1 Edited by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. April 2006 Vol. 3, No. 4 Quick Facts Almost 1,000,000 heart attack deaths in U.S. ...
Blaylock Wellness Report Living a Long Healthy Life
Edited by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. Vol. 3, No. 4
Quick Facts •A lmost 1,000,000 heart attack deaths in U.S. annually •S tatin drugs not stopping rising heart attack rate •N utrition best way to fight heart disease • I nflammation main cause of atherosclerosis •A therosclerosis experiments deeply flawed •B elly fat produces chemicals that generate heart attack, stroke • Not all cholesterol is bad •O nly oxidized cholesterol produces atherosclerosis •M agnesium deficiency accelerates hardening of arteries •7 5% of Americans are magnesium-deficient — 50% severely PLUS: Blaylock’s Natural Atherosclerosis-Fighting Substances AND: Ask Dr. Blaylock (Reader Questions)
Prevent a Heart Attack: The Truth About Coronary Disease, Cholesterol Medication — and How to Truly Protect Yourself The United States is currently being ravaged by an epidemic of cardiovascular disease. Heart attacks kill almost a million Americans a year — and that doesn’t count the poor souls who die from strokes (more than 160,000 in 2002). The latest data shows that over 64 million Americans suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease — and 39 million of them are age 65 or younger. Sadly, more and more men in their 20s and 30s are dying from what used to be a disease of the elderly. In the face of this onslaught, mainstream medical practitioners have touted the “miraculous” capabilities of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and urged their widespread use. And while over the past decade doctors have prescribed these costly medications to millions of Americans, the death rate from heart attacks and strokes has hardly been lowered. So what gives? The problem is that everyone has been sold a bill of goods. Elevated cholesterol levels, in and of themselves, do not cause heart attacks and strokes. In this month’s newsletter I will carefully explain why this is true and what is actually at the root of the heart disease epidemic. I will also describe some simple nutritional measures you can take to dramatically reduce your risk of ever falling victim to heart disease. By carefully reading this newsletter, you will come to see that the countless studies performed by so-called “experts” do not prove their claims. You will discover that an elevated cholesterol level is merely one of several factors linked to cardiovascular disease — and it is certainly not the most important one. And though it might shock you, you will find that the experts’ own studies — when read critically — actually demonstrate this! The bottom line: The only reason people are taking dangerous statin drugs is because they are too frightened by their doctors and the media not to. Sadly, fear blocks logical thought. And let’s not
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forget that some people are making boatloads of money by selling these costly drugs.
hydrogenated vegetable oil as carriers of cholesterol, and all produced atherosclerosis in the animals.
Hopefully, this report can dispel the fear and help people use their common sense and reason to see through the lies.
These are the same oils that were heavily promoted by the media, medical experts and the government for the past 70 years as a way to prevent heart attacks and strokes!
The Origins of Atherosclerosis Today, most people think of atherosclerosis as hardening of the arteries. The cholesterol theory of atherosclerosis came about around the mid-1930s. But long before that, in 1850, one of the great men of medicine, Dr. Rudolph Virchow, wrote a book called “Cellular Pathology.” In it, he described the earliest stages of atherosclerosis and found “inflammation of the inner arterial lining to be the starting point of socalled atheromatous degeneration.” Similarly, several researchers in the 1950s identified severe inflammation as an early event in the development of atherosclerosis. But, as has often occurred in medical history, the truth was buried by another idea. There were twin findings: doctors discovered both cholesterol in the walls of arteries and elevations of cholesterol in the blood, suggesting a dietary cause — and the latter finding took center stage. Researchers found that rabbits developed atherosclerosis just like humans, and they did so more readily when fed high-cholesterol diets. I looked up a number of these old studies and was surprised to find that in virtually all of them, the investigators fed the rabbits with cholesterol that had been dissolved in corn oil or oils containing trans fatty acids (partially hydrogenated oils.) Even low doses of cholesterol-enriched corn oil and especially partially hydrogenated oils caused atherosclerosis in the rabbits. In fact, in one study, they fed the animals the same amount of corn oil people normally consume, along with a small amount of cholesterol (1%). The rabbits on this “people diet” developed rampant atherosclerosis.
Recent studies have confirmed that these “hearthealthy” vegetable oils are in fact a huge promoter of atherosclerosis — and to a much greater degree when inflammation is present. Only God knows how many have died or been left crippled as a result — most likely tens of millions. And the vegetable oils were almost certainly the major cause of the atherosclerosis in the rabbit studies, though the researchers at the time did not understand that. So why do vegetable oils promote atherosclerosis? Because they are polyunsaturated, they are powerful generators of inflammation and free radicals. In fact, when God made corn oil, he added vitamin E to prevent this — but manufacturers, in all their wisdom, removed that vitamin E. What about the hydrogenated vegetable oils? They are the prime source for trans fatty acids, which cause inflammation and therefore spur rampant atherosclerosis. In fact, they are even worse than pure vegetable oils. In these studies, even very small amounts of cholesterol could trigger atherosclerosis if mixed with these harmful vegetable oils. It is impossible to remove all cholesterol from one's diet.
Don’t Blame Cholesterol The correlation between cholesterol levels and heart attack and stroke risk has been the main support for the dietary cholesterol theory. For example, these figures demonstrate that having a cholesterol level greater than 260 mg/ dl boosts heart attack risk to four times that of a person with a 220 mg/dl level. But other studies betray this error in mainstream thinking.
The weakness in these studies is that, as we now know, corn oil and other trans fatty acid-containing vegetables oils themselves produce atherosclerosis without additional cholesterol.
First, we have known for over a decade that 50% of people who have a heart attack do not have elevated cholesterol levels. But until recently, this was kept secret from the public and practicing doctors, and many still remain in the dark about it.
Incredibly, all of these studies of cholesterol utilized either vegetable oils or partially
Second, for several decades, studies have shown that non-statin cholesterol-lowering drugs — even
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those that lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” one) — do not reduce heart attack rates or deaths at all. For example, a 1995 study pooled all the data from the best of 11 of large studies on heart attack risk (known as a meta-analysis) and looked at the use of non-statin cholesterol-lowering medications. The medications in question, unlike statins, not only lower cholesterol but also raise the protective HDL cholesterol — something statins do not do to any significant extent. Yet the study found no connection between the use of these drugs and a reduction in heart attack risk.
‘Elevated cholesterol levels, in and of themselves, do not cause heart attacks and strokes.’ If we look at three of the studies most commonly cited by proponents of statin use — the WOSCOPS study, the CARE study and the LIPID study we see some curious things. The WOSCOPS study did not include anyone who entered the study with a history of vascular disease of any type. The other two included people with existing vascular disease such as heart attacks, strokes, etc. All three studies involved an equal number of people of the same mean age and followed them for five years. In all studies, pravastatin was used as the test statin drug. In the stroke-death study, more people died who took the statin drug than the placebo. But this is never mentioned in the body of the paper. Most importantly, the level of the person’s LDL cholesterol at the beginning of the study had nothing to do with the risk of coronary heart disease. Now if LDL was so important, as they claim, then the best results should have been in those starting out with the highest LDL. In the WOSCOPS study researchers divided the people up into 5 groups according to their LDL cholesterol level — group 1 had the lowest and group 5 had the highest level. Ironically, those people with the highest LDL level wound up with no better results than those with lower levels. This indicated that the reduction of LDL cholesterol by the statin drug did not predict a person’s risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). The researchers admitted this in their paper, but amazingly, most doctors still don’t know about this conclusion.
The researchers also found that for two groups of people with the same LDL cholesterol level, those who took the statins had a lower risk of CHD. Neither the HDL nor triglyceride levels appeared to affect risk level, either. But this doesn’t make sense if high LDL cholesterol is the cause of cardiovascular disease. Later we will discuss the secret of statin effects on risk — and it has little or nothing to do with cholesterol levels. The ironic thing about these three key studies is that the highest cholesterol levels, including LDL cholesterol levels, were dramatically higher in those with the lowest incidence of heart attacks and strokes (those in the WOSCOPS study), and this was despite the fact that over 80% of those in the CARE and LIPID studies were taking aspirin during the study. Only 2.9% of those in the WOSCOPS study were taking aspirin, which not only thins the blood but also lowers cholesterol levels. If elevated cholesterol were the culprit, then those in the WOSCOP study experiencing the greatest drop in LDL cholesterol should have responded best to statins. They would also be expected to have the highest rates of atherosclerosis sis-related stroke problems among patients not on the statin drug. However, neither happened. In fact, the lowest stroke rates were in the WOSCOPS people, who had the highest mean LDL cholesterol and highest mean total cholesterol. The protective effects of statin drugs did not correlate with lowering cholesterol — even the LDL variety. (The mean level for WOSCOPS subjects was 271.8 mg/dl whereas those in the CARE study had a 208.5 mg/dl level and the LIPID study a 218.7 mg/ dl level. The mean LDL cholesterol was 191.9 mg/dl in the WOSCOPS study people — 138.6 mg/dl in the CARE and 150 mg/dl in the LIPID study) The authors of the paper stated it this way: “No clear overall benefits attributable to pravastatin.” Now, if pravastatin does not substantially reduce risk in those with the worst cholesterol levels, why take them? They go on to state that if they combined all the results from the three studies they found a 20% reduction in heart attack risk. Buried in this study is the fact that the best results were seen in those with advanced atherosclerosis, which also had the most
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Inflammation at the Heart of Atherosclerosis There is compelling and overwhelming evidence to suggest that inflammation is seen in every case of heart attack and stroke and is the fundamental cause of atherosclerosis. Cell-based experiments and studies on both humans and animals all confirm this — and the evidence is growing. One recent study stated it this way: Inflammation plays a central role at every stage of atherosclerosis, from beginning to end. And the greater the inflammation, the more rapidly it advances. An analysis of the participants in the WOSCOPS study was published in the 2002 issue of Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. It found that CRP (C-Reactive Protein) readings, which can be used to measure a person’s level of inflammation, were higher at baseline in men who eventually developed coronary heart disease. This was confirmed by a number of other studies involving tens of thousands of people. For example, the Physicians’ Health Study determined that levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6 were higher in those who eventually suffered a heart attack than in those who did not. The IL-6 level is closely linked to that of CRP, a substance that plays a role in IL-6 generation. IL-6 has been found to be elevated in patients suffering from heart failure and stroke. It is also higher in the elderly. In fact, a survey of 100-year-olds found that those who had heart disease had the highest levels of CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α (another inflammatory cytokine). They also had the worst deterioration of intellectual function. More evidence of the link between atherosclerosis and inflammation is provided by ACE inhibitors. These drugs dramatically slash risk of developing atherosclerosis, yet they do not lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or triglycerides. ACE inhibitors do, however, reduce inflammation in arteries. Looking at all the accumulated evidence, we see that everything that cuts the risk of heart attack and stroke also reduces inflammation — and that includes statins. For almost a decade, we have known that these
drugs reduce inflammation. But they also lower CRP levels and suppress immunity, and several atherosclerosis experts have concluded that this may be the primary way statins get their modest results — not by actually lowering cholesterol. Yet doctors use cholesterol levels to determine the need for a statin drug. It has been documented that African-Americans have the highest heart attack and stroke rates in the United States. But ironically, compared to white people, they also have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, significantly higher protective HDL cholesterol levels and the same LDL cholesterol levels. If the cholesterol theory is true, they should have the lowest rates of heart attacks and strokes, and in fact, no black person should gain any significant benefit from a statin drug. What we do know is that black people have the highest CRP levels, insulin resistance, diabetes rates and hypertension — and their lipoprotein A [Lp(a)] levels are two times higher than those of white people. Lp(a) is a special blood lipid commonly linked to a high rate of atherosclerosis. It is independent of cholesterol levels and is related to inflammation in arteries. Statins have no effect on Lp(a), which has been shown to enhance inflammation and promote thrombosis (clotting of blood). It is the thrombosis that actually causes the heart attack and stroke, and all inflammation promotes thrombosis. So the question is: How does all this relate to atherosclerosis?
Belly Fat and Atherosclerosis One of the mysteries still to be completely solved is what causes the inflammation that appears to be at the root of atherosclerosis. In my recent report “Sleeper Germs: Hidden Infections and Their Link to Disease,” I alluded to ways viruses, certain bacteria and mysterious viroids could cause inflammation of blood vessel walls, leading to atherosclerosis. And it may be even simpler than that. Many studies have shown that inside your abdomen (belly) there are special fat cells, called visceral fat, that have some unusual properties. This fat is located around your intestines and is not the fat under the skin. These special fat cells
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can secrete a number of powerful inflammatory chemicals — cytokines, C-reactive protein, chemokines and leptin — that can result in: insulin resistance (leading to type-2 diabetes), hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis. As I have mentioned before, this combination is now referred to as the metabolic syndrome. It is estimated that 95 million Americans suffer from insulin resistance, 18.2 million are fully diabetic, 14.5 million are pre-diabetic and 50 million have hypertension. Even more shocking, 130.8 million Americans are overweight and 62 million are clinically obese. We now understand that all these conditions are linked by visceral obesity — and hence inflammation. We now know that excess belly fat can cause hypertension, insulin resistance (type-2 diabetes), abnormal lipids (high LDL cholesterol, high total cholesterol and a low HDL cholesterol), sleep apnea and atherosclerosis. In fact, the high blood levels of triglycerides and LDLSD most associated with atherosclerosis are also linked to excessive amounts of leptin, the inflammatory cytokine found in visceral fat. High leptin levels can cause insulin resistance (type-2 diabetes), a condition closely associated with heart attack and stroke risk.
Inflammation is the fundamental cause of atherosclerosis, and abdominal fat is a major generator of inflammation. The three major studies (which involved 19,768 people) showed that those at the greatest risk for heart attack were overweight. It is important to appreciate that even non-obese people can have excess stomach fat. In studies measuring visceral fat using an UltraScan technique, researchers found a very strong correlation between the fat and vascular disease risk (heart attacks and strokes). One investigation, in which people were followed for 12 years, determined that of all the risk factors — including cholesterol levels — the visceral fat correlated best to coronary disease risk. But these various data have been ignored by proponents of statin drug treatments. Instead, these people focus primarily on the one link between coronary disease and high cholesterol, ignoring the other perhaps more important associations.
For example, in the Copenhagen Male Study, researchers found that high triglyceride levels go hand in hand with heart attack risk. However, in interpreting the study, the investigators did not take into account the fact that those people with high triglycerides were also less physically active, more obese and more often hypertensive — and more of them had type-2 diabetes. Instead, the researchers only focused on the link to triglycerides. In essence, with cardiovascular diseases, we are not seeing the results of high cholesterol but rather the ravages of disrupted metabolism due to chronic inflammation. The abnormal blood fats are spurred by the same thing that generates the atherosclerosis. They are the result — not the cause. The inflammation comes first and often begins in childhood. Autopsy studies have shown that even small children exhibit the beginnings of atherosclerosis and that by age 20 the condition is well on its way. This was confirmed by one such famous analysis during the Korean War in which a high percentage of young soldiers were found to have advanced atherosclerosis. Again, I emphasize that chronic inflammation can cause everything we see with atherosclerosis — abnormal blood lipids, increased thrombosis, high levels of free radicals and lipid peroxidation in the blood, low HDL cholesterol and high readings of oxidized LDL cholesterol.
The Truth About Cholesterol & Statins It is incorrect to say that cholesterol plays no part in the development of atherosclerosis. It’s just that it is wrong to attempt to lower cholesterol levels drastically or have people take
Natural Atherosclerosis Fighters • • • • • • • •
Magnesium Vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin E Quercetin Curcumin White Tea Fish Oils Ellagic Acid Folate, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6
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drugs because their cholesterol levels are out of whack. It is especially incorrect to ignore the real cause of atherosclerosis and allow millions to die needlessly when simple nutritional measures could prevent most of the deaths and disabilities.
to the widely accepted story, once in the wall of the blood vessel, special white blood cells called macrophages gobble up the LDL cholesterol — and this is what causes the fatty deposits in the artery. This is not true.
But the medical elite’s response is more nefarious than just ignoring effective nutritional measures — they are actually designing phony or poorly constructed studies to scare people away from them.
‘By using elevated cholesterol as the measure, they can include a lot of people who would not otherwise need treatment. If they limited their product to just people with the highest measure of inflammation, they would lose tens of millions of dollars in sales in this country alone.’
For example, the large 15,000-person ARIC study recently examined whether vitamins could reduce heart attack risks. But the investigators asked people only if they took vitamins — not which vitamins they took or what the doses were. Based on this poorly designed study, they concluded emphatically that vitamins were no help, and the media couldn’t wait to tell the public the phony bad news. Here is the truth. A number of animal and human studies have shown that if you prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, you are at no risk of atherosclerosis, no matter what your cholesterol level might be. Only oxidized cholesterol is related to atherosclerosis, and this is because oxidized LDL cholesterol can stimulate the immune system and generate an intense immune reaction — which in turn brings about inflammation. Studies have demonstrated that people with advanced atherosclerosis — or those who suffer heart attacks and strokes — have high levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. And one recent experiment showed why eating the wrong foods can exacerbate this. In a clinical study using volunteers, the investigators illustrated that high-fat foods rich in oxidized fats are absorbed by the blood and in turn oxidize LDL cholesterol. The worst of the oxidizing oils were the omega-6 types (which includes corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut and soybean oils). They actually oxidized cholesterol.
Studies have clearly shown that unoxidized LDL cholesterol will not enter the wall of a normal blood vessel. Special cells lining all blood vessels (these are called endothelial cells) prevent entry. If the endothelial cell is damaged, the LDL cholesterol can enter. But if the LDLSD cholesterol is not oxidized, little happens. In fact, the macrophage will not consume the fat unless it is oxidized. Once inside these macrophage cells, tremendous free-radical activity occurs, killing the fat-filled cells (called foam cells) and releasing this extremely caustic oxidized fat into the blood vessel wall. This, in turn, triggers a series of reactions that lead to atherosclerosis. The amount of crud (or plaque) that accumulates in an artery depends on the intensity of the immune attack. Severe, prolonged attacks produce serious cases of atherosclerosis. The blood vessel tries to protect itself by building a wall around this cauldron of immune and free radial activity. This barrier is composed of fibrous tissue (like that which makes up a scar). The thicker this wall, the safer you are.
Previously, I mentioned that of the LDL types, only the small-dense version is dangerous (LDLSD). This is because it is the easiest to oxidize. Once that process occurs, the immune system no longer recognizes it — and it subsequently attacks it.
For years, doctors were taught that heart attacks and strokes were caused by the gradual occlusion of blood vessels from this crud. It is known that over 80% of heart attacks occur with 70% or less blockage of the heart’s arteries. This level of occlusion (closure or obstruction of the artery) does not significantly reduce blood flow.
But your doctor has been told that atherosclerosis occurs because the small particle of LDL can easily enter the lining of the blood vessels. According
Studies of people experiencing heart attacks and strokes have shown that most have what are called “unstable plaques.” These have thin roofs
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and are subject to sudden rupture. When this toxic fat crud bursts out into the blood vessel, it triggers thrombosis and the blood vessel is clotted off. This is what we know as a heart attack or stroke. Anything that strengthens the plaque also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. There is evidence that statins help by doing just that. We know the plaque has a protective cap that is made up of collagen and things that dissolve collagen, such as Il-6, TNF-α, CRP and interferon-γ — all inflammatory cytokines that weaken the protective cap. These substances, along with free radicals, significantly weaken the cap by stimulating collagen-dissolving enzymes (known as matrix metalloproteinases, or MMPs). And this gives us some insight as to why heart attack and stroke risks are not directly linked to either total-cholesterol levels or LDL cholesterol levels. What matters is the degree of oxidation and inflammation — not the exact level of cholesterol. This is also why it is foolish for your doctor to insist that you take a dangerous statin drug when he finds an elevated cholesterol level — even an LDL cholesterol level. You should insist that your doctor determine your levels of C-Reactive Protein, Lp(a), homocysteine and fibrinogen. Most important is your CRP, because that measures your inflammation level. Often it is what the experts don’t tell you that is more important than what they do share with you. For example, in the CARE and LIPID studies, which involved mostly people with the worst cardiovascular disease, 75% were smokers and most were overweight. Of course, these are two conditions that produce rampant atherosclerosis, as they oxidize LDL cholesterol and other blood components (remnants, Lp(a), phosphotidylcholine, etc.) So why wouldn’t the researchers want you or your doctor to know about any of that? It’s because, outside of lipid remnants, statins have no effect on any of these substances whatsover. At this point you must be asking yourself: If they actually know all this, why wouldn’t the statin manufacturers just admit the truth and market and sell their drugs with the intent of reducing
inflammation? Well, it’s all about money. By using elevated cholesterol as the measure, they can include a lot of people who would not otherwise need treatment. If they limited their product to just people with the highest measure of inflammation, they would lose tens of millions of dollars in sales in this country alone. Remember, statin proponents are calling for all diabetics to use these drugs, regardless of cholesterol levels. They are also targeting all couch potatoes and obese individuals. In fact, now they even want to start screening children so they can be placed on the drug for the rest of their lifetimes.
Link: Low Magnesium and Atherosclerosis We have seen that the earliest event in atherosclerosis is inflammation of the blood vessel wall, which allows oxidized LDL cholesterol to enter the wall of the vessel and trigger further immune attacks. While we know that there are many things that can accelerate atherosclerosis — such as the introduction of lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, MSG, infections and trauma — one root condition is increasingly being uncovered: low magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency greatly enhances and enables the entry of oxidized LDL cholesterol into the walls of blood vessels. A tremendous amount of evidence points to a prolonged lowering of tissue magnesium as the root cause of most cases of atherosclerosis. Japanese scientists are the leaders in this area, but a variety of studies from labs all over the world have linked magnesium deficiency to atherosclerosis. Over thirty years ago, investigators noted that people who live in areas with soft water had higher incidences of heart attacks and strokes. Autopsy studies also show increased evidence of coronary artery disease in people from areas with soft water. In addition, low magnesium is a common finding among people who die of sudden cardiac failure — especially the young. Animal studies have shown that when you lower magnesium intake, blood lipid levels rapidly
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assume a profile associated with atherosclerosis — one that includes high total cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol. Studies have also shown that low magnesium levels lead to increased free radical production and lipid peroxidation, as well as elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines levels, all of which spurs the oxidation of LDL.
In contrast, animals given magnesium (to complement a potently atherogenic diet) develop significantly less atherosclerosis. This is true even in special genetically altered animals that normally develop severe atherosclerosis even on lowcholesterol diets. Adding magnesium to the diets of dialysis patients also dramatically lowers abnormal lipids in the blood and reduces cardiovascular risk.
Other studies have found a strong correlation between low magnesium levels and stroke risk. One in particular found that stroke risk was 3.29 times higher in people with the lowest magnesium levels.
Dramatically Reduce Risk of Heart Disease — Without Drugs
Tissue studies of atherosclerotic blood vessels found low magnesium levels. And patients with the most unstable angina and highest incidence of heart attacks had the lowest magnesium levels.
The key to preventing atherosclerosis and all its complications is to avoid red meats and increase your intake of healthy foods (fruits and vegetables), antioxidants and supplements known to reduce inflammation.
African-Americans have a significantly lower magnesium level than Caucasians, which may explain their high incidence of heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and diabetes. And diabetics have dramatically lower magnesium than nondiabetics.
These recommendations only include things known to powerfully inhibit atherosclerosis.
Recent studies have shown that magnesium deficiency can generate insulin resistance and high insulin levels. High insulin can then cause increased loss of magnesium. One study found a close correlation between low magnesium levels and the eventual development of diabetes. Magnesium deficiency may provide the link between diabetes, hypertension, abnormal blood lipids and risk of heart attack and stroke.
One particularly interesting study of 400,000 cows found that those fed grass never developed hardening of the arteries. But after they were given only magnesium-deficient feed, they developed rampant atherosclerosis. Milk-fed calves with low magnesium intake developed early and aggressive atherosclerosis. Many studies have shown that Americans — especially children — are magnesium-deficient. In fact, one large survey found that 75% of Americans get less of this vital mineral than they need, while about half are severely deficient. The elderly are especially lacking. Carbonated drinks, certain medicines (especially heart medicines, anti-hypertensives, birth-control pills and diabetes medications) and extreme exercise can all deplete magnesium.
Other nutrients will help as well. (I would also caution you to avoid iron, which increases atherosclerosis). Below are some of the most powerful protectants. Magnesium Citrate or Citrate/Malate
This is the most important of all nutrients for preventing atherosclerosis. It slightly thins the blood, dramatically reduces inflammation, improves blood flow and enhances energy. The dose is two capsules three times a day between meals. It is best if you empty them into a glass of distilled or filtered water and take them between meals on an empty stomach. At this dose, some may experience diarrhea. If this happens, cut back to two capsules a day and gradually increase over the next month. If you have heart block or kidney disease, consult your doctor before taking magnesium. Vegetables are high in this mineral but should be pureed in a blender to allow for maximum absorption of nutrients.
Vitamin C and Zinc (and Vitamin E)
A great deal of studies have shown that combining vitamins C and E can dramatically reduce heart attack and stroke risk — almost twice as much as statin drugs. You may have heard reports of recent studies in major medical journals that found a slightly increased mortality in people with advanced heart disease who took vitamin E. This is not surprising since vitamin E alone
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weakens the fibrous cap on the plaque I mentioned earlier, making it more unstable. Vitamin C (buffered) combined with zinc greatly strengthens the cap. In fact, one recent study found that this combination greatly reduced atherosclerosis in an experimental model.
contain vitamin E. Use only a pure product. I would recommend either Pure Encapsulation Products or Carlson Company. You can mix the curcumin and quercetin into them as well. Also mix 125 mg. of CoQ10 with a teaspoon of the oil to enhance absorption.
If you have a history of heart disease or stroke, you should take 1,000 mg. of buffered vitamin C three times a day, along with 50 mg. of zinc a day and 800 IU of natural-form vitamin E. They lower CRP levels.
This is one of the most commonly found flavonoids in edible plants and has been shown to lower levels of various blood fats while dramatically reducing atherosclerosis in major blood vessels. A recent study found a 3,500% reduction in atherosclerosis in animals givin the substance. It protects LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. Quercetin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-proliferative that prevents platelet stickiness and lowers CRP levels. It also reduces histamine release, making it excellent for the allergy season. Mix 500 mg. with fish oil and take twice to three times a day.
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that reduces cell adhesion in molecules and lowers the risk of thrombosis. In two recent studies, it lowered LDL cholesterol, reduced lipid peroxidation and significantly slashed atherosclerosis even in small concentrations. In one study it cut the levels of atherosclerosis lesions in half. It lowers CRP levels and has also been shown to stabilize the plaques.
Drink White Tea Twice a Day
White tea contains high levels of catechins and epicatechins — substances that suppress enzymes from atherosclerotic plaques that erode the cap. It also contains a number of powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
Fish oils contain special substances called DHA and EPA — both of which significantly reduce atherosclerosis by several mechanisms. (See my omega-3 newsletter). This oil is polyunsaturated, so it is vital to keep it refrigerated. Good brands
This is a flavonoid found in raspberries, walnuts and pomegranates. It has been found to be a powerful inhibitor of several cancers, and a recent study found that it dramatically reduces atherosclerosis in animals. The control animals had 45% of their aortic surfaces covered with atherosclerosis, but that was dramatically reduced to under 3% after treatment with ellagic acid. You can get it from (www.raspberrygold.com.) Take one tablet twice a day or sprinkle one teaspoon on your food twice a day.
Folate, B12 and B6
These three vitamins have been shown to significantly lower homocysteine levels, an independent risk factor. Homocysteine inflicts the most damaging effects on advanced atherosclerosis by making the plaque unstable. I recommend taking a multiple vitamin/mineral capsule such as Extend Core (www.vrp.com) three times a day. It also contains selenium, a critical antioxidant.
Conjugated Linolenic Acid (CLA)
This special oil has been used for weight reduction. It has been shown to reduce visceral fat efficiently and dramatically reduce atherosclerosis in animal tests. It also reversed pre-existing atherosclerosis. Studies in patients show a strong correlation between low CLA intake and coronary heart disease and strokes. To reduce visceral fat, take 2,000 mg. twice a day. Mix with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. You may feel a slight burning sensation if you use the liquid. The maintenance dose is 1,000 mg. a day.
Extracted from the waxy coating of sugar cane, this plant sterol has been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol, raise HDL cholesterol and reduce the inflammation in the atherosclerosis plaque (wall of the blood vessel). The dose is 20 mg. once a day. Higher doses add no greater effect. Continued on Next Page
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Ask Dr. Blaylock Attention Blaylock Readers: Dr. Blaylock welcomes any questions or comments you would like to share.
Dr. Russell Blaylock
Each month, he will select a few to be published and answered in the newsletter. Please e-mail the doctor at: [email protected]
Q: I am 64 and in good health. I work out in a gym three times a week, don’t smoke and drink moderately. My doctor wants to put me on a statin drug. My total cholesterol is 230, with HDL at 56 and LDL at 144. It’s the latter number that he is concerned with. How can one bring down the LDL? — Frank M., N. Palm Beach, Fl. A: The extensive research, based on both experimental and clinical studies, indicates that the most useful number is the ratio between triglycerides and HDL cholesterol levels. Levels below 2.6 are protective against heart attacks and strokes, while levels higher than 3 or 4 raise risk. Another good indicator is what we call the non-HDL level, which measures all the types associated with risk. Subtract the HDL value from your total cholesterol. If it is lower than 101 mg/dl, the risk is extremely small. Between 101 and 135 mg/dl, the risk rises 2.8 times, and if greater than 135 mg/dl, the risk is almost threefold higher. There is some evidence that triglyceride levels are an even better predictor of trouble than LDL, even when HDL levels are high. Lowering one's intake of carbohydrates, especially sweets, can bring down triglyceride levels. Policosanol, exercise and omega-3 oils (not flaxseed oil) also lower triglycerides. Also remember that there are two forms of LDL particles — a small, dense version that is associated with atherosclerosis and a larger form that may be as protective as HDL. And there are two forms of HDL — one that’s very protective and one that’s not.
I would never recommend a statin drug. Most important is a heavy intake of antioxidants, such as vitamins C, E, D3, magnesium, curcumin, quercetin — and eat a lot of vegetables. Red meats greatly increase risk because of the high iron levels. Q: Our 26-year-old daughter is expecting her first child. My husband and I are very excited and want to help her make the right decision about which vaccines she should or should not give the baby. We have been advised that the baby should get the DPT vaccine. But we have heard that it is one of the most controversial inoculations. What would you do if it were your child or grandchild? — Beverly D., via e-mail A: There is growing and extensive evidence that we are overvaccinating our children and that this is leading to chronic immune deficiencies, brain injury and a wide variety of medical problems. A recent study found that one in six children now has a neurodevelopmental problem. Of special concern are the HepB, MMR and DPT vaccines. The DPT vaccine is actually a combination of three vaccines. Of these, the only one that could in any way be justified is the pertussis vaccine. Only the acellular version should be used. Diptheria is of no real concern in this country, and most people who were vaccinated in childhood have no protection left in adulthood. The same applies to tetanus. Unless you live on a farm or deal with animals such as cows and goats, your risk is extremely small and the vaccine provides protection for only a few years at best. The big secret about pertussis is that most deaths in children occur before they are a year old, and the vaccine is never given at this age. Some parents choose to exercise their exemption rights. In my opinion, no child should be vaccinated before he or she is 2, as they are still experiencing a period of major brain development. See my newsletter “Vaccinations: The Hidden Dangers.” Q: In June of last year, I had neurosurgery to remove a meningioma. Since then I have been needing extreme amounts of rest. I
The Blaylock Wellness Report
also have brief feelings of depression and I become terrified of dying at these times. Can supplements help me? I am 70 years old and take 100 mg. of omega-3, 400 mg. of EPA and 200 mg. of DHA daily. I need help, as I don’t want to take the Zoloft my physician has recommended. — Anita, Afton, Tenn. A: Meningiomas are benign tumors, especially at your age. Recurrence is unlikely even if it was not totally removed. As for supplements, I would suggest immune stimulation with 250 mg. of beta 1,3/1,6glucan twice a day on an empty stomach for one week. I would also suggest 200 mg. a day of CoQ10 mixed with your omega-3 oil. Also add 500 mg. of curcumin to the oil in order to boost your energy. Consider taking three capsules a day of Extend Core mutlivitamin/mineral (www.vrp.com), 500 mg. of buffered vitamin C twice a day (on an empty stomach) and 400 IU of vitamin E (natural form) daily. Finally, take two magnesium citromate capsules twice a day. (WARNING: Be sure to consult you doctor before you follow these instructions.)
Q: In the Wellness Report you state that beta 1,3/1,6-glucan “enhances the type of immunity that clears the body of viruses and bacteria. But it should only be taken during infections (two to four weeks) and not for extended periods of time.” I have been taking one 500 mg. capsule of beta-glucan complex each day as part of my supplement program for over two years now. Have I unknowingly been doing harm to myself by greatly exceeding your recommended usage? — Brian R., Winston-Salem, N.C. A: Beta-glucan is a natural immune stimulant. It boosts cellular immunity, the system used against viruses, bacteria, fungi and cancer. The only real contraindication is related to autoimmune diseases. I suggest caution because many conditions are secondary to overactivation of the immune system — a point I have outlined in my newsletters. It is best to imitate the natural system — or boost immunity when you really need it — and then let it rest. In other words, you might wait until the first hint of illness to start the beta-glucan. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical or nutritional course of action.
About Dr. Blaylock Dr. Russell Blaylock edits NewsMax.com’s Blaylock Wellness Report. He is a nationally recognized boardcertified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his internship and neurosurgical residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C. For the past 26 years, he has practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional studies and research. Dr. Blaylock has authored three books on nutrition and wellness, including Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life and his most recent work, Natural Strategies for The Cancer Patient. An indemand guest for radio and television programs, he lectures
extensively to both lay and professional medical audiences on a variety of nutrition-related subjects. Dr. Blaylock is a member of the international board of the World Natural Health Organization. He is the 2004 recipient of the Integrity in Science Award granted by the Weston A. Price Foundation. Dr. Blaylock serves on the editorial staff of the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association and is the associate editor of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, official publication of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. He previously served as Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., and is currently a visiting professor of biology at the Belhaven College, also in Jackson.
PLEASE NOTE: All information presented in the Blaylock Wellness Report is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented in the Blaylock Wellness Report should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information found in Blaylock Wellness Report is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in Blaylock Wellness Report do not necessarily reflect those of NewsMax Media.
The Blaylock Wellness Report
★ ★ ★ PLUS ★ ★ ★ Exclusive to Current Subscribers As a new feature, all current subscribers have instant access to any and every past edition of the Blaylock Wellness Report Simply go here: http://www.newsmax.com/blaylockreports This month’s password is: woscop (Please remember to use lower-case letters.) Vaccinations: The Hidden Dangers .......................................................................................................... Issue 1 ..............July 2004 Save Your Brain: Protect Yourself From the Ravages of Alzheimer’s and Other Diseases .......... Issue 2............... Aug 2004 Cholesterol Drugs Are Dangerous............................................................................................................. Issue 3............... Sept 2006 Why Fluoride Is Toxic.................................................................................................................................. Issue 4................ Oct 2004 Heart Saver: Protect Yourself From Heart Attacks and Strokes.......................................................... Issue 5............... Nov 2004 Survive Your Hospital Visit . ..................................................................................................................... Issue 6............... Dec 2004 Health Exams That Can Save Your Life.................................................................................................... Issue 7............... Jan 2005 Prevent Cancer Before It’s Too Late Part 1.............................................................................................. Issue 8................. Feb 2005 Prevent Cancer Before It’s Too Late Part 2.............................................................................................. Issue 9............... Mar 2005 Omega-3: Nature’s Miracle Panacea.......................................................................................................... Issue 10............. Apr 2005 Autism: The Silent Enemy.......................................................................................................................... Issue 11............. May 2005 The Diabetes Solution................................................................................................................................. Issue 12........... June 2005 Eliminate Hypertension Forever! The Natural Approach to Curing High Blood Pressure............ Issue 13............ July 2005 The Fat Cure: Health Secrets to Losing Weight Permanently.............................................................. Issue 14............. Aug 2005 Extend Your Life: 4 Supplements That Will Help You Live Longer................................................... Issue 15............ Sept 2005 Stomach Health: Stop Acid Reflux, Prevent Cancer & Improve Your Life ..................................... Issue 16.............. Oct 2005 Better Digestion: Protect Your Intestines, Colon and Vital Organs from Disease and Cancer..... Issue 17............. Nov 2005 Stop Aging Naturally: Part 1...................................................................................................................... Issue 18............. Dec 2005 Keeping Young: Your Sex Life, Looks and Health!................................................................................ Issue 19............. Jan 2006 Sleeper Germs: Hidden Infections and Their Link to Disease............................................................ Issue 20.............. Feb 2006 Good Sleep: Stop Insomnia, Reduce Stress, Boost Your Total Health................................................ Issue 21............. Mar 2006
The Blaylock Wellness Report offers these informative reports on a variety of topics. They can be mailed to you for a charge of only $15 per report. For details, contact customer service at 800-485-4350. The Blaylock Wellness Report (#22) is a publication of NewsMax Media, Inc., and NewsMax.com. It is published monthly at a charge of $48.00 per year and is offered online and in print through NewsMax.com. Our editorial offices are located at 560 Village Boulevard, Ste. 120, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409. The owner, publisher and editor are not responsible for errors and omissions. Rights of reproduction and distribution of this newsletter are reserved. Any authorized reproduction or distribution of information contained herein, including storage and retrieval system posted on the Internet, is expressly forbidden without the consent of NewsMax Media.
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