Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Abs 2 Die 4...FAQs

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Evoke Tranquility...

J. L. Merlin

Courtesy of Youtube.com

Melatonin has been on my mind...ever since Dr. D got me turned on to it here a little while ago. I know several people who take it and TOTALLY swear by it for insomnia. How can this hormone have such far-reaching benefits and effects?

It's used for:
--jet lag
--inducing hGH secretion
--breast cancer prevention
--oxidative damage protection
--vasculature un-responsiveness (relaxation/constriction with ACh or adrenaline)
--migraine prevention
--modulation of behavior and sleep patterns in autistic children
--natural aromatase inhibitor -- prevents excessive conversion of Testosterone to Estradiol (E2) and Androstenedione to Estrone (excessive Estrone (E1) is not good -- 'storage' form of estrogen in our adipose tissues and linked to promotion of cancer...and ??perhaps heart disease?)

Melatonin also is the master hormone behind skin changes in amphibians and reptiles.

How about us humans? You know how teenagers get all moody and starting staying up late and waking up late? And how they may transform from sweet kids to stinky Twilight sulkiness? Melatonin drops as sexual maturation occurs and this may lead to disrupted sleep cycles. This researcher and author of the textbook Dev Bio notes that Melatonin is the suspected hormone that allows human metamorphosis to occur: "The various morphological and behavioral changes of puberty are due to the actions of these hormones on the various target tissues. As in metamorphosis, there appears to be a maturation-inhibiting hormone whose activity decreases to permit the reactivation of development. In humans, this hormone is probably MELATONIN, whose serum concentration decreases as that of LH rises (Waldhauser and Dietzel, 1985)."

So who may experience dysregulation of Melatonin? Which came first...the chicken or the egg? Dysregulation of the hypothalamus/pituitary/pineal axis with wheat-assaults, in utero maternal vitamin D deficiency and/or neonatal/developmental EPA-DHA deficiency?

Are we epigenetically pushing our species into extinction?

The medical literature shows that many types of individuals are deficient in melatonin in the diurnal secretion that normally occurs at night -- in the pitch black inkiness of the night as nature intended (of course unless the full moon is shining). Normally melatonin starts to rise at 7pm and peaks at 2am then gradually falls again by dawn. Seasonal rhythms obviously exist also. Anciently controlled tides that we may not even be conscious of. In Scotland, scientists have recently shown how "Melatonin acts directly on anterior-pituitary cells, and these then relay the photoperiodic message back into the hypothalamus to control neuroendocrine output...(to trigger increases in TSH which subsequently signals activation of T3 (active thyroid hormone from T4) for increased metabolism and reproduction)...In mammals this provides the missing link between the pineal melatonin signal and thyroid-dependent seasonal biology (Hazlerigg Curr Biol. 2008 Aug 5;18(15):1147-52).

--Autistic spectrum children -- they tend to also display a genetic polymorphism, a deletion for the gene encoding the last enzyme for the making of Melatonin
--Individuals with coronary artery disease
--Type 2 diabetes with cardiac autonomic neuropathy (stiff heart rate variability (HRV))
--Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome -- ie, brain-damage due to malnourishment -- seen in gastric bypass and alcoholics
--Sleep deprived individuals, swing shift workers, travel involving time zone shifts
--Hyperthyroid, hypothyroid (higher melatonin secretion but also higher elimination in the urine found)
--Environmental lighting conditions, drugs and other disease states: "Patients with alcoholism, migraine, postoperative pinealoma, panhypo-pituitarism, hereditary dystonia and schizophrenics on propranolol exhibited a decreased amplitude of their diurnal rhythm of melatonin." (Wetterberg L J Neural Transm Suppl. 1978;(13):289-310.)
--Fibromyalgia 31% less compared with healthy controls
--Alcohol consumption lowers Melatonin secretion 20% (HHHhhhmmmm...Patrone's+PEET*s apparently is a bad combo for my melatonin??? darn; don't worry -- light intake's fine)
--Obstructive sleep apnea

We are certainly learning a lot about the how all hormones are inter-related in the body. Like life, one disjointed connection can lead to impaired connections downstream. Are there ways to repair and strengthen the misconnected parts? I'm here at TYP...so I certainly believe in the plasticity of our bodies (and I aint referring to the wonders of silicon *wink*).

Thoughtful-mindfulness...meditation, prayer, yoga, tai-chi, massage, day-spa visits all achieve a level of control that is exerted on our 'third eye', the tiny pineal gland (see above; courtesy of here). I read a TIME magazine article ~2-3 yrs about how Buddhist monks were able to activate and light up parts of the brain on PET scans that normally are not associated with neural activity. They meditated (and according to the Dalai Lama teachings that I've read, this involves heightened awareness and enlightened empathy). Is this related to the Pineal Gland? Are there mechanisms that exist for synergizing our Pineal (found in the 3rd ventricle of the brain) with the rest of the brain, body and our deep unconsciousness? (like syncing an iPod to the computer?)

I dunno...but certainly other forms of meditation have been shown in small trials to result in significantly higher melatonin secretion from the Pineal Gland. Like a power nap an adequate night's slumber, how can plain old brain-power power up and protect our Pineal Gland? Apparently in very very very potent ways...! Maybe this justifies my addiction to day spas and yoga?

Tranquility is so super addictive.

Are we hard-wired for tranquility? Yes, I believe so once we are plugged into it.

Plaque-Busting Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
--"Experienced meditators practising either TM-Sidhi or another internationally well known form of yoga showed significantly higher plasma melatonin levels in the period immediately following meditation compared with the same period at the same time on a control night." (Sali A. Acute increases in night-time plasma melatonin levels following a period of meditation. Biol Psychol. 2000 May;53(1):69-78.)
--"Yogic practices for 3 months resulted in an improvement in cardiorespiratory performance (orthostatic tolerance, heart rate, BP, respiratory rate, dynamic lung function (such as forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, forced expiratory volume percentage, peak expiratory flow rate, and maximum voluntary ventilation) and psychologic profile. The plasma melatonin also showed an increase after three months of yogic practices. The systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and orthostatic tolerance did not show any significant correlation with plasma melatonin. However, the maximum night time melatonin levels in yoga group showed a significant correlation (r = 0.71, p less than 0.05) with well-being score. Effects of Hatha yoga and Omkar meditation on cardiorespiratory performance, psychologic profile, and melatonin secretion. Sawhney RC J Altern Complement Med. 2004 Apr;10(2):261-8.)

Coronary/Vasculature Relationship and Role of Melatonin
Two publications from Northwestern med school recently reviewed the melatonin and the receptors that it binds and modulates: MT1, MT2, MT3. In one, the authors described the broad spectrum effects of Melatonin on a variety of organ systems (Masana MI Front Biosci. 2003 Sep 1;8:d1093-108. Molecular pharmacology, regulation and function of mammalian melatonin receptors). Like adrenaline (ie, NE/EPI) that binds beta- or alpha-receptors in various locations in our bodies, the end result can be inhibiting or stimulating activity; the physiological function depends on the location of the receptors as well. Likewise with Melatonin and the MT series, location and type of receptors determines function. Melatonin receptors affect every organ system: CNS (brain), hypothalamic-pituitary-pineal-thyroid-gonadal axis, cardiovascular, and immunity. The second article below describes inhibitory and activating effects of MT receptors.

Functional MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptors in mammals.
Dubocovich ML, Markowska M. Endocrine. 2005 Jul;27(2):101-10.

Melatonin, dubbed the hormone of darkness, is known to regulate a wide variety of physiological processes in mammals. This review describes well-defined functional responses mediated through activation of high-affinity MT1 and MT2 G protein-coupled receptors viewed as potential targets for drug discovery.

MT1 melatonin receptors modulate NEURONAL FIRING, ARTERIAL VASOCONSTRICTION, cell proliferation in cancer cells, and REPRODUCTIVE AND METABOLIC FUNCTIONS.

Activation of MT2 melatonin receptors phase shift circadian rhythms of neuronal firing in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, inhibit dopamine release in retina, INDUCE VASODILATION and inhibition of leukocyte rolling in arterial beds, and ENHANCE IMMUNE RESPONSES.

The melatonin-mediated responses elicited by activation of MT1 and MT2 native melatonin receptors are dependent on circadian time, duration and mode of exposure to endogenous or exogenous melatonin, and functional receptor sensitivity. Together, these studies underscore the importance of carefully linking each melatonin receptor type to specific functional responses in target tissues to facilitate the design and development of novel therapeutic agent. (OF COURSE! LET'S MAKE A PROFITABLE DRUG! ESP WHEN A CHEAP NATURAL ORIGINAL ALREADY EXISTS AND IS WIDELY AVAILABLE)
PMID: 16217123

And btw...STOP WHEAT
In polyglandular autoimmune thyroiditis (hypothyroidism), melatonin levels were naturally found to be low particularly when more fatigue was observed by the study participants. The more fatigue, additionally, the more auto-antibodies were found associated with more organs. The adrenals were attacked in addition to the ovaries, thyroid and/or TPO (thyroid peroxidase). It is not clear precisely the relationship between thyroid function, melatonin and auto-antibodies here... In trials looking at simple hypothyroidism, often melatonin levels are fine or mildly shifted. In the case where multiple glands/organs are affected, the melatonin effects appear more significant. I never realized we could make auto-antibodies to our adrenals. But the medical literature is chock full of stories of auto-antibodies produced against nearly ANYTHING in our bodies -- including our p450 enzymes and even...(!!) mitochondria (our little nuclear ATP powerhouses).

??Can we possibly produce auto-antibodies to our pineal? Or calcify it to rock or pebble? Why not? I believe we could...

Wheat as you aware is not only a common food allergen, but it increases gene expression (62 in this trial detected) of a variety of stress hormones, cytokine-chemokine–mediated immunity, and the interleukin pathway, and MMPs (metalloproteinases) (prior post on the FUNGENUT study). Does wheat trigger the increased production of auto-antibodies? Absolutely. Hypothyroidism is a common autoimmune manifestation of silent celiac disease, in other words wheat intolerance. Other organs or tissues frequently 'burnt to a toast' include: Fingers/Rheumatoid; Wrists/CTS; Knees/osteoarthritis; Gallbladder/biliary dz; Insulin receptors/Type 2 Diabetes; Pancreas/Type 1 Diabetes; Ovaries/infertility; Spit glands/Sjogrens; Myelin/MS; et cetera. How about Muscles/fibromyalgia? The Brain?? Consideration of complete wheat cessation is necessary I believe to prevent burning out multiple organs (including the coronary vasculature).

[The fatigue syndrome in autoimmune thyroiditis with polyglandular activation of autoimmunity][Article in Czech]
Zamrazil V et al.Vnitr Lek. 1998 Aug;44(8):456-60.

The authors compared in a group of 118 patients with autoimmune thyroiditis and a positive antibody titre against ovaries the grade of fatigue with the presence of organ specific and non-specific autoantibodies in the peripheral blood stream, antibodies against EBV and CMV, immunoglobulin concentrations, biochemical parameters of the lipid metabolism, glucose tolerance, ion balance and melatonin and serotonin levels. Patients with autoimmune thyroiditis were differentiated according to the degree of fatigue into three groups: 38 with fatigue typical for CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), 30 with occasional fatigue and 50 without the feeling of fatigue. Fatigue of the CSF type was characterized by a significantly higher incidence of autoantibodies against the adrenals and a higher cholesterol level. Increased fatigue of the patients was associated with a lower melatonin level, a higher serotonin level and a lower M/S ratio as compared with patients without fatigue. In other indicators no differences were found. Fatigue in CFS could be associated, similarly as in autoimmune endocrinopathies, with impaired immunoendocrine regulation. In autoimmune thyroiditis, regardless of the concomitant presence of fatigue, in addition to antibodies against thyroid peroxidase most frequently antibodies against the ovaries were detected.
PMID: 10358448

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dead and Gone...the Old Me

When you've stepped into a new realm of extreme longevity and optimal fitness and health, how do you feel?

Like the old self is gone?

When I attend weddings for relatives and old friends, it's seriously scary/odd how people don't recognize you. Because internally you are the SAME person, but physical transformations can be overwhelmingly out of proportion. Blown away. Can't comprehend. No one has any idea that a more vital, energy-filled, blasting life can be awaiting them.

Movement with a little intensity, vitamin D/A/E/K, fish oil, seafood/grassfed meat, omega-3 eggs, wheat-free (semi-dairy/legume-free), low carb is the only way to go. It's not hard. At ALL. In fact, it's purely incomprehensibly curious to NOT engage in this T.Y.P. HEDONIA-lifestyle.

The Old Me...GONE...certainly that's how I feel now -- engaged a year now...! Yep, been about a year on TYP and can't imagine feeling how lethargic, slow, sluggish, mentally fogged I was before. Asthmatic, scratchy skin, poor reflexes, SAD (seasonal affective disorder), cold extremities like semi-Reynaud's, and the list goes on-and-on... Beyond one year, I've continued to lose body fat, increased energy and improved fitness -- mental as well as physical.

Also... can't suppress the emerging sense of . . .
--Mental vigor

Travelling on this road too long...
No more stress now -- I'm straight
Now I get it now, I take time to think
Before I make a mistake
Just for my family's sake
That part of me left yesterday
The harder me is strong today
No regrets I'm blessed to say
The old me is dead and gone away

T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake

Courtesy of Youtube.com

The TrackYourPlaque program embodies fully the tools to engage comprehensively in the path toward infinite good health and reversal of many disease states -- diabetes, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, erectile dysfunction, carotid artery disease, strokes, hypertension, obesity, hypothyroidism.

We're launching TYP 2.0 shortly in the next week or two. You'll truly be able to TRACK the wonderful progress in CAC score, lesion/volume/score, weight, BMI, Body Fat %, Lp(a), TC-TG-HDL-LDL, TSH, free T4, free T3, anti-TPO, CRP, fibrinogen, homocysteine, uric acid, creatinine, ALT, HDL2b, large small HDL, large small LDL, VLDL, IDL, etc. Supplement dose and durations can be entered eventually and tracked as well. These are the ULTIMATE tools for evaluating health and assessing improvements and trends.

I can hardly wait...

The next generation of TYP will be so exciting!!! I'm so glad y'll be there...

Currently we add our personal data HERE and soon will be greatly expanded.

Bliss out... let me kick it to ya! Grasp it!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Coenzyme Q10 and the Ubiquinone System

I've been cleaning the house today and noticed BOY how much garbage and junk quickly accumulates. Often it's painful to face the facts... and the havoc and entropy!

You know... it's like the ol' coyboys in my favorite Western movies who needed a few shots of WHISKEY to take away the PAIN when the bullets were taken out of the wounds...


I have to admit I can't stand house cleaning. Allergic is a good word. I don't have asthma any longer (thanks to TYP and therapeutic doses of Vitamin D3) but I'm still allergic... CAN'T STAND IT. Some of my best friends and neighbors have let their 'professional' help go recently (with the increase in costs from PETROL etc)... I let mine go a year ago after we moved... Boy... can you spell M-I-S-E-R-Y...???

Occasionally I'll do this trick and invite my most Martha-Stewart-girlfriends over for dinner. I figure they can SHAME me into cleaning... of course it works and the house will be sparkling clean for about 10minutes...

Unfortunately sometimes I invite my friends over and I get busy and fail to have time to clean. I just hope that I can get them liquored up and blur their vision to the dirt rings in the toilet and the dust accumulating... NNNNAAAWWWWTTTT... they DON'T IMBIBE... what was I thinkin??!

How can a family of 6 generate so much waste? And one cat? And several house spiders?

For one, I've been losing some hair (though reversing after stopping my DARN synthetic hormone LNg for birth control) so... yeah go ahead make the dog comparisons... I admit I shed... Long hairs ALL OVER THE DARN HOUSE.

How does our mammalian bodies handle waste and garbage? Is it pollution? Or does everything to some extent get recycled???

Co Q10 helps with recycling of crucial antioxidants and vitamins in our mitochondria and membranes. Coenzyme Q10 is a crucial component of the TrackYourPlaque program.

Other benefits include:
--Counters the depletion of Co Q10 that occurs with Statin use
--Reduces Lipoprotein (a) 12% -- Check out the TYP Report
--Recycles our natural antioxidants like Vitamin E, Glutathione, etc
--Reverses heart failure--Plays an critical role in anti-aging, neuroprotection, cardioprotection and reduction in hyperinsulinemia/diabetes/MetSyn

Curr Neurovasc Res. 2005 Dec;2(5):447-59.The emerging role of coenzyme Q-10 in aging, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes mellitus.Dhanasekaran M, Ren J.
Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82701, USA.
Coenzyme Q (ubiquinone, 2-methyl-5,6-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone), soluble natural fat quinine, is crucial to optimal biological function. The coenzyme Q molecule has amphipathic (biphasic) properties due to the hydrophilic benzoquinone ring and the lipophilic poly isoprenoid side-chain. The nomenclature of coenzyme Q-n is based on the amount of isoprenoid units attached to 6-position on the benzoquinone ring. It was demonstrated that coenzyme Q, in addition to its role in electron transport and proton transfer in mitochondrial and bacterial respiration, acts in its reduced form (ubiquinol) as an antioxidant. Coenzyme Q-10 functions as a lipid antioxidant regulating membrane fluidity, recycling radical forms of vitamin C and E, and protecting membrane phospholipids against peroxidation. The antioxidant property, high degree of hydrophobicity and universal occurrence in biological system, suggest an important role for ubiquinone and ubiquinol in cellular defense against oxidative damage. Coenzyme Q-10 is a ubiquitous and endogenous lipid-soluble antioxidant found in all organisms. Neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus and especially aging and Alzheimer's disease exhibit altered levels of ubiquinone or ubiquinol, indicating their likely crucial role in the pathogenesis and cellular mechanisms of these ailments. This review is geared to discuss the biological effect of coenzyme Q with an emphasis on its impact in initiation, progression, treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and carcinogenic diseases.

PMID: 16375724

Other illuminating references:
  • Ernster L, Forsmark-Andrée P.
    Ubiquinol: an endogenous antioxidant in aerobic organisms.
    Clin Investig. 1993;71(8 Suppl):S60-5. Review.
    PMID: 8241707 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • James AM, Smith RA, Murphy MP.
    Antioxidant and prooxidant properties of mitochondrial Coenzyme Q.
    Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Mar 1;423(1):47-56. Review.
    PMID: 14989264 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Mohora M, Katona E, Dinu V.
    Pro- and antioxidant functions of quinones in mammalian cells.
    Rom J Intern Med. 1999 Jan-Mar;37(1):3-14. Review.
    PMID: 15523940 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Albano CB, Muralikrishnan D, Ebadi M.
    Distribution of coenzyme Q homologues in brain.
    Neurochem Res. 2002 May;27(5):359-68.
    PMID: 12064350 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Shults CW.
    Coenzyme Q10 in neurodegenerative diseases.
    Curr Med Chem. 2003 Oct;10(19):1917-21. Review.
    PMID: 12871093 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Ernster L, Dallner G.
    Biochemical, physiological and medical aspects of ubiquinone function.
    Biochim Biophys Acta. 1995 May 24;1271(1):195-204. Review.
    PMID: 7599208 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Littarru GP, Tiano L.
    Bioenergetic and antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10: recent developments.
    Mol Biotechnol. 2007 Sep;37(1):31-7. Review.
    PMID: 17914161 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Navas P, Villalba JM, de Cabo R.
    The importance of plasma membrane coenzyme Q in aging and stress responses.
    Mitochondrion. 2007 Jun;7 Suppl:S34-40. Epub 2007 Mar 16. Review.
    PMID: 17482527 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Siemieniuk E, Skrzydlewska E.
    [Coenzyme Q10: its biosynthesis and biological significance in animal organisms and in humans]
    Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2005;59:150-9. Review. Polish.
    PMID: 15928598 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Ernster L, Forsmark P, Nordenbrand K.
    The mode of action of lipid-soluble antioxidants in biological membranes. Relationship between the effects of ubiquinol and vitamin E as inhibitors of lipid peroxidation in submitochondrial particles.
    J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 1992;Spec No:548-51. Review.
    PMID: 1297809 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Pobezhimova TP, Voinikov VK.
    Biochemical and physiological aspects of ubiquinone function.
    Membr Cell Biol. 2000;13(5):595-602. Review.
    PMID: 10987383 [PubMed - indexed for MED INE]
  • Beyer RE.
    An analysis of the role of coenzyme Q in free radical generation and as an antioxidant.
    Biochem Cell Biol. 1992 Jun;70(6):390-403. Review.
    PMID: 1333230 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Nohl H, Gille L, Staniek K.
    The biochemical, pathophysiological, and medical aspects of ubiquinone function.
    Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 20;854:394-409. Review.
    PMID: 9928447 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Valko M, Leibfritz D, Moncol J, Cronin MT, Mazur M, Telser J.
    Free radicals and antioxidants in normal physiological functions and human disease.
    Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2007;39(1):44-84. Epub 2006 Aug 4. Review.
    PMID: 16978905 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Nohl H, Gille L, Kozlov AV.
    Antioxidant-derived prooxidant formation from ubiquinol.
    Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Oct;25(6):666-75.
    PMID: 9801066 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Merlo Pich M, Castagnoli A, Biondi A, Bernacchia A, Tazzari PL, D'Aurelio M, Parenti Castelli G, Formiggini G, Conte R, Bovina C, Lenaz G.
    Ubiquinol and a coenzyme Q reducing system protect platelet mitochondrial function of transfusional buffy coats from oxidative stress.
    Free Radic Res. 2002 Apr;36(4):429-36.
    PMID: 12069107 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Shults CW.
    Therapeutic role of coenzyme Q(10) in Parkinson's disease.
    Pharmacol Ther. 2005 Jul;107(1):120-30. Epub 2005 Apr 21. Review.
    PMID: 15963354 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Wold LE, Muralikrishnan D, Albano CB, Norby FL, Ebadi M, Ren J.
    Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) supplementation prevents diabetes-induced alterations in coenzymes Q9 and Q10.
    Acta Diabetol. 2003 Jun;40(2):85-90.
    PMID: 12861406 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
  • Rauchová H, Drahota Z, Lenaz G.
    Function of coenzyme Q in the cell: some biochemical and physiological properties.
    Physiol Res. 1995;44(4):209-16. Review.
    PMID: 8789639
The richest food sources of natural Coenzyme Q10:
--Organ meats: heart, liver, etc
--Fish, seafood, mollusks
--Meat: grass fed meat, poultry