Whole Body Health Archives - Wakunaga of America

Keep Your Immune System in Balance with Plant Sterols

The openings of your mouth and nose can be thought of as your immune system’s border control. If invaders get inside your body through the mouth, nose, or even a cut, the immune system sends out lines of defense, whether in the blood, organs, muscles, or bone. This internal “police force” is vital to our health, but sometimes it can get a little “off balance.” When this happens, the immune system can work against us, causing allergic reactions to foods or environments, and sometimes even autoimmune conditions.1 Why does this happen, and what can we do to prevent it?

What causes your immune system to be off balance?

You’re washing your hands, not touching your face, practicing good hygiene practices…but you still feel a little run-down, and get infections easily. What gives?

If you notice that you get sick a lot, feel run-down, or have other symptoms you can’t quite figure out, it may mean that your immune system is off-balance, or weakened. When this happens, there are usually a handful of culprits that may be contributing:

Stress level

Do you ever find yourself getting sick after pulling an all-nighter on a big report for work, or after a really emotional situation at home? According to the American Psychological Association, long-term stress weakens the responses of your immune system.2 This is because stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more you’re at risk for catching a cold or other viruses.3

If you think you are experiencing a high level of stress, it can be helpful to meditate, and also practice breathing exercises, such as “box breathing.” Box breathing can calm the nervous system down, and help you to feel more relaxed. All it requires is for you to breathe in for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, and then breathe out for four seconds.

Gut issues

Another signal your immune system might be off balance are underlying gut issues. If you have frequent diarrhea, gas, or constipation, it could be a sign that your immune system has been compromised. Research shows that 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. The beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that live there defend your gut from infection and support the immune system. If these beneficial bacteria are in low supply, it opens you up to viruses, chronic inflammation, and also autoimmune conditions.4

You feel tired all the time

Burning a candle at both ends is not a healthy way to live, and can really take a toll on your immune system. Try to prioritize your sleep routine, and aim for 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night. On the flip side, if you are already getting enough sleep and are still feeling fatigued, it might be your immune system trying to tell you something. When your immune system struggles, so does your energy level. Your energy level is down because your body is trying to conserve energy to fuel your immune system so that it can fight off germs and other invaders.6

Tips for Regaining Balance

If any of the above concerns sound like they might apply to you, it may be time to make some lifestyle adjustments. This includes things like eating a balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, getting 6-8 hours of sleep, exercising 30 minutes most days of the week, and trying to find ways to minimize stress.

If you incorporate these adjustments into your daily routine, you can give your immune system the best chance to get back to a healthier place. That being said, the key to longterm health is more than just a balanced diet, regular exercise, and the like, especially when it comes to a strong immune system. This is where phytosterols come in.

How phytosterols (sterols and sterolins) can help

In addition to the lifestyle adjustments above, plant sterols and sterolins can help to support your immune system too. Sterols are compounds found in plants that resemble cholesterol (i.e. are structurally similar to cholesterol). When a supplement with plant sterols is consumed, it can help to bring overall balance to the immune system by enhancing an underactive immune system, and modulating an overactive one. While sterols do not “fix” the immune system, they do give it the nutrients it needs to be balanced.7 Sterols and sterolins allow the immune system to regulate itself: “upregulating” or boosting an underactive response and “downregulating” an overactive one.

When looking for a quality supplement containing these plant sterols, which can benefit adults and kids alike, it is helpful to look for one that has research behind it, and one that has the right sterol to sterolin ratio. Research has shown quite clearly that the blend of sterols and sterolins in a 100:1 ratio, exhibit the best immune balancing activity.8

One thing to remember is to not take a sterol/sterolins supplement while ingesting cholesterol heavy foods (animal fat), including all meat, dairy, eggs, seafood, etc. Cholesterol has a very similar molecular structure and the two compounds “compete” for absorption.  Take your supplement between meals.

And did we mention kids? Yes, your children’s immune system can get out of balance too. They are exposed to any number of germs from their peers and from the environment, and have their own levels of stress and digestive problems. Building a strong, well-balanced immune system from an early age will benefit children for a lifetime. Talk to your pediatrician about supplements that contain phytosterols and see if they may be right for your family.

If you think you have a weakened or imbalanced immune system, don’t fret! There are steps you can take to keep yourself and those around you healthy, and maximize your immune function.

Before taking Seterol and Sterolins consult your health care professional:

Recipients of foreign organs and tissues, including bone marrow and corneal transplants, are cautioned not to take any immune regulating nutritional supplements. Therefore, sterols and sterolins are NOT recommended for transplant patients.

People with synthetic replacement/reconstruction will not be affected, such as in hip replacement, knee replacement, breast reconstruction and pacemaker implant.

People with multiple sclerosis should take plant sterols and sterolins only under the guidance of their health care practitioner.

Diabetics should monitor their blood sugar closely as many have experienced a reduction in insulin requirements. They should start with one capsule daily to ensure a gradual increase in sterols and sterolins.

 

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.


References

  1. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-immune-system-go-haywire-falter/
  2. https://www.apa.org/research/action/immune
  3. https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/march/weakened-immune-system
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3337124/
  5. https://kyolic.com/best-practices-for-buying-taking-and-storing-probiotics/
  6. https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/march/weakened-immune-system
  7. https://www.moducare.com/faqs/
  8. https://www.moducare.com/faqs/

 

How Stress Affects Immunity and Your Health

Stress is a situation that triggers a particular biological response. When you perceive a threat or a challenge, chemicals and hormones surge throughout your body. Stress triggers your fight or flight response in order to fight the stressor or run away from it. Usually, after the response occurs, your body typically relaxes. But too much stress can have negative effects on your long term health.1

Stress…not always a bad thing

Sometimes stress can be helpful, if you are working hard to meet a deadline it may motivate you to meet that goal. Stress can also be positive. Your wedding day, for instance, would be an example of a positive form of stress. The bottom line though, is that stress should be temporary. Once you’ve gotten past the fight-or-flight moment, your heart rate and breathing should slow down and your muscles should relax, and there should not be any long-term negative effects. But severe, frequent, or prolonged stress can be dangerous to your mental and physical health.

How stress affects the body

Stress causes your body to produce greater than normal levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In short bursts, cortisol can actually boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. But over time, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood. And this opens the door for more inflammation. Also, stress can reduce the amount of lymphocytes in the body, which are the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The less lymphocytes you have, the less your body can fight off infection, and the higher chances you have of contracting the common cold, or viruses. High levels of stress can also lead to depression and anxiety, which in turn contribute to higher levels of inflammation in the body. In a nutshell, long-term high levels of stress can lead to lots of inflammation, which can lead to an over-worked immune system that can’t properly defend and protect you2.

So what can you do? While it is not possible to completely eliminate all stress since life can be unpredictable, we can learn to avoid it if possible, and manage it, if it is unavoidable. Here are some simple ways to manage your stress.

Top tips to avoid stress

Socialize: Spend time with friends and family who support you, and who you can support as well. Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help in stressful times.

Consider supplements: Certain herbs, nutrients and vitamins can help promote less stress and anxiety. Look for supplements that combine GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) along with B vitamins, which can support healthy relaxation and increased alertness. Other nutrients to look for in a de-stressing supplement are omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce anxiety, ashwagandha, which is an herb used in ayurvedic medicine to help lessen anxiety, and valerian root, which is a popular sleep aid, due to it’s calming effects3.

Exercise: Try going on a brisk walk outside, do some yoga, or take a boxing class. Exercise is a great way to manage stress. Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones, like cortisol. It also helps release endorphins, which are the body’s natural mood-elevators. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy doing, because then it will be easier to stick with it.

Laugh: It’s hard to feel stressed when you’re laughing! Laughing is good for your health, and can help to relieve your stress response and even help relax your muscles. Try watching a funny show, or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.4 Cat videos are often good for a laugh.

Meditate: Practice deep breathing and meditation exercises, like box breathing (breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale for 4 seconds). It reduces your cortisol levels and reduces inflammation.5

Remember, stress in some situations can be helpful, even positive. It is the long-term, prolonged stress that needs to be addressed before it affects your health. Practicing the strategies above will help you curb your stress and protect your immune system.

 

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

The Power of B Vitamins!

Did you know that vitamin B refers to not one, but eight different vitamins? And all eight of these vitamins play a role in converting food into energy in the body. Let’s take a look at why vitamin B is so important to your overall health.

What Are B Vitamins

B vitamins are a group of nutrients that play many important roles in your body. Most people get the recommended amount of these vitamins through their diet alone, since they are found in a wide variety of foods like fish, poultry, eggs, meat, leafy greens, and dairy products. However, factors like age, pregnancy, dietary choices, medical conditions, genetics, medication and alcohol use increase the body’s demand for B vitamins.1 In these circumstances, taking a supplement with vitamin B might be necessary. Health supplements that contain all eight B vitamins are referred to as B-complex vitamins.

Different Types of B Vitamins

A whole host of B vitamins are available at health food stores. Along with thiamin (B1), most people are familiar with three other B vitamins: B9, B6, and B12. But there are eight B vitamins in all, and every one of them plays an important role in the function of the body’s cells and enzymes. In fact, they’re grouped together as “B” vitamins because of their closely related roles in cell and enzyme health.2

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), for example, supports cell health and also helps the body make new DNA. People who don’t get enough B12 may feel tired and weak and can experience loss of appetite, weight loss, or nerve pain. Anywhere between 1.5% and 15% of Americans are deficient in B12. People older than 50 and those on vegan or vegetarian diets are at greatest risk of developing a deficiency.3 This vitamin is found in meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy.

We mentioned vitamin B1 earlier, which is thiamine. Thiamine plays an essential role in the metabolism by helping convert nutrients into energy. The richest food sources include pork, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ. 4

Vitamin B6, called pyridoxine, is involved in amino acid metabolism, red blood cell production, and also the creation of neurotransmitters. This vitamin can be found in chickpeas, salmon, and potatoes.5

Vitamin B9 (folate) is another B vitamin that most people are familiar with. Folate is needed for cell growth, amino acid metabolism, the formation of red and white blood cells, and proper cell division. It can be found in leafy greens and beans. Folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9. It is used in supplements and added to processed food products, like flour and breakfast cereals.  It is also one of the most important B vitamins to take during pregnancy, and for a very good reason. The proper amount of folic acid reduces the risk of your baby developing certain birth defects.6

Supplements to Consider

There are many B vitamins on the market, including B-complex vitamins, which include every B vitamin! If you’re not in the market for a full B-complex vitamin, look for one that contains the specific B vitamins that will help you meet your health goals. Also, it doesn’t hurt to try a B vitamin supplement that also contains other herbs and nutrients too. Some other herbs and nutrients that can help to support your health, in addition to B vitamins, include Aged Garlic Extract, GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), and L-Arginine. Research on Aged Garlic Extract has shown that it supports overall heart health, helps maintain normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels, circulation, and immune function, as well as helping to reduce inflammation.7 GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain. It is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it blocks, or inhibits, certain brain signals and decreases activity in your nervous system, helping you feel less anxious and stressed.8 And the body uses L-arginine to help build muscle and rebuild tissue.9

So if you’re looking to increase your energy, enhance mood, stimulate the immune system, and form red blood cells, look no further than vitamin B! If you are unsure how to incorporate vitamin B into your supplement regimen, consult with your health care practitioner.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

 

3 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health

Owning a pet is one of life’s greatest pleasures, nothing compares to the joy of coming home to a loyal, furry companion. But the benefits do not end there – your pet could be doing wonders for your health and well-being too.

Here are some health benefits our furry friends can provide (as if we needed another reason to love them):

Lower risk of allergies

Did you know that around 50 million people in the U.S. have nasal allergies, and that pet dander is one of the most common triggers? With this in mind, it may be surprising to learn that pets can actually lower the risk of their owners developing allergies. One study reported  by Medical News Today in 2015 associated exposure to dogs and farm animals in early life with a lower risk of asthma development by school age.1 More recent research published in the journal Microbiome found that children who were exposed to household pets prior to birth and up to three months after, experienced changes in gut bacteria associated with childhood allergies.2 Both of these studies support something called the “hygiene hypothesis,” which suggests that the greater exposure to pathogens and potential allergens at an early age can strengthen the immune system, which may increase tolerance to allergies later in life.

Reduce anxiety and stress

Two studies published in Scientific American, examined the impact pets have on human emotions. In the first study, participants were divided into three groups. One group had a pet close by, the second was asked to think about their pet, and for the third, pets were not involved at all. They were told to list their goals and how confident they were in achieving them. The first two groups came up with a longer list of goals, and were significantly more confident that they could achieve them.3

In the second experiment, researchers divided participants into the same three groups, but this time asked them to perform a stressful task and monitored changes in their blood pressure. Those who had pets nearby or were thinking of pets had markedly lower blood pressure. The takeaway? Having pets close to you, or even just thinking about your pets, has the effect of lowering stress.4 Pets help us to live in the moment. A simple game of fetch with your dog can really keep you tethered to the present moment, and reduce stress and anxiety associated with the future.

Better heart health

Owning a pet, especially a dog, is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. This does not mean that there is a crystal clear cause and effect relationship between the two, but it does mean that pet ownership can be thought of as a reasonable part of an overall strategy to lower the risk of heart disease.5 Several studies have shown that dog owners have lower blood pressure than non-owners – probably because their pets have a calming effect on them and because dog owners tend to get more exercise (taking dog on walks). The power of touch also appears to be important as well. Several studies show blood pressure goes down when a person pets a dog.6

The love and companionship from pets can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Pet owners are oftentimes happier, more confident, and more physically fit. If you are looking to adopt a pet, you won’t just improve the quality of their life, they will help improve the quality of your life too.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.


References

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301881
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316836
  3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pets-help-us-achieve-goals-and-redu/
  4. https://www.southbostonanimalhospital.com/blog/8-ways-pets-relieve-stress
  5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/having-a-dog-can-help-your-heart–literally
  6. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509163902.htm

 

Stay Healthy! How to Avoid Getting Sick

To be honest, most of these “tips” for good health aren’t tips at all, but common sense. For example, hand washing. We all wash our hands, but do we wash for 20 seconds, and scrub every part of the hand? Apart from hand-washing, there are a whole host of other ideas and solutions to help you avoid that runny nose or sore throat, even in the thick of cold & flu season. Here are our top tips to help you stay healthy and avoid getting sick.

Our Top Stay Healthy Tips

Eat your greens: A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, protein, whole grains, and dairy. It may take some adjustment to move to healthy eating, so start small, and focus on one aspect to introduce yourself to some healthier options. For example, start by adding more greens to your diet. Green, leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins that help you maintain a balanced diet – and support a healthy immune system. One study showed that eating cruciferous vegetables sends a chemical signal to the body that boosts specific cell-surface proteins necessary for efficient immune-system function1. An easy way to get some greens into your life is with a powdered green drink mix. We recommend looking for one that contains barley grass, wheatgrass, spirulina, kelp, and chlorella, for the most beneficial phytonutrients per ounce. Be sure to avoid drink mixes that have added sugar.

Skip the alcohol: Research shows that drinking alcohol can damage the body’s dendritic cells, a vital component of the immune system. An increase in alcohol consumption over time can increase a person’s exposure to bacterial and viral infections.2 Especially during cold and flu season or stressful times, skip the alcohol and try a fun ‘mocktail’ instead.

Keep moving: Working out regularly enhances immune function, which can help the body fight off any cold or flu germs.3 You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity.

Get enough sleep: Clocking in about 8 hours of sleep every night is important, but it is even more important when you are feeling under the weather. When you’re tired, your body isn’t fighting as hard. So if you feel like you may be coming down with something, it’s imperative you get at least 8, or even 10 hours of sleep, if possible.

Eat more colorful meals: Cooking with all colors of the rainbow will help you get a wide range of vitamins in your diet. Red fruits and veggies, like tomatoes, red peppers, and raspberries, contain certain phytochemicals like lycopene and anthocyanins, which help protect against certain diseases, and can lower the risk of diabetes. Orange and yellow foods like carrots, mangos and sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. This essential vitamin supports healthy immunity, eye health, and strong bones. Green fruits and veggies like broccoli, kiwi and zucchini are chock full of chlorophyll, an antioxidant with a host of health benefits, like clearing toxins from the body, supporting digestion and absorption of nutrients, and boosting immunity. And blue and purple foods like blackberries, eggplant, and grapes contain super-charged antioxidants that can promote brain function and cellular strength.4

Hang out with friends: People who have strong social relationships are less likely to die prematurely than people who are isolated. Researchers think that friendships and health are linked through the body’s processing of stress. Being socially engaged leads to more positive emotions, which in turn may actually boost your body’s immune system and reduce the physical signs of stress.5

Avoid cigarette smoke: Smoking is a known risk factor for several diseases including asthma and respiratory infections, to name a few. But breathing in secondhand smoke can also increase a person’s risk for developing these conditions. People who smoke or regularly inhale cigarette smoke are also more likely to experience more severe symptoms when they get colds or the flu. Cigarette smoke can affect the immune system and reduce a person’s ability to fight off infections.6

It can be tough to stay healthy if people around you are or may be sick. Be sure to keep your distance.  And protect yourself by giving these simple strategies a try.  Stay healthy!

References

  1. https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/13-ways-to-avoid-getting-sick-with-a-cold-or-the-flu
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/cold-flu-secrets#1
  3. https://www.truelemon.com/blogs/tc/benefits-of-eating-colorful-foods
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/cold-flu-secrets#3
  5. https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/social-support.aspx
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324422#no-smoking

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Why Mitochondria Are Important to Your Health

Present in almost all types of human cells, mitochondria are vital to our survival. They generate the majority of our adenosine triosphate (ATP), the energy currency of the cell, they help store calcium, and they can even help to generate heat when we are cold. Considering how important mitochondria are, what happens if our mitochondria are not functioning properly? If they are not functioning properly, that means that ATP is reduced – which in turn means that the energy needed for all of the body’s processes is reduced1. This can impact a person’s overall health and wellness.

This reduction in mitochondrial energy production can sometimes result in conditions like chronic fatigue, muscular dystrophy and also Alzheimer’s. Poor energy equals poor energy state, which is a common denominator in almost all chronic diseases, like chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, and cognitive issues2.

How Mitochondria and Gut Health are Related

Now that we know more about the mitochondria and what happens if your body’s mitochondria are not functioning properly, let’s see how this ties in with our microbiome. The bacteria in the gut interacts with the body’s cells mostly through the cell’s mitochondria. Studies show that if you improve the gut microbiome, the health of the microbiome will improve the quality and diversity of the mitochondria’s functions.

We have explained before that the gut microbiome is linked with the brain and the immune system. One reason that could explain this is that the gut is where inflammation begins. Most of the body’s immune tissue is located in the gut, and the gut produces cytokines, which are types of proteins that help cells communicate during an immune response. These cytokines help regulate your body’s immune response. They also signal the brain to produce neurochemicals in order to support the inflammation response. These neurochemicals can affect mitochondrial ATP production and also the hormone response involving cortisol. When you have any degree of dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) where the gut flora is out of balance, this can create a state of chronic inflammation in the body, which can act like a negative force on the mitochondrial processes that are so essential to your body and its energy levels3.

How You Can Boost Your Mitochondria

If you’ve been experiencing some unexplained fatigue or sluggishness, not to worry! Here are a few things you can try to give your mitochondria a bit of a “boost,” so to speak.

#1 Make Healthy Food Choices: Try to reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, which spike blood sugar, contribute to unwanted pounds and body fat, and lead to mitochondria-damaging inflammation4. Try to avoid processed foods and factory-farmed meats as well.

#2 Move Your Body: We know…as if you needed another reason to exercise. We promise you, your mitochondria really do love when you exercise, especially when you engage in High Intensity Interval Training, which boosts mitochondrial production5. A regular HIIT routine will not only build up muscular endurance, but also the number and size of the mitochondria that power those muscles.

#3 Count Those Sheep: Sleep protects the brain by clearing out neural “waste products” that build up daily. If you do not get enough sleep, then your brain’s waste removal system can’t work to clear out the toxins that build up, which inhibit your mitochondrial function6. So don’t skimp on sleep!

In addition to these lifestyle changes, a supplement like Coenzyme Q10, CoQ10 for short, can also help. CoQ10 is the primary antioxidant that the human cell provides to protect and support mitochondria. Without this vital molecule, the level of ATP that the mitochondria produce drops, and the energy that is available to that tissue decreases7.

We do have some control over how fast or slow we age, and a lot of it comes down to how well we treat our mitochondria. So try following some of these mitochondria-boosting moves and give these tiny “powerhouses” some additional support.

References

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320875.php#disease
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320875.php#function
  3. https://www.drlamcoaching.com/nem-therapy/inflammation/improve-gut-microbiome-optimal-mitochondrial-energy-production/
  4. https://drfranklipman.com/2019/04/22/9-ways-to-boost-your-mitochondria-increase-energy-and-enhance-longevity/
  5. https://drfranklipman.com/2019/04/22/9-ways-to-boost-your-mitochondria-increase-energy-and-enhance-longevity/
  6. https://drfranklipman.com/2019/04/22/9-ways-to-boost-your-mitochondria-increase-energy-and-enhance-longevity/
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coenzyme-q10

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Clinical Pharmacists Dr. Jim LaValle and Martie Whittekin Discuss Importance of Green Foods

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

About Dr. James LaValle

Jim LaValle, R.Ph., C.C.N, a nationally recognized clinical pharmacist, author, board-certified clinical nutritionist, and founder of Metabolic Code Enterprises, Inc. a web platform and practice solution enterprise, launching AIR Support and the Metabolic Code Assessment.

About Martie Whittekin 

Martie Whittekin is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist with almost 30 years experience. She has hosted the nationally-syndicated radio talk show, Healthy by Nature since 1997.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Study Shows that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract May Improve Wound Healing in People with Heart Disease or Diabetes

Yet, according to new research conducted at Lund University’s Skåne University Hospital in Sweden, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) can increase microcirculation in these at-risk patients that could facilitate wound healing.

Microcirculation refers to the minute network of arterioles, capillaries, and venules (tiny veins that connect the capillaries to larger veins) that deliver oxygen and nutrients from the arteries into the individual cells and tissues throughout the body. Microcirculation also regulates the amount of blood that infuses tissue—a critical factor in wound healing.

Here are some highlights from this study:

  • Compromised microcirculation can be a particular problem for people diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • This can lead to slow wound healing and increase the risk of infection and other serious complications.
  • Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract, at a dose of 2.4g daily, improved microcirculation by 31% among study participants after twelve months of daily supplementation.
  • These findings suggest that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract could facilitate improved wound healing in these at-risk populations.

To read the full study click here.

To hear a review of this study by Dr. Ronald Hoffman on the Intelligent Medicine podcast, click here.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

First Responders Respond Well to CoQ10 and Aged Garlic Extract

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study, which was conducted at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, looked at the impact CoQ10 (ubiquinone) had on a group of firefighters at moderate risk of heart disease. All of the firefighters underwent testing using Cardiac CT, a revolutionary imaging technology that accurately measures coronary artery calcium deposits (CAC) and plaque buildup in the arteries. C-reactive protein—a marker of internal inflammation that may contribute to a higher risk of heart attack—was also measured.

Once their risk was determined, the firefighters were given either a placebo or a combination of 1,200 mg of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) and 120 mg of CoQ10 every day for 12 months. The UCLA researchers found that the firefighters taking the AGE/CoQ10 supplement had significantly less CAC in their arteries and lower CRP levels than those taking the placebo. And that translated to a lower risk of future cardiovascular issues.

Benefits of CoQ10

But the benefits of CoQ10 aren’t just reserved for firefighters or other people in highly stressful careers. Since both calcification and inflammation are hidden risk factors for heart attack and stroke, taking CoQ10 daily (especially when paired with AGE) is a smart and simple way to protect your cardiovascular system.

If you are taking statin drugs like Lipitor and Crestor to lower your cholesterol levels, you are probably familiar with coenzyme Q10, or more commonly known as CoQ10. This vitamin-like substance is found in every single cell in the body, where it provides the mitochondria with the energy it needs to function. In fact, CoQ10 is so important that your cells could not survive without it! It is particularly critical for creating cellular energy in tissues that make up energy-demanding organs like the heart, brain, liver, and kidneys.

CoQ10 is one of the most powerful and protective antioxidants against free radical damage, and without adequate levels, no vital organ or system can perform optimally. Perhaps CoQ10’s most critical role however, is to protect and create energy within the cells of the heart. Since these particular tissues demand an enormous amount of energy to function properly, you will find a greater concentration of CoQ10 in the heart than anywhere else in the body. It’s so important to our cardiovascular system that low levels are implicated in virtually every form of heart disease.

Different Forms of CoQ10

There are two forms of CoQ10: ubiquinone and ubiquinol. Ubiquinol, the active antioxidant form of CoQ10, is naturally made in the body from ubiquinone as needed. As we age, the body’s ability to accomplish this conversion declines. The use of statin drugs also reduces levels of both forms of CoQ10. Here’s why: Your liver creates most of your body’s supply of Coenzyme Q10 with the help of a special enzyme. By coincidence, your liver uses the very same enzyme – known in medical circles as HMG-CoA Reductase – to produce another, more familiar substance – cholesterol. Since CoQ10 and cholesterol are both triggered by HMG-Co Reductase, using one of the popular statin drugs lowers both substances.

While you can sidestep the natural conversion process with an ubiquinol supplement—an expensive option at best—most of the research on CoQ10’s benefits has been done using ubiquinone, which is the more stable form. But what about the foods we eat, are there any food sources that have CoQ10? You’re in luck! Food sources of CoQ10 include: fatty fish like trout, herring, sardines, vegetables like spinach, cauliflower and broccoli, fruits like oranges and strawberries, legumes like soybeans and lentils, and nuts and seeds like sesame seeds and pistachios. Add these foods to your diet for an all-natural way to boost your CoQ10. And if the CoQ10 “diet” isn’t really your thing, consider taking a CoQ10 supplement, and enjoy all of it’s free-radical fighting, cholesterol lowering, heart healthy benefits.

References

  1. Budoff M, Zeb I, Ahmadi N, Nasir K, et al. Aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 have favorable effect on inflammatory markers and coronary atherosclerosis progression: A randomized clinical trial. J Cardiovasc Dis. 2012;3(3):185-90.
  2. Vitetta L, Leong A, Zhou J, et al. The plasma bioavailability of Coenzymd Q10 absorbed from the gut and oral mucosa. J Funct Biomater. 2018;9(4). pii:E73.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.