Causes and Cures for Cardiovascular Disease

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael Brickey

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: None

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Today’s program is on the causes and cures for cardiovascular disease. For this program I am made an exception to the usual format of interviewing experts and share two ten minute speeches I gave at Toastmasters on unconventional views of cardiovascular health. The first presentation is titled The Cholesterol Conspiracy. The second presentation focuses on what we can do to prevent or reverse cardiovascular disease. Here are some notes from the presentions:

Has your doctor ever told you or have your read or heard that:

  • 50% of all heart attacks occur with people with normal cholesterol levels?
  • Aspirin, the best drug for reducing heart attacks, has no effect on cholesterol?
  • Your liver produces 80% of the cholesterol in your body?
  • Your cholesterol can be too low and impair production of sex hormones and neurotransmitters?
  • The primary mechanism for statins helping doesn’t appear to be from lowering cholesterol but from lowering inflammation—and you could lower inflammation by taking fish oil supplements at a fraction of the price and with none of the risks and side effects?
  • Did you know that some of the cultures with the highest consumption of fat, such as Masai tribes in Africa, Eskimos in Greenland, and natives of Crete have some of the lowest rates of heart disease?
  • While statin medications slightly lower your risk of dying from heart disease, it increases your risk of dying from other diseases?
  • Let’s look at the full page Lipitor ad with the picture of artificial heart inventor Dr. Robert Jarvik that has been running in many magazines. The headline says: “Lipitor reduces risk of dying of a heart attack by 36%*” That’s impressive–until you read the footnote that says: “That means in a large clinical study, 3% of patients taking a sugar pill or placebo had a heart attack compared to 2% of the patient taking Lipitor.”
  • While some of the research studies have included women, none has found that statins help women reduce overall mortality.

Generic needs for good health include:

  • good nutrition, e.g., a “Mediterranean” style diet
  • a very good multiple vitamin/mineral/antioxidant supplement, fish oil* 2,000 mg a day—higher if cardiovascular history, and probably vitamin D
  • stable blood sugar levels (most from food choices, some supplements can help)
  • exercise: strength, cardio (especially interval challenges), flexibility, and balance
  • good stress management
  • a sense of purpose, optimism, and gratitude
  • some good friends
  • bonus: have a hair sample tested for minerals and toxic metals
    • if toxic metals are high pursue blood chelation
    • if minerals are low, e.g., magnesium, manganese, supplement as needed
    • be careful with calcium supplements and pair them with D and possibly K

Some of the most common vitamin/mineral deficiencies in the US:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil)
  • Vitamin D
  • Common causes of “adrenal burnout syndrome” include chronic stress, overuse of stimulants, poor diet, and insufficient sleep. Common symptoms include fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, an unusual number of infections. The syndrome often results in deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, manganese, sodium and/or potassium.

Supplements that are especially helpful for cardiovascular problems

  • low dose aspirin (three times a week is probably sufficient), CoQ10 (especially if you are taking a statin), grape seed extract, pomegranate, coca polyphenols (e.g., high quality dark chocolate or in a supplement), garlic, Indian gooseberries (Amal), green tea, black tea, niacin (warning may cause harmless but very uncomfortable facial flushing)

Two relatively new theories about cardiovascular disease:

  1. inflammation is the primary cause of cardiovascular disease and most other chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer). –best explained in Dr. Barry Sears’ book, Toxic Fat
  2. hormone unbalance greatly aggravates cardiovascular and other diseases and prompts the body to produce more cholesterol (an essential component of hormones). –best explained in Dr. Sergey Dzugan’s Your Blood Doesn’t Lie

The Life Extension Foundations’ 17 Independent Heart Attack Risk Factors

When I gave the presentation, I gave listeners a four page what to do about it handout that I put together. I subsequently found a more detailed explanation of treatment options on the Life Extension Foundation’s website and defer to their recommendations. To their list I would add excess iron (which can be treated by donating blood, reducing consumption of foods and supplements with iron, and if still a problem chelation). The Life Extension Foundation just addresses biochemical causes. Equally important is exercise, nutrition, and stress management.

You can hear my interview Dr. Barry Sears, developer of the Zone diet and the world’s expert on fish oil at . Coming soon will be an interview with Dr. Dzugan. To receive a 10% discount on your first order of Dr. Sears’ fish oil, supplements, and books, go to and use the promotional code ageless.

Dr. Brickey’s other websites are and

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