Tag: cocoa

New Evidence That Cocoa Can Protect Us From Heart Attacks – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 535

New Evidence That Cocoa Can Protect Us From Heart Attacks – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 535

Cocoa is known for its powerful antioxidants and polyphenols, but recent studies are also showing how beneficial it can be for supporting heart health.

New Findings on Nutrition and Cancer – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 501

New Findings on Nutrition and Cancer – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 501

Recent research has shown that there may be certain nutrients that can benefit people who are fighting cancer. Jerry Hickey discusses these new studies in this episode of the InVite Health Podcast.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Can Anything Help?, Part 2 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 490

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Can Anything Help?, Part 2 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 490

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Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Can Anything Help?, Part 2 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 490

Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.

*Intro music*

InVite Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InViteⓇ Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started. [00:00:34]

Jerry Hickey, Ph.: [00:00:40] Welcome back to part two of my episode, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Can Anything Help? My name is Jerry Hickey. I’m a nutritional pharmacist. I’m also the Senior Scientific Officer over here at InViteⓇ Health. So welcome to the episode, and thanks for tuning in to this podcast today. You can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to a podcast or visit invitehealth.com/podcast. Subscribe and leave us a review, if you could. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @invitehealth, and the information on this episode is linked at the episode description.† [00:01:14]

[00:01:15] In part one, I spoke about typical treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome. I spoke about conditions that may be causative of it, how they tend to diagnose it, what tests, etc., and I explained that it was a diagnosis of exclusion. So there’s no test for chronic fatigue syndrome. What they have to do is rule out everything else that can lead to fatigue, such as alcoholism, such as insomnia, such as anemia, such as thyroid disease, such as having depression or anxiety, such as having cancer or some autoimmune disease, or something that can cause fatigue. So they rule out all those things. And if you’ve had that fatigue for six months or more persistently and you also have pain accompanying it, they probably will diagnose it as chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s also called myalgic encephalomyelitis.† [00:02:08]

[00:02:11] Now in part one, at the end, I spoke about cocoa and why cocoa might be helpful, but they found that cocoa in several small studies that it did help people with chronic fatigue syndrome, and I wouldn’t doubt it. I mean, there are ingredients in cocoa that probably would be helpful.† [00:02:26]

[00:02:28] But there’s also studies showing that probiotics and prebiotics help with chronic fatigue syndrome. Now, a probiotic are enough good bacteria that make a difference for your health. It’s a supplement, but you can also get in yogurt, and prebiotics are the food for them. Usually that comes out of chicory root. Chicory root is a cousin of Belgian endive and the good bacteria, by the way, love fiber. They love foods like lettuce and broccoli and spinach and beans. They love that kind of food. So that’s an easy way to feed them, right? So this is the journal Microbiome, which is a great journal. It’s all about bacteria. So, you know, the bacteria rule us. We have, it looks like well over 100 and… 100 trillion bacteria living with us, but they’re all over us. They’re in our lungs. They’re in our urinary tract. They’re in, they’re on our skin, they’re on our eyeballs, they’re on our scalp, they’re all over. But most of them are in our digestive tract. And the truth of the matter is we… If you took a square inch of our digestive tract, a square inch of our colon, our large intestine, there’s more bacteria living on that square inch of large intestine than all the people that were ever born on planet Earth. So who rules? So when you have a lot of bad bacteria, they inflame you. They cause problems. They can’t do the job the good bacteria do. And when you have good bacteria, it’s just the opposite. They reduce inflammation. They guide your immune system so they help prevent and even help reduce allergy reactions and allergies. They help guide your immune system towards fighting off viruses and infections and cancer cells. They do a lot of really good things, but strains matter. Species and strains matter. So not all species and strains can accomplish these things.† [00:04:34]


[00:04:37] So here’s the journal Microbiome. And it’s Cornell University, and they said signs of chronic fatigue syndrome have been found in the gut bacteria in research conducted at Cornell University. So that raises the question, does chronic fatigue syndrome start in the brain? No, it might start in the intestines. They’re finding that with other brain diseases like Parkinson’s disease. There’s a lot of evidence now. It’s building, but the research hasn’t gotten around yet, but there’s a lot of studies if you look it up, that Parkinson’s disease, a movement disorder that occurs in the back of the brain that affects your, your gait the way you walk, it makes you stiff, it causes tremors, like your hand and your head shaking, that it starts in the gut. And there are studies in people with Alzheimer’s, when they give them certain strains of good bacteria, they help improve their brain function. So there really is a gut-brain axis. There were studies from Ireland and from Framingham State University, up in Massachusetts, etc., that certain probiotic bacteria help with mood and stress and anxiety, and possibly even depression. So, according to the Cornell University researchers, people with chronic fatigue syndrome, they constantly frequently have digestive tract issues, including irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome is triggered by stress and anxiety and allergies, and you could be constipated. You could have diarrhea. You can have pain. So they found that when they gave probiotics in two studies, previous studies that there were marginal improvements in certain symptoms of people chronic fatigue syndrome. So the Cornell University researchers, they found that there are markers in your blood and your stool that indicate you have chronic fatigue syndrome. They found that certain bacteria are related to chronic fatigue and that lacking bacteria was connected with chronic fatigue. And they found that the bad bacteria create things that inflame you. And this is part and parcel, apparently, of chronic fatigue syndrome.† [00:07:05]

[00:07:06] They also found that it led to leaky gut syndrome. Now we’ve been talking about leaky gut syndrome in nutrition since the 1980s. What it is, you’re… There’s tight junctions between the cells that line your intestines, but it’s not very deep. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s shallow. And if those junctions get loosened, things that shouldn’t get into the bloodstream, bloodstream are escaping from your digestive tract and entering your blood. So if your food is not totally digested and you have leaky gut syndrome, large molecules of food can escape into the bloodstream and then your immune system thinks that’s an infection and attacks it and that leads to food allergies. The leaky gut syndrome has also been connected to systemic lupus erythematosus, where your immune system is attacking your organs, rheumatoid arthritis, where your immune system is attacking your joints. They also find out a lack of healthy bacteria is connected, not just with chronic fatigue syndrome, but Crohn’s disease. So it wouldn’t hurt if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, that you took a probiotic. It’s a good idea, and it wouldn’t hurt to try cocoa. It’s a good idea.† [00:08:31]

[00:08:33] So this is the journal of the British Dietetic Association. It’s called the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s the School of Medical Sciences, Griffith University. Griffith University’s in Australia, and they’re looking at what helps chronic fatigue syndrome. So they’re doing a systematic review. With a systematic review, you go on all these electronic websites that collate research, and you fish through them to collect the data. So they found 17 studies, and they found that chronic fatigue was improved with cocoa. And they found that chronic fatigue was improved by probiotics. And they found that chronic fatigue was improved by NADH with coenzyme Q10. So we’re going to get to that right now. In fact, we make a product. I made a product years ago where we mixed the active version of coenzyme Q10 with NADH, so let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about what that is. A great deal of what you do for your energy is converting sugar into energy. It enters something called the Krebs citric acid cycle, and it creates energy. And that’s basically all the energy in your body, the energy for your brain, the energy to hear, the energy to see, the energy to smell and taste, the energy to digest food, the energy to walk, the energy to go to the bathroom, the energy for your immune system. It all comes out of that. Pretty much all of it.† [00:10:09]

[00:10:11] So CoQ10 is at the core of that. CoQ10 was discovered about fin de siecle, 19th century, 20th century. And a lot of research came out of Texas in the, in the 1950s. So Texas is like a hotbed of CoQ10 research. So we actually get the active form of CoQ10 from Texas, from Kaneka, which is a Japanese company, but they make it in Texas. It’s called Ubiquinol. And I think for people with chronic fatigue, rather than getting CoQ10, that’s poorly absorbed and hard to convert into the active form, they probably should get Ubiquinol. So we made Ubiquinol with NADH. NADH is a form of Vitamin B3 that’s extremely active. It’s an antioxidant. It’s involved with energy production and slowing down the aging process. It does a lot of wonderful things, but NADH also recycles Ubiquinol. So this is a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled human clinical trial. So it’s a state of the art gold standard human clinical trial. It’s in the journal Nutrients. It’s researchers from different research institutions in Spain. Twelve weeks long, 207 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, and they split them into two groups. They received CoQ10 with NADH or matching placebo once daily. And you take that with food to absorb it. But once again, Ubiquinol is going to be superior because Ubiquinol is already active and typically people with these kind of syndromes, they don’t activate CoQ10 very effectively. So if we give the Ubiquinol, there’s a better chance it’s going to work for these people. But they used the regular CoQ10 in these people, but high quality CoQ10. They said there was a significant reduction in chronic fatigue overall, an improvement in their quality of life, the health-related quality of life. A real… And a real improvement also in sleep. They were sleeping better. They were sleeping longer. So the, the, the Ubiquinol or CoQ10 would really mean something.† [00:12:22]

[00:12:25] Now here’s another study. This is Antioxidant Redox Signaling. That’s a journal, and it’s Val de Hebron Research Institution and Val de Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona. And this is another eight week study, but this time it’s only 73 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. And once again, they found if you gave them CoQ10 with NADH, there was a real improvement in their fatigue versus placebo. So in the bigger study, they also looked at sleep and sleep improved.† [00:12:59]

[00:13:03] Now, this is the RIKEN center for Bio Systemic Dynamic Research, it’s in Japan and this is in the journal Brain and Nerve, and they’re using PET scans, Positron Emission Tomography, magnetoencephalograms and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, that’s MRIs, to look at the brains of people with chronic fatigue syndrome. And they found that in parts of the brain involved with logic and memory and energy, etc., the brain was lacking Alcar. I’ll explain that in a minute. And they also found that they had inflammation in their brain. So people with chronic fatigue, I do give something called Alcar with ALA. ALA is involved with creating the energy molecule. Alcar delivers it into the cell. And there’s a lot of research that Alcar with ALA is good for energy, just like the CoQ10 with NADH is good for energy, and there’s a lot of research that Alcar with ALA is great for the brain. So it’s reasonable to give people with chronic fatigue syndrome something that’s fantastic for the brain, fantastic for the heart, fantastic for your muscles, such as the Ubiquinol and the Alcar with ALA.† [00:14:22]

[00:14:24] Here’s a study in people with chronic fatigue syndrome using Panax ginseng. I would skip that because you had to use really high doses, so I would skip that. I wouldn’t do it. It did seem to help them, but not a lot of research. Very few patients, only 50 patients and they had to use too big a dosage. They had to use 3000 milligrams every day. Even though I think it’s safe, I wouldn’t use it. They also found that people with chronic fatigue syndrome… This is Molecular Neurobiology. That’s Tir Na Nog. That’s an old Gaelic word, Tir Na Nog. It’s in Wales, you know, Wales in the UK. And they found that people with, I mean, this is very predictable people with chronic fatigue syndrome, not only did they lack Alcar like they found in the other study, they lack glutathione. So what’s glutathione? Glutathione is a master antioxidant enzyme. It protects the brain. It protects the eyes. It protects the heart. It protects your immune cells. It protects your red blood cells. It protects your pancreas and your kidneys and your liver. I mean, it’s just all over the body. But the amount of glutathione can vary dramatically from person to person because glutathione would help protect you from pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol all these different things, infections. So they are finding that people with chronic fatigue syndrome lack glutathione and glutathione in the body strongly reduces inflammation.†[00:15:51]

[00:15:52] So here’s what I would do if I had chronic fatigue. All of these would be safe for you to try, and if you hit one that really helps, it’s going to make a difference. I would try cocoa. I would definitely try cocoa. Don’t put it in milk. Milk seems to reduce its effectiveness in general. Put it in water. Cocoa tastes great already, just put in water. I would try a great probiotic like Lactobacillus ramnosis, Lactobacillus plantarum, bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis, strains like that. I would use Ubiquinol with NADH. Ubiquinol’s active CoQ10. I would definitely use it. I would try… I would definitely try Alcar with ALA. I would definitely try glutathione, but you have to take a lot of glutathione. Possibly a better way for glutathione for your brain and protection is to take a supplement called NAC. It’s a precursor to glutathione that works really well. I would take NAC 600 milligrams three times a day with food and see if that helps you. [00:16:49]

[00:16:51] Now they’ve looked into B-vitamins, and they didn’t help people with chronic fatigue syndrome. But I don’t think they looked at the active forms of B-vitamins, and I haven’t seen studies where they’ve investigated if people with chronic fatigue syndrome can activate B-vitamins, so let’s discuss that. There’s different B-vitamins like B12, but the regular B12 they give people is cyanocobalamin, a synthetic form. Not everybody can convert that into the active form, which is methylcobalamin, which is the real form of the human body. So maybe that’s part of the problem. Or folic acid, synthetic B9, Vitamin B9. Not everybody can convert that to methyltetrahydrafolate, the active form. Or B6, pyridoxine hydrochloride. Not everybody can convert that to the active form pyridoxal 5 phosphate. So maybe with chronic fatigue syndrome, they need to look at, can these people activate B-vitamins, not just giving them the regular B-vitamins that you get on on the shelf in a, in a chain store pharmacy, but the active forms. Like we have Methyl-B, maybe they need to try that. Maybe it’ll help. It’s certainly not going to hurt because those B-vitamins lower the risk of cancer. The… When they’re activated, they lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They’re good for your bones. They’re good for your heart. They’re good for your muscles. They’re great for energy. So maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe they’re not looking in the right direction. Maybe they have to look at activating nutrients into their active form because if it’s not activated, it’s not going to help you. That’s why I said don’t use regular CoQ10, use Ubiquinol, it’s the active form of CoQ10.† [00:18:28]

[00:18:30] Now, I wouldn’t doubt that bio-curcumin, an active form of curcumin, turmeric, but the complete plant, that’s well absorbed would be helpful because it’s been shown to help with depression. It’s been shown to help with memory and brain energy. And since they’re finding that there’s inflammation in the brain of people with chronic fatigue syndrome, I would give that a shot. So let’s just review that. I’m going to say them quickly. I would definitely do cocoa. I would definitely try probiotics. I would definitely try Ubiquinol with NADH. I would try activated B-vitamins. I would try a well-absorbed turmeric like Bio-Curcumin or Curcumin Complex. I would try Alcar with ALA. They’re not going to hurt. They might help a great deal.† [00:19:17]


[00:19:20] Now there are other conditions that seem to be related to chronic fatigue syndrome, like fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is the most common muscle pain syndrome. People with fibromyalgia, even a breeze can hurt their face, picking up a cup of tea can hurt their hand. They have this magnified sense of pressure on their nociceptors. Nociceptors are nerves that, that feel pain and their nociceptors are way overactive. Irritable bowel syndrome is related. That’s a chronic condition, that means long lasting, that affects your large intestine that can lead to cramps and diarrhea and leaky gut syndrome and constipation, mononucleosis, infectious mononucleosis. But Epstein-Barr virus. So they have to really look at all these things Lyme disease, you know that tick-borne disease by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorfi… Burgdorferi, I should say. MS, hypothyroidism, so… But we’ve done podcast episodes on many of these, like fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism.† [00:20:25]

[00:20:31] So I want to thank you for tuning into the InViteⓇ Health Podcast today, you can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or visit invitehealth.com/podcast. Please subscribe and leave us a review. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @invitehealth. And I hope to see you next time on another, on another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. I want to thank you for listening. Jerry Hickey signing off.† [00:20:31]

*Exit music*


Poor Circulation to the Legs? These Nutrients Can Help – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 475

Poor Circulation to the Legs? These Nutrients Can Help – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 475

If you’re experiencing pain or cramps in your legs, there’s a chance you are having issues with circulation to your legs. The good news is that there are nutrients that can help.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women Are Different Than in Men, Part 3 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 425

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women Are Different Than in Men, Part 3 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 425

As we age, our body’s ability to convert CoQ10 into its active form, ubiquinol, decreases. This can increase our chances of having a heart-related issue such as a heart attack. Learn more about the role this nutrient plays in women’s heart health from Jerry Hickey, Ph.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women Are Different Than in Men, Part 2 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 424

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women Are Different Than in Men, Part 2 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 424

heart attack

InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.

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This Part 2 of my podcast looking at how heart attack symptoms in women can be different than in men. This is really crucially important.† 

Magnesium and heart health

In Part 1 of this podcast, I discussed the mineral magnesium, the functions it performs in the body and the best forms to take. There are some studies looking at the role magnesium plays in lowering the risk of sudden cardiac death, heart attacks and fatal coronary heart disease in women. I want to continue talking about magnesium because it’s so crucial to heart health for both men and women.† 

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the amount of magnesium women took in and the amount of magnesium in their blood and how this related to their risk for sudden cardiac death. The researchers start by saying that magnesium has antiarrhythmic properties. Arrhythmias impact the efficiency of the heart and can prevent the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.† 


This particular study looked at over 88,000 women who were free of heart disease in the 1980s. The researchers looked at how much magnesium these women were taking in and updated that information every two to four years. Over 26 years, there were 505 cases of sudden cardiac death or death from arrhythmias. They found that the relative risk of sudden cardiac death was much lower in women with the highest level of magnesium in their food. The researchers also checked their blood plasma and found that women with the highest level of magnesium in their blood saw a 77% relative risk reduction of having sudden cardiac death.†

Cocoa and heart attack risk

Another nutrient we can look at is cocoa. Cocoa is different from chocolate. Cocoa can help reduce the risk of heart disease and having a heart attack, even in people who have already had a heart attack. This is important because the people who are most prone to experiencing heart attacks are those who have already had one. Researchers are finding that cocoa can help prevent that.†  


A study in the Journal of Internal Medicine looked at 1,169 people who had a first heart attack. The researchers followed these people for eight years. They found that there is a linear relationship between cocoa and dying from a future heart attack. The more frequently they had cocoa, the less likely they were to die of a heart attack during an eight-year period. If people had cocoa once a month, it lowered the risk of dying from a future heart attack by 27% compared to people who didn’t have cocoa. If they had it once a week, they had a 44% reduced risk of dying from a future heart attack. If they had it twice a week or more, the researchers found that they had a 66% lower risk of dying from a future heart attack than people who didn’t have cocoa.†

In this episode, Jerry Hickey, Ph. continues his discussion on heart attacks in women. He delves into studies on magnesium and cocoa and explains how these nutrients play a role in heart health. Stay tuned for Part 3 of this episode, coming soon.†

Key Topics:

  • What are arrhythmias? 
  • How do magnesium levels impact heart attack risk
  • The difference between cocoa and chocolate 

Thank you for tuning in to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. You can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting www.invitehealth.com/podcast. Make sure you subscribe and leave us a review! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at InViteⓇ Health today. We’ll see you next time on another episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast.