CT CORONARY ARTERY CALCIUM SCORING - Advanced Prostate...

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CT CORONARY ARTERY CALCIUM SCORING

Ten years ago (age 61), my integrative medicine doctor suggested that I check out my arterial calcification. His idea was that if calcification was minimal, I would never have to worry about it again. My regular doctor would have said that I should only go for it if I was prepared to get treatment should the result go the other way.

The test is cheap (in the U.S.). I walked into the imaging center, paid my $136 (not covered by insurance) & was seen within minutes. The test is not invasive & is over in less than 10 minutes.

It measures calcification of arteries in/out of the heart.

Two of the four readings showed zero calcification.

My wife had started using vitamin K2 at the same time as me. She had the scan 3 years after I did & all four of her readings were zeros. Her doctor said that it was unheard of for a 65 year-old woman to have zero calcification (& normal bone density).

I had a vague idea that I would have a repeat scan at some time, to verify that vitamin K2 had finished the job & that I also had four zeros.

But recently, I became concerned that my PCa protocol (3 months castrate + 3 months high testosterone, that I began some time after the scan) might have had a negative effect on the arteries. So, ten years after (last Monday), I had the test again (now $157) & here are the results:

"CALCIUM SCORE

LEFT MAIN CORONARY ARTERY: 17 (previously 0)

LEFT ANTERIOR DESCENDING ARTERY: 196 (previously 22)

CIRCUMFLEX ARTERY: 35 (previously 0)

RIGHT CORONARY ARTERY: 37 (previously 13)

TOTAL CALCIUM SCORE: 285 (previously 35)

...

CALCIUM SCORE GUIDELINES:

0: This is a negative exam.

1-10: Significant coronary artery disease is very unlikely.

11-100: There are likely to be minimal to mild coronary stenoses.

101-400: Moderate, non-obstructive coronary artery disease is highly likely.

Greater than 401: There is a high likelihood of at least one significant coronary stenosis."

...

My doctor was wrong about never having to worry about it again. With castrate testosterone, everything changes.

Has anyone here reversed calcification (other than via vitamin K2)?

-Patrick

73 Replies
oldestnewest

medium.com/@Kahn642/reversa...

See the section on Natto

Doug

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Hi Doug,

My best bet is get cured of PCa & get back to high testosterone.

In the meantime, looking through your link:

- I'm on 40 mg Simvastatin ...

- 12,000 FU nattokinase ...

- "gamma tocotrienol from palm oil"

- & pomegranate

- I used aged garlic years ago - I might go back to it.

- I have ordered some EDTA

- bergamot is a surprise. I'm not too keen on Earl Grey tea. Perhaps yet another supplement:

swansonvitamins.com/swanson...

Thanks so much for the link.

-Patrick

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There is no doubt that clogged arteries can be reversed..but its not easy ...steps in that direction (1) getting to ideal body weight, BMI less than 22. (2) regular 5 mile walk in 24 hours. (3) fully plant based diet ( 4) garlic garlic garlic (German studies have shown that Garlic alone can lower cholesterol by 8 percent and (5) Niacin/statin or statin like supplements read: red yeast rice. Like I said ..Its possible but not easy.

2 likes
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"Its possible but not easy"

Not easy when testosterone is close to zero.

But that's a useful list. Thanks!

-Patrick

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Seems like a bit of a trick to get to ideal body weight when ADT tends to add weight.... also BMI is a tricky one as it does not take into account musculature or frame size.... by NO ones standards do I appear overweight but by standard charts I am still 10 lbs overweight and my BMI ( can't recall the number) is higher than it should be...... I am doing my best now, anyway, to drop lbs in preparation for beginning ADT to account for possible weight gain during..... biggest difficulty is going to be diet.... shifting to healthy eating will be a challenge..... Scary blood results might motivate me to change : )

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Tommy...Its true that BMI is not the best measure.. IMO..body fat percentage is better than BMI. I am eating mostly vegetables, fruits and some whole wheat bread and fat free yogurt ...Walk 5 miles a day with the Fitbit ...and so far the weight has remained close to ideal.

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Terrific!!... Are you metastatic??... what is your drug regimen?

I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row in preparation for ADT.

I'm not yet metastatic....

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Yes I was diagnosed 7 weeks ago with bone mets...on pelvis . sacrum and some on spine.

Had no symptoms except some low backache. After a whole lot of medical reading and discussions , started Lupron and Zytiga 3 weeks ago. PSA is falling like a rock.

Though I am also taking curcumin, quercetin, garlic, ginger, cabbage,cauliflower, green leafy veggies, pomegranade seeds (anardana) and dried red grapes (resins), skin of red apples etc. For bones , supplement, calcium bone maker complex (doctor's best brand). walking 4 to 5 miles a day is very very important. Prevention is better than cure.

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Next time I get prostate cancer I'm going to have to be sure that I have the budget to support it : ) ...... I can't even dream of doing half the things many on this list do..... trips to Europe for Tx's not available in the US.... a couple hundred bucks per month worth of supplements..... New line drugs that are not covered well under insurance..... Have to hope that the first line drugs help for a while ....

thanks for the info and update......

Bob

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I agree that we need to stay in budget. Bankrupting our loved ones to buy a few more months of life is unacceptable to me. Death is inevitable whether we go to Europe or to Mars for treatment.. Its all about your values and principles.. living frugal and leaving some money to your wife and children is a noble thing to do compared to spend everything in hope of living a few more months. Yes ,,but I would like my doctors to keep me pain free in the last phase and they will ..I know that. My point is if we could not live for 65 years properly...what is point of a few more months...at big price.

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Agreed...

My situation doesn't even involve wife and kids.... it's simply an issue of all my money going to keep me alive but having NO quality of life because there's nothing left to enjoy the small amount of extra time I bought myself.... a conundrum to be sure... If we lived in a reasonable world we would be able to say.... " I've had enough"....I'd like to bow out now and NOT have to wait until we have only 6 months left to live before being " qualifies" for assisted death... I know there are a LOT of folks who will go to great lengths to squeak out a few more months of life and that is fine for them..... I just wish they wouldn't stand in the way of those of us who don't find the battle worth fighting if there is nothing BUT the battle. Step down from Soapbox : )

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Coronary atherosclerosis can be reversed using high dosè statin eg Atorvastatin 80 mg daily. Aim for serum cholesterol just above 3. Check monthly and adjust statin dose.

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Frank,

"Aim for serum cholesterol just above 3."?

That seems brutal. I'm on the highest Simvastatin I can get (40 mg). There used to be an 80 mg dose - some people are grandfathered & still receive it. (U.S.)

Thanks, -Patrick

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My husband is on 80 mg of atorvastatin since his stent procedure this past March. IC mentioned getting the LDL as low as low can go. All the while the lipid panel was in normal range for my husband. Diet and supplements will only take it so far when combatting adt.

Have you researched ozone therapy for cvd? I remember reading some ncbi material in the past but cannot find it now or I'd post the link.

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How is his lipid profile now?

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A lipid panel was just taken and we're waiting on results. I'll update you when we get them back.

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Total cholesterol - 97 LOW

HDL - 34 LOW

Ldl/HDL ratio - 1.1

Non HDL - 63

Triglycerides - 121

LDL cholesterol calc- 39

LDL- P 762

HDL -P (total) -- 21.3 LOW

Small LDL -P 337

LDL size - 20.4 LOW

LP -IR -- 25

The cholesterol is way too low. imo

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well, probably your cardiologist will be happy with this lipid panel. This is taking 80 atorvastatin, and maybe metformin too? And is he still on ADT?

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I would not be happy with the panel. The ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol (a surrogate for insulin resistance) is too high: 3.6. (I would be lookin for 1.0-1.5)

"In addition to fasting plasma triglyceride levels and insulin concentrations, a cross-sectional study in which most of the participants were white and overweight identified a plasma triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio of 3 or greater as a reliable predictor of insulin resistance. In fact, McLaughlin and colleagues suggested that an elevated triglyceride to HDL-C ratio may be a "clinically appealing marker" because of its robust association with cardiovascular disease."

medscape.org/viewarticle/58...

-Patrick

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ok, but triglycerides are low, so the thing would be to raise HDL, no? I thought for being on ADT quite low LDL and triglycerides... but good to know that the ratio is so important.

My husband triglycerides/HDL ratio is 0.32, so far so good for him, but he is not yet on ADT (and if he goes for radiation ADT will be a must...), having CVD we are quite worried...

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I don't view 121 as being a low number.

I know that 'normal' is considered to be less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

I am with Barry Sears of Zone diet fame. He says that normal is <2 times HDL-C.

My rule of thumb is that triglycerides must be <100, but we should aim to be closer to 50.

I only achieve that when my testosterone is normal-high.

With ADT, there is only so much we can do to improve the numbers. A certain amount of exercise can help.

Best, -Patrick

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Also, I'm not sure what i think about the lipid hypothesis these days. Science is progressing on this issue as well...I definitely don't believe it's as settled as I once believed.

crossfit.com/essentials/its...

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Yes, 80 mg. We are looking to reduce it to 40 mg as my husband is having some memory issues with the statin. He's not on metformin and taking a break from ADT.

I would definitely like to see his HDL higher.

His insulin resistance is low.

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Do a google scholar search on reversal of atherosclerosis usin

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Using statins. They favour Atorvastatin or Rosuvastatin. Much cleaner. Key is to check bloods and increase dose

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Thanks Frank -Patrick

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Whoa! This has to be a typo. Cholesterol is not your enemy! Less than about 150 is healthy for normal folks (I know, we're not normal).

Cholesterol is a necessary component of normal hormones production.

I'd be concerned if my cholesterol was around 100 mg %.

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Fourteen or so years ago, my wife and I had the same CT scan, only it was free covered by Medicare. My score was over four-hundred, my wife's, 600. My oncologist, at the time, looked at my score and suggested that I begin taking a statin. Unfortunately, I read too much on Dr. Google and refused. He said that with my score I should be dead! (He had a great bedside manner). My wife went to see her first cardiologist who, after giving her a stress test, suggested that she should seriously consider walking, which she already did, but up hills. We both began hill-walking and have never looked back. On her next stress test, she went for the full time at a high pace and passed with flying colors. I didn't bother with the test, just did as she did.

Suggestions:

1 I remember you writing that you don't like exercise, or seldom exercised: suggest that you reconsider. This is probably the most important variable (including diet, which also applies to Pca). Walk at a pace at which you can converse but not sing.

2 Although I tend toward a plant-based diet (my wife sometimes will eat meat three times a day), recent research appears to show that it is not as crucial as exercise: at least five hours a week, including strength building.

3 Garlic and onions are a must: we usually eat them in salads, soups and almost anything else we cook. You might also consider Kyolic Omega 3 fortified with aged garlic.

4 If the cardiologist will allow it, have the stress test to see how the calcium has functionally affected you.

5 Long shot: Test for Parathyroid Stimulating Hormone (PTH). This gland monitors blood calcium. Also include, Ionic or free calcium. If either is high, this could be one explanation for calcium in one's arteries.

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Hi Kuanyin,

I have a very good treadmill & I used to get on it every morning - but not for the last 5 years or so. I am surprised at my lack of motivation. But I am shocked by the scan results. I have to try harder.

Thanks, -Patrick

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Patrick,

My testosterone is so low that after a morning walk with my wife, I am totally drained. In the summer, because it normally gets hot here in So. California, I get up at 5:00 AM, do the 45 minute walk, followed by an hour-and-a-half of Qigong. Three days a week, I also go to the gym. I know how you feel, but we really don't have much of a choice, do we? What's the alternative? You can do it: just think that you are not only working on your heart but Pca as well: it's a twofer!

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Yes, I should make an effort. No need to be too abitious. No need to buy special clothing or equipment. I can do it.

-Patrick

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I second kuanyins suggestion about walking. I bought a fitbit 2 years ago after finding out that my stress test was showing only 10 METS. Started walking 10000 steps or more every day. Took stress test again after 6 months...the METS went up to 12.5. Also, agree with daily garlic and onion in food. (METS are measure of cardiac muscle conditioning) Anything above 12 is considered very good along with Ejection Fraction above 60 percent.

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Thanks!

I am a fan of garlic & onions in home-cooked dishes. I usually double-up when following a recipe.

With garlic, for maximum activation, I use a garlic press & let the pulp sit for at least ten minutes before it is exposed to heat.

See:

"Pressing garlic releases the enzyme alliinase, forming the sulfur compound allicin, which is responsible for garlic’s complex flavor."

or:

well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007...

"Many home chefs mistakenly cook garlic immediately after crushing or chopping it, added Dr. Kraus. To maximize the health benefits, you should crush the garlic at room temperature and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. That triggers an enzyme reaction that boosts the healthy compounds in garlic."

-Patrick

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How does one get tested for METS?? Ejection Fraction is invasive if I recall correctly...

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It's ...Non Invasive.....Easiest way to get ejection fraction calculated is by a cardiac

Echo cardiogram (ECHO) This tests is basically an ultrasound of heart and takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Other way is to get a threadmill stress test.. can also tell you Ejection fraction.

Ejection fraction is the percentage of blood your left ventricle is able to eject out of your heart in one beat. Olympic athletes can have Ejection fraction of 70 to 80%

An average ,fit man has between 60 to 70% . Less than 50% indicates some weakening of heart and anything less than 30 percent indicates chronic heart failure which usually happens if high blood pressure has not been kept under control for many years causing enlargement of heart.

METS is short form of Metabolic Equivalents which basically is a measure of how

fit your heart is. It is calculated by making you run on threadmil while your EKG

is being taken. If you can run on threadmil for 12 to 13 minutes without having any abnormal EKG changes, that usually indicates that you might have 11-12 METS which is considered very good METS. Means healthy and conditioned heart.

I believe any one on ADT should get both ECHO and Threadmil stress test once a year.

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How are your cholesterol levels?

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Last year, I had a lipids test at the end of 3 months of high T & again, at the end of 3 months of castrate T. They were profoundly different. The first lipid panel was as good as one could wish for. With the second, the most disturbing change was from LDL-C to VLDL-C.

For the past 6 months, I have been on a monthy BAT cycle. I will repeat the tests on day ~7 (I start taking DES on the 8th) & day ~31. Perhaps the rapid cycle is less damaging?

-Patrick

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so it is really the lack of testosterone! during this 10 years between these 2 calcium scores how long have you been on ADT (and which ones)?

Since you did not a calcium score in between it is hard to say if now with BAT it is better or worse...

I would also do a stress test to see how much the calcium score affects your heart function.

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Or could it be DES? Old study: sci-hub.tw/https://www.scie...

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Although I have been on the BAT monthly cycle for 6+ months, I have only been using DES for two months. & the dose is low (1 mg).

-Patrick

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"so it is really the lack of testosterone!"

Yes, that is my theory. My post was really a warning to men on ADT, rather than a cry for help.

10 years ago, I was on a daily T patch (Adroderm 4 mg). Every day. Whatever I wasn't doing (exercise, diet, etc.) did not stop me from having good lipids. When T is ~1,000 ng/dL, it trumps everything else IMO.

-Patrick

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for me the question is: is it an indirect cause: rising lipid levels (but in that case we could try to monitor) or is the growth of atherosclerosis a direct cause of a lack of testosterone.

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My own view is that the increase in cholesterol carried by VLDL particles is the most worrisome. Are there other factors controlled by testosterone? The body uses hormones promiscuously, so I couldn't say.

-Patrick

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maybe you should do an Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Test to know better how is your situation. On which ADT are you on, lupron?

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Not Lupron - daily oral DES [Diethylstilbestrol] (1 mg). -P.

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Yes--I did--we can talk on messenger app. Or e-mail

Nalakrats

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Add Zetia to the simvastatin. It will reduce the LDL about 20%. With Crestor and zetia my LDL has been below 80 for several years.

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Hi Tango,

I'll test my lipids at the end of a BAT cycle & show my regular doc. If he is unimpressed, I can always get it from my alt-doc.

-Patrick

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"But recently, I became concerned that my PCa protocol (3 months castrate + 3 months high testosterone, that I began some time after the scan) might have had a negative effect on the arteries."

Patrick, are you using bipolar testosterone therapy?

Other than this calcification issue, how has it been working for you?

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Yes,

I am using BAT. Slightly modified. The same T cypionate injection on Day 1, followed by 1 mg DES daily from Day 8 through to the end of the cycle. I use a monthly cycle - not Denmeade's 28 day cycle.

I test T on the last workday of the month. So far, it is more or less constant. I'm hoping for a downward trend, but perhaps the cycle is too short for that. I'm just happy that the trend is not yet upward

-Patrick

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1. I am very interested in in bat.

2. Someone here said that bat had a very low success ratio... something like 1/3. That sort of scared me. Someone else complained it actually spiked their psa, a lot.

3. But you are using it. You wouldn't be using it if it wasn't working for you.

4. May I ask how long you have been using it?

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As per your request: "stop reading my posts please. Thanks" I did not read your post.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 07/09/2019 7:35 PM DST

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I believe that the benefit of BAT is greatest in men who have not been on ADT before & have not had low levels of testosterone [T].

One has to measure group success in the context of prior time on ADT. With longer ADT, we would expect more men to have adaptations that are BAT resistant.

I have been using BAT for 8 months.

-Patrick

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You may want to know that Sartor, at Tulane, who worked on the original bat trial, firmly believes that the alternation part of it is wrong.

That it should be just straight testosterone. He is pretty firm on that belief.

If you ever wanted to go in that direction I am pretty certain he would enthusiastically volunteer to supervise it.

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As per your request: "stop reading my posts please. Thanks" I did not read your post.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 07/09/2019 12:42 PM DST

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As per your request: "stop reading my posts please. Thanks" I did not read your post.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 07/09/2019 7:36 PM DST

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Due to annoying repetition, I have stopped reading your posts. That's all folks.

1 like
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I LOVE IT............. MORE MORE AND MORE.... SEE YOU ARE A FUNNY GUY...

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 07/09/2019 11:38 PM DST

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why do you think BAT would be bad for arteries? I mean, ADT is bad for arteries, so doing on/off should give you globally less calcification, or I am wrong?

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I think arguments can be made either way. The only way to know would be a clinical study. But there is no economic incentive for anyone to conduct one.

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intriguing. especially in light of how oncologists downplay the side effects of ADT, including coronary artery disease

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Patrick, a 67 year old friend of mine who had been taking 8000IU of vitamin D for years (I had advised against such a dosage especially without vitamin K) recently found out that his carotid arteries were 80% blocked. He underwent a procedure called an atherectomy and is fine now. He experienced only mild pain and soreness/discomfort. He has started taking K2-7. Has your bone density remained stable? Do you have a normal calcium intake? Magnesium and citrus fruit consumption my attenuate calcification. Look at PMID 15364120 (tetracycline+EDTA).

Cheers,

Phil

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"a 67 year old friend of mine who had been taking 8000IU of vitamin D for years (I had advised against such a dosage especially without vitamin K) recently found out that his carotid arteries were 80% blocked. " PhilipSZacarias

Philip

1. So do high levels of Vitamin D contribute to calcium buildup in the arteries?

2. And does Vitamin k2 and/or Magnesium attenuate that effect. Any idea of the mechanisms involved?

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As per your request: "stop reading my posts please. Thanks" I did not read your post.

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 07/09/2019 7:37 PM DST

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Hello Cesanon, apologies for the late reply. High dosages of vitamin D can cause the deposition of calcium in the bones as well as in the arteries. Vitamin K promotes the deposition of calcium to the bones and minimizes or reduces deposition in the arteries. The mechanism of action for magnesium I believe in not well known, but low serum levels of Mg is associated with cardiovascular calcification - please see ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/311... ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/278... ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/298... ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/306... and ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/314... Cheers, Phil

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I take k2 , d3 and mag . 80 yr old with bone density of young man I think reduced atrial cal. But will try to fiind where the atrial cal test is done in buffalo ny

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Hi Phil,

A few years ago, a man in a different group told me that he had been diagnosed with Hypervitaminosis D. His 25-D number was in the low 30's, so he was surprised.

The funny thing about hypervitaminosis D, is that the only symptom seems to be elevated blood calcium. And the solution is to take vitamin K. Perhaps the condition should be called Hypovitaminosis K?

I don't use calcium supplements. I get some calcium from the bones in canned sardines & salmon - also in the water I drink (San Pellegrino). Some of my supplements contain a little calcium.

Perhaps I should get a bone density test.

I do use a magnesium supplement. & boron, & zinc.

-Patrick

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Hello Patrick, I had a bone density test performed just after starting ADT in 2016 and before starting my chemo therapy (docetaxel) so I have a reference value. I have done bone densities almost every year. There was a 10% drop after chemo but then density stabilized. I also take vitamin D (4000 IU), vitamin K2 (1000 mcg), magnesium (300 mg), boron (eq. to 3 mg B), and zinc (eq. to 30 mg). After arriving at this combination (including exercise) independently by perusing the available literature, it good to know that there is a perhaps a consensus on how to maintain bone health when on ADT (or patients with PCa). I obtain calcium solely from my diet.

The interesting that despite taking Mg and vitamin K that you may have some cardiovascular calcification. Do you think increasing Mg and/or vitamin K would be enough, or are not taking the “right” kind of K?

A bone density test is definitely recommended. If density is good or with norms for your age then decreasing vitamin D and increasing K may be in order?

I need to look into this more deeply.

Cheers,

Phil

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consultqd.clevelandclinic.o...

Maybe it's the statin?

Doug

1 like
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Doug,

I have had 10 solid years of statin use.

I wonder if vitamin K2 is able to counter the calcification effect?

Thanks for the link.

-Patrick

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Hey pjoshea13!

Chelation removes atherosclerosis. Read the Tact Study. Chelation just misses the mark to be considered as a therapy to remove atherosclerosis. I believe that another study is being done because of chelation therapy's ability to "scrub" arteries.

I had about 14 chelation IVs composed of EDTA, vitamin C and some B vitamins. I had chelation IVs after heavy metals testing. At the time, gadolinium wasn't considered to harmful--uh huh! Within a year that changed when Chuck Norris' wife nearly died of gadolinium poisoning after a couple MRIs using gadolinium as a contrast agent.

The gado result on my heavy metals testing was 23X the high norm! I had five MRIs prior to the heavy metals test. I should retest but haven't.

Remove gado and clear out the arteries a little too! Sounds like a win!

Currumpaw

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Thanks Currumpaw!

Particularly regarding the gadolinium, which I probably had 2 days ago when I had an MRI with contrast.

-Patrick

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I use k2r, a great remover......

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

j-o-h-n Tuesday 07/09/2019 7:39 PM DST

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