I have taken large doses of ascorbic acid, generally 10-15 grams per day, for more than thirty years, yet I have heart disease. My coronary calcium scan in January 2018 hit 840. The progression has been roughly 100 points per year since 2011. I'm 69 years old and, to all appearances, in good health. My only symptoms of heart disease have been atrial fibrillation at intervals controlled by magnesium and iodine. I lift weights and run six days per week.
It's been a year or more since I participated in this forum. In the past few months I've learned a few things that might interest others. After the discouraging coronary calcium scan last January, one of my doctors told me about another patient of his, like me, exercising, fit, good BMI, who dramatically reduced his coronary calcium score by changing to a vegetarian diet. I read a bit of Drs Esselstyn, McDougal, and the China Study, and I decided to give it a go.
I'm still working full time as a technical writer and I'm online many hours every day. I'm a dues paying member of the Cureality forum of Dr. Davis, author of Wheat Belly, UnDoctored. His perspective runs counter to Esselstyn and McDougal, putting it mildly, so I inquired about the risks of a vegan diet. Not surprisingly he advised against it. In the discussion I raised the issue of iodine supplementation, because one of the theories I'm following relates hypothyroidism to heart disease. Dr. Davis advised me that the 10-15 mg of iodine/potassium iodide I had been taking for several years was likely a toxic dose. I wasn't willing to forego my experiment with a vegan diet, but I did take his advice to stop taking iodine, for a few months anyway. I continued taking cod liver oil for EPA, DHA, and vitamin D.
A bit more than a month went by, and in early March I had an episode of atrial fibrillation that lasted 10-12 hours. I had thought this was a thing of the past since I began magnesium supplementation of about 1 gram per day. A few days later prostate blocked my urethra, and I ended up in the ER and catheterized for a week. This was another problem that I thought was solved. I had not been through this since 2014. In the following three weeks there were more episodes of atrial fibrillation, and only a week after getting the catheter removed, my prostate blocked again. During another trip to the ER, the stress set off atrial fibrillation. For three weeks I had atrial fibrillation 3-4 times per week for 12-20 hours per episode. I also started having migraine headaches, another problem I thought was behind me. I couldn't run without starting atrial fibrillation. I lost ten pounds.
Trying find a reason for these sudden relapses, I discovered, in one of Dr. Davis's references, a note that iodine deficiency is likely on a vegetarian diet. I thought this along with my decision to stop the 10-15 mg iodine daily dose I had been on for about three years, could be the problem. I reread Dr. Brownstein on the subject of iodine. He's has had thousands of patients on iodine doses of 50 mg per day without toxic effects. I restarted iodine supplementation, Lugols 2% solution, and increased the dosage to 50-60 mg per day. Things improved in a few days. Two weeks later I was running again. Now, two months later, I am stronger and feeling better than I have in years.
I credit the iodine for the rapid recovery, but what of the vegan diet? It is surprising how easy it was for me to stop eating animal products. I was an omnivore all my life, careful about food, supplementing where I thought it would help, but in five months of vegan diet, I haven't felt any ill effects or cravings. The benefits are astonishing!
My recent test results are the best in ten years. The vegetarian diet, after resumed iodine supplementation, improved many previously disturbing numbers. As you can see following, in a couple of months my cholesterol went down from 228 to 139, plaque number, LP-PLA2 dropped from high risk 117 to 75. Lp(a) down from 35 to 12. LDL particle number: 1561 -> 840. LDL: 134 -> 70.
At the bottom of this may be a TMAO reduction from 32.1 -> 5.7 recommended range: < 6.2 TMAO is a measure only available from Cleveland Heart Lab. It reflects effects of animal based products toxic to arterial health. A gut bacteria produces an enzyme that the liver converts to TMAO.
Total cholesterol: 228
HDL: 80 mg/dL
HDL particle number 34.5
LDL particle number: 1561
LDL cholesterol 134
T3 total: 71
T3 free: 2.1
Total cholesterol: 139
HDL: 56 mg/dL
HDL particle number 33
LDL particle number 840
LDL cholesterol: 70
T3 total: 102
T3 free: 3.6
When my cardiologist saw these numbers, he was impressed, said, "Well, it looks like you've solved it. Call me if you need me." I'm going to wait a few more months for another coronary calcium scan, which will be conclusive, one way or another.
Last edited by gmdodaro
on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.