[split] Chippy vs the World
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01-11-2013, 10:25 PM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(01-11-2013 10:06 PM)Chippy Wrote:  The females have about 8 (I think) so make sure you slay a female wolf. You could probably get a bulk discount on the dessicated wolf nipples from Dr Fulton.

From what I have seen Fulton does not sell vitamins. He just recommends them. So the most you could say about him is that he is a quack....not a vitamin pusher.

Chippy, What do you have against quacks anyways?

And Fulton, for what its worth...I bought for the first time ever....some magnesium and zinc today...in pill form though. I figure if pills are effective means of delivery for my prescribed meds, why shouldn't they be effective for supplements.
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01-11-2013, 10:32 PM (This post was last modified: 01-11-2013 10:41 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(01-11-2013 10:13 PM)Chippy Wrote:  Aspirin is an NSAID and it is also hepatically metabolised ...

I know a thing or two about the first pass liver effect, chipster. I take my aspirin sublingual and bypass the liver completely. Dude never even sees a lot of the shit I take. Big Grin

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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01-11-2013, 10:58 PM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(01-11-2013 09:57 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(01-11-2013 09:52 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  where as ibuprofen as you recommend will screw up your stomach.

Not if you take it with ~250ml water.
Yeah no...that would rip up my tummy without food.

Weed much better for a hangover. Seriously. Thumbsup


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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01-11-2013, 11:01 PM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(01-11-2013 10:58 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(01-11-2013 09:57 PM)Chippy Wrote:  Not if you take it with ~250ml water.
Yeah no...that would rip up my tummy without food.

Weed much better for a hangover. Seriously. Thumbsup

Fucking hippies.

(hey, ya got any to spare?)

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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01-11-2013, 11:10 PM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(01-11-2013 11:01 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(01-11-2013 10:58 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Yeah no...that would rip up my tummy without food.

Weed much better for a hangover. Seriously. Thumbsup

Fucking hippies.

(hey, ya got any to spare?)

Made some veggie burritos too and grooven to the Dead.

I'll roll ya a fat one. Big Grin

It was, after all, free to me.


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01-11-2013, 11:15 PM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(01-11-2013 11:10 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(01-11-2013 11:01 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Fucking hippies.

(hey, ya got any to spare?)

Made some veggie burritos too and grooven to the Dead.

I'll roll ya a fat one. Big Grin

It was, after all, free to me.

Ain't got none. Wish I did, but I gots my bourbon, and I'm okay. Raise your joint, I got my glass up.

Salud.




But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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02-11-2013, 12:09 AM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
If one googles "magnesium, anxiety" or "depression, zinc" there are literally millions of articles discussing these important topics. I'm not going to go into the nuts and bolts of discussing any of the trials about this... sorry, I can't be bothered. I've been there and done that many years ago, at which time I came to the conclusions I use nowadays. I can't remember all the details of all the studies I've read. I know what works in the real world and I know what doesn't.

I also can't be bothered arguing with chipster, who just doesn't know how much he doesn't know, and what's more can't control his aggression and bad language.

People, use your computers, open your minds and don't be too cynical. There is no doubt in my mind the Western world is suffering from subtle nutritional deficiencies that are affecting our mental health.

The people who badmouth so-called natural medicines usually have absolutely no clinical experience dealing with treating people with those natural medicines. Their cynicism is an excuse for laziness, because they're closed minded. They like to think that so-called natural medicine is all placebo and real doctors only deal with drugs. Yet anyone with the most cursory knowledge of basic biochemistry knows that things such as zinc, magnesium, b vitamins, vit D and Omega threes are absolutely integral to healthy brain function. Any clinician worth their salt who's open-minded should recognise that a very large percentage of people are deficient in these vitamins and minerals.

I am absolutely positive that the future direction of medicine is going to be geared towards treating nutritional deficiencies and poor digestion and malabsorption rather than just using drugs. The drugs are incredibly important, and I use them all the time, but it's also important to get the basic building blocks of biochemistry in place.

Here are some random interesting links on the topics at hand...

"Using the method described above, the estimated global prevalence of zinc deficiency is 31%, and ranges from 4% to 73% (Table 5.1)."
(http://www.who.int/publications/cra/chap...-0280.pdf)

"Up to 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient"
http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/ma...deficiency

http://naturalsociety.com/16-magnesium-d...ow-levels/

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/publ...ession.cfm
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02-11-2013, 12:34 AM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2013 01:11 AM by Chippy.)
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(02-11-2013 12:09 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  If one googles "magnesium, anxiety" or "depression, zinc" there are literally millions of articles discussing these important topics. I'm not going to go into the nuts and bolts of discussing any of the trials about this... sorry, I can't be bothered. I've been there and done that many years ago, at which time I came to the conclusions I use nowadays. I can't remember all the details of all the studies I've read. I know what works in the real world and I know what doesn't.

There are no double-blind placebo controlled studies that demonstrate that overdoses of magnesium and zinc have anxiolytic or antidepressant effect. Why don't you just admit that rather than trying to bullshit everyone with your arm waving?

Quote:I also can't be bothered arguing with chipster, who just doesn't know how much he doesn't know

So cite us one trial that is placebo-controlled and double-blinded that found a statistically significant effect size for zinc in the treatment of MDD.

Ok. I'll play your game. I know nothing about the subject so give me the citations so I can educate myself.

Quote:People, use your computers, open your minds and don't be too cynical. There is no doubt in my mind the Western world is suffering from subtle nutritional deficiencies that are affecting our mental health.

What evidence do you have for this confident assertion?
There is no doubt in the mind of YECs that the world is around ~4K years old.

Quote:The people who badmouth so-called natural medicines usually have absolutely no clinical experience dealing with treating people with those natural medicines. Their cynicism is an excuse for laziness, because they're closed minded.

Yes they are closed minded like atheists. You are using the same rhetoric that the religious use.

Quote:Yet anyone with the most cursory knowledge of basic biochemistry knows that things such as zinc, magnesium, b vitamins, vit D and Omega threes are absolutely integral to healthy brain function.

Yes they are and so is glucose but that doesn't mean that pumping people full of glucose will relieve their depression.

Quote:Any clinician worth their salt who's open-minded should recognise that a very large percentage of people are deficient in these vitamins and minerals.

You have no evidence for this claim and you have preemptively labelled any physician that disagrees with you as not "open-minded" and not "worth their salt". Perhaps you could persuade people of your claims if you presented them with high-quality evidence rather than just your assertions.

Quote:I am absolutely positive that the future direction of medicine is going to be geared towards treating nutritional deficiencies and poor digestion and malabsorption rather than just using drugs.

You aren't a gastroentorologist and that isn't the view of any gastroentorological college.

Quote:The drugs are incredibly important, and I use them all the time, but it's also important to get the basic building blocks of biochemistry in place.

Yes, humans need to eat. Thanks for the that.
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02-11-2013, 01:50 AM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
Natural Therapies to Balance Brain Chemistry

In general, a healthy diet is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, filtered water, and devoid of foods high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. This dietary pattern resembles the Mediterranean diet.

In addition, the following nutrients may support healthy stress response and help balance brain chemistry naturally:

Amino acids

When the brain produces a neurotransmitter, it starts with a raw ingredient-usually an amino acid from the diet or another chemical already present in the brain. Enzymes are then used to convert the amino acid into the needed brain chemical. By understanding this process in detail, we can take measures to ensure an ample supply of the raw ingredients and enhance the activity of the enzymes. There are various cofactors that help the enzymes work faster; B-vitamins, for example.

L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine. Insufficient intakes of L-tryptophan, L-phenylalanine, or L-tyrosine are associated with increased symptoms of anxiety (Hood 2010; Toker 2010; Beacher 2010; Roiser 2008). Supplementation with L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) has been shown to elevate brain serotonin levels and enhance both mood and one’s sense of well being (Hood 2010; Toker 2010; Feurte 2001).

Vitamin B6, magnesium, and vitamin C, nutrients already taken by most health-conscious people, are cofactors that facilitate the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin in the brain. As people age they produce more of an enzyme that degrades tryptophan, even if taking tryptophan supplements. Lysine, niacinamide, and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as rosemary have been shown to neutralize the effects of this enzyme and help preserve the synthesis of serotonin from tryptophan.

D,L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine taken with a carbohydrate-rich meal can increase synthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine (Lakhan and Vieira 2008). There are no reported adverse effects, but high doses should be avoided by pregnant women and individuals taking MAOIs.

L-lysine and L-arginine. An L-lysine deficiency has been shown to increase stress-induced anxiety in humans (Ghosh 2010; Smriga 2004). L-lysine binds to a serotonin receptor, acting as a serotonin antagonist by inhibiting serotonin reuptake in the synapse (Smriga 2003). When presented with a stressful situation, supplementation with L-lysine and L-arginine reduced anxiety in human subjects (Jezova 2005; Lakhan 2008; Smriga 2007).

Theanine. Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, produces a calming effect on the brain (Weeks 2009; Heese 2009; Rogers 2008). Theanine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. It increases the production of GABA and dopamine and protects the cells of the hippocampus, the seat of learning and memory in the brain from damage (Kakuda 2011; Cho 2008).

In an 8-week study involving 60 schizophrenic patients, 400 mg of theanine was added to standard antipsychotic therapy. The addition of theanine significantly reduced anxiety and improved several other measures of mood beyond what was achievable with pharmaceuticals alone (Ritsner 2011).

S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM-e). SAM-e occurs naturally in the body. It is concentrated in the liver and brain and is a major methyl donor in the synthesis of hormones, nucleic acids, proteins, phospholipids, and catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin (Mischoulon 2002). SAMe facilitates glutathione usage and maintains acetylcholine levels, helping to preserve cognitive function while aging and possibly attenuating neurodegeneration.

In an 8-week clinical study involving depressed individuals with HIV/AIDS, supplementation with up to 1,600 mg of SAM-e considerably improved disposition on multiple standardized assessments. The effects of treatment with SAM-e became evident in as little as one week (Shippy 2004).

Minerals

Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to anxiety disorders in several clinical studies. In fact, when researchers want to study anxiety disorder, they use mice that have been specifically bred to be magnesium deficient. This model is very effective at inducing anxiety (Sartori 2012).

Several human trials have supported the link between magnesium deficiency and anxiety. When taken for one month in combination with a multivitamin, zinc and calcium, magnesium dramatically decreased symptoms of distress and anxiety compared to a placebo (Carroll 2000). Further, supplementation with magnesium and vitamin B6 effectively reduced premenstrual-related anxiety (De Souza 2000). In a placebo-controlled study, dietary supplementation with magnesium reduced generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (Hanus 2004). In community-based studies, a small reduction in mood disorders was seen in those with higher magnesium intakes (Jacka 2009).

Groundbreaking research has recently shed light on a new preparation, magnesium threonate, which may overcome a long-standing obstacle in magnesium supplementation – blood-brain barrier permeability.

High magnesium levels in the brain have been linked with superior cognitive function. However, conventional magnesium supplements are not efficient in raising these levels because they do not penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have shown that magnesium threonate effectively elevates magnesium levels inside the central nervous system. The scientists also discovered that magnesium threonate improves cognitive function significantly better than other forms of magnesium in laboratory animals (Slutsky 2010).

Selenium. Selenium has been shown to reduce anxiety. In double-blind randomized clinical trials, subjects given 100 mg of selenium daily for 5 weeks reported improved mood and less anxiety (Benton 1990; Benton, 1991). The same treatment regimen also reduced post-partum depression (Mokhber, 2011). Selenium supplementation reduces anxiety in elderly hospitalized patients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and HIV patients receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) (Gosney 2008; Bargellini 2003; Shor-Posner 2003).

The role of selenium in supporting positive mood is quite complex. Selenium is a critical component in a variety of important enzymes whose action can significantly impact overall health. For example, the enzymes that help synthesize thyroid hormones. In a selenium deficient state, thyroid hormone synthesis may deteriorate, which can lead to poor mood and many other negative conditions (Duntas 2010).

Fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are necessary for proper brain function. The typical Western diet has an overly high ratio of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a variety of health benefits, most recently being improved mood and reduced anxiety (Perica 2011; Ross 2009; Appleton 2008).

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized clinical trial, medical students were given either 2.5g/day of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) or placebo capsules containing the fatty acid profile of a typical American diet. Compared to controls, those students receiving the omega-3 capsules showed a 20% reduction in anxiety (Kiecolt-Glaser 2011). In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for 3 months reduced anxiety and anger in substance abusers (Buydens-Branchey 2008). Reduced test anxiety and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol have also been associated with omega-3 supplementation (Yehuda 2005).

Life Extension suggests that the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio should be kept below 4 to1 for optimal neuro-psychiatric and overall health. More information on testing and optimizing your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio can be found in the Life Extension Magazine article entitled “Optimize Your Omega-3 Status”.

Herbs and Botanical Medicine

Botanical herbs have been shown to manage many psychiatric disorders, including anxiety (Weeks 2009; Lakhan 2008; Head 2009; Sarris 2009; Chiappedi 2010; Panossian 2010; Sarris 2011; Saeed 2007). Being that the quality, composition, conditions for growth & extraction processes of herbal products can vary greatly, care should be taken in choosing an herbal remedy.

The following herbs either have anti-anxiety effects or target key molecular sites associated with neurotransmitters in the central nervous system:

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum). St. John’s wort is an aromatic perennial native to Europe, parts of Asia, North and South America. The majority of controlled studies found it superior to placebo and similarly effective as standard antidepressant drugs (Linde 2009; van der Watt 2008; Linde 2008). St. John’s wort has been shown to increase brain levels of serotonin in animals, operating through slightly different and more complex pathways than those of prescription SSRIs (Tadros 2009; Ara 2009). For instance, the combined antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of St. John’s wort extract contribute to anti-depressant affects through normalization of an overactive HPA axis.

While St. John’s wort is known for its anti-depressive affects, two recent studies also suggest that supplementation with this herb can reduce the anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (Canning 2010; vanDie 2009). St. John’s wort is contraindicated for use during pregnancy, lactation, exposure to strong sunlight, and should not be taken concurrently with anti-depressant medication (Mannel 2004).

Ginkgo biloba. Animals given Ginkgo biloba demonstrated reduced anxiety in cognitive tests (Walesiuk 2009; Kuribara 2003). Several double-blind placebo-controlled studies showed that Ginkgo biloba binds to and activates the GABA receptor, and like a benzodiazepine, reduces anxiety in patients with generalized anxiety disorders without side effects (Woelk 2007; Faustino 2010).

Valerian (Valeriana officiaonalis). This temperate herb has been used for medicinal purposes since the time of Hippocrates. Components of valerian root have been shown in laboratory studies to bind to GABA receptors, increase the release of GABA, and decrease its reuptake (Ortiz 1999; Yuan 2004; Khom 2007; Trauner 2008). Valerian root extracts were shown to have anti-anxiety effects in both rats and mice (Benke 2009; Hadjikhani 2009; Hattesohl 2008). Valerian root extracts have also been shown to activate glutamic acid decarboxylase, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of GABA (Awad 2007).

In recent clinical studies, psychiatric rating scales have shown that a daily dose of 400-900 mg of extracts from valerian root is as effective as diazepam at reducing anxiety (Andreatini 2002; Muller 2006; Bhattacharyya 2007; Kennedy 2006).

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, sometimes used as a culinary herb and flavoring agent. The plant also has several anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) actions.

In animal studies, extracts from lemon balm have been shown to suppress levels of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) while also promoting the growth of new neurons, a process called neurogenesis (Yoo 2011). Moreover, lemon balm contains compounds that strongly suppress the breakdown of GABA, which may prolong the anti-anxiety effects of the neurotransmitter (Awad 2007).

Lemon balm has been shown to reduce anxious behavior in laboratory animals. In a human clinical trial, it significantly suppressed anxiety when combined with valerian root, another anxiolytic herb (Kennedy 2006; Ibarra 2010).

Rhodiola. Rhodiola rosea is a known adaptogen, an herb that helps improve one’s resistance to stress. It has also shown promise in alleviating anxiety disorder. Ten subjects receiving a daily dose of Rhodiola rosea extract for 10 weeks demonstrated significant improvement in symptoms of anxiety (Bystritsky 2008). Another similar 10-week study found that a 340 mg daily dose of Rhodiola rosea extract significantly eased symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (Bystritsky 2008). Animal studies have found that compounds in Rhodiola rosea help ameliorate the anxiety associated with smoking cessation (Mattioli 2011).

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, has long been used by Ayurvedic practitioners as a rejuvenating tonic. The herb has anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and rejuvenating properties (Mishra 2000). In several studies, rodents treated with extracts of ashwagandha showed reduced anxiety when compared to a control group; and to a similar extent when compared to several benzodiazepine drugs (Mohan 2011; Kulkarni 2008; Ramanathan 2011).

Ashwagandha has also been shown to reduce anxiety in humans (Andrade 2009; Bhattacharya 2000). In a clinical trial, patients with significant anxiety were divided into two groups, and for twelve weeks were provided either psychotherapy or treated with naturopathic treatment including ashwagandha. The ashwagandha treated group demonstrated a greater reduction in anxiety parameters (Cooley 2009).

Our bodies are truly elegant in their design. This is especially apparent with brain function. A common element of this design is the brain’s binary systems, wherein one chemical activates a process while its partner turns it off again. One example is glutamate and GABA, which together account for over 80 percent of brain activity. Glutamate accelerates brain activity (excitatory), while GABA puts the brakes on (inhibitory). Together, they keep the brain humming along at just the right pace—not too fast, not too slow.

If you have developed anxiety, then the balance of these two chemicals has been thrown off. As a result, the brain’s activity level is turned up too high, at least in some areas. The balancing supplements for glutamate and GABA include but are not limited to the amino acids GABA, and L-theanine; the antioxidant NAC; vitamins B6 and D; the minerals magnesium and zinc; and omega-3 fatty acids.

GABA, a neurotransmitter made from the amino acid glutamate, can be taken in the form of a dietary supplement. GABA is the chief inhibiting, or calming neurotransmitter in the brain, functioning as a brake on the neural circuitry during stress. Low GABA levels are associated with restlessness, anxiety, insomnia and a poor mood. (Nemeroff 2003; Kendell 2005; Kugaya 2005). Clinical studies have shown that the use of GABA as a dietary supplement relieves stress, anxiety, and increases the production of alpha brain waves (associated with relaxation) (Bazil 2005; Abdou 2006; Thorne Research, Inc. 2007).

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) shows promise for alleviating mood disorders through a variety of mechanisms. It acts as a precursor to glutathione, a potent cellular antioxidant that may help ease neuronal oxidative stress. Furthermore, in contributing to glutathione synthesis, NAC uses up excess glutamate stores. This might lessen the excitatory transmission triggered by glutamate (Berk 2009). Indeed, in at least one small clinical trial, a 6-month supplementation with NAC lead to a complete remission in depressive symptoms in 6 of 7 subjects, while placebo treatment lead to remission in only 2 of 7 (Magalhães 2011).

Vitamin D. The impact of this hormone-like vitamin on mood disorders is complex. There are receptors for vitamin D throughout the brain, and animal data indicates that lower vitamin D signaling leads to increased anxious behavior (Kalueff 2004). There is a considerable association between low vitamin D levels and depression, but the connection with anxiety is less clear (Parker 2011). Nonetheless, maintaining a vitamin D level between 50 – 80 ng/ml is suggested for everyone to promote optimal health and protect against the ravages of aging.
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02-11-2013, 05:17 AM
RE: [split] Chippy vs the World
(02-11-2013 01:50 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Natural Therapies to Balance Brain Chemistry

In general, a healthy diet is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, organic fresh fruits and vegetables, filtered water, and devoid of foods high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates. This dietary pattern resembles the Mediterranean diet.

In addition, the following nutrients may support healthy stress response and help balance brain chemistry naturally:

Amino acids

When the brain produces a neurotransmitter, it starts with a raw ingredient-usually an amino acid from the diet or another chemical already present in the brain. Enzymes are then used to convert the amino acid into the needed brain chemical. By understanding this process in detail, we can take measures to ensure an ample supply of the raw ingredients and enhance the activity of the enzymes. There are various cofactors that help the enzymes work faster; B-vitamins, for example.

L-tryptophan, L-tyrosine and L-phenylalanine. Insufficient intakes of L-tryptophan, L-phenylalanine, or L-tyrosine are associated with increased symptoms of anxiety (Hood 2010; Toker 2010; Beacher 2010; Roiser 2008). Supplementation with L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) has been shown to elevate brain serotonin levels and enhance both mood and one’s sense of well being (Hood 2010; Toker 2010; Feurte 2001).

Vitamin B6, magnesium, and vitamin C, nutrients already taken by most health-conscious people, are cofactors that facilitate the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin in the brain. As people age they produce more of an enzyme that degrades tryptophan, even if taking tryptophan supplements. Lysine, niacinamide, and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as rosemary have been shown to neutralize the effects of this enzyme and help preserve the synthesis of serotonin from tryptophan.

D,L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine taken with a carbohydrate-rich meal can increase synthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine (Lakhan and Vieira 2008). There are no reported adverse effects, but high doses should be avoided by pregnant women and individuals taking MAOIs.

L-lysine and L-arginine. An L-lysine deficiency has been shown to increase stress-induced anxiety in humans (Ghosh 2010; Smriga 2004). L-lysine binds to a serotonin receptor, acting as a serotonin antagonist by inhibiting serotonin reuptake in the synapse (Smriga 2003). When presented with a stressful situation, supplementation with L-lysine and L-arginine reduced anxiety in human subjects (Jezova 2005; Lakhan 2008; Smriga 2007).

Theanine. Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, produces a calming effect on the brain (Weeks 2009; Heese 2009; Rogers 2008). Theanine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. It increases the production of GABA and dopamine and protects the cells of the hippocampus, the seat of learning and memory in the brain from damage (Kakuda 2011; Cho 2008).

In an 8-week study involving 60 schizophrenic patients, 400 mg of theanine was added to standard antipsychotic therapy. The addition of theanine significantly reduced anxiety and improved several other measures of mood beyond what was achievable with pharmaceuticals alone (Ritsner 2011).

S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM-e). SAM-e occurs naturally in the body. It is concentrated in the liver and brain and is a major methyl donor in the synthesis of hormones, nucleic acids, proteins, phospholipids, and catecholamine neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin (Mischoulon 2002). SAMe facilitates glutathione usage and maintains acetylcholine levels, helping to preserve cognitive function while aging and possibly attenuating neurodegeneration.

In an 8-week clinical study involving depressed individuals with HIV/AIDS, supplementation with up to 1,600 mg of SAM-e considerably improved disposition on multiple standardized assessments. The effects of treatment with SAM-e became evident in as little as one week (Shippy 2004).

Minerals

Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to anxiety disorders in several clinical studies. In fact, when researchers want to study anxiety disorder, they use mice that have been specifically bred to be magnesium deficient. This model is very effective at inducing anxiety (Sartori 2012).

Several human trials have supported the link between magnesium deficiency and anxiety. When taken for one month in combination with a multivitamin, zinc and calcium, magnesium dramatically decreased symptoms of distress and anxiety compared to a placebo (Carroll 2000). Further, supplementation with magnesium and vitamin B6 effectively reduced premenstrual-related anxiety (De Souza 2000). In a placebo-controlled study, dietary supplementation with magnesium reduced generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) (Hanus 2004). In community-based studies, a small reduction in mood disorders was seen in those with higher magnesium intakes (Jacka 2009).

Groundbreaking research has recently shed light on a new preparation, magnesium threonate, which may overcome a long-standing obstacle in magnesium supplementation – blood-brain barrier permeability.

High magnesium levels in the brain have been linked with superior cognitive function. However, conventional magnesium supplements are not efficient in raising these levels because they do not penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have shown that magnesium threonate effectively elevates magnesium levels inside the central nervous system. The scientists also discovered that magnesium threonate improves cognitive function significantly better than other forms of magnesium in laboratory animals (Slutsky 2010).

Selenium. Selenium has been shown to reduce anxiety. In double-blind randomized clinical trials, subjects given 100 mg of selenium daily for 5 weeks reported improved mood and less anxiety (Benton 1990; Benton, 1991). The same treatment regimen also reduced post-partum depression (Mokhber, 2011). Selenium supplementation reduces anxiety in elderly hospitalized patients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and HIV patients receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) (Gosney 2008; Bargellini 2003; Shor-Posner 2003).

The role of selenium in supporting positive mood is quite complex. Selenium is a critical component in a variety of important enzymes whose action can significantly impact overall health. For example, the enzymes that help synthesize thyroid hormones. In a selenium deficient state, thyroid hormone synthesis may deteriorate, which can lead to poor mood and many other negative conditions (Duntas 2010).

Fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are necessary for proper brain function. The typical Western diet has an overly high ratio of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a variety of health benefits, most recently being improved mood and reduced anxiety (Perica 2011; Ross 2009; Appleton 2008).

In one double-blind, placebo-controlled and randomized clinical trial, medical students were given either 2.5g/day of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) or placebo capsules containing the fatty acid profile of a typical American diet. Compared to controls, those students receiving the omega-3 capsules showed a 20% reduction in anxiety (Kiecolt-Glaser 2011). In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for 3 months reduced anxiety and anger in substance abusers (Buydens-Branchey 2008). Reduced test anxiety and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol have also been associated with omega-3 supplementation (Yehuda 2005).

Life Extension suggests that the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio should be kept below 4 to1 for optimal neuro-psychiatric and overall health. More information on testing and optimizing your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio can be found in the Life Extension Magazine article entitled “Optimize Your Omega-3 Status”.

Herbs and Botanical Medicine

Botanical herbs have been shown to manage many psychiatric disorders, including anxiety (Weeks 2009; Lakhan 2008; Head 2009; Sarris 2009; Chiappedi 2010; Panossian 2010; Sarris 2011; Saeed 2007). Being that the quality, composition, conditions for growth & extraction processes of herbal products can vary greatly, care should be taken in choosing an herbal remedy.

The following herbs either have anti-anxiety effects or target key molecular sites associated with neurotransmitters in the central nervous system:

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum). St. John’s wort is an aromatic perennial native to Europe, parts of Asia, North and South America. The majority of controlled studies found it superior to placebo and similarly effective as standard antidepressant drugs (Linde 2009; van der Watt 2008; Linde 2008). St. John’s wort has been shown to increase brain levels of serotonin in animals, operating through slightly different and more complex pathways than those of prescription SSRIs (Tadros 2009; Ara 2009). For instance, the combined antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of St. John’s wort extract contribute to anti-depressant affects through normalization of an overactive HPA axis.

While St. John’s wort is known for its anti-depressive affects, two recent studies also suggest that supplementation with this herb can reduce the anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (Canning 2010; vanDie 2009). St. John’s wort is contraindicated for use during pregnancy, lactation, exposure to strong sunlight, and should not be taken concurrently with anti-depressant medication (Mannel 2004).

Ginkgo biloba. Animals given Ginkgo biloba demonstrated reduced anxiety in cognitive tests (Walesiuk 2009; Kuribara 2003). Several double-blind placebo-controlled studies showed that Ginkgo biloba binds to and activates the GABA receptor, and like a benzodiazepine, reduces anxiety in patients with generalized anxiety disorders without side effects (Woelk 2007; Faustino 2010).

Valerian (Valeriana officiaonalis). This temperate herb has been used for medicinal purposes since the time of Hippocrates. Components of valerian root have been shown in laboratory studies to bind to GABA receptors, increase the release of GABA, and decrease its reuptake (Ortiz 1999; Yuan 2004; Khom 2007; Trauner 2008). Valerian root extracts were shown to have anti-anxiety effects in both rats and mice (Benke 2009; Hadjikhani 2009; Hattesohl 2008). Valerian root extracts have also been shown to activate glutamic acid decarboxylase, an enzyme involved in the synthesis of GABA (Awad 2007).

In recent clinical studies, psychiatric rating scales have shown that a daily dose of 400-900 mg of extracts from valerian root is as effective as diazepam at reducing anxiety (Andreatini 2002; Muller 2006; Bhattacharyya 2007; Kennedy 2006).

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, sometimes used as a culinary herb and flavoring agent. The plant also has several anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) actions.

In animal studies, extracts from lemon balm have been shown to suppress levels of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) while also promoting the growth of new neurons, a process called neurogenesis (Yoo 2011). Moreover, lemon balm contains compounds that strongly suppress the breakdown of GABA, which may prolong the anti-anxiety effects of the neurotransmitter (Awad 2007).

Lemon balm has been shown to reduce anxious behavior in laboratory animals. In a human clinical trial, it significantly suppressed anxiety when combined with valerian root, another anxiolytic herb (Kennedy 2006; Ibarra 2010).

Rhodiola. Rhodiola rosea is a known adaptogen, an herb that helps improve one’s resistance to stress. It has also shown promise in alleviating anxiety disorder. Ten subjects receiving a daily dose of Rhodiola rosea extract for 10 weeks demonstrated significant improvement in symptoms of anxiety (Bystritsky 2008). Another similar 10-week study found that a 340 mg daily dose of Rhodiola rosea extract significantly eased symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (Bystritsky 2008). Animal studies have found that compounds in Rhodiola rosea help ameliorate the anxiety associated with smoking cessation (Mattioli 2011).

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng, has long been used by Ayurvedic practitioners as a rejuvenating tonic. The herb has anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and rejuvenating properties (Mishra 2000). In several studies, rodents treated with extracts of ashwagandha showed reduced anxiety when compared to a control group; and to a similar extent when compared to several benzodiazepine drugs (Mohan 2011; Kulkarni 2008; Ramanathan 2011).

Ashwagandha has also been shown to reduce anxiety in humans (Andrade 2009; Bhattacharya 2000). In a clinical trial, patients with significant anxiety were divided into two groups, and for twelve weeks were provided either psychotherapy or treated with naturopathic treatment including ashwagandha. The ashwagandha treated group demonstrated a greater reduction in anxiety parameters (Cooley 2009).

Our bodies are truly elegant in their design. This is especially apparent with brain function. A common element of this design is the brain’s binary systems, wherein one chemical activates a process while its partner turns it off again. One example is glutamate and GABA, which together account for over 80 percent of brain activity. Glutamate accelerates brain activity (excitatory), while GABA puts the brakes on (inhibitory). Together, they keep the brain humming along at just the right pace—not too fast, not too slow.

If you have developed anxiety, then the balance of these two chemicals has been thrown off. As a result, the brain’s activity level is turned up too high, at least in some areas. The balancing supplements for glutamate and GABA include but are not limited to the amino acids GABA, and L-theanine; the antioxidant NAC; vitamins B6 and D; the minerals magnesium and zinc; and omega-3 fatty acids.

GABA, a neurotransmitter made from the amino acid glutamate, can be taken in the form of a dietary supplement. GABA is the chief inhibiting, or calming neurotransmitter in the brain, functioning as a brake on the neural circuitry during stress. Low GABA levels are associated with restlessness, anxiety, insomnia and a poor mood. (Nemeroff 2003; Kendell 2005; Kugaya 2005). Clinical studies have shown that the use of GABA as a dietary supplement relieves stress, anxiety, and increases the production of alpha brain waves (associated with relaxation) (Bazil 2005; Abdou 2006; Thorne Research, Inc. 2007).

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) shows promise for alleviating mood disorders through a variety of mechanisms. It acts as a precursor to glutathione, a potent cellular antioxidant that may help ease neuronal oxidative stress. Furthermore, in contributing to glutathione synthesis, NAC uses up excess glutamate stores. This might lessen the excitatory transmission triggered by glutamate (Berk 2009). Indeed, in at least one small clinical trial, a 6-month supplementation with NAC lead to a complete remission in depressive symptoms in 6 of 7 subjects, while placebo treatment lead to remission in only 2 of 7 (Magalhães 2011).

Vitamin D. The impact of this hormone-like vitamin on mood disorders is complex. There are receptors for vitamin D throughout the brain, and animal data indicates that lower vitamin D signaling leads to increased anxious behavior (Kalueff 2004). There is a considerable association between low vitamin D levels and depression, but the connection with anxiety is less clear (Parker 2011). Nonetheless, maintaining a vitamin D level between 50 – 80 ng/ml is suggested for everyone to promote optimal health and protect against the ravages of aging.

Thank you for this. I am aware of much of it, not all of it. Great summary! BowingBowingBowing

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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