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Nutrition can help depression

University research shows that certain health supplements and combinations of foods and nutrients can not only improve overall mood but even reduce the incidence, length and severity of depression.

Omega 3

Rollmop-caper-bruschettaPeople who are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids are generally more susceptible to depression and low mood. The brain has a high component of fatty acids and about 30% of these are Omega 3, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Intake of Omega 3 assists the production of dopamine –  the ‘reward’ neurotransmitter that responds to pleasurable experiences. Walnuts are a good source of plant-based Omega 3, but the body metabolises plant omega 3 less efficiently than fish oil.

Curcumin

Gelbwurz / CurryThe health benefits of curcumin (derived from turmeric) are well documented and wide ranging. It’s known to be an anti-inflammatory, has anti-cancer properties and is neuroprotective. But research published by The US National Institutes of Health now indicates it may even be as effective as Prozac (fluoxetine) – but without the side effects.

Their conclusion: “This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD [major depressive disorder] without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders.”

Selenium

Studies at the University of Wales have shown that people who are low in selenium have increased rates of depression, anxiety and tiredness and that optimising selenium intake helps raise mood and reduce depression.

Chromium

Chromium is a trace mineral involved in the regulation of insulin and thus metabolism. It has an important role in raising the brain’s level of serotonin and melatonin which help the brain regulate emotion, mood and sleep. Research at Duke University in the US has found that supplementation helps in the treatment of depression.

Magnesium

Magnesium has an important role in the development of serotonin, which is a major contributor to feelings of happiness. Researchers in Austin, Texas have shown that supplementation contributes to an improvement in mood and a reduction in depression.

Vitamin D

sun-F-247x185If there ever was a super-nutrient, it is surely vitamin D. Most people are depleted in Vitamin D, especially in the 5 months of winter. In addition to its role in supporting the production of healthy cells and a strong immune system, a major study at the Chicago School of Nursing has shown that Vitamin D supplementation improves mood and reduces depression. Their conclusion?

… Treatment of inadequate vitamin D levels in persons with depression and other mental disorders may be an easy and cost-effective therapy which could improve patients’ long-term health outcomes as well as their quality of life”.

Zinc

Zinc is a vital trace mineral needed for a strong immune system. In addition, Canadian researchers have found that it can help treat depression.

Vitamin B6

Researchers in a large UK hospital have successfully used vitamin B6 in the treatment of PMS depression. B6 is essential in regulating general brain function.

Folic Acid/Folate

spinchFolate, the B vitamin found in leafy green vegetables, assists in the regulation of serotonin and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. They are both important in the passing of messages between brain cells. Researchers at the Neuropsychiatric Research Laboratory in Surrey have combined folic acid and vitamin B12 to help treat depression. Folate or folic acid may also increase the effectiveness of the anti-depressant fluoxetine.

Tryptophan

bananaThe amino acid tryptophan – in conjunction with vitamin B6 – raises the level of the hormone serotonin, which in turn helps elevate your mood. Deficiencies in B6 can cause a lowering of immune function and depression. Bananas not only contain tryptophan but vitamin B6, and fibre.  Fibre helps ensure that energy is slowly released into the bloodstream, so it helps keep your blood sugar and mood stable. The opposite is a ‘sugar rush’ where blood sugar levels rise but then dip quickly, leaving you feeling irritable.

Other foods that are above average in tryptophan are chicken and turkey.

Lentils, oats and whole grains

These are complex carbohydrates which have a low GI (Glycaemic Index), which helps stabilise your blood sugar levels and therefore mood.

Dark chocolate

Broken dark chocolate and chocolate flakes on a wooden tableIn a recent study, 30 people were given just 40g of dark chocolate a day, over 14 days. They produced less stress hormones and their anxiety levels decreased. A small square of dark chocolate contains polyphenols which cause the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels.

Calcium

A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition linked higher calcium intake to lower levels of PMS-related depression. This makes sense as (o)estrogen plays a significant role in calcium production. There was no indication, however, that increased calcium had any effect on male moods.

Saffron

Flower crocus and dried saffron spiceIn an innovative study at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 50 women with PMS were given just 15 mg of saffron daily over two menstrual cycles.  By the end of the study, over three-quarters of the women reported that their PMS symptoms (such as mood swings and depression) declined by at least half, compared with only 8 percent of women in the placebo group.

Green tea

Green tea contains high levels of the amino acid theanine, which has been shown to be an anti-stress relaxant.

Conclusion – Mediterranean Diet plus supplement

I am conscious that if you suffer from depression or just want to boost your general mood, a list like this can be both encouraging but also a bit confusing.

But the overall conclusion is that there is evidence from many clinical trials that a largely Mediterranean Diet supported by a supplement that safely increases your intake of curcumin, Omega 3, vitamin D3, B vitamins, folic acid, zinc, chromium, selenium and green tea extract is very likely to help.

NutriShield contains all these nutrients at effective levels.

 


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Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthbutton-2 supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.

Health Defence bookDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from most good bookstores. See the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.

See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Combined 3 courses strip


REFERENCES

Sanmukhani J, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, Tripathi CB. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2014 Apr;28(4):579-85. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5025. Epub 2013 Jul 6.

Benton D. Selenium intake, mood and other aspects of psychological functioning. Nutritional Neuroscience 2002

Haag, M. Department of Physiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Essential fatty acids and the brain. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 2003, 2003 Apr; 48(3):195-203

Jacka, F.N., Pasco, J.A., Mykletun, A., et al. Association of Western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women.  Department of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2010 Mar; 167(3):305-11

Kemper, K., Shannon, S. Pediatric Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Therapies to Promote Healthy Moods. Clinics of North America, 2007 December; 54(6): 901–926

Sue Penckofer, PhD, RN, Joanne Kouba, PhD, RD, Mary Byrn, BSN, RN, and Carol Estwing Ferrans, PhD, RN, FAAN. Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine? Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Jun; 31(6): 385–393.doi:  10.3109/01612840903437657

Thys-Jacobs S. Metabolic Bone Micronutrients and the premenstrual syndrome: the case for calcium. Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University, New York, New York. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2000 Apr; 19 (2):220-7

Docherty, J.P., Sack, D.A., Roffman, M. et al. Effectiveness of chromium in atypical depression: a placebo-controlled trial. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina. Biological Psychiatry, 2003 Feb 1; 53(3):261-4

Coppen, A., Bolander-Gouaille, C. Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12. MRC Neuropsychiatric Research Laboratory, Surrey, UK. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 2005 Jan; 19(1):59-65

Coppen A, Bailey J. Enhancement of the antidepressant action of fluoxetine by folic acid: a randomized, placebo controlled trial. Journal of Affect Disorders. 2000 Nov; 60(2):121–130

Conklin, S.M., Harris, J.I., Manuck, S.B., et al. Serum omega-3 fatty acids are associated with variation in mood, personality and behavior in hypercholesterolemic community volunteers.  Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Postdoctoral Training Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Psychiatry Research, 2007 Jul 30; 152(1):1-10

Wyatt, K.M., Dimmock, P.W., Jones, P.W. Efficacy of vitamin B-6 in the treatment of PMS. Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, North Staffordshire Hospital. BMJ, 1999 May 22’318 (7195): 1375-81

Eby, G.A., Eby, K.L. Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: a review and hypothesis. George Eby Research Institute, Austin, Texas. Medical Hypotheses. 2010 Apr;74(4):649-60

Milaneschi, Y., Hoogendijk, W., Lips, P., et al. The association between low vitamin D and depressive disorders. Department of Psychiatry and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Molecular Psychiatry 2013 Apr 9

Swardfager, W., Herrmann, N., McIntyre, R.S., et al. Potential roles of zinc in the pathophysiology and treatment of major depressive disorder. Neuropharmacology Research Group, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Canada. Neuroscience and Bio-behavioral Review 2013 Jun;37(5):911-29

Migraines caused by nutritional deficiency?

This is an unbearable pain of my headIf you suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating it can be. Almost 200,000 people suffer a migraine every day in the UK – the majority being women.

The problem is that most medical treatments are less than satisfactory.

New natural nutritional approach validated by study

The results from a study published June 2016 by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital suggest there may be a welcome, new, natural approach. Stop the migraines from occurring in the first place by correcting nutritional deficiencies.

The research team from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital examined almost 8,000 children and young adults who suffered from migraines. They found a clear correlation between these people and a deficiency in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), CoQ10, and vitamin D, plus a possible correlation with folate deficiency.

The correlation was clear enough to hypothesise that that being deficient in B2, CoQ10, and vitamin D could be a key trigger for migraines.

Vitamin B2 Riboflavin

Although the Cincinnati researchers, as usual, cautioned that further research was needed, their hypothesis is supported by Medline, the US Library of Medicine database.

Medline states that high dose vitamin B2:  “… seems to significantly reduce the number of migraine headache attacks”.

They based that statement on a study in which people who took 400 mg of B2 for three months cut their number of migraines by over 50%.

Co-Enzyme Q10

A separate study on CoQ10, published in 2002, found that more than half of migraine sufferers who took a Co-Enzyme Q10 supplement reduced their migraine episodes by almost 50%. Even those who did still get a migraine saw the duration of their migraine drop by half. The dosage level for CoQ10 was 100mg three times a day.

Magnesium?

Vitamin B2, vitamin D, and CoQ10 may not be the only deficiencies involved in migraine. The Migraine Trust confirms that migraine sufferers are generally low in magnesium and that magnesium supplementation helps and is particularly important in menstrual migraine.

Green light?

Migraine also appears to be associated with light sensitivity, which is why sufferers instinctively seek a darkened room. Intriguing new Harvard University research suggests, however, that a green light may lower pain levels.

Synergistic combination rather than mega-dose single nutrients

So should you be taking B2, CoQ10, vitamin D and magnesium? Almost certainly yes – but with a caveat.

The Cincinnati study identified ‘mild deficiencies’ in their subjects, whereas the Medline report cited a B2 supplement level of 400mg a day. That’s an enormous level compared to the adult RDA of 1.3 mg a day for riboflavin and research shows that mega doses of a single nutrient are rarely as effective as combining a range of nutrients to obtain a synergistic effect.

So it’s not surprising that a combination supplement (NutriShield) has customers who report less frequent, less severe and reduced duration of migraines. NutriShield contains effective levels of vitamin B2, vitamin D3 (the ‘sunshine’ form), CoQ10, folate, 114mg of magnesium and many other nutrients proven to help combat the underlying causes of ‘age-related illnesses. See https://nutrishield.com/anti-ageing-super-supplement/

spinch

Spinach is high in magnesium

In addition to NutriShield, you may want to take an extra 500mg a day of magnesium, preferably in glycinate form, and/or eat more high-magnesium foods such as spinach, chard, avocados, almonds and cashews. The Migraine Trust recommends 3 months of supplementation as a minimum trial period to see results.

The ideal supplement combination of NutriShield and additional magnesium would be expected to result, not just in fewer migraines, but in better sleep and mood, more energy and a nutritional status that reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and even cancer.

 


If you enjoyed this article, please share it with family and friends (see buttons below).

CTA Register NewsletterAnd register now for a free e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.

You can follow us on www.facebook.com/nutrishield or www.twitter.com/colinrose40 for daily headline health tweets.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthbutton-2 supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.

Health Defence bookDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from most good bookstores. See the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.

See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Combined 3 courses strip


REFERENCES

1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160610140645.htm

2. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/957.html

3. https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/supplements-and-herbs/

4. TD Rozen, ML Oshinsky, CA Gebeline, KC Bradley, WB Young, AL Shechter & SD Silberstein. Open label trial of coenzyme Q10 as a migraine preventive. Cephalalgia, 2002, 22, 137–141.