Studies from the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology have found that “Vitamins and mineral supplements can be the alternative to increasing psychiatric medicines for symptom relief of anxiety and depression.”
Bonnie Kaplan, Ph.D., professor in the faculty of medicine at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, said: “The supplements also can provide the mental energy necessary to manage stress, enhance mood and reduce fatigue.”
Dr. Kaplan conducted a number of studies in Canada. Out of nearly 100 adults with depression and low energy, those that took a higher amount of vitamins and minerals had considerably enhanced mental functioning. The study participants kept a 3-day food journal and tracked their foods and supplements.
Kaplan is a founding member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Researchwhich distributes information and research about nutritional approaches to mental health. She has established two charitable funds that support nutrient research, work that includes clinical trials at universities in Canada, the United States, and New Zealand.
An additional study from Toronto Canada examined the role of fish oil for depression and concluded that: “There is enough … laboratory and clinical evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in certain cases of depression. Fish oil supplements are well tolerated and have been shown to be without significant side effects over large scale, 3-year research.”
For anyone currently taking psychiatric medications, its important that they work closely with their doctor if they seek to adjust drug dosages while adding supportive natural mental health remedies.
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and a supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calming ingredients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.
The adrenal glands, also known as the “stress glands”, are a pair of vital organs about the size of a walnut that are nestled on top of each kidney. They provide life-giving hormones such as adrenalin, cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. New studies are showing natural vitamins and minerals that can support adrenal health.
Adrenaline is made in response to emotional or physical stress: It works to prepare the body for stress by increasing the heart rate and directing energy to the muscles. Cortisol affects metabolism, immunity and blood sugar levels. The adrenals make many other hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, and in fact they take over the production of these after middle-age.
Too much or too little adrenal hormones can result in adrenal fatigue, muscle tension, irritability, poor focus, insomnia, depression, arthritis or blood sugar imbalances. Research studies are discovering that the B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium have the ability to support adrenal function, overall health, and reduce the symptoms of stress.
Vitamin B-5, also known as pantothenic acid, is used by the adrenal gland as a key component to manufacture its hormones and a deficiency of B-5 can result in impaired adrenal function. In a study from a Russian medical journal, the researchers examined the effects of vitamin B-5 and found that one single dose had a significant effect on the adrenals by increasing hormone production and gland functioning.
Folic acid (vitamin B-8) and cobalamin (vitamin B-12) have also been studied for their effects on adrenal health. To do this, researchers from the Dept. of Medicine in Lund Sweden injected cortisol into 30 healthy young males for only four days and found that their levels of B-8 and B-12 were significantly depleted.
These findings show that in the presence of excess stress hormones, B vitamins are removed from the body. Foods and supplements high in B vitamins can reduce the effects of stress.
Because all the B vitamins work together as a team, it’s important to take a supplement that contains them all in a complex, to avoid creating deficiencies in any not taken.
The full B complex includes Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin or nicotinic acid), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (biotin), Vitamin B9 (folic acid) and Vitamin B12 (cobalamin).
Foods high in B complex vitamins include nuts, seeds, eggs, berries, meat, organ meat, fish, poultry, whole grains and leafy vegetables.
The adrenal glands are “endocrine glands” – meaning one of those that produce hormones and put them directly into the bloodstream to be carried to target organs a distance away. From the journal “Endocrine Research” comes a review of vitamin C and its effects on adrenal function.
The researchers note that the highest amounts of vitamin C in the body are found in the adrenals and the vitamin is used to make all of the adrenal hormones. When one is faced with stress, vitamin C is rapidly used up to make cortisol. From a review of cell culture studies and other research, they conclude that vitamin C deficiency creates lowered adrenal hormones; an inability to keep them stored, and impaired adrenal cell health. Vitamin C is another crucial one to take for adrenal health.
From the journal “Medical Hypotheses” comes an article called “Rapid Recovery from Major Depression Using Magnesium Treatment”. The writer notes that magnesium deficiency can be caused by eating processed foods, by the action of the stress hormones (which push magnesium out of the cells), and from consuming an improper ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diet. Case histories are mentioned that show recovery from major depression in less than seven days by using 125 mg. to 300 mg. of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime.
A study from the journal “Expert Review of Endocrinology Metabolism” reviewed the role of exercise as a modifier of stress. The study notes that emotional, environmental and other stresses can have long lasting ill effects on one’s health, and that regular amounts of moderate daily exercise (in combination with good nutrition) can enhance and improve the treatment of stress-related health problems. Because fatigue goes along with adrenal issues, it’s best to pick those times during the day when one’s energy is at high points to do some exercise.
General Adrenal Health Tips
Some good general tips for supporting the adrenals would be to reduce sugars, desserts, fast foods, caffeine, unhealthy oils and fried foods in the diet. Focus on salads, vegetables and healthy proteins like fish, turkey and grass-fed beef. Include oils like olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and avocados. Get some time outside in the sun each day and do some walking or other moderate exercise daily.
This health news is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II. Because the minerals in Sleep Minerals II are in a highly absorbable softgel form, they also help with stress relief, relaxation, restless leg syndrome and more. For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
The British Medical Journal recently published a study on the health effects of eating nutrient-deficient white rice. In an analysis of several studies, the researchers found that higher white rice consumption was associated with a significantly elevated risk of type 2 diabetes. This association seems to be stronger for Asians than for Western populations. A dose-response analysis showed that each serving per day of white rice consumption was associated with an 11% increase in risk of diabetes in the overall population.
Compared with minimally processed whole grains such as brown rice, white rice has a lower content of many nutrients including fiber, magnesium, vitamins, and healthy plant chemicals. These are lost during the refining process when brown rice is converted to white. Some of these nutrients, especially insoluble fiber and magnesium, have been associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in studies. Thus, a high consumption of white rice may lead to increased risk of diabetes because of the low intake of beneficial nutrients.
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When eating highly processed foods, our bodies then need to take the missing nutrients out of our tissues in order to assimilate the deficient food. This includes fast foods, pastries, cakes, cookies, sodas, and other foods made from highly processed white flour or white sugar.
One particularly important nutrient is magnesium — one that much of our population is deficient in. Mildred Seelig, M.D., the leading medical researcher on magnesium says: “Many people needlessly suffer pain – including migraines and muscle cramps – because they don’t get enough magnesium.”
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center web site, inadequate magnesium also appears to reduce serotonin levels in the brain. One study found that magnesium was just as effective as an antidepressant drug in treating depression. In addition, researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute in Sweden reported that for every 100 milligram increase in magnesium intake, the risk of developing type-2 diabetes decreased by 15 per cent.
Chronic insomnia is also one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Sleep in magnesium deficiency is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep, from a study done at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota.
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