Search Term: " schizophrenia "
Vitamin D And Its Effect On Brain
April 30, 2019 09:28 AM
Vitamin D has a wide range of vital health benefits for your bones, teeth, heart and endocrine system. Recent research suggests it also has a critical job in brain health and mental health as as well. Vitamin D deficiency — already associated with damage to the immune system and hypertension — may also put you at a higher risk of schizophrenia or cognitive impairment. This is a serious problem, given that there may be a billion vitamin D-deficient people in the world today.
"New research finds that vitamin D deficiency influences a kind of brain “scaffolding” that supports the neurons."
Read more: https://thestylishmagazine.com/1469/vitamin-d-and-its-effect-on-brain/
10 Health Benefits Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
January 21, 2019 01:21 PM
Omega 3 fatty acid, which can be found in supplements such as wild salmon oil, salmon itself, avocados, and various nuts has proven to be beneficial in a wide range of body systems.One of the lesser known uses is to aid in the severity and even prevention of mood disorder and mood disorder episodes. It is also very critical for heart and eye health. The most interesting aspect however is how it interacts with the endocrine system, where it aids in metabolic regulation and among other things, insulin intolerance.
"Research says that omega-3 fatty acids can improve one’s health on several levels."
Read more: https://dailywellnesspro.com/10-health-benefits-of-omega-3-fatty-acids/690/
Fish, fish oil may lower your heart attack risk
January 21, 2019 01:20 PM
Omega 3 fatty acid, which can be found in supplements such as wild salmon oil, salmon itself, avocados, and various nuts has proven to be beneficial in a wide range of body systems.One of the lesser known uses is to aid in the severity and even prevention of mood disorder and mood disorder episodes. It is also very critical for heart and eye health. The most interesting aspect however is how it interacts with the endocrine system, where it aids in metabolic regulation and among other things, insulin intolerance.
"Research says that omega-3 fatty acids can improve one’s health on several levels."
Read more: https://dailywellnesspro.com/10-health-benefits-of-omega-3-fatty-acids/690/
What's The Difference Between Niacin And Niacinamide
December 19, 2018 08:31 AM
When it comes to Vitamin B3, not all forms of Niacin are created equally. Aside from the risk of allergens and impurities, there are also separate forms with critical distinctions. The pure form is made solely of nicotinic acid which causes the flushing effect when it is taken by humans. The flushing effect is a redness that starts in the face and expands outwards through the rest of the body. It can make the skin feel warm, dry, and itchy for half an hour. The flushing effect is associated with vascular dilation that helps open up the tiny capillaries and blood vessels to clean out all the toxic junk they may have accumulated.
Nicotinic Acid Lowers Cholesterol
Nicotinic acid is also associated with increasing HDL levels in the body to prevent heart disease and plaques from accumulating on the interior walls of arteries. Nicotinic acid is also known to lower the LDL and VLDL bad cholesterols that clog up arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Other Benefits of Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 plays a critical role in building enzymes that help us carry out over 200 physical functions in the body. It is not produced naturally but is absorbed from foods such as yeast, green vegetables, milk, eggs, legumes, and fish. Aside from cardiovascular health, it plays a critical role in nervous health and sex hormone production.
How Does Niacinamide Differ?
Niacinamide is a water-soluble form of Niacin that is used to treat deficiencies or for therapies when patients need to take higher doses regularly to treat pellegra and the deficiencies that lead to it. When an excess of Niacin is built up in the body, your body may store it in this form. The chief distinction between this water-soluable hybrid and nicotinic acid is the effect on cholesterol and vascular dilation. Although flushing can be reduced by taking nicotinic acid daily and building up a tolerance to the effects, it is harder on the liver and more burdensome on the body to metabolize it in the high doses used for therapy of many illnesses: ADHD, schizophrenia, nervous problems, migraines, and arthritis, among others. It is the preferred choice for maintaining a consistent and steady level of Vitamin B3 in the body and loaded into many beauty and skin products for women.
What Other Forms Can I Take?
You can take any form of the vitamin on a daily basis or supplement it with nicotinic acid when you need some additional flushing effect. You will notice that Niacinamide causes some symptoms of drying and itching that are similar to flushing when you take it in high doses. The no-flush formulation is called inositol hexanicotinate and made up from Vitamins B3 and Inositol Vitamin B8. The inositol acts as an additional buffer that makes inositol hexanicotinate easy to digest and take 1600 mg without side-effects: nausea, itching, flushing, dizziness, gout, liver damage, diabetes. Although multi-vitamin formulas and even fortified foods like breakfast shakes and cereals suggest that you are getting a full dose of B3 in each serving, this is very unlikely. The better choice is to take specifically formulated capsules rather than multivitamins if you are using it for therapeutic reasons.
Cannabidiol improves schizophrenia symptoms
December 22, 2017 07:59 AM
Schizophrenia can be hard to treat. It causes many troubling symptoms such as visual and auditory hallucinations. It can be very hard to live with these things. Cannabidiol is one of the things which may help. If you are suffering or if a loved one is you should look into this because it can improve quality a life a great deal. The symptoms often make working or being around people difficult so quality of life diminishes.
"Adjunct treatment with cannabis-derived chemical cannabidiol (CBD) improved symptoms compared with placebo."
Read more: https://www.univadis.com/viewarticle/cannabidiol-improves-schizophrenia-symptoms-574419
The Science Of CBD Oil [Infographic]
August 17, 2017 04:14 PM
Cannabis is a booming business right now. Colorado was a state that legalized marijuana back in 2012 and the revenue generated from legal marijuana sales has grown so much that it is now a rival of the GDP of a few island nations. The medical cannabis industry is is one of the major sectors being developed right now. People have known about the benefits for decades and only now are these claims being researched and understood better.
"So far CBD oil has been found to treat addiction, inflammation, Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, mad cow disease, acne, diabetes, fibromyalgia, insomnia, PTSD, schizophrenia, Crohn’s disease, and many others."
Read more: http://www.valuewalk.com/2017/08/cbd-oil/
The ABCs of CBD
June 14, 2017 09:14 AM
There is a lot of fear and doubt concerning medical marijuana. A lot of people think it is just bad and that is it. Many of them do not stop to consider the myriad of benefits it can provide to people. It is actually a very useful tool that nature has given to us. One of the benefits is that it can prevent you from taking opioids, which are addictive. There are many different useful compounds found in cannabis.
"CBD has been found to be helpful in treating autism, anxiety, depression, psychosis, insomnia, inflammation, pain and cancer, just to name a few."
Read more: http://vegasseven.com/2017/06/06/the-abcs-of-cbd/
A brain wide chemical signal that enhances memory
January 30, 2017 10:59 AM
Alzheimer’s seems to become more prevalent every day. This has lead to much research into what causes it and how to prevent it. While we still do not know the exact mechanism behind what causes it, there has been some discovery on ways to help fight the disease. A recent study has shown that keeping our brains active will help fend off the signs of mental decline. This discovery was uncovered in light of drugs that seem to help with the disease when they activate acetylcholine release and activate the brain for longer periods of time.
""Many current and future drug therapies for a wide range of brain disorders including Alzheimer's and schizophrenia are designed to target chemical systems such as acetylcholine""
A New Marijuana To Relieve Pain Without The High
January 19, 2017 02:59 PM
The pure medical value of marijuana is apparently being isolated without getting the user high, LatinosHealth reports. The two main molecules in marijuana are THC (which contains the "high"), and CBD, which does not get the user high, but can relieve pain. Efforts are being made to isolate the CBD side of marijuana for pure medical use.
"Earlier researchers were of the opinion that CBD had no use in the human body while THC was used to treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems but that notion has changed as CBD has been used in the treatment of diseases like epilepsy, anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer."
A powerful new form of medical marijuana, without the high
January 15, 2017 02:59 PM
A new and powerful form of medical marijuana has been discovered, and it will help relieve any ailments you may be having without giving you the “high” effect that many types of marijuana tend to give. This form of marijuana contains cannabidiol, or CBD, not THC, which gives the high effect. Scientists have determined that it can help cure illnesses such as anxiety, heart disease, and cancer. While there is still more research still needs to be done, scientists are hopeful that these findings will help patients shift away from using marijuana with THC.
"Many were brief, a half-minute of staring into space, but he also had severe episodes in which he would collapse, sometimes injuring himself."
5 Reasons the DEA's Marijuana Ruling Is Absurd and Indefensible
December 31, 2016 11:59 AM
On December 14, 2016, in the Federal Register, DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg made cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance by making it illegal to use. People suffering from medical issues often use cannabis (CBD) and CBD oil in their treatment. Opponents to the new classification argue that cannabis should not be included in Schedule 1 drugs. For starters, they say it’s not psychoactive, addictive, or dangerous. Also, the US government has conducted research on the drug and concluded that it has medical benefits. In addition, it has been helpful in treating other coditions, like seizures and schizophrenia.
"While it’s possible to abuse marijuana (along with anything else), dependence and addiction are rare."
Why Eat Gluten Free
April 17, 2014 04:48 AM
What is gluten
Gluten intolerance arises when your body cannot digest gluten, which is a protein found in rye, barley and wheat. It makes the immune system to attack small intestines lining’s which causes diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea. It’s commonly called celiac disease. Apart from celiac or gluten intolerance other health issues caused by gluten have come up.
Check out these insights why you and your family should take gluten free diet:
Recent research has revealed that gluten is related with obesity and weight gain. Gluten is a super carbohydrate and is quickly converted to blood sugar than any carb food. This results in glucose being released into the bloodstream. Insulin supports your body in converting glucose to fat causing a lot of fat deposits.
Ward off diseases
Increased gluten consumption has caused a great rise in several diseases such as ADHD, heart diseases, diabetes and autism. Gluten and disease relationships are still under research but meanwhile it is safer to reduce gluten intake within your family members.
Improves mental health
Different researches have associated Celiac disease with issues such as dementia and nervous system problems. Over the last 60 years, there have been some studies relating patients with schizophrenia and gluten consumption.
You can find gluten everywhere in pizza, bread, salad dressings, spices, ketchup and cosmetics. An average American person can consume about 130 pounds of wheat every year which makes 70 percent of our carb intake.
If you are suffering from diseases such as Osteoporosis or Parkinson's disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis then taking non gluten diet is the best way of getting healthier quicker. Certain research has shown that eating gluten free diet helps you to take less recovery time when you use along with their treatments.
You can give a try by eliminating gluten and check any change in your healthy condition. Several gluten free food choices are available.
Why Is Date Sugar A Healthier Choice Than White Refined Sugar?
February 07, 2014 04:50 PM
Date sugar is a magnificent sugar substitute that is healthy for children and it tastes extraordinary. Date sugar is not transformed or refined and it is stacked with strand, vitamins, and minerals. Date sugar is a light tan, really shade and has an exceptionally glorious taste.
How date sugar is made
Date sugar is a common sugar made by grinding up dates. It is exceptionally solid for you and tastes exceptional.
• 1 mug of refined prepared sugar could be swapped by 2/3 mug of date sugar, to 1 mug of sugar depending on the taste you are going for.
Health profits of dates and date sugar
1. Date sugar is packed with vitamins and minerals
Date sugar is stacked with vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and selenium; where white sugar does not. What a heavenly thing to have the capacity to make solid muffins, healthy treats, flapjacks, waffles, bread and solid sweets with a sugar substitute like date sugar that has vitamins and minerals it.
2. Dates make you feel full longer
Date sugar is packed with filament, protein and carbs, which make you, feel full any longer. This can help to check craving and help anticipate weight gain.
3. Assistance with circulation
Date sugar is stacked with potassium and really has more potassium for every serving size than bananas do. Potassium has numerous health profits including helping to anticipate issues in children, as they develop greater.
4. Date sugar is low in calories
Date sugar is low in calories at 288 calories for a 1/2 of container of date sugar; contrasted with white refined sugar, which has 387 calories for every 1/2 mug.
Refined white sugar is to a substantial degree to be faulted for a few manifestations of diabetes, whose exploited people confront the risk of blindness and different genuine weaknesses, also coronary illness, stroke, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and conceivably a few kinds of growth
The extraordinary indictment against refined white sugar is its high dissolvability in the figure. It hurries through the stomach divider without being processed, animates abundance discharge of insulin by the pancreas to encourage its entry through unit layers of the tissues, where it is utilized as fuel and reasons metabolic irregularity, which allows microscopic organisms, infections, and savage germ
Top reasons why gluten free diet is necessary
January 27, 2014 09:31 AM
What is Gluten
Gluten is a protein found mainly in grains, which include wheat, farro, durum, bulgur, spelt, semolina and many others. It is also found in other foods and is present in some toothpaste brands. Gluten is difficult to completely digest and can cause serious health problems for some people. It is for this reason that many people are increasingly consuming gluten free diet in an attempt at avoiding its negative health effects. The following is a look at the adverse effects of gluten in the human body.
What Gluten can Do
Some people’s bodies react to the presence of the protein by attacking it and the body tissue surrounding it, which results to numerous health problems in the body. Gluten is responsible for a condition referred to as celiac disease, which is a serious form of gluten sensitivity. This disease is considered an autoimmune disease because the body’s immune system attacks the protein and the cells of the digestive tract’s enzymes. This leads to bloating, gas, stomach pain, anemia, skin rashes, muscle cramps and bone pain. Other symptoms include missed periods in women, stunted growth in children, seizures, mouth sores, calcium deficiency, nerve damage and nutrient malabsorption.
Other serious effects of ingesting gluten
Include increased risk of developing some forms of cancer and chronic diarrhea. The protein has also been found to cause intestinal inflammation and degeneration of intestinal lining. Weakened intestines are dangerous because they can permit foreign substances into the blood stream, which is common in persons suffering from celiac disease.
Gluten is also associated with numerous disorders of the brain. Conclusive studies have associated the protein to a condition referred to as cerebellar ataxia. Its symptoms include difficulties in coordinating balance, problems with speech and movement. Gluten free diet results to significant improvement in health for persons suffering from autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia.
It has been observed that gluten may be addictive, which is why many people crave for meals made of wheat and other grains. This has not been conclusively proven but there are studies that suggest that traces of the protein’s exorphins can find their way into the human brain.
Gluten free diet is healthy because it improves a person’s bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Any people experience significant benefits in their mental, emotional and physical health after eliminating the protein from their diets. It is, therefore, important that a gluten free diet be consumed especially by people who react negatively to it.
What Is The Difference Between flaxseed oil and fish oil
January 01, 2014 07:03 PM
Before you can compare flaxseed oil and fish oil
It is first important to understand the differences between the two oils. Extracted from the dried seeds of the plant rips linen, flax seed oil is clean and almost yellow. The oil is obtained by a cold method or by solvent extraction. Flaxseed oil contains acid lineolic, a particular form of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish Oil is extracted from the tissues of fatty fish containing EPA, Docohsahexanoic acid (DHA) and eicosanoids.
Benefits of compare flaxseed oil and fish oil
Some of the health benefits are reducing inflammation. For comparison, it is essential to analyze the benefits of both oils. Two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA in this oil and are a great help in creating hormone-like substance that reduces inflammation and blood pressure. They have also been shown to reduce triglycerides and the accumulation of plaque in the arteries.Omega-3 oils promote the secretion of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical anti-depressant produced by the body and thus reduces or mitigates the effects of depression. Fish oil is often used in the treatment of patients with HIV / AIDS, and has proven to be helpful in lowering triglyceride levels in the body that build up after prolonged use of antiretroviral drugs. This is extremely useful because it can reduce the risk of a patient for coronary artery disease. In addition to providing relief from chronic inflammation, they is also useful for those suffering from joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The EPA has also found that fish oil helps protect the skin from photo damage. Photo damage is known to cause permanent skin wrinkles and skin damage. In addition, some studies have shown that they may prevent schizophrenia, with minimal side effects. Mothers who take fish oil during pregnancy often bear children with enhanced brain function as well as children with higher IQs. They are also less prone to cognitive problems. And the effects of postpartum depression seem to lessen with the regular intake of fish oil.The fish oil supplements have even more benefits, including lower risk of macular degeneration in the aging process. And studies have shown that with weight training significant reduced pain is present in the bodybuilders who regularly consumed fish oil. Other benefits are providing relief for digestive diseases..
The immense health benefits of taking evening primrose oil
December 31, 2013 04:47 AM
What is Primrose Oil
The oil is extracted from the seed of the evening primrose plant, which has yellow leaves that are known to unfold at night. The whole plant has consumed for many years by Native Indians. It is also available in capsule form. The following is a look at the health benefits of the oil.
Study about Primrose Oil
The concentration of gamma-lanoleic acid in the evening primrose plant is very high, and has been discovered to be one of the few plants that contain the essential substance. The acid has been proven to be vital for enhancing the skin’s elasticity and improving the functioning of nerves. Gama-lanoleic acid is also important in the body’s growth, development and immune response.
Studies have proven Gama-lanoleic acid to be effective in the destruction of breast cancer tumors without causing harm to adjacent healthy cells or leading to side effects. The use of the oil in combination with other breast cancer drugs has shown better results than when the drugs are taken in isolation. It is also effective in relieving breast pain, rheumatoid arthritis and severe headaches due to its anti inflammatory and hormone regulatory properties.
Benefits of Prirose Oil
Swelling, itching, redness, crusting and redness that, are common in eczema cases, can be relieved after using the oil. Gama-lanoleic acid in the oil is believed to be the active substance in such cases.
There is evidence to suggest that the oil is helpful in treating heart conditions, pediatric hyperactivity, menopause symptoms, post menstrual syndrome and ageing. Other conditions where the oil has been used to produce desirable results include schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and weight control.
Evening primrose oil has become an important substance in herbal solutions because of its therapeutic and preventative qualities. There is tremendous research being conducted on the oil in bid to uncover additional benefits for the human body.
The Facts About Herb Dopa Mucuna
December 15, 2013 05:17 PM
What is Herb Dopa Mucuna?
Dopa Mucuna has become used as an aphrodisiac. Which is still used to raise and help libido in both women and men. However it's an alternative treatment peculiarity now is extremely popular used as it provides potential and valuable results in managing Parkinson along with conditions. Pots include seeds called velvet beans or mucuna beans, these are glowing brown or black. Dopa Mucuna is generally be able to recover soil fertility and decrease weed infestation. In society medicine seeds can be used healing different conditions and disease. Mucuna beans have been used as a coffee alternate (ground and roasted) in Brazil, Central America, and other countries.
The primary acts of the plant are following :
You've surely would not heard about L-Dopa, except if you are associated with somebody who carries body builder or Parkinson's disease, you might not be familiar with about it. L-Dopa is a precursor to dopamine. The seeds of Mucuna bean is rich in lipids, protein, ash, dietary fiber, minerals, and carbohydrates. Moreover they are very high in sterols, alkaloids, and saponins. Mucuna seeds (along with the seeds of every Mucuna varieties) include high level of L-dopa is an immediate precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
How does it works?
Low dopamine ranges are related to psychosis, addiction, schizophrenia, depression, and Attention Deficit Disorder. Because dopamine itself is unable to move the blood-brain barrier, it is transferred in a precursor condition is an outline that causes the brain to generate dopamine. L-Dopa is simply like a precursor. L-Dopa is located to work in improving concentrate, relieving depressive disorders, and managing Parkinson's Disease.
The Role of Glycine in Collagen and Its Remarkable Health Benefits
March 17, 2013 08:41 AM
Collagen is basically made up of several amino acids and one of which is glycine. This particular amino acid accounts 1/3 of the entire composition of collagen. It can be found in the third position in the sequence of the amino acids. One of the fundamental roles of this amino acid is that it reduces the water solubility of collagen by a hundred folds. Contrary to the fact that it's considered as a non-essential amino acid, glycine has many health benefits aside from being a part of the collagen synthesis. The details below present some of the most essential information that you ought to know about this collagen component. Here they are:
Glycine Synthesizes Normal DNA and RNA
DNA and RNA are genetic materials necessary for the proper cellular formation and function. Glycine prevents the breakdown of the muscle tissues by increasing the body's creatine levels which is a compound that builds muscle mass. High concentration of this amino acid can also be found in the skin and connective tissues in the body and it keeps them flexible and firm. Without glycine, the body won't be able to repair damaged tissues.
Glycine Keeps the Central Nervous System Healthy
Studies had shown that this amino acid is an inhibitor of the neurotransmitters that can cause seizures, hyperactivity and bipolar depression. As a matter of fact, it can be converted into serine which is a neurotransmitter beneficial in the treatment of schizophrenia. Researchers found out that schizophrenic patients exhibited significant improvements after adding glycine with their anti-psychotic medication. It was also found out that it improves memory. Glycine Promotes Proper Function of the
This amino acid is known to induce bile acid production which is used to digest fats. It is also often included in most over-the-counter gastric antacid agents to prevent and treat acid reflux. Glycine Provides Glucose Specifically, this non-essential amino acid is also considered as glucogenic amino acid. That simply means that it provides glucose in the body. One of its benefits includes regulation of blood sugar levels, so it can be helpful in treating symptoms manifested by low energy and fatigue.
Glycine May Help With Cancer
Preliminary studies considered this amino acid as another breakthrough in cancer treatment. Results suggested that it can prevent the development of cancerous cells as it acts as an inhibitor of angiogenesis which is a process in which tumors, benign or malignant, develop their own blood supply.
Sources of Glycine
High-quality protein foods such as white meat from fish and chicken, beans, legumes, eggs and milk are known to be the main sources of this amino acid. Glycine supplements are also available in tablet or powder forms and can also be one of the components of many amino acid supplements. Except for some people complaining about having stomach upset and dizziness after taking glycine supplements, there are no other noted adversarial or severe side effects of glycine. If taken properly, such supplementation is extremely safe.
Who Should Not Take Glycine?
Those individuals suffering from kidney and liver diseases should never take glycine. Pregnant women should never take as well. People taking antispatic medication are not allowed also since there could be interference between the drugs and glycine. It's always best to consult a doctor first before taking such supplement.
Those are all the most notable benefits of glycine. The point here is that it is not just a mere part of a collagen but it also has a number of health benefits.
Can Glutathione Taken Orally Be Effective?
December 28, 2012 04:12 PM
One of the main antioxidant found in the human body is glutathione. The chemical nature of it is made up of three amino acids together bound with tripeptide bonds. The many functions of glutathione in human body include gene expressions, DNA synthesis, protein synthesis, etc. It has been noted that deficiency of this chemical in human body gives rise to diseases and problems like Parkinson's diseases, AIDS, epilepsy, sepsis, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular troubles, trauma, schizophrenia and many others.
The amino acid that is extracted from the protein containing food consumed by an individual helps in the formation of glutathione in the body itself. Many medical personalities might suggest the consumption of oral glutathione pills by those who have glutathione deficiency. It must however be noted that the answer to the question can glutathione taken orally be effective is a widely debated topic. Most of the recent medical tests and experiments suggest that although no forms of side effects are caused by oral consumption of this chemical as pills, but effectiveness of the medicine is not 100%.
The chemicals and organic supplements present in glutathione are not 100% absorbed by the body when it is taken orally. Without intravenous administration, this chemical would never provide the required results in maintaining a healthy body. The glutathione, when taken down orally, is partly broken in the digestive canal, especially in the small intestines through the enzymes that are present. Hence most of the benefits of this chemical would be lost adding to the cellular toxicity of the body if consumed orally. Most doctors and medical professionals suggest that instead of taking glutathione orally as pills, one should have food that is protein rich.
Consumption of protein rich food, especially protein shakes, in turn, adds to the intravenous glutathione production which is best suited for the body. Consuming NAC can help boost glutathione levels as well.
glycine: a healthy amino acid
November 15, 2012 07:56 AM
For those who have heard about glycine and wonder about its health benefits, they should first of all know that it's a proteinogenic amino acid with its name being a combination from the words glycogen and glucose. This is not an essential amino acid for the body, because it can be obtained from other sources.
Many studies have been performed around glycine and the results show that it can be easily used in order to reduce the psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and at the same time it can also be used to reduce symptoms that are associated with BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
It seems that glycine also has many benefits in nutrition and they are as following:
Glycine is similar with many other amino acids and one of those similarities is in the fact that it has a great importance for the nervous system, more specifically in what regards understanding and memory. Due to the fact that glycine work as a neurotransmitter, it has been successfully used in many treatments for hyperactivity, epilepsy and bipolar depression. Not only that, but it also supplies the human body with creatine which is vital for having healthy developing muscles.
More to that, it also helps with maintaining a healthy prostate and with healing damaged skin. On the other hand, it seems that its uses are much broader and deeper, down to even helping out the body with detoxifying the liver and eventually helping with the calcium absorption process.
Where is it found?
People can easily get glycine from foods like seeds, soya, gelatin, dairy and fish products, but also meat. In some cases, it's used as a sweetener and also in food supplements and protein drinks. Lastly, unless the individual needs this amino acid specifically, there is no need to actually get it, as the body can produce it unless for some reason the body mechanism that produces it is blocked. Then supplementation is essential to good health and wellness.
The Tremendous Health Benefits Of Omega- 3 Fatty Acids
November 10, 2012 11:53 AM
Omega-3 vs Omega-6
Several sources of information and clinical studies have revealed that the ratio between these two essential fatty acids in our diet have over a period of time played a significant role in making humans prone to certain diseases that the early humans were not afflicted with.
The raging debate in finding the right ratio arises also from the fact that modern foods preferences lean heavily toward the consumption of omega-6 rich foods . This fatty acid has been linked to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, inflammatory diseases, immunodeficiency, artherosclerosis, hypertension, blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes and obesity. In the last ten thousand years our genetic structure has remained the same, but with the onset of the Agricultural Revolution radical changes in food habits have created a lopsided diet. The western diet is heavily oversubscribing to the use of the polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFA, and going low on Essential Fatty Acids or EFA. Living in the industrial societies that we do and in a kind of nutritional environment that we live in, we need to make informed choices about the food we consume is important considering how high- risk western societies are to many kinds of ailments.
Both omega-3 and omega -6 fatty acids are essential for us, but have to be obtained from food as the human body does not have the ability to produce it. Clinical evidence has shown that the Mediterranean diet is more focused on fresh fruits, vegetables, fats from olives, fish, nuts, garlic and whole grains. It has the requisite amounts of healthy fats to combat numerous diseases like coronary condition, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, high cholesterol, schizophrenia, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, bipolar disorder and colon cancer. Astounding also is the finding that our body possesses a certain enzyme that can be linked in its structure and function to these essential fatty acids. These are called prostaglandins.
Prostaglandins are the end products of a chain reaction that begins with the release of unsaturated fatty acids from the cell membrane. It was first isolated from human semen and has found great use as an enzyme based treatment for menstrual problems, childbirth and many other medical conditions. Its ability to increase blood flow has resulted in its use for inducing abortion in troubled pregnancies. However, its over secretion in the body is related to numerous inflammatory conditions and has been found to increase in the body due to the overbearing presence of 0mega-6 fatty acids.These facts can not be taken lightly for a civilization reeling under the onslaught of devastating ailments. Its time to take heed .
What Are The Health Benefits Of DMAE?
April 26, 2012 12:57 PM
Dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE is anorganic compound that is metabolically produced by the adrenal glands, testes and the brain in small quantities. It is converted into testosterone, estrogen and cortisone by the body. It is a known fact that the liver processes DMAE into choline, but the molecule thus produced is charged and cannot break the blood-brain barrier. Studies have shown that DMAE methylated in the brain acts as the precursor for the manufacture of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in the conduction of signals in the brain as well as the nervous system.
DMAE also stimulates phosphatidylcholine, a crucial part of cell membranes. However, the DMAE naturally produced by the body is sufficient only to maintain healthy brain and functions. It will not improve their functions. Though DMAE is found in fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines, supplementation in the pill form is important because of the practical difficulties having these foods in the right form and quantity on a daily basis to derive the benefits. DMAE supplements for oral consumption are through stores that sell health foods and groceries.
Daily consumption of DMAE in the supplement form provides a number of benefits to the body. Some of the benefits are as follows:
It helps prevent as well as treat cardiovascular problems and boost the body's immune system because of its strong antioxidant properties.It protects cells from the harmful effects of free-radicals by helping them retain the nutrients that are essential and expelling waste.As a precursor in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, it supports the functioning of the brain in a number of ways. It increases a person's attention span, relieves behavioral problems and hyperactivity or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also helpful in treating memory lapses and Alzheimer's disease.
It helps stop production of arachidonic acid which is responsible for wrinkling and aging of skin. Topical creams containing DMAE help tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.It is found to be effective in burning fat because of its involvement in the production of acetylcholine. It increases the metabolism in the body because of its thermogenic effect.It can be beneficial as an anti-inflammatory as well.It can reduce the amount of sleep required for a person by up to one hour.It can safely be used as a substitute for anabolic steroids.
Research studies have shown that consumption of 200 to 500 mg of DMAE on a daily basis is helpful in improving health. However, it is important to start with a low dosage of DMAE and then gradually increase the dosage level to the optimum level. Higher dosage can cause headaches, insomnia and muscle tension. People suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia, mental depression and epilepsy should not have DMAE supplements. Pregnant and lactating women also should not have DMAE.
Summarizing, consumption of recommended amounts of DMAE is believed to be safe. Side effects due to consumption of DMAE are rare and not generally serious. However, it is important to use high-quality supplements in order to increase DMAE levels in the body and reap the benefits.
Good Colon Health Is Essential To Feeling Good
July 21, 2010 02:55 PM
There was once a case of a young man who had felt sick for years. Although it was nothing intense, it was just enough to make him feel listless, tired, and depressed. His medical doctors prescribed him a list of medications, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually, he went to a chiropractor who was also trained in nutrition. After a few urine tests and an examination of his diet, the chiropractor was able to diagnose the man’s problem as auto-intoxication. This meant that his body was actually being poisoned by his intestinal tract.
Auto-intoxication, also known as intestinal toxemia, is a condition that is brought on by eating the wrong types and amounts of food that certain bacteria can thrive upon and produce toxins from. These toxins permeate into the bloodstream and are carried into the rest of the body. Symptoms of auto-intoxication include fatigue, nervousness, gastrointestinal conditions, skin diseases, headaches, endocrine and circulatory disturbances, and others.
The chiropractor placed the young man on a regime of low-protein, high complex-carbohydrate, low-fat foods, with the main emphasis being on raw fruits and vegetables. The young man felt great within a month. His symptoms had gradually disappeared. He states that it was frustrating to suffer for so long when the answer to his problem was a change in diet. The diet changes were not hard for him. After so long being sick, he was willing to try almost anything. He claims that the relief he feels today has made the diet changes worthwhile. The toxins which are formed and sent into the bloodstream are sent to the liver first, where some, but not all, of them are filtered out. They are then sent back into the bloodstream where they poison various cells. Finally, they are excreted by the kidneys into urine, making their presence able to be detected through a urinalysis.
A lot of medical literature has been published that supports the link between illness and intestinal toxemia. The following are just a few examples of this literature. One doctor studied 472 cases of allergies, with allergies clearing up when intestinal toxemia was eliminated. After 23 years of observation, another doctor stated that toxemia is the underlying cause of asthma. About 50% of all cases of inflammatory arthritis can be greatly helped by removing the toxins that are formed in the intestine. Similarly, about 25% of all cases of irregular heartbeats seem to respond well to the elimination of toxemia. Several hundred cases of ear, nose, and throat diseases were from auto-intoxications. A high protein diet that is combined with intestinal stagnation has been shown to cause toxemia of pregnancy.
It was found that many cases of eye disease respond well when the intestinal toxins are eliminated from the picture. Both mental and physical nervous system diseases may result form auto-intoxication. One paper reported that 517 cases of mental symptoms that ranged from mental sluggishness to hallucinations were relieved by eliminating intestinal toxemia. Recent research has actually found that toxemia is related to schizophrenia.
The process of aging is even sped up by toxins in the body. Low back pain and sciatica can be caused by nerves that are irritated by intestinal toxins. One doctor reported that intestinal toxemia is an important causative factor in the production of a variety of skin diseases. Breast diseases have self-healed when auto-intoxication has been removed from the picture. It seems that the answer to many health problems is building up the immune system with a healthy diet that is high in complex-carbohydrates, low in fats, and contains an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Increasing fiber in the diet can help colon function and eliminate the compounds that cause auto-intoxication. Acidophilus can help restore the intestinal balance once the colon has been cleansed boosting digestion and immune health. Look to your local or internet health food store for quality colon support supplements.
Gotu Kola And Memory
September 15, 2009 04:30 PM
For centuries, gotu kola has been used in India and the islands of the Indian Ocean as a tonic and medicinal remedy. The herb was thought to increase longevity and improve energy. It was used in ancient days to treat leprosy, calm nerves, increase mental and physical power, stimulate and rejuvenate the brain, prevent nervous disorders, and avoid mental fatigue and senility.
This herb is considered to be one of the best herbal tonics, which is a substance that works to put the body into balance. A tonic makes sure that everything is working properly, while an herbal tonic helps to promote an optimum state in the body systems. This herb is responsible for gradually building the nervous system as a nervous system tonic. Gotu kola has been used for many different maladies, which include nervous disorders, deficient mental function, memory problems, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. The herb works by cleansing and purifying the blood by neutralizing acids and helping the body defend itself against toxins.
Research has found that an ingredient in gotu kola, known as asiaticoside, is responsible for speeding the healing of wounds. This ingredient is considered a blood cleanser and is also effective for diseases of the lungs. The herb stimulates the capillaries and helps to improve brain function, varicose veins, and hypertension.
Gotu kola is often used to increase mental function and performance. A variety of studies have confirmed this herb’s ability to improve brain function. It is often prescribed in Europe and India for this purpose. Studies done in India have found the water extract of fresh leaves helps to improve memory and learning. Additionally, it was found to help overcome the negative effects that are associated with stress and fatigue.
Additional clinical trials in India have found that gotu kola is able to help increase the IQ and mental ability of mentally retarded children. The children that were involved in this study showed improved mental capacity and behavior. This herb was given to children in combination with capsicum and ginseng. This improved behavior and mental capacity can help individuals who have mental and learning disabilities to achieve a higher quality of life.
In ancient times, gotu kola was used to heal wounds and soothe cases of leprosy. One of the first studies done on this herb was with cases of leprosy. The asiaticoside content found in gotu kola has been used for years in Europe and the Far East to cure leprosy and tuberculosis. Recent studies on this herb center more on its healing ability. Gotu kola seems to be able to accelerate the healing of wounds and skin diseases. Additionally, it has been shown to be beneficial in helping repair tissue after surgery and trauma. The herb has the ability to strengthen veins and repair connective tissue, while nourishing the motor neurons.
The entire gotu kola plant is used to provide alterative, antiasthmatic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diuretic, and nervine properties. The primary nutrients in this herb are catechol, epicatechol, magnesium, theobromine, and vitamin K. Primarily, gotu kola is extremely helpful in dealing with aging, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, poor circulation, fatigue, heart problems, hypoglycemia, leprosy, memory loss, mental problems, nervousness, and senility.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating blood impurities, depression, dysentery, fevers, headaches, insomnia, liver ailments, menopausal symptoms, pituitary problems, psoriasis, rheumatism, schizophrenia, thyroid problems, tonsillitis, effects of toxins, tuberculosis, varicose veins, lack of vitality, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by gotu kola, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
June 14, 2008 03:22 PM
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) enhances mental function through the improvement of concentration, mental clarity and mental alertness. It is also a mild brain stimulant because it increases and sustains the energy levels in the brain. It also improves the level of restful nighttime sleep because the sleep is deeper and less time is needed to reach a rejuvenated state. DMAE helps to boost mental function through an increase in the levels of acetylcholine and choline. These are the brain’s chemical messengers.
Because of DMAE’s ability to stimulate mental cognitive function, it also has been shown to improve learning, increase intelligence and elevate mood.
* Accelerates mental processes * Decreases irritability and overactivity * Does not cause drowsiness * Improves concentration * Improves IQ * Increases attention * Relieves mild depression * Aids in long-term treatment of schizophrenia
It is believed that DMAE may also increase physical energy. Athletes and other active individuals are using DMAE more and more because of its ability to enhance these brain functions. The connection between the mind and muscles is a means to focus on form and reduce the risk of injury. So, when the mind is enhanced, it communicates better with the muscles to improve and refine function.
Due to DMAE’s mild stimulating effect on the brain, athletes report that it is a good alternative for a quick lift instead of coffee. They also believe the stimulating effects last longer than they do with caffeine. DMAE used as a mild stimulant is also safer and healthier than caffeine.
How It Works:
DMAE, once consumed, is transported to the liver where it is converted into choline through the process of metabolism. A small amount is then converted into acetylcholine, which is a brain transmitter. Through this process, DMAE increases the levels of these brain transmitters (neurotransmitters). This causes a boost in mental cognitive function and memory.
Acetylcholine is also responsible for helping to conduct nerve impulses in the brain. Choline is also converted in the brain into phosphatidylcholine. This chemical rebuilds and protects existing cell membranes inside the brain. DMAE has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier faster than choline. Through this quicker travel, DMAE enhances cell protection and repair and helps our brains function better and create enhanced, positive behavioral changes in most people.
Other DMAE Uses:
DMAE is being studied for use in aiding a movement disorder in Parkinson’s patients. This disorder, called dyskenesis is caused by L-Dopa, which is administered to treat the effects of the disease. DMAE seems to counteract dyskenesis effectively and safely without interfering with the benefits of the therapy. DMAE is proving to reduce the effects of other disorders that involve involuntary movements. Two of these disorders being treated are blepharospasm (eyelid twitching) and benign essential tremors.
Age spot sufferers may find hope for treatment of their condition as well. DMAE has been found to inhibit the formation of pigment caused by aging (lipofuscin) and liver spots (lentigo). It may actually flush lipofuscin from the body, causing the skin spots to disappear over a few month’s time.
DMAE is being studied for its possible ability in helping to reduce cognitive impairments related to age. Aside from increased mental cognitive function, research has shown that DMAE may also be useful in treating the following conditions.
* Alzheimer’s disease * ADD (attention deficit disorder) * Hyperactivity
The use of DMAE as a regular dietary supplement is increasing steadily. All of its benefits in aiding mental cognitive function and brain stimulation are an attractive quality for everyone. Additional research showing that DMAE is useful in treating debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s gives us new hope. As research continues and more new uses for DMAE are discovered, its popularity will continue to grow as well.
Omega-3 Relieves Depression in Some Individuals
November 02, 2007 03:27 PM
Omega-3 oils contain fatty acids that are known as essential fatty acids because they cannot be manufactured in your body but have to be taken in your diet. They provide many benefits to your body, and are also believed to relieve depression in some individuals. First, however, an overview of the more conventional benefits of omega-3 oils.
Obtainable in your diet from oily fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon and the like, omega-3 fatty acids play an important part in your normal growth and development, and are also crucial to normal brain function. They can reduce inflammation and protect you from heart disease and some cancers. Studies have shown the fatty acids to be particularly concentrated in the brain and to be important for cognitive processes and memory.
The effects of omega 3 fish oils on the brain are well documented, and they are known to be effective treatments in some cases of bipolar and schizophrenia. It is believed that they could also be used as a treatment in other disorders such as attention deficit disorder and dyslexia, but there is as yet no evidence that this is the case.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the so-called ‘bad’ low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and increase the high density lipoproteins (HDL) that take the cholesterol back to the liver for destruction. The end result is a reduction in the cholesterol content of the blood that can be deposited on the artery walls and promote atherosclerosis. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids appear to lower blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension, and so reduce their chances of heart attacks and strokes.
Omega 3 oils are also natural inflammatories, and help prevent conditions involving inflammation such as arthritis, asthma and menstrual cramps. They appear to help the immune system to fight these conditions and reduce the inflammation and its causes.
They are also important in the formation of prostaglandins that are responsible for the regulation of important functions such as blood pressure, blood clotting and immune response. They are hormone-like substances and also control the synthesis in the body of other hormones. If the balance of fatty acids in the diet is not right, then the subsequent imbalance in prostaglandin and hormone production can lead to disease.
It is in its effect on depression and mood, however, that has surprised many in the medical, profession. Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate, known as ethyl EPA, is a constituent of omega-3 fish oil and many studies have demonstrated that this substance helps cases of depression and related disorders. However, are people justified in turning to ethyl EPA to help them be cured of this condition?
In one study involving 20 people, six out of ten people given the supplement displayed significantly reduced symptoms of depression after four weeks. The effects were noticed as early as two weeks and many of the depression symptoms, such as worthlessness and insomnia, had improved after three weeks. This conformed with the results of many other studies that have been carried out world wide. In Scotland, a number of patients were studied who had failed to respond to traditional antidepressant drugs. Of the seventy patients involved in the trial, all of the patients who were treated with EPA displayed significant improvements in all the symptoms of their depression after four weeks whereas those with the placebo showed no improvement.
Of the two main components of omega-3 fish oil, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), only the EPA has this property, and the EPA works best alone when the DHA has been extracted. Studies and tests have indicated that the DHA appears to be important for the brain’s structure, but the EPA for its function, hence the reason for the ineffectiveness of the former in relieving depression which is a function of the brain rather connected to its structure. In fact, depressed people have been found to be deficient in EPA in comparison to those not suffering from the condition. The original idea for this originated with the late Dr. Horribin who was pioneer in researching the effects of lipids on the biochemistry of the brain as far back as the 1970s. Since then the world-wide research has confirmed his theory. However, the reason why this theory works in practice is not yet understood. It has been established that a diet rich in trans fats can unfavorably affect the hormones in the brain that stabilize mood, possibly due to the fats slowing down the system of messaging within the brain. This kind of effect can cause depression.
This is likely due to the slowing down of the messages passing between the synapses. Brain cells communicate by means of chemicals that cross the synapses, or small gaps between the individual cells. They are not directly connected like normal electrical circuits. It has been theorized that the EPA speeds up the passage of these messages between neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors. Other theories have also been promoted, such as that the EPA has properties of its own that cure depression by another route altogether.
A possible clue could be in the findings of one study on a man aged 21 years old whose brain was scanned before and after EPA treatment. The result showed in increase in the mass of brain cells after the treatment. This was contrary to the belief that brain cells could neither be generated nor grown once a person reaches maturity.
An individual suffering depression who would like to treat themselves with EPA would have to buy a lot of oily fish since high doses are needed for this level of therapy. However, it is found in high concentrations in a few supplements available on the market, and when choosing you must use the highest grade of EPA you can get, with as low a DHA content as you can find.
There is little doubt now; however, that the EPA content of omega-3 relieves depression in some individuals, although more work is needed to prove without doubt that it is effective with all forms of depression.
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:38 PM
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are found in both plant and animal sources, although primarily in plants. The EFA family is composed of two main forms, Omega-3 and Omega-6. The following explains exactly what these forms are.
OMEGA-3: The most common forms of Omega-3 are eicosapentaenioic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid, which comes from plants and helps create EPA and DHA. Omega-3 is usually derived from fish oils. Dr. Roger Illingworth, associate professor of medicine and biochemistry at Oregon Health Sciences University, explains that Omega-3 fatty acids are “long-chained metabolic products from linolenic acid. . . When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega-3.” EPA and DHA are liquid and remain that way, even at room temperature. It is said that they protect fish by providing a body fat that stays fluid even in cold temperatures. OMEGA-6: The most common form of Omega-6 is is gammalinolenic acid (GLA). GLA is known to provide the following benefits, among many others:
Omega-6 is usually found in plant sources. The oils of coldwater fish such as salmon, bluefish, herring, tuna, mackerel and similar fish are known as Omega-3 fatty acids. The freshpressed oils of many raw seeds and nuts contain Omega-6 fatty acids. The most popular sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 include:
BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL: This oil is rich in linoleic acid (44%) and provides almost twice as much gamma-linolenic acid as evening primrose oil. Black currant seed oil also is an excellent source of an Omega-3 precursor known as stearidonic acid. BORAGE OIL: This oil comes from Borago officinalis, a plant with blue flowers. It is widely recommended in Europe to strengthen the adrenal glands, alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and relieve inflammation. Besides possibly helping with heart and joint function, it may also assist the growth of nails and hair. Borage oil is also an excellent source of GLA. In The Complete Medicinal Herbal, herbalist Penelope Ody asserts that it is “helpful in some cases of menstrual irregularity, for irritable bowel syndrome, or as emergency first aid for hangovers.” SALMON OIL: This oil is high in Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These types of EFAs are known to thin the blood, prevent clotting, regulate cholesterol production and strengthen cell walls, making them less susceptible to viral and bacterial invasion. Salmon oil has a natural ability to help the body relieve inflammation. In the ground-breaking book The Omega-3 Breakthrough: The Revolutionary, Medically Proven Fish Oil Diet, professor Roger Illingworth writes that Linolenic acid is a fatty acid with 18 carbons and 3 double bonds.
It is manufactured exclusively by plants. When animals consume and metabolize plants rich in linolenic acid, they produce Omega- 3. Plankton, a minute form of marine life, is part plant and part animal. Its plant component manufactures linolenic acid. Fish eat the plankton, and the linolenic acid breaks down in their bodies in two types of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) . . . The liquidity of EPA and DHA serves a vital function in fish, who require body fat that remains fluid even in very cold water. Fish oils, besides containing Omega-3 fatty acids, have shown to benefit those suffering from migraine headaches, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.
FLAX: Flax is a plant said to date back as far as 5000 B.C. It has been used since approximately 5000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cultivated crops. It is exported from several countries, including Argentina, Canada, India, Russia and the United States. The flowers are usually blue, although they are sometimes white or pink. The mucilaginous seed is, of course, called flaxseed. The oil primarily provides Omega-3/linolenic acid, and provides an average of 57 percent Omega-3, 16 percent Omega-6, and 18 percent of the non-essential Omega-9. Flaxseed oil is said to contain rich amounts of beta carotene (about 4,300 IU per tablespoon) and vitamin E (about 15 IU per tablespoon). In the October 1995 issue of Let’s Live, the history and uses of flax were highlighted by herbalist Carla Cassata. She writes, . . . It’s no wonder the Cherokee Indians highly valued the flax plant. They mixed flaxseed oil with either goat or moose milk, honey and cooked pumpkin to nourish pregnant and nursing mothers, providing them with the needed nutrients for creating strong and healthy children. It was also given to people who had skin diseases, arthritis, malnutrition as well as men wishing to increase virility. They believed flax captured energies from the sun that could then be released and used in the body’s metabolic process.
This belief has merit. Flaxseed oil, rich in electrons, strongly attracts photons from sunlight. To be effective, EFAs must be combined with protein at the same meal. This flaxseed oil/protein/ sunlight combination releases energy and enhances the body’s electrical system. Also, this combination, along with vitamin E, can be beneficial for infertile couples and women suffering from premenstrual syndrome . . . Flaxseed oil, having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, can benefit the 40 million Americans suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. To achieve optimum results, however, substances that activate the sympathetic nervous system—like refined sugar, soda, coffee, fluoride— must be eliminated. Stress must also be reduced, because it too, activates the sympathetic nervous system, promoting inflammation.
EVENING PRIMROSE: This flower is indigenous to North America, although the oil is particularly popular throughout Europe for therapeutic purposes. It is also known as night wil - low and evening star. It is an excellent source of both linolenic and linoleic acids. Both of these nutrients must be obtained from the diet, as the body cannot synthesize them. The seeds contain gamma linolenic acid. This polyunsaturated EFA helps with the production of energy and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes. Evening primrose oil has also benefited those with multiple sclerosis, PMS, hyperactivity and obesity. It is estimated that it takes about 5,000 seeds to produce the oil for one 500 mg capsule.
America's Most Wanted
June 14, 2005 05:23 PM
America's Most Wanted
by Brian Amherst Energy Times, January 6, 2000
The United States eats well, a little too well, according to experts. Amply supplied with a large supply of high-calorie food, our diets might seem to be chock full of every conceivable nutrient. Well, to the question "Getting all the right vitamins, minerals and other nutrients?" the most appropriate answer seems to be "Not exactly." Eating a lot doesn't equal eating a lot of the most important vitamins and minerals. So, which vitamins and minerals are likely to show up in short supply in the typical American diet? Calcium certainly sits at the top of list. According to the most recent Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, which is conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), women and girls age 12 and up are not consuming adequate calcium from their diet. Research reveals that about 1200 mg. day suffices for those over age 50 and 1000 mg a day should be adequate if you're between the ages of 19 and 50. Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Since strong bones are formed during "the first three decades of life," says Laura Bachrach, MD, of Stanford University, ". . .osteoporosis is a pediatric disease." For long-range protection against that bone-weakening disease, kids should eat calcium-rich, low-fat dairy products and plenty of leafy greens (broccoli, cabbage, kale) as well as salmon (with bones), seafood and soy. But the calcium campaign does not end in early adulthood. Bone mass begins to deteriorate at about age 30. Menopausal hormonal changes can exacerbate bone brittleness. Medical conditions, including cancer, liver disease and intestinal disorders; prescription drugs; tobacco and alcohol indulgence; or a decline in activity, especially the weight-bearing kind, also jeopardize bone strength. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about one in every two American women will break a bone after age 50 due to osteoporosis. That translates into about half a million fractured vertebrae and more than 300,000 shattered hips. Frequently, those breaks are life-threatening.
The critical role of calcium in many body functions is perhaps the most extensively clinically documented among nutrients. Researchers in the Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, reviewed epidemiological and clinical studies conducted over the past two years on the relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure (J Am Coll Nutr October 1999: 398S-405S). "Nearly 20 years of investigation in this area has culminated in remarkable and compelling agreement in the data," the researchers report, "confirming the need for and benefit of regular consumption of the recommended daily levels of dietary calcium." Investigators at the State University of New York, Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, presented results of their studies of calcium and vitamin C and gum disease at the June 26, 1998 meeting of the International Association for Dental Research. Two separate inquiries revealed that people who consumed too little calcium as young adults, and those with low levels of vitamin C in their diets, appear to have nearly twice the risk of developing periodontal disease later in life than folks with higher dietary levels of either nutrient.
Calcium: Much Documented Researchers offer extensive evidence of calcium's benefits on many fronts: n Osteoporosis poses a threat to older men as well as women, according to Randi L. Wolf, PhD, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Wolf presented her award-winning study to an October 3, 1999 meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. Dr. Wolf suggests that men increase their consumption of calcium, particularly after age 80, to avoid age-related declines in the amount of calcium absorbed. According to Dr. Wolf, "It appears that the hormonal form of vitamin D, which is the main regulator of intestinal calcium absorption, may have an important role. We are conducting more research to better understand the reasons for why calcium absorption declines with age in men." n Scientists at Tufts University in Boston did some earlier work on the calcium-vitamin D connection and reported it in the September 4, 1997 New England Journal of Medicine. Using the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) increased recommended daily intake of 1200 milligrams of calcium and 400 to 600 international units of vitamin D for people over 50, the Tufts researchers found that with supplementation of the nutrients, men and women 65 and older lost significantly less body bone and, in some cases, gained bone mineral density. n Two studies published in American Heart Association journals show that atherosclerosis and osteoporosis may be linked by a common problem in the way the body uses calcium. The September 1997 Stroke revealed that, in a group of 30 postmenopausal women 67 to 85 years old, bone mineral density declined as atherosclerotic plaque increased. Researchers reporting in Circulation (September 15, 1997) advanced the theory that the osteoporosis-atherosclerosis connection may be related to a problem in handling calcium. n For people who had colon polyps removed, taking calcium supplements decreased the number of new polyps by 24% and cut the risk of recurrence by 19%, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, School of Medicine. The study, published in the January 14, 1999 New England Journal of Medicine, was a first in crediting calcium with anti-cancer properties.
The D Factor
Without adequate vitamin D, your absorption of calcium slips and bone loss can accelerate, increasing the risk for fractures. Fifty percent of women with osteoporosis hospitalized for hip fractures at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston had a previously undetected vitamin D deficiency (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 28, 1999). University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute researchers told participants at the April 14, 1997 meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that vitamin D "significantly inhibits highly metastatic, or widespread, prostate cancer in animals," suggesting its potential for treating men with similar conditions. Few foods that Americans eat, except dairy, contain much vitamin D, but we can usually synthesize sufficient amounts from as few as five minutes' exposure to the sun. But as skin ages, its ability to act as a vitamin D factory decreases. According to Michael F. Holick, the director of the Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, upwards of 40% of the adult population over age 50 that he sees in his clinic are deficient in vitamin D. Recently, the National Academy of Sciences (the official body that decrees the required amounts of necessary nutrients) increased the daily recommendations of vitamin D to 600 IU for people over 71, 400 IU for those aged 51 to 70 and 200 IU for people under 50. The best dietary sources, apart from dependable supplements, are dairy and fatty fish like salmon. Four ounces of salmon provide about 300 IU.
The Facts About Fats
The American lust for low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets filled with sugary foods has exploded into nothing short of "obsession," according to experts at the General Research Center at Stanford University Medical Center (Am J Clin Nutr 70, 1999: 512S-5S). That mania oftens robs us of the crucial balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids typical of the Mediterranean diet that protect us from heart disease by controlling cholesterol and making blood less likely to form clots. These fatty acids cannot be made by the body but are critical for health: n Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) comes from fresh, deepwater fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) and vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed and walnut. n Omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) found primarily in raw nuts, seeds and legumes and in saturated vegetable oils such as borage, grape seed, primrose, sesame and soybean. The American Heart Association recommends limiting total fat consumption to 30% of daily calories. Saturated fats like those in dairy and meat products as well as vegetable oil should comprise 10% of total calories; total unsaturated fat (fish oils, soybean, safflower nuts and nut oils) should be restricted to 20 to 22% of daily calories.
Be Sure About B12
Vitamin B12 presents a particular problem for the elderly because older digestive systems often don't secrete enough stomach acid to liberate this nutrient from food. (The elderly have no problem absorbing B12 from supplements, because it's not bound to food.) Vitamins generally moderate the aging process but, ironically, that process and the diseases that frequently accompany it affect vitamin metabolism (Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 83, 1994: 262-6). And because of those changes, we need more of certain vitamins. This is the case for vitamins D, B6, riboflavin and B12. Crucial for health, B12 is necessary to prevent anemia, and, according to recent studies, needed (along with folate and B6) to help stave off heart disease. B12, with thiamine and niacin, boosts cognition (Adv Nutr Res 7, 1985: 71-100). Screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and thyroid disease is cheap and easy and can prevent conditions such as dementia, depression or irreversible tissue damage (Lakartidningen 94, 1997: 4329-32). In the January 5-12, 1999 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA urged doctors to screen levels of homocysteine (the amino acid byproduct of protein digestion that damages arteries, causes heart disease and, possibly, strokes) in patients at high risk for heart disease. They also recommended all Americans to up their daily levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folic acid. Since fruits, vegetables or grains lack B12, vegetarians need B12 supplements. And they're a good idea for the rest of us, too.
Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid made headlines in the early 1990s when the U.S. Public Health Service declared that "to reduce the frequency of neural tube defects [spina bifida, or open spine, and anencephaly, a lethal defect of the brain and skull] and their resulting disability, all women of childbearing age in the United States who are capable of becoming pregnant should consume .4 milligrams (400 micrograms) of folic acid per day." This recommendation followed voluminous research that showed taking folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of birth defects. (The advisory is based on the fact that nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. If you think you are pregnant, consult your health practitioner for supplementary advice.)
A Team Player
Folic acid's efficacy intensifies when it works with other nutrients. Among many studies on the preventive powers of folic acid on birth defects, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine (327, Dec. 24, 1992: 1,832-1,835), disclosed an even greater decrease in neural tube defects when supplements of folic acid contained copper, manganese, zinc and vitamin C. As a warrior against homocysteine, folic acid joins the battalion of B12 and B6 in detoxifying this harmful protein. At the University of Washington's Northwest Prevention Effectiveness Center, researchers recently analyzed 38 published studies of the relationship between folic acid, homocysteine and cardiovascular disease and, according to associate professor Shirley A. Beresford, MD, folic acid and vitamin B12 and B6 deficiencies can lead to a buildup of homocysteine.
Canadian researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (275, 1996: 1893-1896) that men and women with low folic acid have a 69% increase in the risk of fatal coronary heart disease. This 15-year study of more than 5,000 people stressed the need for dietary supplementation of folic acid. Folic acid also has been credited with the potential to protect against cancers of the lungs, colon and cervix. It appears to help reverse cervical dysplasia, the precursor cells to cervical cancer, especially for women taking oral contraceptives, which may cause a localized deficiency of folic acid in the cells of the cervix. According to Shari Lieberman, PhD, and Nancy Bruning, authors of The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book (Avery), folic acid derivatives work with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that permit signals to be sent from nerve fiber to nerve fiber. A lack of folic acid can cause some nervous-system disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia and dementia; it also may be related to some forms of mental retardation. Other supporting roles of folic acid, according to researchers: the formation of normal red blood cells, important for preventing the type of anemia characterized by oversized red blood cells; strengthening and improving white blood cell action against disease; limiting production of uric acid, the cause of gout.
The Best Sources
Many foods are rich in folic acid: beef, lamb, pork and chicken liver, spinach, kale and beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, whole wheat and brewer's yeast. But experts believe that only 25 to 50% of the folic acid in food is bioavailable. Processing also reduces an estimated 50 to 90% of its content. Folic acid supplementation overcomes these obstacles with little risk, as it has no known toxicity. Women taking folic acid who are current or former users of oral contraceptives may require additional zinc. And be sure to augment your folic acid supplement with its synergistic counterpart, vitamin B12.
Focus on Fiber
The American Heart Association came out squarely behind fiber in a June 16, 1997 issue of its journal Circulation: Double your daily intake to lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. The American diet is consistently low in fiber, notes Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, author of the article. Twenty-five to 30 grams a day from foods (or supplements) are not only heart healthy but seem to aid weight control.
Getting enough iron? An estimated 25% of adolescent girls in the United States are iron deficient, according to an October 12, 1996 issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, which reported that girls who took iron supplements performed significantly better on verbal tests than those who took a placebo. "Teenage girls should be regularly tested for iron deficiency because rapid growth and the onset of menstruation during puberty increase the body's need for iron," says Ann Bruner, MD, of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and a lead author of the study.USDA data reveal that women up to age 50 also tend to get much less than recommended levels of iron, a lack of which leads to anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells, hemoglobin or volume of blood. For kids, deficiency is more common from six months to four years and during the rapid growth spurts of adolescence when the body is growing so quickly that the body's iron stores may sink to dangerous levels. Vegetarian women run the greatest risk for deficiency, as meat is iron-rich; foods like beans, grains and vegetables also contain some iron. Supplements, of course, supply easily absorbable iron. And to absorb iron from vegetarian sources, take vitamin C with your meals. That boosts the amount of this mineral you will take in. Bear in mind, however, that certain folks-older men and post-menopausal women-generally have adequate dietary supplies of iron. Of greater concern, in fact, is excessive iron, and for these folks iron-free multivitamin and mineral supplements are available.
Ante Up the Antioxidants
Antioxidant nutrients help protect the body from oxygen-scavenging molecules called free radicals. The products of pollution, the body's own metabolic processes and other sources, free radicals are linked to heart disease, cancer and other chronic health problems. The most important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, E, beta carotene, and selenium, are often lacking in the American diet. Plus, optimal amounts of vitamin E cannot be consumed from food. You need supplements. The bottom line: even though we live in a land of plenty, you can still miss vital nutrients. So make sure to consume these vital substances.
Source of Missing Nutrients In the search for the nutrients missing from America's diet, one big help is the sprout. The sprout is truly one of nature's heavyweights: fresh, tiny and moist, its power punch of vitamins, minerals, protein, chlorophyll and disease-busting phytochemicals land it in a weight class far beyond that of its full-grown competitors. Size does NOT matter to this nutritional giant. A championship belt currently wraps around the miniscule broccoli sprout, catapulted into the ring by Paul Talalay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Talalay discovered that the seedlings contain substantially more of the cancer-fighting substance sulforaphane than mature plants (Proc. Natnl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94, 10367-10372). Sprouts, the quintessential health food of the Sixties, provide a wonderfully varied and versatile way to get your daily greens. Raw or cooked, strong or mild, vegetable and grass sprouts and their algae cousins add low-calorie texture to recipes and a rich, diverse complement of nutrients and fiber.
Ancient Asia to the Modern Lab
Asians stir-fried sprouts as one of the earliest fast foods as long as 5,000 years ago. The ancient Chinese relied on sprouts for year-round vegetables in colder regions of their vast country. Today, researchers studying sprouts and adult plants have identified their important chemoprotective and other health-bolstering substances. In Paul Talalay's research project at Johns Hopkins, scientists found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more sulforaphane than mature plants, which prompts the body to produce an enzyme that prevents cancer tumors from forming. Uniform levels of the compound saturate the shoots, unlike the chemically uneven adult plants. The Brassica family of broccoli and cabbage is richly endowed with phytochemicals that also help reduce estrogen levels associated with breast cancer. Other phytochemical compounds in the Brassica family are associated with the prevention of stomach and lung cancers. Most of the initial landmark work on phytochemicals' cancer-fighting powers has taken place since 1989 under the aegis of the National Cancer Institute's "Designer Food Program," which isolated, for example, the isoflavones in beans that seem to neutralize cancer-gene enzymes.
Strong Suit: Soy and Spirulina
The isoflavones and phytosterols in soy produce an estrogenic effect that appears to relieve menopausal symptoms and help prevent breast cancer. Soy foods expert Mark Messina, PhD, has done extensive work on the subject, some of which has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-6. Researchers also have synthesized a bone-strengthening form of soy isoflavones called ipriflavone, following impressive clinical trials in the treatment of osteoporosis (American Journal of Medicine, 95 [Suppl. 5A] (1993): 69S-74S). Spirulina and other micro-algae are fascinating organisms that inhabit a niche between the plant and animals kingdoms. Named for its tiny spirals, spirulina, a blue-green algae, grows in saline lakes but is cultured for maximum nutritional content. In her book Whole Foods Companion (Chelsea Green), Dianne Onstad notes that spirulina contains "the highest sources of protein, beta carotene and nucleic acids of any animal or plant food." Its nucleic acids, she says, benefit cellular regeneration; its fatty acids, especially GLA and omega-3 acids, make it one of the most complete foods. Sprouts, like any other produce, should be rinsed thoroughly before serving. People at high risk for bacterial illness-young children, the very elderly or folks with weakened immune systems-should limit their consumption of raw sprouts. But no matter how you eat them, you may find more spring in your step from these tiny, sprouting nutritional wonders.
June 13, 2005 01:18 PM
by Cal Orey Energy Times, August 2, 1999
Depression plagues the creative and the mundane. The disparate desperate driven to distress by depression include painters, poets, actors and musicians as well as truck drivers, clerks, electricians and physicists. The victim list encompasses Vincent van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Audrey Hepburn, Virginia Woolf and Ludwig von Beethoven, as well as millions of other sharers of melancholy misery.
More than 17 million American men and women experience depression in one form or another every year, according to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) in Alexandria, Virginia. This includes the deeply destructive major, or clinical, depression, the wide mood swings of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), and dysthymia, a milder, long-lasting form of emotional suffering.
Twice as Many Women In the depression scenario, women suffer twice as much: Two times as many women as men endure clinical depression, reports the NMHA. The mood-deteriorating effects of the hormonal disruptions women are heir to may be partly to blame.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about one of 10 Americans wades through at least one depressive swamp sometime during his or her life.
The good news: Research shows that diet and lifestyle can lower your risk of depression.
Birth of the Blues
Nowadays, mounting evidence suggests that depression may result more from physiological factors than psychological woes.
Some of the hidden reasons why you may be depressed include: nutritional deficiencies, exacerbated by overdosing on too much caffeine, sugar, alcohol and high fat foods; allergies; anxiety and chronic stress; and a chemical imbalance in the brain's gray matter. According to the NMHA, people with depression often possess too little or too large a quantity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Changes in levels of these brain chemicals may cause, or contribute to, clinical depression.
The NMHA also reports that an imbalance of melatonin, a chemical made by the body's pineal gland (located at the base of the brain), contributes to a form of wintertime depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This hormone is made at increased levels in the dark. Therefore, the body may oversupply this hormone during winter's shortened daylight hours.
Since the B vitamins are often involved in the production of energy, and a large component of depression may encompass the inability to get out of bed and deal with the world, experts believe that at least some of the signs of depression are linked to B deficiencies. For instance, studies cited in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima) by Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, demonstrate that folate deficiency and lack of vitamin B12 can compromise mental health (Drugs 45, 1993: 623-36; Lancet 336, 1990: 392-5).
Inositol: This vitamin is also part of the B vitamin complex, and it, too, has shown its ability to lift spirits. Research work in Israel shows that daily inositol given to 28 depressed patients for four weeks produced an overall positive effect. (Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 7:2, May 1997: 147-55). Inositol is found in whole, unprocessed grains, citrus fruits (except lemons) and brewer's yeast.
NADH: Allan Magaziner, DO, in his book The Idiot's Complete Guide To Living Longer & Healthier (Alpha), reports that brain energizing NADH, a metabolite of vitamin B3, enhances the production of the key neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. "In a recent clinical trial," he claims, "nearly all patients given NADH for depression reported improvement in their symptoms and the absence of side effects or adverse reactions."
Another substance winning the spotlight for its effect on mood is SAM-e: S-adenosylmethionine. In New York on February 24, a symposium coordinated by the American Health Foundation met to hear researchers present information from studies of SAM-e's ability to possibly ease depression.
"SAM-e is a natural product. You and I have it but as people age it declines in production in the body. And that's why we believe supplementation in older people is a beneficial means of bringing that back up and helping people that have depression," said the lead symposium researcher, John H. Weisburger, PhD, MD, Director Emeritus, American Health Foundation in Valhalla, New York.
Another researcher, Teodoro Bottiglieri, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Studies and Neurology, Director of Neuropharmacology at Baylor University reported: "SAM-e has been shown to enhance brain dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter metabolism and receptor function. It may also aid in the repair of myelin that surrounds nerve cells. These mechanisms are likely to be responsible for the antidepressant effect of SAM-e."
(Bottiglieri is co-author with Richard Brown, MD, and Carol Colman of Stop Depression Now, a report on the powers of SAM-e just published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.)
SAM-e was first touted as an antidepressant in Italy in 1973. It's been reported that nearly 40 clinical trials demonstrate its beneficial effects as a natural antidepressant.
For instance, an analysis of more than 1000 people suffering depression showed that the effect of antidepressants in patients taking SAM-e was 17% to 38% better than dummy preparations. Conventional antidepressants show a 20% effectiveness rate (Bressa G. Acta Neurol Scand S154, 1994: 7-14).
5-HTP: Another popular supplement to boost mood and relieve depression is hydroxytryptophan. "This medication is actually a brain chemical that is metabolized from tryptophan into serotonin," says Magaziner. And since low serotonin levels have been linked with depression, and certain prescribed medications may up serotonin levels, 5-HTP is in demand.
"One of the more impressive studies supporting the efficacy of 5-HTP for depression evaluated 100 people who had previously found conventional antidepressant therapy to be inadequate. Forty-three of these folks reported a complete recovery, and eight showed significant improvement," reports Magaziner. Not only has 5-HTP been shown to work slightly better than drugs known as SSRIs (these include Prozac), he adds, it has fewer side effects than standard antidepressants, too. DHEA: Medical experts also believe that levels of the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) may influence mood. Ray Sahelian, MD, in his book All About DHEA (Avery) reports an interesting study conducted by Dr. Owen Wolkowitz of the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco. A group of six depressed middle-aged and elderly individuals who took DHEA found that within a month they had better memory and mood. (Biological Psychiatry 41, 1997: 311-18.) "In addition," adds Sahelian, "other studies have also found that DHEA increases energy levels and a sense of well being." But follow package directions: Some people complain of greater irritability and overstimulation with DHEA, when they take large amounts.
St. John's wort: still the most touted natural therapy for defeating depression. In Europe, 23 clinical studies, reviewed in the August 3, 1996 British Medical Journal, found that this herb, also known as Hypericum perforatum, can be helpful in alleviating cases of mild to moderate depression. The work, which included 757 patients, has shown that hypericum produced fewer side effects than conventional anti-depressants.
Although experts have never satisfactorily explained exactly how St. John's wort benefits the brain, some theorize that it boosts serotonin levels. And it can help SAD sufferers.
"In a recent study of 20 people with SAD, four weeks' worth of St. John's wort significantly alleviated feelings of depression. Those people who added full-spectrum lights to the treatment program gained an even greater benefit," notes Dr. Magaziner.
Valerian: Anxiety and stress, which can cause depression and insomnia, may be helped by this herb, says the prolific Dr. Sahelian in his book Kava: The Miracle Antianxiety Herb (St. Martin's). In 101 Medicinal Herbs (Interweave), Steven Foster reports that "Ten controlled clinical studies have been published on valerian...one of which suggests that valerian should be used for two to four weeks before daily mood and sleep patterns improve."
Amino Acid Help
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, may also help improve mood. (For more on protein, see page 65.) These chemicals are used by the body to construct neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that facilitate mental activity.
For instance, the amino acid L-tyrosine is necessary for the formation of transmitters adrenaline and dopamine. This substance, therefore, is given to alleviate depression and anxiety.
The substance L-dopa which is given to victims of Parkinson's disease is concocted from tyrosine. And several antidepressants alleviate bad moods by boosting the interaction of brain chemicals related to tyrosine.
In addition, since tyrosine is used to make adrenaline, this amino acid may be helpful for folks trying to cope with the mood problems related to stress.
Another amino acid that experts believe useful for better moods, L-methionine, is used by the body to make choline, a crucial substance for brain function. (Choline goes into the formation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.)
Methionine has been given to people suffering from schizophrenia and depression as well as to those with Parkinson's. Methionine plays a number of crucial roles in the brain and body since it helps form other vital proteins.
For those concerned about preserving a positive mood, researchers are positive that smoking worsens depression. A study at the Department of Behavioral Services at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan found that daily smokers run twice the risk for major depression compared to those who only smoked occasionally.
Unfortunately, the investigators found that not only did smoking seem to lead to depression, depression, in turn, led to more smoking (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2/99).
"Smokers who have depression tend to see their smoking become a daily habit and it may be because they use nicotine to medicate their depressed mood," reported Naomi Breslau, PhD, who headed the research. Over a five year period, the researchers looked at about a thousand young people aged 21 to 30. They found that daily smokers generally start smoking in adolescence, and those who report early depression are three times as likely to eventually become daily smokers.
If you're feeling down, don't give up hope. Although depression can prove to be a depressingly complicated malady, daily, healthy habits can offset its effects. Getting consistent exercise, dousing your cigarettes and turning to herbal and nutritional help to treat mild depression may defeat those blues.