615. A1C Testing and Hardening of Arteries


Hemoglobin A1C is a simple blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. Every time you breathe, red blood cells go through your lungs and hemoglobin attaches to oxygen, circulating it throughout your body. Sugar also attaches to hemoglobin, and the hemoglobin can’t get rid of it, and this is how A1C is tested for.

What a recent study is saying is that atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, is happening a lot sooner than we thought. Previously if you had an A1C below 5.7 you were considered normal. Now, if your A1C is 4.8 or higher, hardening of your arteries has already begun.

Dr. Martin stresses the significance of this finding and reminds listeners that diabetes is a lagging indicator. Many of us are already diabetic despite blood tests coming back as normal. 

Don’t miss this very informative episode!


Announcer:  You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin:  Good morning. Hope you're having a great day, start to another week. You're at The Doctor Is In podcast. Okay, you know when I blow your socks off with studies? This is groundbreaking in many, many ways, and I want to bring it to you because this is incredible. This is incredible... Study out of the Journal of Cardiology in June of 2021. I mean, guys, what's the date today? The 7th? Are we on the 7th? I think so. Can you believe it? This came out in June. I mean, it's hot off the press, guys. Hot off the press. I flagged it and it's talking about your A1C. Now, what is that? Let's go over that. Hemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin A1C, what is that? It is an average measurement of your blood sugar over three months. It takes an average measurement of your blood sugar. How does it do it? Well, hemoglobin, your red blood cells last four months. Every four months, you get brand new red blood cells. That's why I always tell people, take a blood test, prick your finger. If blood comes out, you got hope, because you're going to get new blood. In the middle of your red blood cells is hemoglobin. 

Hemoglobin, every time you breathe, you breathe, your red blood cells go through your lungs; and in the middle of the red blood cell is hemoglobin. Hemoglobin attaches to what? Oxygen. Can't live without red blood cells. I've told you this story in the past where a neighbour of ours was hit by a pickup truck. Seemed to be alright, and within about an hour, she was dead. When they did the autopsy, she hadn't broken a bone, nothing, and the pathologist told me that there was a little prick-like size in her abdominal aorta and she bled out inside. You bleed out, you're done. But every four months, you get red blood cells, brand new red blood cells.

Now, what A1C is, is they look at your hemoglobin; sugar attaches to hemoglobin, and the hemoglobin can't get rid of it. It's another reason you don't want to be eating sugar. So they can look at your red blood cells and actually determine your A1C, meaning... Okay, let me just say that I'm very tough on A1C when I see it. I'll tell you why, and this is the study they did. So if you're over 6.5, this is A1C, not your blood sugar. This is your A1C. If it's over 6.5 in medicine, you're a diabetic. 5.7 to 6.5, you're a pre-diabetic, according to medicine. Under that 5.7, you're normal, according to medicine. So just understand that. 6.5 and up, you're diabetic, according to your A1C, according to the labs and according to medicine, they agree with this. 6.5 or up, you're a diabetic; below 6.5 to 5.7 A1C, you're a pre-diabetic. So there actually is a term pre-diabetic. Now, I argue that a little bit, but I'll tell you why in a minute. Anything below 5.7 is normal.

But guess what they've found? Guess what this new study came out in June of 2021? Hot off the press. Listen to this. When you hit 4.8 or above... They followed 4,000 people all over the age of 45 years old, all non-diabetics, and they found this. When you're at 4.8 or above, you start to develop atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Now, guys, I can't tell you how significant this is. I can't tell you how significant this is. 4.8 would be considered in medicine to be too low. Your glycated hemoglobin, it gets glycated by sugar. This study is really undoing… Look, one thing that's well-established, guys, well, well, well-established and you'll understand that as soon as I say it. If you are a diabetic, you're in trouble cardiovascular-wise. It's the number one thing in diabetes. I mean, look, you're in trouble in a lot of other ways, but when you are a diabetic, this is so well-established. I mean, diabetics are a hundred times more likely to have heart problems, a hundred times more likely to have circulatory problems. That's why they lose their eyesight. That's why their kidneys shut down. That is why they often lose limbs. Everybody in medicine knows that. So if you're a diabetic, yeah, you're in trouble.

But what I like about this study, it's finally catching up to the Martin Clinic, in this sense, because what have we been saying for years and years and years and years? Diabetes is the last thing that happens, not the first thing. It's the last thing that happens. Why is that? Because everything in your body, guys, everything in your body keeps you away from diabetes. Why is that? Because sugar is so toxic to your blood vessels. You have an organ dedicated to getting sugar out of your bloodstream. So when you get an A1C test done, an A1C test that looks at the average over three months of your red blood cells and sugars attached to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells, they're saying now, uh-oh, not that we made a mistake about diabetes and the blood vessels, but atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, occurs even when, what we would consider in medicine below normal blood sugar levels.

I was thinking about this yesterday, when I read this study. Tony Jr., I remember we were sitting around, we often do, and we just pick each other's brains. I enjoy that with my son because he's so stinking smart. But he said, "Dad, blood sugar is a lagging indicator." What? Well, it's a lagging indicator. It's the last thing that goes south, is blood sugar. You don't wait for your blood sugar to be bad. "Oh, Dr. Martin, I'm not a diabetic." Oh yes, you are. Without even having the diagnosis. You're indeed, due to your developing a silent killer, which is called atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. That's what happens. The first thing that happens when your blood sugar starts creeping up. It's still normal, according to medicine, because they wait until it's abnormal. You can hardly get a doctor... I mean, there are some... but you can hardly get a doctor to admit that even below diabetic levels in blood sugar, you might be a pre-diabetic. 

You know what? It's so hard for medicine who are hooked on labs. They're hooked on them. They're like a drug addict on laboratory results. Normal is normal and normal is normal. They did it for the thyroid. They do it for everything. Oh, it's normal. No, it's not. This study of 4,000 people and, again, try and find it. You're on the road to diabetes, but it's worse than that, because a lot of people... unless you get an ultrasound of your carotid arteries. I mean, they're not doing that type of stuff. They rarely do it. They wait until you're old, and, "Oh, yeah, you've got hardening of your carotid arteries." Well, you know what? That's been happening for a long time. That makes you much more susceptible to a stroke. The same thing on your coronary arteries, unless you have a heart attack.

But, guys, what they're saying is this, what this study is saying, as your blood sugar creeps up from 4.7 and it creeps up, you're developing atherosclerosis. You're developing hardening of the arteries. What happens? Because sugar inside that blood vessels, the first thing that it damages, remember this, the first thing that it damages is the Teflon layer. You have a Teflon layer, slippery layer in your blood vessels. You're fearfully and wonderfully made, guys. Your blood vessels want to be slippery so the blood doesn't clot. But sugar, the first thing that it does and it happens rapidly, is it starts to take away that Teflon layer, that slipperiness inside your blood vessel and it starts to develop plaque. You know when the dentist tells you, "I got to get rid of the plaque on your teeth, on your gums," it's important, but it's much more important to get rid of the plaque inside of your arteries you don't even know you have. 

But this study is saying you can know, because if your A1C is higher than 4.7, you got a good chance. As it goes up, it creeps up into 5.5 and up, and guys, when you send me your blood work and I can see your A1C, you don't always get it done, but if the doctor ordered your A1C, which you should get done, I was looking for about 5.2, to be honest with you. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to be tougher. I'm going to be tougher on blood work because, guys, one of the most important thing in your health, this one is for heart disease, but we've really established food and cancer, and food and Alzheimer's because, listen, what do you think Alzheimer's is? They named it years ago. Now, they don't talk about it as much, but they did. They named it Type 3 diabetes. Did you know that? It's because of the arteries in your brain, small vessel disease they called it. Diabetes of the brain.

But now we're finding out, it starts a lot sooner than we thought. Guys, this is incredible studies... incredible! It's blow your socks off day again. Wow. Now, for me, I get it and I go, "Doc, don't be deceived." Warned people, warned people. You have no idea when you are a carboholic what you're doing to your body. The importance of the Reset. This is incredible study guys. Subclinical atherosclerosis. They have no signs, they have no symptoms, really. Their blood pressure isn't elevated. When they did these 4,000 people, none of them had high blood pressure. These were so-called healthy people. So when you get a clean bill of health, take it with a grain of salt. A grain of sugar would be better, in terms of the expression. 

Look, I don't want to negate all your blood tests. Of course, I don't. But it's why I get very, very specific. You can send me 50 pages of your blood work and I go through it pretty quick, guys. I'm looking for just a few things. "Doc, what do you look for?" I want to know your triglycerides. I want to know your HDL and nothing else when it comes to your lipids. You can send it to me, but I'm not looking. You can't make me look. I won't do it. What about my total cholesterol? I don't care. You can't make me care. I'll look at your glucose, but I'd rather you get an A1C done then I'm looking at your B12 levels, then I'm looking at your vitamin D levels. I'll look at your TSH, your thyroid stimulating hormone. I'd rather look at symptoms for thyroid, but I still look at the TSH because I'm looking for a very low TSH, for me, because of my background. It's the way I look at blood work.

So if you send it to me, I'm going to give you my opinion. I don't care what your doctor said. I don't. I don't say he's wrong. I'm not saying that. But if you're sending it to me, I'm going to give you what I think and what I'm looking at. I love looking at your CRP, C-reactive protein, and it should be zero. "Oh, doc, mine's normal." You're at one, you're at two, it's too high. Your C-reactive protein, you should have no inflammation in the body. Inflammation is silent. You won't even get atherosclerosis unless there's an inflammatory process taking place, because that's what sugar does when it attaches to your blood vessels. It starts damaging them rapidly. You don't have any symptoms yet. I often tell people, "You're on the maiden voyage." You're on the Titanic. You're dancing and partying away. I love reading about the Titanic. It always fascinated me. Any books I ever read and how they said it was the unsinkable ship and people were boasting. What did they say? The builder of it said, "Even God couldn't sink this ship." Holy moly, it didn't even get past its first voyage and it hit an iceberg. All the multi-kazillionaires that were on that boat. It's a fascinating story.

Subclinical, before your clinical results, that are so-called normal, before they go south, damage is occurring. This is why it's so important. This is why lifestyle, guys, is so important. I preach lifestyle. The Reset gets you started. The Reset gets you started. It will bring that A1C way down. It'll get you started. It will lower your CRP. It lowers your triglycerides. It ups your HDL. I looked at blood work on the weekend and I saw triglycerides were good, but the HDL wasn't high enough. I said, "You're not eating enough eggs, meat, and cheese. Eat more. Not less; more." You got to provide 15% of the cholesterol. You're not doing it. Your liver produces 85%. You need to add the 15 and you ain't doing it. You might be only at 10%. Add more, not less. You're not eating enough bacon. You need more of that oil, oleic acid, to up your HDL levels. A lot of people they walk around, they have no idea. They have no idea what their A1C is because nobody's told them the significance of it. I always looked at it, but now I'm telling you, I'm going to even be tougher. I'm going to be tougher on blood work. 

You know what? I was saying this to someone the other day, can't remember what day it was, the day I stop learning, put me out to pasture. Always, always learning, studying, and that's what I should be doing. I'm always learning. Like what I know today about nutrition and health in general, compared to what I knew 47 years ago, it's like night and day. I thought I was smart then. You realize, "Oh man, we knew nothing." I hate to be negative, but it's one of the problems. I remember, I've told you guys this in the past. They used to bring me in... In medicine, you need to get credits every year, continuous education. The problem is with that, and... Look, a lot of it is very good. They're just continuously educating, but almost all of it is brought to you by the pharmaceutical companies. So guess what they're training their doctors in? Here is this new med. Heart disease, this is the drug you want. This is a new one coming out, blah, blah, blah. 

But for several years, they brought me in for entertainment. I remember Toronto and Montreal, and I was all physicians and I was the entertainment. I used to tell them that. I said, "They just brought me in so you, guys... I'm going to get you guys going," and I would be, oh my, oh my, sarcastic or what? "Put your hand up," I used to tell them. "Put your hand up if you took more than a half an hour of nutrition in medical school." I used to watch. No. Okay. Let's start with Nutrition 101. I have an hour. Give me an hour of your life and I'm going to teach you something, docs, and I'd be right at them. Guess where I started? Every time I started with it: cholesterol. You've been duped. You've been lied to. I mean, this is 20 years ago, guys. I said, "Cholesterol, that's not the problem. You think it's the problem, it's not. Nobody dies of a heart attack because the cholesterol is high. What do you have for breakfast, guys and girls? What are you having? Put your hand up if you have cereal in the morning." 90% put their hand up. Put your hand up if you have bacon and eggs, three or four days a week. I mean, there was one or two. I said, "Okay, let's start with that. We're going to start with that. I'm going to change your mind. Cholesterol isn't causing heart attacks, sugar is."

Here we are today, guys. In 2021, June 2021, and we're more right than ever. It's sugar, folks. It's sugar, folks. I'd get them laughing at themselves a little bit because I tease them. I said, "I don't even want to talk to you about cancer and what sugar does in cancer," and then I tell them about high fructose corn syrup. It's in everything, and it's what I talk to you guys about every day. 99% of you know more than 99% of the physicians that I know and God bless them. They're good at stuff, but I'm not saying don't go to your doctor. Don't go say, "Dr. Martin tells you to get away from your medical doctor." I didn't say it and I'll deny that I even met you. Don't say that I didn't say that, but you got to go in and understand, their training is their training and it's hard to undo any of it. Because, frankly, even these things are in the journals, medical journals, they don't get read. They don't get flagged the way they should. Anyway, moral of the story... Get off the Titanic. Change your diet, if I haven't convinced you already. Okay?

We got some good things this week, going to be really, really good. One on IBS, a study came out. I got to share it with you. It's really, really good. So this week, good, good session. So invite your friends. Share this study on Facebook. Share it. You ever hear of algorithms? I don't even hardly know what that means, but I know that the more you share, the more Facebook shares, that's the way they operate, algorithms. If they don't even have Facebook, then make sure they're listening to our podcast. These are turned into podcasts, The Doctor Is In podcast. You can subscribe to it on your smartphone. Okay, love you guys. Remember, The Metabolic Reset book, little advertising. It's still number one. If you haven't got that, you got to get it. Love you guys and we'll talk to you soon.

Announcer:  You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!

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