Monday, September 11, 2006

The Fight Against Heart Disease II

High dosage Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins cure heart disease. Many people have taken vitamins and become well. So - what's the problem? Why isn't everyone taking high dosage vitamins and getting/staying well?

My father-in-law and my mother both suffered from the early stages of heart disease as evidenced by high LDL, low HDL and high triglycerides. My father-in-law had angina and stress testing measured blockages in coronary arteries. My father-in-law both took vitamins and statin drugs. My mother only took the vitamins. Almost 10 years later, both of them now have normal blood lipids. Neither of them recommend vitamins for the treatment of heart disease. They simply aren't sure that they wouldn't have healed without the vitamins. Side effects contribute to the reluctance of my father-in-law to speak up. 10-years ago he started by taking 10 gm/day vitamin C, 500 mg/day of time release niacin, a B-100 B-complex vitamin, and a multivitamin. Today he takes no more than 5 gm/day of vitamin C (except when fighting a cold) and a multi-vitamin because he developed unpleasant side effects to higher doses.

I didn't have heart disease, I suffered from chronic sinusitis. My sister-in-law suffered from adult-onset epilepsy. My son suffered from hyperactivity. My daughter suffered from asthma. We all took high dosage vitamins and we are all now well. We all take much lower doses of vitamins because of side effects. I was, and remain, the only strong advocate for vitamin therapy. Among other reasons, my family does not want the responsibility for helping others with the difficult task of managing side effects.

This isn't the only problem. The vitamins did not make my family feel like they were getting better. They made them feel different. Their condition slowly improved, while the vitamins slowly made them feel worse. As they backed down on vitamin dosage, they continued to get better. This makes it much more difficult to make the case that the vitamins are curing the disease.

The RDA committee has charged itself both with preventing deficiency diseases and preventing side effects. They have set UL values - values that they believe almost everyone can take every day for the rest of their lives without side effects. The UL values are all available at the Linus Pauling institute website, and are typically only 2 to 5 times the value of the RDA.

So - what's the cure for heart disease? Go see your physician and follow the instrutions (you'll probably get prescribed a statin drug). On your own, take 10 gm/day of vitamin C, 250 mg/day of time release niacin, a B-50 B-complex, and a multi-vitamin. You'll start feeling better soon, and you'll get a really good score on your next blood lipid test. Then the vitamin side effects are likely to start (niacin is the most difficult - the UL is 35 mg. Heart doctors recommend 200- 4000 mg/day time release niacin and within months it causes intolerable side effects in almost everyone). You probably won't want to back down on the vitamins too much because you're afraid of the heart disease coming back. So you suffer until you can't stand it and then reduce the vitamin doses (start by cutting the niacin tablets in half). You get relief, and another good test. And then the side effects start up again (and sometimes new ones that you suffer with for weeks because you don't think the vitamins are the cause). This goes on and on until you are well. Your heart Dr. is pleased. There you are, taking the statin and a multivitamin (and maybe exercising more and eating better) just like he recommended and you are in excellent health.

These problems can be solved. Heart disease will be eliminated. The path forward is to accept the problems (side effects and the reluctance of beneficiaries of vitamins to advocate for vitamins) and work to overcome them. Who's with me?

6 Comments:

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Robert said...

Linus Pauling did not recomend niacin as far as I know. Just Lysine and vitamin C. Later, Rath added Proline. I had mild angina a couple of years ago. Using the Pauling therapy, it has disappeared. No niacin.

 
At 10:00 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Robert,

My column did not claim that Pauling recommended niacin for heart disease. Niacin is recommended because it has been proven in double-blind, placebo controlled trials to lower LDL and raise HDL. Niacin is recommended by cardiologists because it is the most effective known cholesterol-lowering medication when used at a dose of 2000 to 4000 mg/day. I did not recommend such a high dose because of side effects.

Linus Pauling's regimen for health included 300-600 mg/day of vitamin B3, 50-100 mg/day B1, 50-100 mg/day B2, 50-100 mg/day B6, 0.4-0.8 mg/day folic acid, 0.1-0.2 mg/day B12, and 100-200 mg/day pantothenic acid.

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, you repeatedly refer to "side effects" from high or long-term vitamin consumption, but never mention what those supposed side effects are. How about some detailed information on these side effects?

I have been taking high-dose vitamins continuously for forty years and have never experienced any "side effects" except excellent health!

 
At 7:16 AM, Anonymous gilbert said...

i use to take a daily dosage 1000mg sodium ascorbate vitamin c and have not encountered any "side effects" so far. in fact, someone is suggesting me to make it 2000mg daily as per our RDA.

 
At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pauling did reccomend niacin. It is also the most effective for treating Lp(a). The "heart attack cholesterol". Lp(a) is genetic and is a sticky substance in the blood and is a natural response so to speak. This in turn causes plaque to stick to the artery walls and when these rupture, the clot or thrombin stops blood flow to the heart. Niacin also increases the small atherogenic LDL particle(bad cholesterol) into large, buoyant less bad, increases HDL2b, etc. There is a prescription form that I have found minimizes the flushing after about 2 weeks. Be careful with OTC niacin as the slow preparations either have no free nicotinic acid in them or build up in the liver and causes liver toxicity. 1 gram of "Niaspan" has shown to regress atherosclerotic plaque formations. Add Niaspan to Vit. C, CoQ10, Omega3, and proline. Just my thoughts.
An M.D.

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Steve said...

To the anonymous who asked about side effects,

You sound incredulous that vitamins cause side effects. I can solve that problem. Since you are self-proclaimed as vitamin tolerant, I will up the ante on my usual comments. I usually state that a single, 20 g dose of vitamin C causes gastrointestinal distress in almost all human beings. If this doesn't work for you, take 50 g in a single dose. Just because you are tolerant, doesn't mean everyone else is equally blessed. Many people experience the same feelings at single doses of 5 g.

For niacin, take 1000 mg (pure niacin, not any kind of time release). Within 15 minutes, you'll feel like you are on fire.

If you want to study vitamin side effects, get Patricia Hausmann's, "The Right Dose". It is an outstanding book.

 

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