Vascular Damage is the Problem Not Cholesterol
More than 60% of all heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels.
What is the rest of the story? What are we missing?
Cholesterol is one of your body’s basic building blocks.
Long Life - People with high cholesterol live the longest.
Prevent serious infections - Chol is assoc w/ a stronger immune system
Protection from cancer? Lowering Cholesterol tripled cancer in a study published this summer
Hormone Production - You need it to make most hormones and you therefore weaken the body by depleting hormones and also deprive the body of the
Build & repair cell membranes,
preserve your nerve cells through the formation of the protective “sheaths” that cover them and make
vitamin D which plays a key role in immune system function
Starving your body of this critical substance will lead to other health problems.
We already know that extremely low cholesterol levels result in muscle weakness, fatigue, depression, decreased sex drive, and “brain fog.”
LPa = LipoProtein with an adhesive!
What causes Lipoprotein(a) to go up? Sugars, starches, lack of omega 3 – all of which increase inflammation which causes cell damage…..so Lipoprotein a comes along to patch things.
Think of high LPa as a marker for inflammation and poor nutrition rather than the enemy
LPa is not typically measured in labs. If your Triglyceride/HDL ratio is less than 2.0 you have minimal amounts of LPa. If your ratio is above 2.0, you should be decreasing your intake of sugars and starches and increasing your fish oil intake.
FOUR MAJOR CAUSES OF VASCULAR DAMAGE
1. Tap Water
2. SAD Diet (standart american diet)
- Low fruit/veg intake
- Low omega 3 intake
- Trans Fatty Acids
- Sugars and Starches
- Fast food
3. Low Thyroid & Thyroid Busters: tap water (fluoride and perchlorates), low thyroid, xenoestrogens
4. Vitamin deficiency – Especially C & E
Dangers of Chlorine
Chlorine is a well known and extremely strong household disinfectant.
Chlorine is used to bleach wood pulp in paper mills. It is also used to bleach paper Chlorine was used as a chemical weapon in World War I -it was known as mustard gas. Medical Experts on Chlorine Causing Cancer and Heart Disease:"We are quite convinced, based on this study, that there is an association between cancer and chlorinated water." - Medical College Of Wisconsin research teamDr. Robert Carlson, a highly respected University of Minnesota researcher who’s work is sponsored by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, sums it up by claiming , “chlorine is the greatest crippler and killer of modern times!”According to the U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”Dr. Joseph Price, a medical doctor, wrote a fascinating book in the late 1960's entitled, Coronaries/Cholesterol/Chlorine. He states, "The basic cause of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and most forms of strokes is chlorine. The chlorine contained in processed water."Dr. Joseph Price did a series of animal experiments on chickens. Within a few months, 95% of the chickens drinking chlorinated water developed atherosclerosis. To retest these results, Dr. Price divided the original control group into two groups, conducted the exact same experiment and obtained the exact same results.Both chickens and pigeons are excellent laboratory models in the study of atherosclerosis in humans. Recently, Richard Bull of the Environmental Protection Agency studied the effects of chlorinated water on pigeons. His findings support Dr. Price's research and go a step further. Interestingly Bull found pigeons given chlorinated water with diets low in calcium had serum cholesterol levels 50% greater than the unchlorinated group.
Chlorine causes excess free radicals. Free radicals lead to cell damage. Once the cells are damaged, we see an elevation in serum cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis and plaque formation. Chlorine can cause all these problems related to heart disease and can also be a cause of cancer. It is not just what we drink One of the most shocking components to all of these studies is that up to 2/3 of our harmful exposure to chlorine is due to inhalation of steam and skin absorption while showering. A warm shower opens up the pores of the skin and allows for accelerated absorption of chlorine and other chemicals in water. The steam we inhale while showering can contain up to 50 times the level of chemicals than tap water due to the fact that chlorine and most other contaminants vaporize much faster and at a lower temperature than water. Inhalation is a much more harmful means of exposure since the chlorine gas (chloroform) we inhale goes directly into our blood stream. When we drink contaminated water the toxins are partially filtered out by our kidneys and digestive system. Asthma and BronchitisChlorine vapors are known to be a strong irritant to the sensitive tissue and bronchial passages inside our lungs, it was used as a chemical weapon in World War II. The inhalation of chlorine is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children… which has increased 300% in the last two decades. “Showering is suspected as the primary cause of elevated levels of chloroform in nearly every home because of chlorine in the water.” Dr Lance Wallace, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Skin Health Chlorine in shower water also has a very negative cosmetic effect, robbing our skin and hair of moisture and elasticity, resulting in a less vibrant and youthful appearance. Everyone knows what a chlorinated pool can do to the skin and hair. What’s surprising is that we commonly find higher levels of chlorine in our tap water than is recommended safe for swimming pools.Dr Z Rona MD MSc "Most people never give it a thought. After all, our elected public officials keep assuring us that chlorinated city tap water is completely safe for human consumption. Numerous scientific studies report that chlorinated tap water is a skin irritant and can be associated with rashes like eczema. .Killing Off the Good Bacteria & Promoting Yeast OvergrowthChlorinated water destroys much of the intestinal flora, the friendly bacteria that help in the digestion of food and which protects the body from harmful pathogens. The killing of the good bacteria allows pathogenic bacteria and yeast to overgrow even in the absence of taking antibiotics. These normal bacteria in our GI tract are also responsible for the manufacture of several important vitamins like vitamin B12 and vitamin K. It is not uncommon for chronic skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, seborrhea and eczema to clear up or to be significantly improved by switching to unchlorinated drinking water and supplementing the diet with lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus.
Recommendations1. Aquasana has several good units for filtering out the chlorine and you can find information at: http://www.aquasana.com/catalog.cfm This has won best buy from consumers digest.
2. AMAC Al & Sue McDonald distribute Mountain Valley Spring Water (what we use at the Hotze Health and Wellness Center) and have household units for removing chlorine and VOC’s. You can reach them at 713-937-8630 or http://www.amacwater.com/
3. http://www.aehf.com/ 800/428-AEHF, fax 214/361-2534 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hypothyroidism and Heart Disease
Broda Barnes carefully compared the rate at which heart disease was seen among his patients with the prevailing rates of heart disease Among 1,569 patients that he followed for 8,824 patient-years, only 4 new cases of CHD were observed (Barnes noted they were only taking 2 grains a day and wondered if the dose was too low). This is a staggering 94% reduction in the expected incidence of the disease.
Atherosclerosis – coronary artery disease and its associated complications are the most serious side effects of an underactive thyroid. Unfortunately, Broda Barnes work was largely ignored. Some tried using Armour but often ignored the need to start at low doses and in the physicians hast in starting at too high a dose caused problems. Barnes had recommended starting with ¼ grain tabs after a heart attack.
In Russia, experiments with rabbits showed that while feeding cholesterol alone increased heart disease in rabbits, adding thyroid neutralized this effect. Sadly, the medical community latched onto the cholesterol theory and ignored the important role that hypothyroidism plays in producing heart disease.
In 1971, Dr. James C. Wren reported an extensive five year study with 347 patients with cardiovascular disease. All were treated with thyroid and saw a 44% lower death rate in his thyroid treatment group than expected.
Additional Research includes:
1. Subclinical hypothyroidism is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction in elderly women: the Rotterdam Study Ann Intern Med. 2003 Nov 18;139(10):866
The risk of heart attack was 2.3 times those without hypothyroidism. Associations were slightly stronger in women who had subclinical hypothyroidism and antibodies to thyroid peroxidase with an odds ratio for myocardial infarction of 3.1.
The results of this epidemiological study suggest that subclinical hypothyroidism is a strong risk factor for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction in elderly women. Moreover, although hypothyroidism is known to increase serum cholesterol levels, the association between thyroid function and cardiovascular disease found in this study was independent of cholesterol levels.
2. Ann Intern Med 1999; 131(5):348-51 showed a connection between low thyroid and increased homocysteine which is strongly associated with heart disease (more below).
4. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165:2467-2472 demonstrated hypothyroidism was associated with an increased risk of congestive heart failure (hazard ratio of 2.3) Walsh JP et al. Subclinical Thyroid Dysfunction as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease.
What is the relationship between the thyroid and heart attacks? Why does low thyroid adversely effect thyroid function?
A few key concepts emerge as we look at the effect of low thyroid function on the heart:
Research over the past forty years has clearly shown a direct relationship between heart attacks and sluggish thyroid function:
Studies have shown that low thyroid levels causes a glue-like substance called mucin (mucopolysaccharides) to accumulate causing a cascade of biochemical changes leading to a degeneration of the arteries. Other studies have shown that the removal of the thyroid gland soon leads to atherosclerosis.
Researchers have discovered that mucin can even develop in children who have insufficient thyroid function. They found out that as long as thyroid is administered, the tissue would be normal. But if thyroid therapy was stopped, mucin rose rapidly. If thyroid therapy was begun again, the mucin content returned to normal. Therefore, one of the many preventive measures that can be done to prevent the possibility of heart attacks is to ensure the proper amount of thyroid is in the body.
The Thyroid/Homocysteine Connection
Studies continue to establish stronger links between even moderately elevated blood levels of homocysteine and heart disease. In the 1992 Physicians' Health Study, men with very high homocysteine levels had a risk of heart attack three times that of men with normal homocysteine levels. In fact, an elevated homocysteine level was such a dominant factor that it indicated increased risk even in the men who had no other cardiovascular risk factors.
Because of the importance of homocysteine levels as a heart attack risk factor, efforts have thus far concentrated on lowering high levels through any means possible. And up until now, the only consistently successful approach has been to increase the intake of the B vitamins especially folate, B6 and B12. However, new research indicates that simply lowering homocysteine levels in this manner may be masking a more serious underlying problem, the one that's causing the elevated levels in the first place. This bigger problem is an underactive thyroid.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio have released new findings showing that correcting an underactive thyroid gland normalizes elevated homocysteine levels in the blood. Even more amazing is that the researchers were able to normalize homocysteine levels without having to administer any of the B vitamins. In other words, correcting the thyroid problem in turn corrected the vitamin deficiency. (Ann Intern Med 99;131(5):348-51)
This newly discovered link between hypothyroidism and heart disease supports the decades-old research of Dr. Broda Barnes. Dr. Barnes published the book, Solved: The Riddle of Heart Attacks, back in 1976.
Low thyroid function à decreased antioxidant production à vascular lesions à scar (plaque) formation àeventual artery blockage à heart attack or stroke ( "brain attack," as it is now called), or gangrene, or any set of symptoms caused, or contributed to, by decreased blood flow to organs.
Causes of Hypothyroidism
Genetics would be one because typically we live with hypothyroidism long enough to have children.
Xenoestrogens: estrogen dominance is caused by petrochemicals, fuel exhaust we breath, estrogenic hormones in meat and chickens, plastics, propylene glycol, sodium laurel sulphate in ointments, herbicides and pesticides. These potent estrogenic substances block the production of thyroid hormone and greatly magnify the incidence of estrogen dependent cancers. All males and females in developed nations have estrogen dominance.
Mercury released from our dental amalgams is toxic to the thyroid gland.
Fluoride in our water directly interferes with thyroid function.
Selenium deficiency is related to lack of trace minerals in our soil.
Lack of iodine in our soil and diet
Diagnostic x-rays injure the thyroid gland (dental, neck, spine).
Perchlorates widely found in drinking water inhibit the production of thyroid hormone by blocking the reuptake of iodine
In the light of these common issues it is remarkable that anyone has normal thyroid function.
Vitamins for Heart Health
KEEPING YOUR HEART HEALTHY - What You Can Do Right Now
- Suspect hypothyroidism and get it Treated with Armour. Test your basal body temperature first thing in the morning to see if your thyroid function is lower than normal ( 97.8 - 98.2 degrees is normal)
- Add Iodine (Iodoral) and Selenium
- Never drink tap water – avoid fluoride and chlorine
- Eat Organic
- Do not heat things in plastic
- Avoid Pesticides, Herbicides & Plastics
- Remove chlorine from drinking and bathing water
- Optimize Vitamin D
- Eat less refined carbs - cookies, white bread, and even fruit juice.
- Eat 9+ servings of vegetables and fruit
- Multivitamin with B-vitamins and Selenium (i.e. Power Pak) 1-2 /d
- Vitamin C, L-Lysine and L-Proline (Dr. Hotze Cardio Powder)
- Exercise (Interval training and not just “cardio”)
- Eliminate Trans fats and partially hydrogenated fats - eliminate corn oil and margarine. Use olive & coconut oil and butter instead.
- Eat natural fats from free-range or grass-fed animals, eggs, nuts and olive or coconut oil.
- Add Fish Oil Cardiovascular disease prevention: According to one analysis, consuming dietary fish oil or taking fish oil supplements is associated with a 23% reduction in overall mortality and a 32% reduction in death from cardiovascular causes in people with or without cardiovascular disease. This is much better than the most optimistic results with statin drugs and does not have the numerous complications of statins!
Avoid statins The Journal of the American College of Cardiology cancer (Alsheikh-Ali, A. A. et al. J Am Coll Cardiol 2007; 50:409-418)
Researchers at the Tufts University School of Medicine found that when statins were used to lower the cholesterol levels, the lower the cholesterol lowering the higher the risk of developing new cancer. Alarmingly, statin induced cholesterol reduction was associated with triple the incidence of cancer. Previous studies have shown the increase in cancer as well, the PROSPER trial showed statin use was associated with an increase in breast cancer by a factor of 15. In this recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology study, no single form of cancer predominated. The implication is that if there is a side-effect of having a very low level of LDL, it would likely apply to all types of cancer.