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CoQ10 Benefits Multiple Sclerosis

Okay, following the last two studies posted, let's end this week as the "CoQ10 week."

Today's study of discussion was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 45 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Since MS is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, in which higher oxidative stress may contribute to its pathogenesis, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of CoQ10 supplementation on oxidative stress and antioxidant enzyme activity.


CoQ10 as Good as Pharmaceuticals for Heart Failure

This has shaped up to be a good week if you're a natural health product called CoQ10 (at least here at Know Guff). Following the last post discussing ubiquinol's potential benefit to elite athletes, here a new study showing it is just about as good as the best pharmaceuticals for patients with heart failure.

The great thing about this study is that is overcomes one of the biggest criticisms of previous positive studies--the lack of statistical power showing improved survival (even though the results were statistically significant). This long-term double blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to be a pharmaceutical-style gold-standard trial with sufficient statistical power.


Ubiquinol the Newest Aid for Olympic Athletes?

In a recently published study involving elite athletes, many of which competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, ubiquinol was shown to provide statistically significant performance improvement (as measured by power on a cycle ergometer).

Over the 6 weeks of intervention, the placebo group increased power from 3.64 to 3.94 W/kg bw (an 8.5% increase). In the same time, the ubiquinol group increased from 3.70 to 4.08 W/kg bw (an 11.0% increase). While the difference of 2.5% using percentage values just missed the significance level, the increase in the ubiquinol group when using absolute differences, and in the multivariate analysis, were statistically significant .


Biochemistry Behind Health Benefits of Meditation, Yoga, Prayer

For thousands of years, practices evoking the relaxation response (RR, which is the opposite to the stress response) have been used as an effective therapeutic intervention that counteracts the adverse clinical effects of stress. These interventions include meditation, yoga and repetitive prayer, and they've been shown to be helpful in numerous disorders including hypertension, anxiety, insomnia and aging itself. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms that explain these clinical benefits remained unknown.

This new study looked to assess rapid time-dependent (temporal) genomic changes during one session of RR practice among healthy practitioners with years of RR practice and also in novices before and after 8 weeks of RR training.


Marijuana Benefits HDL Cholesterol, Insulin Levels, and Waist Circumference

A new study on marijuana use has turned up some fascinating health benefits. The researchers behind this latest positive study looked at 4657 participants who had completed a drug-use questionnaire as a part of the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Survey) database between 2005 and 2010.


Another Study Proves Safety of Calcium Supplements

Back in February, I covered two back-to-back studies on calcium, one showing calcium supplements are perfectly safe, the other showing increased heart attack risk. Before those studies, I covered a number of other studies over the last couple years providing evidence for both sides of the argument.

Now here is the latest study, and it shows that calcium supplements are not related to heart attacks and stroke. If fact, no associations were found between cardiovascular death and dietary or supplemental calcium intake.


Reduced Allergy Risk if Your Parents Sucked

This study was covered extensively last week, but in case you missed it... parents who clean their infant's pacifier by sucking on it may be protecting their baby from developing allergies.

The researchers found that, after a baby dropped their pacifier on the floor, those whose parents sucked the pacifiers to clean them before giving it back were less likely to have asthma, eczema, and sensitization to potential allergens at 18 months of age (compared to children whose parents washed the pacifiers or sterilized them).


Smoking to Prevent Parkinson's Disease?

Well...the direct answer to the title above is "yes," but everyone knows that the picture is much more complex than that and smoking tobacco has unequivocally been shown to be harmful to overall health. However, this is a prime example of why I say, "nothing is 100% good, and nothing is 100% bad."

The observation that smokers have a lower risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been consistently reported in more than 60 epidemiological studies, and the protective role seems to be related to nicotine (although not confirmed).


Two More Carnitine Studies Show Benefits for Cardiovascular Health and ALS

Well, it's been almost a full two weeks since I last published new research, and while I usually put these posts together during my downtime, recently I've been hooked on Being Erica, a TV series I'm watching on NetFlix.

I can't remember the last time I had a favourite show (outside of the Bachelor franchise, I embarrassingly admit), probably because I don't watch cable, but Being Erica is the perfect mix of philosophy, sci-fi time travel, self-help, Canadiana chick-flick.

The main character is about my age, so there's a lot I can relate to as she time travels back to her early years. Further, since the show takes place in Toronto, any one in the Greater Toronto Area will be familiar with many of the landmarks that are woven into the story line. I highly recommend this show.

Anyway, enough of my unpaid advertising for this show...

So to continue my last post and roll with the positive studies on L-carnitine, here are a couple more new studies on its therapeutic benefits.

The first study I'll cover today was double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group pilot study involving patients between the ages of 40 and 70 years. Selection criteria included definite or probable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), patients needed to be self-sufficient (able to swallow, cut food/handle utensils, walk), and have a forced vital capacity of > 80%.