Dr. Hotze is joined by world-renowned cardiologist, author, and health crusader, Dr. William Davis (author of best-selling books Wheat Belly and Undoctored) as they discuss the importance of a heart scan and teach us what the REAL causes of heart disease are. You will be surprised!
Stacey B.: Welcome to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield here with Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, and as always, you can find all of our wonderful shows and podcasts on HotzePodcast.com. That’s H-O-T-Z-E podcast.com. We have a great show for you today. So excited to have Dr. William Davis as a guest. Maybe you’re not familiar with the name, but maybe if you hear the word Wheat Belly or Undoctored, two of his books that he has written, maybe that will ring a bell. It’s so popular right now, so Dr. Hotze, why don’t you share with us more about our guest today?
Dr. Hotze: Thank you very much, Stacey, and thank you each one of you for joining us today on Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution, where I believe that you need a doctor and a staff of professionals who can coach you onto a path of health and wellness, naturally, without using pharmaceutical drugs so that as you mature, you have energy, vitality, you have enthusiasm for life, and you have it without using pharmaceutical drugs. Does that make sense? Well, I’m sure it does. Our program is based simply on a healthy eating lifestyle. We’re going to talk about that today in our program, replenishment of your hormones as they decline as you age with natural bioidentical hormones, vitamin and mineral supplementation to help you detox, a good exercise program, and if you have allergies, treatment of allergies.
Today we are really honored and privileged to have one of the most influential physicians in natural approaches to health in the whole world on our program today, Dr. William Davis. Dr. Davis is a cardiologist located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Now right now, this program is being broadcast in early March and it’s 2019. It was 32 degrees or 31 yesterday morning in Houston, Texas, and Dr. Davis, what was the temperature in Milwaukee?
Dr. William Davis: A balmy seven degrees last night.
Dr. Hotze: So it’s a late Arctic snap we’ve had here, but we’re glad we’re inside today. It’s a beautiful day outside in Houston, by the way. The sun’s out, 51 degrees, so we’re enjoying, finally we get some sunshine. Well, Dr. Davis is known for having written the book Wheat Belly. Say that? Wheat Belly, and if you know anything about natural approaches to health, you’ll know this has been a tremendous and terrific worldwide best seller. I don’t know how many millions of copies it’s sold. How many millions of copies have you sold, doc?
Dr. William Davis: I think we’re approaching four million.
Dr. Hotze: Now that’s on a health book, just to let you know how big that is, if a health book sells 20,000 copies, they think that’s tremendous in the book industry. Four million copies. My book, Hormones, Health, and Happiness, my first book, we’ve only sold and printed 100,000 copies, so this is on a magnitude 40 times greater, and it’s called Wheat Belly. This doctor has also written some follow up books to that. He wrote Wheat Belly Total Health, Wheat Belly Ten Day Grain Detox, and his most recent book is Undoctored, and that is a very challenging book to encourage you to undoctor yourself. Now that seems like a medical heresy if you’re a physician doing that, but you know, when you go and cut against the grain and go against conventional medicine, you begin to take positions that are best for the society and for the people in society and for your patients rather than what big pharma, insurance companies, big medicine, the federal government wants you to do with your life.
Dr. Davis has been an invasive cardiologist. That meant he’s done cardiac catheterizations, he’d do stents, angioplasty and all those things were done in the past, but in 2004, some changes occurred in his life. I’d like him to explain that. Dr. Davis, explain to us how you came to the conclusion that a change in someone’s eating program, particularly the elimination of wheat and other grain products, could have a dramatic improvement in their health and really remove the need for a lot of invasive procedures and a lot of medications that individuals were taking from their conventional doctors.
Dr. William Davis: Sure. To be honest, I’ve learned a lot of my lessons by blundering around and asking tough questions. It started when my mom died of sudden cardiac death. I was doing angioplasties, sometimes six, eight, nine a day, ten a day, so morning ’til night. I was very busy. I got a call that my mom had died of sudden cardiac death several months after her successful two vessel coronary angioplasty. Well, it drove home the point to me that my mom died of a disease I thought I was taking care of every day. I was in Wisconsin at the time. She lived in New Jersey where I grew up. I got that call and realized a lot of the things we do in conventional cardiology are useless, are silly, are not effective, because they deal with the problem. It’s like putting out a fire once the fire is blazing in the house, rather than trying to prevent the fire.
I set about trying to figure out how do we identify people at risk for these kinds of things, heart attacks and death. Well, the only device that really does this properly, not a stress test, certainly not a heart catheterization for everyday people going to work and going to school. The only devices back then, an EBT, or electron beam tomography device, now replaced by CT devices.
Dr. Hotze: Right.
Dr. William Davis: We started to scan people. There was a scanner, I believe in Houston at the time also, or maybe Dallas, I can’t remember which, back 27 years. We started scanning people in Milwaukee left and right, thousands and thousands of people. Well what you find is that heart disease, hidden heart disease, no symptoms, is everywhere.
Dr. Hotze: Right.
Dr. William Davis: What do you do about it? Well, 27 years ago, we put people on Lipitor and aspirin, low-fat diets and exercise programs. If you do nothing, if you just sit back and do nothing but a heart scan score of let’s say 500, normal is zero, as you know, the score increases 25% per year. It’s horrifying how rapidly atherosclerotic plaque grows. What happens, we helped publish these data, what happens when you put someone on aspirin, Lipitor, high-dose Lipitor or statin drug, a low-fat diet, score goes up 25% per year. It has zero effect on the rate of progression of atherosclerosis in your coronary arteries. Well, I’m getting people freaking out on me because their score’s 500, then 650, then 820 or whatever.
Of course my colleagues, as unscrupulous as some of them are, would say things like let’s do the real test, a heart catheterization, see if you need a preventive or prophylactic stent or bypass, which of course is malpractice, but it’s done every day. I saw it happen all the time. People who had no symptoms could pass a stress test, are getting bypass surgery and multiple stents. I was desperately looking for an answer. Clearly the conventional answers were not answers at all.
You may remember the consensus opinion back then was don’t repeat heart scans. Let them have heart attacks, then deal with it, which I think you and I would find horrible. It’s an awful answer.
Dr. Hotze: Let me interrupt you here. Just to let you know, here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, I have a CT heart scan, and we heart scan every one of our men above 40 years of age and women above 50 years of age, if they’re close to 50. We make sure we get a calcium score on every one of them. I totally agree with you. There’s no other way to know. You know, they could do a stress EKG, they could do an echocardiogram. All these things, they go to their cardiologist, they say everything’s fine, and then they drop dead of a heart attack because nobody did a CT scan and found out that they had atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries caused by the calcification, which is an indication that you have inflammation, which is an indication that you have coronary artery disease. Anyway, just to interrupt you on that.
Dr. William Davis: Well, what do you do to stop these scores? Back then, of course, nobody knew. No expert knew, so I kind of figured it out on my own. I started doing lipoprotein testing, the real testing for deciphering heart disease source of risk. You find that it’s not high cholesterol, it’s not high LDL cholesterol. That’s a big pharma fiction. It’s an excess of small LDL particles and associated abnormalities. Well, only two things in the diet cause small LDL particles, grains and sugars. I asked people, because the conventional answers weren’t doing anything, I asked them to remove grains and sugars, and of course they did it, and small LDL drops.
If you did an NMR panel, it would drop from say 1,800 nanomoles per liter, or 2,000 or whatever, to zero or some other low number, but then people started telling me things like, but you didn’t tell me I’d lose 47 pounds, and you didn’t tell me I’d have to stop my insulin, my Metformin, because my blood sugars are now normal. You didn’t tell me that I’d lose six inches off my waist, my plantar fascitis, acid reflux, ulcerative colitis and migraine headaches would all disappear. It became clear that I had stumbled on something, similar to your experience, in taking the grains out of the diet.
The Power of Vitamin D
When I added vitamin D, about 12, 13 years ago, that’s when I started seeing the diet was successful in slowing progression of the heart scan scores to maybe 8%, 12%, 14%. When I added vitamin D to achieve a target level of 60 or 70, that’s when I first started seeing for the very first time scores of say 800 dropping to 400, or 1,000 dropping to 600. You could actually see this on the heart scan. You can see regression of plaque. Then we added some other pieces, cultivation of the microbiome, iodine and optimization of thyroid, magnesium, fish oil, a lot of the common things. Low and behold, I’m seeing hundreds of health conditions reversed, but it all started with heart scans.
Dr. Hotze: Well, that’s amazing that you discovered that, and you added these additional vitamin and mineral supports to that. Tell us about your vitamin D. We are very strong advocates of vitamin D use, and I know I read and you just discussed, but you like to see them 60, into 70. I like to see them between 70 and 100. I personally take, it may sound crazy, I take 25 to 30,000 international units a day and mine stays about 90 to 100. That’s how much I have to take. Obviously some people can take much less and get higher levels of that, but we find routinely we have, and we use D3, we have to use 5 to 10,000 international units a day to get them into a level we feel like is beneficial, which is a level around 70. Is that what you find?
Dr. William Davis: That’s been my experience also. Of course you’re in a warmer state, so the need for D is slightly less than here. You can be quite deficient as you know in Texas, Florida and Hawaii, because we work indoors, we wear clothes, we lose capacity to activate vitamin D in the skin after age 40, but I’m in Wisconsin where adding vitamin D was shocking. The effects were shocking. These people started with blood levels of 5, 10, 12. When you add vitamin D to those people, it’s like somebody turned a light on in their thinking and clarity and on their mood. I personally had a dramatic lifting of seasonal affective disorder. When it used to get dark here and cold, it would be very depressing. I’d have to drink a pot of coffee just to get going in the morning. With vitamin D, within a couple of days, it was like somebody flipped a switch and it all went away.
Then we started seeing all these metabolic and disease improvements like the reversal of heart scan scores, and of course reversal of osteoporosis and all kinds of metabolic improvements like rise in HDL, drop in triglycerides, drop in insulin resistance, drop in blood sugars, drop in blood pressure. I would say vitamin D is probably the second most powerful thing I ever came across after elimination of wheat and grains.
Dr. Hotze: Right. What are the other treatment modalities you use, the other vitamins and minerals you spoke about, besides vitamin D. You use magnesium.
Dr. William Davis: What I’ve done, you know, I’m impressed that you liked the Undoctored book, because a lot of our colleagues would say things like this: “How dare you suggest to people they diagnose their own diseases.” Of course, as you know since you’ve read Undoctored, that’s not what Undoctored says. What Undoctored says is very similar to your program. Engage in this brief list of strategies: eliminate wheat and grains, cap your net carbs, fish oil, add a therapeutic dose, iodine and thyroid optimization, magnesium supplementation and efforts to cultivate the microbiome and vitamin D. Just those six basic strategies, and the vast majority of common chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, high triglycerides, fatty liver, et cetera, all go away.
Dr. Hotze: That’s exactly right. Now here’s one thing you haven’t mentioned, which I am a very strong advocate of, and that is high doses of vitamin C. Now I read Matthias Rath’s work, Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks, and he worked with Linus Pauling, and I read this back in 1990, and they talked about the whole concept of heart disease being caused by inflammation, and they called it low-grade scurvy. Take a high dose of vitamin C, 1,000 milligrams per 25 pounds of body weight. I said well, do you know what, that makes sense to me. I’m just going to do it.
For the last 25 or 30 years, I’ve taken myself minimally 10,000 milligrams a day, and I take 15 to 20,000 now, and I have had my most recent heart scan, I’m 68, was zero. Calcium score was zero. I’ve got a brother who’s two years younger, looks just like me, his calcium score’s in the 1,000s, but he never took vitamin C or took any of his vitamins and didn’t eat right. I think vitamin C, and you might not have used it, but I think it plays a significant role because it’s an antioxidant, it’s used to build collagen. It can be very helpful.
We also use K2, lysine and proline. We add that to the regimen when people have atherosclerosis. We put them on a lot of vitamins and minerals, and we’ve seen the same thing. As a matter of fact, my wife came in and she had a score of 360. She had had a blockage of the renal artery, I don’t know, 25 years ago, right renal artery, and they put a stent in back there. I don’t think it worked well. She’s got elevated renin, so she’s had elevated blood pressure. Well her score was 360, and she hadn’t been eating right or taking her vitamins for the last year, you know, and she was 20 pounds overweight.
Well I sent her to a cardiologist friend of mine who did not only a stress EKG and an echocardiogram, which were normal, but he did a thallium stress test which showed the back part of the heart was black. There was just no circulation there, and he said if I had sent you to another cardiologist, they’d do a scan on you. They’d go in there and do something, but you can change your eating program and take the vitamins your husband says, and we can reverse that. Well sure enough, nine months later, it had gone from 360 to 280, and she had lost 20, 25 pounds, and she fasted, sometimes 48 to 54 hours a week for several months at a time to get her weight down. It was amazing that you can reverse it.
The Importance of a CT Heart Scan
This is the point I want all of you to learn from this, is what Dr. Davis has said, first and foremost, you need to find out whether or not you have heart disease, and the only way you can do that noninvasively is measure your calcium score on your coronary arteries. That’s done by CT scan of the heart. If indeed you have coronary artery disease, it can be arrested and reversed. If you don’t, you can get on a program to prevent it. I like to say this. It takes about 25 years to cook a good heart attack, so if you’re cooking one, you want to take it out of the oven. You want to take it out before it’s cooked.
You don’t want to find out, because the leading cause of death in America is heart disease. It kills as many women as it does men. Women are about seven or ten years behind men at their age because they’re protected by their hormones up until about 50, they go through the change of life, then they start having their problems. Men, though, start earlier developing their coronary artery disease. It kills just as many men as it does women, about 600, 700,000 a year, somewhere in that range, and it is a silent killer.
I have had friends, and I know each one of you here knows of somebody that you had seen at church the week before or at work the week before or out on the golf course the week before. They were doing fine, you had drinks with them, everybody was fine, and then he dropped dead, just dropped dead. You went “what in the world?” He was in good shape, he was a runner, he was a jogger, you know, he ate right or whatever, or maybe he didn’t, but they dropped dead because…and half the people that have their first heart attack never live to tell anybody about it. They die, usually before they get to the hospital. I’ve seen this, and I know you, doctor, being a cardiologist, have seen this over and over again. Everybody is floored. What happened? Dad was in such good health, or mom was in such good health. She just dropped dead.
This is totally preventable, but you first need to do a diagnostic procedure and have a CT scan to see where you are. What I’ve found, Dr. Davis, is if you do the CT scan and they find out they’ve got blockage in their arteries, they have calcification or atherosclerosis, they’re a whole lot more serious about getting on a good eating program and taking their vitamins and minerals then. If you go like, well, just take these vitamins and minerals and you know, we’re going to try and prevent it. They think they don’t have a problem. They don’t feel like they have a problem, so they’re not near as compliant. Wouldn’t you agree with that?
Dr. William Davis: Absolutely, and the converse is true also. That is, if you have a zero score, that is no atherosclerotic plaque that’s detectable, and your heart attack risk is virtually zero, I’m shocked that some of our colleagues still force people to go on their statin drugs and other silly maneuvers. As you know, statin drugs hardly have any effect at all, and they certainly have no effect on slowing the progression of atherosclerosis by heart scan tracking. There’s so much wrong, as you know, with conventional approaches to health, such that the experts can actually say things like let them have their heart attacks and then deal with it. That is the status quo. That is the prevailing standard of care that you and I don’t accept.
Dr. Hotze: Well, that is the standard of care, and you know, what it does is it makes each one of you in the listening audience a cash cow for the medical profession or the hospitals or the insurance companies or the pharmaceutical companies. That’s your cash cow. They’re going to keep you sick. Now, I wanted to visit with you about the whole concept of wheat and what else wheat does besides causing you to gain weight, but I wanted to get down to maybe into some of the weeds on this, the different protein particles.
Dr. Davis, this has been a very informative program, and we appreciate you bringing to light the importance of healthy eating, elimination of grain products and other simple carbohydrates, which lead not only to cardiac disease, but lead to a host of other illnesses that you discovered when you got your cardiac patients off wheat, it resolved a host of other problems. What I’d like to do is invite you back to discuss what is it about wheat? What is the wheat product? What kind of problems does it cause, and I think that I’ve read your book, and that’s going to be a very interesting program. I want to thank you for being here with us today, and I look forward to our next program.
Stacey B.: And our listening audience, if you would like more information on how to become healthy and well naturally, how to do a 180 and take charge or your health, then give us a call at 281-698-8698. We’d love to have a conversation with you. That’s 281-698-8698. Thank you for joining us here today at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.