Coenzyme Q10 enhances exercise performance
The popular supplement coenzyme Q10 may give exercisers' endurance a lift, according
to the results of a newly published study.
CoQ10 is a compound the body naturally produces and uses as an antioxidant,
which means it neutralizes cell-damaging substances called free radicals. CoQ10
is required to create energy making your brain, organs and muscles work more
While the body produces CoQ10 naturally, research has found that levels are
low in certain medical conditions, including heart failure, Parkinson's disease
and diabetes, production also drops with aging. CoQ10 as a supplement is therefore
being studied for treating these conditions; recent studies have found that
the supplement boosts exercise capacity in people with heart failure.
The researchers from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, investigated CoQ10, looking
at its short-term effects on CoQ10 levels in exercisers' muscles and its longer-term
effects on their workout capacity.
The scientists recruited 22 regularly active young adults, along with 19 who
were healthy, but sedentary. The subjects were randomly assigned to take either
the CoQ10 supplement or a placebo twice a day for 2 weeks.
After 2 weeks of CoQ10 supplementation, the subject’s performance on exercise
tests improved. Supplement users were able to exercise for a longer period before
reaching exhaustion. The study is published in the Journal of the International
Society of Sports Nutrition, online March 4, 2008.
Green tea helps antibiotics fight super-bugs
Normally an antiobiotic is expected to kill a specific bacterium and cure an
infection. A huge challenge to medicine is the emerging number of super-bacteria
that have developed resistance to existing antibiotics. This forces doctors
to prescribe increasingly dangerous antibiotics when a person develops one of
these infections; unfortunately, the switch doesn’t always work. Previously
these infections were confined to weakened-hospitalized patients, but now we
are seeing them increasingly in the general population; an example would be
the MRSA that has infected Long Island teenagers on the heals of news of the
death of a similarly infected senior in a Virginia high school.
Recently, Egyptian scientists were "surprised" when their research
showed that Green Tea can boost the ability of antibiotics to battle these super-bugs
and other bacterial strains and make the previously antibiotic-resistant bacteria
susceptible to treatment. Speaking at the Society for General Microbiology's
162nd meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland yesterday, Dr Mervat Kassem said her research
demonstrated antibiotics were more effective in fighting more than 28 disease-causing
micro-organisms when taken in conjunction with Green Tea. Because Green Tea
is such a popular beverage in Egypt, the researchers sought to determine if
Green Tea had any positive or negative impact on the ability of antibiotics
to fight disease. They were surprised at how strong the bacteria fighting effects
the tea had.
In the study different classes of antibiotics were tested separately and in
combination with Green Tea against strains from the bacterial family Staphylococcus
species including gram negative isolates and three standard strains. Green tea
enhanced the bactericidal activity of all tested antibiotics especially when
Green Tea was combined with the antibiotic chloramphenicol. "In every case
Green Tea enhanced the bacteria-killing activity of the antibiotics," said
Dr Kassem who is from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University in Egypt.
"For example, the killing effect of chloramphenicol was 99.99 per cent
better when taken with Green Tea than when taken on its own in some circumstances."
Green Tea improved the ability of tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, and beta-lactam
antibiotics (penicillins and cephalosporins). The 12-month study is currently
under peer review and is expected to be published in the European Journal
of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.