Letter from Dr. Janson
Chelation Therapy As Part of A Heart
What is Heart Disease?
Diet Changes for Better Health
Exercise for The Heart
Supplements for Preventing Heart
Herbs That Help Menopause
Colostrum and Transfer Factor
In the Health News
Recipe of the Month: Healthy Travel Tip
Heart disease from arteriosclerosis is still the number one
killer in most industrialized nations (even in France). Fortunately,
it is almost totally preventable with lifestyle changes that
are manageable for most peopleif they know what to do.
It is also treatable with natural remedies that can reduce
or eliminate the need for medications, and often eliminate
the need for surgery.
Of course, surgery is often overused in the first place,
so it is not too hard to reduce the "need" for it.
Some expert cardiologists estimate that up to 75 percent of
all bypass surgeries are unnecessary, and they are not even
comparing the use of surgery with lifestyle change and dietary
supplements, but with drug therapy.
In addition, they never mention chelation therapy,
a treatment that I have found to be very valuable for my patients
with heart disease and other circulation problems, such as
strokes and claudication (pain in the legs on walking). Chelation
therapy is a three-hour intravenous treatment with a synthetic
amino acid called EDTA. It is done in a doctors office
about twice a week for 25 to 40 sessions and it is remarkably
safe when administered according to protocol. Chelation can
be combined with any other treatment, but is best as a part
of a comprehensive health program.
Arteriosclerotic diseases result from a buildup of
plaque (fatty, fibrous, calcified deposits) in the arterial
wall, eventually blocking the blood flow to the vital organs.
The damage to the arteries results from free-radical injury
and inflammation, both of which can be related to lifestyle
choices. Common symptoms of heart disease include chest tightness
or pain, which may be felt in the left arm, the back, or the
jaw, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The chest symptoms
may also be perceived as a pressure sensation, like an
elephant sitting on the chest, as heartburn, or simply
as indigestion. Some of the recent tests to predict heart
disease risks are related to inflammation (the CRP test that
I discussed in the June issue is a test for inflammation).
The most important changes in lifestyle that help to prevent
and treat heart disease are dietary changes and exercise.
In addition, stress management and dietary supplements play
vital roles in reducing the problem. Heart disease is not
simply genetic. When we see that American teenagers between
15 and 19 years old already have plaque in their arteries
we cannot blame it on genetics. It is almost certainly related
to their diets and lack of exercise. In the Korean War, doctors
examined young Americans who died of trauma, and they already
had plaque in their arteries, while the young Koreans did
not. When Koreans move to the US and eat the western diet,
they develop the same arterial diseases. As fast foods spread
around the world, in their wake we see increases in preventable
obesity, heart disease, and other degenerative diseases.
Cut down on processed foods, white flour and sugar,
artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners,
which are junk, not food. Reduce animal products in the diet.
Although fish is probably beneficial, meat, chicken, and dairy
contribute to increased mortality from heart disease and cancer.
In fact, all-cause mortality is lower in vegetarians than
non-vegetarians. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, and beans.
Numerous scientific studies come to this same conclusion,
and they come from all over the world, and the evaluation
of many different populations. Many fad diets claim to be
helpful in losing weight. They may lead to weight loss because
they reduce caloric intake, but they are not healthful diets.
High protein and high fat diets are not supported by the medical
literature. They are associated with more osteoporosis, heart
disease, diabetes, cancer, gallstones, gout, and arthritis.
They have little fiber, an important dietary component, and
they are low in protective phytochemicals and bioflavonoids
(healthful plant pigments).
If you eat dairy products, choose low fat, organic sources,
and if you include eggs, choose organic brands. Although I
used to recommend mainly salmon, the farming of fish is now
widespread, and not many fish farms use natural methods. As
a result, the good essential fatty acid composition of fish
is altered. The growth hormone used to double the growth rate
of the fish, is untested for its health effects. In order
to avoid this problem, I now suggest sardines (water packed)
as the preferred source. You dont need much animal product
in the diet, but I believe it is beneficial to have some,
and small amounts of organic eggs, fish, or low-fat organic
yogurt are the best sources.
Exercise has been shown in many studies to help heart
disease, in both prevention and rehabilitation. You don't
have to be a competitive athlete to benefit, and you don't
have to exhaust yourself to be healthy.
A simple plan of 30 minutes a day of regular, repetitive
motion, such as walking, jogging, bicycling, rollerblading,
skiing, swimming, or exercise machines is beneficial. Exercise
without getting out of breath, but try to work up a sweat.
This simple guideline should keep you at aerobic levels of
exercise. If there is no exercise you love, get an exercise
machine and work out during the news or while reading a magazine.
In this issue I'll conclude with supplements for prevention.
In the next issue I will write about supplements for treatment
of specific heart problems, as well as the value of relaxation
First, I always recommend starting with a high-potency, multivitamin-mineral
combination. This should give you the B-complex (50 to 100
mg), some vitamins C and E, magnesium and calcium (500 mg
each), and trace minerals. However, no multiple preparation
has everything you need in adequate doses, so you do need
to take some extra supplements for greater protection.
For example, extra vitamins C and E act as potent antioxidants,
protecting the blood vessels from free-radical damage. They
also help to lower cholesterol while raising the good HDL-cholesterol.
I usually recommend about 4000 mg of vitamin C, and 400 IU
of vitamin E. If your multiple has this amount of E, then
it may be enough until you are over 40 years old, when you
might want to take an extra 400 to 800 IU. I advise using
only the natural d-alpha tocopherol (as opposed to dl-alpha),
plus the mixed tocopherols (beta, gamma, and delta).
Selenium is associated with less heart disease (and less
cancer). It works with other antioxidants as a component of
the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which regenerates vitamin
E. Usually 200 to 400 mcg per day is a good dose. The same
dose of chromium contributes to preventing heart disease because
chromium helps control blood sugar (diabetes is a risk factor
for heart disease) and it promotes normal blood fat and cholesterol.
These are the basics for prevention, although as you get
over 45 years old you might want to take additional coenzyme
Q10, and proanthocyanidins as protective supplements. These
and others such as hawthorn berry, L-carnitine, taurine, and
garlic are also useful for treatment, so I'll be discussing
them in the next edition.
For many years I have recommended alternative therapies
for women going through menopause, using diet, exercise, vitamin
E, essential fatty acids, magnesium, and bioflavonoids, in
addition to natural hormone replacement as needed.
More recently I have added several herbs to my treatment
programs with great success, helping many women to eliminate
hot flashes, depression, anxiety, and vaginal atrophy and
dryness. One of the most effective is standardized extract
of black cohosh. Components of this herb called triterpenes
have mild estrogenic effects without the side effects commonly
seen with typical estrogen therapy, and they are effective
in 50 to 90 percent of women, depending on their symptoms.
It is one of the most commonly used herbs in Germany. The
typical dose of black cohosh is 40 to 80 mg twice a day, each
40-mg pill standardized to contain 1 mg of the active 27-deoxyactein.
Dong quai, also known as Angelica sinensis, is another herb
used for menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes. In addition
to some very mild estrogenic effects, it also has anti-inflammatory
effects and is a free radical scavenger.
Some of the active components of dong quai are ligustilide
and ferulic acid. The typical dose is 400 to 600 mg daily
of the standardized extract. A side benefit is that this herb
relaxes blood vessels, improves circulation, and lowers blood
Sometimes these herbs work better when taken together, or
with Agnus Castus (Vitex), which supports the pituitary gland
and consequently the production of progesterone (400 mg per
day of standardized extract). None of these herbs precludes
the use of natural hormones.
I have seen a lot of advertising lately for supplements of
colostrum, the thick, "first milk" that contains
all the immune factors for an infant while their own immune
systems are still developing. In fact, colostrum does protect
the calf or the human infant in many ways, but the concentration
of immune substances, called "transfer factors"
(because they "transfer" immunity), is often too
low to be therapeutic. This is where the supplement called
"Transfer Factor" comes in.
Transfer Factor is a highly concentrated mixture of immunoglobulins
and non-specific inhibitors of infectious agents derived from
colostrum. These act as immune stimulators, and promote macrophage
activation, lymphocyte maturation, and natural killer (NK)
As a supplement, Transfer Factor is useful for defective
immunity, especially in children, elderly, and immunosuppressed
patients (due to medications and AIDS, for example). It also
is beneficial in treating bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic,
and mycobacterial infections.
Patients with cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue,
fibromyalgia, and other conditions all benefit from supplements
of Transfer Factor. I even recommend it as preventive medicine
to protect immunity as people get older. The typical dose
is two to three capsules of 200 mg each for prevention, up
to 1800 mg for treatment of serious infections or immune compromise.
Another reason to eat only organic foods: the common
pesticide Dursban is now being gradually banned.
Half of the 20 million pounds used annually is on food crops,
such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and grains (where it is
not banned yet!). That equals a yearly drink of about a shot-glass
full per person in the US, in addition to the chemical exposure
around the house, lawn, and garden as the most common household
pesticide. It has been in use for about 30 years, and research
confirms that it causes symptoms including memory loss and
blurred vision. Government and industry still say that "approved"
pesticides are safe; the question is whether to believe them
about those not yet bannedand wait 30 years to find
out about their damaging effects?
We are also exposed to the toxic chemical dioxin,
a byproduct of paper manufacture and incineration of industrial
waste that accumulates in the fat of meat and dairy products.
It leads to a risk of cancer 10-fold higher than previously
thought in people who eat large amounts of these foods. It
also increases birth defects and abnormal childhood development.
It helps to eat more vegetarian foods, and take protective
dietary supplements, such as antioxidants.
The salt consumption recommendation of 2400
mg daily, far lower than the US average, is too high (Reuters,
May 18). A whole foods diet (more fruits and vegetables) and
salt consumption of only 1500 mg could lower blood pressure
significantly even in non-hypertensives, and thus lower the
risk of heart disease and stroke by 20 and 35 percent respectively.
This is better and safer than blood pressure medications.
I always bring my own food for travel, especially when flying.
(Swissair has recently begun serving all natural and organic
foods on all flights originating in Switzerlandyou know
who Ill be flying with on my next European trip.) If
you plan your arrival early enough to find a health food store,
and ask for a refrigerator in your hotel room, you can keep
healthy snacks and meals with you at all times. Look for vegetarian
restaurants in the Yellow Pages (or on the Web before departure).
Order enough at the restaurants to have leftovers for the
next day. Then, on holidays or at conferences where the schedule
is tight, you wont have to depend on hotel food. When
driving, I take a cooler with healthy foods. With a little
planning, it is not difficult to eat healthfully on the road.
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