The Medical Myths of Heart
Rodger H. Murphree, D.C., C.N.S.
Cardiovascular disease kills almost one million Americans
This accounts for 41% of all deaths in the United States.
In fact, one person dies every 33 seconds.
Cardiovascular disease claims more lives than the next
eight leading causes of death combined, including cancer,
accidents, and AIDS.
For nearly four decades, we have relied on
medical myths to guide us in our attempts
to prevent and treat cardiovascular
We have been told to reduce our
cholesterol, saturated- fat intake, and to
take lipid-lowering medications.
Unfortunately, doing so actually
increases the risk of premature
death, strokes, heart attacks,
depression, suicide, senile dementia,
and congestive heart failure.
High cholesterol is the main
cause of arteriosclerosis and
The Body Needs Cholesterol
A. Cholesterol is so important that the body manufactures 800-1500 mg
each day (85%).
B. Cholesterol and other fats are the very building blocks that make up
each and every cell.
C. Cholesterol is an important fat that helps keep cell membranes
permeable. This permeability allows the good nutrients to get in and toxic
waste products to get out of the cell.
D. Cholesterol makes the bile salts required for the digestion of fat.
E. Cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D, which is necessary for
numerous biochemical processes, including mineral metabolism.
E. Cholesterol is essential in maintaining proper hormone production.
Testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone, estradiol,
and cortisol are all made from cholesterol.
A. Over 8 percent of the brain’s solid matter is made up of cholesterol.
Lipids (fat) make up 70 percent of the brain. This fat insulates brain cells
and allows neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) to communicate with one
B. Cholesterol is essential for proper brain function and normalizing the
brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters including serotonin,
norepinephrine, and dopamine.
Several studies show that among
older adults, those with lowered
cholesterol are more likely to
suffer from depression.
• Those with low cholesterol are three times more likely
to suffer from depression as normal adults.
• The lower the cholesterol, the more severe the
• Low cholesterol levels are also linked to an increased
risk of committing suicide.
Men whose cholesterol levels are
lowered through the use of
prescription lipid lowering
medications double their chances of
In fact for most people, the
lower their cholesterol the
more likely they are to die
from all causes.
The Journal of Cardiology:
“after the age of 47, low cholesterol increases the risk of a
“For each 1 mg/dl drop of cholesterol there was an 11 percent
increase in coronary and total mortality (death from all
In fact, those who had low-cholesterol were just as
atherosclerotic when they died as those who had had a high
Older adults with low cholesterol died twice as often from a
heart attack ad did old people with high cholesterol.
Harlan Krumholz, M.D.
Dept. Cardiovascular Medicine, Yale University 1994.
“….long-term persistence of low cholesterol (in the
elderly) concentration actually increases the risk of
death. Thus, the earlier that patients start to have
lower cholesterol concentrations, the greater the
risk of death.”
In fact most individuals with coronary artery
disease have Normal Cholesterol Levels. Forty
percent or more of heart attacks occur in those
with normal or low cholesterol levels.
The Lancet (1994)
The Journal of the American Medical
“there is no evidence linking high
cholesterol levels in women with heart
Myth Number Two:
Eating a low cholesterol diet reduces
blood cholesterol and prevents the risk
of heart attack and stroke.
In fact, this only triggers the body to
make more cholesterol.
Humans get 15% of their daily
cholesterol from eating animal
products. The rest comes from is
produced by the body.
A review of 16 studies using low
cholesterol diets as a mean to lower
blood cholesterol levels shows that there
was a whopping 4% reduction.
British Medical Journal
Ancel Keys, of the Mediterranean Diet fame:
“There’s no connection whatsoever between cholesterol in
food and cholesterol in blood.”
By 1998, there were a total of 30 different studies involving
more than 150,000 people, which looked at the relationship
of dietary fat and the risk of heart disease.
These studies showed there was
no difference in the risk of CAD
in those who ate animal fats and
those who did not.
Studies of African tribes have shown that even with enormous amounts of
animal fat, blood levels aren’t raised. The Sumburu tribe eats about a
pound of meat and drinks almost two gallons or raw milk each day. This is
twice what the average American eats each day. Yet their cholesterol
averages around 170mg/dl.
In fact, the fatty acids found in clogged arteries (arthromas) are mostly
unsaturated (74%) of which 41% are polyunsaturated.
Lancet 1994 344:1195
Cholesterol lowering drugs are a safe and effective
way to prevent heart attacks and strokes.They’ve
become household names: Lipitor, Crestor,
Vytorin, Zocor, and others.
Long-term use of statins for primary
prevention of heart disease produced a 1%
GREATER RISK of death over 10 years
compared to placebo.
As reported in The British Journal of
A meta-analysis of 44 trials involving 10,000
patients shows the death rate to be the same
For 3 groups, those taking Lipitor, those
taking another statin, and those taking a
Journal of Cardiology, 2003
The odds for escaping a heart attack in five years
for those with heart disease was 94.3% (taking
nothing) and improved to 95.4% when taking a
statin. A WHOPPING 1%.
New England Journal of Medicine
Potential side effects of statins
Muscle pain and weakness, including a
potentially fatal muscle-wasting disorder
As well as...
Peripheral neuropathy or
polyneuropathy, characterized by
neurological weakness, tingling, and
pain in the hands and feet.
Polyneuropathy symptoms include:
• weakness, usually in the arms, hands or legs
• facial weakness
• difficulty walking
• pain, burning, tingling or other abnormal sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or
• numbness or decreased sensation
• difficulty with swallowing
• speech impairment
• muscle contractions
• muscle atrophy...
• joint pain
• hoarseness or changing voice
• facial paralysis
• bladder or bowel dysfunction
• breathing difficulties
• mental disturbances
Taking statins for one year raised the risk of nerve damage by 15%
Two years of statin intake increased this risk to 26%
Could these drugs be the reason Congestive
Heart Failure (CHF) as steadily over the last
The heart can’t work when deprived of the
essential nutrient, Co-Q10. A deficiency of
CoQ10 can lead to nerve damage and
congestive heart failure.
Dr. Folkers, who has been honored with the
Priestly Medal, the highest award bestowed by
the American Chemical Society, for his work
with CoQ10 reports:
“…cardiovascular disease may be significantly
caused by a deficiency of www.treatingandbeating.com
Several studies have demonstrated the role high
blood pressure plays in heart disease. Research
also shows that CoQ10 is able to reduce blood
pressure in high-risk heart disease patients. In
one study CoQ10 lowered systolic pressure from
an average of 141 to 126 and diastolic from 97 to
cyanosis- 78% improved
edema (fluid retention) – 78.6%
insomnia – 66%
sweating – 79.8%
shortness of breath – 52%
pulmonary edema (fluid on the lungs) – 77.8%
enlarged liver – 49%
heart palpitations – 75%
arrhythmia (abnormal heart beats) – 63%
venous congestion – 71.8%
CoQ10 reduces exercise induced angina (chest pain) by 53% percent.
Nothing could be further from the
truth. These drugs are dangerous.
Calcium Channel blocking drugs (Cardizem,
Procardia, Calan, Norvasc, and others) increase
the risk of having a heart attack by five-fold.
Beta-blocking drugs (Atenolol, Inderal,
Toprol, Tenormin, and others) may cause
congestive heart failure, heart block,
depression, type II diabetes, tingling in the
hands and feet, fatigue, and many other
unwanted side effects.
Diuretics increase the risk of developing type II
diabetes by fifty percent.
ACE Inhibitors can cause numbness or tingling
in hands and feet, dry cough, GI disturbances,
joint pain, fever, lightheadedness, and fatigue.
Angiotensin drugs can cause sinusitis,
upper respiratory infections, diarrhea,
fatigue, back pain, viral infections,
inflammation, and dizziness.
Cardiovascular Disorder – an insufficient blood supply to
the heart (cardiac ischemia) can produce any or all of the
following signs and symptoms:
•No symptoms – why coronary artery disease is known as
the ‘silent killer.’
•Angina – chest pain – often described as pressure or
tightness in the chest. Usually brought on by physical or
•Shortness of breath – a potential sign of congestive heart
Heart Attack Warning signs:
•Squeezing, crushing pain in the chest – pain that
radiates to the jaw, left shoulder, arm or back
•Increasing episodes of angina
•Prolonged pain in the upper abdomen
•Shortness of breath
•Impending sense of doom
•Nausea or vomiting
Arteriosclerosis or hardening of
the arteries is a term used to
describe several diseases involving
the cardiovascular system.
Arteriosclerosis is the thickening,
stiffening and calcification of the
Atherosclerosis is defined as the
build-up of plaque and fatty
deposits in the innermost lining of
large and medium-sized arteries,
particularly the coronary arteries.
Atheromas are fatty lesions that
over time turn into fibrous
plaques that proliferate the lining
of the arterial wall. These lesions
become hardened in a process
known as arteriosclerosis.
•Smoking increases the risk of dying from a heart attack
by 3-5 times normal
•83% of people who die of a heart attack are over 65
•Heredity – heart disease tends to run in families
•Men have a greater risk of heart attack than women,
even though a woman’s risk sharply increases after
•Elevated iron or ferritin levels have been linked to heart
• Multivitamin with 500 mg magnesium, 2-3 gm of fish oil and 100-200 mg of
• A multivitamin with 500 mg of magnesium will help regulate blood
pressure, heart rate and inflammatory processes.
• The B vitamins may help prevent and even reverse arteriosclerotic
• B12, B6 and folic acid will help reduce homocysteine levels – a marker for
increased cardiovascular disease risk.
• Magnesium acts as a natural beta-blocker and calcium channel blocker.
• Niacin helps reduce elevated triglycerides and cholesterol.
• Studies show that individuals supplementing with multivitamins,
especially containing Vitamin A, C and E, significantly reduced their risk of
Taking Vitamin E and C cut chances of death from all
causes by 42%. Vitamin E users are able to reduce
subsequent heart attacks by up to 77%.
Fish oil increases prostaglandin 1 hormones which help
relax smooth arterial and heart muscle.
Fish oil reduces inflammation including inflammation
associated with C reactive protein levels.
Fish oil helps regulate heart rate, heart beat, blood
pressure and inflammatory chemicals.
The AHA reports that fish oil reduces risk of sudden
death from heart attack by 41%.
CoQ10, a potent antioxidant known as ubiquinone is vital for proper
CoQ10’s primary function is to provide cellular energy. It is found in
the organs that need it the most – the heart and the liver.
CoQ10 ignites the mitochondria which are similar to a car’s
cylinders, allowing a chain of chemical reactions to create a spark.
This spark generates 95% of the body’s energy.
Low CoQ10 levels have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease,
Parkinson’s, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, periodontal disease,
migraines, ALS, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and
cardiovascular disease itself.
• Fish Oil
• L-Carnitine – 1-3 grams a day. L-carnitine delivers long chain fatty
acids to the heart for fuel. These fats supply 70% of the heart’s energy.
• If angina persists, I would suggest adding an additional 400-800 IU
Vitamin E with tocotrienol and 1000-3000 mg of L-argine – a potent
vasodilator affecting nitric oxide levels. Arginine acts like
• D-ribose is a naturally occurring sugar, a component of RNA. It’s
used by the body to make ATP. Ischemic heart disease may cause the
heart to lose up to 50% of its ATP supply. D-ribose restores ATP levels.
Atrial fibrillation doesn’t usually
respond to nutritional therapies.
However, anyone with atrial fibrillation
should be using the foundation
supplements – multivitamin, fish oil and
CoQ10 is especially important. Several
studies support the use of CoQ10 for
treating congestive heart failure. In one
study, 17 patients with mild CHF who
received 30 mg of CoQ10 improved and
9 (53%) became totally asymptomatic in
An Italian study involving almost 2700
patients who took an average of 100 mg
of CoQ10 had the following
improvements: cyanosis – 78%, edema –
78%, venous congestion – 72%, enlarged
liver – 50%, shortness of breath – 52%,
heart palpitations – 75% and pulmonary
edema – 77%.
L-Carnitine – several studies show L-carnitine
improves cardiac function in patients with CHF.
D-Ribose – 5 g three times daily – improves
Hawthorne – Double blind studies show
Hawthorne to be effective. 600 mg a day
improved heart function.
Magnesium is critical for optimal ATP
function. In one study, CHF patients with
normal levels of magnesium had 1-2-year
survival rates of 71 and 61%, compared to
42-45% respectively in patients with low
L-Taurine is perhaps the most important
amino acid for the heart. It’s certainly
the most abundant. Increased stress
increases the need for taurine. Taurine
preserves potassium and magnesium and
helps with excreting sodium – in short, it
acts like a diuretic.
Taurine suppresses renin and helps lower
blood pressure by blocking angiotensin.
Japanese studies show that 4 grams a day
of taurine is as effective as 30 mg of
CoQ10. I recommend cardiovascular
patients to use both.
Low salt diet – See Dash ® diet.
Choleaste from Thorne Research with
Cardio Foundation supplements or
gugulipid for mild elevations.
Niacin lowers triglycerides, as does
gugulipid. It elevates HDL and lowers
Homocysteine is a by product of the amino
acid cysteine into methionine. If not
converted properly, homocysteine becomes
oxidized by free radicals and accumulates
in the arterial walls. Homocysteine speeds
up oxidation causing toxic damage
triggering inflammatory responses.
A Norwegian study involving 4700 men and
women showed that each 5-millimol/L
increase in homocysteine blood plasma
caused the number of deaths from all
causes to jump to 49%. This included a
50% increase in cardiovascular deaths and
a 26% increase in cancer deaths.
Vitamin B-6, B-12 and folic acid help keep
homocysteine levels in check. However, if
homocysteine stays elevated despite vitamin
therapy –– add trimethyl glycine or TMG – 250-
500 mg a day.
It is estimated that supplements with 400 mcg of
folic acid would reduce the number of heart
attacks in the United States by a minimum of
10% or 100,000 people a year.
Over 50 million Americans have high blood
pressure. 43,000 died from it in 2002.
227,000 died from causes associated with
high blood pressure.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80. Pre-
hypertension is 120-130/80-90. Hypertension
is > 140 / > 90. Stage I hypertension occurs
when systolic pressure is between 140-159
and when diastolic pressure is between 90-
Stage II occurs when systolic pressure is
above 160 or when diastolic pressure is
Individuals in Stage I have a 31%
greater risk of heart attack, almost twice
the risk of stroke and a 43% increase in
death rate compared to those with
normal blood pressure.
DASH® Low Salt Diet
Studies show that one-third of those with
hypertension could discontinue their
medication by restricting their salt intake to <
1800 mg a day and losing a modest 10 pounds.
Increased fiber can lower systolic by 10 points
and diastolic pressure by 5 points.
Individuals who consume 800 mg of calcium a
day are 23% less likely to develop
AmealPeptide® is a naturally occurring
substance found in fermented milk. Double
blind placebo studies have shown
AmealPeptide® lowers hypertension. Over
300 million doses of AmealPeptide® have
been sold nationwide. AmealPeptide® acts
like an angiotensin drug or an ACE drug, but
without the side effects. AmealPeptide®
inhibits angiotensin I from changing into
angiotensin II – this allows the blood vessels
to remain unconstricted.
Nattokinase is a soy derived nutrient that acts as a
potent fibrinolytic or anti clotting enzyme. It enhances the
body’s ability to prevent and reverse blood clotting
without the side effects of similar medications.
It has been shown to have 44 times greater fibrinolytic
activity than plasmin – the body’s primary anti clotting
enzyme. Animal trials have shown that nattokinase is able
to dissolve blood clots in the carotid artery, increasing
blood flow by 62%, while those treated with traditional
drugs had a 16% increase in blood flow. Nattokinase has
been shown to reduce hypertension and may reduce
systolic and diastolic pressure by 10 points.
BP Support contains AmealPeptide®, magnesium,
nattokinase, L-Arginine, polypherols, Hawthorne
extract, grape seed extract, and other helpful
nutrients to lower blood pressure.
I start all my hypertension patients on Cardio
Foundation – My Healthy Heart Formula. Then, if
their blood pressure doesn’t go down, I add BP
Drink Kangen Water – www.magicwaterinfo.com
I recommend a low carbohydrate, no
refined carbohydrate diet, Cardio
Foundation, niacin or gugulipid – or if
condition persists, then both.
• Increase antioxidants in diet
• Drink Kangen Water
• DASH® Diet
• Vitamin E in addition to multivitamin - 800-1200 IU with
•Niacinate-Inositol hexaniacinate improves walking distance
and subjective symptoms in a double blind study.
• Ginkgo biloba – 120 mg a day. Several double blind
Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP):
•Mitral valve prolapse or floppy valve syndrome is
a deformity of the valve that separates the left
atrium from the left ventricle.
•Magnesium is key here – up to bowel tolerance
•Hawthorne – 600 mg a day
•Increase CoQ10 from 100 mg to 200 mg if needed
•Inositol hexaniacinate 2-4 grams a day
•Fish oil – 12 grams a day providing 3.96 grams
of EPA – 3 months 19
•EPO – 6 grams a day- A double blind study for
8 weeks significantly reduced the number and
duration of attacks compared to a placebo.
•Check for low thyroid.
•Food allergies and chemical sensitivity
•Nattokinase or lumbrokinase – every 6-8 hours
•Vitamin E - 800-1200 IU - over and above multivitamin
•Vitamin C – A double blind study in those with
thrombophlebitis showed that 1-3 grams of vitamin C a day
significantly reduced the incidence of deep venous thrombosis
•The American Medical Journal reported that flavonoids
(namely hesperidin) was said to be helpful for deep venous
• Lots of fiber intake
•Increase flavonoid rich foods – fruits and
• Horse chestnut seed extract with 50 mg of escin
twice a day for three months – Numerous double
blind placebo controlled trials have shown
improvement in edema, pain and other
Varicose Veins (cont.)
•Gotu kola – 60-120 mg a day. In double blind placebo
controlled trials, gotu kola significantly helped to
reduce symptoms of varicose veins.
• Bilberry and Pycnogenol – reduce platelet aggregation
– strengthen blood vessel integrity
• Butcher’s broom – Double blind studies show it to be
• Vitamin E – 800-1200 IU above multivitamin