I have a client who recently had his yearly physical exam. He explained to the doctor that he just wasn’t feeling good. Trouble sleeping, weight gain, lack of energy and focus-he knew something was not quite right. in his early 50’s, he felt like he was much, much older. His blood work revealed low thyroid function, high triglycerides, and high VLDL cholesterol. The doctor also gave him a heart examination, which showed high calcium buildup in his cardiac arteries- his score was a 95 and should have been zero. While his doc prescribed several pharmaceutical drugs, he asked me if there was anything he could do with a more natural ( I call it rational) approach. He started taking a thyroid supplement, and I decided to address the arterial problem. I broke it down into; how to clean out the arteries, and how to keep them clear. To clean them out, vitamin K2 is key. Most people have heard of vitamin K as an important coagulant for the blood. This form of vitamin K is known as K1, and is found in leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, avocado, kiwi, grapes, and parsley. Another important form of vitamin K is K2. K2 is found in meat, eggs, dairy products like cheese, fermented foods like sauerkraut and natto, a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. K2 is a critical component for bone and arterial health. Without K2, calcium regulation is disrupted, with calcium pulled out of bone and deposited in places like arteries, where it is not welcome. Calcification of the arteries leads to plaque buildup and can lead to blockage and either a stroke or heart attack. Adequate K2 levels regulate calcium and actually pull it out of the arteries and ADD it to bone. While millions of people take calcium to maintain healthy bone, not a single molecule of bone can be made without K2 and boron, as well as magnesium, phosphorous, and others. If K2 levels are sufficient, both bone health and cardiovascular health are maintained. In addition to getting enough K2 in his diet, I asked my client to ask his doctor to check his parathyroid gland (there are actually 4 parathyroid glands that lie on the thyroid itself). Parathyroid is responsible for regulating calcium in the blood. Once the arteries clear, levels of triglyceride and VLDL should  drop, as long as he makes these lifestyle changes. 1). Getting regular exercise-regular exercise is key to improving blood vessel flow. It can also help maintain a healthy weight, control diabetes and high blood pressure, and increase levels of HDL cholesterol (which carries the other ‘bad’ types of cholesterol such as LDL and VLDL to the liver for elimination). 2).  Eat healthy-beware of too much salt, fat, sugar, and trans-fats in the diet-these can damage the lining of the blood vessels (called the endothelium). Aim for whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats and fish. 3). Lose weight-excess weight can lead to high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and diabetes. I’ll keep you posted on his progress in 6-8 weeks.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.