December 1st, 2015

Tomato Products Increase Lycopene Levels in Prostate

Lycopene Benefits For ProstateIntroduction:

Lycopene is a red pigment of the carotene class of compounds that is found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables. It has received a lot of attention because it is extremely protective against heart disease and the major cancers (i.e., breast, colon, lung, skin, and prostate cancer).

In addition to being available through dietary sources, lycopene is a popular dietary supplement. A new study from Ohio State highlights impact that dietary lycopene can have on blood and prostate levels in men. The results are quite interesting.

Background Data:

Lycopene has shown benefits in improving prostate health and protecting against the development of prostate cancer. In one of the more detailed studies, Harvard researchers discovered that men who consumed the highest levels of lycopene (6.5 mg per day) in their diet showed a 21 percent decreased risk of prostate cancer compared with those eating the lowest levels. Men who ate two or more servings of tomato sauce each week were 23% less likely to develop prostate cancer during the 22 years of the study than men who ate less than one serving of tomato sauce each month.

Lycopene consumption also has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease, cataracts, and macular degeneration. For example, population based studies have shown consumption of more than 7 servings per week of tomato-based products is associated with a 30% reduction in the relative risk of heart disease.

Much of the benefits of tomatoes and lycopene are thought to be due to their ability to fight inflammation, especially in obesity. In obesity the increased level of body fat leads to an increase in circulating inflammatory mediators. Since lycopene has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation, researchers have hypothesized that the consumption of tomatoes and other lycopene-rich foods may help to reduce inflammation in people who are overweight or obese.

Even something as simple as drinking a glass of tomato juice may produce anti-inflammatory benefits. In one double-blind study, groups overweight and obese women were given either 330 ml/day of tomato juice or water for 20 days. At baseline and day 20, serum concentrations of inflammatory mediators were compared between the groups. The results showed that tomato juice reduced the presence of important compounds linked to inflammation and as a result it is thought that frequent consumption may help in reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases linked to inflammation such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The absorption of lycopene is highly dependent on the tomato product being consumed. The redder the tomato, the higher the lycopene content and the more the tomato is processed, the better the lycopene is absorbed because processing “liberates” more lycopene from the plant’s cells. The absorption of lycopene is five times greater from a supplement, or tomato paste or juice than from raw tomatoes. Eating a lycopene source with oil, such as olive oil, can also improve its absorption. That’s another reason why a Mediterranean diet has so many healthful properties.

New Data:

To determine the effect of typical servings of commercially available tomato products on blood and prostate lycopene concentrations, men scheduled to undergo removal of their prostate glands due to cancer were randomized either to a lycopene-restricted control group ( < 5 mg lycopene/d) or to groups providing 25-35 mg lycopene/day from the following tomato products: tomato soup (2-2¾ cups prepared/day); tomato sauce (5-7 ounces/day); or vegetable juice (11-16.5 fluid ounces/day).

Tomato soup, sauce and juice consumption significantly increased plasma lycopene concentration from 66%, 71%, and 59%, respectively, while the controls consuming the lycopene-restricted diet showed a decline in plasma lycopene concentration by 24%. The end-of-study prostate lycopene concentration was was 3.5-, 3.6-, and 2.2-fold higher in the tomato soup, sauce, and juice consumers, respectively.

Interestingly, in the tomato products, 80-90% of the lycopene is in the trans (linear) configuration, while in the blood and prostate isomers 47% and 80 %, respectively, were in the cis (bent) form. This difference demonstrates a shift towards cis accumulation and perhaps a preference for the cis isomer over the trans.


First, my recommendation is to get 10 mg of lycopene in your body everyday. Now, I will be honest with you, I get my 10 mg of lycopene in supplemental form. Why take a lycopene pill? Because I don’t eat a diet that high in tomato paste, it is convenient for me to take it as a supplement, and I can afford it. If I could not afford the supplement, however, I would still make sure that I ingested on average at least 10 mg of lycopene a day. Look how easy it is and cost effective it is to do so from tomato paste:

Lycopene Source                                                       Total mg of Lycopene          Cost

One ounce of tomato paste                                               16 mg                          $0.065

Lycopene supplement (one 10 mg capsule)              10 mg                          $0.36

Twelve ounce can of tomato paste                               192 mg                        $0.69

Twelve ounce can of tomato juice                                  28 mg                         $1.99

Lycopene supplement (1 bottle – 60 capsules)   600 mg                       $21.95

Finally, if I was relying solely on tomato products for my lycopene content, I would maximize absorption by converting more of the lycopene into cis form. Previous studies have shown that the cis form is also better absorbed – 55% greater than the trans form. You can increase the cis form in tomato paste by heating at 260 degrees F for at least 40 minutes. This will increase the amount of cis isomers 9-fold. And, be sure to add a little olive oil as well to further increase absorption.


Grainger EM, Hadley CW, Moran NE, et al. A comparison of plasma and prostate lycopene in response to typical servings of tomato soup, sauce or juice in men before prostatectomy. Br J Nutr. 2015 Aug 28;114(4):596-607.

Dr. Michael Murray

November 24th, 2015

PQQ Lowers LDL-Cholesterol Levels

lower ldl cholesterolIntroduction

Every major advance in nutritional medicine generally starts out as an unknown entity. That is certainly true for PQQ (short for pyrroloquinoline quinone). Although PQQ is a relatively new dietary supplement on the market, its potential is absolutely enormous. The potential benefits are nearly limitless as it has shown a wide range of enhancements to brain and body function. It is especially powerful in its ability to boost brain function, including memory.

A new study with BioPQQ™ – a safe form of PQQ produced through a natural fermentation process – indicates that it can lower LDL cholesterol levels in subjects with initial levels greater than 140 mg/dl. PQQ is known to activate the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPk) that helps to regulate blood lipid levels.

Background Data:

Although PQQ is not currently viewed as a vitamin, it is likely to be considered an essential nutrient in the future. PQQ serves as a cofactor for a special class of enzymes involved in cellular function including cellular growth, development, differentiation, and survival. Without PQQ, our cells would cease to function properly. PQQ has been found in all plant foods analyzed to date. PPQ-rich foods include parsley, green peppers, kiwi fruit, papaya and tofu. These foods contain about 2-3 mcg per 100 grams. Studies with PQQ generally use dosage levels of 10 to 20 mg, which are levels much higher than the typical dietary intake of about 100 mcg.

One key action of PQQ involves a direct action on major enzymes involved in the energy producing compartments in our cells of the mitochondria. As a result, PQQ improves energy production; current research has primarily focused on its ability to protect memory and cognition in both aging animals and humans. Here are some of the effects noted:

  • PQQ reverses cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress and improve performance on memory tests in animal models.
  • PQQ prevents the development of osteoarthritis in an animal model.
  • PQQ protects nerve cells from the damaging effects of the beta-amyloid-protein linked with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The combination of PQQ and CoQ10 (respectively, 20 mg and 300 mg) improved mental function in a human double-blind study.
  • PQQ (0.2 mg PQQ/kg body weight) increased the antioxidant potential and energy metabolism while decreasing inflammation in another double-blind study.

New Data:

In this new study, the effects of PQQ (as BioPQQ™) on serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels were examined in humans after 6 and 12 weeks of supplementation at an oral dosage of 20 mg per day. A total of 29 healthy adults, ranging from 40 to 57 years old, with normal to moderately high triglyceride levels (110-300 mg/dL) were included in the study. While the average serum triglyceride levels did not change; in those subjects with LDL-cholesterol levels ≥140 mg/dl), at 6 weeks PQQ supplementation produced a statistically significant decrease in total cholesterol (from an average of 247 to 216 mg/dl) and LDL-cholesterol (from an average of 156 to 132 mg/dl). Results persisted at 12 weeks.

These results show that PQQ supplementation may produce meaningful reductions in LDL-cholesterol presumably as a result of AMPk activation. It adds to a growing body of clinical data on the benefits of this important compound.


PQQ activates AMPk, an enzyme that is found inside every cell that serves as a “master regulating switch” in energy metabolism. Low levels of AMPk activity is associated with:

  • Accelerated aging
  • Chronic inflammation
  • High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Increased visceral “belly” fat
  • Insulin resistance
  • Mitochondrial insufficiency and dysfunction
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Obesity
  • Poor blood sugar control

Since PQQ activates AMPk it is only a matter of time before clinical data is produced showing PQQ is helpful for a long list of health challenges.

Consumers need to be aware of different forms of PQQ on the marketplace. BioPQQ™ is the only form that I know of that is produced naturally. Other forms are produced through a chemical synthesis and involve the use of fairly toxic compounds. Read labels closely and use only BioPQQ™.


Nakano M, Kawasaki Y, Suzuki N, Takara T. Effects of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium Salt Intake on the Serum Cholesterol Levels of Healthy Japanese Adults.

Dr. Michael Murray

November 17th, 2015

Promoting Satiety is Your Key to Weight Loss

Satiety The Key To Weight LossIntroduction:

The research is quite clear that safe and effective weight loss is not about will power, deprivation, or counting calories. Ultimately, weight loss success is most often attributed to strategies and tools that impact appetite and portion control. In particular, the ability to experience satiety is big factor for success.

Satiety is defined as the state of being full or gratified to the point of satisfaction. Research has shown that humans eat to achieve satiety and those who are overweight have a disordered appetite regulation typified by an increased frequency of food cravings, and a resistance to satiety after eating adequate amounts of food.

New research on promoting satiety with the revolutionary dietary fiber matrix PGX®, once again, establishes it as an extremely effective weight loss tool. In fact, I believe that PGX® is the Holy Grail of weight loss based upon the impressive results it has shown in detailed clinical and experimental studies, including a new study published in the medical journal Physiology & Behaviour on its ability to promote satiety.

Background Data:

PolyGlycoPlex (PGX®) is the most viscous and soluble fiber known. It is produced in a patented process that allows three natural fibers to coalesce and form a matrix that has a higher level of viscosity, gel-forming properties, and has more expansion with water, than any other fiber. In essence, it is a “super” fiber with all of the beneficial effects of fiber, but are magnified and more easily attained with PGX®.

Clinical studies published in major medical journals and presented at the world’s major medical conferences have shown PGX® to exert the following benefits:

  • Increases the level of compounds that block the appetite and promote satiety.
  • Decreases the level of compounds that stimulate overeating.
  • When taken prior to a meal can increase the feeling in fullness, very hungry to very full.
  • It reduces the glycemic index of any food, beverage, or meal by as much as 70%.
  • Increases insulin sensitivity and promotes improved blood sugar control.
  • Helps stabilize blood sugar levels to reduce food cravings.

New Data:

Previous studies have shown that PGX® granules and PGX®-based meal replacement formulas are very effective at promoting satiety leading to a reduction in calories consumed. To test the effects of PGX® capsules, 14 healthy adult women participated in a controlled study. The effects on the level of satiety for 2 hours after eating a standardized evening meal when the PGX® capsules were given was compared to the same meal without PGX®. Also, on the following morning, after an overnight fast, the four hour satiety response to a standardized breakfast with no PGX® supplementation was assessed. This second assessment was designed to measure the “second meal effect” of PGX. The second-meal effect measures the effect the first meal has on the blood sugar level after eating the second meal.

Results showed a statistically significant higher satiety response to the standard dinner for the PGX-supplemented dinner compared with the control dinner (p = 0.001) was found. In addition, the fullness scores of the breakfast following the PGX®-supplemented dinner at 15, 30, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210 and 240 minutes were significantly higher than those for the breakfast following the control dinner. These results show that PGX® supplementation at dinner increased the satiety effects of both the dinner itself and the subsequent un-supplemented breakfast. Hence, PGX® demonstrated a significant second meal effect indicating PGX® has the ability to induce extended satiety far beyond the just the meal it is taken before.


First, if you did not catch it previously, watch my webinar on Preventing Holiday Weight Gain. PGX® can be very helpful in this goal.

In my opinion, PGX® is the most important natural product in North America today because of its ability to address the core underlying reasons why weight loss and blood sugar control are often so difficult to achieve. Yes, I played a role in the development of PGX®, so some may say that I am severely biased. My response is that I am biased, but it is not because of any financial benefit. My bias is a reflection of the powerful effect that I have seen this safe and effective natural product have on changing people’s lives. I want everyone who has struggled with weight loss to give PGX a try. My hope is that it will change your life, as it has changed the lives of so many others. It works!!

For more information on PGX and practical guidelines to insure weight loss success, please go to


Yong MK, Solah VA, Johnson SK, et al. Effects of a viscous-fibre supplemented evening meal and the following un- supplemented breakfast on post-prandial satiety responses in healthy women, Physiology & Behavior 2015:doi 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.11.006 [Epub ahead of print]

Dr. Michael Murray