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Welcome to the Wealthy Wellthy Life with Krisstina Wise. Dr. Jack Wolfson is a Cardiologist and author of The Paleo Cardiologist, which offers a peek into a more natural way to achieve heart health. Dr. Jack left his notorious career in traditional medicine to start his own practice where he focuses on preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, as opposed to giving it a magic pill. This week, Dr. Jack educates us on heart disease and how to work towards preventing heart disease through diet.
You can also click on the time stamps below to jump to those specific points in the conversation.
What We Covered
- 02:35 – Krisstina loves watching Dr. Jack talk because he speaks from the heart.
- 03:25 – Dr. Jack shares the story of how he got involved with alternative medicine.
- 05:55 – Dr. Jack’s father, who was also a cardiologist, died at 63.
- 07:00 – What was Dr. Jack’s mindset like before he got introduced to alternative medicine?
- 09:05 – Medical doctors believe alternative and naturopathic medicine is just a bunch of fluff.
- 10:15 – Unfortunately, traditional medical doctors are not interested in hearing the truth.
- 11:20 – How are we poisoning our bodies without knowing it?
- 14:15 – Dr. Jack opened his own practice in 2012.
- 15:45 – Why did Dr. Jack walk away from it all? Everybody thought Dr. Jack had lost his mind, but it comes down to principles and doing the right thing.
- 19:35 – There’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion from other doctors about your condition.
- 21:30 – What is cholesterol and why do we need it?
- 23:20 – Many cardiologists have been so brainwashed that they don’t even know why cholesterol is good for you.
- 27:00 – Once you teach people the facts, they end up questioning and saying no to traditional treatments.
- 31:00 – Dr. Jack tries to meet with patients from out of town for two hours to go over some of their symptoms and problems. The average cardiologist only sees a patient for 10 minutes.
- 32:55 – What does Dr. Jack typically look for when a patient enters through the door?
- 35:55 – How frequently does Dr. Jack see his patients?
- 37:40 – If we eat similar to the way our ancestors did, we would achieve optimal health.
- 39:10 – Should we be sticking to low-fat diets?
- 41:35 – There’s no link between saturated fat causing, or being one of the factors to having, heart disease.
- 42:25 – What causes clogged arteries?
- 43:45 – What’s the difference between saturated fat and regular fat? What should people be cooking with?
- 48:10 – What kind of questions should we be asking our cardiologists or doctors?
- 52:10 – Inflammation indicates that there’s something wrong with your body.
- 57:20 – Krisstina is currently drinking some of Dr. Jack’s products.
- 01:00:00 – What myth is out there about heart disease that Jack would like to bust?
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Read the Transcription!
You are at the intersection of wealth, health, and happiness. Welcome to the WealthyWellthy Life.
Hi, I’m Krisstina Wise and welcome to the WealthyWellthy Life where I interview thought leaders who teach a counter-cultural approach to money, health, and happiness because great riches don’t matter if you’re sick, and good health doesn’t matter if you’re broke.
Today, I tackle health wealth with Dr. Jack Wolfson. Dr. Wolfson is a board certified cardiologist with over 13 years of experience as a physician. He’s a heart expert who’s treated thousands of patients over the course of his career. Everything from prescribing pharmaceuticals to implanting pacemakers, to performing nuclear stress tests. He finally found himself frustrated with western medicine, in particular its emphasis on merely treating symptoms rather than actually preventing disease. He notice that patients where discharge only to come back sooner than later. He met his wife Heather, a chiropractor with a focus on nutrition and healthy living, who inspired him to switch gears. Together they run a business called The Drs. Wolfson, where they specialize in holistic health solutions to prevent and treat chronic disease. Dr. Wolfson recently published an excellent book called The Paleo Cardiologist, an extremely interesting breakdown of some of the biggest myths and misconceptions about heart health and overall optimal health. Now he lectures all over the country on heart health and whole body wellness.
In this interview, we talked about Dr. Wolfson’s frustration with western medicine and his transition to more alternative approaches. We talked about the universal myths surrounding cholesterol, fatty foods and overall heart health, and we go deep into the truth about nutrition and lifestyle choices, and how important they are to the health and the heart, and the whole body. Believe me, when it comes to cardiology, this is a truly eye opening episode. If you or someone you know has had heart issues or has heart issues, you won’t want to miss this. Enjoy.
It is so much fun to be here with you today. Thank you for your time.
Thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure talking to you Krisstina.
I love we met at Paleo f(x) and I watched you on stage. I thought your message was so poignant, you’re such an eloquent speaker. What I love most about watching you Jack, is that you spoke from your heart, and you have such a good story. So you as a speaker were incredible, because like I said, just passion and your desire to get this message across, just exude it out out of you. But beyond that, what I love also was your story, because you have quite a background about you were a cardiologist, were really a leader in that field, and were completely convinced that that was the right methodology or philosophy for medicine, and you’ve really come full circle to this, let’s say, other more alternative side. But it was through an introduction to your wife, your current wife now, so do you mind telling that story? It’s such a great story.
Sure. Yeah, my current wife, my original wife, my only wife Dr. Heather, and it’s really an amazing story. People love stories, right. Because I can talk all day long about– oh we can use this nutrition and it’s important to get some sleep and exercise, and get sunshine and all those things are important. But people love stories and the story of how my wife and I met through just a random introduction and how we were engage a few month later, and married a year later, and a child a year after that, all things happened so rapidly for us. And how she opened up my eyes to the natural world, because when we met, I was just a pill pushing cardiologist, doing angiograms, pacemakers, working in the hospitals eight days a week and staying up all night on call. When I met her, she opened up my eyes to the fact that heart disease does not stem up from a lack of a lipitor, crestor, zocor or lack of blood pressure drugs or a lack of heart rhythm stabilizing drugs. There’s a reason for it. As doctors and as natural healers, we have to find the cause of that. So I soon became a doctor of finding the cause. I’ve been so successful with that. I started to change my practice. And ever since then it’s been an absolute whirlwind that led me to create my Amazon best-selling book, The Paleo Cardiologist: Natural Way to Heart Health, and practicing here in Paradise Valley, Arizona. People from all over the world flying to see me. I get to meet amazing people like you along the way.
Well, and I think part of the story that you told was when she first met you, there was an introduction but you had a Diet Mountain Dew in your hand, was that correct? And she’s like, “Oh my god, what am I doing?”
That’s exactly correct. She tells a story that I had the — the Diet Mountain Dew was in the car. She says that there was a box of Krispy Kreme donuts in the backseat. That part I don’t remember, but it’s certainly possible. I was one of those believers that do whatever you want, just take your drugs and you’ll be fine, but that’s just absolutely foolish, nonsense and that’s certainly not in a literature at all, but you’ll be fine. I mean bad things happen to people that take drugs. It’s in the literature, but– no, it’s true. I mean I was on a path of disaster. I also tell the story in the book about how my father, who was a famous cardiologist, he died at the age of 63 of a Parkinson’s like disease called PSP or Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. It seem what my father went through, and where the medical doctors couldn’t help him at all and then he died. But then, opening up my mind to understand that there’s a reason why this happened to my father and it’s poor nutrition and environmental toxins, and I was going down in that same path, right? With the Diet Mountain Dew along with the bad food, and not getting to sleep, and not getting the sunshine and the physical activity, and all of the things that we talked about. I was going down that same path and my wife saved me from destruction. She saved me from an early death. I’m going to lined up being an old father and an old grandfather. I think that’s really the best reward of all.
So what is it though that — you obviously were a staunch believer in what you were doing at the time. You believe that it did, and it was maybe the best method to help people especially with heart disease, but you were living in this lifestyle that wasn’t sustainable, that was probably guaranteed future disease or early death like you just said. So what were you thinking at that point? I mean now you think very differently, but what was the mindset?
Well Krisstina, as medical doctors were brainwashed. From the second we get into medical school it’s all about the pharmaceuticals. It’s all about the invasive tests. It’s all about CAT scans and MRIs. It’s not about wellness. It’s not about healing. It’s not about real prevention. But myself, like every other medical doctor, you get into the brainwashing that is all pharmaceutical company driven, the medical schools are owned by the pharmaceutical companies, and this is what we’re taught. We’re not taught about the alternative, so you never question the validity of kind of what you’re doing, and it’s sad, I mean because you’re talking about some really really really bright people that are just — from the get-go, they’re not of the right mindset. It was really an eye opening amazing thing. For example, one of the first books that I read is by a brilliant medical doctor by the name of Jonathan Wright. We’ve been in a natural space for 40 years and his book is called Why Stomach Acid is Good for You. Just even the title as a medical doctor myself, like looking at the title, “Wait a second, why stomach is good for you? What’s he talking about? Stomach acid is terrible. We all got to take drugs to suppress our stomach acid,” but then you look at that title and wait a second, of course stomach acid is good for you, that’s why we have it. That’s why every mammal and monkeys and gorillas and dogs and cats, and lions and tigers have stomach acid. To help us digest our food. You start making these realizations and you’re like, “You know what? Everything in the human body makes perfect sense. It’s just because we are giving it to the wrong things and not enough for the right things that we develop symptoms and disease.”
What would you have thought at the time before you met your wife, and assuming you continued on that path? If somebody would have come up and said, “Hey! There’s this naturopathic type medicine, alternative, integrative functional, like some of these different more natural medical approaches or philosophies,” when you heard these things, what would you think? Like oh, those are a bunch of cooks, or they don’t know anything. How would you have responded to somebody trying to introduce you to some of these different concepts?
You’re exactly right, and that’s how the medical doctors think. They think that it’s all a bunch of hocus pocus, they think it’s a bunch of voodoo. That’s the beauty of my book. I’ve got 300 references at the end of my book, so if you don’t believe me, believe the 300 MDs, PhDs, DOs, and other holistic providers that – all the providers in general, not even holistic, that wrote the literature that I quote in my book. Like there’s a famous quote by the name of Upton Sinclair, and a brilliant book from the early 1900s, from my hometown Chicago stockyards. The book is called The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and the quote is, “It’s harder to get a man to understand something when his job depends on him, not understanding it.” The medical doctors have no interest in hearing the truth. They are brainwashed in a certain way. Their financial stability depends on them believing in that sickness paradigm, so they’re not going to open up their eyes. So when they are reading the medical literature as I did, and you’re looking at the medical literature and you’re saying, “Well, what’s this new drug? What is this new procedure?” Oh, mercury and heart disease, boring! Led in heart disease? Boring!” “Like BPA from plastic and heart disease? Boring! Oh we can use B12 and Folate to lower cardiovascular risk and Omega 3 fish oil for cardiovascular risk, sunshine lowers cardiovascular risk, Vitamin D lowers cardiovascular risk, appropriate sleep lowers — those are all boring. I’m not interested in those. I want to know about the newest pill and the newest procedure.” That is what I thought, that is what they currently think, and that is the system we need to change.
Okay. Well, that takes us to you, seeing your book for example, to stop poisoning your body and you will have phenomenal health and energy. So when you “so what do you mean like how are we poisoning our bodies”, without knowing it?
Well, essentially, if they were to tell us in medical school, two things cause all disease: poor nutrition and environmental pollutants. It would’ve change the entire game. It would change the game of medicine as we know it. If they would just give us that foundation, but they don’t. When we talk about poisoning our body, yeah, we’re talking about what are the foods we’re eating and what are the things that we’re expose to in our environment that are leading eventually to disease. What I try and do in my practice into my book, and my podcast and webinars and stuff like that is to open up people’s eyes and say, “You know what? The laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, colognes, perfumes, air fresheners- these are all chemicals. These are all toxic chemicals that are destroying your health. The pesticides in the food are destroying your health. If you want answers, I’m going to give you the answers that the medical doctors are not giving you. You were not born to have disease, you are born to be healthy, you are born to live a long happy healthy life. It is the poor nutrition and the environmental pollutants that are destroying it.
You are a cardiologist by training, that was your old world in the, I guess, cardiology field, and you’re pretty accomplished in that field. Do you mind, I know you shared this with me offline, but again I think this is really important because I think there’s almost this, maybe belief system out there is that a lot of you, MDs and DOs that are all board certified, that you couldn’t hack it, or you maybe you got tired the entrance industry. So I’m going to go to this other side because I just couldn’t cope, but it’s not that at all. I mean you guys have fundamentally changed your view on what it means to be healthy, that’s really almost radically opposed to more of the traditional western approach to medicine in the way it’s delivered today. Please share with everyone, like what were you doing, where were you, and what were some of those accomplishments?
Right. So make no mistake about it, I am a board certified cardiologist. I’m not a naturopath. I’m not a homeopath. I’m not a chiropractor. I am a board certified cardiologist who used angiograms, pacemakers, work the weekends, deal with the sickness of the sick, Intensive Care Units, putting in lines, heart attack patients everyday, Congestive Heart Failure. I’ve seen it all from a cardiovascular standpoint.
I did that for 10 years, I was with the biggest group in the state of Arizona. I was a senior partner in a very very very lucrative cardiology practice. I gave that up in 2012 to open up my own practice which is an integrative cardiology out here in Paradise Valley, Arizona outside of Phoenix. I was the chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine. I was the chairman of cardiology at Paradise Valley Hospital. I was the director of cardiac rehab of that hospital. So I had a very very very successful lucrative career going on before I decided to give that all up and do the right thing and practice in an appropriate fashion.
Every holistic doctor has their story about how and why they left the old paradigm. I’ve never heard from anybody that I’ve talked to so many, are these natural holistic providers, never in any scenario was it because they couldn’t hack it in the medical world. It’s easy to hack it in the medical world, what’s the big deal? You get on some insurance plan and they flood with sick patients. I mean, there’s no art to being successful as a doctor. I mean 99% of medical doctors are successful, not because they’re overly intelligent, it’s because that’s just the system of there are so many sick people and there’s a shortage of healthcare providers that every single one of them is busy by default.
You walked away basically from a very lucrative career, getting a lot of successful lucrative, but being highly recognize and to walk away from that, that takes a lot of courage. How did you do that? Like what was the turning point where you just said, “You know what? I’m not a believer anymore. I can’t in good conscience do this.” I’m guessing you more or less started over from nothing because this was so fundamentally different than what you were doing previously.
Well you know, I was starting to attract a lot of holistic minded patients in the old practice. So when I did eventually leave them and start my own practice, I had a decent foundation that is since exploded and are now my — I’m booking out three, four months ahead of time in my practice because really, there’s — I don’t know, competition. There’s no other cardiologist that are practicing like I am. I mean, yeah, and just like I said, when your financial stability depends on it, it’s hard to leave and even for myself, I mean listen, I’m married and two young children. The prospect of leaving and starting over and kind of giving up everything, I mean my mother for one said, “You’re absolutely out of your mind.” I have friends calling me up, “You’re absolutely out of your mind.” The managing partner of the old practice, “Jack, you’re out of your mind. You’re leaving all these money.” But you know what? There’s things that are just as important, obviously, if not more important. I always said that when I am on my death bed and I’m surrounded by my family, I want to be the person who did the right thing. But then by example and said “I gave up what I needed to give up. I made that sacrifice in order to do the right thing and I’m very proud of it.” That being said, I’m very successful. I’m very successful in my practice because I’m doing the right thing. When you do the right thing, the financial rewards will follow.
Yeah, what’s naturally happening, and even in my own stories that many of us do go down to the more traditional path and we just get sicker and sicker and sicker to finally we are either introduce to a more alternative methodologies, and out of desperation it’s just like well, I’ll give it a try like in my case, or we start questioning the way the more traditional approach, and then seek other places. But I see a lot of that happening as well, that wow, this other thing isn’t working, what else is out there? I have an intuition that this more natural way of healing actually makes more sense.
Oh most certainly. Most certainly. It’s very exciting. I think the great equalizer these days is the internet. The internet and its podcast like you and I are doing right now, that open up the eyes of so many people and it’s our conferences that we put on and the books that we put out, because let’s face it, in the 1970s what the medical doctors said was gospel and you had no recourse. There was nowhere else to get different information, but the internet, you can find out the truth, you can find out all alternatives.
In my book, and I don’t tell you, “Hey listen! Don’t take drugs,” I say, “Listen! This is the benefit of drugs, this is the risks of the drugs, and this is the alternative to the drugs.” Now you’re informed, now you make a decision. By the 1970s, and even today in medical offices, it’s kind of like I’m the doctor, this is what I’m telling you to do and you’re doing to do it. Don’t question me. Yet, we have the ability to walk out that door and go find another doctor where I — to go on me in the internet, and learn. Learn from very respectable people. People often kind of poke fun of — so many people are like, “Oh! You’re an internet doctor. You’re a Google doc, you got your certificate of being a doctor on Google,” well you know what? There’s some pretty good information on the internet from some pretty high powered well respected intelligent people. So do your research, do your homework, and really be an informed patient and an informed consumer, that’s what matters.
Yeah, I think that’s such a really important point to make is that versus accepting, maybe some of the advice from any doctor for that matter as gospel, is to question at and see if it feels right, or of this, maybe seek another opinion or compare a more traditional to an alternative, and just trust your gut almost. But you, I mean, as a holistic doctor, your real specialization is the heart. I mean that’s your background,a and I’m going to put up your book here for those watching, The Paleo Cardiologist. First of all, this was a great book. I mean I read tons of books and really in my own desire to learn more about my own health and well being, and optimal health, and just for my own learning. Yours is so well written and well done, and I just want to say kudos to that.
One of better books– better best books I’ve read actually when it’s really trying to talk about these health concepts but not get to in the weeds for the Layman where it’s difficult to understand, but not where it’s too superficial or shallow where you’re not really learning. So it’s a really good mix of the book, but I love this, and I really like to pivot a little bit more to talking about one word, but in chapter one, you open up chapter one and you say a quote — It’s a quote. It then says, “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes truth,” and it’s an unknown as far as who quoted that, but I think there, you’re talking about this one word cholesterol. So when I think, and I think most of all of us, when we think heart health or heart disease, we automatically think about cholesterol, and we’ve all been taught to believe that cholesterol is a bad thing or at least LDL cholesterol is a bad thing. So I’d like to spend some of our time really educating the listeners about what the hell is cholesterol and what is this mumbo-jumbo, and can you shed some truth or shed some light and give us some truth when it comes to cholesterol that’s probably a little bit countered to what we’ve been told?
Sure thing. So what we figured is, is that if we start off the book about cholesterol, and we demystify cholesterol, and we really explain what it is, then people will open up their minds and say wow! I can’t wait to read the rest of this book. If this guy says that cholesterol is good and debunks the whole cholesterol myth, it proves it right there in the first chapter, then I can’t wait to hear what he says about nutrition. I can’t wait to hear what he says about sleep and relaxation, and exercise, and sunshine. That’s pretty much what we get. When we talk about cholesterol, and when I speak from the stage and I have people raised their hands, then I’ll say, “Okay. I say cholesterol, what do you think of? What do you say?” People raise their hands, “Heart attack! Stroke! Plaque! Blockage!” No one thinks about cholesterol as vital, can’t live without it. All of our cells are made up of cholesterol, all of our sex hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone come from cholesterol. Cortisol for energy comes from a cholesterol. Aldosterone for healthy blood pressure support comes from cholesterol. Vitamin D comes from cholesterol. Our digestion from our liver to bile for digestion is cholesterol. Once you said, and people realized, “Wow!” Their body makes cholesterol for a reason, every animal species has cholesterol for a reason. It’s a really an eye opening statement. But if you ask cardiologists what cholesterol is, they don’t even know what it is. They just, in their mind, they’ve been brainwashed to believe it’s bad.
Now, that takes us into chapter two where we look at okay, what are the things that can be bad and that’s where we can get into things such as LDL, often called the bad, and HDL which is the good. But once again, all animal species make LDL and HDL and they do it for a reason. But amongst the LDL, there can be good and bad, amongst the HDL, there can be good and bad. What I want the patients and the people to do is to seek out a provider who will order these super duper in-depth tests to identify their good LDLs, their bad LDLs, their good HDLs, their bad HDLs, to really do the in-depth testing to give us that information and then let’s come up with a plan so you have a lot of good LDLs to get the job done because you need those LDLs, they are the shuttle that takes cholesterol and triglycerides and phospholipids, and fat soluble vitamins, and CoQ10, they shuttle them around the body. LDL and HDL are also part of the immune system. These things are genetically there for a reason and we want to optimize them, not minimize them.
So, you’re telling us that LDL can be a good thing or a necessary thing I guess, it’s a vital thing. I mean our body produces both for a reason.
It is necessary, it is vital and that’s why we have it. Whoever built us, gave us that for a reason and if we’re going to shut down the production of it with a statin drug, we better have a very good reason why. In my mind and in my world, there is a very very little benefit to statin drugs and there is a better way in every situation.
Well, let’s break that down a little bit. So in the more traditional approach, your previous life, how would you look at cholesterol? How would you maybe read some of the basic labs and what would be your protocol or your treatment method?
Well, my practice was just like any current cardiology practice. The cholesterol lowering drugs, the statin drugs: Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor should be in the drinking water. That is the approach of the cardiologist. They all take the drugs, they all sing the praises, and that they’re wrong. They’re wrong. I discussed that in my book but once again, I don’t tell you not to take the drug, I tell you that if you take the drug, your benefit is this, and if you don’t take the drug, your risk is this. That’s a pretty small benefit. Well now they even informed me as a patient as far as this benefit, yeah, I’m interested in learning a way that I can reduce my risk from here to here. That’s what I want. I want that kind of dramatic risk reduction and the cardiologist do not offer that with their drugs, and that’s in the literature. It’s in the literature, and that’s what I quote. Now you’re an informed patient so you decide. Do you want to take the drug? Okay, as long as you’re informed then that’s up to you. If you want to go through chemotherapy with extremely little benefit, but you need to know the facts. Once you teach people the facts, they reject the medical paradigm when you fully inform them. That’s in the medical literature. When you fully inform a cardiology patient, they say no. They say no. But when you scare the patient and you don’t give them the facts, then they will go “What’s your plan?”
So someone — a patient would come to see you and you’re doing certain tests on them, so I’m guessing, are they already the point of seeing you, or seeing a cardiologist at the point where they’re feeling sick or something’s wrong, or they are going with their GP, getting a cholesterol test, the GP says, “This is high. Let me send you to a cardiologist,” and either way, I guess it doesn’t really matter but what would you have look on that on those lab reports, as far as let’s say, this is too high and then I need to prescribe a statin?
Well, pretty much all general practitioners prescribe the statins like they’re candy, prescribe blood pressure drugs they’re candy, so they’re not typically referring out to cardiologist for garden variety of cholesterol and blood pressure issues. Things get complicated when cholesterol numbers are extraordinarily high they may refer out or when blood pressure is difficult to control after a few drugs they refer out. They usually refer out to a cardiologist because if someone has symptoms, if someone has chest pains, if someone has shortness of breath, if someone has stroke-like symptoms, they may refer out. Heart rhythm issues, palpitations, things like that they refer out to cardiologists. Myself as a cardiologist, sure, I see plenty of people now that have had cardiovascular events, that had heart attack strokes, congestive heart failure, but of course the passion of any doctor out there would be to prevent that.
I love seeing the people that are 65, that have had events, and I see a lot of those people. But any one of us would rather see a person when they’re 45 to prevent those things down the road. The person to prevent it is someone like me. I feel very confident, Krisstina, in tooting my own horn and saying, “I am the best preventive cardiologist on the planet.” There is no one like me, there’s no one who’s doing what I’m doing, and that’s why my practice is so successful and people come in to see me, because once again, let’s say, there’s no competition. Everybody else is practicing in the pharmaceutical space and they’re not doing the in-depth testing. I mean, I do so many in-depth tests from heavy metals to intracellular nutrients. What are intracellular vitamins? I look at food allergies. I look at leaky gut syndrome. I look at in-depth markers of inflammation and vitamin D and in-depth thyroid and blood sugar. Medical doctors aren’t doing this. Anyways, it’s been very rewarding, very exciting. Obviously, you can tell my passion about what I do.
Yeah, and you’re doing naturally. I was trying to compare for the listeners, what they might hear when they go to their GP or if they’re having, to your point, more serious issues to a cardiologist which so many people do these days. This is probably what would happen through that approach as opposed when they come to see you if they were to compare. If they went to traditional medicine just to learn that approach, more or less they’re going to meet with their cardiologist, they’re going to be prescribe probably a statin, and/or some sort of surgery, and that’s it.
More or less. I mean those are the two options. You’re probably very unlikely to walk out of there, with not one or both of those if you’ve had any sort of palpitations or some of these heart issues as oppose to, and that’s what you did every single day for 15 hours a day in your old world was prescribe and procedure. The two piece versus now, if they come to see you, the same person, the same human being, the same expertise and your accumulated knowledge of everything you know today versus as oppose to the old Dr. Wolfson, with they would have experience to the new one. What would happen now?
Well Krisstina, my initial consultation, we have two, I guess, levels. One is an hour and fifteen minutes and the other is two hours. Most people that come in from out of town, we encourage them to do a two hour office visits. In my old cardiology space, the average cardiologist sees a patient every 10 minutes. Who do you want to rest your health with? Who do you want to take care of you? Do you want the 10 minute cardiologist who offers you pills and procedures? Do you want the holistic cardiologist that will go after causation and spend two hours doing so? It’s a totally different ball game. Frankly, those other cardiologist all they need is 10 minutes because they’ve only got a pill to give you so it doesn’t take long for them to have them to recognize someone’s symptoms and prescribe the pill, to prescribe the test that they “need”. So they don’t need anymore time because they don’t have anything to offer. They’ve got no nutritional advice. They’ve got no lifestyle advice. They’ve got no advice about the importance of sleep and relaxation, and physical activity, and getting sunshine and taking their organic supplements. They don’t have that.
So you’re going to be doing all these different lab reports and spending a couple hours on this initial consultation as oppose to 10 minutes. You will be looking at cholesterol, let’s say, as one marker, but you’re going to be looking at all sorts of things but you’re going to be really looking underneath that, like why is the cholesterol markers, why are they off? What is maybe the causation and so what do you look in for – one. Number two, what do usually see, or is there a pattern of what you usually see?
Well you know, once again, coronary artery disease is not from a lack of drugs. There’s a reason for it. Coronary artery disease is not from a lack of a Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor. We have to find the reason. So we start looking at the nutrition. We start looking at their lifestyle, the environmental toxins and pollutants, and the stress in their lives, and once again to sleep and the amount of sunshine that they’re getting. We look at the pharmaceuticals. We look at their gastrointestinal tract, their bowels, and look at that overall health picture. Then we use the labs to really help us kind of dial in how at risk they are. What is their amount of inflammation? Do they have this concept of the leaky gut where things get into the body that don’t belong and how do we repair that leaky gut? How do we fix that? And in doing so, we will naturally lower inflammation and then what we eventually come up with is what is the person’s caveman cholesterol, a cave-person cholesterol. If Krisstina was walking around in eastern Europe 25,000 years ago, what would she look like, what would her cholesterol levels be, and that’s what our goal is because your lipid levels are different from mine, are different from our best friends, are different from everybody. Everybody has a different perfect level for them, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out because as we said, we need cholesterol to do so many different things in the body and we want to have the perfect amount as if we were that person from 25,000 years ago.
So meaning, if I’m over 200 or everybody’s over 200, they should be prescribe a drug.
Meaning we’re all a little bit different.
Well yeah, and I think it’s definitely in the literature that when you’re — some people their total cholesterol is 220 and that’s perfect for them, some people it maybe too high, some people frankly and maybe a little bit too low. By getting on the right nutrition and the right lifestyle, then we will figure out what your cholesterol numbers are. If we can’t get you perfect, if there’s certain challenges in your life you can’t overcome, that’s a fantastic opportunity for evidence-based supplements.
How often then do your patients come in to see you? Let’s say you see some of the cholesterol markers that are less than ideal, they’re showing some signs that something is broken or not quite working optimally here, which means it could likely turn into later stage disease of one type or another. So what would you prescribe?
Well, typically what we do is we do that initial, and let’s say, a two hour consultation and then we come up with a game plan, we institute the game in plan. But we also do the test at that point, we meet up to go over the test and then I typically like to test three months later to see how we did, to see how the plan worked out. Some people we may need to see in the intrauma, I need need to see them every once a month. When people come from other town, often these interviews can be done over the phone or just like you and I are on video right now on the internet. But typically, I like to see my patients at least once a year. The more often they see me, the better their health is going to be. The “sicker” they are, of course the more frequently they’re going to need to see me.
So I’m guessing then that part of your protocol as opposed to since you’re not trying to fix this with the statin, you have a different protocol that you’re more or less going to follow. I imagine one of the first place that you’re going to start is looking at the nutrition or the diet, correct? I guess let me ask it differently. How important is diet to our health?
Diet is extremely important. Once again, if you’d look at all the pillars of health, think about our nutrition, think about our water intake, think about the environmental pollutants that were around and minimizing them, making sure that we get those eight hours of sleep, making sure that we stay active, making sure we get sunshine from the sun. The sun has been vilified for so many years, yet the sun is the source of life on this planet and we need plenty of it. Those with the highest levels of vitamin D have the lowest risk of everything. How do we get vitamin D? We get it from sunshine, it’s a very simple equation. Diet is very fundamental, foundationally. You’re getting people to understand that if we eat in a similar fashion to our ancestors did, that’s how we’re going to achieve the best health, in getting people educated on the fact that, all right, sugar and certainly the gluten containing grains, and a lot of the dairy products, and anything that’s artificial and synthetic has to be out of our lives. The more it’s out of our lives, the better our health is going to be.
Well, and when my father was diagnosed with diabetes, which now is completely reversed through diet by the way, because he was diagnosed with diabetes, and was given the pill, and what the doctor suggested to him was to do margarine, vegetable oils, stay away — a low fat diet. I mean it’s shocking and I was trying to say, “Dad, no no,” and of course the doctors, they’re gods, so what would I know as opposed to the doctors. He finally came around and just diet alone, changing his diet to more of a Paleo type organic healthy diet, he’s not on any of the drugs, all of his markers are completely normal as a 76 year old man. So anyway, that’s my own sort of anecdotal story, but in this, even like that personal example I just gave you, is it still believed in the more traditional approach that low fat, or let’s say high fat produces cholesterol or raises cholesterol, and that we should stick to more of a low fat diet?
Well, there was a reason in that analysis where they look at hundreds of thousands of patients and they said, “Is saturated fat linked to a heart disease?” It said, “No.” There are hundreds of studies that say saturated fat, and fat in general is not leading to heart disease. Eating cholesterol containing foods is not linked to a heart disease. What causes heart disease is sugar and carbohydrates. So the governing bodies, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, they are embed with the food manufacturers, Kellogg’s, Nabisco, Quaker Oats, to perpetuate their lousy sickly food pyramid that continues to make people sick, it keeps then on the drugs, it keeps them buying their lousy foods, and they don’t care about our health. When you go Paleo, and you get rid of the sugar and you get rid of the carbs just like your father found out, you get rid of the diabetes. It’s a real simple equation. People can test their blood sugar. You can go drink a bottle of olive oil, and your blood sugar won’t budge. You go eat a piece of bread and your blood sugar jumps. That’s it. That’s it. You can go eat a dozen eggs and you know what your blood sugar will do? Nothing. Nothing. Diabetes is the worst diagnosis anybody can get when it comes to heart health and brain health because when you have diabetes you are at much higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, dementia and cancer. So it’s not coming from our saturated fats from coconuts, and from grass-fed free range meats, and from wild seafood, and olives, and it’s not coming from avocados, and it’s not coming from walnuts and almonds. All these fat laden foods. It’s not coming from that. Those are extraordinarily healthy, it’s in the literature and I’ve been seeing it in my patients for years.
And then what about — so that’s diabetes, what about diet or fat to cholesterol, to heart disease?
Exactly. There’s no link whatsoever between saturated fat and heart disease. There’s no link whatsoever to our cholesterol intake and heart disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, if anybody wants the references, I’ll be happy to provide them. You can search it yourself and find the information, this is the biggest nutrition journal in the world. It’s the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it’s right there, black and while multiple studies. There’s no debate. There’s no debate. Anyone who believes otherwise that they’re listening to people from the 1970s, it sold us a false belief to goods to get us to buy their disgusting products and we did it, and they’re all rich and we’re all sick.
Well said. Then if a high saturated fat diet isn’t clogging the arteries, what is?
What clogs the arteries, obviously is anything that’s artificial, anything that’s irritating to the body, and all the pollutants and toxins, but from a food standpoint, it’s the sugar. Of course, it’s the simple sugars that we find in cookies, cupcakes, and ice cream. It is the grains, especially the gluten containing grains: wheat, barley and rye. It is the foods that are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals, it is the dairy products and if people are going to have dairy, please do it with raw dairy. When I talk about the benefits of eating meat and seafood, I’m talking about free range grass-fed healthy animals, I’m talking about wild seafood, I’m talking about pastured chickens and pastured eggs. I’m not saying go to Burger King and get a double Whopper and hold the bun, I’m talking about doing things the right way and you will achieve extraordinary health.
Excellent. So they actually are high carb diet and sugar diets that are really the culprit to heart disease and not high fat. But then you’ve said, you keep using the word saturated fats, so a lot of our listeners are really learning and are newer to some of this, so I’d love for you to help educate everyone that is listening as to what are the differences? Because we can talk about a high fat diet, but a lot of the vegetable oils are not healthy. In fact, the canola oil is in most packaged foods, and worst, soybean oil and these different types of oils that we’re starting to maybe hear these things, and we’re thinking we’re doing good with switching to maybe some oils, but those oils aren’t necessarily healthy either.
Yeah. I agree with you, and that’s pretty clear in the literature as well. When we cook at home, we like to use our animal fats whether it’s pork lard, beef tallow, duck fat – we love to cook with those, we love to cook with coconut oil which is a magical miracle oil that was falsely vilified in the 1970s, in order to push the soybean, soybean oil agenda from my home state of Illinois, where the whole state is all growing soy. Genetically modified soy at that have always created with pesticides and glyphosate, otherwise known as roundup. So yeah, we’re not talking about Florence Anderson 1970s canola oil or western corn oil, we’re not talking about those. We’re talking about the oils such as olive oil, we’re talking about the coconut oil and then the animal fats, that’s what we prefer to use in our house and that’s the stuff that’s heart healthy. But I do also want to say quickly that nowhere in our conversations so far have we mentioned genetics because we are not genetically built to have heart disease, we’re not genetically built to have cancer, we’re not genetically built to have dementia, we’re genetically built to be healthy, but if you dump garbage into our body, we’re going to get garbage results.
Exactly, and I think it’s even in another place to be careful of, because even if we are starting to adapt some of these newer principles, we’re still going to grocery store in the middle aisle, and if it says gluten free, maybe we’re thinking it’s healthy, or if it’s Paleo, labeled Paleo, we think, “Oh great,” but it really goes back to reading the labels because many “Paleo” packaged goods or gluten free packaged goods are still laden with different types of sugar or maybe bad vegetable oils like soybean oil or something. Is it getting back to as much whole food, real food is possible?
I mean, obviously, that’s the foundation of our Paleo pyramid, is vegetables vegetables vegetables. We recommend every morning our triple combo which is our daily greens, super food, and beetroot powder- that’s what I do every morning for breakfast, so as my wife and our two young children. Paleo kind of gets a bad wrap because people think they got to eat meat five times a day, but once again, the foundation in our pyramid is vegetables as often as possible, but everybody has to eat some degree of meat and seafood on a weekly basis in order to achieve optimum health. Then of course the nuts and seeds and the eggs and the avocados, and the coconuts, and the olives, and fruits when in season, not to overdo it on fruit. But you’re right, I mean all these other gluten free grains that we see, the additives, the preservatives, the sugars, often I say it is gluten free but it’s still carb, it’s still carbolicious, and the term carbolicious is not trademark by me, but it probably should be because that’s solely what it is, and you’re right, they’re putting soybean oil on their genetically modified canola in there which is the Canadian grapeseed. They’re putting some nasty stuff in these products that needs to be avoided, and there’s a lot of supplements that contain those products in there as well. You know what? When I have patient that come in, I tell them to bring in their supplement bottles and I wind with a garbage can full of products for these people because I’d threw out all the things that contained a garbage in their supplements and one of those heavy offenders is soybean oil. Those go right in the trash.
Thank you, and to circle back, I really want people to leave maybe with a different way of thinking about cholesterol, even a better understanding so that when they go to their doctor, they are more informed patient or potential patient. What would you suggest if somebody is going in to see their GP and get in sort of the basic test that your GP might be ordering, that’s in the normal range, what questions do you advice they ask? Or what response might they give if they go to the GP and the automatic response is let me put you on this statin prescription?
Yeah, it’s a real tough situation right now because doctors don’t like to be challenged. They don’t like to be questioned. They don’t want to have a conversation with you about your health. They want to give you their pills on their agenda and then move on to the next patient. That’s how they are trained. That’s how they behave. Sure you may find a diamond in the rough. They maybe willing to have a conversation with you, but most patients are not equipped to go in there and try and educate their doctor, or they get a different opinion out of their doctor. It’s a fruitless endeavor that no patient should have to suffer that. Go find a holistic provider. Go find someone like me or come out and see me. Go find a chiropractor that is naturally open to this kind of thinking that I work with people, and the more that we demand natural providers, the more will be produce, the more things will change. But to think you’re going to go into your garden variety and educate them about cholesterol, you’re not going to. They’re not going to change their mind based on what you tell them. You’re just going to get into an argument. You don’t need that stress in your life, so get it out. I don’t advice that. Find a holistic doctor, work with a holistic doctor, and that’s really all you need.
So maybe the takeaway there is if you do go in and talk to whatever medical professional, that if they’re automatically prescribing some prescription within 15 minutes, that might be the red flag. Like get the hell out of there and at least look for some other potential solution.
There is always an alternative. There is always a natural alternative. Listen, if you’re in the midst of a heart attack, go to a hospital, okay? But for prevention, medical doctors have nothing. They have nothing. This is for the world to see that medical doctors have zero, zero. So seek out a holistic doctor, educate yourselves, read my book, get informed, listen to podcasts like this and we’re going to change the world.
Absolutely. You do give so much great information in your book. One thing you do offer that this is really important as well, is you give a list of the different labs or markers to test for, so if people are looking for maybe a holistic doctor, what might they’d be asking? I know that the profession itself if looking for more or less the same thing, and that nutrition is important, looking for inflammation, looking for maybe hormones, maybe some genetics, we’re looking at these different labs to try to make certain interpretations, for taking the reverse disease or almost guaranteed future disease or health move more towards optimal health. But what labs do you really recommend as far as people getting started?
Well, I think that there are some amazing companies and this is really kind of in-depth testing where you look at in-depth lipid analysis, in-depth inflammation, you can look at genetic markers, you can look at vitamin D and thyroid, and blood sugar, and heavy metals, and leaky gut, and food sensitivities, and hormones, and cortisol- it really goes on and on, and what the possibilities are. Frankly, insurance covers a lot of these stuff very well. This is not, you know, I’m going to go drop $25,000 at the holistic doctor, a lot of these stuff is covered very well and it’s very exciting to give that information to patients.
And how much is inflammation responsible for a disease?
Well, inflammation is really just a marker that is associated with disease. So inflammation is a sign of disease, it’s a cause of disease, but we have to take a step back and see what’s causing that inflammation and that’s coming from poor nutrition and environmental pollutants. So that’s what causing the inflammation, so we need to shore up the diet, shore up the environment and then we’ll do better.
Yeah, well my long time listeners know that in 2013, I actually almost died from heavy metal poisoning, and we thought when I finally found a holistic doctor who was listening, and really part of that story is that I gone down the traditional approach and nobody could find what was wrong with me. I was getting sicker by the day. My hair was falling out. I couldn’t sleep but I couldn’t stay awake. I mean I was in terrible condition. I looked anorexic. I went down to like 90 pounds and no doctor could figure out what was wrong. Then they finally said it was even in my head, and it was totally psychological, even though my body was deteriorating. What did they do? I mean I was on so many pills by the end of it, desperately taking any pill that the next doctor would give me because I was so desperate to feel better and not knowing any different but continuing to get sicker and sicker over month over month, almost day over day. Until finally, I met with a functional medicine doctor, holistic doctor, and she’d ask this question through like this two hour process of what you do with your patients, and she was really going back and asking, “Well, tell me about the last six months and what have you done?” I said, “Well–” And she said, “Have you– having like dental work?” I said, “Yes, I got all my amalgams taken out from a traditional dentist and had an implant put in,” and all these different things. She’s like, “Oh my gosh, let’s do a heavy metal test.” So sure enough, I was to the right in the red of so many heavy metals. Of course mercury being one of the really toxic ones, but mercury cadmium lead, that Valium, Cesium. So anyway like–
Yeah. Cesium, right. Valium, Tungsten 10 and on and on and on, these are things that have no physiological role in the body, and when it don’t belong in the body and they are in the body, they interfere with bodily functions. Aluminum is a major player there, so you’re right. Doctors, we need to be detectives, and with someone like you comes in, if I can’t solve someone like you, I consider a failure on my part. It’s very easy for medical doctors to say, “Well you know, it’s all in your head.” Yeah, it’s all in my head. There’s metals in my head and it’s ruining up my life. I’ll figure it out and get them out. I was of that same mindset where I was like, if I can’t figure this out then it’s obviously, it’s your problem, it’s something psychological, but now once again, even if it’s psychological, it is psychological but there’s something that’s causing it and that could be, once again, environmental pollutants, toxins in the body, poor nutrition. Listen, David Perlmutter wrote an Amazon– in New York Times bestselling book: Grain Brain, how grain affects your brain. So when you have grain issues, look no further than a grain and certainly the gluten components like wheat, barley and rye. It’s simple. It’s simple. I’m not the only person out there saying this. There’s a lot of brilliant physicians that are on the same book.
Well, and it’s the holistic approach is what saved my life, like literally, because I wouldn’t have lasted much longer and– oh by the way, Mercury does make one feel crazy. So there was a crazy attach to it, but I mean, so much that one, like a traditional approach never would have looked for heavy metals and I know you talk a lot about metals for example. Another toxicity in chemicals that are toxic, we’re living in these toxic environments and we’re polluting our bodies with things like metals that come from these different sources. But if we’re not testing for it, it’s really difficult like you said to detect what might be the source of someone like me or others that are so sick, and there’s not necessarily an answer for it that’s obvious through more traditional approaches.
Yeah. Mercury is well-known. It was a toxin. Like we said, the aluminum, all these things do not belong in the body. Aluminum is found in so many different places. It’s in the air, it’s in the cookware, and aluminum cans, and aluminum utensils. Aluminum is all over the place and it absolutely destroys the body. It does not belong in the body. There’s no physiological reason for it and it interferes with bodily function and then we suffer the consequences.
Well all right. Well we’re reaching the end of our time together and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, your expertise, your passion to help people become healthier. I always end– a couple of things I want to say as I’m drinking, I have my hydro flask. But in my hydro flask, I have my super foods.
My daily greens and my beetroot powder. So I’m such of a fan of this. Do you mind very quickly just talking about these?
I just make me a pitcher every day and almost drink– this is my water. Fill up my water bottle everyday.
What a great promotion Krisstina. Thank you so much for that. They are great products. They’re all organic, they’re housed in glass, the daily greens is just a combination of fruits and vegetables and fiber to give us a boost in the morning. The superfood is the chlorella spirulina. Spirulina is fantastic when it comes to normalizing lipids, chlorella binds up those heavy metals that we just talked about. Excrete them out the other side, and the beetroot powder just does so many things and it’s a source of nitrates and nitrates are converted eventually into nitric oxide by the body, the body’s main vasodilator, so where normalizing blood pressure works, improving circulation, improving athletic performance in some ways. It’s kind of like nature’s Viagra. For all the man out there or the women that are interested in getting a man a natural Viagra, so it’s really phenomenal. But these are foods that part of the food budget, they’re safe for anybody and everybody whether you’re pregnant, whether you’re breastfeeding, whether you’re a child or you’re 105 years of age. We created this for a purpose and it should be really the foundation, and use this for breakfast. That triple combination and a heaping teaspoons, it’s a little over 100 calories, put it into water and just a beautiful way to start off the day. Do it before your coffee, do it after your coffee, I don’t care, just get it in at least once a day.
Yeah, and it’s delicious and there’s no sugar.
Yeah. There’s a natural sugar obviously that comes in beetroot, there’s no added sugar of course, and listen, none of the stuff taste like a hot fudge sundae. But what we’re providing is for providing health. We don’t put any flavors in our products, we don’t put any Stevia and of course, there’s nothing artificial in there. It’s just food that’s in our products, and if you want to flavor it, that’s up to you. We don’t feel that you need to. Superfood is kind of interesting because especially at this time of the year, stone fruit season, ripe nectarines and peaches, we love cutting up those nectarines and peaches, adding some macadamia nut oil and some hemp seeds, and sprinkling in the superfood and mixing it all up, and wow! What a delicious, delicious breakfast. It’s so cool.
Excellent. Well, I complete all of my podcast with one question, and we’ve done so much of this today, so we’ll see if you can come up with something we haven’t already talked about. But part of my goal with the Wealthy Wellthy podcast is to do some mythbusting. There’s so much conventional wisdom out there that’s just wrong. The misconceptions are killing us one way or another. So where you sit today, what is a misconception, a myth that out there that’s believed to be true that you see all the time, and you just want to bust it?
We’ve mentioned it a couple of times, once again, it’s the importance of the sun. Since the dawn of the earth, the sun has been shining. Human beings have been exposed to the sun forever. We need sunshine and of course, it’s been vilified, and the doctors tell us that the sun causes skin cancer. They tell us to put on all the different sunscreens, well the sunscreens are loaded with chemicals and cancer causing agents. They block the formation of vitamin D. We wear tons of clothing. We avoid the sun. We wear sunglasses as opposed to our eyes are the windows to the world, and we depend on that solar radiation coming in, and not only creating vitamin D but creating things like melatonin. They help us sleep. But once again, our ancestors were in the sun, how can the sun be detrimental to our health? Animals are in the sun, plants and trees are in the sun 24/7 whenever the sun is shining, they’re in it. So I’m not telling people to go out and sunburned, what I’m telling people that 10 to 15 minutes at peak sunshine on a daily basis is good for the mind, the spirit, the soul, and certainly the cardiovascular system. It’s just so important, so make sure you get you sunshine.
Well, that’s perfect. Thank you so much Dr. Wolfson. I appreciate your time. Thank you for everything you shared with everyone today just out of generosity and truly desire to make the world healthier. So thank you.
My pleasure Krisstina. It’s great to talk to you.
I hope you gained some new insights about heart health from my conversation with Jack. If you enjoyed this episode, I recommend you pick up a copy of Dr. Wolfson’s book called The Paleo Cardiologist. You can find a link at wealthywellthy.life/podcast.
Next up, I stay on the health side of Wealthy Wellthy where I interview Dr. Lane Freeman. A friend and brilliant functional dentist. What is a functional dentist, you may ask? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out. Here’s to a Wealthy Wellthy Life. I’ll see you next time.