At the age of 20, I was diagnosed with a heart condition. The biggest symptoms were chest pain and shortness of breath. Turns out I had mitral valve prolapse (essentially a “floppy” valve). I did all the Western medicine things I was told to do. I took the drugs but I still had chest pain every time I walked up a flight of stairs. I was on a cycling team and I raced a lot, and I had to give it up. Everyone who knows me knows what a big deal that was at the time. I had to give up my high level workouts. Even Chinese medicine didn’t help much. I put up with it for 15 years. I finally just gave up that anything would ever be different.
A few years after I had gotten my graduate degree in Oriental Medicine, I went to see a chiropractor/naturopath for a totally unrelated issue.
He looked at my intake form and said, “You have chest pain?” I said, “Yes, but I’m not here for that.”
He said it was likely because I was vitamin E deficient. I was taking vitamin E at the time (those liquid capsules you find at the store in the vitamin section) which I told him. He then explained how those capsules aren’t really vitamin E. Instead, they were alpha-tocopherol, or, at best, mixed tocopherols, which represented just one part of what real vitamin E actually consists of.