by Jeffrey Dach MD
Heart Disease or clogging of the arteries of the heart is today’s number one killer in America and is the reason why 16 million Americans are taking a Statin anti-cholesterol drug. In this article we will examine the current knowledge about what causes heart disease and how to prevent and reverse heart disease without the use of drugs or surgery.
Most everyone will tell you that high cholesterol and fat in the diet causes heart disease, and you will see this type of information prominently mentioned in newspaper articles and on television. However, if you actually look at the data, you will find a number of disturbing facts. Most people who enter the hospital with heart attacks have a normal cholesterol blood level. Studies of populations of people who eat mostly animal fat such as the Greenland Eskimos show virtually no heart disease. Before the 1920’s in America, we consumed plentiful amounts of eggs, butter and lard, yet heart disease was relatively rare at that time. Only after the 1920’s did Heart Disease became an epidemic in the US. At this time, processed vegetable oils (also called Trans Fats) and refined sugar products were introduced into the American diet.
How can something as American as refined sugar which has nothing to do with fat or cholesterol cause our current epidemic of heart disease? It’s not the sugar that is the bad guy because sugar is your brain’s primary fuel. It’s the high Insulin level that high blood sugar provokes that is the bad guy. The high Insulin leads to Insulin resistance, Obesity and Diabetes, and it activates an important enzyme in the body which turns on a little switch causing chronic inflammation. If the chronic inflammation attacks the lining of the arteries, you get heart disease. If it attacks your joints, you get arthritis.
Yes, cholesterol is a major part of the atherosclerotic plaque that clogs the artery along with calcium. However, cholesterol is not the cause. It is deposited in the artery wall to repair damage from the inflammation which is the real cause. Cholesterol is essential for life. It is an important substance used by the body to make hormones such as estrogen, and testosterone and it accounts for one half the dry weight of the brain. Cholesterol is present in all the cell membranes. What happens when your cholesterol is reduced too low? You get blood sugar problems, edema, mineral deficiencies, chronic inflammation, and difficulty in healing, allergies, asthma, reduced libido, infertility and various reproductive problems.
Statin drugs work very well at reducing cholesterol measurements in the blood. They also are successful at reducing cardiac events such as heart attacks. However a critical examination of the data on the numerous medical studies again raises some disturbing questions. Firstly, none of the Statin Drug studies has ever shown a mortality benefit for women. Secondly, in the elderly over age 65, lowering the cholesterol is associated with a higher mortality.
In middle aged men who have known heart disease, the benefits of a Statin anti-cholesterol drug are not related to the degree in which they lower the blood cholesterol level. Instead, the Statin Drug seems to work as a crude anti-inflammatory drug.
Adverse side effects of the Statin Drugs include muscle damage, nerve damage, and transient global amnesia. These are all related to depletion of an essential vitamin called Coenzyme Q-10 manufactured by the same liver enzyme that also makes cholesterol. So if you are taking a Statin drug and your doctor hasn’t recommended that you also supplement with Coenzyme Q-10, please give this article to him or her, as well as an invitation to call me for the references on this subject.
If you would like to avoid the adverse side effects of drug treatment listed above, then what can you do to prevent or even reverse heart disease? I have revealed some of the secrets revealed below:
1. Low Glycemic Diet.
This is a diet which does not raise your blood sugar and insulin levels. Consult a Glycemic Index chart and you will be surprised to discover that certain foods such as bread, potatoes and pasta which contain dense carbohydrates will raise your blood sugar level the same at eating pure refined sugar. This is the main cause of our current epidemic of Obesity and Type Two Diabetes. The Lyon Diet Heart Study which followed heart attack survivors who ate a low glycemic diet, found a 70% reduction in fatal heart attacks compared to the high glycemic group.
2. Omega -3 Fatty Acids in the form of Fish Oil.
The Italian GISSI study showed a 45% reduction in sudden death from heart attack and 20% reduction in mortality in the group taking fish oil supplements. This benefit is better than any Statin Drug study. Fish oils are anti-inflammatory and work better than NSAIDs, which are over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aleve or Motrin, without their side effects. One problem, though, is that most fish are contaminated with Mercury and PCBs, so make sure you use a purified pharmaceutical grade fish oil with all contaminants removed.
The New USDA Food Guidelines now include exercise steps along the side of the food pyramid. Exercise reduces chronic inflammation and makes you feel good. See your doctor for a treadmill EKG test before you start your exercise program to see if you can tolerate it.
4. Fiber products:
Profibe, a grapefruit fiber product developed by Dr. James Cerda at the University of Florida was found to reverse atherosclerosis in an animal model and is available on the internet at www.profibe.com.
Anther fiber product is ground flax seeds which I personally take every day.
5. Essential Phospholipids:
This was a patented drug in Europe for many years and many research studies were completed showing it works very well at reversing heart disease. This is a nutritional supplement available without a prescription
Also called Nicotinic Acid is one of the B vitamins and the subject of the Coronary Drug Project (CDP) which was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 1986. In the group taking Niacin, they found a 27% decrease in heart attacks and a 10% reduction in total deaths. This exceeds any of the Statin Drug studies.
7. Avoid Trans-Fats
These are often found in processed vegetable oils and margarine as recommended by the new USDA Food Guidelines. These are toxic to the heart.
Have your blood homocysteine level checked. This is a marker for inflammation in the arteries of the heart. If elevated, this can be simply remedied with B vitamins. Everyone over 50 should be taking vitamin-B12 supplements as recommended by your government.
9. Vitamin C
Linus Pauling and Mathias Rath suggest that subclinical vitamin C deficiency (scurvy), Lipoprotein small(a) and mechanical stress at key arterial sites (such as bifurcations) are the major players in causation of heart disease. The mechanical damage to the endothelium causes lysine and proline in collagen to be exposed. Lp(a) has lysine and proline receptors which allow attachment to the exposed collagen forming a “patch” over the exposed area.
Drs. Pauling and Rath suggest use of Vitamin C (6-18 grams/day) and Lysine (6 grams/day) for the prevention and reversal of heart disease. Dr. Rath has added Proline and Coenzyme Q-10 to this formula.
Lipoprotein Sub Fraction Testing
This new test goes beyond the routine cholesterol panel (HDL, calculated LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol), by providing measurements of HDL, LDL, and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein), and also measuring other important lipoprotein subclasses, including Lp(a), HDL subtypes, and IDL (intermediate-density lipoprotein). The test also measures LDL pattern density – important because patients with small, dense LDL (Pattern B) have a four-fold increased risk of developing heart.
Related content: Heart Prevention Information Pages
Recommended Reading :
The Heart Revolution : The Extraordinary Discovery That Finally Laid the Cholesterol Myth to Rest by Kilmer McCully, M.D. (c) 2000
Heart Frauds: Uncovering the Biggest Health Scam in History by Charles T. McGee, M.D.
The Myth of Cholesterol: Dispelling the Fear and Creating Real Heart Health – Dugliss Paul, M.D. (c) 2005
The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It – Marcia Angell, M.D. (c) 2004 Random House
Overdosed America: The Broken Promise Of American Medicine – John Abramson, M.D.(c) 2004 HarperCollins
Jeffrey Dach MD 7450 Griffin Road, Suite 190, Davie, Fl 33314, 954-792-4663
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