The Incredible Benefits of CoQ10

The Incredible Benefits of CoQ10

What is CoQ10, exactly?

CoQ10 is a vitamin-like compound that is produced naturally in the human body.

It is a very essential component of the mitochondria, where it helps in metabolizing fats and carbs, as well as maintaining cell membrane flexibility.

The mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell where energy is produced), contain the most CoQ10 out of anywhere, and in the human body most of CoQ10 is found in the heart and the liver.

CoQ10 for the Heart

CoQ10 and Ubiquinol Studies have been done that have shown those who take around 100mg CoQ10 daily have improved how well their heart pumps blood (ejection fraction) by around 4% compared to placebo in people with mild-to-moderate heart failure (Fotino, Am J Clin Nutrition 2013).

The largest and longest clinical study to date found that taking 100mg 3x daily of CoQ10 for 2 years significantly reduced the chance of an advanced cardiovascular event (hospitalization, worsening heart failure, death) by almost 50% compared to placebo in people with moderate-to-severe heart failure. This supplement is of course used in addition to (not instead of) prescription heart failure treatment.

Also it is worthy to note that the beneficial effects of CoQ10 may not be seen until after several months of treatment.

Heart HealthCoQ10 and Those Suffering from Angina

Patients taking 150mg per day of CoQ10 have reported a greater ability to exercise without experiencing as much chest pain. This has been confirmed in independent investigations.

It appears that CoQ10 increases the heart’s tolerance to a lack of oxygen. This may be why that problems resulting from heart surgery are happening less in those given CoQ10 compared with the control group.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Muscular Dystrophy

In people struggling with muscular dystrophy, it was found that the mitochondria in their muscles lack adequate CoQ10.  In a double-blind three-month trial, four of eight people with muscular dystrophy saw improvements in heart function and generally felt better when supplementing with CoQ10.

In those with Alzheimer’s, mitochondrial function also appeared to be impaired. One group of researchers then gave CoQ10 (along with supplements of iron and vitamin B6) to several people with Alzheimer’s and reported that the progression of the disease was prevented for up to two years.

Note: There Could Be Better Absorption with Ubiquinol Supplements

I went to the health food store today to replenish my CoQ10 supply and noticed in the same section (and related to CoQ10) was “ubiquinol” and I didn’t know what it was, so I did some research.

Apparently, the CoQ10 found in most supplements is in the oxidized state (ubiquinone), but once it is in the body it goes into its reduced state, which is ubiquinol — and that is its active, antioxidant form. Ubiquinol is predominant in the body.

Ubiquinol is sometimes referred to as CoQH-10 or CoQH2-10. Research isn’t clear that it provides an advantage, though a small study of congestive heart failure patients suggested better absorption with ubiquinol as opposed to CoQ10.

I encourage you to do more of your own research (and talk to your doctor) about CoQ10 and see if it would be a supplement worth taking for you, as it seems to have an incredible amount of benefits for those affected with certain medical problems.

Phytonutrients and Your Diet!

Phytonutrients and Your Diet!

02E77460Research backing the benefits of plant-based diets continues to grow, especially with how great they seem to be in warding off disease, aiding in weight loss, and being packed full of necessary vitamins.

However, we still haven’t figured out much about why specifically phytonutrients (plant-based chemicals found in veggies as well as fruits, legumes, nuts, herbs, whole grains) are so good for us. Phytonutrients work in very specific ways in the body, and their biochemical functions are not easily understood.

We have found so far that phytonutrients play a few major roles in the body:

  • They are antioxidants
  • They can trigger positive gene expression (switching good ones “on” and bad ones “off)
  • They support specific body structures and functions

In general, phytonutrients seem to have a protective, immune-supporting and anti-inflammatory effect within the body.

Phytosterols are a type of phytonutrient common in foods such as broccoli, flax seeds, and almonds. Recent studies have shown that people who have developed stomach, lung, breast, and uterine cancer had lower phytosterol levels than those without cancer. Research has also shown that phytosterols seem to reduce the growth of breast and prostate cancer in animals.

Consume a Variety of Foods with Phytonutrients

Research has shown that it is best to consume phytonutrients in combinations. Rather than eating a large amount of one vegetable containing phytonutrients, it is better if you eat a wide variety (even if it is in smaller amounts).

To get a diversity of phytonutrients in your diet, think about foods across different colors. For example, if you start with a plate of raw veggies, try some red bell peppers, yellow cherry tomatoes, orange carrots, and purple cauliflower. Different foods within the same color family offer different phytonutrient benefits.

Cooking with Phytonutrients

Don’t forget that “certain plant compounds can be destroyed during cooking and other heat processing” (Susanne-Mertens-Talcott, PhD). Also, organic is usually the best if you can afford it, as organic foods are more likely to be able to develop their full phytonutrient potential without the issue of pesticides getting in the way.

Always try to get all of your phytonutrients and other supplements in food form first rather than pill form! The food form has much more complexity within it than the pill form and has a higher potential of having more of an effect in its whole form. And again with phytonutrients, keep in mind that it’s better to have a small amount of a wide variety of them, rather than consuming a lot of just one food item containing phytonutrients.

Information Source: “Full Spectrum Eating” by Sheila Mulrooney Eldred, Experience Life Magazine Jan 2015

Mastering Fear and Anxiety, Part 2

Mastering Fear and Anxiety, Part 2

1432442_70757709This is a continuation of the first Mastering Fear and Anxiety article. Read the post here first before reading this one.

In Part 1 of the article (as linked above), I really wanted to emphasize the importance in first recognizing anxiety for what it is, maintaining a healthy and proactive attitude towards it, and also stress how important just getting in basic needs are (i.e. proper sleep, proper diet, exercise, proper lifestyle). Seriously — it’s no joke. These are the most important core things to cover in treating anxiety.

In this section though, I want to cover some of the ways you can treat anxiety naturally on top of these. After 10+ years of anxiety and different medicinal treatments (including being on an anti-depressant for the majority of the time), I would still argue that in many cases, despite how uncomfortable and terrifying anxiety can be, you don’t actually need to be on an anti-depressant. The availability of natural remedies out there is plentiful and they can help balance your brain chemicals. That in combination with healthy eating, exercise, and sleep, can cure it all together.

If your case is severe enough and you need something as strong as an anti-depressant, then that’s one case you’d want to go for it. Sometimes you need to take something stronger and fast-acting in order to function at work or school. Trust me, I’ve been in those shoes. That’s another case where anti-depressants can help. The problem is, it’s easy to get psychologically dependent on them.

The real difference is that doing it the natural way is more work and can take longer to see the results. Healthy eating requires work, consistent exercise requires work, getting enough sleep requires discipline. Watching your mind and how it bubbles up thoughts that create anxiety is work and discipline. But you will be so much healthier and feel better all around, and you’ll also feel stronger and more motivated to overcome anything! The payoff is huge and much longer-lasting. It will ensure that you can deal with these things properly in the future, and your brain will also be better chemically equipped to deal with anxiety and stress.

Doctors will be quick to put you on an anti-depressant when you might not need to be. They typically don’t specialize in natural remedies, so it’s just not going to be suggested as the main course of action. Research online and trial and error with different natural remedies is really what it’s going to take.

Below is an article paraphrased from that will explain and introduce some natural remedies.

What “Natural” Means

There are many different types of natural anxiety treatment options. The term “natural” simply means “without chemical medicine,” and this opens up hundreds of different doors that you can choose from to reduce and prevent your anxiety.

Natural Medicine is Still Medicine

The most important thing to understand is that the most “natural” way to treat anxiety is without any type of medicine at all. Many people turn to herbal supplements, for example, because these supplements are not made from manmade products, but medicine is still medicine, herbal or not. The safest possible way to cure anxiety – and the most natural way to treat anxiety – is with some type of therapy or exercise that does not involve any type of herbal or medicinal treatment in any way.

Keep that in mind as you consider alternative options to prescription anxiety medications. While an herb or mineral may improve your anxiety, they still affect your body, and are not truly as natural as learning new coping mechanisms and ways to control stress.

The Non-Medicinal Therapies

For those that are willing to commit to some type of treatment that isn’t plant or medicine based, the following are the most common and effective treatment options:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Yoga/Meditation/Deep Breathing/Other Relaxation Exercises
  • Holistic Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is the type of therapy with the most research and the one that is highly recommended for anxiety and depression. But the other therapies may also have some benefit. Others prefer similar, but otherwise “alternative” therapies, including:

  • Hypnotherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Sound Therapy

There are also some unusual therapies, like laughter therapy, that can help some people with their anxiety. These types of therapies have considerably less research support, but many swear to their ability to reduce the effects of anxiety and other mental health problems.

Remember, these types of anxiety treatments are completely natural in a way that not even herbal medicine can provide. In addition, you should never take any type of supplement or medication without combining it with some type of long term coping treatment, like therapy. All types of medicines only provide temporary relief, and in the end you need to make sure you are committed to some type of treatment that will help you cope with anxiety for years to come, not just for the day.

Herbal Therapies for Anxiety

Of course, when most people think of natural anxiety treatments, they think of herbal medicine, because herbal medicine is considered a natural way to “treat” different disorders. The good news is that there are many different herbal medicines for anxiety. However, always talk to your doctor before taking any type of herbal medicine, as some of them may interact with other medications. Never take any herbal medicine with alcohol. The most common types of herbs for anxiety include:


Kava is the king of natural anxiety treatments, and the only herb that has been favorably compared in scientific studies to some of the most well-known prescription anxiety treatments.

Kava has an active ingredient known as kavalactones, which is believed to improve GABA levels and prevent epinephrine from overwhelming the body while leaving serotonin and other important neurotransmitters untouched.

Kava is powerful enough that medical experts strongly advise avoiding any other type of herbal supplement or medicine for anxiety while taking kava, because the effects may become too strong and cause significant drowsiness and other side effects. Kava also interacts very strongly with alcohol in a way that can damage the liver, so no one that uses kava should consume any alcohol while on a kava supplement.

Not all kava is created equal. Grocery story kava teas and droplets are unlikely to be powerful enough to provide you with the benefits you are looking for. Kava is fat soluble, meaning it needs to be taken with food or butter, and doses range anywhere from 150 to 300 kavalactones per day (far more than are generally supplied in grocery story varieties).

But kava is also not believed to have any side effects when taken as directed, has no addiction risk, and no withdrawal symptoms. It’s a great way to combat anxiety without the long term implications of benzodiazepines and other prescription anxiety treatments, and something you and your doctor may want to strongly consider.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is unlike kava, in that it doesn’t have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects necessarily, but it does provide relief from the symptoms and is believed to have fewer interactions than kava does.

Valerian root is used as a sleep aid, and is generally not considered a natural treatment for anxiety. But the effects of valerian root are ideal for the type of symptoms that those with anxiety deal with, including muscle tension, a sense of agitation, and active thoughts. Valerian provides a level of relaxation that can help those with anxiety sleep more restfully as well. Since sleep is an incredibly important part of dealing with anxiety, this gives valerian additional benefits.

Never Just Take a Supplement!

Remember, never focus just on supplements alone. They’ll only help you manage your anxiety. Cure it by partnering them with effective coping strategies.


Passionflower is a very light version of kava, and recommended for those that are either not ready to commit to kava or do not experience that much daily anxiety and would prefer something less powerful.

The ingredients in passionflower are said to have a very mild anxiolytic effect and sedative effect, which is believed to come from its role in GABA production and regulation. Passionflower has seen less research than kava and other available natural options, but it’s used worldwide as an effective natural anxiety treatment option.


Magnesium is not an herb, but a mineral that is present in many foods. Unfortunately, millions of people have a very low level of magnesium intake, because it has been essentially stripped from most modern diets – especially in the United States and developed countries, where farming and food production practices eliminate the vital mineral from most food ingredients.

Low levels of magnesium are rarely responsible for anxiety itself, but may be responsible for some of the physical symptoms of anxiety. Not only do low magnesium levels cause issues like unusual feelings throughout the body, but anxiety can actually decrease your magnesium levels (magnesium is burned up during times of stress).

So taking magnesium at your doctor’s discretion is a smart idea for many people that may find that their most distressing physical anxiety symptoms disappear, thus making it easier to cope with the mental part of anxiety.

Other Natural Treatment Anxiety Options

The above herbal supplements are not the only natural options available. There are many other types of alternative anxiety options as well. A brief rundown includes:

  • Homeopathic Remedies – Homeopathy is an often misunderstood alternative treatment. It’s the belief that a very, very diluted amount of elements that cause a condition like anxiety can cure it. Homeopathic experts believe that diluting things like arsenic and nicotine, among other things, to the point where only the smallest amount of the element remains will cure it. There is little evidence that homeopathic remedies work, but they remain popular nonetheless.
  • Reflexology – Reflexology is the belief that pressure to certain points on the hand can relieve stress in the rest of the body. Reflexologists utilize these pressure points in a way that many believe has a very calming effect for all types of stresses.
  • Magnet Therapy – Another interesting form of therapy is magnet therapy, also known as magnetotherapy. Magnet therapy believes that placing various magnets on your body will move elements around and provide you with therapeutic properties.

Other natural treatment remedies include aromatherapy, acupressure, Reiki, and more. There is no limit to the number of natural treatments that currently exist in the world today.

Many of these natural treatments for anxiety have never been researched. Generally, it is best to commit to a well-studied treatment, because your anxiety is not something to leave to chance. Nevertheless, many people support the use of the above treatment types, and so those that want to try an alternative treatment have their pick of many interesting and unique therapy options.

Partnering With An Anxiety Cure

It’s important to remember that the term “natural anxiety treatment” refers to anything that doesn’t involve prescription medication. It’s not just herbal remedies and alterative medicinal solutions. It’s crucial that you recognize that those types of treatments are only quick fixes. You always need to commit to some type of treatment that prevents and cures anxiety, not just manages it.

Article source:

About Time 100% All Natural Whey Protein Isolate

About Time 100% All Natural Whey Protein Isolate

20131020_13472720131020_134625I was given a sample of this protein in both the chocolate and birthday cake flavor at the Olympia bodybuilding convention here in Phoenix this year. I am always wary of protein powders, as many of them have unwanted ingredients along with the protein.

This wasn’t the case however with About Time All Natural Whey Protein, which has only four simple ingredients on their label.


One scoop of the powder contains 24g of protein on average, zero sugar, over 80mg of potassium, 25% DV of calcium, virtually no cholesterol and no sugar. The ingredients list, as mentioned, is very straightforward and the powder is sweetened with stevia. It is also lactose + gluten free, and only has 1g of carbs per scoop.

It doesn’t make use of whey protein concentrate in its ingredients, which can be a benefit for people with irritable bowel syndrome, as whey protein concentrate can sometimes upset people’s stomachs.


Chocolate: Tasted great! However I typically blend my protein powders with almond milk, bananas, cinnamon, and ice, so I’m not quite so much in a place to judge the taste of the powder by itself. I’d probably know if it tasted horribly, though. It blended in well and in general the solubility is touted to be high for this powder.

Birthday Cake: Also tasted yummy, was a bit of a mild flavor, and blended well. I am more of a fan of the chocolate, though, because there’s more you can do with it as far as making smoothies, and I think overall it just tastes better than the birthday cake flavor.

I’m still not sure I’d replace it with my current protein powder (which is Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard™ Double Rich Chocolate), as Optimum Nutrition includes enzymes that enhance the body’s ability to absorb and use the protein. About Time has flavored the powder with more natural flavors however, rather than Optimum Nutrition’s artificial flavors, which is an added benefit of About Time.

Overall though this is a protein powder that many people think highly of and I would not hesitate to recommend it to people.

Optimizing Your Body For Good Health

Optimizing Your Body For Good Health

ISS_4644_05726“The body is a complex organism that has the ability to heal itself — if only you listen to it and respond with proper nourishment and care. In spite of all the abuse our bodies endure — whether through exposure to environmental toxins, poor nutrition, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, or inactivity — they still usually serve us well for many years before signs of illness may start to appear. Even then, with a little help, they respond and continue to function.

Think of your body as being composed of millions of tiny little engines. Some of these engines work in unison; some work independently. All are on call twenty-four hours a day. In order for the engines to work properly, they require specific fuels. If the type of fuel given is the wrong blend, the engine will not perform to its maximum capacity. If the fuel is of a poor grade, the engine may sputter, hesitate, and lose power. If the engine is given no fuel at all, it will stop.

The fuel we give our bodies’ engines comes directly from the things we consume. The foods we eat contain nutrients, and these nutrients come in the form of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water, amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids. It is these nutrients that sustain life by providing us with the basic materials our bodies need to carry on their daily functions.

Individual nutrients differ in form and function, and in the amount needed by the body; however, they are all vital to our health. The actions that involve nutrients take place on microscopic levels, and the specific processes differ greatly. Nutrients are involved in all body processes, from combating infection to repairing tissue to thinking.

Research has shown that each part of the body contains high concentrations of certain nutrients. A deficiency of those nutrients will cause the body part to malfunction and eventually break down — and, like dominos, other body parts will follow. To keep this from happening, we need a proper diet and appropriate nutritional supplements. Brain function, memory, skin elasticity, eyesight, energy, the ration of lean-to-fat tissue in the body, and overall health are all indications of how well the body is functioning. With the help of proper nutrients, exercise, and a balanced diet, we can slow the aging process and greatly improve our chances for a healthier, pain-free — and possibly longer — life.

If we do not give ourselves the proper nutrients, we can impair the body’s normal functions and cause ourselves great harm. Even if we show no signs of illness, we may not necessarily be healthy. It simply may be that we are not yet exhibiting any overt symptoms of illness. One problem most of us have is that we do not get the nutrients we need from our diets because most of the foods we consume are cooked and/or processed. Cooking food at high temperatures and conventional food processing destroy vital nutrients the body needs to function properly. The organic raw foods that supply these elements are largely missing from today’s diets.”
Source: Prescription for Natural Healing, by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. Page 3.

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