News & Notes: On CoQ10 for Reducing Fatigue; Probiotics Benefit Covid-19 Patients; Exercise for Cognitive Decline; Processed Meat and Dementia

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Probiotics Benefit Patients with Sars-Cov-2 (Covid-19)

A recent systemic review and meta-analysis found that probiotics could be effective in alleviating symptoms of patients infected with Covid-19. The review process found a statistically significant reduction in symptoms of 51% among patients. Researchers suggest that supplementing with probiotics is an effective method of alleviating symptoms for patients with Covid-19.
Abstract: Benefits of probiotic use on COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neris Almeida Viana S, do Reis Santos Pereira T, de Carvalho Alves J, et al. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2022 Sep 30:1-13. doi: 10.1080/10408 398.2022.2128713

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that caused the new global pandemic, which has already resulted in millions of deaths, affecting the world’s health and economy. Probiotics have shown benefits in a variety of diseases, including respiratory infections, and may be beneficial in the adjunctive treatment of Covid-19. This study analyzed the effectiveness of probiotics as adjunctive treatment in reducing symptoms of patients with Covid-19, through a systematic review with meta-analysis.

The EMBASE (Elsevier), Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) were searched through March 16, 2022. The risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was estimated using a fixed-effect model. RoB 2 and ROBINS I were used to assess the risk of bias of the included studies. Nine studies were included (7 clinical trials and 2 cohorts), of which three clinical trials comprised the meta-analysis. Results showed that probiotics were associated with a significant 51% reduction in symptoms reported by Covid-19 patients. There was a significant improvement in cough, headaches, and diarrhea of patients on probiotic therapy. These findings suggest that probiotic supplementation is effective in improving symptoms of Covid-19.
(Excerpted from a report submitted October 2022, by the Council for Responsible Nutrition)

CoQ10 an Effective Supplement for Reducing Fatigue Symptoms

It seems that everyone feels tired and fatigued these days. In fact, 45% of the general population can feel temporary fatigue, and chronic fatigue can be felt by more than 10% of people. In a recent review, researchers found that CoQ10 supplements can relieve the severity of fatigue.
Abstract: Effectiveness of Coenzyme Q10 Supplementation for Reducing Fatigue: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Tsai IC, Hsu C W, Chang CH, et al. Front Pharmacol. 2022 Aug 24;13:883251. doi: 10.3389/ fphar.2022.883251.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a popular nutritional supplement, an antioxidant, and an essential component of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Several clinical studies have suggested that fatigue can be reduced by antioxidant supplementation. But the data on this topic has been sparse to date.
Hence, we conducted this meta-analysis with the aim of investigating the effectiveness of fatigue reduction via CoQ10 supplementation. Specifically, we searched electronic databases for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published from the database inception to January 2022. A random effects model was implemented to conduct the meta-analysis among 13 RCTs (with a total of 1,126 participants). As compared with the placebo groups evaluated in each RCT, the CoQ10 group showed a statistically significant reduction in fatigue scores.

The directions of the treatment effects were consistent between the healthy and diseased participants. Com-pared with the placebo group, the effect of reducing fatigue was statistically significant in the subgroup using the CoQ10-only formulation but not in the subgroup using CoQ10 compounds.
The results of our meta-regression demonstrate that increases in the daily dose and treatment duration of CoQ10 supplementation were correlated with greater fatigue reduction. There was only one adverse (gastrointestinal) event in the 602 participants who underwent the CoQ10 intervention. Based on the results of this meta-analysis, we conclude that CoQ10 is an effective and safe supplement for reducing fatigue symptoms.
(Excerpted from a report submitted October 2022, by the Council for Responsible Nutrition)

The following three reports are reprinted from the monthly “Literature Review & Commentary” by Dr. Alan R. Gaby, MD published in Townsend Letter for Doctors.

Exercise is Beneficial for People with Cognitive Decline

A meta-analysis was conducted on 19 randomized controlled trials that examined the effect of physical exercise in patients with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment. The results demonstrated that exercise improved scores on the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) in both groups of patients. In the group with mild cognitive impairment, exercise appeared to have a strong effect for those with lower MMSE scores at baseline (lower scores indicate more cognitive impairment). The effect sizes for physical exercise were similar to those achieved with donepezil (a cholinesterase inhibitor used to treat dementia).

Comment: This meta-analysis found that physical exercise is an effective intervention for people with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment. Future studies should examine what types of exercise and what level of exercise intensity and frequency are the most effective for preventing and treating these conditions.
(Pisani S., et al. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of physical activity in people with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment with a comparison to donezezil. Int Journal Geriatric Psychiatry, 2021;36:1471-1487)

Processed Meat Consumption and Dementia

The association between meat consumption and risk of developing dementia was examined in the UK Biobank cohort, which is a population-based cohort study of participants aged 40 to 69 years in the UK between 2006 and 2010. During a median follow-up period of eight years (excluding cases that occurred in the first year of follow-up), among 493,888 participants, 2,896 new cases of all-cause dementia were identified (1,006 case of Alzheimer’s disease, and 490 case of vascular dementia).

Each additional 25 grams per day intake of processed meat was associated with increased risks of all-cause dementia (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.44; p for trend = 0.001). In contrast, a 50 gram per day increase in unprocessed red meat intake was associated with reduced risks of all-cause dementia (HR = 0.70; p for trend less than 0.01). There were no significant associations between consumption of unprocessed poultry or total meat and risk of Alzheimer’s disease or all-cause dementia. In addition, there were no significant associations between meat consumption and risk of vascular dementia.

Comment: In this observational study, there was an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or any type of dementia with increasing consumption of processed meats. In contrast, consumption of unprocessed meat was associated with decreased risk of developing these conditions. While observational studies cannot prove causation, it is noteworthy that consumption of processed meat has also been associated in other studies with an increased risk of developing colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes and an increased risk of readmission to the hospital in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Based on available evidence, it would be prudent to keep consumption of processed meat such as ham, bacon, sausage, pepperoni, hot dogs, corned beef, and canned meat to a minimum.
Zhang H., et al. Meat consumption and risk of incident dementia: cohort stuidy of 493,888 UK Biobank participants. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2021:114:175-184

Cow’s Milk and Rectal Bleeding

Of 61 children under the age of four months who were experiencing rectal bleeding, 58 had a resolution of the bleeding after cow’s milk protein was removed from their diet. The median age of onset of rectal bleeding was 21 days, which corresponded to two days after the introduction of cow’s milk protein. The children were re-challenged with cow’s milk protein a median of 36 days after it had been removed from the diet. Eighteen children experienced significant and persistent symptoms during the food challenge (such as a relapse of rectal bleeding, behavioural changes, diarrhea, or vomiting) and were considered to have cow’s milk protein allergy. Seventy-five percent of the children acquired tolerance to cow’s milk protein before the age of 10 months.

Comment: This study confirms previous studies demonstrating that allergy to cow’s milk protein is a common cause of rectal bleeding in infants. The majority of the children developed what the stuidy authors called “tolerance” to cow’s milk protein, in that it no longer triggered the symptoms it had previously caused.
However, practitioners who work with hidden food allergy have found that childhood allergies sometimes resurface later in life, manifesting as conditions such as migraines, arthritis, fatigue, asthma, or perennial rhinitis.

The symptom-evoking foods in adulthood are often the same ones that caused problems during childhood. That observation does not necessarily mean that children who develop tolerance to cow’s milk protein should continue to avoid it. However, if new symptoms occur later in life, one should consider the possibility that cow’s milk protein is a contributing factor.
Lemoine A, et al. Rectal bleeding and cow’s milk protein-induced proctocolitis: A prospective study. Clin Exp Allergy 2021;51:1242-1245.

(The previous three reports are by Dr. Alan Gaby, author of the book Nutritional Medicine, a comprehensive textbook for healthcare professionals. Find more information about his book and other writings at: These reports are reprinted with permission from Townsend Letter: The Examiner of Alternative Medicine. For information about subscriptions, visit their website:, email:

Green Tea Extract (GTE) May Be Helpful in Cases of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

The longer this trial of almost 200 patients went on, the more it demonstrated the benefits of green tea extract on peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes mellitus.
Abstract: Green tea extract for mild-to-moderate diabetic peripheral neuropathy A randomized controlled trial.Essmat A, Hussein MS. The present study included 194 patients with DPN, randomized into two groups.

Results: At baseline and after 4 weeks of treatment, VAS, TCSS and VPT were comparable in the studied groups. However, after 8 weeks of treatment, patients in GTE group expressed lower VAS scores, significantly lower TCSS scores and significantly lower VPT. As treatment continued, the differences between groups regarding the outcome parameters became more evident at 16 weeks. Conclusions: GTE intake may have a beneficial value in treatment of DPN.
(Excerpted from a report submitted in November 2022, by the Council for Responsible Nutrition)

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