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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

LCHF 15 years, Coronary Artery Calcium Score ZERO!

Let’s talk about an important cardiovascular (CV) endpoint, specifically atherosclerosis or plaque, that usually appears before ever having a heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death. This is the case of a 54 year old male who’s been on a whole foods, low carb high fat diet for over 15 years.  Because his lipid profile and all biomarkers had improved, he decided it was time for a heart scan to see if this matched the biomarkers. It turns out the result was a perfect calcium score of ZERO! You may know this man, as he’s yours truly Dr. Jeff Gerber and is not to be confused with that ‘Lobby Boy‘ from the Grand Budapest! 😛 Have a look at these beautiful images:

Dr. Jeff's ZERO calcium score image - High calcium score image for comparison

Vascular imaging of any kind provides invaluable information relating to CV risk. Atherosclerosis, plaque (hardening of the arteries) or inflammation of the arteries is the new endpoint and visualizing plaque’s presence or not using tools like coronary artery calcium scoring can provide powerful and useful information that will motivate individuals to make change.

Normal, non-inflamed arteries do not contain calcium. As plaque develops (first soft plaque, then hard), calcium builds within the inflamed blood vessel wall, and this can be detected using high speed computerized tomography (CT) imaging. Although no test is perfect and radiation exposure (equivalent to a mammogram or slightly greater) is an important consideration, coronary artery calcium scoring is a great direct method to estimate plaque burden and cardiac risk. The more calcium that you have (especially if you’re in the unlucky ≥ 75th percentile for age and sex), along with calcium progression (≥ 15% per year,) the greater your risk. Even with a positive calcium score, stabilizing that score greatly reduces your risk.

To illustrate, with a score of zero your likelihood of having a cardiac event is <1% compared to a high score of >400 making you at least 25 times more likely to suffer from a cardiac event. Progression of ≥ 15% per year for any given score is particularly ominous as this can cause one to be 17 times more likely to have a cardiac event and 3 times more likely to die from any cause. Halting progression is most imperative and will greatly reduce risk.

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Lori Miller said...

I hadn't heard about my fellow Denverite's perfect calcium score--thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for posting.

Gail said...

Wonderful news. May we all begin to eat healthy.

Thanks for visiting.

Karen said...

That's so AWESOME!! Thanks for posting and the calcium score is a test I may need later this year- to get out of "jail" for my insurance premiums. Glad to hear that his score was 0. Karen P

Anonymous said...

A remarkable man.

He truly practices what he preaches, there is absolutely no doubt now the results achieved by an overall approach, "by fixing things in our lifestyle such as diet, lack of exercise, alcohol, smoking, and those kinds of things" as the great man himself said.
No messing around at the edges for him, and look what he's achieved.

john houston said...

I am late commenting here but just received my calcium score today-68. That put me at the 75th percentile (not good) at 54 years of age. The bigger problem is that the calcium was all in the LAD/widowmaker artery.

The CAC was referred by my doctor, at my request. He wants me to see a cardiologist to git his opinion.