With the death rate from heart problems so high and the number of Americans suffering with heart related disease, we need to look at our approach to heart health.
Fortunately, we are slowly evolving from an era where a headache has been treated as an aspirin deficiency into an era of molecular or nutritional medicine, where we can now find the biochemical defects (missing nutrients) that predispose people to many symptoms. The main reasons for so many deficiencies today are dual:
(1) We are the first generation to eat so many processed foods that have been stripped of their nutrients to expand shelf life; and (2) We are the first generation to ever be exposed to and be detoxifying so many chemicals on a daily basis. This process of detoxification requires and actually uses up, or depletes, many nutrients.
For example, most grocery stores’ cooking oils and margarines are purified and hydrogenated. This means the oils and margarines have been processed with strong chemicals that remove most of the vitamins and minerals. This is so the product can last for months and not go bad. Unfortunately these nutrients are the very ones that are necessary to prevent arteriosclerosis, early heart attacks, high blood pressure, impotence, Alzheimer’s presenile dementia, strokes, premature aging, etc.
Furthermore, hydrogenation means that the product has been exposed to a temperature in excess of 1,000 F, which causes a twisting of the molecule. Normally, lipid (fat or oil) molecules fit into the membranes of cells to protect them and promote proper function. When these heat twisted molecules are ingested, they fit into the membranes like broken keys. They lock into the structure, but they stop it from functioning properly, and they prevent the good molecules from entering to perform their functions. Meanwhile, the twisted molecules are capable of causing the very same damage that saturated fats (from bacon, cheese, steak, etc.) cause.
What do doctors who have not studied nutrition recommend to heart patients?
Margarines, artificial eggs, etc.
Margarines are as much as 35% trans (the “bad” twisted molecules) fatty acids. Corn oil, artificial (“plastic”) egg substitutes and most “natural whole grain health breads” (made with hydrogenated oils) contain significant amounts as well. So U.S. cardiologists could have actually been accelerating disease. U.S. cardiologists are blamed specifically, because European doctors are either more aware of biochemistry, are not so egocentric that they cannot listen to doctors who do read about the latest scientific discoveries or perhaps are not as controlled financially by other interests, like food and chemical manufacturers. Europe won’t even allow the sales of our margarines there because they are so notoriously high in damaging trans- fatty acids.
Another point is that more than 51% of the heart patients in a recent study were low in magnesium in one study. These are the patients who died from a recalcitrant arrhythmia, induced by an undetected mineral deficiency.
For example, in patients who had suffered heart attacks, had bypass surgery and all the best modern drugs and yet were found to be relentlessly persistent in closing off new vessels with arteriosclerotic deposits, diet and lifestyle changes were able to reverse these lesions in one year, as proven by PET scans. Yet, cardiologists commonly treat irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia) with various drugs, like calcium channel blockers, even though magnesium is nature’s calcium channel blocker.
In a time when government studies reveal that the average American diet only provides a small percent of the daily requirement for magnesium, is it any wonder that there is such an upsurge in the use of calcium channel blockers? The problem is that by artificially fixing the minerally deficiency symptom with a medication instead of correcting’ the underlying cause, the deficiency is allowed to progress and cause other serious conquences, like sudden death.
In terms of chronic care, the cardiologist can actually be contributing to disease. For example, mineral deficiency may be a solo cause or one of several causes of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, which is the number one cause of chronic illness and death in the U.S. However, the main category of drug prescribed for chronic hypertension, a diuretic, is notorious for causing mineral deficiency.
So the very drug that is prescribed to treat (mask) the symptom, is actually worsening the underlying cause. The patient has only one option: to get sicker. As his mineral deficiency worsens, the patient may suffer chronic back spasms, chronic fatigue or depression, cardiac arrhythmia or even sudden death. If that were not enough, these diuretics also elevate serum lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), thereby accentuating another cause of arteriosclerosis. And this occurs because we are drug-oriented and merely mask the symptoms, rather than look for the biochemical causes.
Doctors, in general, do not read bio-chemistry research journals, even though one of the roles of research biochemists is to make important discoveries about human health. Physicians instead normally read medical journals that are between 10 and 45 years behind actual scientific discoveries.
Should anyone take a preview peak into the literature and report it before the self-appointed medical authorities do, he immediately gets proclaimed a quack, or the information is labeled unsubstantiated. This is almost as though there is an unwritten rule: “It shall not be discovered and announced and taken for common knowledge until we are ready.”
Historically, nutritional care has not only taken a back seat, but has taken a beating from drug-oriented medicine. Meanwhile, the politics and pace of change in medicine may make it necessary for you to take charge now until the cardiologists and other doctors catch up with the molecular era of nutritional medicine.
In another report, a research dietitian warned that the popular low fat, high-carbohydrate diet americans are being encouraged to follow isn’t necessarily best for everyone – and could endanger the health of some individuals.
OK, What can I do? Seek correction not just treatment (symptom relief) for your health problems.
If you have a heart related problem 1) Make sure no subluxations affecting the heart go uncorrected 2) Ask us for a complete lab work-up and Vega exam to find if there are any nutrient problems relating to the underlying condition. 3) Start a regular exercise program 4) Ask about stress reduction.
Your lifestyle changes can make all the difference in the world. There is hope.
Dr. Dwight Lundell
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:58 CST
We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.
I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.
The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.
It Is Not Working!
These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.
The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.
Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.
Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.
Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.
Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.
What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.
The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.
What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.
Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.
Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.
While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.
How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?
Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.
When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.
What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.
While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.
Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6′s are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3′s.
If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.
Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.
To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.
There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.
There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.
One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.
Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.
The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.