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Ask Dr. Mike: Trouble Sleeping on Supplements & Arterial Plaque

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans.

Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

I’ve been taking 100 mg of CoQ-10 enzyme for cell energy for many years. In the past six weeks, I’ve started taking AMPK activator as well. Lately I’ve had trouble sleeping more than four or five hours a night. I have lots of energy. I’m 72 and have a 70% raw food diet that I alternate with a paleo-ish diet two to four times per day. I've rarely had sugar for the past two years. I avoid most bread and eat grains and nuts. Is the high energy-low sleep because of the CoQ-10 and AMPK supplements?

AMPK activator contains ynostemma pentaphyllum and rose hip extract. Those have been shown to activate an enzyme in your cells called AMPK. When AMPK is activated in your cells, they manage energy better. You tend to make more ATP (coenzyme used as an energy carrier in the cells), burn more fat,and  burn more sugars. The cell becomes cleaner and functions at a higher level.

When people first start taking CoQ-10, they may feel energized and have some sleepless nights because their blood level of CoQ-10 was so low and it's being recharged. Your body will reach a steady state with a supplement and there will not be peaks and valleys. The energy you might get early from CoQ-10 is gone, but the supplement is still good for you. You should be at a steady state with it if you take it on a consistent basis.

The addition of the AMPK activator could be the culprit. It creates cell energy, which the CoQ-10 was already doing. You may reach a steady state with the AMPK activator in another week. If nothing changes after a week, try dosing every other day or every third day. If that doesn’t help, stop the AMPK activator and just use the CoQ-10.

My question is about plaque in the blood. As we try to eat healthy and supplement to clean our blood, is there a chance that a dissolved or dislodged piece of plaque might float around and cause blockage down the line?

Eating better, getting more exercise, taking supplements targeted to the cardiovascular system and supplements targeted to the plaque itself (pycnogenol made from pine bark extract, pomegranate, vitamin K2, gotu kola, EDTA, resveratrol) can help with plaque burden. Nothing totally gets rid of plaque. It's more about stabilizing the plaque.

You can decrease plaque burden by doing the right things. The body puts a fibrous cap on the plaque, shrinking the plaque and decreasing the plaque burden. You’ve stabilized the plaque and it is less prone to rupture. Your body knows how to take care of the plaque. The contents of the plaque (fat, cholesterol, immune cells) can be absorbed by the arterial wall itself or just leave as you stabilize the plaque. Vitamin K2 can help the cap become stronger and keeps calcium out of the way. Focus on stabilizing the plaque to prevent cardio events in the future.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.