Chinese research brightens outlook for Alzheimer's and stroke patients

Huperzine A (Knoitol), a substance found in the club moss Huperzia serrata, has been used in China for centuries to treat swelling, fever, and blood disorders. The Chinese Academy of Sciences took an interest in huperzine in the 1980s and developed it as a treatment for dementia, particularly the dementia of Alzheimer’s Disease. It is now the approved treatment for Alzheimer’s in China at 400-800 mcg per day.

In most respects huperzine appears to be superior to all anti-Alzheimer’s drugs currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – drugs such as tacrine, donepezil, and rivastigmine. Huperzine has better penetration through the blood-brain barrier, higher oral bioavailability, fewer side effects, and a longer duration of action than these expensive prescription drugs. And it is available as a dietary supplement!

The medical studies. Nearly all medical research on huperzine is the work of researchers in China who have conducted animal studies and human clinical trials since the 1980s. They reported that huperzine enhances memory and protects nerve cells from the kinds of damage typically seen in Alzheimer’s Disease. Double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials in patients with and without Alzheimer’s resulted in significant improvements in cognitive function and in the quality of life. But these results had little impact in the medical world outside China until 2004 when the U.S. National Institutes of Health conducted one clinical trial. More trials are now planned, and huperzine is becoming a ‘hot’ research topic worldwide.

How does huperzine work? Huperzine affects multiple biochemical pathways in the brain, several of which are involved in Alzheimer’s Disease. In the best-understood of these pathways the neurotransmitter acetylcholine carries signals from one nerve cell to another. But in Alzheimer’s Disease, there is a shortage of acetylcholine, and consequently an impaired signalling ability. Huperzine, an inhibitor of the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, causes this neurotransmitter to accumulate, permitting more signalling to take place.

This is not huperzine’s only effect on Alzheimer’s, however. It also:

  • protects nerve cells from free radicals generated by the ‘beta-amyloid’ Alzheimer’s plaques.
  • interferes with the formation of these destructive beta-amyloid plaques.
  • interferes with the ‘suicide’programming that causes nerve cells to die when they receive spurious ‘time-to-die’ signals, as they do under Alzheimer’s conditions.
  • increases the brain’s production of nerve growth factor (NGF) – a substance involved in generating replacements for lost cells.
  • increases the brain’s production of NGF receptors – cell-surface proteins required for NGF activity.

Does huperzine also repair stroke damage? Although the final word has not been heard on this subject, preliminary experiments in China using rodents indicate that huperzine limits memory deficits and neuronal damage after stroke-like brain injuries. The doses used up to now have been much larger than those used in Alzheimer’s studies.

For a more detailed discussion of huperzine A, and the medical studies that support their use, see the article at:

Why not fine-tune your clunky metabolism?

zarkovIdebenone: An Improved Co-Enzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) plays a crucial role in human metabolism and health. Decades of CoQ10 research has led to idebenone, a CoQ10 variant with different, but complementary, benefits. CoQ10 appears to be more beneficial for heart disease and cancer and for treating illness and anti-aging. Idebenone seems to work better at improving cognition, treating brain disorders, and protecting the body from low-oxygen levels. This is why many people fine-tune their metabolism by supplementing with both idebenone and CoQ10.

Idebenone crosses the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to protect the brain and improve its metabolism. By stimulating the brain’s production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) idebenone can counteract the effects of aging and help reduce damage from brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s Disease, and Friedreich’s Ataxia. It also boosts serotonin, dopamine, and neurotransmitter levels and improves nerve function. Equally important is idebenone’s role as a neuroprotector.

Many drugs produce excito-toxins that can impair or damage the brain, as can processed-food additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) – including camouflaged MSG such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, yeast extract, and soy protein compounds – and aspartame (Nutrasweet). Idebenone shields the brain against the degrading effects of these compounds, and protects various organs against damage. Idebenone is superior to CoQ10 as a free-radical scavenger, and is eight times more potent than aspirin as a blood-clot inhibitor. At the cellular level, it protects against mitochondrial damage, increasing the body’s extraction of energy from food, while decreasing toxic by-products. At the organ level, it reduces or eliminates toxins, both from diet and from the metabolism of pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs. (Lipoic acid and n-acetyl-cysteine have closely-related benefits.) The difference between idebenone and CoQ10 really comes into focus, however, when the body’s oxygen levels drop.

Low-oxygen conditions – such as those during a heart attack, stroke, or surgery – can cause a situation where CoQ10 may stop acting as an antioxidant and, instead, start producing free radicals. Idebenone, however, continues to function in low-oxygen environments, preventing damage when the body is most vulnerable. Superior low-oxygen performance is why idebenone is used to safeguard organs during transplants.

The discovery of the benefits of CoQ10 was a milestone in human health. Idebenone promises to deliver equally impressive results. Unlike CoQ10, however, idebenone cannot be made by your body. So unless you use it as a supplement, your body’s clunky metabolism will continue playing havoc with your brain and other organs.

For a more detailed discussion of Idebenone, and the medical studies that support their use, see the article at:

Aging and rejuvenation: the fat connection

ALC’s (Acetyl L-Carnitine) essential role in fat metabolism. Cells are constantly breaking down fat molecules and making new ones. This is how cells

  • maintain and repair their internal and external membranes;
  • adjust the structure of these membranes in response to changing conditions;
  • take advantage of the energy contained in dietary fats.

The processing of dietary fats takes place largely in a specialized organelle called the “mitochondrion”. Cells typically contain from one to thousands of mitochondria. ALC is used to ‘tag’ fatty acids, marking them for transport into mitochondria where they can be processed.

ALC as a treatment for aging. As people age, their cells age, and their mitochondria age. The mitochondrial membranes develop skewed proportions of the various molecules they are made of – particularly the lipid molecules which are made from fatty acids. This disrupts the functions of complex nanomachinery which resides in the membranes. And that, in turn, leads to defective transport of raw materials into the mitochondria, and to a decline in energy production by the nanomachines that extract energy from fats and sugars. As a mitochondrion’s efficiency declines, it provides less energy to the cell it belongs to – energy that the cell needs for maintaining and replacing biological structures. In other words, the cells become decrepit and so does the person they belong to.

The current view is that ALC supplementation reverses this decline in mitochondrial function. It rejuvenates mitochondria, and the boost in useful energy that results from this enables cells to behave more youthfully, too. Youthful cells translates into youthful people.

Potential uses of ALC. Since ALC plays a central role in the production of energy in cells of all kinds, it can ameliorate many different conditions that involve cellular energy deficiency or impaired fat metabolism. For example, it can help to ‘burn off’ excess fat and increase endurance during exercise.

But ALC also has effects that are independent of energy production. For example, ALC enhances the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it stimulates the synthesis of protein, and it affects the fluidity of biological membranes. The mechanisms are poorly understood, but we can nevertheless exploit them to alter the performance of our bodies and minds.

Medical conditions which have responded well to ALC supplements include:

  • Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, etc.
  • neuropathy and encephalopathy
  • macular degeneration, eye-lens stiffening
  • HIV-related lipodystrophy
  • increased fat metabolism and endurance
  • diabetes and diabetic neuropathy
  • cardiovascular problems
  • depression, memory decline
  • low libido and erectile dysfunction
  • MS-related fatigue
  • noise-induced hearing loss
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • fibromyalgia
  • nerve injury

For a more detailed discussion of Acetyl L-Carnitine, and the medical studies that support their use, see the article at:

Growing evidence suggests progesterone should be considered a treatment option for traumatic brain injuries

Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, recommend that progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone found in both males and females that can protect damaged cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems, be considered a viable treatment option for traumatic brain injuries, according to a clinical perspective published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

“Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important clinical problem in the United States and around the world,” said Donald G. Stein, PhD, lead author of the paper. “TBI has received more attention recently because of its high incidence among combat casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Current Department of Defense statistics indicated that as many as 30 percent of wounded soldiers seen at Walter Reed Army Hospital have suffered a TBI, a finding that has stimulated government interest in developing a safe and effective treatment for this complex disorder,” said Stein.

“Growing evidence indicates that post-injury administration of progesterone in a variety of brain damage models can have beneficial effects, leading to substantial and sustained improvements in brain functionality. Progesterone given to both males and females can cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce edema (swelling) levels after TBI; in different models of cerebral ischemia (restriction of blood supply), significantly reduce the area of necrotic cell death and improve behavioral outcomes; and protect neurons distal to the injury that would normally die,” said Stein.

Progesterone was recently tested in two phase 2 clinical trials for traumatic brain injury and will begin a phase 3 NIH sponsored trial soon.

“Given its relatively high safety profile, its ease of administration, its low cost and ready availability, Progesterone should be considered a viable treatment option – especially because, in brain injury, so little else is currently available,” said Stein.


This study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. For a copy of the full study, please contact Heather Curry via email at or at 703-390-9822.

About ARRS

The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900 and is the oldest radiology society in the United States. Its monthly journal, the American Journal of Roentgenology, began publication in 1906. Radiologists from all over the world attend the ARRS annual meeting to participate in instructional courses, scientific paper presentations and scientific and commercial exhibits related to the field of radiology. The Society is named after the first Nobel Laureate in Physics, Wilhelm Roentgen, who discovered the x-ray in 1895.

For a more information on Progesterone see the articles at:

Catch the train to good health from this 'platform'

zarkovMultivitamins are typically built from whatever raw materials are cheapest and densest – to maximize the manufacturer’s profits and minimize the tablet’s physical size – instead of from what your body can actually assimilate and use. This allows a single tablet to claim to supply a reasonable fraction of the FDA’s recommended daily allowance (RDA), low as it is, and still be swallowable.

Reducing the physical size of vitamins like B and C is impossible, since the chemical structure is fixed. So manufacturers just reduce the amount present. Minerals, however, are a very different story: the simpler the mineral complex, the less space it takes up physically, but the more difficult it is for your body to absorb. Beyond absorption issues, many multivitamins contain harmful components like iron, which promotes cancer and heart disease, and accelerates aging. All of this is why LifeLink’s Platform is totally different from ordinary multi-vitamins.

Platform was engineered from the ground up to be the most potent and balanced multi-nutrient formulation available anywhere. Period. They started with a solid blend of quality vitamins (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-12, A, D, K, biotin, folic acid, PABA). Then they added in a superior mix of potent antioxidants (C, E, natural alpha- and beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, lipoic acid, catalase, limonene, carnosol, anthacyanidins, dithiothiones, nordihydroguairetic acid). Next, they selected an optimum blend of electrolyte, macro, and trace minerals (calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, chromium, selenium, potassium, manganese, sulfur, boron, silicon, iodine, molybdenum, vanadium, cobalt) complexed (aspartate, citrate, ascorbate, amino acids) for maximum absorption and bio-availability. Then we included essential sulfhydryl amino acids (L-cysteine, L-glutathione, L-methionine) and compounds widely accepted as brain-boosters (choline, DMAE, myoinositol). Finished it off with a variety of detoxifiers and cancer fighters, including chlorophyll (A, B, C, D), xanthophyll, barley grass and cruciferous vegetable extracts (algae spirulina, fucus, dunaliela, laminaria, chondrus crispus, macrocytis). Without a doubt, Platform has a richer set of ingredients than any other supplement in its class.

The result is impressive: a mere six Platform tablets a day deliver all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and trace elements your body needs to remain healthy, and it give you compounds widely accepted to be crucial for optimum health and cognition. You can even, if desired, take Platform throughout the day for time-delayed absorption.

It’s time you stopped wasting money on multivitamins doing little for you, and time to start taking Platform: the multivitamin designed to keep your body healthy.

For a more detailed discussion of this product and the medical studies that support its use, see the article at: