Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dr. Kilmer McCully‏

In the early 1970”s, Dr. Kilmer McCully, who was a pathologist at Harvard, reviewed two autopsies of young boys who had died of a heart attack. This was very concerning since one of the boys was 7 and the other was only 3 years old. He observed that their arteries were as hardened as an 85 year old man’s arteries that had severe atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). These boys had a congenital disease known as homocystinuria. They did not have the ability to break down homocysteine into more benign products. Their homocysteine levels were extremely high. Most of these children never see their teenage years because they die prematurely from a heart attack or stroke.

This led Dr. Kilmer McCully to postulate that maybe normal individuals who may have slightly elevated homocysteine levels over a lifetime might be at greater risk themselves of having a premature heart attack or stroke. Several clinical trials over the years have shown that Dr. McCully was right. Elevated homocysteine levels, which can cause a tremendous amount of inflammation in our arteries, are an independent risk factor for developing a heart attack or stroke.

Source: Dr. Strand Health Nuggets (