CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

By Lawrence Wilson, MD

© January 2011, The Center for Development

                  Cardiovascular disease includes symptoms such as heart palpitations, congestive heart failure or CHF, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, angina, arteriosclerosis, impaired circulation, hypertension, strokes and heart attacks.  Other, less common symptoms are chronic low blood pressure, perhaps Reynaud’s syndrome, infections around the heart, and others.

                  This article discusses a few of the more common heart conditions.  Hypertension is discussed in a separate article.  Click here for this article.  Also, read Raynaud’s disease for more on this common condition.

HEART PROBLEMS OFTEN EASY TO HELP WITH NUTRITIONAL BALANCING

            Many people find it hard to believe, but difficult cardiovascular conditions such as angina, congestive heart failure, and even cardiomyopathy respond well to nutritional balancing science, even when drugs and surgery do not work well.  Perhaps it is because nutritional balancing addresses stress on the body at deeper levels than any other type of medical or holistic therapies that I know of.

I have been amazed that even serious conditions for which medical doctors routinely recommend surgery such as aneurysms, cardiomyopathy, heart attacks and heart valve problems can often be easily stopped and even reversed in some cases.

                  Other conditions that respond very well are many cases of high blood pressure, clogged arteries or arteriosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, and other heart arrhythmias.

                  With this introduction, let us examine why nutritional balancing is so helpful in many cases to both prevent and correct cardiovascular health conditions.

SAUNA THERAPY FOR CARDIOVASCULAR PREVENTION, CORRECTION AND REHAB

                  Sauna therapy may seem dangerous if one has a heart condition, but it is often very helpful.  The sauna’s gentle heat improves circulation, and relaxes the sympathetic nervous system.  This is extremely helpful.  It also dilates the peripheral blood vessels, which helps lower an elevated blood pressure.  It also greatly enhances the removal of all the toxic metals and hundreds of toxic chemicals that often contribute to hardening of the arteries and many other cardiovascular conditions.

Near infrared energy also seems to have wonderful healing effects on the connective tissues that make up the cardiovascular system of the body.

 

MAGNESIUM AND HEART DISEASE

                  Magnesium plays a critical role in cardiovascular disease.  Magnesium is needed within the cells for the production of energy.  Magnesium is also required for muscle relaxation.  Low magnesium can result in symptoms ranging from tachycardia (fast pulse) and fibrillation to constriction of the arteries.  Other effects of low tissue magnesium include angina, high blood pressure and embolisms or thrombosis (heart attacks).

                  Modern diets are very low in magnesium.  Refining and food processing remove magnesium from grains and other food products.  Common foods like meats, fruits, eggs, and even most vegetables are rather low in magnesium.  As a result, most people do not get enough in their diets.  Organic food is much better for magnesium.

In addition, stress depletes magnesium.  Diarrhea can deplete magnesium as well.

            Magnesium on hair mineral analyses.  Many people with cardiovascular symptoms have low magnesium levels on their hair analyses, or magnesium is low in relation to calcium, sodium and potassium.  These people are usually fast oxidizers.  They are very prone to cardiovascular diseases.

                  Another group of people with cardiovascular symptoms have very high hair magnesium levels.  These are usually slow oxidizers.  Their calcium/magnesium ratios may or may not be normal.  The high hair magnesium is often a loss of magnesium into the hair.  The condition is called biounavailable magnesium.  These individuals need extra magnesium until they are able to utilize magnesium properly.

Heart remedies.  I do not like to recommend remedies because they are never a substitute for a proper diet and lifestyle, enough of the right drinking water, plenty of rest and a targeted nutritional supplement program based on a mineral analysis and done properly according to the method of Dr. Paul Eck.  However, if one is desperate and needs immediate help, here are a few excellent remedies to suggest.

Potassium and magnesium aspartate (Spartan MK from endomet Labs).   This is an especially well-utilized magnesium supplement.

Natural vitamin E. (d-alpha tocopherol or mixed tocopherols are even better, from wheat germ oil rather than soybean oil, if possible).  This is extremely helpful for some heart conditions.  However, in general one must not take more than about 800 iu per day.  More than this can raise blood pressure and it raises the Na/K ratio on a hair mineral sample.  This is not always good.

Magnesium glycinate, and to a degree citrate, malate and chelate.  These are very well-utilized magnesium supplements, better than magnesium oxide, for example.

COPPER AND HEART DISEASE

                  Dr. Klevay and other researchers proved that copper deficiency is associated with an increased risk of arteriosclerosis.  Low copper is actually associated with almost all heart problems.  Copper is needed for the health of the connective tissue in the body, which includes the heart, the arteries, the veins and otheres.

Fast oxidizers tend to be copper deficient.  Slow oxidizers often develop heart disease because they all have biounavailable copper. 

TOO MUCH ZINC, B-COMPLEX AND VITAMIN C CAN MAKE HEART PROBLEMS WORSE

In the book, Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis, (2010 edition) is a case of a friend’s mother who was being treated for a heart valve defect by regular and holistic cardiologists.

Unfortunately, her treatment made her far worse because excessive amounts of zinc, B-complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and perhaps either magnesium may induce a copper deficiency.  This can be deadly.  Please read this case before taking much of these supplements for heart problems.

ZINC AND ARTERIAL FLEXIBILITY

                  Zinc is required for the synthesis of protein structures.  Adequate zinc helps to keep the artery walls flexible.  Zinc deficiency is associated with increased brittleness and hardening of the arteries.  Hardening increases blood pressure, and increases the chances for strokes and aneurysms.

                  Low zinc allows the tissue sodium level to rise, which can contribute to high blood pressure and fluid retention.  Low zinc also allows cadmium to accumulate.  Cadmium toxicity is usually involved in hardening of the arteries.  It is easily removed with a nutritional balancing program.

 

THE SODIUM/POTASSIUM RATIO

                  An important indicator for cardiovascular disease is a hair sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1.  This ratio indicates tissue breakdown. This can result in cardiomyopathy (destruction of the heart muscle) or irritation of the arterial walls.

The breakdown of arterial tissue causes weakening of the arteries and an increased tendency for hemorrhage, aneurysms and strokes.  Weakening or irritation of the artery walls may cause the body to respond by coating the arterial walls with fatty or calcium plaques.  The results are arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis.

                  A sodium/potassium ratio less than 1:1 is considered a strong trend for a heart attack or other serious cardiovascular disease.

TOXIC METALS

                  Toxic levels of certain minerals are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  Toxic metals harm the body by displacing vital minerals in enzyme binding sites. 

Cadmium replaces zinc in the arterial walls, causing increased brittleness and hardening of the arteries.  Cadmium in the kidneys causes congestion that can raise blood pressure, placing extra stress on the entire cardiovascular system.       

Iron. Toxic levels of iron can infiltrate the heart muscle and contribute to heart failure.  Iron is also an extremely inflammatory mineral that can inflame the arteries and other structures of the heart.  Diseases such as hemochromatosis and hemosiderosis involve a buildup of iron in and around the heart.

Mercury, lead and other toxic metals can contribute to calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper deficiencies and thereby increase blood pressure and increase the risk of other cardiovascular symptoms.

Mercury is also involved in some heart rhythm problems and other heart diseases.  Mercury can affect the heart’s pacemaker, leading to arrhythmias and other disorders.

OXIDATION TYPES AND HEART ATTACKS

                  We distinguish two metabolic types, fast and slow oxidation.  Other types are mainly a combination of these in some degree.  Interestingly, two primary types of heart attacks (or myocardial infarctions) occur.  Let us correlate how these relate to the metabolic rate and metabolic type, as discovered using hair tissue mineral analysis research.

                  Coronary Thrombosis.  This is the most common type of heart attack.  It occurs when a small piece of arterial plaque or other foreign material completely clogs a coronary artery leading to the heart muscle.  The area served by this artery is then deprived of blood, and therefore of oxygen and nutrients, and the muscle dies, or is damaged to some degree.

                  This type of heart attack correlates best with slow oxidizers.  These individuals tend to develop clogged arteries with a buildup of calcium, toxic metals or fatty plaques in the arteries.  They also tend to have more sluggish circulation, which can also lead to plaque buildup.

                  Hair tissue mineral analyses on these individuals tend to show high levels of calcium and magnesium, and lower levels of sodium and potassium.  Toxic metals may or may not be revealed on early tests because the energy level is low and the toxic metals may be hidden deep within body tissues, including the artery walls.

                  These individuals may also develop high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases for the same reasons explained in the paragraph above.

                  These heart attacks are often non-fatal because only one or a few coronary arteries are involved.  With adequate bed rest, magnesium infusions, vitamin E and other standard supportive care, the body can often develop what is called collateral circulation to go around the clogged coronary artery.  New blood vessels grow and surrounding blood circulation may also become enhanced to nourish the heart muscle.

                  Sympathetic Nervous System Heart Attack.  The arteries have muscles in their walls.  In this type of heart attack, the arterial muscles contract or spasm to such a degree that they inhibit the flow of blood to the heart.  A vicious cycle occurs, in which the shock of the coronary artery spasm causes an alarm reaction in the body that further stresses the body, causing even more spasm of the coronary artery.

If this cycle is not broken, death can easily result.  This

type of heart attack is often fatal because it can affect most or all of the coronary arteries at the same time.  Thus there is less chance for the heart to continue receiving enough oxygen and nourishment to continue beating.

                  This type of heart attack occurs more often in the metabolic type called the fast oxidizer, especially if the oxidation rate is extremely fast.  In these individuals, the hair tissue levels of calcium and magnesium tend to be quite low, usually less than 30 mg% or 300 ppm of calcium and usually less than 3 mg% or 30 ppm of magnesium.  The hair sodium and potassium levels are often quite elevated due to stress.

                  These individuals may or may not have somewhat clogged arteries secondarily that contribute to their cardiovascular problems.  Also, these individuals may be quite young and may appear to have very healthy coronary arteries. 

Blood pressure may be normal or even low at times.  Labile hypertension is more common among them, as the pressure can rise and fall as the arterial muscles contract and relax.  These are people for whom a shock can cause a sudden, massive and fatal heart attack with no warning.  Emotions such as anger, resentment and other strong feelings may play a large role in the causation of this type of heart attack.

EMOTIONS AND LIFESTYLE 

                  Studies indicate that anger turned inward is associated with increased blood pressure and greater risk of heart attacks.  Frustration, hostility and resentment in particular create this pattern.  Not all 'type A' personalities have more heart attacks.  The angry and frustrated 'type A' personalities have a greater risk of heart attacks.

                  Lifestyle plays an important role in the prevention and correction of heart disease.  Exercise has been shown to be very important.  Adequate rest and sleep, sunshine, skin brushing, stress reduction and other natural therapies are all helpful.

DIET AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

                  There is much emphasis on saturated fat intake and heart disease.  This is undoubtedly important for slow oxidizers who have difficulty with fat.  Dr. Dean Ornish demonstrated reversal of plaque formation with a combination of a low-fat, vegetarian diet, meditation and exercise.

                  Robert Atkins, M.D., a New York cardiologist, as well as many researchers since, have found that a low carbohydrate diet with some fat is very helpful for certain cases of heart disease.  These are most likely fast oxidizers.  In these individuals, some fats and oils balance body chemistry and lead to improved health.

OTHER NUTRIENTS

                  Vitamin C, vitamin E, chromium, selenium, potassium, essential fatty acids, especially the omega-3 and omega-6 family, coenzyme Q-10, bioflavinoids, and other nutrients are critical for the cardiovascular system.  Heart glandular substance and herbs such as cayenne pepper, hawthorn berry and others may also be helpful.  Enhancing energy production by balancing the oxidation rate helps many cases.

                  For these reasons, a complete scientific nutrition program that addresses all the above is the best approach for prevention and correction of cardiovascular disease.

 

WATER INTAKE AND HEART DISEASE

                  Improper water and bad hydration of the body are critical causes for some heart problems such as impaired circulation, and even high blood pressure.  Research has shown clearly that drinking softened water is not healthful for the heart.  Hard water, which is much higher in calcium and magnesium, is far better. 

Also, do not drink distilled water for more than about 6 months, as it will begin to leach vital minerals from the body.  The same is true of reverse osmosis water, only worse.  Please do not drink these waters on except on an occasional basis.  For more on water, read Water For Drinking.

                  How much water should one drink? Adults need about 3 quarts of water to drink daily.  Beware that drinking any caffeine, sugar or alcohol not only does not hydrate the body.  These substances deplete water from the body, making hydration much worse.

 

SALT-EATING AND HEART DISEASE

                  One of the stupidest recommendations is for people to stop eating all salt to lower their blood pressure and help their health.  It is true that common table salt is a horrible refined product.  But even this provides a few minerals that the body desperately needs.

                  Meanwhile, sea salt is an excellent product that in almost all cases will not raise blood pressure and provides many essential trace minerals that almost everyone needs.  Doing without it just makes most people much more mineral-deficient.