Coenzyme Q10

  • 5 Supplements to Consider

    Taking Supplementation Seriously Part IV

    In past articles, we presented the case for insuring nutritional sufficiency of the essential vitamins and minerals through supplementation. There is little debate that these micronutrients are requisite for human survival, and that their supplementation may be an apt course for some. A healthy diet also provides several other nutritionally-beneficial elements which, like the vitamins and minerals, are not always present at optimal levels and thus can potentially benefit from supplementation.

    Here is a list of five dietary supplements that are worth considering as additions to the multivitamin. They are not meant to represent the "best" or "most useful" of the supplement field (which has little meaning given the individuality of metabolism); rather, these choices represent common dietary constituents that primarily function to broadly improve health and well-being (as opposed to addressing a single aspect of it). Each has a defined, critical role in normal human metabolism, and all but one are only obtainable through the diet.

    Omega-3 fatty acids and whey protein are sources of essential fatty and amino-acids, the two remaining classes of essential nutrients after the vitamins and minerals. Fiber supplements provide this oft-deficient dietary macronutrient, which along with probiotic bacteria are a major determinant in intestinal function and the maintenance of healthy gut microflora. Supplementing with the nutritionally non-essential Coenzyme Q10 can augment the levels of this general purpose fat-soluble antioxidant and critical component for cellular energy generation, which may be of particular significance for older consumers.

    Note that this list is a starting point; there are many additional dietary supplements that truly "supplement" the diet with nutrients that are often missing or suboptimal (phytonutrients such as carotenoids, isothiocyanates, and polyphenolic antioxidants are notable examples), as well as several well-studied natural ingredients that address specific health concerns but may not be "normal" constituents of the diet (herbal supplements such as milk thistle or saw palmetto fall into this category).

    Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish, shellfish, algae, or seed oils that have well-established roles in human nutrition, both as building blocks for the cell membranes of the brain, and as precursors to the human body's own natural anti-inflammatory system. Sufficient intake of omega-3s has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, may facilitate healthy levels of circulating cholesterol and triglycerides, and may help maintain a healthy heartbeat and blood pressure. A balanced inflammatory response also relies on sufficient omega-3 fatty acids for the synthesis of endogenous anti-inflammatory factors.

    Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a constituent of seed oils from flax, perilla, and chia, is an essential nutrient for humans. The principle omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from marine oils are not considered essential to human nutrition (we can make these from dietary ALA), but there is evidence some people may have trouble synthesizing sufficient levels of these fatty acids on their own, making them a good supplement choice. Omega-3 fatty acids from krill (a cold water crustacean) are in a potentially more bioavailable form (phospholipids) and contain high levels of the fat soluble antioxidant astaxanthin. Initial studies of krill oil suggest it may have a more potent lipid-lowering effect than other cold-water fish oils, meriting its choice as an omega-3 source.

    Whey Protein. It's not a capsule, and might be better described as a food product, but whey deserves consideration for increasing the amount of high-quality protein and essential amino acids in the diet. Whey protein is the "soluble" protein fraction from milk, and is commonly sold as a concentrate (most often about 70 percent protein with very low amounts of milk sugar or fat) or isolate (>90 percent protein, usually fatand lactose-free ), as well as in flavored pre-mixes or ready to drink beverages. Diets which are higher in protein have been associated with better glycemic control, normalized blood lipids, and have been shown to promote greater fat reduction, thermogenesis, and energy expenditure than high carbohydrate or high fat diets. Protein can also be more satiating than other macronutrients. "Fast proteins," like whey, are quickly digested and absorbed, which results in large, rapid increases of amino acids in the bloodstream following a meal, signaling fullness. Compared to other common protein supplements (soy, casein), whey exhibits superior appetite suppression when taken with a meal as 25 percent of total calories.

    Many of the health benefits of whey have been attributed to its high concentration of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), a group of three nutritionally essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine). BCAAs serve as muscle fuel (which is why whey is often considered a “sports” supplement), but they may also stimulate the bodies basic satiety response. BCAAs also aid in fat loss, preserve lean body mass, and may help to lower insulin levels following a meal.

    Probiotics: Probiotics are living microorganisms, which upon ingestion in sufficient numbers, exert health benefits beyond general nutrition. Probiotic bacteria and yeast can reside on the surfaces of mucosal tissues (such as the gastrointestinal or upper respiratory tract) and provide a living barrier to environmental insults. Probiotic bacteria function in a variety of ways; they can inhibit the growth or block the attachment of rival pathogenic bacteria, they can improve the barrier function of mucosal membranes (providing protection from pathogens or toxins), they bolster immune function, produce vitamins, and enhance mineral absorption. Probiotic bacteria can play significant roles in systemic detoxification by trapping and metabolizing harmful dietary compounds or heavy metals. The production of the short chain fatty acids by probiotic bacteria in the intestines (from the fermentation of dietary fiber) improves the detox function of the liver and skin; this may also contribute to some of the anti-carcinogenic properties of dietary fiber.

    Probiotic supplements come in a myriad of forms and formulations, encompassing a wide variety of bacterial species and potency (probiotic potency is expressed in colony forming units—CFU—which is a measurement of the number of bacteria per serving.) A good starting point for general health maintenance would be a multi-strain product (having more than one type of bacteria) at a moderate potency (3–10 billion organisms); this is similar to the probiotic intake from a diet that contains fermented foods.

    Fiber Supplements: Fibers are polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates) that are indigestible by humans, yet have some significant roles in general health maintenance. The bulk of fiber and its resistance to digestion lend it satiating properties in the stomach; these same properties also cause it to increase the bulk of stool and hasten the transit of digested food through the intestines. This increase in gastric motility helps to minimize exposure of colonic epithelial cells to potential carcinogenic compounds or other dietary toxins. Dietary fibers can bind up bile acids and cholesterol, and prevent them from being re-absorbed; this facilitates the body’s ability to rid itself of excess cholesterol. Some fibers can also be specifically digested (fermented) by beneficial colonic bacteria into short chain fatty acids (like lactate or butyrate), which have their own health benefits throughout the body. Fermentable or prebiotic fibers (such as inulin and fructooligosaccharides) are available as supplements as well and are an appropriate complement to probiotics.

    There is convincing evidence that fiber intake reduces the risk of colon and breast cancers and cardiovascular disease; it has also been associated with healthy body weight, serum cholesterol levels, blood sugar control, and blood pressure. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of adults in the United States do not get the daily recommended intake of fiber, which is 38 grams/day for men 19–50 (30 grams/day for men over 50) and 25 grams/day for women 19–50 (21 grams/ day for women over 50). Even a modest increase to 20 grams a day from average current dietary levels has been estimated to reduce the rate of colorectal cancer by 40 percent. The fiber in our diets is heterogenous, containing several types of gums, pectins, lignans, cellulose, beta-glucans, fructans, and digestion-resistant starches. A good choice in fiber supplements would contain a mixture of multiple fiber types.

    Coenzyme Q10. Despite being the only member of the list that isn’t a nutritionally essential nutrient or a major component of the diet (young, healthy people can make sufficient CoQ10 for their metabolic needs), the potential health benefits of CoQ10 merit its consideration as part of a supplement regimen, especially in older consumers. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble substance that is an essential component of the energy production system in cells. It is found in each cell in the body, but is particularly concentrated in tissues which have large energy requirements (like the heart). There are also substantial amounts of CoQ10 in the blood, protecting circulating lipids (LDL and HDL) from oxidative damage. Supplemental CoQ10 has been the subject of numerous studies, particularly in applications for improving cardiovascular health (as in subjects with chronic heart failure, exercise-induced angina, or hypertension); it may also be protective of the cardiovascular system in diabetics. CoQ10 continues to be the subject of academic research, and is beginning to find acceptance as a supplement amongst mainstream medical practitioners.

    The average diet contains only a small amount of CoQ10, which is generally poorly absorbed (by some estimates, as little as two to three percent of dietary CoQ10 is absorbed). Variability in absorption also appears to be age-dependent; case reports suggest decreased fractional absorption in older patients. Several "enhanced absorption" strategies and products have been developed to overcome this hurdle, with improved uptakes verified by clinical data. Recently, the second naturallyoccurring form of CoQ10 (ubiquinol) has been introduced into the supplement market (CoQ10 supplements have typically been in the form of ubiquinone.) Ubiquinol is absorbed more efficiently than ubiquinone, especially in individuals who have difficulty absorbing CoQ10.

  • Coenzyme Q10: The Miracle Nutrient

    Coenzyme Q10: The Miracle Nutrient Ross Pelton

    This is the first in a two-part series on coenzyme Q10, which is sometime referred to as The Miracle Nutrient. In fact, The Miracle Nutrient: Coenzyme Q10 is the title of a book that was written by Emile Bliznakov, MD, who was one of the first scientists to research and report the benefits of coenzyme Q10 to the non-scientific population of the world. CoQ10 has been known of for 60 years. There are two forms: an oxidized form (Ubiquinone) and a reduced form (Ubiquinol). The ubiquinol form is unstable and has only been in the USA market since 2006. The ubiquinone form had been in the USA market since 1974. Ubiquinol is poorly researched while there are more than 2000 scientific articles on ubiquinone.

    Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10, was discovered by biochemist Fred Crane at the University of Wisconsin in 1957. Coenzyme Q10 is a yellow crystalline substance that belongs to a class of compounds called quinones. Since all living things create some form of this compound for energy production, it was given the chemical name ubiquinone, which is a contraction of ubiquitous (meaning everywhere) and quinone.

    Dr. Crane sent a sample of the yellow crystals he had isolated from beef heart mitochondria to Dr. Karl Folkers for analysis and confirmation. At the time, Folkers was a leading biochemist at the pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharpe and Dohme. In 1958, Dr. Folkers determined the exact structure of CoQ10 and conducted some preliminary studies, which suggested that CoQ10 had enormous potential as a cardiovascular drug. When Folkers made his recommendations to Merck’s top management, they were not interested because Merck had recently launched a new blood pressure-lowering drug named Diuril. Since Merck had already trained their drug sales force and committed a huge budget to marketing and advertising Diuril, they did not want to introduce another cardiovascular drug into the marketplace that would compete with their own newly launched drug. Subsequently, Merck sold the patents rights on CoQ10 to a Japanese firm.

    It took the Japanese about ten years to learn how to develop the technology that enabled the production of pure coenzyme Q10 in quantities that were adequate to support clinical trials in heart failure patients in Japan. During this ten year development time period, some small trials revealed that the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 was also a powerful antioxidant. As an energizer and an antioxidant, CoQ10 was found to be an effective natural product for the management of individuals with congestive heart failure.

    Coenzyme Q10 and Energy Production:
    Coenzyme Q10 in the oxidized form (ubiquinone) is required for energy production in the mitochondria of all cells except the red blood cells. Specifically, CoQ10 is required in several steps of what is called the electron transport chain in mitochondrial inner membranes, which is where cellular energy, knows as ATP, is produced. In the 1960s, biochemist Peter Mitchell, Ph.D. first put forth his theories on how coenzyme Q10 participates in and is required for energy production in mitochondria. In 1978, Dr. Mitchell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery. Peter Mitchell is still recognized as the scientist who revolutionized coenzyme Q10 research and educated the world about CoQ’s central role in the production of energy in all living organisms.

    Coenzyme Q10 deficiency and the resulting decline in energy production quickly affects systems in the body that have high metabolic energy requirements such as the lungs, kidneys, brain, immune system and muscles. Yes, especially muscles. Since the heart is the most energy-demanding muscle in the body, one of the first effects of CoQ10 deficiency is a weakening of the heart.

    Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency And Congestive Health Failure:
    Because CoQ10 deficiency reduces the ability of the heart to generate energy, some of the first observations regarding this newly discovered nutritional substance were that patients with congestive heart failure had low levels of coenzyme Q10. Based on these early findings, some of the first clinical trials with CoQ10 involved patients with chronic heart failure, which is also known as congestive heart failure. And, CoQ10 therapy in patients with heart disease turned out to be ASTOUNDINGLY successful. In fact, the author of one study felt compelled to call CoQ10 therapy a scientific breakthrough in the management of chronic heart failure.1

    Initially, coenzyme Q10 was introduced in Japan as a prescription drug for the treatment of various forms of cardiovascular disease. It remained one of the top-selling cardiovascular drugs in Japan for over twenty years. In 1991 coenzyme Q10 was taken off prescription drug status and made available as an over-the-counter product to the general public. Almost immediately, use of CoQ10 in Japan skyrocketed, which caused a world-wide shortage of supply and resulted in a substantial increase in its price.

    Coenzyme Q10: A Critical Antioxidant
    Coenzyme Q10 in the reduced form (Ubiquinol) is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is made in all cells throughout the body. In fact, CoQ10 is the ONLY fat-soluble antioxidant that is made in the body, which results from the enzymatic conversion of ubiquinone to ubiquinol. CoQ10’s (Ubiquinol) most important functions are its ability to inhibit oxidative free radical damage to the fats that comprise the structure of cellular membranes throughout the body.2

    For decades cardiologists have prescribed statin drugs in the belief that elevated LDL-cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. There is increasing skepticism regarding the level of risk associated with elevated LDL-cholesterol and the frequent prescribing of statins. However, it is well accepted that when LDL-cholesterol undergoes free radical damage, it becomes a “damaged” molecule that is referred to as oxidized LDL-cholesterol. Oxidized LDL-cholesterol is capable of causing damage to the lining of the blood vessels. In a simplification of a complex process, we can simply say that the body creates plaque deposits in an effort to repair this damage. So, it is really oxidized LDL-cholesterol that initiates plaque build-up and increases the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

    In a 1997 study on coenzyme Q10 and statin drugs, cardiologist Svend Mortensen made the following important statement. Dr. Mortensen announced that CoQ10 is an antioxidant that is “packaged into the LDL & VLDL fractions of cholesterol.” This means that the LDL cholesterol molecule is the primary method by which coenzyme gets transported around the body. Thus, when CoQ10 is being transported on the LDL cholesterol molecule, CoQ10’s antioxidant properties enable it to protect LDL cholesterol against oxidative damage. This is one way that CoQ10 reduces cardiovascular disease risks.3

    Coenzyme Q10 Lowers Elevated Blood Pressure
    In 1980, Dr. Folkers reported treating 16 patients with high blood pressure (10 already taking BP meds and 6 untreated) with CoQ10 14 of 16 patients achieved significant lowering of systolic blood pressure and 11/16 achieved significant lowering of diastolic blood pressure. In the patients who had elevated blood pressure even though they were taking BP-lowering drugs, 9 of 10 achieved reductions that brought their blood pressure readings into the normal range.4

    Another study that demonstrates coenzyme Q10’s blood pressure lowering ability was conducted by cardiologist Peter Langsjoen. He selected 109 of his patients with hypertension and added CoQ10 (average dose was 225 mg/day) to their existing medications. The average time of from initial diagnosis was 9.2 years and many patients were taking two or three blood pressure-lowering medications to keep their pressure within the acceptable range. Within six months of initiating high-dose CoQ10 therapy, 55 of 109 (51 percent) of the patients experienced reductions in their blood pressure readings that enabled them to discontinue taking their blood pressure medications.5

    More recently, a meta-analysis of 12 clinical trials reported that CoQ10 lowered systolic blood pressure by 17 points and it lowered diastolic blood pressure approximately 10 points.6 Thus, the blood pressure lowering effect of coenzyme Q10 is sufficient to keep hundreds of thousands of individuals with borderline hypertension from having to take blood pressurelowering medications.

    The FDA Inhibits Education
    Utilization of coenzyme Q10 in the United States has lagged behind that of Japan and European countries for several reasons. Nearly 2,000 studies have been published in which either coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 appear in the title of the study. However, in the United States, FDA policy prohibits nutritional supplement companies from making ANY reference to ANY health claims regarding a nutritional product. This greatly inhibits the public's access to educational information about the benefits of nutritional supplements. Also, pharmaceutical companies are not interested in promoting information about CoQ10 or CoQ10 products because it is a natural product, which means a drug company cannot have an exclusive patent on it. Another reason drug companies don't want the word to get out about coenzyme Q10 is the fact that it is SAFER and MORE EFFECTIVE than most cardiovascular drugs on the market, which is a multi-billion-dollar market for the pharmaceutical industry.

    Coenzyme Q10 And Statin Drugs:
    In 1987 the FDA approved the first statin drug named lovastatin, which was marketed by Merck under the brand name Mevacor. Statins work by blocking an enzyme in the liver named HMGCoA reductase, which is required for the biosynthesis of cholesterol. When a statin drug blocks HMG-CoA reductase, the synthesis of cholesterol is inhibited and cholesterol blood levels decline fairly rapidly.

    Lovastatin's success at lowering cholesterol levels resulted in other drug companies bringing their version of a statin drug to the market. Statin drugs became a "goldmine" for the pharmaceutical industry. There are currently seven statin drugs available in the United States and statins became one of the best-selling classes of drugs in history. In 2011, global sales of statin drugs exceeded $39 billion. Also, in 2009 and 2010, Lipitor (atorvastatin) was ranked as the #1 selling drug in the world with 2009 sales of $11 billion and 2010 sales of $10 billion.

    The Dark Side of Statin Drugs:
    It is estimated that about 32 million Americans (about 25 percent of people aged 45 and older) are taking statin drugs. In February 2016, The FDA mandated the addition of new warnings regarding potential statin drug side effects which include increased risks of liver damage, confusion and memory loss, type 2 diabetes and muscle weakness.

    One of the most serious side effects of statin drugs is something that the FDA has still refused to address. The HMG-CoA reductase enzyme that is critical for cholesterol synthesis is also required for the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. Multiple studies document the fact that in addition to lowering cholesterol levels, statin drug therapy also causes a dramatic decline in coenzyme Q10 levels.7,8

    Drugs That Deplete Coenzyme Q10:
    In addition to statins, the following other classes of commonly prescribed drugs deplete coenzyme Q10; oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), oral hypoglycemic drugs such as metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers and tricyclic antidepressants. Because they inhibit the production of CoQ10, these drugs induce low energy syndromes resulting in reduced muscle function.

    Next month, in Part 2 of this series we will discuss coenzyme Q10's role in the prevention and treatment of cancer and various other diseases, its function as an effective anti-aging nutrient, and issues related to CoQ10 recrystallization and the relative absorption and effectiveness of various CoQ10 products on the market.

    References

    1. Morensen SA. Coenzyme Q10: clinical benefits with biochemical correlates suggesting a scientific breakthrough in the management of chronic heart failure. Int J Tissue Teact. 1990;12(3):155¡V 62.
    2. Littarru GP, Bioenergetic and Antioxidant Properties of Coenzyme Q10: Recent Developments. Molecular Biotechnology. Sept. 2007; 37(1):31-7.
    3. Mortensen SA. Dose-related decrease of serum coenzyme Q10 during treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Mol Aspects Med. 1997;18 Suppl:S137-44.
    4. Folkers K. Bioenergetics in clinical medicine. XVI. Reduction of hypertension in patients bytherapy with coenzyme Q10. Res Comm Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1981 Jan;31(1):129-40.
    5. Langsjoen P. Treatment of essential hypertension with coenzyme Q10. Mol Aspects Med. 1994;15 Supp:S265-72.
    6. Rosenfeldt FL, el al. Coenzyme Q10 in the treatment of hypertension: a meta-analysis of the clinical trials. Journal of Human Hypertension. 2007 apr;21(4):297-306.
    7. Mortensen SA. Dose-related decrease of serum coenzyme Q10 during treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Mol Aspects Med. 1997;18 Suppl:S137-44.
    8. G. Ghirlanda, et al., "Evidence of Plasma CoQ10-lowering Effect by HMGCoA Reductase Inhibitors: A DB PC Study," J Clin Pharmacol. March 1993; 33(3): 226-9
  • Coenzyme Q10: The New Era

    Coenzyme Q10 The New Era Ross Pelton

    In Part 1 of this series, we reviewed the discovery of coenzyme Q10 and the initial studies that established CoQ10 as a very effective natural therapy for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, early studies also revealed that CoQ10 is an essential for the generation of cellular energy (ATP) within the mitochondria of every cell in the body with the exception of red blood cells.

    Coenzyme Q10's dual functions (antioxidant and energy production) make it essential for the health of virtually all human tissues and organs. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, it protects proteins (like LDL-cholesterol), enzymes, fats (all cell walls/ membranes) and especially DNA from free radical damage. In terms of energy production, areas of the body with high rates of metabolic activity (high energy demands) such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and immune system are especially sensitive to low levels of CoQ10.1

    Coenzyme Q10 and Cancer/History

    Early CoQ10-cell culture studies revealed that coenzyme Q10 resulted in an 80 percent reduction in the growth of cancer cells within 90 days.2 Animal studies published in the late 1990s reported that treatment with coenzyme Q10 resulted in suppression of tumor growth, reduced size and/or shrinkage of tumors and increased survival time.3,4,5

    In the late 1980s, Dr. K. Folkers began analyzing coenzyme Q10 levels in cancer patients. His testing revealed that virtually all cancer patients have CoQ10 levels that are extremely low. In 1994, Drs. K. Lockwood and K. Folkers reported treating 32 "high-risk" breast cancer patients with antioxidants, fatty acids, and 90 mg. of CoQ10.

    Six of the 32 women showed partial tumor regression. In one woman, the dosage of CoQ10 was increased to 390 mg. In one month, her tumor was no longer palpable and in another month, mammography confirmed the absence of tumor. Encouraged, another case having a verified breast tumor, after non-radical surgery and with verified residual tumor in the tumor bed was then treated with 300 mg. CoQ10. After three months, the patient was in excellent clinical condition and there was no residual tumor tissue.6

    In 1996, William Judy and Dr. Folkers reported the results of a CoQ10-prostate cancer study. Their results revealed that men with prostate cancer who were treated with 600 mg of CoQ10 daily achieved dramatic reductions in both PSA and tumor size.7 An interesting aspect of this study is that the men did not begin to show any signs of response until about 90 days into the trial.

    CoQ10 in Prostate Cancer

    Several clinical trials have also reported that coenzyme Q10 substantially protects against and/or reduces side effects in patients undergoing various forms of chemotherapy.

    A New Understanding of Cancer: In healthy cells, mitochondria utilize oxygen to produce energy. In cancer cells, energy production switches from away from oxygen and instead begins to utilize glucose/sugar for energy production. This was first discovered and explained by Otto Warburg, MD. Warburg was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1931 for discovering that cancer cells are low in oxygen because cellular respiration has switched from using oxygen to the fermentation of sugar. To summarize, healthy cells utilize oxygen to produce energy whereas cancer cells begin to utilize sugar for energy production. It is damage to mitochondria that causes this change in energy production.9

    "Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management and Prevention of Cancer" is the title of a very important book written by Thomas N. Seyfried, MD. Dr. Seyfried advances Otto Warburg's theory of cancer in a way that revolutionizes our understanding of cancer. Up until now, most scientists have assumed that cancer is a genetic disease resulting from DNA mutations/damage.

    Instead, Seyfried teaches us that cancer is a metabolic disease due to mitochondrial damage, which hinders the ability of cells to produce adequate energy. This causes the metabolic shift from oxygen to glucose for energy production, which is the hallmark of cancer cell metabolism.

    Coenzyme Q10/Cancer Answer: Drs. Warburg and Seyfried did not explain coenzyme Q10's role in protecting mitochondria from free radical damage and in mitochondrial energy production. In this article, we will explain how CoQ10 deficiency results in mitochondrial damage that progresses to metabolic changes in energy production, which results in the origin and progression of cancer.

    The Miracle Nutrient: Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 plays two critical roles in this scenario. First, CoQ10 is required in several steps for energy production within mitochondria. Thus, coenzyme Q10 deficiency impairs mitochondria's ability to use oxygen for energy production. This causes a shift to using sugar, which characterizes cancer cell metabolism.

    Secondly, CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals. This is especially important in mitochondria, because more free radicals are generated in mitochondria during the process of energy production than anywhere else in the body. Thus, coenzyme Q10 deficiency is a "double whammy" in that it weakens mitochondria's ability to produce energy (like an engine running out of gas) while also accelerating free radical damage to mitochondrial DNA (causing damage to the engine so it cannot function).

    Causes of Coenzyme Q10 Deficiency: The synthesis of coenzyme Q10 in the body is a complex process that requires multiple nutrients as cofactors. Over the past 80 years there has been a dramatic and continual decline in the nutritional content of our commercial/agricultural food supply. Reasons for this decline include:

    a) Rising levels of atmospheric CO2 is causing reductions in the mineral content of plants.10

    b) Massive use of pesticides and herbicides on agricultural crops, which kills the microbiome (bacteria) in the soil. Bacteria in the soil are necessary for the breakdown of organic matter and the delivery of nutrients into the plant.11

    c) A high percentage of the food that Americans consume are highly processes. Food processing results in substantial losses of nutritional content of the foods.12

    d) In "The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook," Ross Pelton lists multiple reports following classes of commonly prescribed drugs that cause depletion of coenzyme Q10: statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), drugs for diabetes, tricyclic antidepressants, major tranquilizers, beta-blockers, thiazide diuretics and vasodilators.13 Many more drugs probably deplete CoQ10, but just haven't been tested yet for their effect on CoQ10 biosynthesis.

    e) Increasing age, after 20 years of age, reduces CoQ10 synthesis in man (International CoQ10 Association).

    Other Therapeutic Applications: In addition to cardiovascular disease and cancer, studies have also been published showing that CoQ10 can provide therapeutic benefits in the following conditions: diabetes, radiation injury, periodontal disease, gastric ulcers, mitochondrial disorders, migraine headaches, obesity, kidney failure, acquired immune deficiency (AIDS), Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

    CoQ10 and Life Extension: In addition to the many ways CoQ10 can help prevent and treat many disease conditions, it is also one of the most important nutrients for life extension and healthy longevity.

    When you understand CoQ10's critical roles in protecting mitochondria and producing energy, it seems obvious that it would slow down the onset of chronic degenerative diseases and increase longevity with healthy additional years. Imagine a growing number of vibrant, energetic centenarians.

    Coenzyme Q10 Doubles Lifespan in Mice: Emile Bliznakov, MD, who wrote "The Miracle Nutrient: Coenzyme Q10," conducted the following experiment. Dr. Bliznakov started his experiment with 100 "old" female white mice that were 16 to 18 months of age. One week for mice is roughly equivalent to one year of human life. Thus, the mice were in their 60s to 70s in human terms and already beginning to show some signs of decreased immunity and aging bodily functions.14

    These old mice were divided into two groups of 50 and maintained on optimally nutritious diets. One group were controls while the second group were regularly given doses of CoQ10.

    • At 28 weeks after the beginning of the study, 70 percent of the control mice had died compared to only 40 percent of the CoQ10-treated mice.
    • At 36 weeks, 100 percent of the control mice were dead while about 40 percent of the CoQ10-treated mice were still alive and active with most not showing the normal signs of physical deterioration that are commonly associated with advanced age.
    • At week 56, 10 percent of the CoQ10-treated mice were still thriving (2X longer than these mice would normally be expected to survive beyond the beginning of the experiment).
    • At the 80th week (remember the last control mouse died at week 36), four mice were still alive; at the 82nd week, the last mouse died. In human terms, this is a life span of roughly 130 years of age!

    Dr. Bliznakov explained the following remarkable visual differences between the two groups of mice towards the end when some of the control mice were still alive. The fur on the control mice that had not received CoQ10 had lost its sheen, became dull, coarse, matted and on some mice, clumps of hair had fallen out, leaving bald patchy spots and they were also very listless and spent most of their time lying around and not socializing. On the other hand, the fur in the coats of the CoQ10-treated mice remained smooth and soft, and they maintained a much greater level of activity and socialization. Another interesting feature was the fact that the CoQ10-treated mice still engaged in sexual activity whereas sexual activity had stopped among the control mice months earlier.

    Life extending effect of CoQ10 on CF1 female mice

    Human clinical life extension trials will be conducted in our lifetime. Several studies have reported CoQ10's therapeutic benefits in a wide range of disease states. This certainly suggests that CoQ10 enhances and extends life and improves quality of life. Three rather large clinical studies support the influence of CoQ10 on longevity. The first was a 30-year study that was completed by Dr. Folkers and Judy. In this study 500 congestive heart failure patients were divided into two groups. One group was treated with 200 mg CoQ10 daily and conventional therapy. The other group was treated with conventional therapy only. The conventional therapy group were all deceased in seven years. In the CoQ10 group 42 percent were still living at seven years. At 15 years, 24 percent were still living. At 30 years two individuals were still living. Both were in their late 90's and in good health. Both had been on CoQ10 for over 35 years and were only on a diuretic and CoQ10.

    Other long-term studies have been conducted by Dr. Alihanen and his group in Sweden. In this study thousands of elderly patients were supplemented with CoQ10 for 10 years. The 10- year survival rate was 45 percent. In another study in Class III and IV congestive heart failure conducted by Dr. Sven Mortensen and his group showed a two-year survival compared to the control group of 48 percent. The morbidity was reduced by 52 percent and the classification of heart failure was reduced to Class II or I. The acute hospitalizations were reduced by 52 percent (Q-Symbio multicenter clinical trial 2014. A.J. Clinical Cardiology, 2014.

    Ubiquinone/Ubiquinol: After the discovery of coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone) in 1956, clinical trials began in the mid-1960s. In the ensuing half-century, the vast majority of clinical trials have been conducted with the ubiquinone, which is the oxidized form of CoQ10.

    In 2006, the Kaneka Corporation in Japan began producing and marketing the ubiquinol (reduced) form of CoQ10 after learning how to stabilize the compound and keep it from oxidizing back to ubiquinone. Kaneka claims that the ubiquinol/ reduced form of CoQ10 is more active and better absorbed than ubiquinone. This has been a very successful marketing strategy for Kaneka, but actually, the claims are not scientifically correct.

    There are several issues to discuss when confronting Kaneka's claims that ubiquinol is superior to ubiquinone. Many companies are private labeling Kaneka's ubiquinol CoQ10, which are substantially more expensive. However, studies reveal that when Kaneka's reduced CoQ10 is taken orally, it rapidly gets converted into ubiquinone in the stomach. Hence, people are paying more for ubiquinol, which actually gets converted back into ubiquinone when taken orally.

    For a full explanation of the issues and controversies between ubiquinone and ubiquinol, read a report titled Coenzyme Q10 Facts or Fabrications by William Judy, Ph.D. Dr. Judy has been educating people around the world about the importance and benefits of coenzyme Q10 for over 40 years. He has also conducted CoQ10 clinical trials and served as a consultant for many companies on CoQ10 product formulations. Hence, he is well qualified to address both the scientific and the marketing issues related to the ubiquinone/ubiquinol controversy.

    The Recrystallization Problem: Many CoQ10 products on the market have abysmally low rates of absorption. Here's the problem. The melting point of CoQ10 is about ten degrees higher than human body temperature, which is 98.60F. Hence, most coenzyme Q10 products crystallize in the softgel capsule after cooling to room temperature. Even CoQ10 products that are dissolved in oil by heating to 50 degrees centigrade recrystallize in the softgel capsule when cooled to room temperature. Crystals consist of many millions of single CoQ10 molecules. Humans can't absorb crystals. We can only absorb single molecules of any substance. This explains why CoQ10 products on the market do not achieve significant increases in plasma CoQ10 levels compared to that of the pure crystal free CoQ10 products.

    Crystal Free Coenzyme Q10:
    Crystal free CoQ10 is the new era in the CoQ10 industry. The dry powder CoQ10 entered the marketplace in 1974 as a comp softgel product. These were crystalline CoQ10 in an oil and water base. When CoQ10 was deregulated from a drug to a natural product in Japan the consumer market in Japan increased so significantly that the CoQ10 producers in Japan could not meet the world demand. The price of CoQ10 increased from $800 to $4500 a kilogram. In the USA almost no one could afford the CoQ10. Thus, the need for a more highly absorbable CoQ10 that could offset the poorly absorbed CoQ10 and its high price.

    Three companies in the USA took the challenge and started developing a crystal free CoQ10 product between 2002 and 2006. All three products had different solvents and were crystal free at an encapsulation temperature of 50 degrees centigrade. Their single dose absorption was between six and eight percent of a 100 mg dose. However, when the capsules cooled to room temperature, two of these products recrystallized and the absorption and steady state bioavailability was no better than a crystalline CoQ10 in a lipid based softgel.

    The higher absorbable CoQ10 and steady state bioavailable allows the consumer to attain the health benefits for the clinical conditions describes in Part I of this series. Two of the developed products were unstable and recrystallized in the softgel capsule. One remained viable as a pure crystal free product.

    A crystal free product at body temperature manufactured in Scandinavia was used in a major long-term clinical trial in Sweden. This trial has continued for over 10 years in thousands of patients (Ailhagen Sweden). In this study, the 10-year survival was 50 percent. In a multi-center study in 500 class III and IV congestive heart failure patients the 250 in patients on CoQ10 and conventional therapy has a heart failure mortality rate 56 percent less than the control group on conventional therapy only. In this study, the morbidity was 48 percent less and the degree of failure was 58 percent less than the control group. The CoQ10 treated patients admitted to the hospital was 43 percent less than the conventionally treated patients (Q-symbio trial, Mortensen. Am J Clinical Cardiology. 2014). The new era of crystal free CoQ10 has proven that it has the potential to be effective in the management of congestive heart failure, age related degenerative diseases such as cancers, chronic fatigue, Parkinson's disease and high blood pressure.

    The newest and most stable of the crystal free products, and the new therapeutic era for CoQ10 in the USA is marketed by the Cyto Health Company. It will soon be in the USA marketplace. For more information please call 941-920-2824.

    References:
    1. Saini R. Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Jul-Sep;3(3):466-467.
    2. Bliznakov E. (1986) "The Miracle Nutrient: Coenzyme Q10." New York. Bantam Books.
    3. 1995 Merck
    4. 1996 Duke Univ.
    5. 1997 North Carolina Univ
    6. Lockwood K, et al. Partial and complete regression of breast cancer in patients in relation to dosage of coenzyme Q10. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1994 Mar 30;199(3):1504–8.
    7. 1996 Judy and Folkers
    8. 1984 Judy and Toth
    9. John AP. Dysfunctional mitochondria, not oxygen insufficiency, cause cancer cells to produce inordinate amounts of lactic acid: the impact of this on the treatment of cancer. Med Hypotheses. 2001;57:429–31
    10. Weigel, H. Plant quality declines as CO2 levels rise. eLife 2014;3:e03233.
    11. Aktar, W, et al. Impact of pesticides use in agriculture: their benefits and hazards. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2009 Mar;2(1):1–12.
    12. Karmas E, Harris RS. (Dec. 2012) Nutritional Evaluation of Food Processing. Springer Science & Business Media
    13. Pelton R, et al. (2001) "The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook." Macedonia, Ohio. Lexi-Comp.
    14. Bliznakov E. (1986) "The Miracle Nutrient: Coenzyme Q10." New York. Bantam Books.
  • December 2017

    Total Health Magazine December 2017

    Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the December 2017 issue of TotalHealth Magazine Online.

    Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, in "Exposing Big Fat Lies," gives readers a reality check on "Eat Fat Lose Weight, How Smart Fat Cells Reset Fat Cells To Slim." From the expert, read on.

    Dallas Clouatre's, PhD, article, "Benefits Of The "Mushroom Vitamin," discusses the Ergothioneine, an amino acid that is relatively abundant in certain mushrooms, currently is being proposed by a number of scientists as the latest new vitamin.

    This is part one of a two-part series on coenzyme Q10, "Coenzyme Q10: The Miracle Nutrient," by Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN and William V. Judy, PhD. The authors give the history of its discovery, how important the discovery for heart health, blood pressure, its relation to statins, and more. It is a must read for everyone. Next month the authors cover CoQ10 use with cancer and additional illness and as an anti-aging nutrient.

    "The (Piano) Keys To Fibromyalgia Pain Relief," Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, explains the benefit of music for fibromyalgia sufferers and has one artist's CD that he recommends.

    Elson Haas, MD, in this month's article, "The Health Continuum," emphasizes Lifestyle Medicine. "I want to teach and support people to go beyond recovering from whatever problem they came to see me about, as well as learn something relevant about not repeating their illness. I want them to progress along what I call the Health Continuum towards their own Optimal Health."

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), introduction to "Blueberry Leaf & Weight Loss," states "there are many dietary supplement strategies that can be used to support and promote your weight loss efforts in the gym and while you're dieting. Rarely can you find a dietary supplement ingredient that approaches the issue of weight loss from an entirely new angle."

    Gloria Gilbère's, "Christmas & New Year's Culinary Traditions...South American Style," includes a bird's eye view of the holiday customs with four recipes which incorporate the culinary traditions of the area in Cotacachi, Ecuador, S.A.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, consults this month on, "Kava Kava For Epilepsy In Pets." Reminding us to always consult with our veterinarian before supplementing our pets' diet.

    In "The Ancient Wisdom of Ayurveda," Jonathan Glass, MAc, CAT, explains the history and how it is used today to support body, mind and soul, protect health, prevent disease, restore lost health, and increase awareness. These intentions are pursued within the context of fulfilling our dharma, or essential life purpose.

    Sherrill Sellman, ND, discusses the worldwide addiction to all things WIFI in "Solutions to Protect You From Our WIFI World" . Learn about the dangers to our health and things you can do to protect yourself and your family from EMFs.

    Best in health,

    TWIP The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full December issue.

    Click here to read the full December issue.

  • January 2018

    Total Health Magazine December 2017

    Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the January 2018 issue of TotalHealth Magazine Online.

    Dallas Clouatre's, PhD, article, "Probiotics For Digestive Health," answers many questions on probiotics, what they are, why we need them and how to select them. Best described by the following quote: {For instance, according to Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College London and director of the British Gut Microbiome project, a "healthy gut is like a perfect English garden. You've got a diversity of microbes of all types, all living together and feeding off each other's byproducts—nothing is wasted."}

    This is part two of a two-part series on Coenzyme Q10 (See part one TotalHealth December 2017 page 10) titled "Coenzyme Q10: The New Era," by Ross Pelton, RPh, CCN and William V. Judy, PhD. "Coenzyme Q10's dual functions (antioxidant & energy production) make it essential for the health of virtually all human tissues and organs. As a fat-soluble antioxidant, it protects proteins (like LDL-cholesterol), enzymes, fats (all cell walls/membranes) and especially DNA from free radical damage. In terms of energy production, areas of the body with high rates of metabolic activity (high energy demands) such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and immune system are especially sensitive to low levels of CoQ10." Read on for the full update.

    Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, in "Bile: Your New BFF," brings an important and not often discussed system of the workings of the human body. Bile is produced by the liver to the tune of about one quart per day, bile is made from lecithin, cholesterol and bilirubin. The body stores it in the gallbladder, and moves it to the intestines during digestion. After reading about the process you'll understand why Gittleman refers to it as your new best friend forever.

    "Optimizing Cognitive Function—Foods And Supplements," Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, describes our brain as our body's motor. Our brain consumes 10 times as much energy for its size as the rest of our body. "So what we feed it determines whether it purrs like a Ferrari, or runs in fits and starts." Teitelbaum includes the top four foods and supplements to feed your brain.

    Elson Haas, MD, in this month's article, "A Smart Start To Your New Year The Health Benefits Of Seasonal Detox," emphasizes detox approach to improving your health. Haas has been leading and participating in detox programs during his thirty-one years in medical practice. This Detox program begins in January 2018.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), "Complementary And Alternative Treatments for Seasonal Allergies," describes what many of us experience as a congested, runny, itchy nose together with frequent sneezing and watery eyes that makes you feel miserable. If you are looking for a complementary and alternative treatment approach to allergies look no further. Bruno describes a full menu of supplements available to you.

    Gloria Gilbère's, CDP, DAHom, PhD, presents "Apple Cider Glazed Chicken with Sweet Potatoes." Inflammation-free, nightshade free recipes, there are many ways by which normal cells and tissues can be damaged, leading to inflammation. One important way is consuming nightshade foods because they contain a substance known to accelerate inflammation—Solanaceae or Solanine—alkaloid chemicals that can be highly toxic.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, consults this month on, "Hyperthyroidism in Pets." Reminding us to always consult with our veterinarian before supplementing our pets' diet.

    Best in health,

    TWIP The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full January issue.

    Click here to read the full January issue.

  • Taking Statins? Beware!

    Sometimes blind faith leads to a disaster. Sometimes a miracle. Where will you end up? If you're one of the millions of people diagnosed with high cholesterol, you will more than likely be given a prescription "statin" pill. These work well to reduce cholesterol: Lovastatin for Mevacor, atorvastatin for Lipitor, pravastatin for Pravachol, fluvastatin for Lescol, simvastatin for Zocor, pitavastatin for Livalo, and rosuvastatin for Crestor.

    Statins affect many pathways in the body. They are strong anti-inflammatories and are being tested for their use in cancer patients. As for cholesterol reduction, they work by crushing a natural enzyme in your body that would otherwise produce cholesterol. I want you to make a mental note, statins do not suck out gooey cholesterol from your arteries, nor does it negate cheese fries. No, these drugs merely suppress new production of cholesterol. Here's where blind faith (take this pill and you'll feel better) collides with scientific research.

    This month a study was published (in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology), entitled, Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms. Repeat: "Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure." Whoa! The researchers concluded, "The epidemic of heart failure and atherosclerosis that plagues the modern world may paradoxically be aggravated by the pervasive use of statin drugs." What an irony! The problem is that many other studies have found similar disastrous effects on the heart. It has to do with mitochondrial dysfunction, which means that the little generators in your heart cells get sick.

    Your heart is a very high energy muscle. It requires thriving, mitochondria in order to churn out ATP, your energy molecule. Statins are toxic to mitochondria because they deplete coenzyme Q10 which is needed for healthy mitochondria. Statins also deplete a special protein called "Heme A" that totes oxygen and iron to your heart. The long-term depletion interrupts ATP production and leads to cellular fatigue among other major problems. You cannot survive long-term without adequate ATP production so it needs to be restored. Fatigue, cramps, muscle weakness, memory loss, depression, cancer… you must have ATP in your body or else! (Biting my lip)

    Statins inhibit the biosynthesis of vitamin K2 which we manufacture if we have healthy intestinal gut flora. Do you? I don't know anyone who has a perfect gut. K2 also comes from fermented veggies. It protects our arteries from calcium plaques or atherosclerosis. Without enough K2, statin-induced or not, we are compromised. (Eyes rolling now).

    Today, we know statins block very special, powerful selenium-containing proteins known as selenoproteins, the most famous of those is called glutathione peroxidase, which protects muscle tissue from free radical damage (oxidation).

    What's the busiest muscle in your body? It has to work 24/7. It's your heart! (Smacks forehead).

    Your heart muscle cells are 'burned' form all the oxidation (due to the impairment of selenoprotein biosynthesis) and this is a factor in congestive heart failure. This reminds me of Keshan's disease which is heart failure due to low selenium.

    If you have to take statins, please use the lowest dose possible. Be diligent about putting back the nutrients that statins interfere with such as the coenzyme Q10, selenium, and vitamin K2, along with other heart healthy nutrients. There are exceptions to taking these nutrients so ask your doctor (yes, the same one that gave you the statin) This is a classic case of drug mugging, and I hope you will consider replenishing some of the affected nutrients, especially if you have uncomfortable or new symptoms. Talk to your physician about dosages of these vitamins, because this is a highly individual.

  • The Pill Problem

    The Pill Problem Ross Pelton

    After the "pill" was approved in 1960, it quickly became one of the most important social and cultural revolutions in the history of the world. Since that time it is estimated that over 80 percent of women born in the U.S. after 1945 have used oral contraceptives at some time in their lives. Currently an estimated 12-million women in the United States, and over 100-million women worldwide are using oral contraceptives.

    Several years ago when I wrote a book titled The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, I was amazed to find that oral contraceptives deplete a wide range of nutrients from a woman's body. In fact, oral contraceptives deplete more nutrients than any other class of commonly prescribed drugs.

    The health problems that can develop from these nutrient depletions include depression; sleep disorders; anemia; low energy; migraine headaches; heart attacks; strokes; blood clots; diabetes; a weakened immune system; birth defects; cancers of the uterus, colon and breast; and accelerated aging. Actually, studies report that about 50 percent of women who begin using oral contraceptives will discontinue use within the first six to 12 months due to side effects.

    The Dangers of Nutrient Depletions Caused by Oral Contraceptives

    Generally, side effects from a drug occur relatively quickly. For example, a skin rash or nausea and vomiting generally occur within the first day or two. In such cases, you notify your doctor and stop taking the drug. However, the health problems from drug-induced nutrient depletions are more gradual in their onset and much more difficult to recognize.

    Consider the following scenario. A woman has been taking oral contraceptives for the past eight years, seemingly without any problems. However, during the past six months, she has been increasingly complaining to her husband/partner, saying things like, "Honey, I'm so tired I feel like I don't have enough energy to even get out of bed in the morning," or "Honey, by mid-day I'm so exhausted, I'm dragging and can hardly get through the rest of the day."

    Oral contraceptives deplete vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium and coenzyme Q10. Each of these nutrients plays a critical role in energy production and a deficiency of any one of them will cause tiredness, lethargy and overall low energy. However, the woman is not likely to realize that her oral contraceptives are causing nutrient depletions that are resulting in her low energy and exhaustion.

    It is also important to realize that many women are taking other drugs that can deplete the same nutrients that are being depleted by her oral contraceptives. For example, NSAIDs, acid-blocking drugs and anticonvulsant medications all deplete folic acid. So, a woman may be taking a PPI medication for her reflux, ibuprofen for headaches and if she has a seizure disorder, she will also be taking an anticonvulsant medication. This can create a serious risk of giving birth to an infant with a birth defect as well as other folic acid deficiency health problems.

    Oral contraceptive nutrient depletions also increase risks for future cardiovascular problems. For example, women taking oral contraceptives have lower levels of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid. This can cause elevated blood levels of homocysteine, which accelerates plaque buildup in the arteries. Years later, this can cause a heart attack, stroke or necessitate cardiac bypass surgery.

    Oral contraceptive-induced depletion of vitamin B6 and the amino acid tyrosine greatly increase a woman's risk of depression. These nutrients are required for the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which control moods and emotions. A review of nine clinical trials reported the incidence of depression in women taking oral contraceptives ranged from 16 to 56 percent. In addition to depression, low levels of serotonin also increase the likelihood of developing sleep problems because serotonin is the precursor for melatonin, which is the chemical in the brain that triggers sleep.

    Several of the nutrients depleted by oral contraceptives are important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, selenium, zinc and co-enzyme Q10. When these antioxidants are depleted, a woman's immune system is significantly compromised.

    Oral contraceptives also increase a woman's risk of giving birth to an infant with birth defects. Folic acid deficiency is known to be the number one cause of neural tube birth defects and women taking OCs have lower levels of folic acid compared to non-users.

    Sexual side effects are one of the most common reasons that women discontinue taking oral contraceptives. To put it bluntly, the "pill" lowers sex drive. This is because women taking OCs have lower levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone. These two hormones regulate sex drive in both men and women.

    Common sexual side effects associated with oral contraceptives include decreased desire for sex, greater difficulty becoming aroused, vaginal dryness resulting in painful sex, and difficulty or inability to achieve orgasms.

    Nutritional Supplement Recommendations For Hormone Based Birth Control

    If you still insist on hormone based birth control recommended by your doctor keep this in mind; most health problems caused by oral contraceptives can be prevented or corrected by taking adequate nutritional supplementation. However, this is not accomplished by taking a one-a-day supplement.

    In most cases, nutrient intakes substantially greater than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDAs) are required to compensate for the nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptives. Here are a couple of examples. The RDAs for vitamins B1, B2 and B6 are about 1.5 mg to 2 mg daily. I suggest that women take from 10 mg to 25 mg twice daily. The RDA for vitamin C for adult women is 75 mg daily. I recommend at least 500 mg twice daily. Numerous companies offer higher potency nutritional supplements that provide the nutrient intake levels that I am suggesting.

    Nutrients like tyrosine and co-enzyme Q10 are not included in most multivitamin/mineral formulations so they have to be purchased individually. I suggest that women take 500 mg of tyrosine twice daily and 50 mg to 100 mg of co-enzyme Q10 daily.

    The Pill Problem is a health manual that devotes 15 short information-packed chapters to the side effects of oral contraceptives. Each chapter discusses the nutrient depletions that can result in a particular health problem. The Pill Problem also contains dosage recommendations for each of the nutrients that are depleted by oral contraceptives.

    The Pill Problem is available in eBook and paperback from all major online booksellers or from www.thepillproblem.com.

    Hormone Free Alternative To Birth Control Pills And Devices



    Two years ago I was introduced to a product called Smart Women's Choice (SWC), which is a safe, hormone-free form of contraception for women. Smart Women's Choice is a vaginal gel that is made with all-natural ingredients. It works by causing the entire ejaculate to coagulate. This prevents the sperm from traveling up the Fallopian tubes, which inhibits fertilization from taking place.

    Smart Women's Choice Natural Contraceptive and Birth Control

    Smart Women's Choice was invented by Dr. Francoise Farron who is a biochemist by profession. Françoise started her studies at the University of California at Berkeley, got her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from New York University Medical School, and went on to work at Harvard Medical School studying control mechanisms of cell growth in cancer.

    In one scientific study on her Smart Women's Choice formula, SWC caused a 100 percent clumping or immobilization of sperm at all concentrations tested. SWC has been on the market now for over three years and there has not been a single reported pregnancy.

    All hormone-containing methods of contraception for women produce significant side effects. Thus, I was quite happy to learn about Smart Women's Choice and in October 2105, I wrote a supportive article about SWC that I posted on my Natural Pharmacist blog.

    SWC comes in a compact 1 oz. tube that you can conveniently carry. It is recommended to store it in your refrigerator to make it easier to apply. It does not have an expiration date.

    Instructions: Squeeze approximately one inch of the product onto your middle finger and insert into the vagina immediately before each sexual intercourse: afterwards, rinse thoroughly with tap water.

    Each tube has approximately 50 applications.

    You can purchase Smart Women's Choice directly from their website: http://smartwomenschoice.com.