Chapter 45: Heart Disease (IHD)

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is a condition of recurring chest pain or discomfort that occurs when a part of the heart does not receive enough blood. This condition occurs most often during exertion or excitement when the heart requires greater blood flow. Ischemic means that an organ (e.g., the heart) is not getting enough blood and oxygen. Ischemic heart disease is also called coronary heart disease, or simply “heart disease”.

This first study is amazing.

Copper deficiency may be a leading cause of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) (2018)
(DiNicolantonio, Mangan and O’Keefe)

Ischaemic means “restriction of blood supply”, as is found in heart disease. It does not mean a specific kind of heart disease, it’s just the general, normal kind of heart disease you know about. I have low respect for people who use big, rarely used words to try to show off their own intelligence. A function of genius is to make things more easily understood, not harder.

“Copper is an essential trace element that has been an overlooked factor in IHD (heart disease). Numerous animal and human studies have demonstrated that copper deficiency can cause IHD and that copper supplementation or adequate dietary copper can improve many of the risk factors for IHD. Copper deficiency could be driving much of the current burden of IHD in the population.”

“In relation to IHD, the heart is one of the main organs affected by copper deficiency, causing a reduction in metabolism and energy supply in the heart.7 Insufficient dietary copper can produce almost every risk factor [80?] for IHD.8 There are many important similarities between copper deficiency in animals and IHD in humans, including glucose intolerance, hypercholesterolemia, abnormal ECG, hyperuricemia and hypertension, all of which are risk factors for IHD. Much of the lipid hypothesis of heart disease can be seen in the light of copper deficiency.9’”

“Rats that were made copper-deficient had a >50% increase in total cholesterol…”

“The group of copper-deficient animals that were fed high-iron diets either died of ruptured hearts or developed severe anaemia, enlarged hearts and livers, hypercholesterolemia and elevated triglycerides. Thus, copper deficiency ties in with the iron hypothesis of heart disease, in which excess levels of stored body iron promote IHD.”

This study has 97 references!

The harms of copper deficiency:

Increased cholesterol, decreased glucose tolerance and abnormal ECGs.9

Increased LDL and triglycerides and decreased HDL. 15

Increased susceptibility of lipoproteins and tissues to oxidation. 11 (This one is huge. Copper deficiency causes oxidation, not copper, as is sometimes falsely claimed.)

Increased apolipoprotein B.11

Increased blood pressure. 87 (I previously learned that magnesium was the key for fixing high blood pressure. But it’s copper, too.)

Increased plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1.78

Increased early and advanced glycation end-products. 35

Increased inflammation 43 and increase in the expression of genes involved in inflammation and fibrinogenesis. 47

Ultrastructural irregularities of elastin and abnormal endothelial cells, subendothelial space, collagen fibres and smooth muscle cells. 95

Increased atherosclerosis. 96

Myelodysplastic syndrome. 92 (poorly formed blood cells)

Hepatic iron overload. 19

Fatty liver disease. 31–33 47 93

Cardiac hypertrophy, 54 cardiomyopathy. 53 58

Optic neuropathy, myelopathy, anaemia and neutropenia. 91

Atrial thrombosis, abnormal ECGs and sudden death. 97

“Substantial evidence exists to show that marginal copper deficiency is common…” (NOT RARE!)

“Copper supplementation in humans leads to lower levels of markers of oxidative stress”

“With reductions in copper levels in nearly all foods over the last several decades along with widespread adoption of ultra-processed food, low average copper consumption and extensive subclinical insufficiency or deficiency of copper may be more common than once thought.”

“While research and medical practice has focused almost exclusively on cholesterol and dietary saturated fat as IHD risk factors, we may have overlooked an exceedingly simple, plausible and widespread condition, copper deficiency, as one cause, perhaps even a major cause, of IHD. Increasing consumption of ultra-processed food, as well as a general avoidance of copper-rich foods, may play a role in widespread copper insufficiency and deficiency and therefore may be linked to IHD via copper. Copper in the diet or as supplementation has low toxicity, and an increased consumption of copper has the potential to reduce the population-wide incidence of IHD, heart failure and fatty liver disease. Copper deficiency as a link to increased risk of IHD deserves more attention from both clinicians and researchers.”

Next study:

Copper deficiency and cardiovascular disease: role of peroxidation, glycation, and nitration (2000)

Dietary copper deficiency causes a variety of cardiovascular deficits. Systemic effects include high blood pressure, enhancement of inflammation, anemia, reduced blood clotting, and possibly arteriosclerosis. Effects on specific organs or tissues include weakened structural integrity of the heart and blood vessels, impairment of energy use by the heart, reduced ability of the heart to contract, altered ability of blood vessels to control their diameter and grow, and altered structure and function of circulating blood cells. In some instances, the cause of a defect can be directly attributed to reduced activity of a specific copper-dependent enzyme. However, three nonspecific mechanisms of damage have been implicated in cardiovascular defects of copper deficiency. They are peroxidation, the interaction of oxygen-derived free radicals with lipids and proteins (possibly DNA); glycation, the nonenzymatic glycosylation of proteins; and nitration, the interaction of nitric oxide and its metabolites with peptides and proteins. Though independently these mechanisms present great potential for damage, the possibility that they may interact presents an added reason for concern. Furthermore, the fact that at least two of these mechanisms are associated with diabetes and aging suggests that copper deficiency may exacerbate deficits associated with these two conditions.”

Heart failure improvement from a supplement containing copper (2006)

“Copper deficiency is the only nutritional insult that elevates cholesterol, blood pressure, homocysteine, and uric acid, has adverse effects on electrocardiograms and arteries, impairs glucose tolerance, and promotes thrombosis and oxidative damage. More than 80 anatomical, chemical, and physiological similarities between animals deficient in copper and people with ischaemic heart disease have been identified. 6,7 Copper deficiency in animals can induce cardiac enlargement,8 pleural effusion,9 and heart failure10 that are reversible with copper supplementation.”

This is amazing. Over 80 similarities? That is very compelling research. I think lists of 10-15 things are compelling. 80? I went to the sources listed, 6,7

6 Klevay LM. Ischemic heart disease. In: Bogden JD, Klevay LM, eds. Clinical Nutrition of the Essential Trace Elements and Minerals: The Guide for Health Professionals. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press Inc.; 2000. p251–271.

7 Klevay LM. Advances in cardiovascular-copper research. In: Schrauzer GN, ed. Trace Elements in Nutrition, Health and Disease. Montreal, Canada, Salt Lake City: Institut Rosell; 2002. p64–71.

The government attempted to refute Klevay, as follows:

Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc.

We examined this document previously when discussing the RDA and ULs, the 2001 version.

“Myocardial disease occurs in severely deficient weanling rats, and one investigator has hypothesized that ischemic heart disease is related to marginal copper status (Klevay, 1989). However, the myocardial changes observed in copper-deficient animals are very different from those of ischemic heart disease in humans (Danks, 1988). In severely deficient animals, the myocardium is hypertrophied and may rupture. Coronary artery resistance is decreased in copper-deficient animals, but it is increased in ischemic heart disease.”

At first glance, the government appears convincing. One researcher, Klevay, noted similarities. Another noticed a difference. This appears to be how science works, the research could not be confirmed. But this is not even close to a refutation. First, Klevay noticed 80 similarities between copper-deficient animals and heart disease in humans. This is overwhelming evidence. Note, the government failed to mention how many similarities there were. The existence of one difference does not negate, does not disprove, the 80 previous similarities. Furthermore, I notice that heart hypertrophy, or enlarged heart, is a common feature of bodybuilders who take way too many drugs, and they do tend to die suddenly from heart attacks.

Furthermore, enlarged heart can be caused by ischemic heart disease, as noted here:

Causes of an enlarged heart

“Any disease that makes your heart work harder to pump blood through your body can cause an enlarged heart. Just as the muscles of your arms and legs get bigger when you work them, your heart gets bigger when you work it.

The most common causes of an enlarged heart are ischemic heart disease and high blood pressure. Ischemic heart disease occurs when narrowed arteries, caused by fatty deposits that build up in your arteries, prevent blood from getting to your heart.”

But let’s examine the government’s refutation further. One difference. That is actually not a difference. That’s quite absurd. Copper deficiency results in many diverse health problems, as I am categorizing in this book. I think I’m up to about 60-80, maybe up to 100 by the time I’m done. We have to ask ourselves. Why would the government attempt to counter Klevay’s work on copper in heart disease, and do it so badly?

In other words, all the problems of copper deficiency, other than heart disease, do not refute that copper deficiency causes heart disease too, among other things. For example, copper deficiency also causes osteoporosis, diabetes, and neuropathy. Interestingly enough, people often have diverse multiple health problems all at once, it’s rarely just heart disease alone. So obese people also often have diabetes, neuropathy, heart disease, and weak bones all at the same time. Some people just might not complain of relatively minor complaints such as neuropathy and back pain, compared to their larger problems of heart disease and diabetes that they are actively working on managing. I knew several such people: fat, heart problems, diabetes, neuropathy, bad back, all at once. This must be typical.

Once again, you can see the nature of the government’s lie. It seems a rather desperate attempt to rebut, ignore, or slander, the great work of Klevay, but it does not even come close to a refutation. So, let’s hear more from Klevay:

Lack of a recommended dietary allowance for copper may be hazardous to your health (L M Klevay, 1998)

Ischemic heart disease and osteoporosis are likely consequences of diets low in copper. Numerous anatomical, chemical and physiological similarities between animals deficient in copper and people with ischemic heart disease have been noticed.

1998? That was 23 years ago. Never in my life have I ever heard from any mainstream source that copper deficiency plays a role in heart disease.

A quick search in the news for “copper deficiency heart disease news” reveals the exact opposite of what the experts say: (March 2021)

That article from claims that copper deficiency is rare, not common. And that copper toxicity is a bigger danger. They claim that chronic copper excess can lead to liver problems, but they provide no evidence. And no mention of heart disease at all. You might think the newer article would be better. But it’s all misinformation. Maybe the date itself indicates a higher chance of misinformation.

I believe the lack of news around how copper deficiency causes heart disease means that this particular issue is being censored. I find it very difficult to believe that news agencies are simply unaware of this shocking news, especially given that the science is rather clear from the years 1975, 1990, 2000, 2007, and 2018, and especially so, given the strength of the science on this.

Cardiovascular Disease from Copper Deficiency—A History
Leslie M. Klevay

“The copper deficiency theory on the etiology and pathophysiology of ischemic heart disease has been developed in a series of papers over two decades; the most important or recent include Klevay 1990a, 1990b, 1998 and 2000). The theory has evolved, has been modified and has attempted to incorporate newer concepts and findings such as aspirin, beer, homocysteine, iron overload and oxidative damage. It is offered as the simplest and most general explanation of ischemic heart disease, the leading cause of death in the industrialized world.”

You now know more about how copper cures heart disease than most cardiologists.