Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S., CFM
An under appreciated highway danger has been shown to cause sudden cardiac arrest or clotting of a coronary artery.
What baffles me is that this has been known for over ten years and has even been published in cardiologists' leading journal, Circulation (published by the American Heart Association)!
We now know the mechanisms by how this happens.
Research has shown that diesel and traffic exhaust fumes (unavoidable chemicals) poison the ability of the body to make nitric oxide (it poisons the endothelial nitric oxide synthase enzyme).
The endothelial cells of our vasculature protect us against atherosclerosis and thrombosis. A major weapon of endothelial cells to fight vascular disease is endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), an enzyme that generates the vasoprotective molecule nitric oxide (NO·). However, many of us unintentionally mistreat our endothelial cells.
From diabetes to hypertension, cancer to strokes, memory and learning disorders to septic shock, male impotence to tuberculosis, there is probably no pathological condition where nitric oxide does not play an important role.
But there is a way to fix it.
As a brief review, our body's make our own nitroglycerine (nitric oxide, actually) to dilate our blood vessels out of the amino acid arginine.
So for any long drives especially, whether it's business or pleasure, it is a good idea to take 1000 mg of Arginine Powder.
But remember this heart triggering can happen with very short auto exhaust exposures as well. At least you now know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from diesel induced arrhythmias and heart attacks.
A car air purifier would be a great addition to the interior of your car or truck, and to put the air on recycle rather than sucking in highway fumes.
So where are the cardiologists who should be telling folks these simple things to do to protect themselves?
Peretz A, et al, Diesel exhaust inhalation causes acute vasoconstriction in vivo, Environ Health Persp 116:937-42, 2008
Peters A, et al, Exposure to traffic and the onset of myocardial infarction, New Engl J Med 351:1721-30, 2004
Rich DQ, et al, Association of short-term ambient air pollution concentrations and ventricular arrhythmias, Am J Epidemiol 161:1123-32, 2005
Dockery DW, et al, Association of air pollution with increased incidence of ventricular tachyarrhythmias recorded by implanted cardioverter defibrillators, Environ Health Persp, 113:670-74, 2005
Mills AL, et al, Diesel exhaust pollution causes vascular dysfunction and impaired endogenous fibrinolysis, Circulation 112:393036, 2005
Cherng T-W, Mechanisms of Diesel-Induced Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Dysfunction in Coronary Arterioles, Environ Health Perspect. 2011 January; 119(1): 98–103.
Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
Many of you reading this short article already know that hemoglobin A1C is extremely useful revealing what the "average" blood sugar has been over the previous ninety days.
This is the same standard laboratory measurement used to measure blood sugar control in diabetics.
What many people may not be aware of is the fact that hemoglobin A1C has important implications for your brain health.
In a landmark study published in the journal Neurology, the researchers documented that elevated hemoglobin A1C is associated with changes in brain size.
The study showed researchers looking at MRIs to determine which lab test correlated best with brain atrophy and found that the hemoglobin A1C demonstrated the most powerful relationship.
They commented, “when comparing the degree of brain tissue loss in those individuals with the lowest hemoglobin A1C (4.4 to 5.2) to those having the highest hemoglobin A1C (5.9 to 9.0), the brain loss in those individuals with the highest hemoglobin A1C was almost doubled during a six-year period.
Hemoglobin A1C and Brain Atrophy
This profound study strongly indicates that hemoglobin A1C is far more than just a marker of blood sugar balance.
The good news is in most cases you have absolute control over your A1C.
An ideal hemoglobin A1C would be in the 4.8 to 5.4 range. Keep in mind that reducing carbohydrate ingestion, weight loss, and physical exercise will ultimately improve insulin sensitivity and lead to a reduction of hemoglobin A1C.
Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., MS
A study published in the the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that people low in vitamin B12 had an increase risk of a fatal heart attack and stroke.
The study focused on the relationship between homocysteine, B-12 and carotid artery plaque.
The study showed that higher blood levels of B vitamins are related to lower concentrations of homocysteine leading to decrease plaquing in the carotid arteries. However, an elevated blood homocysteine level revealed a strong risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
How the Study was Conducted
The study examined 421 people with the average age being 66. Vitamin B12, homocysteine levels and degree of plaque in the carotid arteries (via ultrasound) were evaluated.
Seventy-three patients (17%) had vitamin B12 deficiency with significant elevation of homocysteine. In addition and most important, carotid plaque was significantly larger among the group of patients who had deficiency of vitamin B12 In conclusion, the authors found that low blood vitamin B12 levels are a major cause of elevated homocysteine levels and increased carotid plaque area.
Dr. Grisanti's Comments
Have your physician order a blood homocysteine test and a methylmalonic acid (MMA) test. This is the most specific test for B12 status NOT the serum B-12 blood test.
Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
How secure should you feel if your doctor tells you that your cholesterol levels are normal?
Are you immune to heart disease just because you have been informed you have normal cholesterol levels?
If you have been a reader of my weekly articles for any length of time, you should know that cholesterol is not the culprit we have all been led to believe.
I also recommend you ruling out Chlamydia in the event you have a high calcium score. Click Here to read more about the calcium score.
You may be wondering how do you get Chlamydia?
This bug is a common cause of colds, flus, or bronchitis, and we've all had these.
But for some folks this is not the end of the story, for the coronary plaque can emerge decades after a common cold.
Again if you have have coronary artery plaque found from a Heart Scan (calcium score), elevated hsCRP and/or fibrinogen, your next step is to get the antibody test to Chlamydia pneumoniae.
The problem is not many doctors including cardiologists are familiar with Chlamydia as a diagnosable and treatable cause of coronary artery plaque.
You now have increased knowledge to prevent or minimize your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
References:Linnanmaki E, et al, Chlamydia pneumoniae---Specific Circulating Immune Complexes in Patients with Chronic Coronary Heart Disease, Circulation, 87:1130-34, 1993
Gupta S, et al, The effect of azithromycin in post-myocardial infarction patients with elevated Chlamydia pneumoniae antibody titers, J Am Coll Cardiol, 29:209a, 1997
Gupta S, et al, Elevated Chlamydia pneumoniae antibodies, cardiovascular events, and azithromycin in male survivors of myocardial infarction, Circulation, 96:404-07, 1997
Vojdani A, A look at infectious agents as a possible causative factor in cardiovascular disease: part II, Lab Med, 4; 34: 5-9, April 2003
Bachmaier K, et al, Chlamydia infections and heart disease linked through antigenic mimicry, Sci, 5406; 283: 1335-39, Feb 26, 1999
Muhlestrin JB, et al, Increased incidence of Chlamydia species within the coronary arteries of patients with symptomatic atherosclerotic versus other forms of cardiovascular disease, J Am Coll Cardiol, 27:1555-61, 1996
Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
Study finds that a common bacteria known as to cause ulcers may now also be responsible for irregular heart rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation (AF).
Dr. Annibale Montenero, lead researcher and chairman of Multimedica General Hospital's Cardiology Department and Arrhythmia Center, has discovered a strong link between the bacteria helicobacter pylori and an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is a heart disorder affecting about 2.2 million Americans, according to the American Heart Association.
Atrial fibrillation/flutter is a disorder of the heart's rhythm. In atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) quiver or flutter instead of beating effectively. Unfortunately, the blood isn't pumped out completely. This has the potential to cause the blood to pool and clot.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation:
Is Atrial fibrillation Dangerous?
If a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.
How the Study was Conducted
59 patients suffering from persistent atrial fibrillation were administered a series of tests including a test to measure the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood and a test for H. pylori.
The results of these tests were then compared with results from the control group, which included 45 healthy people.
In addition to having C-reactive protein levels roughly 5 times higher than the control group, researchers found AF patients were also shown to be 20 times more likely to show levels of H. pylori.
In the overall analysis, 97.2 percent of atrial fibrillation patients were positive for H. pylori compared with just 5.3 percent of controls.
Investigators note that the link between H. pylori and atrial fibrillation is "highly significant.
Based on the findings, physicians are advised to check their AF patients for H. pylori and eliminate it whenever it is found.
Montenero AS, Mollichelli N, Zumbo F, Antonelli A, Dolci A, Barberis M, Sirolla C, Staine T, Fiocca L, Bruno N, O'Connor S. Helicobacter pylori and atrial fibrillation: a possible pathogenic link. Heart. 2005 Jul;91(7):960-1.
Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD
People with high cholesterol live the longest.
This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one´s brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance.
Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers.
Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol.
Supporters of the cholesterol campaign consistently ignore his observation, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a huge number of studies finding the opposite.
But it is not an exception; there are now a large number of findings that contradict the lipid hypothesis.
To be more specific, most studies of old people have shown that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
This was the result of my search in the Medline database for studies addressing that question.
Eleven studies of old people came up with that result, and a further seven studies found that high cholesterol did not predict all-cause mortality either.
Now consider that more than 90 % of all cardiovascular disease is seen in people above age 60 and that almost all studies have found that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for women.
This means that high cholesterol is only a risk factor for less than 5 % of those who die from a heart attack.
But there is more comfort for those who have high cholesterol; six of the studies found that total mortality was inversely associated with either total or LDL-cholesterol, or both.
This means that it is actually much better to have high than to have low cholesterol if you want to live to be very old.
High Cholesterol Protects Against Infection
Many studies have found that low cholesterol is in certain respects worse than high cholesterol.
For instance, in 19 large studies of more than 68,000 deaths, reviewed by Professor David R. Jacobs and his co-workers from the Division of Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, low cholesterol predicted an increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases.
Most gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases have an infectious origin.
Therefore, a relevant question is whether it is the infection that lowers cholesterol or the low cholesterol that predisposes to infection?
To answer this question Professor Jacobs and his group, together with Dr. Carlos Iribarren, followed more than 100,000 healthy individuals in the San Francisco area for fifteen years.
At the end of the study those who had low cholesterol at the start of the study had more often been admitted to the hospital because of an infectious disease.
This finding cannot be explained away with the argument that the infection had caused cholesterol to go down, because how could low cholesterol, recorded when these people were without any evidence of infection, be caused by a disease they had not yet encountered?
Isn´t it more likely that low cholesterol in some way made them more vulnerable to infection, or that high cholesterol protected those who did not become infected? Much evidence exists to support that interpretation.
Krumholz HM and others. Lack of association between cholesterol and coronary heart disease mortality and morbidity and all-cause mortality in persons older than 70 years. Journal of the American Medical Association 272, 1335-1340, 1990.
Ravnskov U. High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis. Quarterly Journal of Medicine 96, 927-934, 2003.
Jacobs D and others. Report of the conference on low blood cholesterol: Mortality associations. Circulation 86, 1046--1060, 1992.
Iribarren C and others. Serum total cholesterol and risk of hospitalization, and death from respiratory disease. International Journal of Epidemiology 26, 1191--1202, 1997.
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