A healthy happy heart is easy to maintain. Research update by Sue Visser 2009
Mainstream thinking has obscured the truth about heart health.
1 Cholesterol myths and statin drugs:
The widespread use of cholesterol lowering drugs to reduce the incidence of death from heart disease has helped many innocent people lose their minds. The side effects of taking professional sounding medications prescribed by "Doctor" are not always evident. How about: mental impairment and transient amnesia: people become forgetful – don’t we all? We blame it on our age or we get distracted. But do we ever read the fine print of package inserts and get to the cause of mental impairment that is being constantly generated by the use of statin-based drugs? Believe it or not, this serious condition termed: transient amnesia is directly linked to these medications. When people cannot find their way out of a shopping centre or are unable to drive home or go out to chop firewood; only to find they have already piled it up in the garage it is no laughing matter. It is not just a slip of the mind or a ‘blonde" moment. This is because these drugs deplete levels of co-enzyme Q10. Cells need it for energy production, brain function and to strengthen and stabilize the heart’s contractions.
According to ongoing research, it has been confirmed that the mentally impaired conditions clear up as soon as people discontinue their cholesterol lowering drugs. When IQ tests are done, people on statin drugs do not perform as well as control groups or as they did when not taking the drugs. We need to seriously question the role of lowering cholesterol as an attempt to control death by heart disease. At best, the drug companies claim they can reduce the incidence thereof by 1.4%. As if any of us can add a second to our lives?
Cat owners have the reputation of a 30% lower incidence of death by heart disease. Now that is a substantial amount, considering that the side effects do not affect your mental capabilities! People who have dogs are known to enjoy the benefits of lower blood pressure, companionship and more exercise. Heart medicine that is healthy and happy!
When it comes to protecting the heart; statin drugs do not lower blood pressure or prevent blood from clotting – so even more drugs are prescribed and this adds to the burden of side effects that can impair sexual function and lead to depression. To treat these conditions we can take even more drugs until our line-up of pills begins to get very costly indeed! Meanwhile, the initial cause of the elevated cholesterol is still largely misunderstood. So is syndrome X. It all boils down to the denatured foods like refined carbohydrates and sugar we consume in abundance – between medications.
Alternative methods like diet and supplementation could be investigated instead of risking the adverse side effects of drugs that cost a lot of money. How about getting more clued up on cholesterol and why the body needs it? Where does cholesterol come from and are high levels linked to heart disease?
We are told not to eat eggs, because they are high in cholesterol. Medical studies show that even eating 8 eggs a day does not add a single notch to your cholesterol count. The truth is that we make our own cholesterol and it performs a vital function. If a blood vessel becomes damaged, extra cholesterol is produced in order to repair the vascular epithelium or cell lining. In getting to the cause of such damage, we can blame homocysteine. This aggressive amino acid forms in excess when the breakdown of methionine from eating meat and protein leads to excess levels. The build up of cholesterol happens when we neglect our intake of vitamin B6. In other words, cholesterol levels rise in direct proportion to a vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency.
Now ask yourself: is it not easier to supplement with vitamin B6 and other key nutrients that are essential for a healthy heart and they also help to sharpen the mind? Why not tell this to your doctor. Also remind him that it is still not a proven fact that people with high cholesterol levels are more susceptible to heart disease. The fact is that just as many deaths occur in patients with very low cholesterol counts. It depends on the ratio of good = high density versus bad= low density cholesterol you have. When the low density cholesterol oxidizes, it causes damage. To prevent this from happening, you need to take antioxidants. The medical profession views vitamin supplementation as very expensive urine, but it is a small price to pay for a healthy happy heart!
The initial instigator of excessive cholesterol is due to a deficiency of the trace elements that control insulin function. Without chromium and its counterparts: zinc and vanadium, insulin resistance sets in. Even before high blood sugar levels are detected, blood pressure rises. Not many people know that high blood pressure heralds the syndrome X or the insulin resistant cavalcade of: high triglycerides (cholesterol), obesity, secondary diabetes and heart disease. Still, ‘Doctor" will try to tell you that sugar does not cause diabetes. Most will say that it runs in the family. (Yes, the family’s kitchen and tuck box!) Metformin is prescribed when blood sugar readings are too high. Instead of chrome, a blood pressure medication is prescribed. For the high cholesterol: statins. For the side effects? It is time to break the loop! About the author:
Sue Visser has been a health researcher for over 20 years. She contributes to radio talks, international broadcasts, health workshops and many publications as well as TV presentations. Sue is the product developer for nature Fresh Health Products. She runs a website to provide information and support to the public. As such, she consults with individuals with problems from all over the world. In most cases, such people seek natural ways to deal with their ailments as alternatives to taking drugs or having surgery. Her success rate with: Q&A with Sue is encouraging. www.naturefresh.co.zaDiet and supplementation for a healthy happy heart.
1 Vitamin B6 is the most important heart protector – here’s the proof! Long term studies of Vitamin B6 over the last 40years have concluded that a deficiency of this vitamin is the leading cause of heart disease. It is not hard to see why, when we suffer from a pandemic deficiency of this crucial micronutrient. At levels of 100mg and above, Vitamin B6 and especially the active form: pyridoxal phosphate (P5P) proves effective in:
a) It protects against heart attacks in acting as an antioxidant. Formerly it was only Vitamin C and E that did this.
b) It provides an anti-clotting function, even in the presence of smoking, alcohol and caffeine. (However, these substances deplete levels of B6, as do birth control pills, HRT and sugar.)
c) It helps to prevent cancer, to metabolise protein efficiently and to fight infections.
d) Vitamin B6 is a natural diuretic. It prevents water retention and oedema.
e) It relieves high levels of prolactin, the hormone responsible fro PMT, moodiness and a dopamine blockage.
f) A deficiency of Vitamin B6 and magnesium cause kidney stones.
How much Vitamin B6? The RDA is 2 mg – but to be effective, take a vitamin B complex supplement or multivitamin and top up with 25mg vitamin B6 tablets every 3 hours to make up to daily levels of 200mg. Remember that water soluble vitamins do not remain in the body for longer than 3 hours, to spread out your doses or take a time-released brand of vitamins. Can we rely on the diet to provide enough Vitamin B6 for optimal heart health? Well: you would need: 196 bananas or 120 cups of brown rice or 9kg of raw calf’s liver! Nevertheless, cut out refined starches and sugar that depletes your Vitamin B6. 2 Chrome deficiency and high blood pressure.
Chrome can be taken in a trivalent form and there are many good supplements available. Usually amounts of 200 mcg are recommended. To assist with the control of insulin regulation and to maintain a healthy heart, Olive leaf or Coleus Forskolii supplements are highly effective. A natural way to get more chrome is to add a few olive and guava leaves into your juicer with other greens: spinach, wheat or barley grass and a few dandelions. Do not add too many sweet fruits to the juice. Apple skins contain more chromium than the flesh. Pectin in apples cuts cholesterol. 3 Cholesterol management.
Cholesterol counts need to be understood. The HDL or high density lipids are essential to our health but so is the LDL or low density cholesterol, because we need it to produce steroid hormones like pregnenolone, DHEA and progesterone. It also is needed for cell membranes, bile acids, to repair and maintain the porosity of blood vessel linings and to make Vitamin D3. Could blocking cholesterol production with enzymes from a statin drug not be causing a breach of these vital functions? However, when LDL cholesterol is excessive we need to know why. It may not be coming from all the fat and meat you eat but from a diet dominant in refined carbohydrates. This explains why even vegetarians can have a cholesterol problem. Becoming insulin resistant means: instead of storing the glucose molecules, they remain in the bloodstream and float around as triglycerides: in other words cholesterol. There are many ways to maintain the correct cholesterol ratios. Start by cutting out refined starches and sugars and opting for more fibrous foods that absorb and help excrete cholesterol. The soluble fibre known as pectin, found in apples and beans and pulses is very effective. Eating 1 onion or a clove of garlic a day is another trick. 4 Magnesium, calcium, potassium.
Calcium prevents the deterioration of blood vessels and heart tissue. It strengthens the contraction of the heart muscle and works with potassium and magnesium to regulate the heartbeat. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and helps to keep blood pressure normal. Potassium is a key electrolyte, but it is easily displaced by excessive sodium. Both are needed and cutting out salt is not one of the most effective ways to lower blood pressure. Today, we know that natural salts that contain a lot of trace minerals can actually help regulate blood pressure. Good examples are: Himalayan salt and unrefined sea salt. We can all throw away our commercial table salt because it is sodium chloride – better for swimming pools and is a chemical that is damaging to the delicate balance of bodily saline fluids. To increase potassium levels, take a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a litre of your daily drinking water. Bitter blackstrap molasses is excellent. When your energy is flagging, have a tablespoon of it in a cup of hot water. It also relieves constipation. For more magnesium, go for the green leafy stuff. Anything with chlorophyll is rich in magnesium. Calcium supplements that contain magnesium should also include vitamin B6 as a deficiency of these minerals causes kidney stones. People with kidney stones are so deficient in alkalizing minerals that calcium is stripped from bone tissue in order to neutralize acidity. It is their own calcium that is contained in the kidney stones. 5 Omega 3 oil.
Take a fish oil supplement. Cod liver oil capsules are good value and also provide Vitamin A and D. Do not waste money on Omega 3-6 combinations. We get way too much Omega 6 oil in our diets and are 10x short of the Omega 3. 6 Antioxidants
Vitamin C and vitamin E help to prevent the oxidation of low density cholesterol. Vitamin E is a natural blood thinner. Now we also know that Vitamin B6 does all of this and a whole lot more! Fresh fruits and vegetables that are organically grown are rich in antioxidants but taking a general multivitamin daily helps to fill in the gaps. 7 Get rid of parasites and pathogens – they can cause of heart disease.
Infections can cause heart attacks. Sudden or unexplained heart attacks, even in healthy people are now being linked to infections like; Chlamydia, Helicobacter pylori (also causes stomach ulcers) and endotoxins – the ones that lurk around our teeth and gum area. For more information on how to get rid of them, a separate article called: parasites and pathogens and what to do about them is available on my website. 8 Keep up the testosterone.
Low testosterone levels are a more reliable indicator as a precursor to heart disease than a high cholesterol count. This does not mean that you have to take a hormone supplement. Rather investigate natural herbs that can boost your own production. The weed known as tribulus terrestris (dubbeltjie doring) raises levels both safely and effectively and is furthermore very good for prostate and urinary health. When there is adequate testosterone, then dopamine is abundant, helping you to become more forthright, active and confident in all areas. The supplement: l-arginine raises nitric oxide levels, helping one both in the heat area as well as further down. The use of infrared sauna lamps increases level of nitric oxide in the blood, both safely, and naturally. References:
1 Enough VitaminB6 reduces heart attacks by 70% by joseph G Hattersley Josephhattersley@aol.com (Townsend letter for Doctors and Patients. Aug/Sept 2004)
2 Heart Disease: new perspectives. By professor W J Serfontein, MSC, PHD. (Natural Medicine Magazine Feb/March 2007)