The real solution to heart disease The real solution is to stop heart disease is to halt the causes of inflammation, one of which is homocysteine, a harmless acid-like waste product that forms when you eat red meat and other protein foods. Homocysteine is quickly broken down by certain B vitamins, so it isn't usually a problem. But if a person isn't getting enough of these B vitamins (a widespread and disturbing problem in our country today), then homocysteine builds up to dangerous levels and "burns" the delicate tissue of artery walls. Plaque is then formed at the site of this inflammation as the body attempts to heal the damage. How dangerous is this? Studies show that a high level of homocysteine is one of the most dangerous risk factors for heart disease. It increases a person's risk of heart attack by 300 percent! If you're thinking a little extra B-vitamin intake would correct the problem, you're on the right track. That's exactly how some alternative M.D.s handle the problem. Studies as far back as 1988 show that this B vitamin lowers homocysteine levels back into the safety zone in just weeks. It has an 80% success rate. And the cost is about 5 cents a day. The secret thyroid connection But if you're a good detective (and I think you are), you're probably wondering what's causing this B-vitamin deficiency in the first place? Closer investigation reveals that an underactive thyroid gland is at the root of the problem. This malfunction inhibits the absorption of B vitamins, causing homocysteine levels to skyrocket. The connection between the thyroid and heart disease was first mentioned in the 1976 book, Solved: The Riddle of Heart Attacks, by Dr. Broda Barnes. His research was largely ignored by the medical community, until the release of a study in 1999. At the Cleveland Clinic, researchers corrected the thyroid function in patients and saw homocysteine levels normalize on their own-without any need for vitamins.