Vitamin D and Cardiometabolic Disorders

A March 2010 systematic review and meta-analysis of 28 studies finds an inverse relationship between natural vitamin D levels (measured as serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25OHD] and the risk of developing cardiometabolic disorders (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome). Metabolic syndrome consists of symptoms that are risk factors for both cardiovascular disease and diabetes: hypertension, abdominal obesity, abnormal lipid levels in the blood, and glucose dysregulation. In this British review, high levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower prevalence of cardiometabolic disorders in 85% of the study results (29 out of 33 outcomes). One study shows no effect, and the remaining three show a higher rate of cardiometabolic disorders in people with high vitamin D levels. One study in particular shows a statistically significant correlation between high vitamin D levels and diabetes among black participants. (more…)

The 'Awesome Foursome' – Protecting Healthy Hearts, Restoring Ailing Hearts

Over the years, I’ve treated countless cardiac emergencies, people literally a heartbeat away from death. I’ve done middle-of-the-night heroics and slept in hospital beds next to critical patients. Early on in my career, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t really healing anybody. I duly followed what I had been taught, applying the drugs and techniques du jour aimed at directly “fixing the problem”; and, for the short term, those efforts worked. However, I gradually realized that I often treated the same people over and over without really getting them well. It was a revolving door.

Early on, I also developed a keen interest in the bioenergetics of the heart. Such a statement may seem strange to you, but the fact is that cardiologists aren’t trained to think in terms of nurturing the energy processes involved in the heart’s essential function as a pump.  (more…)

Magnesium Orotate for Heart Failure

Seventy-nine patients with severe congestive heart failure (New York Heart Association class IV) were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, placebo or magnesium orotate (2 g 3 times per day for one month followed by 1 g 3 times per day for 11 months). All patients received conventional therapy. After one year, the mean survival rate was significantly higher in the active-treatment group than in the placebo group (75.7% vs. 51.6%; p < 0.05). Symptoms improved in 38.5% of patients receiving active treatment, but did not improve in any patient receiving placebo (p < 0.01).

Comment: Orotate (orotic acid) is an intermediate in pyrimidine biosynthesis, and has been reported to have cardioprotective effects. In the 1960s and 1970s, Hans Nieper and others promoted magnesium orotate as being effective for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. However, until now there has been little controlled research to investigate that claim. Based on these encouraging results, further research on magnesium orotate is warranted.

Stepura OB, Martynow AI. Magnesium orotate in severe congestive heart failure (MACH). Int J Cardiol. 2009;131:293–295.

Nutrients to Help Reduce Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

A Denver reader, P.A. from Denver, recently sent over this question: “Both my father and brother have suffered a heart attack. I’m worried because I’m 52 years old and my blood pressure is slightly elevated, but other than that, I am pretty healthy. All my tests are OK, but I am scared. Any suggestions?” (more…)

Turn Down the Flame!

A new study demonstrates the detriments of high-heat cooking.  The study compared the effects of 2 diets–one based on “mild steam cooking”, and the other on “high-temperature cooking”. The following was observed after only one month:

In comparison with the mild-steam group, the high-heat group had;

  • Lower insulin sensitivity (the beginning of the type 2 diabetes process)
  • Lower blood levels of omega-3’s
  • Lower blood levels of vitamins C and E
  • Higher levels of triglycerides (more…)

Circulation Science

The circulatory system ensures blood flow throughout the body. It is comprised of two systems transporting two types of fluids- blood and lymph: the cardiovascular system, which includes blood, the heart and blood vessels; and the lymphatic system-lymph, lymph nodes and lymph vessels. Endothelial cells line the entire circulatory system, and perform a variety of functions, including blood vessel constriction and widening, both involved in controlling blood pressure, and blood clotting (thrombosis and fibrinolysis).

Endothelial dysfunction is a precursor to atherosclerosis, a gradual process whereby hard cholesterol substances (plaques) are deposited in the walls of the arteries, and vascular diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD) or hypertension. (more…)