The Stanford Speech:
||Heart Disease is an early form of the sailor’s disease scurvy. In my presentation I can only focus on the most compelling evidence. For more details I encourage you to visit our research website (www.dr-rath-research.org).|
||All existing hypotheses of atherogenesis have one problem in common - they defy human logic. The theory that high cholesterol levels, oxidized LDL or bacteria damage the vascular wall would lead to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques along theentire vascular pipeline. Inevitably, peripheral vascular disease would be the primary manifestation of cardiovascular disease. This is clearly not the case.|
| It doesn’t require a degree from Stanford
or any other medical school – any lay person can solve the Plumber’s
riddle. The arteries, veins and capillaries in our body are a pipeline
that is 60,000 miles long. But this pipeline fails in 90% of the cases at
one specific spot: The coronary arteries, with the length of only one billionth
of the total vascular pipeline. If bad water quality - e.g. high cholesterol
- would cause damage to this pipeline, it would clog everywhere, not just
at one spot. Obviously, elevated cholesterol can not be the cause of coronary
|The solution to the puzzle of cardiovascular disease, therefore, must lie in the explanation of coronary artery plaques as the predominant manifestation of cardiovascular disease.|
||To solve this puzzle we need to refocus our attention away from the blood stream and its constituents towards the one and only relevant target: the stability of the vascular wall.|
|| This animation
(requires RealVideoPlayer) shows the connection between cardiovascular disease
and the sailor’s disease scurvy. As opposed to animals, the
human body cannot synthesize vitamin C. Ascorbate deficiency results in
two distinct morphological changes of the vascular wall: Impaired vascular
stability due to decreased collagen synthesis and loss of the endothelial
||The sailors of earlier centuries died within a few months from hemorrhagic blood loss due to lack of endogenous ascorbate synthesis combined with a vitamin deficient diet aboard. When the Indians gave those sailors tea from tree barks and other vitamin rich nutrition, blood loss was stopped and the vascular wall healed naturally.|
Today, everyone gets some vitamin C and open scurvy is rare. But almost everyone suffers from chronic vitamin deficiency. Over decades, micro lesions develop in the vascular wall, especially in areas of high mechanical stress such as the coronary arteries.
Just as in the sailor’s disease scurvy, so does vitamin C induce the natural repair of the blood vessel wall in cardiovascular disease leading to a halt in progression and even to natural regression of vascular lesions.
In contrast to current models of atherogenesis, the Scurvy / Heart Disease
Connection can answer all key questions in clinical cardiology today.
||Why do we get infarctions of the heart and not the nose or ears? The answer can be reduced to two factors: Structural impairment of the vascular wall due to vitamin deficiency combined with the mechanical stress from pulsatile blood flow in the coronary arteries. It is at this unique spot where the underlying structural impairment is exposed first.|
||Why do we get arteriosclerosis, but not venosclerosis? The cholesterol and the infection theory would inevitably lead to clogging of veins and capillaries. The scurvy heart disease connection provides the only logical answer to this phenomenon.|
| Why animals donĘt get heart attacks,
but people do? Why do bears and other hibernators with cholesterol
levels of 600 mg/dl are not extinct from an epidemic of heart attacks? The
answer: Animals produce their own vitamin C in amounts between 1 gram and
20 grams each day, compared to the human body weight. These amounts of ascorbate
are obviously sufficient to optimize the stability of their vascular walls
ū without any necessity for Statins.
| Why are all important risk factors for
CVD closely connected to ascorbate deficiency, including, diabetes,
hyperlipdemia, homocysteinuria and others. The common denominator of these
metabolic disorders is to provide compensatory stability for the vitamin
deficient vascular wall. This is also the reason, why ascorbate deficiency
increases fibrinogen and thromboxane levels while decreasing endothelial
derived relaxing factor (NO) and prostacyclin.
| Lets turn to key evidence for the scurvy
/ heart disease connection. The guinea pig, like man, cannot synthesize
ascorbate endogenously. In our published research we demonstrated that,
when guinea pigs are fed vitamin C only at the level of the human RDA they
develop atherosclerosis. These vascular lesions are histologically indistinguishable
from human atherosclerotic plaques. In contrast, the control animals receiving
Vitamin C levels of one teaspoon vitamin C per day have clean arteries.
||These experiments were confirmed by Meade et al. in an ascorbate “knock out” animal model. The first manifestation in these animals was the deterioration of the vascular wall, resembling early atherosclerosis in man.|
| We confirmed these results in a clinical
study in patients with preexisting coronary artery deposits measured
by Ultrafast Computed Tomography. Following a defined vitamin program, the
progression of calcification significantly decreased and in some cases the
disappearance of lesions was documented, as you can see in this X-ray CT
pictures. Copies of the publication of this clinical study are available
at this meeting or online.
| The scurvy heart disease connection means a
paradigm shift in medicine from symptom-orientation to the only relevant
preventive and therapeutic target: The stability of the vascular wall.
With the discovery of the scurvy / heart disease connection, the “world
of heart disease” has ceased to be a plate and has become a globe.
| Now that we have identified the true nature
of cardiovascular disease, its eradication is only a question of time. Already
in ten years from now the headlines of the leading newspapers may read:
"WHO proclaims heart disease as eradicated / The pharmaceutical market
of statins and other symptom-oriented drugs have collapsed on Wall Street
/ and the cardiology departments at Stanford and other Medical Schools are
|On behalf of millions of patients with heart diseases I call upon Stanford University and other medical institutions to accept their responsibility and join us in the eradication of cardiovascular disease.|