Heart Healthy Diet

Chondroitin Sulfate

It's time for a clinical update. About two years ago, while preparing a discussion of heart disease for my doctors' class, I ran across some information that I thought was tremendously exciting. A simple nutrient: chondroitin sulfate (CS) - was proven to reduce plaque formation in atherosclerosis. In fact, it had been demonstrated to remove plaque from arterial walls. I was astounded that it was not in general use, since the information has been in the medical literature since the 1970's and 1980's. The gentleman who did the research comes with the highest medical credentials, as well. He was Dr. Lester Morrison, Chairman of the Department of Atherosclerosis Research at Loma Linda University. His discovery was truly life-saving. In one long-term study lasting 6 years, only 7% of the patients receiving CS died from cardiovascular disease, compared to 23% in the control group. Nonfatal cardiac events were similarly decreased. An animal study conducted at the same time demonstrated that cardiovascular disease was reversed in monkeys with oral administration of CS.

The side effects were simple: abundant hair growth, improved HDL levels, improved connective tissue integrity and joint flexibility. The chondroitin also prevented clot formation. See the article Discussion of Chondroitin Sulfate for an in-depth discussion of how it works and further medical references. Be sure to scroll down to the section on Cardiovascular Health.

I immediately began prescribing high doses of CS for people whose hair was thinning and for those with cholesterol deposits in their arteries. The results are now in and the results range from some improvement to amazing.

First, the "some improvement." Some people noticed a marked increase in their hair growth. For others, the results were not as good. The dosage was high 6,000 to 8,000 mg per day - dropping to 1600 mg for maintenance after 9 to 10 months. The combination of improving thyroid function with iodine supplementation and CS seemed to work the best. (Watch up-coming newsletters for more on the importance of iodine supplementation.)

In the "amazing" category are the results with atherosclerosis (aka, hardening of the arteries, or plaque deposits). In order to monitor plaque deposition, I have been examining the retinal field; since that is the only place you can visualize the arteries without expensive imaging studies. After as little as 3 or 4 months on high dose CS, I began to see changes in the retinal field. People whose arteries were "copper wire" in appearance - indicating severe plaque deposition - began to show improvement. And, at 6 months, the changes were even more marked; the arteries no longer looked like wires, there were only intermittent speckles of plaque. By 9 to 12 months, several of my patients had complete resolution of the abnormalities in their retinal arteries.

In addition, I had another pleasant surprise. A second indicator of what is medically called "hyperlipidemia," which is basically high blood fats, including cholesterol, began to clear up. The indicator is called a senile arcus and is a cloudy, half moon shape at the top of the iris of the eye (the colored part). It looks dull and opaque from the fatty deposits. These, too, began to diminish and are now practically all gone.

Another "amazing" result was that, at the same time, I had a patient with right-sided heart failure. His response to CS was truly amazing. Within about 5 weeks, all of his symptoms had resolved and the right side of his heart had returned to normal. I attribute this amazing result to the CS restoring the integrity of his connective tissues, which cause him severe problems.

This is exciting news, since all of the pharmaceuticals recommended to correct problems with blood fats have serious problems, ranging from heart failure to liver problems to dementia and memory loss in older people. These drugs are among the most widely used - and most toxic - on the market.

The only downside that I see to taking CS is that you must take it daily to continue to receive the benefits. Once your arteries are clear, the dose drops to 1600 mg per day, which is four capsules. However, given the fact that it keeps your blood vessels young and resilient, I consider this a minor inconvenience, at best.

Does this apply to you? If so, see our information on Consultations.