Resveratrol - 60 Minutes recently ran a piece about Resveratrol, a compound produced by certain plants (like red wine grapes) when they are under attack by bacteria or fungi. Some think resveratrol is the explanation for the French paradox, the observation that the French have a low incidence of heart disease, despite a diet rich in saturated fats. To explain the paradox, some researchers pointed to the relatively high red wine consumption of the French. As red wine studies progressed, researchers isolated a compound in grape skin called resveratrol.
Cholesterol levels not highly correlated with heart disease - Recent study indicates that the two most commonly used risk algorithms (based primarily on blood cholesterol levels) correlate poorly with heart disease. Lead author Dr. Kevin M. Johnson says the risk profiles based on Framingham score or the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) are "weak discriminator of the overall atherosclerotic plaque burden and may lead to over- or undertreatment of patients."
Johnson points out that the Framingham risk estimate is derived from epidemiologic observations. As other studies have shown, Framingham predicts the risk of a coronary event only 60% to 65% of the time. "....[T]here will be a lot of people who have a low Framingham risk who have a lot of atherosclerotic plaque, and a lot of people with high risk, by Framingham score, with no plaque,"
The story of coronary artery disease (CAD) begins with where artery blockages occur and where they don't. Typically, blockages occur in the coronary arteries on the outer surface of the heart. However, blockages are not often found in arteries or veins in any other part of the body (though carotid blockages are becoming more common). Furthermore, the CAD blockages do not naturally occur in other species. What's different about the coronary arteries of the human species that make them vulnerable to heart disease?
To explain the difference, Linus Pauling posited a theory, his Unified Theory of Heart Disease. Pauling observed that the CAD blockages occur in areas of high mechanical stress. Due to their location, these arteries are subject to continuous squeezing, pulling, and tugging from the ceaseless contractions of the heart. Like a garden hose that's repeatedly compressed or squeezed, this mechanical stress has the potential for causing damage. Normally, the body quickly repairs that damage, and in most other mammals (those that do not naturally suffer from CAD), the repair is seamless. In humans, however, the repeated repair process leads to CAD. Why?
Based on the nutola in Rosedale book.
I don't bother to roast the nuts - too much work. Just put a few pecans, pine nuts, cashews, almonds, and blueberries in a small bowl and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Then I pour just a little heavy cream over the mixture. It is a great breakfast or snack. I use the heavy cream because it contains fewer milk proteins, just fat, which is what we are after on this diet.
The cinnamon is for taste and improving blood sugar levels - I think it has a chemical that makes cells more responsive to insulin. This has been proven and I believe cinammon is recommended to diabetics now.
Found this transcript of Ron Rosedale talk on the metabolic effects of insulin. Totally blew me away. Note that it's a talk, and the transcript is filled with typos, but the essence sounds right on. I've copied the transcript here because the site that's hosting the content doesn't look particularly stable, and I don't want to lose the info.
Maya Kaimal Indian Coconut Curry is awesome! Just cook up some chicken, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, and mix everthing sauce and simmer--super! And very low carbs, though technically Rosedale isn't a fan of coconut oil (contained in sauce). I'm not so picky.
I like the focus and philosophy of Rosedale. He's VERY knowledgeable and has the science down. I'm not quite there in terms of adopting his approach, but in time. Right now a focus on avoiding processed foods and eating whole foods (eggs, whole meats, fruits, veggies, even milk) has worked well for me. Below are a couple Rosedale recipes I like.
Ron Rosedale, M.D. - Metabolic Effects of Insulin. I like the principles of this diet, and I think it's a healthy one to follow. However, I find myself favoring The Fat Resistance Diet by Leo Galland. The Fat Resistance Diet contains some wonderful recipes, though it does permit (even encourage) more carbs like fruit. Even so, I find I'm still losing weight and feeling quite good on the Fat Resistance Diet. Rosedale is a lot more disciplined about carbs, striving for a continuous ketosis state.Rosedale Diet was created by Ron Rosedale, and M.D. centered in Denver, Colorado.
Cholesterol Myth / Heart Disease Myth - I've become suspicious of the current model that high blood cholesterol (particularly LDL) is directly related to coronary heart disease risk (CHD). Operating from this belief, doctors prescribe drugs which reduce blood LDL levels thinking this effect also reduces the heart disease risk (CHD). Specifically, I'm referring to the widespread acceptance of statin drugs (Crestor, Zocor, Lipitor, etc.).
Statins clearly reduce LDL, but they carry with them other effects that may be more relevant to reducing CHD risk than reducing LDL levels. It's like trying to stop aging by stopping hair from turning gray. Gray hair is a symptom of aging, but not necessarily part of the cause. Similarly, LDL may be a symptom of CHD risk, but NOT likely a cause.
However, as I make clear below, I don't think high LDL is necessarily a symptom of high CHD risk.
Work in progress. I hope to have study citations to support each assertion listed below in what I hope will be a more comprehensive model of coronary heart disease (CHD).
This article by Anthony Colpo contains only part of his critical (scathing) review of research into low-fat diets and the goal of low cholesterol for reducing heart disease risk.
Stroke of Insight - Jill Bolte Taylor - One of the most profound presentations I have ever experienced....WATCH THIS!
Get the Most from Your Statin - Everyday Health reports that when and how you take your statin can influence its effectiveness and absorption.
- Mevacor - . This almost doubles the amount of medication absorbed into bloodstream.
- Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, Lescol - . These statins block a one of the liver's key cholesterol-making enzymes, and that enzyme is most active at night.
- Crestor, Lipitor - , as these statins stay in the body and bloodstream long enough that you can take them any time.
- Pravachol - , try Pravachol, which is less likely to interact with other medications than other statins.
Calcium score - Also called Agatston score, measures the amount of calcified plaque inside the coronary arteries. Higher the calcium score, the higher the chance of heart attack. Excellent predictor of future heart attack risk.
Computed tomography (CT) or electron beam tomography (EBT) - used for imaging heart. Scans provide a calcium score?
Atherosclerosis - When artery walls gradually filled with plaque (cholesterol, inflammatory cells, scar tissue). Different kinds of plaque. Heart attack caused when soft cholesterol rich plaque bursts, resulting in blood clot. Blood clot blocks blood flow to heart. News to me. I thought plaque, not a blood clot, that caused artery blockage and heart attack. But this clot model makes sense, given sudden nature of heart attack. A slowly developing plaque blockage should give the heart time to grow collateral vessels.
Better model of heart attack - Heart attack not caused by plaque blockage in the tube of the vessel (old school). The culprit is plaque depositing in the inner lining of vessel walls, like pimple filled with cholesterol. When pimples bursts, an injury site is created. To heal the injury, a clot will form. If the clot is big enough, it blocks the artery, causing heart attack.
- Dropping Hemoglobin - Anemia
- Anemia (low hemoglobin) can be caused by many things, but the three main bodily mechanisms that produce it are: excessive destruction of RBCs, blood loss, inadequate production of RBCs.
- Atherosclerotic plaques deposit in response to injury
- Mechanical stress causes heart disease in vitamin-C-starved tissues
- In 1989 it was discovered that Lp(a) binds to form plaque, not LDL
- Ordinary cholesterol cannot and does not cause heart disease
- Ten-year experience shows Pauling Therapy is effective, and safe as long as vitamin C is increased.
- Pauling's therapy is so safe, and the medical condition so grave, there is no plausible reason for any physician resisting it, especially in otherwise hopeless cases
- Vitamin C Lowers (LDL) Cholesterol More than Statin Drugs
- Artifical statin drugs increase Lp(a) and lower CoQ10 causing myopathies
- Nearly 60 million Americans are diagnosed with Cardiovascular disease
- Retinal photos confirm chronic scurvy, reversals and Pauling/Rath theory
- Pharmacology experts cite numerous errors in vitamin C RDA research
- Bizzaro World: No published clinical studies!?
- Coenzyme Q10
- Ubiquinone, or coenzyme Q10, is an important nutrient. 2 of its primary uses are for those who are taking high cholesterol pills (the statin drugs in particular). Certain lipid-lowering drugs, such as the 'statins' - lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin - and gemfibrozil as well as oral agents which lower blood sugar, such as tolazamide and glyburide, cause a decrease in serum levels of coenzyme Q10 and reduce the effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation (7,8). These drugs inhibit the production of coenzyme Q10 by the liver and will cause serious complications unless one supplements coenzyme Q10 back into the diet..
- Coenzyme Q10 - Share The Wealth
- CoQ10 is an essential component in the membranes and mitochondria, the "lungs" or "power plants" of the cell[ii]. It is intimately involved in synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the basic respiratory energy molecule in the mitochondria of every cell, and so in generation of 95 percent of the body's energy. It helps the body's cells convert food and oxygen into ATP, a chemical that all tissues require to function properly. There are several thousand mitochondria in each cell.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ), also known as ubiquinone, is a natural, fat-soluble antioxidant produced in the body. Some reports claim that statins (Crestor, Lipitor, etc.) interfere with the liver's natural production of Coenzyme Q10, reducing quantities by up to 40 percent. As a result, some suggest statin users take supplements of Coenzyme Q10, but warn that absorption varies. Here's some help I found on eHow for how to best Absorb Coenzyme Q10.
Found this in Robert Kowalski's website. Lists in detail the cholesterol fighter's current regimen of vitamin, mineral, and other supplements.
Death by Medicine - According to a review study, more deaths are caused annually in the U.S. by medical treatment and diagnostic procedures than by heart disease or cancer.
|Adverse Drug Reactions||106,000||$12 billion||Lazarou(1), Suh (49)|
|Medical error||98,000||$2 billion||IOM(6)|
|Bedsores||115,000||$55 billion||Xakellis(7), Barczak (8)|
|Infection||88,000||$5 billion||Weinstein(9), MMWR (10)|
|Outpatients||199,000||$77 billion||Starfield(12), Weingart(112)|
|Unnecessary Procedures||37,136||$122 billion||HCUP(3,13)|
|ANNUAL TOTAL||783,936||$282 billion|
And these numbers are based on reported deaths, which suggests the true death toll from medical treatment is much higher.
Is American Medicine Working? Here is the reviewers' reply...
"The new science of resuscitation is changing the way doctors think about heart attacks—and death itself."
"In an emergency department, you work like mad for half an hour on someone whose heart stopped, and finally someone says, 'I don't think we're going to get this guy back,' and then you just stop--The body on the cart is dead, but its trillions of cells are all still alive."
Assumption: After a heart attack, the heart stops beating and heart muscle cells start dying. Wrong. The heart cells live for hours after someone is pronounced dead. What kills heart cells immediately is a profusion of oxygen. When high levels of oxygen are introduced into oxygen starved (not dead) heart cells, the cell basically commit suicide. Very strange. For some reason the high concentration of oxygen triggers a suicide response in the cells.
Dean Ornish Says Omega-3 Fats Could Kill You!! - Yes, you read that right. Recent studies by Dr. Alexander Leaf of Harvard Medical School and others confirm many benefits to Omega-3 fatty acids for most people. However, for a sub-population who have had a heart attack or have congestive heart failure, consuming Omega-3 fats could kill them.
When heart muscle cells are starved for oxygen (as during heart attack or congestive heart failure), those heart cells become "hyper-excitable." Hyper-excitable cells activate or contract with less stimulus than healthy cells. This increased sensitivity is probably what keeps the weakened cells constricting at all. However, omega-3 fatty acids are "effectively removing these hyper-excitable cells from functioning." And if a significant proportion of the cells pumping your heart are hyper-excitable cells, omega-3 fatty acids could seriously reduce your heart's ability to pump, and in some cases that can cause a lethal heart attack.
Excellent article that describes recent studies on drug-eluting stents, including autopsy results.
In a nutshell: Drug-eluting stents increase risk of coronary artery thrombosis (clot). Drug-eluting stents reduce collateral vessel growth (vascularization). Vessel growth helps the heart handle the loss of blood flow if a clot occurs in the stent site in the coronary artery. So patients with drug-eluting stents not only are more likely to develop a clot, but for that clot to cause more damage due to reduced vascularization in the area of the clot.
Doctors suggest Plavix and aspirin treatment for at least a year to prevent thrombosis (clots).
Drug-eluting Stents Reduce Collateral Vessel Growth - New study indicates that drug-eluting stents may obstruct the heart's natural ability to form small collateral blood vessels - . For patients with coronary artery blockages, these vessels normally help supply blood to areas starved by artery blockages. The drug-eluting stents appear to hinder this natural, healing process.
Drug-eluting stents . So when patients stop Plavix, clots form (due to exposed metal in artery lining from stent?).
One man, as prescribed by his doctor, s. I wonder: When the drug is gone from the drug-eluting stent (after 6 months?), will the artery lining form properly? Did not appear to do so with that 41 year-old man. If not, is Plavix is safe to take for long-term? Scientists speculate that the problems arise when these drug-eluting stents are used incorrectly, in vessels that are too narrow or where blockages too extensive.
Wonderful list of tips for preventing heart disease and strokes (most seem research-based). Below are a few of my favorites from the list of 99 heart healthy tips.
6. Grill a steak. You may think it’s bad for your heart, but you’d be wrong. Beef contains immunity-boosting selenium as well as homocysteine-lowering B vitamins. And up to 50 percent of the fat is the heart-healthy monounsaturated variety.
14. Swap honey for sugar. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that honey has powerful antioxidant qualities that help combat cardiovascular disease, while sugar consumption can lower your levels of HDL cholesterol, potentially increasing your risk of heart-related disorders.
77. Have more sex. You might think all that grunting and sweating would increase your risk of a stroke, but University of Bristol researchers say the opposite is actually true. Not only are men who have sex at least twice a week less likely to have a stroke than men who have sex less often, but all that steamy exercise may also help reduce their heart-disease risk by up to a third, compared with guys who aren’t getting any.
98. Add E to aspirin. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that a combination of the antioxidant (shoot for 800 international units) and blood-thinner helped reduce levels of plaque in clogged arteries by more than 80 percent.
Just one meal of saturated fat can inflame the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels. This reduces the vessels' ability to expand and increase blood flow. Further, the inflammation can lead to lesions or cracks between the cells in the vessel lining, which are repaired by the body using cholesterol (oversimplification). When bad cholesterol (LDL) is used for the repair, plaque buildup and arteriosclerosis can result. When good cholesterol (HDL) is used for the repair, plaque buildup is less likely.
Just one meal of high saturated fats can reduce good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Conversely, one meal of unsaturated fats can increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
Take a gander at the total fat, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol content in this mother of a breakfast from Swanson. It's called the Hungry Man All Day Breakfast--sure to give you arteriosclerosis.
I'll take two.