You are more likely to die from heart attack or stroke than anything else. Cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease are the top two causes of death (Ref1), responsible for the death of about one third of people in the US and in most industrialised countries (Ref2). What is strange, however, is that not many people seem to worry or even care about this. Well, at least not until it hits them in the face. Have you ever thought about it? Has your doctor not mentioned this? Is that surprising? Well, not really, because they also die primarily of heart attack and stroke and cancer, like everyone else, and they have no idea why.
To be fair though, some people do care, and some people do know, even some doctors, but only very few. Those who do, however, are usually not those who most need to, and those who really do need to, usually don’t. Funny how that is. And funny how this seems to be the case for so many things. Anyway, it is important to realise and remember that heart attack and stroke are together the single most important cause of death in most of the world, and are responsible for about a third of all deaths in industrialised countries. That is a lot.
Something else which is important to appreciate, is that heart attack and stroke are two manifestations of exactly the same problem: damage to the arteries. Moreover, and rather unbeknownst to most, Alzheimer’s disease, responsible for about 5% of deaths in the US (but 7% in the UK and 10% in Australia), as well as dementia and senility, are yet often a third manifestation of the same problem. In this case, it is the accumulation of plaques in the smaller arteries of the brain that gradually obstruct or block the flow of blood to specific areas, causing the gradual withering and eventual death of these brain cells. B12 deficiency, however, growing more severe with the passing years, is also a major cause of dementia and neurological problems in older people, but also in the young and the middle aged.
Now somehow, because these conditions most commonly manifest themselves in older folks, usually in their sixties, seventies or eighties, the rest of us just tend to ignore these obvious facts, pretending the whole thing has nothing to do with us. Do you find this sensible? You know it’s not. So, what do we need to know, and what do we need to do? Let’s paint a clear picture by asking a few basic questions, the few basic questions, answering them, and looking at the links between factors that emerge from this line of questioning.
Why do plaques develop and accumulate in the arteries? Because the cells and tissues that are part of the artery get injured, and the body’s repair systems are activated to patch up and heal the injured tissue. The plaque, just like a scab that allows the skin wound underneath it to heal, protects and provides the necessary constituents for the healing and repair of the artery wall. And just like a scab falls off on its own when the wound has healed, there are specific mechanisms to deconstruct the plaque, and recycle its constituents when the injury has healed. If, however, damage to the artery occurs faster than the time it takes to heal and repair, the plaques accumulate. This is exactly what happens in most of us.
Where do plaques develop? In the places where the blood pressure and blood flow are greatest, and particularly at arterial junctions where there is an important change in the angle of the blood flow from one arterial branch to another. This is very important. Moreover, plaques form inside the artery wall, not on its surface. This is also very important. Why are these two little facts so very important? Because they are completely contrary to the standard picture held by practically everyone about the development of arterial disease.
We have been taught, and hence absurdly believe, that plaques are made up of cholesterol and saturated fat that circulate in the blood, stick to our arteries, and that over time, grow into large bulges of cholesterol and fat that block the arteries. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is hard to imagine how a thinking person could have come up with a total failure of a pedagogical scenario as idiotic and absurd as this one. Still, this is what we believe. Isn’t this what you thought, at least at some point in the past, or actually even still think?
Firstly, neither cholesterol nor fats are water-soluble. Blood is 50% water and the plasma in which everything other than red and white blood cells is transported is 90% water. Therefore, neither cholesterol nor fats can circulate in the bloodstream on their own. They are carried around by lipoproteins of various sizes and densities that can be imagined as little spheres with a protein shell that hold fat and cholesterol on the inside (read more on this in What about cholesterol). These lipoproteins only open up and transfer their contents when they correctly latch onto a receiving gatekeeper on the surface of the cell, and this is so important that every cell has a lot of these ports to receive fat and cholesterol from the carrier lipoproteins.
Secondly, if it were the case that somehow fat and cholesterol floated and just stuck to the blood vessels, we would naturally expect to see a gradual appearance and accumulation of an evenly distributed layer of fat and cholesterol in all the arteries, as well as in all the veins. And this is not at all what we see: we see plaques in specific places and not anywhere else.
And thirdly, how in the world would the cholesterol and fat stuck to the blood vessel, somehow, magically, move from the outside to the inside of the artery wall without losing its structure or disintegrating? There is just no way. So please eradicate this erroneous notion from your conscious intellect, and spread the word to your family, friends and especially to your family doctor!
What causes injury to arteries? This is the million, or rather, the multi-billion dollar question, isn’t it? Because if we can answer this question, we can do what is needed to avoid arterial injury and damage. And no, it’s not cholesterol! (I know, I know, you’ve gotten that point by now). Well, fortunately, we know what causes injury to arteries, and get to that very soon. Unfortunately, there are several causes, and they are intertwined into vines of interdependent factors, each of which must be considered in the context of the overall picture. It is through this second point that I distinguish myself from most experts whose books I’ve read on the topic, that almost inevitably focus on one particular underlying cause or problem at the expense of the others, and more importantly, the relationship between them. Here we go:
Chronic dehydration is the most fundamental of all causes of arterial injury. Unfortunately, this is not generally recognised. But fortunately, it is the easiest to address and correct. Blood pressure is absolutely fundamental to all bodily processes and functions. The body has evolved an extremely finely tuned system for continuous control and refined adjustments of blood pressure, because everything depends on it. Since the circulatory system is pretty much a closed system (blood doesn’t go in or out), the pressure in the entire system is primarily a function of its water content (50%). Therefore, even a slight decrease in this water content, immediately translates to a drop in volume and thus pressure. This drop is sensed by many different types of cells in blood vessels, in some glands and organs, and in parts of the brain that continuously monitor the pressure in the system. This triggers a series of hormonal responses whose ultimate purpose is to raise the blood pressure back up to its optimal level, and maintain the precious balance that the organism and all of its parts require and strive for incessantly during every instant of their existence. And by the way, remember that none of these care about you, what you want, or what you like. They strive for optimal function and survival independently of you, for their own sake.
You can read more about this in The kidney: evolutionary marvel and in How much water, how much salt, and our amazing kidneys, but basically, it goes like this: drop in water content, drop in blood pressure: secretion of renin by the kidney, secretion of angiotensinogen by the liver, conversion to angiotensin I by renin, conversion to angiotensin II in the lungs, contraction of blood vessels in order to raise blood pressure; secretion of stress-response hormone vasopressin by the pituitary gland, more contraction of blood vessels, reabsorption of water and salt in kidney to raise blood pressure, secretion of glucose from the liver, secretion of blood clotting factors and platelets to thicken blood, secretion of stress hormone ACTH to reinforce all of the above. Bad news. All of it. Don’t you think?
The solution is very simple, drink more water and eat more salt to maintain sodium concentration in the blood; always drink on an empty stomach: up to 30-45 minutes before meals (at the very least 500 ml 30 minutes before), and then wait at least 2-3 hours after meals. Simple, easy and inexpensive, but highly effective and absolutely fundamental.
Magnesium deficiency is the second most fundamental cause of arterial injury. But once more, this is unfortunately not generally recognised either. Magnesium experts, (most probably unaware of the underlying problems caused by chronic dehydration), estimate that about 60% of all cardio-cerebro vascular events are attributable to magnesium deficiency. Why? Because magnesium is what allows muscles fibres to relax. It is quite straight forward: without enough available magnesium, muscle cells cannot relax; they contract and just stay contracted. This prolonged involuntary contraction is what we feel in the foot, calf or hamstring when we get a cramp. But the smooth muscle cells that line all of the blood vessels are much more sensitive to magnesium, extremely sensitive, in fact, because they are the mechanical means by which blood pressure is continuously regulated, moment to moment, in order to best adapt to the physiological conditions and needs in any given instant.
This function is far more important than the use of an arm or a leg, because it is vital to the survival of the organism as a whole, and therefore takes precedence in the body’s physiological hierarchy. Imagine if you experienced arterial spasms, and consequently, little heart attacks, as frequently as some of us experience muscle cramps in a foot, hamstring or calf? How disastrous! So the body’s physiological hierarchy definitely serves us also very well indeed. Nonetheless, even a slight deficiency in magnesium will cause dysfunction in blood pressure regulation by those smooth blood vessel muscle cells. Since the primary effect of magnesium deficiency is stiffening of muscle fibres, this will manifest in higher blood pressure, generally and in all circumstances, when relaxed or asleep, when exercising intensely or feeling stressed. Naturally, this does not get any better with time. Instead, degradation and dysfunction increase in severity at a faster rate with each passing day. The vicious cycle goes just like this: less magnesium, more stiffness; more stiffness, higher pressure, more arterial damage; more arterial damage, more plaques, more stiffness, higher pressure; and down and around it goes. Bad, bad news.
The solution in this case is also very simple: daily supplementation. You can read more about magnesium in Why you should start taking magnesium today. My updated recommendations for supplementation are as follows: use concentrated trace minerals in your drinking water, 20 drops per litre, which is just like drinking natural, mineral-rich water. This will result in 40 to 80 drops per day, and will provide 250 to 500 mg of magnesium, but also all the other trace minerals in their most natural ratio as found in sea salt (minus the sodium which is taken out). This is perfectly adequate, and over time will replenish magnesium in addition to all other mineral deficiencies that are usually just as bad but not as important or noticeable. This can take years, but that’s not a problem. Be patient and consistent.
Two or three times per week, (probably mostly in the winter), take baths with 2/3 to 1 cup of nigari (magnesium chloride) flakes. You have to soak for at least 30 minutes, and do not wash with soap or rinse off before coming out. In the summer, if you want to hasten the replenishing of your magnesium levels, you should use “magnesium oil” (concentrated solution of magnesium chloride and water; I recommend 20%, not more), and spray it on your arms, legs and body, avoiding sensitive areas because it stings a bit. In this case also, you must wait at least 30 minutes before having a shower to allow the skin to absorb the magnesium. I don’t recommend taking nigari solution orally because it irritates the intestines in the long run, especially the colon.
That’s it. And just like with good water intake, magnesium supplementation, especially using concentrated trace minerals in your drinking water, is also simple, easy and inexpensive, but highly effective and absolutely fundamental. We simply cannot be in good health without it, let alone in optimal health.
Simple and starchy carbohydrates that stimulate the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, are without any doubt the most damaging and dangerous substances that we call and consider to be food. And once more, and again unfortunately, this is not generally recognised. Now, I know that the above statement about carbs is a very strong one which, in fact, can be interpreted to imply that simple and starchy carbohydrates should not be considered food, per se. But I hold to this, because I believe we should only consider as food those substances that are, on the one hand, essential for survival, and thus also for optimal health, and on the other, health-promoting and not the opposite. And whether you know this already or not, whether you chose to ignore this fact, or even whether you believe it or not, simple and starchy carbohydrates fail on both counts: we do not need any whatsoever for survival and certainly not for optimal health, and the ingestion of even the smallest amount causes damage to the body, its systems and its metabolism. The less is consumed, the lesser the damage; the more is consumed, the greater the damage. But there is a threshold effect, so that above a given amount, the damage that is sustained by the tissues and organs increases rapidly.
Fundamentally, the process of arterial damage, the subsequent plaque formation and the entire genesis of cardio-cerebro vascular disease is an inflammatory process. This means that anything which causes inflammation will make it worse, but also that inflammation is at the root of the problem. So, what does this have to do with carbohydrates? Absolutely everything! Volek and Phinney write in The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living:
Inflammation causes our cells (specifically our mitochondria) to increase production of free radicals. Free radicals are like mini roadside bombs that interfere with normal cellular functions. So … : 1) dietary carbohydrate raises serum insulin; 2) insulin promotes inflammation … ; 3) inflammation increases cellular free radical generation; 4) free radicals attack any convenient nearby target; 5) ideal targets for free radicals are [cell] membrane polyunsaturated fats; 6) membrane polyunsaturated fats are important determinants of cellular function … (p. 82). Carbohydrate ingestion and … hyperglycemia activate a host of inflammatory and free radical-generating pathways. Some of these include: … activation of NF-kB which regulates the transcriptional activity of over 100 pro-inflammatory genes (p.186).
And to reinforce the case against insulin, Rosedale couldn’t be clearer on this in Insulin and Its Metabolic Effects:
If you drip insulin into the femoral artery of a dog, … , the artery will become almost totally occluded with plaque after about three months. The contra lateral side was totally clear, just contact of insulin in the artery caused it to fill up with plaque. That has been known since the 70s and has been repeated in chickens and in dogs; it is really a well-known fact that insulin floating around in the blood causes a plaque build-up. They didn’t know why, but we know that insulin causes endothelial proliferation. This is the first step as it causes a tumor, an endothelial tumor.
Insulin also causes the blood to clot … and causes the conversion of macrophages into foam cells, which are the cells that accumulate the fatty deposits. Every step of the way, insulin is causing cardiovascular disease. It fills the body with plaque, it constricts the arteries, it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, it increases platelet adhesiveness and coaguability of the blood. (p. 7)
There we have it. Although tons more could be said, and indeed, has been said, tried and demonstrated many times during the last half century, the only thing that we really need to understand and remember, is that both insulin and glucose in the bloodstream are like corrosive agents that both cause direct damage to tissues and fuel inflammation throughout the circulatory system and the organism as a whole. We didn’t even mention glycation, but you can read more about carbohydrates if you wish by browsing the articles in that category.
The solution in this case is also very simple: just eliminate simple and starchy carbohydrates from your diet. This one, however, is definitely much more easily said than done. However you look at it, there are no alternatives. It is just a question of time and motivation, understanding and determination. At least until it becomes a question of necessity, and in the extreme, a choice not just between health and disease, but between life and death. Plainly said, it is impossible to gain and maintain optimal health without eliminating insulin-stimulating carbohydrates from the diet. It is important to emphasise that fibrous vegetables (everything except for starchy and potato-like) do not stimulate insulin secretion. These should constitute the bulk in volume of what we eat every day.
Polyunsaturated vegetable oils are the other “food” substance that should be eliminated simply because they also promote inflammation and free radical damage. This includes all vegetable oils from seeds (sunflower, safflower, rape, etc), pulses (soya) and grains (corn) that are liquid at room temperature and in the fridge. You didn’t know that? Well, this is another one of those well established and demonstrated facts that most of us are unaware of. What else can I say? You can read about this in The Skinny on Fats by Mary Enig, but also in the books by Taubes, Volek & Phinney, Kendrick, Colpo and Ravnskov among others (see Bibliography).
Solution? Simple: olive oil is monounsaturated (you will notice that it solidifies in the fridge), and is the only one you should use in salads and dips; get high quality and use less. Otherwise, cold pressed, extra virgin, organic coconut oil and organic butter (unpasteurized is is much better if you can find it) are by far the best options for everything else.
Stress, negative physical, psychological and emotional stress, especially if it is chronic, is probably the worst assault that can be imposed upon the organism. In fact, many health and stress experts maintain that stress is definitely the most potent poison with the most immediate and most deleterious effects on all bodily functions and systems. Kendrick makes this the main thesis of his book on cholesterol and heart disease, and he does make a very convincing case of it. Other medical scientist have shown how psychological stress increases all disease markers, from the propensity to catching colds and flus, to the increased probability to develop degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. This seems amazing at first, but when we look into the details of what stress actually means, how stress manifests itself in our biochemistry, it becomes completely clear and obvious why it is so damaging. In addition, this is where we see how everything ties in together, and very explicitly at that.
One thing that should be clear is that any kind of negative stress induces the release of stress hormones. As we saw earlier, this triggers a bunch of reactions: contraction of blood vessels and rise of blood pressure, increased clotting, thickening and stickiness of blood, redirection of blood from digestive system, internal organs and brain, to large muscles in outer limbs, conversion in the liver of stored glycogen into glucose and subsequent release into the bloodstream, temporary insulin-resistance and thus inability to burn fat that also causes both blood sugar and insulin to remain in the bloodstream much longer than it rightly should. Temporary suspension and suppression of essential immune functions, increased magnesium needs as well as magnesium wasting are other really important immediate consequences of the presence of stress hormones in the system. Even though these biochemically mediated reactions are all very important when we need to fight or run for our lives, it is really bad in every other possible circumstance we may find ourselves in. And I am pretty confident that most of you rarely find yourselves facing a tiger or raging bull, but frequently feel that characteristic tightening of the breath, those butterflies in the stomach, the rush of blood to head, the wave of heat that seems to come out of nowhere, and all the other sensations associated with the surge of stress hormones through the body. In fact, you probably feel this much too often.
Now imagine this state of psychological and emotional stress, with all of its biochemical effects and metabolic consequences, as chronic: as how we live our life from one day to the next. What a disaster! We simultaneously induce and exacerbate all of the effects of chronic dehydration, of magnesium deficiency, of eating simple carbohydrates, and this, throughout the day, from morning to night. What an incredible disaster! So, no wonder we find that the more stress we feel, the more colds and flus we catch, the fatter we get, the more metabolic syndrome and diabetes we develop, the more heart attacks and strokes we suffer, the more cancers we grow and die from. And if that isn’t enough, sustaining such daily stress over an extended period will inevitably lead to adrenal fatigue, because the adrenal gland sitting on top of the kidneys that are continuously stimulated to secrete ever increasing amounts of stress hormones, just get exhausted. And then our cortisol and insulin levels are all screwed up, we can’t sleep at night, we can’t get up in the morning, we can’t concentrate, we cry for no reason, we forget things we shouldn’t and don’t want to, we are confused about everything and everything confuses us. Is that enough? Is that black enough a picture?
Is there a solution? Of course there is. First and foremost, it is crucial to recognise that the bulk of the stress that we impose on the bodymind is caused by the physiological assault at the cellular, metabolic and hormonal levels of the previous four factors: chronic dehydration, magnesium deficiency, insulin-stimulating carbs and polyunsaturated oils. Therefore, the most important thing to do to reduce our overall stress, is to do what is needed to take care of the first four factors, and to stop drinking coffee which always induces a stress response by stimulating the adrenal glands directly. Doing this will go a very long way in reducing and maybe eliminating stress almost completely. The first thing that everyone who adopts the green, mostly raw, alkalising ketogenic diet I promote, is how calm they feel after just a few days. And this calm becomes how you are in general. Why? Because stress hormone levels drop dramatically and quite quickly. And note that this is solely due to the biochemical and hormonal effects of this type of diet. Therefore, the importance of what we eat and drink on the overall stress levels cannot be understated: it is the most important! Unfortunately, as with many things I point out and underline, this is not generally recognised either.
Once you have done that, you will feel an entirely different person. Then, secondarily, for the psychological aspects, you really have to relax, take it easy, and take it slow. This may sound silly: telling someone who is stressed out to relax is almost as useful as telling someone who’s clothes are on fire that they should put out the fire before they get burnt. But, in many ways it is hard to say anything else: almost all the emotional and psychological stress we feel is self-induced. We simply work ourselves up. And that’s a fact.
We might very well invoke and attribute our stress to a thousand and one external circumstances and people and places and things to do and family problems and on and on, but in the end, the fact is that stress is self-induced. It is our response to all these things, these events, these circumstances, all of these things that are just our life, nothing more and nothing less. And it is our response that is either highly stressful, mildly stressful or not stressful at all. In other words, it is our attitude, our disposition towards what happens, that determines if we will feel stressed or not.
As soon as you understand and recognise this, the stress will ease up on its own: you will relax. You really have to just let go and relax. Change your attitude towards things. Just be cool and things will cool down for you. Just be calm and things will be calm. Take your time: walk slowly when you are going somewhere, speak slowly and listen to the person that is talking, leave early so that you don’t have to rush, just take your time in everything you do. This will help enormously. And you really have to do this, not just sometimes or for a while, but as the way you do things from now onwards. You will really feel the difference.
Biochemically, it is absolutely essential to optimise your B12 (aim for 800 pg/ml) and D3 levels (aim for 80 ng/ml). Both are really important for everything physiological and everything psychological. You can also use some natural helpers like tulsi (holy basil) as a tea (we start each day with that), or in extract; it is very effective at helping to calm down and it directly supports the adrenal glands, those that secrete the stress hormones. Valerian and melatonin are excellent non-addictive aids to sleeping soundly without side effects.
Maybe what is worth underlining at this point is the relationship that all of these variables have with each other, and particularly with stress. What I mean by this is that stress stimulates the release of glucose from the liver and leads to hyperglycaemia followed by insulin secretion, but ingesting sugar that directly causes hyperglycaemia and insulin secretion, induces stress on the system. Stress wastes and depletes magnesium, but magnesium supplementation reduces stress. Chronic dehydration triggers a comprehensive and full blown stress response, but a plentiful intake of high quality mineralised water and salt puts a stop to all of this and naturally suppresses the stress response. And although I haven’t mentioned this yet, it’s the same for food: all food that is eaten that induces stress on the digestive system—processed, chemical-laden, refined, overcooked or otherwise dead food—induces stress on the organism, a lot of stress. On the contrary, all food that instead provides enzymes, minerals and other phyto- and micro-nutrients—all raw veggies, nuts, seeds, coconut milk, superfoods—nourishes the body and its systems, and very effectively eases the stress on the organism as a whole. This is very important.
Free radicals, regardless of how they come to be in circulation in the first place, reactive oxygen species or free radicals are the source of a lot of damage, and this to all cells, tissues and organs. Naturally, they are also the cause of accelerated ageing, and consequently, promote the development of degenerative diseases. We now know that free radicals abound with high blood glucose, high insulin, high polyunsaturated oil intake, and chronic stress which combines and exacerbates all problems. So, in addition to implementing all previous solutions comprehensively, especially loading up on raw fresh vegetables and green juices every day, it is also really good to supplement with anti-oxidants. Obviously, it is intelligent to find and take only the best ones. In this regard, what I take and recommend is astaxanthin (Bio-Astin from Nutrex I think is the best on the market) and turmeric in capsules (from Organic India), at night after dinner.
Infectious viruses, bacteria and pathogenic microforms that circulate in the bloodstream have also very clearly been found to cause direct damage to blood vessel tissues. Ravnskov makes this his primary thesis in his book on cholesterol, fats and heart disease. And even though he does make a convincing case of it, with plenty of evidence and logical deductions, I am of the opinion that the terrain—the internal environment of the body—is ultimately what matter most, and in fact, if it is in optimal balance and health, then pathogens simply cannot either exist there, or if they do, cannot cause any harm. So, instead of looking for ways to kill and eradicate these, my focus is on attaining and maintaining a perfectly healthy and alkaline terrain such that there is no need to worry about pathogenic microforms, almost all of which thrive in acidic, oxygen-deprived environments. And this without saying anything about the Bechamp’s, Enderlein’s, Rife’s and Nassens’ observations and theories of the pleomorphic nature of microzymas or somatids, and their metamorphic cycle with three health-promoting and thirteen disease-promoting states. This fascinating story will be for another time.
Elevated free iron is very tightly correlated with increased incidence of cardiovascular events. It is well established that men tend to die about 5-10 years earlier than women. The fact is, though, that they tend get a lot more heart attacks with rates increasing with age up to about 50. But following menopause, women’s rates of heart attack steadily grow to reach those of men by the time they are 65-70.
This is due to excess free iron that is always much lower in women during their reproductive period, but that grows steadily after menopause. And it is well established that iron is definitely essential and actually also works as a potent antioxidant when it it in optimal concentrations, but that it switches to being a potent oxidant and irritant in the blood vessels in high concentrations. For men who do not exercise, iron concentration just grows with time, just as their risk and rates of heart attack. If you exercise, iron is used up and therefore stays around optimal levels naturally. For women who love blood every month, iron tends to be ok, although sometimes too low. So this needs to be monitored.Hi
Elevated Homocysteine is considered by some researchers as the most serious risk factor for both cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease. It is a amino acid breakdown product that is either recycled back into the amino acid methionine or destroyed by the liver. However, both of these homocysteine clearing mechanisms depend upon vitamin B12, B6 and folic acid. Since it is B12 that we tend to be most deficient of, it is also the weakest link in the chain. Fortunately, it is pretty simple to keep low levels of this toxic animo acid breakdown product low: we just need to keep B12 levels high, i.e., above 600 pg/ml.
Is there a need for a conclusion? I don’t really think so: you have everything you need. But if I were asked to summarise everything I wrote in this article, or better still, everything I know that relates to artery disease in a few recommendations, I would then say this:
- Drink plenty of clean alkaline water (3-4 litres/day), at least 30 minutes before and 1-2 hours after, for a total of 3-4 litres each day. Green juice and lemon water are excellent.
- Avoid simple and starchy carbohydrates.
- Avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils.
- Do not take statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, or any other drugs, really.
- Minimise stress: first physiological and then psychological, and sleep well. Do everything you can to make this happen: take tulsi or tulsi extract during the day, and take melatonin and/or valerian root extract at night if necessary.
- Eat plenty of animal fats, coconut oil and grass fed butter, all of the highest quality.
- Eat good amounts of high quality animal protein from animal flesh and organ meats; eggs and high quality dairy only if you are not intolerant (though many people are).
- Eat plenty of unrefined sea salt with your meals (1-2 teaspoons per day).
- Eat raw fresh veggies, lots of salads with greens of all kinds (kale and spinach are most nutrient dense).
- Avoid alcohol (it’s quite toxic; that’s why the liver try to filter it out of the blood.)
- Supplement with iodine, magnesium, vitamins B12, A, D3 and K2 to maintain optimal levels of these essential vitamins. Take other supplements as needed.
- Exercise and go outside in the fresh air and under the sun’s rays. Do high intensity functional resistance training; Pilates or yoga to strengthen, align, and balance the core, the posture, and the body as a whole; lots of stretching and self-massage to release accumulated tensions.
- Supplement with sodium bicarbonate and potassium to keep a good alkaline balance.
- Take Magnesium-Bicarbonate baths (if you can): 1 cup nigari flakes, 1 cup baking soda, 45 min.
If you do these things, and you are not exposed to some dangerous environmental toxin, you will, in all likelihood, never have to worry about cardio-cerebral vascular disease, never have to worry about degenerative, immune, or metabolic diseases, and in fact, never have to worry about any other kind of disease at all. Of course, I can’t really guarantee this. But I’m betting my life on it.
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33 thoughts on “At the heart of heart disease”
You say that you “don’t recommend taking nigari solution orally because it irritates the intestines in the long run, especially the colon.”
Elsewhere (earlier) on your blog you do (did) recommend drinking nigari solution.
Did you find some evidence supporting the statement that “it irritates the intestines”? If so, would you mind directing us to that evidence?
Thanks for the careful attention you pay to my recommendations. The fact is that several magnesium experts recommend supplementing with a 2% nigari solution, as I wrote in my post on magnesium. However, doing this for several months myself, I found that at one point, the anus became very sensitive and delicate every time I had a bowel movement. Then, by self-experimentation, I found that when I stopped taking nigari, this over-sensitivity would disappear, but immediately come back when I started again. I did this four times to make sure it wasn’t some coincidence, and the effect was perfectly reproducible. So I just stopped.
Looking further into this point, I found that the recommendations from medical doctors that practice magnesium supplementation with their patients vary somewhat, one recommends one week on followed by one week off, another 10 days on, 20 days off. And, I am certain that it’s for this very reason. It doesn’t necessarily happen to everyone: my wife, for example, didn’t have any such problem. And it makes perfect sense because we absorb at most around 25% of it; the rest of it is eliminated through the intestines. If you take a lot at once, you will get the runs. So, there is no doubt that magnesium in large quantities has this effect. What we now know, is that even in smaller quantities and weaker concentrations, it has this laxative effect that can be mildly irritating over the long term, i.e., several months. This is why I updated my recommendations.
Note that if you take a lot of trace minerals, the same thing will happen. So, we can overdo it either way. It has to be just right: optimal.
Thank you for the clarification.
Thank you for your blog and for this post. Your desire to reach others with simple truths for living well is both noble and admirable. You may be glad to know that I practice 9 of 11 of these things and enjoy wonderfully good health.
I do drink a cup of home-made latte (with perhaps more dairy than coffee in it) daily. -My one guilty pleasure. Fresh well water and Iced, unsweetened green tea with citrus are my drinks otherwise.
Also, I eat simple carbs and starches. Why? I seem to have a congenital low bmi. I am 52, female. When I restrict sugar and simple carbs, I become thin and nervous. Yet I cannot seem to eat enough “healthy food” to correct this. I have been very consistent and deliberate, even keeping logs, when attempting to raise bmi with your above prescribed diet, to no avail. (I never share this low bmi problem with other women, lest they come after me late one night with lanterns and pitchforks.) But I digress….
If you don’t mind, I have a question:
As nutrition is an individual thing, is it possible that there is a subset of persons who efficiently use starches and other foods which most persons should avoid, with no adverse effect such as insulin “spikes” or oxidative stress? -At least up until a certain age? I am not asking for permission to eat Twinkies. I am, however, hoping that my baked potatoes and whole grain, real-maple syrup pancakes will not injure my arteries or cause cancer. -That I can feel more relaxed, sporting the curves that my dear husband of 32 years loves without health risk.
I’ve had considerable trouble finding information on this. Your opinion would carry a lot of weight with me, Guillaume. Sorry for the pun.
Very interesting case, and very rare indeed. You are very lucky to be so tolerant to carbohydrate. Nutritional sensitivities and tolerance levels are without a doubt an individual thing. We have our genetic background, and everything that has ever happened to us and everything we have ever eaten, etc that define our current biochemical makeup. It is established that in a given population there is always a continuous spectrum of carbohydrate tolerance. More precisely, this means that each person will be able to eat a certain amount of carbohydrate per day while remaining in nutritional ketosis and derive most of their energy from oxidation of fat. For some with the highest tolerance, this can be around 100 g of insulin-stimulating carbs, while for others, it is as low as 20 g.
However, and this is the important point, all of them benefit from removing the carbohydrates in the sense that standard degenerative disease markers go down. As expected, those with the highest level of intolerance see the fastest positive changes in the markers, while those with the highest level of tolerance, see the slowest evolution, but all of them evolve towards the “zero-risk” level. (This is research by Volek and Phinney discussed in The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.)
The conclusion is very simple: every person has a different level of tolerance to insulin-stimulating carbohydrate, and some, as in your case, can be said to have a very high or even extremely high tolerance to carbs, but everyone benefit in exactly the same way by removing them from the diet, because no matter what your inherent tolerance, disease markers for everyone reach the same stable “zero-risk” level relatively quickly (a few months).
That this spectrum of tolerance exists is also well seen when considering extremes: Inuits who get virtually all their calories from animal fat (90%) and protein (10%), with no carbs of any kind except for some sea vegetables sometimes; the Masai who live on raw cow’s milk (4-5 litres/day) with virtually no plant foods at all, and meat-eating feasts (4-5 kg in a day) once in while; pacific islanders and some amazonian tribes that derive 70% of the their calories from coconut oil, with some animal meat and some plant foods; or other people that can derive up to 80% of their calories from starchy carbohydrates in the form of potato-like tubers; all of them apparently perfectly well adapted to their diet because suffering no degenerative diseases as those that afflict the modern western world. We also know that the asians generally cannot tolerate dairy because they can’t tolerate either lactose or casein or both, and the middle eastern people, who have been eating cereal grains the longest, are also the most tolerant to them, even though there is not one human on Earth that can break down that phytic acids that bind to minerals and prevent their absorption, but rats can. So, no matter how tolerant to the starchy carbs that are in cereal grains, and maybe also to simple sugars, people of the middle east will still suffer from mineral deficiencies that will grow in severity with time because of the physic acids that cannot be broken down (soaking and sprouting gets rid of it, though).
Finally, it is perfectly logical that by eliminating insulin-stimulating carbohydrates from the diet, we recover very good insulin sensitivity, and therefore burn off all excess fat the body deems unnecessary. One problem that I have seen time and time again is that we are so used to seeing everyone overweight, that when someone loses that extra fat, we think they are too thin. There is a natural balance that is reached by the body with respect to body fat, which will be different for each person, but it will generally be much lower than the average of what we have grown accustomed do. In addition, it is only the fat that should melt away, muscle mass should remain as it is, and in fact, will grow relatively easily if it is stimulated through resistance training. If you lose fat and or muscle beyond what can be considered reasonable (below 10% body fat for men and 15% for women) without exercising excessively and making an effort towards this end, then there is something else that is not in balance. This could be very low cortisol levels.
So, do you have any other kind of health issues, little things (skin discolouration), little symptoms (sleep, behaviour, …) that you have noticed as unusual? When is the last time you got complete blood work done? Did you check insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1, triglycerides, B12, Homocysteine, and morning cortisol levels? Maybe you should if you haven’t.
Grateful for your thoughtful reply, Doctor. It has actually been my intuition that regardless of tolerance, certain foods still affect all persons similarly. And it is possible that, as you say, the context of our overweight society skews my ideals. But I really do feel better at higher bmi, which is difficult to maintain.
I exercise moderately, as prescribed above. Muscle/bone strength are superior for age. Skin color normal. Sleep/behavior normal (at higher bmi).
CMP normal except for creatinine. -Kidney scans fine.
Triglycerides normal, CBC normal (MCV slightly high)
Not yet tested for B12, insulin, IGF, homocysteine, or cortisol.
Will do so soon and reply, if I may. Thank you again.
Hi again Kay,
While waiting to hear from you with your new results, (to which you should also add free T3, T4 and TSH), I just wanted to underline that high creatinine is bad news, and it needs to be figured out why in order to correct the problem. Creatinine is the product of muscle breakdown. This can be from a high production of creatinine in the body from a number of things, but not that many. It can be from intense muscular stress (high stress exercise like running and/or heavy weights training), from insulin resistance that leads to muscle breakdown to make glucose, from other hormonal imbalances, or from some other cause like statin drugs, for example, that cause muscle breakdown.
But no matter what, chronically high creatinine is really bad news for the kidneys that are desperately trying to get rid of it and the other acidic waste products. High creatinine can therefore also be caused by the kidneys made dysfunctional by some other unrelated cause. But a very typical scenario that is unfortunately way too common and continuously growing in importance these days, is you start taking statins to lower cholesterol; this causes chronic muscle breakdown that leads to elevated creatinine levels, the kidneys struggle to get that out and grow more dysfunctional year after year; eventually, some 10 years down the road, the kidneys fail.
Anyway, all this to say that creatinine levels must be low unless you are running everyday (which I definitely do not recommend) or doing a lot of weights (which is ok, but not necessary useful for most of us). If they are not, one needs to figure out why and fix that. Otherwise it leads to permanent kidney damage, and the kidneys are one of the most important organs for life and health. I encourage you to read my two articles about the kidney: The kidney: evolutionary marvel and How much water, how much salt and our amazing kidneys.
T3, T4, TSH all normal.
Creatinine 1.1 mg/dL. This lab’s range: .57-1.0
Two examiners note dense muscular structure for female my age (5’11”, 165 lb), 2010 DXA: .99 at moderate, non-competitive weight training 3x week
No statins -rejected in 2002, after reading Dr.Ravnskov.
Your articles on the kidney were highly informative and easy to read. I had always wondered why some days the more water we take in, it seems the more dehydrated we became. Now I know. The kidneys truly are wonderful! Your writing is dense with information yet easy to read because your awe in the science really comes through, and is in fact contagious. For someone working in astro-physics (is that correct?) you have an amazing capacity for knowledge of biosystems, along with an artful expression of such. The more I read, the more grateful I become that I have made your acquaintance. (And the more thankful I am that we live in a day where it is possible to do so.)
Your articles on many other subjects are, frankly, addictive. I must be careful with my time. You are a vitamin D proponent. I’ve been a participant of the Vitamin D Council’s DAction project for five years, using 2-5000 iu daily to stay sufficient. I discovered arterial thickening 18 months ago, not resolved by prescribed added antioxidants, but resolved by adding K2 (MK7) for 6 months along with magnesium (of which you are also a proponent.) Balance is critical, yes?
Do you believe that it is possible that correcting this calcium displacement imbalance might also affect breast micro-calcifications? I’ve had a small, low-grade DCIS tumor removed this past summer and if (assuming this was a risk) there are systemic corrections I can make, I’d like to do so.
Something occurs to me at just this moment: at that last vascular scan, I’d been on a carb-reduced diet for one month. Would that be enough time to clear inflammation of vessel walls?
-Which brings us back to our original subject:
I saw an endocrinologist yesterday who (blast him) agrees with you that however efficient our use of simple carbs, they harm us all. I’m not yet sold on this. But even so, he, too, is eager to help me find a way to maintain desired body weight with proper nutrition. Labs ordered: high-sensitive CRP, fasting insulin, IGP-1, CMP, Rheumatoid panel for now. Cannot wait to get your opinions on the results.
Guillaume, thanks again. You’ve expressed that the purpose of this weblog is to help others be healthy, and I am one of those (certainly many) others. Update soon.
Lab results are in, Guillaume. -Creatinine still slightly high (1.13) but ultrasound is normal. I have showed high Creatinine since 2009 (my first testing), and my doctor believes this level is just normal for me. I’d appreciate any more information on this.
T3 Uptake 33
Free Thyroxine 2.1
Thyroxine (T4) 6.5
All other in the CMP: normal range
IGF-1:190 (high normal)
Insulin: 3.2 (low normal)
DHEA: 140.7 (normal)
CRP, cardiac: 0.39 (low normal)
Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor: 9.2 (normal)
DHT: 11 (normal)
SHBG: 172.2 (high)
Estradiol: 82.7 (normal)
Progesterone: 0.3 (normal)
Test: 26 (normal)
Free Test: 0.2 (normal)
Symptoms update: Joint pain progressively better. -Hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms receding.
Hi Kay: Thanks for sharing your results.
Optimal thyroid numbers are as follows:
TSH: 0.1 – 1.5 (lower is better)
free T4: 1.2 – 1.8 (mid-range is perfect)
free T3: 3.5 – 4.5 (higher is better)
TPO: < 20 (lower is better)
So, some improvements there would be great. But this is mostly a consequence of other adjustments, good exercise, good sleep, and balanced hormones elsewhere, especially insulin and adrenals. This is why I asked for morning cortisol levels, which should be between 5 and 10, but lower is better. Lower means adrenal fatigue; higher means over-stimulation and over-secretion due to stresses of all kinds.
Glucose of 80 and insulin of 3.2 is fine. This is in line with your exceptionally high carbohydrate tolerance, but it would be good to have them lower, and lower is always better, as it signifies better fat-burning efficiency. (Mine at the last blood test were 65 and 1.3, and obviously without hypoglycaemia.)
Optimal DHEA for women is around 250, and men 450. You are at 150, so I think you should supplement with this for a few months, using micronised DHEA (Thorne Research is a good brand).
Optimal CRP is < 0.05 mg/l and you're at 0.35, which means it is elevated and needs to be lowered. This, however, is also a consequence of other things, as CRP measures the general level of inflammation. I'm sure that by following my dietary and drinking recommendations, it will go down in time.
Where are D, B12 and Homocysteine and morning cortisol? And also, pregnenolone is an excellent hormone marker for overall health and longevity. And by the way, the "normal" ranges are just based on the population, which is in general quite unhealthy. We need to compare our numbers with optimal values if we are to be in optimal health. Makes sense right?
Thank you for this, Guillaume. I have wondered if the ranges that my lab uses are optimal. And I agree that comparison with optimal values is critical. May I ask your sources for these values?
D levels average 60 ng/ml for the last 5 years. I shall ask for labs on B12, Homocysteine, morning cortisol, and pregnenolone.
I’d like your opinion: Estradiol is normal (by these RRs.) But symptoms of low E2 abound. What is optimal E2 by your RRs? (7 months since last cycle). Could it also be that SHBG has bound enough E2 that very little is available? If so, is a free-E2 lab in order? Both Testosterone and Progesterone also appear low. Could the same be true here?
Would supplementing DHEA have a positive effect on all?
Hi Kay: My sources for optimal blood markers come from a few different places. I got a bunch of them from Colpo’s book The Great Cholesterol Con, some from Ron Rosedale’s articles, some from Mercola (including vitamin D Council), all the B12 related stuff is from the book Could it be B12?, and some from Dr J.E. Williams interviewed by Kevin Gianni (e.g. The Complete Blood Test Blueprint). About the estradiol and the rest, I don’t know: it’s beyond my competence level. I know Dr Hertoghe is one of the world’s best experts on hormones. I’ve read one of his popular books, but I need to read more. Here is his publications page:
Thank you for the links. I found RR lists from two of them online (Drs. Rosedale and Williams).
Click to access Laboratory_Tests_Aging.pdf
Another I found interesting was Kevin Gianni’s blog
Their ranges are roughly as you state, except for one: CRP (Rosedale, Gianni and many others cite a level below 1.0 as optimal. You cited below .05 – could this have been a typo? (Again, my level is only .39).
Also, Glucose: though not amazing such as yours (65) I gather that you don’t believe that my level (80) is inflammatory? (Williams cites <90, Rosedale: 70-85.) And, though not your exceptional 1.3, my 3.2 insulin is well under both sources’ optimal RR of <10 -hardly inflammatory either, yes?
This is critical research for me, Guillaume. I desperately need to know if my non-paleo diet is placing me at risk. –For cancer recurrence, or other disease.
After breast cancer surgery in June, I hoped to regulate estrogen (a recurrence factor) with a plant-based diet high in indole-3 carbinol and iodine (both known estrogen regulators). I dropped my usual starches and sugars and went Paleo. Within 4 weeks, I dropped 10 pounds. Flushing (night and day), sleep disturbance, soft tissue atrophy with Bartholin cysts, and most troubling, literally debilitating joint pain all indicated to me that my plan had worked well…too well. Recurrence risk or no, I had to restore some balance to curb symptoms, so I lowered intake of i3c and re-introduced starches in order to increase body fat and with it, restore some estrogen. Since then, symptoms have drastically reduced. My spin on this is that I was at menopausal age anyway and would likely have adjusted to “the change” gradually, had I not artificially regulated estrogen the way I did. Thankfully the body is forgiving and self-balancing and I will get through this change just fine. But it’s even more important now to me that my diet not be inflammatory, as I lose estrogen’s widespread protection.
You state that in all humans, even in those who tolerate “carbs” well, carbs still damage the body in unseen ways such as systemic inflammation. As a carb-eater, even after some blood testing, I have yet to see evidence of systemic inflammation in my case, symptoms notwithstanding. But more tests are to be done. I appreciate your hanging in there with me as I learn. I am enjoying our correspondence very much.
A blessed Thanksgiving,
Thanks a lot for your response, Kay, and thanks for the links. About CRP, the truth is that the lower the better: there is no minimum for something that we don’t want to have in there. This is why it is stated as less than something, where that something varies depending on how lenient we are. Last time I checked, I was at < 0.03 and my wife is at 0.33 mg/L (make sure you check the units also), but the reference is < 5. This is because everyone has chronic inflammation and so 5 seems to be the upper limit of what is considered "normal".
About the carbs, you shared with me at the start of our correspondance these changes you saw when you changed to a paleo diet. Have you since followed my suggestions about diet: a lot more fat from coconut and butter, and have you seen changes? Why do you want to eat carbs :) there's nothing good about them except for their taste?
Of course it makes perfect sense that we want CRP to be the lowest it can be. Thanks for the clarification. With that, would you then agree that my .39 (unit measure is mg/L) indicates little inflammation? If not inflammation, why the pain and dysfunction in my connective tissues (trigger finger, frozen shoulder, etc)? I’ve read that there is arthritis and arthralgia, both causing pain but the latter is in the relative absence of inflammation.
I may have stumbled upon a clue. This is common for my age, and noted that it disappears usually within 2-5 years. This led me last night to use the key words “joint pain without inflammation,” also menopausal arthralgia” and came up with a wealth of information on estrogen-deprivation arthralgia disorders. CRP is apparently not an indicator for this pain, as inflammation is likely not the root. It is dysfunction. Remodeling of the tissues themselves (synovia, tendons, etc). It appears temporary, as a rule. This makes perfect sense in my case, as pain is actually not as troublesome as the dysfunction.
This is on aromatase inhibitors and their effect on the joints
I took only natural AIs (i3c, etc) but the time frame to onset was the same.
If this is the root of my pain, then E2 restoration should help, perhaps initially by way of DHEA supplementation?
As for diet, Guilliame, I have tried paleo, very high in healthy fats, and believe it or not it is true, until carbs are added back in, my weight falls and I just don’t feel as well. My father was the same, and now my son. This gets us back to my initial question: is it possible that there is a subset of us who can (and perhaps even must) eat some carbs for best health? I know that I make jokes about you and my paleo endo, but I’m not out to prove anything to you or anyone, Guilliame. -Only to crack this code – to know that if I choose to remain on moderate carb intake, it is not hurting me. Remember, this is potatoes, whole grains, etc – not Dorito’s, lol.
-Well, maybe just a couple…
Anyway, I see my endo this morning. We shall distill what we can from recent results, and I shall ask for that am cortisol, homocysteine, B12, and pregnenalone per your suggestions.
About the carbs: yes, it is possible, but I still find it hard to believe :) I’m not sure if you read Updated recommendations for magnesium supplementation, but in any case, I would strongly suggest you buy some nigari flakes (in 1 kg bags, as I do, or in bulk if you can: it’s used to make tofu so places that do sometimes sell it in bulk) and have Mg baths every couple of days. Put 1 cup of nigari and stay in the bath 30 minutes. I am certain this will, quickly or over time, help alleviate your symptoms. Another thing is silicic acid, of which we are also all deficient and is essential for healthy tissues, especially cartilage. So start taking that also, first thing in the morning.
Thank you for the tips. I’ve never heard of silicic acid. I’ll look into it. And yes, I had read your update on magnesium supplementation. We’ve been doing magnesium chloride oil massage for a few months now, and sometimes use magnesium sulphate in our baths. I will try nigari flakes too.
My endo calls me an “out-lier,” like another of his patients, a 75 year old male with T levels like that of a 20-year old. In his 30+ years he has seen just a few patients who lie this far outside the norms. We were both amused. He himself is a fit, youthful 58 who supplements several hormones and eats strict Paleo. He notes that my SHBG, insulin and IGF are the same as his own, with inflammatory markers very close to his own. He sees no reason, based on these results, that my diet is adversely affecting my overall health at this time, but again notes that this is highly irregular, and with age, could of course change at any time. Further tests will teach us more.
On the joint issues: he agrees that my free E2 is likely very low, and so are T and Progesterone. And since E2 is present in synovial, tendon, and other delicate tissues throughout the body, systemic menopausal E2 deprivation is likely the cause of joint remodeling and the dysfunction and discomfort with it. He agrees that it is a transitory part of the menopause, but can order E2 supplementation if it becomes too troublesome.
He’s had a number of issues with prescribing DHEA, particularly in females, but very much agreed that SHBG is likely binding up sex hormones (he has this problem himself) and has suggested Stinging Nettle Root, which can reduce availability of SHBG.
No other recommendations. I’m not interested in supplementing sex hormones at this time, at least not if we can “treat the tree closer to the root,” by way of SHBG moderation. I have read very briefly that even closer to the root is cortisol, and that sometimes when cortisol is “off,” efforts to treat SHBG will struggle. -Have you heard anything of this, Guillaume?
He ordered Free E2, am cortisol, pregnenolone, B12, and homocysteine labs, which I had drawn this morning. Thank you again for these suggestions-I’d never have known to have them done otherwise.
I believe at this point I’ve become a bit of a curiosity to this doctor, and he seems eager to learn more about my situation. I am thrilled to have a such a thorough baseline profile at this point in life, and of course, to be told that I am so healthy (though I deserve little credit-it must be mostly good genetics).
More info to come, Guillaume.
Till then, I wish very much to eat according to your guidelines, adding only the (healthy) calories necessary to feel and function my best.
That is, except for tomorrow. ;)
More results are in, Guillaume.
Free Estradiol, serum .60
Cortisol am 13.4
To address right away:
– Homocysteine is too high (you want this as low as possible): you need to take more B12 and I recommend Dr David’s Patches (that’s what I’m using for our family); put on a patch every 24 hours for 5 days, and then every week.
– Cortisol is too high (you want this around 5): you need to start taking Tulsi (Holy Basil); take it in capsules either whole (Organic India) or in extract form. We use both, but the whole leaf has quite a strong taste/smell. You can also drink it as a herbal tea; I usually mix it with other herbs (Yogi Tea’s cinnamon/spice or lemongrass/ginger with a pinch of liquorice) to make it more pleasant.
Thank you. I take a sublingual B12 (2500 mcg) pill once a week and my level is 1357 pg/mL now, high on my lab’s RR. Would adding more be safe?
Hi Kay: You hadn’t mentioned about your B12 levels before. Have you maintained them this high for a long time, or this recent? If it is recent, then Hcy will go down on it’s own with time. If you’ve had B12 levels this high for a while, then there is something else. The other two essentials for breaking down Hcy are B6 and folic acid; they are a trio: B6, B9 and B12. So we need to look there. If you eat a high plant and especially green diet, as the one I promote, than folate will be high. Therefore, the only possible problem would be with B6.
Thanks, Guillaume. The B12 level is a first reading for me, and supplementation is relatively recent: 2-3 months. I also supplement B6 for joints but have been leery of adding folic acid to what I get in my multi (800 mcg). I do try to get enough plants for folate and K1, though.
OK. This means you just need to keep up the supplementation, and check B12 and Hcy every 3 months or so. About B12: optimal range is 1000 to 2000 pg/ml, and there are no know negative side effects of higher concentrations. So, no worries there. About Tulsi: take the extract 1 capsule first thing in the morning, and 1 cap in the early afternoon. There are absolutely no worries with this supplement either. It will just support the adrenals and help drop the cortisol level. Estradiol and pregnenolone seem ok.
I shall seriously consider your suggestions for lowering both Hcy and cortisol, but again, am having difficulty finding any sources by which my levels would be considered high, as you say. This is significant in that we are seeking reasons why I have difficulty keeping bmi up without carbs. Though I certainly want to improve (and see that there is room for that) I really see no clear explanation for my problem in these labs, nor significant adverse effect on my health in general from a diet which includes carbs. In fact, since being back on carbs for several more weeks since our first contact, my symptoms continue to improve. My endo sees absolutely no reason why my diet should change at this point. But he does note that it is very rare that he give this kind of advice. And that is the wonder of the individuality of biology. It seems that there will always be “outliers.”
I cannot thank you enough for your time and advice, Guillaume. You have given me much valuable information, and I’ve learned a great deal, much which I’d never have learned without your help. I wish you and your family a beautiful Christmas and all the best in the year 2014.
Remember that I’m talking about optimal, not just normal or pretty good. References:
For morning cortisol between 5 and 10, closer to 5 is optimal (J.E. Williams). If you stay above 10 and around 15 or more for long enough, you get adrenal exhaustion, and then you drop below 5. It’s not more complicated than this.
For Hcy, in a few places (e.g. The Great Cholesterol Con), always < 9, lower is always better, around 5 is great.
And don't get me wrong, similarly as for your CRP, your numbers are fine, but they can be better. If we are concerned with optimal, then this is what we have to aim for.
About the carbs, if you have to eat them to feel well, then so be it. I don't know what else to say about it. I do know though, this is an absolutely exceptional case. And I still find it very hard to comprehend.
I'm glad you have learnt from our exchanges, hope you will continue reading through the archives of my blog as well as the new articles I will write, and also wish you a lovely Christmas season with your family.
Wow, that was excellent! My naturopath has told me to increase magnesium, my blood test results had it at .77 mmol, with optimum range of .7-1.05 mmol. Is there any risk with increasing levels above the limit (as set by Melbourne Pathology) and would the means you list above raise your magnesium that much?
Thanks again for this excellent article.
Thank you, I’m glad you think so. 0.77 mmol equals 1.87 mg/dL, but this is not red blood cell Mg, which is really the only way to assess Mg status more or less accurately, because it is the intracellular magnesium levels that we are really interested in optimising. So, you should get that test done to have a good idea of your Mg status. RBC Mg should be at 6.5 mg/dL.
It’s hard to overdo it with Mg because we are generally so deficient and so over-calcified, but also because it is water soluble. Nonetheless, it is important to test RBC Mg once in a while. And, you’re very welcome. I appreciate the compliment.
I didnt reply to your reply to me above becuase I wanted to try a couple of weeks of Magnesium Oil supplementation. I cannot believe the change it makes. Sleep like the dead and recover fast from workouts, all from a few sprays of liquid. Amazing.
Very happy to read that. It’s the magnesium miracle.
Hi again Jo,
Could you please take the time to write about your experience by writing a description of what you did, what you felt and what you experienced on my page devoted to testimonials? It important for people to read such inspiring stories in order to motivate them to do the same and benefit as well. Thanks.
I was most surprised to see the statement:
“4. Do take statins or other cholesterol-lowering drugs.” in your list of recommendations.
Is this a typo, or do you really advise taking these dangerous toxins?
Thanks for spotting that Merv. I should read “Do not take”, as you already guessed, and as I think everyone else will have guessed as well. It’s corrected now.