Joel Kahn, MD, on the New Focus for Vascular Protection

Posted by Calroy Health Sciences on Dec 10, 2020 12:31:57 PM

Dr Joel Kahn

"The endothelial glycocalyx is a very hot topic."

For many years, Dr. Kahn had a thriving practice in aggressive interventional cardiology, and he combined dietary advice with surgical work even early in his career. Eventually, as he continued to review the mounting research on lifestyle factors, he decided to focus his practice on the prevention of cardiometabolic issues. Dr. Kahn’s science-based protocol combines a whole-food plant-based diet, regular exercise, smoking avoidance, and healthy loving relationships.  

In this brief video excerpt, Dr. Kahn describes how he came to recognize the importance of the endothelial glycocalyx (EGX) in the early prevention of cardiovascular disease:

 Joel Kahn, MD, FACC, directs the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity and serves as Clinical Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. 

The EGX is a micro-thin, gel-like that provides a selectively permeable barrier to the entire endothelium. It was only discovered when technological advances enabled its visualization and is still largely unknown outside the scientific community.  

In focusing on the EGX as the key to endothelial health, Dr. Kahn is drawing on a surge of scientific research in recent years, which has uncovered the multiple roles of this important structure. 

Among other functions, the EGX:1

  • Limits LDL access to the endothelium
  • Inhibits platelet adherence
  • Prevents leukocyte adherence
  • Triggers shear-induced nitric oxide
  • Harbors coagulation regulatory factors
  • Houses extracellular superoxide dismutase
  • Modulates inflammatory responses
  • Buffers blood sodium

In Dr. Kahn’s words:

Kahn quote - deeply schooled endothelium - blueDr. Joel Kahn has grown an enthusiastic following among medical practitioners and the general public through his consistent promotion of lifestyle solutions to cardiovascular problems. 

To learn more about the physiology of the endothelial glycocalyx, watch a short presentation by renowned cardiologist Mark Houston, MD.



1. Reitsma, Sietze, et al. “The Endothelial Glycocalyx: Composition, Functions, and Visualization.” Pflugers Archiv, vol. 454, no. 3, June 2007, pp. 345–59, doi:10.1007/s00424-007-0212-8

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Topics: Joel Kahn, MD, FACC

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