The heart as more than a simple pump

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Would you consider it reasonable to ask your stoic heart, an organ weighting 300 grams, to pump 8,000 liters of viscous blood through capillaries whose lumen is smaller than a single red blood cell and to do this continuously, no vacation, for some 85 years? (This effort is equivalent to lifting an 100 pound weight a mile high!!)   We have known since 1915 that the heart is not simply a “pump” but that it is something of a sense organ which “tastes” the qualities of the blood and adjusts cardiac function appropriately.  Rudolf Steiner taught this in his Spiritual Science and Medicine lecture series (later a book)  and Dr. Ralph Marinelli took the discussion further with “The Heart is not a Pump: a Refutation of the Pressure Propulsion Premises of Heart Function”  in 1995.   If it were simply a pump, as Galileo and Borelli taught  William Harvey  (1578-1657) when he was a student at the University of Padua while Galileo was a professor there, then it redefines the term “pump”. 

So now, the Hungarian scientists add to the heart drama.  Thanks to Robert Cohen for sharing the following  (and while you are thinking, do give more than a passing thought to # 5 below – that is important info also!)


Top Ten Recent Oops Moments

“There is no need for temples, no need for
complicated philosophies. My brain and my
heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”
– Dalai Lama

Recent history has surprised us with these
stunning revelations:

1) Pluto is not a planet; it’s a ball of ice.
2) Experts assumed Barack couldn’t be re-elected.
3) Michael Jackson’s children were not created
by traditional sexual means. (OK, maybe that’s
not such a surprise…)
4) Tim Tebow has not become the divine miracle
many devout New York Jets fans expected, and the
Hudson River remains unparted.
5) Cholesterol-lowering drugs cause more health
downsides than upsides.
6) America’s military could not imprint American
values and our way of life on Afghanistan’s Muslims.
7) Muammar Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak attempted to
negotiate better deals for themselves, and ended
up rejecting sanctuary offers after hoarding billions
of dollars which now remain unclaimed in Swiss banks.
8) National Hockey league players and owners attempted
to negotiate better deals for themselves, and ended up
losing billions and residing in a doorless penalty box.
9) Mayan calendars are less reliable than
NRA and Tea Party political predictions.
10) The human heart is not a mere muscular pump; it
secretes hormones and functions as an endocrine gland.

The December 22, 2012 issue of Orvosi Hetilap (which
translates into English as “Hungarian Medical Journal”
(Orv Hetil. 2012 Dec 22;153(51):2041-7) just stopped
a few hearts at the Cleveland Clinic!

Orvosi Hetilap has been publishing scientific articles
for 155 years! Today’s peer-reviewed journal article
is written in Hungarian, but the Abstract appears in
English on Medline:

(Unedited) ABSTRACT:

“The discovery of cardiac hormone production
significantly changed the evaluation of the
function of the heart, which is rather regarded
as a determining factor of the electrolyte and
hemodynamic homeostasis cooperating with other
organ systems instead of a mechanical pump.

“The most important hormones produced by the heart
are the natriuretic peptides that have the primary
role of protection against volume overload through
natriuretic, diuretic, vasodilator and antiproliferative
effects. They are integrative markers of the cardiac,
vascular and renal functions and marking cardiorenal

“Brain natriuretic peptide and the N-terminal
pro-hormone (NT-proBNP) became generally accepted
markers of heart failure exceeding traditional
pathophysiological significance of those. They
are useful in the diagnosis, estimation of prognosis
and therapy guidance and their therapeutic
administration is also available.

“Although the detection of extraadrenal aldosterone
production is an exciting new discovery, intracardial
aldosterone production is not significant in human
beings. The intracardial thyroid hormone production
is regulated by deiodinase activity. The role of
elevated T3 concentration was suggested in the
development of cardiac hypertrophy, while low T3
is assumed to be important in adaptation to hypoxia.

“An unexpected, complex relation can be determined
between epicardial adipose tissue and coronary artery
diseases, cytokine and adipokine production of adipocytes
might be a part of the self-enhancing process of

* * *

“Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.”
– H. G. Wells

Robert Cohen

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