Book Report

Book Report: Reverse Heart Disease Now

Reverse heart disease now : stop deadly cardiovascular plaque before it’s too late by Stephen T. Sinatra and James C. Roberts

I checked this one out of the library after reviewing my notes on Dr. Sinatra’s other book, the Sintra Solution, for one of these book reports. He has a great approach to cardiology and presents information in a very understandable way from the causation angle before heading into some treatment options.

They begin with a primer on the stages of Heart Disease:

  • Stage 1: The normally smooth endothelial layer becomes permeable which attracts patty particles. This tends to occur at places in the vasculature under high pressure. The LDL cholesterol that gets wedged in here can become oxidized triggering the immune system to activate.
  • Stage 2: Upon the immune system activation the inflammatory process is initiated. The intima (layer just behind endothelium) secretes sticky molecules to grab circulating immune cells.
  • Stage 3: The endothelium and intima release more signaling chemicals resulting in macrophages showing up.
  • Stage 4: the oxidized LDL is toxic to the macrophage and immobilizes it preventing its return to the bloodstream. This is the common fatty streak.
  • Stage 5: The inflammatory signaling continues, including IL-1, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and more. The stickiness increases and the lesions grow and attract more chemicals such as fibrinogen and c-reactive protein (CRP). Needless to say, this area is in high alert.
  • Stage 6: At this point, the healing is attempted by sealing over the lesion. White blood cells, collagen, and elastin form a cap. However, the active inflamed activity can still carry on under this cap. Calcium also entered into the picture here as well.
  • Stage 7: The affected areas change shape to handle the plaque buildup. The result is protrusion into the lumen area, making openings smaller.
  • Stage 8: Here there are many plaques at different stages and the eventual heart attack or stroke is now possible.

With that background laid out, they then turn to their “Dirty Dozen” Risk Factors:

  • Too Much Insulin: ->raised CRP, changes in blood to increase clotting tendency, vessel spasm, increased blood pressure, and increased fat storage
  • Toxic Blood: increased homocysteine, Lipoprotein(a) (and LDL that acts as a clotting factor), CRP, Ferritin (high iron stores)
  • Oxidative Stress: from various sources including cigarette smoking heavy metals, high sugar, emotional stress,e t
  • Poor Bioenergetics: Your mitochondria (energy production organelles inside our cells) are not functioning properly due to a variety of factors.
  • The Bacterial Threat: Gum disease is the biggest but any source of chronic infection can be included here.
  • Toxic Metals: Lead, mercury, cadmium and more can all negatively impact multiple body systems including cardiovascular 
  • Emotional Stress: anger, depression, lack of social connections can all lead to an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system in favor of fight/flight mode (sympathetic nervous system). This activation has numerous downstream physiologic consequences.
  • Gender: various hormone differences based on health status and if treatments using synthetic hormone replacement therapies are used (these can cause problems).
  • Trans-Fatty Acids: these damaged fats can raise Lp(a), promote oxidation and kick all kinds of troublesome processes in the body
  • High Blood Pressure: 
  • Genetics
  • Radiation: From x-rays to workplace exposures, radiation can cause oxidative stress and damabe DNA. 

They call this approach New Cardiology. You can see the approach is multi-factorial. Pharmaceuticals are certainly tools to be used in many cases, however, we are not often finding ourselves suffering from a statin deficiency. There is much to understand about the causation aspect, and this is where the functional medicine approach comes in to play. We can look at all the conventional treatments, but it is unlikely that long-term resolution will result unless we look at factors such as the Dirty Dozen. They go into detail about various lab tests and supplements (the main ones were covered in his other book summarized earlier). We don’t have space for all of that in this summary, but if you are interested in exploring many of these areas that tackle the causative angle, please reach out. I have worked with many patients to implelment changes that start to reduce the influence of the dirty dozen. 

This Book Report collection is meant to provide some of the best take-home points from the health and science genre I read. I will continue to go thru my notes of the 160+ and counting (as of January 2019) Kindle books I have on file. To view ALL the notes I saved on this one AND many others without a Book Report post yet, THAT IS ALSO SEARCHABLE, please click here.

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