The Heart of the Matter
From our book
Bypassing Bypass, published in 2002
The history of the world is the
history of the word; the words we use define our core thoughts and
beliefs. If the word heart evoked merely mechanistic images and
biological functions, what kind of humans would we be? What kind of
heart would we possess?
Caring for the
...it is a subject very dear to
my heart—Heart Disease is the number one killer in America.
[Editor's note: this accepted fact, that heart disease is the number
one killer in America today, ignores the research of Dr Carolyn Dean
MD, ND, author of
By Modern Medicine, who, after analyzing government
databases and peer review journals, concluded: "I found that 784,000
people are dying annually, prematurely, due to modern medicine,
intervention." She adds, that this too is a low estimate due to the
medical monopoly under-reporting, or as the adage goes: A doctor
buries his mistakes.]
According to figures from the
World Health Organization (www.who.int)
and the American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org):
From 1973 to 1992 Coronary
Heart Disease (CHD) saw a 45% increase from 364.3 to 530.33 per
Nearly one million people
now die yearly due to stroke and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF);
more than two out of every five deaths.
Every 34 seconds someone in
the United States dies of CHD (1995).
In 1994, one of every four
people in the United States had some form of CHD.
In 1994, one in two African
Americans had some form of CHD.
You now have a 50/50 chance
of having CHD (2002).
For every woman who dies of
breast cancer, 11 women die from CHD.
45 percent of all heart
attacks occur in individuals younger than 65, and 5 percent
occur in people younger than 40.
Recently we have learned the
More than 60% of heart
disease deaths in 1999 were “sudden” and nearly half happened
outside of a hospital.
Caucasian women in Minnesota
were least likely to die from heart disease (compared to
Caucasian women from other states).
African American women in
Hawaii were least likely to die from heart disease (compared to
African American women from other states).
Most heart attacks and
strokes occur when most deaths occur, Monday morning before
Most occur in the month of
January (shoveling snow—if you’re a Minnesotan—I would guess).
And finally, from Dr Garry
Gordon, one of the four physicians who founded the American College
for the Advancement of Medicine:
Most heart attacks and
strokes hit without warning. No previous symptoms. No
atherosclerotic blockages. Normal cholesterol levels.
Most heart attacks and
strokes, an estimated 85%, are caused by infections in the blood
in conjunction with a relatively new medical term, vulnerable
plaque. This is according to a 40 year study summarized for the
American Heart Association in a 1999 book entitled,
Understanding Vulnerable Plaque written by Dr Valentine
Fuster, past head of the AHA and currently the cardiology
chairman at Mt Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
We will focus on vulnerable
plaque right away in the section on caring for your blood.
After seven years of hearing
theory after theory and examining study after study we discovered
two very important things:
most of what we think we
know about heart disease is utter poppycock;
the true healers in the
world are those to whom the patient, not the patient’s dis-ease,
is their focus; physicians who thoroughly diagnose and test,
treat the patient, then retest.
To find the best treatments for
cardiovascular conditions, we first found the physicians with the
best outcomes. We learned about functional medicine; physicians who
test thoroughly to discover which functions are askew. We learned
about orthomolecular medicine: physicians who employ nutrition and
supplements natural to the system to rebalance those dysfunctions to
make them function properly.
The most successful physicians
in cardiovascular care
removed deficiencies with
nutrition and supplementation as needed
removed heavy metals
encouraged physical activity
and/or the internal arts (yoga, tai chi, qigong, meditation)
encouraged love and
treated the body/mind/spirit
of their patients.
This (above) is the ultimate
paradigm for healing and preventing cardiovascular disease. These
physicians use pharmaceuticals when called for, but they know that,
in most cases, pharmaceuticals are best used to bring a critical
condition under control where natural remedies will then be more
Like most diseases of the last
half of the 20th century, heart disease can be described as a
disease of the fork. Add smoking, breathing toxic air, drinking
chlorinated water, and a lack of exercise, and you have your number
one killer in America: a true “social” disease.
Healing disease is secondary to
healing a person. True healers fill in where the patient’s lifestyle
is lacking. These are the physicians and healers who have helped us
to put together this work.
Let us look beyond medicine for
a moment. What we have here is a simple problem of focus. Far too
many physicians treat diseases when it is people who are
sick. The heart and our circulatory system are not only a part the
human body, but if you look at our language, our words,
obviously the heart and circulatory system are also a part of our
mind and spirit:
Heart-searching; faint-hearted; chicken-hearted; single-hearted;
false-hearted; warm-hearted; warmth of heart; big-hearted;
cold-hearted; heavy-hearted; large-hearted; lonely-hearts;
half-hearted; kind-hearted; golden-hearted; hard-hearted;
flint-hearted; stony-hearted; tender-hearted; soft-hearted;
high-hearted; stout-hearted; brave-hearted; lion-hearted;
heart-sick; heart and soul; bad-hearted; black-hearted;
broken-hearted; heart breaker; sick at heart; heart of hearts;
cockles of the heart; whole-hearted; steal one’s heart;
free-hearted; set all hearts on fire; have a place in every
heart; lift up your hearts; purple hearts; sweetheart; Queen of
Hearts; two hearts that beat as one; be tender-hearted; have a
soft heart; take it to heart; soften one’s heart; let one’s
heart be touched; break one’s heart over; heart’s core;
open-hearted; light-hearted; proud-hearted; take it to heart;
fullness of heart; heart’s desire; someone after one’s own
heart; pierced heart; heart-to-heart; in good heart; appeal from
the heart; dear to the heart; a dear heart; win one’s heart;
lost heart; didn’t have the heart; not having one’s heart in it.
It was difficult to start
writing this book because I couldn’t find the heart to tell you that
our science, our doctors, and our medicine are killing us,
needlessly; and that most procedures don’t give you any more time
than no procedure at all. Needless invasion of our bodies with
knives, needles, radiation, and chemicals the human body was never
designed for gives us no extra time. My heart goes out to all those
who’ve suffered the abuse of our modern culture and the very
paradigm that the heart is just the mechanical pump of our
life flowing blood.
But perhaps I’m just a bleeding
The heart is a magnificent
organ. It can be healed by love, yoga, transcendental meditation,
walking, horseback riding, a good massage, good food, clean pure
water, a trip to your temple (where/whatever that may be), a prayer,
and, did we mention love?
If we just
remove a single cell from a heart muscle and supply it with a
fresh flow of oxygenated blood, it will continue to beat and
Here is an interesting concept
to mull over. Rudolf Steiner once wrote: “The heart is not a pump! I
have often said this; it is rather an organ for sensing or
registering the activity in the tissue fluid. The heart is moved by
the circulation of the blood; it is not the pumping action of the
heart that moves the blood. Just as the thermometer is nothing more
than an instrument for registering the degree of heat or cold, so
your heart is like an apparatus for registering what takes place in
the circulation and what flows into this from the metabolic system.
This is the golden rule we must heed if we wish to understand the
human being. In the belief that the heart is a pump driving the
blood through the blood vessels, we can see how modern natural
science reverses the truth. Anyone believing in this superstition
about the heart ought to be consistent and believe it is warmer in
the room because the thermometer has risen.”
Writers like Robert Sardello
feel the heart to be a sense organ; remembering the unity of the
universe as it remembers the unity of itself in the body.
Were the heart and circulatory
system simply a pump and conduit, then accurate measures of
triglyceride levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, EKG
findings, beats per minute, and a host of other conventional tests
would produce an accurate indication of a person’s chance of a heart
attack. However, Deepak Chopra points out that the most accurate
indicator of a possible heart attack is how a person answers two
Do you love your job?
Are you happy?
In the pages that follow we will
point out the fabrications, inadequacies, and ridiculous notions of
the current conventional treatment of heart disease. We will let you
in on our discoveries: how to reach the path to wellness and how to
avoid a problem altogether. We ask you at times to suspend your
disbelief, at least until we’ve finished our explanations; and to
take to heart the advice from those healers who have extensive
experience healing problems of the heart.
Wellness is an ongoing process
and learning is a large part of healing. Knowing more than your
doctor costs less than an insurance policy and even pays off better.
The time to begin is always now; the place to begin is inside your
own heart. Fill it with love and you’ll outlive your physician.
Bless your heart.
Allow me to tell you how our
research into heart disease began and you will see how we’ve arrived
at the conclusions we lay before you here.
Heart disease, as we know it
today, is less than a century old. When the electrocardiogram
(EKG) arrived in the United States from Germany, most physicians had
no use for it because heart disease was quite rare. Suddenly, 30
years later, every hospital had to have at least one EKG machine,
and people were lined up for testing. Most experts seem to agree
that heart disease began to take off in the late thirties, early
forties. Type A personalities, the movers and shakers of the time,
seemed to have had a high incidence of heart disease.
Then the Framingham Report came
out in the fifties. Initial findings showed that consumption of
cholesterol increased one’s chances of atherosclerosis (hardening of
the arteries) by increasing cholesterol levels in the body.
Cholesterol was suddenly deemed to be a bad thing, with Bad
Cholesterol (LDL) being the worst of the bunch.
So the war on cholesterol began.
Throw out your butter, margarine is here. Food industry monies built
up educational charities promoting heart health, and the American
Heart Association grew up and slapped its seal of approval on
everything low in cholesterol, but high in partially hydrogenated
When we planned our focus for
this Third Edition, Dr Dean Ornish was the Heart Disease Guru in
America. He was written up in Time and Newsweek, his books were
quite popular, and he’d even put our presidents on heart healthy
diets. So our research began by reading everything that Ornish had
His advice seemed sound.
Exercise, modify your diet, and take time out for yourself and your
Ask your doctor if getting up off
your ass is right for you.
Then we began to butt heads as
our research expanded outward. Dr Ornish told us to cut back on our
eggs; to eat only the whites. We’d found research that showed that
eggs from free-range chickens actually lowered cholesterol levels.
To get to the root of the egg issue, we went back to the original
research and discovered a slight problem. The eggs used were
dehydrated. This was to lead us to a variety of conclusions about
cholesterol and oxidized cholesterol that we’ll present later on.
The simple truth is cholesterol
is not a bad thing. In the 1970’s the final version of the
Framingham study reversed itself and concluded that when you
eat foods high in cholesterol, your body creates less cholesterol;
when you eat foods low in cholesterol, your body creates more,
depending on the individual; depending on the individual’s needs:
the more saturated fats one ate the more cholesterol one ate,
the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum
cholesterol…we found that people who ate the most cholesterol,
ate the most saturated fat, and ate the most calories weighed
the least and were the most physically active. (Castelli,
William, Archives of Internal Medicine, 1992 July;
Each individual has her/his own
cholesterol level that is maintained by her/his own body.
Cholesterol is not a bad thing. Oxidized (rancid) cholesterol is.
One connection between the amount of cholesterol in your blood
vessels and heart disease, and this is a tenuous connection at best,
is that the higher your cholesterol level, the higher your chances
that that cholesterol is oxidized. Cholesterol isn't the problem; a
lack of antioxidants is, or as you will see below, a lack of certain
So, we’d found a chink in Dr
Our next discovery concerned
nuts. Dr Ornish says to avoid nuts because of their fats. We had
already learned that in Scandinavian countries, their relatively low
incidence of heart disease was attributed to their dietary practice
to end meals by cracking open and munching on fresh mixed nuts.
Further research led us to the belief that not all oils/fats are the
same, that they should not be all grouped into one category and
labeled bad for you. We discovered certain oils are essential to
human health and to a healthy heart. Further on you will read:
diets high in Alpha-Linolenic acid (LNA) have the lowest
incidence of heart disease. LNAs keep your cholesterol from
oxidizing (becoming rancid). Seeds and nuts are your best source
The AHA grew and grew right
along with heart disease. In October of 1999, the American Heart
Association finally broke down and acknowledged the truth. They
reported that partially hydrogenated oils are harmful. The truth
being, they’ll kill you.
The worst oils to put in your
body are the partially hydrogenated oils, or trans-fats as some call
them. In parts of Europe there is a movement to ban their use;
margarine was the first to go. Nondairy coffee creamers and Crisco
should be banned from our supermarkets.
Dr Ornish’s work also insisted
that animal fat caused heart disease. This is a modern belief based
entirely upon nothing. No research has ever backed this up; it is
simply a belief. There have been other beliefs held by the medical
profession, that when tested, did not stand up. Take for instance
the belief that foods high in sugars, such as fruits, cause a rapid
rise in blood sugar. This was just accepted without proof. When
finally tested, it turned out that carbohydrates, a potato or a
piece of bread, raised blood levels of sugar much more quickly than
fruit. High levels of blood sugar produce high levels of insulin and
this too can lead to CHD.
Interestingly enough, it was
also during this time that a new disease showed up that befuddled
all the doctors. They were only able to come up with a name for it:
Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes, or Type II Diabetes. At this same
time, new diseases, newly classified and named autoimmune disease,
were on the rise (like lupus), and attributed solely to genetics.
The belief that animal fat is
linked to heart disease predominates medicine’s thinking today. From
naturopaths to cardiologists, everyone preaches this line of
thought, even though no study ever conducted supports this stance.
The only possible connection between diets high in animal fats and
heart disease is that these same diets are low in fiber, enzymes,
and certain vitamins, not to mention the spate of drugs (75% of all
antibiotics used in America are used on our livestock) and chemicals
in our meats.
Once we’d realized the “red
meat” theory of heart disease was fantasy, we then began to suspect
that all the cholesterol factors were fantasy too. It did not take
us long to find the truth. Too much valid research shows that
cholesterol is only a secondary factor in heart disease, and not the
cause. However, do not hold your breath waiting for the medical
profession to tell you this. The medical profession is shackled to
the pharmaceutical interests, whose real interests are a 12
billion-dollar cholesterol-lowering drug program. Sadly, these drugs
have not extended our years on this planet, and very possibly lead
to early death, though we are finding out that they do contribute to
an anti-inflammatory response, which turns out to be, interestingly,
a very important factor in preventing heart attacks and strokes. But
there are alternatives that do much less collateral damage.
The absolute truth about
cholesterol is that it is only an indicator, and not the
perpetrator. Blaming cardiovascular illness on cholesterol is like
blaming the speed of your car on the speedometer
There is no such thing as bad
cholesterol. The LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the
thicker substance, is not being bad when it lands on your artery. It
is drawn there to lay a patch, to fix a problem. The real culprit is
the damage to the arteries in the first place, not how that damage
is patched. The amount of cholesterol in your system is of no
great importance; the amount of oxidized cholesterol is.
That’s about as simple as it
gets: the Big Lie (that high cholesterol levels cause heart disease)
is the prevalent conventional theory. It gets even worse for our
elderly population who are so over drugged and undernourished.
Studies done by the Veterans Administration show conclusively that
the higher the cholesterol in older people the longer they live
(especially the HDL). Yet we still have them on cholesterol lowering
Because of the cold-hearted
profiteers in our society, all sorts of money is being made to make
you sick (food industry) and to cure you at the same time
(pharmaceutical industry). Even if you’re not sick we can give you
pills to fight this imaginary disease called high cholesterol. High
cholesterol, in the early fifties when it wasn’t yet a disease, was
registered around 300. Anything over that number was getting “way up
there.” Then someone invented a drug to lower cholesterol and,
whammo, the standards dropped too. All the medical literature had to
be rewritten to accommodate the new lower numbers, subsidized in
part by the pharmaceutical companies (who could get you to these
lower numbers with a little pill). Pharmaceutical companies are the
largest contributors to our medical schools. Young physicians learn
what they are told to learn and now we believe that the lower your
cholesterol the better—even though people with cholesterol levels
under 180 have the highest suicide rates (as told to me by my own
In all our research, the most
surprising discovery was that there is not one heart disease
medication that actually cures a heart problem. Heart medication
treats the symptoms, manages the symptoms, and masks the symptoms.
We also uncovered some interesting evidence that many heart
medications actually cause heart disease. We hope this will enrage
you as much as it did us.
[Editors Note: We currently
live in a society that has placed the pharmaceutical industry in
charge of our health care system. Medicine means pharmaceuticals,
which means drugs. We have a drug therapy system of medicine. The
FDA, whose mission was originally to regulate food and drugs that
came into this country, now validates this drug system of medicine.
While most of us realize that there might just be something to
natural therapies, the Food and Drug administration must approve all
therapies we are allowed to access. The only interests that can
afford to pass rigorous FDA testing are the pharmaceutical interests
(it costs millions of dollars to certify a “therapy.) Thus we have
somehow managed to get our health care system run entirely by
interests who profit from our illness and not from our health. Go
figger. For the complete story of how we got the medicine we have
today read: Health Care for
Since the fifties, while modern
medicine monitored your cholesterol levels (your ability to patch
damage to your arteries), it did nothing about the actual causes of
arterial damage because doctors were never taught its causes, only
that high cholesterol levels were somehow connected.
Today, because of orthomolecular
biology, the work begun by two-time Nobel Prize winning scientist,
Linus Pauling, we know pretty well the pathology leading to this
initial damage to our arteries. It is called, for the most part,
malnutrition . Funny, isn’t it? That here in the land of plenty,
where we have so much food we throw out more of it than some under-
developed nations eat, we have some of the highest rates of
Malnutrition affects first our
immune systems. It affects our hormones, our nerves, our connective
tissues, and our systems: digestive, respiratory, reproduction.
people don’t realize is that the inside of your intestines is
the outside of your body. Taking this one step further, just
because something is inside your gut does not mean it is inside
your body. There is this process called absorption, and only a
properly working, healthy digestive tract can absorb the
nutrition from your food (if there is any).
Next we have the infections in
the blood that are making recent headlines. These damage our
arteries, and amazingly enough, they also cause the majority of
heart attacks and strokes.
As you read on (in our articles
on cardiovascular care) we will introduce you to the studies and
programs that have reversed heart disease. Oh, and did Dean Ornish’s
protocol reverse heart disease? Yes. It sure did. But not by
eliminating the things he wants you to eliminate but rather by
motivating his patients to get off their butts, exercise, eat the
things needed for a healthy heart, and by giving them hope and a
positive attitude. This always works.