November 2, 2023
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/jack-wolfson-podcast/
[00:00:49] Guest Introduction
[00:04:16] Dr. Jack Wolfson's journey into cardiology as a natural heart doctor
[00:08:03] Ben's interest to learn more about the health of the endothelial glycocalyx after receiving his recent calcium score
[00:19:51] How medical doctors are not taught natural and holistic practices in med school
[00:22:36] Salivary Nitric Oxide testing is a good surrogate test for endothelial function
[00:32:27] What is in the Calroy product, Vascanox that allows it to increase blood flow?
[00:38:05] How exposure to glyphosate may play a role in sulfur deficiency and what are the best sources of sulfur
[00:41:06] How the Calroy products, Vascanox and Arterosil affect calcium scores
[00:46:28] Why Dr. Jack Wolfson is anti-CT scans and radiation, and prefers other types of testing
[00:58:27] How exposure to mold mycotoxins impacts heart health
[01:07:51] Dr. Jack Wolfson's Recommended Diet
[01:10:07] Ben's Takeaways on the podcast
[01:14:47] End of Podcast
[01:15:11] Legal Disclaimer
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Jack: We talk about all these different environmental toxins in our world. We talk about asbestos and mercury and lead and arsenic and EMF. None of them have the deliberate intent to injure, mold does. Hunter-gatherer ancestral, I think, is the way to go. I think the problem with carnivore is that, number one, a lot of the carnivore gurus, they tell people not to eat the seafood. Seafood is the healthiest food in the planet.
Ben: Fitness, nutrition, biohacking, longevity, life optimization, spirituality and a whole lot more. Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Life Show. Are you ready to hack your life? Let's do this.
Well, folks, my guest on today's show is a guy I've known and known of for quite some time, I think way back in the days of the Paleo f(x) conference down in Austin, Texas. I used to run into this cat. He's not only a board-certified cardiologist and a top best-selling author in the realm of cardiology, but he also has probably one of the most badass names out there for a guy who's a primal paleo dude. It's Dr. Jack Wolfson. So first, Jack, congratulations on having a really fantastic name.
Jack: Thank you so much. And, it's funny, sometimes I'll get that comment from random people, I'll say my name Jack Wolfson and this random person, “Wow, what a cool name.” But, growing up with the name Jack in the 1970s was not a cool thing because there was a guy by the name of Wolfman Jack. He was a famous kind of disc jockey back in the day and then all the nursery rhymes that have Jack in it, that was a little bit problematic, but I appreciate that now. Thank you, Ben.
Ben: Okay. Well, we'll just call you Dr. Wolf. So, anyways though, for those of you who may not be familiar with Jack–and, by the way, I'll put the shownotes for everything we talk about over at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Wolfson, W-O-L-F-S-O-N, BenGreenfieldLife.com/Wolfson. He is the founder of this company called Natural Heart Doctor. He has a heart health practice. He has a really fantastic website called the thedrswolfson.com, which I'll link to in the shownotes. He's been all over the place, NBC, CNN, The Washington Post. He's won numerous awards, particularly in the realm of holistic health. And, that's really why I wanted to get Jack on because he has a book called “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health.” And, as that name would imply, he actually is into a little bit more of an ancestral manner of taking care of your ticker. And, because I've personally been taking a much deeper dive into heart health, into where natural remedies come into the mix, into what kind of tests are best that go beyond just a basic lipid panel and even into the realm of statins and things like PCSK9 inhibitors, which I think have a lot of controversy and possibly some confusion around them, I thought it'd be really fantastic to get Jack on the show.
And then, finally, Jack's involved with another company called Calroy, C-A-L-R-O-Y. And, in my quest over the past several months to look into heart health products and ways to support the lining of the blood vessels and also the production of nitric oxide, I've been pretty impressed with this company Calroy. And so, I was pleased to see Jack is involved with them as well and hopefully, we'll get a chance to talk a little bit about particularly two of their supplements, their main supplements that I'm really interested in myself, the Vascanox for nitric oxide and the arterial support compound called Arterosil, which I have all these labels in my pantry and there's a label for heart health products. And, those are the two that are in there along with a little bit of annatto vitamin E and a couple other choice things. Jack, welcome to the show.
And, I would just love to hear your story a little bit of how you got into cardiology in the first place.
Jack: Yeah, sure thing, Ben. And again, I appreciate you being on and everybody taking a listen here. So, I'm a board-certified cardiologist like my father for me. Again, my father was a cardiologist. I grew up amongst cardiologists. It was always my dream to do that. And, I would eventually finish up 10 years of medical training and then join the biggest group in the state of Arizona in cardiology. And then, from there, I would become the chairman of medicine, director of cardiology, director of cardiac rehab, Phoenix top doctor by my peers in 2011. But, along the way, I would meet the woman who would become my wife and she is a DC, doctor of chiropractic.
And, as things were going really well for me in the cardiology realm, my father was not doing so well, he would eventually be labeled with a Parkinson's-like illness in his late 50s. And, we take him to the Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic says they have no idea why he's sick, they've got no treatment for him and he'll be dead within three years.
So again, serendipitously I meet this young chiropractor and she tells me all the reasons why my father is sick and dying. And, Mayo Clinic has no idea, the chiropractor has all the ideas.
Ben: Wait, wait, she's only supposed to know about the neck and the back and the supposed quackery medicine, right?
Jack: Fortunately, she is a fantastic adjuster and knows about neck and back, but she knows everything holistic which so many chiropractors are really trained to do. And, that's why I really believe that chiropractors are just perfectly situated to be that primary care gateway type people. But, as she would say all these things and Mayo Clinic has no idea, here's the 29-year-old chiropractor who's got all the ideas and she said, “You need to become a DC.” And, I said, “Wait a second, you want me to become a chiropractor after all the training I went through? And, I'm on the job, I'm making all this money, you want me to become a chiropractor?” And, she said, “No, not DC, doctor of chiropractic, you have to become a DC doctor of cause.”
Jack: And, that is what I did. My father, we were too late to save him, but I'm here to save everybody else to the best of my ability.
Ben: It's interesting because I think–I don't know if Stephen Hussey. He wrote a really great book called “Understanding the Heart.” It's probably the best two-part series I think I've ever done on caring for the heart, although of course, I know you're now poised to blow that one out of the water on today's discussion. But, I think he might be a chiropractic as well. Are you familiar with him, Stephen Hussey?
Jack: Dr. Hussey has reached out to me before and we've had some communications. I've not read his book, but again, anyone who is putting forth the information that if we eat well, live well, think well, tests don't guess evidence-based supplements, biohacking strategies, that's the solution. The solution's not going to come with injections, the solution's not going to come at Walgreens, the corner of happy and healthy, that sham of what that is, the solutions are going to come from within. We are genetically designed perfectly. God created us perfectly to be who we are. We can run and jump. I believe you've got four children. I've got four children. The human body can do anything. And, to think that it's genetically programmed to have heart disease, which is what the medical doctors tell people is an absolute farce. The answer is not pharma, the answer is to fix what causes it, becoming a doctor of cause.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I've got two children, but thank you for manifesting an extra two for me. We'll see if that happens, Jack.
Jack: You're welcome.
Ben: Well, they do say that erectile function is directly linked to heart health and that a droopy boner is a canary in the coal mine for potential heart issues. So, you might be on to something there, man.
And, that actually leads into something I want to talk a little bit about, not just nitric oxide but there's so many directions I could go with you. And, I've talked a lot in the past about stress and measuring HRV, about sleep, about magnesium and minerals, about red light therapy, about a lot of these things that might be considered more natural in the realm of heart health, but something I've been trying to really wrap my head around lately is this concept. It's kind of a mouthful but I haven't talked about on the podcast much. So, I want to start with some things I haven't talked about before and that's this thing called the endothelial glycocalyx. I realize it's a mouthful. It makes me sound really smart to be able to spit that out, but I've been increasingly interested in it because after getting my plaque calcium score several months ago and having a higher value than what I really like to see, in some of my digging, it turns out that for me to address the health of the endothelial glycocalyx is really important. It's something that I think a lot of people aren't aware of. So, I was wondering if you could unpack that a little bit and explain what that is and why it's important when it comes to heart health.
Jack: Yeah, most certainly. So, the blood vessel, an artery, for example, a coronary artery that you say develops calcification which obviously it does based on a CT scan, which I'll be happy to dive into more because I'm totally anti-CT scans. I'm anti-radiation, anti-CT scans, but we'll go from there into say that the blood vessel itself is broken down classically into three layers. What's called the intima, which is the closest to blood flow, and then there's the media, which are smooth muscle cells that help the blood vessel expand and contract, and there's the adventitia, which is a support layer to the intima and media.
Now, the intima has a one-cell layer called the endothelium. And, that's a one-cell layer and that does some magical things inside the blood vessel. But, attached to the endothelium is this hair-like layer called the glycocalyx. And, the glycocalyx, I want everyone to envision as this almost seaweed floating at the bottom of an ocean. This seaweed is kind of floating back and forth and back and forth, and this layer called the glycocalyx is protective of the endothelium, the intima, and then ultimately the media and adventitia. So, it's very protective of the blood vessel in and of itself. And, we can measure these levels with electron microscopy in laboratory models, in animal models, and even in human, you can assess in some way, shape, or form at. And, we want to have an extensive glycocalyx. It is like Teflon protecting the inside, protecting our pan, if you will, which, of course, you and I are both anti-Teflon. So, that may not be the best example, but it really is. If we can make a blood vessel Teflon, if we can make the inside of the blood vessel slick like the outside of a fish, nothing will stick to it, nothing will stick to the outside of the fish because it's got this gelatinous layer. In the case of the glycocalyx, it's made up of heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans, other molecules, but the magic there is the sulfur. And, if we load our bodies with sulfur, we can really help to improve that layer. And, of course, there's food-based sources of sulfur, there's supplement sources of sulfur. And, I think that's a great start to that conversation, but it's a very protective layer.
The other thing that helps to markedly increase the size of glycocalyx and also an area in there called the Exclusion Zone, which may be a new concept to everybody who's listening as well. The exclusion zone was made famous by a Ph.D. researcher from Washington State by the name of Gerald Pollock. And, he wrote the fourth phase of water. And, in there, he talks about the exclusion zone.
Ben: Yeah, I interviewed him and I interviewed Dr. Thomas Cowan who wrote a really great book called “Human Heart, Cosmic Heart.” Both of those guys talked a little bit about the exclusion zone. I'd love to hear you explain why that's important when it comes to this endothelial glycocalyx though.
Jack: Yeah. So, Pollock obviously did a research, and Cowan read that research, and I read the research. Neither one of us did the original bench research on that obviously. But, the idea there, again, is that the exclusion zone is an area of water closest, in this case, let's just purely talk about as it relates to a blood vessel. So, that exclusion zone is this protective area that is when it's healthiest provides a good buffer. As blood flow kind of goes along, things just bounce along. They don't stick to arterial walls. The process works as it's supposed to. Things get into the arterial walls that belong. Things stay in the blood vessel circulation that don't belong. And, this helps to protect against coagulation disorders and helps keep the endothelium healthy. Therefore, releasing nitric oxide, opening blood vessels as needed, expansion and contraction of blood vessels as needed. But, a healthy exclusion zone is important. And, the area of the glycocalyx is inside of the exclusion zone so they can basically be thought of as mutually inclusive and both mutually necessary.
Ben: So, the way that I think maybe was Dr. Thomas Cowan explained it to me is that plants don't really have a heart, they don't have a way of pumping necessarily fluids from the bottom of the plant up towards the top of the plant against gravity. And, it's more the flow of the liquid via electricity, meaning a positive charge I think on the outside of the vessel and a negative charge on the inside that allows for fluids to be able to be pulled up through the plant against gravity, and that if you have a similar exclusion zone inside your body in the arteries, for example, you have less resistance of blood flow when the heart contracts. And, that allows more blood and more oxygen to be delivered with less resistance all the way through into the tiny capillaries at the end of the fingertips and the end of the toes, and that by having a body that's got good electrolytes, good minerals, good hydration, exposure to photons of light, infrared light, sunlight, et cetera, and even earthing and grounding, and being in contact with the surface of the planet, you would therefore have kind of a healthier exclusion zone. Am I on the right track there?
Jack: Yeah, 100% Ben, as per usual with you. I mean, your grasp of that is absolutely fantastic. One thing, I don't know much about Dr. Cowan's book, but I do know it has been asked of me is whether or not the heart is a pump, and I guess he would say that it's not a pump and I would say that it is a pump but that's really just semantics. Because on a macrovascular level as far as the heart pumps and so it squeezes and it relaxes, so it does all of that classical way you would define a pump, but the question is, what really happens, A, in the capillary areas because we know that there is no pumping action inside of a capillary that it is truly dependent on pressure gradients but then also the electrical gradients that you speak of. And, as you maintain healthy electrical gradients, well then, you will have that type of laminar flow that occurs, that allows proper nutrient exchange in appropriate fashion.
So, that is all inherently true, but the coronary arteries, the heart pumps into the coronary arteries blood flow and circulation but it does take us down to that microscopic level to the electron microscopic level where we see the importance of that glycocalyx, and then again, nutrients and supportive processes that support that. And again, I think it just goes into the whole concept of what we do at Natural Heart Doctor, which is eat well, live well, think well, what foods support, what foods don't support, what lifestyle supports as you mentioned, sleep, sunshine, the physical activity movement, you on the treadmill right now avoiding the environmental toxins and pollutants that can interfere with the endothelial glycocalyx and interfere with endothelial function, epithelial function of the gut in and of itself. And, that's a critically important area to discuss.
And then, the thought processes. What is our level of spirituality? What is our belief system, our purpose, our passion, our sense of community? And, they're all equally as important to eat well is just as important as to live well and to think well. So, many different areas to go in in that arena.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, I've talked about a lot of that stuff; positive emotions, low stress, good sleep, exposure to the surface of the planet, being outdoors, getting into the sunlight, a sauna practice, even with something infrared, et cetera. And, I've even discussed that point that you brought up about whether or not the heart is a pump a couple of times. I think it's more semantics, like you mentioned. I think that the concept of the heart being spaced or enclosed in this, I think it's a tetrahedral shape within the chest, lends itself to the concept of the heart muscles contracting and producing almost this spiralizing effect when the heart contracts. That spiralizing effect in a very similar manner as a structured water filter that a lot of people are into in their homes now causes the blood as it's released from the heart to be almost swirling and that would create this exclusion zone that creates less resistance to blood flow through the body. So, it's almost like the heart is a pump and the heart is contracting but it's the nature of the contraction being a little bit more complex than I think many of us are taught in say anatomy or biology. And, it's the lending of the nature, the shape of the heart in the chest, and the spiralizing effect of the heart creating almost a spiralizing blood flow through the body that, I think, is the subtle nuance when it comes to whether or not the heart is a pump. Is that kind of the way that you think about the heart when it comes to the way that it contracts?
Jack: Yeah. I mean, again, the contractions of the heart are well documented as far as the direction of contractility, the purpose of that direction, the vortices that are created from that, but this the way the heart is shaped. The heart muscle, trabeculae, the anatomy of the heart, everything is geared towards that being able to shrink in size and be able to eject blood at a maximum level. So, there is that. But, I think also that the idea that the heart also generates that electromagnetic field and that inherently can be sensed obviously to a degree outside of our bodies as well but that electromagnetic force, that field that's generated also likely leads to peripheral arterial-venous capillary circulation as well that I think is an area certainly that doesn't have much research in there whatsoever. But, I think conceptually, we can see how that would be part of the benefit.
Ben: When it comes to the exclusion zone and maintaining kind of a beneficial charge of the body's battery via some of these natural lifestyle practices that we've alluded to like infrared sauna or grounding and earthing or proper hydration status or mineral intake, do they teach that kind of stuff in medical school?
Jack: No, no. You know that. That's a rhetorical question. You know that medical doctors are trained in pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures. They don't teach any of that. There's no nutrition. There's no discussions about lifestyle. I could tell you in my 10 years of medical training, we didn't talk about nutrition, we didn't talk about sunlight, we didn't talk about infrared, we didn't talk about the things you mentioned as far as the evidence and the common-sense ability, the evidence that the sun of what the sun and sunlight does to the exclusion zone, that data is fairly new. But, that's how really it was discovered, it was serendipitously discovered in Pollock's lab when they came in and they noticed that they left the lights on overnight. And, the lights of what the artificial lights even were and what that did to extend the exclusion zone and how beneficial that was in that area.
But, no, this is nothing that they teach. There's nothing about vitamins, minerals. I mean, listen, Ben, when I left the biggest group in the state of Arizona, I was laughed at, I was criticized, I was ridiculed. And again, when it comes down to the medical doctors, your listeners know this, it is about profits and it's also about that godlike complex of what the doctors have. “Don't try and tell me that what I'm doing is wrong. I mean, I was trained way.” But, that's just classic brainwashing since the Rockefeller Declaration and Flexner Report in the early 1900s. And, it's a shame but there's more and more holistic practitioners as you know who are coming out and this is where the revolution's happening.
Ben: Yeah. What you just mentioned is actually really important because Dr. Pollock what he showed in his lab for those of you who heard Jack just refer to that, it's this idea that he had water that was in small glass vessels and the water formed an exclusion zone in those small vessels. But, when the water was exposed to photons of light, that exclusion zone basically became strengthened and the ability of water to move up through those small glass vessels against gravity was remarkably enhanced when the water was exposed to specifically light in the infrared and the red light wavelength spectrum, which again is why it appears at least one of the reason reasons why it appears that infrared sauna and sunlight exposure seems to be directly correlated to heart health. So, it's really interesting to think about.
But, back to this endothelial glycocalyx, you described how it's like this seaweed that's protective of the vessel, but is there a way to actually test the health of your glycocalyx? Is there some kind of a blood panel or a medical imaging panel that would allow you to see how healthy your glycocalyx is?
Jack: Yeah. Unfortunately, there really is not a way to determine that. And, of course, you're familiar with salivary nitric oxide testing and we can dive into that a little bit. And, I think that's our best surrogate marker at this time. If it was looked at, we can probably correlate carotid intima-media thickness and probably use that as a surrogate marker for endothelial function and for the size of the glycocalyx. But, outside of that, again, it's such an infinitely small area that it really is the guys of electron microscopy which invariably is going to come from dead, processed material in order to assess that.
Ben: Yeah, those salivary nitric oxide tests are pretty cool. I interviewed Dr. Nathan Bryan about nitric oxide a few years ago. And, after I did, he was like, “Well, you want to–you can test it.” And, he sent me some sublingual nitric oxide tablets which are amazing. I mean, I've used Viagra before and I've also dissolved those tablets in my mouth and for something for a test let's say for sexual performance, a couple of those nitric oxide tablets just dissolved in your mouth seem to induce the same type of erectile benefits of something like Viagra. And so, that's a pretty good clue that they're doing something as far as vasodilation and the reduction in the resistance of blood flow and an increase in nitric oxide when you consume them, but he also sent me those little test strips. I think they were they were salivary, like you mentioned, in the mouth and they turn a different color based on the amount of nitric oxide that you produce. Am I thinking of the same thing?
Jack: Yeah. No, that's definitely what it is. And, let me tell you a little story. So, Viagra was not invented as an ED drug, and Viagra was supposed to be a blood pressure-lowering drug and a drug for angina. So, what happened was that the pharmaceutical companies know that increasing nitric oxide would be beneficial and potentially would be a new blood pressure drug, raise nitric oxide, lower blood pressure. Obviously, we'll talk about ways to do that naturally. But, the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, they're doing the studies on this new pharmaceutical and they find that it's lowering blood pressure in men and women. But then, they also find that the men have this particular interesting side effect and some women had it as well as far as clitoral enlargement and blood flow and therefore better orgasm for the female. But, in the men, in particular, they noticed this very interesting thing where the men, they're looking for side effects; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, cough, infections, whatever. But, the men start checking off this box for better erectile function, so Pfizer says who cares about another blood pressure drug, a new blood pressure drug, an anti-anginal drug, we've got Viagra. And, that's how Viagra was born. But, you're right, men are not deficient in Viagra, they're deficient in the things that would increase nitric oxide naturally.
But then, further to segue about pharma, when I was in the late 1990s and with some of my medical residency buddies and we're in the doctor's lounge and the reps for Pfizer would come in and they would just throw Viagra all over the table. And, they're like, “Here, guys, go try it out. Go do your thing. See what happens.” And, of course, start prescribing it for patients. So, it really was, I mean, the creation of a multi, multi-hundred billion dollar drug many times over. And, there's different options. And again, I'm not opposed to the use of those pharmaceuticals for a whole variety of measures, but again, pharma should always come at the end of the game, not at the beginning. The beginning of the game is all the things that we talk about; eat well, live well, think well, and the test, don't guess, and the biohacking strategies, evidence-based supplements. There's a time and a place for modern medicine. God bless the men and women who–I'm not here to trash them, but the men and women who work in emergency, in trauma, but for everything else, medicine's a total failure.
Ben: And, I realized we're bouncing all over the place here, and don't worry, I got some stuff I want to come back to about the glycocalyx. But, to stay on this topic of nitric oxide, I've always had better results with nitric oxide supplements, whether it's beet powder or these dissolvable nitric oxide tablets. I don't know if I should be doing this, but I've chewed on the Calroy one, the Vascanox Calroy one for nitric oxide. I feel I get a better release when I'm chewing or dissolving nitric oxide precursors in my mouth.
Now, this is interesting because I think it was Dr. Nathan Bryan, when I interviewed him, who talked about how people who use mouthwash regularly or who nuke the biome in their mouth don't have the bacteria present in the mouth that would allow for the conversion of nitric oxide precursors from foods like arugula or beetroot, et cetera, to be able to be converted into nitric oxide in the body. And so, I think the same thing has been said for, I don't know if it's Dr. Bryan who said this but I think fluoridated toothpaste was another one that you want to be careful with.
But, is there something to this idea of when you're using something even Viagra, for example, the dissolvable troches, not necessarily Viagra but sildenafil or tadalafil or the active ingredient in Viagra seems to work best when you dissolve it in your mouth. So, what's going on as far as–and this might just be myth or my own perception but a better response to nitric oxide supplements or pharmaceuticals when you dissolve them in your mouth?
Jack: Yeah. Well, I mean, kind of two different things right there. And again, your understanding of that is totally spot on. And yeah, when you destroy the oral microbiome, the gut microbiome, all bets are off on all this stuff. So, we rely on the oral microbiome in order to turn food-based nitrate into nitrite. And, if you're deficient there, what's so beneficial about the Vascanox product is that it is potassium nitrite. So, you're kind of bypassing that one step of oral conversion nitrate into nitrite. In addition, you're getting all the potassium which has an infinite number of body benefits. We always talk about magnesium and other supplements. We invariably forget about potassium and the importance thereof. And actually, Vascanox is a great source of potassium inside the potassium nitrite. So, that's going to be beneficial there.
And then, this also, it's very important to have the acidic stomach in order to convert the nitrite into nitric oxide and therefore absorb. Now, why don't people have acidic stomachs? For all the reasons that you already know why people have low stomach acid levels, from all the different pharmaceuticals, from the fluoride that inhibits the proton pump, from high chlorine, from the antibiotics. I mean, so many different things that destroy all of that. Invariably, having a good oral microbiome, not using mouthwash, all the things that we do inside of eat well, live well, think well, everything helps everything.
Now, in the case of sildenafil, what the troches would do is that it just allows for faster absorption. It's not better efficacy but it's going to be potentially quicker because that doesn't require any kind of activation process. It purely is a bioavailability. And, I think a lot of ways it's a marketing ploy because nobody wants to take Viagra an hour before sexual activity. They want to take it immediately and then be sexually active.
But, I mean, listen, I do want to say one comment to everybody as it relates to the stress that everyone is under and sexual libido and erectile function that it is much more likely to be a brain issue as opposed to a circulation blood flow issue. The brain has to be optimized in a variety of ways. When you're metaphorically getting chased by a tiger, in our paleo days, we're getting chased by a tiger, you don't stop to check out the scenery, you don't stop to check out the beautiful woman when you're running away from a tiger because those people have been naturally selected to be dead, they were eaten by the tiger. When you are running constantly on this crazy stressed life that everybody lives; geopolitical issues, when's the next pandemic, what's going on with my job, who this, that, all these things that are going on in our lives, constant stress, high sympathetic tone equals no libido, no erectile function. Why is sex always better on the weekend, on vacation? Stress levels tend to be down. Focus on that as opposed to what's the next kind of way to hack the system because you got to fix this system up top first.
Ben: Yeah, nature doesn't want you to bring babies into the world in times of stress and famine. It's interesting. There's even studies that have shown a link between stress and impaired sperm motility and fertility. So, there's definitely something to that. And, by the way, for those of you concerned that you can't use your precious mouthwash anymore and you're going to have dragon breath, coconut oil pulling, I use ozone oil with a little bit of peppermint oil in it. For oil pulling in the morning, I put a little silver spray in there too to clean out the mouth. There are ways that you can have a clean mouth still support the oral biome and not necessarily be using the nitric oxide-crushing mouthwash.
So, it's interesting with the Vascanox, this Calroy product, you mentioned you don't need to chew it because it bypasses the necessary conversion in the mouth. What else is in that stuff because it seems to work really well for blood flow?
Jack: Well, they did add in some fantastic nutrients. So, they're supplying some of the B vitamins, they're supplying magnesium in there, the potassium that's in there. So, in a lot of ways, it's kind of this mineral multivitamin product. And, in addition, they've got the beetroot in there, they've got some other of these nitrate-based precursors. So, it really is phenomenal in that sense and it's very unique. And listen, Calroy's been around for 20 years. They've been looking at this product. It's the most studied product. They've got their research on this. And again, the clinical efficacy, I think, like anything, there's always me-too products that are out there. But, I think there's a lot of people, a lot of doctors that I've been on these calls, I've been at these conferences, the people that are there and they're seeing really fantastic results. But ultimately, it's not kind of voodoo medicine, it's just really common sense. There's tons of literature about potassium nitrate supplements and improving nitric oxide and improving blood pressure, it's in the literature, in multiple different studies. So, that's not even a question. And then, it's a clean product. There's not a bunch of other garbage that's typically thrown into other supplements. So, I think it's really beneficial in that arena.
The human body, real quick, makes nitric oxide in several different ways. And, one is the food-based nitrates, as you mentioned, the beetroot and the arugula, and the green leafies. And then, also, it's going to make nitrate. That's going to be the nitrate and that relies on the oral microbiome. And, the other is the amino acid sequence using nitric oxide synthase of which people can suffer from genetic SNPs and whatnot, but nitric oxide synthase or synthesizes the nitric oxide. And, those are amino acids; L-arginine, L-citrulline, I like to combine that with L-taurine. And then, something that inhibits the breakdown of nitric oxide is grapeseed extract. So, you often find grape seed extract in some of these nitric oxide boosting products as well.
And then, the fourth thing I would say, listen, my epiphany moment was created by a chiropractor. Do I have any evidence that chiropractic helps to increase nitric oxide levels? I don't, but I will say that chiropractic is always part of our plan at Natural Heart Doctor. Everybody has to be under chiropractic care. And invariably, we see people who follow the entire program improve nitric oxide, better blood flow, better libido, better erectile function, and lower heart attack risk and everything else. It's pretty cool.
Ben: Yeah, I'm looking at the ingredient label for this Vascanox stuff. Like you mentioned, it's got the potassium nitrate in it and then some vitamins, but then black garlic, beetroot, blackcurrant, bilberry, raspberry, blue honeysuckle, which I wasn't that familiar with, and blueberry extract. So, it's a lot of stuff. It kind of begs the question because some people, they'll limit their red light therapy because they don't want to create excess reactive oxygen species from excess stimulation of nitric oxide synthase, and there's this idea that too much nitric oxide could potentially be a bad thing as far as potential for free radical production. Do you ever get worried about too much nitric oxide?
Jack: I mean, certainly, I think that it is a theoretical possibility and not even theoretical. I mean, I think there's evidence to that, but ultimately what we do is we test, don't guess. So, check your peroxide levels, check your lipid peroxides and urine, check oxidized LDL, check myeloperoxidase. I mean, I've got hundreds and hundreds of people who take the products from Calroy and we're not seeing those excess levels of oxidative stress demonstrably measured. And, I think it's very important and certainly much more important than measuring total cholesterol, other lipid particles. And, we can certainly talk about those but oxidized LDL is a very, very, very important marker to assess. If it's elevated, you better figure out where that excess oxidative stress is coming from. But ultimately, I don't think it's coming from too much beetroot powder or somebody's having black garlic, and garlic is a phenomenal source of sulfur, onions, eggs. I don't think it's coming from those areas, Ben. I think also as you support the natural redox mechanisms of the body, you're not going to see that excess oxidative stress.
Ben: Yeah, it's interesting, the idea of testing oxidative stress. You mentioned the lipid peroxide urinary panel, is there a good at-home at a glance test that people could get without having to drive to the lab to measure oxidative stress if you wanted to kind of run your own n equals 1 experiment on your use of nitric oxide supplements or red light therapy or things like that?
Jack: I'm not aware of any company that's doing that at home. When we test our levels, it's typically done through a lab testing company where somebody gets the kit. It could be performed at home. In our office, for example, we do blood and urine testing in the office and collect the sample there, but I'm not aware of that as a test for that. And, I think it's only part of the process but it could be something that, yeah, could potentially be checked on a day-to-day basis and see what your lipid peroxides coming out in the urine. That'd be a very, very novel idea.
Ben: Yeah. When you were talking about sulfur and the role that sulfur plays in the support of the endothelial glycocalyx, I was thinking about this researcher who I've heard talk before, Stephanie Seneff, and she's super anti-Monsanto glyphosate pesticide, herbicide, et cetera. But, she talks about how it strips sulfur from the body and that can result in a leaky gut, potential cardiovascular damage, et cetera. And, I'm curious if you think that plays a role, like exposure to herbicides, pesticides, glyphosate, et cetera, when it comes particularly to this issue with sulfur if you've heard of Dr. Seneff and some of the stuff she talks about?
Jack: I've definitely heard of Dr. Seneff and Anthony Samsel. They did a lot of the research and a lot of the theory, but there really hasn't been a lot of people who've taken up that mantle with them on some of their hypotheses of how coronary artery disease is really an endogenous sulfur deficiency and really a focal sulfur deficiency that ultimately would lead to coronary artery disease. Big fan of her work regarding glyphosate and all the issues surrounding that, of course. And, we test people's glyphosate levels in urine and it's really just catastrophic. And, what's crazy about some of those lab testing companies is that they talk about kind of normal levels, moderate and high-level exposure. The normal level of glyphosate in the human body is 0.00. This didn't exist before 1960. It is a horrific, horrific poison on many different mechanisms, but one thing as it relates to blood vessel flow is that it's kind of like an analog or a mimic to glycine, which is a critically important nutrient including in the form amino acid, including in the formation of glutathione, one of the body's main detox molecules, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory.
So, it's kind of interesting. And, hopefully, over the next 10 years, we get a lot more research that comes out about that, but I credit Stephanie Seneff and the importance of sulfur. And, that's why, again, animal-based foods are the healthiest foods in the planet. Best bioavailable sources of sulfur are going to be especially liver, kidney, heart, eating seafood and then brassica vegetables are a good source of sulfur, eggs of course, and then the onions and garlic, some of those classic health foods, but sulfur. And then, I learned about this from Dr. Jack Kruse years ago as he was drinking his Pellegrino water and he stated that Pellegrino water is the single best water source of sulfur. I think it's really just embracing the sulfur as far as its health and benefits. And again, what it does to the glycocalyx was what it does for glutathione production and so on.
Ben: Yeah, you're speaking my language. I had sous vide kidney with a little bone marrow butter that I infuse with garlic and onion last night for dinner. So, I had a nice sulfurous meal last night for dinner, and the beetroot salad. Beet and beetroot salad. So, I was getting my beets as well for the nitric oxide.
It's interesting when I'm looking at the label of this Arterosil stuff, it obviously doesn't have liver and kidney in it. There's a lot of sulfurous precursors in there like onion and garlic and asparagus, but it's really interesting because you were talking about how the glycocalyx is kind of seaweed, and I noticed on the label the top ingredient is green seaweed extract. Is that because that's a source of sulfur or sulfur support?
Jack: It is interesting how the two of them go together because it really is this seaweed-like layer that's floating back and forth, and just, yeah, the seaweed just kind of happened to be a phenomenal source. And again, they're the only ones who get this green seaweed extract that's very high in this particular molecule of remnant sulfate. And, it is the best source, nobody else has it. But, it was my kind of connection as I learned about this several years ago that it was the seaweed layer, and the fact that it comes from seaweed I think is really interesting. And, maybe in some kind of way, it's just telling us that is really nature's solution to that particular area.
Ben: Does any of that stuff have any impact, the two Calroy products on plaque or calcium scan or calcium scan scores?
Jack: Yeah, most certainly. We talked a lot about Vascanox, which works perfectly alone or in combination for anybody and everyone concerned about cardiovascular issues, which is the number one killer in the world. So, Arterosil was the first product I had a lot of experience with, and that's going to be that seaweed extract formulation again with some other nutrients in there that all support the glycocalyx. And, what we saw from my friend and mentor, Dr. Mark Houston, I was a contributor on his book of integrative cardiology which is exciting to see, integrative cardiology in textbook form going into medical schools was very exciting to see that and I was a contributing author in that textbook. And, in that sense, he does a blood pressure trial on Arterosil and it shows blood pressure reduction, particularly in the diastolic fashion of 10 points, which is great. It just improved blood vessel health, circulation, the glycocalyx. And then, ultimately, as related to the ability to potentially decrease plaque formation, and they had some data again as it relates to that as well again. And, I personally think that anybody–
Ben: Yeah. But, what about plaque reversal? What about plaque reversal not just slowing down formation, but what if somebody has a high calcium scan score?
Jack: Yeah. And again, I don't want to speak out of, again, maybe what they are allowed, I don't want to make any claims on behalf of them, that's for sure, but I will tell you that when I see someone, Ben, and they come in with coronary artery calcification, they come in with a scan that shows it's high–and again, I'll say it again, I could talk about this, I'm anti-CT scan. But, that being said, if you do have coronary artery disease, I think that Arterosil and Vascanox but certainly Arterosil is the perfect product for that particular arena. And, I do believe that it reverses plaque not only in the coronary anatomy but also in the carotid and peripherally. And, I tell you we see a lot of plaque reversal, a lot of plaque stabilization, hardening of that plaque, so turning it from that soft plaque that's prone to rupture into the hard plaque but it's definitely plaque part of anybody with coronary artery disease, coronary artery calcification. And then, also I'll throw one more thing too, there's a lot of people out there that have heart rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation that put them at excess stroke risk.
And again, I'm not making any claims on behalf of the company, they're not indicated for this but I personally, any patient of mine with atrial fibrillation is going to be on Arterosil. Because as we think of clot formation in the left atrium, in the left atrial appendage, in somebody with atrial fibrillation, and those people are more prone to clotting, if we make that area like Teflon, if we make it the outside of a fish, we're not going to have the clot formation that could potentially embolize. So, it's part of the therapies that I use. And Arterosil, I believe, is perfectly safe in people who are taking pharmaceutical anti-coagulants unlike what I have someone on nattokinase, in addition to a pharmaceutical. I don't believe that that's necessary and could be potentially dangerous.
Ben: You mean, combining nattokinase with some other blood coagulant could be dangerous?
Jack: Yeah. So, something like Eliquis. Yeah. So, Eliquis, Pradaxas, Xarelto, and certainly Warfarin, coumadin, in that scenario, I would not use the combination thereof, I would use either/or. And, I think in a lot of people, based on their risk of a thromboembolic event in atrial fibrillation or people with previous stroke history, I think there's opportunities for conversations for those people as far as what's the best natural holistic approach to stroke prevention.
Ben: Why are you so anti-CT scan, man?
Jack: Two things. I mean, I'm anti-radiation. I think all radiation leads to coronary artery disease, cancer, and dementia. Number two, radiation, we have to say any test that we do, Ben, and you know this as well as I do. Any test that we do, how is it going to change our strategies? So, if someone was to say, okay, if you've got a lot of coronary calcification or some coronary calcification, you're going to go on a statin drug. If your arteries have no calcification, then no statin drug. That theory could be utilized, but how do your results, Ben, change what happened to you? So, if you do have mild coronary calcification, again, I don't know what your score was or your scan was, is it causing you to do a lot more biohacking and supplements in that arena? Maybe it did for you, but I would say, listen, based on laboratory–
Ben: Yeah. Well, I'll tell you my logic, Jack. Basically, if I do a CT scan and I find out that I have a high amount of plaque, then that might influence my lifestyle decisions pretty significantly in terms of how much high-intensity exercise that I might be doing, what type of supplements that I may or may not start on, whether or not I might consider medications to assist with that plaque removal. And, the way I think about it is I've seen a lot of people. You've obviously seen hundreds of thousands more people than I have. You look at a lot more labs, but I've seen a lot of people with pretty good lipid panels who will come back with calcium scan scores or this new Cleerly AI scan score with plaque at 400 plus, sometimes stable, sometimes unstable. And, I get kind of concerned about folks like that going out and doing an Ironman Triathlon or not paying attention to their mineral status, their sauna habits, their hydration, their use of some of the products that we talked about. I feel like if it's high, you'd probably go out of your way to almost baby your heart a little bit more and engage in lifestyle and nutrition practices that would help to manage that plaque and that calcium. Because correct me if I'm wrong but, isn't that the definition of a widow maker when that stuff breaks loose?
Jack: Yeah. I mean, there's a lot there in what you just said. And ultimately, it's just a matter of do we need that information in addition to all the extensive lab work that we do? As you mentioned, all the advanced lipids, all the advanced markers of oxidative stress and inflammation and homocysteine and Lp(a), and looking at advanced cardiometabolics, hemoglobin A1c, and insulin levels, looking at all the intracellular vitamins and minerals and we test people, for example, for intracellular nutrients including vitamin K2. And, if K2 is low inside of the cells, that's the thing we need to do to increase K2 inside the cells. We can measure that objectively. We look at the markers of leaky gut, intestinal hyperpermeability, and then all the different toxins including mold mycotoxins, which is a whole another lecture which I think is critically, critically, critically important to get people to understand if they're living in mold or not.
And then, by taking all of that data and then now trying to make them into a better healthier version of themselves, I think that's the strategy and this sequentially following by CT, they'll claim it's not a lot of radiation, it's plenty of radiation. We don't need that excess radiation, it's not a good test to follow. By the way, statin drugs increase the rate of coronary calcification. So, if you're on statin drugs–this is not holistic thinking, this is not integrative, this is fact. Statin drugs increase the rate of coronary calcification, so you should not do a CT scan and then expect a lower result after being on statin drugs. That's not the case.
Ben: Would the increase in coronary calcification from statin drugs be an increase that would be over and above what you might experience if you had a high calcium or plaque score? Meaning, if I have high calcium or high plaque and I take a statin, then with the decreased amount of plaque that occurs as a result of me taking that statin outpace any amount of coronary calcification that would occur as a result of me taking that statin.
Jack: So, statin drugs increase the plaque and they increase the coronary calcification. That much we know. Maybe the plaque part could be debated back and forth, but the calcification process certainly not. The question is that, if someone takes a statin drug, does it meaningfully reduce their chances of heart attack stroke and dying? And, I would say no. I would say that the most recent meta-analysis for primary prevention and statin use, this was reported in JAMA back in 2022 that statin users enjoyed a 0.2 for primary prevention, meaning they've never had a stroke or a stent or heart attack for primary prevention. The mortality reduction was 0.2% on an annual basis. It was under 0.2% for heart attacks and almost non-existent for stroke. The data gets a little bit better for secondary prevention.
And Ben, you and I work in the world of, hey, I don't want to reduce my heart attack risk from 3% to 2.8%, I want to reduce it to 0% or as close to 0% as possible. We know medicine does not offer that and I think in our arena, we come pretty darn close. But, the way to follow that is not with CT scans, the way to follow it, I believe, is with most advanced lab testing in the world. We don't need to radiate ourselves to prove it.
I think also, Ben, one final thought on that is that I've talked to so many different people and here was the process. They paid for their own CT scan because insurance companies know that it's a waste of time and a waste of money, so they're not going to pay for it. So, they pay for their own CT scan and now they've got coronary calcification, they wind up at the doctor's office, the cardiologist puts them on statin drugs and they run a stress test and the stress test shows a little bit of an abnormality and then they go for an angiogram and the angiogram has a questionable lesion and now they wind up with two stents and they're on all these different pharmaceuticals when they never had symptoms.
Jack: They never had symptoms, so now you took someone–
Ben: I see what you're saying. Yeah.
Jack: Ben, one more thing. Let me finalize this. I was walking around, and again, you're totally geek out on biohacking and early detection and all the stuff. So, I'm walking past this place that orders total body MRI for $650. So, $650 and they put it under the guise of prevention. You don't prevent anything with that. It could be early detection, but if you MRI a body, you're going to find tons of stuff with the radiologist love. We found a nodule here. Let's ultrasound it. Let's CT it. Let's follow it. Let's follow it. Let's follow it. And, as they follow this stuff over time with radiation-based technology, what they found were this benign thyroid nodule but they turned it into cancer but they'll say, “It's a good thing we kept checking because we found your cancer.” And, I don't have to tell you this. When you look at everything in this world under the lens of money and financials, you will uncover a lot of truth.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, you're definitely about that. I would still like to see some of the statin data that you cited broken out between increased longevity in people who had high plaque scores or high amount of calcification and on a statin versus those who didn't. I don't think that 2022 study broke apart the differences between those two groups.
But, back to the CT scan, I mean I've done a couple. I always take a lot of iodine afterwards because it's the only thing I've seen evidence behind for soaking up some of the radiative damage but of the list of tests that you kind of went through that you do as part of your practice–and, I'll link to your book in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Wolfson because I know a lot of people might want to take a deeper dive into those tests. Do any of those give you a pretty good clue about plaque accumulation?
Jack: Well, when you have inflammation oxidative stress, when you have Lp(a), when you have depletion of these intracellular vitamins and nutrients, you're much more likely going to have plaque or coronary calcification and everything else really because the beauty of everything that we do with the blood work is that it's going to tell us, well, because of this, you're at increased cardiac risk, you're at increased cancer risk, increased stroke risk, and increased dementia risk and all these other things that the advanced testing does, and it's noninvasive and therefore not dangerous.
To your point though as far as the statin drugs and breaking down that data, again you could say, okay, listen, even in the people that have known coronary artery disease, if they have had cardiac events, the secondary prevention statin data is just very underwhelming. And, in that scenario, again, you're talking about less than 1% benefit on an annual basis and it leaves a lot of people with false sense of security. Hey, eat whatever you want, live however you want, just take this statin drug and you'll be good to go. And, that's just not the case. And, this isn't even talking about the side effect profile.
Ben: Yeah. It's like giving a diabetic a bag of Doritos and insulin syringe. I get what you're saying with that.
As far as testing, there's one company called Preventia that has a HART panel, H-A-R-T. It's apparently like a protein marker panel that does a pretty good job predicting high calcium score or plaque accumulation. Are you familiar with that test at all or any of these blood biomarker tests that kind of allow you to do a blood test to do what a CT scan might but without the radiation?
Jack: Yeah, I'm familiar with those. But, Ben, I make this comment all the time. It's really easy to be a conventional cardiologist. That career was super simple. Someone comes in, someone's got concerns, here's your pharmaceuticals, here's the tests that we're going to do and I'm going to make a lot of money off those tests. Life is real simple. You get into our arena and you're talking about food and you're talking about lifestyle and you're talking about thought processes and you're talking about gazillion different type of tests and a million different type of supplements and just infinite number of biohacking strategies. That part's difficult. But, in general, I think that when we look at those markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, hs-CRP, Lp-PLA2, the myeloperoxidase, the OxLDL, the lipid peroxides, we can get a lot of great information based on all those things, looking at homocysteine. Again, back to the mold mycotoxins, I've done presentations, I've got slides. Ben. I've got a slide, 14 different mechanisms of mycotoxin cardiovascular toxicity from LDL receptor dysfunction to impaired autonomic function, coagulation disorders, destruction of gut microbiome, intestinal permeability, inflammation stress, just from mold mycotoxins. I would implore you if you haven't talked to people about the mold mycotoxin story, big, big, big problem.
Ben: Oh, yeah. I've talked about it a little bit. Yeah. What do you do about mycotoxins, by the way? What's your approach, your strategy with the patient?
Jack: Well, I mean, again, you got to find the source of it in someone's home and either remediate it or move out of it. But, this is mentioned in the Book of Leviticus. In Leviticus, they described, and this is 3,500 years ago written by Moses, so in the Book of Leviticus they talk about all the problems related to living in a mold-contaminated home. And then, they give you strategies of how to remediate it. And, if mold is therefore still growing, they tell you to break down the components of the home on your land and move them to a significant distance away so you are no longer exposed. It is an area–
Ben: Wow. Well, God knew what was up.
Jack: No doubt about it.
Ben: What if you nuke your home but it's still in your body though? What do you do about that?
Jack: Well, eventually, they'll come out of your body but I do think there are some good evidence-based binders. And, a lot of those binders really come from the animal industry because they feed the animal mold-contaminated grains. And, those ranchers are not going to turn them into grass-fed animals, they're going to continue to feed a mold-contaminated grain, but they're going to look for some strategies to sap up or bind up those mold mycotoxins. And, there's evidence of activated charcoal, bentonite clay, in that area. So, a lot of those I use in particular, I use a lot of fulvic and humic acid as some of those binders.
Ben: Oh, yeah.
Jack: And, anything that helps to crank up glutathione. Glutathione helps. And, back to your point about sauna, I mean, you and I are both big advocates of sauna. The data on sauna especially the good old-fashioned sweat boxes from Finland on what that does to lower mortality, it's beautifully beneficial. But then, you add in the infrared component and what infrared does for the detox mechanisms to help us detox the mold mycotoxins is critical. But, that's a huge area that people need to look at. And, the number of cardiologists who understand mold mycotoxicity and cardiovascular disease, you may be talking to the only guy who gets it, but it's a big one, it's a real big one.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. You don't hear cardiologist talking about that. I recently, and this is probably due to my travel and the number of hotels and Airbnbs that I stay in but I tested somewhat elevated for five different urinary mycotoxins. I'm using a strategy now very similar to you what you just described. I've been doing deep sauna sweats usually with the Calroy, nitric oxide prior for the blood flow but with a binder typically an hour or so before. I've been using the Quicksilver Scientific charcoal binder. And then, also I've been doing that prior to bed along with a higher intake of glutathione and acetylcysteine to help to clear some of those mycotoxins out of the body. So, I've been focusing on that a little bit myself. And, oddly enough, I felt like my bowel function and my brain function has improved remarkably in the past couple months since starting into that. So, yeah, it's something that I'm glad you brought up because a lot of people don't realize the link between that and heart disease.
Jack: Yeah. Let me just kind of add a little bit to that just so everyone understands what the mold mycotoxins are. So, mold in an environment releases its army, its navy, air force marines, those are mycotoxins. There's other VOCs that you can smell. That musty smell of your grandparents' home, that was mold. And, the mycotoxins, as a survival mechanism by the mold, it wants to kill off other things in its environment because it wants to survive. It's been around here a long time. So, in that arena, well, that was how penicillin was first discovered. Penicillin is a mold mycotoxin and Fleming is in his lab, he sees that molds growing in his petri dish, it's killing off his bacteria. So, pharma eventually turns that into penicillin.
Another famous one is mycophenolic acid. And, we test people's levels of mycophenolic acids very high in so many people and it's an environmental mold mycotoxin. Mycophenolic acid was discovered in 1933 as an immunosuppressant. So, wouldn't eventually big pharma puts it in the capsule and now that is called CellCept. CellCept is such a powerful immunosuppressant. It's what they give to people who get an organ transplant. You get a new heart, new liver, new kidney and now you take CellCept to prevent organ transplant rejection. All it is, Ben, is a mold mycotoxin in a capsule. This is powerful stuff. So, what does it mean to the immune system and all of the things that the immune system polices, whether it's cardiovascular disease, cancer, COVID, anything else you think of what the immune system is doing to police it? And, if you're living in mycophenolic acid, and it's not personal by the mold, I guess. As far as I know, mold doesn't have the consciousness to decide it wants to kill humans, it just wants to survive. So, we talk about all these different environmental toxins in our world. We talk about asbestos and mercury and lead and arsenic and EMF. None of them have the deliberate intent to injure, mold does.
Ben: Yeah. I think it might be a living organism, man. You here about that rhizomal network that's the world's largest living organism or at least planet Earth's largest living organism underneath the ground. So, you never know. It could be one giant avatar planet and all this mold has it out for us like an alien. That CellCept stuff you talked about, is that something that you use in your practice?
Jack: Oh, no, no, no. So, that's going to be used in a prescription basis. Typically, it'll be from people again. It's used in the cancer space, in the rheumatologic space. It'll be used for people with severe systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid, mixed collagen vascular diseases, and in those organ transplant people. But, in no way shape or form do I think that is therapeutic certainly from a holistic standpoint.
Ben: Okay, got it. What about these alternatives to statins that some people who are genetic non-responders to a statin might use? I think they're sometimes considered to be a bigger gun for things like plaque, and that's these PCSK9 inhibitors. What do you think of those?
Jack: Well, PCSK9 inhibitors, yeah. So, what they do is that they inhibit the breakdown of LDL receptors. So, LDL receptors are these catcher mitts that are on the liver and they're responsible for clearing out old LDL particles and of course HDL particles and all the other particles that are floating around. So, the LDL receptor is critical. Statin drugs inhibit the production of cholesterol, but the production of cholesterol is not the problem. Nobody is a hyperproducer of cholesterol but they do not clear LDL particles out. And, that's an issue with the LDL receptor. And again, that goes into so many different areas about how do we improve our LDL function, berberine actually is a natural PCSK9 inhibitor. And, I do enjoy using that berberine for, I mean, many other purposes. But, berberine does have that role in that arena.
In conclusion though of this, Repatha was the first PCSK9 inhibitor studied. And, that data was released after it's been on the market. And, that's released in 2018, New England Journal of Medicine. And, what they found, Ben, is that Repatha as a very, very, very expensive injectable dramatically reduced lipid levels. And now, everybody in the study was on statin drugs and typical cardiac therapy. And, half the group got Repatha, half the group got placebo. Repatha, again, is this antibody that prevents the breakdown of PCSK9 and therefore increases LDL receptors. So again, here's what they found. It decreased heart attack risk in a couple years by a little. It decreased stroke risk in a couple years by a little over and above statin drug alone. But, what they found nonsignificantly, a nonsignificant value but get this, Ben, in the placebo group, 428 people died, in the Repatha group, 444 people died. So, more people died, although not statistically significant, in the Repatha group. Who would ever want to take a drug where potentially more people die? Not me.
Jack: And, that drug, if not covered by insurance–
Ben: Have they ever done a study like that with the PCSK9 inhibitor in people with a lot of plaque versus people who don't have very much and seeing if there's a difference between the two groups?
Jack: Not that I've ever seen it and they've really never studied Repatha alone. It's always been studied in people who are on statin drugs. So, the question is if someone's intolerant to statin, could they take Repatha? Will it reduce numbers down dramatically? But, will it change outcomes? That's what we always want to know is about the outcome data. I can remove your liver, Ben, and your lipids will drop precipitously and you'll die. It's not going to improve your outcome. So, what we want to do is make sure, again, that if we do this particular therapy, is it going to have any benefit? And, Repatha for the expense of what it is and really it's just another Band-Aid approach. And, it gives people this false sense security and it's a problem.
Ben: Yeah. I'm curious, I know we're getting close to time, but is there a particular diet that you find yourself repeatedly recommending in your clinic? Because I know some people are super into carnivore, I know you've had a history in the paleo industry, a lot of times from an epidemiological standpoint, you'll see the Mediterranean diet, some semblance of that recommended, but do you find yourself repeatedly returning to a certain diet that you favor for your patients?
Jack: Well, again, patients years ago, they started calling me the “Paleo Cardiologist.” Hunter-gather ancestral, I think, is the way to go. I think the problem with carnivore is that number one, a lot of the carnivore gurus, they tell people not to eat the seafood. Seafood's the healthiest food in the planet. The problem with, again, carnivore, no animal species is pure carnivore. So, we can get that out of our minds. Humans are hunter-gatherers. Watch the TV shows, “Alone, Naked and Afraid,” it's a great depiction. Vegans on that show quickly tap out or they convert over to meat eaters pretty quickly.
I guess, Ben, you and I aren't going to answer all the question questions right here regarding nutrition, but I would tell people back to what you said about glyphosate and Stephanie Seneff. Just eat organic food. No matter what you eat, make sure the chemicals are out of the food. Start with that. If you want to eat organic ice cream or you want to eat ice cream, make it organic so on and so forth. Get all of the chemicals out of our food. But, I do believe that seafood is the healthiest food on the planet, specifically wild salmon, roe. There's nothing healthier than that. And then, number two eating the organs. We're huge eaters of bison liver, bison heart, bison kidney. Like repairs like, go at it that way. And then, me personally, I prefer to be gluten-free. I don't think gluten and those grains, wheat, barley, rye. I don't think they have any nutritional value. I don't think they're necessary, it's just not something that I prefer. And again, we do leaky cut testing on everybody. We see everybody come up with high antibody levels to the components of gluten, which are gliadin and glutenins, all the different molecules that make up what they call gluten, which is just the glue. Glues up our system, messes up with our arteries. Gut microbiome, not necessary.
Ben: Okay. Well, I tell you what, I learned some really interesting things from you today, but three of them I think I'm really going to take away hardcore from this. The first is I'd forgotten about how critical the exclusion zone and this concept of hydration minerals and sunlight is for heart health. And, it just reinforced to me the notion of anybody who's not yet engaged in some type of regular sunlight exposure or infrared light use or both and who is concerned about their heart and lowering resistance to blood flow. It'd be a really good strategy.
The second is something I haven't talked about a lot and that's this importance of sulfur, sulfur precursors, sulfurous compounds, and even being really careful as you were just talking about with inorganic food; pesticides, herbicides, glyphosates, et cetera, because those could potentially strip sulfur not just from the gut but from the vascular system. So, this idea of sulfur support is, I think, also important.
And, I didn't know a lot about berberine as almost like a natural balancer of LDL receptor status, but considering it's also a pretty powerful blood glucose disposal agent for enhancing insulin sensitivity in glucose uptake, I think it was definitely some to be said for berberine. Although for me, you'll like this, I'm looking at my window right now and I have an organ grape root that just grows like weeds on my property. And, I can dig that up and shave it and the root that I can make tea out of or use the shavings of is pretty much identical as far as the biochemical activity of it to berberine. So, I'll need to harvest a little bit more organ grapefruit for my heart.
And so, yeah, you're chockfull of interesting information, Jack. I mean, “The Paleo Cardiologist” book I know and your website, thedrswolfson.com, which I assume you run with your wife are also really good sources of information. Any other good sources of information that you point people to who want to catch up with your stuff?
Jack: Yeah. Well, naturalheartdoctor.com is my preferred website. My wife and I do have that co-site, but Natural Heart Doctor is where we get all the heart health information. And, I will say this too, Ben. I know, again, you got Kion Coffee in your, I don't know, your current coffee status, but I do talk a lot about the health benefits of coffee because I grew up as a coffee drinker, my father was a coffee drinker.
Back then, it was Folgers and Hills Brothers and gas station coffee. But, as you look at the data because a lot of people are told by their doctor to get off coffee or caffeine and it's a major mistake. And actually, coffee drinkers have less atrial fibrillation. In fact, there's one study that shows that six or more cups of coffee per day led to the lowest AFib risk. Coffee drinkers have less AFib, less stroke, less heart attacks. Coffee drinkers, women in particular, this study showed, that women who drink coffee after a heart attack have a lower risk of dying, which is pretty cool. Obviously, the cancer benefits, the brain benefits, the longevity benefits of it and especially when you're drinking good organic mold mycotoxin-free coffee, I think it's absolutely spectacular. So, listen, if somebody doesn't feel well on caffeine, don't drink it. But, if it doesn't bother you and you really enjoy it, then I think you should. Just another example of how cardiologists have no training in nutrition.
And, it's interesting too, Ben, there's another study actually where they gave caffeine tablets to people with paroxysmal AFib versus placebo, and the group that got the caffeine tablets had less recurrent AFib than those who got the placebo. It's pretty interesting.
Ben: That's crazy. There's like that stereotypical idea of somebody drinking a cup of coffee and clutching their chest with a heart attack from excess nervous system stimulation. But yeah, I've seen some similar data, man. So, thank you. Your checks in the mail for advertising the wonderful Kion organic coffee. But yeah, I'm a fan. I have, typically when I travel, a cup every morning, two to four cups a week at home. So, alright, well, we can throw coffee into the mix as well, folks, and all the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Wolfson, W-O-L-F-S-O-N. I'll link to Jack's book, his other materials, studies and other podcasts that I cited in this podcast. And Jack, thanks so much for coming on, man.
Jack: My pleasure. Thank you so much, Ben. Thank you.
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After a recent cardiovascular wake-up call, my quest for optimal heart health led me straight to Dr. Jack Wolfson.
You might recognize him as the board-certified cardiologist who’s been transforming the world of heart health with a natural approach, and whose book, The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health, skyrocketed to an Amazon #1 best-seller.
If you've ever had an inkling that the route to heart health might not lie solely in pharmaceuticals, Dr. Jack's work and message will probably resonate. Once immersed in the conventional world of cardiology, performing coronary angiograms and pacemakers, his life took a holistic turn after meeting his chiropractic wife, Heather. Together, they are not just a force in the medical world but also pillars of philanthropy. With four children, their mission extends beyond medicine; they are ardent advocates for a better world, channeling their efforts into providing for those in need, championing animal rights, and passionately promoting natural health causes. Today, Dr. Jack stands at the forefront of natural cardiology, advocating for a paradigm shift where the root causes of heart problems are addressed rather than resorting to Band-Aid fixes.
Through his websites NaturalHeartDoctor.com and TheDrsWolfson.com and his venture, Cardiology Coffee, Dr. Jack bridges the gap between heart health and a natural lifestyle. And the media can’t get enough of him. With features spanning from NBC to the Washington Post, it's clear that the world is paying attention. And it's not just about the media recognition; it's about the lives changed, the individuals inspired, and the global community he's built, all dedicated to fostering natural heart health.
During today's show, I'll be discussing my personal heart health journey and introducing Calroy, a pioneering heart health supplement company whose products, including Vascanox and Arterosil, are crafted with the synergy of science and nature. Dr. Wolfson and I will unpack the nuances of the endothelial glycocalyx in heart health, shed light on the importance of Salivary Nitric Oxide testing, address the concerns surrounding glyphosate, and much more. Additionally, Dr. Wolfson provides insights into sulfur deficiencies and offers his perspective on radiation and CT scans. If you're as enthusiastic as I am about transformative solutions for foundational health, this segment promises to be enlightening and informative.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Dr. Jack Wolfson's journey into cardiology as a natural heart doctor…8:25
- Followed in his father's footsteps to become a board-certified cardiologist
- Achieved several professional milestones
- Married chiropractic physician Dr. Heather Wolfson
- His father becomes ill and the Mayo Clinic was unable to figure out why
- Dr. Heather Wolfson was able to diagnose Jack's father
- Holistic approach to medicine
- Encouraged Jack to become a “Doctor of Cause”
- Determined to save others after losing his father
- Dr. Heather Wolfson was able to diagnose Jack's father
- Understanding the Heart by Doctor Stephen Hussey
- Believes that humans are created perfectly
- Emphasizes the importance of addressing root causes rather than relying on pharmaceutical solutions
- Humans can prevent and heal illnesses through diet, exercise, and biohacking
-Ben's interest in learning more about the health of the endothelial glycocalyx after receiving his recent calcium score…12:20
- The endothelial glycocalyx is a protective layer in blood vessels
- Endothelium is a one-cell layer
- Glycocalyx is a hair-like layer attached to the endothelium
- Protective of the blood vessel
- Creates a smooth surface in the blood vessel
- Nothing will stick to it
- Sulfur plays a role in maintaining the glycocalyx
- Ben's podcast interview with Dr. Gerald Pollack:
- Ben's podcast interview with Dr. Thomas Cowan on The Exclusion Zone and its relevance to heart health
- Human Heart, Cosmic Heart by Dr. Thomas Cowan
- The glycocalyx is inside the exclusion zone
- The exclusion zone is a protective area
- Prevents things from sticking to arterial walls
- Ensures the proper functioning of blood flow
- The shape of the heart within the chest creates a spiralizing blood flow
- The heart's contractions and electromagnetic field play a role in circulation
- The importance of overall health on your heart's health
- Sleep health
- Diet and exercise
- Spiritual health
- Purpose and passion
- Sense of community
-How medical doctors are not taught natural and holistic practices in med school…24:10
- Medical education primarily focuses on pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures
- Neglects nutrition, lifestyle, and natural health practices
- Lack of education on the impact of sunlight on the exclusion zone
- Lack of education on vitamins and minerals
- Dr. Wolfson was criticized and ridiculed when transitioning to a natural approach to cardiology
- Profit-driven nature of the medical field
-Salivary nitric oxide testing is a good surrogate test for endothelial function…27:15
- At this time, there is a test for determining the health of your endothelial glycocalyx
- Podcast on nitric oxide:
- Dr. Nathan Bryan
- Pharmaceutical companies initially developed Viagra as a blood pressure medication
- Discovered its effect on sexual performance
- Constant stress has negative effects on libido
- Ben's experiences with nitric oxide supplements
- Better results when dissolving them in the mouth
- The importance of the oral microbiome and stomach acid for converting nitrates into nitric oxide
- Pharmaceuticals and fluoride have negative impacts on stomach acid levels and microbiome health
- Strategies for maintaining oral health without using mouthwash
-What is in the Calroy product Vascanox that allows it to increase blood flow?…40:25
- Contains potassium nitrate and various B vitamins
- Natural sources of nitrate-based precursors
- Black garlic extract
- Beetroot extract
- Black currant extract
- Bilberry extract
- Raspberry extract
- Blue honeysuckle berry extract
- Green seaweed extract
- Natural sources of nitrate-based precursors
- It's a clean product; no fillers
- Shown to reduce blood pressure and plaque formation
- No evidence of raised nitric oxide levels
- The importance of oxidized LDL cholesterol test
-How exposure to glyphosate may play a role in sulfur deficiency and what are the best sources of sulfur…46:05
- Stephanie Seneff's and Anthony Samsel's research into glyphosate and human health
- Dr. Jack Wolfson believes more research is required to understand the impact of glyphosate on heart health and sulfur deficiency
- Sulfur-rich foods support the glycocalyx
- Pellegrino water is the single best water source for sulfur
- Personalized and Precision Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine by Dr. Mark C. Houston
- Dr. Jack Wolfson is a contributing author
- Blood pressure trial showed improved scores
- Improved blood flow
- Decreased plaque formation
- Shown to reduce plaque in the coronary, carotid, and peripheral anatomy
- Sees plaque reversal and stabilization in patients
- Dr. Jack Wolfson's recommends Arterosil to his patients with atrial fibrillation
- Safe to take with anti-coagulants
-Why Dr. Jack is anti-CT scans and radiation, and prefers other types of testing…54:30
- Believes radiation leads to coronary artery disease, cancer, and dementia
- Some individuals take CT scans into their own hands, leading to unnecessary procedures and medications, even if they initially had no symptoms
- Being put on statin drugs
- Undergoing stress tests, angiograms, stent placements
- Taking multiple pharmaceuticals
- Ben's logic around CT scans
- The results would influence lifestyle decisions
- How much high-intensity exercise
- What supplements to take
- What medications to take that may assist with plaque removal
- Ben's concern for his clients when they have had testing that shows high calcium scores
- His advice:
- No extreme training and racing
- Be moderate with sauna use
- Be mindful of mineral intake, etc.
- “Baby” their heart
- His advice:
- The results would influence lifestyle decisions
- Dr. Jack Wolfson doesn't believe calcium scan scores are necessary
- Recommends advanced lab testing for heart health, which includes extensive lipid profiles, markers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and metabolic health
- Emphasizes that any medical test should only be done if it can change a person's treatment strategy and improve their health
- Lipid profiles, markers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and metabolic health
- Believes there is no need to radiate the body to assess coronary health
- Statin drugs are known to increase coronary calcification
- Don't significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or death, especially for primary prevention
- Prevencio heart panel test, HART CVE™
-How exposure to mold mycotoxins impacts heart health…63:50
- Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by molds in the environment
- Exposure has been linked to cardiovascular disease and other health conditions
- Plays a role in oxidative stress and inflammation
- Impairs autonomic function
- Coagulation disorders
- Gut microbiome disruption
- Intestinal permeability
- Oxidative stress
- Binders can help mitigate mycotoxin exposure
- Glutathione assists in detoxifying mycotoxins (use code BEN to save 5%)
- The health benefits of coffee consumption
- Source of antioxidants
- Kion Coffee
- Eat organic, mold mycotoxin-free foods and beverages
- Dr. Jack Wolfson's website: naturalheartdoctor.com
- Dr. Jack Wolfson's book: The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health
-And much more…
- Elements of Vitality: December 8th, 2023
Return to the Elements of Vitality—this will be the second time my good friend Dr. John Lieurance and I collaborate to bring you the most effective and cutting-edge health and wellness advice, protocols, and some of our favorite tools. If you’re into health and wellness, and you want to stay on top of all of the cutting-edge, latest, and greatest innovations and protocols, you don’t want to miss this event. Learn more here.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
Resources from this episode:
- Wolfson Integrative Cardiology
- Natural Heart Doctor
- The Doctors Wolfson
- The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health
- CALROY (20% discount auto-applied at checkout)
- Is All Water The Same?
- Why Your Heart Is Not A Pump (& What Most Doctors Don’t Know About The True Cause Of Heart Disease).
- Q&A 426: Does Being Overweight Help You Live Longer?, The Dark Side Of Fasting, The Latest On Caffeine & Exercise Performance, Boosting Nitric Oxide & Much More!
- Human Heart, Cosmic Heart by Dr. Thomas Cowan
- Understanding the Heart by Doctor Stephen Hussey
- Personalized and Precision Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine by Dr. Mark C. Houston
– Other Resources:
- US Wellness Meats
- Seafood (use code GREENFIELD20 to save $20)
- Green Seaweed Extract
- Oil Pulling
- Biocharged Resistor Ozonated Oil
- Activated Charcoal
- Bentonite Clay
- Glutathione (use code BEN to save 5%)
- Kion Coffee
- Dr. Nathan Bryan
- Prevencio HART CVE
- Glyphosate, Pathways to Modern Diseases III: Manganese, Neurological Diseases, and Associated Pathologies
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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Jack Wolfson or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!