Atherosclerosis, also known as “hardening of the arteries,” occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of arteries and form hard structures called plaques. Learn how to naturally reverse hardened arteries.
Hardening of the arteries begins with an injury to the endothelium, the lining, of artery walls. The injury is due to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, eating too much sugar and flour, smoking, free radicals produced by bodily processes and many other factors.
In response to the injury, white blood cells, along with lipids (fats), begin to accumulate along the inner layer of the artery. These fats and white blood cells begin to oxidize (become rancid) and build up in the artery walls, forming plaques. These plaques begin to harden and bulge inward, and then grow larger. Even then, there are no symptoms until the narrowing reaches 70 percent. If the plaque is disturbed or bursts, blood platelets can accumulate at the site and form a clot, which can grow until it completely blocks an artery and cuts off the oxygen supply to the heart, brain, or other body part.
Pieces of plaque can also break off and move to smaller blood vessels, blocking them. If the clot completely blocks the blood and oxygen supply to a major artery leading to the heart, the tissue begins to die within minutes. A heart attack ensues. If an artery to the brain is blocked the result is a stroke. Atherosclerosis that affects the arteries in the arms, legs or pelvis is called peripheral artery disease.
Healthy blood vessels are elastic and flexible, accommodating changes in physical activity and stress levels. But in atherosclerosis, blood vessels stiffen and reduce blood flow by 15 percent or more. Your heart has to work harder to make up the difference.
Atherosclerosis is responsible for coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in the US. It is responsible for at least 43 percent of all deaths in the US. The only countries beating us in heart disease deaths are India (#1 at 1.5 million deaths yearly), China (#2 at 700,000 deaths yearly), and Russia (#3 at 670,000 deaths yearly). The US has 500,000 deaths yearly. There are 2002 statistics. Worldwide, heart disease is running rampant as our deadly diet is reaching the corners of the globe.
Atherosclerosis is often called the silent killer, as the first sign for many is a fatal heart attack or stroke. Atherosclerosis doesn’t cause any symptoms until narrowing of an artery reaches 70 percent or becomes completely blocked. In blockage of heart arteries, symptoms can include:
- Chest pain (angina). Angina feels like pressure or squeezing in the chest. It results from reduced blood supply to the heart muscle, an increased demand for oxygen by the heart, or emotional stress. It can also manifest as pain in the shoulders, arms, back, neck or jaw. Angina typically worsens with activity and is relieved with rest.
- Shortness of breath. This is your heart or body gasping for oxygen that is not being delivered due to blocked arteries.
- Indigestion. This can be a result of angina or a heart attack.
- Arrhythmias. An abnormal heartbeat can be too slow or too fast.
- Numbness, tingling, pain, and infections in extremities. The symptoms of peripheral artery disease, where arteries are beginning to harden in the legs and arms, include numbness, tingling, pain, and infections.
If you are older than 20, and have been eating a typical Western diet, chances are atherosclerosis has already begun. Risk factors include:
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance, Prediabetes, or Diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Use of birth control pills
- Estrogen replacement therapy
- Sleep apnea
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
Inflammation is the underlying cause of atherosclerosis and many other serious diseases. High blood levels of a protein called C-reactive protein indicate inflammation. Though modern medicine seems to blame high cholesterol for the disease, other parameters like fibrinogen and homocysteine levels are far more dangerous and indicative of atherosclerosis.
In the past, a diet high in cholesterol was viewed as a cause of high cholesterol, but this view is too simplistic. The body does not simply ingest cholesterol and then deposit it into the arteries. Cholesterol from food has no effect whatsoever on the level of our blood cholesterol. Cholesterol is only dangerous when it has been oxidized (by smoking, alcohol, bad diet, and not exercising). Many studies show that the damage caused by high blood sugar — from eating too much sugar and grains — scars the insides of the arteries, leading to damage. The liver then produces cholesterol to repair the damage. Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for repair of the arteries. Without it (when you take statins), you’re left with no way to repair the damage your diet and lifestyle are causing.
Heavy metal toxicity plays a role in atherosclerosis. Zinc deficiency, copper deficiency, or cadmium toxicity, weaken arterial walls and as a compensatory measure, the body deposits calcium or fatty substances to reinforce arterial strength. Imbalance in the calcium/magnesium ratio or an elevated calcium level may be associated with deposits of calcium in arteries. This response to toxicity and nutrient deficiencies hardens the arteries.
Many other toxins screw up cholesterol chemistry and contribute to hardening of the arteries. Phthalates in soft plastics and water bottles leach out into food and water that then sit in your cells and damage their ability to properly metabolize cholesterol. Teflon from your frying pan or mercury from fish and dental fillings also damage your cholesterol chemistry. There are thousands of industrial chemicals working synergistically to destroy your body and its ability to protect itself. The only answer is to educate yourself on toxic substances, avoid them and detox your body of these poisons. You can read more about how to avoid common toxins in my article Reduce Your Exposure to Cancer Causing Agents.
An examination with a stethoscope, where your doctor is listening for a whooshing or blowing sound, can indicate atherosclerosis. High cholesterol levels that show up on blood tests suggest an increased risk for atherosclerosis. The following tests can also help diagnose atherosclerosis:
- Electrocardiogram (EKG): A test to record the heart’s electrical activity. It shows how fast the heart is beating, its rhythm, and can reveal signs of heart damage caused by coronary artery disease and signs of a past or present heart attack.
- Echocardiogram: This test uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. It also yields information about the size and shape of the heart and how well the heart’s chambers and valves are working. Echocardiography can also reveal areas of poor blood flow to the heart, areas of the heart that aren’t contracting normally and previous injury to the heart muscle caused by poor blood flow.
- Computed Tomography (CT Scan): With this test you get computer-generated pictures of the heart, brain or other areas of the body. In the case of the heart, it can show narrowing of large arteries and reveal calcium build-ups in coronary artery walls.
- Stress Test: This is a test to show how long you can continue to walk on a treadmill as the speed increases and how fast your heart rate returns to normal after 30 minutes or less of exercise. A stress test can also reveal abnormal changes in heart rate or blood pressure, shortness of breath or chest pains and abnormal changes in your heart’s rhythm or electrical activity.
- Angiography: A flexible tube (catheter) is put in a blood vessel of the arm, groin or neck and dye that can be seen on an x-ray is injected through the catheter to the arteries. Then x-rays show whether plaque or a clot is blocking an artery, how severe the blockage is and the blood flow through the arteries.
- Ankle/Brachial Index: This test for peripheral artery disease compares blood pressure in the ankle with blood pressure in the arm to reflect how well blood is flowing.
- Doppler Test. These use ultrasound or sound waves. It can show how well blood is moving through the arteries.
- Magnetic Resonance Arteriography (MRA). This is a special type of magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) scan that can show how well blood is moving through the arteries.
If hard science and patient benefit were central factors in determining treatment, these conventional procedures would be a rarity. But invasive cardiology has nothing to do with science. It has nothing to do with saving lives or improving quality of life. It has to do with money. These procedures generate more than $120 billion a year, a windfall that makes up approximately 45 percent of the total revenue of most hospitals! That’s why angioplasty and bypass remain popular, despite dozens of studies — not one of them showing that either of these procedures prevents heart attacks or premature death for the overwhelming majority. Even if you get one of these procedures, half of patients are clogging up their ‘new or improved’ vessels within six months of the operation.
The following medical treatments and procedures are likely to be recommended by your cardiologist:
- Angioplasty. This is done to open blocked or narrowed coronary arteries, improve blood flow and relieve angina. It may include installation of a stent (a small mesh tube) to keep the artery open after the procedure. According to findings from the COURAGE trial—the definitive study on elective angioplasty— eight of 10 patients who undergo this procedure are inappropriate candidates who would be better served by more conservative therapy. Even when the angioplasty procedure is performed without problems, the artery can narrow again months afterward. For instance, my father has this procedure done, but it did not hold and needed to be redone. It ultimately did nothing for his heart health. Narrowing of the artery post-angioplasty can be caused by blood clots occurring at or near the site of the treatment. Aspirin, heparin, coumadin, warfarin or combinations of anti-clotting drugs are generally used before and after the procedures to try and prevent this. Warfarin and coumadin were originally and still are used as rat poison. Oh, but it thins your blood so you should take it if you have heart problems.
- Coronary artery bypass grafting. A surgical procedure that involves taking blood vessels from other areas of your body to “bypass” narrowed areas of coronary arteries in order to improve blood flow to the heart, relieve chest pain and, possibly, prevent a heart attack. This same procedure may be used to bypass narrowed or blocked arteries in the leg. This surgery is invasive and unnecessary. Simple dietary and lifestyle measures can completely reverse blocked arteries. My grandfather and uncle both had this procedure. It involved months of recovery with both speaking of never feeling the same again. The both entered into a slow, steady decline following the surgery. Studies show that you’re more than twice as likely to die from this surgery as you are from heart disease.
- Carotid endarterectomy. Surgery to remove built-up plaque from the carotid arteries in order to restore blood flow to the brain in an effort to prevent a stroke. This surgery can result in bleeding, infection, blood clots, brain damage, stroke or heart attack.
- Aspirin. Fire your doctor if he recommends taking aspirin to prevent heart attack. High cholesterol and heart disease is not caused by a deficiency of aspirin. Two decades ago it was shown in the Journal of the American Medical Association that aspirin provides no protective benefit. Eight other studies have shown aspirin more than doubles your chance of having a stroke. Aspirin also promotes age related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in seniors. So, why is this treatment recommended? A 1992 Lancet study funded by the Bayer Corporation (oh, the maker of aspirin!) concluded that aspirin reduced the risk of heart attack. The reason this study showed such great results is because Bayer provided the study with Bufferin, which contains magnesium oxide. Magnesium deficiency is rampant in our society, contributing to all kinds of health problems, including heart disease. It was actually the magnesium, rather than the aspirin, that showed such promising results.
- Low Cholesterol Diet. As soon as high cholesterol is diagnosed, you’re told by your doctor to go on a low cholesterol diet. Eeeeh. Wrong. This is dangerous advice. Without sufficient cholesterol, we cannot make our hormones or the membranes of our brain, heart, and other cells. Our brain is 25% cholesterol. It needs cholesterol to function. Without sufficient dietary cholesterol, you are more vulnerable to heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. This is useless advice because the liver can make three times as much cholesterol in a day as you could eat. It makes 80% of our cholesterol regardless of dietary intake of cholesterol. The dietary staple shown to increase cholesterol is sugar, flour, and refined grains.
Wendy’s Recommendations for Natural Treatment
Modern medicine says that hardening of the arteries cannot be reversed once it has occurred. This is not true. With commitment to alternative treatments and changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can reclaim your health. On the flip side, I realize there are some people unwilling to make these lifestyle changes. It takes work and dedication — or they can’t afford treatments their insurance won’t cover. In these cases, conventional treatment may be the only answer to extend their life. I recommend making the following natural treatments to both lower the risk of atherosclerosis and reduce symptoms once it has manifested.
- Exercise. Regular exercise helps maintain the health of the vessels leading to the heart. Exercise also can strengthen the heart muscle itself. Walking after meals, even just for 10 minutes, can reduce blood sugar after meals, and prevent further damage to the blood vessels.
- Stop smoking. Smoking oxidizes cholesterol, causing it to deposit in your blood vessels and contribute to atherosclerosis. This is the single most important change you can make to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. A great program is 14andout.com.
- Control blood pressure. While I don’t recommend controlling blood pressure by taking blood pressure medication, I do recommend all the suggestions in the brilliant book The Blood Pressure Hoax by Sherry Rogers.
- Control cholesterol. The standard tests for cholesterol are outdated. The standard cutoff for high cholesterol is 200, but healthy levels are different for many people. You don’t want your cholesterol levels too low either. Low cholesterol levels below 150 are associated with premature death and many, many health problems. The body needs some cholesterol. You want to look at the size of your cholesterol particles, not just the total cholesterol number. Most doctors do not look at this parameter, even though it is the only meaningful way to evaluate cholesterol numbers. You can have LDL cholesterol that looks normal, say 100, but you may have over 1,000 small LDL particles which are very dangerous. On the other hand, you can have the same LDL number of 100, and it may be made up of 400 large particles which cause no real health risk. HDL cholesterol is very protective — it cleans up oxidized LDL. LDL cholesterol is the culprit causing hardened and blocked arteries. It’s fine as long as it’s not oxidized, but it becomes oxidized with smoking, lack of physical activity, stress, industrial chemicals and a toxic diet. For more information on how to control your cholesterol and get to the root cause of the issue, listen to my podcast with Jimmy Moore, author of Cholesterol Clarity.
- Control diabetes. High blood sugar contributes to hardening of the arteries. Note that current research shows that statins (cholesterol-lowering medications) may, in fact, contribute to diabetes. I beg you to reconsider when your doctor advises you to take toxic medications like statins or insulin. You’ll be taking meds to control your high cholesterol, which cause diabetes, which in turn causes hardening of the arteries! Medications make people sicker quicker. Diabetes can be cured. You can also listen to this podcast I did on how to Heal Diabetes Naturally.
- Maintain good dental health. In a new study published in the British Medical Journal researchers found that people with poor oral hygiene had a 70 percent increased likelihood of developing heart disease compared to those who brushed regularly. Because gum disease can cause atherosclerosis, it is vital to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. Flossing breaks up bacteria colonies in the gums that can get into the blood stream and cause infection and inflammation in other parts of your body. Most importantly, be sure to have regular dental checkups and get your teeth cleaned every six months to remove plaque buildup. If this is not removed, you are very likely to get periodontal disease, which contributes to heart disease.
- Mineral Power with Hair Mineral Analysis. My Mineral Power program tests for mineral levels and heavy metals, allowing you to do targeted remineralization of your body – imperative for your health and detoxification. Hardened arteries are due to calcifications of the arteries. This situation is caused by adrenal fatigue and copper toxicity. When the tissues have low sodium and potassium levels, the body is not able to retain calcium blood serum levels and calcium leaches out in to tissues, including the arteries. This situation can be reversed on a Mineral Power program by healing the adrenals and removing calcifications from the body and arteries. Hardened arteries are also in part due to zinc deficiency. The body is then forced to patch the arteries with cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, that makes the arteries hardened and brittle. Eliminating heavy metals and industrial chemicals, built up in your system over your lifetime that are aggravating or causing this condition, will no doubt help atherosclerosis. In the process, you will greatly increase your overall health and prevent future diseases from developing. For more information see Mineral Power Program.
- Infrared Saunas. Infrared Saunas are imperative to sweat out the hundreds of industrial chemicals we ingest every day. These chemicals not only contribute to hardening of the arteries, but so many other diseases and health conditions. Read more about them in my article about Infrared Saunas. You can purchase many different types of saunas in the Live to 110 store.
- Enhanced External Counterpulsation. EECP is a nonsurgical therapy with incredible benefits for the cardiovascular system. It stimulates the formation of collateral circulation, or new blood vessels around clogged arteries. This is like a natural heart bypass! It’s much cheaper than open heart surgery, which will run you $100,000. EECP can be performed every day for 30-45 days at $200 a session. The overwhelming majority of people who do this therapy do not end up having to undergo bypass surgery.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) restores blood flow and helps build collateral circulation. HBOT forces oxygen into your cells, oxygenating your tissues and clearing out toxins.
- Hippocrates Health Institute. If you need serious intervention to improve your health look no further than the Hippocrates Health Institute. This amazing institution has rejuvenated patients, very much alive today, after their doctor told them there was nothing more to be done and to go home to die.
- The Whittaker Wellness Institute. Whittaker Wellness Institute in Newport Beach, Ca is one of the largest alternative medical centers in the US. Want to truly cure your atherosclerosis? Go here instead of your conventional doctor.
- Multivitamin. Oceans Alive Marine Phytoplankton is the earth’s best multivitamin. It contains 180 nutrients – every nutrient the human body requires. And because it’s food-based there are no synthetic ingredients. Take 1-5 dropper-fulls per day. But beware. You do not want marine phytoplankton in capsules or powder as it goes rancid very quickly. I can only recommend Ocean’s Alive Marine Phytoplankton because it is in a special liquid keeping it fresh and preventing rancidity.
- Fish oil. 2000mg daily. EPA and DHA, fish oil’s primary omega-3 fatty acids, reduce inflammation, lower blood lipids (especially triglycerides), improve blood viscosity, and normalize heart rhythms. Taking these supplements can reduce cardiovascular mortality by as much as 45 percent. Reduce the suggested amount if you eat fish three times per week. A great fish oil by Metagenics can be found in the Liveto110 Store. I also love cod liver oil by Green pastures.
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). 200–600 mg daily. This antioxidant helps protect LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from oxidation, maintain healthy blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and can support optimal functioning of the heart muscle. You MUST take this if you have ever been or are currently on statins (high cholesterol medication). If you doctor did not recommend this supplement when prescribing statins, he is acting irresponsibly and shows a lack of scientific knowledge of the drug he is prescribing. When you go on statins, it poisons the enzymes in your liver that produces protective cholesterol and CoQ10, which you need to protect your arteries from further damage. I like Designs for Health CoQ10.
- Garlic. Long revered for its health benefits, garlic is rich in antioxidants and increases nitric oxide production. In a study of 15 men with coronary heart disease, researchers found that 2.4 grams of aged garlic extract reduced endothelial dysfunction by 44 percent. It’s best to eat either raw garlic or aged (fermented) garlic, but you can also take Kyolic aged garlic extract.
- Magnesium. 400–1,000 mg daily. Many heart attacks are precipitated by dangerously low magnesium. Many heart attacks an be prevented simply by supplementing with this mineral. Magnesium relaxes the smooth muscle tissues that dilate the arteries and reduce blood pressure. Heart medications and blood pressure medications cause magnesium deficiencies, making you sicker. Magnesium is best taken in chelated form. Large amounts of magnesium can cause diarrhea, so build up your dose gradually. A great chelated magnesium malate chelate supplement by Designs for Health and Jigsaw Magnesium is available in the Liveto110 Store. I take both to get a few different forms and cover my magnesium bases.
- TMG (Trimethylglycine). TMG is a vitamin-like substance that does a great job of lowering homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that, in excess, is irritating to the arteries and is strongly associated with inflammation and hardening of the arteries. Homocysteine level is a much more reliable indicator of heart disease than cholesterol levels. To lower homocysteine, most doctors suggest a combination of supplementary vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid rather than TMG, although TMG may work better and is recommended for inherited homocysteinuria. Get Allergy Research TMG in the Live to 110 Store. I take it every day.
- R-Lipoic Acid. 300mg daily. In a recent study at the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, researchers reported that 300 mg of R-lipoic acid improved endothelial function by almost 50 percent, and the antioxidant also enhanced the benefits of a drug used to treat heart disease. I prefer R-lipoic acid to the more popular alpha-lipoic acid because R-lipoic acid is all natural, making it more effective, while alpha-lipoic acid is a combination of natural and synthetic lipoic acid. I love Life Extensions Alpha Lipoic Acid.
- Nattokinase. Nattokinase is a unique enzyme that supports healthy clotting function and circulation. Nattokinase has the distinct ability to break down the adhesive substance that makes arterial plaque very sticky. In this way, it supports a preventative and reversing effect on blood clotting and plaque build up in the arteries. Nattokinase is derived from natto, a fermented soy food that is an integral part of traditional Japanese cuisine, and has been shown in studies to benefit the cardiovascular system. Nattokinase is a powerful proteolytic enzyme that has fibrinolytic health benefits. It is best known for its astounding fibrinolytic (anti-clotting) capacities. Perhaps its most supported use is in the area of cardiovascular health, where it helps to rejuvenate healthy fibrin metabolism and reduce blood clotting.
- Red Yeast Rice. 900-1800mg a day. Coratin by Metagenics is one of the most advanced products containing Red Yeast Rice. Coratin contains Monascus purpureaus, a red-pigmented yeast grown on rice. Numerous studies in China and the United States have demonstrated that red yeast rice preparations are helpful in maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels. This is important, as maintaining optimal cholesterol levels has been shown to be one component of maintaing good cardiovascular health. In addition to natural monacolins, red yeast rice contains the phystosterols, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol, as well as isoflavones and trace minerals, all of which can contribute to cardiovascular health.
- Curcumin. 2-4 g a day. Curcumin is world-renowned for reducing inflammation and pain. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric. This Turmeric by Oregon’s Wild Harvest contains highly bioavailable curcumin. Curcumin has been found in many studies to prevent buildup of plaque, therefore preventing onset of atherosclerosis leading to blocked arteries, stroke or heart attack. In laboratory studies on animals, it was found that turmeric extracts could lower levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol. Another study pointed out that curcumin prevents cholesterol oxidation that is the main reason for plaque buildup, destruction of blood vessels and heart attacks or strokes. Curcumin has vitamin B6, essential in maintaining optimal homocysteine levels, excess of which could cause plaque buildup and blood vessel damage. In a study on 10 healthy patients given 500mg curcumin for 7 days daily, their oxidized cholesterol levels in the blood reduced by 33%, total cholesterol by 11.63% and HDL cholesterol had a 29% increase.
- Annato Tocotrienols. 100mg a day. Designs for Health Annato Tocotrienols are extremely potent and effective for heart health by lowering cholesterol, healthy lipid levels and for defending against oxidative stress. The most effective concentrates shown to lower plasma cholesterol and oxidative indicators were those with low tocopherols and high tocotrienols.
- Essential Oil of Lemon. Lemon essential oil is pure potassium citrate. It dissolves calcium deposits in the arteries. Put 10-20 drops in a glass of water twice a day. Doterra, Young living, or any organic essential oil will do.
- Follow a low-glycemic diet. You must remove sugar, flour, and refined grains from your diet. Ideally, ALL grains, including whole grains, should be removed. The consumption of these foods raises blood sugar, which damages blood vessels. Consequently, your liver produces cholesterol to go in and repair the damage caused by these foods. This is one of the main causes of atherosclerosis.
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet. The Modern Paleo Diet is the perfect diet to reduce inflammation, a major cause of atherosclerosis. It is also low-glycemic.
- Omega-3. Atherosclerosis is associated with a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids. Eat more oily fish, fish oil supplements, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and flax seed. Grass fed, organic meats have significantly more omega-3 than conventionally raised factory-farmed meats. Factory-farmed meats are very high in omega-6, which block the absorption of omega-3 even if you eat sufficient quantities and take fish oil.
- Flaxseed. Mix a quarter cup of ground flaxseed in juice and drink it once a day, an hour before your main meal. Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber. Soluble fiber binds to bile acids in the intestinal tract and interferes with the reabsorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. In addition, flaxseed is nature’s richest plant source of protective omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). Because the oils in ground flaxseed can quickly become rancid, I recommend using whole flaxseed, rather than pre-ground seeds. Whole flaxseeds are extremely shelf-stable and can be stored for years. Organic golden flax seeds are the best. These tiny golden or brown seeds have a rich, nutty flavor and can be sprinkled on cereal and salads or mixed in water or a protein drink (stir and drink quickly, as it thickens as it sits). Simply grind them in a food mill or coffee grinder before serving. Ground flax seeds can be kept fresh in the fridge for two months.
- Avoid Trans Fats. These deadly fats raise cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease more than any other food. They are in almost all processed foods and ALL fast foods. If trans fats were eliminated from the food supply, heart disease would be reduced by 50%! Avoid any foods with partially hydrogenated oils or interesterified fats on the ingredient label.
- Avoid Fried Foods and Vegetable Oils. Research on endothelial function has clearly shown that eating deep-fried foods can have a disastrous effect on your blood vessel tone. Vegetable oils are touted as healthy by the food industry because they are so profitable, but they are actually highly inflammatory. The only exception is healthy olive oil.
- Avoid Wheat. Wheat is known to cause inflammation and other health problems in most people, not just those with gluten sensitivity. There are typically no symptoms, unless you are gluten intolerant. Gluten is the protein in wheat. Repeated exposure to wheat accelerates glycation (a type of chemical reaction that happens when sugar molecules attack proteins or lipid fats) in the lining of your arteries, contributing to hardening. Read more about why wheat is bad for you in Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. For more information, you can also read my article Gluten Sensitivity Affects 1 in 3.
- Avoid Sugar. Blood sugar must be controlled in order to stop and reverse the onset of atherosclerosis. This means avoiding sugar and anything else that will raise blood sugar, like most refined grains. Sugar acts like shards of glass in the arteries. It cuts the insides of the arteries, causing scar tissue. This scar tissue builds up and hardens the arteries. Sugar and other refined carbohydrates elevate insulin levels. Increased insulin levels are associated with increased cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and death from cardiovascular disease.
I hope this article spares your life and a lot of pain. I believe it clarifies the fact that you can overcome heart disease with natural treatments and completely sidestep conventional treatment. Of course, there are always exceptions – some cases are resistant to natural treatment. Western medicine only offers medication and surgery, which I believe should be last resort treatment options for atherosclerosis, heart disease or an emergency such as a heart attack. Cases of emergency require medical intervention and surgery.
I watched my father choke down over 10 medications a day, including statins for a decade, endure two angioplasties, and undergo countless heart tests. None of it did any good. He did tons of research on his own and seemed to be incredibly informed in his decisions. He mistakenly didn’t consider anything outside of western medicine. He died at the young age of 68. This does not have to be you.
Have I left anything out of this article? Do you have a story about how conventional medicine made you sicker or how natural treatments healed you? Please leave a comment below. I want to hear your story!
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This material is for educational purposes only. The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.