DH has plaque in his coronary arteries - now what? UPDATE #26 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband (40) just got his results back from a CT scan he had done to measure the amount of plaque in his coronary arteries. The test yields a score called the Coronary Artery Calcium Score or CACS. His CACS is 95. According to his doctor, this puts him at moderate risk for a heart attack within the next 5 years and above a score of 101 = heart disease. His score is way too close to that for comfort.

He had the test done because he has the worst family history - men on both sides of his family have had triple or quadruple bypass surgeries by the age of 60 because of coronary heart disease. So he turned 40 and I made him go get a big physical and workup and now this. (I mean, I get that the whole point of getting the physical was to find this out now while maybe we can still do something about it, but he's also feeling so down about this - he thinks of himself as fit and healthy. )

Here are the things his doctor wants him to do:

1. Maintain weight. (My husband is a healthy weight)
2. Take 81 mg of aspirin per day.
3. Take 1000 mg of fish oil per day.
4. Exercise regularly. (My husband walks to/from the train every day and is active in the yard and garden, but he does not "work out".)
5. Start a cholesterol lowering drug in the class of statins (e.g., simvastatin) to be taken every day for the rest of his life.

My diet and the kids' diet is fairly traditional foods focused. All organic, mostly local, pastured meat and dairy etc. My husband does better than this than many men, but frankly has a long way to go diet wise. Compared to most people, he eats well, but I look at what he eats and see many improvements that need to be made.

Questions....

Can you reverse plaque on the arteries? How?

Are there any supplements or alternative treatments we should be looking at?

What is the deal with saturated fat and plaque on the arteries... we eat A LOT of staturated fat - in the form of grassfed milk and cheese, pastured beef etc. In fact, we only buy whole milk, real cheeses, etc. and I use pastured butter liberally in our cooking. I am now experiencing a lot of self-doubt that maybe all this fat isn't good for him. Maybe for some people it turns into plaques?? By comparison, my cholesterol is 146 and HDL is 97. So is the problem the bad fats I know he DOES eat (like I said, he sort-of follows the way we eat but also enjoys slices of pizza, ice cream, etc., not to mention he travels a lot and so eats in restaurants in hotels etc.).

Any other wisdom about dealing with young(ish) otherwise healthy people who have plaque in their arteries?

UPDATE #26
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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Its not so much the saturated fat in the diet. Diet only contributes 20% of the cholesterol; not really that much. Its worth trying to reduce cholesterol in the diet, but it doesn't really help much.

Mainly its carbohydrates. Even the good kinds. It isn't so much the amount of cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream, its the "stickiness" of the arteries. Insulin (from eating carbs) makes the arteries more sticky, collecting the plaque more readily. In some people, this tendency towards stickiness is genetic (sounds like your DH). If he could be very careful to reduce carbs to 25 or 30% of his diet, it should help.

Also a glass of red wine daily is supposed to help "scrub" the arteries. But red wine also contributes carbs, so you have to make sure you count those carbs when you're calculating your 30%.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:04 AM
 
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He has to watch his diet and activity level. I get patients fresh from the cardiac cath lab and most of them have been using fish oil or statins or a combination of both for years. The problem? Usually a crappy diet, inactivity and sometimes genetics. It's as if they thought meds/fish oil could solve everything without effort on their part. I will say that the vast majority of our patients are men. Some patients change everything, some change nothing and keep coming back for more and more stents/angioplastys.

I've never read anything about insulin causing platelet aggregation. What I have read is type II diabetics/insulin resistance (cells aren't responding to insulin as they should) increasing platelet aggregation in studies but the reason was not understood.

Any improvement in diet is a step in the right direction.

I highly encourage statins IF combined with a change in lifestyle/diet. If not it's a waste of time and money.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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Here are the things his doctor wants him to do:

1. Maintain weight. (My husband is a healthy weight)
2. Take 81 mg of aspirin per day.
3. Take 1000 mg of fish oil per day.
4. Exercise regularly. (My husband walks to/from the train every day and is active in the yard and garden, but he does not "work out".)
5. Start a cholesterol lowering drug in the class of statins (e.g., simvastatin) to be taken every day for the rest of his life.

I would not do any of that! Omg the asprin and statins are sooo bad....

Do your own research but here is what we would do.

Serrapeptase
miracle mineral solution
red yeast rice
green smoothies daily
flax oil

 

xoxoxox

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:39 AM
 
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Just some thoughts....rather then fish oil, try fermented cod liver oil, and start adding in raw coconut oil to the diet.
And most importantly, the outside of the home diet must be eliminated.
Pack lunches and coolers of food for travel times instead.
Teach him how to shop in grocery stores for food needs on the road as well.

And make sure all dairy is in raw and raw/cultured form.
I have heard from many sources, that raw garlic is a good scrubber.
Mince it fine, and swallow with water, as that is the only way it work.

I "think" saturated fat in the arteries is going to end up there because it is getting caught in the plaque.
Anytime he is consuming vege oils, he is adding to the plaque as well.
A good way to relate that, follows.
Go to any restaurant or home that uses vege oils for cooking. What will you see?
Vents and stove tops that are covered in a VERY hard to remove layer of grease.
Its doing the same thing inside the body

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:43 AM
 
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The plaque is calcium, right? I've read studies that talk about K2 and calcium utilization, the vitamin K yahoo group has a Files section that has a lot of studies on K2. The yahoo group is about kids with autism, but anyone can join and they've got a nice collection of articles, and I thought there was some heart health/calcium utilization stuff there. Some of the WAPF articles might have citations on heart stuff and K2 and you can follow them back to the original studies and see what's up.

I could also be wrong about this, but I'd read about folate and the MTHFR gene mutation. I thought early heart problems were one problem associated with a variant of MTHFR. Some people need more dietary folate than others, 800mcg vs the 400mcg for most of us, and folic acid doesn't work the same way as folate (because of this gene--for many of us, folic acid is fine). I could be remembering wrong, but I'd do some reading on this. There is a genetic test for it if the doc is willing to do it. Google aspirin and MTHFR as well, because I think aspirin is involved, but it does things somewhat backward.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:09 AM
 
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Plaque is a combination of fat, cholesterol and calcium mostly.

Statins will help to reduce the size of the plaques and will also help to stabilise them, making them less likely to rupture (plaque rupture is the main cause of heart attack).

It sounds to me like he has been given good advice considering his significant risk factors. He probably does need to reduce the amount of saturated fat in his diet but he doesn't need to cut it out completely. Do you cut the visible fat off meat and that sort of thing? If not that might be a place to start. And the junk food of course.

Oats are great for lowering cholesterol, would he eat them regularly? The other thing is Metamucil, taken at a lower dose than for constipation The instructions are on the label.

As far as the exercise goes he doesn't need to "work out" as such. A brisk 30 minute walk 5-6 days/week is fine but, there are lots of benefits to maintaining lean muscle mass. He doesn't need to lift weights but could maybe add some push ups, squats etc, things just using his own body weight. This will help him maintain a healthy weight as well.

All the best with it. It is scary but sounds like you know all the right things to do.

Regards
Kate

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Old 10-22-2009, 07:19 AM
 
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There is a history of heart disease in our family. Even though I'm skin and bones my cholesterol has always been sky high no matter what I did. My mom is the same way.

Then I got Multiple Sclerosis. I followed a modified version of the 'Swank Diet' for MS fairly religiously for over a year and my cholesterol dropped from 250 to 140 on re-check. I allowed myself a little more of the good fats than it calls for but strictly eliminated ALL (and I do mean ALL saturated fat other than what was in turkey and chicken breast or other allowed items - no more than 15g per day.) I cut out all dairy, all red meat, etc. This meant no cheese, no chocolate, no milk, etc. I allowed myself more of the allowed fats if I felt I needed more energy. I even followed this diet during pregnancy eating LOTS of the allowed fats. I was incredibly healthy & gained about 29-30 lbs, so you definitely don't have to starve on this diet.

The diet went completely out the window after DS was born due to nursing... and is still out the window due to DS' allergies, our funky elimination diet and my inability to keep weight on while breastfeeding. But, in any case, the point is that I became a believer that diet could have a dramatic effect on lowering my cholesterol. It might not work for everyone but it did for me.

Me (37) ~ DH (39) ~ DS (3) ~ TTC #2 since 4/10
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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I will chime in here wearing my psychologist hat.....sometimes a barrier to treatment is what we "think" we need to be doing or the percieved sacrifices we think we are making. For example, it may be really important for your dh to recognize that it does not matter what every other 40 year old male is doing. For some, being overweight and sedentary may not have the same impact on their vascular system....but for him, he has to make the changes that HIS body requires right now and it sounds like the diet is the first place to start. It can also be hard for him to get the info from you....is there a nutritionist he can consult with for some psychoeducation regarding food choices (my dad is going through this and while he is intelligent he is far from understanding the way specific foods impact his system). And eating away from home is hard...but it can be changed. And while having saturated fat probably didn't cause his current situation, maybe there is a way for him to reduce the percent of his daily calories from fat...increase whole grains and veggies, etc.

I did a quick search on aspirin and it may not be the wonder drug we thought (increases internal bleeding with minimal impact on heart disease according to a recent UK study).

While it sounds scary, at least you have information and he has an opportunity to make life changes and prevent the cycle that seems to have impacted most men in his family.

Happy Mommy to one amazing girl (6y) and one sweet boy (2y), and wife to DH since 7/03 : :
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:39 AM
 
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There is some good information about how cholesterol operates in your body in "What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You" by Ray D. Strand MD. His website is: http://www.raystrand.com/ I found this book in the library.

This is not your typical conventional doctor's outlook on cholesterol...ie. let's check you until you show high cholesterol then let's give you drugs. Instead he's got a lot of good information about why cholesterol attaches to arteries, and using nutrition for prevention and treatment.

It looks like he's got another book out, "Healthy For Life", but I haven't read that one. It seems he also does online consultations, if you like what you read in the book(s).

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:48 AM
 
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I don't fear the saturated fats AT ALL. Saturated fat is not the demon conventional medicine has made it out to be. It's the insulin response from carbs/sugar.

Your DH needs to eat like a diabetic (we all do, really.) He needs to eat like a diabetic trying to get off meds. This is where I am because the insulin/blood sugar reactions I've been noticing for the past year after eating anything carby/sugary is getting worse & I don't want to end up a diabetic or heart disease patient. For me, I'm sure it has to do with hormonal imbalances because of my adrenal insufficiency. I notice when my adrenal symptoms are worse (dizziness, mostly), I have a harder time with any amount of carbs.

Two books that would be REALLY helpful for your DH:

The Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard Bernstein

Reverse Heart Disease Now by Dr. Stephen Sinatra

I bought both of these last year after my Dad had multi-system organ failure, including congestive heart failure all from Type 2 diabetes. He had quadruple bypass surgery a year ago. His cardio-thoracic surgeon (who performed his surgery) told him to eat all the fat he wants but get rid of the carbs. I had been telling my parents this for y-e-a-r-s & boy was it sweet to hear him say that to them. Of course, you know which fats to avoid - trans fats & vegetable oils.
Tom Cowan also has some interesting thoughts on heart disease in The Fourfold Path to Healing - do you have this book? It's worth getting.

Can you get a Y membership & go together? I think it's easier to exercise when you have a buddy.

If it were me, I wouldn't do anything that the doctor recommended except for maintaining a healthy weight & exercising. Reducing stress is also important. The adrenals play a big part in heart health by way of blood sugar/insulin control. So anything he can do to support his adrenals is a good idea.

Does he already take fermented CLO? I agree with the PP, it's something he should be on. Like TL said, we also take vitamin K2 - Thorne brand.

The books I mentioned above have a lot of good recommendations. My naturopath who treats my adrenals recommended them to me last year. He's also a member of the WAPF & PPF. I trust him completely.

IMO, it all comes down to insulin. The best thing he could do is eat as close to Paleo as possible. I think some people can handle raw dairy & personally, I think that's okay. I think raw dairy can be beneficial if we tolerate it.
Getting rid of food from outside the home is going to be tough - but if he wants to reverse this, he's going to have to change his diet.

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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I second the suggestion for the Sinatra book. It has some really good ideas and specifics on supplements etc.
Also, do a google search and type in:
cayenne + heart + plaque

Also, see if your library has a book called Left For Dead - I forget the author - but it's a good read about a man who healed himself from coronary heart disease after triple bypass surgery.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you thank you : please keep it coming... lots to look into here.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chakra View Post
Here are the things his doctor wants him to do:

1. Maintain weight. (My husband is a healthy weight)
2. Take 81 mg of aspirin per day.
3. Take 1000 mg of fish oil per day.
4. Exercise regularly. (My husband walks to/from the train every day and is active in the yard and garden, but he does not "work out".)
5. Start a cholesterol lowering drug in the class of statins (e.g., simvastatin) to be taken every day for the rest of his life.

I would not do any of that! Omg the asprin and statins are sooo bad....

Do your own research but here is what we would do.

Serrapeptase
miracle mineral solution
red yeast rice
green smoothies daily
flax oil
Aspirin and statins are bad! Aspirin in particular is now thought of as bad to take daily. This is old advise. Statins are bad too. We just got my DH off them a year or so ago and he is much better. His cholesterol is down just due to changes in diet. Check out amazon for books on how bad statins are. There was a time article awhile back that talked about it as well.

I second the flax oil and fish oil!

goorganic.jpgwife to footinmouth.gif, currently WOH and geek.gif on my doctorate. (I'm dissertating!) We: novaxnocirc.giftoddler.gifgd.giffamilybed1.gif  with DS (4/09)!
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Links please re: aspirin? Why is it bad? I thought it was the holy grail or something... the simple little innocuous thing you could do every day for "heart health" (ok, I'm being generous here, but that's the message).
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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I'm going to suggest for balance that you read some Dr. McDougall, Eat To Live by Dr. Fuhrman, and The China Study.

I'm not on the saturated fat is good bandwagon.

Cutting way back on meat and dairy and upping the amount of whole grain/veggies/fruits/fiber imo is your best bet.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
I'm going to suggest for balance that you read some Dr. McDougall, Eat To Live by Dr. Fuhrman, and The China Study.

I'm not on the saturated fat is good bandwagon.

Cutting way back on meat and dairy and upping the amount of whole grain/veggies/fruits/fiber imo is your best bet.
Even cardiologists are realizing that the anti-saturated fat & meat campaign is bogus.

Whole grains & fruits & even starchy vegetables turn into glucose in your body - no difference whatsoever. This leads to high blood sugar & ever increasing insulin to control the blood sugar spikes. Eventually you end up with insulin resistance which leads to heart disease.

And for balance: The Truth About the China Study

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Old 10-22-2009, 11:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
Even cardiologists are realizing that the anti-saturated fat & meat campaign is bogus.

Whole grains & fruits & even starchy vegetables turn into glucose in your body - no difference whatsoever. This leads to high blood sugar & ever increasing insulin to control the blood sugar spikes. Eventually you end up with insulin resistance which leads to heart disease.
Yup.

And for the last 20 years of the anti-fat nutritional recommendations in the US, obesity, heart disease, and glucose metabolism issues have gotten much worse, not better. You'd think they'd at least stay the same if low fats/low saturated fats weren't effective. Such a diet is not only ineffective, it worsens the very conditions it purports to correct.

If you cut calories in fats, you have to find those calories somewhere else. And that usually means increased carbs, which leads to insulin resistance, insulin spikes, and stickier arteries.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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I highly recommend Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. It really gives a good overview of nutrition and heart disease science that will give you the medical context you need going forward.

I would also join medscape.com and research any options before taking anything.

Heart Disease this young is not good and needs to be aggressively countered.



V

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Old 10-23-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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Also, I would like links to more info on aspirin--I'm searching and not coming up with anything other than aspirin prevents heart attacks.

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Old 10-23-2009, 02:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
The plaque is calcium, right? I've read studies that talk about K2 and calcium utilization, the vitamin K yahoo group has a Files section that has a lot of studies on K2. The yahoo group is about kids with autism, but anyone can join and they've got a nice collection of articles, and I thought there was some heart health/calcium utilization stuff there. Some of the WAPF articles might have citations on heart stuff and K2 and you can follow them back to the original studies and see what's up.

I could also be wrong about this, but I'd read about folate and the MTHFR gene mutation. I thought early heart problems were one problem associated with a variant of MTHFR. Some people need more dietary folate than others, 800mcg vs the 400mcg for most of us, and folic acid doesn't work the same way as folate (because of this gene--for many of us, folic acid is fine). I could be remembering wrong, but I'd do some reading on this. There is a genetic test for it if the doc is willing to do it. Google aspirin and MTHFR as well, because I think aspirin is involved, but it does things somewhat backward.
I think part of the connectionwith MTHFR and folic acid has to do with homocysteine. Researchers are seeing that homocysteine levels are hugely important for heart health - more so than cholesterol. A google search will bring things up. Folic acid and a couple of other things will bring down homocysteine levels.

Children deserve the respect of puzzling it out.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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I just sent you a PM about statin risks, vit D and folate benefits:
Memory loss
, http://www.ivanhoe.com/channels/p_ch...?storyid=10491

Blocks CoQ10 production. CoQ10 is a coenzyme necessary for the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the source for cellular energy within the human heart. As CoQ10 is diminished, the heart weakens. Over time, this can result in congestive heart failure (CHF).
http://www.leaflady.org/statin_risks.htm

Liver damage, muscle pain:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sta...SECTIONGROUP=2

Proteinurea
: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/496431_4

peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes: http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Health...rchersFind.htm

"Statin-associated peripheral neuropathy may persist for months or years after withdrawal of the statin. In two ADRAC cases of persistent peripheral neuropathy, motor and sensory conduction tests showed minimal recovery 4 and 12 months, respectively, after discontinuation of simvastatin, despite clinical improvement. A further 21 cases had not recovered at the time of reporting, between one and eight months after discontinuation of the statin. In two other reports, the problem was persisting after 3 and 5 years, respectively." http://www.procor.org/research/resea...?doc_id=982615

cancer risk: http://www.cancerdecisions.com/conte.../lang,english/

Statins can also cause your CPK levels to be mildly elevated.

Strokes: The cholesterol-lowering medication atorvastatin (Lipitor) may slightly increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding in the brain, when taken by people who have already had a stroke, according to a Duke University Medical Center researcher. But it also reduces the risk of having a second stroke or coronary heart event.
http://www.dukehealth.org/HealthLibrary/News/10199

==============

Cholesterol Is Not A Major Cause Of Arterial Disease

Several factors appear to be of greater importance than cholesterol in causing arterial disease. Among these are deposition of toxic metals in the lining endothelium of arteries, Vitamin C deficiency, excessive amounts of lipoprotein (a), inflammation in arteries, excessive clotting of blood, homocysteine elevation (hyperhomocystinemia) and dangerous foods.

An important study by Dr. Harlan Krumholz revealed that persons with low cholesterol levels over the age of 70 died twice as often from heart attacks[3] as older persons with high cholesterol values. Most studies in old persons have shown that cholesterol is not a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Approximately 90 % of cardiovascular disease is seen in persons over 60 years of age. Almost all studies have shown that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for women.[4] This leaves cholesterol as a risk factor for less than 5 % of those persons dying of a heart attack.

High cholesterol values protect against infection. In a review of 19 studies involving 68,000 persons low cholesterol values revealed an increased risk for dying from lung and gastrointestinal diseases. Both lung and g.i. diseases are often related to infections.
http://www.newswithviews.com/Howenstine/james23.htm

====

Benefits of High Cholesterol:
http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndi...s_cholest.html
http://medicalconsumers.org/2003/06/...erence-report/

1. Krumholz HM and others. Lack of association between cholesterol and coronary heart disease mortality and morbidity and all-cause mortality in persons older than 70 years. Journal of the American Medical Association 272, 1335-1340, 1990.

2. Ravnskov U. High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis. Quarterly Journal of Medicine 96, 927-934, 2003.

3. Jacobs D and others. Report of the conference on low blood cholesterol: Mortality associations. Circulation 86, 1046–1060, 1992.

4. Iribarren C and others. Serum total cholesterol and risk of hospitalization, and death from respiratory disease. International Journal of Epidemiology 26, 1191–1202, 1997.

5. Iribarren C and others. Cohort study of serum total cholesterol and in-hospital incidence of infectious diseases. Epidemiology and Infection 121, 335–347, 1998.

6. Claxton AJ and others. Association between serum total cholesterol and HIV infection in a high-risk cohort of young men. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes and human retrovirology 17, 51–57, 1998.

7. Neaton JD, Wentworth DN. Low serum cholesterol and risk of death from AIDS. AIDS 11, 929–930, 1997.

8. Rauchhaus M and others. Plasma cytokine parameters and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure. Circulation 102, 3060-3067, 2000.

9. Niebauer J and others. Endotoxin and immune activation in chronic heart failure. Lancet 353, 1838-1842, 1999.

10. Vredevoe DL and others. Skin test anergy in advanced heart failure secondary to either ischemic or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. American Journal of Cardiology 82, 323-328, 1998.

11. Rauchhaus M, Coats AJ, Anker SD. The endotoxin-lipoprotein hypothesis. Lancet 356, 930–933, 2000.

12. Rauchhaus M and others. The relationship between cholesterol and survival in patients with chronic heart failure. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 42, 1933-1940, 2003.

13. Horwich TB and others. Low serum total cholesterol is associated with marked increase in mortality in advanced heart failure. Journal of Cardiac Failure 8, 216-224, 2002.

14. Elias ER and others. Clinical effects of cholesterol supplementation in six patients with the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS). American Journal of Medical Genetics 68, 305–310, 1997.

15. Bhakdi S and others. Binding and partial inactivation of Staphylococcus aureus a-toxin by human plasma low density lipoprotein. Journal of Biological Chemistry 258, 5899-5904, 1983.

16. Flegel WA and others. Inhibition of endotoxin-induced activation of human monocytes by human lipoproteins. Infection and Immunity 57, 2237-2245, 1989.

17. Weinstock CW and others. Low density lipoproteins inhibit endotoxin activation of monocytes. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis 12, 341-347, 1992.

18. Muldoon MF and others. Immune system differences in men with hypo- or hypercholesterolemia. Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology 84, 145-149, 1997.

19. Feingold KR and others. Role for circulating lipoproteins in protection from endotoxin toxicity. Infection and Immunity 63, 2041-2046, 1995.

20. Netea MG and others. Low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient mice are protected against lethal endotoxemia and severe gram-negative infections. Journal of Clinical Investigation 97, 1366-1372, 1996.

21. Harris HW, Gosnell JE, Kumwenda ZL. The lipemia of sepsis: triglyceride-rich lipoproteins as agents of innate immunity. Journal of Endotoxin Research 6, 421-430, 2001.

22. Netea MG and others. Hyperlipoproteinemia enhances susceptibility to acute disseminated Candida albicans infection in low-density-lipoprotein-receptor-deficient mice. Infection and Immunity 65, 2663-2667, 1997.

23. Ross R, Glomset JA. The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. New England Journal of Medicine 295, 369-377, 1976.

24. Ross R. The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and update. New England Journal of Medicine 314, 488-500, 1986.

25. Klotz O, Manning MF. Fatty streaks in the intima of arteries. Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology. 16, 211-220, 1911.

26. At least 200 reviews about the role of infections in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease have been published; here are a few of them: a) Grayston JT, Kuo CC, Campbell LA, Benditt EP. Chlamydia pneumoniae strain TWAR and atherosclerosis. European Heart Journal Suppl K, 66-71, 1993. b) Melnick JL, Adam E, Debakey ME. Cytomegalovirus and atherosclerosis. European Heart Journal Suppl K, 30-38, 1993. c) Nicholson AC, Hajjar DP. Herpesviruses in atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Etiologic agents or ubiquitous bystanders? Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 18, 339-348, 1998. d) Ismail A, Khosravi H, Olson H. The role of infection in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. A new therapeutic target. Heart Disease 1, 233-240, 1999. e) Kuvin JT, Kimmelstiel MD. Infectious causes of atherosclerosis. f.) Kalayoglu MV, Libby P, Byrne GI. Chlamydia pneumonia as an emerging risk factor in cardiovascular disease. Journal of the American Medical Association 288, 2724-2731, 2002.

27. Grau AJ and others. Recent bacterial and viral infection is a risk factor for cerebrovascular ischemia. Neurology 50, 196-203, 1998.

28. Mattila KJ. Viral and bacterial infections in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Journal of Internal Medicine 225, 293-296, 1989.

29. The successful trials: a) Gurfinkel E. Lancet 350, 404-407, 1997. b) Gupta S and others. Circulation 96, 404-407, 1997. c) Muhlestein JB and others. Circulation 102, 1755-1760, 2000. d) Stone AFM and others. Circulation 106, 1219-1223, 2002. e) Wiesli P and others. Circulation 105, 2646-2652, 2002. f) Sander D and others. Circulation 106, 2428-2433, 2002.

30. The unsuccessful trials: a) Anderson JL and others. Circulation 99, 1540-1547, 1999. b) Leowattana W and others. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 84 (Suppl 3), S669-S675, 2001. c) Cercek B and others. Lancet 361, 809-813, 2003. d) O’Connor CM and others. Journal of the American Medical Association. 290, 1459-1466, 2003.

31. Gieffers J and others. Chlamydia pneumoniae infection in circulating human monocytes is refractory to antibiotic treatment. Circulation 104, 351-356, 2001

32. Gurfinkel EP and others. Circulation 105, 2143-2147, 2002.

=============


Vitamin D is Synthesized From Cholesterol and Found in Cholesterol-Rich Foods

One of cholesterol's many functions in the body is to act as a precursor to vitamin D.

Vitamin D can also be obtained from foods. Interestingly, foods that provide this vitamin -- all of which are animal foods -- tend to be high in cholesterol.

Since cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D, inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol will also inhibit the synthesis of vitamin D. Since sunlight is required to turn cholesterol into vitamin D, avoiding the sun will likewise undermine our ability to synthesize vitamin D. And since vitamin D-rich foods are also rich in cholesterol, low-cholesterol diets are inherently deficient in vitamin D. http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Vitamin-D.html

======

The Right Fats

The assimilation and utilization of vitamin D is influenced by the kinds of fats we consume. Increasing levels of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids in the diet decrease the binding of vitamin D to D-binding proteins. Saturated fats, the kind found in butter, tallow and coconut oil, do not have this effect. Nor do the omega-3 fats.66 D-binding proteins are key to local and peripheral actions of vitamin D. This is an important consideration as Americans have dramatically increased their intake of polyunsaturated oils (from commercial vegetable oils) and monounsaturated oils (from olive oil and canola oil) and decreased their intake of saturated fats over the past 100 years.

In traditional diets, saturated fats supplied varying amounts of vitamin D. Thus, both reduction of saturated fats and increase of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats contribute to the current widespread D deficiency.

Trans fatty acids, found in margarine and shortenings used in most commercial baked goods, should always be avoided. There is evidence that these fats can interfere with the enzyme systems the body uses to convert vitamin D in the liver.80
http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnut...ndmiracle.html

=========

Debunking the Cholesterol Myth:
http://www.drcranton.com/Cholesterol_myth.htm

============

We’re lead to believe that cholesterol is an enemy, particularly to cardiovascular health. But think about it, why does your liver naturally produce something that’s detriment to your health? It doesn’t.

Through tapes on the raft, the lipid hypothesis reigns supreme. It dictates that in order to stay healthy you should reduce your cholesterol (to an ever receding value) by consuming a low fat diet and exercise (no prob with latter though!). And If that fails you should try controversial medicines called statins.

They are notable for alarming side effects.

Sounds nice and simple? In England 2003, the average cholesterol value was 6.1, in France it was 6.2. The recommended cholesterol level is < 5mmol. This means a lot of people ’suffer’ from a symptomless disease. But here’s the best bit: our local French neighbours don’t suffer from heart disease much, definitely not as much as us. In Japan (2005), the level of cholesterol went up as their rate of heart disease dropped, perhaps because their general lifestyle is better than the Brits to avoid inflammation of the heart in the first place despite possible low vit D. Populations with the least level of cholesterol saw higher rates of heart disease. But furthermore, high cholesterol for women the world over is not a risk factor. Are they really that different?

Did you know that vitamin D is created from cholesterol? Provide your skin with adequate sunlight and excess cholesterol is turned into vitamin D, a hormone with responsibilities including calcium metabolisation, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure regulation, mental health function, diabetes prevention…

And if your excess cholesterol isn’t turned into D, it accumulates doesn’t it?…I can find no answers, at least online that refutes or proves this. Therefore could high cholesterol just be a signifier of low vitamin D, a hormone that is said to have anti-inflammatory properties?…
http://moblogs.wordpress.com/2007/08...-significance/

=====


Retrospective studies: When the men were grouped according to vitamin D intake above and below 2.5 mug and serum cholesterol levels above or below 250 mg %, a significant relationship appeared (using Yates's correction X2=10.3, P=0.0013 and the correlation coefficient 0.011 less than P less than 0.005). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1179189

Effects of Atorvastatin on vitamin D levels in patients with acute ischemic heart disease.:
In conclusion, atorvastatin increases vitamin D levels. This increase could explain some of the beneficial effects of atorvastatin at the cardiovascular level that are unrelated to cholesterol levels. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17398180

It ain't lowering cholesterol (which the liver regulates anyway) which lowers heart risk, from my reading. There are many reasons why the dietary-heart-cholesterol hypothesis should be questioned, and why statins might be acting in some other way to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Here, I propose that rather than being cholesterol-lowering drugs per se, statins act as vitamin D analogues, and explain why. This proposition is based on published observations that the unexpected and unexplained clinical benefits produced by statins have also been shown to be properties of vitamin D. It seems likely that statins activate vitamin D receptors. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16815382

=======
Cholesterol: Friend Or Foe?
http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyour...ol-friend.html


======
FOLATE:
How Do High-Folate Diets Protect Against Heart Disease? http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/40413.php

http://howtopreventheartdisease.blog...by-folate.html
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/folate.asp

Folate Consumption Reduces Risk of Stroke by 20 Percent in Male Smokers http://www.naturalnews.com/025324_st...late_food.html

Folate, brain health and stroke: http://www.naturalnews.com/023134_fo...ocysteine.html
and allergies: http://www.naturalnews.com/026225_fo...allergies.html



Pat

I have a blog.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, I just want to say - MDC rocks!!! It's been a while since I've come here for any real advice - guess the little ones are past the sleep/eat/nursing/behavior problems stage and I am just so touched and awed at the response. Incredible info. Thank you everyone! (keep it coming if you've got it! I'm deep-diving into researching this and all the links provided)
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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You may want to read the South Beach Diet book. In it, the doctor/author talks about how the diet was developed for heart health, not for losing weight (that was a side effect). Anyway, it's basically another vote for a low-carb + good fats diet. He also advocates the statin/aspirin combo.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:48 AM
 
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CoQ10 supplement is necessary for heart problems, also what Chakra said. Has he tried to increase the amount of raw foods he eats? Has he tried juicing?
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*UPDATE*

I wish it were a better update. DH's lab results came in today. Here were the values of interest (brace yourselves):

(by the way, this was a FASTING blood test, taken 12 hours after last meal)

GLUCOSE 101 (reference range: 74-99 mg/dL)
CHOLESTEROL 230 (reference range: 100-200mg/dL)
HDL 46 (reference range: 40-59 mg/dL)
LDL 172 (reference range: 0-129 mg/dL)
THYROID 1.19 (reference range: 0.27-4.20 uIU/mL)

Deep breath.

Ok, I think the glucose is actually high. I mean, it's only 2 above the reference range, and his doctor didn't mention it in his write up, but a fasting glucose of 101 makes me think DH should probably get a full workup for Type II Diabetes or at least pre-diabetes or whatever. I know there is a connection between blood sugar levels and artherosclerosis, but I'm not really clear on exactly how that works. Still reading on that one. Anyone have any more info? By comparison, my latest fasting glucose was 78 and it's never been above 85/86.

Cholesterol. Holy crap. His cholesterol has never ever been above 200 before. And now his LDL is so out of whack. LDL of 172!!!! And HDL (good cholesterol) is a pitiful 46. This is scary. In fact, these numbers are so bad it makes me re-think the statin advice. (His doctor wants him on 40mg/day of SIMVASTATIN starting immediately. Up until now I felt this was nuts because we weren't expecting his cholesterol to actually be this high (and the ratio so horrible).

Thyroid. My feeling is that even though this is well within the reference range, that this thyroid number is sub-optimal. Can any of our thyroid experts here weigh in on this?
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:49 AM
 
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You'd need free-T3 and free-T4 to know what's going on, that TSH alone isn't very helpful unless he doesn't have any symptoms that point to thyroid.

With the family history you've discussed, I think changes are in order, but if I had total cholesterol of 230, I wouldn't mind. Beats the heck out of 130 (actually 138, which is where I was last year). But based on his family history and the fasting glucose, changes are in order.

I think you've got a lot of good stuff to read here. For us (DH and I have had health issues in the past few years) we're focusing on figuring out what _our_ bodies need, and what we are less tolerant of, compared to everyone else. There really is a difference in what people need and can tolerate (in the healthy sense, not in the "surely Cokes and Twinkies every day isn't _too_bad_, is it?" way). Our bodies can work well, if we provide enough of the good stuff and reduce the bad.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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Did they run a fasting insulin? That would be interesting.

I'm not at all concerned with the 230 cholesterol - it's the ratio that is really alarming.

Your DH REALLY has to get on board with diet changes. He needs to eat like a diabetic - like a diabetic *really* should, not like the diabetic association recommends. Bernstein lays this all out in his book. Cutting back on carbs & sugar will help with the blood sugar/insulin problems which lead to heart disease.

If it were my loved one, I'd drastically change the diet - & be hardcore about it. That's all I'd do for now. Lots of good fats, good animal protein, non-starchy veggies. No fruit or grains or starchy veggies. (I think low sugar berries, like blueberries, raspberries, etc) would be okay here & there.)
Then I'd recheck the cholesterol & blood glucose & blood insulin. I think a challenge is a better way to check how the body responds to a typical meal. Eating a "balanced" meal & then checking insulin an hour or two later would be more telling. Obviously, a meal including a good amount of carbs is going to result in a higher reading than a low carb meal.

Meals should be simple: meat, non-starchy veggies, fat. No snacking between meals. If he gets enough protein & fat in his 3 daily meals, he shouldn't be hungry in between. The body needs *at least* 4 hours to stabilize insulin levels before more food is eaten. Once his body heals, he'll probably be able to snack again, but nothing carby/sugary.

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Metasequoia... slightly OT - what about the popular dieting advice to eat 6 small meals a day or whatever? And people on MDC (and some pediatricians/child experts) say you should let kids graze all day - that they eat healthier this way, self-regulate better, etc. Really - the old 3 squares a day advice is best?
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:58 AM
 
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He might think about going raw...check out the film Raw for 30.
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