(VIDEO) Heart Health
Outline for the class
Brief Dr. Zachary Intro
Some Basic Anatomy
Cholesterol Reality Check
Fat, Cholesterol & Heart Disease
Causes of Heart Disease
Tests for Risk of Heart Attack/Stroke
Partner with your MDs
Options for Testing
Nutrition Testing DEMO if time allows
End on time, free to go, I’ll stay after for questions
Brief Dr. Zachary intro
Some basic anatomy
Muscle to pump blood
Tubing to and from the heart
Perception - that heart is “bad” - sometimes that’s the case, often other issues such as in the flow of blood, the arteries holding the blood and plaquing are where the problem originates
Get a clear idea of what’s involved
A strong, healthy heart muscle
Strong but flexible blood vessels (think tubing)
Blood flow at a nice stable pace (not high BP)
Blood that isn’t tearing up the insides of your vessels (think high BS and inflammation)
Cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year
Kill approximately one woman every 80 seconds
25% of ALL DEATHS due to cardiovascular disease
LEADING CAUSE of death for both men and women
Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms
Heart Attack: Chest pain or discomfort, upper back pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea/vomiting, extreme fatigue, upper body discomfort, and shortness of breath.
Arrhythmia: Fluttering feelings in the chest (palpitations).
Heart Failure: Shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of the feet/ankles/legs/abdomen.
Stroke: Sudden weakness, paralysis (inability to move) or numbness of the face/arms/legs, especially on one side of the body. Other symptoms may include: confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech, difficulty seeing in one or both eyes, shortness of breath, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, loss of consciousness, or sudden and severe headache.
Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.
THIS IS AVOIDABLE about 80% of the time - and that's the conservative estimate.
Class geared toward prevention - one of the best ways to prevent CVD is to NOT get diabetes or scramble quickly to reverse it - more on diabetes and sugars later.
High blood pressure
high LDL cholesterol
Overweight and obesity
Excessive alcohol use
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) includes
Angina - chest pain/discomfort when heart muscle deprived of O2 rich blood - feels like a pressure or squeezing. Can also feel in shoulder, arm, neck, jaw or back - can feel like indigestion. (not a disease but a symptom).
Coronary Artery Disease - critical blood supply to the heart (arteries) become narrow or plaque builds up. Hard plaque can crack and rupture attracting platelets and a blood clot can form around the plaque blocking the artery - this can starve the heart of O2 and cell death occurs (the heart is a muscle) - this is a heart attack.
Heart Attack - myocardial infarction (MI), is permanent damage to the heart muscle. Go to ER if you think you are having a heart attack or call 911 - don’t delay.
Stroke - blood flow to an area in the brain is cut off and those cells die due to O2 and glucose deprivation - if not caught early damage can be permanent. Call 911 if you think you are having a stroke!
Ischemic - clots form in brain’s blood vessels (like heart attack but in brain...can also be elsewhere in body and travel to brain). Can also be from plaquing in the arteries - both methods block blood flow and cause cell death. This accounts for 80% of strokes.
Hemorrhagic - blood vessel breaks or bursts in brain - blood floods brain causing damage. Most common is from high blood pressure or aneurysm (from weak/thinning arterial wall).
Typical medical treatment
Treatments vary widely and can include lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, stents, pacemakers, and ablation.
Bile acid sequestrants - supposed to stay in gut side effects include GI symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea constipation - the idea is to bind bile acids and stop them from being reabsorbed thus forcing liver to use up cholesterol in blood to make more bile. Bile is essential for the absorption of fat.
Statins - method of action is to reduce production of cholesterol by liver but this impacts all the ways the body uses cholesterol (vit D production, hormone precursor including Serotonin). Risks include increasing insulin resistance, lowering CoQ10 enzyme (highest in demand by the heart), Myopathy (very painful muscle death). Decreases production of vitamin K2 (essential for cardio health including calcium regulation).
Beta blockers - blocks effects of stress hormone on the heart, used for High Blood Pressure (HBP), irregular heart beats and after first heart attack. Impacts uptake of neurotransmitters (norepinephrine & epinephrine) including in the brain.
Blood thinners - (ex. Warfarin, aspirin) decrease platelets ability to clot.
Coronary angioplasty - procedure used to open clogged heart arteries by temporarily inserting and inflating a tiny balloon where your artery is clogged to help widen the artery.
Coronary artery stent - small, metal mesh tube that expands inside a coronary artery - propping it open.
Cardiac ablation - procedure to scar or destroy tissue in heart that's allowing incorrect electrical signals to cause an abnormal heart rhythm - catheters threaded through blood vessels to heart where they map your heart's electrical signals.
Potential side effects of cardiac ablation:
Damage to the artery used for the catheter insertion
Damage to heart valves and coronary arteries
Esophageal atrial fistula
Fluid around the heart
Procedure may not work
Need for a pacemaker
Too much cholesterol in your arteries and plaquing the walls is a RESPONSE to something that is already wrong...fixing just the cholesterol doesn’t fix the original problem AND can lead to other problems. You need to address elevated cholesterol (see blood lab section) but you also need to address WHY it’s elevated - and most important - find out which kind?
(edited from Weston A Price Foundation)
Provides cell membrane essential stiffness and stability. (Excess polyunsaturated fatty acids in diet replaces saturated fatty acid making cell wall “flabby”. Cholesterol from the blood is “driven” into the tissues to give them structural integrity. This is why serum cholesterol levels may go down temporarily when we replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated oils in the diet.
Cholesterol acts as a precursor to vital corticosteroids, hormones that help us deal with stress and protect the body against heart disease and cancer; and to the sex hormones like androgen, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone.
Cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D, a very important fat-soluble vitamin needed for healthy bones and nervous system, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle tone, insulin production, reproduction and immune system function.
Bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of fats in the diet.
Recent research shows that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant. This is the likely explanation for the fact that cholesterol levels go up with age. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer.
Cholesterol is needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is the body’s natural “feel-good” chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies.
Mother’s milk is especially rich in cholesterol and contains a special enzyme that helps the baby utilize this nutrient. Babies and children need cholesterol-rich foods throughout their growing years to ensure proper development of the brain and nervous system.
Cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease but rather a potent antioxidant weapon against free radicals in the blood, and a repair substance that helps heal arterial damage (although the arterial plaques themselves contain very little cholesterol.) However, like fats, cholesterol may be damaged by exposure to heat and oxygen. This damaged or oxidized cholesterol seems to promote both injury to the arterial cells as well as a pathological buildup of plaque in the arteries. Damaged cholesterol is found in powdered eggs, in powdered milk (added to reduced-fat milks to give them body) and in meats and fats that have been heated to high temperatures in frying and other high-temperature processes.
Poor thyroid function (hypothyroidism) will often result in high cholesterol levels. When thyroid function is poor, usually due to a diet high in sugar and low in usable iodine, fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients, the body floods the blood with cholesterol as an adaptive and protective mechanism, providing a superabundance of materials needed to heal tissues and produce protective steroids. Hypothyroid individuals are particularly susceptible to infections, heart disease and cancer.
Fat, Cholesterol & Heart Disease
Framingham Heart Study
Study began in 1948 and involved some 6,000 people from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts.
Two groups were compared at five-year intervals—those who consumed little cholesterol and saturated fat and those who consumed large amounts.
After 40 years, the director of this study had to admit: “In Framingham, Mass, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. . . we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.” The study did show that those who weighed more and had abnormally high blood cholesterol levels were slightly more at risk for future heart disease; but weight gain and cholesterol levels had an inverse correlation with fat and cholesterol intake in the diet.
Example - the French diet is loaded with saturated fats in the form of butter, eggs, cheese, cream, liver, meats and rich patés. Yet the French have a lower rate of coronary heart disease than many other western countries.
Cause of Heart Disease
excess consumption of vegetables oils and hydrogenated fats
excess consumption of refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour)
mineral deficiencies (magnesium , iodine)
deficiencies of vitamins, (C, E, D, K2 due to CA2+)
Not enough antimicrobial fats from food
Not protected against viruses and bacteria that have been associated with the onset of pathogenic plaque leading to heart disease
Tests for Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke
Test Your Sugars
A REAL sugar panel to assess how you balance your blood sugar
Insulin, Fasting Glucose, Hemoglobin A1C (HgA1C), Estimated Average Glucose (eAG), HOMA-IR, C-Peptide, Adiponectin, Leptin
Why does it matter? How hard your heart has to work. How big of a flow (think firehose) is pushing through vessels that might be ready to blow, or filled with unstable plaque.
Advanced Cardiac Labs
These are just the basics and tell more about your fat metabolism and liver health than your heart health:
These advanced labs reveal what’s really going on:
Total LDL particles (LDL-p)
Remnant Lipoprotein (RLP)
Dense LDL III
Dense LDL IV
Buoyant HDL 2b
Omega 6/Omega 3 ratio
EPA, DPA, DHA (O3 FA)
Too many people have been led to believe that "dad had a heart attack, it's just genetics, I probably will too."
Advanced Inflammation Markers
MPO (Myeloperoxidase) shows high risk of near term cardiovascular event (within 1-6 months), esp if also high CRP
Oxidized LDL - moves rapidly into arterial walls, increase risk of heart attack 4x
Lp-PLA2 (Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2) - enzyme produced by macrophages/monocytes - increased levels associated with soft, active growing plaque that’s not stable. 2-fold increased risk heart attack or stoke
GO OVER COLOR SHEET
THEN BLC SHEET
SHOW SAMPLE LAB SHEETS
*******Be especially concerned when you see elevated CRP, Homocysteine, Adv Heart Markers and elevated blood sugars.
Special note regarding RLP (Remnant Lipoprotein)
Does NOT need to be oxidized to penetrate arterial wall
Scavenged by Macrophages (which are responsible for detecting, engulfing and destroying pathogens and apoptotic cells - immune response)
Viruses and Bacteria now known to be contributor to plaque - get immune healthy!
Avoid diabetes - balance your blood sugar
Food - NO CANOLA OIL or other PUFAs, eliminate or lessen sugars (it drives up your Triglycerides, it lowers your immune response, it turns to fat in your body, it elevates your insulin and tears up your arteries leading to plaquing), increase healthy fats including saturated fat, eliminate or limit grains (or know how to eat/prepare correctly), in most cases eat cholesterol (ex. Egg yolks), don’t eat processed foods
Link to more info on fats https://goo.gl/JdqTFc
Get the weight down - try our next Body Love Challenge (no charge classes, tracking and meal plans provided focused on weight loss and hormonal balancing)
Antioxidants - watch those free radicals
Cholesterol Antagonists - eats up the excess cholesterol in the bloodstream
Liver health (essential for good health!)
Adrenal health (managing your stress response which will drive up your blood sugar regardless of what you are eating!)
Address vitamin/mineral deficiencies (don’t randomly take vitamins/minerals including a multi!)
And of course - forget smoking, get out of the chair occasionally, consider getting a pet :)
Partner with your MDs
Share your lab results with your MDs and discuss if conventional medical treatment is needed. Create a strategy and be sure to reassess.
You can partner easily with your Holistic treatment providers who should be guiding you through lifestyle changes (diet, stress management, judicial use of nutrients, supplements and herbs) with the goal of improving your health and reducing/resolving the CAUSE of the heart disease or the risk of CVD.
Some of Dr. Zachary’s favorite tools addressing heart health, liver function, blood sugar balancing and cortisol management: Turmeric Forte, D3K2, Niacinamide B6, Soybean Lecithin, Hawthorn, Motherwort, Gymnema, Ashwagandha, Cardio+, Cyruta Plus, Milk Thistle, Antronex...and many others depending on the individual. It’s all customized and ideally all short-term use.
Don’t play Russian Roulette with crappy nutrients or guess on what’s needed - it just ends up being a waste of money. Create a treatment plan focuses on improving overall health and get reassessed so you can see improvement in your blood labs.
You have the power, your health is in your hands…
Options for Testing
List of labs through MD
You can take the list of labs and ask your MD to order - keep in mind that they might not be familiar with all the tests or have ability to order all of them
Be sure to check the cost as it can be very high!
Order through Spectracell
Dr. Zachary can order the tests for you through Spectracell (who will bill your insurance). The nice part is that if your insurance denies it (even Kaiser) you will NOT owe anything additional besides the co-pay they charge (which must be paid up front and in advance - please note this is a lab fee and BLC does not charge extra for this!). This is Spectracell’s CURRENT policy, we can’t guarantee it will always be this way.
Typical fees are around $55 for the CardioMetabolic test and around $55 for the Inflammation Tests. It is double that if you have Medicare or no insurance. If you want to add a Thyroid panel it is about $45. If you want to add a CBC w/differential (Complete Blood Count) it is about $15 and a CMP (Comprehensive Metabolic Panel) is about $15.
There are other labs (ex. Boston Labs) that will also provide some of these tests but in Dr. Zachary’s experience the best value was with Spectracell.
Please note that you would have to come in for a short blood lab analysis appointment (30 minutes) to go over results or do a full exam and the blood lab analysis is included.