Friday, September 14, 2007

Mother's Little Helper



I am getting increasingly more health conscious, dang it. I never particularly wanted to be. I wasn't crazy unhealthy, but I ate whatever I wanted and only looked at a label to occasionally read a fat gram content when I was feeling bloated. But, then a friend of mine went off on a tangent about trans-fats and how they were basically the diet of the devil. So I grabbed one of those little paperback books you see at the end of the Walgreens aisle, read it, and discovered she was correct. I raided my pantry and found lots of the evil stuff in the "healthy" snacks I was feeding my kids...then came Dr. Os on Oprah, then throw in a child with a tummy issue that conventional medicine has no interest in solving, then cure a post-partum depression with natural supplements, then do a little googling and well, I am getting more and more granola as the days go on.

I must insert I am reading an excellent book on the topic called What to Eat by Marion Nestle that gets to the bottom of all the food scares (and examines how we are suckerpunched via marketing at the grocery store). She tackles all the controversial subjects, eg, is milk from cows injected with artificial bovine growth hormone safe to drink (probably) and should you buy organic fruits and vegetables (probably). I highly recommend it.

Ok, so whilst looking for more vitamins to add to my ever increasing nightly pill popping habit, I kept seeing something on the shelves called Coenzyme Q10. I wondered what it was and soon afterward read an article that gave the basic rundown on it.

Of course I am cyber plagerizing:
* CoQ10 is a naturally-occurring compound found in every cell in the body.

* CoQ10 plays a key role in producing energy in the mitochondria, the part of a cell responsible for the production of energy in the form of ATP

* The guy who discovered how it works in the body won a Nobel Prize

Studies - real double blind studies, done by real doctors at real hospitals who never appeared in any infomercials - have shown significant gains in patients with congestive heart failure, AIDS, and breast cancer, which is what caught my eye, as my dear Aunt Wilma is fighting breast cancer now. A lot more studies need to be done, but there are very exciting possibilities associated with CoQ10. (Not to mention the possibilities for anti-wrinkle creams, which are already available).

I emailed Aunt Wilma and asked if she had heard of it. She said yes, she had been taking it a while, and the most significant thing for her was the increased energy she had (Missy's ears perk up.) In fact, she said she had to reduce her dosage from 100mg to 50mg while she was undergoing chemo, because otherwise she was unable to nap.

Let me state that, since December of 2002, the phrase "unable to nap" has never not ever entered my vernacular. Along with the normal exhaustion associated with having 38 children, since day one of Shep's pregnancy, I have suffered from insomnia. Every day about 2:00pm my body screamed for a nap. If I was unable to accomplish that, it would not be a fun evening. So anything that promises me energy, just show me where to sign up.

I went to CVS and bought a bottle of CoQ10 that same night and here is my testimony, brothuhs and sistahs: in the six weeks since I began taking it, I have only taken about four naps.

Four.
Naps.

As opposed to 42! That is a significant reduction, from 42 naps to uh, 4. This is absolutely incredible to me.

The very first day I took it, about 4pm it occurred to me that I was not sleepy. I was completely lacking the desperate need to turn a Law and Order to a barely audible level and snooze on the couch to it, praying that all my children would stay asleep for just 20 minutes. I just felt - well, normal. Like I assume normal people do. Mid-afternoon fatigue was nothing a Diet Coke couldn't handle. And then, around 10pm, my body wanted to shut down, and I slept great. Wow!

I take 100mg every morning with my coffee, and I have found that it is most effective when taken the very first thing - as opposed to remembering about 9am.

These beautiful little pills have changed my life!

Here is a good source of more information:

Introduction to Coenzyme Q10


PS - You can find this at CVS, WalMart, Walgreens...it's everywhere. It is kind of expensive ($20ish), but if you look at Money Saving Mom, she is always giving a heads up when they do buy one get one with coupons etc etc. I *think* vitamins are B1G1 at CVS this week, in fact.

If you are a CVS ECB player, it will be a GREAT filler!

More Works for Me Wednesday tips here

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