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Heart Disease, America's No. 1Killer

 

Surgery for the Treatment of Heart Disease is coming to an end!
CARDIOLOGISTS are not Ready for This new information.

Recognizing the role of Inflammation in arteriosclerosis represents a far bigger paradigm shift than Helicobacter Pylori and ulcers was for gastroenterology. You cannot see the VULNERABLE PLAQUE that leads to the death of 85% of Heart attack and stroke patients on arteriograms, so the time has come to treat the bloodstream and stop attacking the blood vessel! The American college of Cardiology, The American College of Physician’s and The American Heart Associations’ new guidelines (Circulation 5-1-99) for chronic chest pain are desperately attempting to maintain status quo, entirely ignoring the now proven involvement of INFLAMMATION in heart attacks and strokes. They not only ignored the New England Journal of medicine review article volume 340 1999 on Inflammation and Arteriosclerosis, but they also ignored the just released American Heart Associations’ own monograph series Edited by their President, Valentin Fuster MD, PhD Cardiologist at Mount Sinai in New York City. Anyone reading this 429 page book, "The Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque:…" will readily conclude that meaningful prevention of heart attacks and strokes requires medical control of the inflammation and infection aspects now being entirely ignored in the rush to OPERATE on the patient! Medical control of these newly recognized risk factors will without question do FAR more than ANY surgical procedure to PREVENT heart attacks and strokes!


 

Why is Vulnerable Plaque so Significant?

 

The science behind these new parameters is an astonishing breakthrough: vulnerable plaque. Research indicates that this unstable plaque can not be identified on an arteriogram! Therefore, what the doctor does NOT see is the very thing that leads to the blood clot that leads to the heart attack or stroke. It is now well documented that all obstructing plaque that can be seen, can be reversed with diet, exercise, and meditation programs such as Dr Ornish has developed. Now we learn that these VISIBLE lesions that have caused doctors to recommend so many needless bypass and other invasive surgical procedures for heart disease are not the ones that are involved in 85% of all heart attacks! That explains why we have not found a really significant reduction in heart attacks or deaths in surgically operated patients. It is clear that we have been operating needlessly on the wrong plaque!

We need to Treat the Blood, not cut out the Artery

More importantly the new understanding about the role of infection and inflammation in cases of sudden DEATH from heart attacks suggests that all current surgically based approaches to heart disease are as misguided as removing your lung if you have pneumonia! WE need to focus on the blood and NOT the blood vessel!

 

Most doctors are not yet aware of some of the important developments that have surfaced so rapidly in the past several years. These include efforts to see the dangerous VULNERABLE plaque NONINVASIVELY with a high speed MRI and other diagnostic techniques that are now being developed. These instruments are not yet found in local hospitals, but may help to END the current excessive reliance on surgical treatment of vascular disease in the future. Although the popular high speed CAT scan provides useful information regarding the calcium content of the artery, it is not capable of measuring the really dangerous vulnerable plaque. Therefore, let these test MOTIVATE patients to address their risk factors, such as antibodies to oxidized cholesterol, C-reactive protein levels etc, so that they medically treat the problem – regularly, ideally for the rest of their life! A bad score on this test should motivate you to carefully follow the advice contained in this article and follow up later with a retest.

 

Heart Disease appears to be closely linked to inflammation.

 

The inflammation/infection aspect of heart disease has gained added validation by: 1.) The recognition of a new measurement of Interleukin 1, an inflammatory marker published in Circulation, Vol. 5-99, 1999, and 2.) In a review article published in NEJM (New England Journal of Medicine), Vol. 340, 1999. Further validation was added by the recent report published in JAMA showing that up to 55% of heart attacks appear to be prevented by treatment with proper antibiotics. In addition, evidence published in Science, February 1999, implicates an infectious bacteria known as chlamydia, while CMV and Herpes (common retroviruses) have also been shown to be closely connected with heart attacks. Chlamydia is a disease to which up to 95% of us is exposed during our lives and once it enters our body, it finds some devitalized tissue (plaque) and NEVER leaves!

 

It's extremely difficult to stop Inflammation with a knife!

 

The experts studying vulnerable plaque agree that there's an inflammatory component to this extremely dangerous plaque, which confirms that surgery is not be the correct approach to control it. The Vulnerable plaque appears to be as much as 4-5 Degrees C hotter, thus explaining the success seen with Oxidant therapies such as Ozone, UVB, or H2O2 IV, and/or antibiotics in treating angina. While these new parameters are MORE important by far than current outdated risk factor information, we still have to improve our diet and life style, exercise, and maintain a healthy immune system by taking long- term oral Chelating and other detoxifying supplements, as well as SAFE anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-thrombotic, lipid-lowering, natural supplement therapies.

 

A Safe Anti-Inflammatory & Comprehensive Cardio-Vascular Supplement exists.

 

At this time, I am happy to report that those of my patients taking the comprehensive 9 pill packets of Beyond Chelation combined with 3 to 5 Wobenzym N twice daily are conveniently addressing all of the newly recognized molecular mechanisms of heart disease -- from controlling Homocysteine and elevated cholesterol or triglycerides, to lowering C-reactive protein, which is clearly becoming one of the MOST significant tests in cardiology!

 

 

Aspirin is OK in an Emergency, but we need Safe, Long Term Help.

 

We have heard that taking an aspirin while having a heart attack can increase survival. This may be true, but should be a temporary emergency measure only. We know from statistics, however, that the great majority of us MUST take some long-term anti-clotting protection against the massive blood clots that we now believe are involved in lethal heart attacks. In fact, researchers are finding that long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs are a MAJOR factor in helping to prevent not just Alzheimer's disease, but heart attacks and strokes as well! The problem is that although there are now proven benefits from taking a daily dose of aspirin and/or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), we pay dearly for these benefits with over 16 thousand deaths and over 125 thousand hospitalizations annually, generally related to internal bleeding, although liver and kidney damage are also a far too common side effect.)

 

 

We also can offer our patients a major new nutritionally based therapy that acts like an oral vaccination, Transfer Factor. This exciting therapy helps us deal with the infection aspect of vascular disease by helping to control serious chronic viral and other infections now being implicated in heart attack and stroke. Transfer Factor may improve resistance to Herpes, CMV, Chlamydia, and Helicobacter (often coming from chronic dental problems). Until such time as science identifies the proper vaccination or anti-infective therapies to cure these infections, it seems advisable for all of us to try a Transfer Factor type of product and also REGULARLY consume a safe affordable anti-inflammatory like Wobenzym, which is well documented to have no side effects yet have MANY far reaching benefits -- benefits such as: 1.) Effectively treating most forms of arthritis better than standard medicines today, 2.) Helping to control cancer and increasing the life span of all cancer patients a minimum of 30%, 3.) Offering protection against infections and injuries, and 4.) Fortifying our immune systems every day of our lives. Germany developed Wobenzym: all-natural combination Enzyme-Bioflavonoid product. (The rutin component appears to be an ideal Iron Chelator!) With it, we get all the benefits of anti-inflammatory medication without the high incidence of gastrointestinal bleeding associated with the use of aspirin and the many other documented side effects known to develop after the long-term use of NSAIDs and other standard anti-inflammatory medications.

 

Over 100 Million People have used Wobenzym in a 30 year period. During

That time, No Detrimental Side Effects have been reported from its use.

 

Manufactured by the Mucos Company in Germany since the 1960's, Wobenzym is now widely available in the United States at a time when there is a greater need than ever before to include it in our nutritional defense program. Unlike most enzymes on the market, this enzyme is specially designed so that it is not used to digest food but is used internally, inside the bloodstream, beneficially affecting many of the factors that are now known to lead to the development of serious diseases. These factors range from: 1.) Lowering Circulating immune complexes (These have been shown to shorten our lifespan.); 2.) lowering the elevated levels of fibrinogen that tend to make our blood thicker as we get older to; 3.) treating Herpes and other viral and bacterial infections -- either alone or as part of a total anti-infection program, including Transfer Factor related nutrients and/or antibiotics. (Note: Wobenzym alone has been shown more effective in treating Herpes than the standard anti-viral drugs now available, and, when combined with the Transfer Factor related, products, it is even more effective!); 4.) Lowering elevated C-Reactive proteins to the lowest 50 percentile or the lower portion of the so-called normal range. (Note: The normal range at the current time is too wide.

For optimum health, we should place our optimal values at levels far lower than they are at present.)

The C-reactive Protein Test identifies how active the inflammatory process is when the test is taken.

 

New Tests have been proven necessary for Accurate treatment of individual heart problems.

There is a plethora of scientific information regarding the many new tests that are finally beginning to be accepted as significant in determining and controlling all of the newer recognized cardiovascular risk factors. IF your doctor could keep up with current published literature, some of the tests he would prescribe for you would not be just cholesterol even with its subsets of HDL, LDL, but the newer Lpa and the latest oxidized cholesterol antibody test. Furthermore, adhesion molecules such as VCAM and ICAM that measure how sticky things are can now be measured at the molecular level. These are vascular and intercellular adhesion molecules that have been implicated in the impaired circulation of the tiny vessels (capillaries) that eventually lead to heart attacks, strokes and loss of vision with such common conditions as macular degeneration and glaucoma.

 

The physician should also test platelet aggregation, fibrinogen, lipid peroxides, and other markers of free radical damage. Furthermore, he can monitor the level of activity (antibodies) to the various infectious agents now implicated in arteriosclerosis, such as chlamydia, CMV (Cytomegalovirus), Herpes, etc. Since virtually all of us test positive for these infectious agents, I routinely now recommend the use of Immune enhancing nutrients including Transfer Factor related compounds, Aloe Vera, Beta Glucan, etc. however I also refer some seriously ill and/or immune compromised patients for oxidative therapies such as IV Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) and/or the use of antibiotics.

 

Platelet aggregation tests show how sticky platelets become when challenged. Note: This leads to the bloodclots that we now recognize as the immediate cause of death in MANY heart attacks and strokes! Homocysteine (Note: This test may not be accurate if done using a serum separator tube. It also is more sensitive if a load such as 1.5 gm of methionine is taken orally 4 hours before in order to help identify the approximately 30% of us who are found to have this DANGEROUS and (now) COMMON but still generally unrecognized problem.

 

Serum ferritin levels are done because most of us have dangerously elevated levels of iron because so many of us have mistakenly been taking vitamin and mineral supplements containing IRON. Having elevated iron levels is as dangerous as having elevated lead. This iron overload is contributing to our already heavy metal poisoned bodies.

 

Fasting insulin levels, triglycerides/HDL ratio, Redox, pH, Resistance, APO E-2, 3, or 4, blood type testing, food allergy tests, these and many other tests are all useful in helping optimize our lifestyle and dietary program. Fatty acid analysis (on red blood cell membranes) and amino acid testing on urine or blood are all part of the extremely useful battery of tests that assists the properly trained health professional to individualize the optimal nutritional and life extension support programs for patients.

 

Generally the more of these tests that we do, the more things you will find are sub-optimal. Fortunately, most of the abnormalities that we uncover can be GREATLY helped with the cardiovascular nutritional support products BC (Beyond Chelation) Wobenzym and nutritionally based immune enhancing supplements. Note: Everything works better when taken ALONG with appropriate diet and life style changes! NOTE: Many of these tests are available through specially licensed laboratories in the United States such as Immunosciences, Beverly Hills CA 800-9504686, Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab Asheville NC. 800 522 4762, and Antibody Assay Laboratories, Santa Ana, CA. 800 522-2611. Doctors Data, West Chicago Illinois 1-800 –323-2784

 

If these tests are difficult to obtain cost-wise and within a reasonable time,

you can still address your risk factors with a Nutritionally Based Product.

 

 

Most of these tests are now recognized as important in maintaining optimal health. I find these tests allow me to individualize and monitor the success of nutritional and life style support programs that my patients choose to follow. We cannot expect overnight to have all of these tests widely available or get physicians up to speed on the proper interpretation of these tests, nor can we expect all of the insurance companies to suddenly agree to pay for all of these tests that they will probably pretend are more of a longevity/anti-aging program rather than the standard practice of disease detection which our health insurance industry has chosen to focus upon. Since there will be many problems in making these tests widely available for everyone, I have chosen to focus on developing a cost effective, convenient, affordable, clinically tested broad-spectrum NUTRITIONALLY based approach that addresses all of these newer risk factors

 

 

This program deals with the nutritional and metabolic aspects of vascular disease and aging itself. This program also deals with Homocysteine, which is a readily, nutritionally responsive, widespread, newly recognized metabolic problem. We find that over 30% of people correctly and appropriately tested by a laboratory specializing in this test will be above ideal values of 7 or below. Current research clearly shows that Homocysteine is such an important yet generally overlooked risk factor for many health problems including Alzheimer’s disease and Cancer, that it makes taking potentially dangerous drugs to control the levels of cholesterol appear to be an exercise in futility.

 

While Living on Devitalized Food from Mineral Deficient Soils, Packaged in Boxes, Picked Green, and Stored in Refrigerated Compartments, We Need Supplements more than ever before.

 

Homocysteinuria used to be a rare in-born metabolic error, but it has recently become a virtual epidemic. I believe this may be explained by a combination of factors including as dietary deficiencies of many essential nutrients, as well as an excessively high protein intake, in a body that averages today 1000 times more lead than was present before the industrial age, while getting less and less of the essential minerals such as Zinc in our excessively refined foods.

 

No one today doubts the advisability of taking anti-oxidants such as Vitamin E & C in doses far beyond what the average diet provides us. Homocysteine has become such a common problem in our society today that it clearly would appear prudent to also protect ourselves by taking additional levels of Folic Acid, B6, B12, and even Betaine Hydrochloride. It has become clear to me that maintaining optimal health requires that we also routinely take Chelating and detoxifying agents such as garlic and EDTA that will continuously help pull out the toxins like lead, mercury, and pesticides, etc., out of the body. This way, we are not putting the expensive essential nutrients like vitamin E, etc., into a polluted cesspool and expecting to get the full benefits of these miraculous nutrients.

 

Our Systems must NOW deal with Lead & Heavy Metal Intruders!

 

We know that on AVERAGE, studies have shown that we have at least 1,000 times more lead in our brains, with even higher levels in our pituitary gland (that makes our vital HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE) than we had before the industrial age AND that other toxic heavy metals are being found in equally elevated levels in critical tissues and organs throughout our body, such as our kidneys, liver, and brain. Note: Congestive failure heart patients have recently been reported to have 22,000 times more mercury and 14,000 times more antimony in their hearts. We all get too much mercury, both from our silver amalgam fillings and even from the fish we eat. I do not wait to start intravenous chelation for treating this massive epidemic of heavy metal toxicity from which we all suffer. Instead I ROUTINELY recommend taking ORAL chelation daily forever as soon as you can begin to swallow a well formulated product. I designed Garlic plus (as found in BC) to be such a formula. It is the chelation portion of the new all-purpose multiple nutrient support product (BC) and it provides incredible detoxification. The formula includes EDTA, which was approved by the FDA years ago for the treatment of asymptomatic levels of lead. Thus it improves IQ levels, immune system, energy, etc. I find this to be a very useful adjunct in detoxification, if not an essential therapy for all of us to take daily in our polluted world.

 

Excessive Levels of Lead in the Brain Lowers IQ.

 

 

I recommend taking BC (containing 9 pills in convenient plastic packs) be taken at least once or preferably twice daily for everyone at least by age 9 in place of any standard multiple vitamin formula. This formula includes the Essential Fatty acids, GLA and EPA, which are well-documented nutrients for optimal longevity and daily functioning. Then with our need to maintain optimal brain function, we include Ginko and Phosphatidylserine, the two most proven supplements for neurological protection (memory, vision, etc.) is also in BC. Taking other oral chelators such as alginates that have been specially processed for efficient heavy metal removal (ProAlgen) can further augment the benefits of detoxification. For extra anti-aging benefits, I still always recommend IV chelation as described in the book I co-authored with Dr Walker, but always with the oral Chelating formula in BC, as well as the anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic Wobenzym, and the immune enhancer TF.

 

 

With 50% of our Population (over the age of 40) DYING PREMATURELY from Heart Disease, it's time for a New Multi-Vitamin:

A Cardio-Support Multi-Vitamin.

 

Considering the need to protect our immune system, the need for essential nutrients, the need to detoxify our bloodstream and protect our cardiovascular systems, as well as the well documented need for a long term use of a safe anti-inflammatory, and the need to reduce heavy metals from our tissues and organs, the time has arrived for us to broaden our approach to optimal health with more comprehensive nutritionally balanced supplements. These supplements must not only remove excessive levels of metallic and other toxins, but simultaneously increase the levels of the nutrients that we now provably need if we are to win the fight against the multiple metabolic/environmental/infectious contributory causes of degenerative diseases, dementia, heart attacks, and strokes and aging. The time is ripe to introduce my special Beyond Chelation formula to the American people.

 

Old, Inadequate Theories must give way to New Discoveries.

 

We know that by following the old completely inadequate recommendations made by the American Heart Association and other health authorities that we have only made a small dent in the number of deaths from stroke and heart attack. Their recommendations have lead to entirely unhealthy dietary practices, along with using the extremely ill advised cholesterol lowering drugs so commonly prescribed today. Cholesterol, unless it is oxidized, is a valuable nutrient which your body has to manufacture every day in order to help build the membranes of the new cells that we must form continually to replace the dead and dying cells in our body. We find elevated antibodies to so many forms of chronic infection in virtually all of us today. This strongly suggests that our immune systems are seriously weakened, partially as a result of the heavy metals and other toxins we ingest from our polluted environments as well as our stressful and nutritionally deficient lifestyles.

 

 

Backed by Scientifically Formulated Nutritional Supplements,

I haven't had to send one patient to a heart surgeon for the past 10 years.

 

Obviously, even if you fully optimize all these factors, no one can guarantee each individual will achieve complete success in restoring or maintaining good health. Nevertheless, based on my 40 years of clinical experience during the last 10 years of which I did not have to send a single patient for bypass or angioplasty surgery no matter how advanced their blockages were, I now believe that most degenerative and cardiovascular diseases can be improved and often nearly totally reversed with the special supplements described here combined with the dietary and lifestyle recommendations that I have prescribed for my patients.

 

Dr. Dean Ornish has proven that those who are able to follow his more rigid approach of exercise, meditation, and dietary change have continued to improve over the years. He has show that all arteriosclerosis is absolutely reversible. Why take the chance of dying or sustaining serious injury, pain, or brain damage associated with most vascular surgical procedures today, particularly when more and more experts are saying that surgery is not dealing with the cause of heart attacks or strokes. We must focus on the bloodstream and not the blood vessel. Current official guidelines have not substantially prevented cardiovascular related deaths from stroke and heart attacks.

 

 

 

Dr. Valentin Fuster, President of the American Heart Association, is on the Trail of Vulnerable Plaque.

 

Dr. Valentin Fuster, a cardiologist, M.D., Ph.D., at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and President of the American Heart Association, has stated on November 8th, 1999, that arteries containing (vulnerable) plaque can now be identified by a high technology, super-fast, entirely painless, safe imaging MRI scanner. When this fragile clot ruptures, it leads to the formation of massive blood clots that suddenly cut off the supply of oxygen rich blood to the heart and/or brain, resulting in heart attack or stroke respectively. Only by our new knowledge regarding vulnerable plaque can we now comprehend why some people with little or no apparent blockage can have a heart attack while others with almost completely blocked arteries may live for decades often without any of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

 

When arteries close down slowly, the body compensates, often by producing brand new collateral circulation to go around the blocked area. The person may not even know that a significant artery in their body gradually closed off, because it was safely and reliably replaced by tiny new blood vessels, blood vessels that are not visible on the usual arteriogram studies in hospitals. These entirely inadequate and grossly misleading x-rays have led to so many needless bypass and angioplasty procedures. It is, of course, important to stabilize the fragile VULNERABLE plaque lesions and experts are hoping that lipid lowering approaches will show some benefits here, so I have included the powerful PROVEN lipid lowering and detoxifying power or Red Yeast and Beta-Sitosterol in the Beyond Chelation Formula

 

 

The Roots of the Beyond Chelation Formula reach back 15 years.

 

 

In 1982, I began using the mucopolysaccaride heart attack prevention formula introduced to me by Dr. Lester Morrison, director of the Institute for Arteriosclerosis Research. Supported by this formula and a well-documented nutritional program, I saw better than a 90% reduction in heart attacks with my patients no matter how advanced their condition had become. This formula and the nutritional support program evolved through the years to become the basis of the Beyond Chelation formula: a full, comprehensive, cardio-vascular support multi-vitamin supplement suitable for the entire family.

 

Most informed health professionals now recognize the obvious limitations of vascular surgery and are much more open to learning about chelation, IV hydrogen peroxide and these new, synergistically developed cardio-vascular support programs such as BC. They are beginning to understand the benefits as well as the limitations of all approaches for the prevention and treatment of heart attacks and strokes

 

Which is Healthier: Building Something up, or Cutting something out?

 

 

And now, with the breakthroughs on vulnerable plaque, all health professionals have to reposition their approach to the prevention of heart attacks by reevaluating their current treatment programs. I believe that standard as well as alternative practitioners will have new information that will encourage them to look into a broader approach to the prevention of heart attacks and strokes such as we are describing in this article. We get younger with every IV chelation treatment we take, because we remove the pathologic calcium. Nevertheless, we can skill have a fatal heart attack unless we are willing to support intermittent IV chelation treatments with a comprehensive daily support program such as I am trying to introduce to you in this article.

 

Arteriosclerosis is not new, but the Treatment of it can be.

 

 

Serious calcific arteriosclerotic changes in humans are not new. Careful studies showed the iceman, whose body was assessed at 5,000+ years old, was loaded with calcific arteriosclerosis. We find the same condition in Egyptian mummies, and onward to the present time. What is exciting in recent time, is that we finally have the means to analyze the components in the bloodstream and improve risk factors identified therein. Thus we can focus upon the sick or unhealthy components of our bloodstream that used to cause irreparable damage and, rather than cutting out the areas in which they became lodged, we can provide the blood itself with the nutrients and other factors that will restore us to health. In our totally safe but effective program, this is exactly what the combination of oral substances, Wobenzym, Beyond Chelation, and the Immune enhancing nutrients, when used together, work to achieve. (Note: WE ALWAYS also recommend taking Co-Enzyme Q DAILY- 60-120 mg.)

 

 

I believe that everyone needs blood thinning, anti clotting, anti-platelet benefits from substances like Vitamin E, garlic, gingko biloba, salmon oil (EPA), red algae, and the mucopolysaccarrides (special sugars or glyconutrients that help maintain the integrity of our body). Thus, we do not have to wait for the new blood thinning drugs like the new super-aspirins with their still-to-be-discovered dangerous and possibly fatal side effects coming from the pharmaceutical industries. They know that aspirin, coumadin, and heparin are all effecting far too little of the bleeding and clotting cascade, often making it so imbalanced that serious damage occurs to patients taking them, while not significantly preventing fatal clots.

 

It is the synergistic action of natural nutrients that have well documented anti-platelet, blood thinning activities that has allowed the introduction of Beyond Chelation's affordable unique clinically tested formula initiated by years of research by Dr. Lester Morrison and Dr. Garry F. Gordon. *(Note: See Dr. Lester Morrison's Heart Saver Program. St Martin's Press. Dr. Lester Morrison published in 1941 in JAMA the first article linking cholesterol to the heart disease problem, but please notice he didn't stop there. He went on to the far more important research with natural substances for altering blood viscosity and thus lowering the tendency of all of us to form a fatal blood clot too readily as is fully described in his excellent books and scientific articles).

 

This Website is worth reading!

 

In the website news release by Newsweek covering the work of Valentin Fuster (February, 1999) "The Role of Inflammation" is the title of a paragraph which states "evidence accumulated over the past year suggests that inflammation in the circulating blood may play an important role in triggering heart attacks by activating blood clotting mechanisms ... which can stop blood flow (leading to death).""During the inflammatory process, a substance, C-reactive protein, is produced in the blood. By measuring the blood levels of C-reactive protein, your doctor can now help predict the risk of heart attack. (Note: Inflammation makes clot dissolving, blood thinning drugs less effective, and so far inflammation has always been found in the vulnerable plaque that seems to be involved with heart attacks and strokes.)

 

The final paragraph in this portion of Dr. Fuster's report states that this study suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs may improve the effectiveness of anti-clotting treatment in patients . . . All patients who smoke have elevated of C-reactive protein."

 

There are many other new developments in this report including Gene Therapy, which clearly has great promise in the future but will undoubtedly be rather expensive and not widely available for some time. All of the news in this report should make it very clear that no single approach, from IV Chelation to Bypass Surgery, is anywhere near as comprehensive as it must be if we're going to deal with this truly complex disease that now has several additional newly recognized but treatable contributing causes.

 

 

Read between the lines. Although the head of the American Heart Association obviously cannot tell you that any given bypass surgery is unnecessary, he clearly has reported that most surgeons are not operating on the right plaque! Furthermore, the right plaque involves an inflammatory process and therefore requires medical and/or preferably nutritional therapies and not surgery.

 

Will you be one of the Courageous New Millennium Patients who,

In Saving Yourself, will help Educate Your Doctor?

 

There are many centers now becoming involved in looking for the important vulnerable plaque; therefore, soon patients will be enabled and empowered sufficiently to explain to their cardiologist that they would prefer a non-traditional and non-toxic approach to solving their cardiovascular problems, thus saving the cardiologist's surgical skills for patients seriously incapacitated and/or those who are unlikely to significantly alter their chosen lifestyle.

 

Please note my patients have not used the surgical approach no matter how advanced the blockages were because they became aware that all blockages have been shown to be reversible. (See, D. Ornish, JAMA, approximately January 1999, recent report.)

 

 

As we stated earlier in this article, discoveries in alternative medicine and heart disease are surfacing at a very rapid rate. Thus, it would be well for you to continue to search the Internet and the news media regularly, especially because many of these discoveries are overnight making old theories appear entirely inadequate. As a case in point, the article referred to earlier by Dr. Fuster brings attention to the fact that for many people dietary fat restriction has little or no benefit. This statement applies mainly to those of us who have a healthier gene (known as APO E3). So now, in a world becoming more unified in our perspective of health, we are beginning to recognized that we ALL are a truly different!

 

 

For those health practitioners who would like to review the February Newsweek article, they are welcome to visit www.gordonresearch.com and link with it. Those with sufficient time to get an in depth insight into vulnerable plaque and the rapid changes in the field of cardiology must obtain and read the book entitled Vulnerable Plaque by Valentin Fuster. (Available for $115 from the American Heart Association or www.Amazon.com.)

 

What we have to recognize is that Science marches on and has shown us all that no one has a broad enough understanding of heart disease to really stop the heart attacks that were virtually unknown at the beginning of the 20th century. Now, as we enter the 21st century, hopefully we can begin to come together, and all of us benefit from these important and exciting developments.

 

Hopefully this knowledge will make it clear to everyone involved in trying to treat and prevent heart disease, from the jogger, meditator, nutritionist, and chelation doctor to the cardiologist and heart surgeon, that all of what we have been doing is NOT enough, and there is room here to help ALL patients with these breakthroughs to live a longer and healthier life, using wherever possible the most natural approaches where we obviously find the least potential for HARM. If we base our natural supplement recommendations on these important new developments, I am convinced from my own experience that we can really use properly formulated, and targeted nutritional supplements to make death from heart attacks and strokes virtually a thing of the past.

 

Bypass surgery is finally on its way out. After all, it never substantially reduced the later development of heart attacks and/or strokes and it either killed or seriously injured many patients.

 

It is my greatest wish that as such knowledge unfolds in the United States that we can still the knife in the helpful surgeon’s hand and bring forth kinder, gentler, safer, non-invasive approaches for at least those of us willing to take personal responsibility for our lives.

 

Garry F. Gordon, M.D. President Gordon Research Institute. Dr.Garry F. Gordon, M.D., D.O., M.D.(H.), is a founding member  and past president   of the American College for Advancement of Medicine; founder and President of the International College of Advanced Longevity Medicine;  and President  of the Gordon  Research Center in Payson, Arizona. He is the co-author of the Chelation Answer , and formulator of the Beyond Chelation heart health supplement. Information on his programs  may be had by calling Gordon Research at 1-602-451-1814; fax 1-520-474-3819; drgary@netzone.com or docgfg@aol.com

 

For Product Information, Contact: email: longplus@aol.com, www.longevityplus.net Phone Longevity Plus 520-474-3684 Fax 520-474-381 708 E Hwy 260 Suite G Payson AZ 85541 P.O. Box 3660 Payson AZ 85547 –order a 90 minute tape by Dr. Gordon on heart disease-$5.00

AHA: Study Shows Bucindolol Does Not Increase Heart Failure Survival

ATLANTA, GA -- November 10, 1999 --A study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that the beta-blocker bucindolol did not reduce death from heart failure. This finding contrasts with results from other trials of beta-blockers.

The reasons for the unexpected results of the Beta-Blocker Evaluation of Survival Trial (BEST) are not yet clear. They may, however, be due to Bestís use of a different beta-blocker and to its greater number of African Americans and patients with severe heart failure. Results of Best were presented during the 72nd Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association in Atlanta, Ga.

The study, which began enrollment in 1995, examined whether bucindolol, a beta-blocker drug, improved survival in patients with moderate to severe heart failure. The drug works by blocking the action of catecholamines, chemicals released by the body when the heart's pumping ability weakens. At first, catecholamines make the heart pump harder, but over time cause a progressive decrease in heart function.

Best was conducted at 90 clinical sites in the United States and Canada. The study enrolled 2708 participants. About 33 percent of the participants were U.S. veterans; 22 percent were women; and 30 percent were from minority groups. The average age of the participants was 60 years. Best is the first heart failure study to include substantial numbers of African Americans and patients with advanced heart failure.

Patients were randomized to receive either the beta-blocker bucindolol or a placebo. All patients also received standard heart failure therapy. Almost all patients (more than 90 percent) were on an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, a diuretic, and digitalis. Ninety-two percent of the BEST participants had moderately severe heart failure (Class III) at the time of their enrollment in the study, and 8 percent had severe heart failure (Class IV). The average left ventricular ejection fraction (a key indicator of how well the heart pumps) was 23 percent. The most common cause of the heart failure was coronary artery disease.

The study, which had been scheduled to end in June 2000, was stopped in July 1999 at the recommendation of its Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). The DSMB based its recommendation upon the totality of evidence available in Best, as well as on recent findings from other studies, specifically the Cardiac Insufficiency Bisoprolol Study II (CIBIS II) and the Metroprolol CR/XL Randomized Intervention Trial in Heart Failure (MERIT-HF).

Researchers are still examining the reasons for the difference in overall results between Best and those studies. One factor may be the type of beta-blocker used: Best patients were treated with bucindolol, while those in studies finding improved survival used metoprolol and bisoprolol. Another possible factor is that Best participants had more advanced heart failure than those in other studies.

"Best found somewhat different results for various subgroups of participants," said Dr. Michael Domanski, Leader of NHLBI's Clinical Trials Scientific Research Group. "Those with moderate heart failure and those not African American appeared to gain a benefit from the drug, but African Americans and those with the most severe heart failure did not."

The differences by subgroup and between the results of Best and other large trials raises the possibility that some heart failure patients may not derive a benefit from, or could even be harmed by, the use of beta-blockers, Domanski said.

"The results of this trial compared to other trials of less advanced heart failure also highlight the need for earlier intervention with beta-blockers in many patients with weak hearts," said Study Co-Chairman Dr. Eric Eichhorn, Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern and Dallas VA Medical Centers.

Best results underscore the need for further research to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from beta-blocker therapy, Domanski and Eichhorn emphasized, as well as the need to examine gender, racial, and ethnic differences in future studies of cardiovascular disease.


JAMA: Some Drug Results Misleading

      Editors for one of the nation's most prestigious medical journals, Journal of the American Medical Association, say some clinical drug tests have been over-reported, leaving the impression the drugs are more effective than they actually are.
      In the Nov. 10 1999 issue of JAMA, deputy editor Drummond Rennie accuses some researchers of publishing test results from the same study more than once. Rennie points to a 1997 JAMA article about the drug ondanestron used to prevent vomiting after surgery. Researchers originally reported the test results were based on 84 studies involving 11,980 patients, but the journal discovered some of these results had been published twice, and in fact, there were only 70 studies involving 8,645 patients. Rennie says in this case, the duplicated results led to a 23 percent overestimate of ondanestron's effectiveness.
      In the same issue, researchers from the Nordi Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark say there were problems in accurately analyzing multiple reports on the effectiveness of a group of antifungal drugs. These researchers suggest such complications could result from the research being sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. Critics say drug test results may be more favorable when the studies are financed by pharmaceutical companies than when they are financed by independent organizations.

WESTPORT, Nov 15 (Reuters Health) - Six months after stenting, arteries demonstrate more severe endothelial dysfunction than arteries treated with either balloon angioplasty or directional atherectomy.

"These findings may have implications with respect to the progression of atherosclerosis in coronary arteries subjected to percutaneous interventions," Dr. Paulo R. A. Caramori, and colleagues at the University of Toronto, in Toronto, Canada, report in the November 15th issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The investigators examined the endothelial response to intracoronary acetylcholine infusion in the treated artery and an untreated coronary artery in 39 patients who underwent stent implantation, balloon angioplasty or directional atherectomy for isolated proximal left anterior descending stenosis at least 6 months earlier. None of the patients showed signs of restenosis at the time of the study.

"Several months after the intervention, we found persistent endothelial dysfunction in the intervened coronary artery," Dr. Caramori and colleagues report. Specifically, the mean change in luminal diameter of the left anterior descending artery was significantly greater, -21.8%, in patients with stents compared with -9.5% and -9.1% in patients who underwent angioplasty and directional atherectomy, respectively. Constriction of the untreated circumflex coronary artery was mild and similar in all three groups.

The authors propose several explanations for the findings. First, they note that stenting may cause more severe arterial injury than other procedures since it "...is associated with larger luminal gain and more intense proliferative response." Second, endothelial regrowth may not be as complete after stenting compared with other catheter-based coronary interventions. "Finally, there is growing evidence that stenting is associated with increased inflammatory cell infiltration within the arterial wall," they note.

The new "...report sounds a warning volley," Dr. Gregory D. Tilton, of East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie, Louisiana, says in a related editorial. "Whether or not it is a false alarm remains to be determined."

Despite a growing base of evidence demonstrating the superiority of stenting over other coronary interventions, the editorialist believes that the potential for long-term adverse complications "...unique to either stents in general or a particular stent design..." warrants further study.

J Am Coll Cardiol 1999;34:1675-1681.

Physicians of the Future

There are many reasons why physicians have had to give nutritional therapies a "second look". One, for example, is the increasing awareness that numerous mainstream therapies are dangerous and that there are many common ailments for which there are no effective conventional therapies. For example, in a study published in the April, 1998 Journal of the AMA, it was found that adverse reactions to prescription drugs, taken as prescribed, was the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, just behind heart disease, cancer and stroke. As a result of these new economic and clinical realities, more physicians than ever before are offering some form of "alternative" medical therapy.
 
Unfortunately, however, many view the option of non-mainstream care as an either/or proposition. I believe that the future of medicine will be a blend of holistic and conventional medicine tailored to the needs of each patient. What has been considered "alternative" should actually enhance "conventional" medicine. This integrated form of medicine would expand the available options and for all patients.
 
The November, 1998 Journal of the AMA article mentioned above also notes that nearly one in five individuals taking prescription medications was also taking herbs, high-dose vitamin supplements, or both. This places an estimated 15 million adults at risk for potential adverse interactions involving prescription medications and herbs or vitamins. This fact will encourage the creation of a group of physicians well trained to understand the interrelationship among all available conventional and "alternative" medical therapies.
 
There are large numbers of patients for whom there are no effective allopathic treatments or for whom the available therapies are either poorly tolerated or only partially helpful. A physician who has the knowledge to help these patients is working with a tremendous advantage. An example of this would be the patient with infectious mononucleosis - a disorder for which there is no mainstream treatment. A physician who expands his or her practice to include other therapies might, in addition to standard diagnostic and therapeutic regimens, offer herbs to stimulate the patient's immune system. He or she could perform acupuncture to help reduce the swelling of the spleen and calm the liver, or prescribe a homeopathic remedy to reduce the severity and duration of the illness.
 
Now that a large number of physicians have gone on record as being willing to include non-mainstream therapies in their practice, or at least to acknowledge their potential value to patients, it is too late for the medical profession to go back to ignoring these therapies. The concepts on which medicine is based must now expand to assimilate these ideas and improve upon them. Similarly, those of us who have for so long utilized natural treatments based on concepts hundreds or thousands of years old, must now be willing to accept research and scientific validation that might prove some alternative therapies useless.
 
As new and old ideas come together, a novel paradigm will emerge that will enrich both patient and practitioner. Once we are willing to look at the notion of health and disease just a little differently, the benefits will be incalculable.

Atherosclerosis/Arteriosclerosis

© David L. Hoffman, M.N.I.M.H.


Arteriosclerosis
A generic term for a number of diseases in which the arterial wall becomes thickened and loses elasticity.

The term arteriosclerosis refers to several diseases that involve both arteries of different sizes and different layers of the walls of the arteries. From Greek words that mean "hardening of the arteries, " the term originally signified the tendency of arteries to become hard and brittle through the depositing of calcium in their walls. This is not, however, an important characteristic of the most familiar form of arteriosclerosis, called atherosclerosis.

Although herbs exist that may be anti-arteriosclerotic, the phytotherapistaims at preventing the disease by treating the causative factors, which include not only hypertension but also diabetes mellitus, smoking, and obesity.

Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries characterized by fatty deposits on the intimal, or inner, lining. The presence of fatty deposits, called plaques, leads to an important loss of arterial elasticity with narrowing of the artery. This constriction to smooth blood-flow ultimately deprives vital organs of their blood supply. Clots may lodge in arteries supplying the heart, causing myocardial infarction (heart attack), or the brain, causing stroke. Atherosclerosis may be manifested fairly rapidly in diseases in which the concentration of blood fats (lipids) is raised, as in diabetes.

Half the annual mortality in Western society results from heart and blood-vessel diseases of which atherosclerosis, the most common lethal disease, is the chief cause. This is because of the resultant impact upon the brain, heart, kidneys and other organs of the body. A number of biochemical, physiological and environmental risk factors have been identified that increase the chances of an individual to developing arteriosclerosis.

These include :

  • hypertension. High blood pressure is critical in the atherosclerotic process, which does not normally occur in the low-pressure pulmonary arteries and veins, despite their being bathed by the same blood concentration of lipids.
  • elevated serum lipid levels. The atherogenicity of cholesterol is influenced by the type of lipoproteins, of which there are four that transport it in the blood. The low-density lipoproteins are clearly atherogenic, but the high-density lipoproteins appear to prevent accumulation of cholesterol in the tissues
  • obesity promotes all the risk factors,
  • cigarette smoking increases the chances of developing this disease as well as many others.
  • diets rich in saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories appear to be chiefly responsible for high blood cholesterol, and such diets are therefore believed to promote atherosclerosis.
  • a family history of premature atherosclerotic disease appears to indicate either a propensity to higher levels of the risk factors for atherosclerosis or an increased susceptibility to them. Inborn errors in lipid metabolisms also increase susceptibility.
  • diabetes mellitus is one disease that may lead to arteriosclerosis.
  • sex. Between the ages of 35 to 44 the death rate from coronary heart disease among white men is 6.1 times that amongst white women. This is thought to be due to hormonal influences. Overt manifestations are rare in either sex before the age of 40 because more than a 75 percent narrowing of the arteries must occur before blood flow is seriously impeded.
  • aging brings about degenerative arterial changes such as dilatation, tortuosity, thickening and loss of elasticity.
  • physical inactivity increases the chances of complications developing, but the disease effects both the active and sedentary.
  • personality type, especially type A (discussed elsewhere) appear to predispose individuals to a range of C-V problems.
  • lifestyle considerations can contribute depending upon diet, stress levels etc.
Cholesterol, a name that carries very fearful implications for many executives and hamburger eaters! As a natural part of our metabolism it has an important role to play in human life. It is the major sterol in the human body and is found throughout the animal kingdom. Whilst seldom occluding insignificant amounts in higher plants, they do contain the therapeutically important phytosterols.

Cholesterol is found in all cells of the body, primarily as a structural component of cell membranes, but it has other vital important functions. Stored in the adrenals, testes, and ovaries, it is converted to hormones such as the sex hormones (androgens and estrogen's) and the adrenal corticoids(including cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone). In the liver, cholesterol is the precursor of the bile acids which when secreted into the intestine to aid in the digestion of food, especially fats.

It has been implicated as a major factor in the development of many cardiovascular disease, but especially arterio-sclerosis. This disease involves a process of fatty deposit buildup on the lining of large and medium-sized arteries. The presence of fatty deposits, called plaques, leads to a loss of elasticity and a narrowing of vessels and this constriction to blood-flow ultimately deprives organs of their blood supply. Clots may lodge in arteries supplying the heart and cause a heart attack, or the brain and so cause a stroke.

Diets rich in saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories appear to be chiefly responsible for high blood cholesterol, and such diets are therefore believed to promote atherosclerosis. However, the plaque forming tendency of cholesterol is influenced by the type of lipoproteins that transport it in the blood. The low-density lipoproteins are clearly atherogenic, but the high-density lipoproteins appear to prevent accumulation of cholesterol in the tissues. The blood levels of these lipoproteins is partially governed by dietary factors, especially the type of vegetable lipids (phytosterols) eaten.

This highlights the value of plants, both as medicine and nutrition for such health problems. The processes involved are complex and not understood. Plants provide a way to balance cholesterol absorption in a way that is not understood. As medical research has focused on this issue, a number of common dietary components are revealing themselves to be active in lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. It is not always known how they achieve it though.

Cayenne pepper and other plants that contain the phenolic compound capsaicin have a well demonstrated effect in lowering blood cholesterol levels, as does the widely used spice Fenugreek. Caraway is another aromatic spice with demonstrable cholesterol lowering properties. A whole range of Asian herbal remedies new to western medicine are proving to be valuable in this field, Emblica officinalis; and Ligustrum lucidum are examples.

Garlic and Onion have an international reputation as remedies for lowering blood pressure and generally improving the health of the cardiovascular system. A recent study was conducted on two groups, one consisting of 20 healthy volunteers who were fed Garlic for 6 months and the other of 62 patients with coronary heart disease and raised serum cholesterol. Beneficially changes were found in all involved and reached a peak at the end of 8 months. The improvement in cholesterol levels persisted throughout the 2 months of clinical follow-up. The clinicians concluded that the essential oil of Garlic possessed a distinct hypolipidemic, or fat reducing, action in both healthy people and patients with coronary heart disease.

An abhorrent technique used in studying cholesterol and arterio-sclerosis is to feed a high fat-high cholesterol diet to rats or other laboratory animals. This leads to increased levels of fats in the liver, and cholesterol and triglycerides in blood serum, liver and kidneys. A common finding is that when Garlic oil is fed to animals maintained on the high fat-high cholesterol diets, there is a significant reduction of cholesterol levels, often nearing those seen in untreated control animals. This strongly points to the Garlic oil enhancing the breakdown of dietary cholesterol and fatty acids. Paper after paper have been published repeating these findings, findings well known amongst medical herbalist's.

Great attention is being given by Indian research workers to the value of such findings in humans. A number of clinical comparisons of the influence of Garlic have been published. In one example a group of volunteers were given a fat-rich diet for 7 days and on the 8th day the fasting blood was analyzed for cholesterol and other fats. They were then given a fat rich diet with Garlic for 7 days and on the 15th day the fasting blood was analyzed again. On the fat rich diet the cholesterol levels were significantly increased as compared to normal diet. When Garlic was added to the fat-rich diet for 7 days, it significantly reduced the serum cholesterol levels.

Garlic possesses the ability to reduce the tendency for unnecessary clotting to occur within the blood vessels. It appears to work on the 'stickiness' of blood platelets, reducing aggregation and inhibiting the release of clotting factors in the blood. This is thought to be a property of allicin, an unique thiosulfinate in Garlic, well known for its strong antibiotic and antifungal properties. An exciting new finding is that Garlic can work selectively, inhibiting the synthesis of enzymes involved in plaque formation whilst sparing the vascular synthesis of important prostaglandin's. This would make it a safe& effective anti-thrombotic agent. Following studies on the effect of raw Garlic on normal blood cholesterol level in men, the research scientists advocated its daily use in order to lower one's blood cholesterol. Traditional use of both Garlic and Onion in the treatment of hypertension are being supported by research. It was recently found that Onion oil contains a blood pressure lowering prostaglandin. Interestingly, the blood pressure normalizing and cholesterol lowering action of Garlic are not lost in cooking, whilst the anti-microbial effects appear to be.


Actions indicated for the processes behind this disease:
Cardiac & Vascular Tonics help support the tissue of the cardiovascular system, possibly maintaining flexibility and tone in effected vessels.
Circulatory Stimulants promote the circulation of blood, and thus oxygen availability etc., in the face of the increased vascular resistance, characteristic of this condition.
Peripheral Vaso-dilators have an obvious value due to their potential for lessening the impact of vessel blockage.
Hypotensive are indicated to help lower elevated blood pressure.
Nervines will be indicated if stress is an issue (and when isn't it!). They will usually also act as anti-spasmodics.
Anti-spasmodics will help relax the muscular coats of the arteries as well as the muscles the peripheral vessels pass through.

System support:
The cardiovascular system has to be the focus of tonic attention. If any secondary problems have developed in other organs of the body due to Ischemia resulting from the arteriosclerosis, then this must be attended to. Common sites for such problems are the kidney, eyes and brain.

Specific Remedies:
Linden blossom has a reputation as a specific in such cases, as do Garlic, Fenugreek, Turmeric and other spices of that kind.

One possible prescription:

Hawthorn -- 2 parts
Linden Blossom -- 1 part
Yarrow -- 1 part
Cramp Bark -- 1 part
Ginkgo -- 1 part
to 2.5ml of tincture combination 3 times a day
Garlic should be used as a dietary supplement.
There is no co-incidence that this suggested prescription has close similarities to ones for hypertension. There is a strong correlation in etiologies and in specific remedies. This combination supplies the following actions:

Cardiac & Vascular Tonics (Hawthorn, Linden Blossom, Yarrow, Cramp Bark, Ginkgo, Garlic)
Peripheral Vaso-dilators (Ginkgo, Yarrow, Garlic)
Hypotensive (Hawthorn, Linden Blossom, Yarrow, Cramp Bark, Garlic)
Nervines (Linden Blossom, Cramp Bark)
Anti-spasmodics (Hawthorn, Linden Blossom, Cramp Bark, Ginkgo)

Broader Context of Treatment:
Evidence suggests that a diet with less saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt; weight control; avoidance of cigarettes; more exercise; and early detection and control of hypertension can, if implemented early enough in life, delay atherosclerosis.

Genes To Grow New Heart Blood Vessels

Dateline: 11/01/99

Every year, thousands of patients undergo open heart surgery (coronary artery bypass grafting or CABG) or angioplasty (sometimes with stents) to treat blocked coronary arteries. Modern medicine has made another option available to some of them - Gene Therapy.

In an earlier article, I introduced you to the basics of gene therapy for heart disease. In this one, we will look into the application of the technique to treat coronary artery disease.

What is Coronary Artery Disease ?

Also called Ischemic Heart Disease, this condition results from obstruction of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart itself. It manifests with symptoms like chest pain (angina) or heart failure, and sometimes in a more severe form as a heart attack (myocardial infarction). It accounts for a staggering $ 90 billion- plus in economic costs in the US alone every year !

Gene therapy for Coronary Heart Disease

Researchers have been working on a method to use genes to treat coronary artery disease. Recent clinical trials have been encouraging. The treatment is based on the principle of using DNA that controls the production of new blood vessels.

VEGF

Strangely enough, the miracle substance that forms new blood vessels was identified from studying cancer tissue. As a cancer grows, it needs more blood supply. So some forms of cancer cells produce a chemical that can grow new blood vessels. This is called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor.

Clinical use of VEGF

The first studies by researchers on the use of VEGF clinically was in treating blocked leg arteries. It was found that when VEGF was injected into the legs of volunteer patients, in 8 out of 10 legs injected there was a noticeable increase in blood flow. The patients also reported a decrease in pain and an ability to walk longer distances.

Use of VEGF in Coronary Disease

Following the success of VEGF in treating blocked arteries in the legs, a logical next step was attempting to use it in treating heart disease caused by narrowed and obstructed coronaries. The blood vessels in the heart and leg are almost identical, and so the reasoning was that gene therapy should do atleast as well in this treatment.

The Technique

Though many different protocols have been tried, most involve injecting naked DNA (without a virus shell ) directly into heart muscle. A solution containing billions of copies of the gene that triggers blood-vessel growth is injected directly into the heart. The results are apparent within a few weeks, when new blood vessels can be demonstrated, along with clinical improvement.

The Future

Clinical trials are in advanced stages, and the results have been encouraging. "This is opening a door to genetic therapy in cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Valentin Fuster of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Let's hope the door opens wide enough to let everyone pass through.