Inside a Pharmacy during COVID 19

In the first week of March news from China and Italy about the COVID 19 SARS outbreak began to alarm me, we had already made some preparations such as purchasing contingency stock of PPE for the staff and increasing stock of relevant products but I knew I would have to take more critical steps to assure the safety of pharmacy staff if the COVID -19 SARS outbreak was to become a pandemic. It was 2009 that Swine flu threatened to become a pandemic, as a pharmacist back then we were educated by mandatory training organised by the NHS. I had some idea of what to expect. It was well known that as a result of official risk assessments that a full pandemic is the most highly disruptive event a nation can experience. After some quick measurements I rang up a local DIY merchant “Relionus, Prestwich” and ordered several cut sheets of perspex plexiglass. The day after the pandemic was called we had competed the installation of 2m high barrier. These barriers are now known as “cough and sneeze” barriers. At the same time against official government advice I requested all staff to donn gloves and face masks -that had been stockpiled- at all times during work.

I shared my experience with other colleagues across the country and soon they also were building the “cough and sneeze” barriers. Then the GPs surgeries began to operate a closed door policy. Hoards of people descended on community pharmacy for first response primary care. They wanted diagnosis, treatment and advice. We do offer this normally but only for the most minor of cases. The staff were panicked and I began to receive worrying emails from alerted staff. I sent one of those email to the BBC along with a short video of what i had done to prepare. We also saw a huge spike in prices of commodities and generic drugs. Many prices went over the official promised reimbursement price. In effect community pharmacy was paying for the Great British publics’ medicine. Of course we worried if we could afford this, just a 20 to 30% over-tariff spend would make a community pharmacy of any size in-effect bankrupt.

The email was picked up and in the height of the confusion, pre-lockdown Dominic Hughes (BBC) and his production team came and made an article for the national news.

Once the article was published we started to get very positive feedback from all over the world, including Ireland and Australia. Pharmacists in other countries began to install the simple “cough and sneeze” barriers. 2mm perspex and 2 x 1 inch wood baton for the framing.

Then the lock-down was called, all non essential businesses were to close including almost all retailers apart from Pharmacies and Supermarkets/ Grocers. The slow wheels of officialdom began to turn, each day new advice was issued to the public and healthcare workers on what to do. We called this official guidance.

At the start in early March official guidance said no masks needed, only use PPE to decontaminate a site when you have a confirmed case, no changes to your normal practice is needed. By the end of March now early April 2020 every retail pharmacy in the country will get £300.00 to erect social distancing barriers, they will also get a 25% advance cash payment to keep all pharmacies big and small solvent.

At the same time the local council has advised that all retail staff still in business must wear gloves and just today we are now told that in effect all staff must wear at least a surgical face mask and gloves in normal patient facing activity. The big problem here is that almost all personal protective equipment has now spiked in price and is not really affordable, what is available is highly likely to be fake or poor quality.

The take home lesson. Don’t wait for advice from above. Do your own research and act. 2-3 weeks after pandemic was called we are equipped and we are stocked.

Hand sanitiser is due in, vitamin c piled high, selenium, q10 immune boosters, ready and available.

We will deliver any NHS prescription free and deliver private pharmacy items such as medicines and personal care items at just a small fee of £3.00 for delivery.


Magnesium therapy: could it be the answer to migraine relief?

Magnesium therapy: could it be the answer to migraine relief?

Turning to magnesium to aid with restless legs, Barnaby was delighted that the mineral helped in another life-changing way

Having suffered with restless legs and migraines for as long as he can remember, 15-year-old Barnaby Albiston, from South London, has shared his secret to relief from life-long discomfort – by boosting his magnesium levels.

Barnaby’s mum, Diana Albiston, said: “Barnaby has suffered with restless legs for most of his life, even as a baby when he slept in a sleeping bag (which is meant to be the safest sleeping option) his active legs would lift up and over, and the whole sleeping bag would cover his face.

“Getting to sleep has always been the main problem, Barnaby just has the urge to move his legs all the time. We tried tiring him out during the day, various relaxation techniques such as massaging lavender scented lotion into his legs and buying short pyjamas as well as a lighter duvet – but nothing helped.”

After reading an article in the newspaper recounting how magnesium may help with restless legs and that the best way to administer it is externally, through the skin, Diana purchased BetterYou’s Magnesium Sensitive Body Spray, followed by the Magnesium Oil Body Spray.

“We had never used magnesium products before, so we started with the sensitive spray. It is easy to apply and rub in and Barnaby’s not at all bothered about having oil on his legs, but it soaks in quickly anyway.

“Since using the spray, Barnaby has been able to resist the temptation to move his legs in bed and while we bought the spray to help with restless legs, we didn’t expect the positive impact it had on Barnaby’s migraines”, says Diana.

“I first recognised Barnaby was experiencing migraines when he was five years old, but I think they started much younger. Due to the sickness that accompanied the migraines, I just thought he had picked up bugs and it was difficult for him to tell me how he was feeling, because he is profoundly deaf and didn’t start speaking until much later in life.

“It was only when the migraines started following a pattern that Barnaby was able to tell me what he was experiencing. They don’t always present themselves in the same way, but symptoms can include extreme tiredness, nausea or sickness, fluctuation of temperature and sensitivity to light.

“We try to avoid migraines starting and have begun to recognise some of the triggers for Barnaby including; disturbed or lack of sleep, keeping away from flashing lights and no long and tiring days out, as well as minimising distance to travel and not socialising with large groups of people”, Diana continues. 

“Two weeks after we started applying the magnesium spray to Barnaby’s legs, it hit us that he hadn’t had a migraine in that time. We have now been using the spray for just over two years and Barnaby’s migraines have dropped from two a week, to one every two months.

“The considerable decrease in Barnaby’s migraine episodes means that we can afford to make plans more confidently, rather than thinking in the back of our minds that any plans we make are likely to be cut-short or cancelled.

“We would definitely recommend BetterYou’s magnesium body sprays, we like the fact that they are easy to apply and there is no smell at all. As Barnaby now relates the smell of lavender with ‘trying to get to sleep’, it seems to have an adverse effect, so unscented products are ideal for us”, concludes Diana.

Clinical studies have shown that migraineurs have low brain magnesium during migraine attacks and may also suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Low levels of this powerful mineral are estimated to affect around 70 per cent of people, so it’s important to find ways to increase levels within the body and supplementing can help.

Magnesium is a mineral that is difficult to supplement through traditional oral means, such as tablets and capsules. As it is a natural relaxant, too much can have a laxative effect.

Studies have shown that supplementing magnesium transdermally (through the skin), provides a highly effective and convenient method of elevating magnesium levels within the body. Applied directly to the skin, absorption of magnesium commences immediately, helping to promote natural relaxation.





Don’t forget if you can’t leave the house during isolation to collect your Prescription?💊Then Dennis Gore Chemist is here for you!
Contact us today on 0161 773 1994 and arrange your delivery with one of our friendly members of staff!
We deliver to Prestwich and surrounding areas. Give us a call today to see if your eligible 😷 Stay safe everyone!
We’re here to help the community during these uncertain times 💊

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Why should you take MSM ?


MSM stands for Methyl-Sulfonyl-methane (Dimethyl Sulfone). This is a nonmetaliic sulphur compound which widely occurs in nature. Sulfur is a yellow material which has a number of large physical forms, crystalline as well as liquid. It is one of the most common substances found in the body. Sulfur plays an important role in human nutrition, a fact commonly overlooked.

MSM is a derivative of DMSO (dimethyl-sulfoxide). DMSO is widely used to treat animals such as horses to reduce inflammation in joints and injured areas. The side effects of smells and impurities limit the widespread use of DMSO in humans.

MSM is a white, odourless crystalline material resembling sugar. The sulphur component of MSM is 34%, by weight, making MSM one of nature’s richest sources of sulphur. MSM tastes slightly bitter and mixes easily into water or juice as the solubility of MSM is very high. MSM is as basic to life as water and salt. It is completely non-toxic – as safe as water!

MSM belongs in the same chemical family which includes oxygen. For organisms living in an environment without oxygen, sulphur often replaces oxygen as the source of chemical energy that drives life!


Sulfur is found naturally in the human body. Sulfur is stored in every cell of the body. The highest concentrations are found in the joints, hair, skin, and nails. Excess sulphur is excreted in the urine (about four to 11 mg. MSM pre day) and the faeces. Available in 300g tubs https://www.dennisthechemist.com/dennisthechemist-msm-flakes-300g-p525328.html

Co-enzyme Q10 has quite rightly been called elixir of life.


It is a substance that we all make, it is in every cell in our body ,and is involved in practically every single process that takes place in our body.We are made of one hundred trillion cells, and each of those cells have little sausage shaped bodies in them called mitochondria.Amazingly we have 500 to 3000 of these mitochondria in every cell!, the largest quantities being found in our heart, muscles and our liver as these are some of the most active parts of our body.
It is in these mitochondria that the food that we eat and the oxygen that we breath in,are turned into what we call ” our energy”.
This process is similar to the combustion that takes place in the cylinders of our car engines,where the petrol/diesel fuel, with oxygen from the air,is ignited by the spark from the spark plug to create the energy to propel the car.


Co-enzyme Q 10 is our “spark plug”.
The actual” energy” is released from a molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate.
Due to the movement of electrons across each mitochondria, called the Oxidative Phosphorylation Pathway,the Co- enzyme Q 10 causes the Adenosine Triphosphate( abbreviated to ATP) to break and release a phosphate and become Adenosine Diphosphate(ADP)
.That explosive break and resultant release of energy is our energy!
Instantly, more Co- enzyme Q 10 is used to remake the triple phosphate again , so that we can keep repeating the process,and keep making our energy!
Triple phosphate,double phosphate,triple phosphate double phosphate over and over again ATP TO ADP, ADP TO ATP over and over again, in fact,the amount of ATP that we make each day has been calculated to be, by weight,to be equivalent to half our body weight!


Some of our Co-enzyme Q10 is obtained from our food,and is found in peanuts , mackerel, herring, sardines, kidney, liver, heart most is made in our body mainly in our liver.
At Birth the levels of Co-enzyme Q 10 are quite low but are enough for our needs, and, by the time we are aged 21 we are making our maximum production of Co-enzyme Q 10 which amounts, at this age, to approximately 2000mg.

As we pass the age 21, production starts to slowly reduce and, by the time we are aged 39 to 43, the levels have fallen back to the levels of a two year old!, but are still enough, if we are fit, to live a normal healthy life,both in our work and at leisure.
Ageing further,50,60,70,80 and beyond, our production of Co -enzyme Q10 goes lower and lower.We tend to start to realise that, “we haven’t got the energy we use to have”,and that illnesses associated with old age maybe starting to appear, such as angina, high blood pressure, circulation problems,heart disease, heart failure,muscle strength  loss and muscle loss itself  ( what the doctors call Sarcopenia which, from the Greek, literally means poverty of flesh)


As people  age,many bodily functions can be helped by taking a supplement of Co-enzyme Q 10, and, over the last 20 years,numerous world conferences have taken place and venues have included The United Kingdom, USA,Italy,Japan, Belgium, Germany,The Czech Republic and, in 2013 the next one will be in Seville in Spain.
Approximately 300 medical specialists from about 90 countries go to each meeting and listen to the latest information about the uses and new uses that have been found in clinical research as to how Co-enzyme Q 10 can help peoples’ medical problems.


Topics which are often included are:
The heart, liver, kidneys,circulation,parkinsonism , cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome , age related macular degeneration, pre-eclampsia, down syndrome , high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, angina,muscle loss and muscle strength loss, periodontal (gum) disease,heart attacks, alzheimers disease,muscular dystrophy, helping to lower too high a levels of cholesterol .


The late Professor Doctor Karl Folkers , who received the Perkin Medal in 1960, the Priestley Medal in 1986, and, from President Bush, the U.S. medal of Science for defining the structure of Co-enzyme Q 10 and heading up the world research effort for 30 years,has stated:-
“Co-enzyme Q 10 is necessary  for human life. Morbidity is associated with a deficiency of Co-enzyme Q 10 of about 75% and death may occur somewhere between deficiency of 75 and 100%.Low tissue deficiencies of Co-enzyme Q 10 may be subclinical but somewhere between 25 and 75% deficiencies, overt disease states may appear”
Truly then, Co-enzyme Q10 is the “Elixir of Life”


What is available


There are two forms of Co-enzyme Q10, it exists as an oxidised form ubiquinone, which is orange, and a reduced form which is white. The reduced form is known as ubiquinol or QH. Due to modern encapsulation and packaging methods the Ubiquinol or uniquinol can be mainatined in the reduced form. When buying ubiquinol or reduced co enzyme q10 always make usre it is blister packe din light obscuring outer packaging, both light and air will turn it back in to the less active oxidised orange ubiquinone co enzyme q10.


I only use and recommend q10 manufactured by kaneka. they are leaders in high throughput reverse osmosis membrane technology. Naturally they are Japanese.



Whats the best buy for Q10?


see the differnet options below.


Bio-Qunione Super 30mg by Pharma Nord 60 pack


Bio-Qunione Super 30mg by Pharma Nord 150 pack



These are the higher strength packs.


Bio-Qunione Gold 100mg by Pharma Nord 60 pack


Bio-Qunione Gold 100mg by Pharma Nord 150 pack



Now these are the ubiquinol Q10, now kaneka who make Q10 actually only use the pharma nord uniquinol to give to there staff. Now thats an affidavit.


BioActive Q10 Super Uniquinol 30mg 60 pack


BioActive Q10 Super Uniquinol 30mg 150 pack


The higher strengths in the reduced form

BioActive Q10 Gold Uniquinol 100mg 60 Pack


BioActive Q10 Gold Uniquinol 100mg 150 Pack


Montmorency Tart Cherry

Montmorency Tart Cherries

These are a tart variety of cherries that are native to Western Europe particularly France, but are now grown in the USA and Canada.

They have been found to contain a variety of medical properties.

They reduce blood uric acid levels so therefore are beneficial to health in order to reduce gout.

They have been shown to also reduce the wall effect in training and help to increase muscle recovery. Indeed several professional sports team in the UK and Europe now use it for this specific purpose.

It contains a very low level of naturally occurring melatonin. Even though it is scientifically established that one would need to consume at least 1mg of melatonin to gain any effect the natural low level seen in this Montmorency tart cherry variety seems to give users a health benefit if consumed in the form of better and longer sleep.

In a recent study In the study, led by Dr Glyn Howatson, 20 healthy volunteers drank a 30ml serving of either tart cherry juice or a placebo juice twice a day for seven days.

Urine samples were collected from all participants before and during the investigation to determine levels of melatonin, a naturally occurring compound that heavily influences the human sleep-wake cycle.

During the study the participants wore an actigraphy watch sensor which monitored their sleep and wake cycles and kept a daily diary on their sleeping patterns.

The researchers found that when participants drank cherry juice for a week there was a significant increase in their urinary melatonin (15-16%) than the control condition and placebo drink samples.

The actigraphy measurements of participants who consumed the cherry juice saw an increase of around 15 minutes to the time spent in bed, 25 minutes in their total sleep time and a 5-6% increase in their ‘sleep efficiency’, a global measure of sleep quality.

Cherry juice drinkers reported less daytime napping time compared to their normal sleeping habits before the study and the napping times of the placebo group.

According to Dr Howatson, this is the first study to show direct evidence that supplementing your diet with a tart Montmorency cherry juice concentrate leads to an increase in circulating melatonin and provides improvements in sleep amongst healthy adults.

Dr Howatson, an exercise physiologist, said: “We were initially interested in the application of tart cherries in recovery from strenuous exercise. Sleep forms a critical component in that recovery process, which is often forgotten.

These results show that tart cherry juice can be used to facilitate sleep in healthy adults and, excitingly, has the potential to be applied as a natural intervention, not only to athletes, but to other populations with insomnia and general disturbed sleep from shift work or jet lag.”

The study’s co-authors are fellow Northumbria University academics Dr Jason Ellis, director of the Centre for Sleep Research, School of Life Sciences PhD students Jamie Tallent and Phillip Bell; Benita Middleton of the Centre for Chronobiology at University of Surrey; and Malachy McHugh of the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma in Lenox Hill Hospital, New York.

Dr Ellis said: “Although melatonin is available over the counter in other countries, it is not freely available in the UK. What makes these findings exciting is that the melatonin contained in tart cherry juice is sufficient to elicit a healthy sleep response.

“What’s more, these results provide us with more evidence surrounding the relationship between how we sleep and what we consume.”

The findings will be published this week in the online edition of the European Journal of Nutrition,


We see the same melatonin effects when people consume other foods rich in melatonin such as wheat grass and barley grass as found in the natural sleep food supplement asphalia.


Montmorency can be found in two forms namely the Syrup or Juice.


or the capsules containing the powder or the cherries this has much lower sugar levels so may be a good choice for diabetics.


I now recommend natures cherry capsules as they are a lot cheaper

30 are £8.45 and 60 are £14.95

buy them here


Another pleasing result

Dear Dennis

My 7 year old son had suffered from ear and throat infections from 6 months

old. He suffered terribly. Each infection starting with him vomiting, thus

leading him to fear eating. And him having serious eating problems. He has

been through 2 surgeries for grommets in his ears. And his tonsils removed.

This is very painful to go through as a parent.

Even after the operations, he still continued non stop with ear and throat

infections. He was continually on antibiotics. After each course was

finished only a few days would go by and the infection would start again. It

was relentless. Not to mention that I’m passionate in natural healing. And

having to have my son on antibiotics years on end and grommets was

emotionally stressful.

In June 2011 I had a golden staph infection in my throat that was resistant

to antibiotics. And I was scared for my life. Which led me to you.

A friend told you about me. And you gave me the time to council me and calm

me and tell me you could help me.

You put me on allicin max and moducare so I could try that for my son too.

Well I had 6 boxes of each sent over immediately. After taking 10 allicin

max per day as well as antibiotics for 14 days I was retested by my


I was completely clear.

The tablets were so small I thought I’d just try one of each (moducare and

allicin max) on my son each day. But didn’t think it would work.

Well that was July. And now it’s October. He has not had one infection and

no antibiotics for the first time since he was a baby.

He has grown and put on weight.

I might also mention you sent a heap of information on all products free of


Also my husband and myself have had a significant amount more energy from

the Q10 you recommended.

In regards to my son and myself how can we say thank you

I just know there’s a man over in Manchester who is an angel. And we are

tremendously grateful from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you Dennis Gore

Kind regards


Allicin Max is available from www.dennisthechemist.com

Moducare is available form www.dennisthechemist.com see more info at


Pharma Nord Q10 is also available in different strengths from


Red Yeast Rice what on earth is it?

In China the Taoist tradition dictates colour has symbolic meaning as a sign of prosperity good fortune and longevity. You will be familiar with Chinese decorations, Peking duck and red gift envelopes.

In the west we colour food using nitrates , you will be familiar with red salami and sausage. In china to attain the red they use went rice. A natural red food colouring. It is available in most Chinese supermarkets in packets in powder form.

Went rice is a food that is a deep red bordering on crimson. We know it now as red yeast rice. In China it is known as Hong Qu

How is it made.

It is made by culturing the yeast, Monascus purpureus, on rice. When performed under sterile and controlled conditions this produces a group of compounds called monacolins that inhibit HMGCoA, a rate limiting reductase enzyme important in cholesterol synthesis.

Under sterile and controlled conditions Non glutinous rice is cooked and then inoculated with a culture of Monascus purpureus (a yeast that has a natural red colouring). The rice is then stored for three weeks at 35 degrees centigrade. At the end of the fermentation period the entire batch of rice is now red. The fermentation is stopped by drying the rice. The dried red rice is pulverised in to fine grade powder. This is the end product and can now be used in food or as a food itself. Chinese emperors and courtiers would consume red yeast rice as they believed it prolonged life.

Fast forward in to the twentieth century, chinese researchers began to investigate what was actually in the red yeast rice that prlonged life. They wanted to find out if it was true. Thet isolated a group of compounds called monacolins
The moncolins occurred natuarlly in the dry rice powder in proportions of 0.1%- 3%. Japenese researchers then began investigating the possible action of these fungal isolates.

Eventually they discovered that the  group of compounds called monacolins inhibit HMGCoA, a rate limiting reductase enzyme important in cholesterol synthesis, as well as q10 steroid hormones and vitamin d. At the time cholesterol was taking centre stage a s a possible target for reducing heart disease and stroke risk. It was theorised that cholesterol was the causative agent of arthrosclerosis the white hardened plaque that appeared in arteries and heart valves of heart disease patients. It was this plaque that ruptured or broke up and caused a thrombo-embolism in strokes, heart attacks and other vascular events.

If the fungal metabolites the monocolins could inhibit cholesterol production and plame cholesterol levels. Over time would this lead to reduce heart disease in those that consumed it and therefore prolonged life. Was this why the Chinese noted its benefits. Over time this monocolin also should anti cancer properties in theoretical research.

The researchers where right and soon the statin market was formed, the principle isolate form  red yeast rice monkolin k was named as lovastatin the first parent molecule to the rst of the statin family.

Big pharma big synthessising lovastaina nd selling the drug as anto cholesterol cardio vasulcar disease modifying agent. Other complanies made novel versions. Bayer made a very potent version ca;ed cerivastatin that was so strong that a patient suffered bad side effects. The main side effcts of these nerw stains was a muscle weakness and fatigue, in extreme presentations of this stain intolerance rhabdomyolysis, (muscle fibre breakdown) occurred. The end stage of rhabdomyolysis is kidney failure and has a high mortality risk.  Cerivatstain was with drwan  The search for a potemt stain with less side effects continued and several drugs were launched and marketed. Zocor, Lipitor , Liopstat and Crestor. Lipitor atorvatsion became one of the last blockbuster of the 20th century and became the world best selling drug.

Quite a journey from a humble yeast. But lets revisit the yeast for a moment. It seems that the yeast is tsill worth using, it has a low incidence of intolerance. It is easy and cheap to make, its has a long history of use in the china.

Many clinical trials have been carried over the years all over the world. Two human intervention studies (Heber et al., 1999; Lin et al., 2005) investigated the effect of red yeast rice preparations with known monacolin K content on total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations.


In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) (Heber et al., 1999), 88 subjects with hypercholesterolaemia, who were not taking lipid-lowering medications, received either fermented red yeast rice (Cholestin, 2.4 g/day) or a placebo (rice powder) in capsules daily for 12 weeks. The fermented red yeast rice preparation contained 0.3 % monacolin K (0.2 % in lactone form, 0.1 % in hydroxy acid form) by weight, corresponding to a daily dose of around 7.5 mg. The content of other monacolins was 0.1 %, i.e. 2.5 mg/day. A total of 83 subjects completed the study (n=42 in the treatment group vs. n=41 in the placebo group; 46 men and 37 women, 34-78 years).

Significant differences between groups were observed at weeks 8 and 12 for LDL-cholesterol concentrations (p<0.001 at both time points, per protocol (PP) analysis) and total cholesterol concentrations (p<0.05 at both time points, PP analysis). ANCOVA showed main effects of baseline LDL-cholesterol/total cholesterol concentrations and treatment group on LDL-cholesterol/total cholesterol concentrations respectively at 12 week (p<0.001 for all). At week 12, the mean LDL-cholesterol concentrations in the treatment group was reduced by 22 % from baseline, compared with a 3 % reduction in the placebo group. The mean total cholesterol concentration was reduced by 16 % in the treatment group compared to 2 % in the placebo group.

In a double-blind RCT (Lin et al., 2005), 79 subjects with hypercholesterolaemia who were not taking lipid-lowering medications during the trial, received either fermented red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus Went rice, 1.2 g/day) or a placebo (grounded rice) daily for eight weeks. Patients taking lipid-lowering medications were considered after a four-week wash-out period, with the exception of probucol, which had to be discontinued for at least six months. The fermented red yeast rice preparation contained 0.95 % lovastatin by weight corresponding to a daily dose of around 11.4 mg. The Panel assumes that this dose corresponds to monacolin K in the lactone form only. The amount of monacolin K in its hydroxy acid form was not provided. The preparation also contained 0.21 % other monacolins by weight, i.e. 2.5 mg/day. A total of 75 subjects completed the study (n=38 in treatment group, 59 % men, vs. n=37 in placebo group, 55 % men; 23-65 years). At week eight, a significantly greater reduction in LDL-cholesterol concentrations was observed in the treatment group compared to the placebo group (-26.3 % vs. -1.4 %, p<0.001, intention-to-treat (ITT) analysis). The reduction in total cholesterol concentrations was also significantly higher in the treatment group than in the placebo group (-20.4 % vs. -0.4 % p<0.001, ITT analysis).

From these two RCTs conclusions could be drawn for the scientific substantiation of the claim showed an effect of red yeast rice preparations providing a daily dose of about 10 mg monacolin K on LDL-cholesterol concentrations in individuals with hypercholesterolaemia,, high blood cholesterol. As monocolin K is also a drug called lovastatin its on LDL-cholesterol concentrations is well established and that the mechanism by which it can can contribute to the claimed effect is well known.

In the USA However in order to avoid being considered an unapproved drug by the FDA, manufacturers do not standardize or disclose the levels of monacolin K or other monacolins in their products.

They added that, consequently, there may be considerable variation in the composition of monacolins in red yeast rice products from different manufacturers and discrepancies between label information and actual content.

A new study evaluated monacolin levels in twelve commercially available red yeast rice formulations, and also tested for citrinin, a toxin from fungus that is potentially harmful to the kidneys. In the 12 red yeast rice products tested between August 2006 and June 2008.

Levels of total monacolins were seen to range from 0.31 milligrams per capsule to 11.15 milligrams per capsule.

The researchers found monacolin K ranged from 0.10 milligrams to 10.09 milligrams per capsule, and monacolin KA was found to range between 0.00 and 2.30 mg per capsule.

The researchers also discovered that one in three products had elevated levels of potentially toxic citrinin .

So if you want to use red yeast rice to maintain normal healthy blood cholesterol concentrations use a red yeast rice that quotes a standardized monocolin k content and has been checked for citrinin levels.

From the randomised clinical trials above consume enough red yeast rice to offer 10mg or the active monocolin k daily to obtain its health benefits.

Lin CC, Li TC and Lai MM, 2005. Efficacy and safety of Monascus purpureus Went rice in subjects with hyperlipidemia. European Journal of Endocrinology, 153, 679-686.

Heber D, Yip I, Ashley JM, Elashoff DA, Elashoff RM and Go VL, 1999. Cholesterol-lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69, 231-236.

Gordon RY, Cooperman T, Obermeyer W and Becker DJ, 2010. Marked variability of monacolin levels in commercial red yeast rice products: buyer beware! Archives of Internal Medicine, 170, 1722-1727.


all products mentioned here are available a www.dennisthechemist.com

Statiquinon: This is a new prodcut from pharma nord and it combines red yeast rice with alpha linoleic acid and q10. The addition of the other ingredients q10 and help to push cholesterolreduction in to the 30% region, so you may find a cholesterol level of 5 coming down to 3.5%.

statiquinon is available from dennsithechemist.com

Red rice yeast rice capsules: www.dennisthechemist.com/red-yeast-rice 




Are there any treatments for statin intolerance, does Q10 work where is the evidence?

BMJ 15/11/08 p1159
A four page clinical review discussing statin induced myopathy and its management. At least 1.5 million people per year experience a muscle related adverse event while taking a statin.

The review discusses:

Q: How common is statin induced myopathy?
A: The mean incidence of myopathy in patients taking statins was 1.2 per 10000 person years.

Q: What is the clinical spectrum of statin induced myopathy?
A: This includes myalgia, myositis rhabdomyolysis and an increase in creatine kinase.

Q: What are the clinical features of statin induced myopathy?
A: Symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain, muscle tenderness, muscle weakness, nocturnal cramping and tendon pain. Symptoms that develop in a patient who has been taking statins for several years are unlikely to have been caused by the statin.

Q: What are the proposed mechanisms of statin induced myopathy?
A: The mechanism is unknown. A proposed mechanism is the impaired synthesis of compounds in the cholesterol pathway, particularly coenzyme Q10, which could impair enzyme activity in mitochondria.

Q; What are the risk factors for statin induced myopathy?
A: Myopathy does correlate with statin dose. Other risk factors include advanced age, female sex, low BMI, diminshed hepatic and renal function, multiple comorbidities or medications and excess alcohol. Essentially any factor that increases the serum concentration of a statin increases the risk of myopathy.

Q: Is the risk of myopathy equal for all statins?
A: Experiments suggest that lipophilic statins (simvastatin, atorvastatin, lovastatin) are more likely to cause myopathy than hydrophilic agents (pravastatin, rosuvastatin, fluvastatin). The lipophilic agents are more likely to penetrate muscle tissue.

Q: Is measuring baseline creatine kinase necessary before starting statin therapy?
A: The National Lipid Association does not consider it necessary.

Q: Does creatine kinase need to be monitored after statins are started?
A: Routine monitoring in asymptomatic patients is not recommended. Patients with muscle weakness or pain should have their levels measured.

Q: Is statin induced myopathy managed?
A: Detailed history, physical examination, blood tests (for creatine kinase and TSH) and if necessary renal function and urine myoglobulin. Where the patient shows features of stain myopathy first line management is to stop the statin, observe symptoms and monitor creatine kinase. If the symptoms can be tolerated and creatine kinase is not raised the statins can be continued. Where the concentration of creatine kinase is 10 times more than the upper limit of normal therapy should be discontinued.

Q: At is the role of electromyography?
A: This would be useful only in atypical cases.

Q: When is muscle biopsy necessary?
A: In atypical cases on advise from a specialist.

Does coenzyme Q10 have a role in treating statin induced myopathy?
A: The usefulness is unclear however one trial reported improvement in muscle pain in patients taking coenzyme Q10.
Click here <http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/337/nov06_3/a2286>  for link to BMJ online


A brief article reporting on abstracts from the May 2007 issue of Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin which argues strongly for switching patients from branded statins to generic simvastatin.

The D&T Bulletin advises:
* simvastatin should be the first-line treatment
* atorvastatin (Lipitor) should be reserved for second-line treatment
* pravastatin may be better tolerated than simvastatin and may be useful when patients experience
interactions. However, pravastatin does have weaker lipid-lowering effects.

The D&T Bulletin states that two billion pounds could be saved over the next five years by switching those patients on atorvastatin 10mg or 20mg to simvastatin 40 daily and by using simvastatin 40mg daily as standard primary prevention.

However, as with all medication changes the potential benefits, adverse effects, additional medical complications (such as renal impairment) and costs need to be considered before the patient is changed to simvastatin.
PJ 12/05/07 p542

Q10 may be the only product for statin intolerance it is available from www.dennistehchemist.com/q10

Pycnogenol – Nature’s most versatile supplement

All about Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol® is a water extract from the bark of the French maritime pine grown as a mono-species forest, spread over the coastal region of south-west France. The unique source of Pycnogenol®, the “pine bark” has a well-established monograph based on macroscopic and microscopic findings defining its pharmacogonistic characteristics, an essential feature of the quality confirmation.

Pycnogenol® is produced by a validated manufacturing process following good agricultural practice (GAP) and good manufacturing practice (GMP). There is absolutely no application of pesticides during the growing of pine trees or toxic solvents during the manufacture of Pycnogenol®, there can be no pesticide or solvent in the finished active substance.
Pycnogenol® represents a natural blend of genetically programmed constant proportions of bioflavonoids including catechin, epicatechin, taxifolin, monomers, dimers of catechin and epicatechin, oligomeric procyanidnins and phenolic fruit acids such as ferulic acid and caffeic acid.

What is Pycnogenol®?

Pycnogenol® is the brand name for a premium herbal supplement extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree. That special pine bark is loaded with a concentrate of active bioflavonoids, which are also found in fresh fruits and vegetables. The extract from that bark is a potent blend of active compounds. Extensive research over a period of more than 30 years was dedicated to safety of Pycnogenol® and to substantiate the manifold benefits for human health of this extraordinary extract. Purity and potency of Pycnogenol® are continuously monitored and Horphag Research guarantees its constant high quality.

Where does Pycnogenol® come from?

The source of Pycnogenol® is a large forest of millions of acres in South-West France near the famous Bordeaux region. That forest is a plantation of French maritime pine trees. The pine trees are cultivated over a period of 30-50 years. Neither pesticides nor herbicides are used in that forest.

How does Pycnogenol® work for your health?

As one of the most potent natural scavenger of free radicals, Pycnogenol® mops-up all kinds of aggressive radicals, before they cause any damage by oxidative stress. Pycnogenol® boosts the immune system and it strengthens blood vessel walls and capillaries. It supports a better circulation by preventing stress-induced constriction of arteries and blood clotting. Additionally the extract contains substances, which act against cramps.

Free radicals – why fight them?

In every day life our body generates free radicals, especially in case of stress. These chemically unbalanced radicals cause damage to our cells by oxidizing them, in the same way as metal becomes rusty and destroyed. Hence, free radicals are dangerous and scientists believe that the continuous exposure to free radicals is the major cause of ageing and also of many degenerative diseases. As a super-antioxidant, Pycnogenol® counteracts that danger in two ways: It stimulates our cells to double their antioxidative power and it catches free radicals in the blood stream. That double defense makes Pycnogenol® unique.

What can Pycnogenol® do for women?

First of all, women are exposed to stress in the same way as men. Therefore, protection of arteries against blood clotting and constriction is also important for women to reduce the risk of heart infarction or stroke. Many women suffer from problems related to bad circulation: Swelling of the lower legs, cold hands and tendency to easy bruising for example. By sealing the capillaries and enhancing the microcirculation Pycnogenol® will be a relief. Another point of great interest for women is the protection of the skin against photo-ageing. Intake of Pycnogenol® reduces the risks of UV-radiation and oxidative stress for the skin. Finally, Pycnogenol® soothes menstrual disorders like cramps and pain.

It seems that nature has combined the constituents of the pine bark in a way to improve quality of life especially for women.

How does Pycnogenol® affect the beauty of my skin?

Pycnogenol® binds and protects collagen, the protein that keeps the skin tight and smooth. Enzymes and free radicals can no longer break down collagen and elastin fibers, the process enabling development of wrinkles. Pycnogenol® defies the accelerated ageing of the skin due to exposure to sunlight (photo-ageing). Pycnogenol® helps to lighten-up disturbing dark spots of the skin resulting from over-pigmentation. Pycnogenol® restores a good blood circulation in tiny capillaries of the skin. With abundance of water and oxygen and removal of waste products the skin is replenished with moisture, looking young and fresh.

How does Pycnogenol® benefit stressed business people?

Stress means your adrenaline is flowing during traffic jam, demanding phone calls and loads of bad news, that you smoke too much, if you are a smoker. Pycnogenol® counteracts the increase in blood pressure caused by stress and it helps to prevent the clotting of blood, which may occur in case of stress and smoking. Business people have to work in a sitting position and have to travel a lot. Pycnogenol® helps against swollen feet and reduced circulation caused by that immobile life style. Intake of Pycnogenol® may increase cognitive function, reduce the risks of stress and will prevent consequences of immobility.

What about diabetes and Pycnogenol®?

Diabetes produces oxidative stress and continuously damages blood vessels. The protective action of Pycnogenol® for blood vessels and capillaries helps to keep blood vessels in diabetes well functioning. Of course, a strict normalization of blood glucose is the best way to prevent these damages. Often a retinopathy is observed in diabetics. Without protection diabetics often develop retinopathy: Tiny capillaries nourishing the retina of the eye spill blood onto the retina causing vision loss. Intake of Pycnogenol® has been found to reduce the micro bleedings in the retina and to improve eyesight.

Is Pycnogenol® helpful for smokers?

For smokers, unable to quit smoking, Pycnogenol® gives a protection against the cardio-vascular risks by preventing the clotting of blood platelets, caused by smoking. Furthermore Pycnogenol® inhibits the nicotine-induced constriction of blood vessels. Both effects together help to reduce the risk of clogged arteries and veins, the primary cause of heart infarction and stroke.

How about chronic bronchitis and asthma?

Asthma and chronic bronchitis are both caused by chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Intake of Pycnogenol® decreases the amount of circulating inflammatory substances in the blood stream and has been shown to improve asthma symptoms and the lung function. It inhibits additionally those enzymes responsible for the destruction of lung tissue in chronic bronchitis.

Doing sport with Pycnogenol®?

Sport always creates oxidative stress, as the metabolism rises, reflected by a 10-20 fold increase of inhaled oxygen. Trained athletes cope with oxidative stress by an increased production of anti-oxidative enzymes, protecting their cells against the burst of free radicals. That’s exactly what Pycnogenol® does: It stimulates the cells to produce more anti-oxidative enzymes and free radical scavengers. An investigation with recreational athletes on a treadmill has shown that Pycnogenol® increased endurance. Pycnogenol® protects against the overload of free radicals and allows a better performance.

Will I feel any difference when I take Pycnogenol®?

Not all people are alike. Sensitive persons feel revitalized, some even experience difficulties to fall asleep at night when taking Pycnogenol® in the evening. Many ailments you suffer from may be relieved after prolonged usage of Pycnogenol®. However, the main reason to take Pycnogenol® is to stay healthy and keep optimal body functions.

How much Pycnogenol® should I take?

For general use as a supplement, a typical daily dosage would be 1 mg per kilogram of body weight, or follow the directions on the packaging. Please consult your physician if you are taking Pycnogenol® for a specific condition.

Are there any side effects?

Because of its astringent taste, which occasionally causes minor stomach discomfort it is best to take Pycnogenol® with or after meals. To date, no serious adverse effects have been reported.

Is Pycnogenol® safe?

Pycnogenol® is one of the best-researched food supplements and it has passed extensive safety tests. Toxicity tests have demonstrated a very low toxicity. No serious adverse event had been observed in clinical trials. Mild side effects as gastro-intestinal discomfort, headache, nausea and dizziness were seldomly reported.

Should I use Pycnogenol® instead of vitamins?

No. Vitamins are as important for your health as Pycnogenol®. Pycnogenol® acts in synergy with vitamins. It recycles and spares vitamins C and E, so they act longer in your body. Take Pycnogenol® along with your vitamins and feel the difference.

Should pregnant women and small children take Pycnogenol®?

As a general precaution, pregnant women should not take Pycnogenol® within the first 3 months of pregnancy. Because there is no experience with small children, children under the age of 6 should not take Pycnogenol®. That precaution measure is given beside the fact that no adverse effects had been observed in test series.


We sell Pycnogenol in the following sizes:

30 pack; £13.95

60 pack; £22.95

150 pack; £45.95

These Can be purchased at http://www.dennisthechemist.com or on the phone on 0161 773 1994.