~ Killer Moods

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

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.

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."

Seraphos - 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

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