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Three Vitamins Fight Heart Disease

 


Heart Disease and Vitamins

  

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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, March 23, 2005

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Vitamin E: Safe, Effective, and Heart-Healthy

(Scroll down the page for information on how vitamin C and niacin are also effective.)          

(OMNS) Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, and the evidence supporting vitamin E's efficacy in preventing and reversing heart disease is overwhelming.

Two landmark studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine [1][2] followed a total of 125,000 men and women health care professionals for a total of 839,000 person study-years. It was found that those who supplement with at least 100 IU of vitamin E daily reduced their risk of heart disease by 59 to 66%. The studies were adjusted for life-style differences (smoking, physical activity, dietary fiber intake, aspirin use) in order to determine the heart effect of vitamin E supplementation alone. Because a diet high in foods containing vitamin E as compared to the average diet further showed only a slight heart-protective effect, the authors emphasized the necessity of vitamin E supplementation.

Researchers at Cambridge University [3] in England reported that patients who had been diagnosed with coronary arteriosclerosis could lower their risk of having a heart attack by 77% by supplementing with 400 IU to 800 IU per day of the natural (d-alpha tocopherol) form of vitamin E.

Pioneer vitamin E researchers and clinicians Drs. Wilfrid and Evan Shute treated some 30,000 patients over several decades and found that people in average health received maximum benefit from 800 IU of the d-alpha tocopherol form of vitamin E. Vitamin E has been proven effective in the prevention and treatment of many heart conditions. "The complete or nearly complete prevention of angina attacks is the usual and expected result of treatment with alpha tocopherol" according to Wilfrid Shute, M. D., a cardiologist. Shute prescribed up to 1,600 IU of vitamin E daily and successfully treated patients for acute coronary thrombosis, acute rheumatic fever, chronic rheumatic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, diabetes mellitus, acute and chronic nephritis, and even burns, plastic surgery and mazoplasia.

How it works

The reason one nutrient can cure so many different illnesses is because a deficiency of one nutrient can cause many different illnesses.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant in the body's lipid (fat) phase. It can prevent LDL lipid peroxidation caused by free radical reactions. Its ability to protect cell membranes from oxidation is of crucial importance in preventing and reversing many degenerative diseases.

In addition, vitamin E inhibits blood clotting (platelet aggregation and adhesion) and prevents plaque enlargement and rupture.

Finally, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which may also prove to be very important in the prevention of heart disease.

Among other things, vitamin E supplementation:
* reduces the oxygen requirement of tissues. [4]
* gradually melts fresh clots, and prevents embolism. [5]
* improves collateral circulation. [6]
* prevents scar contraction as wounds heal. [7]
* decreases the insulin requirement in about one-forth of diabetics. [8]
* stimulates muscle power. [9]
* preserves capillary walls. [10]
* reduces C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation [11]
* Epidemiological evidence also suggests that a daily supplement of vitamin E can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer and Alzheimer's disease. [12, 13]

If all Americans daily supplemented with a good multivitamin-multimineral, plus extra vitamins C and E, it could save thousands of lives a month.

References
[1] Stampfer MJ, Hennekens CH, Manson JE, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary disease in women. N Engl J Med. 1993;328:1444-1449.
[2] Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ,Ascherio A, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. N Engl J Med. 1993;328:1450-1456.
[3] Stephens, Nigel G., et al. Randomised controlled trial of vitamin E in patients with coronary disease: Cambridge Heart Antioxidant Study (CHAOS). The Lancet, Vol. 347, March 23, 1996, p 781-86.
[4] Hove, Hickman, and Harris (1945) Arch. Biochem. 8:395.
[5] Shute, Vogelsang, Skelton and Shute (1948) Surg., Gyn. and Obst. 86:1.
[6] Enria and Fererro (1951) Arch. per Ia Scienze Med. 91:23.
[7] Shute, Vogelsang, Skelton and Shute (1948) Surg., Gyn. and Obst. 86:1.
[8] Butturini (1950) Gior.di Clin. Med. 31:1.
[9] Percival (1951) Summary 3:55.
[10] Ames, Baxter and Griffith (1951) International Review of Vitamin Research 22:401.
[11] Ridker PM, Hennekens CH, Buring JE, et al. C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women. New England Journal of Medicine, 2000;342:836-843.
[12] Ni J, Chen M,Zhang Y,Li R,Huang J and Yeh S. Vitamin E succinate inhibits human prostate cancer cell growth via modulating cell cycle regulatory machinery. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2003 Jan 10;300 (2):357-63.
[13] Morris M C,Evans D A,Bienias J L,Tangney C C et al.Dietary intake of antioxidant nutrients and the risk of incident Alzheimer's disease in a biracial community study. JAMA 287(24):3230-3237.

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, April 22, 2005

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Vitamin C Saves Lives

(Scroll down the page for information on how niacin is also effective.)

(OMNS) Millions die each year from heart disease and stroke, and the overwhelming evidence is that vitamin C supplementation would save many lives.

Two-time Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling estimated that the rate of heart disease would be reduced by 80 per cent if adults in the US supplemented with 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C each day. According to Dr. Pauling, "Since vitamin C deficiency is the common cause of human heart disease, vitamin C supplementation is the universal treatment for this disease." [1] Heart disease is the number one killer in the US. For those with existing heart disease Dr. Pauling said that blockage of heart arteries could actually be reversed by supplementing with 6,000 mg of vitamin C and 6,000 mg of lysine (a common amino acid) taken in divided doses throughout the day. Vitamin C supplementation both lowers serum cholesterol levels and repairs lesions of arterial walls. 1998 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Louis J. Ignarro found that supplementing with vitamin C and vitamin E significantly reduces the risk of developing arteriosclerosis. [2]

A study examined vitamin E and vitamin C supplement use in relation to mortality risk in 11,178 persons aged 67-105 who participated in the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly over a nine year period. [3] Simultaneous use of vitamins E and C was associated with a lower risk of total mortality and coronary mortality after adjusting for alcohol use, smoking history, aspirin use, and medical conditions.

A landmark study following over 85,000 nurses over a 16-year period for a total of 1,240,000 person-years found that vitamin C supplementation significantly reduced the risk of heart disease. [4] Intake of vitamin C from foods alone was insufficient to significantly effect the rate of heart disease. High quantities of vitamin C from supplements was essential to provide the protective effects. The study adjusted for age, smoking, and a variety of other coronary risk factors.

An international team pooled data from nine prospective studies of 293,000 people that included information on intakes of vitamin E, carotenoids, and vitamin C, with a 10-year follow-up to check for major incident coronary heart disease events in people without disease when the study began. Dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins was only weakly related to a reduced coronary heart disease risk. However, subjects who took as little as 700 mg of vitamin C daily in supplement form reduced their risk of heart disease events by 25 per cent compared to those who took no supplements. [5]

Researchers in Finland measured serum vitamin C levels in 2,419 middle-aged male participants of the ongoing Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Men with a history of stroke were excluded from this analysis. Participants were followed for up to 10 years; the outcome of interest was development of stroke. During the follow-up period 120 participants suffered a stroke. After controlling for potential confounders - including age, BMI, smoking, blood pressure, and serum cholesterol - the researchers found that men with a low vitamin C level in their blood were more than twice as likely as those with a higher vitamin C blood level to experience a stroke. [6]

A stroke commonly occurs when a blood clot or thrombus blocks the blood flow to parts of the brain. A thrombus may form in an artery affected by arteriosclerosis. A recent study has shown how low plasma vitamin C was associated with increased risk of stroke, especially among hypertensive and overweight men. [7]

Vitamin C is preserves the integrity of the artery walls and strengthens cardiovascular tissue. Research indicates a reduced incidence of major coronary heart disease events at high supplemental vitamin C intakes. [8] Recent studies have shown that vitamin C appears to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, and there is a growing body of evidence that chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. [9]

Most Americans fail to eat the US RDA for several vitamins and minerals. Supplements are not the problem; they are the solution. Malnutrition is the problem.

References
[1] "A unified theory of human cardiovascular disease leading the way to the abolition of this disease as a cause for human mortality." Rath, M., Pauling, L., J of Orthomolecular Medicine, 7: 5-15.7.

[2] "Long-term combined beneficial effects of physical training and metabolic treatment on arterioscleroses in hypercholesterolemic mice", Ignarro, LJ, Publication of the National Academy of Science, Vol 101, 246-252, June 8, 2004.

[3] Losonczy KG, Harris TB, Havlik RJ. Vitamin E and vitamin C supplement use and risk of all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality in older persons: the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly.Am J Clin Nutr, Vol 64, No 2, p 190-6 Aug 1996. See also: Neale RJ, Lim H, Turner J, Freeman C, Kemm JR. The excretion of large vitamin C loads in young and elderly subjects: an ascorbic acid tolerance test.  Age Ageing, Jan 1988, 17 (1) p 35-41.

[4] Osganian SK, Stampfer MJ, Rimm E et al. Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 Jul 16;42(2):246-52.

[5] Knekt P, Ritz J, Pereira MA et al. Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1508-20.

[6] "Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke". S. Kurl, TP. Tuomaninen, JA. Laukkenen, et. al., Stroke, 2002, vol. 33, p 1568-1573.
[7] See ref [6].
[8] See ref [5].
[9] J Am Coll of Nutr, Vol. 23, No. 2, 141-147.

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, September 30, 2005

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Niacin (Vitamin B3) Lowers High Cholesterol Safely

(OMNS) There is a safe, inexpensive, nonprescription, convenient and effective way to reduce high cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk: niacin. Niacin is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin, vitamin B-3. One of niacin's unique properties is its ability to help you naturally relax and to fall asleep more rapidly at night. It is well established that niacin helps reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Niacin is one of the best substances for elevating high density lipoprotein cholesterol (the "good cholesterol) and so decreases the ratio of the total cholesterol over high density cholesterol.

The finding that niacin lowered cholesterol was soon confirmed by Parsons, Achor, Berge, McKenzie and Barker (1956) and Parsons (1961, 1961a, 1962) at the Mayo Clinic, which launched niacin on its way as a hypocholesterolemic substance. Since then it has been found to be a normalizing agent, meaning it elevates high density lipoprotein cholesterol, decreases low density and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. Grundy, Mok, Zechs and Berman (1981) found it lowered cholesterol by 22 percent and triglycerides by 52 percent and wrote, "To our knowledge, no other single agent has such potential for lowering both cholesterol and triglycerides."

Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of developing coronary disease. In addition to niacin, a typical diet generally recommended by orthomolecular physicians will tend to keep cholesterol levels down in most people. This diet can be described as a high fiber, sugar-free diet which is rich in complex polysaccharides such as vegetables and whole grains.

With adequately high doses of niacin, it is possible to lower cholesterol levels even with no alteration in diet. E. Boyle, then working with the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., quickly became interested in niacin. He began to follow a series of patients using 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) of niacin per day. He reported his conclusions in a document prepared for physicians involved in Alcoholics Anonymous by Bill W (1968). In this report, Boyle reported that he had kept 160 coronary patients on niacin for ten years. Only six died, against a statistical expectation that 62 would have died with conventional care. He stated, "From the strictly medical viewpoint I believe all patients taking niacin would survive longer and enjoy life much more." His prediction came true when the National Coronary Drug Study was evaluated by Canner recently. But Boyle's data spoke for itself. Continuous use of niacin will decrease mortality and prolong life.

Niacin Combined With Other Drugs Which Lower Cholesterol

Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited disease in which plasma cholesterol levels are very high. Illingworth, Phillipson, Rapp and Connor (1981) described a series of 13 patients treated with Colestipol 10 grams twice daily and later 15 grams twice daily. Their cholesterol levels ranged from 345 to 524 and triglycerides from 70 to 232. When this drug plus diet did not decease cholesterol levels below 270 mg/100 mL they were given niacin, starting with 250 mg three times daily and increasing it every two to four weeks until a final dose of 3 to 8 grams per day was reached. To reduce the niacin "flush," patients took aspirin (120 to 180 mg) with each dose for four to six weeks. At these dosage levels of niacin they found no abnormal liver function test results. This combination of drugs normalized blood cholesterol and lipid levels. They concluded, "In most patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, combined drug therapy with a bile acid sequestrant and n! icotinic acid (niacin) results in a normal or near normal lipid profile. Long term use of such a regimen affords the potential for preventing, or even reversing, the premature development of atherosclerosis that occurs so frequently in this group of patients."

Fortunately, niacin does not decrease cholesterol to dangerously low levels. Cheraskin and Ringsdorf (1982) reviewed some of the evidence which links very low cholesterol levels to an increased incidence of cancer and greater mortality in general.

Niacin usually causes a flush when beginning treatment. The flush can be uncomfortable, but it is not dangerous. In order to slowly acclimate the body to niacin and minimize the flush, the following steps can be taken:

Anyone interested in this approach might go to a discount store and buy a bottle of 100 mg niacin tablets and a bottle of 1000 mg vitamin C tablets.

One should expect to begin by taking 1000 mg of vitamin C and 50 mg of niacin three times a day, preferably after each meal. Niacin tablets are scored and a 100 mg tablet is easily broken along the score to produce two 50 mg half-tablets of niacin.

After three or four days, the niacin dosage is increased to 100 mg three times a day. One might continue increasing the niacin by 50 mg or 100 mg every three or four days until the dosage of 1000 mg of niacin and 1000 mg of vitamin C are taken three times a day.

It normally takes about three months on the higher dosage of niacin and vitamin C for cholesterol levels to stabilize at lower levels. How much does taking 3000 mg of niacin and vitamin C cost? These two vitamins can be purchased for a total cost of about 50 cents a day.

Continuous use of niacin can be expected to reliably decrease mortality and prolong life.

Remember:

There is not even one death per year from vitamins. http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitsafety.html Pharmaceutical drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed, kill over 100,000 Americans annually. Hospital errors kill still more.

Restoring health must be done nutritionally, not pharmacologically. All cells in all persons are made exclusively from what we drink and eat. Not one cell is made out of drugs.


The non-commercialOrthomolecular Medicine News Service is peer-reviewed by medical doctors.

 

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Andrew W. Saul, OMNS editor-in-chief, is also the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )


 


Andrew W. Saul

 


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