Heart and Peripheral Arterial Disease

In spite of abundant knowledge, space-age technology, arterial ball_wordsdisease also called atherosclerosis remains the top killer in the Western World. In fact, it is escalating so that young adults in their 20’s are having heart attacks. Why is this? We explore this later. Medical science is treating coronary thrombosis (heart attack) far more efficiently in the Emergency Department where lives are saved and if quick enough, damage to the heart avoided or reduced. But prevention is still way behind as Western society’s nutritional status health worsens. Genetic profiling is showing as risk factor contribution especially when exposed to poor diet, lifestyle choices and environmental contaminants – an escalating epidemic.

Anatomy of a Blocked Artery – Atherosclerosis

The heart, brain and lower limbs are the most vulnerable to serious effects of arterial plaque clogging. In other parts of the body, if one artery is blocked others can supply blood into the starved area. This is less likely in

Heart Disease

Heart Disease

the heart. When the blood vessel blocks, the muscle of the heart dies. This is a ‘heart attack’ or coronary thrombosis’ or ‘myocardial infarction’ (MI). If the blockage is severe but not total, the insufficient blood supply is

called ‘ischaemia’. This can cause pain in the chest, arms, throat or jaw; even the upper back. This is termed ‘angina’. It is usually reversible with drugs. The medical term is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD).

Carotid artery disease

Carotid artery disease

When the same occurs in blood vessels supplying the brain

(Cerebrovascular Disease – CVD) and if completely blocked, the result is a full stroke; a part of the brain dies. If there is ischaemia only, then recovery may be full. This is termed a ‘transient ischaemic attack’, or ‘TIA’. Atheroma plaque builds up in many vessels even from very young age

Duplex Scan

Duplex Scan

certain critical areas in the main carotid arteries in the neck that can cause stroke are accessible to treatment. Examination is by ultra-sound – called a Duplex Scan, which can also be used in the lower limbs.

If arterial supply to the lower limbs is reduced, then the victim may experience aching in the calves during walking. It is termed ‘Intermittent Claudication’.
Typically, the large arteries in the groin and thigh are narrowed by plaque, but also the smaller lower leg vessels can be narrowed especially in smokers and diabetics. Smaller vessels are not as straightforward to surgically treat.

Why does plaque form

It used to be thought that dietary cholesterol (fat) in the blood was the prime cause. This led to the hasty doctrine of reduced fat diets which cheeseburgerchanged the whole food industry. Resulting in no change in dire statistics. This incomplete science also spawned the ‘Food Pyramid’ which damned fats and encouraged carbohydrate. For the last 30 years, diets have become very high in refined carbohydrates and sugars in the panic to get rid of fat. Atheroma disease has escalated. It didn’t work out.
Science has had to look elsewhere for causation of heart (and general) arterial disease. Lets look at the artery itself and what happens.

Dr Stephen Fry

Infected Plaque Theory

Dr Stephen Fry, MD, has pioneered a theory of infection being the root cause of plaque. I have always considered this as most plausible – as one important trigger at least. He says its infected biofilm.
Dr. Stephen Fry runs his own microbiology lab where he examines high powered views of biofilms in atherosclerotic plaque material obtained from surgical specimens. (1-2) These biofilms are colonized by multiple bacterial, fungal and protozoal organisms identified by DNA and  ribosomal RNA sequencing.  A true pioneer in the field, Dr Fry has identified a new organism not listed in the gene databank, which he named “Protomyxzoa Rheumatica.   Left image courtesy of Stephen Fry MD Web site.

Whilst the new organism isnt proven to be the culprit – infection generally is being proven to be a causative factor in multiple diseases from auto-immune to cancer. There is a known link between poor dental hygiene and heart disease.

Arterial Plaque

Arterial Plaque

There are three layers: an outer fibrous, a middle muscular and an inner cell lining   (called the intima or endothelium).
The ‘smooth muscle middle layer is responsible for opening and closing the artery according to blood flow needs. Also the muscle cells themselves can migrate to the inner lining in response to signals of local injury; so they have additional roles.
The Endothelium (inner lining – one layer of cells thick) is in direct contact with the circulating blood, toxins, waste products, bacteria as well as subjected to blood pressure fluctuations and injury. Endothelium cells have many roles; in response they secrete substances that can attract smooth muscle cells, blood platelets etc. This initiates local areas of inflammation just like anywhere in the body when damage occurs or infection threatens. It is an immune or repairing response. Of course as the artery ages, it also becomes more vulnerable to damage. Diminishing nutrients, lowered protective hormones as well as increasing toxic plaqueruptureburdens accelerates the plaque process.  As the endothelium becomes damaged and inflamed, small particle size fats enter through the permeable (leaky) arterial lining and are taken up by smooth muscle cells and blood cells called phagocytes resulting in ‘foam cells’. This process causes a swelling into the lumen (vessel inner tube space) hence reducing blood flow. Calcification (hardening) occurs over time and the body attempts to heal over the plaque. Many such atheroma plaques are ‘stable’ and even if they reduce the ‘lumen’ diameter by 60+% few symptoms result. Problems occur when plaque continues to grow and block (occlude) the artery or more often when it ruptures causing a huge local response of released chemical substances, sticky platelets meshing with fibrin in a desperate attempt to contain the damage. Its called a thrombus – and it can block the artery.

Now its touch and go as to whether safe containment happens or the clot blocks the artery completely causing a heart attack or stroke or the clot may break off and get swept along the artery until it finally jams and completely blocks off vital blood supply downstream. Result: a heart attack or ‘myocardial infarction’.

More Information

Main Factors

  • age
  • smoking
  • blood pressure
  • diabetes – high glucose
  • high cholesterol
  • elevated LDL
  • low HDL
  • high triglycerides
  • overweight
  • family history – genes
  • lack of exercise

Additional Factors

  • insulin resistance
  • hs-CRP
  • elevated homocysteine
  • elevated fibrinogen
  • high Lp(a)
  • abnormal subclasses of LDL, HDL
  • low testosterone in men
  • low growth hormone
  • low DHEA
  • low or too high thyroid hormone
  • heavy metal burden
  • high iron
  • low Vit D level
  • micronutritional status
  • certain bacterial infections
  • poor dental/oral health

Atheromatous coronary heart disease (ACHD) is an evolving process with widely differing consequences from person to person. Sadly some will die suddenly at a young age with no prior evidence of heart disease whilst others may have angina pain for decades and live to 90.

However, medical experts have examined the topic like no other for decades to try and second guess the risk and prevent heart attacks and premature death . Many assessment tools have been developed to rate as a percentage the risk of having a heart attack based on some of the factors previously covered. Even as we speak, confusion still abounds as even the experts cant agree accusing the most up to date risk profiling as significantly OVER estimating risks in men and less in women. The consequence is unnecessary treatment and funding costs. Doctors are advised to use their discretion in these cases. Similarly the public are becoming more savvy and their own research is showing inconsistency of benefits versus side effects. Not to say that the obvious high risk cases will not derive significant advantages from full medical treatment strategies.

Terminology

Medical research and clinical trials of drugs and interventions classify populations into Primary Prevention and Secondary Prevention (of heart attacks and deaths) to determine if a treatment is any good. Primary are those with no prior evidence of CHD – but here is the problem with that: how do they know unless quite invasive investigations are done, for many can have significant (CHD) disease but no ‘evidence’ in terms of symptoms.
Secondary are those with prior heart attacks or having CHD shown up in some screening. Really, CHD is a continuum with a heart attack or worse, death, occurring somewhere along in time – or not! Many doctors find this very confusing as often treatment recommendations are made on this ‘either-or’ distinction.

The point of investigations can be to:

  1. Ascertain if the cause of symptoms is likely to be heart disease.
    1. Medical history very important
    2. Test the heart under stress – Treadmill test. It does not tell if CHD is present or not or the severity  – it shows only that somewhere in the heart, reduced blood flow is happening, causing ischaemia. A negative test is good, but cant exclude CHD.
    3. Treat with drugs if angina story highly likely to see if response.
  2. Determine the extent of the coronary heart disease (CHD) to help decide a treatment plan.
    1. CT Coronary Angiogram – an injection of dye gives a great 3D view of the actual arteries and any CHD. Its non-invasive.
    2. Catheter test – Coronary Angiogram. An invasive but very common choice when in an acute anginal or heart attack situation. At the same time the blocked area can be opened using a stent. (Percutaneous Intervention – PCI)
  3. Decide the likelihood of the diseased areas being the immediate cause and hence remedy at the time of investigation (IPCI)
  4. Estimate the future risk – this is not so easy because many sudden heart attacks dont arise at the narrowest block but at some other random unstable atheroma plaque.
    1. Newer techniques are being researched to hopefully one day allow better preempting of sudden plaque ruptures.
    2. Other risk factors are taken into consideration  – to reduce risk.
Lipid Studies

  • Total cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • HDL
  • LDL
  • Total/HDL ratio
  • LDL/HDL ratio
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • Vertical or Expanded Lipids
Lipids are fats. There are many subclasses:

  • Total of all fat. Some ‘good’ , some ‘bad’
  • Triglycerides: a risk if high – sugar and hi carb diet
  • Large HDL can be protective. A ‘good’ fat-carrying protein.
  • Small LDL fat is very destructive – gets though the leaky lining
  • A low Total/HDL ratio is beneficial
  • A low LDL/HDL ratio is beneficial
  • Lp(a) is destructive
  • Nearest lab is Australia for determining Lipid sub fractions and particle size.
hs-CRP High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein is claimed to be indicative of arterial inflammation. Problem is it can also be elevated by a host of other inflammatory problems like arthritis, cancer etc. Its more risky when LDL is high.
Fasting glucose If above normal it may indicate a tendency to diabetes or insulin resistance. It accelerates glycation, a deadly protein-glucose product.
Fasting Insulin Detection of insulin resistance and its role in many diseases. Previously termed the Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X).
Fibrinogen A principle blood clotting protein that turns into fibrin. Genetic, hormone and other factors increase fibrinogen and blood clotting risk.
Homocysteine Causes inflammation of the endothelium, accelerating plaque. Is OK unless very high. Debated significance.
Free Testosterone Men with low testosterone may have higher risks of heart attack.
Thyroid hormones A key metabolic hormone. Adds risk when too high or low.

Treatment Strategies

Lifestyle – Nutrition

  1. The prime aim is to regain heart-efficient fitness, good exercise tolerance and return to youthful shape. Emphasis is on reduction of abdominal obesity so abdomen measurement is 100cm or less for men and 80cm or less for women.
  2. But – every few kg lost still means a reduction in mortality, that means death risk. But surely, it also means greater ability to participate in life – not just to watch others do it.

Dietary habits are the hardest of all to change – its at the top with MOVING. Most of us who have diseases and disorders of aging, have acquired the consequences by neglecting our health maintenance over a long time from free choice or ignorance – even flawed medical advice as we are now seeing. There is no doubt that sedentary lifestyles don’t improve health for most people. Move well, think well and eat well !

Poor nutrition is the major determinant; for this encompasses many issues such as:
  • incorrect balance of the 3 major groups of carbohydrates (starches) – proteins – fats
  • too many highly processed foods
  • high glycaemic index food choices (sugar IS the killer but it tastes so good – even to animals in the wild – its true. But they only gorge in the season, not all year round like we do)
  • inadequate micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, essential fatty acids)
  • accumulation of agricultural chemical additives
  • poor standards of soil maintenance for growth of quality food

Food balance

For 2 decades we have had the Food Pyramid pushed as the gospel. This was based on the relatively flimsy evidence of the cholesterol/fat cause of atheroma disease. Fat was the bad word and the western food industry was told to get rid of fat. The type of fat left wasn’t especially good fat  –   fats in general were replaced with sugar and processed carbohydrates. The consequences of this ‘heart tick fad’, as well as the huge growth in recreational eating has resulted in the pandemic of overweight and obese nations. The fat idea came unstuck as many of us predicted 20 years ago. This doesn’t mean eat all the fat you want… because as we’ve learned, fats can be damaged easily in the body and cause harm. The so called bad fats are part of the problem of arterial disease.

What is highly relevant is that food and alcohol gluttony isnt the only cause – other factors are operating such as environmental toxins, agricultural chemicals used more than ever before, chemical hormonal disruptors may be the key link some say and perhaps GM foods – debated vigorously.

A major consequence of high carbohydrate as refined foods and sugar loading is the excess sugar produced far beyond the body’s capacity to burn it as fuel….so it gets stored as fat. Its far more complex than just that because some people are really genetically bad at handing carb/glucose loads and develop Insulin Resistance (Metabolic Syndrome), diabetes and a host of other disorders.

New Food Pyramid

New Food Pyramid

New Food Pyramid

Harvard University has produced a modified version where the ‘eat lots of grains’ (read bread,
pasta, buns, pizza, cakes, muffins and so on) so the bottom layer of the pyramid has taken a lesser role and moved up near the top. More importance is placed on vegetables, fruits and lean meat proteins. About time, only 20 years too late.

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet

A suitable dietary lifestyle is said to be the Mediterranean diet. Lots of vegetable varieties, some fruits, raw nuts and seeds, some whole grain (i.e. not refined ), fish, lean meats, olives, olive oils.

Sugar and deserts are the evil I’m afraid folks, always have been. As much as we love our sweets, they have to either go or be an occasional ‘treat’. Refer to the Lipids page for in depth table of diet effects on risk factors. Soy also reduces the liver’s production of cholesterol but soy has its own problems – its not a natural human food in its popular versions. Its controversial, there are some positives.

Vegetarian and Vegan – is that for you?

Very interesting studies – the “China Study” book and for serious heart disease, the research and vegan diet by Dr Esselstyn’s on reversing heart disease take an interesting turn for veganism and no fats or oils – confusing. Esselstyn’s studies are impressive. Actual reversal, by forbidding eating any food which has a “mother or a face”! And no fats. So he is very into fat avoidance. Well it worked – just read his book. But maybe it as the lack of sugar, processed carbs as well.

Then we have the interesting research into the modern wheat hybrid – which the author of “Wheat Dr DavisBelly” claims the epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc is because of this version of wheat gluten which protein structure is messing with humans and as the generations become more exposed so we see the accelerating problem. he of course acknowledges the roles of eating too much, sugars, exercise etc but his research and scientific exposure does make one really think about this.
I personally believe, plant based diets with as much raw as you can handle – is the ultimate. BUT its too easy to be a bad vegetarian! Protein deficiency, B12, iron is at risk.

Low Glycaemic Diet – Palaeo Diet

Carbohydrates or starches are sooner of later converted into blood glucose (the main energy fuel).

Palaeo Diet

Palaeo Diet

Some especially the refined (processed) types and confectionery will cause a rapid rise of blood glucose…. that’s the measure of the ‘Glycaemic Index’. A GI of 100 is the benchmark of white bread or table sugar. The higher the GI, the worse the food and conversely the lower the GI the better. Why is this? Sudden rises in blood glucose put pressure on the pancreas Beta cells to secrete insulin. This key hormone regulates glucose handling biochemistry. With so much constant pressure from diet input of sugar and carbs, we are being swamped with high levels of insulin. It turns out that insulin has a nasty side. It can trigger inflammation, blood pressure even cancer itself.

Palaeo diet is meant to resemble our palaeolithic ancestors scavenging habits. What isnt factored is the adaptation of successive generations to different foods. In other words what works for one may make another ill. Hence the naturopathic system of ‘Metabolic typing’.

ABO Blood type diet

n time we may be more able to test genetically to work out what diet suits each individual.         Claimed prototypes abound such as the ABO diet, Body Type Diet, Metabolic Type Diet and so on. I believe they do work for some people very well indeed  -its just unscientific – but the science will catch up eventually and clarify who is what.

 Other weight loss diets

  • Atkins – the great pioneer of low carb diet weight loss. Perhaps too extreme in allowing all fats but has been modified. Needs a lot of personal commitment.
  • Dean Ornish – NO fats, mostly carbs! Complete opposite. Worked for some biochemical types. Not popular now.
  • The Zone Diet – Dr Barry Sears – far more acceptable, and is balanced lower carbs, modest protein and good quality fats. Needs commitment.
  • South Beach – another rendition of low carb. Requires personal determination.
  • There are many other weight loss systems. Almost all over the counter types require taking of abnormal food replacements, shakes and expensive supplements with expansive claims. They all can lose some weight but long term most are useless.

Lack of activity

Not necessarily from choice many don’t have the opportunity to have daily physical activity.

manfatreclineOptions to exercise early or late after work takes considerable self discipline and for many it just doesn’t work for them to ‘mindlessly exercise’… until the first heart attack then its all on! Research indicates that at least some regular activity to get the heart rate up to prescribed levels IS healthful. Find some activity that you LIKE, then you will do it.

Treatment of established heart and vascular disease

This has been covered in detail on the Lipids and Risk Factors page.

In summary:

  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise
  • Adapt an atheroma reducing diet – as high in plant as you can – or Mediterranean
  • Treat blood pressure
  • Reduce weight, especially abdominal obesity – the ‘big’ risk sign
  • Treat Metabolic Syndrome seriously
  • Supplement daily, seriously – in therapeutic amounts
  • De-stress – make choice, yoga, exercise, do something you always wanted to do
  • Optimise Lipid profile – natural supplement protocol and statin drugs if required – read more
  • Reduce inflammation vigorously – its all about inflammation!
  • Detox heavy metals – Chelation Treatment over 6-12 months – read more
  • Consider ECP – External Counter Pulsation – see page
Surely the most controversial topic of the decade. Such widely polarised views in the public arena but also astonishingly amongst medical professionals.
Firstly, terminology:
  • Lipids refer to the whole group of fats as measured by blood testing
  • Cholesterol is a specific type of fat made in the liver – it is absolutely needed as a substrate for hormones, brain tissue and other needs. When we talk about ‘lowering’ cholesterol, we may be meaning ‘it’, or triglycerides or LDL etc.
  • For a more indepth account go to Lipids page.
  • Statins is the name for a whole family of lipid lowering drugs of similar type.
The cholesterol debate is hotting up:
  • The actual role of cholesterol in atheroma plaque? Its there alright but as a cause or consequence of other factors like inflammation.
  • Does lowering cholesterol really make that much difference?
  • Does dietary fat really cause heart attacks? Apparently not nearly as much as has been thought.
  • Is saturated fat bad? Its the solid-at-room-temperature fat – that includes animal fat, avocado, coconut oil etc. Well apparently not anymore! So what went wrong in the old ideas?
  • According to scientific studies, lowering cholesterol DOES reduce risk of heart attacks – its totally established. But for whom and by how much? Now here is the buried truth. Read more in the lipids page.
  • Do statin drugs work? Yes they lower cholesterol very effectively. Does it matter? Well…..
  • Are statin drugs safe? Well…….we shall see later.
  • Should old people, young people take them?
  • if you have no known heart disease but modestly elevated cholesterol – you are told to take statins  – should you?

Heart Disease Management

Mainstream strategies will not be covered in this website and it will be assumed readers will have doctors and specialists advising on appropriate treatment plans that include:

  • Acute management of heart attack, angina and heart failure.
    • Medication
    • Artery stent
    • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
  • Ongoing treatment to reduce risk of further MI and heart damage.
    • Medications
    • Diet Weightloss Exercise Lifestyle review

Other preventive options

It is important to note that the current paradigm of western medicine is based on EVIDENCE or PROOF that a treatment works and is as safe as possible. Clinical trials are set up at enormous cost to test a drug against a placebo (non-active pill) or compare one drug to another. These are done blinded so no-one knows who is getting what to reduce bias. The results are subjected to rigorous statistical analysis and reported usually as a change in risk of a bad thing happening hence the success or not of the drug. Without going into detail – the problem is that reduction in risk of an event like a heart attack can sound very good but when it comes to what it means for the individual – it suddenly is far less promising. For example, a 50% reduction in risk of heart attack using drug xyz sounds exceptionally good, but if  the reduction in real terms was reducing heart attacks from 2 in 100 people not taking the drug to 1 in 100 people taking the drug  – thats 50% yes, but only 1% of people taking the drug will benefit. Therein lies the main problem with many drugs and treatments where statistics paint a sobering picture. Especially if side-effects outnumber benefits. But if some are helped then thats success for them. Doctors are trying more to determine who that 1% might be better targetted. If you are studying whole populations, then adding up all those 1% cases may be worth the effort and cost?

The criticism applies equally to supplements and other complementary or non-mainstream treatments. Its almost impossible to run trials on many of these treatments as no-one is keen to foot the millions in costs. There is no patent and payback. So most have observational and anecdotal reports. There is usually a long history of accumulated evidence.

The most confusing thing about clinical trials is the inconsistency of results across the trials – so the results are pooled to get averages. The problem here is that a not so well done trial may dilute the effect of a good one and vice versa.
Enough on that!

Supplements

Over years evidence has indicated certain vitamins and other nutrients may influence heart disease risk by various mechanisms. I shall list some:

Vitamin C Powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory effect on endothelial artery walls. 3-8gms/day
Vitamin E Anti-oxidant  400/day
Vitamin D  5-8000iu/day
Multi-Vitamin/Mineral General balanced supplement
Vitamin E Alpha tocopherol Gamma tocopherol Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory. Reduces CRP. More effective Vit E is a mix of four tocotrienols, – closely related to Vit E family. 400iu/day
Omega 3 marine oilKrill OIl Anti-inflammatory effects. Well documented studies. 45% reduction in death risk in one study. May reduce CRP especially combined with CoQ10.Krill is excellent for reducing bad LDL – its a marine oil 2-6gms/day
Magnesium Reduces cellular hyperactivity and possible arrythmias. 250-500mg/day
Alpha Lipoic Acid 100-400mg/day
Coenzyme Q10  Involved in energy pathways – cell mitochondria 100-400mg/day
Acetyl-L-carnitine An amino acid. May reduce CRP (inflammation marker). Improves glucose control (metabolic synd) Increases cell energy 1500mg/daily
Folinic acid Improves endothelial function
Anti-oxidants There are many powerful additional anti-oxidant options
Hormone treatment
  • Men do better with higher testosterone.
  • DHEA for both men and women.
  • Women may benefit from natural estrogen – under certain conditions.
  • Correct thyroid management
Homocysteine Protocol more on Homocysteine elsewhere
Lipid Protocol refer to Lipids page
Nattokinase An enzyme to assist dissolving fibrin. may be useful if high fibrinogen levels – a high predictor of risk of death from heart thrombosis.

Very controversial – yet it has been used for decades with many testimonies of benefits. Rigorous clinical trials have been few. Some poorly designed, others too small and one was possibly de-railed purposely. So as with other medical treatments, some do very well, others less and some no benefit.
TACT dataA recent trial (TACT) was completed and was widely anticipated to fail but to critics’ astonishment it proved chelation does actually work. Those in the field knew this anyway from experience.
Chelation is not recommended by orthodox medicine. I do not regard CT as an alternative – heart disease must be treated appropriately. CT has its place.

So what is chelation?

Chelation Therapy (CT)

infusionThe chelation word is derived from ‘claw’. Chelation is to ‘claw’ out or remove toxic metals. A chelating chemical is able to attach or bind onto certain metals very tightly and when used therapeutically, remove them from the body. The process of chelation is widely found in science and nature.

One particular chelating agent, EDTA, has been used for many decades as the best and safest remover of lead from poisoned patients. In past days before much was known or cared about work related diseases, lead poisoning was very common.

Today it is still not uncommon – old paints, past car fuel etc.

Children are particularly vulnerable to impaired intellect or worse, brain damage, from lead.

About 40 years ago, when lead poisoned victims who also had heart disease were chelated, it was found that their heart symptoms improved significantly. This lead to much research and eventually the use of EDTA, or chelation, as a standard treatment of heart disease itself. In fact top cardiologists used chelation as a valid and effective treatment for their angina patients.

The downside was that it could only be given by repeated intra-venous infusions over months.

Eventually, as pharmaceutical (drug) treatments became more in vogue and much simpler, chelation popularity dwindled. Bypass surgery and later stents were more attractive as well as effective quickly. They are life-saving. A whole new heart industry developed around drugs and surgical interventions. Yet for over 40 years, Chelation has stood the test of time and helped tens of thousands of sufferers. It still has a place in the fight against arterial disease for those who choose to do so as an adjunctive treatment.

Refer to my recent (March 2015 – Top 10 Brain Toxins) blog page about the role of LEAD and heart disease and the important role of Chelation – written by the world expert Dr Gary Gordon – highly informative click here >>>

Alarming epidemic

What is very concerning, is that with the rapid increase in arterial disease of the heart, diabetes and strokes, hospitals and other health resources can no longer cope. Patients are often on long waiting lists with huge anxiety and stress as their lives are in the balance. These patients could be on full CT as well as a specifically designed heart nutrient support program. The cost is minor compared with major drug or surgical treatments.

How does it work?

Well it certainly doesn’t clean out the arteries like ‘Drano’. It removes heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury which have been implicated in the initial inflammatory process of atheroma. Heavy metals are deadly in terms of interfering with cell function in all organs of the body. Chelation may reduce calcification of the plaque itself. It has strong anti-oxidant value. Other actions for EDTA have been postulated. It just works. Perhaps heavy metals and calcium are the key. But its the total CT program that is effective – including IV Vit C, magnesium and so on.

What major conditions may benefit from Chelation Therapy (CT)

  • Coronary artery heart disease, prevention or treatment for high risk persons
  • Impaired leg artery circulation
  • Brain circulation impairment
  • Heavy metal poisoning – recent or accumulated from past exposures

Many people worldwide have had successful courses of Chelation. For some they have had all other normal treatments and have opted to have the benefits of both treatment types. Others have been unsuitable for surgery or drugs. Others have made a personal choice to have CT as their first line treatment. There are many documented cases of patients who had reached a stage where conventional medicine had little to offer. CT has been able to be of assistance. There are documented studies showing even advanced cases of near gangrene of the feet responding to CT. In fact, every patient with leg artery disease, certainly at risk for amputation, should have the chance of full CT.

Who should have CT

  • Any form of arterial disease – angina, heart attack history, heart prevention program, post bypass protection, poor leg or feet circulation, strokes, brain TIA’s (mini strokes)
  • Leg ulceration (arterial cause), diabetes, macular degeneration
  • Heavy metal exposure or accumulation (lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic)
  • Dr. Jim Sprott, a well known and esteemed forensic scientist in New Zealand, says ‘everyone over 40 should have CT to rid heavy metals’s. So bad he believes them to be as a risk to health.

What is in Chelation – how is it given

IV bagA combination of ingredients is mixed in a Dextrose carrier IV solution drip. This is administered with little if any discomfort through a tiny ‘butterfly’ needle over one and a half hours. The dose is adjusted individually.

  • EDTA
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vit C).
  • Magnesium sulphate
  • Multi B vitamins

Who can administer CT

Only medical practitioners who have completed full CT training. Dr. Reeder has been administering EDTA for well over 20 years.

Are there any side effects

CT is extremely safe. All patients are assessed beforehand and undergo a medical and laboratory workup. There is a small group of patients who may not be suitable for CT or at least have very low doses. For example severely impaired kidney disease patients.

Can I avoid having a bypass or other surgical procedures

If you have been recommended to have a bypass for urgent reasons (such as critical unresponsive angina, where a severe heart attack is possible, then you should have the procedure. Once done, then have full CT). If you are unable to have a bypass because of too high medical risk; or you have chosen not to have it for your own reasons, then CT together with other supportive nutritional regimes is recommended.

Can I stop my heart medications

Simply, no. Certain medications are very effective for long term protection. Others may be able to be reduced even stopped later depending on response to your CT and supplement regime. However, don’t go off drugs yourself; discuss this with your medical physicians. Some patients can have intolerable side-effects to drugs and seek alternatives.

What’s the proof

A question which should be asked of any medical treatment. We look for what is termed ‘evidenced based medicine’. In other words, before embarking on a therapy we need to know ‘does it work?’. The current standard is to compare 2 groups of patients; one using the treatment in question and the other a dummy or ‘placebo’. No one knows who is getting what. The results are compared at the end. This is a double blind study (DBT).

There are many other ways of determing proof. Some treatments are just glaringly obviously effective. Others have become known to be effective by long term experience and sharing of information amongst medical doctors. DB studies are necessary, because many treatments, especially drugs, may help a small number of patients only, or their benefit may be marginal, or side-effects a potential problem. In other words it can take some fairly close scrutiny to assess any ‘significant’ benefit at all. Many factors can influence the response. The key though is that DBT’s cost an inordinate amount of money to complete…in the many millions. Generally only drug companies can afford such outlay as they expect to reap the reward later. CT is not a patentable treatment so never has, nor will, attract any funding.

However, the many studies that have been done over the years, analysing the outcomes, have been fairly consistently positive for CT. As well the safety is extremely high. CT remains an effective treatment option.

Dr. Reeder has seen many cases of excellent response with heart patients. Another major NZ clinic reports a 70% response rate to angina and peripheral vascular disease.

How many treatments are needed and what cost

Treatments are administered once weekly. Typically most patients will have 20 treatments weekly, followed by another 10 fortnightly. The results are reviewed over this time and most are advised to have maintenance CT between 2-6 monthly.

  • Each treatment costs $135(may change with import variations)
  • Initial assessment costs about $175 – $200 depending on time
  • Additional nutrients are prescribed
  • Lab tests are done as a pre-work up, and at certain points in the treatment program.

Does insurance pay for CT

Some companies may pay a subsidy. It makes sense as they are insuring themselves against larger claims. But in general, no.

Call the clinic for an initial discussion. Dr. Reeder will give a balanced opinion as to your suitability for CT. He will work in with your current medical treatments.

We now offer this Cardiovascular Treatment – please refer to the ECP Page