Tim RussertGeorge_Carlin_smallSaving Tim Russert and George Carlin by Jeffrey Dach MD

Sadly, two beloved American celebrities George Carlin and Tim Russert succumbed to heart disease before their time.  The nation was shocked and saddened, and serious questions were raised about the inability of our medical system to prevent heart disease.(1)(2)(3)  We expect more than the US medical system, and expect a better outcome for our celebrities.  What medical intervention could have saved them ? Above Images, George Carlin and Tim Russert Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Tim Russert

A year before his death, I saw Tim Russert in person June 2007 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  He was the key note speaker at my son, Benjamin’s graduation from Yeshiva University.  Russert spoke about his new book which was a tribute to his dad, and he was a quite charming fellow.  Tim Russert was the TV host for Meet the Press, and asked the tough questions of the Washington elite.  Tim walked that fine line in journalism, being investigative yet remaining acceptable to the mainstream.(4)

How to Save Time Russert, Reversing Heart Disease

coronary_animation The obvious question raised is what could have been done differently to save a person with Tim Russert’s risk factors?   For the sake of the discussion we will assume these risk factors include, Metabolic Syndrome X which includes insulin resistant diabetes, overweight, elevated calcium score and a normal EKG/treadmill stress test.  Based on a Tim’s distinctive and characteristic appearance on photographs, I would suspect Tim also had subclinical hypothyroidism.  Current mainstream medical practice which relies solely on the TSH test may miss this diagnosis, which usually goes untreated.

Above Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons. cardiac catheterization Source cath lab at hospital charite mitte, berlin, germany

Life Saving Preventive Medical Interventions

The life saving medical interventions for such an individual with these risk factors is described in my article on CAT Coronary Calcium Scoring and Reversing Heart Disease,(5) which credits the William Davis MD Track Your Plaque Program.(6)

1) Serial Calcium Scores with CAT Scan which allows you to “track your plaque”.

2) Serial Sophisticated Lipoprotein Analysis with the VAP or NMR.  The standard cholesterol panel is now obsolete, and has been replaced by the VAP.

3) Modification of lipoprotein profile with dietary modification, exercise and nutritional supplements including, omega 3 essential FA’s, Niacin, L arginine, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin D, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, etc. Yes, there is something better than the statin drugs, and this is it.

4) Control blood sugar and insulin levels with low glycemic diet, NOT by giving high dose insulin which accelerates heart disease.  Here, I strongly recommend the patient purchase and use a home glucometer along with the instructions in the book by Jenny Ruhl, Blood Sugar 101.(7)

5) Careful control of blood pressure.  Disease arteries are vulnerable to further damage from high blood pressure.

6) Treatment for subclinical hypothyroidism with natural thyroid medication.

Was Tim Russert Suffering From Subclinical Hypothyroidism?

Below photos (below) show characteristic appearance of low thyroid state.

Tim_Russert_a2Left Image: Tim Russert 2007, courtesy of Wikipedia. Notice thinning of outer third of eyebrows, and fullness under chin, and puffiness of eyelids, all signs of subclinical hypothyroidism, a risk factor for heart disease.


Hypothyroidism_myxedema_33Left Image: A Man with typical features of hypothyroidism with loss of outer thirds of eyebrows, fullness under chin and puffiness of eyelids.  Photo Courtesy Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemicby Mark Starr MD.

Hypothyroidism and Heart Disease

Broda Barnes was the first to point out the connection between subclinical hypothyroidism and accelerated heart disease in his book, Solved the Riddle of Heart Attacks.(11)  Dr. Barnes spent his summer vacations in Graz Austria reviewing autopsy studies showing that the low thyroid segment of the population eventually succumbed to heart disease.  The low thyroid condition causes typical changes in the skin and connective tissues called myxedema with infiltration by a gelatinous substance.  This infiltration causes a characteristic puffy look to the eyelids, and fullness to the face, which is called the obese form of hypothyroidism.  Dr. Barnes speculated that this same connective tissue infiltration occurs in the blood vessel walls leading to hypertension and atherosclerotic plaque and heart disease.   Dr. Barnes reviewed his own patient list treated with thyroid medication over many years and found a 94% reduction in the rate of heart attacks as compared to the Framingham Heart Study, and he concluded that this was due to treatment of hypothyroidism which largely prevented the development of atherosclerosis.(9)(10)(11)  Recent studies confirm this connection between subclinical hypothyroidism and heart disease originally discovered by Broda Barnes.(12)(13)

Before and After Treatment for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism2Left Image shows characteristic hypothyroid appearance (puffy eyes and face, loss of eyebrows). Right Image shows appearance after treatment with thyroid pills. Notice dramatic change with resolution of eyelid and facial puffiness, fullness under chin is gone, and there is regrowth of eyebrows with more youthful appearance.  Courtesy of Hypothyroidism Type 2: The Epidemicby Mark Starr MD hypothyroidismtype2.com (8)

George Carlin, Sacred Clown (14)

George_Carlin_WikipediaGeorge Carlin was a counter culture sacred clown who rejected his Irish Catholic upbringing.  George Carlin’s standup routines often included the topic of religion, death and the after-life.  Ironically, he joked about death and the after-life in George Carlin’s Stand Up Routines on You-Tube.

How to Save George Carlin

Of course, George Carlin’s medical records are confidential, so instead, we will discuss the case of a hypothetical person suffering from heart failure, which is a decline in pumping ability of the heart.(17)

The program to enhance performance of the pumping ability of the heart has been known for some time now, and is described by Steve Sinatra in his book, The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic CardiologyDr  Sinatra, now retired, was a practicing cardiologist in Connecticut, and treated his heart failure patients with Coenzyme Q-10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine and Magnesium, all available at the health food store.  With this regimen, Sinatra actually took cardiac cripples off the heart transplant list, and discharged them from the hospital to a functional life at home.(18)(19)(20)

Essential Phospholipid for Reversing Heart Disease

Steve Sinatra teamed up his colleague James Roberts for his latest book, Reverse Heart Disease Now.  Dr Roberts, a practicing cardiologist in Toledo Ohio, has success treating heart disease with Essential Phospholipid, which he feels is the first line effort to reverse heart disease.(21)  Roberts gave a medical seminar reviewing his success reversing heart failure and heart disease with this Phosphatidyl Choline supplement.

Dr Roberts has been kind enough to make this seminar is available on a page at his web site.(22)  Although Essential Phospholipid is available as a nutritional supplement without a prescription, I recommend you work closely with a knowledgeable physician.

Where to Buy Essential Phospholipid

Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C is available on Amazon from Liv On Labs. Each packet contains 1000 mg of essential phospholipid and 1000 mg of Vitamin C.

Another excellent form of Lipospheric Essential Phospholipid is this one, available on Amazon called, LipoPhos EDTA  also containing EDTA, a heavy metal chelating agent.

Another excellent Lipospheric Essential Phospholipid with EDTA is the Detox Max Plus.

George Carlin – The Sacred Clown Rejects Religion 

I spent a few hours laughing myself silly watching Carlin’s old stand-up routines on U-tube.  There was a lot of material ridiculing religion, people, government, politics, airport security, etc.  However, it struck me as ironic that, unlike other comedians who lampoon the medical system, Carlin’s material was devoid of joking about the medical system.  Apparently he took it seriously.  The sacred clown who rejected the church and organized religion, had apparently accepted the hospital and medical system as a replacement.  Perhaps Carlin’s life could have been prolonged had gone outside mainstream medicine and consulted with doctors like James C Roberts, Steven Sinatra or William Davis.  If so, they would have recommended essential phospholipid, natural thyroid pills and other interventions that could have saved lives.

A Disclaimer

Since their medical records are confidential and closed to the public, the above article and comments are not directed at any one individual, rather they are directed at hypothetical individuals in the population who share the same risk factors for heart disease described in the news media for Tim Russert and George Carlin.

Articles with Related Interest

Reversing Heart Disease with EECP

Reversing Heart Disease with Essential Phospholipids

Heart Disease Vitamin C and Linus Pauling

Getting Off Statin Drug Stories

How to Reverse Heart Disease with the Coronary Calcium Score

Cholesterol Lowering Drugs for the Elderly, Bad Idea

Cholesterol Lowering Statin Drugs for Women Just Say No

Jeffrey Dach MD


(1) http://www.newsweek.com/id/141450
HEALTH What Happened to Russert The science of sudden cardiac arrest. Newsweek


(2) http://www.naturalnews.com/023472.html
Western Medicine Fails Tim Russert June 23, 2008 By Byron Richards, CCN www.wellnessresources.com a critical look at medical care which failed to prevent for Tim Russert’s death. By Byron Richards, CCN www.wellnessresources.com Mr. Russert has a negative stress test on April 19th and died suddenly of a heart attack on June 13th.

(3) http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/66019
Western Medicine Fails Tim Russert June 23, 2008 By Byron Richards, CCN www.wellnessresources.com a critical look at medical care which failed to prevent for Tim Russert’s death. By Byron Richards, CCN www.wellnessresources.com Mr. Russert has a negative stress test on April 19th and died suddenly of a heart attack on June 13th.

(4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Russert
Tim Russert Wikipedia Timothy John Russert

(5) CAT Coronary Calcium Score Reversing Heart Disease by Jeffrey DACH MD.

(6)  http://www.trackyourplaque.com/
William Davis Track Your Plaque Program

(7) http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/20585442.php
Blood Sugar 101 Jenny Ruhl, How to use home glucometer, to keep sugar and insulin under control through diet.

(8) http://www.type2hypothyroidism.com/
Mark Starr MD Type Two Hypothyroidsm

(9) http://books.google.com/books?id=v-8xz2eiAkMC&dq
Solved: The Riddle of Illness By Stephen E. Langer, James F. Scheer

(10) http://books.google.com/books?id=2sqMx5UdZbcC&dq=broda+barnes
Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness By Broda Barnes, Lawrence Galton, Barnes

(11) http://www.brodabarnes.org/bookstore.htm
Solved: The Riddle of Heart Attacks by Broda O. Barnes, M.D., Ph.D. and Charlotte W. Barnes, A.M. Prevention of Heart Attacks: The Key to Progress in Medicine

(12) http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/148/11/832
REVIEW Meta-analysis: Subclinical Thyroid Dysfunction and the Risk for Coronary Heart Disease and Mortality.  Nicolas Ochs, MD; Reto Auer, MD; Douglas C. Bauer, MD; David Nanchen, MD; Jacobijn Gussekloo, MD, MPH; Jacques Cornuz, MD, MPH; and Nicolas Rodondi, MD, MAS. Ann Intern Med. 3 June 2008 | Volume 148 Issue 11 | Pages 832-845
Subclinical hypothyroidism …may be associated with a modest increased risk for CHD and mortality. (my note: This article is an understatement.  It is not a modest risk…it is a greatly increased risk.)


(13) http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/abstract/137/11/904
Effects of Subclinical Thyroid Dysfunction on the Heart.  Bernadette Biondi, MD; Emiliano A. Palmieri, MD; Gaetano Lombardi, MD; and Serafino Fazio, MD  AnnIntern Med, 3 December 2002,  Volume 137 Issue 11, Pages 904-914. Subclinical hypothyroidism is associated with impaired left ventricular diastolic function at rest, systolic dysfunction on effort, and enhanced risk for atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction.

(14) http://dreamflesh.com/essays/clownpath/
Path of the Sacred Clown

(15)(16) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRCKoT1HY3U
George Carlin celebrates his 70th birthday in this HBO Special “It’s bad for ya”. Part 1 of  7 “Its all bullshit and its bad for ya”. Humerous Look at Aging, Jokes about Advantages of being old.  Dont have to carry anything heavy.  People help you.
Leave social event early…Im getting tired. Not responsible for remembering anything anymore. Take advantage of people and you are not responsible for anything.

Dead People: Go through address book and cross out the dead people.  Feeling of power to have outlasted old friends.  Leave the name in for an extra 6 weeks. In the Computer age we delete name from the computer.  Even more Powerful feeling. You can Create a new folder called “purgatory” for your dead friends. Things we say when somebody dies…etc.

(16) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvImP6P_czc
Part two: Continuation of Dead People in Heaven or Hell, discussion of afterlife.  Beliefs about death such as “Life after death”., the “afterlife”. George is perhaps an atheist who doesn’t believe in an afterlife, but he keeps all options open.  Carlin jokes about heaven and hell.


(17) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=90540
Heart Failure, What klled George Carlin

The Sinatra Solution, Metabolic Cardiology Posted on: Friday, 29 April 2005, 03:00 CDT
When it comes to heart disease, D-ribose, L-carnitine, and Coenzyme QIO have become the triad of nutrients we rely on for healing and prevention. You will soon see that these nutrients can rocket your heart and muscle energy to new heights. They do this by maximizing the amount of oxygen that your heart and skeletal muscle can extract from your blood, by accelerating the rate at which the food you eat is converted to energy in your cells, and by keeping your cellular energy pool healthy.

(19) http://www.americanwellnessnetwork.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=697
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, Magnesium  by totalhealth editors The Awesome Foursome Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, Magnesium

(20) http://www.amazon.com/Sinatra-Solution-Metabolic-Cardiology/dp/1591202167
The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology by Stephen T., M.D. Sinatra (Author)

(21) http://www.heartfixer.com/BookReviews.htm
Reverse Heart Disease Now by Steven Sinatra MD and James C Roberts MD

PC.htm Phosphatidylcholine Therapy – Phosphatidylcholine (specifically 1,2-dilinolenyphosphatidylcholine) is the most effective therapy in the anti-atherosclerotic armamentarium.  This molecule, which we will refer to as essential phospholipid or PC, improves cell membrane function, increasing absorption of oxygen and nutrition at the cellular level.  PC stimulates the HDL-associated enzymes of reverse cholesterol transport, promoting the removal of excess cholesterol from our cells, including the endothelial cells that line our arteries.  PC has been shown to improve blood flow and reduce symptoms in humans with narrowed arteries, and to anatomically reverse atherosclerotic narrowings in animals and in humans.

Additional Links

Trusted MD Start Quote:

WSJ Health Blog: “Russert’s doctor Michael Newman said the tough-questioning but congenial host of NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ had been under treatment for asymptomatic coronary disease, but that it was under control with medication. He was carrying excess weight, Newman observed, but he got regular exercise and he performed well on an exercise stress test in April.”

GruntDoc: “I therefore propose a new sign in medicine, the Tim Russert sign: death (or MI) shortly after a negative stress test.”

I don’t have all the medical information, so I’m speculating.

From what I heard last night, Mr. Russert was urged to lose weight and had previously diagnosed coronary artery disease. It would not be unreasonable to assume that he was already on a statin, aspirin, and blood pressure medication (as his enlarged heart can be caused by chronic hypertension).

A point of debate is his negative stress test 2 months ago. It is unclear what type it was – an exercise stress test, stress echocardiogram, or nuclear stress test? This matters, as the sensitivity would vary from 80 to 90 percent.

The gold standard to determine the extent of coronary artery disease is a cardiac catheterization. However, this is not typically done in an asymptomatic patient with a normal stress test. No doubt there will be calls to do so in light of Russert’s death.

Did he have any symptoms prior to the MI? Colleagues said he did not “feel well” in the days prior to the event. Was this his anginal equivalent?

Finally, it is likely he collapsed from ventricular fibrillation, which is a shockable rhythm. Did the Washington bureau have an AED? Was it used? Even so, Mr. Russert’s chances of survival would still have been slim.

A sad day indeed and a tragic loss in the world of journalism and politics.

Update: Further reading has revealed that Russert had diabetes, and the autopsy revealed significant left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) atherosclerosis (the so-called “widow maker”).

He passed his exercise stress test “at a high level of exercise.” Hypertension and cholesterol were reported to be well-controlled.

Still can’t find whether the stress test was with imaging or not. It makes a difference in the detection of Russert’s plaque:

Imaging tests are more sensitive than the exercise ECG in the detection of severe (three vessel and left main) disease . . . the sensitivity for severe disease was 93 to 98 percent with planar thallium imaging, stress echocardiography, and SPECT perfusion imaging compared with 86 percent for exercise ECG testing.

Given his risk factors, I would not be surprised if Russert’s PCP will take heat (or even be vulnerable to a malpractice lawsuit) if the stress test was ordered without some kind of imaging.End Quote

George Carlin:

George Carlin Home Page. Quote: “Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”?” An appreciation of comedian George Carlin. On June 22, 2008, George Carlin was admitted to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California complaining of chest pain. He died later that day at 5:55 p.m. PDT of heart failure at the age of 71.  Carlin has irish catholic background. He jokes about religion, death, drug addiction, politics, materialism (your stuff), ten commandments, saving the planet, sacredness of life, government.  George Carlin was a comic genius, and a great person too. Pro-drug and anti-religion. A comedic dynamo and hero! “Endquote

Carlin and Dogma by George Giles on Lew Rockwell

How to stay young Catholic New Times,  Jan 30, 2005  by George Carlin

Wikpedia GEorge Carlin

George Carlin on prescription drugs and birth control pills. 9 minutes audio only.
Jokes about various chemical addictions, alcohol, coffee, diet pills for housewives, atheletes into uppers, amphetamines, birth control pills are a national experiment,
embarassment of needing a “note” for BCP’s  to have sex.  New names for BCP’s when they are off patent such as Pride-Not, Embry-No, NArry -A-Carry, NAy-Family Way, Mom-Bomb, Junior Miss, Inconceivable, Mommy Not, etc. If only the pills only partially effective….Baby Maybe, Male sexist phone call joke….etc.

Jeffrey Dach MD

my web sites:

Disclaimer click here: http://www.drdach.com/wst_page20.html

The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship.  Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur. Finally, the material produced by myself may be reproduced for personal use, provided that appropriate credit is given.

Link to this article:http://wp.me/P3gFbV-uk

This article may be copied or reproduced on the internet provided a link and credit is given.

Copyright (c) 2008-2014 All rights reserved Jeffrey Dach MD,  www.drdach.com disclaimer

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.