Life Extension Magazine®

Liver graphic being supported by CoQ10 and vitamin D

In the News: CoQ10 Can Improve Periodontal Health And More

CoQ10 supports periodontal health; vitamin D slashes cancer mortality up to 52%; cranberries boost vascular function; metabolic syndrome increases vitamin E requirement; vitamin C has benefits similar to exercise; vitamin D maintains muscle; calcium reduces ICU mortality; omega-3 slows cognitive decline, and much more.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension.

CoQ10 Can Improve Periodontal Health

CoQ10 Can Improve Periodontal Health

An article published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that supplementing with CoQ10 reduces gingivitis and improves periodontal health.*

In the randomized, double-blind trial, 30 patients (average age 33 years) with plaque-induced gingival inflammation were divided into two groups.

The first group was given CoQ10 supplements following scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar), while the second group received a placebo following their cleaning. Plaque index, gingival index, and probing depth were recorded at baseline, one month, and three months.

After three months, researchers noted a significant reduction in gingival inflammation in patients who supplemented with CoQ10 compared to subjects taking the placebo.

Editor’s Note: Previous studies have shown that CoQ10 doses of just 50 to 75 mg daily can halt deterioration of the gums, sometimes within just days of starting treatment. For maintaining cardiac and brain health in aging individuals, recommended doses of the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 are usually 100 mg a day and higher.


* J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Aug;9(8):26-8.

Higher Vitamin D Levels Reduce Cancer Death Rates up to 52%

Higher Vitamin D Levels ReduceCancer Death Rates up to 52%

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism published a meticulous analysis of past trials showing that patients with colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma experienced a significantly reduced risk of mortality with higher serum vitamin D levels at diagnosis compared to those with low levels.*

Researchers selected 25 studies involving 17,332 cases of cancer for their meta-analysis.

Compared to lowest quartile, those with vitamin D levels in the top 25% range at the time of diagnosis had far better survival outcomes. For each of the following cancers, the risk of dying decreased by:

  • 37% for breast cancer patients
  • 45% for colorectal cancer patients
  • 52% for lymphoma patients

“By reviewing studies that collectively examined vitamin D levels in 17,332 cancer patients, our analysis demonstrated that vitamin D levels are linked to better outcomes in several types of cancer,” stated Dr. Hui Wang, MD, PhD, Professor of the Institute for Nutritional Sciences at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. “The results suggest vitamin D may influence the prognosis for people with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and lymphoma, in particular.”

Researchers found the strongest links between vitamin D levels and survival in breast cancer, lymphoma, and colorectal cancer. There was less evidence of a connection in people with lung cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, melanoma, or Merkel cell carcinoma.

Editor’s Note: Meta-analysis shows 4% reduction in death for all causes for every 4 ng/mL increase in circulating 25-OH vitamin D levels within the range the researchers examined. Serum vitamin D levels in those who don’t supplement are often below 13 ng/mL. By increasing vitamin D intake to 5,000 to 8,000 IU a day, optimal serum levels of 50 to 80 ng/mL can be achieved.


* JCEM . 2014 Apr 29.

Cranberries Protect the Heart

Research presented at the annual Berry Health Benefits Symposium 2015 revealed an association between cranberry juice intake and improved vascular function in healthy men.*

In a randomized trial, 10 men received juice concentrate mixed with water in varying concentrations. Flow-mediated vasodilation (an evaluation of endothelial function), blood pressure, and arterial stiffness were measured before intake and at one, two, four, six, and eight hours post-consumption. Urine and plasma samples were analyzed for levels of 60 cranberry polyphenols and their metabolites.

Researchers found improvement in flow-mediated dilation in association with all concentrations of cranberry juice. Benefit was noted as early as one hour with a duration of up to six hours. Systolic blood pressure was reduced among those who received the highest concentration.

Editor’s Note: Plasma and urine polyphenol concentrations varied in accordance with the compound evaluated and the amount consumed by each individual.


* Berry Health Benefits Symposium. 2015 Oct 12.

Obesity Prevalence of Adults in 2014 across the US and Territories**

  • No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%.
  • Five states and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity between 20% and <25%.
  • Two territories plus 23 states had a prevalence of obesity between 25% and <30%.
  • Nineteen states had a prevalence of obesity between 30% and <35%.
  • Three states had a prevalence of obesity of 35% or greater.
  • The Midwest had the highest prevalence of obesity (30.7%), followed by the South (30.6%), the Northeast (27.3%), and the West (25.7%).

** Available at: Accessed November 16, 2015.

New Survey Says US Obesity Rates Continue to Climb

New Survey Says US Obesity Rates Continue to Climb

According to a recent survey of 5,000 participants conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates rose to approximately 37.7% for adults in the US, up from 32% in 2003 to 2004, despite a major push to raise awareness about healthy eating.*

Lead author Cynthia Ogden says women are more likely to be obese. To date, 38% of women are obese compared to 34% of men.

Age is also a factor, researchers say, since the older Americans get, the more likely they are to be classified as obese. Compared to younger adults in their 20s and 30s, who had a 32% obesity rate, the rate for middle-aged people in their 40s and 50s climbed to 40%.

Race and ethnicity are also factors. Just 11.7% of adult Asian Americans are obese, while African Americans struggle with a 48% obesity rate.

Experts say medical providers should rethink how they approach talking to patients about a healthy diet and lifestyle. Lisa Cimperman, a registered dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said in the past people did heed warnings to not eat certain products but didn’t add healthy food to their diets.

“The best example we have is we got this message out that we need to reduce fat consumption and [people] reduced their fat intake [but] replaced it with refined carbohydrates,” Cimperman said. “The intake of refined carbohydrates was just as bad as a high-fat diet.”

New initiatives attempting to focus on a more holistic approach to eating healthy with an emphasis on eating fresh, unprocessed foods may be too new to show any results in the report, Cimperman said.

Editor’s Note: Obesity increases the risk of a number of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type II diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain kinds of cancer. Those with a BMI of 40 or higher may lose 6.5 to 13.7 years of life as a result of obesity.


* Available at: Accessed November 16, 2015.

Available at: Accessed November 16, 2015.

Metabolic Syndrome May Increase Vitamin E Need

Metabolic Syndrome May Increase Vitamin E Need

An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that in those with metabolic syndrome, the need for vitamin E could be greater than among those without it.*

Researchers gave 10 healthy participants and 10 subjects with metabolic syndrome a natural alpha-tocopherol supplement. Dr. Richard S. Bruno and associates determined that those with metabolic syndrome absorbed less vitamin E than those without the syndrome. However, the researchers found that drinking milk, which contains fat that aids in vitamin E absorption, increased the amount absorbed to between 26.1% and 29.5%, depending upon the health status of the participant.

The researchers found that a lipoprotein in the liver that secretes vitamin E into the bloodstream and another lipoprotein generated by the small intestine contained lower levels of vitamin E in participants with metabolic syndrome compared to healthy subjects.

Editor’s Note: “This could imply that people with metabolic syndrome either have impairment of absorption of vitamin E at the small intestine or because of an inability for vitamin E to get out of the liver,” Dr. Bruno stated.


* Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct 7.

Vitamin D Linked with Reduced Breast Cancer Risk in Hormone Replacement Users

Vitamin D Linked with Reduced Breast Cancer Risk in Hormone Replacement Users

An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals the finding of an association between vitamin D supplementation and a lower risk of developing invasive breast cancer among postmenopausal users of hormone replacement.*

The study included 57,403 postmenopausal subjects between the ages of 40 to 65 years upon recruitment in 1990. Questionnaires completed every two to three years provided information concerning vitamin D intake, menopausal hormone therapy use, and other factors.

From 1995 to 2008, 2,482 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed. Women who were currently supplementing with vitamin D had an 18% lower adjusted risk of developing breast cancer than those who had never supplemented with the vitamin. Further analysis revealed that current supplementation was associated with a lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer only among those who had used hormone replacement therapy.

Editor’s Note: The protective effect was stronger against tumors that were estrogen-receptor positive compared to those that were estrogen-receptor negative.


* Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 9.

Vitamin C Supplements Provide Exercise Benefit

Vitamin C Supplements Provide Exercise Benefit

Researchers at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics in Savannah, Georgia, presented a paper stating the cardiovascular benefit for supplementing with vitamin C is similar to that elicited by exercise in overweight and obese adults.* The discovery could be of benefit for people who fail to engage in recommended physical activities on a regular basis, as is the case with over half of those who are overweight or obese.

Postdoctoral research fellow Caitlin Dow, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Colorado compared a regular walking program to the effects of 500 mg timed-release vitamin C per day in 35 sedentary, overweight, or obese men and women for three months. They determined that supplementing with the vitamin decreased vasoconstriction due to endogenous ET-1 activity as much as walking does.

Editor’s Note: Blood vessels in those who are overweight and obese exhibit increased activity of endothelin (ET)-1, a small vessel-constricting protein. Higher levels increase the susceptibility of the vessels to constriction, which affects blood flow and elevates the risk of vascular disease. Although exercise is known to reduce ET-1 activity, many individuals are faced with time challenges or other limitations that reduce their ability to participate in physical activities.


* 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Therapeutics. 2015 Sep 2-5.

Vitamin D Helps Older Women Maintain Muscle

Vitamin D Helps Older Women Maintain Muscle

The 2015 Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society featured a presentation of research conducted at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil, which found that supplementing with vitamin D was associated with improved maintenance of muscle mass and increased strength in women up to 12 years past the menopausal transition.*

In a double-blind trial, 160 women with a history of falls during the previous year received 1,000 IUs vitamin D3 per day or a placebo for nine months. Total-body dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning assessed muscle mass and handgrip strength and a chair-rising test evaluated strength at the beginning and end of the study.

Among those who received vitamin D, muscle strength increased by an average of 25.3%. Those who received a placebo experienced a 6.8% decline in muscle mass and were nearly twice as likely to undergo a fall as the vitamin D-supplemented group.

Editor’s Note: The North American Menopause Society Executive Director Wulf H. Utian, MD, PhD, DSc (Med), noted: “While this study is unlikely to decide the debate over vitamin D, it provides further evidence to support the use of vitamin D supplements by postmenopausal women in an effort to reduce frailty and an increased risk of falling.”


* 2015 Annual Meeting of The North American Menopause Society. 2015 Sep 30.

Reduced Mortality in Calcium-Supplemented Patients

The journal SpringerPlus reported the outcome of a study of critically ill adults, which found that supplementation with calcium lowered the risk of mortality within 28 to 90 days after intensive care unit (ICU) admission.*

Researchers at Jinhua Hospital of Zhejiang University in Zhejiang, China, analyzed data from 32,551 ICU patients admitted to Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center from 2001 to 2008. Supplemental calcium used during the patients’ stays included such forms as calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium gluconate, and others.

Within the 28 days of ICU admission, there were 4,489 deaths. Patients who consumed supplemental calcium had an adjusted 49% lower risk of dying compared to those who did not supplement during the 28 days following ICU admission. A reduction in 90 day mortality was also observed in association with calcium supplementation.

Editor’s Note: Calcium plays a vital role in maintaining normal physiologic function, particularly signal transduction, and that severely low blood calcium levels have been associated with an increased risk of death. “Since hypocalcemia is independently associated with increased mortality, it is not surprising that calcium supplementation is associated with improved outcome,” the authors write.


* Springer Plus. 2015 Oct 13.

Increased Omega-3 Correlates with Lower Rate of Cognitive Decline

Increased Omega-3 Correlates with Lower Rate of Cognitive Decline

An article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reveals a decreased rate of cognitive deterioration in Alzheimer’s disease patients who had higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.*

The study included 174 men and women with Alzheimer’s disease who were randomized to receive a low-dose supplement that provided 150 mg EPA and 430 mg DHA per day or a placebo for six months, followed by a six month period during which all participants were supplemented with omega-3. Plasma omega-3 fatty acid levels and cognitive performance were assessed at the beginning of the study, and at six and 12 months.

Increasing plasma eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) levels over time were associated with preservation of cognitive function. Associations were significant for word recall and delayed word recall, which are categorized as episodic memory functions.

Editor’s Note: “Since our study suggests a dose-response relationship between plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids and preservation of cognitive functioning, future omega-3 fatty acid trials in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease should consider exploring graded (and body weight-adjusted) doses of omega-3 fatty acids,” suggest authors Maria Eriksdotter of the Karolinska Institutet and colleagues.


* J Alz Dis. 2015 Sep 4.