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Statin Every Other Day and Best Diet for Plaque Reversal...

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  • Statin Every Other Day and Best Diet for Plaque Reversal...

    Hello All,
    I am brand spanking new here to this forum although I have been watching Dr. Brewer and Richard videos for last year since I was diagnosed with a high calcium score.
    My CT Score test was prompted by CT of lumbar spine done for back pain that showed some vascular calcification of abdominal aorta.
    Anyway, make a long story short I went from an LDL-C of 53 on Lipitor 20 to and LDL-C of 47 on Lipitor 10, with a plant based diet, (my LDL-C was 107 prestatin).
    I lowered my lipitor dose due to side effects from lipitor 20, (tingling in extremities, insomnia, cognition). As my old cardiologist was in denial about these side effects I was experiencing
    I went to a cardiologist/lipidologist here in charlotte that pulled me off statin altogether to get baseline LDL, particle sizes, Lpa, CRP, homocysteine, insulin resistance, fatty acid test, etc.
    My baseline bloodwork without statin was LDL-C is 97 (<100 is considered optimal for average person but i'm not average with high ct score and was advised to have < than 70 for me), LDL-P1 1446,
    ,and Lpa was 97, (other tests were fine).
    It was made very clear diet not going to be enough for me though. New Cardiologist/Lipidologist put me on Niacin SR and had a titration program but long story short after 3 weeks had to discontinue due to tolerance issues. This was just 2 days ago. Previously he said if Niacin SR didn't work out he could put me on low dose statin (i.e. Crestor 5 mg), QOD = every other day ,due to drugs long half life and my very clean eating program. Thoughts on QOD dosing here? My PCP said a little while back he has an old lady patient on red rice yeast and it showed great results although he never told me numbers? Red rice is a derivative of statin I thought and still has side effects albeit weaker I thought?

    Anyway, my biggest question is and BOY AM I CONFUSED is diet? I have read Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Bernard, and Dr. Fuhrman all who advocate plant based low fat diet to reverse heart disease.
    Others however disagree like Dr. Davis and Dr. Kahn (bill clintons new dr) and say certain types of meat and fats beneficial and this is the key to reverse plaque disease.
    The very scariest thing for me is of course diabetes which I don't have as indicated in recent HBA1C, and HOMA-IR tests run. Diabetes will proliferate plaque buildup at a higher rate is my understanding.
    Accordingly, I am now questioning vegan diet due to high carbs, (just simply not possible to eat all plants).??
    My question here goes out to you all of course but I have heard Dr. Brewer advocate Salmon every day and he has a video on how he reverse his heart disease to some extent while doing this?
    Richard has a similar video but did not note his diet? What is truly the best diet for preventing and reversing heart disease here? I welcome all comments and god bless each and every one of you!

  • #2
    rginnis, you have summed up well the frustration many of us feel. There are varying philosophies as to how best proceed in treating and reversing CAD which you seem to be well aware. You mentioned Clinton, interestingly enough he had I believe two quadruple bypasses in the span of 4-5 years, met with Dr. Ornish, went on his diet and hasn't had a cardiovascular event since. I had heard he was thinking of switching doctors, but hadn't heard anything beyond that. I personally was able to get rid of some plaque in my carotid arteries on Esselstyn's diet (I wish I had the pictures from the scans, because it's pretty undeniable), and I have to be honest in that I would sneak a piece of meat one or twice a month, but it worked. I think even my cardiologist was surprised. FWIW: he is a low carb high fat guy. There is a multi-year study of 5,000 patients (I believe) in Houston using a less stringent version of the Esselystyn/Ornish diets that has also had very good results. My aunt is involved in the study and has been able to reverse plaque and calcium buildup. If I understand the philosophies correctly the high carb low fat guys premise is that by eliminating the intake of fat/cholesterol into your body it simply can't build-up what isn't there and if you can lower cholesterol low enough either through diet and/or medications then the plaque and calcium will reverse itself. The philosophy of the high fat low carb guys is to get rid of all inflammation in your body which often necessitates the use of anti-inflammatory meds such as Crestor and then once the inflammation is gone your body won't build up plaque and you can eat all the fat you want. You seem to hear about certifiable reversal more with the high carb low fat crowd, but is reversal always the goal? I like you have many more questions than answers. Welcome to The Hunger Games, may the odds ever be in your favor. ;-)


    • #3
      I have an A1c of 4.7. Something I'm going to start doing, and frankly something I wish had been recommended to me long ago, is monitoring my glucose levels throughout the day and see how different foods affect it. My last blood work showed by FBG level was 93. Frankly, I was expecting something in the 80s. Knowing your glucose levels and how different foods affect it I think should be pretty needed foundational information before making any big decisions.


      • #4

        Thanks guys for your responses here. I truly appreciate it!
        James, you said it as I truly feel like i'm in hunger games here! :-O
        Dr. Fuhrman in his book, "The end of heart disease" is very adamant about the nutrarian diet as he calls it which is basically plant based and he says
        he has over 25 years of data to support. Then a guy like Dr. Davis will say your calcium score will go up if you eat carbs and to eat fats. Boy is this weird?!
        Here is what I know. Eating fats will raise LDL more than not and these fats have tendency to increase deposition of fats on vessels.
        I totally understand the insulin resistance thing with carbs though and how you need to be careful there as diabetes is not your friend and can increase plaque reduction.
        Other other thing however and Dr.Bernard writes about this in his book How to reverse diabetes, (and my cardiologist/lipidologist acknowledges) is that high lipid levels bind
        to cell receptors sites and in part inhibit unlocking of door so to speak to let glucose into cell, this promoting insulin resistance and diabetes. I
        know a chief vascular surgeon and researcher who is very smart around me and he used to be a strict vegan but now says he eats meat 2-3 times a week.
        He would not speak to me specifically here but mentioned his BP used to be higher.

        Anyway back to drugs: Do either of you personally take a Statin?
        What about red rice yeast or is it too weak and still with side effects low dose statin much better?
        What other supplants do you take?
        Ever listen to Dr Carolyn Dean "Magnesium Miracle"?

        Thank you and god bless!


        • Robin
          Robin commented
          Editing a comment
          So basically you're screwed either way. I guess pick your poison, elevated blood glucose casing a little inflammation or eat more fats and raise your LDL... (like mine did) ...

      • #5

        I meant diabetes can increase plaque of course, not plaque reduction.. ugh, long week!


        • #6
          rginnis, Just this past month I tried 5/mg day of Crestor (rosuvastatin) but had to stop two weeks in due to tingling on the bottom of my feet. I stopped taking it two days ago and the tingling seems to be subsiding, but I will have to make an appointment with my GP to discuss further.

          If you think about it LCHF basically deprives you of carbs and HCLF basically deprives you of fat. They are both extreme, just in completely different directions. They both seem to have their own merit and work if followed properly. Your observation is something I've been pondering for the last several weeks. Fat - carbs doesn't seem to be a problem. Carbs - fat (as long as not diabetic) don't seem to be a problem. It's only when you mix the two carbs + fat that things become dangerous/deadly.

          LCHF seems to be used by people who are more concerned about prevention and HCLF seems to be used by people who have been told there are no other medical options, go put your house in order.

          John who has had success reversing CAC using the LCHF was able to do so, but I think by anyone's admission it was a Herculean effort. He lost 42 lbs. Engaged in HIIT 3-4 times a week. Eliminated most carbs. He takes 2 grams of Niacin a day plus a statin. Several years ago I called Essyelstyn's office and spoke to his secretary. I was desperate and scared and point blank asked her if this really worked. I know that is kind of like is asking a roofer if you need a new roof, but I digress. She actually got choked up on the phone and said, "Every day we have people come in here who can barely walk across the room because their CAD is so bad, and if they do what we tell them most are eventually able to resume living normal lives." I don't know why, but that always stuck with me.

          I think what we do know is that we have two options that have a proven track record if we're willing to do the work. My maternal grandfather had a massive heart attack in 1981. He survived and had open heart surgery. His scar went from below his belly button nearly to his shoulder across his chest. He lived another 10 years and had a second heart attack that killed him. They knew his arteries were getting worse and wanted to do another open-heart surgery but he refused. This stuff didn't exist back then or if it did it was only known by a few. Now not only do we know how to stop CAD and possibly reverse it, but we have multiple options on how to do it. We are truly blessed.


          • #7
            Ty sooo much or this and your feedback. :-)
            My cardiologist although an MD is more of a natural guy and plant based himself.
            He said he used to have terrible migraines and acid reflux and they went away when he went plant based.
            He is also thin and exercises alot though.
            HE SWEARS BY HIGH DOSES OF NIACIN but I just can't tolerate the stuff even at moderate doses, as it hurts my stomach.
            I am waiting for his next recommendation but I am suspecting red rice yeast or crestor 5 every other day due to long half life of this medication he claimed.

            We'll see and I'll let you know my friend! :-)


            • #8
              I think any doctor that pushes 1 diet for everyone is lazy. I think the goal is a low inflammation diet that is heart healthy. For different people, it is a different diet. I think people who come to boards like this are often the people outside the norms - the 3%-5% that don't respond the way a study says we should.

              I believe I have plaque buildup because of a high fat, low carb diet that was the wrong diet for me. If you are not digesting and metabolizing saturated fat effectively, what do you think happens to the fat?

              Now that I am whole foods, plant based, my inflammation is minimal. I know that if I eat dairy products or any foods high in saturated fat my blood pressure goes up and angina returns.

              I do take fish oil, B12, and methyl folate.
              Last edited by rich; 03-01-2019, 04:31 PM.


              • #9
                Very well said and I agree!


                • #10
                  Just registered and glad to be part of this group of open-minded individuals who want evidence-based answers instead of hype.
                  I also was following an Esselstyn/Ornish diet successfully, but gradually became less and less compliant. Felt Joel Fuhrman made some good points in his book. Started enjoying Dr. Brewer's YouTube emails, tried to subscribe to his channel twice but don't get update notifications so I'll start looking here.

                  Still confused about whether to go back to a strict Esselstyn diet or try the low carb method Dr. Brewer and John Lorscheider recommend. Both are tough to follow when you're out of town. Did get a CIMT as a baseline (age 73) and now looking for ways to reverse some of the plaque.

                  Glad to be here!


                  • #11
                    Here's what I want you to know 2015 I had a carotid ultrasound it said I had less than 49% blockage in my carotid arteries.... As of two years ago the carotid ultrasound showed I had minimal plaque in my arteries.. I have been taking vitamin K2 since June of 2015.. currently I am taking a formulation that has 24 mg that's milligrams of MK4 and 500 micrograms of mk7...
                    I changed physicians when that fact was not noticed by the physician...
                    2 2 years ago I started Dr gundry's lectin-free diet and brought my PSA down from a five to a 3.6..
                    I I wonder if physicians ever watch what others are doing.. Kate Blueu who is a natural pathic physician out of Canada. Canada licenses natural paths... Wrote a book titled: K2 and the calcium paradox.. there is I believe a 2014 video by her.. something that you're most recent blog doesn't seem to believe is that K2 does not remove calcium from valves... Her video indicates that there is a cardiologist who is using K2 to do this... You might wish to see who that position is and talk to him or her..


                    • #12
                      Thank you very much. I didn’t know that.