Is Lead The Silent Cause of High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease?
It seems like everybody in the country is on a cholesterol-lowering drug, and/or blood pressure medicine. The pharmaceutical industry continues to churn out new drugs, at the same time, they “support” a lower threshold for beginning treatment. It’s no surprise that lower threshold makes almost all of us candidates for their products.
Despite the exuberant enthusiasm for prescription drugs, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in women, men, and people of all racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. All too often a heart attack will strike without warning. Episodes of sudden death are known to occur in relatively young people with no known cardiac risk factors.
Even after the constant churning out of prescriptions, strokes are still disturbingly prevalent. There is no warning, and it leaves a devastating wake of destruction.
Why? I believe that much of the problem is that we are not aware of, and thus we are not looking for, one of the most compelling cardiac risk factors, accumulation of toxic lead.
Lead doesn’t just disappear; it is stored in our bones.
Consider this: Until 1996 we were asked if we’d like leaded or unleaded gasoline in our cars. We breathed it in, we touched it. None of us were wearing hazmat suits at the time!
This is just one repeated exposure to lead. It has been estimated that modern humans have 1000 times the amount of lead in their bodies as our prehistoric ancestors. This is the result of 5000 years of lead smelting. Now lead residue literally blankets the earth. Particles are suspended in the air and fall in the rain, getting into the soil and then into the plants contaminating the food that we eat.
It’s in our water supply. It is in cosmetics and can be transmitted through the skin. It is present in umbilical cord blood; thus the intoxication begins before we are born!
Lead is a well-known neurotoxin correlating with cognitive decline, intellectual impairment, and a host of other brain and nervous system consequence. It is also extremely toxic toward arteries and the heart.
Lead is believed to be a contributor towards high blood pressure, and also felt to be directly toxic toward the heart and the coronary arteries.
Testing for lead in the blood does not accurately reflect the true risk. One problem is that the threshold most laboratories use for their cut off is simply too high.
Even at the lowest levels lead is correlated with toxic consequence.
In addition, lead simply passes through the blood on its way to be stored in the bone and soft tissue. Lead gradually accumulates from year to year in the body. The half-life of lead in the bone has been estimated to be greater than 30 years. For most of us, it accumulates faster than we can get rid of it increasing the risk for toxic consequences over time.
Patients often ask me, “How much lead in my body is safe?” The answer is zero.
Testing for total body lead levels is possible using “provocative” testing. This simple and safe test involves receiving an IV of calcium EDTA which pulls lead out of its hiding places, and then measuring what comes out in the urine. Knowledge about the baseline levels of lead can be a helpful baseline.
Another useful test is a “calcium score.” This is a quick, low radiation CAT scan of the heart. It can reveal whether or not, and how much, calcium deposition has occurred in the coronary arteries. Rather than looking at surrogate markers like blood pressure and cholesterol, this study gives direct objective evidence of hardening of the arteries.
Clean up your “internal environment” with Chelation.
The next step is to clean up the environment. I’m not talking about obliterating excess lead from planet Earth, that will take centuries. I’m talking about your internal environment. Chelation therapy can safely remove lead from the body, and lower your total amounts of stored lead. Studies have demonstrated that the use of chelation therapy can reduce heart attacks, strokes, hospitalizations and death rates.
Always remember that their highest priority for companies producing drugs is that they will turn a profit. There is nothing evil about profits. Without them, companies would fail. However, it’s incumbent upon us to be mindful of the priorities propelling pharmaceutical research.
Chelation therapy is safe, powerful, and can be life changing.
But it is simply a bag full of vitamins, which doesn’t make it profitable for pharmaceutical companies. It can’t be monetized by creating patents for mass distribution.
Despite those barriers, courageous clinicians are making such treatments available. Chelation therapy can be found within driving distance of almost everybody in America. The evidence is in. The time has come to make regular chelation treatments a standard component of your health maintenance lifestyle. It belongs right up there alongside exercise, healthy eating, avoidance of tobacco, and using your seatbelts!
I believe those who chelate on a regular basis will see long-term benefits with lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and dementia. Remember, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals make most of their money when you get sick. It is up to you to invest in preserving your health.