October 27, 2011
By Paul Fassa
Coenzyme Q10, known as CoQ10, is highly regarded as a super antioxidant. But is it for real? CoQ10 gets a lot of good press, but it’s not cheap. So to buy and try or not to buy and try is the question. Not all supplements live up to their reputation, and not all supplements are right for everyone. Let’s examine CoQ10 a bit.
What it is and isn’t
CoQ10 is not a magic bullet. It is an important compound that our bodies produce, but production declines as we age. It functions best in conjunction with a decent diet and other quality supplements. Foods such as organic organ meats, oily fish, spinach, peanuts, and whole grains provide some CoQ10.
It likes to lodge in the parts of our cells that produce energy, and is instrumental for producing the molecule adenosine-5-triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a major source of cellular energy, and it’s involved with several metabolic processes within the cell, including protein production.
Beside its antioxidant capabilities, which scavenge damaging free radicals that cause cellular damage, it appears able to repair oxidative damage. CoQ10 prevents problematic blood clotting. All these qualities have made it a favorite for increasing cardiovascular health and for preventing heart diseases or recovering rapidly from heart problems.
In addition to hundreds of reports from Japanese doctors on CoQ10′s positive effects with heart patients, Dr. Denton Cooley found that most of his heart disease patients were CoQ10 deficient. His finding corroborates discoveries from Karl Folker, Ph.D, who had originally researched CoQ10 in the west.
For athletic types or those who are involved in strenuous activities, CoQ10 offers rapid recovery times from spent energy and muscular stress as well as additional energy too for competing athletically or completing arduous physical tasks.
November 15th, 2010
By: Rebecca Smith
The disease, caused by low levels of vitamin D generated in the body from sunshine and certain foods, had died out around 80 years ago but is now coming back.
Cases of rickets in children have occurred in northern England and Scotland where there are fewer months of the year with sufficient sunshine to obtain enough vitamin D but now doctors are seeing it on the South coast as well.
It is thought extensive use of sunscreen, children playing more time on computer games and TV rather than playing outside and a poor diet are to blame.
Professor Nicholas Clarke, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital and professor of paediatric orthopaedic surgery at the University of Southampton, said: “The return of rickets in northern parts of the UK came as a surprise despite the colder climate and lower levels of sunshine in the north, but what has developed in Southampton is quite astonishing.”
Children from all backgrounds are being affected now and the disease is not limited to the poor as it was in Victorian times.
He added: “In my 22 years at Southampton General Hospital, this is a completely new occurrence in the south that has evolved over the last 12 to 24 months and we are seeing cases across the board, from areas of deprivation up to the middle classes, so there is a real need to get national attention focused on the dangers this presents.”
Professor Clarke says he and colleague Dr Justin Davies, a consultant paediatric endocrinologist, have checked over 200 children for bone problems and more than 20 per cent of them have significant deficiencies.
“A lot of the children we’ve seen have got low vitamin D and require treatment,” he said.
“This is almost certainly a combination of the modern lifestyle, which involves a lack of exposure to sunlight, but also covering up in sunshine, and we’re seeing cases that are very reminiscent of 17th century England.”
He added: “We are facing the daunting prospect of an area like Southampton, where it is high income, middle class and leafy in its surroundings, seeing increasing numbers of children with rickets, which would have been inconceivable only a year or so ago.”
Professor Clarke says vitamin D supplements should be more widely adopted to halt the rise in cases.
Vitamin D is found in oily fish and eggs and margarine, cereals and milk can be fortified with it.
The vitamin is vital for the absorption of calcium needed for strong bones and teeth.
February 14th, 2010
People who get plenty of vitamin D can cut their chance of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43%, researchers have said.
Exposure to sunshine alongside a healthy diet rich in oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel can provide adequate protection, they said.
Researchers reviewed 28 existing studies on almost 100,000 people looking at vitamin D levels among the middle-aged and elderly.
The team, from Warwick Medical School, examined the effect of the vitamin on cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
One of the authors, Dr Johanna Parker, who is currently working in a Birmingham GP practice, said: “The research we conducted looked at naturally-occurring vitamin D rather than supplements.
“We recommend people eat a healthy diet with two to three portions of oily fish a week and five portions of fruit and vegetables.
“Most – 90% – of your vitamin D comes from sunshine so we recommend sensible sun exposure in the summer. People should expose themselves for 30 minutes twice a week – this means exposing the face and arms with no sunscreen.
“This would provide the body with adequate vitamin D.”
The research was published in the journal Maturitas.
The authors concluded: “When we evaluated the effects of vitamin D levels on the risk of the individual outcomes included, we found a significant association between high levels of vitamin D and a reduction on the risk of having cardiovascular disease (33% reduction compared to low levels of vitamin D), Type 2 diabetes (55% reduction) and metabolic syndrome (51% reduction).
November 10, 2009
by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Eating two servings of oily fish per week may halt the progression of a major cause of blindness in the elderly, according to a study conducted by researchers from Tufts University and published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Previous research has suggested that a diet high in the essential omega-3 fatty acids that are abundant in oily fish may decrease a person’s risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by one-third. In the current study, researchers sought to determine whether a diet rich in omega-3s could also benefit those who already have the disease.
The researchers found that study participants with early AMD who ate a diet rich in omega-3s were 25 percent less likely to have their disease progress to the advanced form.
Among those with advanced AMD who ate a diet high in omega-3s, had a diet with a low glycemic index and took supplemental antioxidant vitamins and minerals, the risk of progression to a more advanced form was decreased by 50 percent. These risk reductions were the same in both “wet” and “dry” forms of the disease.
Low glycemic foods are those that release sugar slowly, in contrast to high glycemic foods such as sugar and simple starches.
Based on their findings, the researchers recommended a consumption of two to three servings of fatty fish per week in both those without AMD and those in the early stages of the disease. They hypothesized that a meal high in omega-3s might alter blood fat levels in such a way as to make them less damaging to the eye.
The researchers did not recommend taking antioxidants vitamins and minerals, however. The study also found that participants with early AMD who took antioxidant vitamins and zinc and also had a high intake of beta-carotene were actually 50 percent more likely to have their disease progress to an advanced stage than those who did not take the vitamins.
This suggests that antioxidants play a more complex role in AMD than previously believed.
June 22, 2009
UK Daily Mail
Arthritis is the term used for nearly 200 painful conditions of the joints and bones. It affects about 7million people in the UK and all types have similar symptoms of swelling, inflammation of joints, stiffness and restriction of movement.
The good news is that many cases of arthritis can be relieved, postponed or even prevented by good joint care.
Research shows a definite link between the food you eat and the severity of your symptoms. Like your heart, your joints thrive best on plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Try to eat at least five (and preferably eight or more) servings a day.
Fruit and vegetables provide an array of antioxidants that reduce the rate at which cartilage breaks down, helping to slow the process of osteoarthritis. Antioxidants can also reduce inflammation and help combat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and gout.
Apples and avocados are anti-inflammatory superfoods. Don’t peel your apples – the skin contains five times more antioxidants than the flesh. Oily fish are a rich source of omega-3 essential fatty acids that oil the joints and damp down inflammation.
Research shows that omega-3 can reduce the long-term need for painkillers in those with joint problems. You should aim to eat oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herrings and mackerel two to four times a week. You can also take an omega-3 fish oil supplement.
Drink plenty of fluids – approximately three to five pints (two to three litres) – a day to maintain good hydration and a steady flow of nutrients to your joints. Choose from water, soups, tea and juices.
You may find your symptoms are triggered by particular foods. Culprit foods vary, so it’s important to keep a food-and-symptom diary to help pinpoint the foods that irritate. This is not always easy, as symptoms can worsen up to 36 hours after eating a trigger food.
The foods most commonly found to worsen arthritis are wheat, corn, rye, sugar, caffeine, yeast, malt, dairy products, oranges, grapefruit, lemons and tomatoes. Meats most likely to provoke symptoms are bacon, pork, beef and lamb.
A number of foods may trigger joint pain in those with arthritis. Research shows that when these are avoided, about 70 per cent of sufferers report less pain and improved mobility.
Some are particularly sensitive to foods from the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. Commonly eaten nightshade foods include potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine, sweet peppers, paprika, cayenne and all other types of pepper (except black pepper).
Try to minimise your intake of vegetable oils rich in omega-6, such as sunflower oil, because these promote inflammation. Switch to olive oil for cooking, and macadamia nut oil or walnut oil for salad dressings.
Studies have also shown an association between the amount of meat and offal consumed and arthritis.
Eating a vegan (no animal products) diet can reduce the number of tender and swollen joints.
Weight loss is one of the most effective ways to reduce pain in your knees and hips, whatever form of arthritis you have. When you walk, the load on your knees increases by four times your body weight. This means that if you are 10lb (4.5kg) overweight, the load on your leg joints is up to 40lb (18kg) more than if you were at a healthy weight.
Studies show that weight loss can at least halve the level of pain experienced by those with arthritis affecting their lower limbs – this is a better result than standard drug treatments.
The foods below have a natural anti-inflammatory action that’s particularly beneficial for those with arthritis – however, some (such as chilli peppers) may trigger an idiosyncratic reaction in some sufferers:
Apples: Contain anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Red Delicious apples contain the most. The antioxidants are five times more concentrated in the apple’s skin than the flesh.
Avocados: Contain antioxidant monounsaturated oils, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. Promote cartilage repair in osteoarthritis.
Chillies: Contain capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin which block transmission of pain messages. They also trigger endorphins - the brain’s own morphine-like painkillers.
Dark green leafy vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, cabbage and parsley, for example, supply antioxidants, Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium.
Macadamia nuts: The richest source of monounsaturated fatty acids. Also contain Vitamin E and selenium.
Oily fish: A great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Red wine: A good source of antioxidant polyphenols which reduce inflammation.
Walnuts: A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Some research shows that eating them daily can help alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis