Heart Health Ask Me Archives


Question:
I have a high LPA of over 85. This was diagnosed about 2 years ago. My doctor put me on niacin. The LPA came down to 45 over a one year period. However, I?m very discouraged as in the past year, the LPA has failed to come down further even after increasing the niacin. My doctor does not have any further suggestions.

Answer:
Niacin reduces the production of lipoprotein A (Lp(a)) in the liver. By doing this, the lipoprotein level will go down. However, until you repair the endothelium of the vascular wall, the liver will always receive a signal to produce Lp(a). As a result, the niacin is a symptomatic approach and does not address the root cause. The best way to bring down the Lp(a) to optimum level (under 14 mg/dl) is by the use of a cocktail of lysine, proline, vitamin C, ascorbyl palmitate, bioflavonoids, and some pine bark extract. This particular cocktail will reduce the endotheilial damage. When the edothelium?s health is improved, the liver will not need to make lipoprotein A as a repair mechanism serrogate. Therefore, the Lp(a) will normalize nicely.


Question:
Does vitamin B-12 help prevent mosquito bites or, at least reduce the affect of bites? If B-12 isn’t the answer, what is?

Answer:
There is some debate on this matter.
The use of B12 is mixed. You can try using B complex (50 to 100 mg a day), especially B1 (50 to 100 mg one to two times a day) and B12 (1,000 mcg a day) to prevent as well as a mosquito repellent. Vitamin C helps reduce histamine release, resulting in a milder reaction, and can be considered. Bromelain (250 to 500 mg four times a day between meals) is a proteolytic enzyme that has anti-inflammatory effects. All three when taken together as a “cocktail” can be helpful, but it is not 100%.
According to Joseph Conlon, technical advisor at the American Mosquito Control Association, ingested vitamin B-12 alone has not been shown to have any repellent effect on mosquitoes in controlled studies. Garlic has also failed to pass muster in this regard. However, the Association offers excellent information on ways to repel mosquitoes: www.mosquito.org


Question:
My mum is a diabetic (over 35 years a diabetic) and is tablet controlled. She also has a high cholesterol (heart) condition. We regularly buy salmon which is high in omega-3 fats for her. Is this ok? Also she loves avocado and I keep reading conflicting info that this is not good for her cholesterol. Is this correct?

Answer:
Salmon is good, but unfortunately nowadays, it is laced with mercury unless you get the virgin Alaskan salmon. Mercury can lead to a host of other neurological problem when one gets older, including association with Alzeiheimer’s Disease. In fact, fish is no longer recommended for those who are contemplating pregnancy to avoid passing onto the baby during pregnancy. I think moderation is ok for those over 45 years of age. 8 ounces a week is plenty. The smarter way is eat the fish in moderation, and supplement with pharmaceutical grade high potency fish oil that is high and has less than 1 part per billion heavy metal. Take one tsp two times a day together with polycosinaol and gucculipid and cholesterol will normalise nicely. Read these two articles:
Cholesterol, Omega-3 and Fatty Acids


Question:
With the findings from the National Institute of Health’s lasted double blind study showing Chelation Therapy had no greater effect than placebo, do you still stand by your claim that Chelation therapy is an appropriate treatment for heart disease?

Answer:
Chelation therapy is a great way to bind the toxic metals out of the endothelium and vascular wall. This will lead to an increase in nitrous oxide (N0) production. NO is the body’s most potent vasodilator, and optimizing its secretion is a key factor in maintaining good blood pressure and healthy blood flow. Too much is being focused on the use of chelation as a “rooter-router” which on careful examination is but one of the many benefits that is very hard to demonstrate due to the many many variables associated with it. The key in our understanding of chelation therapy should be focused on endothelial health and the damaging oxidative properties of heavy metal on it. Aside from cardiovascular effect, a long term study of those who had long term chelation has shown almost 90% reductions in cancer. The benefits of chelation far exceed those of cardiovascular health, and most people don’t know that. If we live in a virgin environment, chelation is not needed, but with polluted environment and toxic food consumed, chelation to me is a cheap insurance, especially oral form for those in good health. No amount of “science” can convince a skeptical mind, and I feel that the downside is almost nonexistence compare to the benefit. This type of risk reward ratio is well worth the “risk” which again, is almost zero. As a clinician, I can tell you that chelation is a wonderful modality for anti-aging.


Question:
I would like to tell you what I eat during the day so that you could tell me if any of the diet is wrong or any fruits or vegetables should not be eaten.
At the moment I do not take any vitamins and I am 60 years old I take HRT patches and fosamex for my bones.
In the morning I take Porridge mix with bran and soya milk sometimes paste made of dates figs and raisans mix with honey on seeded toast and camomile tea. At 11 am I take one banana or pear after one hr. I have my lunch with soya margerine and little mayonaise with grated carrots and salad on brown bread and camomile tea after 2hrs i take one banana and pear. At 5pm I have vegetable juice of carrots, celery, and spinach diluted with water. After one hr I take vegetable soup of couliflower, Broccoli carrots, leeks and turnip and at 6pm I have grilled salmon, or meat or chicken curry and rice. At 8 pm I have one banana and pear. I sleep at 11pm.
I will be very grateful if you let me know if my diet is alright and giving me enough vitamins and minerals or whether I should change any thing.

Answer:
I know from what you are telling me you are trying your best to eat a balanced diet. I would like to encourage you to watch out for the following principles of a balance diet:
It is good for you to eat a variety of food everyday, so you can get all the whole spectrum of vitamins and minerals that are available in different foods.
I notice that you are eating a lot of fruits in between meals, the recommended amounts of fruits a day is 2-4 servings (around 2-3 whole fruits). Banana for one is high in sugar; one should not take more than 1 banana a day. It is good to vary your fruits daily.
Instead of fruits, substitute with vegetables, which are lower in calories and provide just as much vitamins and minerals.
Is there a reason for your eating every 2-3 hours? You are eating about 6 meals a day. That is generally not a good practice. Your stomach should have a 4-5 hours of break between each meal to allow total digestion to finish.
After your evening meal, I would not eat anything else; again let your stomach have time to finish digestion before you go to sleep.
Camomille tea is a calming tea, maybe you would like to try other herb teas as a variety.


Question:
I suffer from Hiatus hernia and I would like to know which types of fruits and vegetables are acidic and which vitamins to avoid.

Answer:
Any food or beverage eaten stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid by your stomach. Some foods cause a greater secretion of acid than others do. For instance, alcohol, caffeine containing foods (coffee, tea, cola, cocoa and chocolate) and spices (pepper, cayenne, curry or chili powder), high protein food such as meats and milk all cause a greater secretion of acid by your stomach.
Hydrochloric acid is used by the body to start the chemical digestion of food. Acid is mixed with the food in your stomach before it is passed on to the intestines for more digestion and absorption. When your hiatal sphincter does not close properly, the acid can be refluxed into your esophagus, thereby causing inflammation.
It is important not to drink liquid with your meals also. Take liquid 1/2 hr before meal or 1 hour after meal.
Fruits and vegetables are not known to cause an increase in acid secretion in the stomach. If you find certain food causes you more uncomfort after ingestion, it is best to not eat this food for a few months until your body has recovered. Then start up slowly with this food one thing at a time in small quantity.
Most importantly, please make sure that you are within Ideal Body Weight.


Question:
What is the best pH of drinking water for the body? How does the pH of water help in regulating body pH and do we really need high alkalinity water as our body already has the buffer system to regulate the pH.

Answer:
Tap water pH is around 6.5 to 6.8. The best pH in my opinion is around 7.0-7.4. Your body is a closed system. The more alkaline you feed it, the higher the pH. The reverse is also true. It is interesting to note that in the Western Hemisphere, where meat (acidic) is the predominant diet, the rate of cancer is also highest. I am sure there are many factors in addition to this one, but this is some food for thought. If you study the body as a mini-universe, you will start to grasp the idea of what I am talking about. If you look at the body as a series of plumbings and mechanical in nature, than the concept of biological terrain is difficult to comprehend.
I don’t think there is any study to specifically correlate the exact relationship on water directly to body terrain, as that is almost impossible due to many factors including diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors. Yes the body does have its own internal regulatory system. Some people will not be affected by pH at all, while others can be quite sensitive.


Question:
Is it possible to “cure” Hepatitis C with natural products? Is it possible to overcome a virus?

Answer:
While there is no “cure” for a virus, we know that virus only affects those whose immunity is weak. Put 100 people in a room with a known virus, even a cold, and not everyone comes down with it. The old and the weak will get it first. The lesson is that a strong defence is a strong offence. Think how to fortify your body with immune building nutrients. In the case of liver, studies have shown that milk thistle and others are very good. Other good immune building nutrients include medical mushrooms (there are many), cats claw (a herb), olive leaf (herb), and optimum levels of antioxidants.


Question:
I had blood test done recently and my cholesterol was 266 but my triglyceride was only 90. My HDL is 101 and my LDL is 82. The only other problem I seem to have is elevated liver enzymes. Does it affect my health in anyway for my HDL to be above the high range? I know it is good for it to be higher as opposed to lower. Also why is my cholesterol so high with my triglycerides so low? I thought if the triglycerides were low it would bring the cholesterol down. I am 5’7′ and weight 160. Have lost 25 lbs. over the past 8 months through Weight Watches, so felt it was a healthy way of eating. I drink lots of water.

Answer:
In my view, you are doing fine. A high cholesterol in and of itself does not tell the whole story. When your HDL cholesterol is high, your total cholesterol will automatically be high. The key is that your total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio is 2.5, which is excellent. A high HDL is not harmful to the liver. Anything under 3.5 is good. Your trigylceride is also low which indicates that your diet is low in grains and that is excellent as well. Your LDL is within normal limits, indicated low degree of oxidative stress.
The purpose of cholesterol is to measure cardiovascular disease risk. There are advance markers nowadays such as homocysteine, Lp(a), and C Reactive protein that are far more sensitive than cholesterol. Ask your doctor to check these next time you see him.
At the interim, just continuing what you are doing.


Question:
What is the best pH of drinking water for the body? How does the pH of water help in regulating body pH and do we really need high alkalinity water as our body already has the buffer system to regulate the pH.

Answer:
Tap water pH is around 6.5 to 6.8. The best pH in my opinion is around 7.0-7.4. Your body is a closed system. The more alkaline you feed it, the higher the pH. The reverse is also true. It is interesting to note that in the Western Hemisphere, where meat (acidic) is the predominant diet, the rate of cancer is also highest. I am sure there are many factors in addition to this one, but this is some food for thought. If you study the body as a mini-universe, you will start to grasp the idea of what I am talking about. If you look at the body as a series of plumbings and mechanical in nature, than the concept of biological terrain is difficult to comprehend.
I don’t think there is any study to specifically correlate the exact relationship on water directly to body terrain, as that is almost impossible due to many factors including diet, lifestyle, and genetic factors. Yes the body does have its own internal regulatory system. Some people will not be affected by pH at all, while others can be quite sensitive.


Question:
I am a female, 42 years young, 5’6, 145 lbs.
Total col 181, LDL 111, HDL 37, Tri 162
My doctor has told me that my HDL (good cholesterol) is low and recommended exercise 4-5 weeks for 30-40 minutes; which I am doing and feeling better as the time goes on. Are there any vitamins that would help increase my HDL? I am currently taking garlic, b-complex, c, ginko biloba, e, fish oil omega 3, folic acid, calcium – RDA’s on all of them, I am 42 year old women. I am eating more veggies and fruits. PS. I believe I’ve inherited my father?s gene on this HDL. Will there be gene therapy on this matter too?
My doctor told me that my HDL should be about 50. I am going for another blood test on May 19th , 3 month check , should I ask her to check for any thing else while I am there?

Answer:
Your total cholesterol is not high, but as your doctor pointed out, your ratio is not good. Your HDL is low. Interestingly, your triglyceride is very high. That indicates that your diet is high in grains (potato, bread , pasta , rice etc). If you try to restrict your trigylceride by 30% in the next 90 days and redo the test, you will find all numbers will improve significantly without doing anything else. Read more here: Triglyceride.
Your problem is not too low of HDL cholesterol, but too high a trigylceride. That is the key. Follow my protocol and your doctor will be pleasantly surprised in 90 days.
You can ask him to check Lp(a), homocysteine, C reactive protein, and fibrinogen. These are advance markers of cardiovascular health. Read more here: Cardiovascular Disease


Question:
Is there such a thing as having too LITTLE cholesterol? A good friend has written to me saying that he has a Total of about 118, and his TG and LDL are well under 90, and his HDL is only 31. That doesn’t sound good to me, especially since I’ve read where hypocholesterolemia could be a marker for cancers.
If he’s having a problem with too little cholesterol, what can he do?

Answer:
Too low a cholesterol (under 150 mg/dl) has now been associated with some forms of brain cancer. Our body needs cholesterol to think, act, and react. It is an absolute necessary macronutrient. As long as the ratios are good total chol /HDL under 2.5, CRP under 1, Lp(a) under 10, and homocysteine under 8), I am very comfortable with high cholesterol and I refuse to treat it with natural supplements (which is very effective by the way). Some of my cholesterol ladden physicians, who happen to be my patients, are doing very well with total cholesterol in the upper 200s and no meds at all, as I do not believe it has to be lowered when the rest of the picture is good. You have to look at the whole body and not just the total cholesterol, which out of 8 indicators of cardiovascular health, ranks very low.


Question:
I am a 56 y.o. male with no signs of heart disease, a bp of 130/80, a resting pulse of 56, both parents lived into their 80’s. Because of a total cholesterol which hung between 200-220 my doctor put me on 10 mg. of Lipitor last July.
Last week my doctor was out of town, but I was feeling terrible–I felt weak, felt somewhat confused, and for several months my left Achilles tendon felt as if it would rupture at the slightest exertion. I also felt I might be getting depressed (While I’ve had several episodes of depression before, they have always occurred during the winter and lifted in the spring (not started).
The only thing that was “new” in my life was Lipitor. My wife had told me that it could deplete CoQ and I wondered if that had happened. I told my doctors office that I was going to stop the Lipitor regardless, but wished to have some lab data taken before I did. I went in the next morning to have fasting cholesterol taken along with some other tests.
A week later, when my doctor returned, I saw my lab data. My total cholesterol had been down to 128. My SGPT was also somewhat high, but none of the other liver function tests were abnormal.
My question is, if my Cholesterol returns to 200, should I try another statin–or is 200 okay if I have no other risk factors. (As far as I know there is no hospital assay for CoQ–how could I ever know if my endogenous supplies were depleted? I am and was supplementing CoQ at 100 mg/day) I am feeling better off the Lipitor.

Answer:
Lipitor will bring down you cholesterol, but it also depletes your CoQ lab. There are laboratories in the country that specializes in functional medicine, and they will be able to measure your CoQ level. One such lab is Smokies Mountain Lab in the East Coast.
I usually am not concern with the total cholesterol level in your range, as long as the HDL, total chol/hdl, and triglyceride levels are looking good. Too low a cholesterol level is not good for you. Studies are coming out that total blood cholesterol of under 150 mg/dl is associated with brain tumors. Our body needs fat and cholesterol to function. Some people perform best when their cholesterol are in the mid 200s. There is nothing wrong. Ask you doctor to look into your Homocysteine (an indication of how much inflammatory precursor) you have that can lead to vascular system inflammation; C reactive protein, an indicator or the degree of inflammatory response), and Lipoprotein A (an indicator of the body’s attempt to reduce the oxidized LDL cholesterol). If all these numbers are normal (homocysteine under 10, CRP under 2, and Lp(a) under 14, and together with a total cholesterol/ HDL cholesterol ratio of under 3.5, then your overall cardiovascular risk, even with a high total cholesterol up in the high 200s, is very low.
Technology has allowed us today to understand that cholesterol alone does not tell the whole story. Out of the 8 indicators of cardiovascular health, total cholesterol rank near the bottom of importance. Your doctor may not be up to date on this, and if you are just being treated based on limited laboratory studies, then the picture your doctor has may not be complete.
All statin drugs have side effects, and you can read more here: Cholesterol Lowers Drug Kills
If you do turn out to need to reduce total cholesterol, there are numerous natural supplements that can do the job well. Read more here: Cholesterol


Question:
I’ve been on chlorestral medicine for 16 years. My chlorestral is 198 but my stomach bothers me every night after taking it. Every test for other causes has proven negative. What do you think of the following instead of the Statin drugs (40 mg lipator)?
Beta Sitosterol …300 mg – 4 pills a day
No flush niacin 500 mg–2 caps daily
Red yeast Rice 600 mg. 2 caps daily half in AM half in PM
Others have had good results but I need a Doctors opinion.

Answer:
Niacin and sitosterol can be helpful. Read yeast rice extract should be taken 3 times a day, but it has been banned by the FDA for over a year now. Be careful of what you are getting now as some people are still marketing it when they should not, or they are selling the powder which is not effective compare to the extract.Other nutrients you should consider include guccolipid and polycosinal. Please pay attention especially to the triglyceride and normalize it. (Read here for more info: Triglyceride Many doctors simply focus on lowering LDL, and the use of statin drugs has sky-rocketted. Bear in mind that if you have high trigylceride, the total cholesterol will increase automatically. Simply bringing down LDL with statin drugs without reducing trigylceride with simple dietary measures of grains elimination will seldom be effective long term in maintaining low total cholesterol level. Furthermore, as time goes on, you need stronger and stronger statin drugs. More on statin drugs here:
Cholesterol Lowers Drug Kills


Question:
What foods do you need to stay away from when taking coumadin?

Answer:
Watch the intake of high vitamin K food as vitamin K can interfer with blood thinning.
Limit the following food to 1 serving each day.

  • ? c. cooked Swiss chard
  • ? c. cooked Turnip greens
  • ? c. cooked Kale
  • ? c. cooked Collard greens
  • ? c. cooked Spinach
  • ? c. cooked Brussels sprouts

Do not take more than 3 servings of the following food per day:

  • Scallion ? c raw
  • Broccoli ? c raw/cooked
  • Cabbage, green ? c raw/shredded
  • Green Tomato 1 raw
  • Seaweed, dulse ? c dried
  • Garbanzo Beans 1/3 c cooked
  • Soybean ? c cooked
  • Lentils ? c cooked
  • Soybean oil 1 Tbsp

Alcohol intake greater than 3 drinks daily can increase the effect of Coumadin.
Herbal supplements can affect bleeding time: Coenzyme Q10 Wheat grass Herbal teas made with tonka beans, melilot (sweet clover), or sweet woodruff.


Question:
I was wondering if you could tell me about asprin, vitamin E 1000iu, and siberian ginseng? Since they are blood thinners would taking all three of them, even at various times, thin the blood too much? Would that cause tiredness and fatigue?

Answer:
Aspirin has anti-platelet and therefore blood thinning effect. Vitamin E also contains similar properties, but in high doses of 800 IU and higher, variation exist. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell what level of vitamin E intake correlates with the degree of blood thinning at this time. Herbs such as ginseng is good for improvement of energy, and its blood thinning effect is not well documented. If you are on blood thinner, you are best to consult your doctor prior to starting any nutritional supplements. If you are not sure, start with small doses of each and work your way up, checking your bleeding time along the way with your doctor. For more information on this subject, read this: Blood Thinners And Nutritional Supplements


Question:
I recently read about a study done in Switzerland which discussed the celebrex and its ability to decrease inflammation in the vessels of the heart. Do celebrex and vioxx have the same properties? I have a script for vioxx, have lupus, and am concerned about taking the vioxx because of reports about heart attacks in people who take the NSAID’s.

Answer:
Both Celebrex and Vioxx are part of the same family of what we called designer Non-sterioidal Anti-inflammatory Agent (NSAID). Their properties are similar, with the key property being pain control without gastric damage, as so many of the earlier (NSAID) like naprosyn does.
NSAID is now shown to help with reducing the inflammatory response in the endothelium of the blood vessel. There are also reports of reduced cardiovascular epidoses such as heart attacks for people who take NSAID. The problem, however, is that there is a down side to the majority of these powerful designer drugs. If you have had ulcers or stomach bleeding, asthma, hives, or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs, have severe kidney problems, have severe liver problems, or are pregnant, you need to be very careful. Likewise, there are well-known side effects including upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, water retention, and high blood pressure associated with these drugs.
The good news is that there are natural alternatives to reducing the inflammatory response in the cardiovascular system, which can be measured in the laboratory by a test called C Reactive Protein. Such natural remedy include herbs such as cat’s claw and olive leaf; vitamins such as high dose Vitamin C, lysine and proline; and high dose fatty acids (5-10 grams pharmaceutical grade fish oil) .
As far as lupus is concern, it is an auto-immune disease and you can learn more about my take on it here: Auto Immune Protocol


Question:
I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in May of 2002. I have lost 30
pounds by diet and exercise and have reduced my A1C from 7.4 to 5.3. However, I am concerned about my LDL level. It has actually gone up by 50 points, but my regular doctor has not prescribed a satin drug.
Below are lipid levels:
2-25-03 5-20-02 6-6-01
Total 210 230 204
HDL 42 31 32
VDL 16 NA 17
LDL 151 NA 100
Triglycerides 83 638 359
A1C 5.3 7.4 6.3

Answer:
Your LDL goes up because you are doing better with the drastic reduction in Triglyceride. Total cholesterol = hdl + LDL + ( trigglyceride /5 ). Once you understand how the laboratory comes to these numbers, you will realize that as your triglyceride comes down (and that is the key), the LDL will go up temporary, and while the HDL goes up too, the degree is not as significant. You are doing well. Keep it up. No meds needed in my view. Recheck in 3 months and you should see the LDL coming down then.


Question:
I have a high family history of heart disease and my doctor wants me to take 5000mg of fish oil a day. I also take lipitor. Does that amount of fish oil sound correct to you? I currently take a product put out by Ocean Essentials have you heard of them?

Answer:
5000 mg of fish oil a day is not a lot if you have specific health challenges. Depending on the grade of fish oil, the active ingredient DHA and EPA may comprise anywhere from 30% to 60% of the fish oil that you are taking. It?s the amount of active ingredient that counts and not the amount of fish oil per se. The amount of active ingredient can range from 5,000 to 10,000 mg a day in divided doses. High doses of fish oil have blood thinning effects which you have to watch out if you are on blood thinner. I have not heard of Ocean Essential, so unable to comment on it. Taking high amounts of fish oil can make you develop a fishy smell, in which case you can take some flaxseed instead. I believe that fish oil is very important to a person’s health.


Question:
Is there a relationship between cholesterol levels and stress? Does stress have an impact on cholesterol levels? LDL? HDL?

Answer:
Very interesting question. Stress stimulates epinephrine and cortisol release. Epinephrine affects sugar metabolism and glucagon to increase blood sugar, and that in turn causes oxidative damage to the inside of the blood vessel wall when chronic. The body tries to repair and does so by stimulating the liver to make cholesterol to patch up the endothelial damage and inflammatory response caused by the sugar. Cortisol also affects the metabolism of cholesterol in a variety of mechanisms. Cortisol also leads to the breakdown of tissue to generate sugar for energy. The increased blood sugar causes insulin levels to rise. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to bring blood sugar down. When insulin is consistently high, the fat-burning hormone glucagons are suppressed. Glucagon normally rises between meals to help burn body fat. With less glucagon, we are prone to have food cravings, leading to obesity and setting the stage for diabetes and high cholesterol.
The short answer to your question is yes.
Stress will kill you. There is no doubt about that.


Question:
I have read about the benefits of vitamin e for memory, heart and basic anti-aging health. I also read that too much can be toxic. How do I determine the correct quantity? I am a 43 yr old active female in good health.

Answer:
The commonly accepted dose that is safe is 400 IU , although the RDA is only 15 IU. The trend is towards higher and higher dose. Most people have no problem taking 800 IU on an ongoing basis. If you want vitamin E to have therapeutic effect, higher is needed, up to 2000 IU. This is the dose needed for late stage Alzeiheimer’s Disease, for example. For normal healthy aging adult in your age group, 400 IU is a good dose to follow.


Question:
I’m a 48 year-old woman who has run 3 marathons. I did them all within a 10 month period. My last one was 2001 Boston Marathon with a time of 3hrs. and 50 minutes. I qualified and was psyched to do a Fall ’01 Marathon and then Boston ’02 when I became ill.
August of 2001 during a routine pelvic exam, my Ob/Gyn. found a 10cm+ tumor on my right ovary. Both the tumor and the ovary were removed and sent to various pathologists, who deemed it Borderline Ovarian Cancer. I had a complete hysterectomy w/ removal of the other ovary 6 weeks later. One week before the hysterectomy, I was having excruciating upper chest pain and fever. I was put on an antibiotic and felt well enough to have the 2nd surgery.
While recovering from that, I was experiencing a lot of abdominal problems. Ultimately it led pericarditis, and I had to have heart surgery to drain the fluid.
I’m back to running, and am working up to doing the Boston Marathon this April. I did 20 miles yesterday, and although I had to walk a bit, I was not particularly tired or sore afterwards. Of course, I don’t think I was very fast, either.
My question is this – did I cause any of my mentioned health problems by excessive exercise? Am I prone to another inflammation of my heart if I continue to train, and push myself harder? None of the doctors seemed to figure any of it out. They said it was probably a viral infection to my heart due to a compromised immune system. I’ve recently read about the lower C-Reactive protein in marathoners, and its connection to inflammation of the heart. None of my Doctors have said that that might have been what happened to me. What do you think?
(I’m at graduate school studying Exercise Science, and want to know more about this. Also, the effects of free radicals from exercise on the body. Can that cause cancer?)

Answer:
It is unlikely that the condition you had is due to over exercise, but there is little doubt that from an anti-aging perspective, you are over-exercising, and over-exercise can cause excessive oxidative damage which is pro-aging. While running marathons are good for the ego, it is my belief that our body is simply not built to take that kind of punishment which is indeed severe. Recall that the first person who did the marathon died at the end of the journey! For anti-aging purposes, the key to keep the body in minimal oxidative stress while providing strong cardiovascular protection and enhancing oxygenation to the body’s tissue. This translates to roughly 2000-3000 calories per week of exercise that include cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility component. Anything more and you are asking for potential trouble. There is little doubt that over-exercise and therefore over oxidation will increase the risk of cancer.
C reactive protein is a sign of inflammation. Your blood level should be under 0.8. If your CRP is high, it is indicative of inflammatory response. Because CRP is somewhat non-specific, you have to look at the rest of the body and and try to piece it all together. In addition, the traditional inflammatory diseases like athritis that increases CPT, sub-acute and chronic sub-clinical viral infection can also elevate CRP level, and one way to bring it down is to take herbs like cat’s claw and/or olive leaf, both of which have anti-viral properties.


Question:
I am 39 years old and recently, I had gone through the heart EBCT (Electron Beam Computed Tomography) scanning and found that I have some calcium deposited on my heart arteries (left main and right coronary artery). Could you advice what are the solutions that I can use to slowly “clean” the deposits? By the way, it has been 2 years I am taking fish oil and recently changed to Flaxseed oil, as I heard Flaxseed is better than fish oil, is it true? Other than that I am taking the Pharmanex LifePak, so called Multivitamin kind supplement, do you think it will help?

Answer:
The EBCT is a good screening test. If your calcium score is high and you would like to bring it down, the best way is by a combination of oral chelation and high dose of properly blended ascorbic/lysine/proline mix with ascobyl palmiate and bioflavonoids. Flaxseed is not as good as fish oil because the conversion to omega-3 is low. Flaxseed also turns rancid very fast so if you take it, make sure it is fresh. Life Pak is just an entry level multivitamin and is unlikely to reduce your calcium score.


Question:
I have been in chronic/permanent Afib for the past 11 years. I have had CAD, Angioplasty x4 massive/straight line heart attack with stent inplant, mild TIA and cardioversion x2. That I am still here is a miracle. I am 67 years old, still working, have all my original parts incl. teeth, but can not get rid of Afib. My cardiologist tried everything known to man kind to convert me back into NSR nothing worked. Taking medications, atenolol, verapamil, coumadin, lasix, Q10 in gelform, multivitamins etc. Also, practicing TM on regular basis. Is there anything you might suggest that we have not tried?

Answer:
Try IV and oral chelation to rid you of toxic metal and relax the endothelium to enhance blood flow. That will also help with your cardiovascular system problem (read more here: ../../../../../understanding-high-cholesterol/). Also get immunoglobulin studies for subclinical infections such as H. pyloris. That is a start. Given the severe damage you already have and the high dose of medication, it is unlikely that anything will drastically reverse your condition, although having a good lifestyle will slow the downhill progression.


Question:
Should I avoid carrot? Every book on a market talks about how carrot juice cleans the liver? Why are low-fat diets not good for you? Please elaborate on it more?

Answer:
Try IV and oral chelation to rid you of toxic metal and relax the endothelium to enhance blood flow. That will also help with your cardiovascular system problem (read more here: Chelation. Also get immunoglobulin studies for subclinical infections such as H. pyloris. That is a start. Given the severe damage you already have and the high dose of medication, it is unlikely that anything will drastically reverse your condition, although having a good lifestyle will slow the downhill progression.


Question:
I just had a triple by-pass surgery where there were 3 blockages, 80%, 90% and 99%.
Other blockages consisted on 50%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20% and 20%. No by-passes or stints were necessary in these.
A friend of mine informed me after the by-pass that IV Chelation saved him from having his leg amputated 4 years ago after three surgeries and guaranteed amputation by several cardoilogist. He is now on oral chelation and doing fine. He suggested chelation therapy for me.
I am afraid to just start taking oral chelation EDTA without some type of professional recommendation from a specialist dealing with this. I do not have time in my job to start IV Chelation and I want my system cleaned from any dangerous heavy metals and I want my arteries cleaned from plaque eact that blocks them. Can oral chelation do this?
What test do I need before taking this drug, what dosage should I take and for how long, and what test do I need to take to measure its effectiveness after I take it? I live in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and what doctor would you recommend in this are there any in Louisiana to start treatment or determine if oral chelation is right for me? I live about 60 miles from Baton Rouge, 60 miles from New Orleans and 75 miles from Lafayette, Louisiana.
My Internal Medicine Specialist told me when I asked him about this and he has heard of it, but did not know enough about it to make a decision without messing with enzymes, he was not comfortable with getting involved with it. He did suggest that I take Co-Q10 with Flax Seed Oil. He is a friend and believes in herbal medicine but told me that he did not say that for the record. He is also a personal friend.

Answer:
Due to the non approved nature of chelation (oral or IV) for cardiovascular disease in the USA by the FDA, I am unable to advice you on specifics. I can tell you that on a personal basis, I am on oral chelation EDTA myself. The normal dose is 300 mg a tablet and 6 a day. It is very important to be on the right kind of oral chelation. Many suppliers pass their product as oral chelation but they are nothing more than multivitamins unfortunately. Also you need to make sure you are on chromium and other mineral supplementation during the process as they can get chelated out of the body as well.


Question:
I have high Cholesterol and my doctor suggested that I take Gemfibrozol 600mg. 2 daily with Miaspan 500 mg 1 daily to lower my cholesterol I am now taking Cholestin (Policosanol) 15 mg. 2 daily and have had no results lower the bad and raising the good (I get confused between the two) I have taken Lititor and had muscle problems and I do not want to go back a statin. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
There is a series of natural compounds that can lower cholesterol. Before you start lowering any cholesterol level, do make sure that it needs to be lowered in the first place. The parameters are not only high total cholesterol level but more importantly, the total cholesterol/HDL ratio, Lp(a), CRP, Homocysteine, just to name a few tests that you may wish to consider asking your doctor about. Choelsterol is one important indicator of cardiovascular health, but the other ones are also important and together, will give you a better picture of whether you need to lower cholesterol or not. Assuming that you do need to lower your choelsterol, the list of natural non-toxic compounds to be considered include: niacin, fiber, guccolipid, beta-sitosterol, vitamin C, proline, lysine, and policonsinol. Coming up with the proper blend personalized specifically for your body and titrating it over 6-12 months should be the goal from nutritional supplementation point of view. High cholesterol is a symptom of unlying problem and not a disease entity in and of itself as viewed by conventional medicine.


Question:
Am I correct in that you’re saying because my husband’s sugar levels are high, his cholesterol is high? I always thought that only bad fat raised cholesterol. Also can you explain the grain comment? I was under the impression that my husband should be eating brown rice and 12 grain bread, things of that nature. Is that incorrect? And cholesterol of 140, the dr said it was HIGH for a DIABETIC. He said for someone without diabetes it was fine. That’s where we were getting confused.
These are his test results: his total cholesterol was 210, his HDL was 50, his LDL was 141, his TG were 96 and his Hglaic(?) three months sugar was 6.8. I read some of your articles last night and I’m going to read the others you mentioned in your email. Thank you so much for all your help.

Answer:
There is a series of natural compounds that can lower cholesterol. Before you start lowering any cholesterol level, do make sure that it needs to be lowered in the first place. The parameters are not only high total cholesterol level but more importantly, the total cholesterol/HDL ratio, Lp(a), CRP, Homocysteine, just to name a few tests that you may wish to consider asking your doctor about. Choelsterol is one important indicator of cardiovascular health, but the other ones are also important and together, will give you a better picture of whether you need to lower cholesterol or not. Assuming that you do need to lower your choelsterol, the list of natural non-toxic compounds to be considered include: niacin, fiber, guccolipid, beta-sitosterol, vitamin C, proline, lysine, and policonsinol. Coming up with the proper blend personalized specifically for your body and titrating it over 6-12 months should be the goal from nutritional supplementation point of view. High cholesterol is a symptom of unlying problem and not a disease entity in and of itself as viewed by conventional medicine.


Question:
I came across your website while researching atrial fibrillation, which I have had for about 4 years. I am 72 years old, female. I have been following your recommendations for daily supplements for the treatment of atrial fibrillation for about 4 months (Co Q 10,120 mg.; L. carnitine, 500 mg.; lipoic acid, 120 mg.; hawthorn berry, 565 mcg.; magnesium (in Tri-Boron Plus), 500 mg.) I also take the following daily medications prescribed by my cardiologist: Pindolol, 5 mg.(one-and-one-half daily), Digitek 0.25 mg.; Amiloride HCL/HCTZ (5 MG/50MG.)[I also take Evista, having had breast cancer, earliest stage (lumpectomy & radiation) 11 years ago, and a 5mg. aspirin].
To try to summarize my general condition briefly:
I am very active, lots of energy, and generally in good health; normal weight.I don’t eat red meat; we eat a lot of salmon and other fish high in omega fatty acids, and lots of fresh and cooked vegetables. I don’t really exercise regularly, except for practising the piano, but I am pretty active and live in a 3-story house.My internist assures me my heart is healthy, and my blood chemistry is good, with high HDLs. I did extremely well on a thalium stress test recently, going 8 minutes on the Bruce protocol with no problems. My episodes of atrial fibrillation, since they began about 4 years ago, have been extremely sporadic in general; I have gone many weeks without any episodes at all,and at other times have experienced one daily for a week or so. They usually occur during the night, and last an hour or sometimes more–I can’t really tell, since I go to sleep. It seems to me that they have become even less frequent since I started a regimen with your supplements.
My question is: in your experience, have you found it possible that AF can be eliminated entirely? I am aware of the risk of stroke (and fend off the cardiologist’s suggestion to go on coumadin), which is why I continue the medications for now, but my goal is to get off ALL these drugs if possible.

Answer:
Your email is most detailed and that is wonderful to give me a sense of your history and where you are now. There are several thoughts and general information for educational purposes that come to my mind. These are just thoughts and should not be interpreted as diagnosis or treatment of your disease which I am not authorised to do over the internet.
At your age, prevention of strokes should be a priority. Natural ways to do this include vitamin E and gingko. CoQ 10 also has reported blood thinning activity, though not as prominent.
The earlier you start natural treatment, the higher the chance of success in “elimination” AF. No one can guarantee that it will not return because as the body decompensate with age, the natural progression of aging plus an already damaged firing mechanism (that causes AF) automatically is amplified, even if you are in the best of health. When you have documented AF, your body is already telling you that your spark plugs are failing. While the rest of your body may be perfect, you cannot run away from the dysfunctional firing system.
Most of the time, there is some sort of trigger. You need to continue to look for the triggers and try your own experimentation on how to eliminate them as much as possible. Pay attention to small things – from the way you sleep to the temperature (cold air blowing in) etc to diet etc.
Some have reported the use of plant sterols in addition to the cardiac enhancing supplements I have mentioned to reduce the inflammatory response that accompanies the AF epidode. You may wish to consider that as well.
The severity of your AF is quite mild, and I would urge you to exercise more in moderate level to build up your heart muscle while you are healthy as you will need it going forward.
As far as the rest of your health goes, make sure in addition to total cholesterol and HDL that you check your Lp(a), CRP, ferritin, and homocysteine level to get a better and well rounded view of your cardiovascular system as these are more advance markers than cholesterol alone. Your cardiologist would know about them. They are not commonly done, but very valuable and that which I do for my patients.
Tappering off drugs is an exercise you need to have your cardiologist approval first, especially at your age. Finding a naturally oriented cardiologist in your area may be the best way if your current doctor is not naturally inclined. I am a physician myself and when I decided to get off medicine, I discussed it and have the blessing of my electrophsiologist first. If you are not in the medical profession, you should not do so. Given the fact that even if you may be symptom free of AF, it can recurr, you will need someone to look after you just in case.
You did not mention about your weight and height other than ?normal”. I presume you are close to anti-aging weight. (Ideal body weight less 5-10 %). If not, try to get there. The fewer loads you put on your body, the longer it last.


Question:
Are there ANY studies, or are you a proponent for replacing the 81mgs aspirin dosage with White Willow Bark as Heart Attack protection?

Answer:
Willow bark was used as a source of the anti-inflammatory salicylate compound generally known as aspirin, long before these substances were discovered, purified and artificially manufactured. It helps to reduce pain and inflammation commonly seen in arthritis.
The salicylates, as they are found in Willow bark, are quite mild and do not have the side effects of stomach irritation. They can be tolerated by people who are unable to take pure aspirin. Willow bark does not have the blood thinning properties associated with aspirin. For blood thinning properties, consider high dose of vitamin E, gingko, or high dose of fish oil.


Question:
I am taking lipitor daily and was told that eating grapefruit can cancel the effects of the drug. Is that true?

Answer:
Citrus fruits are an important part of a good diet because they provide vitamin C and other essential nutrients. There is approximately 65 mg of vitamin C and 250 mg of potassium in an orange. Grapefruit contains high levels of a flavonoid (plant compound) called naringin. This substance reduces the activity of a group of P450 enzymes known as CYP3A enzymes. Your body uses these enzymes to break down certain drugs, such as calcium channel blockers (commonly used in the treatment of high blood pressure), sedatives, and cyclosporine (an immune suppressant given to people who have received organ transplants). If you take a lot of grapefruit, the naringin may inhibit the action of these enzymes. The drugs, if taken concurrently, are not metabolized. They remain in the body in higher concentrations than normally would. This increases the risk of unwanted toxic effects.
If you are taking prescription medication, ask your physician if you should avoid eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Certain drugs, like cyclosporine, already carry a warning.
The good news is that there are plenty of substitutes. Orange, tangerines, and tangelos have plenty of anti-oxidants and very low levels of niringin.


Question:
I am 52 yrs old, how long should I take the Oral EDTA Chelation, and how long will the benefit of it last?

Answer:
There is no time frame set. The normal dose is 1800 mg (300 mg of magnesium-EDTA x 6 for 6 months, then you can tapper off to 300 mg two times a day long term. The magnesium bound form is the best form for oral as we don’t want more calcium in the body and magnesium also helps with heart function and relaxes the muscle. You also have to make sure that oral chelation will need to be accompanied by supplementation with minerals because the good minerals will also be chelated out, especially chromium at least 200 mcg is needed)


Question:
Do you take fish oil only or do you take flax seed oil/meal too? I am currently taking flaxseed meal (2tbsp) and flaxseed oil (1tbsp) daily for cancer-fighting lignans and Omega 3’s. I eat salmon about twice a week. Should I take fish oil caps too or is my current intake sufficient? Also, I’ve been reading about Dr. Matthias Rath and his carnitine, lysine, taurine, Vit C supplement. Are there any good food sources for carnitine, lysine and taurine that would provide levels equal to his recommendations? I already get tons of C in my fruits, vegetables, and supplements.

Answer:
Flax seed is an alternative source of fish oil for those who cannot tolerate fish oil in high dose, as many do get a fishy burp, so to say. Flax seed’s content of omega 3 is much lower, and it has to be converted to EPA and DHA, with a conversion fact much lower than fish oil. If you are taking 4 oz of Atlantic salmon, you will be getting about 2.5 grams of omeg3 each 4 oz. Therefore, you are getting about 5 grams a week which is good dose unless you have specific health concerns that warrant more, such as Alzeimher’s Disease or cancer.


Question:
I am taking lipitor daily and was told that eating grapefruit can cancel the effects of the drug. Is that true?

Answer:
Citrus fruits are an important part of a good diet because they provide vitamin C and other essential nutrients. There is approximately 65 mg of vitamin C and 250 mg of potassium in an orange. Grapefruit contains high levels of a flavonoid (plant compound) called naringin. This substance reduces the activity of a group of P450 enzymes known as CYP3A enzymes. Your body uses these enzymes to break down certain drugs, such as calcium channel blockers (commonly used in the treatment of high blood pressure), sedatives, and cyclosporine (an immune suppressant given to people who have received organ transplants). If you take a lot of grapefruit, the naringin may inhibit the action of these enzymes. The drugs, if taken concurrently, are not metabolized. They remain in the body in higher concentrations than normally would. This increases the risk of unwanted toxic effects.
If you are taking prescription medication, ask your physician if you should avoid eating grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Certain drugs, like cyclosporine, already carry a warning.
The good news is that there are plenty of substitutes. Orange, tangerines, and tangelos have plenty of anti-oxidants and very low levels of niringin.


Question:
How do I treat blood pressure and diabetes with chelation?

Answer:
Chelation comes in oral or IV form. You should do both. It removes the heavy metal, thereby allowing the endothelium to secrete nitrous oxide, resulting in vasodilation and reduced blood pressure. The other thing to do is to drink a lot of water if you have no heart failure or kidney problem. Here are some articles you should read: Diabetes, Nutritional Medicine


Question:
I was wondering if you could please provide the references you are referring to about polycosinol. I’d like to see the trials comparing to placebo as well as other lipid-lowering therapies. Please let me know ASAP. My father-in-law wants to be taking this and I don’t support the decision as he is 95% blocked in his left anterior descending coronary artery. If he’s going to start taking it, I need to see the actual trials and not just go from someone’s word on a website.

Answer:
Please go to National Library of Medicine Medline Search
Type in the word “octacosanol”, and you will see 26 articles in various aspects of this subject for your study. If you try search engine like google, you will find over 8000 links on this subject.
With your degree of concern, the best is to pay a visit to a health care professional and get some expert opinion before starting any self treatment. I agree with you totally that to simply read someone?s (including mine) write up and simply proceed can be dangerous. The good news with natural medicine is that the side effects are close to zero and in my view, far far superior to drugs. But there are always exceptions in everything, and the more we know, the more we realize all the exceptions and how much we don’t know. Lowering cholesterol with statin drugs is easy. It takes about 1 minute for me to write a prescription. But why are people across the world pursuing alternative methods? Because there is a down side to drugs with its many long term side effects. I am fully licensed to write a script that takes 1 minute, but to explain to people takes 30 minutes and many are skeptical, and rightfully so. In this day of “evidenced based” medicine, what constitute “evidence” is a hotly debated subject, especially when big pharmaceutical companies are funding the research.
Many of my patients are doctors who are scared to take drugs, and they know better. I don’t take new patients any more to concentrate on teaching, research, and writing. I do it because I believe it, and I see results that cannot be denied as a practitioner. My website is for education only. It?s for people to learn and ask question.


Question:
I am currently 44, approx 5’9 190lbs. I am in good health and am able to run 3 miles but my heart rate approaches 175 during the final two miles. I train with free weight consistently, but I run inconsistently, 1 month on 2 months off. Will consistent training in my ‘training zone’ (130-145) lower my heart rate during excercise? How long will it take to see results if I train 3-4 times per week? Additionally, I am interested in the use of HGH. Where do I find a physician that will discuss its use with me?

Answer:
Your maximum heart rate is 220- your age. Since you are 44, your max heart rate shoudld be right around 176. At your age, you should reach about 70-80 of your max. Most of the time, it?s ok to be in the max rate of 175 intermittently as you can tolerate it. This usually means a few minutes. Overstressing your heart may be good when you are young, but as you get older, overstressing can cause more harm than good. Consistent training will generally lower the resting heart rate. It should help to reduce your exercise heart rate, but it is difficult to tell the degree. It is important for you to understand that overstressing any part of the body as you age is punishing your body. Listen to your body.
I generally do not recommend HGH in injectable form for people under 60 unless there are specific reasons. I find that you can do almost the same with good exercise, nutritionals, and secretagogue while saving a lot of money and avoiding side effects.


Question:
I had a question about my Cholesterol which is 207 total, Ldl is 126, Hdl 39 and triglycerides is 210. Since I knew my Cholesterol is high, I am very worried and I have been exercising a lot, normally I go for walks and do the treadmill exercise. Doctor, my question is whether my triglycerides level is it too high and what more can I do to lower it and I am concerned about my HDL level too. I am very worried and confused. Could you please guide me on what I need to do? And also could you guide me on the Omega 3 complex?

Answer:
Your triglyceride is too high. Since triglyceride is most often a direct reflection of your grains (and therefore sugar) intake, it is very easy to bring down your triglyceride level by simply reducing your grains intake and try to refrain from sugars like cakes and desert. Protein and fat is ok, if you eat good protein from plant sources such as beans, and good fat from deep cold water fish such as salmon. As your triglyceride comes down, your total cholesterol will automatically come down, and your total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio will naturally improve over the next 3-6 months. You should read these two articles to really understand what is going on: Triglyceride, A Big Fat Lie
Omegas 3s are good to increase HDL, but it should be part of an overall program. Salmon has lots of good omega 3, so eating good amount of fish will help. Don’t forget that too much of anything is not good. Optimum balance is the key.


Question:
I just had a positive stress test with 1 mm st segment depression. My cholesterol is 237 168 LDL 37 HDL. I walk 3 miles five days per week in 42 minutes for 90 days. I had my blood rechecked and the levels were the same. My doctor wants to put me on Lipitor but I don’t want to go on it. What would you suggest?

Answer:
Here is what you need to do:

  1. Your total cholesterol to HDL is high. Under standard conventional protocol, you are a candidate for cholesterol lowering drug. However, not everyone with your cholesterol will die of heart attack. In fact, 40% of heart attack victims have clear vessels without arthrosclerosis. Clearly there are more to the picture than cholesterol alone.
  2. To fully access your cardiovascular risk, new markers are now available. These include Lp(a), homocysteine, c-reactive protein, and fibrinogen.
  3. Furthermore, you can get an ultra-fast CT scan of your heart to evaluate more if you have any calcium blockage.
  4. The ST depression is borderline, and can be pathological or simply machine variation. Correlation with symptoms and history is important.

Now what to do:

  1. Cut down the sugar now as well as grain products by 50% such as potato, bread, and rice. All grains and refined carbohydrate and soda convert into sugar inside your body. If the sugar does not kill you, the aluminum in the soda can give you Alzeiheimer’s Disease by forming plaques in your brain. Not too good!
  2. Continue your exercise program
  3. Follow my anti-aging food choice program at: Food Pyramid
  4. Read my take on cholesterol at: Cholesterol
  5. Follow the above and I suspect there is a good chance of your laboratory numbers returning to normal in a matter of 3-6 months naturally. Nutritional supplements will also help to bring it down. Always seek the approval of your private doctor first, however.

You may wish to read this on statin drugs (eg. Lipitor and related drugs) Cholesterol Lowers Drug Kills


Question:
I recently have my routine treadmill test. It was found that there was 1.0mm horizontal ST depression at stage 4 without chest pain. Two subsequent tests were carried out.
Myocardial perfusion imaging – this is found to be normal. Quote “Stress tomographic imaging with Tc-99mm tetrofosmini revealed normal perfusion of the left ventricle. Polar map quantization was within normal limits. Gated SPECT showed normal LV size and function (LVEF 77%) Conclusion: Normal stress perfusion study at stage 4 Bruce protocol
Coronary calcium score – the reading is 347.9 which is not very good.
My cardiac surgeon suggests having an angiogram to ascertain the degree of blockage. I am more inclined to seek other none invasive means to reduce this high calcium content.
Please advise: is there any other means. How about Chelation?

Answer:
First let me give you some comments based on what you have written. ST depression on EKG, especially during stress test, is a warning sign of poor perfusion to cardiac cells. Therefore, further workup is needed such as the myocardial test, which turns out to be normal and in fact, excellent. In your case, you have a higher calcium score than normal and that is another yello flag. When doctors are confounded by this paradoxical evidence, the only ‘gold standard’is to move to the next step – an invasive procedure – and recommend an angiogram. What is recommended to you is therefore so far within the ‘standard procedure’.
I had personally experience exactly what you have gone thru some 6 years ago, when I had ST depression, perfect calcium score. There are always some complications with each case, and in your case is calcium score being high, and mine is mitral valve prolapse with chest pain. I did not know better then and per standard protocol, ended up with an angiogram in the USA after a battery of test just like you. My angio turns out perfect. After 6 doctors (all cardiologist and my friends and professor) and a full workup, the conclusion is that the machine that did the EKG uses a reading method that amplifies the depressons, so botherline ST Depressons which are normal are interpreted as pathological. That happens all the time and countless people are put through expensive tests only to turn out normal angio. Of course, the doctors cannot be faulted for they are just doing their job.
In your case, I would suggest you repeat the stress test with a cardiogoist who is more in tune with your body and not only the data. It is important also to consider various cardiac markers from laboratory testing such as Lp(a), homocysteine, etc. These are important too.
Your calcium score is of some concern. I had mine done in 1988 when the machine was first introduced and brought to UCLA, although the machine is only now available in Singapore recently. Its use and intepretation has to be carefully done. There are ways to reduce the calcium score, including oral and IV chelation and other non invasive modalities. It can be done, but will take 6 months to 1 year.
On the other hand, some patients simply cannot sleep until they go through the invasive procedure. If you are one of these, then angio is the only way to find out. The good news is that the risk is small, but you have to be prepared that if they find any blockage, to put in a stint or ballon, or to get out and do it another day. You see, once you procede along that track, it is hard to decide what to do as things may not turn out as your think it would. I don?t want to confuse you, but you need to know so that there are no surprises.


Question:
Please tell me the real story on the ‘risk factor’ number 4, entitled ‘chronic infections’ which discusses the problem of “chlamydia pneumoniae’ as a probable source of cardiovascular disease inside our arteries. This bacteria was named by Dr. Michael Mogadam (MD) in his recent book, ‘Every Heart Attack is Preventable,’ page 197; here he offers five references of studies performed to evaluate the possibility that this bacteria is a viable culprit in this disease’s progress.
My cardiologist says that there was a recent study of 4,000 individuals by Wizzard that disproves this hypothesis that this bacteria is a culprit ” that it can be treated by azithromycin over a 3-week term. If he’s right then what does that say about the first five studies’ validity? Do they really know how to conduct such studies properly? Or is the latest study by Wizzard in error?
Please help me; I want to get well. I’ve recently had a double bypass operation and want to start oral chelation ” azithromycin if possible. What do you think? I’m 64.

Answer:
I have not read Dr Mogdam’s book, but there is little found that infection is a big causation in events leading to cardiovascular disease. Infection itself does not cause heart attack, but it does incite an inflammatory response within the blood vessel as the body tries to defend itself. This cascade of events is what causes problems. There are numerous bugs, and many studies are on going to isolate which one. At the end of the day, I believe you will find that there is no single bug responsible. So you are best to build your immune system and prevent oxidative stress, while reducing an inflammatory response. That is perhaps the most logical long term solution. Chelation is good as well, but it works on a totally different pathway.
Here is an article you should read. I am not advocating that you should take vitamin C therapy (although I take it myself and I don’t have any blockage), but this article will give you a broader perspective on the underlying patho-pysiology upon which you can built your understanding of the complexity of the issue and the importance of getting to the root of the problem to prevent further heart disease.


Question:
I just had blood work done. Cholesterol is 245 but Triglycerides is 961 and I eat fast food for lunch but good diet dinners. Do you think the blood work is wrong? The lab did not check LDL like they should have. My HDL is 45. Should I trust the lab? I am changing my total life starting Monday. No smoking and cutting back on beer. What do you think?

Answer:
Do make sure the triglyceride level is correct. That is the first thing that you should do. Note how the laboratory arrives at your results. Total cholesterol = HDL cholesterol + LDL cholesterol + (triglyceride/5). So if your triglyceride is 961 and your HDL is 45, then in order for total cholesterol to be 245, your LDL has to be 10 which is highly unlikely. LDL cholesterol is a calculated number and not a measured number compare to the rest (HDL and triglyceride). Therefore, you should note that if the triglyceride is above 300, then the LDL cholesterol is not accurate anymore. That may be the reason why you are not given a LDL number and not because they did “forgot”. You may well check with the laboratory concern and your personal physician.
If your triglyceride number is high, follow this will effect in dramatic reduction.
The bottom line is to avoid grains such as bread, rice, potato, and beer.


Question:
What I would like to know is can people with Type 1 Diabetes take ultra apple cider vinegar tablets for energy and weight loss? I mainly need something for energy that won?t affect my diabetes.

Answer:
Apple cider vinegar tablets are used for weight control purposes, not for gaining energy.
To help regulate your blood sugar, chromium polynicotinate is the best. When your blood sugar is regulated better, you will have more energy.
A balanced cocktail of supplements would certainly boost your energy level by balancing all your body needs. Additional food supplements such as Ginseng, Bee Pollen, Vitamin Bs, will also help boost your energy level.


Question:
When my dr. prescribed 40 mg of xocor my blood sugar levels went haywire. I was previously on 20 mg with out elevated sugar levels. The dr. wanted to decrease my cholesterol below 200 mg/dl. Is this an unusal occurence?

Answer:
Elevated blood sugar is normally not a common side effect of zocor. Make sure you have not changed your diet significantly. Read more on how to reduce your cholesterol naturally if you are interested here: Cholesterol
Note that if your triglyceride is high, then reduction of trigylceride should take precedent as your cholesterol will come down as trigylceride comes down. More at: Triglyceride
Some people have chronically high cholesterol. I dont believe in treating numbers. Many of my patients have cholesterol higher than 200 (often in the 230 range) and I am very comfortable provided that other parameters such as Lp(a), homocysteine, ferritin, C reactive protein levels are low. There are many good indicators of cardiovascular disease, and cholesterol is but one, and not the best (but most common). Read more about it here: Cardiovascular Disease


Question:
I recently had blood work done, and was told by my Doctor, that he would give me six weeks to try to get my cholesterol levels down, other wise he will put me on meds. I have high blood pressure, and am currently taking 6 pills now, I dont want to take any more medication. I am 47 years old. I read your article on triglyceride, and would like to know what I should eat? Could you please send me a diet or a list of foods that are okay to eat, that will help bring down my cholesterol levels.

Answer:
Cholesterol and trigyceride are two different kinds of fat, though ingter-related. If you wish to lower your cholesterol through diet alone, the best way is to avoid grains products such as potato, rice, and bread. Cutting out these will affect a dramatic drop in triglyeride, which will lead to a lower cholesterol number. The effect is evident in 60 days easily. If your triyglyceride is already low, but you still have high total cholesterol, then reducing grain will not bring down the total cholesterol. In that case, you have to take some herbs etc to reduce cholesterol naturally plus exercise.


Question:
I had blood work done and my cholestrol was 286.My triglycerides were off the chart.I take Lipitor 80mg each day. I do not eat fat and I eat alot of heathy grains (Cereal,bread and nuts). I am about 40 lbs overweight.They have told me to eat fat free which I really am already doing.I thought it was my sugar I was eating in the bread fruits and veg but they say no! I do not have diabetes nor do I take HRT. I am 50 and am now in perimenopause. Can you please tell me what is going on?

Answer:
Bring down your triglyceride and your total cholesterol will come down automatically for the simple reason that total cholesterol is calculated based on the formula of total cholesterol = hdl + ldl + ( triglyceride /5) . Until your triglyceride comes down, your cholesterol will always be up. That is a fundamental fact that most health professionals are not aware of. You can easily call the laboratory and ask to verify the above formula. It is simple mathematics, but most people don’t take the time to understand.
Furthermore, if your triglyceride is off the chart (anytime over 300 mg/dl), then the total cholesterol is not even accurate anymore. Concentrate on lowering on trigylceride, and diet will do it, not drugs. That is the first step. From there, you can fine tune your other ratios (hdl etc) after your triglyceride is under control ( under 200 mg/dl) .
To simply lower cholesterol with drugs without dealing with the triglyceride problem will not solve your underlying problem, and the more statin drugs you take, the higher the chances of liver problems. Once you understand the above formula, you will see why my approach works without drugs.


Question:
I am 75 years old was diagnosed with A.F. they wanted to do an angiogramn,; angioplasty which I declined. Instead I opted for I.V.EDTA Chelation – have done 6 (3 hr) so far. My diet consists of fresh organic produce juices, fruits, salads, some sardines, herring, salmon, very low sugar, wine , many supplements. Missing in my entire life was exercise(which is probably at the root of my present malady) I have been walking for 45 minutes every day now holding a 5 lb weight, elevating it as I walk. I am thinking of augmenting the i.v. with oral EDTA etc chelation. I would like your thoughts on that. I take no medications.People usually take me for someone in their late 50’s or early 60’s.I have been married for the past 6 years to a 37 yr old chinese girl from Thailand who practices Thai Traditional Massage. I appreciate thank you so much for your dedication.

Answer:
IV etda and oral edta work on different pathways. If you really study the details, you will realize that they are indeed complimentary and not mutually exclusive. IV works on the vascular system while the oral works on the GI system. We have toxic metals in both. Don?t forget to take some chromium (at least 200 mcg) with any chelation program because good metals are taken out along with the bad metals. So it is essential that you keep you good metals in optimum levels to avoid depletion of these good guys.
Looks like you are on the right track, and congratulations. Staying with someone young will make you younger. At your age, also consider checking your hormones with your doctor and he may be able to fine tune for you also. Dont forget to do some weight training to built up muscle mass, especially with larger muscles such as shoulder and chest which also increases growth hormones.


Question:
Which green tea is better? The green tea which is produce in China or Japan? (Because all my friends said the Japanese one is better)
How can I know that the green tea which sells in the market now is the pure and real green tea?

Answer:
Before you take green tea, you have to ask why you are taking it in the first place. Many people think of green tea for cancer prevention, and indeed green tea has anti-cancer properties because of its anti-oxidants. However, green tea also contains very damaging caffeine which is not recommended. Likewise, chocolate also contains anti-oxidants which are good for you, but unfortunately the sugar will kill you first.
I advice my patients to take pure filtered water which is the ONLY drink to take. If you like tea, try herbal tea which has no caffeine. Use the money you would spend on green tea for real good antioxidants which will get the job done.


Question:
I read your 11 steps protocol on A-fib and found it very informative, in fact i will be implementing my self as of today.I was shocked and facinated by info especially in regards to milk.My question is: I drank lots of milk everyday and now have stopped completely since i read your article on it. I now drink Soya milk for you find that acceptable to drink when implementing your protocol.Thanks for your insight and will recomend your web site to others.

Answer:
Contrary to popular opinion, soy milk is not as good for you as you think if you do your homework. The reason is simple – soy milk is unfermented soy which contains phytic acid which is an anti-nutrient.
Note that there is no cure for afib, but the protocol has been shown to improve the condition of many people. The key is to either arrest or deter any recurrance naturally. Take your time and do it slowly is the key. Too drastic a change can be intepreted by the body as a stressor.


Question:
My mother’s cardiologist is prescribing high blood pressure meds for her to help her heart function, but I have not seen any high blood pressure readings warranting these meds. Actually, I feel she is severely dehydrated and currently is displaying some of the symptoms of LOW BLOODP RESSURE. The only thing her doctor told her to do was to withhold her meds until her BP started getting over 100/? My question to you is: In your website you have said that one of the syptoms of dehydration can be HIGH blood pressure, yet at another part of your section on dehydration says HYPOtension is a symptom of dehydration. Which is it? I do not understand. Please explain how both HYPER- and HYPO-tension can be symptoms of dehydration. I do not doubt; I just need to know how to explain this to family members, whom I’m trying to convince that what mom needs is WATER!

Answer:
Too low a fluid a level will cause hypertension. This happens to people who have excessive bleeding and in shock. This is an extreme case and a medical emergency. Most people who are up and running are not in this category, so the concern here is why is their pressure up? One good explanation is that when the amount in the body is low, (but not low enough to causes shock), the body tries to compensate by contracting and raising the blood pressure in its attempt to increase blood flow to the brain. Both make sense.


Question:
From what I have been reading, fish oil and cod oil, not flax oil, will reduce triglyceride. However, I get confused as my total numbers are down because I have been taking the flaxseed. Which grains should you stay away from and could I take fish oil one day and flaxseed the next and would that be of any benefit? What about goggul?

Answer:
Fish oil contains omega 3 which will bring down your triglyceride. Flexseed is not as good as fish oil, but is acceptable to those who cannot take fish oil. Grains will directly reduce triglyceride. Out of the three, reducing grains is most important, followed by fish oil, followed by flexseed. For triglyceride reduction, guccolipid is not as effective as the above mentioned three.


Question:
I recently had my cholesterol checked. Total 266, LDL 179, HDL 44, Triglycerides 237. The doctor wants me on meds. I would prefer to try losing weight and natural products first. What is SAFE to take? I am a 50 yr. old female, about 15 lbs. too chubby. I eat a healthy diet, lots of fruits and vegetables, minimal fat, moderate meat, mostly chicken. Have recently started eating more soy, oat bran and apples which I was told were good to lower cholesterol.

Answer:
The standard treatment is to put you on cholesterol lowering and maybe even triglcyeride lowering drugs. I would suggest that you approach your problem in 2 steps: First is to bring down your triglyceride.
The key is to reduce grains intake, including bread, potato, French fries, and rice. Fat intake is not so critical, as we know that the correlation from dietary fat to blood fat is only 15%. Do not take a lot of saturate fat like meat, but concentrate on nuts, olive oil, and deep water fish such as salmon for your good fat that you need.
Once your triglyceride comes down, believe me your cholesterol level, LDL, and other ratios will improve accordingly.
Your blood levels are not high, and can be managed with natural medicine. I suggest that you do what you can, and find someone close to your area that is knowledgeable to help you.


Question:
I am a fifty year old male with high cholesterol (total 300, triglcer. 145, HDL 54). I am 5’10”, 170 lbs. I don’t smoke, alcohol intake is minimal, and I run 4.2 miles a day 5 days a week. Other medical info is my BP averages 107/76, resting pulse 56. I eat a fairly decent diet. I am in the military nearing retirement and our clinic put me on Lipitor. I have been on this medication for only about 2 weeks, but the pill makes me feel lousy and weak. I have never liked taking medications and am wondering if trying to control my high cholesterol in a more natural way is a good idea.

Answer:
You may wish to consider reading my cholesterol article for You are in very good shape based on your bp, pulse, and running 4.2 miles 5 days a week. Lipitor has a tendency to make people weak. A relative of lipitor call baycor was withdrawn from the market last year for causing 30 deaths due to muscle problems. Don’t overreact.
Needless to say, you should always keep your doctor informed of your medical condition each step along the way. Perhaps it?s just you are not used to it.
Returning to your current problem. Your total cholesterol is too high, TG is also high, HDL is not bad, but unfortunately not good enough because your total chol/hdl ratio is about 6. It should be under 4.5 and preferably under 3.5. Your LDL should be very high around 217 based on your numbers submitted if they are correct. The meds you have been given is standard procedure and well within the standard of practice. The problem is that the standard of practice may not be right.
Without seeing you, it is impossible for me to give advice to you. Suffice to say that I see patients all the time that is similar to the kind of picture you present, and their lipid profile can be normalized , not right away, but over a one year period with nutritional supplementations.
Key natural supplements you should consider:

  • guccolipid
  • niacin
  • polycosinol
  • pantethine
  • vitamin C

The dosage depends on the person and I am unable to advice.
Also I would advice you to request your doctor to check your Lp(a), homoscysteine, and C reactive protein. These are 3 very sensitive and advance indicators for heart disease which you are at risk. search my site for some of these, and you can find out more.


Question:
Is the total cholesterol the sum of the HDL and LDL?

Answer:
Total cholesterol = HDL cholesterol + LDL cholesterol + triglyceride/5. Note that the LDL is a calculated number and not a measured number as the rest are. So if you have high triglyceride and through grain restriction you bring it down, your LDL will automatically go up if all else remain unchanged. Similarly, if the HDL cholesterol goes up, the total cholesterol will automatically goes up.


Question:
I’m a 63 year old male (5’9, weight 201, BMI 30) whose most recent (5/25/02) lipid profile had the following values:
Triglycerides: 321
Total Cholesterol: 237
HDL: 26
LDL: 147
TC/HDL: 9.1
I also had a fasting glucose value of 117 MG/DL and then a 2-hour glucose tolerance test value of 140 MG/DL. My homocysteine level is very low (I’ve been taking a B Complex with 400 mcg of folic acid for 2 years. I started taking (daily)in early May, 2002: 6,000 mg Vitamin C, 1,000 mg L-Proline, 1,000 mg L-Carnitine, and 3,000 mg L-Lysine, in addition to 400 IU of Vitamin E and 2,000 mg of niacin (as inositol hexanicotinate). I have increased the niacin to 3,000 mg/day, and added 4 fish oil capsules/day for EPA/DHA (640/428 mg) in addition to my month-old regimen of 45-60 minutes of treadmilling 6 days/week. I’m also taking 400 mcg of chromium picolinate and 2 tablespoons each of ground flaxseed and lecithin granules/day. I take 50 mg of Cozaar and 25 mg of atenolol in the AM and 25 mg of Cozaar in the PM to maintain a daily average BP of 120/80 and a pulse rate of 70. I’m considering adding policosanol (10-15 mg/day) to my supplement, dietary (3 fruits + 4 vegetables + 4 oz lean meat/day), and exercise regimen. What do you think?

Answer:
Your current regiment of nutritionals is good and sounds like you are on the Rath protocol, but not good enough.

  1. To reduce triglyceride, you must cut down your grains intake. That includes sugar and potato and rice.
  2. As your triglyceride comes down, your LDL will go up, as LDL is a calculated measurement which you may or may not know.
  3. You HDL is very low, and fish oil may help. The best is exercise which you are doing already
  4. Consider pantethine 900 mg a day. It will reduce cholesterol, increase HDL.
  5. Polycosinol and guccolipid are two more nutrients that can help
  6. Only take low glycemic fruits like apples. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables (50% of your diet). Stay away from melons which are high in sugar
  7. Get your blood homocysteine level, C reactive protein, and Lipoprotein (a) level checked up.

Your picture is consistent with Syndrome X (Reaven Syndrome) of insulin resistant, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. You risk of CHD is very high.
The good news is that you are doing something about it. Keep it up. Always check with your doctor before you do anything. The above information is for general education purposes only. Each person is different; You have medical issues to deal with and not just trying to do well when you are in optimum shape, so to say. In other words, you are “behind the ball”, if I may say. So you are doing some catching up.


Question:
Do you have a recommendation for an effective oral chelating formula (possible brand name) that is specifically targeted toward treating or preventing coronary artery disease? My father died (at 58) from coronary artery disease when I was 17 years of age in 1972. As an MD himself, there was much he was trying to do before his last fatal heart attack. I wish he had looked into alternative medicine at the time but (of course), they didn’t know as much as we do now.

Answer:
If your cardiac risk factors are low, you may not need chelation, oral or iv, in the first place. The best way to know is to check out your cardiac risk factors ahead. Two advance markers are homocysteine and lipoprotein(a). They are available today but not widely use due to high cost. These both are far ahead in terms of sensitivity than simple total cholesterol, Hdl, and ratios commonly available in blood panels.
Your doctor may not be familiar with them so you can print the above out and educate them if needed.
I think you can get it elsewhere, but it is important to make sure that The EDTA is not calcium bound but magnesium bound. That is the key. The absorption from oral form is only 5%, so you need to take 300 mg pills, three of them at 2 times a day. You also have to make sure that you have adequate minerals on board, as the EDTA will bind out all minerals, good and bad. Chromium is especially important to have on board. If you father die so young, you may want to ask your doctor to check you out for advance cardiac risk markers to make sure you don’t have the genetic predisposition.
Since your father is an MD, I will share some medical history with you. At that time in 1972, anyone who talked about Vitamins as treatment was considered a quack. I recall when Dr Linus Pauling wanted to give a lecture at our medical school in the late 1970s and was rejected because of political reasons and the fact that he is not an MD and “only a PhD?. In effect, many of the greatest discoveries this century on medicine are the works of PhDs and other health professionals. When politics and pride blind us from medical advancement, people suffer unnecessarily. I have been in preventive medicine for 20 years, and only in recent years are people beginning to see the wisdom of prevention and doing something about it. The fortunate thing is that we have the technology now to objectively measure, at the cellular level, what we know of for years. Dosages of vitamins etc have been carefully worked out in the past 3 decades, so we are no longer shooting in the dark.
If you follow the conventional track and pay attention to news, you will no doubt be convinced that bad news is coming out almost daily on drugs and their side effects. Last week, the hormone replacement therapy protocol using synthetic estrogen for women are finally is rebutted with 2 large scale studies showing its direct correlation to breast cancer, which now afflicts one in 10 American women and a runaway epidemic. This is after 40 years of continuous mistake and millions of women dying of breast cancer unnecessarily. Those of us in natural medicine know it for years already. The said part is that there are alternative solutions that works out there, but simply ignored as ” unscientific” but that carries no risk, yet we are prepared and willing to expose millions to “scientific” evidence only to turn out be carcinogenic after all.
The next bomb is going to be the cholesterol lowering statin drugs currently promoted to save life across the board, but it will be another 10-15 years at least before the bomb explode. The worse is yet to come on the drug dependent track promoted by conventional medicine blinded to natural therapies as the first line of defense. There are simply too many side effects. I treat many physicians who want to get off drugs themselves, whether it is high cholesterol or diabetes. There is obviously a reason they don’t want to be on them. I hope you are not on too many meds.


Question:
So many people have salt cravings. What might be some missing nutrients?

Answer:
Salt craving may be due to your body needs. You may have lost a lot of salt through profuse sweating, or diarrhea. Studies have shown that mothers with severe morning sickness will give birth to children that crave salty foods and salt. Hypertension also makes the person craving salt.
If potato chips, pretzels, bacon or popcorn is your desire it may be the salt you?re really after. Salt cravings can be symptoms of sickle cell anemia, various muscular disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes or various other disorders. The cause of occasional salt cravings is often adrenal stress, which can be the result of caffeine consumption or of other factors. Overstressed, weaken adrenal glands allow blood pressure and blood sugar levels to drop, bringing on fatigue. Increasing salt intake can temporarily help the symptoms, but can have a negative long term result. Consumption of regular table salt should be reduced and organic potassium should be increased, In addition, pantothenic acid, which you may need to supplement, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc will help feed and support the adrenal gland.


Question:
I have heard about chelation therapy. I will be fifty years old and started last year on a vegetable and fruit diet. Presenty I am taking colon cleansers, coq30, garlic, ginko and multi-vitamin. Also, I take colonic therapy. At one time I suffered with acid reflux, and always thought I was having heart attack. Before going on this program, I was having problems with liver and pancreas being abnormal. I was also being treated for high pulse rate with high blood pills. I am also considered to be border line diabetic, but was never treated with medication. I am now only on vitamis listed above. Do you think I would benefit from the chelation vitamins and if so what else would I need to go with it? Thank you.

Answer:
It appears you are on the right track as far as diet and supplements are concerned for general well being. Make sure you are getting optimum dosage of what you need since you are in menopausal age.
Chelation therapy is approved for detoxification of heavy metals such as lead. The use of IV chelation is of considerable controversy. The Journal of American Medical Association had an article in Feb 2002 saying that it is useless for athrosclerosis, which is where the controversy is. Many naturally oriented physicians critize that report and are firm believers of chelation for the simple reason that it works.
If you are in good health and have no signs or symptoms of cardiovascular disease, going on IV chelation, as some people have done, for preventive health is an option. Those who have diabetes will find it particularly attractive. You may also choose to do oral chelation. The oral dose is less and equivalent to IV once a month, since oral dosage is 1800 mg a day and absorption is only 5% into the blood stream. Oral chelation does stop the resabsorption of heavy metals form the gastro intestinal track and in that respect works on a different pathway as IV chelation. The most important thing is to find a doctor you are comfortable with near you and who can take care of you as a series of IV therapy is required. Oral program are much more convenient. Do remember that during chelation, all minerals are chelated out, so you have to make sure you have extra good minerals such as Mg and Cr on board.