Cardiovascular Health

Michael O'Doherty introduces Mr Sherif Sultan, Cardiovascular Consultant - Ennis, Co Clare

"The Ugly Side of Statins" Address by Mr Sherif Sultan, Cardiovascular Consultant

Michael is working closely with Mr Sherif Sultan, Cardiovascular Consultant & Surgeon (The Galway Clinic & University College Hospital Galway) on developing an innovative programme based on an integrative approach to cardiovascular Health.

Mr Sultan's 2012 lecture on cardiovascular health and "The Ugly Side of Statins" is available on DVD from Michael O'Doherty's Office.

Statin/Cholestrol Medication

A meta-analysis published in The Lance Medical Journalt, involving a total of 91,140 participants taking either a statin or a placebo, showed that people treated with statins showed a 9 per cent increase in diabetes.

In another study, known as the JUPITER trial, UK researchers conducted a meta-analysis which took into account 13 statin trials which each included 1,000 patients or more. The participants were followed for over a year. They concluded that there was indeed an increase, even though very small, in the development of Type 2 diabetes in patients treated with statins.

It has also been found that statin drugs INCREASE insulin levels... which not only raises your risk of diabetes, but elevated insulin levels cause a cascade of inflammatory chemicals and high cortisol which increases the risk of abdominal fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, plus major diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer.

Since the mainstream is slow to report on these findings, it is clear that they don't care that the market is being flooded with a dangerous drug that not only can cause serious harm to those taking it but can also induce life-threatening diseases by playing havoc with the body's normal biological functions!

The Nutrients that can make hearts Better

(The Irish Times) – Nov 15th 2011

Coenzyme Q10 and L-Arginine could prove a more effective treatment than statins for cardiovascular issues, writes LORNA SIGGINS 

STATINS may lower cholesterol, but there is growing concern among doctors about the side effects of such medication, according to a Galway-based vascular surgeon.

Sherif Sultan says such side-effects may have been downplayed by manufacturers and he produced evidence at a recent conference hosted by the American Academy of Anti-Ageing in London suggesting certain types of statin may be depleting the body’s supply of an essential compound, coenzyme Q10.

He is not advocating that people quit the prescribed medication – statins are taken by an estimated eight million people in Britain and Ireland and have many benefits. However, he says cardiovascular patients who are prescribed the drug may require far more information than they are currently receiving from their doctors.

Coenzyme Q10 is crucial in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which helps the heart to function effectively. It also contributes to cellular energy in the body. The coenzyme declines with age, and its prevalence is also affected by cardiovascular disease, which claims 17 million lives a year, according to World Health Organisation figures.

Sultan is already on record for warning that refined sugar is more dangerous to human health than smoking and high cholesterol combined.

He says 30 minutes of daily exercise, along with a high-vegetable and low-refined-sugar diet can reduce cardiovascular disease risks. He is also a firm believer in applying nutrigenomics to tackle depletion of co-enzyme Q10.

This “nutrient-led” approach can improve health and longevity, and not just for those affected by age or medical factors or both, he says.

Nutrigenomics involves the study of the impact of foods and their constituents on “gene expression”. Certain nutrients can mimic natural recovery or self-repair through a “nutrient-gene interaction”.

The nutrients coenzyme Q10 and L-Arginine were Nobel Prize-winning discoveries, and the latter compound is regarded as a leading amino acid in cardiovascular repair and regeneration.

L-Arginine helps to reduce blood pressure and lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, otherwise known as bad cholesterol. Sultan says these two agents have “singularly led to cardiovascular cures, even in life-threatening situations, without the need for more invasive intervention”.

They have been used to treat acute carotid dissection – a condition that can lead to stroke and possible disablement or death if left untreated.

They have also produced what he describes as “phenomenal results” in wound management, but he has cautioned that robust clinical trials are required before such results can be taken a step further.

David O’Connor, a Galway-based financial consultant who was involved in sales of an American L-Arginine product, heard about Sultan’s theory and decided to investigate further.

O’Connor teamed up with fellow Galwegian Liam Salmon to form a company that is producing a food supplement containing all the elements of Sultan’s “wishlist”.

The result, Revive Q10 Plus, is manufactured in sachet form by ABC Nutrition in Shannon, Co Clare, as a single water-soluble supplement.

Not only does it comprise coenzyme Q10 and L-Arginine, but other key ingredients include L-Carnitine, magnesium, citrulline, glutamine, vitamins B6, B12, C, D3 and K2, along with D-Ribose and folic acid.

In Sultan’s view, a successful cardiovascular anti-ageing diet involves reducing calorie intake by 30 per cent, increasing green leafy vegetables by 60 per cent and cutting back on refined sugar intake by 90 per cent.

In the US, health insurers give incentives to customers who take substances such as L-Arginine.

O’Connor says the Revive Q10-Plus supplement is already selling in a number of pharmacies and health food shops here, and is being marketed in Europe. Its value for high-performance athletes is being assessed in Britain.

It adheres to European guidelines on natural health supplements, and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has also been notified, O’Connor says.

Top 5 Cholesterol Lowering Foods


Cholesterol certainly has had its share of the spotlight over the last 50 - 60 years; although not all of that glamour has been good. Cholesterol has been chastised for its so called artery clogging effects. Many of us were, and still are convinced that cholesterol was and is the main culprit for the rise of heart attacks and strokes; Some of this statement may be true, however, much of the story was never told, costing many of our past and present relatives premature death. Cholesterol is a steroid lipid found in the blood, which is necessary for the proper functioning of cell membranes. Contrary to popular mainstream belief, Cholesterol is not the primary culprit in the rise of "heart disease", it is rather our inability to take responsibility of our own actions, and thus, we put blame on things that enable us to continue living in a state of disconnect and irresponsibility.


You see, cholesterol is not the source of all evil, it is rather the poor choices (dietary and otherwise) we make in life which bring about its over production - similar to putting the blame on cancer cells. Of course, many of us are now familiar with the good (HDL) and bad of cholesterol (LDL) cholesterol, although let us not focus entirely on this duality- as both varieties have their purpose. Essentially, what this all boils down to is that we are consuming too much "bad" cholesterol laden foods, thereby elevating our LDL cholesterol levels beyond the natural ratio. Our body naturally creates this substance for a particular reason, so why does it make sense to take medication in order to lower the levels, when we can both lower LDL and raise HDL to proper ratios, through the food we eat!

Cholesterol's primary function is to heal (much like cancer), whereby it acts to lessen inflammation. Simply put, our bodies are telling us to take a look at what we are doing, and re-evaluate our choices, for we are what we eat. Nothing is truer than this fact. In the meantime, for those who are suffering from uncharacteristically high levels of blood cholesterol, you still have hope to change things around. Let us offer you suggestions to help treat the cause rather than the symptoms. We have listed below some of the best foods you can eat right now to help bring you cholesterol down.


Top 5 Cholesterol Lowering Foods

1. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats (Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocados): Foods that contain high levels of these substances are by far the best foods in lowering your LDL cholesterol. By substituting your diet from saturated animal fats, to healthy sources of saturated fats like olive oil and/or avocados, this can achieve a reduction of  LDL cholesterol by nearly 15-20%compared to those who on a diet higher in saturated animal fats.

2. Flax Seeds: Up to 50 grams of flax seeds a day has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol in healthy young adults by up to 8%, and 38 grams of flax seeds per day reduced LDL cholesterol by 14% in people with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). Not only does this food provide you with cholesterol lowering capabilities, but it also provides us with many other important nutrients, like omega 3. Flax seeds can be easily added to your cereal in the morning, or topped on salad as an oil.


3. Bran (Rice, Oats): Studies have shown that bran has significantly lowered LDL blood cholesterol levels. Oat bran in particular has been proven to reduce levels by more than  14%.Oat bran can be added to cereals or homemade breads, or if you prefer, a hot bowl of organic steal cut oatmeal can be eaten every morning. If you are not one for oatmeal, brown rice can also be consumed in an effort to help bring down your total LDL numbers.


4. Garlic: It has been demonstrated that half a clove of raw garlic a day can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels - to the tune of 12%. Consuming raw garlic is by far the best way of eating it. It can easily be added to salads, or lightly tossed in with your favorite stir fry. Pickled garlic is also a personal favourite. Whatever your taste, be sure to eat it every day in order to rep its benefits.

5.  Almonds: Several scientific studies conclude that eating a cup of almonds can reduce one's LDL cholesterol up to nearly 10%Almonds not only help bring down your "bad" cholesterol, but they also significantly maintain one's bone density as they are one of nature's highest sources of calcium. Almonds are a great snack! They can be eaten on their own, added to homemade cereals, or make into a "milk". Almonds are also a great source of dietary fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy bowel.


Honourable Mentions

  • Lycopene rich foods (i.e. tomatoes)
  • Walnuts 
  • Pistachios
  • Whole barley
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Plant Sterols
  • Green Tea (Decaffeinated)

These are just some of the foods you can start eating today! We should note that different diets, lifestyles, and foods will work differently for different people. It is recommended that you buy a Cholesterol Test Kit, so you can monitor your cholesterol levels at home and see which diet and lifestyle works best for you. Happy eating!





The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.
Hubert H. Humphrey

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