Calcium Channel Blockers
How These Blood Pressure Drugs Cause Early Death and Promote Cancer
Among the top 10 drugs prescribed in the U.S. are blood pressure drugs called calcium channel blockers. Calcium channel blockers are prescribed for hypertension (high blood pressure), heart arrhythmias (irregular heart beats), and angina (chest pain.)
Unfortunately, research shows that these drugs make one far more susceptible to dying of a heart attack (resulting in early death) as well as potentiating cancer. These expensive drugs allow the sick to get sicker as well as leading the way to cancer.
What are calcium channels?
Each body cell has an outer membrane with a sandwich of fats called lipids. The layers in the sandwich contain a wonderful host of protective nutrients, including EPA (eico-sapentaenoic acid), phosphatidyl choline, vitamin E and others. The cell’s membrane is studded with pores called “calcium channels,” which pump calcium ions into the cell from outside the cell.
In normal daily operation, calcium ions pass back and forth through the calcium channels in the cell’s membrane, repeatedly, many thousands of times per day. Inside the cell, calcium is needed in the mitochondria (where energy is made) and in the endoplasmic reticulum (where drugs, toxins, hormones, etc. are detoxified). Outside the cell, calcium is used in hundreds of bodily reactions.
Calcium can passively flow out of the cell, but for calcium to re-enter, the cell requires the use of the calcium channel pump. Pumping calcium through the calcium channel requires: a) energy and b) depends upon the cell’s membrane sandwich to have the exact types of layers in the membrane. The channel partly runs on an electric current that is generated by the polarized side arms that protrude from the cell’s sandwich. If the right layers are not in the sandwich, the electric current cannot flow properly to open the calcium channel. Hence, the calcium pump will not work correctly. In effect, it is broken.
Normally, the synchronized contraction of the heart muscle is brought about by the flow of ions through these channels. Many nutrients that feed and nourish the cell also flow through these channels. When a cell is damaged from toxins or junk foods (such as hydrogenated oils) or lacks critical nutrients, such as phosphatidyl choline, the calcium pump will not work well. Massive amounts of calcium leak back into the cell and cannot be pumped out again. With its interior flooded with calcium and no way to get it out, the cell malfunctions at first, then later dies.
How do calcium channel blocker drugs work?
Calcium channel blocker drugs are designed to block the channel where the calcium is leaking into the cell. These drugs slowly close off these crucial regulatory channels, but over time, the calcium channel essentially stops functioning at all. At first, symptoms of high blood pressure or chest pain may improve, but later on, these drugs so badly poison the channels that they are known to cause many terrible symptoms, including heart failure, risk of cancer and early death.
Blocking the flow of calcium is dangerous since calcium is essential for normal cell life and operation – as well as for the whole body. Without sufficient calcium, you cannot live.
60% Increased Risk of Heart Attack
The Wall Street Journal (winter, l996) reported that patients who took calcium channel blockers had 60% more chance of dying of a heart attack. This is because calcium channel blocker drugs take a system that is functioning poorly and damage it even more.
Many previous studies have associated calcium channel blockers with increased heart attacks, increased risk of breast cancer, increased suicide risk, and increased gastrointestinal bleeding. Short-acting versions of these drugs have been previously shown to be dangerous and now long-acting versions are being shown to be possibly dangerous as well.
In August, 2000, a report from the “Meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Amsterdam (Netherlands)” showed that despite lowering blood pressure, calcium channel blockers did not reduce the death rate. The real goal of a therapy should not be only to reduce blood pressure or to control any other bodily parameter. The real goal should be to help achieve a longer, healthier, happier life.
You may wonder how long it takes for a person on calcium channel blockers to experience a catastrophy, such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer, etc. It depends on the person’s physical strengths (such as their total nutrient reserves) and their weaknesses (such as their total load of toxic stressors). The poorer the person’s nutrition, and the greater their toxic load, the more likely they will develop further problems.
How do calcium channel blockers lead to cancer?
Closely related to calcium channels are structures called gap junctions. Although these act somewhat like channels, they are actually little protein tubules that connect cells one to another. Normal cells have fully functioning gap junctions. Through these gap junctions, cells are able to communicate with each other and give each other constant feedback to be able to keep the body working in harmony. No cell should work alone, cut off from the others.
To initiate cancer, several steps are involved. First, calcium channel blocker drugs work by intentionally poisoning the calcium channels. This in turn, leads to a break down in the closely allied gap junctional proteins. As the gap proteins are damaged more and more, cell-to-cell communication begins to falter. In cancer, the cancer cells have lost their gap junctional proteins. Signals that should run from cell to cell are absent, so cells do not know when to stop growing. With cell-to-cell communication lost, cancer cells can grow wildly out of control.
Many toxic compounds can poison cells and cause them to lose their cell-to-cell communication link. In addition to calcium channel blocker drugs, pesticides and environmental toxins can damage gap junctions. To reverse the process, many nutrients can help repair and regenerate the gap junctions. (See “Key Nutrients.”)
What should you do?
Taking calcium channel blocker drugs for high blood pressure ignores the real problem: the need to improve the nutrient supply to repair the cell’s membrane. Key nutrients are needed to re-establish normal cellular functioning. First, you must identify the nutrient deficiencies that have created the problem in the first place, then use high quality nutrients to repair and rebuild the cells. By using targeted nutrients along with an improved diet, we have repeatedly seen many cases of high blood pressure resolve, eliminating the need to use drugs.
If you are taking a calcium channel blocker for high blood pressure, we urge you to discuss with your doctor switching to a less dangerous blood pressure drug. If your doctor does not want to switch medications, you may want to seek a second opinion. Since the use of calcium channel drugs is potentially dangerous and even life-threatening, the time for you to act is now. However, do not try to discontinue these drugs on your own. You need to be under the supervision of a medical doctor.
For a list of safer blood pressure drugs to use, please see the consumer-friendly book, Best Pills, Worst Pills (ed. Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D.), in which a panel of over 50 medical doctors evaulate various blood pressure drugs and recommend the ones with the safest track record. In the meantime, begin using top quality nutrients to begin to rebuild faulty cell membranes and re-establish normal cell function so your body can regulate its own blood pressure just as it was designed.
The Heart and Blood Pressure Support Program
I. Key Nutrients
To help the body heal itself, rebuild faulty cell membranes and restore normal blood pressure, the following key nutrients are highly recommended for daily use:
|1)||Coral minerals from the Sango marine reef (which contains highly ionized calcium and magnesium as well as many trace minerals) to alkalinize the cell’s pH to help establish normal blood pressure and artery function (The coral ratio should be 25% calcium to 13% magnesium.)|
|2)||USP grade Norwegian cod liver oil, mercury-free (which naturally contains EPA and DHA) to help rebuild and strengthen cell membranes|
|3)||All four phosphatidyl complexes from non-GMO soy (including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine) which help to rapidly rebuild and strengthen cell membranes|
|4)||Anti-infective herbs, such as Italian olive leaf extract, a key herb proven to help normalize elevated blood pressure|
|5)||Key heart-regulating herbs, which help target anti-infective herbs such as olive leaf extract to the heart|
|6)||Colostrum, a key compound which contains many immune-boosting factors as well as a vast array of healthy cell nutrients for tissue regeneration and healing|
II. Optimize Your Diet
Adopt a high fiber, unprocessed, plant-based diet, rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eat at least one raw meal daily (such as a large salad with organic greens and vegetables). Avoid eating commercially produced foods from supermarkets or restaurants.
Instead, enjoy making homemade meals with fresh, organic foods. Avoid contaminated foods such as commercial red meat, commercial dairy products and foods with “junk” oils such as fried or hydrogenated oils.
Regular exercise is important, especially a daily 20-minute walk (minimum time to promote lymph drainage) in fresh air and sunshine. If walking is not possible, begin with gentle stretching exercises and deep breathing exercises until you are able to do more.
Calcium Channel Blockers
Common Consumer Brand Names (with the generic name in parentheses)
|Adalat (nifedipine)||Calan (verapamil)||Cardene (nicardipine)|
|Cardizem (diltiazem)||Dilacor (diltiazem)||Dynacirc (isradipine)|
|Isoptim (verapamil)||Nimotop (nimodipine)||Novasc (amlodipine besylate)|
|Plendil (felodipine)||Procardia (nifidipene)||Vascor (bepridil)|
Calcium Channel Blockers
Potential Side Effects
Altered sense of smell or taste
Cold, clammy skin
Difficult or labored breathing
Fatigue Fluid retention and swelling
General feeling of illness
Inability to sleep
Lack of coordination
Loss of appetite
Loss of memory
Tingling or “pins and needles”
Urinating at night
and many more symptoms
- Mercola, J. “Calcium Channel Blockers Found Ineffective and May Increase Death Rate,” Townsend Newsletter For Doctors, Dec., 2000, 43.
- Rogers, S, “How Common Heart Drugs Cause Cancer,” in Depression Cured At Last, SK Publishing: Sarasota, FL, 1996, 688-92. Ruch, RJ, “The role of gap junctional intercellular communication in neoplasia (review),” Ann Clin Lab Sci, 24(3):216-231, May-June, 1994.
- Ruch, RJ, Klaunig JE, “Effects of tumor promoters, genotoxic carcinogens and hepatocytotoxins on mouse heptocyte intercellular communication,” Cell Biol Toxicol 2:4, 469-483, 1986. (Tells how prescription drugs, pesticides and food additives damage gap junctions and promote cancer.)