Archive for ‘Brain’

December 27, 2012

Are You Taking Vitamin D3?

It is not always practical to get your vitamin D from sunshine, and quite difficult to get adequate amounts from your diet so for many people, a vitamin D3 supplement is a great way to ensure adequate levels of this important protector are always available in your bloodstream. There is a vast body of science showing the many health benefits of Vitamin D

  • Maintains Your Calcium Balance
    • Maintenance of blood calcium levels within a narrow range is vital for normal functioning of the nervous system, as well as for bone growth, and maintenance of bone density.
  • Aids Your Cell Differentiation
    • Cellular differentiation results in the specialization of cells for specific functions in your body. While cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing, uncontrolled proliferation of cells with mutations may lead to diseases like cancer.
  • Boosts Your Immunity
    • Vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator that may enhance your immunity and inhibit the development of autoimmune diseases such as, Parkinson’s Disease and MS.
  • Has a Role in Insulin Secretion
    • The active form of vitamin D plays a role in insulin secretion under conditions of increased insulin demand.
  • Blood Pressure Regulation
    • Adequate vitamin D levels may be important for decreasing the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Vitamin D and Mood
    • Higher dosages of Vitamin D have been shown to help relieve symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) such as depression and lethargy.
  •  See your doctor about having your Vitamin D levels checked.

How much Vitamin D is recommended?

Vitamin D Council recommended amounts Based on the body’s indicated daily vitamin D usage, Vitamin D Council recommends the following amounts of supplemental vitamin D3 per day in the absence of proper sun exposure.

  • Healthy children under 1 year – 1,000 IU.
  • Healthy children over 1 year – 1,000 IU per every 25 lbs of body weight.
  • Healthy adults and adolescents – at least 5,000 IU.
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers – at least 6,000 IU.

Stop at one of our 3 locations or visit our website to pick up some Vitamin D today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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November 30, 2012

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Stop Taking Your Fish Oil

By Michael A. Smith, MD, Life Extension

Despite the flawed conclusions of a recent meta-analysis claiming fish oils do nothing for your heart, we strongly suggest that you continue as usual with your daily omega-3 supplement.

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, co-authored by  Seung-Kwon Myung, MD, of the Center for Cancer Prevention and Detection in Ilsan, Korea, reviewed 14 trials involving 20,485 adults ages 40 to 80 with a history of heart disease.

FishOilThe meta-analysis reported throughout mainstream media is wrong and is on the verge of malpractice. If your doctor ever tells you to stop taking fish oils … find another doctor fast … one who is not blinded by conventional “wisdom.”

The researchers failed in their analysis because of their inclusion of poorly designed clinical trials. Let’s look at three reasons for rejecting their conclusion that fish oils are ineffective for preventing a second cardiac event in people with known heart disease.

What you are about to read is proof of the authors’ bias toward toxic Big Pharma chemicals and why you should not listen to these doctors.

They included low dose studies

Half of the studies included in the meta-analysis used an omega-3 dose of less than 1000 milligrams daily. That is way too low. We suggest for our clients between 2 and 4 grams a day. Using a low dose is a common strategy employed by researchers who want to discredit the effectiveness of supplements.

Take for instance the randomized, placebo controlled trial that studied the effects of EPA and DHA on the heart. In that study, the researchers used 1.8 grams of combined EPA and DHA and found that this dose was associated with a 10% lower rate of cardiac events, 12% lower rate of non-fatal infarctions and 10% lower rate of cardiac deaths.

So why did the authors include studies with less than 1 gram of omega-3 fats in their meta-analysis? Because they want to discredit supplements as ineffective. With readily available fish oils out of the way, more people will turn to Big Pharma’s toxic chemicals.

They included studies of short duration

The conclusions made by the authors of this flawed meta-analysis used studies that were only two years long. This is not long enough for secondary prevention trials in people with previous heart conditions. A longer timeframe is necessary to draw any conclusions.

They used a limited number of studies

Only 20 of 3,635 studies the authors examined were used in this meta-analysis. This is a very limited representation of the research on fish oil for cardiovascular disease events.

And why would they use only 20 studies in their analysis? Could it be because they purposely searched for studies that were under-dosed — meaning less than 1 gram a day?

Any credible scientist or doctor wanting to study omega-3 fish oils and the effects on the heart would know to use a daily dose of 1.5 grams or more. And that’s exactly the dose that most fish oil studies use.

fish_oil_pillsTake your fish oil supplements

The current meta-analysis making its way through mainstream media outlets represents the use of fish oil in suboptimal dosages, over a short period of time, and largely in populations with a history of cardiovascular disease.

The results of this new study conflict with other meta-analyses that have found fish oil supplementation beneficial in relationship to cardiovascular events. Also, studies examining higher dose fish oil have found a protective effect against cardiovascular events and risk factor reduction.*

What should you buy?

Always remember, if your fish oil smells fishy, it’s probably rancid and you should throw it out. Are you bothered by nasty fish burps?  Try Nordic Naturals brand. It’s as clean as you’re going to find and guaranteed to not cause burping.

*References:  1. JAMA. Association Between Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease Events. A Systemic Review and Meta-analysis. Available at: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1357266. 2. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1997;11(3):485-91. 3. Ann Med. 2009;41(4):301-10.4. Clin Cardiol. 2009;32(7):365-72.  5.  BMJ. 2008;337:a2931.6. Am J Med. 2002;112(4):298-304.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

September 27, 2012

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Reblogged from organicfacts.net

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc

How is Lauric Acid Used by our body?

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled various references on scientific research done on coconut oil.

Hair Care:

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. Most of the people in these countries apply coconut oil on their hair daily after bath. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.

Skin Care:

Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

Heart Diseases:

There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Weight Loss:

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.

Digestion:

Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Immunity:

Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Healing and Infections:

When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.

Infections:

Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.

Liver:

The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.

Kidney:

Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.

Pancreatitis:

Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.

Stress Relief:

Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.

Diabetes:

Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones:

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

Dental Care:

Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.

HIV and Cancer:

It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).

Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease:

There are reports of  research conducted by Dr. Newport stating that coconut oil is useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge or coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer’s. It was also not known traditionally that coconut oil helps in the brain function.

Why is Coconut Oil Solid?

Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degress Celcius or 76-78 Farenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperatures go high. Hence, if you buy a bottle of coconut oil and find it solid, don’t think that there is some problem with it. Coconut oil is like this only. And of course, don’t keep it in your refrigerator.

How to Use Coconut Oil?

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you need not switch to coconut oil completely, as you will miss the benefits of other oils and dairy products.

Can I Use Coconut Oil for Cooking?

Yes, in most of the tropical coastal regions, people use coconut oil for cooking.

I Don’t Like the Taste of Coconut Oil. What Should I do?

Try using coconut oil in some different recipe. That may help. If you get nauseated after eating coconut oil, don’t force yourself. As it happens with any other food item, your body may be allergic to coconut oil and it is best not to consume it.

For more information on coconut oil check out our other blog post here or stop in at any of our locations! Baums carries several high quality brands of coconut oil for every purpose!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

September 20, 2012

If Your Family is Still Eating Microwave Popcorn, You Should Read This!

Reblogged from NaturalNews.com

Synthetic artificial butter flavoring chemical promotes the development of
Alzheimer’s Disease

We are exposed to dangerous chemical compounds every day from a variety of household and environmental sources as well as from most processed foods. Extensive research has shown that these synthetic compounds promote the development and progression of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and dementia. Now researchers signal a strong warning about artificial butter flavorings commonly used in microwave popcorn and a variety of other food products. Countless individuals are at risk as they unexpectedly consume foods ranging from margarine and snack foods to candy and baked goods.

Scientific evidence now indicts the chemical compound known as diacetyl (DA), a flavoring agent that provides the flavor and appearance of butter, as a component in the development of beta-amyloid tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers publishing in the journal, Chemical Research in Toxicology found evidence that diacetyl intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. DA is used in dozens of food products to provide the taste and appearance of butter and to extend shelf life. Diacetyl disrupts electrical and chemical brain signaling leading to Alzheimer’s disease.

About the author:
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life.

Use Coconut Oil to make your stove popcorn and help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease at the same time! You can find quality coconut oil at any of our 3 Baum’s locations! To learn more about coconut oil, check out this post.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

September 6, 2012

You Should Be Using Coconut Oil! Here’s Why…

Reblogged from Coconut Research Center

Coconut
(Cocos nucifera)
The Tree of Life The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means “monkey face” because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.”

The coconut provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations. On many islands coconut is a staple in the diet and provides the majority of the food eaten. Nearly one third of the world’s population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. Among these cultures the coconut has a long and respected history.
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life.” Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut’s amazing healing powers.

Coconut In Traditional Medicine

People from many diverse cultures, languages, religions, and races scattered around the globe have revered the coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as a effective medicine. For thousands of years coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine.

In traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds.

Coconut In Modern Medicine

Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:

  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion and bowel function.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  • Does not deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  • Dissolves kidney stones.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.

See Research to read some of the published studies regarding the above mentioned uses of coconut products.

Coconut Oil

While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it’s the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.

Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.

Coconut oil has been described as “the healthiest oil on earth.” That’s quite a remarkable statement. What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?

The difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first you are probably familiar with, is based on saturation. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.

The size of the fatty acid is extremely important. Why? Because our bodies respond to and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size. So the physiological effects of MCFA in coconut oil are distinctly different from those of LCFA more commonly found in our foods. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are predominately medium-chain fatty acids. Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.

MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.

There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils.

Copyright © 2004 Coconut Research Center

Baums Natural Foods carries a variety of organic virgin coconut oils. 

Stop in for additional  information today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 16, 2012

Can You Believe it’s Back to School Time Already?

Keeping your children healthy for the new school year is a must, but which supplements do your kids really need to support good health and concentration? The basics are always a great place to start and a high quality multivitamin/mineral is first on the list!

Even if you have a “good eater” at home, they still need the support of a great quality multivitamin/mineral supplement.  And you can’t go wrong with Nordic Naturals, Nordic Berries. They are little gems that are packed with all-natural nutrition and they taste great too!  You won’t have any trouble getting the kids (or teens or adults)  to take these vitamins!

Don’t forget the Omega 3 fatty acids from fish oil! DHA, a compound found in fish oil, has been clinically proven to help with learning and memory. It’s a great brain food that will help keep your child focused and ready to soak in information.

If you’re child simply won’t take fish oil because it tastes bad, you haven’t tried Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish oil!  It’s so yummy they’ll think it’s dessert!  It comes in Lemon, Key Lime, Mango, and Pina Colada. Just give them a spoon full and they’re done! (the Key Lime is fabulous!).  Barleans also has a product called DHA bubbles.  They’re little round softgels with orange flavored DHA fish oil inside that the kids can bite and squirt in their mouth!  They’ll love it! Stop by one of our 3 locations and ask for a sample today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

July 16, 2012

CoQ10: Everything You Need to Know

Reblogged from Live in the Now

Topics Covered in this Special Report:

  • CoQ10 Background and Overview
  • How CoQ10 Helps Your Heart
  • Why Statin Drugs Deplete CoQ10
  • How CoQ10 Energizes Your Brain
  • CoQ10’s Potential Against Alzheimer’s
  • How CoQ10 Reduces Migraine Symptoms
  • CoQ10′s Potential as a Cancer Fighter?
  • Side Effects and Precautions
  • Conclusions and Dosages

CoEnzyme Q10 Supports Your Body’s Energy Supply

Every day, researchers learn more about how the cells in our bodies produce the energy that keeps us alive.  As part of this research, they are discovering conditions that interfere with cellular energy production, and the illnesses that can result.  They are also putting new focus on natural substances that can help restore normal energy production and prevent the oxidative damage that comes from incomplete energy metabolism. One of the natural substances researchers are studying is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant and energy booster, first identified in 1957 and widely used in Japan for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is a powerful, fat-soluble vitamin-like substance synthesized in the membranes of cells. It is found mostly in mitochondria, the cell’s “power plant.” CoQ10 is an essential part of the energy-producing process known as the electron transport chain. It acts as kind of a spark plug, assisting in the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the body’s basic energy currency. Without adequate CoQ10, cells cannot make the energy they need to sustain life. Eventually, your whole body suffers the malaise of low-energy production.

Because it is in every cell, supplemental CoQ10 has a wide potential of uses–from helping a failing heart work better to slowing the decline of Parkinson’s disease. Research indicates it can reduce the severity of migraine headaches, improve blood sugar control in diabetics, even help stop the spread of cancer and improve immune function in AIDS.

After the age of 30, natural levels of CoQ10 begin to diminish. By the age of 80, your CoQ10 levels may be lower than they were at birth. Further loss may come from stress, illness and some medications such as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, oral hypoglycemic drugs such as glyburide, phenformin and tolazamide, and beta-blockers.

Main-line medical practitioners may say it is premature to recommend CoQ10 to their patients. (One has even advised against it saying if too many people are taking it, he won’t be able to find people to enroll as a control group in his next study on Parkinson’s disease!) Many alternative practitioners, however, believe that, given CoQ10’s potential for protection and its good safety record, most older people would be wise to take CoQ10 supplements. Here’s what you need to know.

CoQ10 Helps Your Heart

CoQ10 is most highly concentrated in heart muscles because of high energy needs there. Most heart patients are deficient in CoQ10 and supplementing with CoQ10 has dramatically revitalized heart function and relieved heart disease symptoms in some studies. Research suggests CoQ10 may be beneficial for almost any condition related to the heart, including angina, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiotoxicity associated with some cancer chemotherapy drugs.

CoQ10 works two ways in the heart. It protects cells from oxidative damage that can occur when blood supply is cut off, and then restarted, as might happen with injury such as a stroke or heart attack, or with surgery.  It also can correct or preserve a cell’s ability to generate energy.

In one study, patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery were given either CoQ10 (300 mg/day) or blank look-alike pills for 2 weeks prior to surgery. Those receiving CoQ10 recovered more quickly from the stress of surgery. Their hearts regained pumping strength faster than those not getting the supplement.

In another study, people who required CPR because their hearts had stopped were more likely to be alive 3 months later if they received CoQ10 (by injection, 250 mg initially and then, 150 mg three times a day for 5 days) along with hypothermia treatment than if they received hypothermia treatment alone. (Damian, MS, et al. Coenzyme Q10 combined with mild hypothermia after cardiac arrest. Circulation 2004; 110:3011-3016.)

CoQ10 can be extremely helpful in the case of congestive heart failure, research shows.  In one study, people with congestive heart failure who took CoQ10 (100 mg three times a day) had significant improvement in shortness of breath, and were less likely to have fluid retention,  enlarged liver, insomnia or fatigue. The most significant improvement was in exercise tolerance. During a 6-minute walk test, people treated with CoQ10 improved their walking performance by over 40%, while walking performance decreased by about 40% in a placebo group. The CoQ10 group walked an average of 1,253 feet, while the placebo group averaged only 580 feet. (Mortensen, SA Symptomatic effects of Coenzyme Q10 in heart failure: Q-SYMBIO study status. Presented at the 4th conference of the International CoQ10 Association; 2005. pp. 57-58. http://www.coenzymeq10.org)

CoQ10 works best when it is used along with other heart drugs. If your doctor contends it is premature to recommend its use, ask him or her to read up on some of the new research proving its usefulness. CoQ10 has been government-approved in Japan as a heart treatment since 1974, where research shows that 70% of heart patients improve after taking CoQ10. The supplement is also used extensively in Italy and other parts of Europe.

Statin Drugs Deplete CoQ10

Given CoQ10’s essential role in heart health, it’s alarming to realize that the most widely-prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) can create a deficiency of CoQ10. It’s a well-known fact that these drugs hinder your body’s ability to make its own CoQ10. One study, at New York City’s Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, found that blood levels of coenzyme Q10 plunged more than 50% in patients who took 80 milligrams of Lipitor daily for a month. Researchers warned that such a marked drop in blood CoQ10 caused by “even a brief exposure to Lipitor… could explain the most commonly reported adverse effects of statins, especially exercise intolerance, myalgia (muscle pain) and myoglobinuria (changes leading to muscle damage).” (Rundek T, Arch Neurol 2004 Jun; 61(6): 889-92)

In another study, 18 of 21 patients with muscle pain and weakness who were taking statin therapy had a significant decrease in pain after 30 days of supplementation with 100 mg a day of CoQ10 compared to people taking vitamin E. (Kelley, P. J Am Coll Cardiol 2005: 45:3A)

CoQ10 Helps Your Brain

CoQ10 can energize brain cells, research shows. The brain is especially compromised by a deficit of CoQ10. Reduced levels of CoQ10 (and ATP) can cause aging brains to become more sluggish. Memory and abilities decline and the brain may become more vulnerable to age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. Feeding old animals CoQ10 restores brain cell levels to those of much younger animals, rejuvenating brain functions and even reversing brain degeneration, studies show.

Take Parkinson’s disease. It’s a progressive neurological condition characterized by tremors, muscle rigidity and slowdown in motor ability.  Although several drugs are used to treat and control its symptoms, none has been shown to slow the progression of the underlying disease. It appears that CoQ10 can do just that. Previous studies have found low levels of CoQ10 and a high degree of dysfunction in the mitochondria of Parkinson’s patients’ brain cells. Correcting the low CoQ10 apparently energizes brain cells, slowing down the disease. Other research shows that boosting levels of CoQ10 also preserves brain tissue, lessening brain cell death.

In one study, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, gave high doses of CoQ10 to 80 patients recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The investigators, headed by Clifford W. Shults, M.D., tested three different doses of CoQ10 daily: 300 mg, 600mg or 1200 mg for four months. The amazing result: all of the patients getting any dose of CoQ10 showed less severe symptoms than those taking a placebo.  In short, the CoQ10 slowed the progression of early Parkinson’s symptoms.

However, the greatest slow-down came for those taking 1,200 mg of CoQ10 daily. They experienced a 44%  slower rate of deterioration. Most noticeable, the CoQ10 takers had better mental acuity, motor abilities and were better able to handle daily living activities–eating, dressing, bathing and walking– than those not getting CoQ10.  Even those taking only 300 mg CoQ10 daily had a reduced progression in symptoms of 27% compared with placebo.  (Schultz, CW et al. Pilot trial of high dosages of coenzyme Q10 in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Exp Neurol 2004; 1288: 491-494.)

CoQ10’s Potential Against Alzheimer’s

CoQ10 is recommended by alternative practitioners to improve brain functioning in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and with good reason. The condition is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage. So far, though, the only studies done in humans to prove CoQ10’s worth in treating Alzheimer’s disease have included a number of neuroprotective substances, so it is impossible to single out CoQ10’s role.

However, an animal study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins University suggests that CoQ10 alone can block brain damage.  The study included animals with induced Alzheimer’s-like brain damage. Animals fed daily CoQ10 showed normal brain structure and no loss of memory or intellectual functioning. In contrast, animals not fed CoQ10 suffered severe neurological dysfunction with a drop in memory and learning capacity. The CoQ10 worked by stimulating energy production in brain cells and inhibiting free radical attacks on neurons, researchers explained. (Ishrat T., Behav Brain Res 2006 Apr 16,Epub)

CoQ10 Reduces Migraine Symptoms

New research from Switzerland showed that daily CoQ10 supplements reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. It tested CoQ10 versus placebo in 42 migraine sufferers ages 18-65. The people received a placebo for one-month, then were randomly assigned to receive either CoQ10 (100 mg a day) or placebo 3 times a day. They were also asked to keep a migraine diary that showed the number of headaches, severity, and other symptoms.

At the end of four months, symptoms in both groups were compared. Only the people taking CoQ10 had a continuous decrease in attack frequency between month 1 and month 4. They also had a decrease in nausea and vomiting. CoQ10 had no side effects, which could make it especially useful for children and women of child-bearing age, since current migraine drugs have potentially harmful side effects.  (Sandor, PS et al. Neurology 2005: 64; 713-715.)

CoQ10 as a Potential Cancer Fighter

Not much research has been done on CoQ10’s anti-cancer potential, but one study has intriguing implications. In it, 84 breast cancer patients were randomized to receive a daily supplement of 100 mg of CoQ10, 10 mg of riboflavin and 50 mg of niacin per day along with 10 mg of tamoxifen twice a day. Another group got just the tamoxifen.  After 90 days, the group taking the CoQ10-vitamin combo had significantly lower levels of two important tumor markers (which are elevated with impending relapse and metastases) compared to the group taking only tamoxifen.  Researchers say the supplement increases the expression of a cancer-suppressing gene, MnSOD, restores lipid peroxidation levels and enzyme activity to near normal, and helps to reduce cancer cachexia, the wasting of body tissues that often comes with advanced cancer.  Certainly more research is warranted for this simple supplement. (Premkumar, VG et al. Biol Pharm Bull 2007; 30(2):367-370.)

Side Effects?

CoQ10 is considered extraordinarily safe, with reports of only mild gastrointestinal upset in less than one percent of users. Taking smaller doses two or three times a day may lessen the discomfort. CoQ10 may decrease blood pressure and blood sugar levels, so people taking medications for those conditions may need dosages adjusted. Some research suggests CoQ10 might lower the anticoagulant effects of the blood thinner coumadin in some people. Monitoring the blood to determine if the coumadin dose needs adjustment is advisable. Pregnant and lactating women are advised to not to take CoQ10 due to insufficient evidence of safety for the fetus.

How Much Do You Need?

While there is no established ideal dose for CoQ10, studies have used doses of CoQ10 ranging from 30 mg to 1,200 mg. We recommend doses ranging from 30 mg to 600 mg daily for adults. The general guideline is 1 mg per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs., you should take 150 mg. But this is a general guideline. Most people take 100 to 200 mg daily.

  • Daily dosages of 30 to 200 mg of CoQ10 are commonly recommended for healthy adults.
  • Those with heart failure or angina are often advised to take 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily, and even 600 mg per day in severe cases of heart failure.
  • People taking statins (such as Lipitor and Zocor) to lower cholesterol are advised to take 200-600 mg a day to help prevent muscle-weakening side effects of the drugs.
  • Some cancer patients have been given 400 mg of CoQ10 along with chemotherapy agents to reduce toxic side effects of these drugs.
  • Taking 100 mg of CoQ10 three times a day has reduced migraine attacks by one-third.
  • Taking 60 mg twice a day has lowered systolic high blood pressure by one-fourth. Using 100 mg of CoQ10 twice a day has also increased effective of blood pressure medications.

Note: Since CoQ10 is a fat-soluble nutrient, for best absorption take just before or after a meal that contains some form of healthy fat content. Alternatively, you can take it with a bit of healthy fat such as peanut butter or olive oil.

You Should Definitely Consider Taking CoQ10

CoQ10 is definitely worth trying to sharpen your brain, strengthen your heart, or simply give you more overall energy. It is extremely safe, thoroughly researched and widely-prescribed by doctors and health experts worldwide. It definitely deserves a place in any anti-aging supplement regime.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.