Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Attacks & Importance of Nitric Oxide #HP-EVOO - Blog # 92
Happy Friday Everyone! Welcome back to another Friday blog. Did you know that a heart attack happens every 40 sec here in the U.S.? 😳Each year 805,000 people have a heart attack - 1/5 are silent and create damage that we are completely unaware of. Further, one person dies from CVD (cardiovascular disease) every 33 seconds!!! CVD is the leading cause of death and costs the US (taxpayers) $239.9 BILLION per year. Even more terrifying is that 1/6 children ages 8-17 have elevated blood pressure! WHAT?!!! What can we do to protect ourselves and our children from CVD and a potential heart attack? Let's delve in.
Why is CVD still the leading cause of death when most of us are taking blood pressure and/or statin drugs? According to the CDC, 34 million adults (nearly 50%) in the US are on blood pressure medications. 54.5% of adults and 7% of children (6-19yo) are on statin drugs. So, why are we still dying at such a high rate? Aren't these drugs supposed to prevent it? An article published by JAMA Internal medicine stated that statins increased all causes of mortality in older adults - and found no benefit. I've seen many clients on statin drugs with extremely low cholesterol (<100). Did you know that if your cholesterol is <200 you can't make testosterone, estrogen and vitamin D?!!! This is only one of many reasons why they are so dangerous for the general population. Cholesterol is very important for many functions of the body. It doesn't make sense to BLOCK it. That being said, particle size matters! We don't want a bunch of oxidized vLDL (very low-density lipoproteins) particles in our bloodstream! FYI, they travel with triglycerides. So, what can we do?
Let's take a close look at what is really happening and how we can prevent a heart attack in the first place. We have ~ 60,000 miles of blood vessels from large, easily visualized, down to microscopic - there can be >100 in an area the diameter of a hair. Every blood vessel is lined with a membrane - single layer of endothelial cells that form the largest internal organ, the endothelium. “Physiological functions of the endothelium include fine control of vascular tone, tissue hemostasis, barrier integrity, inflammation, oxidative stress, vascular permeability, and structural and functional integrity.”
Sprouting from the endothelium is the glycocalyx - a protective "hair-like" dense gel coating that provides a physical barrier to prevent platelets, leukocytes, cholesterol, fat and other molecules from reaching the endothelial cells where they can stick and cause a plaque. These plaques can become unstable, rupture and cause a heart attack or stroke. “The vascular endothelial glycocalyx is a dense, bush-like structure that is synthesized and secreted by endothelial cells and evenly distributed on the surface of vascular endothelial cells.” It is made up of highly sulfated glycoproteins (long carbohydrate chains and proteins) that create a negative charge to the barrier. It is like a gate-keeper letting certain molecules in and keeping others out. It’s electrostatic properties repel red blood cells and regulate permeability and fluidic balance. Here is an illustration:
The glycocalyx also functions as a sensing organ constantly sending and receiving information - evaluating when and where to dilate the arteries to enhance blood flow to any part of the body that requires it. “Research has proved that glycocalyx can maintain the stability of many physiological functions, such as maintaining the permeable barrier of microcirculation, preventing trigger inflammation and coagulation response, and conducting the shear force of blood flow…protect the functions of vital organs including the brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys.” Shedding of the glycocalyx “appears to be required for leukocyte adherence to the vessel wall, because, under normal conditions, leukocytes are supposed to be shielded from contact with their adhesion molecules by the glycocalyx.”
Okay, it is easy to see that damage and destruction of the glycocalyx makes us very vulnerable to vascular dysfunction and CVD as well as damage to other organs, such as the brain. One of the functions of the glycocalyx is to stimulate the endothelial cells to produce NO (nitric oxide) to dilate blood vessels. When the glycocalyx is intact and working well, eNOS (enzyme that makes NO) is coupled and NO is produced. When the glycocalyx is damaged or the hair-like structures have had a "hair cut" or are entirely absent, eNOS is uncoupled - and we cannot produce NO. NO is a gas that, once produced, is gone in less than a second. It is a signaling molecule that activates secondary messengers that begin a cascade of actions throughout the body. It is involved in insulin's ability to deliver glucose to cells. Another important function of NO is stimulating our stem cells to wake up, differentiate, and go to parts of the body that need repair and/or to replace dysfunctional tissue! When these processes are disrupted because NO is not there, we experience high blood pressure, an advanced aging process, and experience a host of other unwanted symptoms.
It is worth noting that we have microbes that produce NO in our gut and in our mouth!! If you are KILLING off your oral microbiome with antimicrobial mouthwash, your blood pressure will go up because you’ve lost the ability to produce oral NO - you lose the protective benefits of exercise. Further, if you are starving your good microbes from the fiber they require, you won’t be making any in your gut either. Research has demonstrated significant damage to the glycocalyx after one high carbohydrate meal - with degradation occurring for 6 hours and requiring 12 hours or longer to restore. “Results indicate that after acute degradation of the glycocalyx, 5 to 7 days are required for the layer to endogenously restore itself to its native hydrodynamically relevant thickness in vivo."
Loss of NO is the first step toward high blood pressure and basically all the chronic disease processes we are facing today. Some of the first signs include a rise in blood pressure and/or ED (erectile dysfunction) - sexual dysfunction in both men and women! Why? This is due to damage to the micro vessels and inability to get O2 delivered to the tissue. Did you know 50% of men over the age of 40 self-report some degree of ED! WHAT?!!! This leads to insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, metabolic dysfunction, elevated triglycerides, inflammation, oxidative stress, poor exercise tolerance and mild cognitive impairment to name a few. For example, you may experience some shortness of breath climbing a flight of stairs - or forget where you left your car keys or why you went into a room. These are all SYMPTOMS that your body is not getting enough O2 where it needs to go - lack of the ability of the endothelium to produce adequate NO is the root cause. We need to be paying attention!
Many things damage the glycocalyx: high-carbohydrate diet, poor nutrition, infection, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, high alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, lack of sunshine, lack of sleep...Consider this scenario of completely destroying a human's life by making a person sick and dependent on pharmacological drugs as early in life as possible in order to extract the most revenue: First, put them on the SAD (standard American diet) i.e. follow the government's food pyramid, spray herbicides and pesticides (glyphosate) on the food to kill the gut microbiome, put fluoride in the municipal water supply to kill the oral microbiome, over-prescribe antibiotics to finish the job, give them an antacid or PPI (proton pump inhibitor) to suppress stomach acid and block their ability to breakdown their food and absorb nutrients, give them a statin drug to lower cholesterol <200 where they couldn't make testosterone, estrogen or vitamin D - that has severe consequences disrupting cell signaling and NO production - causing obesity in children so they will need Ozempic or another obesity drug that they will need for LIFE!!! Does this sound familiar? This is what the pharmaceutical industry is doing to us through manipulation of the medical profession (which is a financially-driven business)!!! We are unaware. Many of our MD’s mean well, but are unaware as well! However, the prescriptions keep getting written for all of these drugs.
How can we protect our glycocalyx and endothelium to enhance NO production and keep ourselves healthy and free from pharmaceutical drugs throughout our entire lives?
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammation blocks the cofactor for eNOS enzyme thereby preventing NO from being produced. Remove the foods that cause a problem - high sugar and sodas, highly processed foods, GMO and glyphosate-sprayed foods like grains and soy. Choose organically grown produce.
- Lower triglycerides <60 - they travel with vLDL! Triglycerides reflect the amount of sugar and carbohydrates you are consuming.
- Eat wild-caught, pasture-raised, grass-fed. Conventionally raised animals are kept in close quarters with no exercise and are fed the lowest quality glyphosate-sprayed food (including expired skittles!) as well as being given the majority of antibiotics produced. We are what we eat! These are the things your tissues are made from. If you want a good quality body, you must put in good quality ingredients.
- Filter your water to remove fluoride and other toxins. Fluoride is an antiseptic and neurotoxin - it also destroys the thyroid. Add minerals back to your filtered water.
- STOP using antimicrobial mouthwash - brush and floss. Use a natural toothpaste free of fluoride and other harmful chemicals that destroy oral microbiome
- Filter the air in your home - it can be up to 560x as toxic as outdoor air. Use a HEPA filter. These toxins sit on the receptors for your hormones and neurotransmitters. The brain is particularly vulnerable.
- Practice nasal breathing - the nasal epithelium is much like the vascular endothelium and when we activate the mechanoreceptors, it activates eNOS to generate NO!
- Get at least 30 min of sunshine daily - for vitamin D production and NO production from red and near infrared exposure through the skin.
- Sleep 7-9 hours. Get to bed early - most of the clearing of toxins and amyloid proteins from the brain through the glymphatic system happens before midnight.
- Slowly ween off antacids or PPIs that suppresses HCl (hydrochloric acid) stomach acid - these drugs were only approved for acute GERD episodes, not to be taken daily - the pharmaceutical industry knows this, so made them available over the counter!! Now we have people taking these every day for the rest of their lives! These drugs inhibit an enzyme that leads to an accumulation of ADMA that is an inhibitor of NO production!! Further, they prevent the breakdown proteins into amino acids. These peptide fragments of partially digested proteins can cross the gut lining, activating the immune system - creating antigens that lead to foodborne allergies and develop autoimmune diseases. You also prevent the production of NO from the dietary conversion of nitrates to NO. So, these drugs create a global blocking of NO production.
- Re-acidify your stomach. The parietal cells that produce HCl require sodium chloride (salt), sodium bicarbonate, iodine, zinc, betain HCl. Take a pinch of sea salt and 1-2T of ACV (apple cider vinegar) diluted with a little water before meals.
- Work on getting off statin drugs and work with your doctor to come off blood pressure meds as you heal your endothelium.
- Exercise to increase muscle mass as well as oxygenation of tissues to enhance production of NO.
- Intermittent Fasting - allowing time for your body to activate healing pathways is crucial for healing. Try skipping breakfast and extending your overnight fast to 17-18 hours. Once per week do a 24 hour fast (6pm dinner to 6pm dinner the next day). Work in a 48-72 hour fast for even more healing response. At 72 hours, you get new immune cells and activate stem cells. This is one of the most powerful tools you can use. FYI, HP-EVOO does NOT break your fast! Take a shot!
- Heal your microbiome - consume natural probiotics in cultured and fermented foods like sauerkraut, Greek yogurt, kefirs, kimchi, natto…
- Include herbs like oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley - they contain carvacrol known to increase NO production.
- Eat foods high in nutrients and antioxidants that heal the endothelium and glycocalyx - HP-EVOO, bone broth (collagen and glycoproteins), beets (nitrates to make NO), cruciferous vegetables (sulfates), fish and other foods high in omega 3s.
- HP-EVOO (high polyphenol extra virgin olive oil) - high in polyphenols like oleocanthal, hydroxytyrosol and oleuropein help to heal the endothelium of blood vessels as well as the BBB (blood brain barrier). “Hydroxytyrosol is capable to counteract oxidative stress, inflammation, vascular aging, and arterial stiffness; thus, it is beneficial to preserve endothelial function both in vitro and in vivo.” “Olive oil bioactive compounds exhibited a potent capability to attenuate oxidative stress and improve endothelial function through their anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-thrombotic properties, therefore reducing the risk and progression of atherosclerosis.”
So, until next time my friends…Drink, Drizzle, Digest HP-EVOO at least 4T raw daily, - use more for cooking and drizzling onto your food - eat the rainbow of organic or wild-sourced or organic veggies (7-9 C) and low-glycemic fruits (to get the rainbow of gut microbes!) - eat wild-caught, pasture-raised, grass-fed - get plenty of sunshine - supplement magnesium, zinc, vitamin D3 + K2 - get your trace minerals and electrolytes with good sea salt *Himalayan was formed before plastics - eat foods high in lutein - drink your body weight in oz of water - get a good pre/probiotic - consume digestible and indigestible fiber for your gut microbes - adaptogens (such as mushrooms) and methylation donors (kale, beets, spinach, cruciferous, lion’s mane…), marjoram, rosemary, oregano, parsley and other herbs to detox, enhance overall health and reverse aging and disease - exercise your body and mind - add a few minutes of mindful meditation to your day to combat stress - take a hot Epsom salt bath and follow with a cold shower/ice plunge - practice “earthing” as an anti-inflammatory - remove EMF (electromagnetic frequency) devices and blue light - use IR (infrared) from incandescent lighting, non-toxic candle or light a fire to enhance sleep and...turn off the light!! #HP-EVOO