Tip of the month

Test to check if a supplement dissolves completely in  your stomach:

A supplement must dissolve in your stomach before it can be absorbed in your intestines and then used by your body. You can easily do this test it to find out if it will dissolve:

  • Simply put the supplement into a glass of clear vinegar. This creates an acidic environment much like that of your stomach.

  • Stir the solution occasionally. If the supplement disintegrates within 30 minutes, it should dissolve in your stomach, too.

  • If the supplement does not completely dissolve, choose an alternative supplement.

  • Be sure to discard the supplement/vinegar solution after the test.

Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) And Its Human Benefits

By Dr Harold Gunatillake
Health writer

CoQ-10, also known as ubiquinone is a vital vitamin like substance, found in the mitochondria in all tissues in the body. This chemical helps to generate energy. Energy in the form of Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP). 95% of energy our body requires is produced through ATP. In short they convert fuel molecules into useful energy. It is observed, without sufficient ATP, patients develop cachexia and the classical wasting observed in cancer and other chronic illnesses. The highest concentration of CoQ10 is found in organs that need the highest amount of energy such as the heart, liver, kidneys and brain and support health of these organs.

CoQ10 has powerful antioxidant qualities quenching deadly free radical molecules, and also supposed naturally to lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart. Some consider it as an anti-aging wonder drug.

As one ages CoQ10 level begins to decrease, commencing at the age of 20 years.

Q10 and adjuvant to Chemotherapy
One of the major problems with chemotherapy, though so effective in killing excessively growing cells as in cancer, is that the damage inflicted on healthy cells can be so severe that chemotherapy doses may need to be reduced or discontinued. The toxicity of the chemical may cause immune suppression that leaves the patient susceptible to life threatening infections.

Latest research has revealed that coenzyme Q10 can offer critical support for those challenges, including improving the tolerability of chemotherapy and lessening adverse effects and boosting the immunity.

Early recognition of Q10 as a cellular protectant was recognised when a potent chemotherapy drug Adriamycin was given to cancer patients. It was found that Adriamycin damaged not only cancer cells, but also DNA of normal cells and interfered with the functions of mitochondria in health cells.

Researchers then treated laboratory rats first with CoQ10 and then with Adriamycin, they found survival rates of 80-86%, compared with just 36-42% in animals receiving the drug alone without the supplement (Q10).

Italian researchers also confirmed these findings in a particularly vulnerable group of human patients-children with cancer. One group of children with leukemia or lymphoma received chemotherapy with anthra-cycline drugs plus CoQ10, while the other group was treated without the supplement. The researchers studied the child’s heart function using echocardiography, a means of directly viewing the beating heart and its structures with ultrasound. Under the punishing effects of the drugs, all children suffered some loss of cardiac function, but those in the CoQ10-supplemented group showed significantly less impairment than those in the drug-only group. The treating physicians concluded that their data demonstrated “a protective effect of CoQ10 on cardiac function during therapy.”

We all know that antioxidants generally help to prevent oxidant damage to the body leading to death. Daily intake of antioxidants is necessary, like consuming fruits, are recommended by doctors knowing its importance. Oxidants cause inflammation in the body. There are many and most diseases are recognized as caused from inflammation, including cancer. There is an intimate relationship between oxidant damage and inflammation. Throughout life, a build-up of free radical damaged components occurs within cells, particularly during times of severe oxidant stress, such as disease and injury.

Inflammatory activities causing cancer
The body produces chemical signals called cytokines and chemokines preventing inflammatory activities triggered by oxidants. Beneficial at first and in controlled amounts, these “mediators of inflammation” (cytokines and chemokines), eventually produce new tissue damage. With time, this inflammation-induced cycle of destruction contributes to DNA damage.
In all cancer initiation situations, there is DNA damage, and as a result loses control of its own growth-regulating mechanisms. This is caused by free radical damage related to inflammation as described above.

It is now found that CoQ10 being a tissue protecting antioxidant, prevents tissue damage caused by chemotherapy. CoQ10 seems to be helping to energise immune system cells that are suppressed by cancer and restore their ability to fight back by attacking the cancer cells.

As CoQ10 began to be used to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, Scientists from the Institute for Biomedical Research at the University of Texas, Austin, began to assemble data on cancer survival rates in humans; by 1993, they found that over the preceding 25 years, patients with a number of cancer and blood-related conditions showed “striking” responses to therapy with CoQ10. Enhanced immune function was shown in other studies examined by this group of researchers, and they were able to document a total of 10 cases of unexpected survival of cancer patients treated with CoQ10 supplements.

Q10 and Breast Cancer

In 1994, partial remission of breast cancer was noted in a group of patients in Denmark following their supplementation with CoQ10 along with other antioxidants and essential fatty acids. In this groundbreaking study, 32 women with breast cancer categorised as high risk, because of the spread of their tumor to the lymph nodes, took supplements of vitamins C and E plus selenium, essential fatty acids, and CoQ10 (90 mg/day). The researchers took this “combinatorial” approach using their knowledge that multiple factors act synergistically to initiate and promote cancer growth.

Based on this principle the researchers hypothesised that the synergistic effects of multiple components including CoQ10, should also be tested to evaluate their anticancer effects together. All patients in this study had already undergone surgery but were known to have residual tumor remaining. Dramatically, there were zero deaths during the study period, despite an expected mortality rate of four patients. No patient showed signs of developing new metastases, and all patients reported an improvement in the quality of life.

Perhaps even more feared than the diagnosis of cancer itself are the horrendous side effects associated with chemotherapy. New discoveries show that coenzyme Q10 not only helps prevent healthy cells from undergoing malignant changes, but also protects against chemotherapy side effects and inflammatory damage inflicted on the body by cancer cells.

Coenzyme Q10 celebrated the 50th anniversary of its discovery in 2007. For most of its “lifetime” in human biology, it has been seen only as a nutrient related to cellular energy metabolism and has therefore been best known for its beneficial effects on heart muscle and brain tissue. In recent years, CoQ10 has found vast new roles in maintaining health and prolonging life.

Other benefits
Statin can cause muscle cramps. If not cared at this stage may lead to peripheral muscle wasting, a condition called (rhabdomyolysis). In such a situation your doctor will change the brand of statin, or reduce the dose, or may ask you to take it in the morning, instead of in the night. Some researchers think that taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement may reduce the risk of serious muscle damage. You need to discuss this matter with your doctor.
Coenzyme Q10 by itself does not cause side effects for most people. Taking 100 mg a day or more of CoQ10 has caused mild insomnia in some people. And research has detected elevated levels of liver enzymes in people taking doses of 300 mg per day for long periods of time. Liver toxicity has not been reported.

Coenzyme Q10 and Weight loss
Q10 seems to increase your metabolism which burns up the food that we eat, faster Foods like meat, poultry products and fish, are rich in this enzyme. Oils like soy, olive, coconut, sunflower, nuts like peanuts, walnuts, almonds, and vegetables like parsley, broccoli, fruits such as apple, oranges, grapefruits, etc, are also rich in CoQ10. If you have these foods daily and follow a healthy diet, then with the production of CoQ10 and weight loss exercises, one can lose weight fast.

Cardiovascular benefits
For more than 20 years, researchers have studied CoQ10 for the treatment of heart failure. Researchers disagree about the benefits of CoQ10 for people with heart failure. Studies show that it has little or no effect in treating heart failure or angina. It is not recommended for people with these health problems. It is helpful for people taking prescription drugs that may damage heart or skeletal muscles.

Studies show that CoQ10 can help lower blood pressure.

Before you start taking Q10 capsules, discuss with your medical practitioner.

Women on Hormone Therapy May Benefit From Extra Calcium, Vitamin D

Study found hip fracture rate was 57 percent lower in those also taking supplements

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Although there has been significant debate about whether calcium and vitamin D supplements are beneficial for older women, new research suggests that the answer may be yes for those who are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Women using HRT who also took daily supplements of calcium and vitamin D saw a 40 percent reduction in their rate of hip fractures compared to women who took placebo supplements, according to the study.

"We found that women who were on hormones had less hip fractures, and women who were on hormones and calcium and vitamin D supplements had even fewer hip fractures," said study author Dr. John Robbins, a professor of medicine at the University of California at Davis.

As many as half of all women over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Osteoporosis is a condition caused by a loss of bone mass and density, which leaves bones fragile and more susceptible to fractures. Calcium is an important component in bone growth, and vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium.

Results of the study were published online June 26 in the journal Menopause.


3 Health Benefits You May Not Know About

Abridged from Article By Cathy Wong, About.com Guide, Updated July 04, 2013

L-arginine is an amino acid commonly sold in supplement form and obtained naturally in the diet. Necessary for the production of protein, L-arginine also helps rid the body of ammonia (a waste product) and stimulates the release of insulin. In addition, L-arginine is used to make nitric oxide (a compound that relaxes the blood vessels).

Health Benefits of L-Arginine:

Studies indicate that L-arginine may help with the following conditions:

1) Angina

Several small studies show that increasing intake of foods high in L-arginine may help ease symptoms, increase exercise tolerance, and improve blood vessel function in people with angina.

2) Erectile Dysfunction

There's some evidence that L-arginine may benefit men with erectile dysfunction. In a 1999 study published in the journal BJU International, for instance, 50 men with erectile dysfunction took either 5 grams of L-arginine per day or a placebo. After six weeks, more men in the L-arginine group showed improvement compared to those taking the placebo.

Like the drug sildenafil citrate (Viagra), L-arginine is thought to enhance the action of nitric oxide and—in turn—relax the muscles surrounding blood vessels supplying the penis. As a result, blood vessels in the penis dilate, increasing blood flow, which may help maintain an erection. The difference in how they work is that Viagra blocks an enzyme called PDE5, which destroys nitric oxide, and L-arginine is used to make nitric oxide. Unlike Viagra, L-arginine is taken on a daily basis for erectile dysfunction.

3) Congestive Heart Failure

L-arginine may improve cardiac performance in people with congestive heart failure, according to a 2000 study published in Clinical Cardiology. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) caution that L-arginine should not be used in place of standard treatments prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Other Common Uses for L-Arginine:

Proponents claim that L-arginine can also benefit:

  • colds
  • dementia
  • high blood pressure
  • intermittent claudication
  • interstitial cystitis
  • male infertility
  • migraines
  • preeclampsia
  • sexual dysfunction in women

Some people also use L-arginine to boost the immune system, improve athletic performance, and shorten recovery time after surgery. L-arginine is also used for bodybuilding.

Studies show that L-arginine may be effective for managing inflammation of the bladder, relieving leg cramping and weakness caused by blocked arteries (a condition known as intermittent claudication), and improving kidney function in kidney transplant patients taking cyclosporine. What's more, taking L-arginine in combination with ribonucleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) may reduce recovery time, protect against infection, and promote wound healing after surgery.

Additionally, L-arginine appears ineffective for prevention of heart attack and treatment of preeclampsia.

Side Effects:

Although L-arginine may be safe when taken in the short term, it can cause a number of side effects (including indigestion, nausea, headache, bloating, diarrhea, gout, blood abnormalities, allergies, airway inflammation, worsening of asthma, and low blood pressure).

Higher doses of L-arginine can increase stomach acid, so it may also worsen heartburn, ulcers, or digestive upset caused by medications.

Due to safety concerns, L-arginine should be avoided by diabetes patients, people who have suffered a heart attack, and pregnant or nursing women.

In addition, L-arginine may aggravate symptoms in people with herpes.

Using L-Arginine For Health:

In most cases, the body maintains an adequate supply of L-arginine on its own. However, severe burns, infections, and injuries can deplete the body's supply of arginine. Under these conditions, it is necessary to ensure proper intake to meet the increased demands.

If you're considering the use of L-arginine in treatment or prevention of a specific health condition, make sure to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.


Blum A, Porat R, Rosenschein U, Keren G, Roth A, Laniado S, Miller H. "Clinical and inflammatory effects of dietary L-arginine in patients with intractable angina pectoris." Am J Cardiol. 1999 May 15;83(10):1488-90, A8.

Bocchi EA, Vilella de Moraes AV, Esteves-Filho A, Bacal F, Auler JO, Carmona MJ, Bellotti G, Ramires AF. "L-arginine reduces heart rate and improves hemodynamics in severe congestive heart failure." Clin Cardiol. 2000 Mar;23(3):205-10.

Chen J, Wollman Y, Chernichovsky T, Iaina A, Sofer M, Matzkin H. "Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study." BJU Int. 1999 Feb;83(3):269-73.

Maxwell AJ, Zapien MP, Pearce GL, MacCallum G, Stone PH. "Randomized trial of a medical food for the dietary management of chronic, stable angina." J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Jan 2;39(1):37-45.

National Institutes of Health. "L-arginine: MedlinePlus Supplements". November 2010.

Schulman SP et al. "L-arginine therapy in acute myocardial infarction: the Vascular Interaction With Age in Myocardial Infarction (VINTAGE MI) randomized clinical trial". JAMA. 295.1 (2006):58-64.

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