What Should I Take for a Multitude of Health Issues?

Q I am 63 years old, 5’5”, and weigh 145 lbs. I am very active mentally, a university graduate, very sensitive, with an analytical mind. I grew up without parents or any other support system. One of my older brothers and mother died of tuberculosis in 1948 and 1956, respectively. The cause of my father’s death was drinking too much after these deaths—depression might have contributed. Also, another brother, who I never associated or lived with, was 6 years older and died from ALS.

I request your suggestions/recommendations on a number of health issues, and for products that you think will help. My health issues of concern are:

  1. Atherosclerosis and clogged arteries: Tests reveal blockages of 95, 75, 65, 45 and 50%. I would like to clear or reverse this condition by means of “alternative” or natural methods, if possible. My Dr. in Canada has suggested EDTA, DMSA and serrapeptase, in addition to many other vitamins and minerals. I do not have any angina. My heart muscle is good. My Cardiologist prescribed Olmetec 20 mg and Crestor 20 mg daily—but my primary doctor advised me to take Crestor every other day, and believes that blood pressure medicine might not be necessary.
  2. Digestive sluggishness: My father—who passed away when I was 15—told me that I should always pay attention to my digestive health to correct any other health problems.
  3. Immune enhancement: Because my brother died from ALS, I want to maintain a healthy immune system.
  4. Eye health
  5. Adrenals: My adrenal function needs to be improved (I feel disoriented when under stress).

Ash, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Dear Ash,

First, I agree with your physician that chelation therapy with EDTA is the best approach to improving blood flow throughout your body—not just in the occluded arteries that you alluded to. If you really have serious blockages, I recommend BOTH intravenous AND oral chelation capsules. Both have distinct advantages.

Hand in hand with chelation therapy, is the consumption of a high-potency multi-nutrient formula to replace the essential minerals that are removed by the chelator.

DMSA, which your physician suggested, is a preferential chelator of mercury. If you have documented mercury toxicity, I would certainly consider adding DMSA to your program. When incorporating DMSA, I usually recommend a conservative approach—300 mg of DMSA every other day.

I do not recommend the statin drugs (like Crestor). Not only do the statins have potentially damaging effects on muscles (and your heart, of course, the one muscle in your body that works 24 hours per day), I believe that you can achieve superior results with regard to normalizing your lipid profile with niacin (vitamin B3, as nicotinic acid). Niacin is the cheapest, most effective lipid-lowering agent there is. It has the ideal effect on the lipid profile. It lowers total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL, and RAISES HDL, thereby enhancing the cholesterol / HDL ratio.

Effective doses of niacin are usually in the range of 1,500–2,000 mg per day, although doses as high as 6 grams have been clinically used. Not only does niacin help to normalize the lipid profile, it has also demonstrated to reduce arterial intima media thickness, further improving arterial diameter and blood flow.

Perhaps even more important than normalizing your lipid profile, is to maintain normal levels of fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is not only an inflammatory marker in the blood, it is also the last factor in the blood-clotting cascade. Elevated levels of fibrinogen predispose one to life-threatening thromboses and emboli, increasing one’s risk of heart attack and strokes.

Fibrinogen levels can be normalized with the anti-inflammatory herb, turmeric, due to their curcuminoid content. A premium cumcuminoid complex (ideally with a nanosphere delivery system) or encapsulated whole turmeric will offer significant protection against elevated fibrinogen levels.

Other products to incorporate into your cardio-protection program include omega 3 oils, preferably distilled and with a protection system (including vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols), vitamin C (as fat-soluble ascorbyl palmitate), and diosmin (from rosemary)). Omega-3s will also help to maintain your lipids in a healthy ratio—especially to lower your triglycerides. Other essential nutrients to support your cardiovascular system include alpha lipoic acid (the “go-everywhere antioxidant”), and the very important mitochondrial co-enzyme, CoQ10.

Two minerals on your order list are magnesium ­aspartate and potassium bicarbonate. Both are very important for cardiovascular health. Magnesium is a natural smooth muscle relaxer, and will help to maintain normal blood pressure. Potassium is a most important intra-cellular positive ion, also critical for normal blood pressure. These two minerals are among the most commonly found deficiencies.

I agree with your physician’s recommendations for anti-inflammatory proteolytic enzymes like Serrapeptase, Nattokinase, or Lumbrokinase, the first two of which can be found in a smart enzyme formulation.

Your next priority—digestive health—was somewhat “non-specific”—although I noted that you had ordered a mastic product. I assume, therefore, that you suffer from GERD or other H. pylori-related disorders. The mastic line of products are highly effective in eradicating H. pylori, and relieving the attendant discomfort and pain—much more effective than the best of the mainstream-medical “triple therapy.”

You also mentioned the advice your father gave you to avoid “digestive sluggishness.” This was sound advice, indeed. Bile acids are essential to assist with the digestion of fats. However, if the stool “transit time” (the time it takes for ingested food to complete its passage through the intestines) is greater than 24 hours, the bile acids break down into potent carcinogens. Thus, constipation or transit time that exceeds 24 hours is a primary cause of colon cancer. Magnesium can assist in the maintenance of good health in this regard, as well. It is impossible to “OD” on magnesium, because excess magnesium will cause diarrhea. Thus, I recommend that you adjust your magnesium dose to just under “bowel tolerance,” such that you will have one or more easy bowel movements every day.

Probiotics, or consumption of a high quality yogurt each day (as recommended by the Nobel prize-winning gerontological pioneer, Professor Eli Metchnikoff) will also aid in maintaining a healthy GI tract.

With regard to the immune system (and your concern about ALS), I recommend the important neurosteroids, pregnenolone, and DHEA. These will both also help to balance your adrenals, and protect against “adrenal burnout.”

A great arginine formulation, such as Durk & Sandy describe, is a premier growth hormone releasing formula—one of the benefits of which is an enhanced immune system. Acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown in clinical studies to be of benefit to those with ALS—to say nothing of its cardiovascular and cognitive-enhancing benefits. Presumably, its “cousin” propionyl-L-carnitine will share these benefits. Both of these nutrients (along with alpha lipoic acid) define a formulation can propel you to great “heights,” especially when taken with the nerve-cell stabilizing mineral, lithium orotate. Phosphatidylserine is another nerve cell protectant that promotes enhanced cognition, and also helps with adrenal balancing. Glutathione, is an extremely important antioxidant, which helps to prevent or treat just about every chronic degenerative disease. It is especially helpful in neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. But it is not very bioavailable unless taken in encapsulated nanospheres.

Sleep is of critical importance to maintaining a healthy immune system. I recommend a nightly dose of supplemental melatonin, as melatonin, like DHEA, plummets dramatically with age. In addition to aiding most people to get to sleep, perhaps its most important role is to maintain a healthy chronobiological rhythm of our other hormones, as well. In addition to melatonin, a formulation that works to enhance your sleep scape, for its effect in prevention of early awakening, and to maintain sound sleep all night.

For eye health, use a N-acetylcarnosine-containing eyedrops formulation, a major breakthrough. Designed primarily for the prevention and reversal of cataracts, they also have a number of non-specific benefits, including prevention of glare, reduction of intraocular pressure, and maintenance of corneal moisturization.

If you have read much of my previous writing, you know that I am a big proponent of the anti-aging benefits to be gained from the anti-diabetic drug, metformin. A cinnamon formulation, especially when combined with berberine, is a nutritional counterpart of metformin, sharing many of metformin’s anti-aging effects. My mentor, from whom I learned much about the anti-aging benefits of metformin, was the noted Russian endocrinologist, Professor Vladimir Dilman. Dilman proved that metformin not only restored insulin receptor sensitivity, but that it had a similar effect on cortisol receptors. Consequently, in addition to normalizing blood sugar and reducing elevated levels of insulin, Dilman showed that metformin enhanced cortisol receptors, normalizing elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. I believe that the a premier cinnamon/berberine/chromium/alpha lipoic acid formulation may have the same effect, thereby enabling people to more effectively deal with elevated stress levels.

Although I did not discuss a few of the products that you ordered, I believe they are all appropriate and will fit into your overall program. I hope this answers most of your questions. If not, please let me know.

Ward Dean, M.D.

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