Dr Ross Walker: A Yearly Check Up With the Cardiologist

When should you go to the doctor for a heart checkup? Today, it’s time for our annual check-up with a cardiologist, (and my good friend) Dr Ross Walker.

Dr Ross Walker is an Integrative Cardiologist practicing in Sydney, Australia. A prolific communicator with his own radio show “Healthy Living” airing Sunday nights on 2GB Sydney, Ross offers a wealth of information.

Dr Ross Walker: A Yearly Check Up With the Cardiologist Introduction

Hello, and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Now today we are going for the annual check-up and every time we do this, we do this on a regular basis. I learn something new absolutely each and every time, and my guest today is my old friend, Dr Ross Walker.

Ross is an Integrated Cardiologist practising here in Sydney, Australia. As you will hear, he’s a prolific communicator on radio, on television. He’s written many, many books and we will have links, of course, at the end of this show to his website. But he is just such a wealth of information. I so enjoyed talking to him. We cover a very wide range of topics. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr Ross Walker.

Podcast Transcript

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:00] Now, before we start, I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I’m recording this podcast, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Hello, and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Now today we are going for the annual check-up and every time we do this, we do this on a regular basis. I learn something new absolutely each and every time, and my guest today is my old friend, Dr Ross Walker.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:00:39] Ross is an Integrated Cardiologist practising here in Sydney, Australia. As you will hear, he’s a prolific communicator on radio, on television. He’s written many, many books and we will have links, of course, at the end of this show to his website. But he is just such a wealth of information. I so enjoyed talking to him. We cover a very wide range of topics. I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Dr Ross Walker. Welcome back to the show, Ross.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:01:10] My pleasure, Ron. It’s always a great pleasure to see you, my friend.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:01:13] It is, too. Now listen, Ross..

Dr Ross Walker: [00:01:15] I wish I could say forever I’m listening. You are one of my oldest mates. We went to school together.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:01:20] Yes.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:01:20] We’ve been mates for years and years.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:01:23] That goes back now, well, we go back beyond 50 years now? It would be since we walked into high school in 1968. Now listen, this I see as a regular check-up for my listener’s heart health, and we’re going to be talking about other stuff as well. But when should someone, at what age should someone consult a cardiologist?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:01:47] Yeah, I think it’s a very good question. I’m not sure that everyone needs to see a cardiologist, but I do believe everyone needs to be very, very cognisant of their heart health. So I basically say that all males at 50, all females at 60, should have a test called a coronary calcium score. Now, a coronary calcium score is a CT scan. So using standard CT technology with the software package to be able to do the calcium scoring. And it measures how much mark you’ve got in your arteries.

Now I got to make a very important point here. Unfortunately, this test has been bastardised by many cardiologists and radiologists totally inappropriately to be a CT angiogram. That’s the same technology, but the difference is with the CT angiogram, you’re injected with a contrast dye, it’s more radiation. And what I say, the difference between coronary calcium scoring and CT angiography is that CT angiogram makes your wallet $500 lighter because neither of these tests is covered by Medicare. 

Also, you glow in the dark for three days after the CT angiogram because it’s typically more radiation unless you’re using one of the latest and greatest machines that are very high slice and very low radiation. And also, you’re getting an intravenous dye with the CT angiogram that you can have an anaphylactic reaction to and older people, especially diabetics, can damage your kidneys.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:03:14] The other interesting thing, at the study in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, where they compared head to head in asymptomatic people. So we’re not talking about people who’ve got chest pain. It’s a different issue. But when you look at the two studies head to head the coronary calcium score, even though it’s cheaper, everything else and it’s less radiation, no dye, is a better predictor. So why on earth are doctors still ordering this CT angiogram on people? 

I just don’t see the logic, and there is no science behind it. So I use the coronary calcium score to tell me how much mark there is in the walls of someone’s arteries. And I did a debate the other night frac them on Cholesterol: Are doctors getting it wrong? And we’re off the side, of course, of saying doctors are getting it wrong because I don’t treat cholesterol at all, Ron. I treat risk, and the best indication of risk is your coronary calcium score.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:04:08] So just say you come to me and you say, “Look, I’m a 45-year-old male, but my father had a bypass at 40.” I’d do a coronary calcium score in you at 45. But if you were, say, 30 years old and you just want to know about your heart health, it’s totally inappropriate to do a coronary calcium score. And I’ll give you an exception there. 

I had a young woman whose cholesterol was 12.4, and her father died at 31 of a heart attack, so she clearly had familial hypercholesterolaemia, which is only about 8% of heart disease. So it’s not that common. One in 250 people have this condition. I sent her downstairs for a calcium score, and her calcium score was already 48. Now that’s only in the middle of the normal range, but it’s a huge amount for a 32-year-old. I would suggest to you that 98-99% of women in their 30s have zero calcium scores, which is why it’s another waste of time.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:05:02] And also, Ron, I got to say there are only three advantages of being over the age of 50. One is wisdom, so it’s good to have a bit of this in terms of wisdom. Two, his grandchildren, if you have them. And three, you lose the cancer is for medical radiation, so having a CT scan or having an intravenous CT angiogram over the age of 50 probably won’t cause cancer 15-20 years down the track. 

But you have a CT scan, especially with contrast because there’s more radiation in your 20s and 30s, there is the weak potential not huge, but the weak potential to induce cancer 15-20 years later. So I think that the first one of the Hippocratic Oath, as you well know, Ron, is “First do no harm.”

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:05:42] Yes, that’s a timely reminder, Ross.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:05:45] Yeah, I think certainly not be doing any harm. And also, I think that maybe at age 40, it’s good to have extensive blood tests, looking at your cardiovascular risk and not just cholesterol. Cholesterol itself is a very weak marker. But we do a full lipid profile, cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL, estimated LDL. But I also measure a thing called like approaching with like.

This is one of the points that I made the other night, along with Aseem Malhotra, who’s one of the prominent cardiologists in the UK, we’re on the side that cholesterol is being overdone. The point we made is that 70% of heart disease is due to insulin resistance. 30% of Caucasians have the gene for insulin resistance, 50% of Asians and close to 100% of people with darker or olive skin carry the gene for insulin resistance. 

So insulin resistance explains 70% of heart disease. 20% is explained by lipoprotein (a), which most doctors have not even measured. I’ve been doing it for 25 years measuring this. It’s a cause of one in five cases of heart disease, and if you have a high lip approaching with low, your risk for lifetime cardiac event without treatment is 70% higher than the next guy. So there’s 90% of heart disease is explained by two genes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:06:59] Now, you know, it’s interesting because I know you’ve been talking about coronary calcium CT score for over 20 years, I think, and I was sitting at my desk for about a year or so ago when you were last on because I got the Australian doctor, and the headline came through “Coronary Calcium Score, now accepted as the gold standard.” And I sent you that message to say, “Ross, big breakthrough here.”.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:07:25] Yeah.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:25] The breakthrough that now the profession, 20 years after, is accepting that it’s the gold standard. Look, let’s say somebody has a higher coronary calcium score and without breaking patient confidentiality, I remember we did a programme and you said anything over 400 don’t read Tolstoy and I went off and got my coronary calcium score and again, bit of a breach of patient confidentiality here, that my score was 650.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:07:54] Yeah.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:07:54] Now that’s pretty high, and I stopped reading the book immediately. I found it too heavy to lift anyway, but tell me about scores and their relevance.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:08:03] Okay, relevant to tell you you’ve got a problem that needs management. So a big study out of the US done by Professor Valin from Philadelphia looked at just over 13 and a half thousand people, followed for 10 years, and then basically categorised them based on their current calcium score. 

Now I introduce coronary calcium scoring in conjunction with the sand and Dr David Grout, another cardiologist, in 1999. But unfortunately, science advances funeral by funeral and to get it through the skulls of people that this was… Back then, it was the best predictive test, but now people are starting to accept it, but again bastardised it to the CT angiogram.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:08:44] So basically it gives you a number and the number you want is zero. It’s like your golf handicap. You can’t get better than zero. If you have a zero calcium score, this study from Professor Valin showed that there are zero benefits from being on a set. So I don’t care if your cholesterol is nine. If your calcium score is zero, you do not need a statin. I mentioned FH before, familial hypercholesterolaemia, which affects one in 250 people. The studies show that 50% of people with FH will have a vascular event by age 50 if they’re not treated. 

But if you’re an optimist, that means 50% won’t. So I gave you the story of the 32-year-old with a calcium score of 48. I’m hammering her with a huge dose of statin, but I’ve got a woman in her late fifties who came to see me having been on statins. Can’t lift her arms for muscle pain, sitting downstairs with cholesterol of 9.5, a recurring calcium score of zero. So I said, “Well, look, you don’t even need a statin.” So for the next eight years, every scaremongering GP said… I’m not saying that these are all scaremongering.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:09:53] No.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:09:54] …Who would you say, “If you don’t take a statin you’re going to die.” She listened to me, not to them, came back at age 66 with a cholesterol of 9.5, set it downstairs for another calcium score. Have a guess what it was? Zero. So she doesn’t need a statin. One to ten is trivial, so it’s the same risk as being zero. 10 to 100 is mild. 

So again, the studies show Professor Valin studies show, if you’re below 100, you do not need a statin. You’re going to treat weight for this. Just say your calcium score is 60 over the age of 50, you’ve got to treat 100 people for five years to prevent one heart attack with no change in death rate whether you’re on a statin or not. So with no statistically significant benefit from being on a statin if your coronary calcium score is below 100.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:10:46] When you go from 100 to 400, that’s where you only have to treat 12 people for five years to prevent one heart attack. So highly statistically significant. That’s when I start statins. If your calcium scores above 400, then, that’s the day I read Tolstoy. If you don’t have treatment, I use statins on those people, I use blood pressure therapy. 

Of course, I look at lipoprotein little a and all of those things. And interestingly, as I said, doctors haven’t shown any interest in lipoprotein little a. And until the last couple of years. And you know why, Ron? Because they’ve got a drug now for life approaching this life.

Now I’ve been using a combination of vitamin C, vitamin D and lysine. L-Lysine. Four vitamins for high lipoprotein and life in the last 25 years with great benefits to my patients. So I haven’t got a randomised, controlled trial of this, but I’ve got a packet of clinical experience where my patients have done very well on this combination.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:11:43] And Ross, that was vitamin C, vitamin E and lysine?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:11:47] And lysine. Yes. 1000 mg of lysine…

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:11:50] Which is an amino… Is that an amino acid?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:11:52] And it blocks the […] residues near the pit of […], locking into the wall of your arteries. Vitamin C a gram twice a day. A lot of spooling used a lot more than that. And I use it, the new tocotrienol form of vitamin E in the evening because I see E and A together they’re blood brothers. 

So vitamin E doesn’t work as well unless you throw vitamin C in it. And there was a meta-analysis of vitamin D published, I think, in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2004 by a guy called Edgar Miller, where he said vitamin E in high doses may be harmful. But what he did is he analysed 11 doses of people using 400 international units of vitamin E or higher by itself and three where they actually combined it with vitamin C. 

But they all used synthetic vitamin E, dl-alpha-tocopherol, which I agree with. It shouldn’t be used. It might be harmful, but when you look at the only two studies that have ever been done using vitamin E natural, so d alpha tocopherol or tocotrienols combined with vitamin C. 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:12:56] One called the ASAP trial and the other one called the IVUS study in different groups, but both showed after 12 months in one study and after six years in the other one, a 25% reduction in the progression of carotid atherosclerosis, so a surrogate marker for heart disease in people who just took these simple vitamins. 

So it really annoys me when doctors say, “Oh, these things don’t work or they’re dangerous.” So I use C in lysine for four elevated blood pressure and in low-risk people. So just say someone comes to me, the calcium score’s zero are the cholesterol is up. They lipoprotein little a’s up. I will give them C, E, and lysine and leave it at that type in their lifestyle. OK. But if the coronary calcium score gets above 400 and they’ve got a high lipoprotein little a, at the moment I use nicotinic acid.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:13:46] I was kind of to come to that because B3 was something… That’s B3, isn’t it?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:13:50] Yeah, B3s. It’s the pharmaceutical version of B3. Now I’m moving into the anti-aging space and I love the work of Professor David Sinclair, who’s an Australian from the University of South Wales, who now lives in Harvard, and he’s written a book called Lifespan. Very elegant book. Simple book to read. A very good book on anti-aging. 

And he’s talking about these revved up versions of vitamin B3, which include nicotinic acid, which NAD riboside in any man. And so I’m working with some companies to develop this as an anti-aging treatment because I think it’s very important.

Professor David demonstrated a 20% improvement in lifespan in laboratory animals treated with a statin that obviously can’t do a 50 year, randomised controlled trial in humans. That’s impossible, but you can look for the surrogate markers that were present in the animals that were studied, and he’s demonstrated exactly the same benefit in surrogate markers than people taking the revved up versions of vitamin B3.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:14:48] But just getting back to the life of President Vilan and this is why doctors are now showing interest – we now have a drug. A thing called an antisense oligonucleotide, which is a monthly injection that modulates the production of lipoprotein little-a in the liver. 

Professor David Sullivan, who’s one of the Australian experts on cholesterol issues, works at Prince Alfred. He’s now doing a trial at Prince Alfred on this, there’s a worldwide trial that David is involved with, which is looking at the mortality rates for lowering lipoprotein little a, where they can markedly improve death and cardiovascular events. So that’s a three or four-year trial that’s being done at the moment.

We’ve already shown with this antisense oligonucleotide up to an 80% reduction in progression in lipoprotein little a with the monthly injection. But here’s what I think is fascinating about what’s happening in medicine. I think we’re going to look back on this year in about 10 years saying it’s barbaric because 

I think what will happen is if you are on two or three pharmaceuticals and three or four or five six supplements every day, the chemists in the future will become the chemists of the past. You’ll be able to take that prescription. Your chemist who put it in one nano pill that you swallow once a day and are taking 10 or 15 20 pills a day, which many people are doing. 

I saw a man in my practise yesterday who’s 70, is quite a poorly controlled diabetic, but he’s been taking a bucket of supplements for a long time, and his coronary calcium score at age 70 was 20. Now, the average coronary calcium score for a seven-year-old is 200, but this man’s very diligent with his lifestyle and takes it back to supplements. But I think again, you have to be like me, innately retentive neurotic, to do this every day, and I’ve been taking a bucket of supplements every day for about 20 years.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:30] It must be our schooling, Ross. It must be our schooling. We’ve had this influence. You know. (laughs)

Dr Ross Walker: [00:16:36] But just on that. Can we just digress in multivitamins for a second? 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:16:43] Yes.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:16:43] There’s a shonky little place in the US called Harvard, one of the great learning institutions in the world, and Harvard’s been doing this trial that you’re well aware of for the last 30 years. The health professionals trial in males and females. And 180000 people have been involved in these trials for 30 years in varying. So I’ve looked at every health parameter in the people. 

Now, just focussing on multivitamins for a second, they found that people who take multivitamins a day up to 10 years, this was in the male component, randomised controlled trial, there was absolutely no benefit in taking a multivitamin. But when they analysed the data at 10 years. So up to 10 years no benefit. At 10 years, an 8% reduction in cataracts and common cancers, you say, ” Ah 8% is so much.” But it’s statistically significant. So I mean, if you can reduce something by about 8%, why not do it?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:17:35] Then they analyse the observational data in the women at 15 years, 75% reduction in bowel cancer, 25% reduction in breast cancer, 23% reduction in cardiovascular disease just by taking a multivitamin every day. 

Then they looked at the data in the doctors who persisted with the multivitamin for 20 years, as opposed to those who didn’t wasn’t randomised controlled because they had finished that part of the study. But it’s still an observational trial. A 44% reduction in cardiovascular disease just by swallowing a multivitamin every day. But how many only retentive neurotics are compliant?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:18:13] Because here’s the problem with medicine. If you or I prescribe any sort of therapies to anyone after 12 months, 50% of people have stopped because of how much happening in these species or sorry lot, and they just don’t follow the advice of experts. Whether it’s medical advice, legal advice, accounting advice, people just run their own show. 

And I’ve got to say, after 40 years of practising medicine, the people in my practise who do the best are people who firstly follow the five keys of being healthy. That’s 80% of the management – no addictions, good quality sleep, good quality eating and less of it, three to five hours of exercise, and most importantly, happiness. It has been shown in the Morgan trial from Holland, M-O-R-G-A-N trial from Holland. 

People who do that the best, and that’s less than 10% of the community compared with people who do that, the worse have an 83% reduction in cardiovascular disease. So to me, I said to the patients, 80% of what you do has got nothing to do with damn doctors. It’s how you look after yourself. 10% is the appropriate use of pharmaceutical drugs. If you need them, and the only people who do are people who are at high risk for vascular disease and then the other 10% is the appropriate use of supplements.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:19:30] And of course, we hear so often and I know your response to this, but I’d like you to say it anyway that why are we doing this? It was just expensive, expensive urine.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:19:40] Oh, taking supplements gives you expensive urine. Of course, it does, but it also gives you valuable blood. So, so what you don’t need, of course, you urinate it out, but that’s fine. What you do need, and to me, the evidence is overwhelming for the benefits of supplements in healthy people. So again, I quoted the Harvard doctor, taking a multivitamin as one example of quality a the vitamin C, the vitamin E data.

But I can also quote you the Iowa Women’s study. Where they looked at, I think it was something like 30000 women, I can’t remember the actual number. 30000 for 19 years, showing no benefit from a multivitamin. Do you know why? Because in Iowa, they have a crappy diet. So if you think taking a supplement is a replacement, it’s not called a replacement. 

It’s called a supplement. What is this supplement do? It’s a supplement to a healthy diet. Taking any sort of supplements will not benefit overweight people, will not benefit smokers. You’ve got to practise the five keys of being healthy and then supplement that with good quality evidence by supplements.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:20:46] Now you mentioned back there about 70% insulin resistance and you’re also in the anti-aging space. And another thing, another old drug that I know is focussed there is metformin. What are your thoughts on metformin?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:21:02] Look again, Dave Sinclair has done a lot of work on metformin, and I think metformin is a superb drug. I think it’s one of the best drugs we have in medicine. Maybe a bit like aspirin. It’s a simple drug. It’s inexpensive. And David shown again, he’s doing a trial at the moment in elderly people over seven years to see its anti-aging benefits. When you look at all the studies in diabetics, there’s a definite reduction not only in vascular disease but also in cancers.

One point I’ve realised is they’re diabetics, because of the modulation of the insulin-like growth factor, diabetics are at a much greater risk of getting cancers as well the obesity-related cancers, because typically, people who are insulin resistant, the different things there is a tendency to diabetes, of course, blood pressure, high triglyceride, low HDL, doesn’t have to be cholesterol, and abdominal obesity. And there are so many obesity-related cancers. 

Most solid organ cancers are related to obesity. So when we think of, say, lung cancer, there is no doubt lung cancer is related to cigarettes in about 70-80% of cases. 20-30% of people who get lung cancer got nothing to do with cigarettes, but there is a link between people who smoke and eat bad food and more lung cancer, as opposed to people who smoke or don’t eat bad food

Dr Ross Walker: [00:22:18] Now I would… Look come to the revolution, Ron, I’m running the show. Smoking will be banned, not just banned in public places or whatever. Banned completely. I think it’s if you look at drug-related deaths in society, 80% are due to cigarettes, 17% is due to alcohol. Why? Because they’re freely available. They’re legal. If you make something illegal, it’s harder to get so people don’t use them as much.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:22:41] I mean, insulin resistance crops up in every single disease. And I know that we’ve had great success with the smoking and the plain packaging and the warnings. I was just talking to a friend last night, a colleague from Sydney High. I won’t mention his name for privacy issues, but anyway, I was talking to him and we wondered whether plain packaging should go on any sugar bearing, you know, product. You know, like a cherry ripe comes in plain packaging with this product contains four teaspoons of sugar.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:23:11] Yep, yep. With a warning.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:23:12] With a warning on it. I mean, I think we would probably get an even better health outcome than we have with the plain packaging on tobacco.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:23:19] Well, and can I make the point here that everyone’s worried about the current pandemic of coronavirus. The real pandemic of the 21st century to quote Professor Phil Barter, one of Australia’s cholesterol experts, is “Diabesity.” The combination of diabetes and obesity, which is clearly related to insulin resistance, which is a genetic disease. 30% of Caucasians, 50% of Asians, close to 100% of people with darker olive skin. 

And if you’ve got that gene, you’re exposed to Western rubbish, then out comes all of the problems with the metabolic syndrome from insulin resistance. That’s why we need to focus on and that’s why I use metformin like lolly water in my patients and even consider… And I don’t have insulin resistance of any great degree, my HB A1C four point eight… But I’m even thinking of taking metformin just as an anti-aging drug. I enjoy life too much to hop off this planet early. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:24:12] Now, Ross, I’m kind of going back to the visit to the cardiologist because if you are in that high-risk group, I know a visit to the cardiologist, you put me on a machine to get my heart rate. Tell us a little bit about that stress test and what you’re looking for. 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:24:29] Okay. Look, can I say stress testing itself, which is basically having an electrocardiogram monitored. So your heart’s monitored, the ECG monitored during exercise. That’s been around for years and years and years, and it’s a good basic test, but by itself, I think it’s pretty weak. It doesn’t show you a lot of other things that I get with stress echocardiography, which I think is the best form of imaging to relate to stress testing.

So what we do in my practise is we take a picture of your heart with ultrasound at rest, monitor your ECG during exercise, and as soon as you’re finished, repeat the ultrasound. Now, why is that important? I’m not just looking for blockages in your arteries. I’m also looking for how your valves are working before and after. And also looking for the pressures coming out of the ventricle after your exercise.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:25:22] Well, so I’ll give you a great example here. I saw a woman who was 51 years old. When she was 48, she had coronary bypass grafting, which is a big deal for women in the 40s. But since the operation, she’s been incredibly short of breath. All the tests that have been done on her by standard doctors, and she’s seen two or three cardiologists were all normal and she was told It’s all in your head. She came to see me. 

Now, her stress test was completely normal, the ECG component. But when I did the echo on her at rest, the pressure’s coming out of her heart were completely normal. But at the end of the exercise, the gradient, which should be less than 10 across the heart outflow tract, had gone up to 75. So she had what’s called a dynamic obstruction in her heart with exercise. So I put it on a simple beta-blocker which offloads that, shortness of breath goes away, she’s fine. 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:26:15] She was thinking, she was told it was something in her head. No. It’s something to heart that was being missed and would only be picked up by a stress echocardiogram. So I don’t do stress testing by itself. I think it just doesn’t give you the information that you get out of a stress echo. 

So, anyone who comes to see me, just say they’re perfectly asymptomatic, a 50-year old says, ‘Doc, my father had a heart attack at 80. I just want to know what my heart’s doing.” Send them downstairs to the radiology under our practise that I have no financial associationship with, get a calcium score down. Calcium score comes back zero, ECG’s normal. Would I do any more tests in them? Probably a thing called natural stiffness measurement.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:26:56] …I know you’ve done that.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:26:57] Just a little probe, a little probe out of your wrist, which measures how stiff your arteries are as a baseline. And then if everything’s good, I congratulate them, I tighten up their lifestyle. I’ll probably put them on some supplements. So I’m a great believer in the bergamot derivatives from BPF99. 

There are a few different versions of bergamot, you can buy, but the only one I use has got this BPF99, which is a very strong 99% polyphenol extract. So I think everyone over the age of 50 should take that. It comes from Calabrian oranges.

 I will say give them vitamin K, too, if they’ve got calcium in their arteries because it takes the calcium out of your arteries, puts it back in your bones, and the dose is at least 180 micrograms a day. So some people are using sprays of a D3 and K2 in it. There’s not enough K2 in it to have the therapeutic effect. So you’ve got to have…

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:48] Go on.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:27:48] …180 micrograms daily, OK? And then if I’ve got anyone on a statin or anyone wants energy, I give them ubiquinol.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:27:57] Yeah.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:27:58] So the dose of Ubiquiti all I use is 150 mg daily, and there’s been a number of studies to show. Firstly, statins deplete coQ10 in your mitochondria through a pathway in the mitochondria called complex 3. It’s been published. Other studies have shown that statins lower coQ10 in your bloodstream. And other studies have shown about a 50% reduction in muscle pain and weakness in people who were given ubiquinol to combat that if they’re on a statin.

Now, what about ubiquinol? Do I take it? I take it myself. A, because I’m an […] neurotic, but B, it gives me energy. So I take it purely for energy to some work and in sportsmen and stress management and sleep that it improves all of those parameters as well. So I have what I call my cardiac protocol, which involves the bergamot product, ubiquinol. 

I use magnesium orotate because the orotate lifts up the coq10 in the mitochondria. So you get maximum coq10 production in your mitochondria with the orotate, not magnesium, but just the magnesium, the delivery vehicle for the orotate. Vitamin K2, 180 mg a day and I also use kyolic garlic.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:29:06] Now a mate of mine, Matt Budoff, is one of the top preventative cardiologists in the US. He works at UCLA Harbour in Los Angeles and I visited Matt and we keep in touch. He’s a really brilliant preventative cardiologist, is really one of the American experts on coronary calcium scoring, CT angiography the whole works. 

The CT angiography has a place, Ron, but the place for CT angiography is let’s just say you came to me and you said, “Ross, I’ve been getting sort of weird sort of chest pain. I did stress eco out when it was equivocal wasn’t definite. I probably then go to a CT angiography in those…”. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:29:41] With the dye.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:29:43] With the dye if there were symptoms, but never used it for people who are asymptomatic. Matt’s done a study where he used kyolic garlic so really high potency, high concentration garlic in people with established heart disease on CT angiography and showed after 12 months of using high doses, this is four capsules a day of the standard kyolic garlic. 

He actually reversed coronary artery disease, which is pretty spectacular because so many people have this misconception. Once you’ve got heart disease, you’re stuck with it. And so when I say, don’t read Tolstoy, if your calcium score’s high, I mean, if you’re not going to do anything about it.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:30:21] Okay, okay. I’m back onto… I left the bookmark in just in case. Yeah, but can you, if you do that, you said kyolic garlic reversed cardiovascular disease, can you then take… Would you take a coronary calcium CT score and expect the drop in that value in that month?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:30:38] No. I wouldn’t care about that because if, for example, statins increase the coronary calcium score because I don’t care about the calcium score, just let me show this. There’s a doughnut. Imagine the doughnut, the fat sitting in the wall, all the blood’s going through the middle. That’s how an artery works. The fat builds up like this. 

As the fat builds up, the body throws in calcium to act as a scaffold to stop the thing from breaking down. Because what happens in a heart attack is that the fatty plaque suddenly goes boom, cracks open, so the calcium actually protects you. So I don’t care about the calcium, it just tells me you’ve got fat.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:31:11] What I do with the calcium score and the practise underneath my office does this routinely, I go to ask other practises and explain the importance of measuring plaque volume. So you just, you know, not only get the calcium score, but you also get the plaque volume. So I’ll give you a great example there. If your volume is pretty close to the score, that means your plaques are relatively unstable. So what I do is I measure that volume. 

Now, I had a fellow, this is an anecdote, not a clinical trial. This is just a story, but it’s a powerful story. Sixty-year-old male, coronary calcium score of 150, plaque volume of 144. So the fat in the calcium was pretty much together. So because his calcium score was over 100, I started him on, well, lifestyle. Lifestyle is king, that’s 80%. I gave him a statin.

 I gave more than all the supplements I’m talking about with you. He rang me after three months. He said, “Ross, I can’t take this damn step and I can’t lift my arms. It’s killing me. Not doing it.” I’ll do everything else, but I won’t do the statin.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:32:18] So for the next five years, he was diligent because as I said here, most people don’t, they’re not diligent. So many of the folks are, “Ahh ran out of the bergamot you gave me, Dr. Ubiquinol. I just haven’t bothered to go get it again or didn’t feel any different. So I just stopped that sort of crappy excuse people get. But he was like me, and I only retentive neurotic, did everything right and came back five years later, about a year ago, aged 65. And we repeated his calcium score. 

The 150 dropped to 126, which didn’t just mean the slightest was the volume I was interested in. The plaque volume had gone from 144 to 43. So with no pharmaceutical drugs at all, we’d taken two-thirds of the fat out of his arteries with the combination of all of those five things I said and lifestyle, most importantly. But most people aren’t that diligent, Ron. And again, 

I’m not suggesting to anyone listening to this, therefore stop statins. I use that as an extra bit of insurance temples in management, but don’t come into my practise with a fag heavy mouth his big fat gum saying, “Doctor, can I have more of that Lipitor, please?”

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:33:27] You know, it’s interesting the cholesterol story coming back to the debate that you had this week at the ACNEM, Australian College of Nutritional Environmental Medicine. I think, what was the topic? It’s ahh…

Dr Ross Walker: [00:33:41] “Cholesterol: Have Doctors Got It Wrong?”

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:33:43] …and I think the consensus from the health practitioners that were listening was you 83 to 17, but cholesterol.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:33:53] But I think most of the 70 is probably the people in the who are giving them the best.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:33:58] But cholesterol has been demonised and for busy medical practitioners doing a seven-minute consult or a 10 minute consult, a high cholesterol and a statin makes you look like you’re doing something. Can you remind our listeners about cholesterol? Because it’s actually quite important, isn’t it?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:34:18] Yeah. Look, it is very important. And can I say just imagine the fat guy goes into the doctor, says “Doctor, I’ve got cholesterolosis.” “I can fix that with Lipitor, next!” So the guy walks out with his Lipitor and goes off, “Phew, I didn’t get lectured about being fat. I can just take this and eat what I like”, which is absolute garbage by the way. 

It’s scientific nonsense even to think like that. And that often goes off. You are enough to talk to the patient. Got rid of them quickly, give them the script, everyone’s happy. But it’s not the right thing for society to have that attitude. So cholesterol, firstly, there’s this simplistic nonsense that LDL is bad and HDL is good.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:34:52] Cholesterol is this sterile, waxy, sterile substance, fat-like substance that may get into your arteries, but it’s divided, basically. And even this is too simplistic in the four components. There is small LDL, there is large LDL, there’s small HDL, there’s large HDL. Small LDL is the bit that gets oxidised and is pro-atherogenic. Large LDL is actually good for you. It builds healthy cell membranes, so metabolism. It’s the basic ring for steroids. So steriod hormones also vitamin D metabolism. We need large LDL.

Small HDL is pro-inflammatory, so it’s not good for you either, whereas large HDL pulls fat out of the arteries. So when we say, for example, a person aged 50 goes to a doctor, their cholesterol is seven, the ratio is 2.5, the triglyceride is 0.6, which is a very healthy profile, coronary calcium score is zero. Some fool wants to put them on a statin. It just doesn’t make any biologic sense. And there’s this nonsense that, “Oh, doctor, my cholesterol high, therefore I’ll go on a diet.” Cholesterol is good.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:36:03] Nothing to do with diet.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:36:04] You get 70% of your cholesterol is made in your liver, made in your brain. It’s not something that you if you have an egg or if you have a prawn, it’s not going to put you put cholesterol was going to put fat in the wall of your arteries. That just doesn’t make any biologic sense. So I’m not suggesting people should eat what they like. That’s nonsense because we do know, for example, the only diet in the world that has good long term data is the Mediterranean diet, which is a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate diet.

But the best carbohydrates in the planet are fruits and vegetables. Two or three pieces of fruit per day. Three to five servings of vegetables per day. People who do that just by themselves have the lowest rates of heart disease and cancer, and it has no effect on your cholesterol whatsoever. So I say to people eat a sensible diet not because of your cholesterol, but because of good health. 

And if you need to be on a statin will know that from your coronary calcium score or from your history of heart attacks, then bypass or atherosclerotic stroke. Strokes are a different issue because there are other causes of stroke other than atherosclerosis. Not everyone’s had a stroke needs to be on a statin. A lot of my colleagues still throw statins are people under those circumstances.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:37:22] So cholesterol is important. It’s an important component of living. If you took the cholesterol out of someone’s body, that would be dead within 24 hours. But many people are eating, especially a high refined diet. This process package mock masquerading as food in a box, and they are the people that are getting worse insulin resistance, LP little a. You can be the fittest person on the planet, do all the right things. If real people’s heart is not being managed, you can still have heart disease. 

The worst coronary calcium score I have, Ron, is a 68-year-old man in the fitness industry like for this normal cholesterol, has blood pressure, never smoked, is not diabetic, has no family history, so no risk factors for heart disease at all. But he has a high life professional life. His coronary calcium score is 8500.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:38:16] Wow.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:38:17] And his arteries were like porcelain pipes at the age of 68 needed bypass surgery. And that was nine years ago, and he sent me an email a couple of years ago a picture of him and his mates winning the latest basketball grand final. And then I saw him a few months ago. He’s doing fine, but he’s on a statin. These are all supplements, and he looks after him so beautifully, so he’ll look to resolve that.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:38:39] And do you think that’s a genetic component?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:38:41] That’s certainly a genetic component. But had he been a profligate self abuser, he probably would have died in his 40s and 50s because his genetics were so bad. And not everyone with a high lipoprotein little a will go on to have heart disease because lipoprotein little a like anything, it’s not always equal. 

So some lipoprotein lies a very benign, some and there’s a different biologic reason for that which I won’t go into. But you just have to look at people’s vascular risk with their lipoprotein little a. So if they’re low risk, I’d just give them, say, in Lysine and tell them to keep the lifestyle tight and bergamot.

Of course, if they’re at high risk, then I’ll be very aggressive with the management. And when this antisense oligonucleotide becomes available, I’ll use that. What I was going to say before I spoke about nanotechnology. But I also think we’re moving to micro patch therapy.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:39:31] OK. So instead of having an injectable once a month, there just be a patch on your arm. There’s a couple of research laboratories, one in South Korea, one in North Carolina, where they’ve developed this patch. And this is extraordinary where they put the patch on the arm. 

It measures blood sugar in real-time and injects insulin based on that into this micropatch. Completely painless. So that the management of diabetes would just be a patch on your arm, you know, in about 10 years’ time, rather than people having to inject themselves and check their fingers, sugar levels and all that sort of stuff, which is really imagine the imposition your life having to do that.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:40:05] Now you mentioned compounding, we’re going back to our old days in pharmacy, and I think that is an exciting prospect because we recently just, I’ve just spoken to Gerald. You know… 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:40:16] Ahh, my mate Gerald.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:40:16] Yes, I know. And then he’s coming up to Sydney, Ross, and I said we’d go out and have a steak and some red wine together. And anyway, but Gerald, of course, grew up in the compounding times. I mean, that is an exciting possibility, isn’t it, to tailor medication and supplement into one tablet?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:40:36] Yeah. Well, isn’t it weird? To actually look at everyone as an individual rather than just this ridiculous one size fits all. So you have a heart attack in a hospital. And look, to give them their due, the best place to be if you’re getting severe chest pain, triple load get to a hospital. That put a stent in your arteries. 

The acute problem is cured by the stent. The chronic problems don’t fix the role and even then he comes out of the hospital, and there are 80 mg of Lipitor, or 40 mg of crystal or low dose aspirin, another blood thinner on top of that, a beta-blocker and an ace inhibitor. And these people have been bombarded, have been on drugs before. They have a heart attack and they’ve been all of these drugs. They feel dreadful.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:41:17] Everybody should have their health individualised and have a personalised programme for them. And again, I think we’re moving towards a swab in your mouth, mapping your whole genes to say, OK, Ron, through your lifetime you might be at a 40% chance for a heart attack, a 60% chance for this or that condition. So let’s start working on it now. So it doesn’t happen.. And I really think we are headed towards the age of personalised medicine where we’ll be able to do all of these things with better genetics.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:41:50] Interesting. You should say that because I’ve been exploring a platform that I’ve been using, starting to use clinically, Self Decode, which does give you that kind of profile. And the advice is based on a functional approach, not pharmaceutical. 

But as a dentist, you know, we hear a lot about the link between periodontal health and cardiovascular disease. And I’m interested to hear your perspective on that because I’m on a chat group of various people talking about, the Thinks group, you know, the cholesterol sceptics group with […]. And there is some interesting backwards and forwards about the link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. What’s your view of that?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:42:36] Oh, I think the links are highly established. If you have any sort of chronic inflammation in the body and the mouth is a huge area for that, I’m actually speaking to the expert on this, but the evidence for any chronic inflammatory condition, anywhere this is a strong link with heart disease because you’re then saying to your immune system, you’ve got to be activated in dealing with this stuff. So it’s almost like collateral damage.

The immune system’s trying to deal with this dreadful periodontal disease. And so it’s activated, it’s hyped up. So it’s like a security guard on some sort of drug or cocaine. He’s going to be all hyped up and ready to go. And so he’ll then see this innocent piece of fat he’s got running around the body, innocent piece of fat sitting the coronary arteries because he’s been hyperactivated by the mouth, and it’s just a repeat of that one again.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:43:25] So that’s how it happens that the food soldiers, the micro get over-activated by working on the mouth and they just rip into the coronary arteries. So chronic inflammation is a huge issue, and it’s something that needs to be addressed. And thank God we have visionaries like yourself who are working in this area and have promoted this as an important part. 

I mean, the mouth is what’s the John Donne book For Whom The Bell Tolls? No man is an island. And again, the mouth is not something separate. It’s part of the body. It’s like the gut. We’re learning so much about the entire microbiome, the microbiome in the mouth, the microbiome in the gut, and how closely linked that is to all aspects of health.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:44:05] How are you seeing the way this pandemic is going, been handled, etc.?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:44:11] I think the management has been reasonable, I won’t say it’s been great. I have a real problem with anti-vaxxers. They’re idiots. The science behind vaccination is extraordinary. I’ve been saying for months on my show, AstraZeneca is easily the best vaccine. I’ve seen a lot of people having Pfizer getting problems. I have an issue with Pfizer. 

I had a booster with Moderna, and mid-June is not that much different for us by the way, but I had a booster with Moderna around Christmas only because the evidence is showing that the RNA vaccines are possibly a bit better than the other vaccines for Omicron. But even then, a study came out showing AstraZeneca is highly effective for that as well. Novavax looks good. 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:44:55] But again, let’s put this in perspective, my friend. Last year, COVID was the 38th leading cause of death in this country, and I said on Channel 7 at the start of the pandemic, if people are that worried about their health and security, stop stockpiling toilet paper but stockpile fruit and vegetables and exercise equipment because one person dies every 20 minutes in this country from cardiovascular disease. 

So to shut society down because of one disease that sure can kill people. But it really typically kills the very old, the very sick with other conditions or the very fat. So two men died in their 20s in their bed in hospital, I think it was around October-November, one was 280 kilos, the other one was 230 kilos. It’s a big commitment to eating, and if you’re insulin resistant, and you are very fat, you have more ACE2 receptors in your lungs. That’s how COVID gets in. 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:45:54] So I think shutting down society for this has been ridiculous. Equally, I would have locked down areas where there was a high concentration of cases, but they were quite happy to lock down the northern beaches because they’re mainly Caucasians there. But it would have been seen as racist to look down south-western Sydney, western Sydney. But they’re going to get more COVID because they’re insulin resistant. It’s just how works. There’s nothing racist, just being logical.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:46:19] Actually, I did want to ask you about because I should have asked you and I am asking you about myocarditis, because we hear about a lot about that, particularly men under 40. What’s been your experience?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:46:30] Yeah. Look, the true full-blown myocarditis occurs in about four per million cases post-Pfizer vaccine. So four per million, right? Whereas myocarditis associated with COVID is much higher, much, much higher.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:46:45] What sort of numbers are we talking about, do you think? 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:46:47] With COVID, I would suggest to you the cardiac effects are probably, I think, the studies. I mean, I haven’t got them right in front of it, something like 100 cases per 10000.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:46:57] per 10000. Hang on, let me just get that straight. You just said four in a million is the normal incidence of myocarditis…

Dr Ross Walker: [00:47:07] …post-Pfizer vaccine.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:47:09] Four in a million.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:47:09] Yeah, these full-blown myocarditis post-Pfizer vaccines, I’ve seen about 30 cases with myopericarditis, but they weren’t full-blown.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:47:19] No.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:47:20] So people have got inflammatory markers in their bloodstream, a high troponin which says cardiac damage and when you […] them the heart’s pumping alright, the ECG looks a bit abnormal and they get better. So that’s subacute myocarditis. I’ve seen about 30 cases in my own practise. I’m one cardiologist in Sydney, but the full-blown myocarditis happens in one case. Okay, but with COVID, I’m saying it’s probably 10 per 10000. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:47:50] Okay, so the incidence of myocarditis with COVID is much, much higher. Okay.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:47:56] I’m not sure, I’ll give you one anecdote again. I had a seventy-four-year-old man who already had the inferior myocardial infarction with good cardiac function when into Prince Alfred with pneumonia. This is a post-COVID double vaccinated with AstraZeneca. One of his relatives brought home COVID gave it to him. He goes in with pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and pneumothorax sent out of Prince Alfred. 

They didn’t even do an ECG and he came to see me a few days later after he’d recovered, well, he was COVID negative, came to see me and ordered an ECG was in atrial fibrillation. His ejection fraction, which normally should be 60% in all of us, his was 17%. So he had this severe dilated cut him up because of COVID. 

I then put him on aggressive therapy to get his heart back into a good rhythm. I saw him yesterday repeated his echo. His ejection fraction improved from 17% to 45%, so not back to normal, but still, a hell of a lot better than it was. Once you get below 20%, that’s heart transplant stuff for younger people. But with modern therapies, we can bring it back up to where it should be. And so he’s feeling so much better and he’s back in a good rhythm and everything’s fine. But that was from COVID.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:49:07] One of the things that surprise me about this vaccine because, you know, we grew up with vaccines, and I think vaccines have been fantastic over the years, but my knowledge of vaccines was that they prevented disease, you know, like when we took on measles, mumps, rubella, polio, smallpox, you know… Weren’t they meant to stop disease? 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:49:28] Some vaccines have done that. But no vaccine is 100% effective for everyone apart from maybe smallpox and polio. If, for example, a flu vaccine, well, that reduces your risk about 70%, but that means you have 30% chance of still getting a flu-like illness even if you’ve been vaccinated. What these vaccines do… The influenza vaccine, the COVID vaccine markedly reduces your risk for death and hospitalisation. So most people who are vaccinated, won’t be as sick and won’t die. Not everybody, but most people.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:50:06] I can see it as an important, as a therapy and important therapy. And you raised the question about number needed to treat.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:50:16] Yeah.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:50:16] Right now, what’s the number needed to treat to reduce hospitalisations in vulnerable patients? You know what I mean? You know what I’m saying, because we’ve…

Dr Ross Walker: [00:50:27] I haven’t got the number needed to treat, but I do know it’s about a 90 to 95% reduction in hospitalisations and deaths if you are vaccinated.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:50:37] And again, this is something that does concern me, that so-called experts are quoting relative risk, not absolute risk. And there’s a big difference between relative risk and absolute risk, isn’t there?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:50:49] OK, well, well, look, if you’re exposed to COVID, if you get COVID with to quote the […], the initial China has […] virus, so the Wuhan strain had about a 3% mortality rate. So if you have 100 people exposed to that particular virus, 20 people would end up in the hospital, three out of 20 would die, and probably half of those would need a ventilator for a period of time. So it’s pretty serious.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:51:18] Yeah. Oh, absolutely.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:51:20] The Delta strain was about 0.5% mortality rate, but the reason for that is because we had vaccination, so it took them 3% down to 0.5%. The delta strain was no worse than the Wuhan strain. And people are saying with Omicron that they say, Oh, it’s a milder illness, but it could be milder because more people have had COVID and more people have been vaccinated. 

And in fact, I’m talking on Sunday night on my show about a study that was done on super immunity. And so they looked at people who’d either had were unvaccinated and not exposed to COVID, were vaccinated, exposed to COVID or had COVID then were vaccinated. So they looked at that, that different group and they found that whether you were vaccinated, had COVID or had COVID then got vaccinated. 

Both these groups had super immunity, their antibody levels were incredibly high as opposed to people who were just gone vaccinated. So, so much better to be to. If you really wanted to have had COVID or not to be vaccinated and get a mild dose of COVID booster antibody levels are through the roof.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:52:27] Which is kind of that acknowledgement of the importance of natural immunity following infection. 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:52:33] Well, of course, and I know look, I agree, and I think I’ve probably had, I probably had the China virus right at the start. I went to dinner with some people that came back from China. We isolated for two weeks. 

But a week later in February of 2020, I lost my taste for a week, red wine tasted like vinegar. I’d push through that, of course, but it tastes like vinegar. Food was horrible. I felt sick after we hear it better. No one had spoken about the loss of taste by then.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:53:02] Yeah. So I think I had COVID back then. I’ve had 2 AstraZeneca, one Moderna and I felt a little bit sick where I thought I might be getting COVID and within 24 hours I got better. I think because of my super immunity, I’ve just been out on the hip.

It’s interesting also to hear you say AstraZeneca, because when AstraZeneca came along, I was quite happy to take it. And I thought to myself, here’s the thing that is $2 a shot, not for profit. 

And then it’s up against Pfizer, which is $20 a shot. If I was sitting in a PR department at Pfizer, I’d think, how do we combat this? I know a couple of people have died of stroke or they’ve got a clot. Let’s advertise that and scare the shit out of everybody, and they’ll all go… is that what your perception of what happened?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:53:52] Well, it is. And let me [..] You. Yeah, I think the Pfizer marketing has been wonderful here. Was the Christmas card because of my anti Lipitor stance as well, although I am a strong supporter of Viagra. But let me tell you what happened with the clotting in AstraZeneca. 

There is a rare condition called antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, which occurs in about five per 100000 people. So it’s not common. So if you give those people the AstraZeneca vaccine because it works in exactly the same antibody pathway as the AstraZeneca vaccine, they’re the main people who are getting clotting post-AstraZeneca. The rest of us don’t have the condition, so it just doesn’t happen.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:54:34] So why… it just disappeared off the scene, AstraZeneca that must be sitting in…

Dr Ross Walker: [00:54:40] Oh no, now they said yesterday. It’s now back on as a booster, which is Peter Collignon and myself, we’re on 2GB on Wednesday I think it was, making noise about this we said had disgraceful it is that the AstraZeneca is demonised by people. 

And we also said and also got from Britain, said that politicians and health authorities and doctors who demonised AstraZeneca vaccine are probably responsible for thousands of deaths around the world because people refusing to have AstraZeneca.

And then not wanting to give it because that started this whole anti-vaccination way from the lunatic anti-vaxxers we have, we are saying, Oh, we now have justification because of the clots from AstraZeneca and the myocarditis from Pfizer. We’ve got justification side to demonise vaccination. And so Peter Collignon and I were really ripping into these people on Wednesday. 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:55:35] But is, you know, there’s another word is used anti-vaxxer. But vaccines have been shown to be very, very safe over the last 40 or 50 years. But that’s with the protein viral vector. I mean, this is new technology, and now we’re using it on five-year-olds, even kids.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:55:51] I’m not a great supporter, Ron. I’m not a great supporter of the RNA platform for vaccines. I think there are a lot of great new RNA therapies coming out, but for vaccines, not. But for vaccination in general, no one, three or four years ago went to the doctor with a getting a flu vaccine. So which one are you giving me? And it was the choice of at four… 

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:56:11] not mRNA or DNA, it was a protein viral vector.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:56:16] Forget about DNA it’s none of that. It’s all RNA and RNA had no effect on DNA so it just biologically doesn’t happen. but I agree with you there is a concern with the RNA vaccines. None with AstraZeneca, the, you know, unless you’ve got antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. And it doesn’t appear much with Novavax, so I agree. The new technology has been a bit dodgy, but the old stuff, I think is correct.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:56:39] And this AstraZeneca old stuff?

Dr Ross Walker: [00:56:42] Oh, yeah, it’s old stuff, I mean, it’s just repurposed the adenovirus or adeno viral vector used for that has been used for a whole lot of other things. It’s just repurposed, it’s not new.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:56:52] But there’s the difference that one is the DNA and the other is an mRNA.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:56:57] There’s no DNA.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:56:58] There’s no DNA.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:56:59] There’s no DNA.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:57:00] Okay. So the AstraZeneca doesn’t get into the cell, into the nucleus of the cell.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:57:07] Yeah, it doesn’t affect it.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [00:57:09] Ross, it’s always great to have a check up with you. You mentioned it very quickly before we finish because I think they you can’t say it often enough. Your five… say it a little bit slower because you said that very quickly, and I think people need to hear it, need to focus on it because it’s such an important message.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:57:28] Look, and can I say if people follow these five things I’m about to say, you reduce your risk for all diseases somewhere between 70-80% regardless of your genetics. So I had my guy with the calcium score, right? Eight and a half thousand, been a profligate self abuser. He would have been off the planet years ago.

So the five keys of being healthy. Number 1: Quit all addictions. You cannot be healthy and smoke, drink too much alcohol and too much alcohol is anything more than two standard drinks a day. And I think we should all have at least one day a week of alcohol for one reason not to give you a body a raise, but to prove to you that you can because if you can’t have that day off, you’ve got a problem. 

And number three, no illegal drugs should be used. So I’m on a board of a company that’s developing medical cannabis around the world. I completely support that. But no one should smoke marijuana. It is dangerous. All right. So that’s Number 1: Quit all addictions. 

Dr Ross Walker: [00:58:23] Number 2: Seven to eight hours of good quality sleep per night is as good for your body as not smoking. No doubt about that. So develop a good quality sleep habit. Go to bed in the evening at the same time, wake up in the morning at the same time. Sleep in a cool, dark room. Get all electronics out of your bedroom because I have electromagnetic radiation that keeps you awake. And there are many other things about sleep. That’s another hour’s lecture.

Number 3: Nutrition. Eat less food. Eat more natural food. All of us should be having two or three pieces of fruit per day, three to five servings of vegetables per day, and tragically, less than 10% of people do.

Dr Ross Walker: [00:59:01] Number 4: Second-best drug on the planet, three to five hours every week of moderate exertion and it should be about two-thirds cardio with third resistance training and people who do just that simple thing of three to five hours a week of exercise, Ron, reduce their risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes depression by 30%, osteoporosis 50%. You drop your blood pressure and you sleep better. There’s no pharmaceutical preparation known to man that comes anywhere near exercise.

The best drug on the planet is happiness, and happiness to me is divided into two things: internal happiness and external happiness. So, for example, the grant trial from Harvard University, 75 new trials showed the one key to health and happiness is to have someone else in life who loves and cares for you, who you love and care for. It’s much more important than your damn cholesterol level, and I’ve got to say in 40 years of practising medicine, I’ve not seen one person who had a heart attack, stroke, bypassed in sudden death, who wasn’t under some form of stress at the time. 

One of the five stressors – emotional stress, mental stress, excessive extremes of physical stress, pharmacologic stress, legal or illegal and ineffective stress. So to me, cultivating happiness in your life, cultivating good relationships with people, loving your partner, loving your children, all of those important simple things. 

There’s a wonderful saying, Ron, climbing the ladder to success to find you’re on the wrong wall. Get onto the right wall. The right wall is being internally happy and look, shit happens to everybody. It’s how you deal with it. It’s important and it’s the piece you have inside. 

One simple tip I can give everybody something I’ve been doing for 30 years every day, half an hour of meditation. So to have a meditation practise, to try and declutter your life, be as calm as you can, love the people around you and also develop internal happiness, which in itself is another hour’s lecture that I could talk about as well. But here are my tips.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:01:10] Ross. Always such a pleasure to catch up with you. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and time with us today.

Dr Ross Walker: [01:01:16] Ron, any time I get to chat with my mate Ron Erlich, who is one of the great people in this country, it’s always a pleasure for me. So thank you so much.

Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:01:24] Thanks, Ross.


Dr Ron Ehrlich: [01:01:27] Well, you’d have to listen to that podcast again, I know I have to, I certainly have to read the transcript. I mean, Ross is just such a wealth of information, and I love his open mind and the way he puts it all together and the way he articulated it so clearly. And he’s a specialist cardiologist and integrative cardiologist. 

He may not use this word, but in my opinion, he’s a holistic cardiologist, and I think they’re the kind of practitioners we should be seeking out. Good on him. And I’m, as he mentioned, at the beginning of this, he’s been a friend for many, many years. We started in school together at Sydney High in 1968, so you do the maths on that. 

And he’s been my cardiologist for the last 10-15 years and continues to be a good friend and colleague, and I have so much respect for him. He, of course, has all of those radio programmes, have written many books. Will have links to his site. I hope this finds you well. Until next time. This is Dr Ron Erlich. Be well.



This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.