For the sake of convenience: Commercial sources of prebiotic fibers

Our efforts to obtain prebiotic fibers/resistant starches, as discussed in the Cureality Digestive Health Track, to cultivate healthy bowel flora means recreating the eating behavior of primitive humans who dug in the dirt with sticks and bone fragments for underground roots and tubers, behaviors you can still observe in extant hunter-gatherer groups, such as the Hadza and Yanomamo. But, because this practice is inconvenient for us modern folk accustomed to sleek grocery stores, because many of us live in climates where the ground is frozen much of the year, and because we lack the wisdom passed from generation to generation that helps identify which roots and tubers are safe to eat and which are not, we rely on modern equivalents of primitive sources. Thus, green, unripe bananas, raw potatoes and other such fiber sources in the Cureality lifestyle.

There is therefore no need to purchase prebiotic fibers outside of your daily effort at including an unripe green banana, say, or inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), or small servings of legumes as a means of cultivating healthy bowel flora. These are powerful strategies that change the number and species of bowel flora over time, thereby leading to beneficial health effects that include reduced blood sugar and blood pressure, reduction in triglycerides, reduced anxiety and improved sleep, and reduced colon cancer risk.

HOWEVER, convenience can be a struggle. Traveling by plane, for example, makes lugging around green bananas or raw potatoes inconvenient. Inulin and FOS already come as powders or capsules and they are among the options for a convenient, portable prebiotic fiber strategy. But there are others that can be purchased. This is a more costly way to get your prebiotic fibers and you do not need to purchase these products in order to succeed in your bowel flora management program. These products are therefore listed strictly as a strategy for convenience.

Most perspectives on the quality of human bowel flora composition suggest that diversity is an important feature, i.e., the greater the number of species, the better the health of the host. There may therefore be advantage in varying your prebiotic routine, e.g., green banana on Monday, inulin on Tuesday, PGX (below) on Wednesday, etc. Beyond providing convenience, these products may introduce an added level of diversity, as well.

Among the preparations available to us that can be used as prebiotic fibers:

PGX

While it is billed as a weight management and blood sugar-reducing product, the naturally occurring fiber--α-D-glucurono-α-D-manno-β-D-manno- β-D-gluco, α-L-gulurono-β-D mannurono, β-D-gluco-β- D-mannan--in PGX also exerts prebiotic effects (evidenced by increased fecal butyrate, the beneficial end-product of bacterial metabolism). PGX is available as capsules or granules. It also seems to exert prebiotic effects at lower doses than other prebiotic fibers. While I usually advise reaching 20 grams per day of fiber, PGX appears to exert substantial effects at a daily dose of half that quantity. As with all prebiotic fibers, it is best to build up slowly over weeks, e.g., start at 1.5 grams twice per day. It is also best taken in two or three divided doses. (Avoid the PGX bars, as they are too carb-rich for those of us trying to achieve ideal metaobolic health.)

Prebiotin

A combination of inulin and FOS available as powders and in portable Stick Pacs (2 gram and 4 gram packs). This preparation is quite costly, however, given the generally low cost of purchasing chicory inulin and FOS separately.

Acacia

Acacia fiber is another form of prebiotic fiber.  RenewLife and NOW are two reputable brands.

Isomalto-oligosaccharides

This fiber is used in Quest bars and in Paleo Protein Bars. With Quest bars, choose the flavors without sucralose, since it has been associated with undesirable changes in bowel flora.

There you go. It means that there are fewer and fewer reasons to not purposefully cultivate healthy bowel flora and obtain all the wonderful health benefits of doing so, from reduced blood pressure, to reduced triglycerides, to deeper sleep.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated in any way by discussing these products.

How Not To Have An Autoimmune Condition


Autoimmune conditions are becoming increasingly common. Estimates vary, but it appears that at least 8-9% of the population in North America and Western Europe have one of these conditions, with The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association estimating that it’s even higher at 14% of the population.

The 200 or so autoimmune diseases that afflict modern people are conditions that involve an abnormal immune response directed against one or more organs of the body. If the misguided attack is against the thyroid gland, it can result in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If it is directed against pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin, it can result in type 1 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA). If it involves tissue encasing joints (synovium) like the fingers or wrists, it can result in rheumatoid arthritis. It if involves the liver, it can result in autoimmune hepatitis, and so on. Nearly every organ of the body can be the target of such a misguided immune response.

While it requires a genetic predisposition towards autoimmunity that we have no control over (e.g., the HLA-B27 gene for ankylosing spondylitis), there are numerous environmental triggers of these diseases that we can do something about. Identifying and correcting these factors stacks the odds in your favor of reducing autoimmune inflammation, swelling, pain, organ dysfunction, and can even reverse an autoimmune condition altogether.

Among the most important factors to correct in order to minimize or reverse autoimmunity are:


Wheat and grain elimination

If you are reading this, you likely already know that the gliadin protein of wheat and related proteins in other grains (especially the secalin of rye, the hordein of barley, zein of corn, perhaps the avenin of oats) initiate the intestinal “leakiness” that begins the autoimmune process, an effect that occurs in over 90% of people who consume wheat and grains. The flood of foreign peptides/proteins, bacterial lipopolysaccharide, and grain proteins themselves cause immune responses to be launched against these foreign factors. If, for instance, an autoimmune response is triggered against wheat gliadin, the same antibodies can be aimed at the synapsin protein of the central nervous system/brain, resulting in dementia or cerebellar ataxia (destruction of the cerebellum resulting in incoordination and loss of bladder and bowel control). Wheat and grain elimination is by far the most important item on this list to reverse autoimmunity.

Correct vitamin D deficiency

It is clear that, across a spectrum of autoimmune diseases, vitamin D deficiency serves a permissive, not necessarily causative, role in allowing an autoimmune process to proceed. It is clear, for instance, that autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes in children, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are more common in those with low vitamin D status, much less common in those with higher vitamin D levels. For this and other reasons, I aim to achieve a blood level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60-70 ng/ml, a level that usually requires around 4000-8000 units per day of D3 (cholecalciferol) in gelcap or liquid form (never tablet due to poor or erratic absorption). In view of the serious nature of autoimmune diseases, it is well worth tracking occasional blood levels.

Supplement omega-3 fatty acids

While omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, from fish oil have proven only modestly helpful by themselves, when cast onto the background of wheat/grain elimination and vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids compound anti-inflammatory benefits, such as those exerted via cyclooxygenase-2. This requires a daily EPA + DHA dose of around 3600 mg per day, divided in two. Don’t confuse EPA and DHA omega-3s with linolenic acid, another form of omega-3 obtained from meats, flaxseed, chia, and walnuts that does not not yield the same benefits. Nor can you use krill oil with its relatively trivial content of omega-3s.

Eliminate dairy

This is true in North America and most of Western Europe, less true in New Zealand and Australia. Autoimmunity can be triggered by the casein beta A1 form of casein widely expressed in dairy products, but not by casein beta A2 and other forms. Because it is so prevalent in North America and Western Europe, the most confident way to avoid this immunogenic form of casein is to avoid dairy altogether. You might be able to consume cheese, given the fermentation process that alters proteins and sugar, but that has not been fully explored.

Cultivate healthy bowel flora

People with autoimmune conditions have massively screwed up bowel flora with reduced species diversity and dominance of unhealthy species. We restore a healthier anti-inflammatory panel of bacterial species by “seeding” the colon with high-potency probiotics, then nourishing them with prebiotic fibers/resistant starches, a collection of strategies summarized in the Cureality Digestive Health discussions. People sometimes view bowel flora management as optional, just “fluff”–it is anything but. Properly managing bowel flora can be a make-it-or-break-it advantage; don’t neglect it.

There you go: a basic list to get started on if your interest is to begin a process of unraveling the processes of autoimmunity. In some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica, full recovery is possible. In other conditions, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and the pancreatic beta cell destruction leading to type 1 diabetes, reversing the autoimmune inflammation does not restore organ function: hypothyroidism results after thyroiditis quiets down and type 1 diabetes and need for insulin persists after pancreatic beta cell damage. But note that the most powerful risk factor for an autoimmune disease is another autoimmune disease–this is why so many people have more than one autoimmune condition. People with Hashimoto’s, for instance, can develop rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. So the above menu is still worth following even if you cannot hope for full organ recovery

Five Powerful Ways to Reduce Blood Sugar

Left to conventional advice on diet and you will, more than likely, succumb to type 2 diabetes sooner or later. Follow your doctor’s advice to cut fat and eat more “healthy whole grains” and oral diabetes medication and insulin are almost certainly in your future. Despite this, had this scenario played out, you would be accused of laziness and gluttony, a weak specimen of human being who just gave into excess.

If you turn elsewhere for advice, however, and ignore the awful advice from “official” sources with cozy relationships with Big Pharma, you can reduce blood sugars sufficient to never become diabetic or to reverse an established diagnosis, and you can create a powerful collection of strategies that handily trump the worthless advice being passed off by the USDA, American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Among the most powerful and effective strategies to reduce blood sugar:

1) Eat no wheat nor grains

Recall that amylopectin A, the complex carbohydrate of grains, is highly digestible, unlike most of the other components of the seeds of grasses AKA “grains,” subject to digestion by the enzyme, amylase, in saliva and stomach. This explains why, ounce for ounce, grains raise blood sugar higher than table sugar. Eat no grains = remove the exceptional glycemic potential of amylopectin A.

2) Add no sugars, avoid high-fructose corn syrup

This should be pretty obvious, but note that the majority of processed foods contain sweeteners such as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup, tailored to please the increased desire for sweetness among grain-consuming people. While fructose does not raise blood sugar acutely, it does so in delayed fashion, along with triggering other metabolic distortions such as increased triglycerides and fatty liver.

3) Vitamin D

Because vitamin D restores the body’s normal responsiveness to insulin, getting vitamin D right helps reduce blood sugar naturally while providing a range of other health benefits.

4) Restore bowel flora

As cultivation of several Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species in bowel flora yields fatty acids that restore insulin responsiveness, this leads to reductions in blood sugar over time. Minus the bowel flora-disrupting effects of grains and sugars, a purposeful program of bowel flora restoration is required (discussed at length in the Cureality Digestive Health section.)

5) Exercise

Blood sugar is reduced during and immediately following exercise, with the effect continuing for many hours afterwards, even into the next day.

Note that, aside from exercise, none of these powerful strategies are advocated by the American Diabetes Association or any other “official” agency purporting to provide dietary advice. As is happening more and more often as the tide of health information rises and is accessible to all, the best advice on health does not come from such agencies nor from your doctor but from your efforts to better understand the truths in health. This is our core mission in Cureality. A nice side benefit: information from Cureality is not accompanied by advertisements from Merck, Pfizer, Kelloggs, Kraft, or Cadbury Schweppes.

Cureality App Review: Breathe Sync



Biofeedback is a wonderful, natural way to gain control over multiple physiological phenomena, a means of tapping into your body’s internal resources. You can, for instance, use biofeedback to reduce anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure, and achieve a sense of well-being that does not involve drugs, side-effects, or even much cost.

Biofeedback simply means that you are tracking some observable physiologic phenomenon—heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure—and trying to consciously access control over it. One very successful method is that of bringing the beat-to-beat variation in heart rate into synchrony with the respiratory cycle. In day-to-day life, the heart beat is usually completely out of sync with respiration. Bring it into synchrony and interesting things happen: you experience a feeling of peace and calm, while many healthy phenomena develop.

A company called HeartMath has applied this principle through their personal computer-driven device that plugs into the USB port of your computer and monitors your heart rate with a device clipped on your earlobe. You then regulate breathing and follow the instructions provided and feedback is obtained on whether you are achieving synchrony, or what they call “coherence.” As the user becomes more effective in achieving coherence over time, positive physiological and emotional effects develop. HeartMath has been shown, for instance, to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, morning cortisol levels (a stress hormone), and helps people deal with chronic pain. Downside of the HeartMath process: a $249 price tag for the earlobe-USB device.

But this is the age of emerging smartphone apps, including those applied to health. Smartphone apps are perfect for health monitoring. They are especially changing how we engage in biofeedback. An app called Breathe Sync is available that tracks heart rate using the camera’s flash on the phone. By tracking heart rate and providing visual instruction on breathing pattern, the program generates a Wellness Quotient, WQ, similar to HeartMath’s coherence scoring system. Difference: Breathe Sync is portable and a heck of a lot less costly. I paid $9.99, more than I’ve paid for any other mainstream smartphone application, but a bargain compared to the HeartMath device cost.

One glitch is that you need to not be running any other programs in the background, such as your GPS, else you will have pauses in the Breathe Sync program, negating the value of your WQ. Beyond this, the app functions reliably and can help you achieve the health goals of biofeedback with so much less hassle and greater effectiveness than the older methods.

If you are looking for a biofeedback system that provides advantage in gaining control over metabolic health, while also providing a wonderful method of relaxation, Breathe Sync, I believe, is the go-to app right now.

Amber’s Top 35 Health and Fitness Tips

This year I joined the 35 club!  And in honor of being fabulous and 35, I want to share 35 health and fitness tips with you! 

1.  Foam rolling is for everyone and should be done daily. 
2.  Cold showers are the best way to wake up and burn more body fat. 
3.  Stop locking your knees.  This will lead to lower back pain. 
4.  Avoid eating gluten at all costs. 
5.  Breath deep so that you can feel the sides or your lower back expand. 
6.  Swing a kettlebell for a stronger and great looking backside. 
7.  Fat is where it’s at!  Enjoy butter, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil, duck fat and many other fabulous saturated fats. 
8.  Don’t let your grip strength fade with age.  Farmer carries, kettlebells and hanging from a bar will help with that. 
9.  Runners, keep your long runs slow and easy and keep your interval runs hard.  Don’t fall in the chronic cardio range. 
10.  Drink high quality spring or reverse osmosis water. 
11.  Use high quality sea salt season food and as a mineral supplement. 
12.  Work your squat so that your butt can get down to the ground.  Can you sit in this position? How long?
13.  Lift heavy weights!  We were made for manual work,.   Simulate heavy labor in the weight room. 
14.  Meditate daily.  If you don’t go within, you will go with out.  We need quiet restorative time to balance the stress in our life. 
15.  Stand up and move for 10 minutes for every hour your sit at your computer. 
16. Eat a variety of whole, real foods. 
17.  Sleep 7 to 9 hours every night. 
18.  Pull ups are my favorite exercise.  Get a home pull up bar to practice. 
19.  Get out and spend a few minutes in nature.  Appreciate the world around you while taking in fresh air and natural beauty. 
20.  We all need to pull more in our workouts.  Add more pulling movements horizontally and vertically. 
21. Surround yourself with health minded people. 
22. Keep your room dark for deep sound sleep.  A sleep mask is great for that! 
23. Use chemical free cosmetics.  Your skin is the largest organ of your body and all chemicals will absorb into your blood stream. 
24. Unilateral movements will help improve symmetrical strength. 
25. Become more playful.  We take life too seriously, becoming stress and overwhelmed.  How can you play, smile and laugh more often?
26.  Choose foods that have one ingredient.  Keep your diet simple and clean. 
27.  Keep your joints mobile as you age.  Do exercises that take joints through a full range of motion. 
28. Go to sleep no later than 10:30pm.  This allows your body and brain to repair through the night. 
29. Take care of your health and needs before others.  This allows you to be the best spouse, parent, coworker, and person on the planet. 
30.  Always start your daily with a high fat, high protein meal.  This will encourage less sugar cravings later in the day. 
31. Approach the day with positive thinking!  Stinkin’ thinkin’ only leads to more stress and frustration. 
32. You are never “too old” to do something.  Stay young at heart and keep fitness a priority as the years go by. 
33. Dream big and go for it. 
34.  Lift weights 2 to 4 times every week.  Strong is the new sexy. 
35.  Love.  Love yourself unconditionally.  Love your life and live it to the fullest.  Love others compassionately. 

Amber B.
Cureality Exercise and Fitness Coach

To Change, You Need to Get Uncomfortable

Sitting on the couch is comfortable.  Going through the drive thru to pick up dinner is comfortable.  But when you notice that you’re out-of-shape, tired, sick and your clothes no longer fit, you realize that what makes you comfortable is not in align with what would make you happy.   

You want to see something different when you look in the mirror.  You want to fit into a certain size of jeans or just experience your day with more energy and excitement.  The current condition of your life causes you pain, be it physical, mental or emotional.  To escape the pain you are feeling, you know that you need to make changes to your habits that keep you stuck in your current state.  But why is it so hard to make the changes you know that will help you achieve what you want?  

I want to lose weight but….

I want a six pack but…

I want more energy but….

The statement that follows the “but” is often a situation or habit you are comfortable with.  You want to lose weight but don’t have time to cook healthy meals.  So it’s much more comfortable to go through the drive thru instead of trying some new recipes.   New habits often require a learning curve and a bit of extra time in the beginning.  It also takes courage and energy to establish new routines or seek out help.  

Setting out to achieve your goals requires change.  Making changes to establish new habits that support your goals and dreams can be uncomfortable.  Life, as you know it, will be different.  Knowing that fact can be scary, but so can staying in your current condition.  So I’m asking you to take a risk and get uncomfortable so that you can achieve your goals.  

Realize that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit.  I believe it takes triple that amount of time to really make a new habit stick for the long haul.  So for 21 days, you’ll experience some discomfort while you make changes to your old routine and habits.  Depending on what you are changing, discomfort could mean feeling tired, moody, or even withdrawal symptoms.  However, the longer you stick to your new habits the less uncomfortable you start to feel.  The first week is always the worst, but then it gets easier.

Making it through the uncomfortable times requires staying focused on your goals and not caving to your immediate feelings or desires.  I encourage clients to focus on why their goals important to them.  This reason or burning desire to change will help when old habits, cravings, or situations call you back to your old ways.
Use a tracking and a reward system to stay on track.  Grab a calendar, journal or index card to check off or note your daily successes.  Shoot for consistency and not perfection when trying to make changes.  I encourage my clients to use the 90/10 principle of change and apply that to their goal tracking system.  New clothes, a massage, or a day me-retreat are just a few examples of rewards you can use to sticking to your tracking system.  Pick something that really gets you excited.  

Getting support system in place can help you feel more comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Hiring a coach, joining an online support group, or recruiting family and friends can be very helpful when making big changes.  With a support system in place you are not alone in your discomfort.  You’re network is there for you to reach out for help, knowledge, accountability or camaraderie when you feel frustrated and isolated.  

I’ve helped hundreds of people change their bodies, health and lives of the eleven years I’ve worked as a trainer and coach.  I know it’s hard, but I also know that if they can do it, so can you.  You just need to step outside of your comfort zone and take a risk. Don’t let fear create uncomfortable feelings that keep you stuck in your old ways.  Take that first step and enjoy the journey of reaching your goals and dreams.  

Amber Budahn, B.S., CSCS, ACE PT, USATF 1, CHEK HLC 1, REIKI 1
Cureality Exercise Specialist

The 3 Best Grain Free Food Swaps to Boost Fat Burning

You can join others enjoying substantial improvements in their health, energy and pant size by making a few key, delicious substitutions to your eating habits.  This is possible with the Cureality nutrition approach, which rejects the idea that grains should form the cornerstone of the human diet.  

Grain products, which are seeds of grasses, are incompatible with human digestion.  Contrary to what we have been told for years, eating healthy whole grain is not the answer to whittle away our waists.  Consumption of all grain-based carbohydrates results in increased production of the fat storage hormone insulin.  Increased insulin levels create the perfect recipe for weight gain. By swapping out high carbohydrate grain foods that cause spikes in insulin with much lower carbohydrate foods, insulin release is subdued and allows the body to release fat.

1. Swap wheat-based flour with almond flour/meal

  • One of the most dubious grain offenders is modern wheat. Replace wheat flour with naturally wheat-free, lower carbohydrate almond flour.  
  • Almond flour contains a mere 12 net carbs per cup (carbohydrate minus the fiber) with 50% more filling protein than all-purpose flour.
  • Almond flour and almond meal also offer vitamin E, an important antioxidant to support immune function.

2. Swap potatoes and rice for cauliflower

  • Replace high carb potatoes and pasta with vitamin C packed cauliflower, which has an inconsequential 3 carbs per cup.  
  • Try this food swap: blend raw cauliflower in food processor to make “rice”. (A hand held grater can also be used).  Sautee the “riced” cauliflower in olive or coconut oil for 5 minutes with seasoning to taste.
  • Another food swap: enjoy mashed cauliflower in place of potatoes.  Cook cauliflower. Place in food processor with ½ a stick organic, grass-fed butter, ½ a package full-fat cream cheese and blend until smooth. Add optional minced garlic, chives or other herbs such as rosemary.
3. Swap pasta for shirataki noodles and zucchini

  • Swap out carb-rich white pasta containing 43 carbs per cup with Shirataki noodles that contain a few carbs per package. Shirataki noodles are made from konjac or yam root and are found in refrigerated section of supermarkets.
  • Another swap: zucchini contains about 4 carbs per cup. Make your own grain free, low-carb noodles from zucchini using a julienne peeler, mandolin or one of the various noodle tools on the market.  

Lisa Grudzielanek, MS,RDN,CD,CDE
Cureality Nutrition Specialist

Not so fast. Don’t make this mistake when going gluten free!

Beginning last month, the Food and Drug Administration began implementing its definition of “gluten-free” on packaged food labels.  The FDA determined that packaged food labeled gluten free (or similar claims such as "free of gluten") cannot contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten.

It has been years in the making for the FDA to define what “gluten free” means and hold food manufactures accountable, with respect to food labeling.  However, the story does not end there.

Yes, finding gluten-free food, that is now properly labeled, has become easier. So much so the market for gluten-free foods tops $6 billion last year.   However, finding truly healthy, commercially prepared, grain-free foods is still challenging.

A very common mistake made when jumping into the gluten-free lifestyle is piling everything labeled gluten-free in the shopping cart.  We don’t want to replace a problem: wheat, with another problem: gluten free products.

Typically gluten free products are made with rice flour (and brown rice flour), tapioca starch, cornstarch, and potato flour.  Of the few foods that raise blood sugar higher than wheat, these dried, powdered starches top the list.

 They provide a large surface area for digestion, thereby leading to sky-high blood sugar and all the consequences such as diabetes, hypertension, cataracts, arthritis, and heart disease. These products should be consumed very rarely consumed, if at all.  As Dr. Davis has stated, “100% gluten-free usually means 100% awful!”

There is an ugly side to the gluten-free boom taking place.  The Cureality approach to wellness recommends selecting gluten-free products wisely.  Do not making this misguided mistake and instead aim for elimination of ALL grains, as all seeds of grasses are related to wheat and therefore overlap in many effects.

Lisa Grudzielanek MS, RDN, CD, CDE
Cureality Health & Nutrition Coach

3 Foods to Add to Your Next Grocery List

Looking for some new foods to add to your diet? Look no further. Reach for these three mealtime superstars to encourage a leaner, healthier body.

Microgreens

Microgreens are simply the shoots of salad greens and herbs that are harvested just after the first leaves have developed, or in about 2 weeks.  Microgreen are not sprouts. Sprouts are germinated, in other words, sprouted seeds produced entirely in water. Microgreens are grown in soil, thereby absorbing the nutrients from the soil.

The nutritional profile of each microgreen depends greatly on the type of microgreen you are eating. Researchers found red cabbage microgreens had 40 times more vitamin E and six times more vitamin C than mature red cabbage. Cilantro microgreens had three times more beta-carotene than mature cilantro.

A few popular varieties of microgreens are arugula, kale, radish, pea, and watercress. Flavor can vary from mild to a more intense or spicy mix depending on the microgreens.  They can be added to salads, soup, omelets, stir fry and in place of lettuce.  

Cacao Powder

Cocoa and cacao are close enough in flavor not to make any difference. However, raw cacao powder has 3.6 times the antioxidant activity of roasted cocoa powder.  In short, raw cacao powder is definitely the healthiest, most beneficial of the powders, followed by 100% unsweetened cocoa.

Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than blueberries, red wine and black and green teas.  Cacao is one of the highest sources of magnesium, a great source of iron and vitamin C, as well as a good source of fiber for healthy bowel function.
Add cacao powder to milk for chocolate milk or real hot chocolate.  Consider adding to coffee for a little mocha magic or sprinkle on berries and yogurt.




Shallots


Shallots have a better nutrition profile than onions. On a weight per weight basis, they have more anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins than onions. Shallots have a milder, less pungent taste than onions, so people who do not care for onions may enjoy shallots.

Like onions, sulfur compounds in shallot are necessary for liver detoxification pathways.  The sulfur compound, allicin has been shown to be beneficial in reducing cholesterol.  Allicin is also noted to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal activities.

Diced then up and add to salads, on top of a bun less hamburger, soups, stews, or sauces.  Toss in an omelet or sauté to enhance a piece of chicken or steak, really the possibilities are endless.  

Lisa Grudzielanek,MS,RDN,CD,CDE
Cureality Nutrition & Health Coach

3 Band Exercises for Great Glutes

Bands and buns are a great combination.  (When I talk about glutes or a butt, I use the word buns)  When it comes to sculpting better buns, grab a band.   Bands are great for home workouts, at gym or when you travel.  Check out these 3 amazing exercises that will have your buns burning. 

Band Step Out

Grab a band and place it under the arch of each foot.  Then cross the band and rest your hands in your hip sockets.  The exercise starts with your feet hip width apart and weight in the heels.  Slightly bend the knees and step your right foot out to the side.  Step back in so that your foot is back in the starting position.  With each step, make sure your toes point straight ahead.  The tighter you pull the band, the more resistance you will have.    You will feel this exercise on the outside of your hips. 

Start with one set of 15 repetitions with each foot.  Work on increasing to 25 repetitions on each side and doing two to three sets.



Band Kick Back

This exercise is performed in the quadruped position with your knees under hips and hands under your shoulders.    Take the loop end of the band and put it around your right foot and place the two handles or ends of the band under your hands.  Without moving your body, kick your right leg straight back.  Return to the starting quadruped position.  Adjust the tension of the band to increase or decrease the difficulty of this exercise. 

Start with one set of 10 repetitions with each foot.  Work on increasing to 20 repetitions on each side and doing two to three sets. 



Band Resisted Hip Bridge

Start lying on your back with feet hip distance apart and knees bent at about a 45-degree angle.  Adjust your hips to a neutral position to alleviate any arching in your lower back.  Place the band across your hipbones.  Hold the band down with hands along the sides of your body.  Contract your abs and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up off the ground.  Stop when your thighs, hips and stomach are in a straight line.  Lower you hips back down to the ground. 

Start with one set of 15 repetitions.  Work on increasing to 25 repetitions and doing two to three.  Another variation of this exercise is to hold the hip bridge position.  Start with a 30 second hold and work up to holding for 60 seconds.

Bad news on CoQ10?

Bad news on CoQ10?

A review of the effects of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on the muscle aches and weakness (myopathy) of statin drug therapy was just published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

(Marcoff L, Thompson PD. The role of coenzyme Q10 in statin-associated myopathy. J Amer Coll Cardiol 2007;49(23):2231-2237.)

This is not a study, but a review of the existing scientific and clinical data available on this topic. The study authors conclude with a lukewarm statement:

". . .there is insufficient evidence to prove the etiologic [causal] role of CoQ10 deficiency in statin-associated myopathy and that large, well-designed clinical trials are required to address this issue. The routine use of CoQ10 cannot be recommended in statin-treated patients. Nevertheless, there are no known risks to this supplement and there is some anecdotal and preliminary trial evidence of its effectiveness. Consequently, CoQ10 can be tested in patients requiring statin treatment, who develop statin myalgia, and who cannot besatisfactorily treated with other agents. Some patients may respond, if only via placebo effect."

Should the media get hold of this report, be prepared for the usual "Nutritional supplement no help for drug toxicity" headlines, or "Yet another nutritional supplement shows no benefit" with parallels drawn to vitamin C or E.

There are several issue that need to be factored into the discussion:

1) This is not a study, just a review. Thus, any biases of the authors are more likely to exert themselves.

2) The understanding of CoQ10 absorption among different preparations may be an issue. I just received a mailing from Life Extension that made extravagant claims about the superior absorption of ubiquinol, to be distinguished from ubiquinone, the more common form. They claim that eight-fold increased absorption and blood levels of CoQ10 are achievable with ubiquinol. Unfortunately, virtually all the supportive data are unpublished, proprietary observations, i.e., generated by companies who make or sell it. This is as reliable as drug manufacturers who publish glowing reports on their own drugs--perhaps it's true, but it requires unbiased corroboration.

3) Despite the lack of a large, well-funded clinical trial (all are small), the issue continues to live and breathe because of the powerful anecdotal experience.

In our experience, CoQ10 does work. It doesn't work all of the time, perhaps just 80-90% of the time. It does generally require higher doses (100 mg per day, occasionally more). It very clearly must be an oil-based gelcap (just like vitamin D) to work; capsules containing powder do not work.

It's difficult to doubt when someone starts a statin drug, develops the muscle aches and weakness, begins CoQ10 and obtains distinct relief, stops CoQ10 and aches and weakness return, then only to go away again with resumption of CoQ10 . I've seen this countless times.

We do need better information on CoQ10. There's no doubt about it. For people who obtain benefit from statin therapy, I think CoQ10 remains a useful solution. A better solution would be to get rid of the offending drug. But that's not always possible--e.g., LDL cholesterol 190 mg/dl despite the best diet and "adjunctive" food effort. Then CoQ10 can be very useful.

Comments (8) -

  • DietKing2

    6/14/2007 7:01:00 PM |

    Just found your blog from Regina at Weight of the Evidence. Boy, am I glad to read your stuff. You are fair, balanced, and quite in tune with what's going on with the hearts of humanity. I take Coenzyme Q10, 100mgs. twice a day--I was taking it all along so I wasn't that upset when my doctor added Lipitor to my regimen because of a bad family history. And I don't care what the media plasters all over the airwaves down the road (as you indicated in your post as a possibility) I'm sticking with this stuff for peace of mind alone.
    Nice to meet you.
    Adam Wilk

  • Theresa

    6/21/2007 7:52:00 PM |

    The biggest thing I found about Ubiquinol is that yes it is up to 8 x more absorbable however, the claim is that the body is skipping a step.  "Regular" ubiquinone is broken down in the body into Ubiquinol which is what the body absorbs.  So if you take Ubiquinol, then your body doesn't need to break anything down to absorb it.  People over the age of 40 have a harder time breaking down and absorbing ubiquinone so Ubiquinol might be better for them.  You are right, most of my information has come from retailers or manufacturer's but they aren't trying to sway people from buying regular CoQ10 because they all still sell it, they are just offering another option for people who don't see any benefits from CoQ10.  Good info on the blog!

  • Sander

    6/26/2007 3:43:00 PM |

    Why has QH not been launched in Japan, the home country of the manufacturer?

    You cannot assume that any of the CoQ10 research applies to ubiquinol.

    Enhanced bioavailability does not necessarily mean enhanced bioactivity. They have to show what their supplement does in a clinical setting.

    What is the shelf life stability data for when the ubiquinol oxidizes to ubiquinone.

    Marketing shows 8x (Swanson), 62% (Integrative Therapy), 400% (Jarrow), 8x (Life Extension)  What is the truth?

    There has been a lot of clinical research on CoQ10. I think most if not all of it has been on ubiquinone. You cannot assume that any of those results are the same for ubiquinol supplements. People use products because they work, or they don't. What does the evidence support?

    The clinical study was performed by the manufacturer not a third party.  The results has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, escaping criticism

  • Todd

    6/30/2007 5:13:00 PM |

    Just FYI regarding Sander's comment about which of the many stats to believe...

    Keep in mind that a claim of 100% increase is the same as a factor of 2X. That given, 8X is the same as 400%. So, 3 out of the 4 examples of 8X, 62%, 400% and 8X are are equivalent to one another.

    I haven't found any information about "Integrative Therapy", though I'd tend to err on the conservative side with regards to most any claim, as it seems they have done.

  • Concerned

    8/29/2007 5:42:00 PM |

    Todd, here is a link to the claims from Integrative Theraputics http://www.naturalgreens.com/ProdDetail.asp/ProdID/244

  • Anonymous

    11/1/2007 4:31:00 PM |

    Coenzyme Q10 Facts or Fabrications
    William V. Judy, Ph.D., Willis W. Stogsdill, M.D., Daniel S. Judy, M.D. and Janet S. Judy, R.N. CRC

    CoEnzymeQl0 has been researched for years by scientists around the world, and its importance to the human body and its reported health benefits are widely known. For more than 30 years, people have been taking CoQ10 supplements in its oxidized form, ubquinone. When ubiquinol — the reduced form of CoQ10 — entered the US commercial market, manufacturers claimed that they had discovered a way to make the product stable so it could be used as a food or nutritional supplement in various delivery forms including softgels and free CoQ10 molecules in water and/or lipid based solutions such as liposomes, micelles, or nanoparticles. Several marketers also claimed that ubiquinol was the most bioactive and preferred form of CoQ10 in that 90-95% of the total body CoQ10 was in the form of ubiquinol. The absorption and bioavailability was claimed to be 300% better than of the oxidized (ubiquinone) forms of CoQ10. The information provided to the consumers led to a general feeling or understanding that the oxidized form that had been in the market for three decades was an inferior compound and not the product form the body preferred — and thus consumers should consider switching to the new reduced and "bioactive" product form.
    Obviously, this marketing approach, and the claims made, created controversies among and between CoQ10 scientists around the world and the marketing groups. These controversies led to editorials written by a scientist to explain the differences between Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol, and resulted in rebuttals from marketing groups regarding their opinions in the accuracy of the editorials. The opinions in the editorials were from the scientist who discovered CoQ10 in 1957 and from the President of the International Coenzyme Q10 Association. Those opinions in the rebuttal referenced one study on the absorption of Ubiquinone and several papers on the antioxidant capacity of Ubiquinol along with the conversion of one form to the other in response to oxidative or metabolic stress. In evaluating the claims made relative to Ubiquinol, we have judged many to be factual yet not functional. Other claims appear to be mere fabrications to meet marketing needs and confusing many consumers.
    The following is a list of claims made by various CoQ10 marketing groups relative to CoQ10, in the oxidized Ubiquinone and the reduced Ubiquinol forms. We have evaluated many of these claims based on scientific FACT or marketing group FABRICATIONS. The areas to be discussed are:
    1. The CoQ10 molecule
    2. CoQ10 absorption
    3. CoQ10 transport
    4. Conversion of Ubiquinone to Ubiquinol and vice versa
    5. CoQ10 bioavailability
    6. Functions of Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol
    1. The CoQ1O Molecule
    The characteristics of the CoQ10 molecule in many ways control its absorption and thus its bioavailability to the body cells. Ubiquinone (oxidized form) has a molecular weight of 864 Dalton's whereas Ubiquinol (reduced form) has two more hydrogen molecules and forms with the oxygen, a hydroxyl unit on the head of the molecule, thus having an 866 molecular weight. Both forms are highly lipid soluble due to the predominance of the 10 unit isoprene tail. Ubiquinone is bright yellow in color and Ubiquinol is milky white in color. Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol form a redox (Oxidation - Reduction) pair and can be readily converted from one form to the other in the cells, lymph or blood when their respective functions are in demand.
    In the cell, CoQ10 is predominantly found in the outside of the mitochondria inner membrane in the Ubiquinol form (90-95%). CoQ10 in man and large animals has 10 isoprene units in its tail (CoQ10), while smaller vertebrates have 9 isoprene units (CoQ9). The body synthesizes Ubiquinone in all living cells. Commercial CoQ10 is manufactured by two different processes: 1) partial synthesis of CoQ9 to CoQ10 and 2) a yeast fermentation extraction process from which CoQ10 is made by a friendly bacterium. CoQ10 has two isomers (Trans and Cis). The trans isomer makes up 99.95 to 100 percent of the CoQ10 in both commercial product types.
                                                  The following is a list of claims made about the CoQ10 molecules or crystals.
    • CoQ10 is a vitamin like substance produced in all living human body cells. FACT
    • CoQ10 is commercially made from sugar beets. FABRICATION CoQ10 is made by a partial synthesis from CoQ9 or by a yeast fermentation extraction process. The microorganisms which make the CoQ10 in the fermentation process could be fed sugar beets.
    • Dr Karl Folkers discovered CoQ10 in beef heart Mitochondria in 1957. FABRICATION
    Dr. Fred Crane discovered CoQ10 and Dr. Folkers determined its chemical structure.
    • CoQ10 is a lipid-soluble molecule. FACT
    • Converting or placing lipid-soluble CoQ10 molecules into liposomes, micelles or nanoparticles make CoQ10 molecules soluble in water. FABRICATION
    The particles formed are dispersible in water due to the hydrophilic heads of the CoQ10 molecules forming the outer shell of the particles, and usually with the help of some surfactants. The CoQ10 molecule is still lipid-soluble and is absorbed in the body as such.
    • Reducing the size of the CoQ10 molecule makes it more water soluble. FACT
    Reducing CoQ10 to CoQ 9, 8, 7 by cutting off its lipophilic tail will make it more water-soluble, however it then is no longer CoQ10.
    • Making the CoQ10 molecule smaller and thus more water-soluble will allow it to be rapidly absorbed through water filled pores in the absorption cell membrane. FABRICATION
    Small lipid soluble molecules with 5-12 carbon atoms can be absorbed passively through water filled pores; however CoQ10 with 54 carbon atoms can not be absorbed through these hydrophilic pores.
    • Ubiquinol, the reduced form of CoQ10, is synthesized in the body cells. FABRICATION
    The oxidized Ubiquinone form of CoQ10 is synthesized in the body's cells.
    • Ubiquinone is yellow in color while Ubiquinol is a milky white color. FACT
    • The term hydrophilic means readily dissolved in water, water-soluble, or absorbable. FABRICATION
    In fact, water-soluble molecules can be rapidly dissolved in water, however, if they are very large in size, their absorption may be poor. Water-soluble does not always equate or mean high absorption. Some molecules are simply too large to be absorbed well. CoQ10 cannot be converted into a water-soluble molecule.
    • All CoQ10 product types must be placed in colored capsules or dark containers because CoQ10 is sensitive to light. FABRICATION Independent laboratory testing has dearly shown that crystal free CoQ10 in clear gelatin softgel capsules or crystalline CoQ10 have less than 1% by weight loss and no significant sensitivity to light. The primary reason for colored softgel capsules is to prevent the consumer from seeing crystals being formed inside the product.
    2. CoQ1O Absorption
    CoQ10, being a rather large molecule, is absorbed through the absorption cells in the small intestines by a "simple passive facilitated diffusion" process. Passive means that the process does not require energy. Facilitated means that the process requires a lipid molecule to act as a carrier for the CoQ10 molecules. Passive diffusion is down-hill transport and requires a greater CoQ10 concentration in the water phase adjacent to the side of the absorption cell


    membrane compared to that inside the cell membrane. To a point, the greater this gradient is, the faster and greater the absorption.
    CoQ10 crystals cannot be absorbed. Thus, crystalline compounds must be dissolved to single molecules before absorption. Intestinal absorption occurs on a molecular level; meaning only single molecules can be absorbed. CoQ10 in its crystallized form has poor dissolution within the chyme of the intestines, because its melting point is 10 degrees centigrade above body temperature. Without the addition of a lipid carrier molecule to facillate the absorption of CoQ10, even single molecules are poorly absorbed. This is evidenced by the poor absorption of CoQ10 plain powder: less than 1%.
    The following is a list of claims about CoQ10 absorption:
    • For crystals of CoQ10 to be absorbed, they have to be dissolved to single molecules. FACT
    The body's intestinal absorption cells can not absorb crystals of any type.
    • CoQ10 is absorbed through an active transport mechanism like that of sugar. FABRICATION
    CoQ10 being a large lipid-soluble molecule, is absorbed by a process called "simple passive facilitated diffusion" through the phospholipid cell membranes, not the active transport process.
    • Combining CoQ10 with a sugar will allow the CoQ10 to be absorbed with sugar directly into the blood. FABRICATION
    Membrane proteins are involved in the absorption of sugar and sodium via an active transport mechanism. If CoQ10 was absorbed while being bound to sugar, its Cmax (maximum concentration in blood) would peak with sugar in about two hours instead of 5-8 hours as for most lipids.
    • CoQ10 is absorbed across the intestinal cells directly into the venous blood. FABRICATION
    CoQ10 is absorbed across the intestinal cell membranes into the lymph vessels in the intestinal microvillus, not into the bloodstream.
    • The poor dissolution of powder based CoQ10 tablets and lipid filled softgels in simulated gastric juice is a good indicator of poor absorption. FACT
    However, since CoQ10 is not soluble in water but is soluble in a lipid, shouldn't the solubility test for lipid soluble molecules be done in a lipid solution?
    • Ubiquinol has far greater water solubility and much better absorption into the blood stream than does Ubiquinone. FABRICATION
    The addition of two hydrogen ions on the polar head of the Ubuquinol molecule will not make the molecule highly water-soluble or absorbed as a water-soluble molecule.
    • Ubiquinol is more water-soluble than Ubiquinone. FACT
    When two hydrogen's atoms are added to the polar (water-soluble) head of the CoQ10 molecule, the increased mass will make Ubiquinol slightly more water-soluble than Ubiquinone. However, due to the larger total mass of the nonpolar tail of the molecule, it is still more lipid-soluble than water-soluble.
    • Liposomes, micelles and nanoparticle CoQ10 products are absorbed, transported in lymph, blood and to the target body cells as liposomes, micelles or nanoparticles. FABRICATION
    The microspheres can not be absorbed. They are simply transport vehicles for ingested CoQ10, to be delivered to the intestinal absorption cells.
    • Reduced CoQ10, an antioxidant, remains in the reduced form when ingested and absorbed. FABRICATION
    Reduced CoQ10 is highly unstable in the contents of the stomach and is converted to oxidized CoQ10 before absorption.
    • The rapid dissolution of a liposome, micelle or nanoparticle CoQ10 products in water is a good indicator of high CoQ10 absorption. FABRICATION
    The rapid dissolution of these CoQ10 products types tells that these polar particles (water-soluble microspheres) will disperse rapidly in water. This does not mean that they are better absorbed. Only the CoQ10 molecules are absorbed, not the liposomes, micelles or nanoparticles.
    3. CoQ10 Transport
    Absorbed nutrients are transported from the intestines by two routes.
    Small water-soluble and some small lipid-soluble nutrients, after absorption, enter the capillary blood in the intestinal microvillus and are transported by the blood to the liver. From the liver these small molecules are transported through the hepatic vein to the inferior vena cava, then to the heart and then into systemic circulation.
    Large lipid-soluble nutrients such as CoQ10, after absorption, diffuse into the lymph capillary in the intestinal microvillus, and are transported in the lymph through the abdominal and thoracic lymph duct to the subclavian vein and then into the systemic circulation. In the lymph and blood, CoQ10 molecules are predominately in the reduced form and are bound to the low density lipoproteins (LIM.). The delayed peak concentration of CoQ10 in the blood is due to the very slow lymph flow compared to that of blood. The portal venous blood is a delivery system to the liver, but the lymph is not.
    The following is a list of claims about CoQ10 transport:
    • After CoQ10 absorption, it is transported by the lymph to the liver where it is reduced and bound to phospholipids. FABRICATION The lymph is not a delivery system to the liver.
    • CoQ10 is transported from the absorption cells to the venous blood by the lymphatic system. FACT
    The lymph is the delivery system for absorbed CoQ10 molecules to the systemic blood. Large animal studies show that CoQ10 peaks in the abdominal lymph duct in 2-3 hours after ingestion where as it peaks in venous blood in 6-8 hours. The reason for the delayed appearance in the venous blood is due to slow lymph flow.
    • In the absorption cell, the lymph or the blood oxidized CoQ10 is converted to the reduced form of CoQ10. FACT
    Circulating CoQ10 in the blood is 90-95% in the reduced (Ubiquinol) form.
    • CoQ10 is rapidly absorbed in the small intestines and is slowly transported by the lymph to the venous blood. FACT
    Total lymph flow is about 100 ml/minute whereas blood flow is 5,000 ml/minute.
    4. Conversion of Ubiquinol to Ubiquinone and Vice-Versa
    Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol, being redox pairs, are easily converted from one form to the other in the body. For example, when exogenous Ubiquinone is absorbed in the intestines it is converted to Ubiquinol in the absorption cells, the lymph, or the blood. Since CoQ10 is not used to produce energy in the lymph system or blood, it is understandable why this conversion takes place to fulfill the need for antioxidant protection in the circulation. On the other hand, in the inner membrane of the mitochondria where energy is made, the oxidized form of CoQ10 (Ubiquinone) is in great demand. Here the reduced Ubiquinol form is rapidly converted to the oxidized Ubiquinone form. In the mitochondria this conversion creates a Q-Cycle. It was once felt by the late Sir Peter Mitchell (Nobel prize, 1978) that the Q-Cycle would maintain the proportion of Ubiquione and Ubiquinol required for energy synthesis available forever. Little did he know at the time of his discovery that with age and disease the body's ability to produce Ubiquinone and to convert it to Ubiquinol would diminish and true CoQ10 deficiencies would be prevalent in an aging society.
    The following is a list of claims about CoQ10 conversion:
    • CQ10 can be converted from the reduced to oxidized form and vise versa in the body as needed. FACT
    This is a unique characteristic of redox pairs.
    • CoQ10 in the foods we eat is in the reduced form. FACT & FABRICATION The CoQ10 in fresh uncooked animal protein in is the reduced form. However, when cooked, it is converted to the oxidized form. Even when ingested uncooked (such as sushi or steak tartar), CoQ10 will be converted in the stomach to the oxidized form.
    • CoQ10's ability to cycle back and forth between Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol accounts for many of its unique properties. FACT


    5. CoQ10 Bioavailability
    After absorption, CoQ10 accumulates in the blood and becomes bioavailable to all body cells. Bioavailability reflects absorption but it is not the actual absorption and should not be used as an accurate measure of such, It does, however, give a good estimate of the amount of CoQ10 available as an antioxidant in the blood and that available to the body cells. CoQ10 is accumulated and is stored in the cell membranes and in the membranes of the organelles in the cell.
    It has been known for two decades that the bioavailability of the pure crystalline CoQ10 is less than that of liposome, micelle, and dissolved CoQ10 products. The current commercial and scientific issue is the bioavailability of the Ubiquinol form compared to that of the Ubiquinone form of CoQ10.
    The following is a list of claims about CoQ10 bioavailability:
    • Ubiquinol has a much higher bioavailability then the Ubiquinone used in other commercial CoQ10 supplements. FABRICATION
    In fact, the data on ubiquinol state that its bioavailability is 300 percent more than that of the oxidized dry powder products. Most dissolved, liposome, micelle and nanoparticle CoQ10 products claim to have a 260 to 350 percent greater bioavailability than oxidized dry powder CoQ10.
    • The two hydroxyl groups on the Ubiquinol compound results in its stronger bonding with water and helps explain why it is so much more bioavailable than Ubiquinone. FACT
    This bonding does make Ubiquinol slightly more water soluble than Ubiquinone. However, the molecule is still lipophilic and is absorbed as a lipid.
    6. Functions of Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol
    Currently CoQ10 has two main functions in the body: it is used for energy production and functions as an antioxidant in the body.
    Ubiquinone is a cofactor in the inner membrane of the mitochondria for the synthesis of energy (ATP). Since the body does not store energy (ATP), it must be rapidly produced through an oxidative phosphorlation process. CoQ10 is positioned between NADH and Cyto-Chrome C in the inner membrane and acts as cofactor stimulation to all three mediators to give up electrons to run the electron transport through complexes I-IV in this system. This function is specific to Ubiquinone in that no other molecule can replace Ubiquinone in this process. However, Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol as a redox pair form the Q Cycle in which they act to conserve each other in this process.
    Ubiquinol is an antioxidant throughout the body. This is especially true in the cell membranes and those of the cell organelles. In these membranes CoQ10 may well be the primary lipophilic molecule essential for the prevention of lipid peroxidation resulting in cell damage and eventually cell death. Outside the cell and organelle membrane and in the presence of other lipophilic and hydrophilic antioxidants, Ubiquinol may recycle other antioxidants such as vitamin E and C.
    The following is a list of claims about the functions of CoQ10
    • Ubiquinol protects the body against toxic oxidative reactions. FACT
    Yes, but equally beneficial it also recycles Ubiquinone in the synthesis of energy.
    • The functions of Ubiquinol in the body are more diverse than those of Ubiquinone. FABRICATION
    Ubiquinol functions in the body as an antioxidant and in the recycling of Ubiquinone, Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Ubiquinone, through its synthesis of energy, is involved in all body processes requiring energy: energy synthesis, active transport, membrane and nucleotide stability, synthesis of enzymes, coenzymes, hormones, neuro-transmitter synthesis and reuptake, cillary activity in the upper respiratory systems, all muscle contractile functions, sperm production and motility, deactivation of muscle contraction, pumping action of sweat and other cutaneous glands, etc. In fact, Ubiquinone is possibly the hub around which life processes revolve in the human body.
    • Clinical studies with Ubiquinol show it is superior to Ubiquinone. FABRICATION
    In fact, Ubiquinol became available in 2006 and to date, no clinical studies in human beings using Ubiquinol have been published in the

    peer-reviewed scientific literature. An anti-aging study in genetic mutated mice has been described, but the role of the genetic mutations in these mice as they pertain to CoQ10 conversion are not understood. This is a concern since mice use CoQ9 as an energizer and antioxidant whereas human beings use CoQ10.
    • Ubiquinol supplements make Ubiquinone supplements
    obsolete. FABRICATION
    In fact, hundreds of clinical studies show that Ubiquinone is effective and is still the choice of practicing cardiologists. Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol are rapidly inter-converted back and forth as needed, regardless of which form is ingested.
    The existence of CoQ10 in two forms and structures, having two separate but essential functions, and its ability to act as a redox pair to recycle each other as needed is the beauty of this molecule. Although Ubiquinone was discovered first and found to be essential for life, the discovery of Ubiquinol broadened the overall scope of this molecule relative to the health characteristics and benefits to man. Without Ubiquinone life is not possible in that the body can not survive without energy. On the other hand, the life sustaining feature of energy has to be maintained and protected. Since Ubiquinol recycles Ubiquinone, the life cycle is maintained for about 8 decades in man. This would not be possible if it was not for Ubiquinol and other antioxidants. The antioxidants act as part of the host defense system and thus, prevent the toxic by-products (free radicals and super oxides) from the synthesis of energy and all substances produced by the body from rapidly aging all cells and shortening and reducing the quality of life.
    CoQ10 as a scientific entity is 50 years old. As a commercial food supplement it has been around for about 37 years. The basic and clinical science is still growing. It is now presented in basic and graduate level text books of the biomedical sciences. Its entry into clinical text and its acceptance in the clinical societies will eventually occur with more well controlled clinical trials. These clinical trials are currently a world wide effort. CoQ10 as a supplemental nutrient to standard clinical therapy is here now. Its use as a stand alone nutrient to insure and maintain normal health characteristics of man is rapidly growing throughout the world. This will continue to grow with continued and more advanced research.
    In summary, many aggressive marketing campaigns introducing Ubiquinol have created false and misleading claims that have only generated more confusion about CoQ10.
    The apparent lack of superior absorption, instability in the stomach, no clinical efficacy studies and the high cost of Ubiquinol have to be considered when making a decision as to which CoQ10 form should be sourced. Millions of consumers experience its many benefits each day. Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol are redox pairs in that one can be rapidly converted to the other and vice versa in areas where their specific functions are required. Thus, does it really matter which form is taken as a supplement? Yes, it does matter.
    First, there is a cost comparison in that consumers still look for the lowest cost and effective products. Since the forms of CoQ10 can be easily converted from one form to another, it makes sense to choose a form that is more affordable. It was previously mentioned that Ubiquinol molecule becomes oxidized in the stomach. Consequently, taking Ubiquinol as a nutrient is essentially the same as taking the more stable and less expensive oxidized form.
    Second, regardless of the product type, the most critical aspect of CoQ10 supplementation is absorption. Due to the high cost of CoQ10, an understanding of the best delivery system to maximumize absorption becomes the critical component in an effective and successful CoQ10 supplement. Based on the current CoQ10 research, the consumer's best bet is a CoQ10 product with superior absorption properties because dosage levels can be reduced to attain the same effective blood levels and health benefits.
    References available upon request.
    About the Author:
    Dr. William Judy is a retired Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Founder and President SIBR Research, Inc. SIBR Research, Inc. is a contract research center that conducts clinical trials on natural products for the international community. Dr. Judy has researched Ubiquinone (CoQ10) and used it with patients for over 35 years. His initial work was in collaboration with Dr. Karl Folkers, University of Texas. He was one of the first researchers to run long-term clinical trials, spanning 10 years or longer, on hundreds of cardiac patients, many of whom had been "left to die' by the medical establishment. Dr. Judy's articles, reports and reviews have appeared in multiple publications, and he has traveled the world, lecturing to physicians, health care professionals and scientists about the benefits o f CoQ10 in health maintenance and disease prevention. Dr. Judy can be reached at sibrinc@cs.com.

  • Anonymous

    2/21/2008 3:11:00 AM |

    This works for me, period, really life, honest to goodness works.  I was having muscle cramps quite a bit, and tried 30mg first, not enough, then 100mg, and bingo, maybe one mild cramp in the last year.  Powder or gel, don't know, I used both, and they worked for me.

  • buy jeans

    11/3/2010 2:22:54 PM |

    In our experience, CoQ10 does work. It doesn't work all of the time, perhaps just 80-90% of the time. It does generally require higher doses (100 mg per day, occasionally more). It very clearly must be an oil-based gelcap (just like vitamin D) to work; capsules containing powder do not work.

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