Heart disease – can it be reversed? Part B
By Dr. Ross Walker
Many people, including a significant amount of the medical profession, are under the misconception that heart disease is a slowly progressive condition that may be slowed down with intensive medical treatment but definitely cannot be reversed.
With our current approach, this is certainly true and to quote Albert Einstein, “there is no more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.”
What prompted me to write this series on “How to reverse heart disease” was the case of a patient I saw just the other week.
He demonstrated to me clearly the vital importance of compliance and the clear potential for reversal of disease. I first met Sanjay when he was 60-years-old. I performed a coronary calcium score which was 150, placing him at moderate risk for heart disease.
The scoring ranking is as follows:
Zero: lowest cardiac risk. (Predicted 10 year risk is only 1% which is much less than the majority of the population.)
1-10: trivial calcification
10-100: mild calcification
100-400: moderate calcification
>400: severe calcification
Interestingly, part of the results from this test include plaque volume which is a better indication of the volume of fat than the calcium score. Sanjay’s plaque volume was 143. This indicates less stability in his plaques than if his volume was much lower than the calcium score.
Numerous studies have demonstrated clearly that statin drugs are only indicated in people with established heart disease such as a prior history of a heart attack, stent, coronary bypass or evidence of significant atherosclerosis in other vascular beds such as the carotid arteries. The other indication is for people with a coronary artery calcium score greater than 100.
If you are over the age of 50 and your coronary calcium score is below 100, there is no indication for statin drugs, regardless of cholesterol levels. These guidelines are certainly not followed by most doctors who are too quick to prescribe statins purely because of elevated cholesterol levels.
Because of Sanjay’s high coronary calcium score, I prescribed a statin drug which caused significant muscle pain and despite numerous attempts with a variety of different statins, Sanjay could not tolerate any type of these medications.
He did, however, follow the five vital lifestyle keys listed below and took targeted supplementation. This included the Calabrian Bergamot derivative (BPF 99). There are a number of bergamot products available, but many are from bergamot sources, other than Calabria, with no research to prove any benefit. I work with Calabrian researchers & have published many papers supporting the benefits of Calabrian bergamot. I also commenced Sanjay on kyolic aged garlic extract, vitamin K2 and ubiquinol.
When he returned for a follow-up coronary calcium score a few weeks ago (5 years after his first score), I was astounded to see the score had dropped from 150 to 126 but, even more remarkable, the plaque volume had reduced from 143 down to 44 suggesting significant regression in plaque size. This was all without any pharmaceutical medications.
I am not suggesting statin drugs should not be used but I do believe that the medical profession gives statins far too much power and the public give statins far too much pain. There is certainly a place for these drugs in people with established coronary artery disease but, in my view, statins are certainly being over prescribed.
My coronary reversal program involves the following five features:
- Take the test
- Lifestyle modification
- Targeted supplementation
- Orthodox medicine
- Follow up
In further articles I will also introduce the concept of residual risk and why this is vitally important in the reversal process.
Finally, I have included the 5 lifestyle keys below:
- QUIT ALL ADDICTIONS
You cannot be healthy and smoke, you cannot be healthy and drink too much alcohol, and you cannot be healthy and use any illegal drugs.
- CULTIVATE A GOOD QUALITY SLEEP HABIT
The quality of your day very much depends on the quality of your sleep the night before. We spend a third of our life sleeping, it has to be something very important.
If you can kill it and eat it straight away or grow it in your backyard, it is good for you and after that, all bets are off. The simplest summary of good eating is to eat less and eat more naturally.
The Walker suggested dose of exercise is 3-5 hours per week of exercise that makes you hot and somewhat short of breath. In between times try to move as much as possible. Prolonged sitting is extremely bad for the health.
The best drug on the planet is happiness. In each moment, cultivate the attitude “I choose peace over this; I am not going to give you the power to cause my heart attack, and, most importantly, develop a service mentality”. Live through each moment with the attitude, how may I serve, rather than what’s in it for me. Cultivating peace and happiness is an extremely important method in improving your own health.