Arteriosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries)

Cardiovascular Care

Dec 08

Arteriosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries)

From our book Bypassing Bypass, published in 2002

Editors note: we (like many others) have used the terms atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis interchangeably however, arteriosclerosis is the actual hardening of the arteries by calcium deposits, and atherosclerosis is the collection of lp(a) and cholesterol that occurs to repair lesions in the artery walls (though this can lead to arteriosclerosis). Point being, one leads to the other and no one term covers this process.

While visiting a friend at the hospital, I was told to have a seat in the waiting room while they finished examining him. I picked up a pamphlet (there were all sorts of them on stands, all created by the Patient Information Library®) called Understanding Carotid Artery Problems. Here is what I read: “Atherosclerosis, commonly called hardening of the arteries, is the gradual narrowing of arteries throughout the body. It is caused by accumulation of fat and other material along the arterial walls and is a natural part of the aging process.”

I bout fell over dead: “… a natural part of the aging process?”

This is the big lie. Because nutritional therapies can prevent atherosclerosis, stop it, and even help to reverse it (depending on how far it’s gone and for how long it’s gone on), the people who depend on you getting sick (and needing their surgeries, studies, tests, and drugs) are going to continue promoting this lie while claiming either ignorance when it comes to nutrition, or simply tell you that nutritional therapies do not work. When the economic survival of an individual or organization depends on your getting sick, don’t look to them for honest answers to your health questions.

Yes, atherosclerosis is as old as human kind. Since when has human kind ever eaten properly? Dr Garry Gordon writes: “Careful studies have shown that the arteries in ice-age man were loaded with obstructing cholesterol plaque. We find the same condition in Egyptian mummies, and onward to the present time.” [“Bypassing Heart Surgery–Blood vs. Blood Vessels” by Dr Garry Gordon. Note: Sadly Dr Gordon is no longer with us. He practiced medicine well into his eighties.]

The following discussion is summarized from the Townsend Letter for Doctors, February/March, 1993. Keep in mind that the costs of conventional therapies have skyrocketed since this was originally written.

Conventional therapy, at a greater than $50 billion dollar annual cost, can offer you: medication, coronary artery bypass, balloon angioplasty, carotid artery bypass, femoral artery bypass, and eventual amputation.

Alternative therapies, estimated at a conservative savings of 30% or roughly $15 billion dollars offers: dietary modification and nutritional therapies (including vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, magnesium, chromium, carnitine; nutrients which are often of value in the treatment of angina and congestive heart failure); chelation therapy, an alternative to bypass surgery and angioplasty, which involves intravenous EDTA, a drug that improves arterial blood flow; oral chelation therapy, which, in theory, does the same thing as EDTA chelation therapy, but since no one gets rich over this, there is only anecdotal evidence (like thousands of lives that have been saved) and no clinical studies. (Note: The ACAM [American College for the Advancement of Medicine] protocol for EDTA chelation therapy provides for a series of 20 to 40 infusions [depending on how sick one is] of 3-4 hours. The infusions contain 3 grams of EDTA, 10 grams of vitamin C, around 200 mg of B vitamins, B-12, 1000mg of Magnesium, Sodium Bicarbonate, 5000 units [1cc] of heparin, and 6 cc’s of procaine.)

Clinical observations and medical journal reports indicate that the need for surgery is eliminated more than half of the time, and the number of prescription medications can frequently be reduced with chelation therapy, vitamin and supplements, systemic enzymes, and lifestyle changes. However, again, even the American College for the Advancement of Medicine, a very liberal wing of the established physicians, states that there are no benefits to oral chelation. That is their position and they’re sticking to it. However, one of the founding fathers of ACAM, Dr Garry Gordon, believes otherwise, as you can see throughout this work.

Intravenous chelation therapy averages around $3,000 compared to more than $30,000 for coronary artery bypass. [Townsend Letter for Doctors, February-March, 1993] Today it is more like $5,000 compared to $60,000.

What Is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis, leading to hardening of the arteries, is the heart of heart disease, according to conventional thought. If you have a heart attack, 15 – 20% of the time it is because your arteries are blocked. A clot can form and close off the artery completely, starving the heart of blood and oxygen. The heart muscle begins to die at this point and just quits. This is why most (greater than 60%) first heart attacks end in death: the heart dies and its owner cannot be resuscitated.

Now keep in mind that, in a laboratory, you can take a single heart cell, and it will live indefinitely as long as it is fed a continuous stream of rich, oxygenated blood. Indefinitely.
According to conventional wisdom, from your Encyclopaedia Britannica to your copy of Encarta to the literature strewn around your physician’s office, atherosclerosis is caused by excess cholesterol being deposited on your arteries; and this is natural and cannot be stopped because it happens to everyone.

As Dr Rath asks, then why don’t animals get it?

Well, one animal, besides humans, does get it. The guinea pig gets heart disease. We have one thing in common with the guinea pig: our bodies do not manufacture vitamin C. All other animals manufacture vitamin C. Vitamin C stimulates the production of collagen and protects the arteries from damage. Additionally, animals can get atherosclerosis if they are stressed enough and fed diets high in trans-fats.

Dr Rath and his assistant Dr Aleksandra Niedzwiecki have spent years investigating the actual cause of atherosclerosis and are now further ahead than anyone in modern medicine in describing the mechanism of hardening of the arteries. As mentioned above, in our research we found a paper by Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath that described the process by which arteries become clogged. The paper is called: “A Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease Leading the Way to the Abolition of This Disease as a Cause for Human Mortality” and was first published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine in 1995 (though Pauling had passed away in 1992).

So, allow us to explain, in as simple terms as necessary without oversimplification, how human arteries clog and build deposits.

You might have read about the sailors of old who contracted a disease called scurvy. You will probably recall that sucking on limes cured them (hence the moniker Limey for British sailors). The main ingredient in the limes that fought scurvy was given a name meaning anti-scurvy or ascorbate. We know it today as ascorbic acid or vitamin C. A little note here: ascorbic acid will not cure scurvy alone. You’ll need some bioflavonoids too, which are found in the same fruits (usually in the skins) that contain vitamin C. The white skin beneath the outer skin of an orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit is rich in bioflavonoids.

Pauling and Rath discovered that atherosclerosis is related to scurvy in that both are caused by ascorbate deficiency. If you look on your bottle of multivitamins you will see the RDA (Required Daily Allowance) as prescribed by our government officials. This amount is just enough to keep you from getting scurvy, but not enough to protect you from heart disease. In other words, the RDA for vitamin C is just enough to ensure that every single human being will get sick and prove all those encyclopedias to be right, that atherosclerosis is a natural part of aging.

So our bodies, no longer able to make vitamin C (it is theorized that early humans could do this), must get outside sources of vitamin C from the food we eat. Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It protects our bodies from the damage of free radicals. Free radicals come from our body as toxins: from cooked food, from processed foods, from the environment, and then there are the free radicals we make (much like waste) from many of our basic metabolic functions. Our food, water, and air, our entire environment to be sure, is much more toxic than the environment of our ancestors 100 years ago. The more toxic our environment, the more our need for vitamin C (as well as other antioxidants).

When our bodies need vitamin C, our arteries begin to suffer. They pit. Dr Rath, in his book, Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks…But People Do, states:

The main cause of cardiovascular disease is the instability and dysfunction of the blood vessel wall caused by chronic vitamin deficiency. This leads to millions of small lesions and cracks in the artery wall, particularly in the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are mechanically the most stressed arteries because they are squeezed flat from the pumping action of the heart more than 100,000 times per day, similar to a garden hose which is stepped upon.

They didn’t teach us this in our high school biology classes, that the arteries, too, pump the blood. I’d always wondered what a “pulse” was doing in my wrist. I thought the nurse was feeling the heart beat there, when in actuality our arteries pump the blood along in its journey thus causing the pulse to be where it is.

This “chronic vitamin deficiency” is just like scurvy, except in scurvy the pitting got so deep and harsh that those sailors bled to death. Scurvy causes you to “bleed out” or, as your doctor will describe it, you bleed to death internally. Because we are most likely getting a little vitamin C, our arteries are not pitted clear through, just damaged enough along the arterial wall to begin the process of fat/plaque accumulation.

As you read this, keep in mind that, as you learned earlier, infections in the blood are also causing pitting in our arteries, and the process of repair described here goes for that pitting too.

The body has a way of repairing this damage, but it’s not cholesterol yet that comes to the rescue. Pauling and Rath discovered that a lipoprotein called lp(a) is the actual first cause of atherosclerosis. It is a very sticky fat that, along with an adhesive protein called apo(a), sticks to the damaged area and begins the repair. The entire process begins when the liver starts producing these “repair factors” at an increased rate (thus the rise in cholesterol). After the lp(a) and apo(a) have done their jobs, along comes your “bad” cholesterol (again, it’s not bad; it’s just misunderstood) which bonds with the adhesive lipoprotein and adhesive protein. Further damage is produced also due to a lack of vitamin C when these lipids (fats; cholesterol being a main one) begin to oxidize, and wham, you have the beginning of the actual “hardening” of the arteries. Plaque deposits are actually the calcification of the individual cells weakened by free radicals (that run freely due to lack of antioxidants). Oxidization leads to calcification.

Here is where the triglyceride factor comes into play. Triglycerides can lead to clotting, and like cholesterol, they are susceptible to oxidation. There are many possible factors in the oxidization of cholesterol and triglycerides, which Rath and Pauling point out, beyond a deficit of vitamin C, such as diabetes and homocystinuria. Homocystinuria, according to my online dictionary, is: “a metabolic disorder…caused by deficiency of an enzyme important in the metabolism of homocysteine with resulting accumulation of homocysteine in the body and its excretion in the urine….”

To finish our discussion on atherosclerosis, there is one more thing that occurs to complicate measures, and this is the atherosclerotic tumor. Dr Niedzwiecki has investigated this factor in detail, and it seems that the tumors develop due to dysfunctional collagen molecules. She has also discovered that an increase in vitamin C will inhibit the growth of these tumors. Another study shows that vitamin E will inhibit them also. How this tumor is related to vulnerable plaque, we are unsure of at this time. They might just be one in the same.

So, this is how atherosclerosis begins and it can only get worse without proper nutrition. The coronary arteries, because they work the hardest, get the most damage, and hence, the most repair. Plaque builds up as the arteries rust (oxidation is rust) and this is where “infarction” begins. Infarction is a ten-dollar word for dead tissue. The clogged arteries do not allow a proper flow of blood. A piece of plaque falls off, or a blood clot forms (or a combination of both) and given an artery that is 95% clogged already, when this gunk arrives here, blood is cut off to the heart. The heart dies, slowly, and doctors call this an infarction, or Myocardial (muscular wall of the heart) Infarction. We call it a heart attack.

Note: one thing that is hardly ever discussed by your cardiologist is “collateralization.” The problem with our science is that no matter how expensive our machinery to peer into the body, we still do not see a three dimensional object. Arteries that are clogged will start collateralizing or “grow new arteries” to take their place. This is one little bit of medicine we just learned from Dr Garry Gordon as we were going to print, and even though your cardiologist knows about this, odds are he’ll never tell you of its possibility.


In the past 10 years or so, there has been a lot of hubbub surrounding homocysteine levels and their relationship to heart disease. Alternative newsletters and articles in magazines decry their danger and multitudes of vitamin companies are set to profit from this new boogeyman called homocysteine. Rath and Pauling too found high homocysteine levels in heart attack patients in their research.

However, a recent study by scientists at the University of Minnesota suggests that homocysteine levels rise immediately following a heart attack and that the problem of high homocysteine levels or homocystinuria is much smaller than previously thought, though it can be a problem.

From the American Heart Association Journal Report:

“I believe that homocysteine isn’t as important as some previous research suggests and that more studies are needed to clarify how homocysteine, B vitamins and heart disease are linked,” says Aaron Folsom, M.D., of the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study. Folsom and his colleagues report that homocysteine is elevated after a heart attack or cardiac arrest, rather than before it.

Folsom points out the difference between his study and previous research that links elevated homocysteine with heart disease: Unlike other investigations, his study was prospective — it took a random sample of people who had not been diagnosed with heart disease and followed them over time to determine whether any of them would develop heart disease. Other studies, that may have misrepresented the importance of homocysteine, evaluated people who already had a heart attack or developed atherosclerosis, says Folsom.

Homocystinuria, by the way, is a major cause of mental retardation, and since most of us aren’t retarded (we would hope), perhaps this homocysteine problem isn’t as bad as some would have us think.

Whether Dr Folsom and his group are right, or the others are right, the absolute good news is this: all the vitamins used to fight high homocysteine levels are the same vitamins we need for a healthy heart, the same protocol we’ve been talking about all along. So, care for your heart and you can ignore the spooky warnings about homocysteine and heart disease. (Avoiding packaged baked goods is another way of avoiding high homocysteine levels too. Oxidized fats raise our homocysteine levels. Well cooked red meats produce more homocysteines than those cooked rare.) And this is important too: Homocysteine levels are higher in people who are sad, angry, bitter, and/or unhappy.

Preventing and Reversing Atherosclerosis

Please Note: Dr Rath’s protocol is rather old today, and recent research on vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 was not known by him or his team. It is quite possibly the most important supplement in preventing and caring for atherosclerosis. Here is a study that is quite good and very readable: Highlighting The Substantial Body Of Evidence Confirming The Importance Of Vitamin K2 As A Cardio-Support Nutrient, And How The Right K2 Makes All The Difference.

As mentioned earlier, dietary changes prescribed by modern medicine to lower cholesterol levels do very little and lower your cholesterol level only a few points at the most. If you really want to lower your cholesterol levels, lower your need for cholesterol by increasing your vitamin C (niacin too helps as do some herbs we’ll point out later). And we cannot over-emphasize the need to increase all your antioxidants, as Dr Niedzwiecki discovered that both vitamin C and vitamin E helped inhibit the growth of atherosclerotic tumors. From her research, it can be extrapolated that beta-carotene and the rest of your antioxidants will also help in this battle.

Any biologist will tell you that to produce collagen you need vitamin C, lysine, and proline. L-lysine and L-proline are essential amino acids you must get from your nutrition.

The best vitamin C is esterfied C as it lasts longer in your body, although Dr Garry Gordon has developed a product called Beyond C that is beginning to compete with esterfied C.

As we learned from the scurvy example above, we also need bioflavonoids (and a bit of copper) to potentiate the vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for rebuilding the collagen your arteries need to remain supple. The more your genetic disposition to heart disease, the more your need for vitamin C. Pauling recommends, for those with a genetic disposition to heart disease, between 10,000 mg/day to 20,000 mg/day depending on your own need (and your bowel tolerance level). Another factor is your environment. Smokers need more vitamin C (smokers have more heart disease, duh).

Vitamin C chewables can cause dental cavities. The Chinese know how healing saliva is, so if you are using chewable vitamin C, rinse your mouth well with saliva afterwards, or brush your teeth. Another good form of vitamin C is one mixed with bioflavonoids, called a Vitamin C Complex (Acerola Plus® is a personal favorite). Again, bioflavonoids potentiate the vitamin C in rebuilding the collagen needed to protect your arteries.

Take a good, hard look at Dr Rath’s Basic Cellular Medicine Program on Page 8 at the beginning of this book. This is the standard for the prevention of atherosclerosis, if all other factors are equal. If you have a metabolic disorder (a problem in metabolizing fats, sugar, homocysteine, etc.), a genetic disposition to heart disease, or live in a very polluted environment (or, heaven forbid, you smoke) then you will have to increase certain supplements to bring your body into balance, or homeostasis, as the scientists like to call it.

Working in synergy with vitamin C are two B vitamins, B3 (niacin) and B5 (pantothenate). Niacin, one of the nutrients that helps to prevent cancer, has an important role in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Working with vitamin C, niacin protects the arteries, thus lowering the body’s need for cholesterol. We’re going to repeat ourselves: if you follow the RDA for your nutritional needs, you’ll live on the edge of disease. Know that there are upper limits to some vitamins, but don’t trust your government’s lower limits. You can get niacin from fish, fowl, organ meats, and ready-to-eat cereals, which are commonly fortified with niacin. In your body, niacin is created from the amino acid L-tryptophan which you can get in eggs and milk, though we will not recommend milk here, as you will see later on. Fish, a good source for niacin, also contain omega-3 EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids). Many nutritionists recommend eating salmon several times a week.

If you supplement with niacin, please note that it can cause a flush the first few times you use it. Always take it with meals. There are forms of niacin that are flush free. You can easily take up to 1000 mg daily with no side effects (doses above 1500 mg are not recommended unless your liver function and enzymes are being monitored), but above all: avoid time-released niacin. This stuff should be taken off the market. We’ve heard horror stories about time-released niacin and your author ended up in a neurology clinic because of it (forgot to read the label, duh!) having not only passed out while driving but also having lived through a week of visual hallucinatory patterns that could drive anyone nuts.

Pantothenate, vitamin B5, is a natural energy booster nearly every athlete knows about, and working with vitamin C it will help stop the damage to your arteries thus lowering your cholesterol levels. It is found in nutritional yeast, eggs, peanuts, legumes, lean meats and wheat germ.

Most of all, you will want to cut out over processed foods and man made foods. Eliminating white flour and white sugar is a great place to start, but keep in mind that many foods contain these things. And though studies suggest that folic acid taken as a supplement or obtained in fortified foods is better (go figger) than getting it from the dark green vegetables it is found in, for the most part, fortified foods are poison. Dr West points to the study in which starving dogs outlived dogs fed enriched mash. (Health Alert, December 2000 17:12) Processed foods are for processed human beings. One rule to remember is the fewer hands to touch your food, the healthier the food.

Reversing Atherosclerosis

If you have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, there is good news. It can be reversed. Depending on how long you’ve had it, atherosclerosis reversal is inversely proportionate to that period of time, meaning: the longer you’ve had it the less reversible it is, but it can be stopped, or at least, slightly reversed even in the most aggressive cases. The problem with long term hardening of the arteries is that the cells of the artery walls die and calcify. These cells cannot be resurrected (though in theory, chelation therapy might help dissolve them).

If you are planning on having a bypass, that “rotor rooter” service, or balloon angioplasty, always keep in the back of your mind that these are stopgap measures, and they do not reverse your disease. In fact, they cause further damage to your arteries, and, if you’ve been paying attention, your cholesterol levels will jump back up to repair that damage. Taking drugs to lower your cholesterol level will not stop these fats from repairing the damage done by surgery. You have a problem caused by nutritional deficiency. Nutritional therapies are the only ones that will give you a real chance of a full life.

How do we know that nutritional therapies work? Quite simple. In 1996, Drs Rath and Niedzwiecke published the findings of their study called “Nutritional Supplement Program Halts Progression of Early Coronary Atherosclerosis Documented by Ultrafast Computed Tomography” in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, 48:3.

They did a number of very interesting things in this study. For one, they used a non-invasive scan, the Imatron C-100 Ultrafast CT scanner, to monitor the extent of calcification in their patients, and they used the patients as their own controls. According to modern methods of scientific experiments, a study, to be valid, must have an experimental group and a control group. In a study on heart disease, classically, the experimental group would get the therapy while the control group got nothing or “standard care.” This is totally unacceptable and unethical because the control group dies. To avoid using a control group, this particular study used all the patient information concerning lifestyle, nutrition, and treatment up to the point of the study to create a “fictional” control group. Previous studies with this “type” of patient already can tell us their prognoses and the statistics concerning their chances of survival over a period of time. According to previous heart studies involving patients with atherosclerosis, there was never a reversal in their conditions (without intervention, that is). Thus, using everything we know about heart disease, this study created a fictional control group using information obtained from the experimental group; a control group that would get progressively worse and eventually die according to the statistics already gathered in past experiments. This means simply, if the vitamins, minerals and supplements given the people in this experiment can actually reverse their condition, then Drs Rath and Niedzwiecke shall have successfully proved their point.

That’s exactly what they did. The ultrafast CT scan images showed reversal of calcification. In all cases the calcification process was stopped completely. In cases of beginning atherosclerosis they were able to reverse the damage completely. The study can be summed up in one sentence:

The most important finding of this study is that coronary artery disease can be effectively prevented and treated by natural means.

End of story; even though we could cite many more studies we’ve found and clinical data we’ve uncovered that show the same thing, not to mention thousands and thousands of testimonials over some “so-called” oral chelation formulas (some are not pulling heavy metals from our bodies, but are just plain good nutrition that repairs clogged arteries).

And what will protect your arteries from cholesterol/plaque buildup? Dr Ishwarlal Jialal won the American Heart Association’s 1989 Young Investigator Award when he compared the effectiveness of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. The results were this: vitamin E was found to prevent plaque buildup by 45%, beta-carotene by 90% and vitamin C by 95%.

If you are battling coronary heart disease, you will want to use Dr Rath’s Basic Cellular Medicine Program and add (or increase the amounts of) the following:

We will start by mentioning that Dr Rath’s own supplements: First there is VitaCforte—a balanced vitamin C dietary supplement with bioflavonoids and next there is Arteriforte—a daily dietary supplement developed to support the strength and flexibility of blood vessel walls. The following are found in these formulae:

Vitamin C: find your bowel tolerance level and stick to that. In times of colds or flu, you can increase your vitamin C even more until you again reach your bowel tolerance level, and then drop it back after the bug passes.

Vitamin E: you need antioxidant protection. All of your antioxidants will help here.

Beta-carotene: protects against plaque build up. In this form, it is safer than vitamin A, as the liver turns beta-carotene into vitamin A as needed.

Vitamin D: you’ve got calcification on your arteries, so let’s add some vitamin D to optimize calcium metabolism and start reversing the calcium deposits (plaque) on your artery walls.

Vitamins B6, B12, Biotin, and Folic Acid: these protect against increased homocysteine levels or, as stated before, they are just darn good for your heart. A healthy heart needs these vitamins, 400mcg of folic acid daily and 100mcg of B12. Please note that people over the age of 35 can have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 in their digestive tract. This is because, with middle age, we produce less stomach acid. If you take antacids, you are probably B12 deficient since stomach acid is required for its absorption. Forty percent of Americans are B12 deficient. Look for a sublingual form, though you can get B12 injections from your physician. Dr Garry Gordon’s Beyond B12 from Longevity Plus contains the best B12 you can find on the market. You can order it from the website: or by calling 800.580.7587. Additionally, Rath’s Metavicor is a daily dietary supplement developed to regulate fat metabolism and homocysteine production.

Vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7:  is quite possibly the most important supplement in preventing and caring for atherosclerosis. Here is a study that is quite good and very readable: Highlighting The Substantial Body Of Evidence Confirming The Importance Of Vitamin K2 As A Cardio-Support Nutrient, And How The Right K2 Makes All The Difference.

Copper: the artery wall needs copper. Without it arteries are weak and can form aneurysms (weak spots that can balloon and explode under pressure). Celtic Sea Salt has a goodly amount of copper.

Chondroitin sulfate and N-Acetylglycosamine: these two chemicals are the Cadillac version of the highly touted osteoarthritis cure, glucosamine and chondroitin. They work together to form the “cement” in an artery’s connective tissue. MSM, nutritional sulfur, also provides good connective tissue support. Our research seems to suggest that these two compounds, glucosamine and chondroitin are just two sulfates that our bodies need; we need hundreds of others such as heparan sulfate, demantan sulfate, hyaluronan, and keratan sulfate, just to mention a few. Before our meat supply was poisoned by factory farming, we got these compounds in the food we ate. A good bone calcium can provide these nutrients as well as glucosamine and chondroitin, but Calcifood Wafers from Standard Process Labs are probably the best singular supplement we know of today to supply all the sulfates you need to build good connective tissue (and cartilage). Rath created ProLysinC and LysinC-Drink for connective tissue support.

Pycnogenol: a great antioxidant that acts as a catalyst to potentiate your Vitamin C and stabilize the artery wall. In Minnesota we’re blessed with a wild form of the Concord grape. The seeds are soft and can be chewed. Again, let your food be your medicine.

L-Proline and L-Lysine: two amino acids needed for collagen production, which stabilizes the artery wall and reverses plaque buildup.

Curcuma: a cooking spice (common name: turmeric) that contains a bioflavonoid called curcumin that has been shown to inhibit platelet aggregation and even reverse atherosclerotic plaque. (Conquering Coronary Heart Disease by Ronald G. Waling, NMD Bellevue, Washington)

Citrus Pectin: a form of fiber that binds with fats in the blood stream that has been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. Stick around, we have a surprise for you further on.

Additional Nutrients

The French Paradox, a term coined by the CBS Television program 60 Minutes, refers to the fact that the French diet is high in saturated fats yet the French have the lowest incidence of heart disease of any developed nation. We are told it is because of the wine they drink. Even at McDonald’s in France you can get a glass of wine with your meal. Today we know that the reason for their good heart health is not the wine, but the grape, and more specifically the grape skin. It is rich in a bioflavonoid proanthocyanin and another substance called resveratrol. Proanthocyanins are protective, but resveratrol has been shown to reverse atherosclerosis deposits. Do you need to drink wine to get these benefits? Not at all. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin discovered that when 15 people with coronary artery disease drank purple grape juice for just two weeks the elasticity of their blood vessels increased while both platelet aggregation and the rate of oxidation of their bad cholesterol decreased. (Circulation, Sep 7, 1998)

Dr Bruce West recommends Standard Process Labs, Cataplex G, 3 to 6 (depending on your condition) capsules with meals. They contain B vitamin complex, vitamin C, and other factors to assist in the metabolism of fat.

From Germany, Dr Johanna Budwig has been reversing atherosclerosis since the fifties using her recipe of flax oil and cottage cheese (bound with protein, the oils become water-soluble, hence more bioavailable). Flax oil supplies essential building blocks for cellular repair, helps dissolve cholesterol deposits from within the arteries, and provides electrons for increased energy and cell function.

From Dr Valentine Fuster’s article, “Heartbeat, A Heart Health Update” we learned of a gene therapy being tested in the US and in Europe where “researchers surgically inject copies of a special gene into the patient’s heart muscle at the site of the blocked vessel. The gene ‛instructs’ the heart cells to make a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This protein makes new blood vessels grow to bypass the blockage.” Again, what most people don’t know is that the body, trying to stay alive, already does this in a process called collateralization; new vessels grow on their own to bypass the blockages and ferry fresh blood to the heart. However, this gene therapy, admittedly, is a giant step forward into less intrusive mainstream methods of cardiovascular care.

Metabolic Disorders

If you have trouble with homocysteine metabolism or fat metabolism or have diabetes, then you’re going to need a few extra supplements and Dr Rath has formulated Metavicor to regulate fat metabolism and homocysteine production.

Again, increase your vitamin C and vitamin E—in fact, increase all your antioxidants. Eating (or juicing) fresh fruits and uncooked vegetables is a wonderful way to get your antioxidants. Kiwis are high in vitamins C and A and are the only fruit to contain a substantial amount of vitamin E. In your spice garden, oregano is your most powerful antioxidant (though parsley, cilantro, basil, and thyme are not bad either). The wild form of oregano contains 31 known anti-inflammatories, 28 antioxidants and four known COX-2 inhibitors.

Next you will need a good solid B complex: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, biotin and folic acid. These vitamins are needed by the heart and are important for proper metabolism of fats and sugars not to mention metabolic processes at the cellular level. B vitamins are water-soluble and leach into cooking water. Like most water-soluble vitamins, excess intake is excreted and not stored in the body. Avoid synthetic vitamins. They should be banned.

Natural foods highest in vitamin B6 include brewer’s yeast, carrots, chicken, eggs, fish, avocados, bananas, brown rice, whole grains, and, believe it or not, beer. Vitamin B6 helps to maintain healthy immune system functions and prevents kidney stone formation. B6 is also effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, night leg cramps, allergies, asthma and arthritis.

Biotin is found in yeast, organ meats, milk, egg yolks, nuts, legumes (dried beans), and whole grains.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is found in milk, yogurt, cheese, organ meats, meat, poultry, dark green leafy vegetables, whole grain and enriched breads and cereals.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) is found in meat, poultry, fish, organ meats, milk, eggs, whole grain and enriched breads and cereals. Niacin can be made in the body from the amino acid tryptophan.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is found in pork, legumes (dried beans), peanuts, sunflower seeds, whole grains and enriched breads and cereals. Thiamine is sensitive to heat and is destroyed by too much alcohol consumption. Alcoholics suffer from thiamine deficiency.

It was at this point that we once had a section on soy and how it helps to reverse atherosclerosis and provides needed estrogen (because as women lose estrogen they begin to develop cardiovascular disease). There have been some recent findings of concern to us at the Directory, and we no longer recommend any soy products other than fermented soy products. These products are safe and effective.

From the researchers at Loma Linda University we get the following:

Included in non-fermented soy products are:

  • High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralized by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in children.
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy interfere with protein digestion and may cause pancreatic disorders. In test animals, soy containing trypsin inhibitors caused stunted growth.
  • Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
  • Soy phytoestrogens are potent antithyroid agents that cause hypothyroidism and may cause thyroid cancer. In infants, consumption of soy formula has been linked to autoimmune thyroid disease.
  • Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.
  • Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
  • Fragile proteins are denatured during the high temperature processing used to make soy protein isolate and textured vegetable protein, thus your body gets denatured proteins.
  • Processing of soy protein results in the formation of toxic lysinoalanine and highly carcinogenic nitrosamines.
  • Free glutamic acid or MSG, a potent neurotoxin, is formed during soy food processing and additional amounts are added to many soy foods.
  • Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum, which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.

Keeping this in mind, we will pass the following on to you, but when we say soy, we mean fermented soy.

Preventing and Reversing Atherosclerosis—Revisited

We’ve also discovered that Soy Protein and all the wonderful isoflavones therein will protect you against cardiovascular disease.

Most of us have heard of the heart protection that estrogen provides a woman. We know this because after menopause heart attack rates climb. Fermented soy contains a phyto-estrogen (plant estrogen) that exhibits the same amount of protection as its natural analogue, thus affording men this same protection as well.

Due to skyrocketing heart attack rates in women after menopause, they are given estrogen replacement therapy (ERT). (Is menopause a disease that must be treated?) Some postmenopausal women can get along without added estrogens, using Dong Quay and other female tonics we have coming from the orient. Dr Gordon told us that he would rather his female patients try these first before diving into any sort of ERT. Next it should be noted that in a study in Canada, at the University of Guelph, fish oils were used by some while ERT was used by others. It is theorized that one reason postmenopausal women have such a high rate of heart attacks is due to their corresponding high triglyceride rates. At the end of the study, the woman on the fish oils dropped their triglyceride rates, on the average, 36% compared to the women on ERT, which was 19%. The women in the study indicated that they would prefer the fish oil to the hormones. [](D.Link)

In the New England Journal of Medicine (1995, 333:276-82), an article by Anderson JW, Johnstone BM and Cook-Newell ME called “Meta-Analysis of Effects of Soy Protein Intake on Serum Lipids in Humans,” we learned that the isoflavones in soy (along with many other phytochemicals in soy) prevent and treat atherosclerosis in four ways:

  1. Soy helps to lower serum cholesterol levels as well as triglyceride levels. However, it is good to note that soy tends to increase HDL levels that can protect against stroke.
  2. Soy isoflavones are powerful antioxidants that protect cholesterol and triglycerides from oxidation.
  3. Soy isoflavones prevent platelet aggregation thus cutting the risk of thrombosis (blood clots).
  4. Soy isoflavones promote healthy blood vessels and protect damaged blood vessels from abnormal spasm or “clamping down.” This clamping down is a major cause of heart attack that we shall investigate later.
[James W. Anderson, M.D., Health Benefits of Soy Protein, Metabolic Research Group, VA Medical Center and University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40511, Phone: 606-281-4954]

One More Word of Warning Concerning Soy

Soy contains a goodly amount of aluminum. The cooking process that creates tofu makes this aluminum even more bioavailable. Eating fermented soy will help you to avoid this, though using natural chelators weekly to pull heavy metals from your body is also recommended (see the note in the next column).

Additionally, there is evidence (Health Alert, May 2000, 17:5) that the phytoestrogen in soy might interfere with brain function by binding to brain cells and blocking hormones from their receptors. Four naturopaths and one nutritionist have all told us that maintaining a diet high in lecithin, vitamin E, omega-3 oils, and even cayenne pepper would obviate this problem.

We don’t know all the answers yet. The soy controversy is just heating up and as we learn more we will pass it on to you, perhaps in our yearly updates.

Chelation Therapy

In conventional medicine there are two chelation camps: those who say chelation therapy doesn’t work and those who say it does. The first camp had two studies to back up their claims. The second group has nearly 30 to back up theirs. As we prepare to print, we have just learned of another study in Europe that demonstrated that chelation therapy had no effect on patients. The pro-chelation camp decries the results stating that the experimental group was not large enough to be a statistically significant sampling.

The first or “con” group, with only three studies now, is also the group with the most money. They are the AMA. They have forced the American College for the Advancement of Medicine into a corner and ACAM, not wanting to go to court, released a statement that chelation therapy is sub-standard medicine.

All the naturopaths and integrative physicians in the world do not have enough money to stand up to the AMA, so, we pass this on to you from Dr Garry Gordon. Dr Gordon is one of the co-founders of ACAM and for many years he has been establishing the standards for the proper use of oral and intravenous chelation therapy. Because of the bullying tactics of the AMA, he’s had to revise his position on chelation therapy, and he’s graciously allowed us to reprint his position in the following article.

A note on Chlorella and Cilantro: Both of these wonderful green foods are natural chelators in that they pull heavy metals from your body. Chlorella can be mixed with juice and tossed down in the morning. Chlorella is also found in some of the mixed superfoods, such as the superfoods from Dr Schulze (American Botanical Pharmacy). Cilantro can be found fresh nearly everywhere today. We want to emphasize: any superfood is better than any vitamin; Risotriene™, Enerprime™, blue green algae, spirulina, chlorella, you name it. Let your food be your medicine.