• The Man Who Cured Heart Disease With a Natural Molecule, 20 Years Before Cholesterol Drugs!

    Posted January 28, 2010: by Bill Sardi

    His name: Dr. Lester Morrison.

    His qualifications: Director and Research Professor, Institute for Arteriosclerosis Research, Loma Linda University, School of Medicine

    Author: Coronary Heart Disease and the Mucopolysaccharides (1974, Charles C. Thomas)

    In 1982 Dr. Morrison wrote: “I am Lester Morrison MD, and I have been a doctor for over 50 years. Much of that time has been devoted to finding a way to stop heart disease, which killed my mother, my father and several other members of my family and remains the number one killer in the U.S. and other developed countries.”

    Dr. Morrison provided compelling evidence in the 1960s that heart and blood vessel disease could be reversed and prevented with natural molecules, particularly chondroitin sulfate. This was over 20 years prior to the advent of the first cholesterol-reducing statin drug, Mevacor (1987).

    Dr. Morrison writes that his ideas involving heart disease went back as far as 1942. He first began is his research using natural molecules to heal damaged hearts and arteries.

    Dr. Morrison’s research was published in no less than 8 different medical journals. He began his studies in the 1940s, working with choline, a natural component of lecithin.

    Here are the results (below) of an early study published in the American Heart Journal. Lecithin was later to become an important component in Dr. Morrison’s Heart Saver Program. (Dr. Morrison’s book for the lay public by this title can still be purchased.)

    He later conceived of the idea that gelatinous material, then known as mucopolysaccharides, today known as glycosaminoglycans, could heal damaged hearts and arteries. His work involved chondroitin sulfate, a molecule that is a normal component of the connective tissue in the body. Dr. Morrison calls it “the glue of life.”

    He noted that chondroitin is the “coronary artery’s first line of defense against invasion by foreign substances,” such as cholesterol, bacteria and tumor cells. Chondroitin contributes to the elasticity of the blood vessels.


    In cross section photos of coronary arteries, Dr. Morrison showed what a coronary artery looked in when an animal was fed a high-fat/cholesterol diet (left), revealing almost complete obstruction of the artery, and then when chondroitin sulfate was added to animal diets. The artery appears normal (right).


    Left: Heart from rodent following heart attack (white area is scar tissue).

    Right: Heart from rodent fed chondroitin sulfate, following heart attack.


    Heparin is often administered to fresh heart attack patients to inhibit blood clots. The above photos demonstrate the superiority of chondroitin sulfate over heparin. Dr. Morrison said, “chondroitin did the job just as well as heparin, and the effect lasted longer. The anti-clotting property of heparin only lasts about 5 hours. In animal studies, chondroitin prolonged anti-clotting for up to two full days.”

    It was time for Dr. Morrison to begin treating live human subjects with chondroitin. Here are the startling results of his first studies.


    Heart attacks among patients over 6-year period
    Angiology Volume 25, Page 269, 1973

    60 patients 60 patients 60 patients 60 patients
    Heart attack: fatal- with chondroitin Heart attack/ fatal no chondroitin Nonfatal heart attack- with chondroitin Nonfatal heart attack- no chondroitin
    350% Reduction
    14 0
    Total Risk Reduction


    Dr. Morrison treated 134 patients with chondroitin between 1942 and 1955

    “The results were more than good, they were marvelous.”

    Group 1: coronary arteriosclerotic heart disease

    74% improved

    Group 2: arteriosclerosis of the brain arteries

    77% improved

    Group 3: hardening of the arteries of the legs

    80% improved

    More recent studies confirm Dr. Morrison’s earlier findings, that chondroitin sulfate is important in healing following a heart attack. Yet nothing is said of Dr. Morrison’s incredible discoveries decades prior.

    Case presentations

    Convincing evidence is also provided by Dr. Morrison with the presentation of individual cases, treated with chondroitin sulfate. Here is the data presented in three individual subjects.

    Case No. 1

    Male, age 68

    Previous heart attack 1949

    Diagnosis in 1965: artery disease, high blood pressure, coronary artery (heart) disease

    Multiple cerebro-vascular incidents (impairment of oxygen to the brain, “mini strokes”); visual impairment; disorientation; exhaustion; difficulty speaking; needs assistance to walk or stand; severe vertigo (imbalance); fainting (black outs); blood pressure 170/125; takes 5 drugs and a vitamin pill.

    Began 10,000 milligrams of oral chondroitin sulfate in May, 1966, tapered to 3000 mgs after 4 months and 1500 mgs after 5 months. After 2 months, “dramatic persistent improvement noted.” All black-outs ceased; remarkable improvement in vision; able to walk without assistance; able to walk 6 miles each morning; notable hair growth.

    Case No. 2

    Female, age 59

    Diagnosis in 1966: coronary artery disease with angina (chest pain); rheumatoid and osteoarthritis

    Chest pain radiating to right shoulder for 3 years accompanied by shortness of breath, exhaustion, fright; symptoms relieved by rest; blood pressure 118/74; ankle swelling. Takes vitamin E, lecithin, valium, nitroglycerine, multivitamin, thyroid, arthritis drug.

    Began 6000 milligrams of oral chondroitin sulfate in June of 1966, tapered to 1500 mg by December, 1966.

    Two months following chondroitin: “very marked clinical improvement; complete disappearance of angina chest pain; began swimming, walking. Remarkable increase in vitality.”

    Case No. 3

    Male, age 77

    Diagnosis: Heart attack (healed), general artery disease, high blood pressure, prostate enlargement, “heart pounding” and skipped heartbeats; weakness, shortness of breath on exertion, loss of memory, insomnia, nervousness; blood pressure 160/100.

    Previous treatments: Digitalis, blood pressure drugs, lecithin, vitamin supplements.

    Began 6000 milligrams of oral chondroitin sulfate in June of 1966, tapered to 1500 mgs by Oct. 1966.

    By Sept. 1966 patient reported he “feels wonderful”; disappearance of fatigue, debility, nervousness, weakness on exertion; no skipped heart beats; bushy hair growth on head, black hair replacing white hair; cancellation of planned prostate surgery.

    Two recent experiences come to mind in regard to chondroitin sulfate and post-heart attack patients.

    A man living in a remote part of eastern Washington State was reported to have experienced crushing persistent chest pain, with swelling of his ankles, evidence of heart failure following a heart attack. The man was averse to seeking medical treatment. He was advised to take 1500 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate with other dietary supplements. Months later he was finally coaxed to undergo examination by a cardiologist who explained, by his past history, he had experienced some sort of serious cardiac event, but that there was no remaining evidence of the event.

    In another instance, a 64-year-old man, who had experienced four prior heart attacks, which were evident on his electrocardiogram (EKG), took 1500 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate for a few months, then returned to a follow-up EKG in preparation for hernia surgery. Surprisingly, his EKG showed no evidence of a prior heart attack. The EKG technician thought his name had mistakenly been marked on an EKG of a healthy patient, so the EKG test was repeated, with the same result. This man has no more chest pain and is bicycling and hiking at a performance level uncharacteristic of a person his age.

    The heart is slow to heal following a heart attack. Cell renewal is slow. Heart muscle tissue remains scarred (fibrotic). The provision of supplemental chondroitin sulfate appears to accelerate healing following a heart attack and would be a simple and unproblematic approach to regaining heart health following a heart attack. For the healthy, supplemental chondroitin sulfate would keep arterial plaque from developing altogether.

    Since chondroitin also inhibits arterial calcification and cholesterol plaque as well as formation of blood clots, it becomes a comprehensive plaque and clot buster, proven in forgotten human studies. Chondroitin sulfate alone should be preferred over glucosamine, which requires a number of nutritional precursors before it can be converted to chondroitin.


    • Angiology. 1973 May; 24(5):269—87
    • Coronary heart disease: reduction of death rate by chondroitin sulfate A. Morrison LM, Enrick N.
    • Experientia. 1972 Dec 15; 28(12):1410—1
    • Absence of naturally occurring coronary atherosclerosis in squirrel monkeys treated with chondroitin sulfate A. Morrison LM, Bajwa GS.
    • Atherosclerosis. 1972 Jul—Aug; 16(1):105—18.
    • Prevention of vascular lesions by chondroitin sulfate A in the coronary artery and aorta of rats induced by a hypervitaminosis D, cholesterol-containing diet. Morrison LM, Bajwa GS, Alfin-Slater RB, Ershoff BH.
    • Angiology. 1971 Mar; 22(3):165—74
    • Reduction of ischemic coronary heart disease by chondroitin sulfate A. Morrison LM.
    • Experimental Medicine Surgery. 1970; 28(2):188—93
    • Prolongation of the plasma thrombus formation time of dogs administered chondroitin sulfates A and C. Morrison LM, Bajwa GS, Ershoff BH.
    • J Am Geriatric Society 1969 Oct; 17(10):913—23
    • Response of ischemic heart disease to chondroitin sulfate-A. Morrison LM.
    • Experimental Medicine Surgery. 1969; 27(3):278—89
    • The prevention of coronary arteriosclerotic heart disease with chondroitin sulfate A: preliminary report. Morrison LM, Branwood AW, Ershoff BH, Murata K, Quilligan JJ Jr, Schjeide OA, Patek P, Bernick S, Freeman L, Dunn OJ, Rucker P.
    • J American Geriatric Society. 1968 Jul; 16(7):779—85
    • Treatment of coronary arteriosclerotic heart disease with chondroitin sulfate-A: preliminary report. Morrison LM.
    • Experimental Medicine Surgery. 1967; 25(1):61—71
    • Treatment of atherosclerosis with acid mucopolysaccharides. Morrison LM, Quilligan JJ Jr, Murata K, Schjeide OA, Freeman L, Ershoff BH.
    • Circulation Research. 1966 Aug; 19(2):358—63
    • Prevention of atherosclerosis in sub-human primates by chondroitin sulfate A. Morrison LM, Murata K, Quilligan JJ Jr, Schjeide OA, Freeman

6 Responses to “The Man Who Cured Heart Disease With a Natural Molecule, 20 Years Before Cholesterol Drugs!”

  1. Dolev Gilmore Says:
    April 15th, 2011 at 10:32 pm


    How much chondroitin sulfate would be the recommended dose for prevention in a “typical” case of a somewhat overweight person with high cholesterol, but otherwise in reasonable health and no proven heart disease. From this I could adjust according to severity of the case. I’d also like to know if powder is acceptable.

    I’m an Israeli orthomolecular nutritionist, so this information is valuable and will help people. Thank you.


    1500 mg works well, my experience. -Bill Sardi

  2. Dolev Gilmore Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks, that’s good enough for me. I won’t demand multi-centered randomized, placebo-controlled trials with peer review and FDA approval before recommending it 🙂

  3. Dolev Gilmore Says:
    May 6th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    In your opinion, is there an advantage in using a chondroitin product which also has glucosamine sulfate when treating the heart? A disadvantage?


    Reply: the studies performed by Dr. Lester Morrison were done with chondroitin sulfate only. Since we are dealing with a life-and-death issue, I think it is best to use chondroitin sulfate only. -Bill Sardi

  4. Amanda Jones Says:
    August 26th, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I recently had a Virtual Physical which showed calcification of my vertebral arteries but no calcification of my coronary arteries. My cardiologist confirmed that my coronary arteries are “clear” and my stress test and echocardiogram were normal.

    However, I have had frightening symptoms from the calcification of the vertebral arteries for months now (dizziness, extreme atrial fibrillation, etc.). My family doctor put me on Crestor to quickly reduce the cholesterol and apparently clean out the arteries, and we discussed my trying after one month to maintain a healthier cholesterol level (this seems to be an inherited disposition, as I have eaten an extremely healthful diet for my entire adult life–I’m now 57). It’s likely I’ve experienced some ischemic attacks and perhaps worse.

    I already supplement with Vitamin K2 for the arteries, and my plan was to start with red rice yeast after my one-month “trial” of Crestor (which hopefully I can discontinue if it does indeed improve my cholesterol levels). Is it okay to add the chondroitin sulfate to my regimen now (with the Crestor, Plavix, and beta blocker that I’m currently taking)? Or should I wait until my “trial” month of Crestor is over and then use the chondroitin sulfate 1500 mg daily along with my Vitamin D and Vitamin K2?


    I can’t play doctor and prescribe here, but in general, for all readers to learn, first is that red yeast rice contains statin molecules that are liver toxins the same as drugs. If taking red yeast rice to avoid the potential side effects of statin drugs, that may be a futile and counterproductive effort.

    Second, arterial calcification is best addressed by asking where the calcium is coming from. Answer: your bones, meaning you must stop or slow down bone loss or all efforts to reduce arterial calcium will be like pouring water on flames after lighting continual matches. Estrogen replacement resolves the problem and halts bone loss, or phyto(plant) estrogens can also be used, like modest-dose resveratrol (50-100 mg).

    Third, nature’s four anti-calcifying agents are vitamin K2, vitamin D, magnesium, and IP6 from rice bran, all available at health food stores. In this instance, with significant symptoms from poor circulation, the use of all four would be in order.

    Fourth, it is strange how doctor’s see calcifications and talk cholesterol immediately. Cholesterol is soft and waxy and comprises only a small part of arterial plaque while calcium is the predominant component of arterial plaque and stiffens and narrows arteries. Your diet only controls 20% of your circulating cholesterol, whereas 80% is naturally made in the liver and is required to make estrogen and testosterone.

    Fifth, chondroitin sulfate would certainly be in order, Crestor one wonders why a 1-month trial since it doesn’t even begin to work in that short of time. If your cholesterol number were lower after taking the drug that would be meaningless, you would not have reduced risk for circulatory problems since circulating cholesterol does not equate with cholesterol plaque. I think it is going to be very difficult for Americans to overcome their cholesterol phobia. They will drive their cholesterol number done to 120, so low as to increase the risk for cancer and depressed mood, and then be placed on anti-depressants and other drugs to counter all the side effects, including arthritis-like symptoms. -Bill Sardi

  5. Mary Jo Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Hello again, Bill.

    Thanks for the excellent information. I’ve addressed the bone loss issue through Bioidentical Hormone Replacement and supplements (as recommended by my integrative physician), and my symptoms have resolved.

  6. Andrew Ward Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 5:15 am

    This is tremendous news (although, apparently not news, per-se). Thank you so much for sharing it. I am recovering from my second heart attack and have gone straight out and bought chondroitin sulfate. I look forward to the improvements that it may bring.

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