If you have angina, and it’s under control, your cardiologist shouldn’t resort to surgery. But more and more surgeons are rushing to use the knife. But if you have angina, you don’t have to submit to surgery. You can beat the problem without dangerous surgery or drugs.
George did. He’s a 48-year-old man who came to see me about two years ago. And, unlike most of my patient’s, he did not want to be there. Two reasons: One, he was scared. And two, he was a skeptic about so-called alternative medicine.
He was scared because his well credentialed cardiologist had just told him that he needed an immediate bypass. It turned out that two weeks before he saw me, George, who had been healthy and strong all his life, suddenly came down with angina. The doctors in the emergency room called in a cardiologist who ordered an angiogram the next day. The results of the angiogram showed significant blockage of two of George's coronary arteries. And even though George had not had any more angina attacks since the first one, this doctor insisted that he undergo the knife.
George discussed the situation with his wife, who was an enthusiastic advocate of natural medicine. She talked him into getting a second opinion from me. Like I said, George was a skeptic. But like a good many skeptics, he knew he didn't know everything, and was not adverse to learning.
The two of them came in with all of their hospital records, scans, x-rays, and the angiogram report. I explained to George that the only documented reason for an “emergency bypass” was unrelenting angina. Since his angina was well controlled on medications, his cardiologist was wrong to insist on an emergency procedure.
Next, I told him that in the close to 30 years that I’ve been using natural medicine to treat hundreds of patients with angina and coronary artery disease, I’ve never seen one fail to respond to natural medicine with one proviso. And that was that they did everything I told them to do. I have had a few failures in patients who were not willing to go the full distance. But in those who were willing to change the way they lived, 100% had cured their coronary condition. I guess I must have been convincing, because George did decide to give his body a chance to heal itself, and signed up for the full program.
What to do about my cholesterol and HS-CRP?
One of the things that both George and his wife were concerned about was his high bad cholesterol numbers and his elevated HS-CRP (highly sensitive C-reactive protein). His LDL (the bad one) was 176 mg/dL. Anything over 160 is considered unsafely high. And his HS-CRP was 8.6 mg/L. Anything over 2 is considered dangerous, and a level as high as George's was definitely unsafe.
Conventional medical “wisdom” would be to place George on some kind of drug that would interfere with the way his body made CRP. But natural medicine is different. In natural medicine, we want to know why his CRP is so high. And then we want to correct the imbalance that was causing the elevation. In George's case, the reason was literally staring me in the face.
In the last 20 years, George had put on 32 pounds of body fat. And he wasn’t fat all over. His fat distribution was almost completely limited to his abdomen. In fact, if you were to look at the rest of his body, and not pay any attention to his mid-section, you would think that he was close to a normal body fat percentage. George had what in the medical literature is called central adiposity. In lay terms, we would simply call it a beer belly.
But no matter what you choose to call it, the fat that likes to deposit itself in the abdomen (called visceral fat) is a different kind of fat than the fat that appears in other areas of the body. And there’s a growing body of evidence showing that visceral fat directly causes inflammation, and elevates CRP. The inflammation caused by visceral fat is a common condition that’s linked to insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and yes, coronary artery disease.
How does it do it?
Well, it seems that like with everything else in the human body, it is a complex series of events. But one thing that we know for sure is that unlike other forms of fat tissue, visceral fat secretes a host of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are molecular messengers that cells can make and release in order to communicate with each other.
Some cytokines are anti-inflammatory, and some are pro-inflammatory.
Several studies have shown that greater levels of central adiposity result in higher circulating levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines. These include interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and CRP.
So armed with this knowledge, it was not too difficult to come up with a game plan to treat the cause of George's elevated HS-CRP.
First, I checked his fasting insulin level. Sure enough it was 16 uiu/ml. Laboratories will report this as being in the normal range. But as I explain in my book, The Type 2 Diabetes Breakthrough, any value over 10 is unhealthy, and will cause the accumulation of visceral fat.
Next, I did a Bio-Energy Test on George. Bio-Energy Testing is a testing procedure that I developed over 20 years ago that uses an FDA-approved hospital grade oxygen analyzer that can determine how well George’s cells were able to produce energy from oxygen. Bio-Energy Testing is absolutely invaluable in the practice of medicine. And I’m happy to say that more and more practitioners are starting to use it. You can find more information about Bio-Energy Testing, and a list of centers currently offering it at www.bioenergytesting.com.
More specifically, the Bio-Energy Testing process is also able to verify whether or not George was producing the majority of his cellular energy from fat or from sugar (also known as glucose). People with healthy metabolisms produce greater than 75% of their resting energy from fat, and 25% from sugar. It turned out that George was not producing any of his energy from fat. It was all coming from sugar! No wonder he was getting fatter. But it gets worse.
Since his body was producing all of his energy from sugar, it was constantly running out of sugar. Keep in mind that the human body can only store a very small amount of sugar. So it's really easy to run out of sugar supplies, especially if that's all the body is burning.
So what did George do when his sugar stores were running low? He ate sugar. Or to be more specific, he ate high carbohydrate foods, such as fruits and grains, because they convert to sugar very quickly. But every time he ate these high-carbohydrate foods, he stimulated his body to make more insulin. The result? High insulin levels leading to increased central adiposity and an elevated HS-CRP.
But that’s not all.
There are other imbalances in the body that can cause an elevation in CRP. One is a deficiency of vitamin C. Another is a suboptimal level of the omega-3 oils (fish and vegetable oils), especially when combined with an excess of the omega-6 oils (from animal fat and grains). Another cause is a suboptimal level of zinc – a very common occurrence in the US.
Curing an elevated HS-CRP naturally
I won't go into everything that we had to do with George to cure his condition, because that's not the point to this article. But certainly a big part of it was bringing his elevated HS-CRP back into line.
Inflammation is a killer, and expecting his body to heal itself while still under the ravages of inflammation was too much to hope for.
The first thing was to change George's diet. Now some people would rather have a bypass than change their diet, but George was not like that.
Besides that, we made it easy for him. Our nutritional consultant set up a diet with his full input that included many of the foods that he liked. We decreased his intake of fruit and limited him to the lower glycemic fruits, such as berries. Likewise, we curtailed his intake of grains. Instead, we focused his diet on plenty of vegetables, salads, raw nuts, and fish.
The vegetables are loaded with a class of substances called plant sterols, which cause the body to produce less of the bad cholesterol and more of the good (the HDL). Not only that, but vegetables are lower in carbohydrates, and have a very low glycemic effect. This means that by eating them, George was going to decrease his insulin levels, and start losing some of that visceral fat he had accumulated. Vegetables are also a good source of omega-3 oils. Now that his diet was in line, we were off to a good start.
Next were some supplements
The first thing was to start my Super Immune QuickStart. This is a nutritional food powder that I developed over 25 years ago. It is a mixture of protein, fiber, detoxifying herbs, immune enhancing herbs, vitamins, algae, minerals, and antioxidants. It's sort of a one-stop-shopping approach to what all of our bodies basically need to remain strong and healthy in the face of all the toxicity and stress that we face in this modern era. QuickStart covered any need that George may have had for additional nutrients, including vitamin C and zinc.
And, lastly, I put George on two additional supplements to augment what he was already doing with his diet. One was a capsule that contains 500 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). EPA is the omega-3 oil that’s most responsible for putting a lid on the inflammatory process. I gave George two capsules, twice a day. And in addition to the EPA, I added in a mixture of plant sterols to the tune of 5,000 mg per day.
I waited about three months to recheck George’s HS-CRP level because I knew that reversing the last 15 years of bad habits was going to take a while. When three months came around, George had lost 15 pounds, and was feeling “as good as ever.” And he was very happy to see that his HS-CRP had dropped 75%.
Six months later, after he had lost all of his visceral fat, his HS-CRP was <0.5. It doesn't get much better than that. And by the way, George's cholesterol levels became normal. Needless to say, he didn’t need that bypass.
If you’ve got angina, you can follow the same type of program. It can literally save you from that potentially deadly bypass.