Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Heart Attack and Stroke

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Researchers examined the sleep habits of 475,000 participants in 15 previous studies. What they found is that a chronic lack of sleep—less than six hours a night—raised the risk of developing or dying from heart disease by 48% and stroke by 15%!
The reason is a lack of sleep decreases your levels of the satiety chemical leptin so you’re more likely to overeat, contributing to obesity and heart disease. Chronically sleeping too little also heightens your sympathetic tone, raising your levels of stress hormones that contribute to heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
If you have trouble sleeping, here’s how to ensure a sound night’s rest:
1. Go to bed at about the same time each night, preferably by 10:00 p.m. Going to bed earlier in the evening puts you more in line with your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.
2. Eat only light snacks after 7:30 p.m. Heavy meals, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar eaten too close to bedtime can make it impossible to fall asleep. If you get hungry in the late evening, have a light “tryptophan” snack—such as a turkey sandwich or glass of warm milk.

3. Keep your bedroom cool and dark. Darkness signals your body to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps you to sleep soundly.

4. Drink a cup of tea that contains valerian or chamomile, both of which help to make you drowsy.

5. Remove all electromagnetic fields (EMF’s) from your bedroom, including televisions, computers and more. EMF’s create chaotic vibrations that interfere with sleep and can lower your sleep-producing melatonin levels. If you must have an electronic clock in your bedroom, keep it at least four feet away from your bed.
Now it’s your turn: Do you have a tip for getting a sound night’s sleep?

Saturday, August 03, 2013

CoQ10 Supplementation May Help Improve Symptoms of Type-2 Diabetes

Previous research has shown that increased oxidative stress and impaired antioxidant defense contribute to the progression of type-2 diabetes. Additionally, diabetic patients have been shown to have reduced levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
Based on this knowledge, researchers from Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran set out to determine the effect of CoQ10 supplementation on the glycemic control and lipid profiles of type-2 diabetics. They found that the supplement improved glycemic control and total and LDL cholesterol levels, but had no effects on triglycerides or HDL cholesterol.
Participants in the study included 64 type-2 diabetics who were given either 200 mg CoQ10 or a placebo daily over the course of 12 weeks. The researchers took fasting blood samples and also measured levels of fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol.
In addition to the effects on glycemic control and cholesterol mentioned above, the researchers also noted lower levels of HbA1c. HbA1c is a form of hemoglobin that is used to measure average blood glucose levels over time.
These results suggest that type-2 diabetics may be able to improve glycemic control and cholesterol levels by taking supplements of CoQ10.
The study was published in the June 2013 issues of the journal Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica.
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that fuels the pumping of blood to and from the heart, and protects cells from being damaged and destroyed. Previous studies have linked CoQ10 with improved cognitive health and reversing the effects of aging.
After the age of 20 our bodies become less capable of naturally producing CoQ10. If you want to increase your CoQ10 intake, try adding oily fish, organ meats such as liver and hearts, and whole grains to your diet. You might also consider a high quality, high potency supplement. Be sure to choose a supplement that is made with ubiquinol rather than ubiquinone.

by: Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor