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Stroke Prevention Basics

Cardiovascular Care

Jan 24
Lightning inside a skull.

Should you experience a stroke, do this immediately (within half an hour of the stroke) IF YOU CAN SWALLOW:

Mix some fruit juice with 8 oz of DMSO and chug it.

Coincidentally, while I was writing this procedure up in our book Bypassing Bypass, I wacked my head hard enough to lose the sight in my left eye. I grabbed a bottle of DMSO, mixed it into a half quart of grape juice and chugged it. Within three minutes my site began coming back and within five minutes my sight was fully back. So, yes, I test everything I write about…eventually, apparently.

Our reference for this particular “first aid,” was originally from Dr David Steenblock, an osteopath, who specializes in stroke recovery and whose credentials include a sharp flaming from the quackpots at quackwatch.  However, since then, there have been a few studies and sure enough, this is great first aid though if the patient is out, IVs can to the same thing, and quicker. Our newest source is DMSO Benefits in Stroke and Spinal Cord injury.

Nutrition

First we must focus on what’s on the end of our fork. Everything we put into our bodies becomes the building blocks of our arterial system.

Before I get started, I’d like to finish this “Fun Fact” I’d put into a recent newsletter:

Fun Fact

Vitamin C cures scurvy.
Most dictionaries and most doctors refer to Vitamin C as ascorbic acid.

Ascorbic Acid does NOT cure scurvy.

In the West, we tend to be reductionists. We reduce everything to its active ingredient. However, the active ingredient in Vitamin C does NOT do what the Vitamin C Complex does.

Many, far too many, do not see vitamins as complexes. You can still buy something called Vitamin E and find only alpha tocopherol in it; synthetic at that.

And because little, if any, government dollars go into researching nutrition, we still don’t know all the different phytochemicals that make up Vitamin C Complex.

However, we’re pretty sure that there are many bioflavonoids in a good Vitamin C Complex, and the three most important seem to be: Rutin, Hesperidin, and Quercitin.

So what does cure scurvy? Well, limes do, and oranges. Because the Vitamin C one gets from fruit comes to us with a host of bioflavonoids.

In general, bioflavonoids will reduce clots associated with strokes, prevent damage to cholesterol (damaged cholesterol is bad), and prevent vascular degeneration (bruising, fragility, varicose veins, aneurisms, and hemorrhoids).

Stroke Prevention is Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

It’s that last one (above), vascular degeneration, that is most important, and we can look at these bioflavonoids as not only preventing this damage, but as maintaining healthy capillaries, as well being the building blocks of collagen (think connective tissues) which assist in everything from wound healing to immune system support.

So, if your diet consists of grains, cheese, and meat, you’re not getting bioflavonoids. You need fruit and veggies and as close to raw as possible: the white portion of citrus, the skins of many fruits, especially red grapes (green grapes are just sugar), colorful peppers, eggplant (skin), exotic fruits (mangoes & papayas), garlic, dark greens (spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli), and some teas. Many phytochemicals can’t take heat while some, like those in green tea, can take the heat. Just don’t go around cooking your fruit all the time.

If you really think about it, fruits and vegetables were meant to be eaten at the temperature at which they were picked.

We’ve talked about Anthocyanins in our article Chronic Inflammation, but in addition to fighting fat and inflammation, they are also great for circulation and are found in many of the fruits listed above, including mangosteen, goji berries, and acai berries.

Eat fruit daily. Twice a day. Make our Raspberry Vinaigrette (I. Link). Eat salads with colorful veggies. And for a fun way to get your flavonoids and anthocyanins, read our article on Wine & Chocolate. (I. Link) (We don’t live by bread alone.)

Warning:

Rutin uptake is slowed by chromium and Hesperidin uptake is scotched by copper. There are many ways to detox these two minerals, but increasing your Vitamin C and selenium will assist the Rutin uptake and increasing your sulfur (MSM, cauliflower, broccoli) will assist your Hesperidin uptake. [http://www.acu-cell.com/bio.html]

Put Out The Fire

You need to read our article on Chronic Inflammation and start cooking with or supplementing with Turmeric. There is hardly a meal that I don’t toss in a bit of Turmeric.

Many of the fruits, especially berries, mentioned above, will also help prevent inflammation.

And start taking omega-3s and/or omega-7, such as Cardia-7. My VA won’t give me an inflammation index test, so I go out and pay for one twice a year. But it is Cardia-7’s big brother, Flexinol that has become a staple in my home. A day does not go by in which I don’t take it first thing in the morning. (It’s twice what Cardia-7 was intended to be.)

Cut the Fibrin

My proofreader told me I really need to explain about fibrin and hypercoagulability. So, here goes.

Fibrin, as you can guess, is fibrous, or consisting of fibers. It is a protein. It is created/formed when thrombin breaks down fibrinogen, causing the fibrin to “polymerize,” or turn into a polymer, which is a large molecule consisting of repeatable parts/subunits. This polymer sweeps up platelets and forms a clot. [Thank you, Wikipedia!]

Now, I could easily bore you by going into depth on the biochemical coagulation cascade, but instead, I’ll give you a link to an animation at YouTube that is much more entertaining than I could ever be: https://youtu.be/cy3a__OOa2M

Instead, I need to tell you why we are hypercoagulable, or overly leaning toward highly clottable blood.

Many of you know the dangers of diabetes. If you don’t, then you should know that diabetics tend to die of heart attacks at rates significantly higher than non diabetics. You can read more here: Journal of Diabetes and its Complications.

Hypercoagulability can have many causes. I found a long list of causes at the Cleveland Clinic. They are divided into inheritable (from your ancestors) and acquired. We already know about diabetes, but also pregnancy and cancer can cause it. Women on the pill or taking hormones can have it.

People with HIV/AIDS or inflammatory bowel syndrome can have it. If you sit for a long time, say during long flights, you can get deep vein thrombosis and, yes, you’ll be hypercoagulable. And don’t get me started on smoking!

But the thing to really focus on here is our diet and lifestyle. Everything we bring up about metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and chronic degenerative illness will have a hypercoagulable facet. Being pre-diabetic should be a warning that you’ve probably got a bit more fibrin in your system than you want.

Studies show that people who have strokes have too much fibrin in their system. Many of us, unknowingly, have too much fibrin, and we are just waiting to stroke out. We have to cut the fibrin, and there are very simple ways to do this. A good vitamin E will help; and by good, I mean a complete E with mixed Tocopherols and mixed Tocotrienols and selenium. This is one of the NOW versions I used to take daily: Now Foods Advanced Gamma E Complex but now I’ll switch for a few days and take Swanson’s Full Spectrum E with Tocotrienols.

You can get selenium also from Brazil nuts. Selenium has been known to lower coagulability. [Coagulator Modifiers] However, the best selenium, the one that is used in most studies we’ve found cannot be gotten from food: Se-Methyl L-Selenocysteine.

Two more things: nattokinase and serrapeptase. I take nattokinase daily, and about four times a week, I take serrapeptase, but especially if I’m exercising.

There are some expensive systemic enzymes that do this also, such as Wobenzyme.

Finally, there’s that Pomegranate Juice. Pomegranate Juice just cleans up the gunk in your system and fibrinogen contributes a lot to that junk. (And the best is carried by Simply the Best.)

At the same time that you cut the fibrin, you also have to maintain a healthy clotting mechanism, so you’ll need vitamin K which you can get from those dark greens. [More on that below.]

Exercise

You have to move your body. Our bodies were made to move. If you have a job that requires sitting, stand up and stretch at least once every hour. Get a big ball to sit on and bounce. Go for walks. You have to move.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

Everything you’ve done up to this point will help your blood pressure: repairing your circulatory system, providing the proper nutrition, and putting out the fire. We just need to increase your “miracle molecule,” otherwise known as nitric oxide, and keep those arteries from getting all guncked up (excuse the technical language) and you’re hypertension will be in check.

First, many people take calcium supplements and many of us are a bit acidic, and so we have free calcium floating in our blood stream.

First I’d like to point out: never take calcium without magnesium; even better always with a bit of Vitamin D3.  This is a rule of naturopathy/nutrition. [We have a number of sources: Potential Danger Of Calcium Supplements, and Calcium with Magnesium — Do You Need the Calcium?]

Always take magnesium, daily, and not too much. This Triple Magnesium Complex is what we recommend and take, just one capsule daily. It relaxes the muscles and helps relax the body leading to lower blood pressure. It’s also a gentle anti-depressant.

Vitamin D3 helps our bones uptake some of that free calcium, and Vitamin K does it even better. Clearing your arteries of calcium is of the utmost importance if you are going to lower your blood pressure.

The best form of Vitamin K is called MK-7, or Low-Dose Vitamin K2 Menaquinone-7. As mentioned above, Vitamin K2 also helps regulate coagulation (clotting). We’ve learned so much more about Vitamin K2 in the past 10 – 20 years that we now know it is just as important as Vitamin C. It is also the X-Factor that Weston Price found in his travels, in every pocket of society that lived long and healthy lives. You get it naturally from dark green veggies such as broccoli, spinach, and kale. You can also supplement it.

As for Vitamin D, helping our bones uptake free calcium is not all it does. Studies have shown that people with reduced levels have increased arterial stiffness and impaired vascular function. Normalizing their Vitamin D levels over a six month period showed great improvement in vascular health and blood pressure measurements and at the same time it’s been discovered that Vitamin D protects against the leading cause of blindness in adults, macular degeneration. [Science Newsline April 4, 2011]

So, we’ve got all that down and now we want to charge up our bloodstream with Nitric Oxide.

Here is a short list of all the things Nitric Oxide does for us:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Assists the immune system fighting off tumors and bacteria
  • Assists the transmission of information between nerve cells and the brain (better memory, better reflexes)
  • Increases endurance and strength
  • Regulates blood pressure by dilating arteries.

And I’ve just read that in 1998, three scientists were given the Nobel Prize for discovering the signaling role of nitric oxide. Since then, there have been over 50,000 studies done on nitric oxide. [What is nitric oxide and how does it work?]

As we age, we become less active and we slow the production of nitric oxide. There are supplements and foods that will assist us in producing enough to keep our blood pressure under control.

I dropped my blood pressure 40 points using L-Citrulline Malate Complex and still use it when I’m not drinking beet juice. And here is the article we wrote updating what we’d originally found on NO, Nitric Oxide Revisited.

All of these or any combination will be helpful, and you’ll notice the extra energy within a half hour of supplementing. People who work out always take one or more of these supplements.

All that’s left is to help clear the gunk off your arteries (arterial plaque) and you’re home free.

Pomegranate juice, concord grape juice, and serrapeptase will do that. Personally, from my research, the pomegranate juice works best, followed by the serrapeptase, and then the grape juice. However, all of them (either of them) is better than none at all.

Studies have shown that drinking pomegranate juice regularly will reduce blood pressure.

Garlic and CoQ10

Garlic is hypolipidemic, meaning it lowers the amount of fat in your bloodstream. It’s also been known to help reduce fatty deposits on the arterial walls, however, every article you find on the web first tells you go cut back on your fat and that saturated fat is what puts those fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries and it’s enough to make you scream. None of that BS is backed up by science. But the science is well established as far as garlic is concerned, and in a study using aged garlic extract and CoQ10, researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute found that after a year, they were able to reduce “soft plaque” in people with metabolic syndrome up to 80%. [Aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 have favorable effect on inflammatory markers and coronary atherosclerosis progression: A randomized clinical trial]

If you are going to prevent cardiovascular disease, removing this soft fatty plaque early and reducing inflammation is exactly what you want to do.

And the best form of CoQ10 is Ubiquinol. It’s not cheap, but it’s cheaper when a friend of ours, Dr Sam first discovered it. It cost thousands of dollars for just a few ounces. Luckily, that’s come down. And I can show you the best form of it in existence right now, from our friend Dr Alan Sears: Accel. He’s made the product (and tested it) for rapid absorption.

The Role of Adiponectin

Adiponectin, among other things, regulates fat metabolism. Doing anything, taking supplements, and eating foods high in anthocyanins to stimulate the release of adiponectin are another route to cleaning up your arteries. I highly recommend you read about Adiponectin (I. Link) here, at this site.

I have found in my notes so much on hypertension, I’ve also completed a paper called Hypertension Update (July 2015).

References & Further Reading

EATING CHOCOLATE MAY REDUCE STROKE RISK

9 Foods Rich in Bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids / Flavonoids

Bioflavonoids

What is nitric oxide and how does it work?

Mechanisms That Produce Nitric Oxide–Mediated Relaxation of Cerebral Arteries During Atherosclerosis

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