Coenzyme Q10 and Health

Fan, L, Feng, Y, et al. Effects of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pharmacol Res 119(128-36.

 This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trails, suggests significant lowering effects of CoQ10 on several inflammatory markers such as CRP, IL-6 and TNF-alpha. However, the authors mentioned that results should be interpreted with caution because of the evidence of heterogeneity and limited number of studies.

 

 

Miles, MV, Patterson, BJ, et al. Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinol-10) Supplementation Improves Oxidative Imbalance in Children with Trisomy 21. Pediatr Neurol 37(6)398-403.

This study showed that supplementation with CoQ10 could reduce oxidative stress in children with Trisomy.  This condition is associated with higher levels of oxidative stress than the control group of healthy children

 

Lei, L and Liu, Y. Efficacy of Coenzyme Q10 in Patients with Cardiac Failure: A Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. BMC Cardiovasc Disord 17(1)196. PMC5525208

 

This study showed that patients with heart failure who used coenzyme Q10 had lower mortality and a higher exercise capacity improvement than the placebo-treated patients with heart failure.

Cacao, Cocoa and Health

Dillinger, T, Barriga, P, et al. Food of the Gods: Cure for Humanity? A Cultural History of the Medicinal and Ritual Use of Chocolate. J Nutr. 130(2057S-72S.

This research has found three consistent roles of cacao which could be identified can be identified: 1) to treat emaciated patients to gain weight; 2) to stimulate nervous systems of apathetic, exhausted or feeble patients; and 3) to improve digestion and elimination where cacao/chocolate countered the effects of stagnant or weak stomachs, stimulated kidneys and improved bowel function. Additional medical complaints treated with chocolate/cacao have included anemia, poor appetite, mental fatigue, poor breast milk production, consumption/tuberculosis, fever, gout, kidney stones, reduced longevity and poor sexual appetite/low virility.

 

Camps-Bossacoma, M, Massot-Cladera, M, et al. Cocoa Diet and Antibody Immune Response in Preclinical Studies. Front Nutr 4(28. PMC5484773

 

This was a literature study done to investigate how cocao positively affects the acquired branch of the immune system.  The researchers have concluded that cocoa has potential as a nutraceutical agent in reducing some production of antibodies such as in sesitivities to some allergens.

 

Dubner, L, Wang, J, et al. Recommendations for Development of New Standardized Forms of Cocoa Breeds and Cocoa Extract Processing for the Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease: Role of Cocoa in Promotion of Cognitive Resilience and Healthy Brain Aging. J Alzheimers Dis 48(4)879-89.

In this review article, the researchers discuss recent strategies designed to clarify the mechanisms by which certain brain-bioavailable, bioactive polyphenols, in particular, flavan-3-ols also known as flavanols, which are highly represented in cocoa extracts, may beneficially influence cognitive deterioration, such as in Alzheimer's Disease while promoting healthy brain aging.  They also shed some light on the importance of the method of extraction of these nutrients form the cacao bean.  

 

Dugo, L, Belluomo, MG, et al. Effect of Cocoa Polyphenolic Extract on Macrophage Polarization from Proinflammatory M1 to Anti-Inflammatory M2 State. Oxid Med Cell Longev 2017(6293740. PMC5506464

 

In this study, researchers looked at the potential anti-inflammatory effect of cocoa.  They showed that cocoa polyphenolic extract attenuated in vitro inflammation decreasing M1 macrophage response as demonstrated by a significantly lowered secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Moreover, treatment of M1 macrophages with cocoa polyphenols influences macrophage metabolism by promoting oxidative pathways, thus leading to a significant increase in O2 consumption by mitochondrial complexes as well as a higher production of ATP through oxidative phosphorylation. In conclusion, cocoa polyphenolic extract suppresses inflammation mediated by M1 phenotype and influences macrophage metabolism by promoting oxidative pathways and M2 polarization of active macrophages.

 

 Goya, L, Martin, MA, et al. Effect of Cocoa and Its Flavonoids on Biomarkers of Inflammation: Studies of Cell Culture, Animals and Humans. Nutrients 8(4)212. PMC4848681

 

This is an overview looking at the remarkable capacity of cocoa flavanols as antioxidants, as well as its capacity to modulate signaling pathways involved in cellular processes, such as inflammation, metabolism and proliferation.  It also looks at its potential in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

 

Davinelli, S, Corbi, G, et al. Cardioprotection by Cocoa Polyphenols and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A Disease-Prevention Perspective on Aging-Associated Cardiovascular Risk. J Med Food

The purpose of this review is to summarize the major cardioprotective effects of cocoa and omega-3 fatty acids, providing a scientific rationale for incorporating the combination of these molecules as a nutritional intervention in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Although several studies have shown the individual cardioprotective nature of these compounds, a combination treatment with cocoa and omega-3 fatty acids may be a promising approach in both prevention and reduction of cardiovascular risk factors associated with aging. Therefore, this article also reviews some of the key studies on the interaction between cocoa and the metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids.

D-Ribose and Health

Teitelbaum, J, Johnson, C, et al. The Use of D-Ribose in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Vopr Pitan 4(51-4.

This study whowed that supplementation with D-ribose significantly reduced clinical symptoms in patients suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome

 

 

MacCarter, D, Vijay, N, et al. D-Ribose Aids Advanced Ischemic Heart Failure Patients. Int J Cardiol 137(1)79-80.

This study showed that ribose improved the ventilatory exercise status in advanced heart failure patients.  This indicated improved cellular energy of the cardiac cells, and most probably, all cells in the body.

 

 

Seifert, JG, Subudhi, AW, et al. The Role of Ribose on Oxidative Stress During Hypoxic Exercise: A Pilot Study. J Med Food 12(3)690-3.

This study showed reduced oxidative stress during anaerobic exercise in healthy individuals when ribose was ingested before and after exercise.

Shecterle, L, Kasubick, R, et al. D-Ribose Benefits Restless Legs Syndrome. J Altern Complement Med 14(9)1165-6.

This is a case study, involving a father and son, suffering from restless leg syndrome.  Both men reported that supplementation with D-Ribose did not entirely eliminate their discomfort, but the severity and onset of symptoms affecting their quality of life were substantially improved with D-Ribose without any adverse reactions.  As well, they felt more energetic during the day, and also after exercise.

Lifestyle Changes which will Reduce Gout and Hyperuricemia

Choi, HK. A Prescription for Lifestyle Change in Patients with Hyperuricemia and Gout. Curr Opin Rheumatol 22(2)165-72.

This study pointed out lifestyle and dietary recommendations for gout patients since gout is often associated with the metabolic syndrome and an increased future risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality.  It concluded that weight reduction with daily exercise and limiting intake of red meat and sugary beverages would help reduce uric acid levels and consequently the risk of gout, insulin resistance, and comorbidities. Heavy alcohol consumption should be avoided, whereas moderate consumption, sweet fruits, and seafood intake, particularly oily fish, should be tailored to the individual, considering their anticipated health benefits against CVD. The researchers also found that dairy products, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fruits (less sugary ones), and whole grains are healthy choices for the comorbidities of gout and may also help prevent gout by reducing insulin resistance. Coffee and vitamin C supplementation could be considered as preventive measures as these can lower urate levels, as well as the risk of gout and some of its comorbidities.

 

 

 

Fasting and Mood

Michalsen, A. Prolonged Fasting as a Method of Mood Enhancement in Chronic Pain Syndromes: A Review of Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms. Curr Pain Headache Rep 14(2)80-7. PMID: 20425196

Fasting is part of many religions, cultures, and traditions.  However, it has lost its popularity in the modern world.  In this review, researchers show on a cellular level how fasting could promote health and combat modern diseases.  These claims are supported by experimental research and range from rheumatic diseases and pain management to mood disorders.

Fasting and it's Effect on Cancer

Brandhorst, S and Longo, VD. Fasting and Caloric Restriction in Cancer Prevention and Treatment. Recent Results Cancer Res 207(241-66.

Because of the radical side effects of current cancer treatments, it is common for oncologists to encourage their patients to eat fattening food during therapy to compensate for wasting of the body tissues. These recommendations come with little or no encouragement to consume nutrient-dense food.  This review article looks at preclinical and preliminary clinical studies on dietary restriction and fasting and their role in inducing cellular protection and chemotherapy resistance.  The authors found that various forms of reduced caloric intake such as calorie restriction or fasting demonstrate a wide range of beneficial effects able to help prevent malignancies and increase the efficacy of cancer therapies. Whereas chronic limitation of calories provides both beneficial and detrimental results, as well as significant compliance challenges, periodic fasting, fasting-mimicking diets, and dietary restriction without a reduction in calories, are emerging as interventions with the potential to be widely used to prevent and treat cancer.

 

 

Fasting and Woman's Health

Nair, PM, and Khawale, PG. Role of Therapeutic Fasting in Women's Health: An Overview. J Midlife Health 7(2)61-4. PMC4960941

This is an overview of how fasting in some shape or form could benefit women's health.   Fasting has shown to improve the reproductive and mental health.  The researchers also found that fasting could prevent as well as ameliorate cancers and musculoskeletal disorders which are common in middle-aged and elderly women.

 

Chiofalo, B, Laganà, A, et al. Fasting as Possible Complementary Approach for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Hope or Hype? Med Hypotheses 105(1-3. PMID: 28735644

Polycystic ovary syndrome disorder among women of reproductive age. These women show infertility as well as metabolic disorders such as hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and obesity.  The cause of this illness is a result of concurrent endocrine modifications, lifestyle factors, and genetic background.  There is no remedy for this condition as yet.  This article shows how fasting could play a role in metabolic homeostasis and help regulate this disease. 

Fasting and the effect on Metabolic Syndrome

Type II diabetes

Arnason, T, Bowen, M, et al. Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health Markers in Those with Type 2 Diabetes: A Pilot Study. World J Diabetes. 2017 Apr 15; 8(4):154-164. 8(4)154-64. PMID: 28465792

This pilot study tested the safety, and efficacy of daily intermittent fasting on diagnosed type II diabetics. The results indicated that it might be a safe, tolerable, dietary intervention which might improve critical outcomes such as body weight, fasting glucose and variability in blood glucose response to meals. These findings look promising.  However, the authors believe it should be viewed as exploratory, and a larger, longer study is necessary to corroborate these findings.

 

Li, C, Sadraie, B, et al. Effects of a One-Week Fasting Therapy in Patients with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus and Metabolic Syndrome - a Randomized Controlled Explorative Study. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 125(9)618-24.

 Results of this study suggest that prolonged fasting is feasible and might have beneficial clinical effects with people suffering from Type II diabetes. The effectiveness of fasting should be proved in larger confirmatory trials that include intermittent fasting in follow-ups to enable more pronounced and long-term effects.

The effect of fasting on Inflammation

Traba, J, Kwarteng-Siaw, M, et al. Fasting and Refeeding Differentially Regulate Nlrp3 Inflammasome Activation in Human Subjects. J Clin Invest 125(12)4592-600. PMC4665779

 

This study showed that on the cellular level, fasting has an anti-inflammatory effect with a positive impact on health outcomes.  The researchers concluded that their data indicate that nutrient levels regulate the NLRP3 inflammasome, in part through SIRT3-mediated mitochondrial homeostatic control.  These results suggest that deacetylase-dependent inflammasome attenuation may be amenable to targeting in human disease.

 

Rheumathoid arthritis

Kjeldsen-Kragh, J, Mellbye, OJ, et al. Changes in Laboratory Variables in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients During a Trial of Fasting and One-Year Vegetarian Diet. Scand J Rheumatol 24(2)85-93.

It was previously reported that significant improvement might be obtained in rheumatoid arthritis patients by fasting followed by a vegetarian diet for one year.  The present study examined the changes in biochemical and immunological variables brought about by fasting and a vegetarian diet compared to a control group of omnivores.  It supported previous findings that diet could be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Age Related Diseases and Fasting

 

Mattson, MP, Longo, VD, et al. Impact of Intermittent Fasting on Health and Disease Processes. Ageing Res Rev 39(46-58. PMC5411330

 The problem in the modern world is over-eating, consequent caloric overload and gained body weight.  This has a domino effect which negatively affects our health in various ways.  This study showed that in healthy and overweight human subjects, fasting could have a positive impact on weight loss and improvements in multiple health indicators including insulin resistance and reductions in risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which fasting improves health and counteracts disease processes involve activation of adaptive cellular stress response signaling pathways that enhance mitochondrial health, DNA repair, and autophagy. Fasting also promotes stem cell-based regeneration as well as long-lasting positive metabolic effects.

 

Fontana, L, Klein, S, et al. Effect of Long-Term Calorie Restriction with Adequate Protein and Micronutrients on Thyroid Hormones. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 91(8)3232-5.

This article shows a reduction in thyroid hormone (T3) in people following intermittent fasting.  This reduction is known to slow aging, making fasting an anti-aging factor.

Vegan Diets and Vitamin B12 deficiency

Roed, C, Skovby, F, et al. [Severe Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Infants Breastfed by Vegans]. Ugeskr Laeger 171(43)3099-101.

Weight loss and reduction of motor skills were documented in pediatric evaluation of a 10-month-old girl and a 12-month-old boy. Both children suffered form anemia and delayed development due to vitamin B12 deficiency.  The latter was presumably caused by strict maternal vegan diet during pregnancy and nursing. Therapy with supplemental vitamin B12 relieved the symptoms. Since infants risk irreversible neurological damage following severe vitamin B12 deficiency, early diagnosis and treatment are mandatory. Vegan and vegetarian women should take vitamin B12 supplementation during the pregnancy and nursing period.

Plant-based Diets, Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases

Dinu, M, Abbate, R, et al. Vegetarian, Vegan Diets and Multiple Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 57(17)3640-9.

This comprehensive meta-analysis showed a significant reduced risk for the development and mortality of ischemic heart disease and cancer amongs people following a vegetarian diet.

 

Tantamango-Bartley, Y, Knutsen, SF, et al. Are Strict Vegetarians Protected against Prostate Cancer? Am J Clin Nutr 103(1)153-60. PMC4691666

Vegan diets showed a statistically significant protective association with prostate cancer risk.  This protection is even better in black males compared to white males.

 

McCarty, M. Vegan Proteins May Reduce Risk of Cancer, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease by Promoting Increased Glucagon Activity. Med Hypotheses.  Aug;. 53(6)459-85.

This is a speculation that a higher intake of non-essential amino acids without an unnecessarily high intake of essential amino acids protect against modern western diseases.  Vegans tend to have low blood lipids, less body fat, shorter stature, later puberty, and decreased risk for certain prominent 'Western' cancers; a vegan diet has documented clinical efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis. Low-fat vegan diets may be especially protective in regard to cancers linked to insulin resistance such as breast and colon cancer.

 

McCarty, M. Upregulation of Lymphocyte Apoptosis as a Strategy for Preventing and Treating Autoimmune Disorders: A Role for Whole-Food Vegan Diets, Fish Oil and Dopamine Agonists. Med Hypotheses.  Aug;. 57(2)258-75. PMID: 11461185

Based on theoretical speculation of some of the biochemical pathways and what is evident in some communities  this study concluded that a whole-food vegan diet, coupled with fish oil and vitamin D supplementation will protect against autoimmune diseases.

 

McCarty, M, Barroso-Aranda, J, et al. The Low-Methionine Content of Vegan Diets May Make Methionine Restriction Feasible as a Life Extension Strategy. Med Hypotheses. 72(2)125-8.

This study tweezes out the positive effects which a low-methionine (an amino acid) diet, such as a plant based diet, has on longevity.  It explains the phenomenon as a decrease in Insulin Growth Factor, a known aging factor.  This is amplified by exercise training and the consumption of ample amounts of fruit, wine and beer!  Plant protein sources are lower in methionine compared to animal derived proteins.  The authors assumed a supplementation in vitamin B12 which is not as abundant in plants.

Plant-based Diets and Blood Lipids

Barnard, ND, Cohen, J, et al. A Low-Fat Vegan Diet and a Conventional Diabetes Diet in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled, 74-Wk Clinical Trial. Am J Clin Nutr 89(5)1588S-96S. PMC2677007

This study compared two groups of people following a pre assigned diet.  Free-living individuals with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to a low-fat vegan diet  or a diet following 2003 American Diabetes Association guidelines.  The vegan diet appeared to have a more pronounced effect on blood lipids and blood glucose than the conventional diet.

 

Wang, F, Zheng, J, et al. Effects of Vegetarian Diets on Blood Lipids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Am Heart Assoc 4(10)e002408. PMC4845138

This was a systematic review and meta-analysis.  It provides evidence that vegetarian diets effectively lower blood concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.  It indicates that vegetarian diets could be a useful tool in managing vascular disease caused by high blood lipids.

 

Dinu, M, Abbate, R, et al. Vegetarian, Vegan Diets and Multiple Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 57(17)3640-9.

This comprehensive meta-analysis showed a significant reduced risk for the development and mortality of ischemic heart disease and cancer amongst people following a vegetarian diet.

Vegan Diet and Diabetes

Barnard, ND, Cohen, J, et al. A Low-Fat Vegan Diet and a Conventional Diabetes Diet in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled, 74-Wk Clinical Trial. Am J Clin Nutr 89(5)1588S-96S. PMC2677007

 

This study compared two groups of people following a pre-assigned diet.  Free-living individuals with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to a low-fat vegan diet  or a diet following 2003 American Diabetes Association guidelines.  The vegan diet appeared to have a more pronounced effect on blood lipids and blood glucose than the conventional diet.

Why Organic Produce?

Barnard, ND, Cohen, J, et al. A Low-Fat Vegan Diet and a Conventional Diabetes Diet in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Controlled, 74-Wk Clinical Trial. Am J Clin Nutr 89(5)1588S-96S. PMC2677007

 

This study compared two groups of people following a pre assigned diet.  Free-living individuals with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to a low-fat vegan diet  or a diet following 2003 American Diabetes Association guidelines.  The vegan diet appeared to have a more pronounced effect on blood lipids and blood glucose than the conventional diet.

 

Ketogenesis and COPD

Cai, B, Zhu, Y, et al. Effect of Supplementing a High-Fat, Low-Carbohydrate Enteral Formula in COPD Patients. Nutrition 19(3)229-32.

This was a study done on patients suffering from chronic, obstructive pulmonary disease.  their diets were supplemented with a high-fat, low-carbohydrate (CHO) nutritional supplement for three weeks.  The study demonstrated that pulmonary function in COPD patients can be significantly improved with meal replacement supplement as compared with the traditional high-CHO diet.