Category Archives: 10. Reversing Heart Disease

Mitochondrial Primer 4: Role of CoQ10

References: Mitochondria and Future of MedicineMortenson JACC Heart FailureLangsjoen Biofactors,

You should know what CoQ10 is by now. It is in every mitochondrion, in every cell in your body. Ubiquitous. It sits between Complexes 1,2 and 3 and passes on electrons, thereby playing a critical role in the electron transport chain. About 2% of electrons escape the electron transport chain, and CoQ10 soaks those escaped little electrons up before they can cause damage. You make lots of it when you are young. You make much less when you are older. It was discovered in 1957 and in 1972 the level of its deficiency was linked to congestive heart failure. Many cardiologists got interested in it and it became a widely used supplement, particularly with statins and muscle pain.

Initial studies of it were not exactly positive, perhaps because lab measurements were not as precise or available as they are today, thereby leading to inconsistent doses. But the Mortenson JACC study showed that 100 mg three times a day compared to conventional drug therapy alone reduced CV mortality by 42%, and all-cause mortality by 44%. That caught people’s attention.
Dr Sinatra has been one of its most prominent advocates and claims that the threshold of effectiveness is 2.5 ug/ml, and that one will not see much clinical benefit below that. He laughs off older studies that do not mention or measure blood levels. I personally see most folks with levels of .7 and 1.2 with very few above 1.5. Hmmm. As we age, we are all deficient.
The other controversy about CoQ10 is whether one should take the common cheap form, ubiquinone, or the fancy expensive stuff, ubiquinol. They do switch back and forth in the body quite easily, but the -ol form is a more potent anti-oxidant. The manufacturer claims that the expensive form is worth it and backs it up with a very small study of 7 people who had failed with the -one. In that study, the average ejection fraction went from 22% to 39%, and their average New York Heart Association CHF class dropped from IV to II. Very impressive. A very small study, not blinded so open to lots of problems.

The number two reason to visit a doctor is “fatigue”. If your mitochondria are weakened by low protection secondary to low CoQ10, one will have decreased heart pumping which will mean decreased delivery of blood to muscles. In muscles, the same low CoQ10 level will result in reduced muscle ability. We call that fatigue.

www.What will work for me. What I think is going on is that most folks never get to the threshold of effective therapy. With random dosing of CoQ10 from variable sources, I suspect some folks just aren’t getting enough, and some folks are getting knockoff CoQ10 that isn’t even the real drug. With the ability to measure its level, we can now really check. A starting dose should be 100 mg 3 times a day. And then ask your doctor to check the level. You are looking for a level of 2.5. Nothing less will do. If less, double your dose. Check again.

Pop Quiz

  1. What is the role of CoQ10 in the mitochondria?                      Answer: two roles. 1) Passing on electrons between complexes in the electron transport chain, and 2) catching loose ones that get away from the electron transport chain.
  2. What happens to CoQ10 levels as we age?                               Answer: Drop precipitously.
  3. How much will a heart’s ability to pump increase if you get a level above 2.5?            Answer: Mortenson’s study showed over 40% reduction in mortality and a very small study of the reduced form showed a 22-39% increase in cardiac output.
  4. What blood level of CoQ10 do you want for yourself?             Answer: 2.5 and above
  5. And what is the dose you need to get that?                               Answer: Start with 100 mg 3 times a day. Then test and then double the dose.

Statin Rage

Statin Rage

References: QJMPharmacotherapyPharmacotherapyTrans NeurodegenAm J MedATVBScientific AmericanGraveline,

You know statins are widely advertised as being good for your heart. And the literature supports that if we look at you as a “walking heart” with little more attached on the outside. Considering that the house of medicine makes the most money off you for heart disease, cardiologists hold a lot of sway over the health care system. Hence, when the heart doctors (aka medical “God”) say, “Thus spoketh….., thou shall take statins!” the house of medicine snaps to attention and does so. I’m not here to argue the whole case, just the case of cognitive damage as shown in “statin rage”. These are not innocuous drugs, and you are more than just a heart. Your brain might be important too. If you act like a jerk, your love relationships suffer and they might be more important to you than your arteries.
What does the literature say about cognitive effects? Quite a lot actually. What caught my attention was a plea from a client who has repeatedly felt terrible anger when exposed to statins. And he is a very high risk for heart disease, and “needs” his statin. Or does he? Is there another way? (Hint: YES!!)
I reviewed several studies. The first in Translational Neurodegeneration suggests there are two competing processes going on. They review all the studies of cognitive decline, and find design problems with all the studies: for example, most patients in some studies are on low dose statins whereas high dose is what makes the side effects, and most patients are actually on higher doses. But they end up concluded that there really are some folks who get pretty severe memory issues, and get better when the statin is stopped. They plead that we be aware of those effects and be brave enough to stop the statin if memory issues occur. Just stop!
In the QJM study, four patients were found with “manifestations of severe irritability” included homicidal impulses, threats to others, road rage, generation of fear in family members, and damage to property. All got better on stopping the statin, and worse again when it was restarted. Conclusion: be brave enough to stop!
There is more. Scientific American has a nice review on memory loss and statins. Duane Graveline, NASA astronaut, lost his memory for the duration of being on statins and wrote a book about it. You might want to read that book if it catches your eye.
www. What will work for me. Loss of memory, road rage. How much can you take? These effects may not be common, but they are indications that there is brain damage/effects of taking statins. And published studies in randomized fashion of cognitive ability again show damage, albeit not that commonly. One could ask, just how well do the people selling the drug report of effects that could damage their sales? Only you can answer that one. As for me, I’ll change my diet to avoid taking statins. There are other answers that are just as effective. For example, consider Gundry’s report at the American Heart meeting just a month ago. Hmmm. Cheaper, better, no side effects.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. Statins can damage your brain. T or F                                     Answer. True as shown by memory loss, cognitive decline, rage, and mood…….
  2. The only organ that matters in your body is your heart, and as long as you let your heart be the only organ that is talked about, statins are useful. T or F                 Answer: Ok, do you get the irony?
  3. Randomized studies, conducted by the folks selling a product, are likely to be absolutely clear about picking up pervasive, subtle shifts in cognitive ability?       Answer: Can you tell that I’m on a rant here? I’m deeply skeptical about the integrity of our pharmaceutical industry, considering their demonstrated history.
  4. Is there a role for statins?                                                                              Answer: I think there is. Someone who wants to keep eating donuts and ice cream, sugar and white flour, and has had a heart attack, likely needs to be on a statin. Those willing to eat differently and let their lab tests, including their cholesterol, be their guide, there are choices.
  5. How common is statin rage?                                                                 Answer: Rare. It’s there, but not common. Many other brain effects. It’s a “no brainer”. Gotta stop.

 

 

The Case Against Alcohol

 

The Case Against Alcohol

References: The LancetCNNCell Commun SignalScience,

This is no small study. Using 694 “data points” for alcohol consumption by populations and 592 prospective and retrospective studies on alcohol use from 195 countries, projections were made about the total and real risks of alcohol. This is an important study because it shifts the overall net balance of alcohol’s effect to negative from positive. They looked at 23 health outcomes against alcohol use and developed a new method of assessing what is the lowest risk point for consumption (aka, what can you get away with).
For decades, we have been saying that a drink a day was good for you. Maybe not for women, but generally ok. That changes now. The data is hard to deny, much as alcohol itself makes us want to say it is ok.

The details are as follows. For the age group of 15-49 which generally doesn’t die of diseases, alcohol is the leading cause of death when you take into account accidents, suicide, overdose and everything else (bar fights, drunk driving, domestic disputes). Women, ages 15-49 have a 3.8% chance of death from alcohol and men a 12.2% chance of death in that age range that can be attributed to alcohol. With that sort of granularity, reading the study gives you confidence that the authors did a pretty deep dive to get to these conclusions.

For older folks above age 50, the rise of cancer in relationship to alcohol consumption becomes the driving statistical engine to bring the net benefit to zero. Zero. There is no safe level. Young or old. No safe level.

Now, guess what the alcohol industry has frantically said in response….you got it. They quote the American Heart study saying a drink a day keeps the doctor away, etc. Even the vaunted Harvard Men’s Health Study had one drink a day as part of their formula for extra longevity. The problem with all those studies was looking at JUST one condition, like death from heart attack, instead of the whole spectrum.

And the data is equally clear for alcohol and driving. No level is safe. No level.
Now, I’m curious about mechanism and what’s behind all this. I think the clue comes down the Longo’s research into longevity and resiliency. His research shows that alcohol turns off mTOR, the gene that builds protein and cells. Growth and development helps you reproduce and make babies, but inhibiting it helps you live longer. Yin and yang. Dietary restriction is hard on reproducing but great on living longer. Alcohol turns it off living longer. Bummer.

Is there a benefit to alcohol? Well, yes. When structured in cultural practices that use it to create community, enhance connection and love between humans, that’s good. It’s a pretty slippery slope. Seeking pleasure is a universal force. Comes with a price.

www.what will work for me. Lousy puritanical message. I heard so much of this in my conservative boarding school background. It’s wearingly tedious to admit that those rigid old Victorians were right. I’m no tea-totaller. But I’m cutting down. One drink, only when I go out with friends. Time to back peddle down to two drinks a week, not one a day. And only in the social context of having a meal with loved ones. And then not driving with my loved ones with alcohol. Grrrr.

 

Pop Quiz

  1. One drink a day will help you live longer. T or F Answer: Used to be called true, now called false.
  2. Why the change? Answer: When you take into account all the conditions like trauma, domestic violence, traffic accidents as well as everything else, you fine other causes of death that statistically contribute to higher death rates.
  3. What was the prior error? Answer: If you would focus only on heart attacks, well yes, there are a few less. Or just one age group.
  4. Is there blowback against this data? Answer: Hell doesn’t freeze easily. The alcohol industry is bigger than we are.
  5. What is a prudent person to do? Answer: Love and connection is what life should be about. Cherish your loved ones. Don’t drink and drive, but do create community, family, dinners together, connection, sacred spaces. Have some communion together. And maybe that much alcohol……..0.25 oz communion wine.

 

 

 

The Alkaline Diet IS the Keto Diet of Choice

The Alkaline Diet IS the Keto Diet of Choice

References: Pure WowDr AxeBook of DanielSaddleback ChurchU of BCJournal of Nutrition,

There has been a recent flurry of articles in the media about the alkaline diet with a few “expert dieticians” poo-pooing it and suggesting you should just follow the Mediterranean diet instead. What’s the confusion for? Let me straighten this out for your so that you get the gist of it.

First of all, the alkaline diet isn’t anything new. The Book of Daniel in the Bible talks about it with the first recorded RCT (Randomized, Placebo-Controlled) experiment in history. That was from 3,000 years ago. Daniel and his fellow observant Jews ate vegetables, (alkaline) and the members of Nebuchadnezzar’s court ate meat. Daniel’s crowd did better. Even got published in a reputable journal that is still read avidly (Bible). And as best I can tell, is still helping people lose weight.
What is the Daniel Diet? Or the Alkaline Diet? Vegetables. Vegetables are filled with potassium and magnesium salts which participate in making your urine pH positive, or greater than seven, which is neutral. Your blood doesn’t change its pH in any measurable fashion, but just that tiny amount enough to switch buffers. You have a complex system of buffers in your blood that helps balance your pH very precisely and exquisitely. You breathe every breath as part of that balance, so it is virtually impossible to measure the changes on a second by second basis in your blood. But you can see it in blood samples of folks eating an alkaline diet. Their red cells are coated with alkaline salts and flow separately from one another. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And your kidneys just pump out the acid or alkali as fast as they can. In meat/animal based America, everyone’s urinary pH is quite low, around 5.5 We have kidney stones, osteoporosis, vascular disease, cancer all as possible resulting outcomes. Very very few of us eat an alkaline diet. The guy who invented, Robert Young, got way ahead of the curve and ended up in prison for practicing medicine without a license. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t right, just not licensed.

Why is this so valuable? For most of mammalian/hominid history, we were vegans and our kidneys (which control your acid-base flow, and eliminate acid or base) were designed to rid you of alkaline salts, most notably potassium or magnesium. That’s because we ate massive amounts of alkaline foods. All hominids except humans eat mostly raw plants. Gorillas eat 15 pounds of leaves a day. Orangutans, 20 pounds of green leaves (except in fruit season). Their urine is alkaline. Your kidneys can still excrete massive amounts of potassium and sodium. But not acid. With acid, we struggle a little. Humans living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle today (Hazda in Africa) still eat mostly alkaline foods. They know some 250 edible plants in the forest, which they eat. But our brains require more calories to support their energy needs, and animals became more important. About 5 million years ago, we started adding animal to our diet. We like animal. We thrived with more of it.
But animal-based foods have more sulfur salts in them, which are acid. The more animal we eat, the more acid we become. That includes cheese, milk, eggs, fish, and yes, meat. Cheese is the most acid of all because it also has lots of salt added to it. And grains are also acidic, altho a little less so.
All that acid has to flow through you, in your blood. Your blood pH can’t change and doesn’t. But your buffers do. The balance of buffers is read with exquisite sensitivity by your bone cells and every membrane in your body. You start giving up calcium carbonate to balance the buffers, which is the slippery slope of beginning osteoporosis.
What about fat? Fat is neutral. Neither acid or base. Just pH neutral. It has some baggage though. Saturated fat, when from animals, comes with animal protein, which is acidic. Unsaturated fat, from seeds, is high in omega six fats which start inflammation.
And here is the kicker. Remember, gorillas digest green leaves into short chain fatty acids. So do we. A diet rich in green vegetables is a high-fat diet. Then add olive oil and you are even better off. A green salad diet smothered with olive oil is an alkaline, healthy, Daniel diet. Get that? A vegetable-based diet is a keto diet, provided you avoid the roots and the grains. Eating spinach is actually getting fat. Keto redux. You lose weight. You have less cancer. You have less heart disease. You have fewer autoimmune diseases. Your body can heal.
That leaves you with an alkaline diet rich in leafy, green vegetables with lots of safe fats as the diet of choice. The alkaline diet is the purest form of the keto diet. The only question is whether you can be so pure. Ah, there is the rub!

www.What Will Work for me. I’m shifting my animal proportions to more vegetable. Instead of two eggs for breakfast, one egg in spinach. For lunch on the plane, I took an avocado, cut in half at home. Made a great lunch. And I’m fascinated by the Fast Mimicking diet. It’s vegan with nut oils. It’s a keto diet too. In time, we will let Robert Young out of prison and say sorry. (There’s a lot of Robert Young’s work that is pure quackery, but the alkaline part is not.)

 

Pop Quiz

  1. A diet of mostly vegetables, olive oil and a tiny bit of fish is currently called? Answer: The Mediterranean Diet (whatever that is, as all the countries around the Mediterranean have different cuisines, except for their abundant use of olive oil and vegetables)
  2. To be on an alkaline diet, you have to do what? Answer: Eat enough vegetables and little enough meat and cheese to shift your urinary pH to something greater than 7. Very hard to do. Almost no meat.
  3. How does your body balance acid flowing through the system to be excreted by your kidneys? Answer: by a system of buffers, by giving up a tiny bit of Calcium Carbonate from your bones, and by breathing a little more deeply.
  4. The first advocate for the alkaline diet has been elevated to hero status in the annals of medicine. T or F Answer: Are you kidding, he is in prison for reaching way beyond the core truth of his alkaline diet idea.
  5. What is the most recent evidence-based diet, beyond the Mediterranean Diet, that is taking the literature by storm? Answer: The Fast Mimicking Diet that adds fasting to the mix

 

 

 

Chelation Therapy for Coronary Artery Disease – the TACT Study

References: NIHJAMAAHA, EHP,

Imagine my surprise when a doctor calls me and asks me to do chelation on himself for coronary artery disease. He referenced the TACT study which I had not read. Now I have and here are the results. I’ll try and put it into the context of risks and what is going on.
Chelos is Greek for claw. Chelation is making a chemical claw around a substance that is otherwise inert, dangerous or insoluble. Lead meets the inert quality. Iron meets the dangerous criteria. Chelation has been used medically to reduce both of those substances when they are toxic. But there is conflicting evidence about iron levels and risk of coronary artery disease and recent trends of studies appear to be on the side of it NOT being a problem. This flies in the face of initial enthusiasm about iron reduction, like that generated by the Finish study showing an 88% reduction in risk by frequent blood donation. This study from Helsinki followed 2,862 males aged 42-60 for 9 years. Heart attack rates for blood donors was only 0.7%, compared to 12.5% for non-donors. It’s hard to get that sort of effect unless something real is going on. Now, they didn’t account for the frequency of saunas, which many Finns do (building codes in Finland require every new apartment and home to have a sauna built in it). One study from Finland showed that frequent saunas are as beneficial as exercise for reducing heart risk.
What does chelation do? It sucks bad things out of your body by enveloping the target chemical, making it water-soluble by that envelopment, and then excreting it. It’s not just iron that gets enveloped. It’s whatever happens to be around. Lead is one of those enemies. The evidence of lead and hypertension is very strong. The subsequent association with coronary artery disease isn’t quite as robust, but is also strong. Both lead and iron get chelated when exposed to the chelating chemical, typically EDTA. But so is cadmium, mercury, thallium, uranium and on and on. All of these metals are dangerous and to date, not having been studied much. We just don’t know data on multiple, combinations, and likely never will. Research questions tend to focus on one variable at a time.
How do you do chelation? Properly done, you take mineral supplements before and in-between treatments (a fortified vitamin pill). EDTA is given by IV over about 3 hours once a week. And get a reverse osmosis filter at home to keep the dangerous metals out of your water.
What does the TACT study show? Well, in diabetic men, who represent about 1/3 of the 1,708 men in the TACT study, EDTA chelation reduced the risk of subsequent heart attack by 52%, and fatal heart attack by 41%. Taking high dose vitamins and minerals along with the EDTA to rebuild up “good minerals” resulted in the greatest benefit. My read of heart disease risk is that abnormal blood sugar is anything over 86, which differs dramatically from medicine’s range of blood sugar being ok up till 124. But benefit did not accrue to men in the traditional range of diabetes.

WWW.What will work for me. What would I do if I had a heart attack? It is pretty reasonable to suggest that spending 9 months of weekly EDTA visits is worth it. Heart attacks kill. In fact, 50% of us are done in by them.  For now, I’m working on reducing my heart attack risk by getting my blood sugar lower so I turn off the engine that drives heart disease.

Pop Quiz

  1. Chelation does what to water-insoluble metals?                                Answer: encases them in a water-soluble “claw” and allows them to dissolve into blood, and be excreted in the urine.
  2. How much can chelation reduce the risk of a heart attack?             Answer: If you are diabetic, your chance of recurrent heart attack can be cut in half.
  3. Is it worth it?                                                                                             Answer: Let’s see. A simple heart attack with 5 days in the hospital and 6 months of rehab will likely run you around $ 75,000 with a 13% chance of death. Your answer.
  4. How do you do chelation?                                                                     Answer: It takes in IV treatment of about 3-4 hours once a week for about 9-12 months.
  5. Is the science robust for reduction of iron and reduction of heart attack risk? Answer: It appears to go back and forth. In younger years, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in America. As we get older and keep absorbing iron, it flips.  The conflicting results may be because of that.

Lectin Lesson 4: What Elephants Having Heart Attacks Teaches Us About Cancer

References: Steven Gundry’s The Plant Paradox, CirculationScience Direct,Front Oncol., Glycobiology,

Ok, caught your attention? Elephants having heart attacks? Yes, it’s true. Now, when elephants live in their natural habitat that has sufficient tree and brush forage, they never get a heart attack. In the last couple of hundred years they have lost habitat and been driven to eating grasses. Elephants don’t eat grass when they have natural leaf habitat – they eat leaves. When they eat grass they develop coronary disease, just like us. Why does that happen?
We share an odd and uncommon sugar with elephants. It is called Neu5ac. I’ll call it N-A. It’s a member of the sialic acid family of sugars. We share it with shellfish, chickens and elephants. When we diverged from chimps 8 million years ago, we started making Neu5ac (N-A). Chimps make Neu5gc (N-G). As do every other mammal including the ones we eat like cows, goats, sheep, pigs. This sugar, N-A) is like a signal in our gut cells and our arteries. And grain based lectins bind avidly to it. WGA, the lectin in the wheat germ, binds avidly to it. Avidly. But grain lectins don’t bind to N-G.
Here’s where the link happens. When we eat red meat containing Neu5gc – N-G, your immune system recognizes it as foreign and makes antibodies to it. Those antibodies then turn around and attack your own Neu5ac (N-A) receptors. You get antibodies on your blood vessel walls. You call in white cells. Coronary artery disease is off and running. When elephants eat grasses, they get the same cross reactivity. Something about having grass (wheat) based lectins that attach to Neu5ac and eating the Neu5gc form of the sugars makes for that autoimmune attack.
Now, swing over to cancer. Human cancers have a lot of the Neu5gc protein in them. They put it on their surface as a means of hiding from our immune system. Wait a minute! We don’t make it. Human cells cannot make Neu5gc. Right, we don’t. Then how does the cancer get it? From our eating it in red meat. That may be the link between our eating excessive red meat, and having more cancer. The more red meat you eat, the more N-G you get to supply cancer cells with camouflage. Did you notice that chicken and shell fish don’t have N-G. They have N-A, just like humans and elephants. When you eat chicken and shell fish, you have less risk of heart disease and cancer.

The mechanism that is driving both of these phenomenon is the presence of these sialic acid sugars called Neu5ac versus Neu5gc. Their subtle name difference is the whole universe of immune recognition. That simple little alteration is all it takes for your immune system to go the wrong direction and start a process that leads to the slippery slope of coronary artery disease, or cancer.

WWW. What will work for me. This is a smoking gun. It tells us the clear mechanism by which this elegant, delicate signaling system shifts our immune reaction against either ourselves or against our own immune vessels. Or cancer. It’s simple. We get B12 from red meat. We have to have it. A tiny bit. I mean tiny bit. Seems like we need to start thinking about how we can change the balance of calories. If ketogenic eating is important for our brains, then it has to be with healthy fats, not meat. And it all comes down to those magnificent gentle animals, elephants.

Pop Quiz

 

  1. Elephants were designed to eat grasses? T or F                                               Answer: False Leaves
  2. When elephants eat grasses they develop what illness in common with humans?           Answer: Coronary artery disease
  3. The key link in the immune response is a lectin binding sugar called?                             Answer: Neu5ac – a member of the sialic acid family of sugars
  4. The principal damaging lectin in wheat, WGA binds to which of the two sialic acids – Neu5gc or Neu5ac?                                                                                                                                Answer: N-A not N-G
  5. Human cancer cells get their camouflage from?                                        Answer:     Red meat Neu5ga.

 

 

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.