|Posted on January 4, 2010 at 1:50 AM|
Over many decades, the role of dietary fatty acids in atherosclerosis has been discussed, however the most fundamental cause has been largely ignored. Consumption of refined starches and sugars ranks very high in atheroslcerosis risk.
A number of studies link dietary sugar with adverse changes in lipoproteins and have shown an inverse association between dietary sucrose and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, known as the "good cholesterol."
A diet high in sugar, consisting of 20% of daily intake is associated with an elevation of plasma triglyceride concentrations. This increase is due to both increased liver secretion and impaired clearance of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), the "bad cholesterol".
Then there is a matter of Fructose and/or high fructose corn syrup, which is found in most processed foods today, especially in sodas and other beverages. It is said that the fast track to atherosclerosis occurs with this consumption.
When overweight men and women were assigned to drink fructose-sweetened beverages as 25% of their energy intake developed atherogenic lipid profiles in just two weeks.
Patients who took fructose had increases in fasting plasma concentrations of Apolipoprotein B (up 28%) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) (up 27%). While "regular" LDL also went up. On a side-note, the relationship of LDL to atheroslcerosis is not significant. In other words, when you hear about the so-called "bad" cholesterol, LDL is often mentioned, yet in reality it is innocent! Only VLDL is bad!
Because fructose is added to so many processed foods today, it is very difficult to avoid them if convenience foods are part of your everyday routine. To help resolve this problem, supplements can be extremely helpful.
An article published in the August, 2006 issue of the American Diabetes Association reported that giving alpha-lipoic acid to mice in whom diabetes was induced, prevented the increase in cholesterol, atherosclerotic lesions and other health afflictions that a diabetic state would create.
One of my all-time, favorite nutrients is alpha-lipoic acid. It is a potent, universal antioxidant which increases levels of endogenous free-radical fighters, including glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase.
When diabetic and nondiabetic mice were given a diet with alpha-lipoic acid or the same diet without alpha-lipoic acid for twenty weeks, both groups had lower markers of oxidative stress and higher levels of red blood cell glutathione compared to mice that did not receive the compound.
The majority of the diabetic mice who did not receive alpha-lipoic acid began to show signs of lethargy and illness three months within the start of their diabetes. However, all of the diabetic mice who received alpha-lipoic acid appeared healthy throughout the study period.
The authors of the study were stunned, and reported that alpha-lipoic acid completely prevented the increase in plasma total cholesterol, atherosclerotic lesions, and the general deterioration of health caused by diabetes.
During the 20-weeks, the alpha-lipoic acid supplemented diabetic mice had more stable blood glucose levels than at the onset. This improvement is believed to be due to protection or regeneration of the beta cells in the pancreas by alpha-lipoic acid. The mice who received alpha-lipoic acid had a greater number of insulin-producing cells than before.
One might ask, what about established atherosclerosis? In a study on rabbits, given a diet known to induce atheroslcerosis, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) analysis demonstrated that lipoic acid reduced atherosclerotic plaques in the abdominal aorta. In addition, lipoic acid improved vascular reactivity and decreased oxidative stress and expression of key adhesion molecules in the vasculature.
Finally, lipoic acid reduced T-cell content in atherosclerotic plaque.
In humans, high glucose induces the destruction of endothelial cells. Alpha-Lipoic acid effectively reduces high glucose-induced endothelial cell death.
Another terrific supplement is green tea extract. When green tea was given to fructose-fed hypertriglyceridemic, insulin-resistant hamsters, there was a significant decrease in plasma triglyceride levels. The hamsters were given green tea standardized for epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) for 4 weeks.
At the end of the study, the fructose/green tea extract group showed a reversal in all metabolic defects, such as elevated serum insulin and apolipoprotein B levels, and decreased serum adiponectin levels. Also they showed improvement in glucose levels during a glucose tolerance test.
Moreover, supplementation of the green tea extract reduced triglyceride content in liver and heart tissues. In conclusion, green tea extract ameliorated the fructose-induced hypertriglyceridemia and the insulin-resistant state.
While antioxidant therapy is quite beneficial, so is oxidative therapy as well. Oxidative therapy is the infusion of oxygen into cells. When cells receive sufficient oxygen, this allows the proper fuel to regenerate endothelial tissue.
The cheapest form of oxidative therapy is high intensity exercise, also known as HIIT or high intensity interval training.
A highly efficient form of oxidiation therapy is called EWOT or exercise with oxygen. EWOT involves breathing in through a nasal tube of high levels of externally supplied oxygen tank while exercising. Read more about this therapy here.
If a heart patient is in reasonable shape, then either EWOT or HIIT is an excellent option, as well as using a rebounder. However, if the patient is not in any physical condition to exercise, there are other types of oxidative therapy options.
These are CheZone therapy, Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation, which is often referred to as UVBI or photoluminescence and Hydrogen Peroxide (H202).
CheZone therapy is a mix of chelation and ozone therapy into one. Studies have shown that after being treated with ozone, oxygen utilization improves as much as 30-40% in patients with chronic conditions.
Ozone is called O3, the third oxygen atom makes it an unstable molecule, yet it is an oxygen donor, allowing for some remarkable medicinal effects. Just like ozone is used in some parts of the world as a deodorizer, it does the same thing in the body. If a patient suffers from low oyxgen levels, this is a highly effective way to infuse blood oxygen levels to rapidly increase healing of endothelial tissue.
More on oxidative therapies and arterial plaque regression in the next Daily Topic.
|Posted on December 27, 2009 at 10:04 PM|
If you've consumed tubs of margarine and foods containing hydrogenated oils, foods cooked in 'heart healthy' vegetable oils, then you might be interested to learn how to clear out the inevitable arterial plaque lining your arteries.
The cells that line inner part of the arteries are called endothelial
cells. The health of endothelial cells are dependant upon the nutrients and oxygen available to them. These cells are absolutely vital to the circulatory system, as they are responsible for producing nitric oxide, which relaxes the arteries.
Every three months, the body regenerates brand new endothelial cells, however if they are surrounded with plaque, the oxygen and nutrients available are scarce, and although the cells made will be new, the plaque surrounding the previous endothelial cells will remain present and the state of the new cells will not be any healthier than the old cells were.
As, I've stated many times before, dietary cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease. Regardless of this fact, most doctors believe it's medical 'malpractice' not to prescribe a cholesterol lowering statin drug. The truth is that is only oxidized cholesterol is potentially harmful.
Highly unsaturated fatty acids, known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are extremely vulnerable to oxidation. Most believe they are doing the 'right thing' by avoiding butter and tropical oils and other sources of saturated fat for cooking, however nothing could be further from the truth.
Polyunsaturated oils in some cooked foods become rancid in just a few hours, even at refrigerator temperatures. Yet coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year, is free of rancidity and has no oxidation effects.
In animal experiments, cardiovascular health is endangered when fed linoleic acid, a fatty acid found abundant in vegetable oils and seed oils such as canola oil. When saturated fat is added to experimental animals, their heart health improves.
Think of vegetable oils and canola oil as promoters of lipid peroxidation, a gateway to hair loss and cardiovascular diseases. Unfortunately, these days it's very difficult to avoid these foods, especially if you eat out or purchase processed foods.
A diet largely subsisting of unsaturated fatty acids can suppress the metabolic rate, increasing the incidence of hypothyroidism or low thyroid function. The reason is that these unsaturated fats damage the mitochondria, through respiratory enzyme changes.
Unsaturated vegetable and seeds oils are so prevasive in the market place, yet unfortunately are a severe threat to hair and health. High amounts present a clear danger on the suppression of tissue response to thyroid hormone.
Within plant and seeds oils contain a variety of toxins, thought to protect themselves against animals that eat them. More specifically, they seem to be targeted against mammals and can block protein digesting enzymes.
There are a variety of ways to remove atherosclerotic plaque from the arteries. Firstly, not all plaque is the same, as some of it maybe composed of calcium deposits. On that note, prevention and/or removal of calcification involves one to several nutrients depending on the individual circumstances.
The most important nutrient to prevent calcification of the circulatory system is vitamin K2, known as menquinone. This should not be confused with vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), which is derived from vegetation. Menaquinone or vitamin K2 is derived from bacteria produced in the digestive tract and is also found in organ meats, and certain fermented foods, such as gourmet cheeses.
The lower the K2 level, the greater the risk of coronary calcification. Vitamin K2 containing foods are relatively scarce in modern and processed foods, so when in doubt, supplement with at least 45 micrograms. Be aware that antibiotics lower vitamin K2 levels and anything else that threatens gastrointestinal health.
Calcium initially binds to arterial walls by a transformation of smooth muscle cells in the vessel wall to osteoblast like cells. Menaquinone-4, a type of vitamin K2 derived from animal products, binds to BMP-2, a growth factor known to trigger the transformation. To be on the safe side, use a high potency form of vitamin K2 in the form of MK-4 or menaquionone-4.
If you are vegan, then opt for vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 or menaquionone-7.
With regard to prevention of vascular calcification, the mineral magnesium has been shown to halt the progression.
One of the most basic and essential nutrients to protect against heart disease is vitamin C. A deficiency of vitamin C can elevate C-reative protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker and predictor of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, it helps to lower Lp(a) levels. When vitamin C is used in its whole, complex form, it contains bioflavonoids, not just ascorbic acid.
The bioflavonoids are critical for the support of the integrity of vessel walls. However, even without the whole complex, vitamin C is very important. In emergency medicine, high dose ascorbic acid administered through IV (intravenous) produces an oxidative effect that helps kill off microbes, bacteria, viral debris (toxins) and can literally reverse arterial plaque.
If you pay any attention to mainstream articles on vitamins, it's rare to hear anything positive. This is because the competition (pharmaceutical companies) and the rest who pay the advertising revenue have a voice in the media. Despite numerous studies reported benefits of vitamin therapies, only the negative articles seem to make the press.
Unlike most animals who manufacture their own ascorbic acid or vitamin C, we humans do not. Most animals synthesize 20 milligrams of vitamin C every day for every pound of body weight. That said, an animal weighing 150 pounds will produce approximately 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily.
Based on that above figure, an optimal amount of vitamin C could range somewhere between 2 to 4 grams depending on your size. The father of orthomolecular medicine, Dr. Linus Pauling proved to the world--at least those who read the research, that a vitamin C deficiency is a strong basis for the development of atherosclerosis.
Some of the factors that perturb the arterial system are viruses, which mainsteam believes to be some sort of non-living protein coatings that transfer genetic material between different species of host cells. The probably reality is that viruses are produced by cells to clean out toxins.
Intravenous vitamin C has been found to be extremely effective at ridding out toxins and as a result, the viruses are gone with them. So while there are a number of viruses reported to be associated with heart disease, it is more of an indication that there is toxic build-up that must be cleared from the cells.
Vitamin C when administered intravenously can put a flu, or other life threatening virus harmless in a matter of minutes to hours. This includes polio virus and severe types of flu that require hospitalization. Unfortunately, mainstream ignores this and refuses to use it, thus the same is true with heart disease.
More on preventing and treating arterial damage in the next Daily Topic.
|Posted on December 20, 2009 at 11:13 AM|
Atrial fibrillation occurs when both chambers of the upper part of the heart, called the atria, quiver instead of beating effectively. The full volume of blood is not properly pumped out, so the remaining blood may pool, increasing its tendency to clot.
If a blood clot shakes loose from atria, it may lodge itself in some potentially very dangerous places, such as a major artery, lung or brain. This may result in a heart attack, pulmonary embolism or stroke.
Atrial fibrillation is not uncommon, it can emerge from a variety of causes, often times from iatrogenic doctors. That is to say that some medications prescribed from doctors can cause this condition, however it also stems from nutrient deficiencies which effect electrical disturbances in the heart.
Thyroid imbalance is a common cause of atrial fibrillation and arrhythmias. Iodine supplementation is the most effect treatment for atrial fibrillation, probably ever. Nothing has been as consistent or as effective, it is an essential part of any treatment regimen.
In addition, a deficiency of thiamine (Vitamin B1) or beriberi of the heart along with vitamin B4 (adenine), both critical for proper electrical conduction.
Typical synthetic isolates will have no effect, and must come from whole sources such as dessicated liver and brewer's yeast.
Unfortunately, almost every cardiologist ignores the real cause of atrial fibrillation, so they perform procedures such as cardio-ablation.
There are actually several forms of ablation. If you go to the 'best', they will tell you that catheter-ablation is best, since it's minimally invasive. Yet still
"ablation" is just a fancy term for destroy. If a body part becomes "sick" or injured "they," the 'best', only know to cut, burn or poison.
If most cardiologists understood the importance of difficult to obtain nutrients, with thanks to "modern" processing, they might opt for the body to heal itself.
Unfortunately, this approach is simply not taught in medical school.
Whether you have atrial fibrillation or supraventricular tachycardia, the treatment is the same.
In the beginning, cardiologists will first try a 'treatment' called electrical cardioversion. This is used to restore normal heart rhythm with an electric shock. Not only this is procedure very painful, any benefit received is short-lived.
If the last two methods have found minimal success, then atrial pacemakers can be implanted under the skin to regulate the heart rhythm. However, wouldn't be nice to address the real problem?
Routinely, typical physicians will dole out beta blockers to 'treat' arrhythmias. Yet, beta blockers actually encourage arrhythmias because the action of the drug is to slow down the force of the hearts contractions.
In theory, this will help keep the heart in rhythm. Yet, at the same time, it weakens the heart, so that muscles are going to atrophy further or become even more flaccid than before.
Beta-Blockers are an excellent way to speed the progress of getting a good old-fashioned heart-attack, that is if you don't suffer from a pulmonary edema or stroke first.
Most often, cardiologists or general practitioners will put their patients with arrhythmia's on rat poison, more commonly known as Coumadin or Warfarin. This drug causes a myriad of side-effects and is only prescribed to ward off risks from blood clots. Find out about alternatives methods here
When a patient takes this overly prescribed blood thinner, there are dozens of foods a patient can no longer eat, since they interfere with the 'essential' medication.
Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) also help with atrial fibrillation, yet both Omega-3 and Co-Enzyme Q10 are 'contraindicated' with patients on rat poison. To make matters worse, once you're on this drug, you're on it for life!
Another factor in atrial fibrillation comes from a bacterium in the stomach, called Helicobacter pylori. H. Pylori is implicated in hundreds of disease pathologies.
As a general rule chronic gastritis, stomach ulcers and even an autoimmune condition known as Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) are all
caused by the same bacterium Helicobacter pylori.
For a while now, the scientific community has known that arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), not to be confused with atherosclerosis which in simple terms means "clogged arteries" is linked with H. pylori.
Recent evidence shows that H. pylori is pathologically linked to atrial fibrillation. Patients with atrial fibrillation are five times more likely to get a stroke and even worse, most conventional physicians think that "protecting" their risk of stroke with rat poison (coumadin) is the answer.
Treatment for H. pylori often involves strong antibiotics and it's not always successful. The safest way to treat H. Pylori uses the nutrient Sulforaphane, which is found abundently in broccoli sprouts.
An erradication of H. pylori alone will not enough to reverse atrial fibrillation. The use of iodine, a naturally sourced B-vitamins are crucial for success. For very difficult cases, there is a concoction, which is part of Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM), specifically, a Chinese formula called the Hewei-Decoction.
It was first discovered that the Hewei-Decoction was highly effective in the treatment of gastric disorders that happened to include patients with existing arrhythmias.
The Journal of World of Gastroenterology revealed the efficacy of the Hewei-Decoction on patients with post treated H. pylori infection with arrhythmias was very high. In other words, using this TCM formula after successful erradication of H. pylori can restore arrhythmias to normal heart rhythm.
|Posted on December 14, 2009 at 3:17 AM|
Maybe you're familiar with a scene of a heart patient taking a nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue to stave off an attack of angina, a medical condition involving contraction of the coronary blood vessels. It is believed that vasodilators such as nitroglycerine undergo transformation in vascular smooth muscle cells to form nitric oxide.
The nitroglycerine is metabolized to nitric oxide, which relaxes these vessels, restoring blood flow to the heart. If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you're probably expecting me to bash nitroglycerine and you would be right!
While nitroglycerine is very helpful in emergencies, the herb, Terminalia Arjuna reduces angina episodes much more effectively. On top of that, nitroglycerin works less effectively over a period of time, yet terminalia arjuna just keeps on working.
When terminalia arjuna was compared against nitroglycerin, it proved superior everytime it was tested. Terminalia arjuna is nothing new, it's just not taught in medical school and it's no wonder why--there's no money in promoting it.
Terminalia arjuna goes far beyond protecting against angina, it is a powerful anti-inflammatory and protects against incidence of heart attack as well. It's a must have herb for advanced heart disease.
When some of the major arteries are occluded, it's indicative that a large portion of the smaller vessels have already lost 60% of their diameter. This is largely due to the diminished capacity by the body to produce nitric oxide. A major factor behind a shortage of this gaseous molecule is high glucose-induced cellular senescence.
In English, that means age-related decay of important biological systems caused by the types of food that spike insulin levels. Nitric oxide can prevent age-related dysfunction of the arterial system. The ingestion of nitric oxide boosting substances, can largely prevent decay under high glucose conditions.
Given the importance of nitric oxide, it is crucial in emergency medicine to incorporate nitric oxide boosters in addition to terminalia arjuna. The most effective way to keep arteries expanded around the clock to use is a patented form of sustained arginine, called Perfusia-SR®. Taken twice daily will dilate arteries up to two and a half times in diameter. The effective dose is 3 grams twice per day.
L-arginines effect on arteries has been well documented and in fact, researchers Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro, and Ferid Murad were awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine with respect to nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.
Most of us have probably heard of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Research shows it's just not appropriate most of the time and even mainstream medicine is taking notice.
Alternatively, a better technique called, cardio-cerebral resuscitation (CCR), is much more likely to save lives than CPR. The difference between CCR and CPR is avoiding the use of breathing into a heart attack victim's mouth.
Cardio-cerebral resuscitation or CCR works by only focusing on blood flow (the chest), what's important is to get blood to the brain via chest compressions. An interruption in blood flow for the sake of lung ventilation can spell death. Moreover, if the victim has any lodging in their airway, breathing into their mouth could make it much worse.
The key with chest compressions is to keep them fast and steady, and it must be maintained for several minutes without any pause. In order for sufficient blood flow to the brain, even a short rest can cause crucial pressure to fall flat.
Research confirms that heart attack victims will surive 300% greater when CCR is used instead of the old fashioned CPR, and without concern or worry about germs as an added bonus.
|Posted on December 8, 2009 at 10:32 PM|
Almost everyone is exposed to metals at work or at home though their food, air and water. Many of the heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic, mercury, aluminum, etc. produce everything from vague to serious problems that can plague an individual for years until the metals are removed.
In the previous Daily Topic, I touched on EDTA chelation therapy.
Physicians who practice intravenous chelation do so quietly because of pressure and harrassment from the medical establishment. EDTA binds to minerals and metals in the body in order to excrete them through the urine.
When the U.S. Navy first used chelation therapy in the 1940s to treat Lead poisoning, it was discovered that they had fewer signs of atherosclerosis.
In the 1950s, articles were published reporting diminished angina, better memory, sight, hearing and so on.
Because EDTA is proven to reverse and slow down the progression of atherosclerosis and related disease, the treatment enhances circulation throughout the whole body from head to toe, affecting large and small blood vessels.
Various accumulations of toxic metals contribute significantly to the formation of free radicals, which are the major cause of damage to lining of the blood vessels leading to the development of atherosclerosis.
When these metals are removed, enzyme systems are no longer disrupted, allowing improved blood flow. In addition to pulling heavy metals, EDTA also binds with calcium in the blood stream, reducing the influx of calcium into the cells in favor of magnesium. This acts as a natural calcium channel blocker.
When there is sufficient magnesium in cells, it acts as a relaxant for blood vessels reducing spasm and further enhancing blood flow.
While there have been studies around the world, proving the efficacy of EDTA chelation, some have wondered about large double-blind, multi-centered, placebo controlled clinical trials.
I did not think it would ever happen, yet the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had funded for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), to answer all the controversial questions surrounding chelation treatment for heart conditions.
The study was scheduled for completion in the year 2010 and unfortunately it was halted in September 2008. The trial was halted due to allegations of impropriety. These included concerns about informed consent and conflicts of interest, as many of the doctors involved in the study also sold chelation therapies.
This is an unfortunate irony, because countless drugs trials come to fruition regardless of conflict of interest. Many orthodox physicians continue to discourage patients seeking chelation in favor of more profitable treatments such as surgery.
A Brazilian study published the results of EDTA chelation therapy in nearly 3,000 patients, 1,970 of them with heart disease. Results showed that 94 percent of 840 patients had either good or marked improvement, and 98.7 percent of 1,130 patients with leg pain from blocked arteries had either good or marked improvement.
Despite claims to the contrary, chelation is quite safe provided the kidneys are in suitable condition for filtration. Some opponents may cite risk to the kidneys, yet EDTA chelation can even improve the kidneys themselves as heavy metal accumulation is a primary reason for their failure.
When prevention is no longer an option, chelation can be a life saver. Ordinarily a patient faced with the prospect of an aortic valve replacement due a build up of calcium in the aortic valve can seek chelation as the non-surgical alternative. Typically after a full course of treatments, sufficient calcium build-up can be dissolved to show marked improvement.
If there is a pronounced elevation of toxic heavy metals in the body, this can be detected via test called, quite simply, a urine test for toxic metals. This test is very inexpensive and can be ordered outside of a doctor's office.
If calcium scoring is low and toxic metals are high, then another form of chelation is available. It's called suppository chelation and is taken at night during sleep so that it does not interfere with dietary mineral intake. Typically this is taken every other day for a period of 6-months.
The name of the suppository chelation product is Detoxamin and a test kit for heavy metals can be ordered through their site as well.
If levels of toxic metals are not creating any heart symptoms, an oral chelation approach is also available. This process is slower, however is very safe to use for longterm treatment. Two good options are modified citris pectin and humifulvate complex, which is made up of humic and fulvic phenolic acids.
Either or both of these oral chelation methods are excellent for ridding the body of undesired metals, however they should not be confused with oral EDTA chelation products. While intravenous (IV) and suppository methods of EDTA chelation are excellent, the oral EDTA products sold on the market are too poorly absorbed and do not properly reach the blood stream.
In the future will discuss the other benefits of heavy metal detoxication, because the benefits go far beyond cardiovascular diseases. There's much more to cover on emergency cardiac medicine, including why standard CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) is something to avoid in most cases and what to do instead.
|Posted on December 6, 2009 at 1:20 PM|
Heart medications can be potent and even help a patient in need to an extent, however they are not the solution and can interfere with the recovery process. It is important to remove them only under a doctor's supervision and equally inportant to have them removed when the drug is no longer necessary.
Since many heart medications are hard on both the heart itself and the kidneys, these should be weaned as the heart becomes more normal. A congestive heart failure patient needs a souce of natural, b-complex vitamins such as from brewer's yeast or from dessicated organ tissue.
Remember that not all b-vitamin fractions of b-complex have been properly recognized academically. Adenine or vitamin B4 is just one of these, and even if it does exist in a formula, it's not even legal to print it. This means that relying on any manfactured b-complex will be of little use for the heart.
In congestive heart failure, the electrical force of the heart is central to the condition and to maximize its efficiency, nutrients that assist with ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production can increase ejection fraction percentage in a relatively short period of time.
The mineral magnesium is an important co-factor in several enzymatic reactions contributing to stable cardiovascular hemodynamics and electrophysiologic functioning, as well as treating arrhythmias. Unlike the mineral calcium and with respect to the parathyroid gland, we possess no checks and balance system to insure the proper intake of magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency is very common and with it, complications of heart failure are typically found. Common drugs administered for congestive heart failure (digoxin, diuretic agents, and ACE inhibitors) are influenced by changes in magnesium balance.
Magnesium toxicity is rare, and exists only in patients with kidney dysfunction. In these patients, metal detoxification usually will restore function, but that is a topic for another time. So apart from that, the liberal use of magnesium oil and oral magnesium orotate are highly recommended.
When the heart is too flaccid to pump sufficient blood from the chambers, there's one supplement that has the ability to give it a jump start without having to resort to some very expensive therapies, which I have yet to cover.
This supplement is called D-Ribose and what it does for heart tissue is nothing short of amazing. D-Ribose regenerates damaged heart tissue, including cells that are in a hypoxic state (low in oxygen). Have you ever heard of a drug that does this? I haven't!
One expensive therapy that is very helpful to those with congestive heart failure is called hyperbaric oyxgen therapy (HBOT), however it is just that--expensive. D-Ribose can revitalize dormant heart cells that are essentially "asleep" until they receive enough oxygen. Both D-Ribose and HBOT increase oxygen utilization in cells.
When a heart patient has sustained sufficient damage long enough, many of their heart cells have lost the capacity to function at all. With proper dosages of D-Ribose, this function can be restored and ejection fraction improved dramatically. This is like getting a heart transplant from your own twin if you had one.
In a few studies that I have reviewed on D-Ribose have all been very impressive. In a small study for instance, the cardiac index score was tripled when D-Ribose was added for heart patients.
In the Lancet, a study showed when twenty males took D-Ribose, they were able to exercise with much greater capacity or tolerance levels before their EKG (Electrocardiogram) revealed ischemia.
When cells are not producing enough ATP energy, they then produce excessive lactic acid. Under low oxygen conditions (hypoxia), lactic acid builds up in tissues. As mentioned recently, the underlying cause of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) is a destructive process from the accumulation of acid in the left ventricular tissue.
D-Ribose allows the cells to consume more oxygen, which reduces the lactic acid stores.
In congestive heart failure, the amount of D-Ribose needed is 5 grams, taken three times daily. This dose can be reduced over time when heart function has been restored.
In addition to D-Ribose, the active or reduced form of Co-enzyme Q10 known as Ubiquinol is important to take. The more unstable the heart the greater dose of Ubiquinol is needed. Ejection fraction can be used as an indicator of the sort of dosage that is needed to satisfy the heart's needs.
Patients with severe cardiomyopathy and congestive failure should aim for 300 milligrams of Ubiquinol.
Many patients with heart disease have little idea that heavy metal toxicity could be a major factor causing their troubles. The most common is Lead (Pb), number 82 on the period table of elements. Lead poisoning does not receive much press, yet it so pervasive due to its widespread use.
The smallest amount of lead can cause toxic effects to the vascular system. Erectile dysfunction is one of many symptoms of this. Medical "authorities" have set 'safe' levels of Lead much too high for too long. Instead of relying on tests, it is better to make note of symptoms, because to date no reliable testing method exists to assess Lead toxicity.
Symptoms of Lead poisoning occur at a mere fraction of government guidelines. One of the leading causes of idiopathic hypertension is caused simply from undiagnosed lead poisoning. When even a trace amount of lead enters the vascular system, it responds by a constriction, increasing blood pressure and forcing the heart to work harder in order to pump blood.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that blood Lead concentrations of three micrograms per deciliter were associated with significant delays in breast and pubic-hair development in girls, which is an indication that Lead is inversely correlated with steroid hormones levels.
In other words, if Lead levels are high, testosterone is probably low and that spells disaster for heart attack risk.
Many studies suggest that blood measurement of Lead is not reliable, as the organs and bone become storehouses of Lead over time. Blood levels of Lead only indicate recent exposure, not the high levels of Lead, you may have exposed yourself while growing up.
For most of us, the chances of being Lead free are rare, so if you have heart disease, it's best to assume you have too much of it. Unfortunately, there is no known safe level of Lead, so it is best to remove as much of it as possible.
Because bone is living tissue and engages itself in remodeling or bone turnover, the break down process causes a release of Lead into the blood stream, resulting in a sort of time released insult to the body well into old age.
One way to remove Lead contamination from bone stores is utilizing a chelating agent such as EDTA (ethylene-diamine-tetra-acetic acid). EDTA is a synthetic amino acid that is FDA approved to remove Lead from the body.
EDTA chelation is administered through an IV over a period of 3 and a half hours, a few times per week. Unfortunately, the contamination of Lead must be too high in order to receive these treatments from just any doctor.
Much more to cover on emergency cardiac medicine in the next Daily Topic.
|Posted on November 30, 2009 at 1:26 AM|
The previous five discussions in Daily Topic have primarily touched on matters of heart disease prevention. Today, will detail a little on non-invasive cardiovascular interventions and the not-so-terrific intervention in cardiac care.
When autopsies are actually performed on those who died of a heart attack, there are often no blocked arteries found whatsoever. During an occlusion of the artery, new collateral vessels are formed through a process called angiogenesis. In most cases these new blood vessels more than compensate for existing blocked arteries.
In contrast, the result of a heart bypass procedure is largely inferior, as veins from the patients legs must be stripped and used to "bypass" the clogged vessels.
The difference in pressure is not significant and with already existing collateral vessels, the procedure offers little more than the placebo effect. However, it is even worse than placebo due to potential complications and frequent memory loss suffered through anesthesia and the surgery itself.
I have an entirely different approach to bypass--I call it natural bypass and it costs almost nothing! However, before I explain how it works, I feel that some detail about a more costly method should be brought to your attention first.
A procedure known as enhanced, external, counter pulsation (EECP) is a very viable alternative to coronary artery bypass surgery. EECP is a non-surgical, solution that naturally augments and accelerates the process of angiogenesis or growth of new blood vessels.
EECP is essentially a natural bypass that costs between five and ten thousand US dollars, and is very well studied and approved by medical authorities. Unfortunately, it is passed over in favor of more profitable procedures such as surgery. Cardiologists are taught to believe it is a "last line" therapy. Funny how a non-invasive treatment is ignored--of course it's the money!
EECP is intended to be a first line therapy, and it is a very appropriate treatment for many heart patients suffering from angina, peripheral artery disease (PAD), coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Some patients with preexisting conditions such as blood clots and very low ejection fraction are excluded from this treatment.
My ultra low cost alternative to EECP is the use of a rebounder. A rebounder is similar to a trampoline and comes with a stabilizer bar. As a patient grips the stabilizer bar, they hop on the rebounder and let gravity and a little push from the stabilizer bar to create a lift between bounces.
The force of gravity promotes a rapid growth of collateral vessels via angiogenesis. It is an incredibly non-invasive therapy with an initial investment that is almost trivial when compared to other methods, about a hundred US dollars.
One of the leading conditions facing heart patients is congestive heart failure (CHF). Congestive heart failure is severe weakening of the heart muscle, resulting in a number of potentially life threatening complications.
Congestive heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization for patients over the age of 65. This is a growing epidemic and I suspect it has to do with the undeserved popularlity of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
Drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium) and other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors not only lower cholesterol, they deplete essential co-enzyme Q10, the virtual spark-plug of the heart. It has been well documented that there is a deficiency of Co-enzyme Q10 in human heart disease.
Do these statin cholesterol drugs hasten the path towards congestive heart failure? I think so.
Make no mistake, cholesterol is not the enemy here, but a life-saving nutrient! The body makes it when your diet does not provide it and when the cholesterol hypothesis of heart disease emerged, most doctors did not buy it, they knew then that hormones cannot be made without cholesterol.
Congestive heart failure is synomonous with low ejection fraction, which is a measure of the efficiency in the blood pumping action. As the heart contracts, it ejects blood from the ventricles and when it relaxes these ventricles refill with blood. The percentage of blood volume pumped out from the ventricles is the relative efficiency of the heart.
An ejection fraction of 55 percent or greater is considered a good reading. When it falls below 55% on each contraction, your heart is weakening. This means the heart muscle is becoming too flaccid to pump out sufficient blood on each contraction.
Eventually as ejection fraction percentage drops, the weakened heart increases shortness of breath (dyspnea) and fluid retention (edema), resulting in the swelling in the feet and legs. At this stage of the game, doctors will typically prescribe strong diuretics such as Lasix (furosemide) however, this is not kind to the heart and it's hard on the kidneys.
As this condition progresses in its usual way with orthodox cardiology, the left ventricle slowly loses its capacity to pump blood out of the left atrium, or when one or more of the heart valves becomes leaky or narrowed (stenotic), the flow of blood backs up into the lungs, otherwise known as pulmonary edema.
From here, the cardiologist enters more drugs, from beta-blockers to calcium channel blockers, further weakening the heart muscle. Simple and naturally sourced b-vitamins could have prevented this calamity. Synthetic, "enriched," b-vitamins that are added to processed foods do not work, in fact they further deplete what little dietary intake exists in these patients.
As mentioned in earlier discussions in Daily Topic, beriberi, a thiamin (vitamin B1) deficiency disease, thought to be long conquered by its fortification in processed foods is still very much alive today. Such a deficiency causes a paralyzing muscle weakness of the heart, meanwhile doctors prescribe drugs that further weaken the heart muscle in an attempt to normalize its rhythm.
With a chronically congested heart, it typically becomes hypertrophic (enlarged) or enters into cardiomyopathy. Shortness of breath, fatigue, and spaciness now become commonplace. The patient says, "now what?" and the typical cardiologist will answer, "More drugs!"
Much more to cover on emergency cardiac medicine in the next Daily Topic.
|Posted on November 24, 2009 at 8:03 PM|
I have had the unique and rare opportunity for a period of years to interview thousands of prospective patients along with a detailed account of their medical history. Many of these on a literal cornucopia of pharmaceutical drugs.
Unlike integrative medicine, standard allopathic structure utilizes a primary care physician to sort out various specialists, few of which collaborate regarding medications prescribed and the whole situation becomes a toxic mess for the patient.
In many cases, medications are the direct cause of underlying conditions, the nutritional needs rarely addressed, just more symptom based treatment and more specialists to be seen, more tests to be run. I've witnessed far too many seniors spending their "golden years" as cardiac invalids, being wheeled in and out of hospitals.
When a patient asks if it's the medication at fault for making them feel terrible, they are often told that they will just have to live with it, or it's just part of getting older. If not, the doctor will switch a similar drug for another of the same class. Let's discuss about the real causes of heart disease.
Heart disease begins and ends with inflammation, and such inflammation begins with an infection. Being prone to infection with a weakened immune system only invites heart disease.
The use of immunosuppressive drugs such as Prednisone, which are prescribed for rheumatic and respiratory diseases only encourage proliferation of microbes to interact with the endothelial passages of blood vessels.
Various toxic residues and/or viral infection waste products can perturb the smooth muscle lining, disrupting blood flow. Many viral infections, both identified and not yet academically recognized inflict damage to the lining of artery walls.
The subject of viral mediated cytokine/chemokine secretion is ignored with mainstream coverage, however some conventional doctors are beginning to recognize the importance of vitamin D. Unfortunately, most of them still have little idea of its importance in preventing and treating heart disease.
What does vitamin D have to do with infections? Almost everything!
vitamin D is a very powerful antibiotic, it increases the body's production of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased cardiovascular risk to a very significant degree. When Harvard researchers adjusted for traditional cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the risk remained significant with a 62 percent higher risk of a cardiovascular event in participants with low levels of vitamin D compared to those with higher levels.
In a very recent study, involving 27,686 patients over the age of 50 years-old with no prior history of heart disease were divided into three groups according to their Vitamin D levels.
They decided to label the normal level group at over 30 nanograms per milliliter, the low group at 15 to 30 ng/ml, and the very low group who had less than 15 ng/ml. The patients were then followed for a period of five years to see if they developed some form of heart disease.
The group with the very low levels of Vitamin D were 77% more likely to die, 45% more likely to develop coronary artery disease, and 78% were more likely to have a stroke than patients with normal levels. Their odds of developing heart failure were twice as high as the group with normal levels.
Even the American Heart Assciation is taking notice of the study, and deservedly so considering previous studies have shown Vitamin D to improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and inflammation. However, I'm not too optimistic about vitamin D becoming part of a routine in conventional practice anytime soon.
The mantra is "more research is need," until they can design some vitamin D analogs for the same purpose, but whether they will work as well is anybody's guess.
How much vitamin D should you take? Most will do well with 5,000 International Units of Vitamin D per day. Note that the safe upper limit is 10,000 IU per day. Optimally, the target level is 45 to 52 nanograms per milliliter or 115 to 128 nmol/l (nanomoles per liter).
These figures above are conservative as research suggests even higher levels for protection against cancer. The latest estimate is 55 to 70 nanograms per milliliter.
Please also note that the older you are, the more difficult it is to absorb vitamin D, and you may need to take as much as 10,000 IU Per day to maintain optimal levels!
Meanwhile, the current focus is on damage control such as clot busting drugs.
An inflammatory eicosanoid, known as thromboxane A2 can stimulate platelet aggregation (clotting). Many physicians recommend the use of low-dose aspirin to irreversibly block the formation of thromboxane A2 in platelets.
However, many do not account for aspirin resistance, which could significantly increase cardiovascular risk.
Scientists at McMaster University have developed tests, which by detecting the levels of a metabolite of thromboxane in urine (11-dehydro thromboxane B2), can determine whether the patient is a responder or a nonresponder to aspirin therapy. In my view aspirin isn't necessary for any patient and is far from the wonder drug it is thought to be.
Who needs aspirin when sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are available? Omega-3 fatty acids inhibit thromboxane A2, while the DHA component offers a potent anti-inflammatory resolvin D2. Resolvin D2 inhibits neutrophil trafficking to inflammatory sites and decreases leukocyte interactions with endothelial cells.
In other words, Omega-3 fatty acids control microbial sepsis and prevents the constriction of blood vessels.
What about aspirin you say? Aspirin is not as innocuous as most people believe, for example strokes can cause brain bleeds, the opposite of excess clotting.
Why take chances when sufficient Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease your odds of a fatal heart attack by nearly a hundred percent?
Still much more to cover on heart disease in the next daily topic.
|Posted on November 23, 2009 at 8:22 PM|
Before an unsuspecting heart patient is scheduled for a catheterization and angiography, which serve little purpose other than to set the foundation for dangerous procedures such as coronary artery bypass, it starts with a noninvasive test such as a treadmill stress test or possibly a cardiac calcium test via computed tomography for calcium scoring.
Finding some abnormality is extremely high, that is if you're over the age of 65, yet what is to follow will ignore the fundamental, underlying problem or the cause. Take a look at the following link http://www.youtube.com on /watch?v=kY5gKdFWT3k on cononary angiography.
Heart catheterization or cononary angiography is implied to confirm the presence of heart disease. However, it is primarily a screening tool for profit as it serves as a warning for interventional procedures such as balloon angioplasty, bypass and others.
Medicine is a business, and unfortunately unlike the Far East, the sick pay whether they get well or not. Why do professionally trained physicians recommend coronary artery bypasses and stents?
Everything a conventionally trained physican is taught, is how to intervene with chemicals and surgery, very little is explained about nutrition, the underlying factor in heart disease. The mindset is not to cure, it is to manage symptoms and overcome mechanical instabilities.
A physician is provided with a wide variety of pharmaceuticals to choose from, and if one drug doesn't work, they will try another, searching for the least toxic for the patient. After each mechanical instability is 'treated' with a specific type of drug, the trouble begins.
When merely just two or three pharmaceuticals have been added, the number of side-effects are too incalculable for any physician or pharmacist to comprehend. Some side-effects occur immediately, while others present potential trouble later on.
Where is the real science in the treatment of heart disease? There is none!
If you were to ask a hundred different cardiologists which series of drugs they would prescribe for the same patient, the number of different answers might surprise.
As each diagnostic is performed on a patient, the purpose is to show "need" for treatment. As an internist refers a patient to the cardiologist for an "obvious need" for angiography and bypass, whether the procedure is actually deemed necessary maybe irrelevant.
Whether the surgeon feels the procedure maybe a futile exercise or not, it is their professional responsibility to comply, and certainly this practice helps assure a steady stream of referrals.
While there will be rare instances where surgery is necessary, it bears repeating that it is rare.
When an artery is occluded (blocked), the body by its inherent virtue, grows new heart vessels (via angiogenesis) called collateral vessels.
The "plumbing theory of heart disease," while it does sound deceptively simple is not the real cause of a heart attack. Unfortunately not one in a thousand cardiologists knows this. The evidence to the contrary comes out of Germany from the 1960's.
The underlying cause of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) is a destructive process from the accumulation of acid in the left ventricular tissue--completely unrelated to blockages in the coronary arteries.
This finding was later reconfirmed in the American Journal of Cardiology, April, 1988. The finding was that in an advanced state of the narrowing of the coronary arteries, the supply of blood to the heart muscles is fully assured via collaterals that enlarge naturally in response to the blockage.
Interestingly, it has been observed that the greater the coronary arteries narrow, the less danger there is of heart infarction. In plain English, resorting to surgery to repair or bypass clogged arteries is unnecessary, as the body has already initiated its own "bypass" or collateral vessels to circumvent them.
There is still much more to information to follow on heart disease in the next daily topic.
|Posted on November 20, 2009 at 3:12 AM|
Previously, I made mention that low thyroid function has everything to do with heart disease. To interest those concerned about hair loss and cardiovascular disease, normalizing thyroid can bring down lipoprotein(a) levels. While Vitamin C, Niacin, Co-enzyme Q10 and a diet rich in saturated fat helps, nothing lowers Lp(a) levels better than normalizing thyroid function.
Low thyroid function can raise levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for systemic inflammation.
Having normal thyroid function alone is not sufficient to protect one from heart disease, however it greatly reduces the odds. The ability of blood cells to clot is one risk factor not necessarily associated with thyroid function.
Physicians routinely prescribe drugs that inhibit the activity of platelets. Platelets are blood cells that clump or aggregate together in order to clot.
Drugs such as Aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), Warfarin/Coumadin (Rat Poison), are prescribed to protect against excess blood clotting, but what about fish oil? Many physicians are reluctant to have their patients combine fish oil with blood thinning drugs.
Unlike pharmaceutical blood thinners, fish oil or other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids work by inhibiting abnormal clotting. In other words, fish oil allows a healthy regulation of blood coagulation, it does not thin the blood indiscriminately.
While I do not recommend taking blood thinning medication, fish oil is safe to use with them. The importance of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is of the highest order, yet despite this, physicans prefer to use patent, blood thinners.
Ninety-two percent of heart attack patients in one study were found to have the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids levels. That is extremely significant, and another note, in 96 percent of heart attack patients were found to have the highest levels of trans-fatty acids.
The AHA (Another Heart Attack/American Heart Association) recommends to avoid arachidonic acid, well what do they know? They once recommended trans-fatty acids (margarine instead of butter) and today, they still recommend heart, 'healthy' vegetable oils. Arachidonic acid is needed for healthy brain function and it is safe, provided your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids is sufficient.
If a specific type of Omega-3 fatty acid is accounted for, then ninety-six percent of heart attack patients were found to have the lowest levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Even more remarkable is that in the very same study, the group with the highest levels of alpha-linolenic acid had never experienced a heart attack.
I had seen studies in the past which suggested that a high intake of Omega-3 fatty acids in heart patients provided a 90% level of protection against fatal heart attacks.
In a moment, I will devulge what I have promised earlier, to take you deeper into the inner sanctum of the secret world of cardiovascular disease 'treatments.' First, an important paragraph on the life saving, natural mineral, Magnesium.
When a heart attack strikes, the coronary arteries are typically in spasm, creating an instability of electrical impulses in the heart muscle. An intravenous (IV) infusion of magnesium can dilate the failing arteries, stabilizing blood flow, and improving electrical conduction.
One study showed that intravenous magnesium improved survival in heart attack patients 800 percent compared to controls. So why isn't magnesium the gold standard for treating heart attack patients?
If you were to ask about this treatment or if you suffer a heart attack, you might need to prepare your doctor well in advance. Most emergency rooms should have magnesium available for intravenous administration. Typically they will use it for acute asthma attacks. Be sure to insist on it, as it may be a matter of life and death!
Forty percent of heart attacks end in death, so prevention is key. A number of studies have found decreased mortality from cardiovascular diseases in populations who have routinely consumed "hard" water. That is water that is rich in minerals such as magnesium.
Many heart patients have an avid interest in magnesium, once they learn how useful it is. I am often asked, what oral form should be used for a heart patient, and the answer is magnesium orotate. Unlike other forms of oral magnesium, magnesium orotate, has been shown to improve the energy status of injured myocardium by stimulating the synthesis of glycogen and ATP.
Myocardial energy-rich phosphate levels are decreased during hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions; subsequently, intracellular magnesium is depleted and lost via the urine. Magnesium orotate is ideal to restore intracellular magnesium. It has been found the be the only oral magnesium capable of "scraping" plaque from the arteries.
In a recent study, magnesium orotate was found to increase the survival rate in those treated for severe congestive heart failure. Clinical symptoms improved in 38.5% of patients under magnesium orotate, whereas they deteriorated in 56.3% of patients under placebo.
Would you be surprised, maybe even shocked to learn that mechanical intervention methods, involving ballon angioplasty, stents, cardiac by-passes provide absolutely no benefit to most heart patients?
Anytime I reveal these cold, blunt and hard facts, there is typically a total "disconnect." A patient needs to hear this more than once, and in fact they need to hear why this is the case. The obvious type of question I would be asked is, "if my insurance pays, there must be studies that prove they work."
Where do I begin to answer this? The public routinely falls for frivilous, high-tech, medical procedures with little proof that they actually work. One study shows that only 25% of conventional procedures has documented efficacy. To put that in another way, that means 75% of conventional procedures have no proof or efficacy behind them!
If I were to explain a typical medical history of a heart patient, it's analogous to a youngster going on as many rides at an amusement park as they can. The primary difference is, the person is old, and the "rides" are not any fun--in fact, they are life threatening!
A typical patient begins their journey either through noninvasive screening tests, or they maybe discovered after a heart event has already occured. If you're over 65, then the discovery of an abnormal reading is extremely high. What occurs next is recommendation for a catheterization and angiography.
What follows is the beginning of the end. There's much more to cover, so watch for the continuation of this discussion.
|Posted on November 17, 2009 at 8:39 PM|
Most prospective patients have little idea that the high pedestal, prestige and self importance in organized, conventional medicine possesses very weak statistics to stand upon.
Does anyone ever question how well this system of medicine works? Not as many as you might imagine, and the deeper one investigates, the grimmer the picture becomes. In fact, if any would-be patient had the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, they might decide to skip their follow-up with their cardiologist.
Behind the façade of high-tech medicine, with its impressive assortment of medical diagnostic imaging devices, and nuclear tests, "they" must have it all figured out right?
They really haven't a clue! Sure, many cardiologists are treated like Gods, but deep down they know better. Medical training insures that keeping a patient's confidence is of the upmost importance and if they let their guard down--they might reveal their true ignorance!
Medical training consistently emphasizes the chastisement of alternative approaches when questioned. Is there any basis for this? Your well meaning doctor believes that peer reviewed studies in prominent journals would have revealed so. As far as they are concerned, if they haven't heard anything, why would you know any better? This topic deserves further attention and will be detailed later on.
I find the greatest flaw in conventional medicine is the failure to recognize and treat the underlying cause of disease. Many cardiovascular patients exit the very "best" heart centers available, not feeling any better, with their original condition plus a slurry of new ones.
Understand that the picture is grim, because cardiovascular disease is considered an inevitable train wreak that can only be managed with symptom based care, potent drugs and surgery.
Heart specialists have many tools at their disposal. There are drugs for every heart condition, and several types of surgeries for common ailments. When arteries clog, there are angioplasties, stents and bypasses.
These are interventions of defense, none of them addressing the underlying problem. Diet is often mentioned in brief, typically with advice to lower salt and saturated fat content.
Several drugs are prescribed to manage blood pressure, heart rhythm, hormone imbalance, water retention, and so on.
In the end, after years of heart attention, from the very "best" a patient's family is told, "we did everything we could."
Just how does this insanity actually occur anyway? Later in this discussion I will address this in good detail, but for now, let's return to what some of the causes are.
would-be heart patients In the previous discussion, "Heart Disease is a Conventional Quagmire," I explained some fundamental reasons for the increased prevalence of heart disease, despite government and institutional guidelines set forth by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Many concerned about heart disease wonder if their arteries are being clogged. The specific cholesterol involved with the thickening of the vessel wall is a highly-oxidized variety of LDL cholesterol attached to a specific protein (ApoA). The whole complex is called Lipoprotein A or Lp(a).
In contrast to the so-called "bad" cholesterol which is LDL, Lipoprotein(a) is like an adhesive, it is a sticky glue. If there is insufficient antioxidant activity during the course of a meal, or if the food is rich in free-radicals, the Lp(a) produced can be significantly elevated.
If you ever felt your were doing the "right" thing by adhering to the AHA recommendation by cooking with canola oil or other polyunsaturated oil, then you have been sadly misinformed. When polyunsaturated oils are heated in cooking, a virtual soup of highly reactive, unstable molecules or free-radicals have been generated, and in turn, the risk of Lp(a) production increases.
Note that higher levels of Lp(a) are found in patients with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and are a strong indicator of future heart disease risk.
When there is plenty of Lp(a) floating around, it attracts a vascular inflammation promoter called Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1). Dickkopf-1 is one of the most upregulated genes in balding dermal papilla cells, and through platelet-dependent endothelial activation, it promotes the enhanced release of inflammatory cytokines, causing atherosclerosis.
Testosterone levels appear to be inversely correlated with DKK-1, and this may explain in part, why low testosterone is an independent risk factor in cardiovascular diseases.
In men, free-radicals can reduce testosterone levels and insufficient testosterone can increase levels of free-radicals. In fact testosterone reduces free radical release from human monocytes. Monocytes are types of white blood cells that attach to the wall of the artery in atherosclerosis.
One major determinant of increased monocyte binding to vascular cells is oxidative stress or free-radicals. When monocytes move into the wall of the artery, they are transformed into foam cells, which collect cholesterol and other fatty materials, triggering growth of smooth muscle cells in the artery.
As these foam cells begin to accumulate, they form plaques covered with a fibrous cap in the lining of the arteries.
A large number of environmental and dietary factors can influence both testosterone and antioxidant levels, and this will be explored in greater depth later in this discussion.
Unlike human beings, most animals produce their own ascorbate (vitamin C), they synthesize it endogenously and as a result, never suffer from atherosclerosis.
If dietary vitamin C levels are low, then production of Lp(a) is higher. Both free-radicals and inflammation go hand in hand.
Conventional medicine believes the myth that saturated fat is a problem, however this theory is seriously flawed. First of all, the body produces 80% of its cholesterol via the liver, and since all carbohydrates are metabolized to glucose, the unused portion converts into saturated fat. In other words, avoiding saturated fat and watching your dietary cholesterol is a futile exercise.
Another myth is that Lp(a) cannot be controlled through diet. According to some studies, the higher ones saturated fat intake, the lower their Lp(a) levels are. Conversely, a diet rich in polyunsaturate vegetable oils increases Lp(a). What do you suppose members of the AHA would say about this?
There is much more to cover, will continue in the next daily topic.
|Posted on November 16, 2009 at 5:02 PM|
Heart disease is an unintended consequence of modern society, at least as far back as the 1900's. Before that time we consumed plenty of real food, including eggs, butter, unpasteurized milk, grass-fed beef and lard.
Yes, there was a time when no one actually took pharmaceutical cocktails for complications of heart disease, and noone were needlessly screened with dangerous, high-tech medical marvels either. People ate real food and didn't worry about cholesterol or saturated fat content.
If you are not already aware, cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease! If you live in the United States or New Zealand, the only two countries that allow pharmaceutical drug advertisments on television, then no doubt you have heard over and over again, how 'important' it is to watch your cholesterol level. Sometimes a little bit of information is dangerous.
Television is not called an "idiot box" for nothing. Maybe you've heard that computers are "garbage in, garbage out," however television can be garbage out and garbage in (you).
Blaming heart problems on cholesterol is the same as condemning a band-aid that covers a scrape. Cholesterol is deposited in the artery wall to patch up "cracks" caused from inflammation. It's the inflammation that causes the tear, not the patch that seals it up.
What causes this inflammation? For starters, some of the 'heart healthy' vegetable oils, and many fat free foods that are high in refined starches and sugars can be a source of inflammation, as these promote high insulin.
Conditions that cause high insulin levels present a broad spectrum of inflammatory reactions, many of which I will cover in more detail later in this discussion. However, it is important to note that diabetic drugs used to 'treat' insulin problems increase cardiovascular mortality.
That said, be sure you're not "treating" yourself to death with pharmaceutical elixirs. Any drug used to compensate for a symptom of heart disease could make the underlying problem worse. Heart disease is really simple to reverse. However, it only becomes complicated when a patient has entrenched themselves in the conventional mindset, procedures and protocol.
Unbeknown to a vast majority of well trained cardiologists, is how to treat various forms of heart disease from the root cause. Approximately ninety percent of all heart procedures are unnecessary!
Yes, there still is a need for surgery when it is, indeed appropriate, however that leaves only ten percent.
Spending many years in medical school and learning the way of high-tech procedures, such as angiography, coronary artery by-pass, stents, cardiac ablation, cardioversion and others, it can be very difficult to shake off these very profitable routines, much less question their efficacy.
Sadly, if it were known to most cardiologists that heart disease is primarily a nutritional problem, the industry would instantly crush under its own weight. However, being profitable and remaining so--key word, often trumps a desire to learn of reasons to doubt. That is to doubt the years of medical indoctrination--I mean training.
The only way to successfully change the current cardiology paradigm is for would-be patients to educate themselves on the true nature of heart disease. Unfortunately, this is not easy when the average person is bombared with misinformation.
Maybe you've heard of the tale about "Alice in Wonderland," well a similar journey begins once a typical heart patient has entered into the foray of the high-tech, medical ivory tower. If you've fallen down the rabbit hole, your cardiologist might as well be the Mad hatter! The irony is, you may believe otherwise!
For the average person, it can be difficult to imagine that they are not in the best of hands. Surely, with such an extensive education they must possess the very best care and treatment that medicine has to offer, right?
It is most unfortunate that the answer is usually "wrong." The reason is because the underlying causes are ignored in favor of "cut, burn and poison" methods.
As already mentioned, prior to 1900, heart disease was rare and with the emergence of high-tech medicine, processed food, poor soil mineralization and other factors have only lead to mortality increases.
Let's not forget about hydrogenated oils which are found in many prepackaged foods. Hydrogenated oils or trans-fats disrupt prostaglandin balance, which are hormone-like reactions, crucial for proper homeostasis in the body. Some examples including regulating of blood coagulation, inflammatory response and constriction and dilation.
The good news is that there seems to be a positive trend emerging in some prepackaged foods. The greater inclusion of tropical oils, such as palm and coconut oil instead of hydrogenated oils.
This is really nice to see, because these tropical oils were getting a bad rap without any real science to back it up. Food manufactures were replacing these erroneously, maligned fats with dangerous, artificially, saturated, hydrogenated vegetable oils instead.
I hope to see a day come when fast food restaurants will realize that so-called 'heart healthy' vegetable oil is anything but that. If you're listening, please bring back the lard, it tastes better and it's considerably more healthy.
If I decided to take a trip across state lines, I could visit the state of Arizona where a restaurant called Heart Attack Grill, features real french fries cooked in lard. They claim their hamburgers may give you a coronary, but I couldn't disagree more! I would feel healthier dining at Heart Attack Grill than most conventional fast food establishments. www.heartattackgrill.com
A friend recently called me with an urgent question, "A friend of mine who is a fifty year-old women found that she has ninety percent of her arteries blocked, yet she has normal cholesterol levels, and she eats mostly fruits and vegetables and grains--how can that be?"
I explained to her that her friend's presupposed healthy diet may not be, and to make matters worse, she may have a thyroid problem. She then remembered to mention that her friend also has fibromyalgia. I said, this makes an even stronger case for low thyroid.
What does thyroid have to do with heart disease? Thyroid has everything to do with heart disease. Studies show that men and women in the lower ranges of thyroid function with respect to thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), have a significantly higher risk for heart attack. Note that thyroid stimulating hormone is not particulary accurate and that sadly, most who have poor thyroid function will continue to test as "normal," despite suffering from low thyroid symptoms.
Just one of many reasons why low thyroid affects cardiovascular disease risk is its influence over homocysteine levels. Patients with hypothyroidism have elevated levels of plasma homocysteine, and these levels decrease significantly once the hypothyroidism is corrected.
Additionally, as we age there is a gradual breakdown of the body’s ability to metabolize homocysteine. To help insure against this risk, supplement with a natural source of B-complex. I would strongly advise not to use synthetic, isolated fractions of B-vitamins. The reason is that these can create a deficiency of the biologically, preferred forms in some individuals.
Folate is excellent for lowering homocysteine levels, however folic acid, the synthetic version of folate does not work in a significant percentage of the population. In fact, folic acid can inhibit absorption of dietary folate, making a deficiency even greater.
Folate is also helpful for endothelial function, helping to relax the inner lining of blood vessels and reducing blood pressure.
A vastly overlooked cause of cardiovascular disease today is a condition called beriberi. Beriberi is caused from a deficiency of vitamin B1 or thiamin. Without sufficient thiamin, the heart is weak, bringing on a host of cardiology terms with frightening names, such as hypertrophic heart, mitral valve prolapse, cardiomyopathy, leaky heart valve, cardiac arrhythmia, etc.
Many heart patients suffer silently from beriberi, all the while taking synthetic forms of thiamin which do not work as the natural, complexed form does. If you were to ask your doctor about this, he or she may say with a touch of condescension, 'berberi no longer exists since the implementation of thiamin fortification in foods.'
Beriberi is still very much endured, due to the problem that synthetic thiamin is not recognized without its whole composite in those vulnerable.
Another B-vitamin that is overlooked is vitamin B-4 or adenine. This vitamin is no where to be found on any vitamin label, because it is not legal to print it. Not one cardiologist in a million probably has even heard of this vitamin. Despite this, the Merck Manual lists 14 separate fractions of B-complex, which includes B-4 and a dozen fractions of vitamin B-12.
Vitamin B-4/Adenine is only available through certain food sources, none of which are derived through cooked food. The best sources are brewer's yeast, wheat germ, spirulina or a supplement called Cataplex B, by Standard Process brand. These are also ideal sources to acquire thiamin and natural folate.
According to studies in the 1930's refer to adenine as the anti-paralysis vitamin. Symptoms of adenine deficiency are anemia, constipation, depression, dermatitis, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), muscle weakness, nausea, and vertigo.
Adenine acts as a co-enzyme with other substances with respect to the mitochondria, the cell factory engine that produces energy or ATP (adenosine triphosphate). In integrative cardiology, nutrients such as D-Ribose, NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and Co-enzyme Q10 have been able to compensate for a widespread deficiency of this important B-vitamin.
In this short review, I have only skimmed the surface on the conventional quagmire of cardiology. In future discussion will dwell to greater depths down "the rabbit hole" with an attempt to explain what is useful and what is destructive in heart medicine. The wildest is yet to come!
|Posted on November 12, 2009 at 9:38 PM|
Recalcitrant, chronic, dry and flaky skin could involve a number of skin disorder types. These include psoriasis purulenta, erythema nodosum, allergic dermatitis, eczema and others.
An interesting study came out of Japan some years ago found significant improvement of these conditions within a months' time. The researchers enrolled more patients with serious skin diseases into the study to investigate whether there was a correlation between the high-polyphenol olive juice extract and improved skin health.
To be clear, this is olive juice, not oil. When olives are pressed to make olive oil, a certain amount of water comes out as a byproduct.
The "waste waters" from olive oil production are rich in natural antioxidants, particulary with respect to hydroxytyrosol. Hydroxytyrosol is a phenolic compound which inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and
cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) under adverse conditions and can significantly reduce free-radical formation without any toxic effects.
A few years ago, Japanese cardiologist Dr. Fujio Numano was researching whether olive juice supplementation provided any cardiovascular benefits, upon which he made an accidental discovery. A marked improvement in the skin of heart patients who also had psoriasis.
Anecdotal and well as clinical research data show that hydroxytyrosol benefits those with a variety of skin disorders. Psoriasis is a type of skin disease in which the growth cycle of cells is abnormally sped up.
Normally skin cells require approximately 30 days before they naturally shed (through apoptosis). Psoriatic skin cells are made so quickly it takes a mere 3 to 4 days and normal apoptosis or shedding is not regulated properly. Psoriatic skin cells are then piled up like too much cement and become inflammed, forming plaques or lesions on the skin.
Hydroxytyrosol possess a special ability to hydrate dry, flaky skin and should be tried for any stubborn dry skin condtion that presents a challenge.
A company called CreAgri produces their own extractof hydroxytyrosol known as Hidrox. They claim it to be the polyphenol extract with the highest free radical protection ever reported for anantioxidant compound.
Positive results have been reported with oral and topical use.
I am asked frequently about stubborn dry skin and scalp conditions that have been a real mystery. I usually recommend abstaining from milk and wheat/gluten products for at least a month to discover if an allergy to either of these exists.
Sometimes psoriasis can manifest from a result of a cholecystectomy procedure. Not having a gallbladder can cause a serious shortage of bile flow, increasing the possibility that pathogens will be eliminated through the skin.
The skin of the human body is the largest organ for elimination of toxic substances. Bile acids naturally coat pathogens preventing their absorption into the bloodstream.
Other than pathogens, other toxic substances, including excess estrogens, bacterial endotoxins and viral solvents are rendered harmless if sufficient bile exists. If you suspect problems with bile flow, have gallbladder trouble, or have already had a cholecystectomy, be sure to supplement with bile acid salts.
|Posted on November 12, 2009 at 1:05 AM|
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a frightening medical condition if mainstream medicine is all you know.
It is a terribly debilitating disease and involves a progressive deterioration of the respiratory system, it's also the fourth-leading cause of death in the
Maybe you've witnessed someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease--what you'll see is someone breathing through a nasal canula (plastic tubing) attached to their oxygen tank. They cannot walk too far without gasping for breath, so usually if they are seen outside their homes, they will be found being pushed in a wheelchair by a caregiver.
Smoking isn't always to blame with this disease, it can manifest from environmental or occupational hazards. Breathing in fine particulates, such as working as a cement truck driver, grain handlers, paint and chemical sprayers, sanders, metal molders, and other workers exposed to dust and fine, airborne particles.
Conventional treatment for COPD is much like other symptom only approaches--they cause side-effects. The chief treatment is the use of
Bronchodilators (inhaled and pill form) which cause the airways to relax and open. This is usually followed by steroids and antibiotics, both of which just shorten lifespan of the patient.
Oxidative stress has long been known as a key contributor in COPD. Over time, it becomes more and more difficult to breathe, as the airways get narrower from inflammation caused by toxins. Oxidative stress leads to the
biggest concern with COPD--preventing bacterial infection. Most COPD patients reach their demise with an infection in the lungs.
In non-conventional medicine, COPD patients benefit from the use of inhaled glutathione via a nebulizer. This helps eliminate toxins, eases inflammation, and improves breathing. However, that is only a treatment, it would be more desirable to address the cause of this respiratory disorder.
The lungs have an innate antioxidant system that fights on-going infection, pollution and inflammation around the clock. If this system were to fail, COPD is the end result of this sort of malfunction. This antioxidant system is controlled by a protein called Nrf2.
Researchers have found that patients with COPD have low levels of Nrf2, and gradually decline, hence the progressive nature of this disease.
Fortunately, the nutrient Sulforaphane has been discovered to restore levels of Nrf2 to the level of a person without COPD. Sulforaphane comes from broccoli and it can increase phase-2 detoxification by 1500%.
One pound of raw broccoli contains a relatively small amount of sulforaphane, up to 40 micrograms at a maximal level. Cooked broccoli contains considerably less, also the absorption time is much faster for raw compared to cooked.
The best way to get the desirable quantity of sulforaphane needed is to consume broccoli sprouts. They contain significantly higher amounts than other broccoli sources, or you can take a supplement. The brand Jarrow makes a high potency sulforaphane extract called Broccomax. Just one capsule a day, could keep the pulmonologist away.
Even if you presently are unaware of anyone close to you who has this disease, you might be interested to learn that sulforaphane activates Nrf2 and induces phase-2 and antioxidant enzymes in human keratinocytes. In English, that means that sulforaphane could transcriptionally alter the antioxidant protection in the hair follicle.
Also keep in mind that sulforaphane is especially useful for asthma relief. I have been keeping a close watch on sulforaphane for years, believe me, I have only scratched the surface on this amazing nutrient. Look out for more information about sulforaphane in the future.
|Posted on November 8, 2009 at 6:59 PM|
If you listened to all the "health" advice from the American Heart Association (AHA) over the years, you might have asked yourself what AHA really stands for--Another Heart Attack?
A low salt diet could increase your blood pressure! Don't believe me? Grab your salt shaker and read on!
Lowering blood pressure with salt restriction is a futile exercise. Fanatical salt restriction can lead to hyponatremia (low blood sodium) and can cause heart, kidney failure and stroke.
The Phala nomads of Tibet live very long lives consuming a diet rich in everything the American Heart Association advises not to eat. While eating virtually no fruits or vegetables, they hardily consume unprocessed milk, butter, cheese, sheep, antelope, yak and everything else the AHA says "causes" coronary artery disease.
Despite this 'paradox,' these Tibetans maintain lower blood pressure averages than some of the "heathier" members of the AHA. They also consume considerably larger amounts of salt too.
In about fifteen percent of the population, there is salt sensitivity in individuals. However, poor glucose metabolism, low vitamin D and Magnesium levels account for some of these cases.
In the majority, salt makes little difference in blood pressure.
Salt is an essential nutrient, just like saturated fat, cholesterol, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. However, what most health authorities fail to mention is that the white stuff on your table, just isn't balanced properly.
Table salt is a refined product, stripped of its natural constituents, and contains additives such as ferrocynide and silicates that are there to provide a convenient, non-clumping, easily pourable salt.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to our salt deficit. A type of salt used in Finland, which has recently been reproduced in the United States called Wright Salt. Wright Salt contains Sodium chloride, Potassium chloride, Magnesium sulphate, Lysine hydrochloride, Silicon dioxide, Zinc chloride, Copper glycinate, Selenium and Potassium iodide.
What about sea, Celtic or Himalayan salt you ask? I once thought this was the way to go, until I found that most of the time these salts are no longer biological. This is to say that they no longer carry electrons. Without electrons, a mineral in salt can occupy an important space, that would otherwise be a useable mineral that contains an electric charge.
Without an electric charge, there is no life.
If the body is supplied with sufficient vitamin C, it can supply electrons to a salt that has subsequently run out, or is in need of a recharge.
Wright Salt contains an electric charge, because each mineral in the formula contains a ligand, or an ion carrier, such as chloride to transport it, and it is well balanced with other minerals. Beyond that, there is yet, another good reason to use Wright Salt, in that it is the very same as the previously mentioned Finnish salt.
Finnish salt is a big deal when one considers that studies show a 75 to 80 percent decrease in both stroke and coronary heart disease mortality since its exclusive use.
Even fast food restaurants in Finland use this formula, there is no escaping this healthy salt unless it is purchased outside the country. Wright Salt can
be found at http://www.tahomadispensary.com
|Posted on November 7, 2009 at 3:38 PM|
When high glycemic starches and sugars are consumed, they stimulate elevated blood glucose and insulin levels. At the same time, levels of adiponectin decrease. So what is adiponectin and why is it significant?
Adiponectin is in short supply when either high glucose products are consumed or high fructose corn syrup. Low adiponectin means uncontrolled insulin levels and a propensity towards highly negative metabolic effects on the body.
Adiponectin is an adipokine or plasma protein that is specifically and abundantly expressed in fat tissue. The greater amount of adiponectin in the plasma, the less inflammation, incident of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance and obesity exist. In fact, higher levels of adiponectin are associated with longevity according to a study on centenarians.
Only just recently have two natural substances been identified to increase adiponectin levels. Just two years ago this was unheard of. Well, for accuracy, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) was found to enhance adiponectin levels in rats, but I digress. Personally, I had scoured through research and found absolutely nothing on humans--until now.
The first natural agent to be discovered that increases adiponectin levels is a mushroom extract that is used as an immune stimulant. Products described as immune stimulates are cancer fighters, however due to our limited capacity to express free speech in an unfree, "free" country, descriptions must be vague.
The cancer fighter that increases adiponectin is Agaricus blazei. On some level, Agaricus blazei could be like "exercise in a bottle" in terms of raising adiponectin levels. In addition to keeping glucose and insulin levels stable, agaricus blazei has been used traditionally for stress relief.
As of October 14th this year, a new natural agent has been identified to increase adiponectin levels. It's the antioxidant found in salmon and krill, called Astaxanthin.
In a first-ever randomized, placebo-controlled human study found that astaxanthin consumption ameliorates triglyceride and HDL-cholesterol in correlation with increased adiponectin in humans.
Astaxanthin was administered in doses of zero, 6, 12, and 18 milligrams per day for twelve weeks. Multiple comparison tests showed that 12 and 18 milligrams per day doses significantly reduced triglycerides and increased HDL-cholesterol. Serum adiponectin was increased by astaxanthin in doses of 12 and 18 mg per day.
If you're not familiar with astaxanthin dosages, 12 and 18 milligrams may not seem like much, however it packs a punch as great as 500 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin E. The downside on these dosages is the price. A typical astaxanthin supplement supplies only 2 to 6 milligrams per dose--ouch!
That said, agaricus blazei seems a more attractive option since a 400 milligram capsule with 40% polyphenols, taken twice daily is a more feasible way to increase adiponectin levels.
What about bread you say? Today, you could say that "bread is the new butter." Now that we know that natural, non-processed fat isn't evil, we now target bread as an evil force that promotes inflammation by increasing insulin.
According to the researchers in Lund, Sweden, sourdough bread is safe. Unlike standard wheat bread, It has been observed that bread containing lactic acid produced during the sourdough fermentation or added directly, has the ability to lower glucose and insulin responses after meals in humans.
The mechanisms for a lowered glucose response to bread containing lactic acid were found to be that the inclusion of lactic acid in bread reduces the rate of starch digestion by creating interactions between the gluten and starch.
On the subject of lactic acid bacteria, probiotics can improve digestion and reduce the toxic byproducts of starch and sugar consumption.
|Posted on November 6, 2009 at 9:57 PM|
The health hazard of the metabolic syndrome is increasing, and I suspect it is due to the wide-spread use of high fructose corn syrup in proceesed foods.
Up until recently, no effective pharmacologic treatments were known to exist to combat this. However, the pharmaceutical drug, rosiglitazone has been found to expert positive effects on the development of metabolic syndrome.
Rosiglitazone works by increasing the activity of peroxisome proliferator-receptor gamma (PPARgamma). Treatment with rosiglitazone reverses the effects of hypertension, elevated insulin levels and high triglycerides. In effect, rosiglitazone exerts its beneficial effects by increasing the levels of adiponectin.
Adiponectin is a hormone produced in fat cells that when in abundance, improves insulin sensitivity. However, when high fructose corn syrup is consumed, a condition called hypoadiponectinemia surfaces. Having low levels of adiponectin is a precursor to the development of hypertension and obesity.
The more adiponectin you have, the more likely you have your weight under control. The less adiponectin, you're likely to suffer from insulin spikes.
During weight gain, adiponectin production is downregulated and the accumulation of belly fat increases. I'm not suggesting at all the use of rosiglitazone to manage metabolic syndrome, in fact far from it.
Maybe you've heard of the drug called Avandia, it's the trade name for rosiglitazone--and if you haven't already heard, it'll increase your risk of heart failure by 60 percent!
Green tea polyphenols, in a dose-dependent manner, increase levels of various adipogenic markers, such as adiponectin, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma). In other words, green tea extract provides all the advantages of Avandia without the risks.
Quite recently, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a green tea polyphenol, was found to promote vasodilation by stimulating production of nitric oxide. It also reduces endothelin-1 (ET-1). If you recall from the previous daily topic, high fructose corn syrup increases ET-1.
Endothelin-1 is a protein involved in vasoconstriction and its formation and release are stimulated by angiotensin II, antidiuretic hormone (ADH), thrombin, cytokines and reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Green tea has one limitation, it is a water soluble plant extract and it remains in the blood stream for a relatively short period of time. However, recently, a form referred to as Green Tea Phytosome can overcome this obstacle. Green Tea Phytosome can stay active in the serum up to ten hours instead of the typical 30-minutes, which the standard water soluble extract offers.
Green Tea conversion into phytosomes creates intermolecular bonding between individual polyphenol molecules and one or more molecules of the phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine (PC).
As a molecular delivery vehicle, phytosome technology substantially improves the clinical applicabilities of polyphenols. In a recent trial, one hundred human subjects were used to evaluate Green Tea Phytosome.
Fifty subjects were assigned to the green tea extract plus hypocaloric diet, while the other 50 subjects followed the hypocaloric diet only. After 90 days of treatment, significant weight loss and decreased body mass index were observed in the group taking Green Tea Phytosome.
While the control group (hypocaloric diet only) lost 11 pounds, the Green Tea Phytosome group lost almost 31 pounds. Please note that the waist line was reduced only in male subjects.
In addition to the positive effects on weight and body mass index, markers such as triglycerides, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin, leptin and cortisol were improved.
There is much more to cover, look out for Part three of this discussion.
|Posted on November 5, 2009 at 8:48 PM|
Around the holidays, visiting a friend's house or eyeing desserts at a bakery or party could provide opportunities to indulge in some delicious non-foods, the kind that kill and send us to an early grave.
In my view, eating to live, instead of living to eat isn't pleasant enough to make life worthwhile. Just a sample of evil food is usually all it takes to eat the full portion.
I normally make some effort to avoid processed foods, food fried in vegetable oil, indulging in cookies, cakes, cereals, alcohol, grains and confections. However, I do not always say "no."
What if there was a way to have a "license" to eat occasional junk, without the sort of consequences your body would expect?
Depending on which indulgence you choose, there is usually a substance or two to help buffer some of the negative effects. If the "treat" is alcohol, the primary concern is potential toxic effects from the inability to convert it into acetic acid. If too much alcohol is ingested, its oxidation in the liver is catalyzed by the cytosolic enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).
If you can "hold" your liquor well, then your body's ability to convert acetaldehyde into acetic acid works well. It suggests that you have an abundance of the enzyme, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, which converts acetaldehyde to acetic acid. Some individuals are very sensitive to alcohol produce large amounts of acetaldehyde, which is very toxic to the liver.
A form of the amino acid cysteine, called N-acetyl-cysteine, binds to acetaldehyde, thus preventing its damaging effect on physiological proteins. Alcohol toxicity depletes vitamin B1, known as thiamine. Thiamine is an extremely important nutrient, because without sufficient levels, the body produces an abundance of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).
Every tissue in the body suffers greatly with a loss of thiamine, and if you're diabetic or have cardiovascular disease, shortened life span is virtually guaranteed.
If you drink alcohol regularly, or indulge in refined grains and sugars, then the fat-soluble form of thiamine may help save your organ system. Thiamine is water soluble and in any wasting disease, such as alcoholism or diabetes, the body cannot retain it well. The fat soluble form needed for retention is called Benfotiamine.
If you're aleady starting to experience poor performance in vision, kidneys, suffer from hypoglycemic reactions, poor circulation or any peripheral nerve damage, benfotiamine is an absolute must have.
Other nutrients to support prevention in alcohol toxicity are the amino acid Taurine, the mineral Selenium, and the extract of Silymarin from the herb Milk Thistle.
If you live in America, you'll find the sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in all kinds of non-foods at your local food merchant. This phenomenon is due to government food subsidies, allowing the growing of corn to be artificially cheap. High fructose corn syrup, "naturally" comes from corn, and while it does present negligible effects on blood sugar, the end result isn't healthy.
High fructose corn syrup is metabolized through the liver and despite the fact that insulin inpact is minimal, HFCS has a pronounced effect on uric acid levels, and helps to induce metabolic syndrome, and accumulation of triglycerides.
High fructose corn syrup has been shown to adversely effect the sympathetic nervous system, increase the production of vasoconstrictors, such as endothelin-1 and angiotensin II, and prostanoids in the development of hypertension in experimental animals.
fructose also plays a role on the effects of nitric oxide, it impairs endothelium-dependent relaxation and sex hormones. Fructose-fed rats experience elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (free-radicals) and higher levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia), both of which have been found to be contributing factors in fructose-induced hypertension.
This year, I was intrigued to find that hyperuricemia plays a pathogenic role in fructose-induced metabolic syndrome. Lowering serum uric acid levels can be achieved with a drug called allopurinol. Allopurinol is prescribed for sufferers of gout, however there are safer ways to lower uric acid levels.
Besides the link that elevated uric acid plays in hypertension, it also induces obesity in animals, suggesting that metabolic syndrome is at least in part, triggered by the hyperuricemia effect of fructose.
Celery seed extract is one natural way to reduce levels of uric acid, it contains a chemical called 3-n-butylphthalide. Another natural supplement that lowers uric acid levels are the polyphenols from cherry extract. Both of these protect against free radicals and problems associated with hyperuricemia.
There is much more to cover on this topic, so look out for part 2 of this discussion.
|Posted on November 1, 2009 at 5:55 PM|
In the brain, there are approximately a hundred billion cells, and as you approach your thirties and beyond, some of these begin to die off.
Certain chemicals are not produced in the sort of abundance they were before and what follows could be the start of dysfunctional brain cell activity.
Some of the deficits experienced with diminishing brain chemicals are less enthusiasm, mental fog, confusion, forgeting simple things more regularly, etc.
Besides the aging process, there are other contributing factors to a declining mental focus. A short list of many are alcohol consumption, chemical exposure, chronic stress, hypoglycemia, mercury toxicity, and poor dietary habits.
The primary protection against some of these insults are phospholipids. The two main phospholipids are Phosphatidylserine (PS) and Phosphatidic acid (PA). These make up the surrounding membrane, producing energy and are critical for neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers important for memory and alertness.
When I was a kid, I often wondered why some old people resembled zombies, as if something was missing. If you fall into the trap of taking prescription medications like cholesterol statin drugs, this is exactly where you might be headed.
Cholesterol is a vital component of our cells membranes and without it, our memories are toast!
As mentioned already, our bodies make less chemicals like Phosphatidylserine (PS) and Phosphatidic acid (PA). however, there is nothing to stop you from supplementing with these. Numerous studies have supported their efficacy with respect to improving cognitive function and a variety of other benefits.
One study demonstrated that after three months of taking just Phosphatidylserine, both male and female subjects gained 12-years of cognitive function in their brains. In other words, it was if as they turned the clock back twelve years younger.
Phosphatic acid (PA) is somewhat mysterious and at this time, scientists know little about it, except that it is important in terms of energy and fluid dynamics.
Interestingly, some years ago there was a study showing hair growth stimulation with PA when used topically. Internal use failed to make any impact, at least on myself.
Another thing that affects memory is the hormone cortisol. If you're experiencing chronic stress it can be very difficult to stay focused. Studies have shown that the combination of PS & PA can significantly reduce elevated cortisol levels.
Finding this particular combination isn't that easy, however one well known brand has it. Country Life's, BioChem, Neuro-PS, Phosphatidylserine Complex.
I find that a combination of Krill oil and Acetyl L-Carnitine keeps me mentally sharp. Krill oil contains phospholipids as well as EPA & DHA, important components of Omega-3 fatty acids which make up the gray matter of the brain. Acetyl L-Carnitine stimulates acetlycholine, an important neurotransmitter.
|Posted on October 29, 2009 at 12:31 AM|
Sleepless nights are a real problem for a lot of people. I could list a number of very obvious consequences. However, if you're suffering from insomnia, you may already have a good idea of what some of these are. It is bad enough to suffer from this affliction, it's quite another to suffer from taking a prescription sleep medication.
If you don't mind hangovers, feeling inebriated, nauseous, feeling tired in the morning, sexual side-effects, sleep-walking, etc., then maybe you can handle drugs like Lunesta and Ambien. These drugs actually "trick" your body into thinking it had a good sleep, but in reality the opposite is true.
If you pick up any widely-read magazine or watch network television, you may have seen a few dozen ads from patent medication companies displaying images of people orchestrating their day-to-day operations with assistance from theses "medical marvels" seemingly making their lives more convenient and trouble-free.
One of these comes from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Rozerem. Rozerem is a sleep aid, but in reality it's actually a patented, reconfigured, molecular alteration of the natural hormone melatonin.
Melatonin is inexpensive to buy, but since it's not a patent medication there isn't sufficient incentive for a company to invest in clinical trials, supply a hundred million (or two) dollars to receive "approval" for the "right" to advertise what is well known in the scientific community--that melatonin will help you sleep every bit as well as Rozerem without any risk of side-effects.
Many of the listed side-effects Rozerem offers are, in contrast, prevented by melatonin, the very drug it mimics.
If the suppliers of melatonin were to advertise its benefits, they would be heavily fined and imprisoned. Unless it's approved as a "drug," there is no free speech on the airwaves.
While there are hundreds of natural substances that work as well or better than their pharmaceutical counterparts, lack of awareness of them keeps the medical economy afloat, with its reliance on exorbitant infrastructure.
Without the lobby interests, government liaisons and large shareholder incentives, the medical field as we know it would fall like a house of cards. Yet in the midst of the ruins, we would be so much the healthier.
Generally speaking, insomnia is the inability to produce sufficient amounts of serotonin or perhaps melatonin. Starting with that, for melatonin to be produced sufficiently, requires us to sleep in conditions of total darkness.
It must be so dark in fact, that visibility should be poor enough to block what is seen right in front of you. One way to get around this problem is to make use of melatonin glasses. These block the blue spectrum of light which allows the pineal gland to start producing melatonin naturally.
Melatonin glasses really work and they are ideal for use when using the computer in the evening or just preparing for sleep.
Without this sort of protection, if we so much as look around at night with artificial lights turned on, or even coming from a light eminating from a digital clock can keep us awake.
Hanging up dark drapes over windows will insure a more restful sleep. Additionally, making use of red lights instead of standard night lights will further aid, as the red light is free of the blue spectrum and will not compromise melatonin production.
One common and overlooked factor is how much sunlight you're exposed to throughout the day. Natural, full-spectrum sunlight as opposed to the common variety of standard, artificial lights can assist with the internal body clock.
Users of full-spectrum light report feeling more mentality alert and tend to find it easier to relax in the evening. Moreover, it may assist with the production of melatonin. It would help further to make sure your vitamin D levels are in the optimal range. This helps your body make serotonin, which in turn allows the body to produce melatonin.
If you consider taking melatonin orally, be aware that it has to be cycled, because it will lose its effectiveness if it's taken everyday. Melatonin is only useful for occasional use. It would be more practical to use melatonin blue blocking sunglasses in the evening along with full-spectrum lighting.
Another factor is growth hormone release and sleep. Insufficient growth hormone can make it very difficult to sleep. In medical school, doctors are taught that the opposite is true. However, are they right? In practice, increasing one's pituitary growth hormone release helps bring on sleep.
To improve growth hormone release, try taking a combination of the amino acids, L-Arginine L-Pyroglutamate and L-Lysine in equal proportions. This significantly increases growth hormone release via the pituitary gland. Note that it should be taken at night before bedtime. One maker of this combination is Source Naturals brand, the product is called "Amino Night."
Insomnia can also be affected by other hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol which can interfere with the synthesis of serotonin. In healthy people, cortisol levels are lowest at night and highest in the morning.
If night time cortisol levels are too high, this "fight or flight" hormone makes it virtually impossible to relax and fall to sleep.
In a recent study 82.8% of individuals taking a combination of Magnolia officinalis bark and Ziziphus spinosa seed reported that the combination had helped them get a restful sleep.
Both of these herbs help to reduce anxiety and cortisol levels. One very reasonably priced product by Jarrow is called Seditol™ and it contains the identical blend of Magnolia officinalis and Ziziphus spinosa used in the study.
Finally, there is the mineral Magnesium in the form of Glycinate, a type of magnesium that helps with muscle relaxation.
You may be surprised to find yourself obtaining the best sleep you have had in recent memory. In the near future I will discuss a more challenging problem, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
This problem is serious, and if this is the cause of your sleep disturbance, then I have a more effective solution than standard, conventional CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) device.