Hi from a home town (CT) newbie using keto to reverse Coronary Artery Disease

(Frank C) #21

hey, Dave… that is great that you found a real cardiologist who understands (and promotes) Keto diets… my third cardo doc was a professor @ Emory University here in Atlanta, and a marathon runner, and still recommended the Mediterranean diet (with a lot of whole wheat and “healthy carbs”) and wanted to prescribe all kinds of pills… I dumped him, and am now doing my own thing with a naturopath, but still using a new cardio doc so as to stay within the “system”… we’ll see how that works out, and I’ll keep y’all posted as things unfold.

Let us know what you find out at your next appointment

(carl) #22

@DaveKeto you should get to know @brooksdra. He’s a dev like us.

(Dave) #23

Hi Dave –

Congrats on taking ownership of your health and learning the science of your challenge.

I’m curious – you went keto after having the operation. Do you have your cholesterol numbers between then (pre-keto) and now (keto)?

(Dave Brooks) #24

Hi @DaveKeto,

Nice to meet you. I’ve been dabbling with low carb, not so much keto, for a few years although I never really stuck with it for any real length of time. Since June, I’ve been much more diligent, lost a bunch of weight and have been exercising much more. I’ve done a few 31 hours fast and want to bump that up as I go. I think my biggest problem might be developers-ass-in-seat disease :slight_smile: . I do have a bunch of various blood test over the past few years and an appointment this week to review my second advanced lipid panel. I am happy to share those numbers after wednesday and maybe we can have a discussion. I’ve had borderline hypertension for many years and am starting to believe the chronic endothelial damage hypothesis might be my problem.

I’m told I could have a genetic apo e issue going on, I’m in the process of pulling a 23 and me report for that. Not a good family history and my only sister just received a calcium score of 576. So there might be something to it.

I’m working on keto as a means of reducing my a1c (currently 5.9) and have completely stopped eating all processed food and anything with sugar. I’m currently researching any information on reversing CAD.

Lastly I’m looking into Boston Heart Diagnostics as they profess to predict if I will ultimatly benefit from keto.


(Dave) #25

Sure – as always, I encourage sharing back the data to help us all! :slight_smile:

(Dave Brooks) #26

Thanks @siobhan, I’m still digging into the information you’ve shared, but I feel like I’m getting a great understanding. The cholesterolcode.com site is very interesting. It seems like you and @DaveKeto are both working on the site. If so, thanks for sharing. I’m working on getting my facts together so I can begin a more organized, orthodox and controlled move into the keto way of living. I plan to improve my tracking and share my experiences on this forum and am trying to figure out what is important and the best way to share. Any pointer on what you feel is best for sharing is appreciated.

Thanks again

(Frank C) #27

Great stuff, guys… let’s all keep sharing our findings, so we can all learn, grow, and, hopefully, prosper in this adventure!. I’m working on using blood tests to measure and verify my keto efforts… will share as more info becomes available…

(Abhishek Anand) #28

I am ~29 years old and was recently diagnosed with a 99% blocked artery (LAD). My symptoms (chest pain on exercise) first appeared 5 months AFTER being in ketosis. I understand that atherosclerosis is a very slow process and takes decades to develop. So I guess most of the damage was already done before I switched from a high carb diet to keto. I even had grade 1 fatty liver disease in 2013, when I used to drink sugary beverages, but kept the fat low.
In this study where they did CT angiograms of young asymptomatic Koreans, among the markers they measured, fatty liver disease (table 1) had the highest association with the presence of obstructive lesions:

I hope that being in ketosis can reverse the other blockages in my heart: I have a 40% blockage in my right coronary artery. Ketosis has definitely reduced my triglycerides, increased HDL, reduced my BP and weight drastically.
Also, after cutting back a bit on saturated fat (ghee, coconut oil) and increasing the intake of monounsaturated fat (uncooked extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil for cooking), increasing the intake of uncooked walnuts, rare-cooked salmon, my LDL seems to be decreasing. (I am concerned about the cooking-induced oxidation of polyunsaturated fats.)
Studies have shown that ketosis reduces inflammation markers: I have tested my hsCRP only once so far, but plan to keep track of it in the future.

However, there is an unfortunate lack of data directly supporting the effectiveness of ketosis in reversing Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). For example, Dean Ornish did a study in 90’s showing that lifestyle and diet changes (without medications) can reverse the obstructions:

I hope someone can do a similar study to quantify the effectiveness of ketosis in reversing CAD (e.g. diameters of blockages). I am hoping that people in this forum have anecdotal evidence (thanks @siobhan for providing one). If get CT angiograms or IVUS done, I will share the data on the changes in my lesions.

(Doug) #29

Indeed, Abhishek, but things are changing for the better. Even if the medical community is slow to respond, it’s such an important subject that people will be pushing the issue, I think.

(Dave Brooks) #30

Good point @Abhishek_Anand, while stopping CAD is important, reversing the effects will be crucial. I struggle with becoming convinced that a) I am on the right track and b) I am enough out of the woods to relax a bit? While I’m on the standard prescription regiment (short term), I’ve made what I hope to be the correct dietary changes for long-term success.

(Abhishek Anand) #31

Thanks @siobhan for your anecdote. It is very encouraging to know that your dad’s pain went away with keto. Do you have any other details you can share? For example, what kind of blockages did they find in your dad’s heart after his heart attack? Also, I’m curious to know the extent to which the blockages were reversed by keto.

(Frank C) #32

@Abhishek_Anand Sorry to hear about your situation… I can identify fully with your dilemma (see my earlier post on Sep. 6) having had 2 “heart attacks” and not being happy with regular cardio care… as @siobhan points out in her article, the whole cholesterol myth makes the mainstream cardio care process into a bad joke that makes it very difficult to get meaningful and effective diagnosis and treatment for almost any health issue. I feel we (most Americans) are being misled, misinformed, and often outright lied to, about the whole subject of wellness, and especially heath health. For people like you and I, trying to sort out the facts isn’t just a nutritional debate, it is a serious matter of life and death, with very real consequences.

I’ve been experimenting with IF and keto for about 6 months, and can only say I feel much better, have more energy and my mind seems more clear, and I am experiencing much fewer cramps (which I believe was my actual cause of “heart attack” ) Just as a side note, I’ve asked all my cardi specialists about the likelihood of this being a nutrient based (magnesium) symptom, and they don’t want to even talk about it, even though it is a very real condition, as reported on the Mayo Clinic website: “A coronary artery spasm is a temporary tightening (constriction) of the muscles in the wall of one of the arteries that supplies blood flow to your heart muscle. … If the spasm lasts long enough, it can lead to chest pain (angina) and even a heart attack (myocardial infarction).” I now take massive doses of magnesium (2000 mg daily +10000 vit D as per my naturopath) and use visualization to release any tightening when I do feel some chest pain occasionally… I’ve had to come to this process through trial and error, and my own research since our “doctors” refuse to consider anything that wasn’t part of their college education.

Here is a saying I once read that shows how this works: “doctors can be sued for doing the ‘right thing’, but not for doing what all the other doctors are doing”!! In other words, if they recommend “alternative health care”, they can be held legally responsible, but if they stick with “accepted and proven medical practices”, they are untouchable (in court). Plus, most American’s prefer the “I can do as I please… my doctor has a pill or operation that will correct my problems later!!”

We must all continue to share our insights and personal experiments so as to improve our possibilities of living a more healthful and useful life in the future… good luck, and many blessings to you all!!

(Dave Brooks) #33

Wow Frank I’ve never heard of that. Can you describe these spasms? You see, I’ve been plagued with leg cramps (usually in the evening) all of my life. I was taking 425mg of Magnesium nightly which made it better, but not completely. I’m going to bump it up a bit add another 425mg and report back.

(Frank C) #34

Hey, Dave, yes, they are very similar to the cramps you are getting in your legs, but can happen to any muscle in your body… your artery walls have muscles that control flow through dilation and contraction, so an spasm (cramp) is exactly the same as a heart attack, but should NOT be treated with a STENT!!! Unfortunately, when you are in the ER, confused, afraid, and in great pain, you are no position to say much about the “care” you are getting! Besides magnesium shortage, these spasms can be caused by stress and/or dehydration (lack of water). As for how it feels, it pretty much is identical to a heart attack, symptom wise (tightness in the chest, indigestion, left arm pain, difficulty breathing). Do a google search for “coronary artery spasm”… plenty of info online… good luck!

(zee) #35

So did anyone found answers to reverse Cacium score. I too was diagnosed with score of 120. Want to figure out how to reverse it?

My cardiologist was shocked and put me in extremely low carb diet(25) and statin. He was not open to keto because he said there is not enough research and clinical data available to determine what impact a high fat will have. He said if my calcium score would have been 0, he wouldn’t have mind me continuing keto but not with my current state. So are u staying from saturated fat ? how does your diet look like and is there research available to figure out if u can reverse it?

(Rob) #36

If your doc has put you on a very low carb diet, how will you get sufficient energy without the fat? Is it super high protein?

It seems increasingly clear that dietary fat DOES NOT cause CV issues whether your doctor knows this or not. You have to decide what you think is right. Apparently there is some evidence that keto does reduce calcium score in the long term but it is unproven because no-one has done the expensive multi-year study yet.

(TJ Borden) #37

Just ask your doctor to provide the clinical data to support his belief that fat/saturated fat causes heart disease. I agree with @Capnbob, if he wants you low carb AND low fat, does he expect you to just eat lean protein?

There’s a podcast episode with Ivor Cummins from June 2016 that addresses the calcium issue. I could be remembering wrong, but it seems like once it’s there, you don’t necessarily get rid of it, you just want to avoid the number going up, and although zero is optimal, I don’t think a number of 120 is necessarily bad.

A keto diet should keep the number from going up because the inflammation goes down so you aren’t causing the damage that the cholesterol/ calcium are trying to repair to begin with.

(zee) #38

He wants me to use the fat on my body and go with unsaturated fat. Basically moderate fat, moderate protein and very low carb. He says it will be another 5-10 years where proper clinical trials can confirm this finding. He was very open about going keto initially until he got the calcium score of 120 after which he said u have to go on statin and go strictly low carb as part of life style change. May be i will open up another showing my data so people can provide me some guidance of what i can do to improve my CAC or not make it worse

(TJ Borden) #39

Cutting carbs will lower your insulin response and will allow you to burn stored fat, but you still need plenty of fat for energy, and eating fats will help get you into a fat adapted state where your body will really start using stored fat for energy. I’m on board with moderate protein and low carb. The challenge with “moderate” fat is that if you’re not eating fat to satiety, then you’re probably not getting enough energy and your metabolism will adjust to what you’re taking in and you won’t burn the stored fat, at least not the right way.

As far as statins, I know there’s a lot of info here on the forum and plenty of opinions on both sides. I’m not a fan, and wouldn’t take them myself.

I’d still ask your doctor to provide scientific evidence/study demonstrating there is an issue with saturated fat.

(Dave Brooks) #40

The biggest thing is to do what feels right for you as you absorb the information. Much of the information is based on people that have signs of a problem (a1c > 5.7, calcium score > 200, etc) but not yet experienced a serious problem. I am starting to believe, that changing your behavior to stave off a problem is different then how you treat the aftermath.

For instance, I have a calcium score of 770 and now have 2 stents. My Doc is a lipidologyst, and put me on the standard (statin, beta blocker, blood thinner) regiment… but also suggests the a low carb diet and intermittent fasting for purposes of lowering my A1c, inflammation markers and insulin levels. I take an advance lipid panel quarterly and my markers improved almost immediately, and I’ve lost just over 40 lbs and “I feel great”.

Even though I’m convince (lots of evidence I won’t go into) there is a genetic factor, I feel I’m doing the best I can for this and that is as important as anything else. My Doc says that calcium score is a very slow moving target, but keeping the other markers in a good range is the best thing I can do, and If I can do it for a prolonged period, I will eliminate the meds. Actually, I recently removed a blood thinner.

Bottom line: There is an endless amount of information to satisfy the research bug in everybody, but you have to find people you trust, pick your course of action, decide how you are going to measure the effects and make reasonable adjustments as you go :slight_smile:

So for now, I’m taking my meds and some supporting supplements, flowing a low carb diet along with intermittent fasting to promote ketosis and most importantly living my life :smile: