Oral Chelation The Other Side of the Story

Cardiovascular Care

Aug 07

by Garry F. Gordon, M.D.,D.O.,M.D.(H)
From our book Bypassing Bypass, published in 2002

Recently, it has become generally recognized that atherosclerosis involves chronic inflammation and most heart attacks and strokes are believed to be due to blood clots, because of the resulting hypercoagulability. In this new paradigm, I believe that some carefully and rationally developed oral chelation formulas may be just as beneficial as intravenous (I/V) chelation in helping to prevent heart attacks and stroke, but in a different way, although not producing the anti-aging benefits we all routinely observe with I/V EDTA [ethylene diamine tetra-acetate].

There appears to be benefit from both therapies. The I/V administration of EDTA cannot permanently reduce inflammation or excessive clotting tendencies. Safe nutritional ingredients included in the more comprehensive oral chelation formulas are well documented to beat aspirin, heparin, or Coumadin as “blood thinners,” without their documented high mortality and morbidity.

As a co-founder of the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), I feel we must immediately correct serious inaccuracies regarding our representations to patients regarding the benefits and risks of all forms of chelation therapy, oral or I/V, for any indication. I fear that most patients believe that their I/V treatments are reversing their arteriosclerosis and all too often, we are learning that this is not the case.

Since all medical procedures entail some risk and often, significant costs, I believe we have an obligation to inform our patients fully and accurately regarding any therapies that may help them avoid heart attacks and strokes, whether or not they can arrange to receive I/V chelation. Recently, the immediate past-president of the American Heart Association and other leading cardiologists have gone on record stating that physicians should be treating the bloodstream and not the blood vessel. I accept this entirely and believe that we must immediately incorporate this life saving information into our chelation protocols and informed consent procedures. Their research has empowered me to help patients routinely select non-operative interventions since this research documents that surgeons are generally operating on the wrong plaque. What can be seen on the arteriogram generally has little to do with the patient living or dying.

Currently, I serve on a board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners in the State of Arizona and I am in charge of chelation peer review for Arizona. I believe that anyone accepting Dr Cranton’s unsupportable position1 may be seriously harmed and I would consider it irresponsible for any chelation physicians to rely on his editorial and subsequently inform their patients to stop all “oral chelation” products without further knowledge.

Hopefully this current disagreement over oral chelation will lead to some increased interest and further discussion and/or debate. Every physician should become adequately informed on the benefit/risk ratio of oral versus I/V chelation for any therapeutic indication, from hyperactivity to cirrhosis, to advise his or her patients adequately. There is much more to being a competent chelation specialist than simply providing I/V EDTA. As an advisor to ABCT, I will help to see that adequate oral chelation knowledge becomes a requisite for continued good standing.

Dr Cranton1 claims that I/V chelation is “safe and effective treatment” for coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis, while oral chelation is irresponsible and perhaps dangerous. I believe it is inaccurate generalizations such as these that make the future of chelation therapy so tenuous. We must accept the fact that I/V therapy is not reversing atherosclerosis in many of our patients. It is more accurate to state that it relieves symptoms by improving blood flow. We can hope it is also reducing vessel stiffness and most of us believe that.

I believe we can far more readily prove it to be an anti-aging therapy than prove its effectiveness in vascular disease. Unfortunately most patients still believe it is cleaning their arteries. With new research2 suggesting that vitamin C is clogging arteries, we must appreciate just how difficult it is to prove vascular benefits in a broad spectrum of people without controlling the many variables. I predict more problems for the future of EDTA chelation therapy until it is completely repositioned and we stop claiming that we are “Bypassing Bypass” for all patients. This gives the wrong message.

Many of the major long-term benefits we routinely see in our chelation patients may be simply from lowering the levels of lead. The study by Blumer3 showed that lowering lead levels provides real long-term benefits including a substantial reduction in heart attacks and cancer. His research strongly suggests that oral forms or rectal suppositories of EDTA, by effectively binding and/or removing lead and other toxic metals, may be far more beneficial than Dr Cranton believes1. If deleading is as valuable as I believe, the entirely hypothetical “risks” that he mentions become far more acceptable to any well-informed professional. Liposomal forms of oral EDTA, with up to 60 % percent absorption, are currently being developed. These will further necessitate the need for making any representations regarding the benefits and risks of oral chelation, versus parenteral forms of EDTA, completely truthful and accurate. We have a poisoned environment and we must find the most effective, convenient and affordable ways to help our patients deal with these toxins and improve their health.

There are reportedly several I/V EDTA studies planned by researchers, some of whom are not consulting with ACAM and may really want to prove us wrong. If they pick the wrong parameters, and primarily focus on proof of reversal of atherosclerosis, I believe the outcome will be disastrous. New parameters, where we could conceivably document benefits in the majority of patients such as aortic stiffness, are just becoming recognized as a measurably serious risk factor, and interesting new tests for oxidative damage such as those for oxysterols are not yet clinically available. Thus they will not be considered in such studies.

We clearly help our patients, but not in the way they think we do. With our current technology and our incomplete understanding of the mechanisms of action of metal binding agents, I believe we are measuring the wrong parameters to position chelation therapy properly for widespread acceptance and for many more indications where we should be offering it. The over 60 boxes of research material recently released by Dr Rubin to Dr Rozema I believe will convince physicians that we are grossly underutilizing chelation due to lack of information. We cannot restrict our patients to parenteral chelation for much longer, once these other clinical uses become widely known.

I fear that I/V EDTA chelation therapy will not soon become widely accepted as Dr Cranton prematurely claims1 as “a safe, effective … treatment for coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis and other age-related diseases.” His misleading statement suggests to most observers that we believe that reversal of plaque is routinely occurring. This incenses the authorities that simply redouble their efforts to stop this therapy, perhaps at least partially due to the incorrect characterization of the benefits we routinely can deliver.

I believe the new information regarding inflammation and blood clotting requires an immediate extensive revision of the protocol for use of EDTA and a repositioning of I/V chelation if this useful therapy is to survive. Once we accept the need for long-term anti-platelet, anti-coagulant and anti-inflammatory therapy to deal with the newly recognized molecular risk factors such as fibrinogen, ultra sensitive C-reactive protein, Intracellular Adhesion Molecule (ICAM) etc., then I believe we will all start better serving the needs of our patients. I believe that proper nutritional management of these risk factors can be achieved better with the nutritional strategies Dr Cranton has attacked than with most of the standard drugs. The limitations of current drug therapy from aspirin to heparin for managing these risk factors are widely known. For example, page 407 of the American Heart Associations report entitled “Vulnerable Atherosclerosis Plaque”, states that these drugs “cannot completely prevent” heart attacks because they interfere only partially with the coagulation system. Yet thousands die each year from ingesting aspirin and over 20,000 are hospitalized with the complications associated with the largely ineffective and dangerous drugs now used to continuously “treat the blood stream” as we now recognize is essential if we are to reduce heart attacks and strokes significantly.

Therefore I recommend natural products in order to provide safe and effective alternatives to the standard impotent blood thinning drugs. I recommend a broad spectrum of safe products that include garlic and eicosapentaenoic acid. Published research suggests that oral EDTA favorably influences hypercoagulability, particularly if given with sulfated polysaccharides, which in at least one report4 produced a heparin-like effect. Such “oral chelation” products have been used by some chelating physicians for over 15 years without any evidence of the adverse effects Dr Cranton hypothesizes1 and many attribute their low incidence of heart attacks to these products.

The fact that rotifers treated with EDTA live 50% longer and sperm cells live generations longer while receiving EDTA by other than an intravenous route convinces me that Dr Cranton is entirely wrong in claiming it is only safe when given intravenously. We know that thousands of people have been receiving oral EDTA in quantities of 800 mg or more daily for well over 15 years without developing any signs or symptoms of the trace element deficiencies he suggests, based on the one patient he describes. We know that chickens fed a zinc-deficient diet eliminate all signs and symptoms of deficiency with the simple addition of EDTA to their diet5. We know that the average daily intake of EDTA from our food supply is 15-50 mg daily. This is added to foods to help prevent the oxidative degradation of essential nutrients by simply binding to the free transition and heavy metal ions.

I am so convinced by the long-term safety studies of EDTA that I choose to provide my patients with this same long-term protection against oxidative damage. I believe that the approximately 95% of EDTA we do not absorb similarly helps to prevent the oxidative degradation of bile salts and other contents of the intestine, and therefore logically may help to reduce colon cancer. We know that the most abundant chelator in the body is albumin and the higher the level the longer we generally live. I believe that in our toxic environment with reportedly an average of 1000 times more lead in bones today, that we all have a relative deficiency of metal binding substances. I choose to employ oral chelators, such as garlic and EDTA to diminish the harm done by excessive levels of unbound, toxic and transition metals. I believe this is the reason that we routinely see life prolongation in the experimental models studied with long-term. I have a website (gordonresearch.com) that provides references that I believe clearly refute Dr Cranton’s position and explains how I believe oral chelation should be viewed along with a few of the references.

References:

1 Cranton EM. Guest Editorial: What About Oral Chelation? J of Adv in Medicine Winter 1999;Vol 12; No 4:237-39

2 Dywer JH. Vitamin C Supplements May Promote Atherosclerosis (as reported in Reuters Medical News. American Heart Association 40th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention; March 2, 2000, San Diego, CA.

3 Blumer W, Reich T: Leaded gasoline – a cause of cancer. Environmental International. 3:465-71, 1980

4 Windsor, E, Cronheim, GE. Gastro-Intestinal Absorption of Heparin and Synthetic Heparinoids. Nature 1961;Vol 190; No 4772:263-64

5 Vohra F and Kratzer, FH. Influence of various chelating agents on the availability of zinc. J. Nutrition; 82:249-56, 1964

End of Article


Chelation Therapy

In the early part of 2000, newsletters from Harvard, Mayo Clinic, and Berkley all warned against this “unproven” therapy, even though no one has ever been injured by it, and supported bypass surgery and angioplasty when both of these have limited effectiveness with numerous dangerous side effects. Additionally, there seems to be a connection between chelation therapy and cancer. People who receive chelation therapy have a lower incidence of cancer. This has been demonstrated time and again.

What about oral chelation? Does it work? Hmmmm, good question. What if oral chelation is just another form of Dr Rath’s nutritional medicine and doesn’t really “chelate?”

Since we first published this article, many, many things have changed. One site that had collected thousands of pages on cardiovascular disease and cancer, along with many on chelation therapy went down when the author, Karl Loren passed away.

The next big thing to happen was around 2010 when the FDA went after all companies selling OTC chelation therapy, claiming that “These are in fact unapproved drugs.”

FDA medical officer Charles Lee, MD, noted that chelation can have serious side effects, particularly when people use the drugs or give them to children without medical supervision.

“Chelation can be dangerous and cause serious harm,” Lee said at the news conference. “Chelation can result in dehydration, kidney failure, and even death. … People may also forgo useful medical treatments to use these products.”

But Lee admits that the FDA does not really know what is in the “chelation” products sold over the counter, who is using them, or whether anyone has actually been injured by them. Today’s action is based on the FDA’s determination that the chelation products are being marketed as treatments for specific diseases — in other words, as unapproved drugs. [Ref]

One way to know if something actually works is to take a look at research outside of conventional medicine, note the number of practitioners who swear by something, and then when the FDA comes after them, calling them “unapproved drugs,” yes, you can be sure it works.

Many people quit using the term “chelation” and just renamed their products, basically telling the FDA to get lost.

One of my favorite products is W T Rawleigh’s Formula #1.

Rawleigh Formula #1

It’s a great product, with disodium EDTA, but they never mention chelation and make no promises.

The FDA was terribly worried about parents using chelation therapy for their kids with autism, because autism is “incurable.” However, the parents using chelation for their autistic kids were getting results and so they didn’t stop when the FDA came out against OTC chelation products.

Let’s look at the word: the prefix of this word, chelation, comes from the Greek word for the claws of a lobster or crab — and the word has come to mean the grabbing action of a lobster or crab. The suffix, -tion, simply makes the word into an ‘activity.’ So, you could say that ‘chelation’ is an activity of grabbing.

In intravenous chelation, we have this substance, EDTA, coursing through our veins and arteries grabbing up the calcified deposits on your arteries and washing it away.

Wrong. Impossible. Can’t be done.

According to Dr Elmer Cranton’s book Bypassing Bypass (gee, what a great title),  chelation therapy first removes the heavy metals (its first medical use was in treating lead poisoning) which in turn cuts out multitudes of free radicals (that have been attacking your arteries) thus stopping the production of poisons dangerous to your arteries. This allows the tissues in your arteries to begin a recovering process. Individual cells, when weakened by free radicals, calcify. When not bothered by free radicals, healthy cells can kick out the calcium. To flush all this out, you need to increase your water intake. The arteries can now begin to heal as long as the individual cells have not been poisoned by too much calcium. It is these dead cells that cannot heal or be repaired and the individual will just have to live with them. The good news is that by maintaining a healthy diet, further deposits on one’s arteries can be avoided.

To put it most succinctly, chelation therapy, whether oral or intravenous, is a misnomer. We are using the wrong word. So, with this in mind, we’ll continue to use the wrong word, and redefine it for you as we go.

Dr Rath, Dr Gordon, and many more recommend intravenous chelation therapy for advanced stages of atherosclerosis, to be followed by oral chelation, or nutritional medicine (as Dr Rath calls it).

One note here. EDTA chelation therapy removes good minerals too, so in addition to increasing your water intake, you will also supplement with extra minerals during and after your treatment, and personally, we use Ionyte.

You will also want to keep in mind that the death rate from bypass surgery is anywhere from 15% to 25%, while no one has died while undergoing intravenous chelation therapy (even though the FDA wants to protect you from it).

Conventional Surgeries

Let us take one last look at conventional surgeries (bypass, angioplasty, etc.)

In a study we found years ago (but the website is now gone forever), had patients at a hospital who had blockages, separated into three groups. One got surgery, the other got no surgery, and another group got prayer and no surgery.

Of those who received bypass surgery, 86 percent were still alive after two years.

Of those who did NOT receive bypass surgery, 87 percent were still alive after two years.

The study continued for many years and even after ten years it was determined that prayer alone worked better than bypass surgery and that receiving no surgery was just as good as receiving bypass surgery.

Yet, today, we still do bypass surgery at a cost of millions and millions in dollars, and long term survival rates have been improving, but at right around ten years, something starts to happen and mortality rates skyrocket. [Ref]

Alternatives to Bypass Surgery

Normally we would not focus on a therapy that does not heal a condition; however, Enhanced External Counterpulsation or EECP™ buys us time, time we can use to heal the condition. It is a very simple and painless procedure (developed at Harvard Medical school nearly 50 years ago). The patient is dressed in a body stocking from the waist to the ankles, and this body stocking pulsates (contracts) in a wave like motion in time with your natural pulse. It forces blood up the legs, through the veins, to the heart, and throughout the body. A usual course is 35 one-hour treatments. When your doctor says you need bypass surgery or die, it is time to try this to gain some time so you can turn around your health using proper nutrition.

Tell your doctor to read the American Journal of Cardiology, 1992;70:859-862 or the Supplement, Journal of the American College of Cardiology [abstracts, 47th annual scientific session, Feb 1998;31(2, suppl. A): abstract 859-2. Clinical data show a positive improvement with no side effects.]

Some patients are pain free for up to five years, while one study showed that 70% of those undergoing this treatment were still showing benefits one year later.

For more information on this therapy, you may contact EECP Information, PO Box 10605, Westbury, NY 11590, or call 800.455.3327, ext. 779. One place that offers this treatment is the Whitaker Wellness Institute in Newport Beach, CA at 949.851.1550, ext. 183.

This next alternative, reported in Cardiovascular Surgery [vol 13. Pp.327, 1979] focuses on a number of placebo-controlled studies in which protein-digesting enzymes (A. orzae) were intravenously administered to persons with chronically obstructed arteries. These enzymes were found to “dramatically” reduce the obstruction and improve blood flow. The reasons we’ve not heard of them and the reasons they’ve not been incorporated by conventional medicine are very simple. It’s a cheap therapy and the drug companies do not make enzymes.

Testing For Atherosclerosis

To test your heart and its functions, a simple checkup with your primary care physician done yearly and an occasional EKG is all you need. To test your arteries, well, here is where medicine goes nuts.

Usually this starts with a stress test. Stress tests are wonderful, because they’re labor intensive, pretty spendy, and the results often vary from test to test using the same individual and if you score badly, well then your doctor can send you off for something much more invasive and more costly. Sadly, a side effect to a stress test can be a full-blown heart attack. But as luck would have it, you’re still within care of your physician and his team of assistants, unless this occurs on your drive home.

In 2012 a panel looking at stress test results just up and advised against them, but as pointed out in the article, “old habits die hard.” [Ref]

The results of a stress test are nearly insignificant. We say this, because your physician will use these results to request an angiogram. In other words, the stress test is only the first step in determining if you have any blockages in your coronary artery and means nothing without proof positive delivered by an angiogram. 

Angiograms are invasive. Dye is injected and followed with an x-ray to locate blockages. It has been suggested that the dye could damage the arteries enough to cause further deposits after the test is finished.

There are alternatives to angiograms.

Ankle-Brachial Index

There is a test in medical circles that was known as the “ankle arm index,” or AAI back in 2002 when we first published our book. It’s name has changed, and we know a lot more about it today.

It is a very simple, non-invasive test, but was hardly used back then. Life Line Screening now offers it, but they call it the Peripheral Arterial Disease test (PAD). And this test has been given so often, today we know a lot more about it, but we also know there is much more to know (such as how results differ between sexes or between short people and tall people). 

It was devised by Dr Anne Newman at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. I actually asked for it at the VA during a checkup and discovered that my nurse was really quite interested. She really wanted to get “this right.” I’d shown her my research and she went right to work taking notes.

First you take your blood pressure, as usual. Then you lie down on an examination table and have your blood pressure taken on your ankle, just above the bone that juts out on the outside of the ankle. So now you have two sets of numbers, let us say (for instance) your first blood pressure was “120 over 70” or written 120/70 and your blood pressure at your ankle was 110/68. We’re only interested in the first of these numbers, the systolic pressure 120 (arm) and 110 (ankle). Divide the Ankle Pressure/Arm Pressure or 110/120 = 0.916. A normal (healthy) index would be 1.0 or greater.

The theory is this: if your heart’s arteries are getting clogged, other arteries are clogging too. Sure, your coronary arteries do a lot of work (remember, your arteries contract and expand, like stepping on a garden hose a thousand times a day), but what about those in your legs? Many blood vessel disorders and clotting disorders show up in our legs first. So, your legs, because of gravity alone, will show signs of poor circulation and signs of atherosclerosis long before you will “know for sure.” Using the ankle arm index will tell you much more than any stress test.

A 2012 edition of the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation states the following: 

The ABI serves as a measure of systemic atherosclerosis and thus is associated with both atherosclerotic risk factors and prevalent CVD in other vascular beds. A low ABI is associated with many cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, smoking history, and several novel cardiovascular risk factors (eg, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, homocysteine, and chronic kidney disease).

And then goes onto say:

A strong and consistent relationship between low ABI and prevalent coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular disease has been demonstrated in several population-based cohort studies that included individuals with existing CVD.

Anything below 0.9 indicates atherosclerosis. If you have poor circulation already, odds are your index will be below 0.8. Keep in mind, with an index of 0.8 to 0.9, though you are at risk, your physical examination will probably appear normal. Heart dis-ease sneaks up on you. Another test is a blood test measuring levels of C-reactive protein. From our article Chronic Inflammation we get the following: 

The first test you should know about is called the C-Reactive Protein test, but please note that there are two CRP tests. The one that is needed MUST BE specified to the lab as H.S.C.R.P., which is High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein test. This is crucial as it is measured in mg/L with a range of <1.0 mg/L being a low relative risk for “cardiovascular disease events” to >3.0 mg/L being a high relative risk.  

Imatron C-100 Ultrafast CT scanner

Finally, the best test possible for determining coronary heart disease and monitoring its progress is done using an Imatron C-100 Ultrafast CT scanner. This is non-invasive, couldn’t possibly cause damage to your arterial walls, and if done correctly, is 100% conclusive.

Back in 2000, WebMD took up the controversy of using this machine, which consisted of “it’s too expensive and doctors are ordering it to make greater profits” to “ok, so it finds calcium deposits. How much calcium is a sign of heart disease?” If you try to find new information on this particular scan, you’ll find our article at our old site, and a lot of studies in foreign languages. Circulation has an article online from 1996. Because we can find so little information on it, we wonder if they are in use anymore or if they’ve been dropped and replaced by newer technology. 

We discovered this Ultrafast CT scan while researching Dr Matthias Rath’s study on reversing cardiovascular disease. His patients were monitored using this method. In his study, he obtained the most accurate measurement of plaque buildup by using this scanner in “the high-resolution volume mode, using a 100- millisecond exposure time. ECG was used so that each image was obtained at the same point in the diastole, corresponding to 80% of the RR interval. In each scan, 30 consecutive images were obtained at 3-mm intervals beginning 1 cm below the carina [ridge] and progressing caudally [to the end portion] to include the entire length of the coronary arteries.”

In 2002, new machines were arriving daily at our hospitals and they were  advertising them heavily on the radio. Come get your checkup. However, and this is a big however: do you really need to know how blocked your arteries are? and do you really need to buy into an expensive system that can only tell you what they find but not how to reverse it? especially when your diet and lifestyle can start to reverse this situation right now, and knowing that 85% of heart attacks and strokes are caused by something no expensive machine will be able to diagnose? (Spoiler Alert: Inflammation.)

You have options and the best one is to start a program now. And you always have the option of the less invasive ankle/brachial index.

Further Causes of Atherosclerosis

Making first the prestigious medical journals and then, finally, Newsweek magazine in February 1999, is the story of blood inflammations. As we pointed out earlier, and Newsweek seems to agree, “inflammation in the circulating blood may play an important role in triggering heart attacks by activating blood clotting mechanisms … which can stop blood flow (leading to death).” Though the number of bypass surgeries has yet to drop (medicine moves slower than a wounded sloth dragging a ten pound weight), this appears to be great news for the pharmaceutical industry since now their antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs can actually help to treat heart disease. The rest of us have nutritional therapies. Just remember to test, treat, and retest. And read our extensive article that has grown, I’m told by one of our proofreaders, into a Russian novel: Chronic Inflammation

Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats). This is the crud we have been told since the fifties would help us to fight heart disease. Boy, nothing could be further from the truth. Partially hydrogenated oils have probably killed more people than smoking.

The new methods of hydrogenating oils use catalysts such as aluminum, lead, and cobalt. Hydrogen is pumped into oil using one of these catalysts. What remains in the oils is the residue of these metals. We should all know about the link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease (not to mention cancer). We also know what lead poisoning does, especially to children, but cobalt is the worst. Just imagine what these toxic metals are doing to the immune system and organs in the human body.

Even more important than these metal residues is the fact that these oils have been changed molecularly into something that the body doesn’t know how to properly metabolize. When trans fats were all the rage, hypercholesteremia, (high cholesterol or triglycerides) was an early warning sign that you would develop hyperinsulinemia (a disorder in which the body produces too much insulin, but the insulin is not effective in reducing sugar concentrations in the blood). At the turn of the century, there were 2.8 diagnosed cases of diabetes and its associated diseases per 100,000 people. In 1949, this figure jumped to 16.4 per 100,000 population. A 585% increase in 50 years. In 1985, there were 36,969 deaths due to this form of diabetes, and in 1995, there were 59,085 deaths, according to the National Center For Health Statistics. Trans fats in the blood block insulin receptors. 

Chlorinated water. The American Journal of Public Health (92:8) directly linked 4,200 cases of bladder cancer and 6,500 cases of rectal cancer to chlorinated water. Recent studies show that chlorinated water changes HDL to LDL, releases free radicals that attack our arteries, releases toxins that attack the liver and weaken the immune system, and destroys our essential fatty acids. Who did the study? Your Environmental Protection Agency, though it has never been published. We found this in a publication called Chemical Research in Toxicology (May Issue, 1992) by an intrepid author, J Peter Bercz.

Chlorinated water was first suspected of contributing to coronary heart disease during the Korean War. Dead American soldiers were given a post mortem examination and it was discovered that those soldiers whose canteens contained the greatest amounts of chlorine (the water there was terribly polluted) had the greatest damage to their arteries and most advanced atherosclerosis. Some reported that “boys” in their twenties had the arteries of men in their seventies.

Always remember: If you do not have a water filter, you are a water filter.

For what it’s worth, chlorinating water does not kill all the organisms that we would like to kill, and there are alternatives to chlorination that are cheaper too. You might want to write your representative and put a bee in his or her bonnet regarding ultraviolet irradiation of water as an alternative to chlorination. We’re not sure how safe this is as there is little to go on, but given the alternative, ultraviolet irradiation should be given a fair hearing. The chemical industry already has your representative’s attention.

Homogenized Milk. We will never recommend drinking cow’s milk to anyone. It has everything a young cow needs and little we humans need. Over 40% of Americans have some sort of milk allergy or intolerance. And now there is even more to fear: bovine xanthene oxidase, or XO for short.

We first reported XO in the 1992 edition of the Wellness Directory of Minnesota™. Since then we’ve heard all sorts of theories but have not been able to answer the question: Do we digest this chemical or does it pass from digestion into our blood stream?

One theory is this: XO is used by calves to assist them in digesting their mothers’ milk. It is bonded to the fat in the milk. The homogenization process releases it from the fat and in humans it oxidizes fats in our blood and damages our arteries. The debate is over. Fifteen-year-olds who are heavy milk drinkers have arteries that resemble those of their grandparents. Here is what we found from Robert Cohen at www.notmilk.com:

Previously, the scientific community believed that the survival of protein hormones was not possible because of the strength of stomach acid and enzymatic activity. Oster and Ross pointed the finger of blame at the homogenization process. They discovered the presence of an enzyme, bovine xanthene oxidase (XO), which, in theory, should not have survived digestion, but, in actuality, did. The XO Factor was identified as the element that destroyed one-third of the cellular material in atrial cells of 300 heart attack victims during a five-year study. Oster and Ross’s observation was subsequently confirmed by a team of scientists at the University of Delaware who hypothesized that small quantities of this enzyme from milk, absorbed over a lifetime, might hold destructive biological significance.

We’ve also learned that folic acid will help prevent the damage done by XO if you must drink milk.

Attitude. There is nothing more dangerous to our immune system, our arteries, or our blood pressure than anger. As the saying goes, anger is one letter short of danger. Anger stresses your liver. Your liver controls the metabolism of fats. Anger stresses your heart.

Recent studies show that stressful jobs do not lead to heart disease, because some people thrive on stress. Besides, these people die from cancer. If you hate your job, whether it is stressful or not, your hatred appears in your body as less fat metabolism and rampant free radicals. Yes, people with bad attitudes carry more free radicals in their body. Their immune system is suppressed. It’s not a healthy sight.

In America, we believe that health is a condition free of symptoms. In reality disease begins many, many steps before the appearance of symptoms. In Chinese medicine there is a saying: It takes twenty years for a bad habit or wrong living to appear as symptoms. Is there any doubt then why we see people with heart disease in their forties? Most people begin their careers in their twenties, their marriages in their twenties, and so twenty years later, after making wrong decisions about food, beverages, and lifestyles, symptoms arrive.

As we stated in our last edition, which focused on cancer and the immune system: if you are in a bad relationship, end it; if you are in a bad job, quit; if your are in a bad place mentally, get help; if you want to live a long, healthy, productive life, learn to love what you do and do what you love.

To The Rescue

In recent years it’s been discovered that grape juice, pomegranate juice, and vitamin MK-7 (one of the vitamin Ks), actually do remove calcification from the arteries, with Green Tea, Resveratrol, Folate, and Magnesium being credited for “an assist.” (You can support our work by ordering these from our affiliate program at Swanson’s Health. We love the Triple Magnesium Complex.)

It’s pomegranate juice that has really come into the spotlight lately, most likely because nothing succeeds like success. In study after study pomegranate juice just stands out in its ability to help prevent and even reverse atherosclerosis. You know it must be good when WebMD posts something about it.

Grape juice is not a close second, but when you realize that it’s what’s in grape juice that you can find in concentrated form, well then you’ve got your second place finisher. Resveratrol is the anti-aging winner. Studies abound showing how it helps reverse aging. Here is a Google Link showing how profitable marketing resveratrol is presently.

However, what we’ve learned since first discovering resveratrol is that it works best when combined with quercetin, and the best form is a combination of resveratrol and his bigger, stronger brother pterostilbene

Next we need to examine MK-7, and we can do this best by presenting a paragraph from our article on strokes

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.

In a study entitled A Review of the Effect of Diet on Cardiovascular Calcification, we were not surprised to find that researchers recommend avoiding Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) since 1. most forms are synthetic, and 2. vitamin E is a complex consisting of mixed tocopherols and mixed tocotrienols. 

However, we would be remiss not to include CoQ10 or Ubiquinol before we leave here. It’s an antioxidant that keeps your oxidized fats off your arteries, assists the heart in so many ways, and feeds every cell in our bodies at the most basic functions of energy production. And if you are over 60, you are going to need to rebuild those factories

And finally, how about a heat healthy salad? Let your food be your medicine. We’ve designed a tasty vinaigrette that does everything you can think of all the supplements in the world will do, and in a great salad (where you’ll get your folate). It’s our Blueberry, Pomegranate, Beet, and Mangosteen Vinaigrette. It’s delicious. 

One Final Solution for Atherosclerosis

Here we have a sad story to tell. We could have placed this anywhere in our discussion on atherosclerosis, but we saved it for last.

During our research we came across a Dr Cerda in Florida who was doing some studies using pigs and grapefruit pectin. As we stated earlier, pectin helps to lower cholesterol. Well, drugs help to lower cholesterol also, but drugs do nothing to reverse atherosclerotic plaque. It seems that grapefruit pectin does help reverse it.

We began a conversation with Dr Cerda over a two-year period. We’d call, get an update, ask a few questions, and then write up our notes.

In the middle of these interviews, Dr Cerda died. He became one more casualty of Desert Storm. It seems he picked up a blood-borne illness while there. No one, including his secretary, knew how sick this young doctor was. In January of 2001, the war took his life.

We got a kick out of our calls to Dr Cerda. His experiments were of a nature that went against everything we had learned, but we went along with him just to hear about his results. He fed pigs a diet high in animal fats (pigs have tastes in food that come very close to ours, and would love to be invited to our barbecues with ribs and steaks and burgers and potatoes and corn, and all the fixings). Dr Cerda’s studies were based upon the idea that a diet high in animal fat produced high cholesterol levels which lead to atherosclerotic plaque build up. He told us he also had to add a lot of junk food to their diets too, which then seemed to us the reason they finally developed high cholesterol and atherosclerosis: the partially hydrogenated oils and rancid fats in bakery goods.

Note: We’ve had high animal fat and high animal protein diets in America for years, but it wasn’t till WWII that we began seeing our heart disease rates climb significantly (when margarine was first substituted for butter). The only connection between a high fat/protein diet and heart disease would be coincidental; an individual with that diet is probably not getting the vitamins and minerals needed to prevent pitting of the arteries (vitamin C and bioflavonoids).

First Dr Cerda developed a diet that produced high cholesterol in pigs and then produced oxidized cholesterol on their arteries. Then in 1994 he discovered a very inexpensive substance that not only lowered their cholesterol but also removed the plaque from their arteries. Here are the results:

  • A nearly 30% drop in cholesterol compared to the control group
  • An 85% decrease in plaque formation on the aortas
  • An 88% decrease in the narrowing of the coronary arteries

This was an amazing finding when you realize that he was using grapefruit pectin alone to get these figures. Pectin is fiber, and it has been known for a while to reduce cholesterol. However it was assumed that, like most fibers, it bound with your cholesterol and passed it on through the digestive system. Apparently there is something else going on here to produce a decrease in plaque and a widening of the coronary arteries.

During the period of our conversations, Dr Cerda helped to create a company that produces a product made from his research as well as research of others. The product is called ProFibe™.  We found it at Swanson’s online. Be careful when starting a diet high in fiber as it will loosen your stools.

>