Garlic + CoQ10 = Cardiovascular Protection for Stressed Men

After one year of aged garlic extract plus CoQ10, the vascular elasticity in firefighters improved significantly, reports Maureen Williams, ND

A study has found that men at high risk for heart attack had better blood vessel function after one year of taking a combination of aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10, two supplements that have been found separately to have cardiovascular benefits.

Blood vessels are specially designed to respond to the ever-changing blood flow needs in different parts of the body. Healthy blood vessels are elastic, flexible, and strong, but many people unknowingly have low-level chronic inflammation in their blood vessel walls, causing the walls to become thicker and less flexible, and increasing heart attack risk. Supplements with anti-inflammatory properties, like aged garlic and CoQ10, are thought to help.

Signs of vessel disease in men with stressful work

Stress is well known to play a role in heart disease. The study, published in Nutrition, included 65 male urban firefighters. Firefighting is stressful work and firefighters have a much higher risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death than the overall population. Participants were assigned to receive either 1,200 mg of aged garlic extract plus 120 mg of CoQ10 per day or placebo for one year. Tests that reflect the degree of thickening and loss of elasticity in blood vessels, which may be signs of atherosclerosis, were done at the beginning of the study and every three months.

Supplements support blood vessels

Based on these test results, the blood vessels of the firefighters who took garlic and CoQ10 had more elasticity and better responsiveness at the end of the study than at the beginning. These improvements were significant when compared to the slight worsening of blood vessel function seen in the firefighters in the placebo group.

In addition, blood levels of CRP (C-reactive protein) dropped in the garlic plus CoQ10 group but increased in the placebo group. CRP is a marker of inflammation in the cardiovascular system and high levels are associated with increased cardiac risk.

The link between blood vessel function and heart health

Although these results don’t tell us for sure whether aged garlic extract plus CoQ10 can prevent heart attacks, improvement in blood vessel function is a good sign that vessel damage from atherosclerosis—a known risk factor for heart attack—is being repaired.

“This is the first study to demonstrate a benefit with a combination of aged garlic extract and CoQ10 on atherosclerotic progression in intermediate-risk firefighters with high occupational stress,” the study’s authors said. “The present study demonstrates that, after one year of aged garlic extract plus CoQ10, the vascular elasticity and endothelial function in firefighters improved significantly.”

Other ways to improve vascular health

Taking an aged garlic extract plus CoQ10 supplement might be a good idea if you have or are at high risk for developing atherosclerosis. Here are some other things you can do to protect your blood vessels:

  • Learn to relax. Blood vessels are especially sensitive to stress, and studies show that having a daily relaxation practice can reduce your cardiac risk.
  • Exercise. Your blood vessels need a healthy workout every day. Make aerobic physical activity part of your regular routine.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables are essential for preventing inflammation that leads to damage and dysfunction in blood vessel walls.

(Nutrition 2012;doi:10.1016/j.nut.2012.03.016)

Maureen Williams, ND, completed her doctorate in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle and has been in private practice since 1995. With an abiding commitment to access to care, she has worked in free clinics in the US and Canada, and in rural clinics in Guatemala and Honduras where she has studied traditional herbal medicine. She currently lives and practices in Victoria, BC, and lectures and writes extensively for both professional and community audiences on topics including family nutrition, menopause, anxiety and depression, heart disease, cancer, and easing stress. Dr. Williams is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

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Get the right nutrient mix for a power boost for your body

I don’t know if you’re a pill-type person…

My confession is that I am.

I don’t mind taking a vitamin or some other little tablet to boost my health, and the strength of the supplement industry shows I’m not alone.

Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health
Bioglan deliver unique mixes of nutrients for your health

Bioglan are a company who sell themselves on the basis of being “serious about health”. As I get older, their newest products are beginning to look more attractive.

For me their best selling points are the unique mixes of nutrients designed to help the body and the transparent information on their packaging.

Consider…

Super Fish Oil 30s 
Capsules designed to be high in EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids and deliberately coated for release in the intestines where they can be more easily absorbed. Also preventing a fishy after taste.

Red Krill Oil
Again designed to be better absorbed, krill oil is 10 times more powerful than a standard fish oil capsule.

Joint-Aid Triple Action
Combines three important and powerful nutrients help maintain healthy joints: glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane)

Probiotic Gastrohealth
Contains 4 strains of probiotic that can help sustain a healthy level of friendly bacteria.

Stat-Guard
Uses CoQ10, vitamin E and zinc to support cardiovascular health and  metabolism which can be affected by statins.

CoQ10 Helps Headaches in Women with Fibromyalgia

Women with fibromyalgia can have significantly lower levels of CoQ10 and the antioxidant catalase than healthy women, reports Kimberly Beauchamp, ND

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition characterised by widespread pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, headaches, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, irritable bowel syndrome, unrefreshing sleep, reduced exercise tolerance, anxiety, depression, and sensitivity to light, noise, and odours. This condition is not well understood, and is difficult to treat, so a study finding that taking a co-enzyme Q10 supplement may help reduce headaches in women with fibromyalgia is welcome news.

Searching for fibromyalgia relief

No single cause for fibromyalgia has been discovered, but it’s thought that the condition could stem from a combination of stress, trauma, genetics, hormones, and certain infections. Antidepressants like duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor) are commonly used to help reduce pain, sleep issues, and anxiety associated with fibromyalgia. But while these drugs might help relieve some fibromyalgia symptoms, they don’t really seem to address the root of the problem.

Some studies have suggested that free radical–damage might be behind some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including headaches. Free radicals are unstable compounds that can damage tissues in the body and lead to inflammation.

Trying CoQ10

Spanish researchers studied the effect of CoQ10—a potent antioxidant and cellular energy source—in women with fibromyalgia who experienced headaches. Ten women (average age 47 years) were given 300 mg of CoQ10 per day for three months. Ten other women with fibromyalgia served as the control group. All of the women were compared with 15 healthy women. CoQ10 levels and measures of other antioxidants, oxidative stress (caused by free radicals), and cellular energy stores were assessed in all of the women.

Women with fibromyalgia had significantly lower levels of CoQ10 and another important antioxidant (catalase) than the healthy women. They also had significantly higher markers of free radical–damage and 70% less cellular energy stored than the healthy women.

After taking CoQ10, the women with fibromyalgia had

  • significantly higher CoQ10, catalase, and cellular energy stores,
  • significantly lower levels of free radical damage markers, and
  • marked improvement in headaches compared with pretreatment.

“Detection of CoQ10 deficiency and subsequent CoQ10 supplementation may result in clinical improvement in fibromyalgia,” said the researchers, recommending that future double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm their results.

Fibro help

There is no simple solution to healing fibromyalgia, but these tips may help keep your body in balance:

  • Exercise, even if you don’t want to. A few studies have shown that people with fibromyalgia can benefit from getting regular exercise. Start slow, with a walk around the block, and gradually build up as you gain more stamina.
  • Eat to beat fibro. Some studies have suggested that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet can help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms in some people.
  • Sleep well. If poor sleep is one of your main fibro symptoms, consider sipping a cup of warm milk with a sprinkle of nutmeg at bedtime. Melatonin may also be useful as a sleep aid in people with fibromyalgia. Talk with your doctor about how much melatonin might be right for you.

(Plos One 2012;doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035677)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation’s premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.

Cod liver oil makes a come back

There was a time when cod liver oil was feared by children the world over. Forced to gulp down horrid spoonfuls of the vile tasting liquid, they would do anything to avoid it, and all in the name of health.

Healthy oils for body and mind
Healthy oils for body and mind

But life has changed a lot since then. Most importantly it was realised that the Omega Fats in fish oil are excellent for strengthening the brain and heart and decreasing blood pressure. Add to this the benefit of being able to swallow doses in small capsules (thus helping with the taste) and children everywhere began to breathe a smile of relief.

Now Seven Seas are taking the revolution one step further combining a range of healthy oils, vitamins and minerals renowned for their beneficial properties. They’ve got some snazzy names too:

Radiant You
– Fish Oil blended with Biotin and Zinc for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Perfect Harmony
– Fish Oil with Primrose and Starflower Oils for hormonal balance.
Healthy Heart
– Fish Oil with Garlic and Vitamin B1 for the cardiovascular system.
Energetic You
– Fish Oil with B vitamins and CoQ10 for daily health and vitality.
Immune Defence
– Fish Oil with Vitamin C and Zinc keeps you fighting fit.
Flexible You
– Fish Oil with Calcium and Vitamins D & K for healthy bones, muscles and joints.
Active Mind
– Fish Oil blended with Ginkgo and Zinc for mental performance.

With advances like these, once tormented children can say hello to a daily dose of health without fear.