by Ashley Jordan Ferira, PhD, RDN
Recent research from three well-known cohorts, The Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHS2 and Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study (HPFS), reveals that higher magnesium intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), particularly in diets with poor carbohydrate quality.1
Green leafy vegetables, unrefined whole grains, and nuts are richest in magnesium, while meats and milk contain a moderate amount.2 Refined foods, like carbohydrates (carb), are poor sources of magnesium. Diets with poor carb quality are characterized by higher glycemic index (GI), higher glycemic load (GL), and lower fiber intake. These poor carbs require a higher insulin demand.
The typical American diet is low in vegetables and whole grains, resulting in reduced magnesium intake. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 310-320 mg/day for adult women and 400-420 mg/day for adult men.3 Half of the US population fails to meet their daily magnesium needs, and hypomagnesemia exists in 1/3 of adults.4-5 Magnesium is needed for normal insulin signaling; current research has linked insufficient magnesium intake to prediabetes, insulin resistance and T2D.4 Increased magnesium intake has been inversely associated with T2D risk in observational studies.6
Collaborators from Tufts University, Harvard University, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, sought to investigate the impact of magnesium intake, from both dietary and supplemental sources, on the risk of developing T2D in subjects who had diets with poor carb quality and raised GI, GL, or low fiber intake.1 They followed three large prospective cohorts, NHS, NHS2 and HPFS (totaling over 202,700 participants). Dietary intake was quantified by validated food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) every 4 years, and T2D cases were captured via questionnaires. Over 28 years of follow-up, there were 17,130 cases of T2D.
Major study findings included:1
Similar to the US population estimates, 40-50% of study participants had inadequate magnesium intake. A healthful, varied diet and supplemental magnesium (especially in diets that restrict or exclude carbohydrates, dairy or meat) are essential to ensure sufficient daily magnesium intake.
Why is this Clinically Relevant?
Link to Abstract
Broad health implications for general population, too
by Bianca Garilli, ND, USMC Veteran
Energy drinks have become a common sight in today’s fast-paced, “get the job done” world. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), next to multivitamins, energy drinks are currently the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults.1 These drinks are marketed as a means to improve energy, stamina, athletic performance, and concentration, as well as reducing fatigue.1-3 Energy drinks are sometime considered “functional beverages” while also falling under the umbrella of drinks or dietary supplements.1,3
The main ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine at levels 70-240 mg in a 475 ml drink or 113-200 mg if consumed as an energy “shot”.1 For comparison, a 355 ml can of soda contains around 35 mg of caffeine, while an 235 ml cup of coffee provides approximately 100 mg.1 In addition to caffeine, many energy drinks also contain other ingredients which might include: B vitamins, various forms of sugar, guarana, taurine, ginseng, glucuronolactone, yohimbe, carnitine, and bitter orange; it is important to note that some of these ingredients further increase the quantity of caffeine in the energy drink, while others may substantially spike blood glucose levels.1 There are currently no regulations in place requiring the amount of caffeine to be printed on energy drink labels.1
Sales of energy drinks have skyrocketed dramatically in the past years increasing to $9.7 billion in sales in 2015 in the US alone.3 Consumption of energy drinks may have negative health consequences, including higher levels of risk-seeking behaviors, poor mental health outcomes, adverse cardiovascular effects, and heightened risk for metabolic, renal, and dental conditions.3
With marketing campaigns geared towards teenagers and the young adult population, it’s not surprising to find that males between the ages of 18-34 are the highest consumers of these drinks.1 Moreover, one-third of teenagers consume energy drinks regularly, while 51% of college students report their consumption at least once per month.1,3
Energy drinks have a strong appeal to military service members as well, particularly with the drinks’ promises of reduced fatigue and enhanced mental and physical performance. Due to the specialized nature of their work, military personnel often seek ways to:
Statistics estimate that energy drink consumption by military personnel mirrors or exceeds that of the general public, yet the health consequences of long-term, high energy drink use in military troops has not been adequately researched.2 A recent study aimed to learn more about the associations between energy drink consumption and health outcomes in military personnel post-deployment.2 In particular, mental health variables including sleep problems, depression, anxiety, PTSD, alcohol misuse, aggressive behaviors, and overall fatigue were compared to the frequency and quantity of energy drink consumption in 627 male infantry Army soldiers 7 months post-combat deployment.2
Results from this study published in Military Medicine found that approximately 75% of soldiers reported consuming energy drinks with nearly 30% of those reporting at least daily use and 16.7% reporting high level consumption (≥ 2 drinks/day).2
Additionally, when compared to the low-frequency group (no consumption of energy drink or < 1 drink/week), the high-frequency group (≥ 2 drinks/day) had increased rates of sleep problems, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and alcohol misuse; they were also more likely to demonstrate aggressive behavioral characteristics.2 Similarly, the moderate-frequency group (at least once per week or 1 drink/day) showed greater depressive symptoms when compared to the low-frequency group.2
Although energy drinks are marketed to consumers as a means to reduce fatigue, the results from this study demonstrated that moderate and high energy drink users experienced heightened fatigued when compared to low or no use.2 The high use of energy drink may, in fact, be a hindrance to both the mission objectives and troop welfare. Authors of this study conclude that, “future research should examine whether energy drink use results in greater fatigue over time.”2
Realizing that mental health, aggressive behaviors, and PTSD are potential concerns among military personnel, the high prevalence of energy drink use in this population should be reviewed. Revised guidelines from military healthcare leaders on the consumption of energy drink would be prudent to support safe and appropriate utilization of these drinks within the military.
Why is this Clinically Relevant?
Link to article
You try to eat well to feel good and stay healthy. While it’s optimal to get your daily nutritional needs from the foods you eat, it’s just plain difficult. There is conflicting information out there on the benefits of supplements, but the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 say that supplements may be useful for providing the nutrients you may be lacking from diet alone.
Still on the fence? Consider these top five reasons to add a multivitamin to your daily regimen.
1. Healthy aging. As we get older, our bodies have a harder time absorbing nutrients from food. The National Institute on Aging notes that starting around age 50, people begin to require increased amounts of certain vitamins and minerals.1,2 In fact, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that taking a daily multivitamin & mineral supplement may help improve micro nutrient deficiencies associated with aging.3
2. Making up for eliminated food groups. While some people have to cut certain foods like nuts or gluten out of their diets due to allergies, many eliminate particular foods or food groups from their diet voluntarily. This can cause vitamin insufficiency and deficiencies that would be helped with a multivitamin. Trying a paleo diet? You might risk a shortage of calcium or vitamin D by eliminating dairy or grains. Cutting back on red meat? A multivitamin will replace the iron and B12 you would normally get from diet.
3. Getting the RDAs you’re not getting from food. You’ve probably heard that the typical Western diet doesn’t include nearly enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, or lean protein. Because of that, you don’t always reap the vitamin and mineral benefits that those foods naturally supply. Consequently, nationally US adults are routinely failing to meet their daily requirements for vitamin A, C, D, E, and K, as well as for calcium, magnesium and potassium from diet alone, and this is including fortified sources!4 Supplementing with a multivitamin is therefore a prudent way to strategically fill those gaps on a daily basis. After all, the goal should not simply be to avoid blatant vitamin deficiencies, like scurvy with vitamin C deficiency. Borderline vitamin and mineral insufficiency are just as important to avoid and address. Even the most health-conscious eater will benefit from multivitamin support to achieve micro-nutrient sufficiency across the board.
4. Getting that extra energy to get through the day. In today’s “go-go-go” society, one of the top complaints is a general lack of energy. Instead of reaching for that third cup of coffee, remember that your cells require certain vitamins and minerals to power your busy life; especially if you’re not getting a full eight hours of sleep or eating a balanced diet, a multivitamin can help provide the nutrients you need to feel energetic throughout the day.5
5. Managing stress. Daily life stressing you out? You’re not alone. But vitamins and minerals play significant biochemical roles in supporting and preserving your brain’s cognitive processes, and studies have shown that a daily multivitamin—particularly one with high doses of B vitamins—can help to reduce stress and support a healthy mood.6
Ready to add a daily multivitamin to your diet? Be sure to check with your healthcare practitioner to see if he or she has personalized recommendations for you and to ensure that any medications you’re currently on won’t interfere with their effectiveness or the effectiveness of the multivitamin ingredients.
Targeted probiotic in personalized therapeutic plan for patients with diabetes shows promise
by Bianca Garilli, ND and Ashley Jordan Ferira, PhD, RDN
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is no longer a Western world phenomena, but rather a global epidemic, with research revealing an association between higher T2D rates and a country’s wealth or economic growth.1 As a clear example, in a publication titled “Prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the Arab world: impact of GDP and energy consumption”, it was observed that the higher a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the higher the T2D prevalence.1 T2D rates in these regions include Kingdom of Saudi Arabia- 31.6%, Oman- 29%, Kuwait- 25.4%, Bahrain- 25%, and United Arab Emirates- 25%.1
Recognizing the worldwide impact of T2D, it is critical to identify underlying causes and practical, implementable tools for prevention and treatment. It is well documented that T2D is a chronic, inflammatory condition. Higher levels of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) have been observed in diabetic vs. non-diabetic individuals.2 LPS are Gram-negative bacterial fragments that are considered endotoxins, and can, if left untreated, overgrow in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased gut permeability.3 A “leaky gut” environment increases the opportunity for these endotoxins to migrate out of the gut and into the circulation, ultimately contributing to systemic inflammation.3
Probiotics have been studied in various models to determine their effects on LPS growth and proliferation and whether targeted probiotic administration aimed at mitigating LPS effects can reduce systemic inflammation, in particular in the T2D population.4-5 The limitations of previous research included short-term duration (≤3 months) and the utilization of mono-strain supplementation.3
To augment the current literature on this topic, a longer study (6 months) was conducted in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled fashion to examine the impact of probiotics on endotoxemia, inflammation, and cardiometabolic disease risk in Arab patients with T2D.3 In this study, 61 Saudi adults (35 females) aged 30-60 years completed the 6-month trial: 30 in the placebo group and 31 in the probiotic group.3 The placebo and probiotic groups were randomly allocated to powder sachets, to be dissolved in a glass of water twice daily, before breakfast and bedtime. The probiotic intervention provided 2.5 billion CFU/g BID and included the following strains: Bifidobacterium bifidum W23, Bifidobacterium lactis W52, Lactobacillus acidophilus W37, Lactobacillus brevis W63, Lactobacillus casei W56, Lactobacillus salivarius W24, Lactococcus lactis W19, and L. lactis W58.3
No additional therapeutics such as exercise or dietary recommendations were included during the course of the study in either group.3
In the probiotic group, significant changes in glycemic indices, lipid profile, inflammatory markers, endotoxin levels, and adipocytokine profile were observed at 6 months vs. baseline:3
The improvements in endotoxin load, inflammation, and cardiometabolic profile over time in the probiotics group are noteworthy, but they were not clinically significant when compared to the placebo group.3 Comparing the probiotic intervention to the placebo group: There was a significant and clinically relevant decrease in HOMA-IR (↓64.2%) in the probiotic group.3 HOMA-IR is correlated with most other cardiometabolic indices measured, so one could posit a potentially broader cardiometabolic benefit from the probiotic intervention, but this and other hypotheses should be explored in a future study with an adequately powered sample size.
Why is this Clinically Relevant?
Targeted probiotic - a cornerstone of root-cause approach to disease management and wellness
by Melissa Blake, BSc, ND
The use of probiotics has grown substantially over the last several years. Propelled by development in sequencing methods and analytical techniques, there has been a significant increase in knowledge and understanding about the importance of a healthy microbiome.1
The currently accepted definition of a probiotic states they are “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.2 Is this relatively broad definition sufficient for clinicians to guide treatment? Can we assume that any live organism in relevant doses will achieve positive clinical outcomes? We’ve been talking about the use of probiotics for over a hundred years,6 but when it comes to probiotic therapy, what do we really know?
A brief history lesson
As early as the 1680's, long before the term probiotic was coined, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was studying his oral and fecal microbiota. He noted striking differences in these microbes, as well as in samples collected from healthy vs. unhealthy people at both of these anatomical sites.3
The notion of natural, innate immunity furthered our understanding of gut bacteria. The concept, first discussed by scientist Élie Metchnikoff and for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1908, encountered much resistance from the medical community.4 Metchnikoff insisted disease was more than the germ theory and highlighted the importance of a healthy host. The health of the host, he believed, was largely dependent upon having diverse intestinal flora.5 Metchnikoff’s research suggested that a diet rich in fermented dairy products, due to high content of Lactobacilli, had a positive influence on health and longevity.6 The concept of “probios” (pro-bios, conducive to life of the host) was born.
Research in gut microbiology has become a significant area of interest, including the establishment of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) in 2008. The HMP has characterized the microbial communities found at several different sites on the human body: nasal passages, oral cavity, skin, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and urogenital tract and has examined the role of these microbes in human health and disease.7 In 2012, the potential for a mammary microbiome was suggested and later confirmed in a study published in 2014, which identified widespread bacteria within the mammary glands, irrespective of lactation.8
The evidence continues to establish the diversity of the human microbiome, not only from one person to another, but also across specific body sites.9
The human microbiome
A balanced and diverse microbiota plays a role in human health during the lifecycle. Growing evidence supports a connection between maternal microbiome and pregnancy outcomes, including preterm birth, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and gestational weight gain, as well as having an impact on infant health.10
Infancy is a critical time in the development of commensal gut bacteria and is influenced by pre- and postnatal exposures, including the maternal microbiome, delivery method (C-section vs. vaginal birth), diet, and medical interventions.11 Such factors can negatively or positively influence the balance of an individual’s microbiome and may impact short- and long-term health outcomes.12
Modifications to the infant gut microbiota may impact childhood obesity risk,13 atopic disease,14 as well as various GI conditions.15 After initial colonization, factors such as age, gender, diet, environment, stress, and the use of antibiotics continue to influence the microbiome.
Changes in the GI and respiratory microbiome of adults have been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic pulmonary diseases, including asthma and allergies.16 Dysbiosis has also been associated with psoriasis,17-18 psoriatic arthritis,18 and inflammatory bowel disease,19 suggesting a direct link between a balanced microbiome and the health of the GI and immune systems. Studies have also connected highly abundant levels of specific genera of bacteria with leanness and have shown they play a role in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels.20
Recent reports suggest that neuroinflammation is an important causal mechanism in cognitive decline. This inflammatory status could be triggered by changes in the gut microbiota composition.21 Evidence is connecting the dots between gut bacteria, altered intestinal permeability, and blood brain barrier integrity.22 A disruption in gut flora may, through several mechanisms, contribute to a “leaky brain”, making the brain more susceptible to circulating substances and contributing to cognitive dysfunction. Further research is warranted in this exciting area of scientific study.
As clinicians, we cannot erase the past or possibly impact all the factors that influence the microbiome of our patients. However, we can partner with our patients to help them make positive lifestyle changes. Diet and targeted probiotic therapy are powerful tools. Consumption of excess saturated fats and added sugar influences the microbiota composition, which may lead to an imbalanced microbial population in the gut.22 By modifying risk factors and targeting the microbiome, Functional Medicine practitioners have an opportunity to both prevent and manage disease with individualized nutrition and probiotic therapy at any age.
Evidence for an individualized approach
Convincing evidence of the human health implications of probiotics exists. Hundreds of well-controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses have helped define the appropriate use of probiotics and their valuable benefits. The evidence suggests, however, that probiotic therapy is far from a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, studies show clearly defined benefits are associated with specific strains of bacteria. Here we discuss several that have substantial evidence to support their targeted clinical uses in specific populations:
Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM
Although we have much more to learn, advancements in our understanding of the human microbiome continue to provide exciting approaches to Functional and personalized medicine. Probiotic therapy is a cornerstone of a root-cause approach to wellness and disease management.
Dr. Melissa Blake is a clinical specialist on the Medical Information team at Metagenics. She completed her pre-medical studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and obtained her naturopathic medical training from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Dr. Blake has over 10 years of clinical experience, specializing in the integrative and functional management of chronic diseases.
Whether its an experiment or doctor’s orders, going gluten-free is an adjustment. Removing gluten may mean eliminating not only some of your favorite foods, but possibly a good portion of your current diet. What foods will you eat in their place? How will you fill the gluten void?
Most likely, there’s no lack of “gluten-free” versions of your favorite foods on your grocer’s shelves. In fact, the number of gluten-free packaged foods is exploding to keep up with consumer demand. Going gluten-free may be as easy as buying and opening a different box—or bag or carton.
But are gluten-free packaged foods the answer? Possibly not. In fact, they may be the surprising reason behind many go-gluten-free resolutions. Here’s why.
There’s a better way. Don’t just swap out one package for another. Relying on gluten-free packaged foods can be taxing on your budget, blood pressure, waistline, and digestion. Rather, consider this an ideal time to shift your diet away from processed foods and toward more whole foods. Instead, give your diet a bona fide upgrade.
Financial Times, Going gluten free: one of 3 trends shaking up commodities https://www.ft.com/content/5348432e-1a13-11e7-bcac-6d03d067f81f, Accessed December 9, 2017.
By Noelle Patno, PhD
When you get “the runs,” you need to know what is actually causing the excess stool and how to control it. Diarrhea (“flow through” from the Greek), by definition, is frequent loose stools of small to moderate volume typically during waking hours, in the morning or after meals.1 Often there is a feeling of extreme urgency along with the sense of incomplete evacuation. If diarrhea is accompanied by blood or grease or is of large volume, this is cause for extra concern, and you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. Diarrhea may be due to multiple causes such as dysbiosis or alteration of the intestinal microbiota which lead to changes in the usual bacterial composition.
The ABCs and more of diarrhea causes
Chronic diarrhea is a decrease in fecal consistency lasting for four or more weeks, which requires further investigation by medical personnel. If you have any concerns related to diarrhea, you should discuss them with your healthcare practitioner.
By Bronwyn Storoschuk, ND
As human life expectancy continues to increase, there is also an increased risk for cognitive impairment over the course of a longer life.1 Brain health and cognitive performance have received a lot of recent attention by researchers in order to understand, and develop, strategies that will reduce the risk for cognitive decline.2 Furthermore, greater importance is being placed on “healthspan” versus “lifespan,” and there is an increased demand to find ways to optimize overall health, including brain health and cognitive performance.
In the past few years, more scientific interest on the influence of nutrition on brain health and function has emerged, especially as dietary fats have regained popularity among consumers.2 It has been well-documented that a ketogenic diet can have profound benefits on the brain and cognitive function; however, there is also evidence that suggests consuming a high-fat diet increases the risk of cognitive decline and may impair brain performance.2,3 To clear some of the confusion, it is important to differentiate between the different types of fats and the potential mechanisms that may explain impairment in cognitive function.
As far back as 1990, animal studies showed that diets high in saturated fats caused significant impairments in learning and memory.4 The results from subsequent human studies showed similar findings. Research showed that high-fat diets, containing mostly omega-6 fatty acids and saturated fats, were associated with worse performance on cognitive tasks.5 In addition, diets that contained mostly saturated fats and transfats have been associated with an increased risk of brain disorders.6 It has also been determined that high-fat diets with elevated amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol may impair intellectual function, along with increased risk for other health concerns.7 As most Americans follow a “Standard American Diet,” which contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, saturated fats, and transfats and low omega-3 fatty acids, it is not surprising that rates of cognitive decline are increasing in the US.2,8
In the United States, the major sources of saturated fats come from:9
Although insulin is usually discussed in relation to carbohydrate intake, consumption of both saturated and trans fats have been studied to impair insulin sensitivity.12 In addition, data have shown diets high in saturated fats are associated with increased total body weight and abdominal obesity, which also contribute to insulin resistance.13 Overall, it has been found that cognitive performance declines as whole body insulin resistance increases.10
It is important to consider that the Standard American Diet is also comprised of large amounts of refined sugars and refined grains.2 Increased consumption of refined carbohydrates also leads to insulin resistance, the greatest effects of which are seen when high sugar intake is combined with excessive caloric intake—often found in conjunction with a high-fat diet.14 So although specific fats can induce insulin resistance, this combination is more detrimental and very common in the US population.2
It has been observed that a high-fat diet, primarily composed of increased intakes of saturated fats and omega-6 fats, raises the levels of free radicals in tissues and the brain.11,15 Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species (ROS), contribute to oxidative stress and lead to cellular damage.16 Chronically high levels of oxidative stress are known to lead to cognitive decline.16 Research has shown that high-fat diet-induced oxidative stress also leads to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays an important role in the survival, and growth, of brain cells and may explain some of the impairment in cognitive performance.2,17 Interestingly, data from preclinical studies indicate vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, is associated with better cognitive performance.18,19 While these findings still need to be confirmed in human studies, this information suggests that oxidative stress is involved in cognitive impairment and may be an outcome of a high-fat diet.2
Moreover, high-fat diets, specifically the fats included in the Standard American Diet, commonly lack essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which may further limit the body’s ability to effectively combat the increased levels of oxidative stress resulting from this high-fat diet.20
Studies show high-fat diets composed primarily of saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids have been associated with significantly increased levels of inflammation both systemically and in the brain.2 The brain is very sensitive to levels of inflammation, as inflammatory mediators can easily cross the blood-brain barrier.2 In one animal study, a diet comprised of 60% saturated fat showed significantly increased levels of inflammatory mediators, reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factors, and highly reactive cells in the brain. As inflammatory mediators increased, significant impairment in cognitive performance was observed.21
Fats & cognition
It is clear that all fats are not created equally. For instance, a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been found to support cognitive processes.11 Accordingly, diets high in omega-3 fatty acids are associated with enhanced memory and learning and may play a role in supporting healthy cognition.24-25 The most important omega-3 fatty acids for brain health are EPA and DHA.26 However, it can be challenging to get the appropriate intake of EPA and DHA by diet alone, especially when looking to enhance cognitive performance.26 Also, it is important to note that a low intake of total fat, less than 20% of caloric intake, has been studied to impair cognitive performance due to an inadequate intake of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, all of which are necessary to support cognition and general health.10
Regardless of what diet is followed, when fat is consumed, it is very important to choose the right fats. Brain function is impacted by insulin resistance and is sensitive to oxidative stress and inflammation, all of which are increased on a high-fat diet.2 However, this does not mean that all types of fats are bad, as it is well-documented that omega-3 fatty acids support cognition, and fat, in general, is required for optimal brain health.24
This content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare professional for advice on medical issues.
Bronwyn Storoschuk, ND
Bronwyn Storoschuk, ND is a board-certified naturopathic doctor trained at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Prior to attaining her ND, Dr. Storoschuk completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Kinesiology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. She currently works in private practice in Toronto, Ontario. One of her practices is located within an integrative fertility clinic, where she provides naturopathic care to individuals undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART). Dr. Storoschuk integrates evidence-based medicine with the understanding of the body’s natural physiology and innate healing wisdom. She is passionate about empowering women to take control of their hormonal health and has a clinical focus in hormone balance, reproductive health, and fertility.
Dr. Storoschuk is a paid consultant and guest writer for Metagenics.
An antioxidant introduction
In the world of antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, otherwise known as CoQ10, stands out as a key player in optimizing human health. It’s one of the most significant lipid antioxidants that helps prevent free radical generation and subsequent modification of proteins, lipids, and DNA.1 Naturally produced in the body,2CoQ10 is a fat-soluble enzyme,1 and the highest levels in humans are found in the heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.3
The history of CoQ10
CoQ10, a type of the coenzyme Q group, was first identified in 1940 and known under various names such as ubidecarenone, ubiquinone, ubiquinol, and vitamin Q10. In 1957, CoQ10 was isolated from mitochondria of the beef heart. Although there are several types of coenzyme Q, the most common type of coenzyme Q in human mitochondria is CoQ10. CoQ10 is also found in meat and fatty fish and in smaller quantities within whole grains, nuts, and vegetables.1
CoQ10 plays a significant role in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and is critical for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is necessary for energy transport throughout the body as well as supporting the cardiovascular system overall. 1,2
While the body naturally produces CoQ10, this ability to make CoQ10 peaks around 20 years of age and decreases with age.1 Some studies suggest certain health conditions may reduce CoQ10 levels in the body.1,4
CoQ10 has many well-researched benefits and plays an important role in many body functions:1
Use of CoQ10 should be taken with the knowledge and guidance of a healthcare practitioner to avoid any potential adverse interactions with existing medications.
1. Saini R. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011;3(3):466–467.
2. Coenzyme Q10. Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center. Available at: https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/coenzyme-Q10. Accessed April 5, 2019.
3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/coq10. Accessed April 25, 2019.
4. Garrido-Maraver J et al. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2014;19:619-633.
Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team
Do you enjoy kimchi or sauerkraut? Did you know these fermented foods are beneficial for your health?
Kimchi and sauerkraut, along with other fermented foods such as kombucha and tempeh, are full of good bacteria called probiotics, which help promote a healthy gut microbiome.1
Also known as the digestive tract, the gut consists of roughly 100 trillion bacteria and microbes.1 Taking care of these microorganisms can help support general health.1,2,3
If improving your health sounds appealing, you may want to incorporate more fermented foods into your diet.
How do fermented foods work in the gut?
Fermentation is a hot topic in the nutrition space.
During fermentation, yeast, bacteria, and other microorganisms convert carbohydrates such as sugars into alcohols or acids.4 These alcohols and acids not only serve as natural preservatives, but they also give fermented foods their unique flavor.
Common fermented foods and beverages include:
What are the health benefits of fermented foods?
Fermented foods offer a number of health benefits, including better absorption of nutrients and immune protection.4 They are ideal for:
1. Digestive health
The probiotics in fermented foods re balance the healthy bacteria in the gut.4 This means they can reduce the symptoms of many digestive issues.4
So, if you’re grappling with bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or irritable bowel syndrome, think about eating more tempeh or sauerkraut.4
Fermentation also promotes easier digestion.
2. Nutrient absorption
Fermented foods support easier digestion and better nutrition by allowing nutrients to be absorbed and not just eliminated as waste. Since fermentation breaks ingredients down into simpler parts, foods that have gone through this process are generally easier to digest.4
And easier digestion may support better nutrient absorption.
Put simply, it is thought that fermentation makes nutrients more bio available to the body.4 The process can also enhance the nutritional value of specific foods, as it produces several B vitamins as a byproduct.2
3. Cognitive well being
Did you know the gut and the brain work together?5 Their connection is in the gut-brain axis, which includes signaling between the nervous system and the digestive tract.5
Consequently, emerging research suggests a healthy gut may support a healthy mind—and vice versa. Studies show that eating fermented foods may support mood and cognitive function.5
How can you add fermented foods to your diet?
Fermented foods ranging from cabbage to ginger deliver important vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and more.6
You can buy these foods at the grocery store or prepare fermented meals yourself. Focus on quality when possible, and monitor your intake of added sugars, salt, and fat.2
No matter your approach, it’s best to start slow when adding fermented foods to your diet.2 One to three servings per day may be just fine.2
Please consult a doctor or nutritionist for dietary guidance and remember that it may take a week or two before your body adjusts to your new eating habits.
Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team