Monthly Archives: March 2010

Vitamin D is Strongly Associated with Reduction in Heart Disease Risk

Vitamin D is Strongly Associated with Reduction in Heart Disease Risk

March 26, 2009

Reference:  American Heart Association Meetings  March 15, 2010

The Newsletter is back.  I have had some issues at work as to whether I owned my own intellectual property.  I do.  And I may continue to email my friends.  Here we go again!  Let me know if you want to be off this list.  Otherwise,  almost every week……

I have to start with Vitamin D.  The momentum is growing. If you haven’t started taking D yet, this week should push you over the edge.  The large, widely publicized and authoritative medical journals are starting to carry stories about Vitamin D that demonstrate it’s utility.

The evidence is growing about how D works at the cellular level.  Each and every cell needs it to turn on the genes that make that particular cell into a mature cell.  Heart disease is really a disease of the “endothelium” or lining of blood vessels.  We know that the endothelium is an incredibly biologically active interface between the blood and the muscle lining of the arteries.  Vit D cools off the portfolio of genes that boost up inflammation.  And inflammation is the core dysfunction that sets off the cascade of damage.  Current state of the art theory argues that metabolic syndrome results from that inflammation, and from metabolic syndrome comes hypertension and diabetes.  When we treat hypertension and diabetes, we are jumping on the haywagon when the horse is already out of the barn.  It’s inflammation we need to be treating.  So, Vitamin D is one of the foundational strategies for preventing heart disease at its source, the inflamed and dysfunctional artery lining where plaque is growing and arteries are narrowing.  So, what’s the newest research?

From Utah, Dr. Brent Muhlestein, (Intermountain Medical Center) followed 31,000 patients over one year and found those with the lowest vitamin D levels had a 170-per-cent greater risk of heart attacks than those with the highest levels. Those with the lowest vitamin D levels also had an 80-per-cent greater risk of death, a 54-per-cent higher risk of diabetes, a 40-per-cent higher risk of coronary artery disease, a 72-per-cent higher risk of kidney failure and a 26-per-cent higher risk of depression.   Which of those would you like to choose?  It gets better!

Dr. Muhlestein took 9,400 patients from that group and gave them vitamin D, finding a 30% reduced risk of death in just one year.  Just one year!   If a drug company did this, the ads would be on every night on TV from 5 pm till midnight.

He did not think it was ethical to withhold vitamin D in a placebo control group, in order to do a randomized controlled trial.  And that is also huge.  We have now reached the point where established researchers are stating that it is not ethical to withhold treatment from those who are deficient.  That means that letting someone remain at a low blood level is unethical.  Pretty simple but with profound implications.  It is now unethical to let folks stay low.  We need a campaign to treat everyone!

So, here is the formula that I have found that will get you to a healthy blood level.  First of all, if you have not been taking any, your blood level, now at the end of winter is likely less than 20 ng and possibly below 10 ng.  (Mine was 9 when I started 6 years ago).  Your fat tissue soaks up D like a sink so you need a loading dose to get started.  Most folks need about 300,000 IU over a month to get a good loading dose.  That’s 10 K a day for a month.  A single 100,000 IU dose will raise your blood level about 15 ng in a day or two.  It is safe and not toxic to the vast majority of folks.  (A few tiny number of people will be extremely sensitive – apparently folks with sarcoid are quite sensitive.)  Then, 5,000 IU a day for the rest of your life will get the majority of people to a blood level of about 60 ng .  So, you can get there in about a month.  If you just start on 5K a day, it will take you a year to get up to 60 ng.  So, do a loading dose.

Where can you buy it for cheap?  Sam’s Club has 5K capsules, 400 for $ 10.

WWW: What will work for me.  I’m taking 10 K a day and that has my blood level around 60.  I don’t need to measure it any more.  If I miss a day, I double up the day after.  You can take it once a week if you want.  And yes, I give it to my dog too.  We are all more cheerful!


PON, PON POLL-AWAY – Cleaning out your arteries naturally

PON, PON POLL-AWAY – Cleaning out your arteries naturally

Competency:  DASH Diet

Reference:  Life Extension Review Article: March 2010 Paroxonase and Aging

Remember the game you used to play in third grade?   A child would yell, “Pom, pom, poll-away” and all the other kids would have to run from one safe zone to the other, trying not to be tagged out.  Did you have any idea that the same game is being played out in your arteries every day with you HDL molecules.  Your HDL cholesterol particles are running around in your arteries with a molecule or two of PON (paraoxonase-1) on their surface.  It’s the PON that scoops up the nasties in your arteries and cleans them up.

Here’s the kicker!  As you age, you make less PON-1 (in your liver).  You may still have the HDL but it just isn’t as effective as it used to be cleaning up the bad stuff, like it’s meant to, and like it used to.  At the level of the molecule, PON-1 actually prevents the oxidation of LDL particles that cause them to set off inflammation in the artery walls.  It selectively breaks down oxidized fats.  And recent research shows that those folks with the most PON-1 in their blood also respond the most favorably to anti-oxidant foods and have the lowest rates of coronary artery disease, regardless of lipid blood level.  Diabetics and those with any impaired glucose control have a much lower PON-1 response after a meal compared to those folks with a normal glucose response.  Metabolic syndrome, of which glucose dysmetabolism is a major part is an inflammatory condition in which PON-1 may be a central player.

Now this gets interesting.  It seems the inflammatory process is more important than the LDL cholesterol level, and PON-1 seems to be one of the central players in that game.   This raises the conjecture that perhaps the cholesterol story is slightly misplaced.  Perhaps we have been chasing cholesterol levels when we should have been chasing the underlying pathology of what makes cholesterol dangerous.  That would be the inflammatory process.  If we tackle that, then we get to the core of the problem.

We are not just passive parties in this game.  Like the childhood game, we can run fast and catch the bad guys.   A bit of fancy molecular manipulation is all that is needed.  Turns out that is exactly what a few wonderful foods will do for you.  You can induce the production of PON-1 quite dramatically with pomegranate.  The fruit or the juice.   Two weeks on the juice and you increase you PON-1 20%.  Nifty!  But that’s not the only good food to do it.  Quercetin and resveretrol do it too.  Where do you get those two polyphenols?  Apples, onions, red grapes…..whole foods.  (Or Pinot Noir if you have had a really bad day)

WWW.  What will work for me.  We likely aren’t to the bottom of the story yet.  I think we need to focus on inflammation more than cholesterol.  Control the inflammation, and your inflamed LDLs will get better.  I’m picking up some pomegranate juice from time to time.  I ate about 15 of them this year, 14 more than last year.   And I’m still scrubbing our leather chair that got all sprinkled with purple juice from the last one.  You can buy quercetin and resveretrol supplements.  I want to figure out the whole story first.