Nutraceuticals and vascular biology hold great promise in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular (CV) disease. Clearly, food choices impact gene transcription, protein expression, and enzyme function to determine CV health. As explained in detail in the August-September 2002 TLfDP, discoveries of nutrient-gene interactions and gene expression shed new light on the complexity of heart disease.
In the April 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association (JANA), Mark C Houston, MD examined and defined the cell and molecular mechanisms leading to CV disease. This article clearly documents that we are entering an exciting era of cellular and molecular biology. The judicious use of naturally-occurring foods and specific herbal compounds with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor activity, as calcium channel blockers, or with angiotensin receptor-blocking properties presents a foundation for the safe and rational treatment of CV disease. (1)
It is well known that oxidative stress, nutrient-gene interactions and gene expression can have positive or negative influences on human vascular biology. Hypertension is commonly initiated or perpetuated by endothelial dysfunction and vascular smooth muscle dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The increase in atherosclerosis and CV disorders is related to "empty calorie" overfeeding and the processing of our food supply. (2)
To remedy dietary deficiencies, our approach has been to use combinations of phytonutrients -- balanced to meridianorgan connections -- for optimal antioxidant protection and more blood pressure and CV reduction than isolated "bullet-type" nutritional supplements. Other studies have supported this approach as superior to the use of isolated nutrients. (3-11) Whole food concentrates, rich in a wide spectrum of nutrients, have also been documented to:
1. Increase serum and lymphocyte antioxidant levels, reducing oxidative stress (12-14)
2. Reduce weight with increased lean body mass (15,17)
3. Improve brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation and improved endothelial function (22)
4. Improve arterial compliance, and reduce homocysteine and BP levels (23)
5. The intake of multiple minerals in a covalent, non-ionic state is more effective than magnesium alone in reducing blood pressure. (24-26)
Oral Chelation of the Biliary Tract
Atherosclerosis and CV disorders typically involve disturbances in hepatic cholesterol metabolism and detoxification through the liver's transulferation pathways. Excess cholesterol is excreted from the body mainly via the liver to bile either as free cholesterol or after conversion to bile acid. The regulation of hepatic cholesterol and bile acid metabolism and the basic mechanisms for the formation of cholesterol saturated bile should be addressed in any type of chelation protocol. The dual action of the liver in synthesizing new cholesterol or excreting old cholesterol from blood into bile is often forgotten in mainstream medicine practices.
Biliary sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, biliary dyskinesia, odditis, papillitis, post-cholecystectomy pain, right upper quadrant pain, biliary stasis, sludge or plaque in the biliary tract, and the migration and presence of flukes (Clonorchis sinensis) that promote intrahepatic ductal inflammation, proximal stasis, stone formation, and cholangitis. The result: an abnormal accumulation of free and esterified cholesterol and triglycerides and a disturbance of delicate feedback networks for the synthesis and homeostatic controls of cholesterol by the liver.
If bile flow is not appropriately coordinated or there is duodenitis, the increase in bile pressure can disturb the sphincter of Oddi (the muscular valve surrounding the exit of the bile duct and pancreatic duct) and cause bile and cholesterol to leak back into the bloodstream, resulting in Atherosclerosis and CV disorders. Papillary Stenosis, results in a backup of bile flow and stretching (dilation) of the bile duct has been documented by scans and various X-ray techniques. (18-21)
Observations on hundreds of cases with duodenitis and bilary tract dysfunction lead to development of a useful and effective system of therapy. My earlier foundational research reported a high incidence of duodenitis in the clinical population. (25-26) Duodenitis commonly results in disturbances of the gall bladder and intrahepatic biliary tract with a resultant backup of toxins (as transulferation pathways become compromised and deficient) (27-33) leading to xenobiotic excesses causing damage to human vascular biology and congesting the lymphatic system. As lymph nodes become swollen and congested with xenobiotics, they lose their ability to protect the body against infection. This is especially true when the deep lymph channels of the gut become congested. (34) Since lymph capillaries, unlike the blood, are very permeable to proteins and foreign toxins, dental toxins and infections, these factors slowly find their way into lymph channels and clog and choke off the lymph-generated immune responses in the gut and elsewhere in the body. Sixty to eighty percent of duodenitis cases have hidden pockets of infection where wisdom teeth have been extracted in the past, establishing a meridian block from jaw ostitis.
Spasmolytic herbs combined in the proper balance with carminative agents, mucilaginous herbs, and herbs with cholagogue / chloretic properties provide natural chelation of the biliary tract and circulation. The primary clinical goal of this treatment is to carefully balance the spasmolytic properties at the bile ducts while gently providing bile flow stimulation and keeping the duodenum free of inflammation.
Without appropriate oral chelation of the biliary tract, chelation may drive excessive amounts of toxins into the kidneys instead of the safe and symptom-free elimination channels provided by the liver's transulfuration pathways. Moreover, the oxidative injuries to human vascular biology may continue unabated when toxins are circulated excessively and can't be effectively eliminated through the kidneys. Instead, the following herbal approach yields a positive clinical outcome in CV disorders:
1. Cholagogues are used to promote the production and flow of bile.
2. Choleretics are agents that cause the produced bile to flow more freely
3. Spasmolytics are critical agents needed to prevent spasms of the biliary tract and to correct the failure in the mechanics of bile flow with the resultant regulatory failure on the whole complex of the biliary system, pancreas, duodenum and small intestine.
4. Carminatives are used for the removal of gases in the stomach and duodenum and to improve the tone of the sphincter of oddi and smooth musculature of the stomach and duodenum
5. Mucilaginous plants are used to protect badly inflamed mucous membranes of the duodenum and to bind irritating substances from toxic bile so they do not cause duodenitis. Most importantly, these herbal actions insure the exit of bile and pancreatic enzymes into the duodenum, at the papilla of Vater.
In combining these herbal actions, it is important to note that there are no arbitrary mixtures of these herbs that will work effectively. The formula must be devised according to strict rules and tested and retested via Quantum Meridian Stress Assessment[TM] to achieve the herbal synergism and physiological effects. In accomplishing this feat, it is important to note that the balance and actions of the auxiliary remedies must enhance or complement the action of the primary remedy in one direction or another. Moreover, we have found that that fresh plant fluid extracts (a strength ratio of 1:1) provide the most effective therapy in these conditions. It took over 15 years of clinical experimentation and trials with herbal compounding before a synergy was created that enabled the formula to yield positive clinical results.
The omega-3 fatty acids have multiple CV effects. Mark C Houston, MD has cited dozens of studies documenting how they reduce fibrogen and have anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, anti-arrhythmic, anti-atherosclerotic and vasodilatory effects. (1) Yet, mere supplementation with fish oils does not guarantee that there will be a flow of sufficient amounts of alkaline bile necessary to emulsify the fats and break them down into essential fatty acids.
Compensating for ANS Dysregulation in CV Disorders
The ANS control of the heart between the vagus (parasympathetic) and sympathetic nervous system (PSNS) remains woefully misunderstood and undertreated by physicians in CV disorders. Faulty brain proprioceptive feedback is the primary cause of depressed vagus action that allows the sympathetic action to have too great and prolonged an effect on the body's physiology. The result is sympatheticotonia with a tendency to tachycardia, hypertension, rapid respiration, dry mouth, paralysis of muscles of accommodation, hypochlorhydria, gastrointestinal hypotonicity, spastic sphincter of oddi or pyloric valve, leucopenia, gut permeability disorders and constipation.
When uncompensated, faulty brain proprioception leads to serious CV disorders. An important part of this pathophysiology relates to the fact that chaotic biophoton flow results when the vagus is not able to compensate from stressors that over engage the SNS. In this respect we find that Low Energy-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), documented by 100 positive double blind studies and over 2000 clinical studies (see textbook Lasers in Medicine and Dentistry for more information) has a positive effect at restoring weak PSNS activity. These LLLT/LED therapies are biostimulative-regenerative, anti-inflammatory and analgesic. (26) Clinical use of these therapies along with proper correction of the mandible position so that the front teeth (SNS innervation) are not hit too hard or the mandible is not compressing the vagus nerve are invaluable therapies in CV disease. Clearly, unknown to TMJ specialists, the primary source of stress is the meridian and ANS stress generated from faulty proprioceptive feedback in the jaw.
In summary, biliary duct disorders result in a loss of fat metabolizing ability with resultant nutritional deficiency states in lipotrophic nutrients and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins that are critical to maintain CV health. When this is coupled with the powerful pro-inflammatory effects of estrogen dominance from xenoestrogens that are not correctly eliminated via the liver's trans-sulfuration pathways, one begins to understand why there is limited clinical success in preventing CV disease. Deficiencies and toxin overload lead to blood sludging and the consequent tendency to form thrombi that lead to coronary thrombosis and cerebral thrombosis.
Quantum Medicine[TM] was developed to promote an understanding of how stressors disrupt the ANS and meridian/organ physiology causing disrupted neurohormonal patterning and faulty brain proprioceptive feedback, the prime forces underlying CV disease. This useful and up-to-date information helps to keep physicians on the cutting-edge of developments relating to herbal medicines and new biophoton laser therapies designed to correct faulty brain proprioceptive feedback.
While different triggering events can initiate CV disease at any level, we have seen that phytomedicines can act on multiple levels to reverse the generation of chronic inflammation in the biliary tract and prevent damage to the human vascular anatomy. Compounded phytomedicines that address lipid metabolism and impaired liver detoxification (Phase I, II, and III) provide unique and exciting new avenues to reduce oxidative stress and conquer CV disease.
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