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****Natural Energy

From Tired to Terrific in 10 Days

by Erika Schwartz, M.D.

with Carol Colman

Reviewed November 6, 2003.
G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1998. 240 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (613 SCH).

I read this book in 1999.  At the time I was completely skeptical.  Tired to Terrific in 10 Days?  Yeah, right.  However, the main focus of her program is taking supplements that I was able to find at the commissary.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try them.

I have to admit that I didn’t notice a big difference in energy level.  At the time, I had drug-induced lupus and hadn’t yet figured out that my migraine preventative medication was giving it to me.  One of the big symptoms was fatigue, and the supplements didn’t drastically change that.

What they did drastically change was my resistance to colds.  For years up to that time, I used to catch six to eight colds per year.  Whenever my husband went on a tour (six to eight times a year), I’d get less sleep and catch a cold.  Or I’d catch one whenever I worked in the nursery. 

That pattern has completely ceased.  In the four years that I’ve been taking the supplements, I’ve caught zero to two colds per year.  Usually when I did catch a cold it happened to be at a time when I’ve let myself run out of L-Carnitine.  (The commissary no longer stocks it, so I have to order it over the internet.)  A couple of months ago I caught a cold anyway (My whole family had it.), so I thought it would be a good time to test how well I could do without L-Carnitine.  Well, I ended up catching two more colds in succession, the third one the worst of all.  I decided to order more L-Carnitine!

I also decided to check out the book again, since now I totally believe in these supplements.  The two main supplements she recommends are L-Carnitine, an amino acid, and Coenzyme Q10.  (She also recommends some additional supplements for special cases, but those two are what’s in her Basic Energy Pack.)

She explains that the reason they work is that they are important to the mitochondria, the parts of our cells that produce energy.  Both Carnitine and CoQ10 are naturally produced by our bodies, but diminish as we get older, leading our mitochondria to age and be less healthy.  We can get both nutrients in food, but with less meat and fatty foods in our modern diets, people tend to have deficiencies.

The book has chapters on the studies that have been done on both substances.  They are safe and without side effects.  Since reading the book, I learned that CoQ10 has been tested to be an effective migraine preventative, so I increased my dosage to match the one used against migraines.  They’re also both very good for keeping hearts healthy and even repairing heart damage, which is good to read now that I know that there is heart disease in my family.

Still, for me the bottom line is how wonderful it is not to catch colds all the time.  Though I will still catch one when my whole family has it, I used to be the one bringing the colds home.  I figure that the price I pay for the supplements is more than made up for by the money I’m saving on cold medications.  Since one cold stuffs my sinuses and ticks off headaches for months, prevention is so much better than cure.

Don’t take my word alone for all this.  I would be hesitant to put them into my body without Dr. Schwartz’s information about dosage and about the many tests these supplements have undergone.

Reading the book again now that I’m a true believer was very interesting.  I’m going to try an additional supplement that she recommends for stabilizing your blood sugar levels.  If it works half as well as the basic energy pack, I think I’m going to be very happy with the results.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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