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    Dr. Dennis Goodman
    Expert in Cholesterol Management
    Board Certified Cardiologist, Lipidologist and Integrative Medicine
    Director of Integrative Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center
    Clinical Professor of Medicine at Leon H. Charney Division of Cardiology of NYU
    National and International speaker as seen on Fox, NPC and WPIX

Dr. Dennis Goodman

Dr. Goodman is board certified in cardiology, internal medicine, lipidology (cholesterol management), integrative medicine & cardiac CT. He has been consistently named as one of NEW YORK'S TOP DOCTORS, as featured in the New York Times and New York Magazine. In addition, he has been named as one of AMERICA'S TOP CARDIOLOGISTS and TOP PHYSICIANS. He is a renowned expert in in Preventative Medicine, Cholesterol Management, and complex cardiology.

Dr. Dennis Goodman, MD, FACP, FACC, FCCP, graduated Cum Laude and with distinction from the University of Cape Town Medical School in Cape Town, South Africa in 1979. He interned at Grootte Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa (where the first heart transplant was performed by Professor Christian Barnard in 1969). He completed his Internal Medicine residency and was Chief Medical Resident at Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He did his cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine (associated with Dr. Michael DeBakey) in Houston Texas. He is Board Certified in internal medicine, cardiology, interventional cardiology, critical care, clinical lipidology, holistic (integrative) medicine and Cardiac CT imaging.

In 1988 Dr. Goodman joined Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California. While at Scripps, Dr. Goodman's titles included Chief of Cardiology and Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. He spent 18 months at the renowned Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, California.

Dr. Goodman is a national and international speaker and has been a visiting teaching professor in South Africa, Asia and Europe. He has published many articles and formulated a natural cardiovascular supplement to help treat cholesterol problems. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including FOX, NBC and WPIX.

Dr. Goodman is currently a Clinical Professor and the Director of Integrative Medicine at NYU. His area of special interest is prevention, early detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease with an integrative approach for optimal patient health care.

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What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine combines the best of conventional and complementary (alternative) medicine, based on a patient's individual needs and condition. It seeks to integrate the successes from the Western world of medicine (allopathic) with those of complementary medicine. Care is tailored to each individual, recognizing his or her unique set of circumstances. The goal is to utilize the safest, natural, least invasive and holistic approach. Integrative medicine focuses on the fact that there are many paths to healing and that being in "good health" is a cohesive balance of mind, body and soul.

Health comes from the old English word "hal", which means wholeness, soundness or spiritual wellness. Health is defined by the World Health Organization as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Cure, on the other hand, refers to doing something to alleviate the troublesome condition or disease, for example by giving drugs or performing surgery. Healing does not equal curing. We can cure a condition such as hypertension with a pharmaceutical drug without healing the patient. Healing would facilitate lifestyle changes that reduce stress, improve diet, promote exercise and increase a persons sense of well being and, of course, reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. In doing this, we help improve the balance of health within the body, which may result in the ability to discontinue the drug and remove the need for the "cure".

Integrative medicine can be thought of as "healing oriented medicine" that takes into account the whole person (body, mind and spirit) including all aspects of lifestyle and the stresses in their life. It emphasizes a therapeutic relationship that regards the patient as an active partner who takes personal responsibility for their health. Integrative medicine encourages more time and effort be spent on disease prevention rather than waiting for something bad to happen. The incidence of heart disease, diabetes and cancer could be significantly reduced by better lifestyle choices. Instead, they are occurring in epidemic proportions. This has resulted in our current health care crisis.

Larry Dorsey, a well-known authority on the value of prayer in medicine was recently interviewed by Dr. Frank Lipan, himself a renowned integrative medicine physician. Dr. Dorsey said the following: "When we think about medicine, the images that come to mind for most people are high tech, complex and expensive - pharmaceutical drugs, surgical procedures, organ transplants, or up and coming therapies such as stem cells." We do need these of course, but "for most people most of the time, we can take care of our health in a more down to earth way. Behind the high tech world is another reality - a world of simple ordinary things that have an extraordinary power to heal - things such as good diet, exercise, controlling stress in our lives," and some less well known, and in many cases equally as effective ones, such as music therapy, prayer, yoga and meditation. The landmark INTERHEART study published in 2004 in the medical journal Lancet studied about 25,000 patients and revealed that stress was found to be the second leading risk factor for heart disease after smoking. Many complementary/alternative medicine mind-body therapies, such as biofeedback and psychotherapy, focus directly on stress management techniques and can therefore significantly reduce the risk of having a heart attack.

My goal as a physician trained in both Western (I spent 13 years training to become a cardiologist) and complementary medicine is to use the integrative medicine/holistic approach to provide you with the best options from evidence-based complementary/alternative therapies as well as conventional Western medicine (i.e. "the best of both worlds" approach). This often means a blend of both Western and complementary medicine to not only provide the tools of state of the art modern day technologies to diagnose disease, but, just as importantly, provide therapies to treat and prevent further illness and heal the mind, body and spirit.

Our ultimate goal is to always consider natural approaches first. This includes using natural foods, vitamins and herbs, and complementary therapies such as biofeedback, acupuncture and healing touch techniques. Only if these aren't successful will we add or switch to conventional Western therapies such as drugs, surgery or other invasive procedures. We believe that physicians and health care givers should embrace the best of both of these worlds. It is only through open mindedness, education, research and sharing of knowledge that we can value and recognize the wisdom of all healing traditions. Dr. Goodman had the privilege of working with the founders of Scripps Integrative Medicine Institute in La Jolla, California, Dr. Mimi Guarnieri and Rauni King where he saw first hand the benefits and successes of combining these many healing traditions.

It is the application of both Western and complementary medicine, or "integrative medicine," that we at NYMA believe provides the tools to achieving optimal health. We hope that one day we will be able to drop the term "integrative medicine" and rename it simply "good medicine."

HDL "Active" Study

Low High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD), and raising it often presents a therapeutic challenge.

The following is the Abstract of the "ACTIVE" study Dr. Goodman et al conducted that led to his conclusions about the benefits of HDL in heart health:
Click below to download a print-friendly poster presentation of the ACTIVE Study findings.

Download Report

In the News

Dr. Goodman frequently appears in print and online media where he contributes his expertise on heart health. The following is a list of some of his media coverage.

The Truth About Strokes

KUSI News San Diego

FOX News

FOX News

ABC News

WPIX NY Morning Show

Questions and Answers

Some Frequently asked Questions & Answers with Dr. Goodman

What exactly is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. We need cholesterol to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, insulate nerves, and make hormones.

Cholesterol is made primarily in the liver, but it is also produced by cells lining the small intestine and by individual cells in the body. While our body makes all of the cholesterol we actually need (about 1,000 milligrams a day), we also get additional cholesterol from foods we eat. The highest sources of cholesterol are egg yolks and organ meats such as liver and kidney. No plant derived food contains cholesterol, not even peanut butter or avocado, even though these foods are high in fat. However, all foods from animal sources such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products contain cholesterol.

How does cholesterol cause heart disease?

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. We need cholesterol to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, insulate nerves, and make hormones.

Although cholesterol serves many important functions in the body, too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can be dangerous. When blood cholesterol reaches high levels, it builds up on artery walls, increasing the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

The heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. The bloodstream transports these nutrients to the heart through the coronary arteries. If the coronary arteries become narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat deposits (atherosclerosis) and cannot supply enough blood to the heart, the result is coronary heart disease (CHD). If not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart muscle, a sharp, sudden chest pain (angina) may occur. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is most often caused from a blood clot forming on top of an already narrowed artery.

What are LDL and HDL cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. We need cholesterol to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes, insulate nerves, and make hormones.

Cholesterol and other fats can't dissolve in the blood and, therefore, can't travel on their own. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers called lipoproteins. The two major lipoproteins are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is most often referred to as the "bad" cholesterol whereas HDL is known as the "good" cholesterol.

LDLs carry cholesterol throughout the body to the cells. LDLs cause atherosclerosis by clogging up our arteries with the continual buildup of fat. HDL, on the other hand, prevents this fat buildup within arterial walls, by carrying it away from the arteries, to the liver where it is eventually processed and eliminated.

Both LDL and HDL have been recognized by the American Heart Association as strong and independent risk factors that can impact heart health. While high levels of LDL are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease (potentially leading to heart attack or stroke), high HDL can positively impact heart health, drastically reducing your risk of heart disease. In fact, studies have shown that raising your good cholesterol reduces cardiovascular disease risks more than lowering bad cholesterol alone. As a result, the AHA along with the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) have established the following guidelines to keep your heart healthy:

  • • HDL levels above 40 (above 60 is optimal)
  • • LDL levels between 100 and 159 (preferably less than 130)
  • • Total cholesterol (HDL and LDL) under 200
What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are fats used as fuel by the body and as an energy source for metabolism. Triglyceride levels fluctuate easily, changing after every meal. Increased levels are almost always a sign of too much carbohydrate and sugar intake. Triglycerides in high amounts make the blood more sluggish and less capable of transporting oxygen, particularly through the smallest blood vessels. High triglycerides is yet another independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

There are several medications physicians can prescribe for people with elevated triglyceride levels. Some of the most effective are the statins, but keep in mind there are some potentially dangerous side effects associated with their use.

Natural medicine has thankfully found other options. Both the HDL-boosting combination and the LDL-lowering pantethine and plant sterols blend mentioned earlier can safely and effectively lower triglycerides.

What is this "HDL-boosting" formulation you've developed and how does it work?

In my many years of practice as a cardiologist, I've met a multitude of patients with undesirable cholesterol levels. And while numerous prescription medications have been developed to lower bad cholesterol, there are few medications that target good cholesterol. Patients with naturally low good cholesterol (HDL< 40), who are not able to significantly alter their HDL levels through diet and exercise, have had little medical support to help reduce their already increased heart disease risk.

I, therefore, referred to medical literature where I found that multiple nutrients that have been clinically shown to favorably alter good cholesterol levels. My formulation combines heart healthy vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, E, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, magnesium and selenium, with protein-building amino acids, powerful antioxidants, such as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and policosanol, and extracts of hawthorn, garlic, grape seed, soy isoflavones, all of which have been shown to beneficially affect heart health.

The effects of this HDL-boosting combination were evaluated in an open label pilot study conducted at Scripps Memorial Hospital in 2002. The trial involved 50 patients, with varying cardiovascular health histories, who were evaluated prior to the study, then again at three and six months.

After three months of supplementation, good cholesterol levels increased in all groups and the overall lipid profile (i.e., HDL, HDL-2, triglycerides, homocysteine) had improved. The changes were more pronounced at the six-month time point, where good cholesterols rose by more than 11% and levels of HDL-2 (the best cholesterol) rose up to 24.4%. Additionally, the supplement helped reduced triglycerides levels by approximately 30%. These changes were even more impressive in "at risk" groups (i.e., those with HDL levels of less than 40) where total HDL increased by 23% after six months, HDL-2 rose by 50%, and triglycerides decreased by nearly 40%. Decreases in homocysteine, an amino acid found in the blood that has been inversely linked to cardiovascular health, were observed as well. And since we know that an increase in HDL - as little as one percent - can reduce heart disease risk by two to three percent, these findings have significant implications for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

What exactly is HDL-2?

It has been well-documented that high levels of HDL cholesterol are inversely related to coronary artery disease risk. What is less well-known is that there are subtypes of HDL, most notably HDL-2 and HDL-3, each of which offers unique protection.

HDL-3, the smaller form, is produced by the liver and intestines. This subtype is responsible for scavenging or "scooping up" free cholesterol from the blood vessel walls. The cholesterol carried by HDL-3 is then chemically modified, forming a new larger-sized and more buoyant subtype, known as HDL-2, or "mature HDL", which transports the cholesterol to the liver for processing and elimination. The HDL molecules are then recirculated in the blood stream to continue scavenging more cholesterol.

Research suggests that HDL-2, because it moves the cholesterol away from peripheral sites (like the arterial wall), provides more heart-protection than the HDL-3 form.2 It is also theorized that the larger-size holds a greater number of receptor sites, allowing HDL-2 to carry a larger amount of cholesterol to the liver.

Does the "HDL-boosting" combination affect LDL levels?

Although supplementation did not result in a significant reduction in LDL, antioxidants such as the ones found in this formulation can help stabilize LDL and prevent build-up in the arterial wall. This stabilization of LDL can not always be easily measured.

The clinical trial measured both LDL and lipoprotein a (Lp(a)) levels. Lp(a) is a subfraction of LDL cholesterol. If HDL-2 is the best HDL, then Lp(a) could be considered the worst LDL cholesterol. This subfraction is an indicator of inflammation, and studies suggest that high levels of Lp(a) can speed up blood clot formation leading to blockage in the coronary arteries.

The study found that although the reduction in Lp(a) did not reach statistical significance, there was a general trend towards Lp(a) reduction. It is my belief that an extension of the study may lead to significant results.

Is the combination safe?

Yes. The formula combines essential vitamins and minerals, at levels recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), with amino acids, antioxidants, and botanicals, all of which have been used safely for years. The six-month pilot study, which involved 50 patients with varying cardiovascular histories, found no serious adverse effects following supplementation and demonstrated the combination is safe to use with statin drugs.

In fact, both this HDL-boosting combination and the pantethine and plant sterol combination, clinically shown to reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels, have very safe profiles.

What is pantethine and how does it lower cholesterol?

Pantethine, a form of pantothenic acid (also known as vitamin B5) is found in small amounts in foods such as liver, salmon, and yeast. Pantethine lowers cholesterol by blocking its production.

Cholesterol synthesis, or the production of cholesterol in the human body, is an incredibly complex process. It involves many biochemical reactions and enzyme activity requiring several steps.

Studies have shown that pantethine safely and effectively inhibits several of these enzymes and coenzymes. It blocks the activity of one coenzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis, HMG-CoA, by about 50%. This results in significantly lower cholesterol production. But, that's not all. To compensate for the lowered cholesterol production, the liver pulls LDL out of the bloodstream. The end result? Studies have shown that on average, pantethine can lower total cholesterol levels by 16%, LDL cholesterol levels by 14%, serum triglycerides by 38%, and can raise HDL cholesterol by 10%.

What are plant sterols and how do they lower cholesterol levels?

Plant sterols are the fats of plants. They are found in nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice. Plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol and are able to act as a stand-in for cholesterol and block its absorption.

The liver receives about 800 mg of cholesterol every day from intestinal absorption. Cholesterol is absorbed from the intestines through receptor sites─special channels that are shaped exactly like cholesterol molecules. The cholesterol enters these channels and is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Because plant sterols look like cholesterol, they fit perfectly into these channels. The cholesterol, being blocked from absorption, remains in our intestines where it is eventually excreted.

If we eat enough plant sterols, the amount of cholesterol transported from the intestinal tract to the liver is greatly reduced. And, just like pantethine's effect on the liver, this cholesterol reduction causes the liver to pull LDL cholesterol out of the blood, reducing both total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Should only people with actual heart disease or those with high cholesterol levels be concerned about cholesterol?

No, recent studies have shown that reducing bad and raising good cholesterol in people without heart disease greatly reduces their risk for ever developing CHD, including heart attacks and atherosclerosis. This is true for those with high total cholesterol levels and for those with average cholesterol levels.

Because of the potential side effects, physicians today generally do not prescribe statin drugs to people without actual heart disease or high cholesterol levels. Rather, they recommend dietary and lifestyle changes be implemented first. However, as we've discussed these changes are in some instances not enough to favorably alter undesirable cholesterol profiles. Fortunately, the HDL-boosting combination and the LDL-lowering pantethine and plant sterols blend can naturally and very effectively help those people with heart disease, uncontrolled cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels (or all three!) as well as those of us just wanting added "health insurance" for our hearts.

High Praise for Dr. Goodman

  • This straightforward, highly readable resource offers a comprehensive overview of magnesium and its role in the body. Goodman lays the groundwork for magnesium enrichment by introducing the heart in all its complexity... with an upbeat, inspiring delivery, Goodman provides lay readers with a solid base of usable knowledge.

    Publishers Weekly

    An easy-to-follow, extremely informative read... [readers] will certainly be educated on how their hearts work and how essential good nutrition, including minerals and supplements, is to maintaining their hearts... recommended for those looking for possibilities other than pharmaceuticals to maintain their heart health.

    Library Journal
  • My experience with HDL Booster was dramatic. Within 3 months, my HDL went up by 50 percent, a nice surprise because it was pretty low before. It was around 30 and went up to 45. I would absolutely recommend this product, which I greatly prefer to having clogged arteries. I consider it a great find that a vitamin supplement can have such a documented effect. As a physician, I know how important that is.

    Mike Forman M.D.

    ER Physician - Tri-City Medical Center, San Diago, CA

    My husband Irv and I have taken HDL Booster and found that our CRP went down. We feel the product covers quite a variety of essential vitamins that are good for the heart. We're very pleased. The product agrees with me and with no adverse reaction. Everything I read indicates that CoQ10 and folic acid are good for you, and taking vitamins this way is far better than taking 10 different bottles. Irv's results are even more obvious since his numbers were more problematic. HDL went up. CPR went down. He's been very satisfied.

    Doris and Irv Goldfarb
  • Magnificent Magnesium by Dennis Goodman, MD, should be read by everyone who is concerned about the issues of health.

    Richard W. Walker, Jr., MD

    Author of African-American Healthy

    Since taking HDL Booster my HDL has gone up from 30 to 52. The pill is easy to take and no side effects are noted. This elevation occurred even though I was forced to decrease my exercise level due to a leg injury I sustained from a fall.

    Mike D. Kurtz M.D.



The following are links to additional Internet resources that can help guide you on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The following are links to additional resources for students in medical field.

Tips for Healthy Heart

  • Think fish

    Eating a decent portion of fish (75-100g) once or twice a week can increase the amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids you eat.

    Use monounsaturated fats

    Olive oil and canola oil are high in monounsaturates, which may help raise levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol.

    Stay active

    If you have a dog, think of your canine companion as an exercise machine with fur. A brisk walk with the dog is good for both of your hearts. Make it a part of your daily routine.

  • Eat your veggies

    Choose dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach for high amounts of folic acid and fiber.

    Increase your fiber

    Fiber is found in plants - fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.

    Eat a well-balanced diet

    Eat a low fat diet that Includes at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day - and avoid salt. Check out the American Heart Association® for some great recipes.

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Get in Touch With Me

Contact Info

    To make an appointment, call:
    Telephone: (646) 754-2000

    Office: Preston R. Tisch Center for Men's Health, NYU Langone Medical Center
    555 Madison Ave, 2nd floor
    New York, NY 10022
    (Please note women are welcome - this is Dr. Goodman's office)
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