Search Term: " Miochondrial "
What Cellular Mitochondria Does in the Body
April 28, 2022 04:19 PM
If you want to stay healthy, it's important that you know what cellular mitochondria does in the body. Mitochondria are organelles found in the cytoplasm of cells. They are responsible for producing energy for the cell. Without them, the cell would not be able to function properly. We will discuss the role of mitochondria in the body, and how they impact our health.
What are mitochondria and what do they do in the body
Mitochondria are organelles that play an important role in the energy metabolism of cells. Most of the oxygen we breathe is used by mitochondria to convert glucose from the food we eat into ATP, the energy molecule used by our cells. Therefore, mitochondria are often referred to as the "powerhouses" of the cell. In addition to producing ATP, mitochondria also have other important functions, such as regulating cell growth and death, as well as calcium homeostasis. Mitochondria are unique in that they have their own DNA separate from the DNA in the cell nucleus. This mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to child, which is why defects in mitochondrial function can lead to diseases that are inherited in a maternal lineage. Although most of our cells contain only a single nucleus, they may contain hundreds or even thousands of mitochondria. This allows them to produce enough ATP to meet the energy needs of the cell.
How mitochondrial dysfunction can lead to health problems
Mitochondria are integral to many essential physiological processes in the body. Not only do they produce energy for cells, but they also play a key role in maintaining cellular structures and initiating cell division. Therefore, any disruption of normal mitochondrial function can have far-reaching consequences for overall health and well-being. Maladaptive responses to environmental stressors, such as chemical exposure or radiation, are among the most common causes of mitochondrial dysfunction. These stressors result in damage to mitochondrial DNA and can cause problems with cell division and abnormal growth patterns, which can lead to a range of disorders and chronic diseases. For example, mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to conditions like Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Therefore, it is important to understand the role that mitochondria play in maintaining healthy functioning bodies and take proactive steps to prevent or reverse damage from maladaptive responses to environmental stressors.
Mitochondria and Longevity
Mitochondria are specialized organelles found within our cells that perform many critical functions, including generating energy to support cellular processes and maintaining healthy cell function. These organelles are the site of many important chemical reactions, often referred to as oxidative phosphorylation or metabolism. Studies have shown that Proper functioning of these organelles is essential for healthy aging, and may be a key factor in determining how long we live. By promoting mitochondria health and making lifestyle changes that help to promote healthy mitochondria, we can take an important step towards optimizing our longevity potential. This includes eating a nutrient-rich diet with a focus on foods high in antioxidants, managing stress levels through regular exercise and relaxation techniques, and avoiding environmental toxins that can damage mitochondria health. Through such strategies, we can give ourselves the best chance at living a long, full life.
Ways to protect your mitochondria and keep them healthy with PQQ
PQQ, or pyrroloquinoline quinone, is an important molecule for the functioning of mitochondria in the human body. This compound plays a crucial role in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis, the fundamental energy currency of biological systems. By driving cellular processes that release energy for metabolic use, PQQ plays a key role in maintaining mitochondrial health and efficiency. Additionally, PQQ has been shown to exhibit powerful antioxidant properties, which help to mitigate the effects of oxidative stress on mitochondria and other critical cells in the body. Overall, PQQ is an essential component of healthy mitochondrial function and a crucial nutrient for energy production and overall metabolic health.
D-ribose, the Mitochondria, and Energy
D-ribose is a naturally occurring sugar that plays an important role in cellular metabolism and energy production. This nutrient is especially important for cells that rely on a lot of energy, such as those found in the heart and muscles. D-ribose helps these cells to generate adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which is the main energy currency used by cells to drive chemical reactions. Additionally, research has suggested that d-ribose can help to improve physical endurance and reduce the pain and stiffness associated with exercise, making it an important part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Also, D-ribose is a simple sugar that plays an important role in the structure and function of mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. In addition to supplying energy to the cells, mitochondria also help to regulate cell growth and death. D-ribose is essential for the proper function of mitochondria, and it plays a key role in energy production. Studies have shown that D-ribose can help to improve mitochondrial function and reduce fatigue. In addition, D-ribose supplements have been shown to improve exercise performance and increase energy levels. These effects are likely due to the ability of D-ribose to help the body produce more ATP, the energy currency of the cell. For these reasons, D-ribose is an important nutrient for maintaining healthy mitochondria and supporting cellular energy production.
Another important nutrient for the mitochondria is CoQ10
The process of producing energy is called oxidative phosphorylation, and it involves the transfer of electrons from nutrients to oxygen. This reaction creates a proton gradient across the mitochondrial membrane, which is used to generate ATP, the energy currency of the cell. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an important component of this process. It acts as an electron carrier, shuttling electrons between enzymes in the respiratory chain. It also helps to maintain the proton gradient, allowing the mitochondria to continue generating ATP. Without CoQ10, oxidative phosphorylation would grind to a halt, and cells would quickly run out of energy. Consequently, CoQ10 plays a vital role in energy production and cellular metabolism.
The bottom line is that both D-ribose and CoQ10 are important nutrients the body needs to maintain optimal energy levels. If you’re feeling run down, low on energy, or just generally not your best, consider taking a supplement containing these two nutrients. You may be surprised at how much better you feel once you start including them in your diet. What’s stopping you from giving them a try?
Powerful antioxidant helps us burn fat, lose weight and avoid premature aging
April 27, 2019 11:30 AM
Milk thistle is known for being good for the liver, but researchers are finding more and more evidence that points to an antioxidant called glutathione being a key component as well. The powerful antioxidant called glutathione allows our bodies to kick up their natural fat burning abilities which helps trigger weight loss in an almost effortless manner. Studies have also shown that a deficiency in glutathione can cause weight gain through a reduction in mitochondrial fat burning.
"Glutathione is synthesized from the amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamate. But, as we age, two of these “building blocks” – cysteine and glycine – decline, causing shortfalls in glutathione production."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/antioxidant-lose-weight-2793.html
Coenzyme Q10: Research confirms ubiquinone and ubiquinol are nearlyequally-absorbed ...
April 22, 2019 04:29 PM
Many Coenzyme Q10 products have labels that indicate that their product is better absorbed due to longtime beliefs surrounding ubiquinol (reduced Coenzyme Q10) being hard for the body to absorb. Many brands instead market ubiquinone, which is redox Coenzyme Q10 instead, since studies have been more supportive about this form being easier for the body to absorb. New research, however, is concluding that both of these forms are equal when it comes to the ability to be absorbed through the body.
"Marketing terms such as “better absorbed” should be questioned unless the absorption or bioavailability is actually stated. Only when the actual absorption has been verified can the better absorbed product be determined."
Read more: https://wholefoodsmagazine.com/columns/vitamin-connection/coenzyme-q10-research-confirms-ubiquinone-and-ubiquinol-are-nearly-equally-absorbed-compounds-the-physical-form-and-companion-ingredients-make-the-bioavailability-and-absorption-difference-in-coenz/
Stop feeding cancer cells! This is the diet mistake you probablymake that can cause cancer
September 05, 2018 09:52 AM
Although we tend to associate fashion with things like neckties, the truth is scientific ideas go in and out of fashion as well. Various pet theories their have their moment in the sun and then slip quietly below the radar as another more intriguing idea grabs everyone's attention. In the 2000s it was all about genetics and DNA. The Genome project, which would take on the lofty goal of mapping human DNA, thereby aiding scientists in their search to discover the mutations that lead to cancer, or so it was assumed. In actuality the search for causative mutations petered off into almost nothing. Some tumors had no mutations. Nor was there any sort of common DNA factor.
However, it hasn't proven to be a trek back to square one precisely. A Nobel prize winner back in the thirties had a theory that though not conclusive was compelling. This scientist, Warburg, surmised that when the body's mitochondrial cells produced energy as they were supposed to, which is aerobically, the body remains healthy. When energy production became anaerobic, a process that produces lactic acid in the body, then cancer cells would proliferate. To starve these renegade cells, the body would have to re-shift back away from the lactic-acid producing energy style, back to the more positive aerobic method. Some more recent scientists have started to build on Warburg's ideas, even discovering that sugar is a specific for cancer cells, without which they starve. So a best case scenario proposed diet for those with cancer would include high fats, less than fifty percent carbs, and a small amount of protein. Because of the relationship with sugar some diabetes drugs may have secondary use as a way to fight cancer as well.
"In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine for his discovery that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/stop-feeding-cancer-cells-this-is-the-diet-mistake-you-probably-make-that-can-cause-cancer/
Scientists Say: Mitochondrion
May 27, 2017 07:14 PM
Mitochondria are crucial parts of cells, performing the integral function of glucose to ATP conversion, which provides energy for the function of the entire cell. They are found in the majority of cells, and they uniquely possess DNA, making them more complex than most other cellular structures. One theory behind mitochondrial DNA is that mitochondria originated from a living bacteria that lived with cells, and eventually joined together as a single unit. Mitochondria are an important identifying aspect of a cell, and are commonly regarded as a cell's most significant cellular structure.
Read more: Scientists Say: Mitochondrion
One of the Best Brain Boosters, yet Hardly Anyone Does It
May 13, 2017 11:44 AM
Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof.com belives that he has devised a plan that can make the brain work faster and sharper in as little as two weeks. After working long hours in silicon valley, Dave realized he was gaining weight and experiencing brain fog. He believes he experienced mitochondrial dysfunction, mitochondria fuel the cell of your body so it was like having your batteries drained. He relates you can recharge these batteries in several ways. You can use sunlight and infrared exposure, you also need quality proteins and fat to fuel your cells. There is also some biofeedback techniques that work as well. Doing all these things can get your mind and body back on track.
"After going on a low-fat diet, he started experiencing severe brain fog — so much so, he feared losing his career."
More ailments could be added to cannabis oil treatment list
April 27, 2017 04:14 PM
Canon is oils has a great amount of benefits to it but the various parts of beneficial leads that the oil produces in the attainment of its glory is vast. The different types of positive affect that the oil has show in in the treatments of our great advancement in different fields of study is great and growing everyday and the study and production ashows great strides in different fields generating different products and product margins leading to greater growing and growth overall.
"Folks with cancer, Crohn’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders and sickle cell disease can be legally be treated using cannabis oil as of 2015."
Read more: http://www.wrdw.com/content/news/More-ailments-could-be-added-to-cannabis-oil-treatment-list--420136993.html
Gut bacteria unleash anti-aging power of pomegranates
November 21, 2016 01:09 PM
Pomegranates may hold a more significant role than just tasting delicious. There are studies underway that aim to prove the anti-aging benefits of the fruit. It is believed that the breakdown of pomegranate in the gut causes a release of urolithin A, which in turn boosts the cells’ ability to clean up after itself. Without the buildup of mitochondrial matter that happens without urolithin A, the body doesn’t age as quickly.
"As we age, an important process that our cells rely on for energy slows down and begins to malfunction."
Top 10 amazing, indigenous, all-natural cures from around the world
November 05, 2016 10:54 AM
When it comes to medicine what you put in to your body is important. For centuries people used natural cures from around the world to cure what ails them. Today we are quick to look to traditional medicine but perhaps it is time we step off the beaten path.
"Try the top 10 amazing, indigenous, all-natural cures from around the world, and never suffer another side effect, never perpetuate illness, and never, ever eat cancer again."
Mother Nature’s Best Secret is Grape Seed Extract
December 25, 2014 08:08 PM
Benefits of Grape Seed
Grape seed extract is a powerful antioxidant, the benefits resemble a type of fountain of youth that invigorated individuals and improved cardiovascular health and improved weakened collagen levels. Research indicated that individuals who resided in France and consumed red wine enjoyed a longer lifespan due to consuming wine that possessed a high content of a type of flavonoid called proanthocyanidin.
High blood sugar damages the heart and hardens it resulting in heart attacks and heart disease. Researches uncovered a secret of grape seed extract; it activated a blocker at the gene level stopping the body from heart hardening. Turning on this element at the cellular level deep inside of the mitochondrial DNA of a human being has assisted diabetic cardiomyopathy. French grape seed extract has an amazing impact on the body with blood sugar levels.
Germ managing elements have been identified inside of grape seed extract; it is a powerful anti-candida, reducing harmful bacteria keeping it in a healthy balance. People that are overweight who take the extract find that they reduce their calorie intake naturally. Persons who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease, if they are given the extract improve and maintain a higher mental function. This extract is excellent for all parts of your body, boosting the immune function at all levels.
How Does Taurine Help the Brain?
May 13, 2011 01:09 PM
Taurine is an amino acid often added to energy drinks. There have been several theories on how taurine affects brain chemicals and improve cognitive function. For many years, it has been compared to caffeine due to its effects on the human brain that appear to enhance mood. Its exact mechanisms of action remain a mystery to the scientific community, but recent studies are believed to be closing in.
It has long been known that taurine crosses the blood brain barrier, allowing it to exert some effects on several neurotransmitters found in the central nervous system. It has been tied to the alleviation of many mental illnesses, such as epilepsy, post traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, making it the subject of a number of studies in the past few years.
Rebalances Brain Chemicals
It has been postulated that taurine influences the activities of neurotransmitters in the brain, but only recently has brain scientists been able to actually track its activities in the brain. A team of researchers at Cornell University managed to find a site for the neurological activity of taurine, with initial results pointing to its relationship with gamma the neurotransmitter aminobutyric acid, or GABA. The researchers do not discount the possibility that taurine may even have a receptor of its own.
Whether taurine interacts with brain chemicals is no longer debatable as it creates homeostasis in the central nervous system. It acts on receptors that the researchers discovered to be the same receptors present in GABAergic mechanisms. That being said, scientists remain inconclusive as to how its interaction with GABA receptors provides energy-boosting benefits as it is marketed in the food and drug industries.
Prevents Neuron Damage
The scientific community is convinced that taurine has neuroprotective properties. High levels of taurine in the brain have been observed to protect brain tissues from cerebral ischemia. Taurine has been linked to many metabolic pathways that are known to promote neurological health, such as the activation of glycine receptors and the regulation of enzymes called cysteine-dependent aspartate-directed proteases.
In addition, taurine serves as antioxidants that protect nerve cells from cellular damage brought on by oxidative stress. The presence of taurine within cells reduces damage from calcium excesses and increases mitochondrial events. For decades, supplementation of taurine has benefited sufferers of brain ischemia, epileptic seizures, panic attacks, anxiety symptoms, and even alcohol withdrawal.
Enhances Cognitive Function
Taurine has already been associated with physiological functions the hypothalamus controls, such as sleep-wake cycle and responses to fatigue. In several laboratory studies, administrations of taurine by way of intraperitoneal injection have successfully induced social interaction in animal subjects. It is one of the amino acids that affect cognitive development, especially in children. While it is one of the most abundant amino acids in the brain, it is depleted as we age, making supplementation a good option.
Protect your brain with Taurine by taking it daily!
Glutathion, Antioxidants, And The Body
July 14, 2010 02:41 PM
Glutathione is a simple protein that consists of three amino acids. These amino acids include glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine. Due to the chemical nature of sulphur-containing cysteine, glutathione is able to effortlessly donate electrons. This ability is the reason why it has powerful antioxidant properties. Intracellular glutathione status is a sensitive indicator of cellular health and of the cell’s ability to resist toxic challenges.
Glutathione is an important water-phase antioxidant that is an essential component in the glutathione peroxidase system. Glutathione peroxidase enzymes are crucial for detoxifying peroxides including hydrogen peroxide, which is generated within cellular membranes and lipid-dense areas of the cell, especially the mitochondrial membrane. Severe glutathione depletion often leads to cell death, while experimental glutathione depletion has been found to induce cellular apoptosis.
A cellular level of glutathione depletion seems to cause extensive damage to the mitochondria. Depletion of mitochondrial glutathione may, in fact, be the ultimate factor that determines a cell’s vulnerability to oxidative(free radical) attack. The mitochondria is the most crucial place for glutathione presence, as the cascade of oxidation-reduction reactions complete the final steps in respiration take place here. Throughout this process, which is called oxidative phophorylation, electrons invariably escape and react with the ambient oxygen in order to generate toxic free radicals. It has been estimated that 2% to 5% of the electrons that enter the mitochondria are converted into reactive oxygen species that generate considerable oxidative stress for the cell. These free radicals cause an immediate threat to other cellular components, such as the DNA, enzymes, structural proteins, and lipids.
The cumulative damage that is caused by oxygen and other free radical species is now determined to be the principal contributor to the degenerative disease process and the progressive loss of organ function that is commonly recognized as aging. Because of this, the cell is constantly challenged to destroy these free radicals before they can inflict any lasting damage. Minimizing oxidative attacks may actually be the ultimate challenge of being alive. Because of this, the reducing power of glutathione is of huge important to the cell.
Glutathione is important for helping to regenerate other antioxidants that are depleted from their constant work to fight off free radical challenges. Regeneration that is glutathione-induced may be the mechanism that is actually used by the cell in order to conserve lipid-phase antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, and the carotenoids. It has been confirmed by recent investigations that dietary vitamin C can actually protect us against tissue damage that results from glutathione depletion.
Additionally, supplementation with glutathione or its precursors can also quickly replenish any vitamin C deficiencies. Because of this, glutathione and ascorbic acid, both of which are pre-eminent cellular antioxidants, are tightly linked, as glutathione can conserve vitamin C and vitamin C can conserve glutathione. When they are both present, these two antioxidants protect the entire spectrum of biomolecules that are found within the cell, as well as facilitate the cell’s best performance. It has been said that the glutathione status of a cell may be the most accurate single indicator of the health of the cell. This means that as glutathione levels go, the health of the cell will go as well.
Glutathione is available in capsule or tablet form at your local or internet health food store. Always choose name brands to ensure quality and purity of the glutathione supplement you choose to purchase for consumption.
Take Control Of your Inflammation With Supplements
May 27, 2010 12:40 PM
Chronic inflammation is often induced by uncontrolled oxidative stress (free radical damage). It is the principle mechanism by which degenerative disease takes hold. By reducing oxidative stress and changing the balance within the body to favor the production of anti-inflammatory chemical messengers, one can lower their levels of inflammation. This can be achieved through conscious changes to diet and lifestyle, which includes appropriate supplementation.
By consuming foods that are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, EPA, and DHA, derived from fish oil or flax seeds, one can greatly influence and reduce inflammation. When the body has appropriate balances of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats, the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins is favored and inflammation is kept in check. Increasing the consumption of foods that are rich in omega-3s or supplementing with a high quality fish oil suppresses the formation of harmful prostaglandins and also promotes the synthesis of beneficial prostaglandins. Since the average North American diet contains 10 to 20 times the amount of omega-6 oils that we need, the most sensibly dietary approach is to reduce sources of omega-6 oils and supplement with a high dose of omega-3 oils in order to achieve the optimal 4:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3.
Supplementing with flaxseed oil is another effective way to optimize your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Anti-inflammatory EPA can be manufactured in the body by converting the alpha-linolenic acid that is often found in flaxseed oil. Supplementing with this oil, along with restricting omega-6 fatty acid intake, raises tissue EPA levels to those comparable to fish oil supplementation. It should even be noted that flaxseed oil contains more than twice the omega-3 fats as fish oil. Additionally, alpha-linolenic acid can be found in a variety of other plant source including pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and other nuts. However, flaxseed is by far the richest source of omega-3 oil, carrying 58% by weight.
Another nutrient that plays a crucial role in inflammation is gamma tocopherol. This nutrient acts through a mechanism that is unavailable to alpha tocopherol by reacting with RNO radicals to subdue inflammation. Gamma tocopherol also has the ability to reduce inflammation by inhibiting COX-2 , which is an enzyme that has a central role in the inflammatory process as it controls the synthesis of the inflammatory prostaglandin. The consuption of gamma tocopherol has been found to reduce several other inflammatory protagonists at the site of inflammation. Strong evidence has found that this form of vitamin E exhibits potent anti-inflammatory properties that are extremely important for human disease prevention and therapy.
Similar to essential fatty acids is resveratrol and green tea polyphenols each of which have the ability to inhibit the activation of NFkB and control a wide variety of inflammatory pathways. Green tea polyphenols are also believed to be neuroprotective, as they invoke a spectrum of cellular mechanisms such as the chelation of metals, scavenging of free radicals, and modulation of mitochondrial function in nerve tissues. Green tea polyphenols are now considered to be therapeutic agents that can alter brain processes and serve as neuroprotective agents in the progression of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
There are a wide variety of nutrients that are involved in fighting systemic inflammation. These nutrients and nutrient categories include EPA and DHA, linolenic acid, gamma tocopherol, alpha-lipoic acid, vitamin C, flavonoids, procyanidolic oligomers, and the phenolic compounds found in green tea, turmeric, and olive extracts. When changing your diet from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and adds more fruits and vegetables to their diet along with antioxidant vitamin supplements, one can successfully reduce inflammation naturally and live a healthier happier life.
May 07, 2009 05:45 PM
L-carnitine is amino acid essential for the metabolism of fats into a form of energy necessary for extended aerobic activity. Originally discovered in Russia, and Germany a year later, the structural formulation of carnitine, as it is correctly known, was determined in 1927, although it is physiological and biochemical activity was not understood until the 1960s.
The amino acid is biosynthesized in the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine. The vitamins niacin, B6, C and iron are essential for this reaction to take place. However, the supply of L-carnitine has to be supplemented by the diet, good sources being dairy products, red meat, nuts and seeds, pulses and fruits such as apricots, bananas and avocado. Most of the L-carnitine supply of the body is stored within the muscle tissue. However, it is not unusual for conditions to arise making it difficult for the body to obtain all the carnitine required.
L-carnitine enables fatty acids to be transported into the mitochondria, where cell metabolism occurs. The biochemistry is discussed below, although in simple terms the amino acid allows body fats, in the form of triglycerides, to be made more readily available for the generation of energy required for extended exertion. In this way, body fats can be used for energy and the supplies of glycogen stored by the liver can be retained for emergency use.
By providing the energy for endurance and stamina in this way, carnitine makes use of an otherwise unavailable energy source, and has the added benefit of reducing body fat stores and reducing strain on the heart.
Although there is generally a plentiful supply of L-carnitine available in a healthy diet, supplementation can ensure that a deficiency does not occur. Supplements are available in the form of L-carnitine or its acetylated derivative, acetyl L-carnitine.
In order for fatty acids to be used in the production of energy, their long-chain acetyl groups have to get inside the mitochondria where they are oxidized to the acetate to be used for the production of energy via the Citric Acid or Krebs cycle.
In order for the biochemistry to take place, fatty acids must be rendered suitable for binding to the carnitine molecule. The chemical grouping with a good affinity for L-carnitine is the acetyl or acetyl group, available in the molecule acetyl coenzyme A (CoA). The free fatty acid, therefore, is attached to coenzyme-A by means of a thioester bond, catalyzed by means of the enzyme fatty acetyl-CoA synthetase. The reaction is then completed by means of in organic pyrophosphatase.
In this way, the fatty acid in the form of an acetyL-carnitine derivative can be transported through the mitochondrial wall. This transportation takes place by means of several steps. These are:
1. As explained, the acetyl-CoA is attached to L-carnitine by means of the enzyme carnitine acetyltransferase I. This enzyme is conveniently located on the outer mitochondrial membrane.
2. The enzyme carnitine-acetylcarnitine translocase helps the acetyL-carnitine through the membrane.
3. Another enzyme, carnitine acetyltransferase II, located on the inner mitochondrial membrane, converts the acetyL-carnitine to acetyl-CoA, liberating the carnitine which returns to the muscle mass.
L-carnitine is the only known substance that allows fatty acids to cross the mitochondrial membrane, and therefore deficiencies must be avoided.
Another way in which carnitine is used in energy production is in the Krebs cycle itself. Part of this cycle involves the conversion of guanine diphosphate to the higher energy form guanine triphosphate. In this way energy can be stored in much the same way as it is in the conversion of ADP to ATP. Succinyl CoA is involved in this conversion, and one of the by-products of it is a corresponding succinate, that is then converted to a fumarate by the action of L-carnitine fumarate. Carnitine, therefore, has two parts to play in the production of long-term energy from the fatty acids contained in body fats.
Since the fatty acid triglycerides contained in body fats are a major source of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles, it is easy to understand how L-carnitine is believed to lead to the increased energy levels required for stamina and staying power. A major reason for its effect on longer-term or extended energy requirements is that in enabling stored body fats to be used for immediate and longer-term energy requirements, L-carnitine allows emergency glycogen stores to be retained for use once immediate fatty acid supplies or those of carnitine have been depleted, and so allows the energy supply to be extended even farther. Research has also suggested that the amino acid can possibly be used to treat liver and kidney disease, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome.
As with many supplements, the question is often asked how does L-carnitine work in practice as opposed to the claims made for it by the supplement providers? Recent research indicates mixed results, but sufficient to justify its use. It is generally accepted that a supplement is necessary when there is a deficiency, but once that deficiency has been corrected further intake is unnecessary. However, it is also believed that during long and extended periods of exercise a carnitine deficiency does occur as L-carnitine is used up, and the supplement is necessary to ensure sufficient energy supply throughout the period of exercise.
There has also been a case reported in the Journal of Clinical Neurology (Negoro, Tsuda, Kato & Morimatsu, 1995) where a deficiency, caused by anorexia nervosa damaging the liver to the extent that it was unable to synthesize L-carnitine, was remedied by means of an oral supplement. Studies on endurance athletes have been mixed, ranging from no effect to L-carnitine being found to promote weight loss.
Carnitine has no unknown harmful side effects, and has been studied for medical applications other than as an energy supplement. For example it possesses extensive antioxidant properties, and can be used as a supplement against oxidative stress and the prevention of the lipid peroxidation that is a precursor to atherosclerosis.
Its use in osteoporosis and reducing bone mass is also being studied. The concentration of L-carnitine diminishes with age, and affects fatty acid metabolism in a number of tissues. Bones are particularly affected since they require continuous reconstruction. Without detailing the biochemistry involved in this, administration of carnitine helps to reduce the speed by which this occurs. Trials are so far been carried out only on animals.
In studies on both healthy volunteers and patients with type II diabetes, L-carnitine was found to improve storage of glucose in both groups, although its oxidation increased only in the group with diabetes. Other studies carried out include improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brains of elderly patients and in the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and other neurological disorders.
In conclusion then, although the jury is out on the use of L-carnitine is an energy-giving or weight-loss supplement, it appears to be effective where the body's stores of carnitine could be depleted such as with long-term exercise, natural deficiencies or deficiencies caused through age. It is also under study in the treatment of various medical conditions. On balance, it would appear that the prospective benefits of L-carnitine render it worthy of use.
Health And Applications Of Coenzyme Q10
April 17, 2008 02:57 PM
Coenzyme Q10 is a critical cofactor in the biological energy process. It is a powerful antioxidant and plays a vital role in our health and wellness. Coenzyme Q10 is involved in many disease states, consuming adequate coenzyme Q10 can ensure that one maintains good health which can reduce the risk of chronic disease such as the ones listed below:
Many prescription drugs can cause Coenzyme Q10 to deplete especially statin drugs (cholesterol meds). Beta blocking drugs and anti-diabetic drugs can also leach the body of vital Coenzyme Q10 which could lead to the above diseases if left un-checked over time.
Astaxanthin, a Member of the Carotenoid Family, is a Powerful Antioxidant
January 31, 2008 09:00 AM
Astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family responsible for the red color of many types of algae. Being a carotenoid, it is a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger as well as support proper eye function.
However, such a bland statement belies the true worth of astaxanthin in its fight against free radicals. It is of particular benefit in its ability to absorb the high energy of singlet oxygen, releasing it as heat, and returning the singlet oxygen to its ground neutralized state. Singlet oxygen is a particularly harmful and reactive oxygen species of free radical that is formed in the body as part of our normal metabolism, and that contains a high level of free energy that can be used to oxidize and destroy the cells of your body.
In achieving this, astaxanthin is regarded as one of the most potent plant derived antioxidants known, being up to ten times more active than beta carotene, Lutein or its cousin canthaxanthin. So why are antioxidants so valuable to our biochemistry and what would happen if they did not exist?
Free radicals are thieves that use your body as their operating ground. They operate by stealing an electron from a molecule that comprises part of you, and in some cases when this occurs the cell from which the electron is removed is destroyed. Generally electrons go around in pairs, but occasionally an electron pair can lose one of the electrons during a chemical reaction. Many such reactions occur naturally inside the body, especially during the production of energy from blood sugars in the mitochondria, and such a molecule containing a single unpaired electron is called a free radical. Free radicals are also generated by the reactive components of many pollutants such as traffic fumes and cigarette smoke, tars and pesticides, and also by the effect of UV radiation in sunlight.
The only purpose of a free radical is to steal an electron from the first source it can find. Such reactions occur very rapidly after the free radical has been generated, and if this electron belongs to another body cell, then the cell is destroyed leading to effects such as premature aging or even cancers. Free radical oxidation of the LDL lipids that carry cholesterol around the blood causes the deposition of fatty plaques inside arterial walls that eventually become constricted or even blocked, leading to heart disease or strokes.
That is why antioxidants that destroy these free radicals are so prized, and the more of them that there are in your body then the less affect the free radicals will have on you. You will retain your youthful looks longer, and will be less liable to suffer from heart disease, cancers, circulation problems and conditions such as diabetes. Many abnormal conditions can be laid at the door of free radicals.
The stronger the free radical, the more harm it can do to you and a strong antioxidant such as astaxanthin is a very powerful weapon in your armory against them. Astaxanthin is a member of the oxygenated xanthophylls, and its high level of antioxidant power likely comes from the ketonic and hydroxyl functional groups of the ionone ring structure. It is more polar than most carotenoids, and this is a likely reason for its ability to span the cell membrane layers, with the active groups close to the hydrophilic-hydrophobic interface. They are thus more readily available at the sites where most free radicals tend to be found and provide immediate protection to the cell membrane and also to the intracellular mitochondrial membrane.
Many antioxidants destroy free radicals by donating an electron, and become oxidized themselves. Astaxanthin, however, does not do this, but instead adds the free radicals to its long double bonded chain hence avoiding oxidation and rendering it much more powerful than normal antioxidants. It is unusual among antioxidants in that it is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and so reduces oxidative stress that can cause neurological disorders in general, and also problems with eyesight. It can also attach itself to lipoproteins to enable it to be carried throughout the bloodstream, being available anywhere that free radicals are generated. The carotenoid is also active against active oxygen species that are responsible for inflammation.
Another property is its ability to neutralize the oxygenated free radicals formed by the photo-oxidation properties of UVA and UVB radiation. Included in these are the previously mentioned highly reactive singlet oxygen and also triplet oxygen that astaxanthin is able to neutralize without becoming oxidized. In fact reactive oxygen species in general can cause oxidative stress, and they have been thought responsible for many forms of disease and health conditions, and the powerful effect of astaxanthin in targeting many of these has led it to be regarded as highly beneficial to the immune system and to health in general.
Another benefit is the ability of the substance to help prevent the oxidation of high density lipoproteins (HDL) that are responsible for carrying cholesterol in the blood back to the liver for destruction. Free radical oxidation of HDL impairs its ability to transport cholesterol, and so decreasing the level of such free radical oxidation will by definition increase the quantity of good HDL available, and hence reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Studies have proved this to be the case, and astaxanthin supplements are very beneficial to those suffering from high blood cholesterol levels, and helps protect them from heart disease and strokes.
The substance is naturally available from a wide range of marine sources, such as lobsters (where it was first discovered), shrimp, salmon, trout and in a wide variety of red and green algae. The substance is also used as a red pigment. Carotenoids are essential, meaning that they are not produced in the human body and can only be obtained in our diets.
For that reason, the most convenient way to take it, apart from continually eating shrimp and lobster, is as a supplement. Astaxanthin is available either as a powerful antioxidant in its own right, or in combination with other substances with which it acts to provide a very strong deterrent to any free radicals that think they can freely roam your body.
Bioflavonoids: Boost Your Brain and Circulatory Health
January 17, 2008 01:16 PM
Bioflavonoids are most commonly praised for their antioxidant properties. They were first identified in the 1930’s by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Ph.D., a Nobel laureate. They are thought to prevent the breakdown of vitamin C in the body, and they also boast their own antioxidant capabilities. Over 5000 different bioflavonoids have been identified in nature. They are classified into categories including flavones, anthocyanidins, flavones, flavonols, isoflavones and flavans. Science is still discovering new types and their healing properties every day. The best part about them is that they are all natural and very powerful.
For example, scientists have been promoting the amazing benefits of the antioxidant found in dark chocolate. It is called epicatechin, and it is an excellent bioflavonoid for heart health. Studies show that it helps maintain healthy blood vessels. Antioxidants in dark chocolate are also believed to lower high blood pressure, according to a study published in the Aug. 27, 2003 edition of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Rutin and quecertin, both found in red grapes, are also linked with a healthier circulatory system. A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1995 found that “the antioxidant and platelet inhibitory properties of other naturally occurring compounds in the wine the consumption of flavonoid-containing foods and beverages may retard atherogenesis and prevent thrombosis on a daily basis.” Translated into common terms, the researchers concluded that bioflavonoid may slow artery and vein degeneration and prevent blood clotting.
The American Heart Association feels that this area of research is very promising. Their website states, “Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants. Plant sterols, flavonoids and sulfur-containing compounds are three classes of micronutrients found in fruits and vegetables. These compounds may be important in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls.”
As far as healthy brain function is concerned, bioflavonoid is thought to help with microcirculation in small vessels throughout the body. You might recall seeing ginkgo biloba in the news. It has been shown to improve memory with its powerful bioflavonoid in numerous studies. What makes ginkgo especially significant is that its bioflavonoids have a stronger potency than many other bioflavonoids, and it seems to have specific benefits in the capillary beds of the brain.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information recently reported the following on their website: “Flavonoids were shown to activate key enzymes in mitochondrial respiration and to protect neuronal cells by acting as antioxidants, thus breaking the vicious cycle of oxidative stress and tissue damage. Furthermore, recent data indicate a favorable effect of flavonoids on neuro-inflammatory events.” In other words, bioflavonoid is thought to help protect your brain cells from degeneration, and recent data shows that they may also reduce swelling.
Researchers are eager to discover all the healing properties bioflavonoids possess. Modern medicine is now faced with an all natural group of chemicals found in plant pigments that may prove to be effective in preserving brain function and promoting cardiovascular health. This is fantastic news for people that prefer natural supplements over expensive prescription pills. Current research shows that these chemicals have significant powers for enhancing overall health. In fact, many researchers advocate including bioflavonoid supplements in your daily health maintenance plan.
Kaneka QH - Ubiquinol
November 30, 2007 03:40 PM
CoQ10 with Heightened Absorption
• New, active form of CoQ10 with heightened absorption, which results in increased blood serum levels
• Provides powerful antioxidant support by blocking free radical damage within cell membranes.
• Supports cardiovascular health and energy production by aiding the synthesis of mitochondrial ATP.
• Supports normal, healthy liver functioning by reducing oxidative stress.
Source Naturals Offers a New, Premier CoQ10 Product
UBIQUINOL COQH bundles all the great benefits of the powerful antioxidant CoQ10 into a superior form that enhances absorption into the body and increases blood serum levels. UBIQUINOL COQH facilitates the production of cellular energy in the mitochondria, which in turn provides robust support to some of the body’s most demanding systems. Both the cardiovascular and liver systems rely heavily on CoQ10 to help generate the energy needed for healthy functioning. Also found in high levels within cellular membranes, CoQ10 works as an effective antioxidant that protects the integrity of mitochondrial and lipid membranes.
1 softgel contains:
Kaneka QH™ Ubiquinol 100 mg
October 24, 2007 11:37 AM
Ubiquinol has powerful antioxidant actions in target cells *
Although ubiquinone (oxidized coenzyme Q10) and ubiquinol (reduced coenzyme Q10) are kept at a constant ratio within the body, the majority of the total coenzyme Q10 pool is made up of ubiquinol. In fact, when ubiquinone is taken orally, much of it appears to be rapidly converted into ubiquinol. 1,4 Ubiquinol functions as a potent antioxidant in humans, including in low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) where it protects them from oxidative damage.1,4,5 The coenzyme Q10 molecule can be found in all membranes throughout cells.6 It appears to works in conjunction with both vitamin E and vitamin C to provide antioxidant actions throughout the body.7
Coenzyme Q10 supports mitochondria to enhance cellular energy production*
Coenzyme Q10, with its widespread distribution throughout the body, plays a crucial role in mitochondrial physiology as a critical member of the electron transport chain. This transport chain, which is part of cellular respiration, leads to the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), our body’s primary energy source. Levels of this key nutrient may decline as a healthy person ages.7,8 Animal studies have found that supplementation can restore normal levels in certain tissues 6, and human studies suggest that supplementing with this enzyme may have increased benefits when a person has depleted levels. 7
Coenzyme Q10 supports healthy heart functioning*
Concentrations of coenzyme Q10 are understandably high in the heart as these muscle cells require high levels of energy to constantly function optimally. A number of studies (both animal and human) strongly suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplementation is supportive for healthy heart functioning and for maintaining cardiovascular system health.7,9
Ubiquinol has been studied for safety and bioavailability in humans*
A recently published single-blind placebo-controlled study in healthy subjects found no safety concerns in people who took Kaneka’s QH ubiquinol supplement orally at doses of up to 300 milligrams daily for up to four weeks.4 Single oral doses of either 150 milligrams or 300 milligrams were given to fifteen healthy men and women, and standard laboratory testing (including hematology, blood chemistry, and urinalysis) as well as physical examination and electrocariography (EKG) results showed no clinically significant changes when tested two days after supplementation as compared to before the taking the supplement. In addition to the single dose study, 80 healthy volunteers were given either placebo, 90, 150 or 300 milligrams of ubiquinol each day for four weeks, and again no clinically significant differences were seen in any of the testing parameters after two and four weeks of supplementation, nor were there differences two weeks after discontinuation of the supplement. By monitoring levels in the blood, the authors found that ubiquinol was well absorbed.4
Studies in several animals also reveal no concern of toxicity in doses of ubiquinol up to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for up to thirteen weeks.4 When compared to humans, this dose level is enormously higher than the recommended doses. Supplementation with ubiquinol appeared to be safe at even higher levels (up to 600 milligrams per kilogram body weight) in a study using a different animal. In vitro assays additionally found no safety concerns for the use of ubiquinol, as it was found to be non-mutagenic and did not cause damage to chromosomes in cells.
Suggested Adult Use: Take one softgel daily with food, or as directed by a nutritionally informed physician.
1. Mohr, D., V.W. Bowry, and R. Stocker, Dietary supplementation with coenzyme Q10 results in increased levels of ubiquinol-10 within circulating lipoproteins and increased resistance of human low-density lipoprotein to the initiation of lipid peroxidation. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1992. 1126(3): p. 247-54.
2. Weber, C., et al., Effect of dietary coenzyme Q10 as an antioxidant in human plasma. Mol Aspects Med, 1994. 15 Suppl: p. s97-102.
3. Okamoto, T., et al., Human serum ubiquinol-10 levels and relationship to serum lipids. Int J Vitam Nutr Res, 1989. 59(3): p. 288-92.
4. Hosoe, K., et al., Study on safety and bioavailability of ubiquinol (Kaneka QH) after single and 4-week multiple oral administration to healthy volunteers. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol, 2007. 47(1): p. 19-28.
5. Stocker, R., V.W. Bowry, and B. Frei, Ubiquinol-10 protects human low density lipoprotein more efficiently against lipid peroxidation than does alpha-tocopherol. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 1991. 88(5): p. 1646-50.
6. Crane, F.L., Biochemical functions of Coenzyme Q10. Journal of the
7. Jones, K., et al., Coenzyme Q-10 and cardiovascular health. Alternative therapies, 2004. 10(1): p. 22-31.
8. Schulz, C., et al., Comparison of the relative bioavailability of different coenzyme Q10 formulations with a novel solubilizate (Solu Q10). Int J Food Sci Nutr, 2006. 57(7-8): p. 546-55.
9. Coenzyme Q10. Monograph. Altern Med Rev, 2007. 12(2): p. 159-68.
Buy Ubiquinol at VitaNet, LLC ®
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, D-Ribose, L-Carnitine, and Magnesium
May 18, 2007 01:06 PM
The Awesome Foursome: Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine,
The “Awesome Foursome” of Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium helps our hearts metabolize energy more efficiently and protects them from the stress of cardiovascular disease. This powerful combination of nutrients goes directly to the basic biochemistry of cellular energy metabolism. Now let’s take a closer look at how Coenzyme Q10, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose, and magnesium work in synergy to promote cardiovascular health.
Energy Recycling through the Electron Transport Chain
Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the mitochondrial membrane, mitochondrial DNA, and cell walls from free-radical attack. But its most important function in the body is its central role in energy metabolism.
Most – about 90 percent – of the ATP used by cells is recycled as food (fuel) and oxidized in the mitochondria. Fatty acids, carbohydrates, and, occasionally, proteins are carried across the mitochondrial membrane and enter the Krebs’ cycle, moving from step to step and spinning off electrons. These electrons are then handed off to the electron transport chain, where, in the presence of oxygen, the energy from the electrons is captured as a phosphate group is added to ADP to form ATP. This recycling of ATP is called oxidative phosphorylation, and the by-products of these pathways are CO2 and water.
In this fashion, Coenzyme Q10 acts as a gatekeeper of electrons, making sure they are carried to just the right place to pass on their life-giving energy.
What is critical, however, is the simple fact that without Coenzyme Q10 the electron transport chain would totally break down. And since the electron transport chain is (by far!) the largest contributor to cellular energy turnover, its loss would be catastrophic. It is also important to know that there has to be an excess of Coenzyme Q10 in the mitochondria to be maximally effective. Having just enough isn’t sufficient to do the job properly, and having a deficiency seriously affects the mitochondria’s ability to supply the cell with energy.
Cellular stress can cause Coenzyme Q10 deficiency, which places a severe strain on Coenzyme Q10 availability. People with heart disease, hypertension, gingival disease, Parkinson’s disease, and the other disorders we’ve discussed are known to be deficient in Coenzyme Q10. Whether these deficiencies are the cause or the effect of these varied medical problems, the end result is that they sap the life out of their mitochondria and reduce their energy supplies. You see, Coenzyme Q10 cannot function properly if electrons are not coming out of the Krebs’ cycle, and the Krebs’ cycle won’t work without the fuel that’s transported into the mitochondria by L-Carnitine.
Transporting the Cellular Energy Fuel
Fatty acids are the preferred energy fuel for hearts and most other cells in the body. L-Carnitine facilitates the beta oxidation of fatty acids as energy fuel. And since fatty acids are the preferred fuel for energy recycling in cells, this action is critical to cell and tissue function. Unfortunately, L-carnitine is deficient in people with heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, lipid metabolic disorders, mitochondrial disorders, and many other disease syndromes we reviewed earlier. This L-carnitine deficiency disrupts the normal metabolism of fatty acids, reducing available energy supplies and leading to the accumulation of toxic by-products of fatty acid metabolism. L-carnitine supplementation revives fatty acid metabolism and restore normal mitochondrial function. But even this powerful improvement in cellular energy metabolism cannot up for the energy drain that comes from the loss of energy substrates caused by low oxygen delivery to the tissue. Only D-Ribose can do that.
Rebuilding the Cellular Energy Pool
As long as cells and tissues have plenty of oxygen, the pool of energy substrates in the cell remains high. And as long as there is enough L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 available, the process of energy utilization and supply can proceed unimpeded. However, the cellular supply of oxygen can be restricted by acute or chronic heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, any number of skeletal – or neuromuscular diseases, or even high-intensity exercise.
When cells are deprived of oxygen the mitochondrial energy turnover becomes inefficient. Remember, oxygen is required to let the oxidative pathway of energy recycling work properly. If the mitochondria are not able to recycle energy efficiently, cellular energy supply cannot keep pace with demand. But the cell has a continuing need for energy so it will use all its ATP stores and then break down the by-product, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), to pull the remaining energy out of this compound as well. What’s left is adenosine menophosphate (AMP). Since a growing concentration of AMP is incompatible with sustained cellular function it’s quickly broken apart and the by-products are washed out of the cell. The net result of this process is a depletion of the cellular pool of energy substrates. When the by-products of AMP catabolism are washed out of the cell, they are lost forever. It takes a long time to replace these lost energy substrates even if the cell is fully perfused with oxygen again.
Ribose is the only compound used by the body to refill this energy pool. Every cell in the body has the capacity to make ribose, but hearts, muscles, and most other tissues lack the metabolic machinery to make ribose quickly when the cells are stressed by oxygen depletion or metabolic insufficiency. Ribose is made naturally in the cells from glucose. In stressed cells, however, glucose is preferentially metabolized for the energy turnover and is not available for ribose synthesis. So when energy pools are drained from stressed cells, the cells must first wait for the slow process of ribose synthesis before they can begin to replace their lost energy stores.
Acute ischemia, like that which takes place during a heart attack, heart surgery, or angioplasty, drains the cell of energy. Even when oxygenated blood flow returns, refilling the energy pool may take ten or more days. But when oxygen deprivation is chronic, or when energy metabolism is disrupted by disease, there may be so much continual strain on the energy supply that the pool can ever refill without the assistance of supplemental ribose. Conditions like ischemic heart disease or congestive heart failure fall into this category. In these situations, supplementing the tissue with exogenous ribose is the only way the cell can keep up with the energy drain.
Switching on the Energy Enzymes
Magnesium is an essential mineral that's critical for energy requiring processes, in protein synthesis, membrane integrity, nervous tissue conduction, neuromuscular excitation, muscle contraction, hormone secretion, maintenance of vascular tone, and in intermediary metabolism. Deficiency may lead to changes in neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal function; Impaired energy metabolism; and reduced capacity for physical work. Magnesium deficiency is now considered to contribute to many diseases, and the role for magnesium as a therapeutic agent is expanding.
Magnesium deficiency reduces the activity of important enzymes used in energy metabolism. Unless we have adequate levels of magnesium in our cells, the cellular processes of energy metabolism cannot function. Small changes in magnesium levels can have a substantial effect on heart and blood vessel function. While magnesium is found in most foods - particularly vegetables - deficiencies are increasing. Softened water and a trend toward lower vegetable consumption are the culprits contributing to these rising deficiencies.
Supporting the Links in The Energy Cycle Chain – the Synergy
Clearly, each membrane of the “Awesome Foursome” is fundamental to cellular energy metabolism in its own right. Each plays a unique and vital role in supplying the heart with the energy it needs to preserve its contractile force. Each is independently effective in helping hearts work through the stress of disease. And while each contributes immeasurable to the energy health of the cell, in combination they are unbeatable. Allow me to reiterate the step-by-step, complicated cellular processes involved to be sure that you really understand the rationale for using these nutrients.
The cell needs a large, sustained, and healthy pool of energy to fuel all its metabolic functions. Contraction, relaxation, maintenance of cellular ion balance, and synthesis of macromolecules, like proteins, all require a high energy charge to carry their reactions to completion. The energy pool must be preserved, or these fundamental cellular functions will become inefficient or will cease to operate altogether. To keep the pool vibrant and healthy, the cell needs ribose. But even with supplemental ribose, the cell needs the efficient turnover of its energy stores to balance ongoing energy utilization with supply. That’s where CoQ10 and L-carnitine come into play.
The converse is also true. Even if the cell is fully charged with energy, cellular energy supply will not keep pace with demand if the mitochondria are not functioning properly. CoQ10 and L-carnitine work to keep mitochondrial operations running at peak efficiency, and one side cannot work effectively without the other. Even though CoQ10 and L-carnitine can make the energy turnover mechanisms work more efficiently, they cannot increase the cell’s chemical driving force, and their action will be only partially effective. Ribose on the other hand, can keep the energy pool supplied with substrate, but the value of energy pool repletion cannot be fully realized if the substrate cannot be maximally utilized and recycled. Ribose fills the tank; CoQ10 an L-carnitine help the engine run properly.
Magnesium is the glue that holds energy metabolism together. By turning on the enzymes that drive the metabolic reactions, magnesium allows it all to happen.
These four nutrients must be utilized by cardiologists and other physicians as they treat patients day-to-day. On my own journey, using Coenzymes Q10 for two decades, L-carnitine for more than ten years, D-Ribose for two years, and magnesium equally as long, I’ve seen this “Awesome Foursome” reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for thousands of patients.
The future of nutrition in conventional medicine is very bright, although the integration of nutritional supplements has been a slow and, at times, lonely process.
L-carnitine and Coenzyme Q10 are finally gaining the recognition they deserve. D-Ribose is emerging as a new player in the complex understanding of metabolic cardiology, and doctors are beginning to discuss the important role of magnesium deficiency in heart patients. As a practicing cardiologist for over thirty years, I see metabolic cardiology as the future for the treatment of heart disease and other complex disease conditions, as well.
Scientific Method of Evaluating the Effectiveness of Natural Medicines
April 21, 2007 01:57 PM
Author Dale Ericsson, M.D.; Shinian Cao, M.D.; Fred Crawford, Ph.D; Dale Haufrect, M.D. and Tommy E Hall, Jr.; USA
It has been traditionally assumed that long chain mucopolysaccharide and other natural ingredients found in aloe vera are active only in aloe vera are active only in their unadorned and non-modified state. There is little scientific evidence, however, to support this conclusion. In fact, certain isolated components of aloe vera have pronounced specific pharmaco-therapeutic effects. The purpose of this series of experiments is to evaluate this unique method of scientifically evaluating biological and herbal products and to specifically compare fractionally distilled aloe preparation from a traditional ale preparation.
Utilizing the scientific method of white blood cell (T lymphocyte) culture, stimulation and metabolic turnover rates of more than 25 substances it was determined that:
1. the pivotal study had demonstrated that this type of T lymphocyte cell culture metabolic analysis is useful for evaluation the safety and efficacy of a variety of treatments in which there is only antidotal or clinical studies to support the therapeutic effect.
2. This technique of single blinded study has been employed to define the efficacy as well as compare fractionally distilled aloe vera (warren Aloe) and a traditional aloe vera product. Application of this type of blinded study to two different forms of aloe vera showed that the following conclusion may be expressed with certainty.
This data suggest that the fractionally distilled Aloe vera is bio-pharmaceutically active and provides specific changes in T cell cultures when compared to baseline and with natural aloe vera juice.
This information has been condensed. For entire report refer to EXPLORER! For the processional magazine; volume thirteen: number Two: Pages 15-19.
CoQ10 for Heart Health
March 28, 2007 12:39 PM
CoQ10 for Heart Health
More than 40% of all deaths in the
One of the most – if not the most – important things people can do to improve their overall health and life expectancy is to improve their heart health. Diet, exercise, and the wise use of dietary supplements can improve heart health dramatically. One dietary supplement that’s extremely beneficial to heart health is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
Q. What is CoQ10?
A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone. That’s because CoQ10 is ubiquitous and exists everywhere there is life. CoQ10 is vital to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all energy-requiring processes in the body. Although COQ10 is produced by the body and exists in some dietary sources, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. Also, some drugs, especially a group of cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs known as “statin,” (Pravachol, Zocor, Lipitor, etc.) significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.
Q. For what health conditions is CoQ10 used?
A. CoQ10 is beneficial in treating and preventing CVD and conditions such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), angina, and congestive heart failure (CHF). It’s been shown that heart attacks tend to occur when CoQ10 levels are low in the body. In addition, CoQ10 is beneficial for diabetes, immune dysfunction, cancer, periodontal disease, prostate cancer, and neurological disease.
Q. Why is CoQ10 especially important to heart health?
A. The heart is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body. In the average person, the heart propels 2,000 gallons of blood through 65,000 miles of blood vessls by beating 100,000 times each day. Thus, it requires large amounts of uninterrupted energy. Heart cells have a greater number of mitochondria, and subsequently, more CoQ10 than any other type of cell. Each heart cell can have thousands of mitochondria to meet these energy demands.
Mitochondria are highly specialized structures within each cell and are often referred to as cell powerhouses. These tiny energy-produces produce 95% of the energy the body requires. The number of mitochondria in a cell depends on its function and energy needs. A cell’s ATP production is dependent on adequate amounts of CoQ10.
Heart disease patients are commonly CoQ10 deficient. Correcting such deficiencies often can produce amazing results. The presence of supplemental CoQ10 is a key to the heart’s optimum performance.
In people who have had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), CoQ10 assists in repairing the heart muscle and restoring heart function. This is due to increased ATP production.
Q. What studies support this fact?
A. A 1998 study found CoQ10 can provide rapid protective effects in patients with a heart attack if administered within three days of the onset of symptoms. The study focused on patients admitted to the hospital with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) diagnosis. Seventy-three patients received CoQ10 (120 mg/d). The study’s control group consisted of 71 similarly matched patients with acute AMI. After treatment, angina pectoris (severe chest pain signifying interrupted blood flow to the heart), total arrhythmias (dangerously irregular heartbeats), and poor function in the left ventricle (the essential chamber of the heart) were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group. Total deaths due to sudden cardiac failure and nonfatal heart attacks also were significantly reduced in the CoQ10 group compared with the placebo group.
In another study, CoQ10 was studied in 109 patients with high blood pressure (hypertension). The patients were given varying doses of supplemental CoQ10 with the goal of attaining a certain blood level (greater than 2.0 mcg/l). Most patients were on medications to treat hypertension. Half the patients were able to stop taking one to three antihypertensive drugs at an average of 4.4 months after starting CoQ10. Only 3% of patients required the addition of one antihypertensive drug. The 9.4% of patients who have echo cardiograms, performed both before and during treatment, experienced a highly significant improvement in heart wall thickness and function. This improvement was directly attributed to CoQ10 supplementation.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a debilitating disease that affects 5 million people in the
Q. I’ve heard that CoQ10 can also help people who have neurological diseases. Is this true?
A. Yes, it is. CoQ10 has been studied for its ability to improve the health of individuals with amotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. A recently completed study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health showed that CoQ10 caused a slowing of the progression of Huntington’s disease, a devastating and degenerative disease that is always fatal. In fact, no other medication, drug, or nutritional supplemental has ever been shown to cause a decline in the progression of this terrible disease.
The study compared CoQ10 against remacemide (an investigational HD drug made by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals), in 347 HD patients who were in the early stages of the disease. Remacemide blocks glutamate, the neurotransmitter scientists think may cause the death of brain cells that occurs in Huntington’s disease. While remacemide had no effect on the progression of HD, CoQ10 showed a trend toward slowing the disease by an average of 15%. This meant the HD group taking CoQ10 was able to handle every day activities of life a little longer than the patients taking remacemide or a placebo. They also were able to focus their attention better, were less depressed, and less irritable. The 15% slowing of decline means that CoQ10 can result in about one more year of independence for HD patients. Needless to say, the gift of an additional year of health in the lives of HD patients is incredibly significant.
Because of these impressive results with HD, researchers are hopeful that the studies of CoQ10 in those with ALS and Parkinson’s disease will similarly have a positive effect on the symptoms and/or progression of these neurological disorders, too.
Q. Why is it crucial for a CoQ10 supplement to cross the blood-brain barrier?
A. The brains’ blood vessels are composed of cells with extremely tight junctions. These junctions form the blood-brain barrier, which restricts what can pass from the bloodstream into the brain. While this barrier protects the brain, it can be a significant obstacle to central nervous system therapy. To leave the bloodstream and reach the brain cells, a substance must pass through the tightly connected cells of the capillary walls. Only substances with unique solubilities or those with a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier to a significant degree. As a result, crossing the blood-brain barrier presents a significant challenge to supporting neurological health.
While most CoQ10 supplements enter the bloodstream and increase blood serum levels, only special forms of CoQ10 have been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. For CoQ10 to enter the mitochondria within the brain, CoQ10 must first cross the blood-brain barrier to produce significant neurosupportive clinical results.
Q. How can one supplement have applications for neurological diseases, heart health, and even the immune system?
A. Supplements often have more than one function, especially when it’s a substance like CoQ10, which is present in all parts of the body. All nucleated cells (most cells other than red blood cells) have mitochondria and all cells require energy to function. CoQ10 is vital to ATP production. Thus, CoQ10 has applications not only in neurological (neurons or nervous system cells) and cardiac health (myocardium or heart tissue), but also for the immune system.
Q. Are all CoQ10 supplements created equal? Doesn’t CoQ10 just have to get into the bloodstream to be effective?
A. There are some important distinctions among CoQ10 products, as they vary greatly in quality and absorbability. It’s crucial to find a CoQ10 product that’s:
1. Scientifically shown to absorb through the digestive tract, cross cellular membranes, and increase mitochondrial levels of CoQ10. Chewable forms of CoQ10 provide rapid bioavailability and absorption. Serum level determination of CoQ10 in the bloodstream is not necessarily the most important measure of efficacy. For a CoQ10 supplement to be fully effective, it must cross the cellular barrier and raise intracellular CoQ10 levels. A key indicator of effective CoQ10 supplementation is its presence in cell mitochondria.
2. The natural form of CoQ10. The natural process uses living organisms. CoQ10 also can be synthesized by a chemical process, which produces a distinctly different product that contains chemical compounds not found in the natural form.
3. Formulated with ingredients that provide the transport system CoQ10 needs to cross cellular membranes and the blood-brain barrier. Not all forms of CoQ10 have been scientifically proven to cross cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier. Some prestigious groups that have investigated this issue include researchers at
4. Studied by respected organizations, with research published in peer-reviewed journals by reputable scientists.
Q. How much CoQ10 should I take?
A. Take 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily, depending on your family history of heart disease and personal heart disease experience.
CoQ10’s safety has been evaluated. Dosages in studies have ranged from 100 mg to 1,200 mg per day. To date, no toxicities have been reported. Occasional mild stomach upset may occur. Taking CoQ10 with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.
Q. What are some other heart-friendly supplements?
A. CoQ10 is an excellent supplement for overall cardiovascular health, as in L-carnitine. L-carnitine is the naturally occurring form of carnitine that’s found in food and synthesized in the body. Much of the body’s L-carnitine is found in the heart and skeletal muscle, tissues that rely on fatty acid oxidation for most of their energy. Nearly 70% of the energy needed for heart function is derived from fatty acid breakdown. Proper L-carnitine supplementation transports fatty acids into cell mitochondria, where it’s burned for energy. L-carnitine is an excellent addition to CoQ10, especially for people with heart disease, and has been shown to improve many symptoms associated with CVD. In one study, people who had experienced one heart attack received either L-carnitine or placebo. The L-carnitine group had a statistically significant reduction in second heart attacks, and improved overall survival.
Q. What supplements support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol?
A. In addition to maintaining overall cardiovascular health, it’s also important to address your essential fats/lipids levels and healthy circulation/blood pressure. Fish oil supplements can significantly reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and homocysteine levels. Choose a supplement that’s a rich source of EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids naturally obtainable in fish oil. Find a product that’s been clinically studied and purified to ensure it contains the beneficial active constituents of the whole oil, while removing any dioxins, DDT, PCBs, or heavy metals, toxins present in some commercial fish oil preparations. An enteric-coated garlic product that provides a minimum of 5,000 mcg of beneficial allicin supports healthy blood pressure and circulation. And magnesium, niacin, vitamin E, folic acid, hawthorn extract, and L-cysteine provide overall nutritional support to the heart and vascular system.
CoQ10 is not the only answer to the complex issues of heart disease, neurological disease, or immune dysfunction; however, research indicates that it’s a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagined. The more we study this naturally occurring compound, the more benefits we find.
The key to this supplement is the manufacturing quality. For safety and overall effectiveness, use a CoQ10 product that’s supported by product-specific research from reputable institutions. Choose tested products from a well-respected company to increase your potential to achieve and maintain heart and blood vessel health.
Supplementation with clinically studied products can have a major impact on your heart’s health and strength. However, no supplement replaces the need to eat a healthful diet low in refined foods (especially sugar), and saturated fats, and to exercise your most important muscle – your heart – on a regular basis.
Supplements good for reducing stress and boosting energy!
March 26, 2007 02:05 PM
More and more Americans are feeling overworked, overtired, and overcome by life’s demands. We just do not have the energy we need to meet our responsibilities to the people we care about. More importantly, we don’t even have the energy to have fun! It seems that a constant feeling of fatigue has become part of the American way of life.
Research has shown that the same processes that cause lack of energy can rob us of sleep, saddle us with excess weight, disrupt our hormonal balance, and create significant amounts of stress in our daily lives. Chronic stress can dramatically contribute to fatigue, sleep disorders, irritability, and anxiety. The research simply confirms what most of us already know – uncomfortable stress can really wear us out mentally and physically! It can take away the satisfaction of a job well done. It can take away our ability to believe in ourselves. And, sadly and maybe most importantly, continual stress can take the fun and joy out of life.
In a separate issue of Ask the Doctor, we discuss the energy and sleeping needs of people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In this issue, I discuss the 3-step process I call “Vitality 101.” People do not have to accept pain, insomnia, or fatigue. It’s time for everyone to feel great and have a life they love!
Step 1 – Nutrition
Good overall nutrition is important for everyone! As a foundation product to support energy levels, a powdered drink mix is a pleasant, easy way to ensure that you are taking all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that you need to have great energy all through your day.
The following chart lists the most critical ingredients. You can see that almost all of the vitamins and minerals work together to help improve energy levels and overall health.
In addition to the powdered energy drink mix, it is important that you also take a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement. This should include niacinamide, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and choline, which are especially important to restore the energy production needs of your body. It is also critical to get enough water, as most Americans are chronically dehydrated.
Step 2 – Rest Your Body
Having trouble sleeping is one of the most troubling symptoms of stress. While the stress is wearing us down and making us tired, it’s also keeping us tense and unable tot relax. The result? That easy drift into sleep becomes harder and harder. And if we are lucky enough to actually get some shut-eye, stress will often wake us up, sometimes several times a night.
This occurs because excess stress suppresses the sleep center in the brain. It is important to break the “stress/insomnia cycle” early, before it results in pain and hormonal and immune dysfunction!
Because good quality sleep is how the body repairs and re-energizes itself, it may be helpful to use herbal products to promote good quality sleep. There are many natural supplements that are marketed as sleep formulas. To get the best results, it is very important that the right ingredients are in the sleep formula you buy. Look for a supplement that has a blend of herbs that promote deep sleep, such as valerian, L-theanine, hops, passionflower,
Step 3 – Manage Excess Stress Levels
In this fast paced world, it is important to learn to manage the stressor in our lives. Glandular extracts, such as raw adrenal extract, can offer natural support to help our bodies deal with the effects of stress and, in turn, can boost your energy levels. Exercise is another stress buster. Using your body physically is important for good health. Find something that is fun for you, however, or you are unlikely to stick with it!
Q. Does stress zap my energy in any other ways besides making me lay awake at night and causing me to be a zombie the next morning?
A. Most people are familiar with the body’s dramatic response to an emergency. The heart pounds, the muscles constrict, and the lungs expand – and while this is happening, we are capable of greater than normal strength and speed. This response is the body’s way of rescuing itself when faced with an emergency. We don’t have to think about it to make it happen. It’s automatic.
The same can be said of a chronic stress response. Whether we’re late for a business meeting because we’re stuck in traffic, or worrying about how we are going to pay for our children’s college tuition, our response to stress happens automatically. The difference between the two is that the body’s response in an emergency starts and resolves itself quickly. The response to being stuck in traffic may not.
The body makes the “stress hormone”, cortisol, to handle the normal stresses of day-to-day living. But in an emergency situation, the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, secrete increased amounts of this hormone until the emergency passes. Then the body returns to its normal function. Unfortunately, however, chronic stress is more complex. When our body is subjected to increased amounts of the hormone, cortisol, for an extended time, it can lead to a condition known as “adrenal burnout” or “adrenal fatigue.” While it’s true that very large amounts of cortisol can have damaging effects on our hormones, too little cortisol doesn’t allow us to respond to stress properly. It’s really a matter of balance.
Q. How can I control the stress in my life and re-energize?
A. Many people who are under constant stress may have adrenal burnout. Adrenal burnout occurs when the adrenal glands are constantly producing cortisol in response to chronic stress. Over time, this exhausts the adrenal reserve, meaning the adrenal gland can no longer increase cortisol production in response to stress.
The good news is that changes in our hormone levels can return to normal when stress is decreased. The key in learning how to deal with daily stress is to allow the body to return to its normal state. I discuss additional techniques for coping with stress in my recent book Three Steps to Happiness! Healing Through Joy (see my website, www. jacobeitelbaum .com, for more information). In addition to stress control, it is important to supplement your adrenals with a glandular therapy regimen to ensure healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function. Glandular therapy, which uses the concentrated forms of bovine (cow) or porcine (pig) glands, can improve the health of our glands. Pioneers in the field of endocrinology (the study of hormones) hypothesized that glandular extracts work by providing nutrients the body lacked and thus repaired the malfunctioning gland.
If you are one of the unlucky folks with stressed-out adrenal glands, you should see great results from taking raw adrenal supplements. Be sure to buy adrenal extract supplement that contains both whole adrenal and cortex adrenal.
The best adrenal supplement should also contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and licorice. Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which is broken down into glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhetinic acid. This compound inhibits the activity of an enzyme that turns active cortisol into inactive cortisol. While in high amounts (greater than 100 mg of glycyrrhizic acid/day), licorice administration causes hypertension, no such effects have been observed at lower doses. Experts have speculated that inhibition of the cortisol-converting enzyme may reduce cortisol-related symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands use these nutrients to manufacture cortisone and other compounds. It just makes sense to purchase an adrenal supplement with these supportive ingredients.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to eat your liver so that you didn’t get “tired blood?” Well, it turns out that she was right. Liver extract is another glandular extract that can help improve energy levels.
Liver extract is an excellent source of highly bioavailable nutrients including iron, B vitamins (especially B12), and other minerals. The stamina and energy-enhancing benefits of liver are widely touted. Liver extract has been shown to support healthy function of the liver and increase the energy levels inside our body.
Because heat will destroy the key components in the liver, a high quality liver extract supplement should be cold-processed and encapsulated to enhance speed and absorption of nutrients from liver. A high quality aqueous liver extract supplement should also contain vitamin B12 to support healthy blood iron and oxygen levels to energize.
Q. It will be great to get a good night’s sleep. Are there also any other natural alternatives that could help promote relaxation and increase my energy levels during the day?
A. Yes, there are. Rhodiola rosea is an all-natural herb that has long been used to help relieve stress and increase energy. Rhodiola has also been used to lift our moods, improve sexual satisfaction, and even help in certain nervous system disorders. First used in Siberia and
In clinical trials, the most effective Rhodiola rosea extract was found to contain 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. While there are many Rhodiola supplements in health food stores, only those containing these specific amounts can provide the best results.
Altered digestion, food intolerances, decreased energy, fatigue, cognitive problems, and sleeplessness create the need for changes in daily living routines. These can include alterations in diet; exercise modifications; alterations in activities of daily living according to one’s energy level; and sleep/rest management. All may require the assistance of a professional clinician, such as a chiropractor, nutrition specialist, physical and/or occupational therapist, mental health professional, or sleep therapist.
Super busy lives demand super strength nutrition. Begin each day with a powdered nutritional supplement after getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night. In addition to the nutritional beverage mix, a vitamin B complex supplement should be taken every morning. The nutritional drink mix and the vitamin B complex supplement will ensure that your body has all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients to combat your fatigue. Taking a daily adrenal supplement, like the one discussed earlier, will provide the much needed (and often depleted) nutrients your body may be lacking, and help you recover lost energy. Rhodiola rosea, and ginseng can offer additional natural nutritional support in your busy life to boost your energy levels. These nutritional supplements can be used daily and you will feel energized to get through each day’s challenges and opportunities!
Neurological Health and CoQ10
February 25, 2007 12:06 PM
Between 1946 and 1965, 78 million Americans were born, creating the largest number of children in U.S. history. This Baby Boom generation has greatly influenced the makeup of American society and undoubtedly w ill continue to do so. Thanks to good nutrition and health care, Baby Boomers are aging well and have an excellent life expectancy. For the first time in history, we have more people turning 60 every day, and record numbers of adults reaching their seventh decade. As a result, neurological diseases associated with aging, such as Parkinson’s disease, are becoming major health care concerns. The good news is CoQ10 has applications for neurological diseases, in addition to its better known use for cardiovascular diseases.
Q. What is CoQ10?
A. CoQ10 is a natural, fat-soluble nutrient present in virtually all cells. CoQ10 also is known as ubiquinone (existing everywhere there is human life). CoQ10 is vital to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy-rich compound used for all energy-requiring processes in the body.
Q. Isn’t CoQ10 a supplement for heart health?
A. Yes, it is. Because the heart requires lots of ATP to meet its high energy needs, CoQ10’s function in heart health is well understood. Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated that when individuals with heart disease take CoQ10, their symptoms improve, sometimes quite dramatically. Supplemental CoQ10 improves the heart’s pumping ability, improves blood circulation, increases tolerance to exercise, and improves the heart’s muscle tone. CoQ10 also is a powerful antioxidant and protects heart tissue from free-radical damage.
Q. How does CoQ10 affect brain health?
A. CoQ10 works in the brain the same way it works elsewhere in the body: it’s essential to ATP production. Nearly all human cells contain tiny structures called mitochondria. Mitochondria are referred to as cell powerhouses because they produce cellular energy. Depending on what each cell’s job is. There can be several thousand mitochondria in one cell. If a cell needs a lot of energy, it will have more mitochondria. This explains why heart cells contain so many mitochondria; the continual pumping of blood requires continual ATP production.
The brain also requires huge amounts of uninterrupted energy to regulate, integrate, and coordinate ongoing nervous system transmissions. To meet this need, ATP production within the mitochondria of brain cells is vital. Since CoQ10 exerts such a powerful influence on heart cells in ATP production, it was a natural progression for scientists to wonder how it affects brain cells. Brain and nervous system research led to the conclusion that the same intracellular principles apply. CoQ10 is produced in the body to assist in ATP production. Without it, ATP cannot be produced.
The most important discovery regarding CoQ10 and the brain is that CoQ10, when formulated with certain ingredients, can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain’s mitochondria. If large amounts of CoQ10 can get into the brain cell’s mitochondria, its ability to make ATP is greatly enhanced.
Q. What is the blood-brain barrier and why is it important?
A. The blood-brain barrier is a unique anatomical structure. The cells that make up the blood vessels that provide blood to the brain are extremely close together. This greatly restricts what can leave the bloodstream and enter the brain. While the blood-brain barrier protects the brain and spinal cord from potentially toxic substances, it also can be a significant obstacle to therapy of central nervous system disorders. Only substances with certain solubilities or those that have a transport system can cross the blood-brain barrier to a significant degree.
Obtaining optimal absorption of CoQ10 is difficult. The CoQ10 molecule is large and inflexible. The easiest and least expensive way to increase absorption levels is with the use of harsh solvents such as propylene glycol. However, at higher doses, these types of chemicals are considered dangerous (neurotoxic) to the person with a serious neurodegenerative disease. It is more difficult, as well as more expensive (considering raw materials, research, and proper manufacturing methods) to promote absorption with less harmful alternatives. However, reputable companies ensure that their products are safe for all their customers. Look for CoQ10 products formulated with vitamin E and other safe ingredients such as Micosolle.
Nearly all CoQ10 supplements enter the bloodstream. But, only CoQ10 supplements with special formulations have been scientifically shown to enter the mitochondria and cross the blood-brain barrier.
Q. If CoQ10 is made in the body, why take supplements?
A. While CoQ10 is synthesized in the body, these levels may be insufficient to meet the body’s requirements. Researchers have discovered CoQ10 levels diminish with age and as a result of dietary inadequacies and various disease states. They also have determined some medications significantly reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.
Although CoQ10 exists in some dietary sources, it may not be realistic to obtain CoQ10 through food alone. For example, it would take approximately 3 pounds of sardines, 7 pounds of beef, or 8 pounds of peanuts to equal 100 mg of supplemental CoQ10.
Q. How does CoQ10 help people with Parkinson’s disease?
A. CoQ10 seems to have several beneficial actions in the illness. Researchers have looked at mitochondria in brain cells and determined people with Parkinson’s disease have reduced activity of Complex I in the electron transport chain. Recent research has proposed the reduced activity of Complex I interferes with the brain-signaling chemical dopamine. Stored and newly synthesized dopamine is depleted. The dopamine depletion causes nerve cell degeneration.
A recent clinical study involved 80 patients with Parkinson’s disease (both men and women). The researchers first evaluated all the participants to establish scores for basic motor skills (measuring the ability to control physical movements such as walking), mental status (whether the person was depressed or experiencing memory loss) and the activities of daily living (whether the person was experiencing difficulty with handwriting, dressing themselves, using utensils such as knives and forks, and so on). This scale is known as the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). This process is known as establishing “baseline values,” that is, the condition of the patient before receiving any treatment.
Participants were divided into 4 groups. Each group received either 300 mg, 600 mg, or 1200 mg of the special form of CoQ10, or a placebo. The researchers observed the participants for 16 months.
The results of the study showed that all the participants who received CoQ10 had smaller declines in function compared to the placebo group, but the smallest decline was experienced by the group taking the highest amount of the special form of CoQ10.
The most significant results were noted specifically in the activities of daily living scores by the people taking 1200 mg of CoQ10 daily. These people retained better ability to feed and dress themselves, speak, walk, and bathe or shower by themselves. They maintained greater independence for a longer time. Parkinson’s disease, as with other neurodegenerative diseases, robs the sufferer of their ability to control the movements of their own body and care for themselves. Supplementation with CoQ10, while not a cure, is the first intervention that showed a slowing in the progressive deterioration of the function associated with this disease.
Q. What were the results of clinical research on Huntington’s Disease?
A. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study respected type of study, was conducted at the University of Rochester. All of the 347 Huntington’s disease (HD) patients were experiencing some HD symptoms, but were still in the early stages of the disease. The patients (who did not know which drug they were receiving) were randomly assigned to four different treatment groups: 25 percent received Remacemide, 25 percent received CoQ10, 25 percent received both, and 25 percent received a placebo, or sugar pill. The researchers, who also did not know which patients got which drug, watched and recorded their progress for two and one-half years. Remacemide is a new drug made by Astra Seneca that blocks the neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain, that has long been suspected of contributing to the death of brain cells in Huntington’s disease.
Unfortunately, in the CARE-HD study, Remacemide had no effect on the progression of the disease in patients in the early stages. However, the individuals who received 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced some slowing of the disease progression. They were able to manage daily activities, such as meal preparation, housekeeping tasks, and personal care longer than those not on CoQ10. They were also able to focus their attention better and were less depressed and irritable. The portion of the studied patients receiving 600 mg of CoQ10 per day experienced a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD. According to the researchers conducting the study, a 15 percent decline in the progression of HD would roughly translate into approximately one more year of independence for patients. This is the very first study from more than a dozen Huntington’s disease patient trails that showed any modification of the course of the illness.
Of note, the effects of the CoQ10 had not abated at the end of the research study. That is, the benefit of using CoQ10, 600 mg per day, was still increasing; this suggests that the longer a patient supplements with CoQ10, the greater the decline in the progression of HD. The next phase of the CARE-HD research will test a higher dose of CoQ10 (1200 mg or more per day), with more patients (over 1000), for a longer period of time (approximately 5 years). This study should improve our understanding of the optimal dose and the total achievable decline in the progression of HD. The CoQ10 product used in the CARE-HD study was designated an Orphan Drug by the FDA. The product utilizes a proprietary, patent-pending delivery mechanism, which is proven to be safe and tolerable at high doses for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, substantially improving brain tissue levels of CoQ10.
Q. What other diseases could benefit from CoQ10 supplementation?
A. Studies show CoQ10 levels are greatly reduced in Alzheimer’s patients. Mitochondrial abnormalities also are noted; however, research has yet to determine how or why this occurs. Some scientists believe damage to mitochondria is an early feature of the disease. Free-radical damage also is a feature of Alzheimer’s.
In a study of 27 Alzheimer’s patients, subjects were given 60 mg of CoQ10, 150 mg of iron, and 180 mg of vitamin B6 daily. Each patient’s mitochondria activity was effectively activated. All patients continued to experience gradual decline. However, researchers believed that with this combination, the progression was much slower and allowed the patients to experience 1 to 2 years of extended good health.
ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a progressive, fatal, neurological disease. It occurs when the nerve cells in the brain that control voluntary movement gradually degenerate. Investigation of CoQ10 in individuals with ALS is just beginning. Researchers at the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center at Columbia University recently conducted a small clinical pilot trial of CoQ10 in ALS. The study was an open label study, which meant that everyone enrolled received CoQ10, 400 mg three times per day. Of the 16 patients originally enrolled, nine patients completed the study. Six of these nine patients experienced some benefits. The patients declined from 0 – 25 percent in functional scores, 6 percent in strength, and 10 percent in breathing ability. These scores reflect a positive trend compared to the 50 percent decline that is seen in the natural history of ALS over the same period of time (5 to 9 months). Citing the need to conduct more studies of the effectiveness of CoQ10 for people with ALS is rapidly and efficiently as possible to get answers to patients and clinicians, another clinical trial is currently underway at the Gehrig ALS Center. This is a pilot study to determine if CoQ10 has short-term effects on motor nerves in the brain using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). The researchers are going to try to “see” if CoQ10 can change the chemical sin the brain’s upper motor nerves of people with ALS, an important next step of the investigation.
Q. Can taking CoQ10 prevent neurodegenerative disease?
A. To date, there have been no studies or research examining whether CoQ10 can prevent these diseases.
Alzheimer’s disease prevention is being clinically investigated. Researchers have determined that people who take certain anti-inflammatory medications seem less likely to develop the illness. A large, multi-centered trial is studying this connection.
Q. How much CoQ10 should I take?
A. Depending on your family history of neurological disease and your disease experience, studies show benefits at doses of 100 to 200 mg of CoQ10 daily. Some studies used doses of up to 1,200 mg per day.
CoQ10’s safety has been evaluated. To date, no toxicities have been reported. Mild stomach upset may occur. Taking CoQ10 with meals usually alleviates this rare effect.
Q. What should I look for in a CoQ10 supplement?
A. Use products which have a strong clinical research track record, supported by product-specific research from reputable institutions, and have been proven to be safe, tolerable and effective in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. The CoQ10 product you choose should be proven to: be absorbed, enter the blood stream, cross the blood brain barrier and increase mitochondrial levels of CoQ10. If the product you are considering does not have evidence to support these points, keep looking. Once you have found a candidate, examine the product’s safety and efficacy record for neurodegenerative diseases- if the product has not been proven to be safe and effective, keep looking. Good products exist; however, caveat emptor.
CoQ10 supplementation for people with neurodegenerative diseases is supported by contemporary clinical research. CoQ10 is certainly not the only answer to the complex issues of management and treatment of these types of diseases. However, research indicates that it is a bigger piece of the puzzle than physicians and scientists ever imagined. As we continue to study this naturally occurring compound, we are finding more and more benefits to the body.
All CoQ10 is not created equal. For safety and overall effectiveness, use a CoQ10 product that is supported by product-specific research from reputable institution, which is proven to be safe, tolerable and effective at high doses; deviating from this set of criteria may do more harm than good for people with these serious illnesses. Choose clinically tested products from a well-respected company and increase the potential to achieve and maintain brain and neurological health.
Benefits of L-Carnitine
February 12, 2006 03:24 PM
Benefits of Acetyl-L-Carnitine
February 12, 2006 01:55 PM
December 30, 2005 08:55 AM
If you consider yourself a serious, competitionminded athlete, you already know how important the “edge” is when it comes to your success. Regardless of whether it’s shaving a second off your personal best, squeezing out one more rep on the bench, or bumping up your batting average by just a tenth of a point, the difference between achieving fi rst place and an honorable mention may be a simple as knowing what specialty nutrients can make it so.
Thanks to impressive advances in the science of sports nutrition, there are plenty to choose from these days. Creatine monohydrate, for example, helps foster the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a mitochondrial chemical that makes it possible to store, produce and use energy for muscular contractions. Another, branched chain amino acids (BCAA), help increase protein synthesis by promoting anabolic balance by preventing the catabolism that typically occurs during intense training. Pyruvate, a unique pairing of calcium and pyruvic acid, helps facilitate the transfer of glucose from the bloodstream into muscles where it supports the production of metabolic energy.
When it comes to fueling your body with the nutrients and compounds it needs to perform at its pinnacle, quality takes top priority. Purchasing a line of supplements based on the allure of the label won’t do a thing for your ability to improve, physically. In fact, it may end up costing you more than just money in the long run. NOW Sports supplements are developed under the same demanding, science-based standards inherent to every NOW product, and guaranteed to be exceptional in potency, purity and quality.
GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
December 19, 2005 08:47 AM
GliSODin Anti-Aging and Antioxidant Protection
In the time it takes you to finish reading this article, you, your body and your cells will have aged. Some, more than others. Nevertheless, every second that ticks away should serve as a reminder that our time here is temporary. How much time we actually end up with depends on many things. Diet. Lifestyle. Environment. Superoxide Dismutase? I’ll explain. What some of the healthiest individuals fail to realize is that our bodies age from the inside out. Aging is not the result of passing time, but rather the result of what we’re exposed to environmentally, physically and chemically. It is the integrity of our cells, not our clocks, that determine how smooth the aging process fares.
Each day, we’re subjected to millions of elements that affect us in ways seldom seen, felt or noticed. From the moment we’re born, we rely on our cells to work around the clock - producing energy, fighting infections and sustaining life. These same cells eventually determine the rate at which we show (or hide) our age.
Taking into consideration that our planet has no shortage of toxins & germs, the need to safeguard our cells becomes very real. Constant exposure to exhaust, secondhand smoke, heavy metals, lead, fluoride and uncountable other noxious compounds should ideally provide us with nothing more than a routine immune system workout. Unfortunately, over long periods they hinder our “resistance” abilities and become stepping stones to accelerated aging.
Antioxidants. We’ve all heard the term before, and may even have a general understanding of their role. But to better grasp just how vital they are, it helps to know what’s happening at the cellular level. Free radicals are unstable molecular thieves that often lack electrons. To compensate, they rob healthy cells - a process better known as oxidation. Antioxidants work with the immune system to prevent oxidation, and clean up the mess it leaves behind. Hence, the name.
There are two types. Exogenous antioxidants are derived from our diet and include vitamins A, E, and C along with others such as alpha lipoic acid, selenium, CoQ10, grape seed, pycnogenol and zinc. To date, we’ve been limited to exogenous antioxidants as a way to increase the rate at which our body wards off oxidation. They are not, however, our first line of defense. At birth, each and every one of us is equipped with three primary endogenous enzymatic antioxidants; SOD (Superoxide Dismutase), Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) and Catalase.
While both types of antioxidants are beneficial, we’ve become reliant on those from the diet to compensate for our inability to boost the effectiveness of our 3 primary antioxidants. For years, researchers have been examining ways to enhance the activity of our built-in bodyguards. One in particular, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) has been of foremost interest. SOD targets what many researchers regard as one of our greatest health threats and aging accelerators - Superoxide radicals. These highly reactive, merciless molecules incite enormous amounts of oxidative stress and are capable of wreaking havoc on healthy cells. When cells are left unprotected by SOD, the results can be disastrous - respiratory problems, premature aging, memory loss, cardiovascular challenges, vision failure and joint structure damage, among others.
Until now, we’ve been at the mercy of our natural SOD reserves to fight superoxides. Researchers have been working feverishly to produce an effective oral SOD supplement, but have continually encountered a frustrating hurdle - exposure to gastric acid denatures SOD, rendering it useless. As a result, the only effective way to supplement SOD was through injections. These, however, only yielded short-term spikes. And then something remarkable happened that changed everything. Nutrition scientists in France determined that by combining Cucumus melo (a melon high in SOD) with a wheat gliadin stabilizer, it would be possible to prevent SOD from deteriorating in the digestive tract, while preserving it in the blood for extended periods. Not only is this the answer to a puzzle that has plagued researchers, it’s a breakthrough that will impact the life of anyone seeking longevity and vitality.
As the first proven oral SOD supplement ever introduced to the public, GliSODin® has taken antioxidant protection, immune support and antiaging science to an entirely new level. The primary function of GliSODin® is to scour the body for superoxide radicals and reduce them to less reactive ions that can be swept away; a process known as dismutation. In addition, GliSODin® reduces the oxidation vulnerability of healthy cells, protects mitochondrial activity and safeguards DNA structure.
What’s most remarkable is that GliSODin® has actually been shown to stimulate the body’s own natural production of all three enzymatic antioxidants, including SOD. For the first time in history, we will have the ability to enhance the effectiveness of our body’s primary defense mechanism.
New GliSODin® from NOW® represents the ultimate in antioxidant protection. By increasing one’s level of SOD while stimulating the natural production of Glutathione Peroxidase and Catalase, GliSODin® delivers antioxidant protection unlike any previously released dietary supplement. Remember, the aging process begins at a level that we simply can not see, the cellular level. Shielding your cells from superoxide damage is one of the smartest steps you can take against aging before your due time. GliSODin® has made this a reality.
December 08, 2005 03:33 PM
Carnitine CreatinateNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 6/30/05
LIKELY USERS: Athletes, Bodybuilders, Dieters, People who consume a lot of fat, People needing cardiovascular support (energy for the heart), People who need quick energy, especially for fast muscle response, People with muscle wasting problems (including the elderly), Weightlifters
KEY INGREDIENTS: L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate is a specialized form of Creatine bonded to L-Carnitine. Creatine is a compound natural to the human body that aids in the regeneration of ATP, the chemical energy used by muscle tissue. During exercise, large quantities of creatine are irreversibly consumed. Clinical studies have shown that oral supplementation with Creatine can increase the amount of Creatine available in muscles for ATP production. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is necessary for the transfer of fatty acids into the fat-burning parts of the cell, facilitating energy production from fat. The combination of these two compounds can produce a synergistic effect, making NOW® Carnitine Creatinate an ideal energy supplement.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: Carnitine and Creatinate Monohydrate is a patented ingredient that has been the subject of research studies. It is supported by the scientific staff in the laboratories of both NOW Foods and the raw material supplier, both of which have a mutual interest in protecting the integrity and efficacy of this product. Protected by U.S. Patent No. 5,994,581 (L-Carnitine Creatinate Monohydrate).
Look at the price: this is a better way to buy both supplements than purchasing them separately.
This formula is suitable for vegetarians and is offered in both tablet and powder forms.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: As a dietary supplement, every two tablets provide 1,000 mg. (one gram) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Or one teaspoon provides 1,150 mg.) each of both L-Carnitine and Creatine Monohydrate. Take one or more servings per day with a carbohydrate source, such as fruit juice or sports drinks.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: CoQ10, carbohydrates, B-Complex vitamins, chromium, vanadium, Hawthorn leaf and flower extract, protein supplements. Adaptogenic herbs: ginsengs, Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Maca, Ashwaganda, licorice root
PRODUCT SPECIFIC: This product is very sensitive to moisture. Please keep in the original packaging or in a moisture resistant container. Do not take more than 20 grams per day. Discontinue use if cramps of stomach upset occur, especially if taking large doses. Do not take if kidney disease is present. Do not use large doses of caffeine with creatine, as it may increase the possibility of muscle cramping.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. When taking any new supplement, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time to avoid any potential problems.
Packages may contain moisture or oxygen controlling packets or canisters that are not intended for consumption. In order to maintain maximum freshness, please do not remove these from your bottle (until the bottle is empty). Please recycle your container.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Broquist HP (1994) Carnitine, in Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 8th ed., Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M (eds.) Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, pp. 459-465. Casey A, Greenhoff PL (2000) Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance? Am J Clin Nutr 72(suppl):607S-17S. Columbani P, Wenk C, Kunz I, et al. Effect of L-carnitine supplementation on physical performance and energy metabolism of endurance-trained athletes: a double blind crossover field study. Eur J Appl Physiol 1996;73:434-9.
Dal Negro R, Pomari G, Zoccatelli O, Turco P. L-carnitine and rehabilitative respiratory physiokinesitherapy: metabolic and ventilatory response in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1986;24:453-6.
Dal Negro R, Turco P, Pomari C, De Conti F. Effects of L-carnitine on physical performance in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1988;26:269-72.
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Green RE, Levine AM, Gunning MJ. The effect of L-carnitine supplementation on lean body mass in male amateur body builders. J Am Diet Assoc 1997;(suppl):A-72.
Harris RC, Soderlund K, Hultman E (1992) Elevation of creatine in resting and exercised muscle of normal subjects by creatine supplementation. Clin Sci 83(3):367-374.
Kendler BS. Carnitine: an overview of its role in preventive medicine. Prev Med 1986;15:373–90.
Kobayashi A, Masumura Y, Yamazaki N. L-carnitine treatment for congestive heart failure—experimental and clinical study. Jpn Circ J 1992;56:86–94.
Murray MT. The many benefits of carnitine. Am J Natural Med 1996;3:6-14 [review].
Tamamogullari N, Silig Y, Icagasioglu S, Atalay A. Carnitine deficiency in diabetes mellitus complications. J Diabetes Complications 1999;13:251–3.
Yesilipek MA, Hazar V, Yegin O. L-Carnitine treatment in beta thalassemia major. Acta Haematol 1998;100:162-3. CREATINE MONOHYDRATE: Almada A, Mitchell T, Earnest C. Impact of chronic creatine supplementation on serum enzyme concentrations. FASEB J 1996;10:4567.
Becque MD, Lochmann JD, Melrose DR. Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2000;32:654-8.
Casey A, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Howell S, et al. Creatine supplementation favorably affects performance and muscle metabolism during maximal intensity exercise in humans. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E31-E7.
Earnest CP, Almada AL, Mitchell TL. High-performance capillary electrophoresis-pure creatine monohydrate reduces blood lipids in men and women. Clin Sci 1996;91:113-8.
Earnest C, Almada A, Mitchell T. Influence of chronic creatine supplementation on hepatorenal function. FASEB J 1996;10:4588.
Earnest CP, Snell PG, Rodriguez R, et al. The effect of creatine monohydrate ingestion on anaerobic power indices, muscular strength and body composition. Acta Physiol Scand 1995;153:207-9.
Felber S, Skladal D, Wyss M, et al. Oral creatine supplementation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: a clinical and 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Neurol Res 2000;22:145-50.
Feldman EB. Creatine: a dietary supplement and ergogenic aid. Nutr Rev 1999;57:45–50.
Green AL, Hultman E, Macdonald IA, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments skeletal muscle creatine accumulation during creatine supplementation in man. Am J Physiol 1996;271:E821–6.
Green AL, Simpson EJ, Littlewood JJ, et al. Carbohydrate ingestion augments creatine retention during creatine feeding in humans. Acta Physiol Scand 1996;158:195-202.
Greenhaff PL. Creatine and its application as an ergogenic aid. Int J Sport Nutr 1995;5:94-101.
Greenhaff PL. The nutritional biochemistry of creatine. J Nutr Biochem 1997;8:610-8 [review].
Greenhaff PL, Bodin K, Soderlund K, et al. Effect of oral creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle phosphocreatine resynthesis. Am J Physiol 1994;266:E725-30.
Greenhaff PL, Casey A, Short AH, et al. Influence of oral creatine supplementation on muscle torque during repeated bouts of maximal voluntary exercise in man. Clin Sci 1993;84:565-71.
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Hultman E, Soderlund K, Timmons J, et al. Muscle creatine loading in man. J Appl Physiol 1996;81:232–7.
Juhn MS, O’Kane JW, Vinci DM. Oral creatine supplementation in male collegiate athletes: a survey of dosing habits and side effects. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99:593–5.
Kreider RB, Ferreira M, Wilson M, et al. Effects of creatine supplementation on body composition, strength, and sprint performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:73-82.
Poortmans JR, Auquier H. Renaut V, et al. Effect of short-term creatine supplementation on renal responses in men. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 1997;76:566–7.
Poortmans JR, Francaux M. Long-term oral creatine supplementation does not impair renal function in healthy athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999;31:1108–10.
Pritchard NR, Kaira PA. Renal dysfunction accompanying oral creatine supplements. Lancet 1998;351:1252–3 [letter].
Sewell DA, Robinson TM, Casey A, et al. The effect of acute dietary creatine supplementation upon indices of renal, hepatic and haematological function in human subjects. Proc Nutr Soc 1998;57:17A.
Silber ML. Scientific facts behind creatine monohydrate as a sports nutrition supplement. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1999;39:179–88 [review].
Sipila I, Rapola J, Simell O, et al. Supplementary creatine as a treatment for gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina. N Engl J Med 1981;304:867-70.
Stone MH, Sanborn K, Smith LL, et al. Effects of in-season (5-weeks) creatine and pyruvate supplementation on anaerobic performance and body composition in American football players. Int J Sport Nutr 1999;9:146-65.
Stout JR, Eckerson J, Noonan D, et al. The effects of a supplement designed to augment creatine uptake on exercise performance and fat-free mass in football players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997;29:S251.
Tarnopolsky MA. Potential benefits of creatine monohydrate supplementation in the elderly. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2000;3:497-502 [review].
Tarnopolsky M, Martin J. Creatine monohydrate increases strength in patients with neuromuscular disease. Neurology 1999;52:854-7.
Tarnopolsky MA, Roy BD, MacDonald JR. A randomized, controlled trial of creatine monohydrate in patients with mitochondrial cytopathies. Muscle Nerve 1997;20:1502-9.
Toler SM. Creatine is an ergogen for anaerobic exercise. Nutr Rev 1997;55:21-5 [review].
Vandenberghe K, Gills N, Van Leemputte M, et al. Caffeine counteracts the ergogenic action of muscle creatine loading. J Appl Physiol 1996;80:452–7.
Vandenberghe K, Goris M, Van Hecke P, et al. Long-term creatine intake is beneficial to muscle performance during resistance training. J Appl Physiol 1997;83:2055-63.
Walter MC, Lochmuller H, Reilich P, Klopstock T, Huber R, Hartard M, Hennig M, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in muscular dystrophies: A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. Neurology. 2000 May 9;54(9):1848-50. PMID: 10802796
Walter MC, Reilich P, Lochmuller H, Kohnen R, Schlotter B, Hautmann H, Dunkl E, Pongratz D, Muller-Felber W. Creatine monohydrate in myotonic dystrophy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. J Neurol. 2002 Dec;249(12):1717-22. PMID: 12529796
Vitaberry Plus + Super Fruit Antioxidant
December 07, 2005 05:43 PM
Vitaberry Plus +™ Super Fruit AntioxidantBy Nilesh Patel, NOW Quality Assurance, April 20, 2005 Why are FRUITS AND VEGETABLES important? “Diets rich in FRUITS AND VEGETABLES may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.”- National Cancer Institute. OXYGEN AND ANTIOXIDANTS As we all know, “Oxygen is critical to life,” but is itself a double-edged sword. While oxygen is necessary to sustain life and for natural defense against microbes, too much oxygen in our cells can lead to the production of “free radicals” (mitochondrial respiratory chain) or ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Free radicals come in many forms - singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, superoxideperoxynitrite, to name a few - but all have one commonality. Each has an unpaired (unbalanced) electron, a situation it remedies by stealing an electron from a stable molecule. This sets off a domino effect of oxidation, a chain reaction that usually ends up damaging cellular integrity and compromising overall health. Nature has a defense system in place to protect these processes in the form of antioxidants. Whether endogenous (produced by the body, such as liver enzymes, SOD, coenzymes and sulfur-containing compounds) or exogenous (obtained through the diet, such as vitamins C & E, bioflavonoids, carotenes, etc.), antioxidants “quench” free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize a molecule, thus controling the chain reaction and stopping the oxidation “domino effect”. ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS Research suggests that eating plenty of foods high in antioxidants helps to slow the processes associated with aging and protect against many chronic diseases. Maximizing one’s antioxidant power will enhance overall health. Fruit and vegetables contain both nutritive and non-nutritive factors that can affect oxidative damage and enzymatic defense and might contribute to redox (antioxidant and prooxidant) actions. A new “6-a-day” study looked into the effects of fruits and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers by The Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research in Denmark. The study found that fruits and vegetables increase erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity and resistance of plasma lipoproteins to oxidation more efficiently than do the nutritive factors (vitamins and minerals) that the fruits and vegetables are also known to contain. Certain berries, such as blackberries, also contain salicylates, which are also linked to heart health and prevention of atherosclerosis. The protective effects of fruits and vegetables intake on both heart disease death and deaths in general have previously been demonstrated but researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston. Quercetin is an anti-oxidizing flavonoid found in many berries (such as cranberries, bilberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.) and can prevent CVDs (coronary vascular diseases), according to a recent Finnish study. All these natural plant polyphenols are responsible for the colors of many red and purple berries, fruits, vegetables and flowers. GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES The new federal guidelines released earlier this year by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, combined, than any other food group -- five cups or about 10 servings a day for most adults. The amount of fruits and vegetables recommended has increased for men and women of every age. “Fruits and vegetables are the "good news" story of the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans for food-loving consumers, the industry and America's public health”, stated the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). Eating a variety of colorful phytochemical-rich fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower risk of some chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many authoritative organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and The American Heart Association recommend getting phytochemicals from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than from individual component supplements. The Scottish government is promoting healthy eating through a scheme designed to increase purchasing of fruit and nutritional foods. Scottish health minister Andy Kerr said, "This initiative shows that healthy eating can be good for customers and good for business." Scottish women are said to have the highest rates of death from lung cancer in the world as well as the highest rates in Europe for coronary heart disease. They also have low consumption of fruits and vegetables, shown in studies to help protect against some cancers and benefit heart health. ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) Free radicals and oxygen free radicals play an important role in the development and progression of many brain disorders such as brain injury, neurodegenerative disease, and Down syndrome. Oxidative stress is an important factor in the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes & is also linked to other host of degenerative health conditions. Fortunately, antioxidants are available to support the body’s defense and fight disease and aging. Examples of “Fast acting antioxidants” in the body (serum) are: uric acid (polyphenols), ascorbate, bilirubin, vitamin E (the later two are lipid soluble). Examples of “Slow acting antioxidants” are glucose, urea nitrogen etc. In short, free radicals, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are generated as by-products of normal cellular metabolism. Their deleterious effects are minimized in vivo (in the body) by the presence of antioxidant systems. How do Antioxidants work? Antioxidants are substances in plants that help maintain health. Antioxidants protect against damage to cells caused by too many “free oxygen radicals,” which form because of the effects of oxidation. Smoking, sunlight, heavy exercise, and pollution all increase oxidation in the body. Most people would benefit by eating more (five to nine or more servings) fruits and vegetables & colorful plant foods, such as purple, dark green, yellow, orange, blue, and red ones, each day. These have healthful pigments along with antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, selenium, flavonoids, and other beneficial substances. There are numerous ways in which these antioxidants affect, but can be explained in two groups: Alpha (a) Effects: This refers to the scavenging or neutralizing of free radicals. These effects do not change the way humans (or animals) feel. There are also no noticeable health, psychological or emotional benefits. While there are no obvious changes, increased total antioxidant intakes are associated with decreased tumor rates, prevention of heart attacks and increased longevity. Beta (ß) Effects: These are the changes on health, psychological or emotional state that you or others will notice. In this case, the antioxidant is affecting metabolic processes (enzymes) with consequent changes in the physical (improvement in joint movements, improved skin condition, tissue damage recovery), emotional (better ability to cope with stress) or psychological state (increased alertness). The ORAC value Because most of the active nutritional components in fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, accurate measurement of antioxidant activity serves as a good indicator of potential health benefit. Scientific opinion runs high that ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) will eventually become a government standard of reference for overall daily fruits and vegetables intake. ORAC units are a measurement of the ability of food to stop oxidation. It is most generally expressed in terms of Trolox equivalent per gram (µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). POPULATION DATA A survey done by the National Research Council indicates that only 10% of the US population consumes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The equivalent to eating 5 mixed servings of fruits and vegetables per day is about 1,670 ORAC units. Based on scientific evidence it is suggested that daily antioxidant intake should be increased to between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC units per day, per human subject, in order to reach a significant antioxidant capacity in blood plasma and other tissues. WHAT IS NOW DOING TO HELP? In accord with our mission, “To provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives,” NOW® Foods is introducing an ALL-FRUIT-DERIVED antioxidant product called VitaBerry Plus +™ Super Fruit Antioxidant Vcaps (vegetarian capsules) (product number #3336). At time of manufacture this product provides an ORAC value of at least 2,500 units per serving from a full-spectrum antioxidant blend of fruits containing phytochemicals and phenolic compounds such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, quinic acid, resveratrol , many organic acids, resveratrol and vitamin C. VitaBerry Plus +™ is formulated with VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend [a proprietary blend of fruit extracts & concentrated powders containing Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) extract, Grape (Vitis vinifera) & Grape seed extract, Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) & Raspberry seed extract, Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), Prune (Prunus domestica), Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus), Wild Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extract & Strawberry (Fragaria virginia)], Hi-Active™ Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Pomegranate (Punica granatum) min. 40% ellagic acid fruit extract. One gram of VitaBerry™ Hi-ORAC Fruit Blend provides at least 6,000 ORAC units (i.e., µmole Trolox equivalents (TE)/g). (Also watch for an upcoming antioxidant product from NOW called Enzogenol® (Pinus radiata bark extract from New Zealand) with Rutin (a flavonoid from South American fruit of Dimorphandra mollis) and Grapeseed extract. IS IT EFFECTIVE? Total ORAC value includes both lipophilic and hydrophilic components. VitaBerry Plus +™ contains only water/hydroethanol based extracts and concentrated (100:1 to 125:1) freeze-dried fresh fruit blends, so the lipophilic ORAC value is mere 2-4% of the total ORAC value. Glutathione peroxidase is a selenium-containing enzyme that decreases cell death from brain injuries. It also acts as a critical first-line antioxidant defense on the airway (respiratory) epithelial surface against ROS and RNS (reactive nitrogen species. Genetics research has found that the glutathione S-transferase gene controls the onset of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease etc. Taking glutathione (GSH) itself as a supplement does not boost cellular glutathione levels, since it breaks down in the digestive tract before it reaches the cells. So glutathione precursor dietary supplements (such as NAC and GliSODin), along with fruits and vegetables, are effective in boosting intracellular levels of GSH. The lungs have a defense system against the ROS oxidants consisting of low molecular weight antioxidants such as GSH and intracellular enzymes such as SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase to protect against the toxic effects of oxidants generated within the cells. Some of the primary effects of VitaBerry Plus +™ against the common reactive free-radical species or ROS are as follows: - Superoxide dismutase-SOD (destroys Superoxide radicals),
- Catalase (neutralizes peroxides),
- Functions similar to reduced Glutathione (GSH),
- Glutathione peroxidase enzyme (detoxifies peroxides, using GSH as a reducing agent),
- Functions similar to Glutathione S-transferase (GST),
- Nullifies Superoxide-generating NADH/NADPH oxidase system In conclusion More concentrated than fresh berries, with over 6000 ORAC units per gram, VitaBerry Plus +™ provides consumers with the antioxidant power of almost 15 servings per day of FRUITS AND VEGETABLES ina convenient vegetarian capsule form! VitaBerry™ PLUS +™ (# 3336) provides a powerful, convenient way to supplement diets that do not include sufficient fruit and vegetable antioxidants Selected References: USDA/HHS guidelines report at: etaryguidelines/dga2005/document/
ls.com/proprietary/pdf/VitaberryBrochure.pdf g Kaplan M., Hayek T. , Raz A., Coleman R. and Aviram M. Pomegranate juice supplementation to apolipoprotein E deficient mice with extensive atherosclerosis reduces macrophages lipid peroxidation, cellular cholesterol accumulation and development of atherosclerosis. J. Nutr. 131: 2082-2089 (2001) Lars O Dragsted et. al., The 6-a-day study:effects if fruit and vegetables on markers of oxidative stress and antioxidative defense in healthy nonsmokers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 79, No. 6, 1060-1072, June 2004 Fuhrman B. and Aviram M. Polyphenols and flavaonoids protects LDL against atherogenic modifications.In: Handbook of Antioxidants Biochemical, Nutritional and Clinical Aspects, 2nd Edition. Cadenas E & Packer L (Eds.) Marcel Dekker, NY(Pub.). 16:303-336 (2001) Wood, Jacqueline, et al. Antioxidant activity of procyanidin-containing plant extracts at different pHs. Food Chemistry 77 (2002) 155-161 Aviram M. Pomegranate juice as a major source for polyphenolic flavonoids and it is most potent antioxidant against LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis. Free Radical Research 36 (Supplement 1): 71-72 (2002) Jennifer Schraag, Antioxidants: Nature’s Way of Balancing Life. HSR Health Supplement Retailer, Vol. 11, No. 2, 24-27, February 2005 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58665 com/news/printNewsBis.asp?id=58697
Solaray - Acetyl L Carnitine - Sustain the Brain
September 13, 2005 06:59 PM
Give your brain the boost it needs with Acetyl L Carnitine naturally produced by the body to metabolize fatty acids in the heart and brain, Acetyl L Carnitine supplies your cells with much needed energy and may play a key role in supporting natural, healthy cognitive and cardiovascular function.
Make the smart choice and choose Acetyl L Carnitine.
Why Acetyl L Carnitine?
New Solaray Acetyl L Carnitine
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)
August 02, 2005 03:52 PM
Benfotiamine raises the blood level of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), the biologically active co-enzyme of thiamine.4
Thiamine and its Co-enzyme, TPP
Thiamine (vitamin B1) plays an essential part in the metabolism of glucose, through actions of it co-enzyme TPP (thiamine pyrophosphate). TPP is formed by the enzymatically-catalyzed addition of two phosphate groups donated by ATP to thiamine. TPP also goes by the name "thiamine diphosphate." In the cytoplasm of the cell, glucose, a 6-carbon sugar, is metabolized to pyruvic acid, which is converted into acetyl-CoA, otherwise known as "active acetate." Acetyl CoA enters the mitochondrion, where it serves as the starting substrate in the Kreb’s cycle (citric acid cycle). The Krebs cycle is the primary source of cellular metabolic energy. TPP, along with other co-enzymes, is essential for the removal of CO2 from pyruvic acid, which in turn is a key step in the conversion of pyruvic acid to acetyl CoA. CO2 removal from pyruvic acid is called "oxidative decarboxylation," and for this reason, TPP was originally referred to as "cocarboxylase." TPP is thus vital to the cell’s energy supply. Benfotiamine helps maintain healthy cells in the presence of blood glucose. Acting as a biochemical "super-thiamin," it does this through several different cellular mechanisms, as discussed below.
Benfotiamine and Glucose Metabolism Benfotiamine normalizes cellular processes fueled by glucose metabolites.
As long as glucose remains at normal levels, excess glucose metabolites do not accumulate within the cell. The bulk of the cell’s glucose supply is converted to pyruvic acid, which serves as substrate for production of acetyl CoA, the primary fuel for the Krebs cycle. Of the total amount of metabolic energy (in the form of ATP) released from food, the Krebs cycle generates about 90 percent.5 In the presence of elevated glucose levels, the electron transport chain, the final ATP-generating system in the mitochondrion, produces larger than normal amounts of the oxygen free radical "superoxide." This excess superoxide inhibits glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), as key enzyme in the conversion of glucose to pyruvic acid, resulting in an excess of intermediate metabolites known as "triosephosphates." Increase triosephophate levels trigger several cellular mechanisms that result in potential damage to vascular tissue. Cells particularly vulnerable to this biochemical dysfunction are found in the retina, kidneys and nerves.
Benfotiamine has been shown to block three of these mechanisms: the hexosamine pathway, the diaglycerol-protein kinease C pathway and the formation of Advanced Glycation End-poducts. As discussed below, benfotiamine does this by activating transketolase, a key thiamin-dependent enzyme.6 Benfotiamine stimulates tranketolase, a cellular enzyme essential for maintenance of normal glucose metabolic pathways.* Transketolase diverts the excess fructose-6-phosphate and glyceraldehydes-3-phosphate, (formed by the inhibition of GAPDH, as mentioned above), into production of pentose-5-phosphates and erythrose-4-phosphate and away from the damaging pathways. Benfotiamine activates transketolase activity in bovine aortic endothelial cells incubated in glucose.6 To test benfotiamine’s ability to counteract these metabolic abnormalities caused by elevated blood glucose, studies have been done in diabetic rats. Benfotiamine increases transketolase activity in the retinas of diabetic rats, while concomitantly decreasing hexosamine pathway activity, protein kinase C activity and AGE formation.6
Benfotiamine and Protein glycation Benfotiamine controls formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs).
AGEs have an affinity for proteins such as collagen, the major structural protein in connective tissue. AGEs are formed through abnormal linkages between proteins and glucose. This occurs via a non-enzymatic glycosylation reaction similar to the "browning reaction" that takes place in stored food.7 At high glucose concentrations, glucose attaches to lysine, forming a Schiff base, which in turn forms "early glycosylation products." Once blood glucose levels return to normal levels, the amount of these early glycosylation products decreases, and they are not particularly harmful to most tissue proteins. On long-lived proteins such as collagen, however, early glycosylation products are chemically rearranged into the damaging Advanced Glycation End-products. AGE formation on the collagen in coronary arteries causes increased vascular permeability. This vessel "leakiness" allows for abnormal cross-linking between plasma proteins and other proteins in the vessel wall, comprising vascular function and potentially occluding the vessel lumen. A number of other potentially harmful events may also occur, including production of cytokines that further increase vascular permeability. Endothelin-1, a strong vasoconstrictor, is over produced, increasing the possibility of thrombosis and generation of oxygen free radicals is stimulated.8 It is vitally important to support normal glucose metabolic pathways so that formation of AGEs is minimized. Benfotiamine, in the test tube (in vitro) prevents AGE formation in endothelial cells cultured in high glucose by decreasing the glucose metabolites that produce AGEs.9 Endothelial cells make up the membranes that line the inner walls of organs and blood vessels. In a rat study comparing the effects of Benfotiamine with water-soluble thiamin, Benfotiamine inhibited AGE formation in diabetic rats while completely preventing formation of "glycooxidation products," which are toxic by products of chronic elevated blood glucose. AGE levels were not significantly altered by thiamin.10 Benfotiamine also normalized nerve function in the animals. After three months of administration, "nerve conduction velocity (NCV)," a measure of nerve function, was increased by both benfotiamine and thiamin; at six months, NCV was normalized by benfotiamine, whereas thiamin produced no further increases in this parameter.
Dysfunctional glucose metabolic pathways leading to AGE formation occurs in endothelial cells of the kidneys. In a recent animal study, benfotiamine was administered to rats with elevated glucose levels. Benfotiamine increased transketolase activity in the kidney filtration system of these rats, while at the same time shifting triosephophates into the pentose pathway and preventing protein leakage.11
Benfotiamine has an excellent tolerability profile and can be taken for long periods without adverse effects.3,12 The statements in this fact sheet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. Bitsch R, Wolf M, Möller J. Bioavailability assessment of the lipophilic benfotiamine as compared to a water-soluble thiamin derivative. Ann Nutr Metab 1991;35(2):292-6.
2. Schreeb KH, Freudenthaler S, Vormfelde SV, et al. Comparative bioavailability of two vitamin B1 preparations: benfotiamine and thiamine mononitrate. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 52(4):319-20.
3. Loew D. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996;34(2):47-50.
4. Frank T, Bitsch R, Maiwald J, Stein G. High thiamine diphosphate concentrations in erythrocytes can be achieved in dialysis patients by oral administration of benfontiamine. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;56(3):251-7.
5. Pike RL, Brown ML. Nutrition, An Integrated Approach, 3rd Ed. New York:MacMillan; 1986:467.
6. Hammes H-P, Du X, Edlestein D, et al. Benfotiamine blocks three major pathways of hyperglycemic damage and prevents experimental diabetic neuropathy. Nat Med 2003;9(3):294-99.
7. Monnier VM, Kohn RR, Cerami A. Accelerated age-related browning of human collagen in diabetes mellitus. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1984;81(2):583-7.
8. Brownlee M. The pathological implications of protein glycation. Clin Invest Med 1995;18(4):275-81.
9. Pomero F, Molinar Min A, La Selva M, et al. Benfotiamine is similar to thiamine in correcting endothelial cell defects induced by high glucose. Acta Diabetol 2001;38(3):135-8.
10. Stracke H, Hammes HP, Werkman D, et al. Efficacy of benfotiamine versus thiamine on function and glycation products of peripheral nerves in diabetic rats. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 2001;109(6):300-6.
11. Babaei-Jadidi R, Karachalias N, Ahmed N, et al. Prevention of incipient diabetic nephropathy by high-dose thiamine and benfotiamine. Diabetes 2003;52(8):2110-20.
12. Bergfeld R, MatsumaraT, Du X, Brownlee M. Benfotiamin prevents the consequences of hyperglycemia induced mitochondrial overproduction of reactive oxygen specifies and experimental diabetic neuropathy (Abstract) Diabetologia 2001; 44(Suppl1):A39.
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat!
June 14, 2005 12:04 PM
Move it and Lose it! Burn off body fat! by Mimi Facher Energy Times, June 1, 1997
So you're feeling a little blah, a little overweight, and you're looking to drop a few of those winter pounds gained during the colder months. Maybe you've dabbled with diets and jogged around the neighborhood a few times but you're still packing unsightly bulges. If so, you may be considering the idea of turning to supplements to help you drop those pounds. Well, two types of diet supplements now generally available, combined with a diet and exercise program, may be able to help you trim those stubborn pounds.
The first type of supplement, called metabolic optimizers, which include ephedra, caffeine and salicin (derived from willow bark), boost your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn calories faster. The second class, lipotropic substances, aid the body in fat mobilization, causing greater utilization of stored fat. These products include chromium, carnitine and hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Both classes of supplements have been around in various forms for quite a while but are now enjoying greater popularity among dieters.
Trying to cope with a weight problem is a dilemma expanding throughout modern society. According to a 1995 Harris poll, nearly 75% of Americans are overweight. Although it's well known that the way to lose weight is to expend more calories than you take in, supplements may be able to help you burn off extra calories.
Thermogenesis and You
Metabolic optimizers are supposed to aid weight loss through a process called thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a natural process in which fat is burned to produce body heat. Fat that isn't burned is stored on the hips, thighs, stomach, etc. Thermogenic agents are designed to counteract your body's fat storage mechanisms by causing your body to maintain a higher metabolic rate-turning your internal thermostat up to burn fat faster. The thermogenic process can be jump-started by a number of factors including cold, exercise, certain dietary nutrients and metabolic optimizers.
The ephedra herb, also known as ma huang is one of nature's earliest medicines, known for over 5000 years to the Chinese, who used it to relieve allergies, coughing, wheezing and cold and flu symptoms. In the US, ephedra has been available since the 1800s.
The ingredients in ephedra include the alkaloids ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and norephedrine. Concentrated forms of these substances are used in today's over-the-counter cold, allergy and asthma relief formulas.
Ma huang's effectiveness as a weight loss aid is tied to its appetite suppressant and stimulant properties. By speeding up action of the thyroid gland, the ephedrine found in the herb acts a thermogenic agent, boosting the rate at which the body metabolizes fat and promoting weight loss. According to Mark Blumenthal, Executive Director of the American Botanical Council, "When used as part of a total package that includes diet modification and exercise, ma huang can be highly effective in the short run because it increases the speed of the body's metabolism and suppresses appetite."
Because of their strong stimulant effect, ephedra and its derivatives have engendered some controversy. However, in its long history, billions of doses of ephedra have been consumed without problem. But ephedra supplements should only be used as directed on product labels. People with cardiovascular problems, diabetes, thyroid or prostate dysfunction, high blood pressure and those taking MAO inhibitors, pregnant or nursing should avoid this herb.
Salicin Burns Fat
Salicin, a substance derived from willow bark-which is also the original source for aspirin, a related compound-can boost the burning of fat when combined with ephedra. An animal study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that while ephedra boosted calorie burning by almost 10%, when ephedra was combined with aspirin, extra calorie burning just about doubled. Another study in the Internatioanl Journal of Obesity showed that when overweight women took aspirin and ephedrine during a meal, their bodies burned off more calories than normal. (Eating a meal produces a thermogenic effect as your body expends energy in digestion. That's why dieters are told not to skip meals. Skipping meals lowers your metabolic rate, decreasing your calorie expenditure.)
Similar studies also show that caffeine, the stimulant that gives coffee its eye-opening kick, can also boost ephedra's thermogenic properties. But before using these combinations check with a health practitioner knowledgeable about nutrition. Aspirin or salicin may cause stomach upset in some people (although salicin is generally tolerated well.)
Carnitine: Lipotropic Amino Acid
To get carnitine into your system, you don't have to take it as a supplement. Your body already makes this vitamin-like substance. However, your body doesn't make that much. And it is said to be especially low in people with heart disease.
This non-essential amino acid (said to be non-essential because human bodies produce it) is a key ingredient in the formation of mitochondria membranes. Mitochondria are tiny structures in your cells that burn fats for energy. Consequently, sufficient carnitine is necessary for the movement of fat into the mitochondria where it is consumed. When not enough carnitine is present, the breakdown of long chain fatty acids slows down.
Said to improve the recovery rate for athletes (it may limit the production of lactic acid, a waste product in muscle tissue), carnitine can also lower cholesterol levels, boost levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and decrease serum triglycerides (blood fats linked to heart disease). Not bad for a nutrient that coaxes fat into those teeny, ceullular, mitochondrial furnaces.
Go for the Chrome
Chromium-based supplements work as lipotropic agents by aiding insulin use in the body. This essential trace mineral is required for normal protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism. According to Dr. Michael Janson, author of The Vitamin Revolution in Healthcare and President of the American Preventive Medical Association (APMA), "Chromium is important for proper insulin activity. Insulin moves sugar into the muscle cells, where it is burned off as energy. Chromium improves the activity of insulin, and since insulin causes fat deposition, less of it means less fat deposition." Chromium has also been shown to build muscle tissue and to reduce LDL cholesterol, which has been linked to heart disease.
Although the body's minimum requirement is low, the American diet tends to be deficient in chromium, in part because the mineral can be difficult for the body to absorb. The fact that, in nature, chromium is most powerfully concentrated in brewer's yeast, wheat germ and liver-items most Americans rarely eat-probably hasn't helped either. Other natural sources of chromium include whole grains, molasses and beef. But it is estimated that 50% of Americans are chromium deficient. An early study found that overweight adults taking a chromium supplement lost an average of 22% body fat, while maintaining or gaining lean body mass. In another study, athletes consuming 200 mcg. of chromium a day showed an average loss of 7.5 lbs. of body fat after six weeks, without a corresponding loss of muscle tisue. Overall, although some studies question chromium's precise effects, many experts are optimistic about this substance because of its relationship to insulin in the body's metabolism.
Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA)
Another possible addition to the dieter's arsenal is HCA. In nature, HCA appears chiefly in a fruit called garcinia cambogia (sometimes also called Malabar tamarind or brindall berry), a citrus plant found primarily in Asia, where the rind is often used as a flavoring agent. HCA works by inhibiting the enzyme in the body responsible for converting carbohydrates into fat. HCA causes calories to be burned in an energy cycle similar to thermogenesis and acts as somewhat of an appetite suppressant. HCA is also said to have a role in reducing triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.
Several animal studies have shown that HCA caused significant weight loss without a reduction in lean body mass. In other words, the pounds that came off came out of fat stores, and not out of energy or muscle reserves. This means that HCA takes off not just weight but body fat, making it a potentially effective tool against weight regain.
Dr. Elson Haas, director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, CA, and author of Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine, believes that HCA can be a helpful aid for dieters when used in combination with eating habit changes and exercise. He recommends an HCA and chromium blend for optimum appetite suppression. "This combination can keep the appetite down and reduce sugar cravings," he says.
Although human research data on HCA is still in the preliminary stages, the animal study results are positive, and the supplement seems to have minimal side effects in most people.
Some Overall Recommendations
You are likely to lose weight faster if you eat sensibly. This means avoiding foods high in fat or sugar (which are the most likely to add to stored body fat), but it doesn't mean starving yourself. A sensible balanced diet, along with moderate exercise, is still the best prescription for weight loss. As Dr. Haas puts it, "I'm a firm believer in diet and exercise. Using supplements responsibly can help you to lose weight provided they're combined with dietary changes and exercise. They won't work if you don't change anything." No one is suggesting that dietary supplements are a miracle cure for being overweight-as always in self-health care, there are no magic wands. But, used as directed and combined with a good diet and exercise plan, you could find that these supplements might help you work your way to a slimmer you.
Mimi Facher is a freelance writer who has contributed to Prevention, Cosmopolitan and Self.
Hidden In Plain Sight - The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
June 12, 2005 06:02 PM
Hidden In Plain Sight by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 7, 2003
Today, a devastating disease is striking millions of Americans. Sixteen million Americans already have this disease, and every day another 2,200 Americans learn they have it. The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
The potential ramifications: Millions of people more susceptible to heart disease, dementia, infections, amputations and blindness. Lowering your risk for diabetes is relatively simple and terribly important. Because dealing with some of its effects once you are its victim can be much more complicated.
Signs of Trouble
"Approximately one in four individuals over the age of 60 has type 2 diabetes, which is a remarkable statistic," says Gerald Shulman, MD, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. "And, if you add impaired glucose tolerance [a condition that often leads to diabetes], you're talking about 40% of the population."
The economic burden of this epidemic is staggering, estimated at about $100 billion a year and growing.
If you never exercise, carry around a substantial amount of stomach fat and have seen your weight climb significantly over the years, you are among the people at higher risk for diabetes.
These lifestyle habits eventually render your body unable to efficiently process blood sugar. In technical terms, researchers investigating how the body uses and misuses blood sugar have identified what they have called "syndrome X" or "metabolic syndrome," a condition that puts you at high risk for both diabetes and heart disease.
If you have three or more of the following signs, you now have metabolic syndrome and, unless you change the way you live, may eventually suffer diabetes (Circulation 7/14/03):
* Fat around your middle
* High blood pressure
* High triglycerides (blood fats)
* Low level of HDL ("good" cholesterol)
* High fasting blood sugar
In a study of more than 6,000 men in Scotland, having three of these metabolic problems almost doubled the risk of heart disease and more than tripled the risk of diabetes. If you have four of these risk factors, your risk of heart disease just about quadruples, and your diabetes risk skyrockets almost 25 times.
The cells in your body get the energy they need to survive when they take sugar out of your blood and oxidize it along with fatty acids. Normally, insulin, a hormone-like substance released by the pancreas, speeds the absorption of blood sugar by the cells. When your pancreas cannot make insulin at all or makes too little, you suffer what is called type 1 or juvenile diabetes. This condition is usually treated by taking insulin.
But if your pancreas secretes what should be enough insulin for glucose absorption, and your cells are still unable to take sufficient sugar from your blood, you have what is called type 2 or adult-onset diabetes.
Understanding exactly why cells develop difficulties in taking sugar out of the blood and using it for energy has long troubled medical investigators. This condition, before it develops into full-blown diabetes, is called insulin resistance. Researchers have now linked it to malfunctioning mitochondria, the little structures in cells that make the energy that keeps cells functioning.
Scientists have long known that, as you age, you become more susceptible to diabetes. And when researchers compare the mitochondria in young people with those found in the cells of the elderly, they find that older mitochondria are more sluggish.
The mitochondria within the cells oxidize glucose and fatty acids to make energy. (They accomplish this in a complicated metabolic action called the Krebs cycle.) Difficulty with this process, or insulin resistance, can occur when fat and fatty acid waste products accumulate in your liver and muscle tissue.
"We hypothesized that there were two routes to this type of fat accumulation," says Dr. Shulman. "One is that the fat cells might release more fatty acids to be delivered to muscles and/or defects in mitochondrial oxidation might then lead to the accumulation of these fatty acids."
Research confirms that fatty molecules probably collect in muscle cells because the mitochondria's ability to burn fat breaks down over the years. On average, mitochondrial activity dips about 40% in older people.
Dr. Shulman thinks that the final coup de grace in the development of diabetes from insulin resistance takes place when the mitochondria malfunction in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
Although Dr. Shulman says that more research is needed to understand why mitochondrial function slips with age, he recommends keeping your mitochondria from slacking off by exercising. Studies now show that regular physical activity can probably increase the mitochondria in your muscles by activating release of an enzyme called AMP kinase. "...an encouraging note in this study is that-since we've shown that exercise leads to more mitochondria by activation of [the enzyme] AMP kinase-by staying active, the elderly might...maintain mitochondrial content and head off such health problems," says Dr. Shulman. "This is yet another reason for seniors to maintain an active lifestyle," he adds.
Maitake for Metabolic Syndrome
Another natural way to fight the metabolic syndrome is with an extract of the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa). The extract, called sx-fraction, is attracting research investigating its ability to help the body manage blood sugar more efficiently. In one study, five people with diabetes improved their blood sugar levels with sx-fraction (Diab Med 2001; 18).
This research found that taking maitake sx-fraction is often accompanied by drops in blood glucose levels ranging from 30% to 63%. According to Mark Kaylor, PhD and Ken Babal, CN, in Syndrome X and SX-Fraction (Woodland), "...Studies have demonstrated that whole maitake or its fractions are potent agents for improving 'diabetic conditions.'"
Take the Whole Grains Home
Eating a daily dish of whole grains, like whole wheat and brown rice, can also reduce your risk of diabetes (AJCN 8/22/03). In a twelve-year study of more than 40,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75, researchers found that those who ate three servings of whole grains a day cut their risk in half.
The researchers found that even overweight people lowered their chances of diabetes by eating whole grains and exercising.
Consuming more magnesium also helped; whole grains contain amounts of this mineral missing in refined-grain foodstuffs. Magnesium improves insulin response.
In an age of junk food, our simple taste for sugar and refined grains may threaten our health. Yet, your defense against this scourge is no further away than simply eating more fibrous foods and going for a simple, everyday walk.
R-Lipoic Acid - Fulfilling the Potential of Lipoic Acid
June 04, 2005 02:23 PM
Lipoic acid may be the body’s most versatile nutrient. Its critical importance for health is scientifically documented. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, it supports healthy sugar metabolism and liver function, and is integral to energy generation, which affects all biological functions. But few know that the commonly available form, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), is not the same compound that occurs naturally in our bodies. ALA is a 50/50 combination of natural form r-lipoic and synthetic s-lipoic acid—and the synthetic form may actually block the activity of r-lipoic acid, resulting in a weaker product. Because it is the natural form, r-lipoic acid is better absorbed and safely metabolized. And it is up to 10 times more effective at producing cellular energy, according to in vitro research, and may be a more potent antioxidant. Source Naturals, the science company, is proud to be one of the first to offer this breakthrough nutrient: R-LIPOIC ACID
R-Lipoic Acid: Key to Cellular Energy Generation
Plants capture solar energy in their carbohydrates. In a reverse process called oxidation, animals extract that energy. R-LIPOIC ACID is a vital link in the metabolic pathway that gives us the power to move and the energy of intelligence. R-LIPOIC ACID is synthesized in the mitochondria, the tiny power plants inside every cell that produce energy in the form of ATP. It is safely metabolized and up to 10 times more effective than other forms of lipoic acid in mitochondrial ATP production, according to an in vitro study.
Supports Glucose Metabolism
Human and animal studies show that R-LIPOIC ACID can increase glucose uptake by muscle and nerve cells. By enhancing sugar metabolism, R-LIPOIC ACID may protect cells from glycation. In this detrimental process, excess glucose reacts with proteins to create tough crosslinked bonds that damage vital proteins, including the myelin sheath of neurons and the lens of the eye. Scientists believe glycation is a major source of tissue degradation and cellular aging. Collagen, another important protein, is also subject to crosslinking, which inhibits the flexibility of blood vessel walls—one of the most important indicators of cardiovascular health.
Increases Antioxidant Protection
R-LIPOIC ACID also neutralizes the harmful byproducts of glucose metabolism, free radicals. The body synthesizes barely enough R-LIPOIC ACID for its metabolic needs, and this decreases with age. As mitochondrial energy production becomes less efficient, more free radicals are generated. R-LIPOIC ACID protects cells, particularly in the mitochondria, where most oxygen damage occurs. R-LIPOIC ACID is a leading component of the body’s antioxidant network. Unlike other antioxidants, it is water and fat-soluble, so it neutralizes a greater number and broader range of free radicals, providing more protection. In animal studies, R-LIPOIC ACID slowed the aging process, which may be the result of cumulative oxidative damage. Lipoic acid, known as the “universal antioxidant,” is a strong antioxidant in its own right, but it also directly recycles vitamin C and indirectly recycles vitamin E for continued use. And R-LIPOIC ACID is more efficient than other forms of lipoic acid at increasing levels of the key antioxidants, CoQ10 and glutathione. Commercial alpha-lipoic acid is 50% synthetic s-lipoic acid, which can interfere with natural form R-LIPOIC ACID when both forms compete for binding sites. Tests showed 40% better absorption by R-LIPOIC ACID, as measured by plasma concentration levels.
Integral to Your Wellness Program
Because it is central to such critical functions as energy generation, antioxidant protection, anti-glycation activity, and liver support, R-LIPOIC ACID belongs at the center of your wellness program. Source Naturals is happy to join forces with your natural foods retailer in bringing you this advanced nutrient.
Mega H- Hydrogen (H-)The Fuel of Life
June 03, 2005 05:00 PM
Our universe is composed of millions of compounds, all derived from just 106 atoms. Of these elements, hydrogen is the first and most fundamental.
Hydrogen is also the most abundant element, comprising 90% of all atoms in the cosmos. In our sun and stars, hydrogen nuclei fuse to produce helium, the second element. This generates the enormous energy that powers life on earth. And just as hydrogen fuels the sun, so, in the human body, it is the essential factor in the electrochemical process that produces ATP, the energy molecule. Virtually all the millions of biochemical processes that occur every second of our lives are powered by ATP. These facts are well established. But they are so basic that, until now, they have been overlooked in the world of nutritional science. It took the dedicated research of Dr. Patrick Flanagan to harness the power of active hydrogen for health and human development.
Introducing a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of nutritional science: MEGA H-™ Active Hydrogen (H-), the Fuel of Life.
The Creation of Mega H-
For 30 years Dr. Patrick Flanagan’s life work has been to discover the health and longevity secrets of the Hunza people of the Himalayas. It is believed a much greater percentage of people there live past the age of 100, with far less of the diseases that ravage the West. The locals claimed that their secret was the cloudy, mineral-rich water that rushes down from the Himalayan glaciers. In studying the properties of this Hunza water, Dr. Flanagan found that silica crystals dissolved in the water were able to hold negatively charged hydrogen ions (H-). These compounds are technically called silica hydrides. This makes Hunza water a power source, filled with the same active H- that powers the human body.
Typically hydrogen has one positively charged proton in the nucleus and one negatively charged electron orbiting the nucleus. The two opposite charges balance each other, resulting in no charge. Active hydrogen, on the other hand, contains two electrons orbiting the nucleus, creating a negative charge. It is this active hydrogen in its charged form that the body needs to carry out its crucial functions. Dr. Flanagan has recreated this silica hydride compound as MEGA H-™.
Cellular Energy: ATP, Hydrogen and Mega H-™
ATP, adenosine triphosphate, is composed of three phosphates. The breaking of the bond between the second and third phosphates releases the energy to power virtually all cellular processes. Amazingly, we all generate enough metabolic energy to produce our own body weight in ATP every day just to function! Every second, each of our approximately 50 trillion cells consumes and regenerates 10 million molecules of ATP.
This massive energy generation (ATP production) is the fundamental core function of every human cell. Without it, basic activities such as cellular repair, and protein, enzyme, hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis would not occur. DNA repair and cell reproduction would cease. Thoughts, feelings, communication, and our ability to experience the world through our senses and change it through our actions would stop. The negative implication of poor energy generation for our health and vitality levels is significant. Many factors such as aging, poor nutrition and pollution can impede this critical energy generation. Negatively charged electrons from hydrogen are the source of the energy needed to generate this staggering amount of ATP. This energy production takes place in the mitochondria of the cells at the final stage of the Krebs Cycle, called the electron transport chain. Typically, the hydrogen comes from the breakdown of carbohydrates from food, which yields hydrogen as well as carbon and oxygen. But MEGA H-™ is an alternative, electron- rich source of hydrogen to power energy generation. In fact, MEGA H-™ has been shown to double the production of ATP and NADH, according to in vitro studies. (NADH is the coenzyme form of vitamin B-3, niacin, that carries hydrogen to the production site of ATP.) If this alone was all that MEGA H-™ could accomplish, it would be the most significant nutritional compound yet discovered. But its properties go far beyond energy generation. It is the body’s most efficient and effective antioxidant. MEGA H-™ also increases cellular hydration and the uptake of nutrients into each cell by lowering the surface tension of water (making water “wetter”). And it can improve athletic performance by lowering lactic acid levels after strenuous workouts.
Aging and Antioxidant Defense
Energy Decline: As we age, there is a decrease in our bodies’ ability to generate cellular energy—and oxidative damage may be a primary factor. Many scientists now accept the theory of aging first proposed by noted scientist Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D., who argued that “aging changes are induced by free radical reactions, largely initiated by the mitochondria … the rate of damage to the mitochondria determines our life span.” Why is this? While oxygen is necessary for human life, the very act of breathing generates free radicals. Our mitochondria— tiny energy production plants—are the chief source of oxidants produced in our bodies. It is believed these oxidants damage the mitochondria in which they are produced, including the inner mitochondrial membrane, which is the site of ATP production. This would seriously impair the ability of mitochondria to meet cellular energy demands. The result: signs of normal aging such as impaired memory, hearing, vision and stamina.
DNA Damage: Oxidants also can damage the cell’s DNA. Hydroxyl radicals cause DNA strands to break; if breaks occur in both strands of DNA, the cell cannot repair the damage and will die. Normally, the body has mechanisms to correct or remove damaged cells. However, as we age and cellular energy production declines, the ability to correct these errors is significantly reduced. Left unrepaired, DNA errors may be passed on when cells divide. Over time, these errors can silently accumulate, leading to cellular changes that go unnoticed until body system imbalances become evident.
World’s Most Elemental Antioxidant
MEGA H-™ may be the world’s most powerful antioxidant. It is possible to measure the Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) of any compound. This rating, which measures the number of electrons present in relation to protons, ranges from (plus) +1,200 to (minus) -800 millivolts; the stronger an antioxidant is, the closer its ORP would be to -800. The more positive the ORP reading, the fewer the number of available electrons from active hydrogen. In chemistry, active hydrogen is defined as hydrogen with an extra electron, also known as the hydrogen anion, negative hydrogen or H-. The strongest natural antioxidants up until now, such as grape seed and green tea, have ORP’s of -100. But Mega H-™ has an ORP of -778 millivolts, as compared to distilled water, making it the most potent natural antioxidant available today. What’s more, MEGA H-™ is in a class by itself, compared to other antioxidants, due to its electrochemical structure. Free radi-cals—unstable molecules that are missing one or more electrons—damage cells by taking electrons from healthy molecules to balance themselves. When other antioxidants donate electrons to quench free radicals, they in turn become reactive free radicals and require electrons from other antioxidants to become stable. The new antioxidant also requires an electron to return to stability. This process continues, resulting in an inefficient and energy-consuming free radical cascade. But MEGA H-™’s negatively charged hydrogen molecule possesses two electrons instead of the typical one. This extra electron can be donated without generating the inefficient free radical cascade. Dr. Flanagan’s profound contribution was his discovery of a method for stabilizing and delivering negatively charged hydrogen (H-). Unlike taking other antioxidants, supplementing with MEGA H-™ provides a net gain of free radical-quenching electrons into the system.
Additional Health Benefits
MEGA H-™ has been the subject of additional positive research: Increases Cellular Hydration: Water is important to cells, interstitial fluids (surrounding joints, muscles and organs), and the matrix of blood. As the body’s primary fluid, water serves as a solvent for nutrients. Since water is used to carry nutrients into the cell, it is theorized that increased cellular hydration also increases the bioavailability of nutrients. Water also eliminates toxins and waste products from the body. From energy production to joint lubrication, all our systems depend on water. It has been theorized that aging results in cell dehydration. A study done by Gary Osborn and H. Salinas, M.D. of the Texas Institute of Functional Medicines suggests that silica hydride supplements like MEGA H-™ increase intracellular, extracellular and total body water levels. It is theorized they work by decreasing water’s surface tension, which allows water and nutrients to more easily enter cells and become available for use by the body. Assists In Exercise Recovery: During strenuous exercise, the oxygen supply to muscle cells is insufficient to meet energy demands. Muscle cells then turn to anaerobic respiration to continue to generate energy. This creates lactic acid, which diffuses into the blood, causing muscle fatigue, soreness and loss of endurance. A placebo-controlled study on six healthy males showed that blood lactate levels significantly decreased after exercise when silica hydride supplements were taken for one week before an exercise trial.
The Scientist Behind Mega H-™
This revolutionary approach to nutrition and health is the brain child of Dr. Patrick Flanagan. Dr. Flanagan was a child prodigy with an intense interest in electronics, biochemistry and physics. At the age of 12, he invented a guided missile and atom bomb detector. This technology was subsequently adopted for use by the U.S. government. At 14 he developed the Neurophone®. This device transmits acoustic information to the brain by means of radio waves into the skin, bypassing the eighth cranial nerve, and may allow some deaf people to hear. By the age of 18, he was named one of the Top Ten most promising young scientists in America by Life Magazine. Dr. Flanagan’s work with MEGA H-™ has its roots in his collaboration with Dr. Henri Coanda, a respected scientist who died in 1972. Dr. Coanda passed along his investigation into Hunza water to Dr. Flanagan. MEGA H- is the culmination of decades of research to bring the energizing and anti-aging benefits of active hydrogen (H-) to the world.
Hydrogen (H-)The Fuel of Life
MEGA H-™ is the first supplement available in the natural foods industry to provide a large reservoir of freely available electrons to power the body’s diverse energy functions.
May 31, 2005 04:39 PM
Acetyl-L-carnitine is truly a mind-body nutrient. It helps synthesize acetylcholine, the brain's principal neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory. And it is a more bioavailable form of L-carnitine, an amino acid derivative that performs the vital function of transporting longchain fatty acids into the cellular mitochondria where they are oxidized to generate metabolic energy. Supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine supports the activity of brain cells that depend on acetylcholine. It can also reduce the metabolic waste products that damage cells over time. As one of the most important nutrients to help slow the aging process, acetyl-L-carnitine is at the heart of Source Naturals' commitment to empower people to take charge of their own health.
Acetylcholine is the brain's principal neurochemical of thought. Neurons need it to communicate with each other, especially to create and recall memories. Acetylcholine is also involved in muscular coordination. At neuromuscular junctions throughout the body, it tells muscles when to contract. But the efficiency of cells that use acetylcholine naturally declines with age, partly because of decreased activity of the enzyme that synthesizes this neurotransmitter.
Acetylcholine is created when the enzyme choline acetyl transferase (CAT) attaches an acetyl group to a choline molecule. CAT activity is heightened by acetyl-L-carnitine, which donates its acetyl group. Acetyl-L-carnitine is made in small amounts naturally in the body, but its production begins to decline in midlife. In well-controlled human studies, supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine slowed the progress of mental decline by notably improving attention and memory. When supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine was combined with lipoic acid (a powerful natural antioxidant), significant improvement in memory was seen in animals. Researchers said that together the two chemicals "tune up" the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles that power all cells. Mitochondrial decay is believed to be the primary reason for age-related deterioration of cognitive function and energy levels.
Cellular Energy and Protection
As the active form of L-carnitine, acetyl L-carnitine efficiently transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where they are converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy molecule. Animal studies suggest that supplemental acetyl L-carnitine has a positive effect on energy generation as well as on the structural integrity of aging mitochondria. By supporting fatty acid metabolism, acetyl L-carnitine also helps reduce lipofuscin, a metabolic waste product composed of damaged proteins and rancid fats. The brown "liver spots" on some elderly hands are composed of this aging pigment that gradually builds up in cells of the heart, liver, brain, and lens of the eye.
Ninety-five percent of the body's carnitine is found in muscle cells, especially in the heart where mitochondria comprise nearly 50% of a cell's volume. During prolonged exercise, muscles have a high demand for carnitine because fats can account for up to twothirds of the energy burned. L-carnitine supplements can increase exercise endurance and reduce fatigue. Acetyl L-carnitine is also a key nutrient in Source Naturals' legendary neuroceutical formulas MEGAMIND™ and HIGHER MIND™. And because acetyl L-carnitine also generates the basic energy that affects all biological and mental processes, this mind-body nutrient is one of the few nutritional compounds with such a broad range of action in maintaining youthful functioning. Source Naturals ACETYL L-CARNITINE is therefore an essential part of a smart strategy to live well, age well.
Carta A. and M. Calvani. Acetyl-L-carnitine: a drug able to slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease? Ann NY Acad Sci 1991; 640: 228-232. Hagen T.M. et al. August 4, 1998. Acetyl-L-carnitine fed to old rats partially restores mitochondrial function and ambulatory activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95(16):9562-6. Liu J. et al. February 19, 2002. Age-associated mitochondrial oxidative decay: Improvement of carnitine acetyltransferase substrate-binding affinity and activity in brain by feeding old rats acetyl-L-carnitine and/or R-alpha-lipoic acid. PNAS 99(4):1876-81. Spagnoli A.U. et al. 1991. Long-term acetyl-L-carnitine treatment in Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology. 41(11):1726-1732.