Heart Health & Chondroitin Sulfate

November 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm 30 comments

It’s time for a clinical update.  About two years ago, while preparing a discussion of heart disease for my doctors’ class, I ran across some information that I thought was tremendously exciting.  A simple nutrient: chondroitin sulfate (CS) – was proven to reduce plaque formation in atherosclerosis.  In fact, it had been demonstrated to remove plaque from arterial walls.  I was astounded that it was not in general use, since the information has been in the medical literature since the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The gentleman who did the research comes with the highest medical credentials, as well.  He was Dr. Lester Morrison, Chairman of the Department of Atherosclerosis Research at Loma Linda University.  His discovery was truly life-saving.  In one long-term study lasting 6 years, only 7% of the patients receiving CS died from cardiovascular disease, compared to 23% in the control group.  Nonfatal cardiac events were similarly decreased.  An animal study conducted at the same time demonstrated that cardiovascular disease was reversed in monkeys with oral administration of CS.

The side effects were simple:  abundant hair growth, improved HDL levels, improved connective tissue integrity and joint flexibility.  The chondroitin also prevented clot formation.  See the article  Discussion of Chondroitin Sulfate for an in-depth discussion of how it works and further medical references.  Be sure to scroll down to the section on cardiovascular health.

I immediately began prescribing high doses of CS for people whose hair was thinning and for those with cholesterol deposits in their arteries.  The results are now in and the results range from some improvement to amazing.

First, the “some improvement.”  Some people noticed a marked increase in their hair growth.  For others, the results were not as good.  The dosage was high 6,000 to 8,000 mg per day – dropping to 1600 mg for maintenance after 9 to 10 months.  The combination of improving thyroid function with iodine supplementation and CS seemed to work the best.   (Watch up-coming newsletters for more on the importance of iodine supplementation.)

In the “amazing” category are the results with atherosclerosis (aka, hardening of the arteries, or plaque deposits).  In order to monitor plaque deposition, I have been examining the retinal field; since that is the only place you can visualize the arteries without expensive imaging studies.  After as little as 3 or 4 months on high dose CS, I began to see changes in the retinal field.  People whose arteries were “copper wire” in appearance – indicating severe plaque deposition – began to show improvement.  And, at 6 months, the changes were even more marked; the arteries no longer looked like wires, there were only intermittent speckles of plaque.  By 9 to 12 months, several of my patients had complete resolution of the abnormalities in their retinal arteries.

In addition, I had another pleasant surprise.  A second indicator of what is medically called “hyperlipidemia,” which is basically high blood fats, including cholesterol, began to clear up.  The indicator is called a senile arcus and is a cloudy, half moon shape at the top of the iris of the eye (the colored part).  It looks dull and opaque from the fatty deposits.  These, too, began to diminish and are now practically all gone.

Another “amazing” result was that, at the same time, I had a patient with right-sided heart failure.  His response to CS was truly amazing.  Within about 5 weeks, all of his symptoms had resolved and the right side of his heart had returned to normal.  I attribute this amazing result to the CS restoring the integrity of his connective tissues, which cause him severe problems.

This is exciting news, since all of the pharmaceuticals recommended to correct problems with blood fats have serious problems, ranging from heart failure to liver problems to dementia and memory loss in older people.  These drugs are among the most widely used – and most toxic – on the market.

The only downside that I see to taking CS is that you must take it daily to continue to receive the benefits.  Once your arteries are clear, the dose drops to 1600 mg per day, which is four capsules.  However, given the fact that it keeps your blood vessels young and resilient, I consider this a minor inconvenience, at best.


Entry filed under: Heart Health. Tags: .

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30 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SteveO  |  June 17, 2010 at 4:05 am

    This has been known since the 1940’s at Loma Linda. There is a paper http://www.lewrockwell.com/sardi/sardi149.html and there are more papers being written today. seems that the medical establishment forgot about the old cures.

  • 2. Denis Vandale  |  September 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Where is the best source for chondroitin sulfate powder?

    • 3. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  November 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      We use the Karuna capsules. It appears that you are in Canada; is that correct? I don’t know if Karuna can send products to you. Dr. Richards

  • 4. Mark  |  October 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I also found out about CS and I started with about 2,400mg a day or more and I’m moving to about 6,000mg a day. I have backed off a bit since I heard about a study that linked it to prostate cancer. (Sounds like dis-information to me as it was a rat study I think)

    I’m also going to start back on my Lecithin which I stopped when I heard of another rodent study that said Lecithin clogged arteries of once again rodents.

    I’m in perfect health but I could use more hair growth and the CS has helped my back tremendously.

    I have a question…

    Did any of your patients or study show any link yo prostate cancer?

    • 5. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  November 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      Not at all. And, the data on CS goes back to the 1980s. Be careful of these drug company funded studies that are intended to discredit natural remedies. The goal is to move everyone on to toxic pharmaceuticals. Of course, they have almost unlimited funds to do so. Dr. Richards

  • 6. Rob  |  December 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I had a heart attack in the past but lived a healthy live ever since. However, my doctor is pushing me to start using statins for prevention and I don’t want. Nevertheless, his pushing makes me doubt.

    Now that I read about CS I am anxious to start using it as a way of preventing possible CVD events.

    What other suplements do you recommend to take on a daily basis alongside CS to ensure a healthy body?
    I am now taking Omega 3 (approx. 2000 mg), 2 grams of Vit. C (as L-ascorbic acid), 1 gram of Lysine and magnesium citrate on a daily basis.

    Thank you in advance for your comment.

    • 7. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  December 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Please contact my office. I cannot offer free advice over the Internet. I need much more information before I can make recommendations. Consult our web site http://www.RichardsFamilyHealth.com for contact information. Thank you. Dr. Richards

  • 8. Rob  |  December 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you.
    I will.

  • 9. Mark  |  January 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Is there any indication that CS would help someone with cardiomyopathy? I have and ICD and am interested in trying to improve my EF?

  • 10. robert movalli  |  April 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I have been using chondroitin for about six months, because of angina. Could not do simple exercises due to my condition. I experienced almost instant results and now I can do heavy strenuous workouts without difficulty….seems like a miracle. Conventional medicine, of which I have been a patient for the last ten years had completely failed.

    • 11. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  April 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      I am so glad you have had such a positive result. Dr. Richards

      • 12. Rob  |  May 3, 2013 at 9:16 am

        What about the presumed side effect of CS as a promotor of prostate cancer?

    • 13. Rob  |  May 3, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Robert, what dosage did/do you use?

      Thank you for a reply.

  • 14. scotty  |  May 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Hi Dr. Richards,

    Astounding information.

    Is Karuna chondroitin sulfate purified?

    Would health store CS powder work?

    If Karuna CS is purified… why such high doses (and was it Karuna CS)? Didn’t Dr. Morrison use 1-3 grams in his clinical studies (per your paper –1 to 3 grams of purified CS daily was given)?

    Thank You,

    • 15. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  May 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Yes, it is purified. I don’t recommend any health store brands. No regulation or guarantee of purity. Plus, most commercial CS products also contain glucosamine — not appropriate for this use. The actual dosage of CS used by Dr. Morrison was 6 grams. At that level, I have seen the arteries in the eyes shed their plaque in 9 months to a year. It’s a lot of CS, but it’s very effective. If you want to order the product, just contact our clinic. Dr. Richards

      I have returned to part-time practice. The new contact number to order CS is 626.303.3162. You can also email me at frontoffice@richardsfamilyhealth.com

      • 16. Denis Vandale  |  May 8, 2013 at 3:19 pm

        I have been using CS from NutriBio. They claim Pharmceutical grade, complying with FDA GMP manufacturing standards. Do you think this would be a good product?

  • 17. scotty  |  May 22, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Dr Richards,

    Have you heard of American Biologics Purified Chondroitin Sulfates
    and what do you think of their product as a purified CS product?


  • 18. Elaine Behrens  |  June 25, 2013 at 1:15 am

    how do I contact the clinic. I wish to order
    chondroitan sulfate from your office so I
    know it’s good. Thank you

    • 19. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  June 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      I am closing my clinic. You can call Dr. Evonne Phillips at 707-269-0303. This is voice mail only. Leave your name and
      phone number and she will call you back and order for you. Good luck with your health. The chondroitin sulfate protocol is
      a real winner. Many of my clients have benefited from it. After January 1, 2014, I intend to resume offering service to a
      few clients, including ordering supplements for them. Watch this space for the announcement of how to reach me. Dr. Richards

  • 20. Mark  |  August 3, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I have a question about when and how to take CS. Can I mix the powder in with say a protein drink, vegetable juice or must it be taken alone. It’s very sticky when wet I have found. Or is it better to take capsules?

    Thanks in advance Dr. for you feedback and this page.

    • 21. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  November 29, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      I think I missed replying to you when I had my health scare earlier this year. I recommend capsules, because you are right. CS is very viscous and doesn’t really blend with liquids. Take care, Dr. R

  • 22. Mark  |  August 3, 2013 at 8:05 am

    PS: Great that so many people are finding these kinds of alternative methods.

  • 23. Francois  |  November 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve been using CS now for 6 months, about 5 gr in the morning and 5 gr in the evening. I remember to take it about 85% of the time. I had a very conspicious yellow chilesterol xanthoma below my right eye. To my utmost surprise Ive noted that the Xanthoma has almost disappeared! I can only think that the CS is the reason. That is all that has changed the last few months.

    • 24. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  November 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Congratulations. A doctor would have to examine your retina to determine whether your arteries have cleared up, as well. I take 6 grams regularly, since I have Type II diabetes which predisposes to arterial disease. In a recent CAT scan, I had no arterial deposits. So, since continuing to take CS is perfectly safe, I plan to keep taking it. Dr. R

      • 25. Mark W  |  April 25, 2015 at 5:46 pm

        Are you sure it doesn’t cause hair loss? I’ve been advised this for osteoarthritis but I’ve seen conflicting stories on growth and loss. Thank you

      • 26. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  September 4, 2015 at 5:41 pm

        Dr. Morrison’s research indicates that chondroitiin sulfate promotes hair growth. I cannot confirm that from my clinical experience, but I see no reason to suspect hair loss.

  • 27. Rose  |  May 26, 2015 at 12:34 am

    In all health stores that sell Chondroitin Sulphate, the capsules are 500 mg and the dosage is twice daily for a max of 1,000 mg. The herbalists raise their eyebrows when I tell them that I am considering 5 to 6 mg. They said that the maximum that I should take is double, so 2,000 mg/per day, but they say it’s still high and do not recommend it.. I have arterial sclerosis in the artery that leads into my legs. The blockage is in the artery is in both legs as well as the section of the artery that passes by my vital organs on its way down to the legs. it appears that by-pass surgery is my only recourse. I’m 65 and wish that I could avoid the surgery with exercise and CS but walking is so painful. Any thoughts?

    • 28. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  September 4, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Excuse me. Health food store employees are NOT doctors. Dr. Morrison’s research was gold standard and can still be found in PubMed. A minimum of 6 gm per day for 9 months is needed to remove plaque. I myself have been taking 6 gms for more than 10 years, with no adverse effects and, as Type 2 diabetic, I have NO atherosclerosis, based upon several recent body scans for unrelated issues.

      • 29. Jeff Kaplan  |  November 7, 2015 at 5:33 pm

        Hello Dr. Rowan. Too bad you’re on the opposite coast (Florida here), or I’d have to buy you a cup of coffee or tea for being a wonderful source of health and well being. I’m a 25 year law enforcement veteran, and have some arterial plaque. I read about Dr. Morrison’s ground breaking long term studies. I would really appreciate if you could email me a link to order the brand of CS you use, possibly with posting it here or others.
        Thank you, for all you do.
        Healthy, and happy trails,
        I use a Mega Vitamin from Life Extension along with 500mg, 750mg Allicin Garlic, Magnesium, Omega 3’s, Vitamin D, and K2 MK-7, Natto, 4 grams Pomegranate, and 4 grams Ester-C daily.

      • 30. Dr N Rowan Richards  |  December 5, 2015 at 1:46 am

        Sorry for the delay. I am not getting notified when comments are posted. Unfortunately, my supplier only provides product to professionals. I can order for you and have it drop shipped directly. Please call my office 626-303-3162 if you would like to proceed. Take care, Dr. Richards

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