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November / December 2002


       We want to be healthy and vibrant in the season of joy, but we have to be realistic.  This is not the time to go on a draconian diet or become a recluse.  So, admit that you’re going to eat the turkey, the latkes, the roast beef, the cakes, candies, cookies, nogs, wines, etc.  That being said, how do we avoid a world record cholesterol count and a triple by-pass?

Cholesterol - Unfortunately, the subject of cholesterol has been muddied by the pharmaceutical industry.  In the first place, the problem is not really cholesterol.  Cholesterol is the precursor to the sex hormones and you can have all sorts of cholesterol floating around as long as you do not have high homocysteine levels.  Homocysteine causes cholesterol to stick to your arteries. How do you get rid of homocysteine?  A thousand milligrams of TMG (Trimethylglycine) a day will probably take care of it.

What about the drugs classified as statins?  This is a bad scene.  Baycol was pulled off the market because it caused fatal kidney failure.  Lipitor is known to kill off your liver.  They same thing is true for Zocor, Mevacor, and Pravachol.  To make things worse, the American Heart Association recently lowered the cholesterol level guideline from 130 to 100.  This means that suddenly 24 million Americans are now in the “danger zone” for heart disease and will be pushed onto the statins.  This will be a disaster, since a cholesterol count below 140 can cause nervousness and make the victim accident prone.

Want to hear the really appalling news?  Cholesterol-lowering drugs have been related to massive, fatal heart attacks.  Why? Because they attack and destroy CoQ10, the enzyme that keeps your heart beating.  There is a statin that does not do that – cholestatin, which is vegetable based.  There is a new compound, called policosanol, which is a mixture of long-chain aliphatic alcohols which occur naturally in sugar cane.  Policosanol improves healthy blood flow, prevents the formation of blood clots, and does not interfere with CoQ10.

Blood pressure – blood pressure, along with cholesterol, is one of the things that often makes me want to beg people to cut down on prescription drugs!  Consider that if prescription drugs worked, the United States would be a disease-free society.  Half the Americans with elevated blood pressure are put on drugs which cause them to die faster than if they had been left alone.  Why? Because these prescriptions include diuretics which raise serum triglyceride levels.  When the trigylceride levels rise, the risk of a heart attack goes through the roof.  You want to control your blood pressure?  Get control of your anger and other emotions.  Quit smoking.  Improve your diet.  Find an exercise routine you can live with.  A 30 minute walk at 4 mph three times a week or using a treadmill while watching television or listening to music ought to be within your reach.  Losing a few pounds usually lowers your blood pressure.  If your pressure is high and you are still smoking, come for acupuncture.  Patients usually quit smoking in three treatments. 

The answer to high blood pressure is not diuretics which drain essential minerals out of your body and overburden your kidneys, or beta blockers which slow your heartbeat to a crawl, or calcium channel blockers which can cause heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.  The answer is balancing the body’s natural levels of potassium and magnesium.  Potassium is nature’s diuretic and magnesium relaxes the arteries to ease blood flow.  You can take Cal-Mag formulas or eat two oranges, one banana, and three servings of deep green vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, or romaine lettuce) a day.  Meditation – sitting paying attention to your breathing for ten minutes twice a day – is also effective.

Recipe: Romaine Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss 6 tbs of evo (extra virgin olive oil) with 10 large unpeeled garlic cloves in a small baking dish.  Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden – about 45 mins (30 mins in a convection oven.) Cool and squeeze garlic from skins.  Reserve oil.

Transfer garlic to processor. When pureed, add oil, 2 tbs of honey, 2 tbs of apple cider vinegar, 2 tbs of apple cider, and 1 tbs Dijon mustard.  Use to dress 8 cups of romaine, cut into bite-sized pieces.  Add 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese and 1 cup of nuts (pecans or walnuts.)

What about all that sugar and salt?  Let’s take salt first.  Some people are born with a higher need for salt than others.  There is no evidence to support salt causing high blood pressure.  If you already have high blood pressure, then you should limit your intake.  As to sugar, have you been told you have adult-onset diabetes?  And did your physician immediately put you on a sugar-lowering pill called a glypiside, like Metformin?  Did he warn you that this is a path that winds up with the patient taking insulin?  And once you are on insulin, the road back is very difficult.

Unless you were born a diabetic (Diabetes I), your problem is related to diet, exercise, and some imbalances.  Many people with Diabetes II produce plenty of insulin, but the body can’t use it because of a deficiency in taurine, an amino acid.  Here is my list of supplements for people with Diabetes II:

  • Complete B Complex capsule a day.
  • Vanadyl Sulfate complex capsules a day, divided dose (also contains chromium picolinate).
  • Glucose Optimizer tablets a day, divided dose (contains both gymnena sylvestre and bitter melon).
  • 25 mg DHEA a day. If it is ineffective, up the dose. You can take up to 100 mg a day. Your body produces this naturally.
  • Alpha-lipoic Acid: 800 mg a day, divided dose at first.
  • L-carnitine: 500 mg a day, divided dose.
  • N-acetyl carnitine: 250 mg a day, once only.
  • Taurine: 1000 mg a day, divided dose, at first.

Try to remember that sugar is no worse for a diabetic than anything else.  You just have to watch how much you eat and when and balance it out with other food.

You’ll watch some television during the holiday season.  Be smarter about what you’re listening to.  There is an advertisement which tells you how wonderful Fosamax is for osteoporosis.  It will not bother to tell you that the people who take this have a 160% increased risk of developing serious gastrointestinal problems which will require medical attention.  Beware of any medication being hyped with a warning about your liver.

The clinic carries all of the supplements listed in this newsletter.  Please call Suzie to inquire.


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