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Hawthorn & CoQ10
Hawthorn is a shrub or a small tree that is widely distributed in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America. Its leaves, fruits and flowers are used for various ailments and conditions in traditional medicine. This plant is also heavily researched in clinical human studies for its proposed benefits with some interesting and promising results. Hawthorn is used for heart and blood vessel conditions like congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, irregular heartbeat, and high cholesterol. Some individuals find benefit in using the herb for digestive issues like diarrhea, indigestion and upset stomach. Other uses include improving urine outflow, reducing anxiety, and fighting intestinal infections. This plant is consumed throughout the world in various forms like jams, jelly, fruit slices, and wine and its extract is found in many medicine products and drugs, herbal infusion, tablets, and dietary supplements. The hawthorn plant contains a high degree of phytochemicals that are thought to be responsible for its heart healthy effects and its other benefits. Tannins, flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids are some of the more popular and researched compounds that aid the heart in producing better contractions, lead to an enhanced propagation of nerve signals and widen blood vessels. The proanthocyanidin content of hawthorn is found to be responsible for its blood pressure reducing effect by relaxing peripheral blood vessels. Lowering blood cholesterol and fatty acids is a positive result from taking hawthorn extracts and people with high levels of cholesterol can definitely improve their health by supplementing this herb. Other benefits from intake of hawthorn are reduced levels of fat in the liver and aorta (the largest artery near the heart) and a strong antioxidant effect. Hawthorn is thought to reduce cholesterol by both inhibiting its production in the body and increasing its excretion with bile acids. Cardiovascular disease is a significant problem for an increasing number of people. Many of the drugs designed to treat this condition possess serious side effects and safer options are sorely needed. Hawthorn provides such an attractive option for people with heart disease as well as for healthy people who may take the herb for preventive purposes. A lot of clinical investigations with human subjects have found strong evidence that hawthorn extract can improve the symptoms of congestive heart failure and most individuals may use this herb for prevention of cardiovascular problems due to its proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and heart protective action. Hawthorn is found to prevent the pathologic remodeling of the heart, to decrease thrombosis risk, and to have an antiarrhythmic effect. The safety profile of hawthorn has been tested in different studies and the general conclusion is that intake of this herb and its extracts is without any adverse effects when supplemented in the recommended doses. Since the herb is slow acting it is best to take it for at least 1 to 2 months in order to experience positive effects. The doses that have been tested vary between 160 mg to 1800 mg per day in two or three divided intakes and the precise recommended dose is not yet established due to the different preparation methods and the source material of the plant. Users are advised to purchase extracts and supplements containing hawthorn only from reputable and trusted vendors as the beneficial effects of this herb are critically dependent on its source, preparation, packaging and storage.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)Coenzyme Q10 is an important molecule for cellular energy production – it aids the mitochondria, the energy producing organelles of the cells, to do their job efficiently and this in turn results in better cellular health. CoQ10 is known as a pseudovitamin because it does not necessarily need to be supplemented (the human organism can manufacture it) but it is as important for the human body as a vitamin and supplementation can lead to better management of a lot of medical conditions. Intake of CoQ10 can also improve the cellular energy status of healthy people so this molecule is suggested to be a staple of the supplementation regimen of most people. Other names for CoQ10 include Ubiquinol and Ubiquinone because these are forms the molecule can take in the human body but both of them are interchangeable and can be supplemented. Coenzyme Q10 is also contained in a number of foods - meat (beef, pork, chicken) has the highest concentrations; fish, dairy, eggs, and nuts are poorer sources; and plants are not good sources for this nutrient. The problem is that the best concentration of CoQ10 is in the heart muscle and liver of animals and since most people do not consume these animal organs regularly, taking a supplement is the more practical option. A number of disease states are associated with low levels of CoQ10 – fibromyalgia, post-myocardial infarction, depression, Prader-Willi syndrome, male infertility, Peyronie’s disease, migraines, and Parkinson’s disease; frequent smokers also show low CoQ10 levels. If one is diagnosed with any of these diseases supplementation of CoQ10 is recommended and that is so especially for victims of heart attack and fibromyalgia patients. Healthy people can also benefit from supplementation of CoQ10 as the molecule is known to improve blood flow and protect blood vessels from damage due to oxidized cholesterol molecules as well as reduce arterial plaque buildup. Various supplementation amounts have been tested and doses ranging from 30 mg to 400-500 mg have been proven to be effective in increasing blood and tissue levels of Ubiquinol. The most commonly recommended dose is around 90-120 mg per day taken with a meal as food intake enhances absorption and storage. Since CoQ10 is a fat soluble nutrient it is best to take it with a meal containing dietary fat and most supplements use oil-based suspensions for CoQ10 delivery. There are, however, patented water-soluble versions that show similar bioavailability and efficacy as well as safety profile so it is a matter of preference which form a person chooses to use. Regarding safety CoQ10 is proven to show no adverse or side effects with doses up to 900 mg after long-term usage so intake of the recommended dosages should not be of any concern.
Serving Size 1 Veggie Capsule
*Daily Value not established.
Other ingredients: Hypromellose (vegetable capsule), microcrystalline cellulose (plant fiber), maltodextrin, magnesium stearate, silica.
Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, take one veggie capsule one to two times per day with food and water.
WARNING: Consult your healthcare provider before use if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medication, especially medication prescribed for heart/cardiovascular conditions.
Multiple human studies have tested the effects of CoQ10 supplementation with important physiological and health-relevant results. Taking CoQ10 can decrease levels of oxidative stress in the body, decrease blood pressure, improve blood flow (especially in conditions characterized by increased oxidative stress and worsened blood flow), improve blood vessel state and function, increase anti-oxidant enzymes in the body, and generally improve quality of life (especially for diseased people). It is also beneficial to take CoQ10 with regular physical exercise – exercise-induced oxidation is decreased and there might be an anti-fatigue effect when supplementing this molecule; people with myocardial infarction can experience better exercise capacity; a reduced muscle damage due to exercise has also been recorded; exercising people experience a decrease in the rate of perceived exertion which means they can tolerate their sports regimens better. Multiple medical conditions can be improved with CoQ10 supplements – there are strong effects on reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia (chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points) and symptoms of Peyronie's disease (a form of erectile dysfunction); some evidence exists for decreasing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease as well as migraine and headache symptoms and frequency; infertile men can also experience an increase in their testosterone levels and the overall quality of their sperm is improved by taking CoQ10. Overall, patients with various diseases and most healthy individuals can benefit from taking a CoQ10 supplement as only positive results and no side effects have been noted in clinical human investigations of this molecule.