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                           News You Can Use                           

Depression an issue? How do antidepressants work? Is there more that can be done? Yes!

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little_man_depressionDr. Mary Ackerley, a Harvard and Johns Hopkins trained board certified psychiatrist, explains:  “Anti-depressants act as a safety net that provide initial relief and management of symptoms.  They recirculate neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that are required for mood regulation and hormonal function. The downside is that these drugs are only able to work with neurotransmitters that we currently have in our systems.

little_man_jumpingAdditionally, “Sadly these drugs actually exhaust and deplete neurotransmitters. Anti-depressants stimulate the circulation of available neurotransmitters which is why patients initially experience mood elevation. Eventually though, the small pool of neurotransmitters become worn out and no longer function. This is why patients often switch to a different drug to gain relief.  Patients are reluctant to stop using them because they are terrified of returning to prior states of hopelessness and despair.”

coloredblocksAre there hopeful ways forward?  It is now possible to supply the brain with the materials (amino acids – proteins) to build up the level of neurotransmitters, not just recycle a diminished supply.  By supplying the right balance of amino acid precursors and cofactors we can increase the available pool of neurotransmitters.  The right balance of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids to balance our brain’s chemistry – building the biochemical chain to increase the supply of neurotransmitters that can dramatically improve our condition.

So what will these neurotransmitters do?  What conditions besides depression are affected?  Dr. Ackerley:  “Neurotransmitters have many functions in the body. Low levels affect our moods. They also influence appetite signals, hormones, and weight regulation. There is a well known correlation between the use of anti-depressants and weight gain. Some people may gain as much as 15-20 pounds, most likely from neurotransmitter depletion stimulating the appetite. Women are particularly affected by this.”

A study at the University of Minnesota has demonstrated a direct link between amino acid (protein) therapy and safe and effective weight loss. Clinical practice is also demonstrating the effectiveness of this therapy with ADHD.

Prepare to feel better.  Learn more about this . . .

 

Mighty Mitachondria – our body’s battery packs! In all our cells, they produce virtually all the power we need to live a healthy life. What’s the catch?

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MitochondriaMitochondria can be damaged.  Why does this matter?  

Let’s look at what our mitochondria do for us:

Produce ATP (energy) to fuel our metabolic engine

Help to regulate communication between cells and tissues

Increase their mass in response to an increased need for energy

Help to regulate metabolism and use of nutrientsmitos_football

So what can go wrong?

Mitochondria can be damaged by free radicals if there are not adequate antioxidants to neutralize them

Damaged mitochondria contribute to a wide array of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, bipolar disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia

Aging diminishes the number and quality of our mitochondria which can be a factor in the loss of muscle mass and strength

Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes in many ways to aging

Can be easily damaged by mold, viruses, heavy metals and many drugs (click here for more)

What medications can damage mitochondria? (partial listing)

Acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxyn

Statins and other cholesterol lowering medications

Psychoactive medications like Xanax and Valium

Antidepressants

Some antidiabetic medications such as metformin

So how can we protect our mighty mitochondria?

Fortunately the mitochondrial can be repaired with a number of different nutritional supplements, and health can be restored – as long as the problem is recognized

Nutritional supplements such as coenzyme Q10, antioxidants, acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables (think “eating a rainbow” every day – reds, greens, yellows, oranges, purples)

The essential micronutrient called pyrroloquinoline quinone or PQQ – actually stimulates the growth of new mitochondria! It is a super antioxidant found in foods such as parsley, green tea and green peppers

eat_rainbow_of-foods

The antioxidant called N-Acetyl cysteine which is so effective against free radical damage

Learn more about these mighty mitochondria. . .

 

 

Depressed? The National Institute of Health suggests we put down that can of soda – diet or regular. Soda and depression…really?

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soda pouringA study by the NIH, reported at the annual American Academy of Neurology in March, reported that people who drink four cans or more of soda daily are about 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression later in life than people who don't drink soda! Fruit punch had an even greater effect, with participants who drank four cans, or cups, a day 38 percent more likely to develop depression, according to the study.Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_crying_chair

The study also showed a greater occurrence of depression with drinking diet sodas rather than sugared drinks although drinking many sugar sodas can contribute to obesity.  Obesity and depression are linked:  people who are obese have a 25% greater risk of mood disorders such as depression.


The research was led by
H Chen, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  The American Beverage Association is contesting these findings.  What do you think?

 

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Email:  karen@patientadvocates.com

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