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The Ultimate Solutions to Heart Disease, Stroke & Alzheimers, part 5 – Diabetes

3rd April 2007 by Arrow Durfee Posted in Uncategorized

Defeat diabetes and your heart comes out a winner

The connection between type 2 diabetes and increased cardiovascular risk is almost as well known as the link between cholesterol and cardiovascular risk. Why? Well, like high cholesterol, there are patent medicines available for type 2 diabetes…so guess what? There’s plenty of government, media, and patent medicine industry interest in “solving” the diabetes problem. There’s even a National Diabetes Education Program funded by taxpayer dollars! But what the national education program isn’t teaching people is that risk of cardiovascular disease increases along with the gradual increase in insulin resistance years-even decades-before type 2 diabetes is finally diagnosed. So if you want to completely assess your present risk, have a glucose-insulin tolerance test (not just the glucose tolerance test) done. If the results show that you have insulin resistance, all the things you do to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes will also lower your cardiovascular disease risk.

Eliminate (yes, eliminate completely–even if it takes time) all sugar and refined carbohydrates (actually, cut back on carbohydrates overall).

Eat more protein.

Take the following supplements:

chromium (1,000-2,000 micrograms daily),

biotin (2-4 milligrams daily),

the entire B-complex (with at least 25-30 milligrams of niacin and 100 milligrams of niacinamide),

alpha-lipoic acid (100-200 milligrams daily), co-enzyme Q10 (30-60 milligrams daily),

vitamin K (2-4 milligrams daily),

vitamin C (2-3 grams daily),

a “high-potency” multiple vitamin/mineral containing magnesium, vanadium, zinc, copper, and manganese…and once again, fish oil (1 tablespoonful daily), which helps improve sensitivity to insulin.

If you find you have insulin resistance, diet, proper supplementation, and exercise can prevent you from ever needing the National Diabetes Education Program!

The heart-protecting program that can keep you looking young

You’ve probably heard of free radicals and know about the damage they can cause to your body. Well, lipid peroxides, the next item on our list of cardiovascular risk factors, are the result of that free radical damage. The major causes of free radical damage and lipid peroxides are smoking, chlorine and fluoride (found in most municipal water supplies), and chemical exposure, including exposure to household cleaning chemicals.

Supplements that can help protect you from lipid peroxidation include vitamin E, curcumin, and fish oil (is this starting to form a pattern or what?). Although “regular” vitamin E (as “mixed tocopherols”) is helpful, the “toco- trienol” form of vitamin E (50-100 milligrams daily or more) is significantly more helpful. You might also want to try taking 200-500 milligrams of curcumin each day.
Fish oil seems to be useful all-around for reducing cardiovascular risk, but when it comes to lipid peroxidation, there is a word of caution. Remember my often-repeated advice to “never take extra essential fatty acids without extra vitamin E”? Well, it’s especially true here. Without that extra vitamin E, extra essential fatty acids, including fish oil, can actually increase lipid peroxidation of cell membranes.

As a side note, high levels of lipid peroxides are associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke, but they’re not specific to those problems. High levels are also associated with increased risk of cancer and rapid aging. So the steps listed above can also help protect you-and keep you looking younger longer.

The hormone your heart may not be getting enough of

For men, serum testosterone and serum free testosterone should be a part of a complete cardiovascular risk evaluation. Testosterone lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease in many ways, including improving lipid levels, increasing tissue oxygenation, and decreasing abnormal blood clotting. If your testosterone levels are low, or even just slightly lower than normal, you can actually raise them without taking testosterone itself. Zinc (30-50 milligrams daily), vitamin A (40,000-50,000 IU daily), and boron (3 milligrams daily) can help, especially in younger men. For some men, the herb Tribulus terrestis (250-750 milligrams daily) can improve testosterone and free testosterone levels. If these supplemental items don’t help, talk to a physician about natural testosterone replacement.

Clearing up the HRT/heart disease hype

Pre-menopausal women have fewer heart attacks and cardiovascular problems than men of the same age. But after menopause, when sex hormone levels drop dramatically, a woman’s risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems starts to rise. All of these clues certainly seem to indicate that estrogens (and progesterone) protect women against cardiovascular disease, just as testosterone does for men. Unfortunately, 40 years of research on patentable horse estrogens and pseudo-estrogens have terribly clouded this issue, leading to headlines like the ones plastered on newspapers and magazines across the country last summer that erroneously claimed “Estrogens Increase Risk of Heart Disease.” While it’s certainly about time everyone knew that horse estrogens and patentable medroxyprogesterone do indeed increase cardio- vascular (as well as cancer) risk, those headlines had nothing to do with bio-identical human hormone replacement!

I’ve spent years researching this controversial issue, and I’ve never seen one piece of evidence to support that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of heart disease. In fact, given the available data, it appears that bio-identical estrogen and progesterone replacement actually lowers a woman’s cardiovascular disease risk. For more on this topic, see the September 2002 issue of Nutrition & Healing.

Two mineral secrets your heart needs you to know

Some researchers have found a connection between higher-than-usual iron levels and increased cardiovascular risk; others deny the connection. However, there’s really no reason to have an excess of iron, so if your serum ferritin and/ or serum iron level is higher than “mid-range” normal, decrease your iron intake from supplements, water (in some geographic areas), and possibly meat.

Magnesium has a well-deserved reputation as the No.1 cardiovascular disease prevention mineral. Among its many other heart-health functions, magnesium reduces the risk of abnormal heart rhythm, helps blood vessels to relax and dilate, and raises levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. So it makes sense that low levels of magnesium can contribute to heart problems.

The most accurate way to measure your magnesium level is by having a white blood cell magnesium (WBC-Mg) test. The remedy for low levels of magnesium is simple: eat more magnesium-containing food and take magnesium supplements. A general rule of thumb for finding magnesium-rich foods: Anything that’s green-naturally green, that is (lime Jell-O doesn’t count!)-contains magnesium. And one word of caution about supplements: Don’t take more than 400 milligrams of supplemental magnesium without measuring your own “intestinal transit time.” Intestinal transit time describes the length of time food takes to transit from the entrance to the exit of the gastrointestinal tract. Higher doses of magnesium can sometimes “speed things up,” which means you may not be absorbing it or the other nutrients your body needs.

Although estimates vary, a reason- able range for “normal” transit time appears to vary from 12-24 hours. You can measure your own transit time by eating beets or corn or swallowing charcoal tablets and observing how long it takes them to emerge. If magnesium appears to speed up your own normal transit time, cut back on your dosage until you reach the amount that brings things back to normal.

Some surprising tips on those “old news” risk factors

Elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol are such well-known risk factors that I’ll mention them only briefly here.
Reducing saturated fat intake has become the catch-all advice for combating cholesterol levels. But that’s not always true for everyone. Some serum lipid abnormalities (perhaps up to 30 percent) are caused by sugar and refined carbohydrates, not by too much fat in the diet.
For other people, reducing dietary saturated fat can be helpful, along with adding more sources of fiber (celery, carrots, and other root vegetables). Soy protein (in small to moderate quantities) can help lower lipid risk factors, as can garlic, onions, walnuts, and alfalfa sprouts.

A few of the many supplements effective for reducing elevated lipid risk factors include:
vitamin B3 (as inositol hexaniacinate)-500 to 1,000 milligrams, twice daily
policosanol (a natural supplement made from sugar cane)-10 milligrams, twice daily
vitamin E (the tocotrienol form)-50 milligrams, twice daily
pantetheine-300 milligrams, three times a day
guggulipid-500 milligrams, three times a day
calcium-800 to 1,500 milligrams daily
Oh yes…fish oil helps too!
To increase “good” cholesterol levels, take chromium (1,000 to 2,000 micrograms daily), magnesium (300 to 400 milligrams daily), and the tocotrienol form of vitamin E (50 to 100 milligrams daily).

Take it one step away from heart disease at a time

All of the other cardiovascular risk factors are just as important as your cholesterol and triglyceride readings in predicting your risk of cardiovascular disease-especially if you have a family history of heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problems.

The above list might seem a bit long, and even somewhat over-whelming. (This just goes to show you how much of the healthy-heart equation the “experts” are leaving out). But keep in mind that it’s a comprehensive list and not all these factors might apply to you. That said, take it one step at a time, starting with the first item on the list and working your way through the whole article, discussing each section with your doctor to determine your options.
Fortunately, if you find one or more risk factors at abnormal levels, they can all be brought back normal without the use of patent medicines.

Other conditions your C-reactive protein might be “reacting” to
If your C-reactive protein level is elevated, have a blood test done for antibodies to Chlamydia and Helicobacter, two microorganisms recently shown to be capable of infecting and inflaming blood vessels. Nanobacteria have been implicated, too. Use the internet to search for a physician who can help you have these tests done, as well as advise you about any necessary treatment.

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