Heart Disease - Printable Version
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Heart Disease - James - 07-22-2016 03:02 PM
Arterial plaque is an accumulation of calcified fatty acids on the arterial wall. Trauma to the arterial lining leads to an inflammatory condition on the artery wall. The body responds by laying down plaque as kind of a patchwork. Trauma to the artery may occur for various reasons, such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and bypasses. Bypasses are performed by cutting out a vein from the leg. The vein is not only cut out, it is also handled, trimmed, and sewn in to its new position. This massive amount of trauma to the vein used for the bypass inflames the blood vessel, and quickly leads to plaque formation and failure of the bypass. This explains why the original blood vessel occlusion from plaque takes many decades to build up, but bypasses generally fail within 2 to 5 years.
The easiest way to clean plaque out of the arteries is with the fatty acid lecithin. Lecithin is a fat emulsifier. In other words the lecithin helps to dissolve the fats in the arterial plaque so these fats will not adhere to blood vessel walls, and will be flushed from the body. I recommend lecithin granules over the liquid or pills. The recommended dosage is 1 tablespoon of the granules 3 times a day with each meal. They can be sprinkled over food or blended in juice or a shake.
Magnesium helps reduce the risk of heart disease by helping to remove arterial plaque, and by lowering blood pressure. Magnesium helps to remove arterial plaque by displacing the calcium in the plaque. This softens the plaque and makes it easier for the body to remove the plaque. Magnesium lowers blood pressure by acting similar to a calcium channel blocker. By pushing calcium out of the nerve synapse, blood vessels relax lowering the blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the heart muscle allowing it to work more efficiently.
Magnesium may also help prevent diabetic related heart disease. This action is due to magnesium's role in helping to regulate blood sugar levels, and by helping prevent damage to blood vessels due to the strong blood vessel constricting effects of insulin. Most of the serious side effects of diabetes are due to rupturing of blood vessels, or blood vessel damage, due to elevated levels of insulin in the blood. These side effects include diabetic retinopathy (loss of vision), renal (kidney) failure, gangrene, and heart disease.
Silica assists in preventing plaque formation in the arteries by strengthening blood vessel walls to prevent damage, and by acting as a mild anti-inflammatory. Tissue levels of silica decline as we age due to decreases in stomach acid. Therefore to ensure proper silica absorption avoid the use of antacids and acid blockers. Taking silica with an acid source, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid from citrus fruits, or acetic acid (vinegar) will aid in the absorption of the silica. Silica is found in fibers, diatomaceous earth, and herbs including bamboo, couch grass, and horsetail grass.
Other herbs that help with removing arterial plaque are hawthorn and violets. The flowers of hawthorn are the strongest part of the plant, though the leaves and berries are also effective. A combination of all three is the best. Hawthorn also aids in lowering blood pressure, and strengthens the heart muscle. The berries contain bioflavonoids that help stabilize blood vessel walls. Violets, or pansies, are an old time favorite for treating heart disease, which is why they are also referred to as heart ease. The plants not only remove arterial plaque, but they also contain a natural form of aspirin to help thin the blood.
Vitamin C helps with the prevention of heart disease by strengthening blood vessel walls. There were reports that vitamin C increased the risk of heart disease, though this came about from a misinterpretation of the actual study. The study found that vitamin C increase the thickness of arterial walls, and therefore someone improperly concluded that this narrowing increased the risk of a heart attack. The fact is that vitamin C, along with other nutrients, such as silica and sulfur, help to maintain the integrity of the arterial wall through the production of the proteins collagen and elastin, which give tissues their strength and elasticity. Without sufficient levels of these compounds in the tissues the blood vessels become more prone to damage, inflammation, plaque formation, and aneurysm. The best source of vitamin C is amla berries (Indian gooseberry). The berries are stronger and more stable than synthetic vitamin C, and it contains bioflavonoids that make the vitamin C work more efficiently. In addition amla berries significantly raise levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), which helps to reduce the inflammatory process that leads to arterial plaque formation.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs when the heart muscle fails to contract efficiently enough to pump the blood through the body properly. Treatment of CHF is primarily directed towards strengthening the heart muscle. This is generally done with cardiac glycosides, derived from plants, such as digitalis derivatives from foxglove. Though cardiac glycosides can be very dangerous because they not only slow the heart muscle, they can also lower blood pressure drastically. Cardiac glycosides can vary considerably in strength. For instance, digoxin from digitalis, and nerine and oleandrin from oleander are extremely dangerous to use. By contrast, the cardiac glycosides from lily of the valley and night blooming cereus (cactus grandiflorus) are much weaker and are generally safe when used properly. Even so, I highly recommend not using any cardiac glycosides without supervision by a doctor or herbalist knowledgeable on their use.
The herb coleus forskohlii has an effect similar to weak cardiac glycosides. Forskohlii contains an alkaloid, called forskohlin, which elevates levels of a cellular regulator, known as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). Like cardiac glycosides, cAMP slows the heart muscle and strengthens heart contractions. It also stimulates the production of another substance, known as nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels that in turn lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow to the heart. Forskohlii also helps to regulate the thyroid, which affects heart rate. And forskohlii has a stimulating effect on the pancreas, making it useful for some forms of diabetes, which can affect heart health.
Since blood clots can lead to heart attacks, it is often recommended that an aspirin be taken daily to thin the blood if a person is prone to heart disease, and is not already on blood thinners, such as coumadin (Warfarin). Daily aspirin intake though can lead to stomach ulceration and internal bleeding.
Note: Taking an aspirin during a heart attack has been shown by research to make things worse. Heart attacks are tissue death to the heart from a lack of blood supply to the heart. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause blood vessels to constrict further reducing blood flow to the heart.
Herbs that thin the blood include white willow, ginger, vanilla, ginkgo biloba, dong quai, lomatium, sweet clover, and red clover. The herb dan shen (salvia root) is used in Chinese medicine to actually dissolve blood clots.
Elevated blood sugar can increase the risk of heart disease due to insulin increases and elevation of triglycerides, therefore it is important to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Increasing chromium, and vanadium (vanadyl sulfate) intake are the easiest ways to maintain proper sugar levels. I recommend 200mcg of chromium polynicotinate (not picolinate) 3 times a day with meals. Polynicotinate is a niacin bound chromium, so it also helps maintain proper cholesterol levels. It is also 300 times stronger than chromium picolinate. Vanadyl sulfate functions like a natural insulin taking sugar out of the blood stream. Insulin is dependent on insulin receptors to carry sugar out of the blood. Though nearly all diabetics are type 2 diabetics, who produce plenty, and often too much insulin because their insulin receptors are either closed or missing so the available insulin cannot remove the sugar from the blood. Since vanadyl sulfate is not dependent on these insulin receptors, it can still remove sugar from the blood of type 2 diabetics. Vanadyl sulfate also has the ability to open closed insulin receptors as it carries the sugar out of the blood. The recommended dose of vanadyl sulfate is 50mg 3 times daily with meals.
Cholesterol levels do not an indicate the risk of heart disease. A person can have low cholesterol and still develop heart disease, where a person with high cholesterol may have no plaque build up. As mentioned before the plaque starts from trauma to the artery, not from high levels of cholesterol in the blood. So even if a person has high cholesterol, if there is no trauma to the arterial lining plaque will not form on the artery. Even so, it is still a good idea to keep your cholesterol levels to a reasonable level since we cannot determine if we have arterial damage or not. My favorite method of reducing cholesterol is with digestive bitters and lecithin granules, as explained earlier. Digestive bitters are bitter tasting herbs that cleanse the liver and stimulate the secretion of digestive secretions. Bitters are put on the tongue and swallowed. When swallowed they stimulate the bitter receptors on the back of the tongue. This in turn stimulates a nerve, called the vagus nerve, which in turn stimulates flushing of the liver allowing the liver to work more efficiently. This is important because the liver not only produces cholesterol, for hormone and vitamin synthesis, but it also is responsible for breaking down excess cholesterol in the blood. This is one of the reasons I am so against pharmaceutical statin drugs, used to lower cholesterol. These drugs are well known for causing liver damage, which when damaged will raise cholesterol levels excessively high. Red yeast rice is a good alternative to statin drugs, to lower cholesterol.
Soluble fibers also lower cholesterol. These are found in fruits, especially apples, and vegetables. Oatmeal, rice bran, and guar gum are also sources for soluble fibers.
Elevated homocysteine levels are believed to play a role in heart disease, though it is not clear how it contributes to heart disease. Homocysteine can be reduced though with SAMe or trimethylglycine (TMG). Personally I prefer TMG, which is a stronger methyl donor than SAMe, and TMG is considerably less expensive.