Defusing the Calcium BombDr. Zoltan P. Rona, MD, M.Sc. November 1, 2004
Heart and circulatory problems are still the number one cause of chronic illness and death in North America today. Worldwide, the WHO predicts that, by the year 2020, cardiovascular disease will account for 11.1 million deaths a year. At least 40% of the adult population takes one or more prescription drugs for one type of heart or circulation problem or another. The major health challenges requiring medical attention are high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, angina, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease (stroke), arrhythmias and atherosclerosis.
Conventional medicine treats all these disorders with modest degrees of success using prescription drugs, coronary bypass surgery and other invasive procedures. With the exceptions of ASA and the increasingly popular cholesterol lowering drugs (statins), mainstream medicine has very little to offer for prevention.
Fortunately, the past decade has seen the alternative medicine community offer a large number of less invasive and natural therapies that can not only help prevent heart and circulatory disease but also, in many cases, reverse existing disease. The main problem for the average person is that the choices are overwhelming. What works best? What is least expensive and has the fewest side effects?
Here is my recommended top ten list of what one could do either as complementary or as an alternative to drugs and surgery.
Top Ten List of Alternatives (in order of importance)
1) Follow an oral/rectal chelation therapy supplement program
2) Kill the real cause of abnormal calcification
3) Take blood thinning and antioxidant supplements
4) Keep homocysteine, lipoprotein (a) and ferritin levels low
5) Go on a higher fibre diet
6) Control fungal overgrowth
7) Do more aerobic exercise
8) Improve thyroid, DHEA, cortisol and testosterone hormone levels
9) Improve lifestyle and reduce stress
10) Keep LDL-cholesterol low and HDL-cholesterol high
1. Follow an oral/rectal chelation therapy supplement program
Intravenous EDTA chelation therapy has been an effective treatment against toxic heavy metal excess in the body and plaque buildup in arteries for over 50 years. New improvements on the delivery system for EDTA, however, will make the intravenous (IV) route next to obsolete within a few years.
Researchers have recently developed both a rectal and oral EDTA delivery system that is not only medically equal to IV EDTA but considerably cheaper, more convenient and free of nuisance side effects like bruised veins. Children, people with weak veins and those who could not bear to endure painful intravenous needles can now get exactly the same benefits minus all the grief. To most people, a rectal suppository is unappealing but considerably less threatening than a needle stuck in the arm for several hours 10 or more times each month. Studies now indicate that it works every bit as well as the intravenous route of administration.
Although IV chelation is considerably cheaper and less invasive than coronary bypass surgery, it is not covered by Medicare or even private health insurance and therefore costs patients a fair bit of money out of pocket. The average Canadian IV chelation clinic charges $125 per treatment. Most people getting the therapy need at least 30 such experiences. This costs a total of $3,750. On the other hand, a month’s supply (30 daily treatments of combined oral and rectal EDTA), equivalent to 30 IV treatments, costs only $400. On top of that, with so few doctors actually using IV chelation therapy in their practices, most people need to travel hours to and from their homes several times each week for months.
The new EDTA rectal suppository chelation therapy takes only 80 minutes to gradually dissolve from the rectum into the circulation instead of the usual 3 – 4 hour intravenous drip. About 98% of the 1000 mgs of EDTA per suppository is absorbed directly into the bloodstream where it works every bit the same way as the intravenously infused version.
The major accepted medical use for chelation therapy is to rid the body of toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium, aluminum, copper, arsenic, mercury and numerous other toxins. Many doctors however, have utilized it for treating coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, angina, high blood pressure, diabetes, intermittent claudication, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and other circulation problems. Virtually any disease involving calcification can benefit from oral/rectal chelation.
A newly published book, The Calcium Bomb by Douglas Mulhall and Katja Hansen provides the following list of health conditions amenable to a combination of EDTA oral capsules, rectal suppositories and antibiotics (to kill nanobacteria — see below):
Aging of the skin
Breast implant calcification
Calcium deposits in the skin (calcinosis cutis)
Calcific aortic sclerosis
Cancer of the bone, brain, breast, colon and ovaries
Dental pulp stones
Diabetes (Type 2 in adults)
Heart Disease due to atherosclerosis
Kidney stones, Polycystic kidney disease
Salivary gland stones
Chelation can also remove important minerals such as calcium (the non-pathologically deposited kind), magnesium, zinc, manganese and others. Supplementation with trace minerals is therefore required whether one does any form of EDTA chelation.
Intravenous chelation therapy can occasionally create some toxic reactions in the kidney. According to proponents, this is not seen with the rectal suppository form. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to monitor kidney function with a urinalysis and a few simple blood tests.
As with IV chelation, the rectal delivery system can produce headaches, dizziness, rectal discomfort, nausea, a loss of appetite and fatigue. These are all transient and usually milder in the rectal versus the intravenous form.
Both forms of chelation lower blood sugar and insulin requirements by as yet unknown mechanisms. Diabetics using insulin injections or oral hypoglycemic agents need to monitor their blood sugars carefully and adjust their medication dosages accordingly.
2. Kill the Real Cause of Abnormal Calcification
More than a decade ago, researchers in Australia discovered that stomach and duodenal ulcers were caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Antibiotic therapy successfully eliminated the infection and ulcers healed dramatically yet it took conventional medicine more than 10 years to accept the fact. Prior to widespread acceptance of H. pylori, conventional doctors blamed stress and hyperacidity, ignoring the most effective treatment against ulcers.
Similarly, since 1990, there has been mounting evidence that the abnormal calcification process in all diseases is caused by a tiny bacterial organism about 1/100 the size of a conventional bacterium called nanobacterium sanguineum. This bacteria multiplies slowly over a period of many years manufacturing a calcific shell that hides it from the immune system, all antibiotics, radiation and even chemotherapy.
Studies show that nanobacteria originate from infected cows and contaminated vaccines. It is highly probable that, if you have ever had a vaccine, you harbour nanobacteria in your blood, tissues and organs. The only way to really stop the abnormal calcification they generate is to kill them off.
The trick to killing these bugs and reversing the diseases they cause is to strip away the abnormal calcium deposits with EDTA and then using the only antibiotic so far discovered to be effective, namely tetracycline (N.B. those allergic to tetracycline can use sulpha drugs and perhaps some others).
Cardiologists like Dr. James Roberts, have found that a combination of oral EDTA with supportive antioxidants plus an EDTA rectal suppository and 500 mg of tetracycline all given once daily before bedtime is the most effective way of ridding the body of both the pathological calcium deposits and the nanobacteria.
Studies indicate that EDTA blood levels, when using this protocol, remain high 24 hours a day, unlike the intravenous EDTA, the levels of which return to zero shortly after the IV drip is removed. Higher, more stable EDTA levels ensure a quicker, more effective chelation process.
For more information and to place orders in Canada (health care practitioners only), please contact:
• High Level Wellness Information Services
390 Steeles Ave West Unit 19 / 20
Thornhill, ON L4J 6X2
Ph: 905 764 9300 Fax: 905-764-6641
In the U.S., contact:
2727 W. Martin Luther King Blvd, Suite 850
Tampa, FL 33607
3. Take Blood Thinning & Antioxidant Supplements
Since arterial damage, plaque formation and excessive blood clotting are life threatening, taking natural remedies to prevent or even help reverse these problems is tremendously important. Diet changes take most people a long time to fully implement and even longer to make an impact on existing disease. Natural remedies, on the other hand, can start working right away to prevent catastrophes and start the disease reversal process.
Nattokinase — 1,000 mgs daily — a potent blood clot busting (fibrinolytic) enzyme extracted and highly purified from a traditional Japanese food called natto, a soy fermented, cheese-like food that has been used in Japan for over 1,000 years for its popular taste and as a folk remedy for heart and vascular diseases. Natto is produced by adding the beneficial bacteria natto, to boiled soybeans. While other soy foods contain enzymes, it is only the natto preparation that contains the specific nattokinase enzyme.
Bromelain — 1,000 mgs daily. First introduced as a therapeutic compound in 1957, bromelain’s actions include: (1) inhibition of platelet aggregation; (2) fibrinolytic activity; (3) anti-inflammatory action; (4) anti-tumor action; (5) modulation of cytokines and immunity; (6) skin debridement properties; (7) enhanced absorption of other drugs; (8) mucolytic properties; (9) digestive assistance; (10) enhanced wound healing; and (11) cardiovascular and circulatory improvement.
L-Arginine – 6,000 — 12,000 mgs daily, an essential amino acid, promotes natural body production of nitric oxide and subsequent cyclic GMP synthesis that dilates (opens up) blood vessels, stimulates growth hormone release which increases lean body mass while decreasing total body fat percentage.
Hempseed oil — 3 Tbsps daily for a good balance of omega-3, -6 and –9 oils that reduce inflammation that occurs with heart disease. Alternatives are flaxseed oil, cod liver oil and algae products like chlorella.
Inositol hexaniacinate (flush-free niacin) — 1,000 – 3,000 mgs daily, can lower total cholesterol blood levels by as much as 18%, raise HDL-cholesterol by 32% and lower triglycerides by 26%.
Chromium — 1,000 or more mcgs daily, especially in the picolinate form, can decrease both cholesterol and triglycerides while improving glucose tolerance.
Copper — 2 mgs or more daily — decreases cholesterol but must be balanced by zinc — 15 mgs daily.
Vitamin C — 1,000-6,000 mgs daily helps prevent atherosclerosis by directly promoting the breakdown of triglycerides and through its regulation of arterial wall integrity via its essential role in collagen formation.
Vitamin B6 — 25-100 mgs daily prevents accumulation of high levels of the amino acid homocysteine implicated as one of the tissue injuring substances initiating cholesterol build up and atherosclerosis. Other supplements which lower homocysteine levels include vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Carnitine — 1,500 mgs or more daily lowers triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol while raising HDL-cholesterol and helps increase heart muscle strength and stamina.
Proline — 2,000 mgs daily is an amino acid that also helps strengthen the heart muscle.
Selenium — 600 mcgs daily lowers the risk of free radical damage and the risk of heart disease by as much as 75%.
Vitamin E — 800 I.U. daily in men can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 46%; in women the risk reduction is by 26%.
Coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) — 400 mgs daily is now considered to be the most important anti-oxidant for the heart and particularly effective in the treatment of chest pain, high blood pressure and heart beat irregularities.
Curcumin — 3 grams or more daily — the yellow pigment of tumeric (Curcuma longa) is primarily an anti-inflammatory agent comparable to cortisone and ibuprofen; it protects the liver and helps lower cholesterol levels; it has also been reported to be effective as a cancer preventive agent as well as an antioxidant comparable in activity to vitamins C and E.
Ginkgo biloba extract —1,000 mgs daily is an excellent circulation enhancer and antioxidant.
Pycnogenols — 300 mgs daily of grape seed extract or pine bark extract and bilberry (300 mgs daily) are all excellent antioxidants known for their ability to inactivate harmful free radicals thought to initiate atherosclerosis and other degenerative diseases.
4. Keep Homocysteine, Lipoprotein and Ferritin Levels Low
If you happen to have a strong family history of heart disease you would be wise to ask your doctor to check your blood levels of homocysteine (should be below 8 mg/dl). Mildly elevated levels of homocysteine have been documented in 21% of people with coronary artery disease, 24% of those who have suffered a stroke and 32% of those with peripheral vascular disease like intermittent claudication.
One of the answers to high homocysteine levels is to increase one’s intake of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid. While most conventional medical practitioners and dietitians do not recommend supplementing the diet with any of these B vitamins in capsule or tablet form, they do advise the public to at least increase their intake of high folic acid containing foods.
“The American Heart Association does not recommend widespread use of folic acid and B vitamins to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke (brain attack). The AHA advises a healthy, balanced diet that includes five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.”
Folic Acid, Homocysteine and Atherosclerosis: AHA Recommendation www.amhrt.org
The current RDA for folic acid is 400 mcgs, the minimum dose thought to prevent neural tube defects in the fetus of a pregnant woman. Dark leafy greens, kidney beans, lentils, oranges and orange juice are especially good sources of folic acid.
Folate content of foods
Foods Folate (micrograms)
Fresh spinach 1 cup 262
Kidney beans 1 cup 229
Lentils cooked, 1/2 cup 179
Chick peas cooked, 1/2 cup 145
Asparagus cooked, 1/2 cup 131
Orange juice 1 cup 109
Broccoli 1 cup 107
Split peas cooked, 1/2 cup 64
Good sources of vitamin B6 are meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. A daily intake of 50 mg is optimal. Vitamin B12 can be obtained in highest amounts from meat, poultry, fish, milk and dairy products. B12 is not found in fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, or seeds but may be found in cultured soy products, algae and seaweeds. A daily intake of 500 mcg is considered to be optimal.
Regular aerobic exercise (more than three times weekly) also lowers the harmful levels of homocysteine. So does having adequate amounts of trace minerals in the diet. Minerals such as zinc, copper and magnesium are required as cofactors for enzymes that lower homocysteine to function properly and maintain proper DNA methylation. Betaine (1000 mg) a.k.a. Trimethylglycine (TMG) is yet another important nutrient derived from sugar beets that functions as a methyl donor much like folic acid and also helps lower homocysteine levels.
One unsuspected problem for some people is the ability to assimilate or absorb certain nutrients from their foods. For example, older individuals (age 65 or older) may not produce enough stomach acid to help absorb vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, copper, manganese, iron and dozens of other nutrients. Others may be deficient in the gut levels of intrinsic factor and pancreatic digestive juices. Still others have had damage to their intestinal absorption capacity due to illnesses like celiac disease, food allergies or chronic gut infections. In some people vitamin B6 is not converted efficiently enough to its active form (pyridoxyl-5’-phosphate). Supplementing these people with pyridoxyl-5’-phosphate (50 mg) directly is necessary.
Sometimes the only way that these individuals can be helped is by intramuscular or intravenous injections or high dose oral vitamin and mineral supplementation combined with digestive enzymes like glutamic acid and pepsin, pancreatin or others. If one suspects an absorption or nutrient assimilation problem, this can be verified by tests done through a health care practitioner.
Lipoprotein (a) is another blood factor thought by Linus Pauling and others to be associated with heart disease. Not as well accepted as homocysteine, there is growing evidence for its validity as a heart disease risk factor. A high fibre diet plus a few supplements can help put the lipoprotein (a) levels into a more optimal range (below 20 mg/dl). Effective supplements include:
Omega-3 fatty acids – 3000 mg twice daily
L-lysine – 1000 mg 3 times daily
L-proline – 1000 mg 3 times daily
Vitamin C 1000 mg 3 times daily
Inositol hexaniacinate 1000 mg 3 times daily.
High levels of ferritin (above 300 mg/dl) can rapidly induce arterial damage much like homocysteine and lipoprotein (a). Ferritin is the storage form of iron in the body and can easily be reduced naturally through blood letting (donate your blood often), the chelation therapy discussed earlier and supplemental antioxidants, especially vitamin E (800 – 2400 IU daily).
5. High fibre diet
A good diet against heart disease should eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates and be made up mostly of a large variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. All this helps improve elimination as well as liver detoxification.
It is advisable to consume more cholesterol lowering foods like psyllium, garlic, onions, carrots, oat bran cereal, tofu, milled (ground) flax seed, seaweed products like kelp, dulse and kombu as well as high pectin containing foods like pears, apples, grapefruit and oranges.
In 2003, Dr. David Jenkins from the University of Toronto, publicized something called “The Ape Man Diet” which is nothing more than a completely vegan, high fibre diet enjoyed by apes for millennia. His studies indicate that humans who follow this diet (but do not necessarily live like apes) will lower high blood levels of cholesterol every bit as well as the most commonly prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs. It is, however, quite debatable that cholesterol is the cause of heart and circulatory disorders. High cholesterol is, in all likelihood, a hereditary response to arterial damage and inflammation caused by other noxious factors, most notably, nanobacteria, fungi, homocysteine, lipoprotein (a), iron and others.
6. Antifungal Therapy
Heart disease is also more likely related to a chronic systemic fungal infection. Studies reported by Costantini and his fellow researchers at the World Health Organization indicate that following a high sugar and yeast diet increases the fungal population in the gastrointestinal tract, in turn, increasing fungal mycotoxin blood levels that ultimately lead to inflammation and elevate cholesterol. High blood cholesterol levels are a red flag indicating the presence of free radicals, oxidant damage, inflammation and infestation of the body with fungi.
The anti-lipid drugs like lovostatin and other “statins” used to bring LDL-cholesterol levels (i.e. the bad cholesterol) down are all also antifungal and anti-inflammatory agents. Further, practically all antifungal therapies, whether natural or prescription drug, lower LDL-cholesterol and help reverse atherosclerosis.
Safe and effective natural antifungal therapies include oil of oregano, garlic, oxidative therapies like ozone, stabilized liquid oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, capryllic acid, bovine colostrum, probiotics and numerous others. For more detailed information on antifungal therapies, see The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook by Jeanne Marie Martin and myself.
7. Aerobic Exercise
The Feb. 17, 2000 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine ran an editorial on the importance of exercise in both the prevention and treatment of heart disease. The beneficial effects of regular exercise on cardiovascular disease may be a consequence of a number of factors, including improvement of coronary artery endothelial function secondary to the enhanced use of nitric oxide, a potent coronary artery vasodilator. Aerobic exercise should be done daily for at least one hour each time. For those who are “allergic” to exercise, a walking program could be instituted on a very gradual basis.
8. Thyroid, DHEA and Testosterone
Low levels of three hormones increase the risk of heart disease. In both men and women, thyroid hormone, DHEA, progesterone and testosterone appear to be the most important ones to keep at optimal (not necessarily at normal) levels. For thyroid, morning basal body underarm temperatures, should be no lower than 97.4ºF. Optimal levels of DHEA and testosterone should be determined by laboratory testing. Higher than normal levels of estrogen and cortisol can increase heart disease risk and should also be monitored regularly by laboratory tests.
9. Lifestyle Factors
Stress at home or at work as well as smoking hasten premature death from coronary heart disease. Even if you do not smoke, being near a smoker increases your exposure to second hand smoke. With its higher levels of carbon monoxide, second-hand smoke can be deadly.
10.Keep HDL-Cholesterol High and LDL-Cholesterol Low
Last and least, the much over-rated need to control cholesterol levels can be accomplished in virtually 100% of the population without drugs. Nevertheless, millions in North America are taking prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs to prevent heart disease.
A growing number of published scientific studies, however, indicate that high cholesterol levels can also be lowered through the high fibre diet discussed earlier and supplementation with a few natural health products:
• Soluble fibres like psyllium, guar gum and pectin -15 grams or more daily
• Niacin – 1,000 — 3,000 mgs daily (N.B. niacin can cause a red or flushing reaction which is usually temporary and harmless which lessens with regular use; may cause liver irritation)
• Inositol hexaniacinate — 600-1,800 mgs daily — a compound of niacin and inositol which does not produce flushing or liver toxicity but costs at least three times more than regular niacin
• Tocotrienols — 600 mgs or more daily — a form of vitamin E originating from rice bran oil which blocks the cholesterol synthesizing enzyme in the liver
• Vitamin C — 3,000-6,000 mgs — lowers cholesterol, regenerates and reactivates vitamin E
• DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) — 25-50 mgs daily — a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland which prevents heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and numerous immune system disorders (available as a non-prescription item only in the USA)
• Red Yeast Rice — two capsules twice daily — is a standardized extract of red yeast fermented on rice, a traditional Chinese health food. It contains inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase, the enzyme that helps manufacture cholesterol in the liver, high concentrations of essential fatty acids and other natural compounds that prevent cholesterol synthesis. It has no side effects but cannot be taken with alcohol nor with other drugs known to cause liver problems.
• Beta Sitosterol — Over 50 human and animal studies since the 1960s and published in scientific journals, show that beta-sitosterol has a powerful hypocholesterolemic effect in humans. It has a similar chemical structure to cholesterol. Beta-sitosterol interferes with cholesterol absorption, which prevents the rise in serum cholesterol. In one study (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) there was 42% decrease in cholesterol absorbed when taking beta-sitosterol before eating scrambled eggs. Beta-sitosterol is also believed to reduce serum cholesterol by inhibiting the intestinal re-absorption of circulating cholesterol, which is secreted in the bile.
While there may be other ways of reversing heart disease naturally including strict vegetarian diets, regular yoga or meditation and different forms of detoxification, I feel that my top ten approach would work best for most people confronted with the prospects of coronary bypass surgery and other calcium bomb effects.
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Zoltan P. Rona, MD, MSc, offers consultations on nutrition and natural remedies in Thornhill. He has recently retired from medical practice as a Complementary and Alternative medical practitioner and now strictly offers nutritional consultations. He is the medical editor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Healing and has also published several Canadian bestselling books, including Vitamin D, The Sunshine Vitamin. To see more of Dr. Rona’s articles, visit: www.highlevelwellness.ca and for appointments, please call (905) 764-8700; office located at: 390 Steeles Ave. W., Unit 19, Thornhill, Ontario