The Most Mind-Blowing Information On Heart Disease You’ll Ever Hear: Understanding The Heart (Uncommon Insights Into Our Most Commonly Diseased Organ) – Part 2 With Stephen Hussey.

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Welcome to Part 2 of this fascinating show about heart health, all based on the book Understanding the Heart: Uncommon Insights Into Our Most Commonly Diseased Organ by Stephen Hussey. Didn't catch Part 1 of this captivating discussion? Make sure you check it out here.

As mentioned in several podcasts throughout the year, I've recently come across what I believe to be the best book on cardiovascular health that I've ever read.

Before this point, my top book recommendation would have been Dr. Thomas Cowan's Human Heart, Cosmic Heart, ideally paired with a listen to my own big show on all the different ways to test, analyze, and medically quantify your heart health, which you can listen to in the episode titled “The Best Way To Test How Healthy Your Heart Is: Ben Greenfield Undergoes A Complete Advanced Cardiac Evaluation & Reports The Surprising Results!

Anyway, this latest, groundbreaking book — Understanding the Heart: Surprising Insights Into the Evolutionary Origins of Heart Disease―and Why It Matters — is by the remarkable Dr. Stephen Hussey, MS, DC, a chiropractor, functional medicine practitioner, health coach, and speaker. He attained both his Doctorate of Chiropractic and Master of Science in human nutrition and functional medicine from the University of Western States in Portland, Oregon.

In addition to Understanding the Heart, Dr. Hussey is also the author of another excellent book on health and longevity titled The Health Evolution: Why Understanding Evolution Is the Key to Vibrant Health. Through his unique expertise, he guides clients from around the world back to health using ancestral wisdom and the latest research. In his downtime, Dr. Hussey likes to be outdoors, play sports, read, write, and spend time with his wife and their pets.

During our show — which is a re-release of one of the most popular podcasts on cardiovascular health that I've ever recorded — you'll learn the fascinating history of heart disease, why the naked mole-rat is important in understanding heart health, where water, infrared light, aspirin, ketones, and other little-known heart health “hacks” fit in, and a BIG surprise toward the end of this two-part podcast series.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Why the heart gets the cream of the crop when it comes to our fat…07:40

-What is a lean mass hyper-responder…13:45

  • A lean mass hyper-responder (LMHR) is someone who goes on a very low-carb or carnivore diet and biomarkers get really healthy, but their low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol skyrockets
  • Reasons
    • Prolonged fasting leads to increased LDL
    • The process of making ketones when going on a low-carb diet is similar to what the liver does when making cholesterol; by default, the same pathways are used, it just shifts from making ketones to making cholesterol; more cholesterol production
    • Since there's more cholesterol, the liver shuts off its cholesterol receptors, leaving more LDL lipoproteins in the blood
  • Dave Feldman of Cholesterol Code
  • Tip for lowering cholesterol before health insurance screening
    • Decrease saturated fat intake, increase carbohydrates
  • LMHRs get healthier by increasing triglycerides and LDL, but not so high you're at risk for heart disease

-How statins work and issues with CoQ10…19:02

-Why aspirin may be a bad idea…27:57

-Ouabain and strophanthus…35:51

-How chiropractic therapy can improve heart health…40:07

-Best practices for maintaining heart health…47:09

-Why Stephen refers to Western medicine as “two-faced medicine”…49:16

  • In January 2021, Stephen had a massive heart attack — 100% blockage of the left anterior descending artery
    • Only 12% of people survive if it happens outside the hospital setting
    • Not a stenosis or plaque buildup but a spontaneous clot that formed
  • The information in his book Understanding the Heart is critical for people to have because of his experience
  • Stephen's opinion of what happened to him:
    • Type 1 diabetic for over 25 years; half of those years, the condition was not well controlled; more likely to have insulin resistance and imbalanced ANS
    • 2020: high stress; uncontrolled stress can cause clotting factors
  • The whole point of the book is to draw attention away from cholesterol in heart health and focus more on insulin resistance and the ANS
  • Studies show IV magnesium sulfate is just as effective as blood thinners in preventing clots
  • Conflict between doctors' recommendations and Stephen's scientific knowledge of heart health
  • The recommendations that people get for heart disease are not working
  • Hospital recommended what equated to a processed food diet and decreased salt intake
  • Ketosis was great for his recovery
  • Heart function is back up to 55% already despite refusal to take most medications
  • What Stephen used to recover:

-And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Upcoming Events:

  • Unlock Longevity: February 24, 2024

Join me in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, February 24, 2024, for the Unlock Longevity event where I'll be presenting on “The 5 Elements in Your Environment That Will Make or Break Your Health.” Check out more by going to (use code Greenfield10 for $10 off your ticket).

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Stephen Hussey:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Gear And Supplements:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Dr. Stephen Hussey or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

18 thoughts on “The Most Mind-Blowing Information On Heart Disease You’ll Ever Hear: Understanding The Heart (Uncommon Insights Into Our Most Commonly Diseased Organ) – Part 2 With Stephen Hussey.

  1. Gregory Panas says:

    Hi Dr. Hussey,

    Thank you for the wonderful knowledge you are sharing with the world to make it a better place. I’m 46 years old and live a BG style life. I have a few questions that may take a while for you to answer, I really appreciate it.

    I take 5mg if Cialis for BPH, but it may be beneficial for the heart. I try to limit my medications and like to use natural alternatives as much as possible, but I feel comfortable taking this. What is your opinion on Cialis for heart health?

    I had a case of pericarditis 1.5 years ago. Without saying, we all can guess what most likely caused it. Should I worry about another episode of pericarditis in the future?

    When I went to the ER for pericarditis, (severe chest pain that radiated to my shoulder) it caused an inaccurate EKG reading and I was initially told I had a heart attack and was transferred to another hospital via helicopter for an emergency cath, ultrasound, and every test a cardio team would give for this situation. The stress of the misdiagnosis was worse for me than the pericarditis, lol. Prior to that I had a calcium score test which was zero and was told that is great for my age. My cardiologist told me “I have a 1% chance of having a heart attack.” But below is my ultimate question/concern:

    In addition to this, I have been under IMMENSE stress for 4 straight years. Including PTSD from combat zone and a toxic marriage that is ending in divorce. Retiring from a 20-year military career and starting a new job, moving, along with the fears and stress of the divorce proceedings to come the next few months have me worried about my heart. Fortunately, I do everything else in the top 1% of the pop…strength, yoga, HIIT, diet, supps, sauna, cryo, float tanks, etc. My resting heart is in the low 60’s and BP has been textbook for over a decade. Would you recommend a stress test, or any other test at this time for precaution? Are my chances of having a heart attack greater because of the stress I have and will continue to be under?

    Thank you so much!

  2. Marni says:

    Since the correlation between LDL (looking at particle size) is fairly substantial. What difference does it make how you got there? That is ; if I shot my LDLs up by eating a low carb or ketonic diet or any other way of eating- how would my arteries refuse to block because — these large LDL particles are from low carb, and not from eating white flour and sugar. just seems like how you get to high LDL probably doesn’t matter– other than you might know how to reduce it if you know how you got there. I must be missing something?

  3. Raymond Marceau says:

    Hi Stephen…..on the hunt for a copy of ur book referenced here “Understanding the Heart” however Amazon says no longer available. Am I able to purchase a copy directly from you?

    Thanks for the great info!


  4. Talia says:

    What is the best form of magnesium for the heart (specifically for someone in their 60’s)? Thank you!!

    1. Stephen Hussey says:

      I don’t know that there is a “best form for the heart”, but I take Magnesium L-threonate.

  5. Tommy reaves says:

    Does your book speak more on what to do? I know you and Ben spoke on some of the things to do;sauna, magnesium etc. but does the book go into more detail? Also was you doing these things before the heart attack?

    1. Stephen Hussey says:

      Yes, it gives plenty of strategies on what to do and how to find out what may be best for you. I was doing some of the things I talk about but unfortunately had gotten away from many others and due to the stress I was under was also having trouble with blood sugars in the months leading up to the heart attack.

  6. Jerome says:

    LDL particle size matter or no?

    1. Stephen Hussey says:

      I don’t think it is as relevant as some people think, but it all depends on the state of someone’s health and how healthy their 4th phase water in the arteries are. Just my opinion.

  7. Trent Teegarden says:

    All showing Aspirin Does not in fact cause GI bleeds and shows actual protection……
    “All NSAIDs tested, except ASA [aspirin], caused hemorrhagic lesions in the small intestine…ASA did not provoke any damage…and prevented the occurrence of intestinal lesions induced by indomethacin, in a dose-related manner.” (Takeuchi K, et al., 2001)

    1. Stephen Hussey says:

      Sure, but that first study you posted also say this: “The substantive risk for prophylactic aspirin is therefore cerebral haemorrhage which can be fatal or severely disabling, with an estimated risk of one death and one disabling stroke for every 1,000 people taking aspirin for ten years”.

      Plus, there is plenty of evidence that long term aspirin can contribute to kidney failure. My main point in the book was to illustrate that aspirin has not been shown to be beneficial for primary prevention of MI and that their are possible downsides to long term use. I want to encourage people to make lifestyle changes not just take a pill.

      1. Trent Teegarden says:

        my point is we tend to find research that fits our beliefs, however there is research that directly supports aspirin use in kidney disease, heart disease and diabetes. So now we have conflicting studies! so now what?
        (the bleeding issue aspirin presents is resolved by taking K2)
        Conclusions:Aspirin therapy produces greater absolute reduction in major cardiovascular events and mortality in hypertensive patients with CKD than with normal kidney function. An increased risk of major bleeding appears to be outweighed by the substantial benefits.
        As diabetes is perhaps the most common chronic disease in the world and many diabetes sufferers have kidney disease, which is considered irreversible. However, as this clinical trial states (and as Peat said as well), the kidney damage seems to be due to inflammation stemming from PUFA metabolism through the COX enzyme and thus COX inhibitors like aspirin may stop the progression of kidney disease. The trial just started so it is too early to say if it would work but the theoretical background is solid and backs up what Peat has been saying.

        1. Stephen Hussey says:

          I see all your points, and I have seen many people reverse kidney disease through lifestyle change and have spoken with many practitioners who see they see it happen all the time in their practice. Yes, diabetes is a super common disease, and in the vast majority of cases it is totally reversible. Yes, PUFA’s are terrible things, but why would I take aspirin to cover up the effects of PUFA’s when I could just stop eating PUFA’s? The body is amazing and stopping the insults (diabetes, PUFA’s) will allow it to recover in many cases.

          I am one who wants to promote lifestyle change because that is how we are going to change the system, improve healthcare, and move away from the pharmaceutical approach to “health”. I am not saying that no one should ever take aspirin, but it is not the recommendation I would emphasize even if studies have shown it could be helpful. There is risk to any pharmaceutical and the effects someone would see with lifestyle change will be so much more beneficial than influencing any one biochemical pathway with a drug.

          1. Trent says:

            This whole discussion is not about lifestyle!
            Your preaching to the choir about lifestyle change. I’m simply saying Aspirin is not bad and if someone chooses to take it short term, their is plenty of research, evidence, clinical trials that support this.
            You did not show both sides of the story with aspirin. You simply showed the bad studies and made a recommendation off that.

  8. Eric Bernardo says:

    Hello Ben,

    I took the “Longevity Blueprint” Program 2 years back and didn’t finish it because I was rushed to the hospital for angioplasty procedure due to arteriosclerosis and got a stent to boot. I’m now 64, and have 2 more arteries with 50% blockage. Taking Statins like Dr. Stephen. I wanted to continue that Longevity Program but because of what happened to me do you think it will be wise to just follow what you’ve eluded to do Doug McGuff exercise protocols.

    1. Stephen Hussey says:

      Hi Eric,
      Just to clarify, I am not, and have never, taken a statin. The only thing I have taken is the blood thinner due to the stent.

    1. Stephen Hussey says:

      That’s an interesting article. I was aware of some of that info, but definitely not all of it. However, I didn’t see any mention or explanation of the increased kidney damage aspect of long term aspirin, which is a concern for me as a type 1 with already increased risk. Overall though, I would much rather control all the things he says aspirin can help with in other ways besides taking aspirin, just my preference.

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