Summer MediClear Cleanse

The MediClear Cleanse is user friendly.  In this cleanse, you eliminate foods that are commonly allergenic or inflammatory for 15 days. Continue reading

Co Q 10 Benefits

Q10Coenzyme Q10 (Co Q 10)

This article on Co Q 10 Benefits is Contributed by Rylen Feeney, Practitioner of Oriental Medicine at Blossom Clinic.

Co Q 10 the Antioxidant

Coenzyme Q10 is also known as Co-Q10 (Co Q 10) or ubiquinione.  “Ubiquinone because it is ubiquitous –it exists everywhere in the body.”[i] Co-Q10 is a powerful antioxidant, vitamin like substance that is literally found in every living cell in our bodies.  Its actions are similar in effect to Vitamin E, yet it is not considered a vitamin because it can be synthesized directly in our bodies, in particular in the thymus gland.  However production decreases steadily and dramatically as we age. Co-Q10 catalyzes a chain of chemical reactions in the mitochondria, that create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that yields the energy needed by the cells to function.   It is essential for providing the energy necessary to carry out bodily functions effectively.  It aids in circulation, stimulates the immune system, increases tissue oxygenation, and has vital anti-aging effects.  Recent research has found that supplemental Co-Q10 has the ability to counter histamine and therefore may also beneficial to those with asthma, allergies and upper respiratory disease.

Heart Health and Co-Enzyme Q10

Most of the research done on Co-Q10 has been done on its role in heart health.  The research results have been remarkable.  Several studies have shown it to be very effective in the treatment of angina, with no side effects.  Many human studies have indicated that this nutrient may protect the heart from damage due to a heart attack, and furthermore these studies suggest that Co-Q10 reduce the amount of tissue damage that occurs during an open-heart surgery.  In Japan considerable research and large scale studies have been done that have shown supplementation of Co-Q10 is extremely effective at improving the symptoms associated with congestive heart disease.  Co-Q10 was given both alone and with conventional medicine, and no side effects were reported.  Dosages were between 100-300mg each day.  One study was able to improve symptoms in patients who had not improved with standard diuretic and digitalis therapy.  Furthermore both animal and human studies have suggested thatCo-Q10 supplementation is helpful in the treatment of arrhythmia, even in patients on psychotropic drugs.  Co-Q10 may also be used in the treatment of mitral valve prolapse and the resulting fatigue by reducing myocardial thickness.  Studies have shown that it significantly protects LDL (bad cholesterol) from oxidizing and lowers serum cholesterol levels, while at the same time it raise the HDL (good cholesterol) that helps protect against heart disease.  In several controlled studies 100-200mg of Co-Q10 taken daily lowered both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure, without any additional medication or dietary changes.  In Japan Co-Q10 is widely used.  More than 12 million people in Japan are reportedly taking it for treatment of heart disease and high blood pressure.[ii]

Co-Q10 and Periodontal Disease

Co-Q10 has also been shown to be effective in treating periodontal disease.  Researchers at Osaka University in Japan gave patients with gum disease 60 mg. a day of Co-Q10 or a placebo, and no other treatment.  After 8 weeks, the group taking the Co-Q10 showed marked improvement in their gums, including a reduction in discomfort and inflammation.

Co Q-10 and Chemo

It has been regularly used to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Promising new research in Europe by Dr. Karl Folkers, who has been studying Co-Q10 for nearly 40 years, took thirty two breast cancer patients who were treated with conventional therapy, but were high risk for recurrence and gave them high doses of Co-Q10 (over 300mg) daily.  After twenty-four months all were still alive, when at least six deaths would have been expected.  Six of the women showed a partial remission of the tumor and two had complete regression of their tumors.

C0-Q10 and Chronic Fatigue

Co-Q10 appears to have other uses as well, in particular in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFIDS) and immune dysfunction.  One study showed that many patients with these problems had significantly lower levels of Co-Q10 compared with healthy subjects.  Supplementation with Co-Q10 dramatically improved many of the symptoms associated with CFIDS, including headaches, sleep disturbances, prost exercise fatigue, and chronic fatigue.  It is also being used in the treatment of schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.

Food sources of Co-Q10

Food sources of Co-Q10 are found in beef hearts, chicken hearts, sardines, mackerel, peanuts and spinach, but the length of storage, processing, and cooking significantly reduces it.  Co-Q10 is oil soluble and an oil or liquid form is preferable.  Not all products are equal in quality.  The color should be dark bright yellow to orange.  It should be kept away from heat and light.  A good quality brand will contain a small amount of Vitamin E to help preserve the Co-Q10.  Dosage should be between 60 – 300mg daily.  60 for a condition such as periodontal disease, 100-200mg in heart conditions, and 300mg or more in cancer.  Even in high doses, (600mg or more), Co-Q10 has resulted in few adverse side effects.  There have been some reports of gastrointestinal upset, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea.

[i] The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book 2nd Edition; Shari Lieberman, PhD and Nancy Bruning


[ii] Prescription for Nutritional Healing 2nd Edition; James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C

Other References:

1. Earl Mindell’s Supplement Bible; Earl Mindell, R.Ph., PhD

2. Earl Mindell’s Vitamin Bible for the 21st Century; Earl Mindell, R.Ph., PhD

3. Nutritional Influences on Illness, A Sourcebook of Clinical Research; Melvin R. Werbach, M.D.

For information on Co-Enzyme Q10 and egg quality and sperm quality, click here. 

Acupuncture for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Acupuncture for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

Click here for a link to a recent study conducted by Elisabet Stener-Victorin at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

More on Fertility and Stress / Anxiety

photo by Nick Richards

photo by Nick Richards

Just this morning I came upon the results of a recent study from University California Berkeley which postulates how stress and anxiety affect fertility in humans.  Basically, stress may inhibit the release of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) which is needed for ovulation, production of sex hormones, and increased sex drive.  Stress may also cause the release of gonadotropin-inhibiting type hormones which have a similar effect of supressing the production of these important reproductive hormones.   To read the article, please click here.

To read how acupuncture can help with fertility related stress, click here.

How to Start a Family

infertility portland oregon At Cornell University in the 90’s, I majored in Human Development and Family Studies.  One thing I learned in my studies was that there isn’t ONE WAY to start a family. Twenty-three years later, as an acupuncturist who supports people in their desire to grow their families, I see this very clearly now:  There are fathers who mother, mothers who father, grandmas who mother, surrogate moms, birth moms, adoptive parents, egg donors, sperm donors, embryo donors, single parents, gay parents, divorced parents, baby daddies, step-parents, separated parents, etc… Shall I go on?

My work is patient centric. I will support you in whatever road you choose to start your family.  I will give you advice, share my experiences, support you, and hopefully inspire you to use Chinese Medicine to its fullest extent.  If you are looking to be the healthiest you can be as you embark on your journey to parenthood, you have come to the right place.  Welcome!

How To Start a Family by Liz Richards, L.Ac., Portland, Oregon