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Battling the MSG Myth » "Help! I Have a Question" » COQ10 versus HAWTHORN BERRY « Previous Next »

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Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, January 30, 2010 - 4:23 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello all! I am wondering if anyone knows how to explain the difference in these two supplements as far as helping the heart - specifically pertaining to MSG reactions with heart palpatations. I have read up a little bit on the CoQ10 in here regarding helping heart palps, but don't know specifically what it does for the it helps.

I didn't go far into the site to find more info on Hawthorn, but from what I understand, Hawthorn helps increase vascular flow to the heart and helps bring more oxygen to the heart and I was told it also sort of acts as a calmer for the heart - like in times of stress.

Does anyone take both or one or the other? If anyone is taking Hawthorn - is it helping with MSG reactions or to help avoid having reactions as far as heart is concerned? And lastly, would one do well to take both?
Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Tuesday, February 02, 2010 - 7:30 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I started taking CoQ10 about ten years ago after learning of the supplement via another website concerned with Atrial Fibrillation. CoQ10 is also mentioned in Dr. Russell Blaylock’s book “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills”.

I presented the supplement to this discussion board after corresponding with a CoQ10 researcher, Dr. Peter H. Langsjoen, University of Washington and his wife about the potential benefits of CoQ10 in offsetting the effects of MSG upon the mitochondria. As with other supplements suggested by members at this discussion group, a lot of research was reviewed by Carol, Roy, Deb, me and others in order to sanction CoQ10 as MSGMyth recognized aid against MSG symptoms.

As I understand the effects of MSG with regard to rapid heart rate (palpitations and/or A-Fib), MSG causes these symptoms in some people by its vasoconstriction via hypertension and interference with proper neuron electrical signals due to depletion of cellular energy in the mitochondria. In doing so, MSG depletes the cell energy in the mitochondria causing the neuron cells to over excite and eventually die.

Per Wikipedia:

This oil-soluble substance is present in most eukaryotic cells, primarily in the mitochondria. It is a component of the electron transport chain and participates in aerobic cellular respiration, generating energy in the form of ATP. Ninety-five percent of the human body’s energy is generated this way. Therefore, those organs with the highest energy requirements—such as the heart and the liver—have the highest CoQ10 concentrations.

Thus the ATP provided by CoQ10 supplementation helps reduce the adverse effects of MSG ingestion.

Once I mastered MSG avoidance and began proper supplementing, my A-Fib went away and stayed away for ten years. Recently however, my primary care physician (PCP) changed my blood pressure medication from Toprol XL (brand name) to Metoprolol (generic). Almost immediately, I experienced shortness of breath, edema and my A-Fib returned. Why this should happen since the active ingredients are identical can only be explained by assuming that the inactive ingredients (the fillers) may have contained MSG.

My PCP could not explain the change and offered no alternative drug. The situation got so bad that I admitted myself to the Emergency Room of our local hospital. By the next day, I was in such bad shape that they almost lost me – twice. My liver shut down and then my kidneys. I was in A-Fib and my blood pressure was sky high. I was “out of it” from December 14, 2009 until December 24, 2009. I could not eat or breathe on my own. My blood pressure was not responding so I think they changed my BP meds. That seemed to change things and my liver & kidney functions began to improve. Eventually I was released from the hospital on December 28, 2009 and have been recuperating at home since. I am still in A-Fib though, so whatever that BP med did to me seems to have made the A-Fib permanent.

With regard to Hawthorn, I did try that supplement as an alternative to the Metoprolol since Toprol XL is basically a vasodilator. I can’t say if it worked because I think the A-Fib damage had already been done by the Metoprolol.

Hope this helps.

Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, February 03, 2010 - 3:11 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, I'm so sorry to hear about your reactions to Metoprolol, that's awful. I tried to see what the differences in ingredients are but wasn't successful. However, I came across this:

"Serious problems have been reported by some people switched from the popular blood pressure medication Toprol XL to generic versions. These problems include increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, hives and migraine headache. investigated the products on the market. What we found will shock you. Certain generics contain very different ingredients from Toprol XL. And these generics seem to differ from Toprol XL in how they dissolve – which may affect the rate at which they are absorbed in your body."

I couldn't see the full report without having a subscription.

I think this is a huge warning to us all. Any medication can have many side effects, but we trust a change to a generic won't be devastating as in your case.

I wish you a full recovery.
Tom Fernstrom
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Posted on Wednesday, February 03, 2010 - 8:30 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Thanks for the link. I subscribed to the site to be able to see what the report had to say about the generics for Toprol XL.

Below is an excerpt from the report that seems to agree with my hypothesis -- there was more info, but copy write rules prevent me from pasting all the info here:

Different Pills — But Called Equivalent
The active ingredient in Toprol XL (metoprolol succinate) is off-patent while the method for delivering it in time-released tablets is still patent-protected. As a result, companies wishing to market their own time-released generics have had to use or develop tablets different from those sold as Toprol XL or obtain an appropriate license.

Different pills and ingredients
Among the products on the market, only products from Par Pharmaceutical are identical to original Toprol XL. Par has a supply arrangement with AstraZeneca, the maker of Toprol XL. Generics that are identical to the original drug are known as “authorized generics.”

Two other companies selling metoprolol succinate extended-release generics, Eon/Sandoz and Ethex (a division of KV Pharmaceutical) use tablets different from Toprol XL in their size and inactive ingredients.

All the products, including Toprol XL, are formulated as tablets containing many tiny pellets. Each pellet contains a small amount of drug along with a variety of compounds designed to release the drug slowly as the pellet passes through the digestive tract – primarily the intestine. But while the products share this basic design, the “Inactive Ingredients” that make up the Eon/Sandoz and Ethex products differ from those in Toprol XL. The Eon/Sandoz products include ingredients such as methacrylic acid copolymer, magnesium stearate, polysorbate 80, sugar spheres, and talc. The Ethex products include calcium stearate, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and vinyl acetate copolymer. None of these ingredients are in Toprol XL. People with chemical sensitivities may have a reaction to an ingredient found in a generic but not in the original product. It is wise to read the “Inactive Ingredient” list carefully if you have chemical sensitivities.

Different drug release (Dissolution):
Differences in pill design and inactive ingredients may affect how drug is released from a tablet and the rate of that release. Information available from the FDA and the manufacturers suggest that this may be the case with products from both Eon/Sandoz and Ethex.

The FDA permits the dissolution of generic products to vary from the original by a fairly wide range. For example, to meet the dissolution test for the original Toprol XL, a generic may release anywhere from 20% to 40% of its ingredient at four hours into the test. At the completion of such a test (after twenty hours), the product may have released from 80% to 100% of its ingredient and still be considered equivalent.

But going further, the FDA has apparently not required the metoprolol succinate generics from Eon/Sandoz and Ethex to meet this dissolution test. Instead, it seems to have accepted different dissolution tests established by the manufacturers. Unfortunately, the details of these dissolution tests have been partially removed from documents on the FDA website. (See the FDA letters for Eon/Sandoz and Ethex (KV Pharmaceutical) generics).

The official USP dissolution test for Toprol XL is conducted at a pH of 6.8, which is near neutral (7.0). This is also within the pH range of much of the intestine where extended-release products are expected to slowly release their drug. Oddly, the dissolution test for the Eon/Sandoz product, as partially described on the FDA website, is conducted at a more acidic pH of 4.5. This is about a hundred times more acidic than a pH of 6.8. It is curious that only the Eon/Sandoz generic is tested at such a relatively acidic pH. It is possible that if the Eon/Sandoz product were tested like Toprol XL at a pH of 6.8, it might not release the same amount of drug as Toprol XL. In addition, drugs that neutralize acid or inhibit the stomach's production of acid, or foods that create more acid, might affect its dissolution in a different way than Toprol XL or other generics are affected.

The Ethex generic also seems to dissolve differently than Toprol XL. A section of its package insert notes, in fact, that it “Does not comply with the dissolution test of the USP monograph for metoprolol succinate extended-release tablets.” Exactly how it differs is not disclosed.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, February 03, 2010 - 9:09 pm:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is astounding, unconscionable and criminal! Thanks for sharing what you found.
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, February 04, 2010 - 7:52 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom thanks for the heads up. In other posts here recently I have mentioned a years long quest to figure out what makes my husband have a serious cough. He hopefully has just had surgery that will help him. It looks good already. His Cardiologist wanted him on Metoprolol to correct an irregular heart beat along with his other B/P meds. We read all the interactions and info on the pharmacy print out and decided not to do it at that time because of all the references to a possible problem with the meds he was already on to treat the cough (way too many) We ques. his Pulmonologist and she said if he did not have to take it, that he should not. It could worsen his cough or bring it back if he was experiencing a resbit from it. He often did have that happen when on anti biotics. The new ENT we went to explained all the mechanical problems he had and what he could do to fix him. It was extraordinay that none of the 8 docs he had seen went in that direction, even another ENT early in the search. When we explained to the anesthesiologist (on the day of the surgery) why he had chosen not to take the Met. at this time, until his problem was straightened out and he was off the other meds he was on. He agreed that we had made a good choice, it even affects your breathing he said. We were not just choosing not to follow doctors orders, we did our research and the Dr. ordering the med for him said, He is fine for now, but down the road this medicine will be a help. That wasn't enough reason for us to take a chance. I loved the info you introduced to us today. We have to be careful about what we put into our bodies, and ask those important question. Sometimes we just don't know what ques. to ask, but our gut tells us to look further. Now that his surgery is done, we would be thinking about what to do on the Metropolol decision. I think we need to try the COQ10 first to see if it clears him up. Thanks for your input, I always learn from your posts of the past. Mariann
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, February 05, 2010 - 3:31 am:   Delete PostPrint Post   Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

oh boy sorry to hear what happened to you! I do hope that eventually the A-Fib will go away again - maybe your system needs more time to get the toxicity out. Thank you for the information on the CoQ10 - very helpful.

I still would like to hear if anyone else has any information or results to report on the Hawthorn and which you may think would be better for msg type reactions but also to protect the heart. I sappose I could just take both, but was interested to hear if anyone knew any more info on this.

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