Is Coronary Calcium Testing The Best Way to Discover Heart Disease? An Interview with Matthew J. Budoff, MD

Kirk’s video summary of his interview with cardiologist Dr. Matthew J. Budoff (10:05 min)
Kirk's interview/podcast with Dr. Budoff Listen Here (31:08 min)

Why Assess for Coronary Calcium?
The value of coronary calcium scoring is that is allows the practitioner to look inside the heart to know who to treat for coronary artery disease. External physical presentations can be deceptive for actual coronary artery disease presence. With knowledge of the actual extent of the coronary artery disease then tailored lifestyle, diet, exercise, nutrient and drug interventions can be implemented to more effectively reduce the risk of disease progression or expression of a coronary event.

What is Atherosclerosis and What Happens to the Artery?
Atherosclerosis means hardening of the arteries. It is the exact same process as bone formation. The coronary arteries are like hoses. You turn on the water and some of the water is absorbed by the hose, and then it stretches or dilates. Then water eventually squirts out of the end of the hose. But it doesn’t right away. With calcification or stiffening of our arteries  (atherosclerosis) the blood shoots through the arteries at a greater pressure which causes damage to the blood vessel and causes plaques to rupture. A hard stiff artery is not a healthy artery.

How Does Plaque Get Created? What is the Difference Between Microvascular and Macrovascular Plaque Rupture?
Microvascular ruptures of plaque occur (not “macrovascular” plaque rupture which can lead to a heart attack or stroke) and the body tries to protect itself by walling off the plaque (lipid rich core) with calcification, so it can’t communicate with the blood vessel so you won’t get a macrovascular plaque rupture. Over time these small microvascular ruptures result in a significant amount of  calcium being laid down and stiffening of the artery (atherosclerosis). The “macrovascular” plaque ruptures, which penetrate the endothelium and cause a clot, can result in a heart attack or stroke occurs after a significant  number of these microvascular plaque ruptures occur. So preventing further microvascular ruptures, leading to coronary calcification, reduces the risk of a large plaque rupture.

Coronary Calcium is the “Tip of the Iceberg” of Coronary Artery Disease
If you have a lot of coronary calcification you have a lot of soft and fibrous plaque and a lot of atherosclerosis in the arteries.

The coronary calcium score is usually only assessed over the age of 35-40  because until then the individual may only have a significant amount of soft plaque but it hasn’t calcified yet. The calcified plaque seen with the coronary artery calcium scoring (CAC) usually represents about 20% of the total plaque burden (or “tip of the iceberg”) with the latter 80% being the three forms  of soft plaque that are more likely to rupture which is not seen with the CAC testing. Soft plaque is only seen with CT angiography which is essentially the same test as the CAC testing with the same machine but you just get an iodine containing contrast dye which allows for the soft plaques to be seen as well.

The patient that has more “microvascular” plaque ruptures is more at risk to have a “macrovascular” plaque rupture which can lead to a heart attack, stroke or death.

Why Do CT Angiography?
In the preventive world you want to stay with CAC testing to determine who is  at risk of a stroke, heart attack or sudden death from multiple microvascular ruptures that could lead to a macrovascular rupture. A CT (computerized tomography) angiogram (CTA) is used in a patient who is having symptoms to determine if they have coronary artery disease or not, and is excellent at diagnosing “stenosis” or tightening of  the coronary artery. CTA is excellent at determining whether it is coronary or non-cardiac chest pain. CTA is a diagnostic tool for coronary artery stenosis while CAC is a prognostic test for coronary artery disease. You can have significant coronary calcification without stenosis in possibly an exerciser and someone who had been living a good lifestyle. If the person is without coronary symptoms do CAC testing, if symptomatic do a CT angiogram to determine if the cause is cardiac or not.

Types of Soft Plaque (non-calcified plaque)

There are 3 types of soft plaque:

1) Low attenuation plaque, the necrotic core, is pure lipid. It is the most inflamed, pathological and most likely to rupture plaque. It is probably the most dangerous type of plaque.

2) Fibro – fatty plaque – has more fibrous tissue. It is more stable and less likely to rupture.

3) Fibrous plaque – may be protective. It walls off the top of the plaque from the artery. This thin layer walls off the soft plaque from the wall of the artery. This fibrous wall can thicken, and protect against plaque rupture.

These three types of plaque can be seen with CT angiography. It is not clear yet whether a stent might be put in if someone has too much of the low attenuation plaque.

Inflammation Markers – Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) and Myeloperoxidase (MPO) Dr. Budoff has more experience with Lp-PLA2 and there has been more studies done with this inflammatory marker compared to MPO. The timing of their use may be of significant value in indicating short-term increased risk, and the reduction of imminent risk either by  chance or some type of medical or lifestyle intervention. These two markers may be  very valuable in following increasing and decreasing risk in the short-term but needs  more study. They may be valuable in following a new therapeutic intervention over several months instead of waiting a year or so to repeat a coronary calcium score (CAC).

Vascular Function Testing
Another way to follow a therapy to see if the intervention is having a positive short-term effect is endothelial function testing (brachial reactivity testing) which can measure the effects of a meal on arterial reactivity within hours.

Artery Stiffening (Thickening) as a Cardiac Risk Factor
Artery stiffening is a negative risk factor for cardiac health. An stiffened artery increases the speed that blood flows through the arteries and it is a marker of end organ disease. A more rapid speed of blood flow can be measured and is a negative with regards to cardiac  health.

Is Carotid Intimal Media Thickness (CIMT) Testing of Value for Coronary Risk?
Carotid Intimal Media Thickness (CIMT) testing is not the optimal test for evaluating atherosclerosis. It is mostly measuring the media thickness. The media is much thicker than the intima. The intima is where the atherosclerosis occurs. So the CIMT misses most of this. 80% of what it is measuring is the normal wall of the carotid artery. CAC scoring is a much more accurate assessment of coronary artery risk. CIMT really is outdated for this evaluation.

Stroke Risk Assessment?
For evaluating the carotid arteries Doppler ultrasound is valuable looking for plaque and stenosis and may be a better tool than CAC scoring for evaluating stroke risk.

What is the CAC Radiation Exposure?
It is the same as a mammogram about .5 millisievert. Background radiation in Los Angeles for a year is 2.5 millisievert. If you are a 50 year-old person and you get a CAC test you now have the exposure of 50 years plus 3 months which is trivial compared to the overall things we do. A stress nuclear test for the heart is much higher, 16 millisieverts which is high (32 x the exposure compared to CAC testing). A CT for the spine is 17 times the radiation dose of CAC testing.

CT Angiography (3 Dimensional) Versus Traditional Invasive Angiography (2 Dimensional)
In a comparison of the two procedures there was a study done which showed if you need to have clarifying angiography for chest pain, a positive treadmill or other findings, the invasive angiogram resulted in 80% more invasive procedures, twice as much money spent, and more radiation with no better diagnostic value. There was no added value going to the invasive angiogram versus the CT angiogram. If you need to put in a stent then use the traditional 2 dimensional angiogram and go to the cath lab. If just for diagnostic purposes the CT angiogram would be of greater value with less expense and risk.

Coronary Calcium Classification Scoring – What Does it Mean?
0 plaque burden is the goal and about 1/2 of individuals tested have no calcification. A score of 100 is moderate plaque burden. A score of 400 is severe plaque burden but scores can go up into the 1000s.

Think of a calcium score as a lifetime picture of atherosclerosis. You could be stable with a high score if this was from the past and you had changed your lifestyle such as changing your diet, getting exercise and you did not get any more plaque. As of right now you usually don’t see coronary calcification regression. But no more progression is a good thing. You may have  a stiff artery but with exercise and lifestyle it could be functioning better than it was, or, it could be progressing if the score continued to go up significantly.

Soft plaque can be reversed by statin drugs, a garlic extract and possibly by some diet approaches. Calcified plaque is like scar tissue and probably isn’t regressing any significant amount. The only way you can see regression of atherosclerosis is to do CT angiography which could show regression of soft plaque which could mean the artery is getting softer and it could have a bigger lumen. If the calcium score isn’t going up that is a good sign. But some patients may want CT angiography to show they are reversing their soft plaque.

Is the CAC Test Paid For?
Medicare in most states will pay for the CAC testing if there are more three or more risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, history of smoking and low HDL cholesterol. Most private insurances won’t pay for the test.

How Significant is Blood Cholesterol in the Atherosclerotic Process and Plaque Deposition?
LDL cholesterol is a significant player in creating these lipid cores. Triglycerides play a significant role as well. Triglycerides may play a role in inflammation and metabolic syndrome and this inflammation may increase the enzymes myeloperoxidase and LpPla2. Dr. Budoff thinks LDL cholesterol is a very bad player and triglycerides a somewhat bad player in the atherosclerotic process. Total cholesterol is not of value to assess. A naturally high HDL is protective but raising it with therapies has not been proven to be of benefit and remains to be proven. Dr. Budoff believes the number of LDL particles is significant. Like more cars on the freeway is bad, but the size of the LDL particles isn’t as important (i.e. it’s the number of cars not the size of the cars that is important for overall traffic burden)

Does the Benefit of Statins Outweigh the Risk?
Dr. Budoff believes the side effects to statin drugs is small, maybe 5-8% but the good news is they are reversible, side effects. The other point is that the evidence is clear that those who take statins live longer. They have reduced mortality. So he likes his patients to think they will be in the 92% plus of individuals who will benefit from statins. In patients with statin related side effects such as myalgias he will recommend CoQ10 but he has only seen some improvement in symptoms but not always. These side effects are believed to be due to statins effects on lowering CoQ10 levels thereby reducing mitochondrial energy production in the  muscle cell or other cells.

Integrative physicians, he believes, feel they may be able to extend mortality in heart disease patients in other ways than using statins so they are more cautious with their use of statins.

Dr. Budoff’s A,B,Cs of Preventing Heart Attacks and Established Coronary Artery Disease
A – Aspirin – 81 mg low dose
B – Blood pressure control – lowering
C – Cholesterol lowering
D – Diet – Mediterranean style diet with fish consumption. Different diets for different scenarios weight reduction, diabetes control, etc.
E – Exercise is very important. It does everything. Reduces diabetes risk. Reduces blood sugar and improves glycemic control. It reduces cholesterol and improves HDL cholesterol. Lowers blood pressure. People live longer who are exercisers.
F – Fish consumption or fish oil (a study of a more concentrated EPA only supplement (Vascepa) – 980 mg of EPA per 1000 mg capsule. 4 grams daily of Vascepa in The REDUCE-IT (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events Outcomes) Trial he believes will show benefit). In the United States we are very poor at eating fish so supplementation may be the best way to go. G – Maybe garlic will be of benefit. It is part of the Mediterranean diet He has shown results in  a trial of aged garlic extract in reversing soft plaque.

What Is The Price Range for the CAC Testing?
It should be below $150 per test. The Diagnostic and Wellness Center charges $129. A 64 slice scanner is minimum that should be used to get the best picture. Less than that and the machine is probably greater than 10 years old. The scanner at the Diagnostic and Wellness Center is a 256 slice scanner (~$1,000,000,000 machine). The picture can be read by a technologist. The equipment is more important than the expertise in reading the CAC scan.

Matthew J. Budoff, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; he is Director, Cardiac CT and Director, Fellowship Program, Division of Cardiology; Director of the Diagnostic and Wellness Center at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1124 W. Carson Street, RB-2, Torrance,  California 90502, email: Office (310)  222-4107; FAX (310) 787-0448; (310) 222-5101; CT Laboratory (310) 222-2773

You can make a complementary Wellness Consultation with Kirk Hamilton PA-C on Wednesdays at the Diagnostic and Wellness Center by making an appointment here.

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

Is It Sunshine or Vitamin D That Reduces Your Risk To Chronic Diseases? An Interview with Karl J. Neeser, PhD

Kirk’s video overview of his interview with Dr. Neeser (4:50 min)
Kirk's interview/podcast with Dr. Neeser   Listen Here (23:00 min)

Dr. Karl J. Neeser is the co-author of the book, “The Key to Health and Longevity” (with Ratana Somrongthong, PhD). During his research of the book he became aware of the inverse association between vitamin D and many non-communicable (non-transmissible, chronic, lifestyle) diseases. Vitamin D is really a hormone with receptors on virtually every tissue in the body. Since we have evolved as a species being exposed to the sun, the dramatic reduction in sun exposure from fear of sun, in addition to greater amounts of time indoors due to one’s occupation and general living conditions has put us at risk for vitamin D deficiency and deficiency of whatever physiologic benefits come from sun exposure.

Risk factors to these non-transmissible diseases include reduced physical activity, vitamin D insufficiency, reduce quality of sleep and poor diet.

Vitamin D absorption from the diet is reduced as we age. Fifteen to 20 minutes in the mid-day sun is optimal for manufacturing adequate vitamin D levels. This is “non-burn” tanning of the skin. As soon as there is a slight reddening or “pinking” of the skin one should cover up and get out of the sun.

Vitamin D in the blood should be at least 50 ng/ml. Oral doses of vitamin D3 may be needed to get above 50 ng/ml.  Several thousand IU of vitamin D may be needed to achieve this level. It is probably better to get the vitamin D from the sunshine than a pill. There appears to be additional benefits to sunlight exposure that go beyond the increase in vitamin D levels.

Supplementing with high doses of vitamin D may suppress endogenous production of this hormone which may have adverse consequences.

The central nervous system (CNS), eyes and cardiovascular system all have vitamin D receptors. While sun exposure has been associated with certain skin cancers it is protective against “black” melanoma, the most malignant form.

It is noted that some Asians have a preference for light skin and avoid the sun intentionally. Intravenous vitamin C and glutathione have been used to lighten their skin.

There are many diverse dietary beliefs for longevity and optimal health. General recommendations are to not eat sugar; eat good fats; fast for at least fourteen hours daily; eat an early dinner (5-5:30); eat vegetables, fruit and fish.

Reducing EMFs, getting sunlight, exercise and get good sleep are longevity fundamentals. Self-responsibility is a must for a healthful lifestyle and longevity.

Karl J Neeser, PhD is a professor at Chulalongkorn University College of Public Health Sciences in Thailand and has been a Professor for many years at Lausanne University in Switzerland. He has been involved with, and lecturing on Anti-Aging Medicine for more than 20 years.  His areas of expertise are exercise, sport science, physiology and an anti-aging lifestyle.

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

Want to Reduce Heavy Metals in Your Body? Eat More Whole Plant Food!

See how diet can reduce heavy metals in your body... While plant-based diets may
have more lead in their diet, less gets absorbed and total heavy metal levels are
reduced with plant-based diets! Watch This Video and See! 

Other things you can do are:

- Aged Garlic Extract 2 2 x day
- Chlorella 5-15 tablets 3 x day
- Fractionated Pectin 5 mgs 2 x day
- Selenium 200 mcg/d
- Fiber rich diet
- Spirulina
- Standard chelation disodium EDTA intravenously
- Vitamin C 2-4 grams per day

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

Playing Games Can Help Your Brain and Memory

In a Chinese study participating in intellectual activities, such as reading books, newspapers, or magazines; playing board games, Mahjong, or card games; and betting on horse racing, even in late life, might help delay or prevent dementia in older adults.

PARTICIPATE! Learn something news. Playing games is good. Have fun with your intellectual challenges or do things that interest and challenge you. Learning new Salsa footwork, something I am not good at, I challenge myself to learn on a regular basis. Or, by memory, doing a short educational video off the top of my head on a health topic I have just researched, is what I do with my YouTube videos.

Keep challenging yourself!


Original JAMA Article:  JAMA Psychiatry, May 30, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0657

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"


Fasting Mimicking Diet Benefits Chronic Diseases, Cancer and Aging - An Interview With James Kelley, MD, MBA Medical Liason for L-Nutra

The Benefits of the Fasting Mimicking Diet (Prolon®) on Chronic Disease, Cancer and Anti-Aging
YouTube Overview by Kirk Hamilton PA-C (5:26 min/sec)    Audio Podcasts 29:60 (min/sec)

James Kelley, MD, MBA received his MD and MBA at Ohio State and the University of Southern California. He is the Medical Science Liaison for L-Nutra. His father was an ophthalmologist and mother had severe rheumatoid arthritis and he developed a passion for medicine and medical innovation through these experiences.

Valter Longo, PhD
He met Dr. Valter Longo, PhD at the University of Southern California in 2011. Dr. Longo originally came to the United States from Italy to study to be a rock guitarist and in his college training switched to  biochemistry as a field of study and continued his passion for the causes and determinants of aging and longevity. Dr. Longo is the creator of Prolon® and the Fasting Mimicking Diet manufactured and marketed by L-Nutra. He is the author of  “The Longevity Diet” and currently a professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California and director of their Longevity Institute.

Key Findings of Dwarfism and Reduced IGF1 in Lauren Ecuador
A key crossroads in Dr. Longo’s research on aging was his study of the people of Laron, Ecuador who are missing a gene leading to a defect in the receptor in the liver that binds to growth hormone and produces insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1).  This insufficient level of I-GF1 appears to protect them from cancer, diabetes and possibly heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. So keeping low levels of IGf-1 maybe a key to slowing the aging process and chronic disease development. (Ref. 1, Ref 2)

Fasting Reduces IGF1
Fasting for a few days has been shown to reduce IGF1, Mtorr, PKA and AKT levels which are involved in cancer growth and proliferation. While the long living “Blue Zones” populations practice periodic fasting they don’t routinely do 5 days of fasting as in the 5 day fasting mimicking diet (FMD) concept (Blue Zones interview with Dr. Longo). Through animal and human studies Dr. Longo discovered that fasting for several days (5 days) resulted in a reduction in IGF1 and the stimulation of regenerative processes such as autophagy and stem cell production and differentiation into new tissue.

Fasting Stimulates Stem Cells and Tissue Regeneration
Fasting for a couple of days increases autophagy or “self-eating” which is the body scavenging cell parts or even consuming their own damaged organelles within the cells. While autophagy is always occurring it is increased with fasting for 24-48 hours and with ketosis. There is an increase in circulating stem cells (MSPC – mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells which enhance the formation of organ tissue, muscle and bone) 3-5 days into a fast as damaged cells get deleted and repaired stem cells are increased. With refeeding stem cells go down but remain at a higher level than the baseline prior to the fast. Three to 5 days after the fast, or 10 days from the first day of the fast, maybe half of the stem cells have gone on and differentiated into new tissue. The peak for differentiation of cells is 3-5 days after the end of the fast.

Length and Cycling of FMD
The recommendation for cycling of the FMD diet is 5 days on and 25 days off. While there is benefit to once cycle, the beneficial results are greater and sustained longer with a 3 month cycle of 5 days of fasting. When 3 cycles were accomplished 60%  of the weight loss was maintained without additional changes. The 3 monthly rounds of FMD boosts metabolism.

Humans and Animal Studies
As well as mice and yeast models, human trials have shown reductions in biomarkers for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and autoimmune disease. Mice have been shown to live 13% longer, neural tissue regeneration and enhanced immune function.

FMD and Cancer
Fasting states slow the growth of normal cells dramatically while cancer cells are unaffected by fasting and continue to divide rapidly. The chemotherapy then results in less side effects or damage to normal cells while “killing” the unaffected and rapidly growing cancer cells. Fasting may allow for longer and more potent chemotherapy to be given which also may improve cancer outcome. The fasting has to continue through the administration of the chemotherapy and is started several days before the chemotherapy. There is currently a large human trial now with the FMD and cancer in several cancer centers. Though this is not proven Dr. Kelley believes that fasting boosts the ability of the immune system to “pursue” cancer cells.

FMD and Autoimmunity
Mouse models have shown a dramatic response to fasting with slowing and stopping the progression of multiple sclerosis in more than 80% of animals and a cure in 18-20% of the animals with regeneration of the damaged nerves and myelin regeneration.

How to Learn About and Obtain Prolon® and The Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)
Research on the clinical use of the fasting mimicking diet can be found at by going to the scientific article section.

To get access to the Prolon® product/program go to Your “box” will contain 5 individual day boxes containing foods that reflect a Mediterranean style diet that is plant based with a significant portion of healthy fats. There are soups, whole grains, kale crackers olives, nuts, some nut rich food bars (and small chocolate containing bar) packaged to deliver 1100  calories the first day and 800 calories the next four days which can be eaten in a breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack format. Glycerin is provided starting on day 2 through 5 to add to your herbal teas to help prevent muscle loss along with free fatty acids provided from the healthy plant fats.

About half of the people feel that it is easy (for Dr. Kelley it is not easy) while others have discomforting symptoms which usually clear by day 4 or 5. There are lesser percentages of sugars, carbohydrates and protein compared to the healthy fats but enough to prevent muscle loss but still trigger the beneficial effects of fasting mentioned above. Some patients get into mild ketosis some don’t in this 5 day period. There is a refeeding day on day 6. Start with liquids, soft foods, but don’t eat a heavy meat based meal or a high sugary meal.

Three cycles is strongly recommended to have sustained results and then as needed for continued health maintenance and rejuvenation. Chronic conditions may require a monthly fasting regimen until symptom relief and optimal health is achieved.

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

Reading, Health and Happiness!...And “Reverse Your Diabetes Today!”

My grandchildren read a ton! They love to read! I can't tell you how happy that makes me! A typical visit to S.F. is to hit the playground and then the library on the way home! Hope Dan Buettner is correct in this interview about happiness...It's worth the “READ!”

                      COME JOIN ME THIS "FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2018 6 P.M.
                                    FOR MY TALK & PLANT “POT-LUCK”

                                 “REVERSE YOUR DIABETES TODAY”

Learn How To….

   - Reduce Insulin Resistance in Type 2 Diabetes
   - Reduce Insulin Need in Type 1 Diabetes!
   - Prevent diabetes from occurring if pre-diabetic
Carbohydrates do not cause diabetes! This is a mistaken belief taught by health professionals and misunderstood by the public. Most all traditional cultures who have NO diabetes eat a low-fat, unprocessed, carbohydrate-rich diet that is low in animal foods. Intact, whole, fiber-rich, low glycemic, carbohydrates are the foods of choice for diabetics and in the context of a
low-fat, low animal food diet, reduces fat in your cells which is the cause of most diabetes (insulin resistance). You will learn simple straight forward diet recommendations that will lower your blood sugar and insulin levels quickly (within days) whether you are a type 1 or type 2 diabetic or pre-diabetic helping to preserve your nerve, kidney, eye and vascular function.



(Friday (6/22/18), 6 pm, Health Associates waiting room, 3301 Alta Arden, #3 Sacramento, CA 95825)


For Bottom Line Resources to Reverse Your Diabetes Click on My Handout
"Diabetes 'Quick-Start' Handout"

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

Legumes....Beans, Lentils and Peas Are "Super Foods" for For Your Blood Vessels!

"Eating Beans Reduces High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease and Peripheral Vascular
Disease (blood flow to your legs and arms)"... Do what all the longest living people
in the world due (Blue Zones - Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya,
Costa Rica; Loma Linda, California). No matter what "Noise" you hear from nutrition
experts beans are good food you. They remind of my Lyft and Uber rides....They are
a "Win Win" for the me (the consumer)... They are cheap, great for your health,
accessible anywhere, and you just feel like you got a great deal when you use (eat)
them! If you feel you react to one type of bean start with small quantities or try and
different kind of legume (beans, lentils, peas, etc.). Great health does not have to be
expensive and high tech! Throw beans on a salad, in a soup, or make your own personal can't go wrong!   (Watch Video on Benefit of Beans)
Beans as Longevity Food
Resources at Your "Finger Tips" to Reverse Heart Disease

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

"Fast Food Genocide"...Is the Massive Consumption of Processed Foods Destroying Our Health and Societal Progress? - An Interview with 6 time New York Times Best Selling Author Joel Fuhrman, MD

Kirk's video summary of his interview with Dr. Fuhrman (4:24 min)
Kirk's podcast interview with Dr. Fuhrman (50:39 min)

Joel Fuhrman, MD, (with Robert Phillips) six-time New York Times best-selling author, writes a different kind of health book in “Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It”.  He shares not only his vast nutritional knowledge and approach to the prevention and reversal of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, bone loss, neurodegenerative diseases, etc. with his “Nutritarian” approach, but also explains how the high consumption of processed foods affects society’s general progress and functioning from inhibition of learn to increasing the risk to criminal behavior. He notes the high consumption of processed foods puts certain minority groups at a significant disadvantage to live  healthy and prosperous and lives.  Dr. Fuhrman uses the powerful word “Genocide” in his book title to emphasize that eating this way results in the deliberate destruction of an entire race or nation.

Highly processed, “fake” or “Franken Foods,” make up the primary source of U.S. calories and are the primary causes of the chronic disease epidemic in our country. Dr. Fuhrman reviews how we are addicted to these foods do to their high concentration of rapidly absorbed fat, sugar and large amounts of animal protein, probably by design by food manufacturers to increase consumption. When eating more of these “nutrient depleted” foods, food addiction comes the increase in dopamine and other neurochemicals secreted with their consumption, and, by the discomfort from their withdrawal, causing us to eat more of these foods, which compounds one’s health problems and risk. The good news is that the more high-nutrient foods you consume, the less low-nutrient foods you desire.  

Problems caused by this epidemic of Processed Food consumption include:

  • The modern epidemic of heart attacks, stroke, cancer, ADHD, autism, allergies and autoimmune disease
  • Reduced intelligence, learn disabilities, poor school performance and depression
  • Fast food malnutrition resulting in chronic inflammation, weight gain and micronutrient deficiencies that reduce optimal brain functioning
  • Increased addiction to drugs and more violence and crime
  • For African Americans disproportionately higher rates of high blood pressure, fatal stroke and heart attacks, diabetes, severe kidney disease, cancer death and Alzheimer’s disease

The “Great News” is that by applying Dr. Fuhrman’s “Nutritarian” approach of eating  whole, unprocessed foods that have the maximum amount of micronutrients per calorie consumed (Health = Nutrients/Calories) these health problems can not only be prevented but quickly reversed.  Whole food consumption with primarily unprocessed plant-foods is encouraged while using a significantly reduced amount of free-oils in the diet yet getting good fats from whole foods such as nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olives and selective supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid (DHA/EPA) supplementation. Animal foods can be consumed in small amounts as condiments or flavorings in those who just don’t want to give up these foods and excellent health can still be achieved.

Simple concepts and guidelines for Dr. Fuhrman’s “Nutritarian” approach include his recommendations for increased consumption of  G-BOMBS:

  • Greens
  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Berries
  • Seeds

Dr. Fuhrman also discusses his use of water or juice fasting for certain medical conditions and how he personally will practice some extended overnight fasting as a form of health enhancement and to promote longevity. He believes that weight from added lean muscle in the aging process is a distinct health advantage over extra fat weight.

The book provides excellent self-help sections including:  A 2 week “Nutritarian” diet program; whole food substitutes for processed foods; Dr. Fuhrman’s top 20 “Super Foods”; a tasty but simple recipe section; and a “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

About the Authors:

JOEL FURHRMAN, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Dr. Fuhrman is the research director of the Nutritional Research Foundation. He is also the author of other New York Times bestsellers Eat to Live, Super Immunity, Eat to Live Cookbook, The End of Dieting and The End of Diabetes. More information, along with a membership website, can be found at www.drfuhrman. You may purchase “Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It” here. Joel Fuhrman, MD, 4 Walter Foran Blvd, Suite 408, Flemington, NJ 08822 (908) 237-0200

ROBERT PHILLIPS was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch with sarcoidosis and after following Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian approach for six months had his condition completely reversed and subsequently quit his job at Merrill Lynch and helped Dr. Fuhrman create his membership supported website. Mr. Phillips continues to write and does research at Drexel University in the field of Social Energy.

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

Mold, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Damaging to Your Brain and Causes Chronic Immune and Inflammation Problems...

Mold can aggravate or cause a wide range of symptoms - including cognitive decline and Alzheimer's. Here, Dr. Carnahan who I have interviewed on the above topic, talks about how mold is a major cause of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), a big term, but really means a chronic aggravation of our immune system which can create chronic inflammation and a wide variety of destructive health problems. Mold toxicity is not difficult to diagnose or treat really, the hardest part is finding and correcting the exposure.... That is the biggest and most difficult problem and most frustrating for me in trying to help patients. I have learned and am learning the hard way by doing work on my own home. I understand it better, but there is no perfect
approach yet.

Read this excellent blog by Dr. Carnahan and also listen to my podcasts with  Dr. Carnahan and Dr. Hausman Cohen on this subject. It effects many though controversial. 

Dr. Carnahan Interview  

Dr. Hausman-Cohen Interview

Dr. Shoemakers excellent site on Mold Illness and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome  

You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

You can call me for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday thru Friday

Kirk's FREE "Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity and Alzheimer's  Reversal Programs"

Alzheimer's Disease Prevention and Reversal...Is It Possible? Yes and Sometimes!

As I was updating my talk on "Alzheimer's Prevention and Reversal. Is It Possible?" for next week (Wednesday, 6:00 pm, 3/14/18, LA BioMed, CDCRC Bldg. 1124 W. Carson, Torrance, CA 310-803-5657 or and Friday, 6:00 p.m. 3/16/18, Health Associates, 3301 Alta Arden, #3 Sacramento, CA - with plant-based potluck there) I came across an interview with Dan Buettner ( and Mariva Shriver on this very topic of Alzheimer's, longevity and being happy. It is excellent but there is much more to share. (Summary and Video)

The bottom line is Alzheimer's is a lifestyle disease and many of the causes are the same as heart disease, diabetes, etc.. The BIG difference is we have technology to "temporarily" fix the "plumbing and wiring" needed to at least keep people functional with heart disease and diabetes (not the best approaches) even in mid to late stages of these diseases, BUT with Alzheimer's disease, which is a process developing over 20 years or so, if it gets to a certain level, there are ways to approach it, but it is so overwhelming for the family and caretakers, that even if there are valid integrative therapies beyond aggressive lifestyle change like hormones, nutrients, detoxification of environmental toxins, etc. the family/support people do not the energy and resources to "plug those holes".... You must start RIGHT NOW with EXERCISE; a whole-food, unprocessed mostly plant-based diet; SLEEP; community & family; a sense of purpose; continued learning; and avoidance of environmental toxins. The beauty is that everything the prevents heart disease, diabetes, etc. also helps prevent Alzheimer's. BUT start now! Go to this link for my podcasts, scientific papers and the THREE BOOKS I highly recommend you start reading NOW. 70-80%ish the books agree. We can talk about the differences at the talks. BUT get all three and read them (The End of Alzheimer's, The Alzheimer's Solution and Diet for the MIND). Go to my "Alzheimer's Prevention and Reversal" resource page where all the links to articles, podcasts and books are.

I hope to see you at one of these talks! If you are coming to the Sacramento talk bring a "plant" ingredient for a big salad or a whole-food plant-based dish.

Be and Stay Well,


You can call for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday-Friday   916-489-4400     Kirk's Healthy Living Tips
Kirk's FREE "21 Day Healthy Living Program"  Kirk's FREE "Alzheimer's, Heart Disease, Diabetes Living to 100 and Obesity 'Reversal' Programs"

You can call me for "brief" medical questions 8-9 a.m. PST Monday thru Friday

Kirk's FREE "Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity and Alzheimer's  Reversal Programs"