comes from the recognition that athletes, (high end performers) have a disproportionately share of good health. They don’t get in trouble. They still die, but their time of end-of-life disability is markedly compressed, compared to the majority of the sedentary population. They become a unique research cohort, one that we couldn’t duplicate with “randomized research”. In effect, what happens with athletes is that they reach their peak in their 30s, like all of us, but then don’t show much decline until close to the very end. The rest of us show inexorable, linear decline. “Patch, patch patch, after 40!,” we say.

At every age in life, starting exercise of any kind has benefit. And the risk of complications from exercise is far lower than the risk of remaining sedentary. The real risk is sitting. Considering computer games at home, TV, computers at work and cell phones in-between, we are mesmerized by electronic distractions that leave us sedentary. In fact, research in 2009 of 17,000 Canadians of all ages showed a dose relationship of sedentary behavior to all cause mortality, regardless of levels of exercise. That means 30 minutes in the gym does you no good if you are sitting the rest of the day. Bother.

The Author cites four strategies with references on each: 1) Move More (Just get started and move more), 2) Move Slow, (Aim for 10,000 steps a day) 3) Move Fast (Add some high intensity something, even for just 10 minutes) and 4) Move Heavy (Add some weights). Read those hyperlinks. It’s the best of our knowledge.

WWW.What will work for me. Sedentary behavior is the new smoking. If you want to live better, longer, you have to do it. Build it in every day. A day without exercise is as bad as a day of smoking.

Pop Quiz

1. Our grand-kids are likely to live to be 90+. T or F Answer: False if they are sedentary, but true if they get the exercise bug and take care of their diet.
2. Our society is becoming more active. T or F Answer: Mixed picture. But as a general rule, false. Bless those who make the answer slightly true.
3. 30 minutes at the gym has beneficial effects? T or F Answer: Sure, it helps. Its benefit may be completely erased by an 8 hour day of sitting.
4. There is a dose relationship between exercise and good health. T or F Bingo
5. Getting sweaty isn’t necessary. T or F Answer: False, if you want optimal results. Getting sweaty 3-4 times a week is much better for you.

 

Heart Disease is a Sulfate Deficiency Problem

Heart Disease is a Sulfate Deficiency Problem

References:  Theor Biol Med Mod,

Half of us, men and women, die of this scourge. I have spent a career battling heart disease in Emergency Medicine and now Functional Medicine. And I’m still puzzled why it happens. We explain, as best we can, that we think it’s caused by the agglomeration of small, dense LDLs into our arteries. White cells then come along and try to digest those packets of fat, and can’t do it. They die. Cholesterol accumulates. All this is the theoretical foundation of the cause of heart disease. And it falls short.

Stephanie Senneff from MIT, suggests a different consideration that fits all the present criteria better than the cholesterol hypothesis. We may have been barking up the wrong tree. Here is her construct.

It starts with the “structure” of water. In a glass, water flows freely. At the microscopic level, it has a tiny electrical magnetic orientation that adds up, making for slight stickiness at interfaces. This gets to be an issue on the surface of biological entities, like cell walls and the surfaces of arteries. Friction builds up and necessary movement is slowed down. We can’t have that in blood vessels. This is where cholesterol-SULFATE and SULFATED-glycosaminoglycans line the surface of blood vessels, creating a tiny electrical and magnetic charge that leads to what is being called “structured water”.

This is where it gets really interesting. Red blood cells, covered with electrically charged particles, moving through blood vessels lined with “structured water” create a tiny micro voltage. When you have moving voltage, you create a tiny magnetic field that becomes a signaling device – just like a radio, or an electric motor. (EVSP: electrokinetic vascular streaming potential) The lining cells of the capillary repel the red cells, and get the signal to release NO, nitric oxide. The capillary relaxes and the red cells gets pushed through to the other end of the capillary. Blood flows. Oxygen gets delivered. The organism thrives. (A topic for another day is that this magnetic field is then subject to outside low levels of electromagnetic radiation. Hmmm!)

Where does heart disease come in? With insufficient sulfate on the surface of arteries and red cells, a lower you have an alteration of the voltage potential, fixed with elevation of blood pressure. The natural result is a desperate search for sulfate to make the blood vessel and its environment slippery. Sulfated cholesterol, made by sun exposure, provides the sulfate. Cholesterol accumulates. Plaque develops. Eventually, heart attacks occur. The detail is much more elegant but the paper is fascinating. This sounds real, plausible and explains heart disease down to the molecule.

What is the takeaway? Heart disease isn’t caused by LDLs or cholesterol. If all this is true, heart disease is caused by sticky red cells being unable to pass through capillaries with a drop in nitric oxide and a scavenging of sulfated cholesterol as a means to garnish enough sulfate to keep blood flowing. Certainly cholesterol plays a role, but the problem lies in lack of sulfate, not excess of cholesterol. The accumulation of cholesterol is a secondary phenomenon.

To test this hypothesis, one would presume you could fix heart disease if you eased the lack of sulfated compounds. Here we circle back to Lester Morrison and his work in the 50’s and 60’s, reversing vascular disease with SULFATED-chondroitin. Did you get that? It’s been proven clinically already. This hypothesis has legs.

WWW:What will work for me. This is enormously satisfying to me. It feels right. We have the physics of fluid flow match the observation of biological compounds relationship to sulfated compounds, to external electromagnetic forces. It also fits that our diet, which has shifted to more manufactured, carbohydrate laden food, has lost the key food items that supplied us with sulfate: eggs, crucifers, alliums, garlic, animals. Eat the WHOLE animal. It’s cartilage that has sulfate in it.  Bone broth is rich in sulfate. Back to gnawing on chicken bones. I’m in.

Pop Quiz

  1. When you push two magnets against each other, and they push back against each other, you create the same effect as red cells lined with cholesterol sulfate have in capillaries.   T or F                                                    Answer: Bingo. You got it. That’s the key.
  2. Lack of sulfate leads to accumulation of cholesterol as a secondary, dysfunctional way of harvesting sulfate, needed to make an artery lining slippery. T or F                                                                                            Answer. If you answer true, you now have become an A student
  3. Cholesterol plays a role in heart disease. T or F                                            Answer. True. It plays a role but only as a garbage dump after it’s relinquished its sulfate, indicating that it’s the lack of sulfate that really drives the bus.
  4. It makes sense for me to take a statin to reverse my heart disease.   T or F

If you said true, read [the paper](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4456713/) three more times and then write on the blackboard 100 times: cholesterol is a secondary player. Then report back to the class.

  1. Bone broth has magical properties. T or F                                                       Answer.   No, not magical. Just good old fashioned Grandma’s food chemistry. We need the protein of meat, but also the sulfate of cartilage leached out be gentle simmering of bones all night, ……. or eggs, broccoli, garlic, onion, kale, cabbage.

Sulfate: Maybe it All begins with Sulfate

Sulfate: Maybe it All begins with Sulfate

References:  Holistic Primary Care,  Theor Biol Med Model,

You’ve probably heard the term -sulfate added on to many medical terms. For example: chondroitin sulfate. You might have shrugged it off like it was just an add on salt, and no big deal. In that, you may be very, very wrong. At least, you are if Stephanie Senneff from MIT is right. At last March’s Clinical and Scientific Insights Conference in San Francisco Dr. Senneff had a breakout session on sulfate and it’s importance. In sum, she argues this is one of the foundational causes of most diseases. Whoa! That’s big. How can she claim that?

Here is her logic based on proven experimental literature and known chemical principles. The sulfate anion, a combination of sulfur and oxygen, is the fourth most common anion in out bodies. It plays many critical roles detoxing drugs, digesting food, building our intracellular matrix, preventing blood from coagulating when passing through tiny capillaries. Lots and lots of roles. And where does it start? Ironically, in your skin with exposure to sunlight. A combination of red cells, cholesterol, sunlight and vitamin D are all necessary ingredients to make the sulfate anion. Senneff describes our skin as our solar powered battery because it extracts the energy of sunlight through the enzyme Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthetase that turns the energy of sunlight into the sulfate anion in your skin.
At this point, sunlight and sulfate make two new and unrecognized molecules, vitamin D sulfate and cholesterol sulfate. The Vitamin D sulfate is water soluble and can travel everywhere. The Vitamin D you take in a pill doesn’t have the sulfate attached, so can’t dissolve in water (blood) so doesn’t have near the effectiveness of the sulfated form. But ditto for the cholesterol. It’s hard to get sufficient Vitamin D from oral supplementation alone, making sunlight a critical link for good health. Hmmm….don’t you just plain feel better when you get sunlight. The principle remains, many hormones, vitamins, fats have to be sulfated to be transported in the blood.

The foundational necessity of sulfate comes down to the physics of fluid flow in your blood and blood vessels. Cholesterol sulfate lines the outside of red blood cells creating a negatively charged field so that red cells repel each other, allowing them not to stick together as they travel through all your tiny capillaries and not rupture. That same negative charge carried by sulfate creates a behavior of water atoms on the surface of blood vessels that make them super slippery, almost like a teflon surface. In fact, that effect of sulfate may be central to the actual biology of how heart disease gets started. That’s for next week.

WWW.What will work for me. If sulfate is important, where can I get it in my diet? Well, ever wondered why garlic is such a potent herb? Loaded with sulfate! And the whole broccoli, kale, cabbage family. Loads of it. Eggs. Ditto. And sunshine? Yeah, I know the dermatologists goes nuts over too much of it. But without it, you don’t make the sulfate ion in your skin. This may be another clue why Vitamin D studies haven’t always panned out. You can’t just take the pure D3. It’s sulfated D3 that’s the portable form. Like cholesterol sulfate, the portable form. That role of sulfate making our blood vessels slippery makes sulfate central to our bodies being able to be multicellular. It allows us to distribute energy and get rid of gunk. After all, glutathione is based on sulfur. On and on and on. Eat more garlic.

Pop Quiz

1. Sulfate ions are key to making water insoluble compounds soluble and that has its impact felt on what crucial vitamin/hormone?                                Answer: Vitamin D

 

2. Humans can live without sunlight? T or F                                    False. We get sick, not just from lack of Vitamin D,but also lack of sulfate creation by sun in our skin.

 

3. Human red cells don’t stick to each other because they have a halo of?                      Answer: Negatively charged sulfate atoms.

 

4. Blood vessels are slippery because they have a surface layer of water atoms set up by…?                    Answer: Negatively charged sulfate atoms

 

5. I can get more sulfate in my diet by eating what foods?                                   Answer: Kale, garlic, eggs, broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts.

 

Bergamot – a Food Answer for Statins

Bergemot – a Food Answer for Statins

References:  International Jr of CardiologyScientific ResearchWikipedia,  BioMed ResearchReggio do Calabria,

Ever heard of Bergamot? Not me! You should. It’s an ancient hybrid of mandarin oranges, pumalo and lemons but is now grown as its own fruit mostly in the Reggio de Calabria region of Italy and a few other isolated Mediterranean locations. It’s not been used much outside of Italy, except perhaps as the flavor of Earl Gray Tea. There is an herb called bergamot but that is in the mint family and completely unrelated. This article is about the orange-like fruit with its unique compounds melitidin and brutieridin which have statin like qualities.

Yes, statin like qualities. We know red yeast rice has statin like effects, but bergamot has not been well known. In one study, bergamot was added to rosuvastatin to see if there was similar or additional effects. There were! The bergamot lowered the LDL fraction all by itself, but additionally lowered markers of oxidative stress. This is the real driver of blood vessel damage. You can measure markers like malondialdehyde, oxyLDL receptor LOX-1 and phosphoPKB, (in research labs, not in practice) which are all biomarkers of oxidative vascular damage, in peripheral polymorphonuclear cells.

Another study from Italy looked at both cholesterol and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease markers against the use of bergamot. These are both independent markers of risk for subsequent heart attacks and strokes. Bergamot had pretty impressive effects. In the group receiving the bergamot extract of 650 mg twice a day, a statistically significant reduction of fasting plasma glucose ( 118 to 98) , serum LDL cholesterol (162 to 101) and triglycerides (232 – 160) alongside with an increase of HDL cholesterol (38 to 49) was found. Liver functions showing fatty liver dropped too. ALT went from 54 to 36 and AST from 54 to 41. Wow!
Now, all of those same changes can be made by eating less high glycemic foods. Cut out all grains and sugar and eat lots of greens, healthy oils and vegetables and you can get much of the same. Or get ketogenic with 20 grams of carbs a day and you will see all the same effects.

WWW. What Will work for me. My eternal struggle to find a sensible role for statins keeps coming up short. And when I find a natural food that nature has made for us, I get great satisfaction. Bergamot has just been released as a supplement you can purchase. I’m adding it to my protocol for heart disease reversal. I am looking for folks who want to try it for three months and see what happens to an otherwise stable situation. I suspect it will have overlap for any condition that benefits from lower blood sugar: Alzheimer’s and cancer to name two.

Pop Quiz

  1. Bergamot is an herb that helps heart disease. T or F
    False. Get the details right. It’s an orange family fruit. The herb smells nice but is unrelated.
  2. Bergamot appears to lower heart disease risk factors more than any other single food. T or F
    That is probably true
  3. We have great research showing that it reduces heart attacks. T or F
    False. And we never will. There is no money behind this. It costs millions to follow people for years. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t. It just hasn’t been clinically proven. These two papers simply show that it has the same chemical effect as statins and lowers the key risk factors. You have to make a leap of faith to assume it would help. Probably reasonable well founded leap, but still not proven.
  4. If you have fatty liver, you should take bergamot. T or FAbsolutely true. Fatty liver is a dangerous marker for both vascular disease, but also for sudden, unexpected liver failure. That’s worse! Getting rid of fatty liver is a big deal.
  5. I need a prescription to get Bergamot. T or FFalse. I have it in my office. MD Custom Pharmacy has it. Amazon has it. Don’t get the essential oil. You want the orange extract. The oil is a mint family extract.

 

Link

Chondroitin; The Cure For Heart Disease, Right Before Our Eyes

References:  Exp Med Surg 1969Atherosclerosis 2017,Knowledge of HealthAngiology,

This is strong language. CURE for heart disease. But I think it’s real. What is fascinating to me is that this is not new. It was published in 1969 and disappeared. My eyes were opened when a new client came to me with a story of curing himself, following this method. He had catheterization data to prove it.

So, what’s the deal? It’s really the story of the life work of a cardiologist named Lester Morrison from Loma Linda, California. He was the head of the atherosclerosis research institute there, and dedicated his life to figuring out how to reverse heart disease. And in nut shell, he did. He figured it out and published it.

Here is his logic and his data. He used chondroitin sulfate, which he called the glue of life, because it was the substance that held cells together and appeared to be the first line of defense against the invasion of abnormal fat, or bacteria, or LDLs. He liked it because it appeared to make the arteries more stretchy when the problem was that they were stiff and hardened when they got invaded with LDLs full of fat. He first treated rats, then monkeys with high cholesterol diets and showed that their arteries got typical vascular disease (just like humans), a trouble that he could completely prevent with chondroitin.

He then moved on to humans. This study was published in Angiology in 1973. He had four groups of 60 patients each. First, heart attacks. Of 60 patients on chondroitin who had a heart attack, only 4 died. In 60 heart attacks of folks without chondroitin, 14 died. That’s a big drop. Then, comparing two groups of 60 men with or without chondroitin, he had 10 non-fatal heart attacks in the non-chondroitin group, and ZERO in the chondroitin group. Again, very impressive. The only folks on chondroitin who got in trouble were the four who had fatal heart attacks. The remainder of the chondroitin patients had no heart attacks at all.

Now that was data from the 1960s and 70s. It might have been forgotten had not recent research showed that folks with arthritis taking chondroitin had a 7 fold reduction in coronary events. That sparked interest. Bench research done looking at monocytes and endothelial cells shows that chondroitin dramatically downregulates the inflammatory markers that make all that happen. Those are the cells involved in the first stages of heart disease where lipid pools develop within the artery wall.

Is it registering with you how huge this might be? We can reverse coronary artery disease. Do you realize how significant a hit this will be on our health care industry? Might that be a clue to you about why it hasn’t been widely exposed and talked about before? If you have coronary artery disease, if you have high calcium on your CT scan, if you have angina, claudication, had a TIA, stroke….you should be holding this up to your spouse right now and talking about getting some chondroitin asap. How about you treating yourself. The regimen Dr. Morrison followed can be found in the case studies in the Knowledge of Health Link. Roughly speaking, you need to be on 6-10 grams a day of chondroitin sulfate for a couple of months, then gradually drop down. You might benefit by getting some lab tests to prove to yourself that you are getting better. If you can’t find anyone who will help you, I will. The only fly in the ointment was that this was one doctor, self reporting. A larger, multi-centered trial has not been conducted. Nor will it. This stuff is competing with expensive procedures and drugs. (Forgive me if I have a certain tone of righteous indignation.)

Where is chondroitin from? Most of it is obtained from beef tracheas, which aren’t used for much else. But it’s also the white stuff you see in a chicken’s breast bone and the end of a drum stick.

WWW.What will work for me. This changes my approach to heart disease. I’m chasing down source of good chondroitin sulfate and I will be using it in all my clients going forward. You should be thinking about what and when you will take too. And just because I’m a bit anxious about why this hasn’t been known and loudly recommended for the last 4 decades, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I’m all in. Now, I have a habit of chewing the white cartilage off the ends of chicken bones. Guess what it contains……? You got it. It is a rich source of chondroitin.

Pop Quiz:

  1. Chondroitin Sulfate has been widely used for arthritis for the last 40 years. T or F

True

It has been shown that folks taking chondroitin for their achy joints has a 7 fold reduction in coronary artery disease. T or F Now isn’t that interesting!

Lester Morrison was a heart researcher in the 1950s-70s who showed that chondroitin had a very dramatic reduction in risk from heart attack death. T or F

That’s the key nugget

Dr Morrison showed that animals with experimental atherosclerosis had dramatic reductions in artery damage when they were treated with chondroitin. T or F

Exactly. That’s what justified his human work

You can get chondroitin from what fat food source?

KFC – chew the white stuff off the ends of the drumstick – it’s a rich source of chondroitin. Too bad it came with all sorts of other less beneficial stuff.

Have a Sauna, Live Longer

Have a Sauna, Live Longer

References:  JAMA Internal MedDrSinatra,  TimeWikipediaToxic-Mold-SyndromeTownsend Letter,

Saunas make you live longer. Plain and simple. And where in the world do people take saunas? Finland! Lots of saunas. In fact in this current study, 2,315 men in Finland, ages 42-69, were queried as to their sauna habits and only 12 indicated that they never took a sauna. Just about every apartment building in Finland has a sauna built into its structure, just next to the shower and bathroom.

I first came across Finnish sauna when I visited Finland last year to meet my future daughter in law’s family. They live in southern Finland in the city of Salo, home to one of Nokia phone’s main manufacturing hubs 20 years ago. There, in their apartment, was a sauna. We then went on a drive to see their summer home, and in a lovely lakeside cabin, three more saunas, one indoors and two separate wood fired saunas in their own buildings. My take away message, saunas are common in Finland!

Why do you live longer when you take a sauna? Just in terms of cardiovascular deaths, the reductions were quite extraordinary. For those who took 1 sauna a week, 10% died over 22 years of follow up. If they took 2-3 saunas a week, 7.8 % had sudden cardiac death. Of those who took 4-7 a week, only 5% had sudden cardiac death. For all cause mortality, it was 295 (49.1%), 572 (37.8%), and 62 (30.8%). If you understand hazard ratio (the relationship of intervention to control), the benefit of 2-3 sauna a week over 1 a week was 22% better survival and 63% better survival for 4-7 a week. These are unbelievable numbers. Finally, compared to under 11 minute saunas, 11-19 minutes saunas added an extra 7 % benefit, and more than 19 minutes had an additional 52% reduction in mortality risk. So, longer and more frequent were both better.

What specifically does a sauna do? They may do many things, but one thing we do know is that you sweat. Ok. That’s obvious. Why is sweating good for you? You get rid of toxins. In fact, measurements of mycotoxins in urine show you increase excretion of mold (mycotoxins) toxins 6 fold when you do a 20 minute infrared sauna. Pretty good, huh! Considering that many of us can be shown to have some 287 different toxins in us, thanks to research from the Environmental Working Group, most of us are living with a large toxin burden, stuck in our fat tissue. Saunas may be the best way to get rid of it. Do we know that for sure? Well, not sure sure. But we do know you get rid of a lot of gunk with infrared saunas. And that may be the key.

WWW. What will work for me. This data is so powerful, I’m seriously contemplating getting an infrared sauna. If I can clean up my basement enough to get space, this might be one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Having seen saunas in Finland, I now know that this research is very real, and has real implications. The survival data from this research is just about the most powerful intervention we can do for our personal health. Hmm. You can buy or build your own infrared sauna for under $ 1,000.

Pop Quiz

1. You have to get hot to get a benefit from a sauna. T or F Probably true. Sweating is a key feature. But an infrared sauna isn’t as hot as the traditional dry wood fired sauna.
2. More saunas are better than fewer? T or F True. The benefit keeps climbing up to one a day.
3. You only need to get in there for 5 minutes to benefit? T or F Well, we don’t know. Under 9 minutes had a benefit. Under 5 we don’t know. And more benefit with increments up to 30. So, longer is better.
4. It’s too expensive to get a sauna. T or F Well, if it’s true for you, I’m sorry. But you can do it for about $ 1000 if you do most of it yourself, or even less.
5. And just what is it that happens in a sauna.? A: Measurable dramatic reductions in sudden cardiac death, cardiac events, overall mortality with increasing benefit by frequency and length of sauna. 30 minutes 7 days a week is best.

 

The Apo-B/Apo A-1 Ratio Predicts Severity of Heart Disease

The Apo-B/Apo A-1 Ratio Predicts Severity of Coronary Artery Disease

References: Lipid Health Dis, Hunt Study,

I get asked all the time about whether folks should be on a statin, or whether their lipid panel is trouble. They tell me their total cholesterol. Their doctor just told them to be on a statin. What should they do? Now, I say, “Let’s look at your lipids and see if you really are at risk. Turns out, your total cholesterol just isn’t the issue at all.” The HUNT Study from Norway has thrown a significant monkey wrench into the whole affair be discovering that women who have cholesterol above 200 live longer than women below 200. So, why are we treating you to lower your level below 200? What are your real risks?

Along comes the Singulex company and starts with a new test I hadn’t seen before, the Apo – B / Apo A-1 ratio. Sounds like a lot of excessive slicing and dicing. So, I did some reading and here is what I found out.

Apo – B is essentially the docking protein of the LDL particle. Got that? It’s the site of binding the LDL particle to a fat cell. Simple. And just what is the LDL particle doing? It is essentially carrying extra fat you have manufactured in your liver, to your fat cell for storage. You make extra fat when you eat too many carbohydrates. Through most of human history, we had extra, easily available carbohydrates only a couple of times a year: most notable at the end of the harvest season when the fruit trees and the grains were ripening, and we could eat like a pig. At that time, you want your LDLs to go up, delivering fat to your fat cells. Easy as pie. What happens when you stop eating carbs? Not quite as easy, but even better than than pie. Your LDLs start to change size and shape, and your HDL’s start to climb. And your triglycerides fall like a rock.

When you stop eating carbohydrates, your liver doesn’t have to manufacture triglycerides. Net effect is that you make fewer and fewer LDL particles, but they get bigger and bigger and fluffier and fluffier. And harmless. This unpacks the lunacy of measuring total cholesterol and using that as criteria for being on a statin. The analogy I make is “having a pickup truck full of basketballs would be, (What, 50 basketballs?) is much safer than having a 5 gallon bucket full of golf balls, (500 golf balls?) Golf balls are deadly, basketballs are harmless. It is only the small, dense, dangerous, LDLs that cause heart disease.

Back to the Apo – B / Apo A-1 ratio. The Apo A-1 protein is the docking protein on the HDL particle. It sucks lipids out of stuffed white cells in the walls of arteries that are trying to clean up the mess of small dense, LDLs. If those white cells die, they turn into a lipid pool that sets off all sorts of inflammation and becomes the basis for plaque. You want HDLs. They are your friend. You want more Apo A-1 Protein. Get it?

What the the ratio do? Turns out, it is the MOST accurate ratio for predicting risk for heart disease. You want less than 0.6. It means your HDL is climbing higher. That’s the bottom number, the denominator. And your LDL is falling, that’s the top number. And it takes into account the size and fluffiness of both particles. That’s it. It’s what you want to know to keep yourself safe.

How can you change it? Simple as pie. Aka, no pie. No sugar, no carbs. More fat and carbs in the form of “above-ground vegetables”. You now have a marker you can demonstrate is getting better and better with your eating.

WWW.What will work for me. I love having data that gets to the “heart of it”. With data, and knowing how to interpret it, I can drive my own metabolism. There is lots of research now showing it is the best. Upshot for me. Eat less carbs, more eggs and spinach.

 

Pop Quiz

‪1. Your Apo B protein is what?

The docking protein on your LDL particle. The more LDLs you have, the more Apo B you will have. In other words, as LDLS get smaller and denser and more numerous, your Apo B goes up.

‪2. You Apo A – 1 is what?

The docking protein on your HDL particle. That’s the good one. You want more HDLs.

‪3. How do you raise your HDLs?

Eat few carbs. Repeat, eat fewer carbs. I’ve raised my HDL’s from 28 to 61 in 4 months by eating 5 eggs a day. The best I could get with Niacin was up to 31.

‪4. So, explain in your words what the Apo B / Apo A-1 ratio is?

It is the bad cholesterol particle count divided by the good particle count. When it gets below 0.6, you’re good. Any lowering is on the path to good.

‪5. I need to keep my cholesterol count below 200. T or F

False, false, false. Read the HUNT study. Look at your ratio. Get a cardiac calcium scan. And if you can’t stop eating ice-cream, well, maybe you should be on a statin.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Your Heart

Apple Cider Vinegar and Your Heart

Reference: BBC News Sept 2016, Published Sept 5th, 2016

It’s September, the apples are ripe. The farmers’ market is overflowing. We are all in a fall festive mood. The vendor at the farmers’ market hands you some apple cider samples. Delicious. She tells you about making vinegar and how it’s good for your heart and your digestion. Is it?

Well, along comes a new show on BBC in Britain with a whole segment on just that topic. What does Apple Cider Vinegar actually do for you? On the show, “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor”, the following experiments were done. First, they recruited healthy volunteers to eat a bagel after an all night fast. Sure enough, their sugar shoots up. The next night, instead of just a bagel, they preceeded it with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, diluted in water. Sure, enough, 36% reduction in blood sugar. The third night, malt vinegar before the bagel. No reduction in blood sugar. Wow, it’s something to do with the apples.

This got them excited. Off they went with a bunch of other tests, notably blood. They increased the group size to 10 in each group and made a placebo group with colored water. They checked for inflammation, weight change and cholesterol. To distill what they found, the apple cider vinegar continued to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids with a dramatic drop in bad cholesterol. But not the malt vinegar.

Now, here’s the catch. Can you, a reader of this column explain to yourself why a high sugar response turns into high cholesterol? This should be simple, but utterly profound and far reaching. Start with the mechanism by which we make blood lipids.

It’s simple. Our blood fats are manufactured in our liver in response to insulin. Apple cider vinegar lowers the blood glucose, that lowers the insulin response to a glucose load. That makes for less push to make blood fats that have to be transported from the liver to the fat cell. That transport happens in the blood. We know now that you elevate blood lipids by eating carbs, not by eating eggs and butter. In fact, the more purified carbs you eat, white wheat flour and sugar being the most egregious, the more small dense LDLs you make.

Imprint that in your brain. Eating free carbs raise your blood sugar, and that in turn raises your small dense, dangerous LDLs. That is what drives heart disease. The ancient Egyptians were eating wheat, and we now know that they too had heart disease. They too had elevated LDLs. If only they had been able to drink apple cider vinegar.

How does apple cider vinegar work compared to malt vinegar that doesn’t?  I hope to live long enough to find out that mystery. Is it the mineral/alkaline effect?  It happens with a bitof wine too. Is that why those Mediterraneans do so well?

WWW.What will work for me. I enjoy finding out old cures for modern maladies, and understanding the mechanisms. The same goes for apple cider vinegar and reflux and heart burn. But that’s for another day. Can I drink apple cider vinegar every day? That’s a stretch. I would rather have my breakfast without the bagel, just the eggs.

 

Pop Quiz

‪1. Eating a whole wheat bagel will lower my blood sugar more than apple cider vinegar(ACV). T or F

False. Whole wheat flour is still flour and has the precise, exact same glycemic response as white four. A tiny bit of fiber will help your bowels move better but will have no impact on your weight or cholesterol.

‪2. Apple cider vinegar before a glycemic load will lower your blood sugar response to that load. T or F

True. That’s this news.

‪3. It’s smart to plan on eating ACV before all carbs. T or F

Probably smarter to eat less simple carbs and go for more vegetables.

‪4. When I go to a restaurant, I can lower my cholesterol response with some wine also. T or F

Wine appears to also lower glycemic index response.   T   True

‪5. The beneficial effects of ACV may be from the minerals that alkalize your body? T or F

True. Despite being acidic, the actual metabolic effect on your body is slightly alkaline because of the magnesium and potassium in it. They may be the secret sauce.

H2 – Hydrogen to Your Health!

H2 – Hydrogen to Your Health!

Reference: Nature Medicine,

Elemental hydrogen is 75% of the universe, so it’s not actually very rare. But on planet earth it’s so light that as a gas, it evaporates and escapes off into space. In our atmosphere, it’s rare. Attached to other chemicals, like oxygen, however, and it’s abundant. Note, water is H2O. Earth has a lot of water. And all life has hydrogen bound up in carbohydrates. It’s the “hydrate” part of carbs.

Now, we are discovering that the gas, H2 is actually a pretty dynamic and interesting compound. Oxidative stress is a major part of many illnesses. When you have excess free radicals or ROS (reactive oxygen species) you get all sorts of damage from them. A dangerous sequence of events involves the production of O2 as leakage from the Krebs cycle of making energy. That gets converted into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by superoxide dismutase. Glutathione’s job is to convert that back into harmless water but excess H2O converts iron and copper into their “reduced forms” which react with peroxide (H2O2) to make the hydroxyl atom, OH. That’s a lot of chemistry you don’t need to memorize (except for the quiz). You do need to know that OH is a wicked and dangerous oxidant.

Your cells actually use a bit of peroxide to help kill bacteria. NO (nitrous oxide, another oxidant) is an important regulator of artery stretchiness. So you need a delicate balance of oxidants and antioxidants. But there is no safe place of OH. And this is where H2 comes it. It combines with it and neutralizes it, turning it into harmless water. It sounds complicated, but it’s implications are almost bigger than you can imagine.

H2 selectively reduces OH. Having it around could be very useful. The question is, how to get hold of it and where might it actually work. That’s what this review article details. A variety of experimentally induced forms of OH, the dangerous hydroxyl molecule were produced and then H2 was added. Voila, it neutralized it brilliantly. It was demonstrated that it efficiently diffuses into cell nuclei and mitochondria and does so without damaging or altering the good ROS that your body uses to manage arterial stretching and immune response.

There are beginning to be research studies showing that it works in humans in a variety of situations. Metabolic syndrome, (combination of being too fat, too much sugar, too many lipids, high blood pressure, etc) is favorable affected in all venues with elemental H2. It helps folks getting radiation therapy recover from the bad side effects of the radiation therapy. But it also make 5-FU work better in colon cancer patients getting it for colon cancer. Folks who have sports related soft tissue injuries recover much faster. Peak exercise increases with hydrogen rich water. These are just early studies but they suggest a pretty broad library of beneficial effects, all of which congregate around the mechanism of helping reduce runaway oxidation. This is cool!

WWW. What will work for me. I’m ordering a bunch of the stuff for my office and I’m going to try it on folks. Radiation therapy, sports injuries, chemotherapy, metabolic syndrome, arterial disease might all be sensible candidates. If I get injured on my running, I’m going to give it a try.

Pop Quiz

‪1. Hydrogen is not commonly available on planet earth. T or F

Trick question. In it’s free form, that’s right. It’s not in the atmosphere. It weighs so little it flies off into space. But it’s abundant on earth. It is chemically the key ingredient in making energy storage in either carbs or fats when attached to carbon. It is the other half of water. So, in combination form, it is abundant.

‪In its free form as a gas, dissolved in water, it soaks of strong oxidants in our bodies. T or F

That’s it in a nutshell. Remember that and you got it right.

‪Our bodies use oxidants to kill bacteria, stretch arteries and lots of important physiological functions. T or F

True. We do need them in balance.

‪Early research shows that Hydrogen enriched water helps folks get better faster from the side effects of radiation therapy. T or F

We need this!

‪5. Soft tissue sprains and strains from sports and daily living get better faster too with hydrogen enriched water.

Yup. Hope you don’t need it, but it’s there if you do.

Calcium Heart CT Scoring Can Improve your Statin Decision Making

Heart Calcium Scoring and Statin Use

Reference: New York Times, Journal of the American College of Cardiology Oct 2015

The use of statins for reduction of risk in coronary artery disease is controversial, in part because of the appearance of commercial conflict of interest.   It is BIG business in BIG medicine. And lots of folks have pretty horrible side effects.   And you have to treat 1000 people to prevent 7 heart attacks a year, for which you have one death.   Hmmm.   Math seems to be a bit dubious at times.   And your doctor is graded and paid “quality assurance” bonuses based on the percentage of patients in his or her practice that are taking statins when they meet guidelines.   It is all well intentioned, as a method of promoting quality, but it results in a certain intensity of persuasion and coercion when you say you don’t like the side effects.

With all that emotion and coercion, is there a better tool that might refine the ability to make a decision?   What would happen if you could get an additional risk scoring procedure done for $ 99 that showed you didn’t need to be on a statin? Wouldn’t that be handy?

That’s what this study asked.  The MESA study is 6,814 multiethnic folks between 45 and 84 without evidence of coronary artery disease who were whittled down to a pure group of 4,758 folks without confounding items like missing data, or complete lack of lousy LDLs, etc.   They were followed for 10.3 years and observed for the development of coronary artery disease events.   The new cholesterol/statin guidelines were applied to this group, of whom 2,377 qualified to be on them.   The majority of them (77%)qualified because according to the ACC risk calculation tables, they had a greater than 7.5% risk of having a heart attack/event over 10 years.   Was that really their risk?   From that group who were supposedly meant to be on statins, 41% had a calcium score on CT scan of “0”. That was ZERO.   No calcium in their arteries.     They did have heart attacks.   Yes, they did. At a rate of 1.5% per 1,000 years. Pretty small.   More than lightning, or shark attacks.  But not enough to take on the risk of statins.     And not at the 7.5% rate that is the acknowledged rate for being enough risk for taking a statin.

What are the risks of taking statins? Well, Mayo’s opinion is measured and valid. At the other end is Dr. Mercola, who would be less measured, but possibly more honest because he’s not in the system and there by maybe speaks a bit more honestly, albeit off the walls.   Or just read the FDA’s concerns.

What does the CT scan find?   Well, it can add up the calcium in plaque in your arteries and actually find calcium that is in the wall of the arteries rather than just bulging out. It takes years for calcium to build up, so it is old plaque. Recent new, raw dangerous plaque is not seen on calcium scanning. It get missed. And the CT does find all sorts of other tidbits, like lung nodules that you don’t know what to do with. But on balance, it’s information.

WWW. What will work for me. I’m dancing a jig. I’m thrilled. I’ve been doing this for four years and I now have literature support that what I’m doing makes sense. Now, if you have risk, you want to know how to turn it off.   That’s were it gets really interesting.   The fine art of getting rid of LDL’s actually isn’t that hard. I can show you how in about a month. And then there is TNF-α, CRP, sdLDL, HDLs and other blood cytokine and risk factors that can show you how to improve your score and get out of risk, without the statins. If you are interested, start by not eating sugar and white flour, and come let me show you how. I’ve been on vacation for a week here in Italy. The gelato has been wonderful. I’m going to measure my HDLs when I get home. I think I just accumulated a bit of risk. Stay tuned.   I’m back in the saddle.

 

 

Pop Quiz

  1. You can measure your risk of heart attack by an inexpensive CT scan of your heart that measures your calcium load? T or F

That’s it.

  1. If your score is zero you have a greater than 10 % risk of having a heart attack in 10 years. T or F

Are you kidding? You didn’t read the column. Go back. Read it again. Score of zero means your have a 1.5% chance in 1,000 years. That’s low.

  1. Current ACC guidelines say it is worthwhile to treat you is your risk is greater than 7.5% chance in 1,000 years.

Yup

  1. About 50% of people who currently meet the current guidelines for statins have a calcium score of zero.   T or F

True. (Makes you feel pretty confident in those guidelines, doesn’t it)

  1. You get some radiation from a CT scan of your chest.

Also true. But in the world of risk benefit, I’ll take that risk over taking statins for 1,000 years.