Lysine, Vitamin C and Angina

Published: 09th January 2009
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If you have angina pectoris (chest pain due to heart disease), I have a suggestion from this century's most brilliant scientist, Linus Pauling, PhD. One of his colleagues was having a terrible fight with cardiovascular disease. He had undergone three separate bypass surgery operations, each one complicated with unexpected and debilitating problems.

In April 1991, only two years after his last "curative" surgery, this colleague was still suffering with severe exertional angina. Another operation was impossible; all of the veins in his legs that could be used for grafts had already been used in the previous surgeries, and his debilitated condition made a fourth surgery too risky.

In spite of large doses of all the current heart medications, he could hardly walk without severe chest pain and, as many angina patients report, a sense of impending doom. On his own, he had added six grams of ascorbic acid, 600 mg of coenzyme Q10, and multiple vitamins, with additional intakes of lecithin and vitamins A, E, and B-complex. This made him feel stronger, but did nothing for his severe angina.

Dr. Pauling suggested that he add the amino acid L-lysine, at five grams per day, in order to reduce the atherosclerotic activity of the Lp(a) fat molecule.

Lp(a): The Likely Cholesterol Culprit

Back in 1992, I learned that Dr. Pauling and Matthias Rath, MD, were working on new discoveries that showed that LDL cholesterol is probably not the culprit in atherosclerosis. The culprit is likely Lp(a).

Lp(a) is an LDL cholesterol particle with a small strand of protein attached, called apoprotein (a). It is this protein attachment that makes the Lp(a) particle so dangerous, because it now "sticks" to the fibrogen and fibrin in artery walls.

As reported by Pauling and Rath, blood levels of Lp(a) can be reduced by substantial doses of vitamin C, making vitamin C much more important in the role of preventing and ameliorating heart disease than it was once thought to be. A study from UCLA demonstrated that men taking more than 400 mg of vitamin C per day cut their risk of heart disease almost in half, compared to men taking only 100 mg or less of vitamin C per day. Bear in mind that the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is only 60 mg-which is a joke.

The reason Dr. Pauling recommended L-lysine to his friend is because this amino acid interferes with the binding of Lp(a) to fibrin in the walls of the arteries, and thus prevents the buildup of plaque. In addition, large doses of L-lysine can, theoretically at least, cut Lp(a) molecules right out of arterial plaque by disrupting their attachment to the artery wall. This would accelerate reversal of the plaque.

Remember, Lp(a) is LDL with an attached apoprotein (a), so when you release Lp(a) from the plaque, LDL floats away also!

There is another reason L-lysine can help an angina patient. It is a precursor to L-carnitine, a molecule that, like coenzyme Q10, facilitates energy production. L-carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they can be burned.

have been prescribing L-carnitine to heart patients for more than 25 years. If capsules of L-carnitine are given to a heart patient before a stress test, he does better. The body generates L-carnitine from L-lysine, which requires seven enzyme steps. Two of those steps require vitamin C for completion, so for each molecule of L-carnitine generated, two molecules of vitamin C are used up. By giving ample supplies of both L-lysine and vitamin C, one can facilitate a significant increase in L-carnitine regeneration, which strengthens the heart.

The effect of L-lysine in this patient was dramatic. In three months, he was angina free and drug free! He grabbed a chain saw, cut down a dead tree, and then cut it up without any chest pain. A few weeks after that, he started painting his house. His wife, his neighbors-everyone who knew him-noticed the difference.

Dr. Pauling mentioned this dramatic result to other cardiologists in his area and asked if they might give it a try with some of their patients. He got the cold shoulder-or worse.
Incredible! The medical profession with its cookie-cutter practitioners, terrified of doing anything that everyone else is not already doing, is quite content to stay anchored to its vested interests, prejudices, and mind-numbing biases. They do hope that everything comes out okay for the patient, but when it doesn't, well, that's just too bad.


Discuss with your physician the use of six to seven grams (minimum) of vitamin C per day, along with six grams of L-lysine (available at any health food store in 500 mg capsule form). Divide the L-lysine into three doses per day, taken between meals.

For a copy of the Linus Pauling paper discussing the use of L-lysine in this case, send a stamped, self-addressed #10 envelope to the Linus Pauling Heart Foundation, 299 California Avenue, Suite 320, Palo Alto, CA 94306, and please send them a donation. They are a nonprofit foundation and they use the money for saving lives. They don't just talk about it.

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