By David Blyweiss, M.D.
Talk to most doctors about heart health and they will typically bring up two things: Blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But the true villain of heart disease is when plaque begins to build up in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Eventually, this buildup can block arteries and lead to circulatory problems. It can also trigger sudden blood clots and cause a heart attack or stroke.
While it’s true that LDL (bad) cholesterol is one of the components of this potentially dangerous plaque, it isn’t the only one—not by a long shot! Plaque is also made up of triglycerides and other blood fats, calcium and a blood-clotting material called fibrin. When combined, these substances can damage the inside walls of blood vessels (known as endothelium tissue), causing them to malfunction.
Everyone Has Plaque Build-Up
Everyone has some plaque buildup inside their arteries. But whether or not it leads to life-threatening atherosclerosis depends on a number of things. Yes, heredity is one of the factors that is beyond your control. But I tell my patients that there are many other ways you can safeguard the health of their arteries. First and foremost—don’t smoke! Tobacco smoke damages the endothelium and accelerates atherosclerosis. Smoking also increases inflammation, the process that makes plaque unstable. It’s also important to be physically active. Getting at least 300 minutes of exercise each week (about one hour, five days a week) can helps maintain a healthy weight and discourages inflammation inside the arteries. Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels, all of which contribute to atherosclerosis.
Certain medical conditions can also lead to arterial damage. Diabetes, hypertension and unhealthy cholesterol levels all contribute to atherosclerosis. But, while conventional medicine has the ability to treat these problems individually, many traditional physicians are extremely short-sighted about the role these conditions play in atherosclerosis. And, once the damage has been done to the arteries, they don’t think it can be reversed. But they are wrong!
I’ve come across a novel therapy called oral chelation that literally dissolves plaque deposits and cleans out the arteries and veins. This non-invasive therapy is so effective that it is sometimes referred to as “roto-rootering” the cardiovascular system. It relies on a non-toxic substance called EDTA that binds to molecules like metals or minerals and holds them tightly so they can be removed from the body through the urine. EDTA is an amino acid approved by the FDA to remove heavy metals from the body. It’s interesting to note, however, that prior to 1970 (and the advent of costly drugs and high-tech heart surgery), the FDA also approved intravenous EDTA treatment for certain vascular disorders, arrhythmias and calcium buildup in the tissues.
Supplements Work to Discourage Plaque Formation
Even though this novel way to maintain arterial health focuses on EDTA, there are actually several nutrients in oral chelation supplements that work synergistically to discourage plaque formation and keep blood vessels strong and pliable. Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid that is important for stamina, brain and neural health and assists the liver by removing excess ammonia and other toxins from the bloodstream. More importantly, aspartic acid plays a crucial role in generating cellular energy. Since moving blood and nutrients throughout the entire body requires huge amounts of cellular energy, this nutrient is critical to a healthy heart and circulatory system.
Chelation therapy also relies on magnesium. Studies show that low magnesium levels contribute to endothelial dysfunction by promoting inflammation. Low levels also set the stage for high blood pressure and blood clots. In one crossover trial of 60 hypertensive people, those taking supplemental magnesium had significantly lower blood pressure. But conservative estimates show that 60 to 75 percent of Americans do not meet the recommended amount of magnesium, which is 400 mg. per day. People taking supplemental calcium may be at particular risk since taking calcium supplements in the face of a magnesium deficiency can lead to calcium deposits in the soft tissue such as the joints and also in the arteries.
High Doses of Vitamin C
High doses of vitamin C are also used in oral chelation because of their heart healthy benefits. Not only does this antioxidant help prevent blood platelets from sticking together, it plays a role in protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation. And vitamin C is also crucial for the production of collagen, an important protein that helps to maintain the integrity of blood vessels. If that weren’t enough, vitamin C decreases the level of proteins that contribute to blood clots. But perhaps vitamin C’s most important roll in promoting healthy arteries is its ability to boost the integrity of arterial walls and prevent inflammation that contributes to early atherosclerosis.
Convenient EDTA Chelation in Capsule Form
Because I am such a firm believer in the benefits of oral EDTA chelation, I’ve developed Vesselex, a convenient EDTA chelation treatment in capsule form. Used in conjunction with a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise, Vesselex is a safe, powerful way to help keep your blood vessels free of excessive plaque buildup. Even if you have a minimal amount of plaque, higher-than-normal cholesterol levels or moderately high blood pressure that doesn’t require medication, using an oral EDTA chelation supplement like Vesselex is the perfect way to promote and maintain healthy arteries for life.
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Hancke C, Flytie K. Benefits of EDTA chelation therapy on arteriosclerosis. Journal of Advanced Medicine. 1993;6:161-72.
Maier JA, Malpuech-Brugère C, Zimowska W, et al. Low magnesium promotes endothelial cell dysfunction: implications for atherosclerosis, inflammation and thrombosis. Biochemistry Biophysiology Acta. 2004;1689:13-21.