The invisible threat to heart health - part 2
At 71, Warren Matthews was healthy, active, and had a clean bill of health - or so he thought. The founder of Xtend-Life was blindsided by a build-up of calcification in his cardiovascular system, particularly his aortic valve, which required open-heart surgery. Even with all that Warren was doing to improve his health, he didn't know about the dangers of artery calcification - the invisible threat to heart health.
His hospital wake-up call inspired him to develop CX8, a revolutionary new artery and cardiovascular health supplement. Listen as Warren and Ivor Cummins, the Chief Program Officer for Irish Heart Disease Awareness, discuss this groundbreaking natural solution.
In part one of this series, Warren spoke about his journey from sailing a boat to Asia to lying flat on his back in ICU from a heart attack, caught out by the invisible build-up of calcification in the arteries (watch Part 1 here).
In this second interview, Warren spills the secrets on how he fixed the problem and the formula he used to get a heart age of 40 when he was celebrating his 73rd birthday.
He shares the stories and the science that inspired the ingredients in CX8, what he learned from working with the experts who developed them and insider knowledge from the pharmaceutical industry.
Ivor Cummins: Hey guys, we're back with part two of a podcast with Warren Matthews.
We did one the other day and we went through Warren's experience with extensive heart valve disease and calcification.
Warren is the founder of Xtend-Life, a nutraceutical manufacturing business. It's in New Zealand, but it ships 97 percent of their product all over the world. It's vertically integrated, so it manufactures and ships everywhere.
He set up the company over 20 years ago because he wanted to add around 20 years to his health span. But he got caught out because no doctor ever talked to him about calcification. So for all of his healthy living he ended up with a calcification issue and had to get an operation.
We'll go back to Warren and talk about the formulation he developed over 2020 to address the arterial and valve problems.
But first, I'm going to go through a Pulse Wave Analysis (PWA) set of data that Warren and his son Kirk got during 2020 since his operation. The Pulse Wave Analysis test is FDA approved and a very acceptable reflection of arterial age.
He's made a lot of progress, so I think you'd be interested to see the data. Take a look at these results that Warren and Kirk got on the Pulse Wave Analysis.
When they got their first test, Warren was 72 and his son, Kirk, was 42.
Warren was 72 when he got his first test in January 2020 and his son Kirk was 42 - they got the test concurrently.
So how did Warren do?
Well, he came in at an arterial age of 56!
Now, one would expect when he had massive calcification and this valve had to be replaced he wouldn't be coming in with an arterial age that good, but this was after six months or so of reducing eating bread and perhaps fewer meals. He had been living healthily for decades - no processed food and junk - but taking an additional step and cutting out bread and carbohydrates would have been important.
And, of course, he was taking the formulation that we'll talk about later in this podcast for over six months.
Kirk, aged 42, came in at an arterial age of 73. Now, Kirk is not overly healthy or healthy lifestyle to say the very least, but this was a bit of a wake-up call for him. It was great that he got that result to maybe pay some attention to his health, so he began to take the formulation too and understandably so.
What happened Warren?
He had a 40 year old arterial age, which is remarkable for someone of 73,
especially with a history of severe heart disease.
When he got his next test in December 2020 essentially he'd fallen again and had a very unusual 40 year old arterial age, which is very remarkable for someone of 73 especially with a history of severe heart disease so that was excellent and Warren was obviously very happy.
So how did Kirk do?
He was the one with the wake-up call and six months later in June he got another PWA test. He had been taking the formulation and trying to be better with his lifestyle and diet and he did very well. He was down to an arterial age of 42, which is actually his real age so a major success given where he was at.
So they're the results from the PWA it's n equals two, so a very small sample, but I think this will be a fascinating area to look into going forward.
That's what can happen when you're focused on health and you think you're tracking the right things but you're not aware of calcification and other factors.
Just before we go to Warren I'll give one extra clip from the previous podcast. You can see Warren at the age of 70, sailing solo his boat across to Asia and you can see he's in pretty good shape. But then a year later he's flat on his back in the ICU. He got the surgeon to take photos with his phone of the actual procedure which is kind of interesting too.
But it's such a massive transformation, and that's the kind of thing that can happen when you're focused on health and you think you're tracking all the stuff and the blood markers but you're not aware of calcification and you're not quite as aware of insulin and other factors as you perhaps should be so everyone gets caught out.
CX8 has eight components backed up by a lot of science.
But we'll proceed to Warren now and talk about this formulation of his: CX8.
It has eight components backed up by a lot of science and I vetted many of them and the suppliers. Let's talk to Warren about what they are, and give you details on how you can go and source your any or all of the eight yourself or indeed take advantage of Warren's formulation.
Warren Matthews: Yes, looking forward to doing that Ivor.
Ivor Cummins: We might just start. It's called CX8, you put a lot of work into it, I vetted the suppliers and had a good look over everything too. So, let's go through the ingredients.
We'll start with the Vitamin D, because that's a classic everyone will recognize and it's hard to imagine a combination formula for heart health and general health that doesn't include at least a little bit of Vitamin D, right?
Instead of using the normal Vitamin D we use the form from lichen, so it's actually vegetable based.
Warren Matthews: Yes, Vitamin D is a somewhat underrated vitamin and it's certainly beneficial to have it there. Instead of using the normal Vitamin D we use the form from lichen so it's actually vegetable-based. We put in a thousand IUs, which is okay.
One thing I should say about Vitamin D is that you can't get enough if it's from natural sources.
I certainly don't rely on supplements for my Vitamin D, I get out in the sunshine. I think people should do exactly the opposite to what is recommended where it's said you shouldn't get in the sunshine between 10 and two o'clock on the day in the summertime.
In actual fact, I try to make a point around midday each day of getting out in the sun and exposing as much of myself as I can without sunscreen – I don't actually use sunscreen. At the present time, there's a major deficiency in Vitamin D and so in addition to taking any supplements, I'd urge everybody to get out in the sunshine as much as possible. Don't get burnt, just get to the point where you start getting a little bit pink and then stop it. But do it without sunscreen.
Ivor Cummins: I'm absolutely in agreement there I'm a big "sunshine for a health" person since 2013. I'd agree, the only rule, and it will vary hugely on your skin type, is don't burn. It's very simple.
So Vitamin D is in there at a reasonable amount, the next one is tocotrienols.
Now, this is one I was not familiar with at all, and I had to do a lot of work to research it. I had the benefit, of course, with your supplier Dr Barrie Tan. You can see some of the research on tocotrienols, along with a video interview and white paper – I was shocked I wasn't aware of them.
Could you share your thoughts on tocotrienols?
There are two main components to Vitamin E: tocopherols, which you get in most supplements, and tocotrienols.
Warren Matthews: This is an interesting one because most people know that Vitamin E is supposedly good for overall health and heart health.
They also know that there are two main components to Vitamin E: one is tocopherols, which is the normal Vitamin E which you get in most supplements and the other is tocotrienols.
Now, we were aware of tocotrienols almost 20 years ago and started using them at that point from palm oil, which was a mix of tocotrienols and tocopherols, but what I was unaware of until coming across Dr Barrie Tan and the research he'd done on tocotrienols is that it's the tocotrienols that actually give the benefits.
It's the tocotrienols that actually give the benefits... if you have too many tocopherols it will offset the benefits of tocotrienols.
Of course, it's not widely used because it's much more expensive than the alpha tocopherols, but what's interesting is if you have too many tocopherols it will offset the benefits of tocotrienols. We found as part of the research that the only form of tocotrienols which is basically pure tocotrienols is made from the annatto bean, and that's what the research ended up being around and which were used in this formula.
It's got some incredible benefits and that white paper that is on the website that you just mentioned now really explains a lot of things which will be an eye-opener for most people. Barrie's book is well worth reading - it's entertaining it's easy to read - so that had to be a must to go into the formula.
Ivor Cummins: Excellent, and Barrie, I must say, is a lovely gentleman: a multiple PhD, medical doctor, a medical director, and he's been 20 years almost, I think, on this whole area amongst others.
Moving on to Vitamin K2 MK7. Here's one I was more familiar with but I was delighted to speak to the supplier, Dr Hogna Vic and we had a great conversation on Vitamin K2 MK7 that you can watch on this link and again medical doctor PhD and an extraordinary decade of research on this so what are your thoughts on the MK7.
Warren Matthews: That's an interesting one because, as you say, it's quite well known that the MK7 is a very good form of Vitamin K2 for cardiovascular health.
There's many manufacturers of MK7 throughout the world and a couple of years ago as part of the research which I was doing in preparation for this formula I looked at all the various suppliers of MK7.
There's a lot which has been produced in China, which we essentially discounted and didn't go further with, and also found that the two main manufacturers were based in Norway.
I spoke to some of the chief scientists of both companies, and there was no doubt that the MenaQ7® form, which is from Pharma, the company that Dr Hogner is involved in, was the best form. They were doing microencapsulation, which made it more bioavailable, and all the clinical data was done by that company. A lot of the other manufacturers actually piggyback on that data, even though they have a different product and there are differences with the form of delivery.
Cost wasn't a concern because this was primarily driven by my own needs and, as with all our products, we don't make any compromise.
The MenaQ7® was the most expensive of the lot but the cost wasn't the issue here because this was primarily driven by my own needs. Like we've done with all our products, we don't make any compromise: we want the best.
So that's how we ended up with the MenaQ7® .
Ivor Cummins: Very good, and K2, as I mentioned, is well known, but the subtleties between MK4 MK7 other variants and certainly the quality that's something I did learn from you.
I knew there was probably a lot of questionable activities that may be in the supplement business but I didn't realize they'd even done studies taking a whole range of K2s and finding 50 percent or more did not actually deliver the milligrams labelled on the bottle because they were degraded.
I also think that microencapsulation and other aspects are done by the best suppliers could make a huge difference.
Next was Tina. I had a great conversation with her on the CardiOmegia™ Sea Buckthorn Fruit Extract, the omega-7.
Warren Matthews: Now that's an interesting one. I met Tina in Geneva and learnt about the company she's involved with which was started by her father.
It's based primarily around the development of specialized ingredients extracted from the sea buckthorn berry which has grown wild on the Tibetan plateau by the Himalayas at 15 000 feet. They've been able to extract omega-7 out of the seaberry.
Now we're all familiar with omega-6, which we shouldn't have too much of, of course, and omega-3s. But there's some interesting research coming out about omega-7 insofar as the benefits for cardiovascular health. As you'll recollect you interviewed Dr Tina and that's an interesting interview and also there's a paper that outlines some of the benefits of it from a cardiovascular point of view.
It's actually pretty special and at this stage, it's just not widely available. In fact, I'm not aware of anybody else who's using that in formula at the present time. It's got some very good properties that are too numerous for me to try and list out here but refer to the paper on it
Ivor Cummins: Exactly. We link everything because people can go and check these things out themselves; that's what it's all about, giving the information.
I remember omega-7; I came across actually as a poor metabolic marker because it can when high be a marker of metabolic syndrome and inflammatory issues but the interesting thing is the mechanism may be that the body creates a as an anti-diabetic signaling molecule so it does appear from the research that actually taking it exogenously can have a beneficial effect as you mentioned so we'll link all that data but very good stuff.
Warren Mathews: Actually one of the key points I hadn't mentioned on the CardiOmegia™ is its ability to help with metabolic syndrome. That's it is another key influencing factor why we used it.
Ivor Cummins: Well, that does tie very much into the metabolic milieu.
What I really liked about these suppliers is they are full MDs, PhDs – you're not just dealing with business people.
Just thinking about Dr Tina, and again Tina is a full medical doctor who did her medical degree in Ireland. Her father is also a full medical doctor who worked in pharmaceuticals and then went more into nutraceuticals. So what I really liked about these suppliers is they are full MDs PhDs - you're not just dealing with business people which is great.
CyanthOx™ Sea Buckthorn Fruit Extract is the other component that's in CX8 and that also links back to Tina and her father's operations.
Warren Matthews: Most people have heard of pycnogenol, which is an excellent ingredient from maritime pine bark but the CyanthOx™ is actually a lot more powerful than pygnogenol.
The reason that we got interested is that it's also got some very good properties from a cell regeneration point of view. There are even studies that show how it helps stimulate stem cell growth, which of course is all-important when it comes to cardiovascular health.
So it's not only beneficial from a cardiovascular point of view it has a lot of other good properties and the overall general health and immunity - I could tell you some stories about, it is extremely positive.
So it's a very important ingredient and we've got a good amount in there.
In CX8 we ensured that the amount of each ingredient was in line with the clinical studies that have given the results.
I should also mention that what we did in the formula of CX8 was to ensure that the amount that we used of each of these special ingredients was in line with the clinical studies that have given the results.
One of the things which are quite common is to use an ingredient that has got good clinical data but the companies put less of it in and then sort of piggyback on the clinical data.
But in every ingredient here we use the amount cited in the studies. For example, with the MK7 we use 180 micrograms, with the CardiOmegia™ we use the same as what was done in the clinical trial. Same thing with the CyanthOx™, which is a pretty unique ingredient.
All this is really important but is something that is often overlooked.
Ivor Cummins: Yes, it's not so commonly available, but it's not yet established and it's early data so be interesting to see how that one goes.
Now rutin is a more kind of classic, long-term established antioxidant type compound.
I didn't go in too deep into that because it's so established, but you added it in regardless.
Rutin has benefits with it from a point of view of helping
blood cells in general so it was logical to include it.
Warren Matthews: Yes well rutin has been around for a long time it's a flavonoid and it's got a lot of very good properties. It is quite an inexpensive ingredient as compared to the others and there are some benefits with it from a point of view of helping blood cells in general so it was logical to include some in it.
Ivor Cummins: Nattokinase is an ingredient I wasn't too familiar with at all. I was familiar with natto and the MK7 and MK4 connection but Nattokinase as an enzyme I wasn't. So I went digging I found an extraordinary white paper from Japan on all of the trials the benefits and the data and I'll link that below actually because it's a one-stop-shop I found from all the papers I got this one was so comprehensive so maybe your kind of thoughts on Nattokinase.
Warren Matthews: Yes, we've been using Nattokinase in our Total Balance for many years and were aware of the very good properties that it has. But it plays a different role in some of our other products; in Total Balance, the Nattokinase is not used as a specialized cardiovascular product and it needs to be a higher dose to really do its job to spring clean.
Now, what's interesting, is that although when I had the open-heart surgery because they had my chest open they decided they would do a single bypass because one artery was around 70 percent, so had a bit of a blockage. It didn't warrant doing a single procedure but because they already had my chest open they figured it made sense to do it.
Taking Nattokinase is a bit like spring cleaning your arteries,
but you've got to have a decent dose.
But overall my arteries were in not too bad shape, and I put this down to a large extent on the Nattokinase which was incorporated in our other product, Total Balance.
But what we've done in CX8 is to increase the dose substantially. It's a bit like spring cleaning your arteries, but you've got to have a decent size and dose of it.
We use an ingredient called Nattozimes® Protease which is manufactured in the US and it is basically Nattokinase. Nattokinase itself is not permitted in the US, although a number of companies do use it that's because the method of manufacturing, but the way that the Nattozimes® is manufactured is approved by the FDA and it has the same efficacy.
So it's an excellent ingredient and the formula would not be anywhere near as good without it.
Ivor Cummins: Well the white paper I have there is very extensive with masses of references so people can read up the data themselves and get educated on some of these things.
Everyone accepts pharmaceuticals, which are essentially copies of things found in nature... while supplements are somehow the poor cousin when the reality is they can be more beneficial.
Before we go to the last one, I find it interesting that everyone pretty much accepts pharmaceuticals, which are essentially copies of things found in nature.
For example, statin is leveraged off a mould I think, or some kind of mushroom mould. What they do is basically take nature's beneficial molecules, then recreate them in the laboratory setting to make them patentable so they're profitable. Then they go out and everyone swears by them.
On the other hand, generally, people think nutraceuticals and supplements are somehow the poor cousins.
The reality is, if the data is there, they can in many ways be more beneficial for chronic disease and people with issues. People who are healthy and who eat really well may never need any medications of any sort but the negativity is an interesting point.
I think some of it emanates from the pharmaceutical industry. I'm sure they've got competitive intelligence teams who work - legally in fairness - to just undermine competitors in many ways; so I'd say there's a bit of that going on.
Warren Matthews: Well in actual fact, Ivor, I think there's more than a little bit. I remember about 15 years ago there was an organization in the UK, a natural products organization, and they found out that a consortium of pharmaceutical companies was employing several PR firms. They were at that time spending 15 million pounds a year to do nothing else but to try and dig up any data which could discredit supplements and in shape or form. Then they would put it together in press releases to make it seem as if it's a news item. and that's a concerted program and it still carries on.
And just to reinforce that point you just made, pharmaceuticals have to they try to emanate nature by way of a synthetic molecule, but the body cannot recognize it as such because it's synthetic.
Pharmaceuticals play a very good temporary role for a specific condition, but they're not for long-term health maintenance or prevention.
So pharmaceuticals, I think, have a very good role to play for temporary use for a specific condition or to relieve a particular symptom but not as a long-term health maintenance prevention point of view.
I am on no medication at all I refuse to the surgeon and the doctor, as I mentioned in part one, insisted that I went on a statin.
I said, "no way in the world because I don't think you've done your research and there's no need for it". So consequently I do not take any medication because I've seen it all before.
People get on medication, they have side effects, then take something else to try to deal with the side effects and that creates other side effects and nobody knows what is going on.
People get on medication they have side effects the doctor then gives them something else to try to deal with the side effects and that creates other side effects and nobody knows what is going on in the body when you've got several pharmaceutical products and with synthetic molecules all interacting with each other.
Nobody knows what's going on.
Ivor Cummins: Yes, poly-pharmacy is certainly a problem.
I think the saddest thing is very elder elderly people in care homes they're kind of a dumping ground for meds and I think recently I saw a report that the people in care homes or elderly care are on an average of something like nine medications one average. That's like from a few up to around 15. Anyway, we won't go down a hole on that one.
Now the last ingredient is one I wouldn't know as much about but I was intrigued.
The high UV environment in New Zealand is purported to give
black currants their antioxidant properties.
There's not much data on it but it is very local to New Zealand and the high UV environment there is purported to give it its antioxidant properties. The black currant in New Zealand needs enormous protection from the UV to prevent cellular damage.
So maybe we just finish off with that one with a local flavor.
Warren Matthews: We deal with and have done for many years with a company in New Zealand called New Zealand Extracts. They have a very unique extraction system, and we they buy kiwi fruit and a grape seed extract from them and also a black currant as well.
They are able to concentrate the polyphenols out of these particular berries and extract and remove all the sugars and so forth.
The reason why we put black currant in CX8 is not so much based on hard scientific data as the other ingredients have but rather on more instinctive situation.
Now the reason why we put it in there is not so much based on hard scientific data as the other ingredients have but rather on more instinctive situation. We know what is in there and the evidence supporting its use for cardiovascular use is building, but it's still largely anecdotal. It's one of those things where there was some real potential upside by including it in and certainly no downside. Worst case scenario if it didn't specifically give the benefits for cardiovascular health that we want it's certainly beneficial from our overall health point of view.
Ivor Cummins: Very good, more of a punt perhaps.
When you mention that benefits of different things I'm always interested in synergies; the one plus one equals three kind of thing.
[Detete? And again, it can't be known yet because this formulation is unique, although many very knowledgeable people will be taking several of these things from independent sources, I think you have an intention in the future to do a small level trial on this?
Warren Matthews: Yes as a matter of fact that we are we're looking at some of the options for that. We released the product early last year and we haven't promoted it as such – this is probably the first time that it's had any public exposure. It's mainly been made available to all our existing customer base so we've only got a few thousand people using it at the moment, but we're getting some pretty positive feedback.
We are looking at doing something which might involve using the Pulse Wave Analysis as part of the data collection material.]
Ivor Cummins: So very good Warren delighted to chat again and hopefully, when this viral stuff that's gone a bit crazy lately is over I can get back to New Zealand you can get back to Ireland.
Warren Matthews: It's been good to chat with you again, Ivor. If there's any further I can do then just let me know and we'll talk again.
Ivor Cummins: Great stuff, Warren, talk soon.
A Guide to the Ingredients in CX8
We believe the ingredients in CX8 make it one of the most effective heart-health products available today.
But don't just take our word for it. We had an independent bio-engineer try to find flaws in the clinical data supporting how well these ingredients worked, including speaking directly with some of the scientists who developed them.
Use the links below to dig into the research and learn exactly what goes into the product so you can better understand why CX8 is such a potent supplement.
CX8 - Cardio Support
Support your heart and address the main causes of cardiovascular problems with the synergistic action of 8 ingredients.
30 Day Supply | 90 Vegetarian Capsules
Omega 3 QH Ultra
Boost your energy levels and support your cardiovascular health with omega 3 fatty acids & bio-available CoQ10 ubiquinol.
30 Day Supply | 60 Soft Gels
Marine Magnesium with Potassium
An excellent source of natural bio-available magnesium to assist with cardiovascular and general health.
30 Day Supply | 60 Vegetarian Capsules