Life Extension Magazine®

Woman sneezing from cold about to take zinc lozenges

In The News: November 2017

Low coronary calcium reduces heart risk; PQQ inhibits fatty liver; omega-3 clears amyloid plaque; vitamin C supports irregular-heartbeat correction; faster cold recovery with zinc lozenges; updated Life Extension® disease protocols.

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

Faster Cold Recovery with Zinc Acetate Lozenges

The results of a meta-analysis provide further support for the use of zinc acetate lozenges to shorten common cold duration.*

Harri Hemilä and associates selected three randomized, double-blind controlled trials that evaluated the effect of zinc acetate lozenges against the common cold among a total of 199 participants. Zinc dosages ranged from 80 to 92 mg per day.

It was determined that zinc lozenges increased the rate of recovery in comparison with a placebo. On the fifth day of treatment, 70% of subjects who received zinc had recovered from their colds in comparison with 27% of the placebo group.

The team concluded that people who come down with colds should try using zinc acetate lozenges beginning within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, in doses not to exceed 100 mg per day.

Editor’s Note: “The 80 to 92 mg/day doses used in the zinc acetate lozenge trials are substantially higher than the recommended daily intakes of 11 mg/day for men and 8 mg/day for women in the United States,” the authors observe. “However, zinc has been administered in doses of 100 to 150 mg/day to certain patient groups for months with few adverse effects.”


*Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017 Apr 3;4(2):ofx059.

PQQ Protects Against Fatty Liver

PQQ Protects Against Fatty Liver

An association has been found between the intake of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) in obese mice and a lower risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in their offspring.*

“We know that infants born to mothers with obesity have a greater chance of developing NAFLD over their lifetime, and in fact one-third of obese children under 18 may have undiagnosed fatty liver disease,” stated lead author Karen Jonscher, PhD.

Researchers fed female mice either a healthy diet or a Western diet that contained a high amount of fat and sugar. Some of the animals in both groups received drinking water enhanced with PQQ. Mice born to the animals were kept on the diets for 20 weeks. While offspring that received a Western diet experienced greater weight gain, the addition of PQQ was associated with less fat and less inflammation in the liver.

Editor’s Note: “Pyrroloquinoline quinone, or PQQ, is a natural oxidant reducer found in soil and many foods and enriched in human breast milk,” Dr. Jonscher noted. “Perhaps supplementing the diet of obese pregnant mothers with PQQ, which has proven safe in several human studies, will be a therapeutic target worthy of more study in the battle to reduce the risk of NAFLD in babies.”


*FASEB J. 2017 Apr;31(4):1434-1448.

Special Presentation on Traumatic Brain Injury

Special Presentation on Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr. Mark L. Gordon of the Millennium Warrior Angels Foundation TBI Project plans to present a program on the science behind traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The presentation, which is hosted by Age Management Medical Group, will be held in Tucson, Ariz., on November 2.*

Dr. Gordon’s group, which he created in 2014 with Green Beret Andrew Marr, is dedicated to providing help to veterans and active military members who are struggling with TBI and PTSD.

The organization’s program, says Dr. Gordon, “provides a step-by-step understanding of the epidemiology of traumatic brain injury and the biological mechanisms that trauma sets off to cause personality changes and cognitive deficit.”

The Millennium-WAF TBI Project has funded hundreds of veterans and active military personnel for laboratory evaluation and treatment protocols, which focus 90% of the time on natural supplements rather than pharmaceuticals.

For information about attending this conference, log on to:

Editor’s Note: A study has found that 91% of participants in Dr. Gordon’s treatment protocol have had a 50% improvement. “At present, we have a 64.3% recovery rate where the veterans are back in school, off medication, and being part of their family again.”


*Press release, Millennium-WAF TBI Project.

Omega-3 Improves Amyloid Clearance

Omega-3 Improves Amyloid Clearance

An article published in The FASEB Journal reports the ability of omega-3 to promote the brain’s clearance of beta-amyloid, a toxic protein that accumulates in the form of plaque in Alzheimer’s disease patients.*

Omega-3 fatty acids accomplish this by improving the function of the glymphatic system, a functional waste-clearance pathway for the central nervous system.

Huixia Ren and colleagues compared normal mice to mice genetically modified to express high brain-levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers observed that higher omega-3 levels enhanced the glymphatic system’s clearance function, including its ability to remove beta-amyloid.

Glymphatic system function was also boosted in normal mice supplemented with fish oil (a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids), in comparison with mice that did not receive omega-3.

Editor’s Note: “These now-famous fatty acids have been the subject of major studies both in academia and industry,” observed Thoru Pederson, PhD, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal. “Just when we thought we had heard everything, here is something new, and it is provocative indeed. This study should not turn attention away from the roles of these substances in maintaining vascular health, but neither should they restrict our view. The brain is an extremely vascularized organ, while we might also bear in mind that omega-3 fatty acids may impact neurons, glia, and astrocytes themselves.”


*FASEB J. 2017 Jan;31(1):282-293.

Vitamin C Linked to Decrease in Irregular heartbeat

Vitamin C Linked to Decrease in Irregular heartbeat

The results of a review and meta-analysis reveal an association between supplementation with vitamin C and a reduction in postoperative atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat. The analysis also found a reduction in the length of hospital stay among vitamin C-treated patients.*

Harri Hemilä of the University of Helsinki and Timo Suonsyrjä of Helsinki University Central Hospital reviewed 14 randomized trials involving a total of 2,006 cardiac surgery patients and one trial that investigated atrial fibrillation recurrence following successful cardioversion (correction of cardiac arrhythmia) in 44 patients. The majority of trials administered vitamin C before and after surgery.

Nine trials revealed a risk of postoperative atrial fibrillation that averaged 44% lower among vitamin C-treated compared to untreated patients. Additionally, length of hospital stay was decreased by 12.6% and time spent in the intensive care unit by 8% in vitamin C-treated patients in non-U.S. trials.

Editor’s Note: In the trial that examined the effects of vitamin C following cardioversion, there was an 87% reduction in atrial fibrillation recurrence in association with treatment.


*BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2017 Feb 1;17(1):49.

Low Calcium in Arteries Indicates Low Heart-Attack Risk

Low Calcium in Arteries Indicates Low Heart-Attack Risk

New research has found that patients whose coronary arteries are not significantly calcified have a considerably reduced risk of stroke or heart attack, even with the presence of other high-risk factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.*

Subjects in a study by cardiologists from UT Southwestern were found to have a dramatically reduced heart-disease risk factor of a less than 3% chance of a cardiovascular event over the next ten years when their calcium buildup was at low levels even though they may have other risk factors such as high cholesterol. This finding is well below the 7.5% set by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association as a guideline as to when to prescribe statin therapy.

Over time, arteries stiffen and lose flexibility, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Besides the well-known high-risk factors, calcification is a less understood cause of arterial stiffening.

“The event rates when coronary calcium is absent are low,” said cardiologist Dr. Parag Joshi.

Editor’s Note: Studies show vitamin K prevents calcium from being deposited in arteries, suggesting significant beneficial effects of supplementation.


*Atherosclerosis. 2016 Mar;246:367-73

Just-Published Protocols in the Disease Prevention and Treatment Book

Just-Published Protocols in the Disease Prevention and Treatment Book

The scientists and writers at Life Extension® continuously update the online Disease Prevention and Treatment protocol chapters based on the latest research. Recent updates are briefly summarized here with complete versions of these chapters and references available online at:

Chronic Venous Disease: Varicose Veins and Venous Insufficiency

Chronic venous disease encompasses varicose veins and more serious conditions like leg ulcers that result from impaired circulation. Chronic venous disease affects 35% of US adults. Emerging treatment strategies, such as the VenaSeal system, are improving the management of varicose veins. Moreover, bioengineered skin substitutes such as Dermagraft and Apligraf can aid in the healing of venous ulcers. In addition, several natural phlebotonic compounds can improve circulatory function, such as horse chestnut seed extract, diosmin, French maritime pine bark extract, and Centella asiatica.

Alcohol: Reducing the Risks

Excessive alcohol intake is linked to many health problems, including heart disease and cancer.

No nutritional intervention can eliminate the deadly effects of excessive alcohol consumption. The good news is that certain strategies may minimize some ill effects, such as hangover, caused by isolated instances of overindulgence. Supplementation with clove bud extract and N-acetylcysteine reduce oxidative and inflammatory stress. Other integrative interventions that may offset some of the detrimental effects of alcohol consumption are grape seed extract, resveratrol, milk thistle, picrorhiza, and glutathione. A unique compound called polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC), may help protect the liver. Also, probiotics may help reverse the negative impact of alcohol on the intestinal microbiota.