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 efficiently.
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.