~ January 2005 - Winning the War Against Depression and Anxiety

Contents . . .

  • Killer Moods - ". . . the effect of depression on stroke mortality as determined by this study is greater than smoking or cholesterol . . ."

    Many people feel "depressed" after the holidays. Fortunately, for many of us these feelings are temporary. Even so, recent studies linking depression to severe illness and death indicate that depression be taken very seriously and treated accordingly.

    For example, a study published in the January 1 2005 issue of the American Heart Association Journal, Stroke, found an association between greater depressive symptoms and the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality in men, with stroke being the form of cardiovascular disease mortality experienced. Previous studied had produced conflicting findings concerning an association.

    The current study evaluated a subset of 11,216 men who had completed a depression assessment near the end of the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT), which recruited 12,866 men who were free of coronary heart disease but had increased risk factors, and followed them for 18 years.

    The research team found that men who reported more depressive symptoms experienced a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality and stroke mortality, but not coronary heart disease mortality. Men whose number and frequency of depressive symptoms were ranked in the top one-fifth of participants experienced the strongest risks compared to those in the lowest one-fifth. The risk of dying of stroke was twice that for those whose depressive symptoms were in the top fifth of participants compared to the lowest fifth.

    The authors note that the effect of depression on stroke mortality as determined by this study is greater than smoking or cholesterol. They write that the findings provide more evidence for a causal link between depression and death from stroke, and suggest that a reduction in depressive symptoms in people whose risk for coronary heart disease is above average could result in a corresponding decrease in future stroke mortality.

  • Natural Weapons in the War Against Depression and Anxiety

    While there is an ever increasing number of pharmaceutical drugs available to treat depression, their side effects and other factors make these the choice of last resort for many people.

    Here are some of the supplements that offer help to people with depression and anxiety.

    Depression . . .

    Theanine - Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that produces tranquilizing effects in the brain. In Japan, soft drinks and chewing gum are spiked with theanine for the purpose of inducing relaxation. Although theanine creates a feeling of relaxation, it doesn't shut down the brain. Studies show that theanine enhances the ability to learn and remember. By shutting off worry central, theanine appears to increase concentration and focus thought. Theanine is different from kava-kava in that it doesn't cause drowsiness, just relaxation. Theanine increases GABA, while caffeine decreases it. GABA doesn't just relax, it also creates a sense of well-being. Theanine's ability to increase this brain chemical can literally put you in a better mood. Theanine also increases levels of dopamine, another brain chemical with mood-enhancing effects.

    SAMe - SAMe is a natural form of bioactive methionine, sold as an antidepressant drug in Europe. SAMe results from the conversion of methionine by ATP and SAMe synthetase. It is a "methyl donor" - it contributes a methyl group to help other molecules become active. SAMe is utilized by the body in three important pathways: (1) Methylation (contributing methyl groups); (2) The synthesis of polyamines (for cell growth, gene expression, neuron regeneration, etc.); (3) Transsulphuration (synthesis of cysteine, glutathione and other sulfate groups.) SAMe is used to treat Age-Associated Mental Impairment (Brain Aging), Alcohol-Induced Hangover, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Liver (CIRRHOSIS), Muscular Dystrophy. NOTE: TMG is recommended to enhance SAMe levels and neutralize harmful homocysteine levels that increase with supplementation with SAMe.

    5-HTP - Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and its deficiency is related to depression, insomnia and anxiety. Other symptoms of low serotonin are obsessive eating and other compulsive behaviors. Low serotonin is credited to migraine headaches. 5-HTP is an amino acid that restores serotonin. Called SSRIs (selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors), prescription drugs such as Zoloft and Prozac also increase serotonin levels. But SSRIs do not increase the body's own production of serotonin. 5-HTP is the metabolic precursor for serotonin and increases the body's own production as well as availability of serotonin.

    Lithium Orotate - Lithium Orotate plays a major role in the treatment of depression without the harmful side effects that occur with high doses of lithium acetate, carbonate, or citrate. Particularly effective in the treatment of migraines, constant headaches, depression, epilepsy, and alcoholism. Will give a feeling of serenity.

    Fish Oil - Omega-3s are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in fish and certain plant oils that play a crucial role in cardiovascular health and brain function, as well as in normal growth and development. At all stages of life, you need omega-3 fatty acids to ensure your overall health and well-being. Super EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans is from a new source of pharmaceutical grade fish oil with a unique 35%/25% ratio of EPA/DHA. The premium fish oil in Super EPA/DHA with Sesame Lignans has been tested for pollutants including dioxins, furans, PCBs and heavy metals. The fish oil is sourced from the purest wild sardine, anchovy and mackerel fished in cold, deep waters off South America where there are significantly fewer environmental impurities.

    GABA - GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, helping neurons stay selective about the signals to which they respond and helping produce a state of relaxation. Taken at bedtime, supplemental GABA may assist some people in the initiation of sleep and produce a deeper and more beneficial sleep. GABA can also be taken as a peppermint lozenge, GABA Calm.

    Depression Protocol

    Anxiety . . .

    Adapton - Made in France, ADAPTON is made from Garum, a deep sea fish, and is used to treat anxiety and stress, and symptoms of depression, phobias, high blood pressure, headaches caused by anxiety and stress. Containing omega-3 extracts and polypeptides that have a regulatory effect on the nervous system. These peptides are precursers to endorphin and other neurotransmitters that act as adaptons - compounds that improve our ability to adjust to mental and physical stress. Omega 3 essential fatty acids enhance the "good" prostacylcines and prostaglandins, chemical regulators of the body's functions. ADAPTON is free of side effects and may aid in concentration. Studies show promise for hyperactive children with attention deficit disorders as a safer alternative to drugs like Ritalin.

    Holy Basil - Ocimum Sanctum, Holy Basil, lowers cortisol. Regarded as the most sacred plant in Ayurvedic medicine, balances the chakra system. It is known in western terms as an adaptogen, a tonic to help the body's physical and emotional adrenal stress response return to normal. Modern studies confirm its traditional use. It is often used by people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, whose stress response is running on "overdrive."

    Seriphos - This form of phosphatidyl serine is less expensive and more efficient in converting the stress hormone cortisol than regular PS. Chronic stress, physical and mental, can desensitize the hypothalmic-Pituitary-Axis and elevate cortisol. Seriphos can help optimize the stress response, and repair the damage wrought by catabolic stress hormones. PS, when consumed in food provides only 20% of active phosphorylated serine. Each 100 mg of PS only yields 20mg of activated serine following consumption. The bulk of the weight is derived from two fatty acids, acting as a precursor molecule and is not the active form of the nutrient. Seriphos is more stable, economic, and a more active molecule than PS. Phosphorylated Serine is a pure product and not derived from animal tissue. The serine is from vegetable sources and the phosphate is from a pure phosphate donor compound.

    Anxiety and Stress Protocol

    Supplements for Depression, Insomnia and Stress

  • SAMe - A Natural Compound that Offers Safe, Effective Relief from Depression, Osteoarthritis, and Liver Disease

    By Dale Kiefer

    S-adenosyl-L-methionine, or SAMe, is a naturally occurring compound found in every cell in the human body. This ubiquitous substance is involved in many critical biochemical pathways. Although regulated as a prescription drug in Europe, SAMe is available in the US as a nutritional supplement. Extensive clinical research indicates that SAMe is a safe and effective remedy for depression, osteoarthritis, and liver disease, providing powerful relief without the side effects commonly associated with prescription medications.

    SAMe and Depression

    Depression affects 10-15 million Americans each year, with costs in treatment and lost wages estimated to be as much as $53 billion a year.1 While many prescription drugs are designed to treat depression, they are not always effective and often are associated with troublesome side effects. Fortunately, SAMe appears to offer significant relief from depression.

    In 2002, the US government published a comprehensive report entitled "S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine for Treatment of Depression, Osteoarthritis, and Liver Disease."1 The report represents a distillation of data gleaned from numerous published studies conducted around the world through 2000. In order to render its unbiased verdict, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services) evaluated data from 102 individual studies.

    The agency carefully reviewed 47 relevant studies on SAMe and depression; 28 of these studies were included in a meta-analysis of the efficacy of SAMe in countering the symptoms of depression. The agency concluded, "Compared to treatment with conventional antidepressant pharmacology, treatment with SAMe was not associated with a statistically significant difference in outcomes…"1 In plain language, SAMe is just as effective as standard antidepressant drugs at treating depression. The report delivers similar endorsements for the efficacy of SAMe in the treatment of osteoarthritis and a form of liver disease.

    This good news about SAMe's efficacy in treating depression is especially important in light of recent news about antidepressants.

    Read the full article . . .

  • Heart and Mind: The Dangerous Link Between Heart Disease and Depression - By William Davis, MD, FACC

    Heart disease and depression often go hand in hand. Shared biochemical similarities between the two conditions suggest that common treatment strategies may address both illnesses. Here we provide a primer on nutritional supplements that may help navigate the complex interplay of these two major health issues.

    Heart disease and clinical depression present with different symptoms and are conventionally managed with different treatments. While heart disease can be acutely life threatening, depression tends to be slow and insidious. How can the seemingly unrelated conditions of heart disease and depression possibly be related?

    Emerging research indicates that the deeper we probe, the more alike the two disorders appear to be. While the ultimate manifestations of heart disease and depression differ, the underlying biochemical pathologies are surprisingly similar. Beneath the emotional surface of mood and depression can be a raging physical undercurrent of hormonal distortions, impaired immunity, and inflammation. These disturbances of physiology contribute to the growth and abnormal activity of coronary plaque, eventually leading to heart attack. Depressed people, in fact, suffer a fourfold greater risk of heart attack compared to non-depressed people.1,2

    If the two seemingly disparate disorders of depression and coronary heart disease share common causes, can there also be common treatments? Exciting new insights suggest that strategies to address both conditions do exist. These therapies work by treating the shared metabolic origins of heart disease and depression. The good news is that some of these treatments are powerful nutritional therapeutics, readily available to all.

    Read the full article . . .

  • Protocol: Depression - Hippocrates, the great Greek physician and Father of Medicine, said: "From the brain, and from the brain only, arise our pleasures, joys, laughter, and jests, as well as our sorrows, pains, griefs, and tears."

    It's startling to learn that there are 15 trillion neurons (nerve cells) in the human brain. There are far more glial cells (neuroglia) that fill the spaces between the neurons, Schwann cells, and miles of blood vessels to nourish the three or so pounds of brain tissue in the average head.

    Three pounds isn't much: only 2% of the body weight of a person weighing 150 pounds. Brain cells are hungry cells, demanding nourishment from as much as 30% of circulating blood. We used to think that the brain could somehow protect itself from nutrient deficiencies, but today we know that the brain requires specific nutrients. If the brain doesn't get them, its biochemistry changes, resulting in fatigue, depression, irritability, and other symptoms.

    For example, the brain needs a good supply of B vitamins to act as coenzymes (catalysts) for many functions, including converting nutrients from food to fuel that our bodies can use. Glucose is the brain's primary fuel. If glucose levels fall, we may feel depressed, tired, or unable to think clearly.

    B vitamins also are needed to help the brain make neurotransmitters, the "messengers" that enable brain cells to communicate with each other. Vitamin B6 is needed to manufacture serotonin, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of well-being. Without proper supplies of vitamin B12, the brain could not make acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory. The B vitamin known as folate (folic acid) is needed to make an important group of mood-regulating chemicals called catecholamines, including dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (Bukreev 1978; Carney et al. 1990; Carney 1995; Fujii et al. 1996; Masuda et al. 1998; Bottiglieri et al. 2000; Zhao et al. 2001).

    In many cases, depressed people with blood levels indicating that they lacked key nutrients respond quite well to supplements. Unfortunately, most physicians do not prescribe natural supplements to treat depression (Carney et al. 1990; Carney 1995).

    Learn more about depression and how natural supplements are being used to treat the condition.

    Read the Full Protocol . . .

  • Featured Product: SAMe - SAMe (S-adenosyl-methionine) has multi-modal mechanisms of action that are used throughout the body, and especially the liver. In order to perform its detoxification role, the liver performs thousands of complex enzymatic reactions every second.

    In young, healthy people SAMe is well distributed throughout the body as a result of its synthesis from methionine by enzymes using ATP. However, in sickness and in age, system levels may become depleted. Supplementation of the co-factors folate, TMG, vitamins B6 and B12, together with SAMe appears to be an effective method to overcome this deficiency. There is evidence that SAMe may help to synthesize phosphatidylcholine, which keeps cell membranes fluid and is used in the brain to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

    An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a meticulous evaluation of SAMe in year 2002. Their findings show the efficacy of SAMe in helping maintain stable mood and joint function, without any side effects. Since aging people often suffer joint discomfort and immobilization, SAMe addresses multiple problems people face as they grow older.

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