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There has been a controversy about Co-Enzyme CQ10 in the November 22,1999 issue of U.S. News and World Report. It contains a statement that experts believe CQ10 is safe but not effective. Would you advise me to continue taking it?

If we wait for the experts to agree we will end up doing nothing until it is too late! The benefit of Vitamin C continues to be debated today. Whenever there is controversy it pays to use a little bit of common sense.

Co-enzyme Q10 is an anti-oxidant which means that its function is to offer protection from free-radical destruction to the cells. Free-radicals are harmful chemical by-products of energy production like sparks that escape from a campfire. It's destructive effect on cells is called oxidation.

Co-Q10 is present in greatest concentration inside the mitocondria - energy producing factories within all cells. Co-Q10 protects the membranes composing these factories which control the transport of nutrients into and out of the factory. As we age the mitocondria diminish in number and efficiency, presumably as a result of free-radical damage

I recommend Co-enzyme Q10 for my patients because of its anti-oxidant properties and I believe that research will eventually substantiate additional anti-aging and therapeutic properties.

If I were to begin the growth hormone therapy and after a few months I was forced by circumstances to stop, would all benefits be lost?

Human growth hormone(HGH) has been referred to in the media as the "Fountain of Youth" which naturally leads one to wonder about the cost in terms of one's health if the fountain drys up.

It conjures up visual images from a Hollywood horror flick of youthful beauty rapidly decaying before your eyes. Or the image of a drug dependant person going to unthinkable extremes to get their next "fix."

Truth. Human growth hormone is not the fountain of youth. It is a hormone that is naturally secreted by the pituitary gland. It is present in large amounts during the rapid growth phase of puberty and then gradually diminishes over time as we grow older. When injected into elderly men over a six month period by Dr. Daniel Rudman during a 1990 experiment it was shown to have a rejuvenating effect.

To put things into perspective, human growth hormone may be of value in maintaining youthfulness in the same way that exercise and diet maintain youthfulness. Likewise if the hormone is suddenly withdrawn the effect would be equal to quitting your diet and exercise program. The consequence would be a gradual decline into a lesser state of fitness.

We are told that fish oil is good, so is olive oil, and so is flaxseed oil and coconut oil. Since one cannot use them all daily, which of these could best replace all other oils?

Oils containing the Omega-3 essential fatty acids are beneficial for lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

The Inuit Eskimos' diet of cold water fish (cod, mackerel, sardines, herring, tuna, and salmon ) is a rich source of these oils and believed to be responsible for their low rates of these diseases.

For consumers who do not eat fish or do not like the fishy aftertaste of fish oil, there are some good plant sources for these beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed, borage seed, and canola oil are excellent vegetarian alternatives. Flaxseed oil must be refrigerated and has a short shelf life. It breaks down when subjected to high temperatures.

Canola oil, on the other hand, has a longer shelf life and can be used for cooking. So canola oil is probably the best all around multipurpose oil.

I am an Hawaiian mother. My 24 y.o. son has been on insulin for a while. Can diabetes be treated by chelation? If so, how many treatments would one need and how often?

The treatment for insulin dependant diabetes (Type-1 Diabetes) is tight control of blood sugar through diet, exercise, and insulin.

Long term complications, such as heart, kidney, eye and feet problems, can be minimized with good diabetic care. Chelation is a good treatment for complication of diabetes because of its ability to improve blood flow in small blood vessels thus restoring circulation to the feet and other organs.

In my experience I have seen chelation therapy restore normal feeling and warmth to feet that were numb and cold.

Chelation therapy would be also be an ideal preventative treatment for the complications of diabetes. I would recommend a series of ten treatments each year beginning in the early stages of the disease.

Three therapies seem to be most commonly practiced and discussed: growth hormone, DHEA, and melatonin. How do these substances slow or prevent aging? Do they prevent the effects of aging(cellular damage) or just help people feel younger?

It is not entirely understood how these hormones slow or reverse aging. What we do know for certain is blood level of these hormones peak around age 21 and then all of these hormones steadily decline as we age.

In an 1991 experiment Dr. Daniel Rudman administered human growth hormone(HGH), a natural pituitary gland hormone, to a group of elderly men to simulate youthful blood levels. Following six months measurements of skin, bone density, body fat, muscle mass, etc., showed improvements that correlated with a twenty year reversal in age. These men also appeared and felt younger.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is our chief adrenal gland hormone which has many mysterious roles and functions in the body and declines linearly after age thirty until we die. In fact, death ensues soon as the DHEA levels hit zero. Studies show that restoring DHEA to youthful levels increases energy and vigor, boosts the immune system, and lowers the risk of cancer and heart attacks.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain which plays a crucial role in restful, restorative sleep. Melatonin also boost the immune system and has anti-cancer effects. This hormone likewise decreases with age.

There is intensive ongoing research to determine whether boosting certain hormones to recreate a youthful internal environment will prevent the degeneration and disease associated with old age and markedly extend the human life span. Hormone replacement therapy(HRT) in women with estrogens has been practiced for more than 50 years and has proven health benefits - prevention of heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer disease.

Testosterone replacement therapy for men is now promising to have similar long term health benefits. Other hormones such as DHEA, melatonin, pregnenalone, progesterone and thyroid hormone have promising yet unproven anti-aging ability.

Why do some people live longer than others?

Good ëgenes' seems to be the determining factor that accounts for individual variations in life span. If you have parents and grandparents that live to a ripe old age this longevity will be conferred upon you.

You are the beneficiary of a natural resistance to the major killer diseases of old age which are heart disease, cancer and diabetes. If you are not so fortunate and have parents and grandparents that suffer prematurely from these killer diseases there is still cause for hope. Some of the risk factors for these diseases are within your control; for example, diet, weight control and exercise.

We can turn the question around and ask, "Why do some people die prematurely?" Research into the anti-aging hormones, HGH and DHEA, is showing prematurely low levels of these hormones in persons who are at high risk and persons who are suffering from these killer diseases. Scientist are now viewing these diseases of aging as an accelerated aging process which can be modified and perhaps prevented by hormone replacement therapy. In fact aging itself is now being viewed as a disease that can be treated. The degeneration and disease normally associated with aging is not inevitable.

Is there a genetic limit to how long we can live?

The oldest known human, Jeanne Calment of France, recently died at 122. Today's increase in life span is mostly attributable to improved public health and modern medicine.

The number of persons living beyond 100 years has doubled over the past 10 years. As we progress toward better treatments for the diseases of aging more and more persons will realize their genetic potential.

Researchers believe that with our present technology including anti-aging hormones we can extend the human life span to 150 years.

I have been treating a tooth infection for a number of months. The infection is under control, but if I fail to treat it for a few days with hydrogen peroxide and occasionally with tetracycline and with chlorexidine gluconate as prescribed by my dentist it flairs up?

My question: Is this condition a threat to the heart? Does chelation help control potential bacteria reaching the heart from infections? Should such a tooth be sacrificed and removed though still usable?

Bacteria from a chronic infection when not treated adequately poses a risk of spreading to vital organs. This is particularly true of infections of the teeth and gums . If there is any history of heart disease the heart is particularly susceptible to infection.

In this situation dentist will automatically prescribe antibiotics before any dental procedure to minimize the risk. If there is an infection of the teeth or gums it must be treated adequately with antibiotics or the source of infection removed. Chelation therapy is beneficial to all the organs of the body including the immune system however it is not a treatment for infection.

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