Vascular Health Vs. Bloodwork

Hi,


 


Have been reading the forum for a few weeks and while I noted many people have improved their bloodwork--eg improved triglycerides and cholesterol--has anyone had a PET scan or other test run to see their actual arterial health before and after embarking on the diet/eating plan? 


 


There are a number of MDs recommending vegan, low fat and similar approaches that post the results of their patients along with objective pictures (PET scans, etc.) of improvement in arterial health.  Severeal MDs have posted information regarding patients dropping their calcium scores by 14% or more in six months.   Strict vegan MD Caldwell recently published a paper documenting either halting or reversing CVD in patients whole are compliant with his program. 


 


All good stuff, for sure.


 


But, I can't find anything -- objective -- that aligns with the results these doctors, etc., have produced and published.  Whether it is this group, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, etc., etc., certainly excellent data on improvements in bloodwork but when getting off the standard US diet, one would expect improvements.  However, what are the before/after results regarding the arteries?


 


Thoughts?


 


Thanks!


Comments



  • I know Jimmy Moore is quite ecstatic about his artery scans returning to zero plaque after switching to high fat.  Personally I think there needs to be a clear distinction of the argument, it is not that patients switch to vegan or paleo omnivorous (high fat, balanced, or low fat) and that one is better than the other for artery health, it is that in both instances the patient is removing the dietary and lifestyle causes of the damage.  If you remove the crap the body will (as it always does) try to heal itself, perfect foods of perfect quality prepared in the perfect way will generate improved health markers regardless of belief systems, dogma, or macro choices.  Everyone is a winner when you eat what the planet has provided for you.




    Jason,


     


    Well stated.  However, re Jimmy Moore, I've seen pictures of Mr. Moore and with the risk of sounding negative, without objective proof I hesitate to believe he's got zero plaque.  I think about Atkins' claims and his autopsy revealing heart blockages.


     


    But, it isn't so much an argument but objective inquiry.  


     


    eg: There's one MD who is also an innovative cardiologist recognized for his work in vascular medicine and surgery, Steve Gundry, who has a paleo approach--lower in fat than BPE or Sisson, for example, but higher than a low-fat vegan.  Gundry also restricts carbs and states in his book, without providing any objective evidence, that his program can/does reverse arterial plaque citing patient success.  Dr. Ron Rosedale, MD--low carb/high fat--also makes similar statements with no objective evidence.


     


    Yet Dr. Lance Gould, MD, of Houston predated Ornish in the field of reversing heart disease and has published countless papers with evidence of the success of his program.  NOTE: Gould is not a vegan advocate.


     


    As an engineer, I seek objective proof--the before and after, or, cause and affect.  Yes, improved bloodwork is important but more critical is arterial health.  


     


    So, I'm not asking with the intent of arguing.  Instead, asking for qualification.  Simply saying my bloodwork is better may not tell the whole story.


     


    Hope that makes sense?

  • There are two major problems when citing Gould:


     


    1) The patients were in bad shape to begin with.  Any controlled diet would have been a step in the right direction.


    2) Gould used PET scans instead of EBCT - so the level of accuracy is poor at best.


     


    The only reasonable empirical evidence you are going to get is from a good understanding of the mechanisms involved, and n=1 data.  Here is why:


     


    In acute hyperglycemia (too much sugar in the blood), the IL-18 signaling pathway is activated releasing cytokines.  Cytokines are normally released in response to injury, but in this case, ox-LDL cholesterol is circulated binding to micro-fractures in arteries throughout the body.


     


    So, what will make an individual hyperglycemic and is it the same for every person?  Could an individual eat an Atkins type diet and still be hyperglycemic?


     


    There are also many other interleukins, beta-growth factors, eotaxins, necrosis, and  IFN-g-inducing factors that contribute to the same sort of problem.  All things considered, the idea of anyone claiming to be able to address arterial plaque through diet alone is preposterous!  The idea of a general physician looking at a patient's labs and being able to predict their risk factors (in five minutes or less) is equally ridiculous.


     


    Everyone needs to take personal responsibility and data collection is required for this.  I suggest that everyone check out this thread:


     


    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/9815-calculate-your-insulin-resistance-sensitivity-with-homa/#entry73016


     


    ...and this thread:


     


    http://forum.bulletproofexec.com/index.php?/topic/11022-the-ultimate-hack-%E2%80%93-collective-bio-hacking-%E2%80%93-who-wants-to-join/#entry85631


  • Hi Jason,


     


    Thanks. 


     


    I'll have to politely disagree for two reasons:


     


    1.  An EBCT looks at arterial calcification which has nothing to do with plaque.  Without going into the mechanisms or biological processes, calcified arteries are damaged, yes, but, also stable and present little if any risk of rupturing leading to a heart attack or stroke.  In fact, hard core runners can and do have high CT scores due to the inflammatory affects of their sport/exercise.  But, that has no correlation to the small plaque that is in fact the most dangerous.


     


    2.  " All things considered, the idea of anyone claiming to be able to address arterial plaque through diet alone is preposterous!  The idea of a general physician looking at a patient's labs and being able to predict their risk factors (in five minutes or less) is equally ridiculous."   I'm referring to MDs involved directly in the care and treatment of CVD, not a GP looking at labs.  This is the basis for my question, that is, peple present improved bloodwork and without objective evidence re improvement to arterial health.


     


    "In acute hyperglycemia (too much sugar in the blood), the IL-18 signaling pathway is activated releasing cytokines.  Cytokines are normally released in response to injury, but in this case, ox-LDL cholesterol is circulated binding to micro-fractures in arteries throughout the body."


     


    This is true, but, there are other factors such as the inflammatory affects of certain types of SFAs or too much protein.


     


    However, back to what I was asking: is anyone aware of objective before and after evidence, outside of bloodwork, regarding the value of this approach.  Also, PET scans do provide significant value as they validate improved blood flow to regions of the heart that were formerly receiving limited amounts.


  • I am not really sure why you are here.  The data does not exist, and even if it did, how could you feasibly apply it to the general population?




  • I am not really sure why you are here.  The data does not exist, and even if it did, how could you feasibly apply it to the general population?




     


    I am here because I am interested in various dietary approaches and with the discussions and experience on this site, thought someone may have seen results posted akin to this:


     


    sheila-wilson-before-and-after-coronary-


     


    Not sure what you are referring to re the data does not exist? 


     


    And, regarding the general population there have been various studies that validate specific indigenous dietary approaches impose less or little risk of coronary disease and other medical issues.  Certainly, there is a bell curve to "what works" vs. what doesn't...for example, perhaps 80 - 90% of the general population can subside on a diet composed of a certain range of whole food macronutrients.  eg 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat, or, some other variation.  


     


    The other 10% may require extreme diets--those with RA may require a pure vegan diet vs. those with various forms of seizure may require a ketogenic diet.



  • I'm concerned that you can make assessments based on an external photograph (Moore) or use an example that pays no attention to food quality (Atkins). My reply still stands as improvements in food quality will improve the human, you'd be better off making the argument that certain mutated genes could affect dietary fat metabolism, making lower fat a better option in those groups. Please stop saying vegan as that is a human invented belief system, not a natural human diet, humans are omnivores, stick to low fat vs med fat vs high fat to be taken seriously.




     


    First, the term vegan is a specific dietary approach--no animal foods or anything derived from animal foods.  Not that big a deal.  "Paleo" is also a human invented belief system, as we certainly don't have the foggiest notion of what individuals actually ate back then.  It certainly wasn't domesticated cattle or poultry nor supplements.  Based on my excursions, I'd have to assume bugs and rodents and small animals played a role in our food intake and larger animals when/iff they could be caught. 


     


    And,  I'm not a vegan, but, I know people who are by the definition.


     


    Second, I am not making the assessmment; doctors, et al, who have collected and submitted their research and work for peer review which includes objective evidence such as the angiogram above are the ones I'm citing.  For that matter, there are individuals who have gone on fast food diets and gotten ripped and published their results, including bloodwork, which then questions "food quality".


     


    Be taken seriously????  Jason, can I suggest you might want to take yourself and this whole discussion a lot less seriously?  I'm not sure why everyone is up in arms...I came on this site asking a very specific question--with all of the postings about quantifying this via bloodwork and being biohackers and all the rest, I'd assumed there would be someone who might have this information or would be able to provide a reference. 


     


    Instead, I've got statements like yours which come across like the hard core vegans who get up in arms when questioned about the safety of their diet--no natural sources of vitamin B12, lack of certain amino acids and minerals, etc.  Or saying a CT scan is more accurate vs. a PET scan, which is wrong as well as irrelevant.  The point of mentioning the PET scan was to show the methodology by which Gould validated his approach.


     


    Sorry if asking an objective question isn't something Dave allows on his boards...next time I see him will have to ask...

  • John BrissonJohn Brisson The Legend Formerly Known as Ron Swanson ✭✭✭
    edited October 2014


    I am not really sure why you are here.  The data does not exist, and even if it did, how could you feasibly apply it to the general population?




    Was there not a thread awhile back where someone wanted the same data and offered to pay later for your arteries to be scanned Jason? Very interesting.


    The debate should not be about which diet is better everyone is different. What is most important like Miller is saying is that we all need to eat and drink clean food that is what is important.


    If you are so scared about arterial scarring and calcification, take magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, vitamin C, and reduce inflammation. We know these things will work through study and accurate scientific theories.


    There is no data out there, if you want it so bad perform a n-1 experiment on yourself and know that based off of statistical analysis it is insignificant. No one has studied it properly because what benefit is there to? Most scientific studies are done for potential profit for corporations or funded by the government to push its agenda. Why would they want to prove with a large well-funded study why the Standard American Diet and USDA sponsored food pyramid is bad for us? Go ahead and ask Dave, he does not know of any large scale game changing studies himself I can tell you that.


    I agree that we do not know what Paleo man ate in general but we do know (unless Atlantis existed and civilizations more advanced than ours have been on this Earth) that man did not have a large amount if any, GMO's, processed food, artificial sweeteners, or large amount of artificial ingredients, in their diet.


    My book Fix Your Gut, is offered on Amazon for $9.99.

     

    I also offer coaching:  http://fixyourgut.com/health-coaching-information/

     

    Please join or like the Fix your Gut Facebook. Also please add me on twitter @FixYourGutJB.

     

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  • edited October 2014

    Dave starts off the introduction to his book on the same path...he's an engineer.  He's got a background in computer "hacking".  Etc.  So, is Dave doing an "intelligence prop" by stating his background?  Apparently so!  If not, like Dave, I'm simply stating where I'm coming from with regards to the inquiry.  


     


    "but says they don't believe someone's arterial scan because they've seen their photograph" 


     


    Not sure who you are referring to.  I have noted when I have seen the angiogram or PET scan, I consider that objective evidence.  Testimonials and claims are not the same which is where I question the objectivity.


     


    "selectively skips over points in a discussion and make it's seem like they're being vilified"


     


    Jason, go back and re-read this from the beginning: I stated the background for my question and asked if anyone on this site might have any evidence as I have not found it on other boards and websites.  I also went on to note which sites, etc., for reference.  Where's the agenda in that?   Therefore:


     


    • I qualified why I was here
    • I qualifed the the basis for my question
    • I qualified background for my question, that is, these MDs have the PET Scan or angiogram.  Has anyone seen the same evidence for low carb/high fat?  Pretty simple.

     


    "If your real question was if anyone has had artery scans after changing their diet, then that is just about all you needed to say"


     


    Nope; you focused on a completely different tangent and started accusing me of an agenda.


     


    And you continue to drag this nonsense on...if you don't know, then say, "hmmm, no, I have seen anything like the scans or angiograms those MDs did".  Not really all that difficult.


  • "If you are so scared about arterial scarring and calcification, take magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, vitamin C, and reduce inflammation. We know these things will work through study and accurate scientific theories."


     


    John - Where did I say "scared" or indicate anything of the kind in my posts?  And I'm surprised in the subjective behavior on this board...in this case implying something that was nowhere in my statements.


     


    And, objectively speaking (again), "accurate scientific theories" do not equate to tangible outcome or results.


  • John BrissonJohn Brisson The Legend Formerly Known as Ron Swanson ✭✭✭


    "If you are so scared about arterial scarring and calcification, take magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, vitamin C, and reduce inflammation. We know these things will work through study and accurate scientific theories."


     


    John - Where did I say "scared" or indicate anything of the kind in my posts?  And I'm surprised in the subjective behavior on this board...in this case implying something that was nowhere in my statements.


     


    And, objectively speaking (again), "accurate scientific theories" do not equate to tangible outcome or results.




     


    I apologize; I jumped to conclusions. You are not scared about it, but it seems that is important for you to find an answer. Why is it so important then? Are you trying to prevent it for yourself or love ones? Or do you just want the answer?


    You are somewhat correct about scientific theories, but then again everything we know from science is just that, theories (before you say there is such thing as scientific laws, they do not exist, we just do not know anything to the contrary yet.)


    I am glad you are asking questions, there are just no answers to your questions, and even then can the answers be trusted? For all we know the scans and the study were manipulated or falsified in that regard, by hidden agendas at what not.


    At the end of the day, you have to go on your gut feeling if the science is right or not. Medicine and health are not even science, at least the practice of them are not, they are an art.

    My book Fix Your Gut, is offered on Amazon for $9.99.

     

    I also offer coaching:  http://fixyourgut.com/health-coaching-information/

     

    Please join or like the Fix your Gut Facebook. Also please add me on twitter @FixYourGutJB.

     

    http://www.fixyourgut.com

     

  • Just in case any legitimate readers see this thread, it is very important to know that EBCT is many degrees of magnitude greater in predicting cardiovascular problems then PET. If you do not believe me, maybe you should reverse "engineer" the vasodilation pathways and you will see why. If you are having heart problems, and your cardiologist suggests otherwise, you should "run for the hills" and find a new one.
  • edited October 2014

    EBCT or MDCT can show coronary calcium (not noncalcified plaque).  PET has entirely different applications.  


     


    Some of this is genetic.  Some people are obese and have very little (if any) plaque and some people are skinny and have tons.  Some people have a lot of calcified plaque and not as much non calcified.  Some have lots of non calcified and not as much calcified plaque. Still, of course, how we live is a very important factor.   Eating whole foods (low carb, higher carb, or whatever you find works best for you) is best.  I mean even the bulletproof or other "high fat" diets all still recommend lots of vegetables.


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