In This Issue

Structure/Function Claims


A Continuing Education Newsletter for Dietary Supplement Retailers

Editor: Gene Bruno, MS, MHS

Nutraceuticals for Your Eyes

With the aging of the population, the number of Americans with major eye disorders is increasing. In fact, by the year 2020 the number of people who are blind or have low vision is projected to grow from 3.4 to 5.5 million.  In addition to blindness, there are other common disorders of the eye that many people may currently be experiencing. These include cataract, conjunctivitis, macular degeneration and eye strain. Below is a brief description of each of these disorders, followed by a description of the various nutraceuticals that may help to improve the situation.

The term cataract refers to any cloudiness or opacity of the normally transparent crystalline lens of the eye. A cataract may or may not cause a loss of vision, depending on the size of the opacity, its density, and its location. Severe cataracts are a major cause of treatable blindness throughout the world. Oxidative damage caused by free radicals is considered to be an important factor in aging and the development of chronic diseases, including cataract formation.  For this reason, many of the dietary supplement recommendations focus on antioxidants which can neutralize the oxidative damage caused by free radicals...

Ubiquinol: A Better Coenzyme Q10

What nutraceutical is structurally related to vitamin K, has been extensively studied and found to have value as an antioxidant, a treatment for various cardiovascular disorders (including angina, congestive heart failure, heart attacks and high blood pressure), mitochondrial dysfunction, periodontal and gum disease, migraine headaches and Parkinson's disease? If you answered Coenzyme Q10, you are correct! With such an impressive array of health applications, could we ask for more from a nutraceutical? In fact, we can. We can ask for a better form of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

Ubiqinone and Ubiquinol
So what, you may ask, is wrong with the old form of CoQ10? Only that it is oxidized. You know…the same thing that happens to a molecule which is damaged by a free radical. Here’s how it works. The form of CoQ10 found in almost all supplements is ubiquinone, the oxidized form of this nutraceutical. Before ubiquinone can perform all of its wonderful functions, it must be converted in the body to ubiquinol, the reduced (non-oxidized) form of CoQ10. In fact, for antioxidant protection, ubiquinol is the "active antioxidant" form of CoQ10. If CoQ10 has not been converted to ubiquinol, it is inactive as an antioxidant. Right about now you may be thinking, "So what? Ubiquinone is converted in the body to ubiquinol anyway, so what’s the difference?"...