Gene-Based Therapy Alternative To Vytorin, Statins In Heart Disease
Since 2002, Pamela McDonald, RNFA, FNP, an integrative nurse practitioner in San Francisco, has been helping patients lower cholesterol and reduce other chronic symptoms of heart disease by focusing on the Apo E gene and advanced cholesterol tests.
"We have a way to prevent heart disease," insists McDonald, "and it doesn't necessarily require a statin drug. Some people don't need these drugs for life, only until the correct diet and exercise changes have been made that support their particular Apo E gene."
Scientists have known since the early 90s that the Apo E gene plays a major role in cardiovascular disease. McDonald has successfully taken the available research and developed cutting-edge gene supportive diets, which she shares in her recently released book, The Apo E Gene Diet: A Breakthrough in Changing Cholesterol, Weight, Heart and Alzheimer's Disease Using the Body's Own Gene.
When treating a patient with high cholesterol, McDonald orders two tests that remain underutilized by the medical community: an Apo E gene test and an advanced cholesterol test. Eighty percent of cardiovascular disease is related to hereditary factors. Routine screening cholesterol panels don't detect the most common genetic causes of heart disease, but the Apo E gene test can.
"If you're not looking at the genetic component of heart disease, then you're missing a major piece of the puzzle. After all, the Apo E gene is the gene involved in transporting fat and cholesterol," says McDonald. After determining the patient's Apo E variation, McDonald recommends a gene supportive nutrition and exercise plan.
Another piece of the puzzle is advanced cholesterol testing. A patient with a family history of heart disease can have a completely normal routine screening cholesterol panel, but an abnormal advanced lipid panel.
"An advanced cholesterol screening coupled with an Apo E gene test allows me to look below the iceberg and start treating the cause of the problem head on. Once you treat the real problem, then medication may not be needed," McDonald explains.