Cardiovascular Disease, Heart Attacks & Importance of Nitric Oxide #HP-EVOO - Blog # 92

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. Often, the first symptom is death. 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.  In the physical therapy world, most people are on statins - with terrible damage to their muscles. I have seen a patient go from mowing his own yard to not being able to transfer from his recliner to his wheelchair after being on statins for a few years. 

I've seen many patients and clients on statin drugs with extremely low cholesterol (<100). Did you know that if your cholesterol is <200 you can't make adequate testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, adrenalin and vitamin D?!!!  Further, you can't build new cell membranes. Cell membranes throughout the body are 50% fat - with lots of cholesterol. However, brain cell membranes are 70% fat. If you can't make new cell membranes, you are in trouble. You can't make new cells at all or heal your body. This is only one of many reasons why statins are so dangerous for the general population. Cholesterol is SO important for many functions of the body. It is an innocent bystander for the real culprit - triglycerides. 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. A more important test than the typical lipid panel is a lipoprotein fractionation test to determine how many particles and size of the particle are present. This gives you information about your APO lipoprotein a and b. You want lots of a and very little b. So, what can we do to protect ourselves other than testing our blood?

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 cause an ulceration that gets sticky, allowing a plaque to begin to form underneath the epithelium. These "soft" 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 repels red blood cells - which are also negatively charged - literally propelling them along the bloodstream to deliver oxygen to the tissues. It is like a gatekeeper letting certain molecules in and keeping others out. Its electrostatic properties repel red blood cells and regulate permeability and fluidic balance. FYI - adequate sulfate is crucial for glycocalyx function, detoxification of harmful toxins, transport of neurotransmitters and so much more. Glyphosate interferes with ALL functions of sulfate. It also is an antibiotic - killing your microbiome and preventing you from making nitric oxide (NO), blocking enzymes involved in detoxification in the liver - making other toxins more toxic - just to name a few of the detriments. 

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 is 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 - and involved in signaling the enzyme to come to the cell membrane to pick up the glucose. This is one reason diabetics ALWAYS end up with cardiovascular dysfunction on top of their diabetes!  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 just 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 can'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! A recent study revealed "approximately 70% of MDs obtain their information from advertisements within medical journals." WHAT?!!! They aren't even reading the studies for the most part. Who do you think pays for this advertising? - the pharmaceutical industry. Further, MDs reimbursement rate is dependent on writing prescriptions to "treat" cardiovascular disease and other disease processes. So, prescriptions keep getting written for all of these drugs - and the drugs are not helping us. 

You may think you are genetically predisposed to cardiovascular disease because of your family history - but, you need to realize genetics only contribute to ~ 5%. 95% of your health fate is due to diet, environment and lifestyle. Genetics may load the gun, but your choices pull the trigger. 

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 - inflammatory seed oils (canola, safflower, vegetable oils), high sugar and sodas, highly-processed foods, GMO and glyphosate-sprayed foods like grains and soy. Eat the rainbow of organic vegetables, fruits, wild-caught fish and seafood, grass-fed beef and butter, pastured chicken and eggs - include good fats: HP-EVOO, grass-fed tallow, butter and Ghee, avocado, coconut and MCT oil.
  • Lower triglycerides <60 - when elevated >60, damage to the glycocalyx is occurring - FYI, they travel with vLDL! Triglycerides reflect the amount of sugar and carbohydrates you are consuming. 
  • Increase magnesium - eat dark leafy greens full of chlorophyll that is high in magnesium.
  • Limit or cook foods high in oxalates and phytates - they block mineral availability such as magnesium, zinc...Make sure you soak your beans, rinse and pressure-cook, for example.
  • 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 destroys the oral microbiome - and 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 as well as synthesizing sulfate in the skin. Infrared light can penetrate clothing and hats - so even if it's cold outside, you can absorb red light. Red light also enhances the production of "exclusion zone water" that creates the battery or electrostatic charge of your cells and creates biologically active water. This occurs when water and tiny fat molecules combine creating more viscosity at the cellular membrane. It also requires adequate minerals such as magnesium - as well as adequate cholesterol!
  • Take an Epsom Salt bath - this is magnesium sulfate! We need both magnesium and sulfate to penetrate the skin. Keep your feet in the bath - as much of the absorption is through the feet.
  • 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 FDA 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 the development of 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 and glycocalyx.
  • Exercise to increase muscle mass as well as oxygenation of tissues to enhance production of NO. Your muscles can take up glucose from the blood without the help of insulin - like a sponge. The more muscle you have, the better metabolism you will have.
  • Intermittent Fasting - allowing time for your body to activate innate 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 brand new immune cells and activate and mobilize 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. They also are nature's detoxifiers - put them in everything!!!
  • Eat foods high in nutrients and antioxidants that heal the endothelium and glycocalyx - that support your "health-span" - HP-EVOO, bone broth (collagen and glycoproteins), beets (nitrates to make NO), cruciferous vegetables (sulfates), fish and other foods high in omega 3s, dark leafy greens for magnesium and potassium.
  • 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). Polyphenols in EVOO enhance the production of "exclusion zone water" we talked about above. “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.” Oleic acid in EVOO also improves the pliability and function of cell membranes. “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-caughtpasture-raisedgrass-fed - get plenty of sunshine - supplement magnesiumzincvitamin 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 




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