Idebenone is a smart drug that is structurally related to the smart nutrient coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 plays a vital role in the creation of ATP, the primary energy molecule in the body. It has been used in Japan as a treatment for various types of cardiovascular diseases and has been used successfully in the United States as a treatment for gingivitis (inflammatory gum disease).Several studies have shown that CoQ10 can be metabolized in the body in such a way as to create damaging compounds with free radical-like activity, although if the body is supplied with sufficient antioxidant smart nutrients, such as vitamin C, ascorbyl palmitate (fat-soluble vitamin C), beta-carotene, and vitamin E, CoQ10 should be able to exert its beneficial effects without causing free-radical damage. Idebenone does not seem to share this problem.Studies have found that idebenone is relatively nontoxic. No biochemical abnormalities have been noted in people taking idebenone, and no studies I have found report suspicious clinical laboratory values that could be directly related to the use of idebenone.Dosage commonly used: 100 mg per day.*55\244\2*

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WHR is a ratio of abdominal subcutaneous and visceral fat to hip subcutaneous fat. The measure is ‘anchored’ to a measure around the hips because it had been thought that this was less variable to change. Recently though, Canadian researchers at Laval University in Quebec have suggested that waist measures alone may be sufficient. WHRs (or other ratio measures used, such as waist-to-thigh ratio) generally have a cut-off point determined by epidemiological studies with large populations. Figures of 0.9 for men and 0.8 for women are often used as the cut-off points for WHR beyond which increased disease risk is indicated, but in some studies the figures of 1.0 and 0.9 respectively are used.

Some research has shown that with fat loss in some people, there is a loss from the hips as well as the waist and therefore WHR can remain relatively constant. For this reason it is probably best used as an absolute measure of risk in the first instance of measurement, rather than a relative measure of change, and is best used in combination with other measures such as BMI.

Attempts are currently being made to incorporate WHR and BMI into a single formula, but so far these have not added to the individual predictive value of either single measure. Waist measurements suggested by the Laval group as indicative of disease risk are above 100cm for men and 90cm for women—irrespective of height. Researchers at Glasgow University8 have compared waist measurements with BMI and have come up with the following conclusions for health promotion:

• men with a waist size of > 102cm and women with a waist size of >92cm should be encouraged to lose weight

• men with a waist of between 94-102cm and women with a waist of 80-88cm should be encouraged not to put on any more weight

• men with a waist size of <92cm and women with a waist size of <80cm do not need weight management.

WHR has a relatively high validity in the measurement of abdominal fat distribution, particularly in men and post-meno-pausal women, however validity may be affected by changes in hip size that occur with changes in body fatness. Reliability and sensitivity of waist measures alone is quite high, particularly in the hands of an experienced measurer.

Correct sites for measurement of waist and hips can vary and although there are currently attempts to standardise these, there is still controversy about the correct locations. There is general agreement that hips should be measured at the widest part of the buttocks as determined from side-on. Protocols for waist measurement include measures at umbilicus (the navel), which has the particular advantage of being easy to find, but the disadvantage of being almost at hip level in some obese women. Another waist site is mid-way between the lowest rib and the top of the iliac crest (hip bone), which has the advantage of bony landmarks but does not always capture the large abdominal mass in very obese people. In lean people the waist is the narrowest part between the chest and the hips but in obese people it can be the widest, therefore this is not recommended as a definition. Each has its disadvantages, but provided the measure is used constantly, the actual site becomes less relevant.

WHR and waist circumference measures have the advantages of being quick, non-intrusive and useful for large scale population surveys. WHR has disadvantages in making comparisons between varying groups of people such as is often seen in different cultural groups. Asian women, for example, have small hips and WHR measures are much less valid as an indicator of health risk. Negroid women on the other hand have large hips and buttocks and their health risk may be misinterpreted from WHR measures. Overall WHR, or waist alone, may provide a quick and simple indication of health risk. Waist alone can then be used to examine the success of a fat loss program in those groups where abdominal fat is stored readily.



Vicki Rogers Givens adores chocolate. She craves chocolate. She eats chocolate. And she has still taken off 70 pounds.

How has she done it? By being choosy about her chocolate treats.

Ever since she was a child, Vicki, an administrative assistant from Indianapolis, has fought the battle of the bulge. In college, she reached 225 pounds, the most she has ever weighed.

These days, at age 42, Vicki is a fit 155 pounds. She says that she reached her goal weight by making smart food substitutions that save calories and still satisfy. For example, if she gets the urge to eat something salty, she chooses pretzels over potato chips. In restaurants, she orders baked potatoes instead of french fries.

Some of Vicki’s smartest substitutions happen when those chocolate cravings hit. “Instead of high-fat chocolate chip cookies, I eat a handful of chocolate animal crackers,” she says. They do the trick with far less calories and fat. Other favorites include fat-free chocolate pudding, Fudgsicles, and hot chocolate.

It took Vicki only a year to hit her goal weight. She feels that she succeeded because she feeds her cravings instead of starving them. But she feeds them with smart choices.

Who says you can’t outsmart a sweet tooth?


Want chocolate? Then eat! If you crave chocolate, go ahead and indulge. After all, this sweet treat may actually be good for you. According to researchers at the University of California, Davis, chocolate contains flavonoids, compounds that may help protect against heart disease.But try to sticLwith something low-fat and low-calorie, as Vicki does. You may yearn for a huge bowl of triple-chocolate-chunk ice cream, but low-fat chocolate yogurt with a drizzle of chocolate syrup will probably do the trick.


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