Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for February 02, 2008

SAMe Is Essential For Brain Function

SAM-e (S-Adenosylmethionine) is an amino acid derivative that has been clinically proven.  Found in all living cells, SAM-e is also called activated methionine (an essential amino acid) since it is formed by the combining of ATP with methionine. The body makes SAM-e from the amino acid methionine and the cofactor vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid.

SAMe is the primary methyl donor available in the brain. Some of the biochemicals essential for proper nervous system function that benefit from SAMe include epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine. Transmethylation in the brain includes actions upon the phospholipids that are the primary components of all cell membranes.

Supplementation with SAMe improves the body’s ability to manufacture phospholipids for use in the brain and helps keep neurotransmitters in balance.

Animal studies show that SAM-e increases levels of serotonin, but not the same way as SSRI or tricyclics work. They prolong the effect of a neurotransmitter by blocking its reuptake after it ferries a signal across the gap from one nerve cell to the next.

SAM-e, by contrast, appears to actually build neurotransmitters by donating part of its own chemical makeup, a methyl group. A common currency in metabolic processes, methylation also feeds the fats that stabilize nerve cell membranes and the receptors on them, making brain cells more responsive to a broad array of operations.

 I love this article for the comparison between Sam-e and Paxil (SSRI drug). I wonder if the neurologist knew this? Probably not. Who am I kidding?

After my discovery a few months back with the active form of B vitamins for better absorption, I’m always interested in supplements with higher absorption rates and SAM-e is no exception. A few days after taking SAM-e and there is a definate WOW factor. Once again, overnight my eyes feel stonger and my skin is so smooth and fantastic!

I think it’s safe to say the amino acid test is very accurate with a low level of methionine. Now if I can only find the other ones…

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August 19, 2009 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 31, 2008

So now I discover a link between SAM-e and melatonin.

SAM-e Is Necessary for Melatonin

One of the most exciting things about SAMe is that it is melatonin’s daytime equivalent. The natural synthesis of melatonin during the night is dependent on the synthesis of SAMe during the day. SAMe is necessary for the biochemical reaction that converts serotonin into melatonin. (Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that drugs like Prozac elevate). SAMe and melatonin are entwined in a circadian rhythm that see-saws back and forth as the sun rises and sets. SAMe is melatonin’s other half: when melatonin levels shoot up at night, SAMe stays low. But during the day, when melatonin falls, SAMe levels climb. Without adequate SAMe during the day, neither melatonin nor serotonin can be synthesized. And both are dependent on light and dark.

One of the most fascinating animal studies on SAMe and melatonin was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry in 1995. Researchers demonstrated in great detail the perfect orchestration that occurs between levels of SAMe and melatonin. The so-called “nyctohemeral” rhythm (pertaining to both day and night) was documented almost minute-by-minute. Data were translated onto graphs showing the see-saw relationship between melatonin and SAMe (Fig. 1).

Both melatonin and SAMe are controlled by an internal “clock” that knows lightness from darkness. In the evening, about 30 minutes before sunset, levels of SAMe shoot up to their highest level. They stay there for about an hour, and then suddenly drop. When this happens, melatonin kicks in. Melatonin increases for four hours, while SAMe drops. Five hours into the night, melatonin hits its high, and SAMe hits its low. Melatonin stays elevated until three hours before sunrise, when it abruptly falls. Meanwhile, SAMe builds up. Five hours into the day (around 11:00 A.M.), SAMe reaches its peak level again, then begins a gradual descent until evening.

Serotonin levels follow roughly the same pattern-higher during the day and lower at night. It appears that the serotonin synthesized during the day is used at night to make melatonin. SAMe is absolutely crucial for the natural synthesis of melatonin because it donates a methyl group molecule to the enzyme that converts the acetylated form of serotonin to melatonin.

Melatonin is not traditionally though of as a hormone that effects mood, but it does. When melatonin levels are low, you tend to wake in the wee hours in a panicked state, even if things may be generally okay in your life. You will wake fearing the worst about the least important things or feeling depressed for no real reason. Melatonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan, which also makes serotonin. It’s production in the brain requires methionine and SAMe.

What a fantastic article. Off to the health food store looking for SAM-e!

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for October 07, 2007

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Went to the library this weekend and found Braverman’s book “The Edge Effect” So after reading a few chapters, I finally get around to taking the assessment.

My dominant nature appears to be: Serotonin and my deficiencies appear to be with: GABA and Dopamine. What exactly does this mean?

November 25, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for October 05, 2007

Noticed another slight improvement with the candida today. So was it Acetyl-Carnitine or Theanine? That’s the one problem with wanting to take so many things…

While researching the amino acids I came across a health bulletin board where someone suggested reading a book called “The Edge Effect” and something called the “Braverman Test”. Basically, it’s a questionaire that can determine deficiencies in each neurotransmitter. This could be what I’ve been looking for but what is it exactly? Dr. Google?

The Braverman Nature Assessment

Dr. Braverman’s twenty-six years of medical education, training and clinical practice have focused on the brain’s overall health. Many common conditions have their origins in brain chemical imbalances. Each of the four main lobes of the brain has a primary biochemical, called a neurotransmitter that is responsible for a specific brain function. When you are ill, physician prescribe a medication, which restores a specific brain chemical to restore health. Natural substances however can do the same thing, because each of the primary brain neurotransmitter has a precursor, which the body used to manufacture each of the four brain chemicals. That is what prompted Dr. Braverman to develop his own line of nutrient-precursors that target each of these four brain chemicals.

Dominant
Section 1A = Dopamine Nature
Section 2A = Acetylcholine Nature
Section 3A = GABA Nature
Section 4A = Serotonin Nature

Deficient
Section 1B = Dopamine Nature
Section 2B = Acetylcholine Nature
Section 3B = GABA Nature
Section 4B = Serotonin Nature

November 24, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 22, 2007

Copper and the importance on the Nervous System… has a role with the neurotransmitters and can effect serotonin and the myelin sheath. All things that I have suspected for a long time.

Copper

Copper (Cu) is an essential trace element for humans and animals. In the body, copper shifts between the cuprous (Cu1+) and the cupric (Cu2+) forms, though the majority of the body’s copper is in the Cu2+ form. The ability of copper to easily accept and donate electrons explains its important role in oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions and the scavenging of free radicals. Although Hippocrates is said to have prescribed copper compounds to treat diseases as early as 400 B.C., scientists are still uncovering new information regarding the functions of copper in the human body

Central Nervous System

A number of reactions essential to normal function of the brain and nervous system are catalyzed by cuproenzymes. Neurotransmitter synthesis: Dopamine-b-monooxygenase catalyzes the conversion of dopamine to the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.

Metabolism of neurotransmitters: Monoamine oxidase (MAO) plays a role in the metabolism of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. MAO also functions in the degradation of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is the basis for the use of MAO inhibitors as antidepressants.

Formation and maintenance of myelin: The myelin sheath is made of phospholipids whose synthesis depends on cytochrome c oxidase activity.

March 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 15, 2007

Tried something different today. In Ann Louise Gittleman’s book I’m reading about copper overload, one of the things she keeps saying is to avoid copper completely. This morning I took 50 mg of zinc without any copper and all morning my nose is itchy and my tongue is white. Candida has returned by taking high dosage of zinc. Why? I do some reading and it’s actually a good thing.

Often a copper elimination results in the flare-up of a candida infection and the many symptoms associated with candida. The major reason candida continues to exist in an individual is because they are unable to reduce their excessive copper storage in the liver and in the brain. Whenever they undergo stress of any kind, copper builds up in the tissues resulting in a bio-unavailability of copper. It is the bio-unavailability of copper which permits candida to thrive. In essence, sufficient copper cannot be mobilized out of liver storage because of stress and weak adrenal glands. When copper is out of balance, our bodies cannot control yeast overgrowth. This often lead to chronic candida albicans infections that are resistant to treatment.

Calcium tends to buffer the side-effects associated with a copper elimination. A person, in the process of eliminating copper should take three calcium tablets three times a day. Doing so will not stop the copper elimination from occurring, but will minimize some of the distressing side effects caused by a copper-induced calcium deficiency.

Anxiety and Panic States Resulting from a Copper Elimination

Individual suffering from a copper elimination frequently experience feelings of anxiety and tension and for good reason.

As copper levels in the blood increases, the amount of anxiety tends to increase. Panic attacks, as well as anxiety attacks are also commonly due to a copper toxicity problem. Panic and anxiety attacks are frequently associated with an excessive buildup of lactic acid, caused by an excessive secretion of the stress hormone adrenalin. A copper toxicity problem is a common cause of increased adrenalin secretion. Adrenalin secretion is increased when blood sugar levels are low. Adrenalin is both a panic and anxiety hormone. A reduction in copper toxicity is effective in reducing the incidence and severity of both panic and anxiety attacks.

The major emotional cause of an increase in adrenalin secretion is adrenal insufficiency/hypoglycemia-induced fear. Copper, in excess, is instrumental in increasing adrenalin output just as copper is associated with increased estrogen hormone output. As copper eliminates into the blood, the amount of adrenalin increases resulting in excessive lactic acid accumulation (lactic acid dehydrogenase – a zinc-dependent enzyme). A reduction in copper toxicity results in a reduction of the anxiety attacks.

Copper also stimulates production of the neurotransmitters epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. It is also required for monoamine oxidase, an enzyme related to serotonin production.

The Value of Calcium in Preventing a Lactic Acid Buildup

While zinc and vitamin B6 serve to release copper from the tissues, they do not fully address the lactic acid problem. Individuals suffering from copper toxicity commonly have excessively high calcium levels, as determined by a hair analysis. A high calcium level indicates a calcium bio-unavailability, which, in essence, is the same as a calcium deficiency.

A calcium deficiency results in increased adrenalin secretion which in turn results in excessive lactic acid buildup in the tissues. Calcium is necessary to mop-up excessive lactic acid. As a result of a calcium bio-unavailability, lactic acid levels continue to increase. Increasing one’s calcium intake allows for calcium to combine with the lactic acid to form calcium-lactate resulting in a reduction or elimination of both anxiety and panic attacks. Because of a calcium bio-unavailability, copper-toxic individuals have little or no protection against a lactic acid buildup, resulting in the creation of more anxiety. Zinc deficiency due to copper toxicity can also result in anxiety states.

Copper Toxicity Correction

There are numerous ways to eliminate excessive tissue copper. Nutrients such as zinc, manganese, molybdenum, Vitamin B-1, vitamin C and vitamin B-6 have all proven effective in certain cases.

March 15, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for February 24, 2007

Brain Chemicals and Modern Life

It all comes down to our chemistry. Fidgeting, concentration, sleep, energy levels, mood swings, even the ability to sweat are controlled by the chemicals lurking about our bodies. Serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, melatonin, insulin, and prostaglandins are some of the more important ones…and these in turn are influenced strongly by stress, diet, exercise, sunlight, sleep and other life style factors. Of course the life style of today is radically different than it was 20,000 years ago. Consider how these factors from modern life commonly influence us:

  • Being indoors (lack of sunlight): Reduced melatonin
  • Stress: Reduced serotonin
  • Modern food processing: Fatty acid imbalances and chemical sensitivities
  • High sugar/carbohydrate and low-fat diet: More insulin; prostaglandin imbalance
  • Lack of exercise: Decreased serotonin and dopamine
  • Lack of sleep: Reduced serotonin
  • Poor nutrition: Reduced serotonin
  • Boring classes/job, lack of activity: Reduced dopamine & norepinephrine.
  • Deionized air: Reduced serotonin

Reduced serotonin levels from stress, lack of sleep & exercise, poor nutrition, and lack of sunlight are connected with ADD, irritability, depression, aggression, anxiety, lack of concentration, chronic pain, restlessness or fatigue, nausea, obsessive-compulsive disorder, weight gain or loss, fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, heat intolerance and other syndromes. Fluctuating serotonin levels are connected with bipolar disorder (manic depression) and hypomania. You don’t have to feel depressed or anxious; symptoms may be purely physical.

Reduced dopamine/norepinephrine caused by boring surroundings and lack of exercise may manifest as ADD, impulsivity, lack of concentration, restlessness, and depression or loss of pleasure. Dopamine is the “feel good” chemical which illegal drugs mimic (such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana) as well as cigarettes, coffee and alcohol. Ritalin and other ADD drugs are thought to increase dopamine activity.

Modern food processing has completely altered the types of fatty acids we consume. Since our brain is composed largely of fatty acids, we are missing the “bricks” needed for normal brain development and repair. In addition, we are eating lots of man-made chemicals. Food colors, for example, are mostly made from petroleum.

Reduced melatonin from lack of sunlight may disturb the sleep cycle and cause seasonal depression (called SAD).

Lots of sugars and carbohydrates lead to increased insulin levels. High insulin tells the body to store what you just ate as fat, thereby dropping your blood sugar concentration. Your brain can burn only sugar, so it is deprived of food. Poor concentration and depression can result. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can lead to diabetes. Also, the low blood sugar make you hungry, which causes you to eat more sugar or carbohydrates, and the cycle is repeated. Finally, insulin levels affect serotonin levels and many systems throughout the body.

Poor nutrition can result in lower levels of chemicals like serotonin. Vitamins B6, C and E (the stress vitamins) are especially important.

February 25, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 27, 2007

Picked up some Chromium today. It’s in my multivitamin but I’d like to try it at a higher dosage. On the way out of the store I pick up the free health magazine called Vitality. I was in the car waiting for my wife so I was briefly skimming through it when I came across an article called “Acupuncture for Anxiety and Mood Disorders”. It talks about how Acupuncture has been long proven effective in raising the serotonin and norepinephrine levels naturally to treat anxiety. I’ve had acupuncture before and I know how effective it can be so I’ll really think about going to see this guy. It was an amazing article and it was written by a local doctor here in Markham.

I have an appointment with the nutritionist next Tuesday for my initial consultation.

January 28, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 22, 2007

I’ve been thinking a lot about my issues lately and I’m having a hard time trying to figure out why I’m losing my magnesium. What is the factor? My doctor wants me to take paxil and I have refused. I have a follow up appointment with him on Friday but I’m going to cancel it. I have nothing more to say to him. In fact, maybe it’s time to see another doctor.

I’ve been trying the higher dose of potassium and pantothenic acid without much success. Tonight I’m going to try St. John’s Wort again but I’ll start by taking three a day.

How does St. John’s extract work?

Originally it was thought that the action of St. John’s wort extract as an antidepressant was due to hypericin acting as an inhibitor of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) – thereby resulting in the increase of CNS monoamines such as serotonin and dopamine. However, newer information indicates that St. John’s wort possesses no in vivo inhibition of MAO.

At least two other mechanisms have been proposed: modulation of interleukin-6 activity and inhibition of the re-uptake of serotonin. The modulating effects of St. John’s wort extract on interleukin-6 (IL-6) is the most interesting as it proposes a mechanism by which St. John’s wort interacts with the link between the immune system and mood. The immune system and the nervous system share many common biochemical features and regulatory interactions. In regards to IL-6, this cytokine is heavily involved in the communication between cells within and outside the immune system. In relationship to the nervous system, IL-6 is known to modulate hypothalamic-pituitary-end organ axes, especially the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The hypothesis is that an elevation in IL-6 results in activation of the HPA axis leading to elevations in CRH and other adrenal regulatory hormones – hallmark features in depression. St. John’s wort extract has shown an ability to reduce IL-6 levels, hence this action may explain the clinical effectiveness of St. John’s wort extract.

St. John’s wort extract has also been shown to inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin similar in fashion to drugs like fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft). The study demonstrating a 50% serotonin re-uptake inhibition utilized the 0.3% hypericin content standardized extract at a concentration of 6.2 mcg/ml and did not attempt to identify the active inhibitors. Even though the authors of the study concluded “that the antidepressant activity of Hypericum extract is due to inhibition of serotonin uptake by postsynaptic receptors.”

An important point must be made – until pharmacokinetic studies demonstrate that St. John’s wort components pass across the blood-brain barrier a primary site of action outside the central nervous system cannot be ruled out.

Are there any other indications for St. John’s wort extract?

One of the key indications for St. John’s wort extract in my clinical practice is in the treatment of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a recently recognized disorder regarded as a common cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Although fibromyalgia may be the “pop” diagnosis of the 1990s, it is a real clinical entity estimated to affect about 4% of the general population. Although fibromyalgia is a disorder that has many facets, the central cause of the pain of fibromyalgia are low levels of serotonin. As a result of a chronic low level of serotonin, the sensation of pain is great exaggerated.

Although St. John’s wort extract can certainly be effective on its own, in my clinical experience I have found that the combination of St. John’s extract (300 mg, 0.3% hypericin content), magnesium (200 to 250 mg), and 5-HTP (100 mg) three times daily seems to work better than using any of these three supplements alone.

Low magnesium levels are a common finding in patients with fibromyalgia as well as in chronic fatigue syndrome. Magnesium supplementation has produced very good results in both conditions part of which may be due to its importance to serotonin function.

One of the primary benefits with St. John’s wort as well as 5-HTP relates to their ability to improve sleep quality. One of the key findings in patients with fibromyalgia is a reduced REM sleep and an increased non-REM sleep.29 In addition, the deeper levels (stage III and IV) are not achieved for long enough periods. As a result people with fibromyalgia wake up feeling tired, wornout, and in pain. The severity of the pain of fibromyalgia correlates with the rating of sleep quality. What I mean by this statement is that when patients with fibromyalgia get a good night’s sleep they have less pain. Conversely, when they sleep poorly, they feel terrible.

What is the best dosage schedule for St. John’s wort?

The dosage of St. John’s wort preparations are based upon the hypericin content. The overwhelming majority of the studies in depression have used the St. John’s wort extract standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin at a dosage of 300 mg three times daily.

This article recommends the combination of St. John’s Wort along with  magnesium and 5-HTP for good results. Forget it, I’m not going anywhere near 5-HTP again. So basically, St. John’s Wort does exactly the same function as paxil. So when I tried it the first time with no results, why would my doctor decide to put me on paxil instead? In fact, why didn’t he tell me that if I was unhappy with taking paxil to continue with St. Johns Wort for a longer period of time?

It doesn’t make any sense!!

January 22, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 13, 2007

A serotonin deficiency can cause nervousness and sugar cravings. And a deficiency can be caused by low magnesium and low niacin levels among aother things. Interesting reading…

Serotonin deficiency signs/symptoms:

Depressed
Nervous/worrier/can’t relax
Fears/phobias
Negative/pessimistic
Irritable/impatient/edgy
Obsessive compulsive tendency
Self destructive or suicidal thoughts/plans
Low self esteem/confidence
Rage/anger/explosive/assaultive
Sleep problems/light sleeper
Feel worse in & dislike dark weather
Crave sugar/carbs/salt/alcohol/marijuana
Chronic pain (e.g. headaches, backaches, fibomyalgia)
PMS
Antidepressants or 5-HTP improve mood

Factors which reduce serotonin levels:

Stress
PCB’s, pesticides and plastic chemicals exposure
Under-methylation
Inadequate sunlight exposure
Tryptophan (precursor) deficiency
Iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, B3, B6, folate & vitamin C deficiency
Inadequate sleep
Glutathione deficiency
Chronic infections
Genetic serotonin receptor abnormalities
Chronic opioid, alcohol, amphetamine & marijuana use
Human growth hormone deficiency
Progesterone deficiency
Impaired blood flow to brain
Insulin resistance or deficiency

January 13, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 13, 2007

I remember running out of my omega 3 supplement for the first time and I had starting having weird symptoms. I figured at the time it was the omega 3 that was helping me but I could never figure out why. The answer? Low magnesium:

Magnesium has a multitude of different uses in the and is an essential cofactor of the enzyme delta 6 desaturase which converts vegatable derived omega 3 fatty acids to the brain critical omega 3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is essential for the rapid release of dopamine. Thus if magnesium levels are low, DHA deficiency is very likely to exist. Low levels of serotonin in the brain are connected with low levels of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA. This can again lead to increased stress and depression.

So now I’m wondering if my non refreshing sleep is from a serotonin deficiency from years of low magnesium?

There are basically two ways to rectify the Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome. One method is through the natural method of increasing tryptophan intake and the other through the use of anti-depressant medications such as Prozac. This is where the story gets very interesting.

There is a class of pharmaceutical medications called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants. SSRI anti-depressants include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and others. Their method of treatment is to concentrate existing levels of serotonin in the brain so they stay in the synapse between nerves and facilitate communication. They do not create serotonin, as many people believe, but simply collect the existing serotonin so it is used more effectively. Some studies suggest that long term use of SSRI anti-depressants actually reduce serotonin levels. Serotonin levels are often low among people with anxiety disorders.

Our body chemistry is complex; many different hormones, neurotransmitters, and other substances influence how we feel. Serotonin is one chemical that has received a great deal of attention for its contribution to mood. It’s a neurotransmitter (a chemical involved in the transmission of nerve impulses between nerve cells) that’s formed in the brain and primarily found in three parts of the body — the brain, the lining of the digestive tract, and in blood platelets. In the brain, serotonin’s main effects include improving mood and giving you that “satisfied” feeling from food. It’s also thought to help promote sleep and relaxation.

Carbohydrate-rich meals often increase serotonin levels. However, manipulating serotonin levels through food may be very difficult to achieve because serotonin’s properties may have varying effects in different people. Some people may experience a temporary lift in mood after a carbohydrate-rich meal, while others may become relaxed or sleepy. Certain foods that increase serotonin levels aren’t the healthiest choices either. Believe it or not, candy and sweets, which are simple carbohydrates, have the greatest impact, but the effect will only last 1 – 2 hours. Complex carbohydrates (rice, potato, pasta) may increase serotonin levels, but not to the same extent because the protein content of these foods might actually inhibit serotonin production.

The  doctor wants me on Paxil but doesn”t really explain why except that it was recommended by the Neurologist. Probably to raise my level of Serotonin and “fix” the anxiety. Here’s an article that actually suggests that it could make things worse!

January 13, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 02, 2007

Controversy Erupts About Safety of 5-HTP

This article first appeared in the March, 1997 issue of VRP’s Nutritional News

Disclaimer: This information may be copied and distributed freely as long as all text remains intact, unchanged and with Vitamin Research Products, Inc. listed as source. Commercial use or commercial distribution may not occur without the express written permission of Vitamin Research Products, Inc.

Controversy Erupts About Safety of 5-HTP
James South

Last month, a “WARNING ABOUT 5-HYDROXYTRYPTOPHAN” was mailed to many members of the life extension/nutritional supplementation community. This “Warning” alleges that little, if any, benefit is to be gained through use of 5 -Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), and that anyone using it is actually risking death!

What are the claims made against 5-HTP in this “Warning”, and what can be said about the relevance and truth of these allegations?

The “Warning” claims that 5-HTP should be used (if at all) only with a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor (PDI). Yet large numbers of studies reviewed by Zmilacher et al (1) found 5-HTP more effective without PDI’s than with them and with fewer and less serious side effects. Zmilacher’s own study of 5-HTP both with and without a PDI reported in the same article found notably more, and more serious, side effects from 5-HTP when combined with a PDI. Thus, the relevant scientific literature simply does not support the claim that 5-HTP is neither safe nor effective without a PDI.

The “Warning” claims that without a PDI most or all of the 5-HTP will be converted to serotonin in the bloodstream outside the brain; and since serotonin does not cross the blood-brain barrier, this would nullify any hoped-for brain benefit from 5-HTP. Yet successful studies (only some of many published) using 5-HTP without a PDI (1,2,4,6,11) clearly refute this contention. Furthermore, studies infusing tryptophan or 5-HTP directly into the bloodstream of human subjects have been performed, and these studies have not found any increase in blood serotonin caused by increased blood 5-HTP. Thus, one report states: “Six healthy male subjects received … 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan (5-HTP) … on two occasions in a randomized cross-over study. There were marked increases in urinary 5-HTP and 5-HT [serotonin] excretion after infusion of [5-HTP] … . This occurred without significant changes in blood 5-HT [serotonin] levels measured in platelet-rich plasma.” (23) Another report using intravenous tryptophan infusion stated: ” … 5-hydroxy-Trp [5-HTP] rose rapidly and massively after Trp[tryptophan] infusions, at the 5 g dose more than … 20-fold[!] … and declined rapidly to about 5-fold baseline levels within 2 hours. Whole blood serotonin levels were almost unaffected by the Trp [tryptophan] infusions [in spite of the massive conversion of the tryptophan to 5-HTP in the blood].” (24) Thus, both clinical studies and blood serotonin measurements in response to dramatically increased blood 5-HTP levels fail to support the “Warning” claims that 5-HTP without PDI will only elevate blood serotonin and not brain serotonin levels.

The “Warning” circulating in the life extension/nutrition community also states that the high blood levels of serotonin (allegedly) ensuing from using 5-HTP without PDI, would cause blood platelets to clot up, triggering a heart attack, or cause a spasm of heart arteries (coronary artery vasospasm), also triggering a heart attack. Again, if this were a real-world-problem, then the many test subjects taking 5-HTP without PDI’s should have suffered numerous heart attacksyet nowhere is this mentioned in the vast literature on 5-HTP! It should be noted here that platelet -aggregation and vasospasm heart attacks can be triggered in moments, even in perfectly healthy and non-occluded arteries. Thus, even a single dose of 5-HTP, not to mention weeks or months of 5-HTP use, would be sufficient to elicit a heart attack, if this were really a serious problem. As Byerley et al note in a major review article on 5-HTP use: “Researchers who reported on the results of various laboratory functions (hematologic [i.e., blood], liver, kidney, etc.) found that 5 -HTP caused no significant changes … . Oral administration of 5-HTP, with or without carbidopa [a PDI], is associated with few adverse side effects.” (2) As Poeldinger et al note: “In general, 5-HTP-induced adverse events worthy of note are rare within the therapeutic dosage range.” (4)

Those concerned about even the theoretical possibility of 5-HTP use triggering platelet-aggregation heart attacks or coronary artery vasospasm heart attacks may minimize any such risks through a nutrient supplement program that specifically inhibits these two problems (which, of course, can and do occur in people who never take 5-HTP). According to MelvynWerbach, M.D., 1 gm of vitamin C three times daily, 400 – 600 iu vitamin E daily, 500 -1000 mg calcium daily, 400 – 600 mg magnesium daily, 200 mcg selenium daily, and 1.5 gm EPA from fish oil daily will significantly reduce risk of platelet -aggregation and vasospasm heart attacks. (27,28)

The “Warning” also claims that Americans’ use of vitamin B-6 supplements further worsens 5-HTP’s (alleged) danger, since B-6 activates the enzyme that could convert 5-HTP to serotonin in the bloodstream. Yet experiments with monkeys (18) and rats (19) fed even “moderate excess” amounts of B-6, increased brain serotonin production up to 60%an impossible finding if B-6 would cause the bulk of ingested 5-HTP to be prematurely converted to serotonin outside the brain. And College Pharmacy of Colorado, one of America’s premier mail-order compounding pharmacies, has been selling (by prescription) a 100 mg 5-HTP with 12.5 mg B-6 (and no PDI) since 1990 with no problems.

The “Warning” also offers the scary scenario that a rare type of serotonin-secreting tumor, called “hind-gut carcinoid,” may also be associated with fibrosis of the heart muscle and heart valves, and heart failure. However, the “Warning” offers no evidence (and doesn’t really claim, but merely implies) that taking 5-HTP supplements at reasonable doses would actually cause these tumors, or the heart damage occasionally associated with them (one study found 19 out of 604 carcinoid patients with high blood serotonin and valvular heart damage). (20) Furthermore, studies of carcinoid heart patients have been done which find no correlation between blood levels of serotonin and the heart disease sometimes found with carcinoid syndrome. Thus one report notes: “We have also studied the correlation between plasma hormone levels (e.g., 5-hydroxytryptamine {5-HT} [serotonin] and substance P) and the degree of cardiac involvement… No correlation between blood levels of 5-HT or substance P and heart involvement was found.” (25) Another report states: “Analysis of the data shows that unlike animal models, there is no difference in serum serotonin and urinary 5 hydroxyindole acetic acid [the chief serotonin metabolite] levels in patients with carcinoid syndrome with or without cardiac involvement” (26) Nonetheless,prudence suggests that in those rare individuals suffering metastatic carcinoid disease, 5-HTP use should probably be undertaken only with a physician’s recommendation and supervision.

The same paragraph mentions a “tribe of South Sea islanders with right heart fibrosis as a result of eating green banana mush, which poisons them with its serotonin content.” Firstly, it should be noted that 5-HTP is not serotonin, and the brain’s rapid absorption of 5-HTP from the blood provides an “escape hatch” from the bloodstream for ingested 5-HTP, before it can be converted to serotonin in the blood. If preformed serotonin were ingested and absorbed (as from the “green banana mush”), it would not have this same “brain escape hatch” to remove it from the blood. When high serotonin diets have actually been studied, (21) increases of blood serotonin have been neither consistent, nor as high as that
seen in the carcinoid patients.

Lastly, the “Warning” asserts that taking 5-HTP is safe only if one has regular tests to determine urinary levels of 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5HIAA). 5HIAA is the chief breakdown metabolite of serotonin. The “Warning” asserts 5-HTP is safe only if urinary 5HIAA levels remain low. Yet the 1992 Italian obesity study11 which used 900 mg 5-HTP daily (without PDI) for 12 weeks found a 50-fold increase in urinary 5HIAA compared to the placebo-control patients. It also found no blood chemistry abnormalities in the 5-HTP group and no difference in side effects between the 5-HTP and placebo patients. The study concluded by stating: “… the good tolerance to 5-HTP treatment observed suggest[s] that this substance may be safely used in the long-term treatment of obesity.” The “Warning” claims that “Some people … could suffer from a lethal serotonin peripheral overload [from 5-HTP ingestion].” Yet in the hundreds of papers published on 5-HTP during the past 30 years, I have not been able to uncover a single reported incident of death or serious injury from oral 5-HTP use. The “Warning” also does not cite even a single published medical reference to any such presumed death or injury.

In summary, the anti-5-HTP allegations made by the “Warning” are falsified by the vast body of published scientific literature on 5-HTP. The main side effect occasionally experienced by 5-HTP users reported in the scientific literature is gastrointestinal (GI) upsetgas, nausea, diarrhea, and cramping. This GI upset happens only to a minority of users, and even then, only occasionally. It usually lessens or disappears in the first few days or weeks of use. The published studies also indicate that taking 5-HTP with food (i.e., partway through a meal or snack) also minimizes the risk of GI upset. Starting with a low dose (25-50 mg) and increasing the dose slowly (every 3 – 5 days) up to a maximum of 200 – 300 mg daily will also minimize risk of GI upset. Total daily intake should be divided into 2 – 4 doses, with no more than 100 mg per dose. Those suffering from gut disorders, such as ulcers, irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease (sprue), etc., and those with just an extremely “sensitive” GI tract, should probably use 5-HTP with great caution, or not at all. The use of aloe vera juice/gel and/or ginger extracts may lessen or eliminate the occasional GI side effects of 5-HTP.

A final note of caution: 5-HTP may intensify the effects of various antidepressant drugs. Van Praag notes that 5-HTP combined with the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine proved more effective than clomipramine alone. (22) Yet because of the potentially powerful but unpredictable synergy to increase brain serotonin when 5-HTP is combined with serotonin-potentiating drugs, those using MAO-inhibitor drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, SSRI’s such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft, and the diet drugs Pondimin (DL-fenfluramine) or Redux (D-fenfluramine), should use 5-HTP only with medical supervision. Similarly, those wishing to reduce or eliminate their serotonin-potentiating drugs with 5-HTP, should do so only with medical supervision.

References

1. K. Zmilacher, et al. L-5-Hydroxytryptophan Alone and in Combination with a Peripheral Decarboxylase Inhibitor in the Treatment of Depression. Neuropsychobiology. 1988; 20: 28-35.

2. W. Byerley, et al. 5-Hydroxytryptophan: A Review of Its Antidepressant Efficacy and Adverse Effects. J Clin Psychopharmacol 1987; 7: 127-37.

3. S. Risch and C. Nemeroff. Neurochemical Alterations of Serotonergic Neu ronal Systems in Depression. J Clin Psychiatry. 1992; 53: 3-7.

4. W. Poeldinger, et al. A Functional-Dimensional Approach to Depression: Serotonin Deficiency as a Target Syndrome in a Comparison of 5 -Hydroxytryptophan and Fluvoxamine. Psychopathology. 1991; 24: 53-81.

5. H. van Praag. Management of Depression with Serotonin Precursors. Biol Psychiatry. 1981; 16: 291-310.

6. S Takahashi, et al. Effect of L-5-Hydroxytryptophan on Brain Monoamine Metabolism and Evaluation of Its Clinical Effect in Depressed Patients. Psychiat Res 1975; 12: 177-87.

7. R. Kahn and H. Westenberg. L-5-Hydroxytryptophan in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders. J Affect Disord, 1985; 8: 197-200.

8. V. Linnoila and M. Virkkunen. Aggression, Suicidality, and Serotonin. J Clin Psychiatry. 1992; 53: 46-51.

9. L. Buydens-Branchey, et al. Age of Alcoholism Onset. II. Relationship to Susceptibility to Serotonin Precursor Availability. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989; 46: 231-36.

10. J. Wurtman. Carbohydrate Craving, Mood Changes and Obesity. J Clin Psychiatry. 1988; 49: 37-39.

11. C. Cangiano, et al. Eating Behavior and Adherence to Dietary Prescrip tions in Obese Adult Subjects Treated with 5-Hydroxytryptophan. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 56: 863-7.

12. D. Murphy et al. Obssessive-Compulsive Disorder as a 5-HT Subsytem -Related Behavioural Disorder. Bri J Psychiatry. 1989; 155: 15-24.

13. C. Maurizi. The Therapeutic Potential for Tryptophan and Melatonin: Possible Roles in Depression, Sleep, Alzheimer’s Disease and Abnormal Aging. Med Hypoth. 1990; 31: 233-42.

14. G. DeBenedittis and R. Massei. 5-HT Precursors in Migraine Prophy laxis: A Double-Blind Cross-Over Study with L-5-Hydroxytryptophan versus Placebo. Clin J Pain. 1986; 3: 123-29.

15. J. Robertson and T. Monte. Natural ProzacLearning to Release Your Body’s Own Anti-Depressants. San Francisco: Harper; 1997.

16. A. Gaby. B6The Natural Healer. New Canaan: Keats: 1984.

17. H. van Praag. Studies of the Mechanism of Action of Serotonin Precur sors in Depression. Psychopharmacol Bull. 1984; 20: 599-602.

18. P. Hartvig et al. Pyridoxine Effect on Synthesis Rate of Serotonin in the Monkey Brain Measured with Positron Emission Tomography. J Neural Trans. 1995; 102: 91-7.

19. K. Dakshinamurti, et al. Influence of B Vitamins on Binding Properties of Serotonin Receptors in CNS of Rats. Klin Wochenschr. 1990; 68: 142-45.

20. M. Jacobsen, et al. Cardiac Manifestations in Mid-gut Carcinoid Disease. Eur Heart J. 1995; 16: 263-68.

21. Y. Hoshino, et al. Serum Serotonin Levels of Normal Subjects in Physi ological State and Stress Conditions. Jpn J Psychosom Med. 1979; 19: 283-93.

22. H. van Praag. Central Monoamine Metabolism in Depressions. I. Seroto nin and Related Compounds. Compreh Psychiatry. 1980; 21: 30-43.

23. T. Li Kam Wa, et al. Blood and Urine 5-Hydroxytryptamine [Serotonin] Levels after Administration of Two 5-Hydroxytryptophan Precursors in Normal Man. Bri J Clin Pharmacol. 1995; 39:327-29.

24. G. Huether, et al. The Metabolic Fate of Infused L-Tryptophan in Men: Possible Clinical Implications of the Accumulation of Circulating Tryptophan and Tryptophan Metabolites. Psychopharmacol (Germany). 1992; 109: 442-32.

25. K. Tornebrandt, et al. Heart Involvement in Metastatic Carcinoid Disease. Clin Cardiol. 1986; 9 (1).

26. R. Arora and R. Warner. Do Indole Markers Predict Carcinoid Heart Dis ease? Chest. 1986; 90: 87-9.

27. M. Werbach. Nutritional Influences on Illness, 2nd ed. “Atherosclerosis,” 57-102. Tarzana, CA: Third Line Press; 1996.

28. P. Turlapaty and B. Altura. Magnesium Deficiency Produces Spasms of Coronary Arteries: Relationship to Etiology of Sudden Death Ischemic Heart Disease. Science. 1980; 208: 198-200.

Copyright �� Vitamin Research Products, Inc.

January 2, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 02, 2007

Here’s an amazing find about serotonin and it’s effect on candida.

Serotonin – Can Fight Fungus
By Stephen Pincock (Reuters Health)
SOURCE: Journal of Medical Microbiology 2003;52:169-171.

The neurotransmitter serotonin could form the basis of new antifungal drugs, according to researchers who have shown in the lab that serotonin can kill one type of fungus that frequently infects humans.

Two years ago, the University of Innsbruck team showed that antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) could also inhibit fungi.

Serotonin seemed to suppress the symptoms of vaginal candidiasis, or yeast infection, in women. The patients found they had no flare-ups of the yeast infection while taking Zoloft to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, but when they stopped taking the drug the infection returned.

“My colleague who had these patients asked me to test the antifungal effect of sertraline,” all hindered the growth of Aspergillus and Candida species.

Fungi belonging to the Candida family are responsible for yeast infections, and can also cause thrush, an infection of the mouth and throat. Aspergillus fungi can also infect humans.

Because (SSRIs) increase serotonin levels during treatment, the researchers tested serotonin directly against a range of Candida species.

The researchers report in this month’s issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology that serotonin was active against all four species tested.

January 2, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for January 02, 2007

Well I’ve had some time to do the research and what I’ve found is somewhat disturbing.

Too much serotonin damages blood vessels, particularly in the lungs, and may also harm heart valves. Such damage may have led to primary pulmonary hypertension and heart valve lesions in a small number of the millions of Americans who took the anti-obesity drug combination from 1992 until 1997, when one of the drugs, fenfluramine, was voluntarily withdrawn by its manufacturer. The other drug, phentermine, is still used to treat obesity. Because the two drugs were never in one pill, their use in combination didn’t require U.S Food and Drug Administration approval.

I can’t find anything that directly says that 5-HTP will effect the valves of the heart but in my case, I know it was the same pain I get with my mitral valve so I’m not taking the chance. The articles all seem to mention that raising serotonin levels could harm the heart valves and that’s exactly what 5-HTP does. It could be partly my fault because I should’ve started at a lower dosage. Not the way I want to start the new year…

Serotonin is absolutely essential for your brain–and thus your body–to function properly. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that carries vital signals from one cell to the next. Without adequate levels of serotonin, those signals cannot move at the proper speed or intensity. What’s more, serotonin acts as a kind of master control chemical. The activities of many other important brain compounds–including those that govern your muscle movements, your state of alertness, your mental activity, even your ability to fall asleep–depend on serotonin.

But poor diet, lack of exercise, use of harmful substances such as caffeine or alcohol, and overall physical and emotional stress can rob your brain of the ability to make enough serotonin to meet your body’s demands. This produces a range of significant complications: depression, obesity, insomnia, migraine headache, chronic fatigue. Increasingly, scientists, doctors, and other health experts around the world are coming to recognize that this group of complaints all arise from problems with basic brain chemistry. The disorder has a name: serotonin deficiency syndrome.

And here’s the exciting news. All of these maladies can be corrected through the same technique: by raising serotonin levels.

Serotonin was first discovered about fifty years ago. Since then an enormous amount of research has been done to unlock the secrets of this multitalented molecule. In the past few decades, findings in the laboratory have led to the development of many potent serotonin-active compounds. Among these are Prozac, the popular antidepressant, which enhances the mood-regulating activity of serotonin; Imitrex, a treatment for migraine headaches, which works by activating serotonin nerve pathways to constrict blood vessels; and Redux, the appetite suppressant that was recently removed from the market, which controls eating by delivering a dose of serotonin to the appetite control centers in the brain. Other serotonin-altering drugs relieve anxiety, enhance sleep, and ease muscular and skeletal pain.

But these medical miracles come with a pretty high price tag. The side effects of synthetic serotonin drugs can be severe. To take just one example: In September 1997 Redux and its chemical cousin fenfluramine, part of the “fen-phen” combination, were yanked off the market. The reason? Doctors suddenly discovered these drugs had caused permanent damage to heart valves in as many as one third of the people who took them.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to overcome serotonin deficiency. But because of the way the body makes neurotransmitters, you can’t simply take a dose of serotonin as a pill or a tonic. What you can do, though, is provide your body with the raw material it needs to produce its own serotonin.

That raw material is called 5-hydroxytryptophan–5-HTP for short.

5-HTP is not a synthetic drug. It is a compound produced by the body from tryptophan, an amino acid found in many foods. It can be very difficult to consume enough tryptophan in the diet to overcome serotonin deficiency. However, 5-HTP can also be extracted from plants. This form of 5-HTP is now widely available–without a prescription–as a nutritional supplement. As you will learn in this book, 5-HTP promises to revolutionize the treatment of serotonin-related emotional and physical conditions.

January 2, 2007 Posted by | Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for December 30, 2006

And some more…it gets more and more interesting as I do more searches:

Tryptophan
Dietary Supplement

HTML version Author: Kimberly Dick

Tryptophan has often been hyped as “nature’s prozac” or “nature’s serotonin solution.” While certainly an exaggeration, these extravagant claims have some basis in fact.

Serotonin deficiency is often a major factor in depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and weight gain, to name a few. Simply supplementing serotonin when there is a deficiency would appear to be the easiest solution; however, since serotonin cannot pass through the blood-brain barrier, direct supplementation with serontonin is in fact ineffective.

Most antidepressant drugs available today fall into the category of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. These drugs work by preventing the excessive uptake of serotonin in the brain, leaving more available in the synapses between neurons. However, many of these drugs have considerable side effects, in addition to being fairly expensive.

Unlike serotonin, tryptophan (or more accurately, its breakdown product 5-hydroxytryptophan) can pass through the blood-brain barrier. Thus supplementation of tryptophan would appear to be a simple and natural alternative to SSRI drugs. Since tryptophan can be cheaply produced and is not regulated as a drug, it is a much cheaper alternative. As well, it does not have the side effects of many drugs as it is naturally occurring in the body.

Tryptophan on its own works best in depression cases where psychobiologic arousal is high, and serotonin production is inadequate to balance the effects of dopamine and norepinephrine – resulting in a anxious, agitated state. For more apathetic, vegetative depressive cases, tryptophan supplementation is more effective when combined with supplementation of tyrosine, a precursor to dopamine/norepinephrine.

Serotonin deficiency has been implicated in cases of obesity, as it is associated with the brain’s perception of hunger and satiety. Excessive intake of sugars and other carbohydrates is known to increase brain serotonin levels. By increasing serotonin levels, tryptophan can function as an appetite suppressant at low doses, and is sometimes very effective for weight loss.

As well, tryptophan has been successfully used as a sleep aid. Serotonin does play a role in sleep regulation, but more importantly, serotonin is the precursor to melatonin, a hormone crucial to the sleep cycle. On its own, melatonin supplementation has been shown to be an effective treatment for insomnia; however, combining melatonin with tryptophan may prove even more effective.

5-HTP: The New Tryptophan Alternative

The compound 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the intermediate product in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. It was first offered as an over-the-counter supplement in 1994, and is marketed as a natural antidepressant. Since tryptophan is still banned by the FDA and is available in the United States only by prescription, 5-HTP has been offered as an alternative.

Since it is a direct precursor to serotonin, 5-HTP is considerably more active than tryptophan. It is thought to have effectiveness comparable to many prescription antidepressant drugs.

Unlike tryptophan, which was and still is produced in large quantities in vats of bacteria, 5-HTP is generally extracted from the Griffonia seed. It can be and sometimes is produced synthetically from tryptophan, but it is generally cheaper to extract it naturally. This allows 5-HTP to be offered at a more reasonable price, although still considerably higher than tryptophan was when it was offered as a nutritional supplement.

December 30, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for December 30, 2006

I just did a search based on the previous post suggesting that anxiety improved following the administration of pyridoxine and tryptophan. It goes on to say that a marginal B6 deficiency causing a serotonin depletion, may have produced the increased anxiety.

So here’s what I found:

Serotonin

Monoamine neurotransmitter that provides a chemical link between the neurons of the brain. Natural serotonin is produced by the body during the digestion of healthy foods that contain the amino acid L-Tryptophan.

Serotonin is one of the chemicals which regulates emotion, and it is thought to play a large role in the biology of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, migraine, sexuality and appetite.

People who are suffering from problems in these health areas might have a serotonin deficiency. This deficiency may be caused by poor eating habits.

As well as being found in the brain, serotonin is found in abundance in the digestive system as well as the blood stream. When the proper foods are digested, the body creates natural serotonin.

For example, whey protein milkshakes contain the amino acid L-Tryptophan. When the protein is digested, the body converts the amino acid into natural serotonin as needed. This is the way nature intended for you to get your natural serotonin, from the digestion of various healthy foods.

Ask your doctor if natural serotonin may be an alternative to drugs or a complimentary treatment. In the treatment of depression and anxiety, SSRI pills (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are often taken in hopes of increasing the brain’s serotonin levels by increasing the amount of time that it stays in the brain.

However if the body has a shortage of natural serotonin, due to a poor diet, the drugs are simply trying to make the most out of the little bit of supply there is in the body.

The question is, why not also increase the supply, instead of only trying to make the little bit there is linger for a longer time? This is not to say drugs don’t have their place, consult your doctor.

But think about this. If someone has a shortage of Vitamin C and it was causing the symptoms of scurvy, would they take a drug to make the little bit of vitamin they did have last longer in their body? They might, but why not also just drink some orange juice and naturally get some more of the vitamin into the body? Hello, hello? Is health food a big mystery?

The human body is designed to produce natural serotonin from foods that contain amino acids. If someone is very low on serotonin it might be because the food they eat is junk and does not have the nutrients the body needs to support proper health.

Here is what can happen:

1. You eat a junk diet of processed and packaged foods.

2. You find yourself with a serotonin deficiency because your body can’t make any from the junk food you eat.

3. You either make the effort to eat whey protein and similar health foods that your body can use to create natural serotonin … or you don’t.

Most people don’t. Sad but true. They end up at the doctor and buy expensive pills because they wouldn’t make an effort to eat some health foods.

Here are three ways to get more natural serotonin into your body.

1. Health Foods: Drink a whey protein milkshake every day. We do. We put a scoop of chocolate flavor in a blender with a half a banana and some skim milk. It tastes delicious and helps keep your tummy flat too.

If using a blender is too much work you can get these milkshakes in ready to drink packages. Put some in the refrigerator and enjoy one a day.

2. L-Tryptophan Supplements: These were off the market for a long time due to one bad batch made by a foreign company. Now they are back and have passed the regulatory requirements for purity. One company that makes these is Doctor’s Best.

3. These super high quality brain and mood formulas are made by a company we have great respect for. The editors of this website have used many of their products with great results. Their pure fish oil is also recommended for support of brain health.

I’m trying so many things right now for candida but this does make a lot of sense. I’ve seen the supplement called 5-HTP but I never knew what it was: L-Tryptophan!

December 30, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , | Leave a comment

Entry for April 25, 2006

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I washed my hair this morning using Jason organic shampoo and WOW! I can feel the difference right away. My hair is so much softer and my forehead feels soft too. Here’s what it says on their web site:

Vitamin E with A & C Shampoo (Body Enhancing)

No Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates
Super Enriched with 5 Vitamins, 22 Amino Acids and 5 Botanicals. Revitalizes Dry, Tired Hair

Using only the purest Natural Vitamins, Amino Acids and Botanicals, this nourishing shampoo is specially formulated to gently cleanse dry or damaged hair without stripping away necessary moisture. It is super-enriched to build body while it adds a healthy shine, and concentrated to save you money. A small amount is all you need.

Acupuncture appointment number seven. Another uneventful week and I still have the mystery internal vibration. I did switch back to her vitamin C tablets but found that I would get the weird head pinching sensation everytime I did. If I took one of my vitamin C tablets, it would disappear. This leads me to believe that my problem is with the gastrointestinal tract and not actually needing vitamin C in my system.

When I told the doctor I was still vibrating and that her new direction had no effect, she was quite confused. She said I was her toughest patient and it was good because she liked the challenge. She wanted to regroup and she asked for my opinion on what I thought the problem was. We reviewed my discoveries and what worked for my symptoms.

1) Acidophilus settles my stomach.

2) Eating pears will stop the vibrations.

3) Vitamin C will also stop the vibrations and get rid of the weird head symptoms.

I tell her about my suspicion of Serotonin because it is a neurotransmitter effecting the central nervous system and it’s created in the gastrointestinal tract. I can’t say for certain but it’s my guess. I have looked up the symptoms of Serotonin deficency and it doesn’t really match.

She tells me how the Parasympathetic Nerve is connected to the stomach but she’ll need to do more research for my symptoms. I’ve never heard of the Parasympathetic Nervous System so I agree to do some research as well.

She takes my blood pressure and it’s high again: 137/90

She wants to change the treatment to focus on the stomach. She starts by cupping my back and this time she says my circulation hasn’t improved. She places new needles in my back for 15 minutes and then the front. She looks at my wart and it’s almost completely gone. She uses Moxa on the wart and then on an acupoint just below the knee on both of my legs. This is new and she explains that this is done for my stomach. How interesting. As I’m still lying on the table, she takes my blood pressure again: 135/79.

As I’m leaving she gives me a new suppliment to try. This one is for my stomach and it’s called BaoHe Wan. Here is what it does:

Bao He Pian (Bao He Wan) promotes digestion, removes stagnated food and regulates the stomach†. The herbal formula is used for the retention of food, distension of fullness in the abdomen, eructating foul odor and acid regurgitation, loss of appetite†. It is also used for incoordination between the spleen and stomach, stomachache due to damp stagnation lying hidden, indigestion, oppression and depression over the chest and diarrhea due to hypofunction of the spleen.

April 28, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Entry for March 25, 2006

Took my blood pressure first thing this morning and it was 189/132. Am I using it properly? Why is it so high? One minute it’s high, normal the next…It’s all over the place! I have been sitting at my desk for 30 minutes in a relaxed position with both feet on the floor. I lookup the cardiac symptoms of EMF exposure.

Cardiac: palpitations, arrhythmias, pain or pressure in the chest, low or high blood pressure, slow or fast heart rate, shortness of breath.

Cardiac arrhythmia: A group of conditions in which the muscle contraction of the heart is irregular or is faster or slower than normal.

High blood pressure is a symptom and so is arrhythmias. Luckily, an arrhythmia can be picked up on an ECG so I’ll find out on Wednesday when I follow up with the walk in clinic. I have a bowl of oats and an apple for breakfast and I take two 500 mg tablets of Vitamin C to start the day. I’m starting to wonder why the Vitamin C has such an effect on me. Back to Dr. Google and I come across a site that explains the effects of Vitamin C. What does it do for your body?

Vitamin C is involved in over 300 biological processes in the body.

NERVOUS SYSTEM – Vitamin C plays a role in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, a neurotransmitter with many vital functions.

Conversion of tryptophan to serotonin? I have no idea what they are so I google Serotonin.

Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter synthesised in serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system and enterochromaffin cells in the gastrointestinal tract.

Well isn’t that interesting? Serotonin is connected to the normal function of the nervous system and Vitamin C helps create it. Have I made another discovery? Is this why the internal vibration stops when I have an increased level of Vitamin C?

March 25, 2006 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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