AOC1

Protein:

Diamine Oxidase

SNP ID:

Di-amine Oxidase (DAO – more properly called Amine Oxidase, Copper Containing 1) is an enzyme which breaks down histamine and is encoded for by the AOC1 gene 1.

Histamine plays an important role in the immune response, an in particular allergic responses. In health, histamine is released from immune cells (known as mast cells) resident in the skin, gut or lungs when a pathogen or allergen is detected. Histamine then generates three standard physiological responses .

Firstly, blood vessels are dilated to allow other immune cells to quickly reach the area where the pathogen was detected.

Secondly, smooth muscle contracts, which is thought to be a protective measure limiting other pathogens entering the body.

Finally, mucus secreting cells are stimulated, for example in the nose or gut, to protect against further pathogens reaching tissue. In health, histamine is then quickly degraded by DAO and the immune system clears the pathogen 2.

However, histamine is often fundamental in allergic reactions from mild hay-fever all the way through to severe anaphylactic shock. When non pathogenic compounds such as pollen, dust or animal hair are reconsigned as pathogenic, an immune response is generated. As these compounds are difficult, if not impossible, to avoid a chronic immune response is generated with near constant histamine release 3. For this reason many allergy sufferers are given anti-histamines which block the action of the histamine receptor. For those at more severe risk, such as those with asthma, other more potent drugs such as bronchodilators, which open the airways, are given as well.

Chronic release of histamine, combined with reduced histamine degradation, is known as histamine intolerance. There are several SNPs which are associated with reduced DAO activity and histamine intolerance.

C47T

rsID Number Major Allele Minor Allele Minor Allele Frequency (%) Major Amino Acid Minor Amino Acid
rs10156191 C T 27 Thr Met

The risk ‘T’ allele of C47T in the AOC1 gene is associated with reduced DAO activity and histamine intolerance 4,5. For those carrying a single copy of the risk ‘T’ allele, DAO activity was reduced. Whereas for those carrying two copies of the ‘T’ allele DAO activity and expression was reduced. This suggests that the ‘T’ allele is associated with reduced expression of DAO rather than changes in its activity.

Therefore, those carrying the ‘T’ allele of C47T may be at risk of developing symptoms associated with histamine intolerance such as anxiety, body temperature issues, diarrhea, headaches, low blood pressure, flushing along with inflammation and irritation.

How to Treat:

Ingredient Active Ingredient Effect
Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C is a cofactor for DAO and is required for its correct function 6, which contributes to the breakdown of histamine.

Therefore, carriers of the risk ‘T’ allele of C47T, which is associated with histamine intolerance, may benefit from vitamin C supplementation to ensure maximal DAO activity limiting the effect of histamine.

Importantly, for those with a histamine intolerance the source and components of any dietary supplement should be considered as they may contain factors which will trigger a response, negating any positive effect.

Vitamin B6 Pyridoxal phosphate Vitamin B6 is one of three cofactors for DAO and is required for its proper function 7,8, leading to the breakdown of histamine.

To ensure maximal DAO activity, limiting the effect of histamine, carriers of the risk ‘T’ allele of C47T may consider vitamin B6 supplementation.

Importantly, for those with a histamine intolerance the composition of any dietary supplement should be considered as many contain ingredients which can trigger a response, negating any positive effect.

Copper Copper is an essential mineral cofactor required for DAO’s histamine degrading activity 9.

To ensure maximal DAO activity, limiting the effect of histamine, carriers of the risk ‘T’ allele of C47T may wish to consider copper supplementation.

Indirect Nutrients:*

Ingredient Active Ingredient Effect
Quercetin Quercetin is a common flavonoid molecule found in many foods with reddy or dark green vegetables being a particularly rich source 10. Apples are very high in quercetin.

Quercetin exhibits a potent inhibitory effect on the immune cells (mast cells) which release histamine. In those carrying the risk ‘T’ allele of C47T, which is associated with histamine intolerance as the result of reduced DAO activity, prevention of excessive histamine release may prove beneficial.

L-Theanine The amino acid L-theanine, found in certain green and black teas, has been shown to inhibit the release of histamine and other inflammatory agents from mast cells 11.

Therefore those carrying the risk ‘T’ allele of C47T may benefit from supplementation to prevent, or limit excessive histamine release inducing histamine intolerance.

Nutritional Contraindications:*

Ingredient Active Ingredient Effect
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) NSAID defines a drug class which provides pain killing and fever reducing effects, there are several different types however those typically available to consumers include asprin, ibruprofen (Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn).

NSAID have been shown to be a common cause of drug-related hypersensitivity whereby an immune response, which involves histamine release, is generated 12.

The risk ‘T’ allele of C47T was specifically associated with an increased risk of developing a hypersensitive response. Although it was not clear if carriers were more likely to generate an immune response, or if their immune response was more severe 13.

Therefore, those carrying the risk ‘T’ allele of C47T may benefit from avoiding high dose NSAIDs or trying alternative pain relieving medication.

Histamine Rich Foods As well as being produced in the body, histamine is also present in numerous foods including; fermented foods, bananas, avocado, dried fruits, smoked and salted fish, hard cheeses, smoked meats, pickled vegetables, vinegars and several alcoholic drinks 14.

Therefore those carrying the risk ‘T’ allele of C47T may consider avoiding, or reducing their intake of these food groups in order to limit the development of histamine intolerance.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8182053

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17490952

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50554

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19450133

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21488903

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8821975

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8645981

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3098085

http://www.chem.qmul.ac.uk/iubmb/enzyme/EC1/4/3/22.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18958421

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21344174

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21631520

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23152756

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17490952

 

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B vitamins

 

  • Thiamine or B1’s major role is to act as a coenzyme (helps catalyse a reaction) involved in the breakdown of sugars and amino acids. Found most readily in whole grains.
  • Riboflavin or B2 acts as coenzyme and plays a major role in the production of ATP, the bodies “energy currency.” Liver, milk, mushrooms, spinach and almonds are all rich sources of riboflavin.
  • Niacin is the most common form of vitamin B3, with nicotinamide being another common form. As with riboflavin, both niacin and nicotinamide play an important role in the generation of ATP, but are also important in the break down of dietary fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Turkey, chicken breast and peanuts are all high in Niacin.
  • Pantothenic acid or B5 is a cofactor used in the synthesis of coenzyme A, which is important in the synthesis of fatty acids and the generation of ATP. As the “pan” in its name would suggest, pantothenic acid is found in nearly every food, in part because it is so vital to life.
  • Pyridoxine or B6 is vital in the synthesis of amino acids and important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Through the AOC1 gene, B6 is also a cofactor for the production of diamine oxidase, the enzyme that breaks down histamine in the gut.
  • Biotin or B7 helps to maintain healthy blood sugar level. Biotin is commonly recommended as a dietary supplement for the strengthening of nails and hair. Leafy greens, nuts and egg yolks are all rich in biotin.
  • Found in leafy greens, Vitamin B9 is perhaps the most famous of all the B vitamins due to its importance role in pregnancy and early infancy.
  • Hydroxocobalamin or B12 has many essential functions, but it seems to also play an important role in the maintenance of adult neurological tissue in the brain. Animal proteins and foods have the highest B12.
  1. A vitamin must be an organic compound, very simply this means it must contain at least one carbon atom.
  2. Vitamins must be vital to life, i.e. without it a person could not survive.
  3. They are required in limited amounts, this definition is the most woolly as there is no hard description of what “limited” refers to.
  4. Finally, vitamins cannot be synthesized by a person in sufficient quantities, i.e. they must come from the diet.

What are vitamins?

We’ll start with iron. Whilst it ticks the latter three points, iron falls at the first hurdle as it doesn’t contain a carbon atom. A compound containing both iron and carbon (such as iron carbonate) passes this check, but then fails on the vital to life aspect, as whilst iron is vital to life, iron carbonate is not.

OK, let’s pick something a bit more complex. Glucose is a simple carbohydrate, is definitely vital to life, and since it contains six carbon atoms it passes that point as well. But it falls down on the other two points, firstly because it can be synthesised in the body from the longer complex carbohydrates and fats that we eat, and secondly because it is required in large amounts to provide energy.

Let’s try one more example, ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, a very famous vitamin indeed. Containing six carbon atoms it passes the first point, it is defiantly vital to life as it plays a key role in tissue maintenance and repair. Indeed, diseases such as scurvy, characterised by breakdown of the bodies tissues, rapidly appear in the absence of ascorbic acid.The exact amount required isn’t known but estimates range from 60-100 mg per day.Finally, ascorbic acid cannot be synthesised directly by humans, rather we must obtain it from food (citrus fruits and tomatoes are especially rich) or via supplements. It ticks all the boxes and so is classed as a vitamin. Interestingly, most plants and animals on the planet can synthesise ascorbic acid, whereas humans and a few other species can’t. So, whilst ascorbic acid is a vitamin for us, it isn’t for most other species.There are currently thirteen recognized vitamins. Vitamin A, C, D, E and K and 8 types of B vitamin. The functions of these vitamins is very diverse, for example vitamin C is important in tissue repair, whereas vitamin D  is important for regulating bone mineral metabolism.

The B Vitamins

B vitamins are a class of water (as opposed to fat) soluble vitamins which play an important role in many cellular processes. When present in supplements individually, B vitamins are referred to by their individual name, for example, vitamin B1. When all are present they are often termed “vitamin B complex.”

Below is a quick summary table of the B vitamins, but I’ll give more info about the role of each, the potential harmful effects arising from a lack of each, and where available, information about the recommended daily amount of each.

Vitamin Alternative Name Brief Function
B1 Thiamine Breakdown of sugars and amino acids
B2 Riboflavin DNA repair, ATP (the energy currency of the body) generation
B3 Niacin ATP generation
B5 Pantothenic acid Breakdown of sugars and amino acids, synthesis of fatty acids and amino acids
B6 Pyridoxine Synthesis of amino acids
B7 Biotin Fatty acid synthesis, break down of sugars
B9 Folic acid DNA synthesis and repair, important for rapid cell division
B12 Hydroxocobalamin DNA synthesis and repair, fatty acid and amino acid synthesis

 

Vitamin B1 – Thiamine

Thiamine’s major role is to act as a coenzyme (helps catalyse a reaction) involved in the breakdown of sugars and amino acids into their constituent parts. These are then available to be used to make other molecules required by the body.

As such, a severe deficiency in thiamine can prove fatal with symptoms including weight loss, loss of sensory perception, weakness, pain, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath. These symptoms are sometimes taken together and classed as Beriberi disease, although it is also commonly referred to as thiamine deficiency. Whilst very severe cases are rapidly identified, low level occurrences of these symptoms can pass un-noticed for many years or often be misdiagnosed [1].

However, a relatively simple blood test is possible.

Thiamine is readily available in many foods, including numerous food containing yeast based products or cereal grains, in particular those containing the wholegrain. Other rich food sources include asparagus, kale, liver and eggs. For adults the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) are 1.2 mg in men and 1.0 mg in women, rising to 1.4 mg during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

A Review of the Biochemistry, Metabolism and Clinical Benefits of Thiamine

Thiamin in Clinical Practice

Nutritional Status of Bariatric Surgery Candidates

Nutrition in Pregnancy Following Bariatric Surgery

 

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Riboflavin acts as coenzyme and plays a major role in the production of ATP, the bodies “energy currency”. Deficiencies in riboflavin are uncommon in the West as many of our foods are enriched during their processing. However, when Riboflavin deficiency is present, symptoms can include inflammation of the skin, especially around the lips and the mouth, light sensitivity and anaemia. In very severe cases there is a severe lack of energy which eventually leads to the collapse of the bodies systems. However, this is incredibly rare and often associated with severe malnutrition [2].

Outside of the widely available fortified foods, liver, milk, mushrooms, spinach and almonds are all rich sources of riboflavin. The RDA for men over the age of 14 is 1.3 mg per day and 1.0 mg per day in women rising to 1.4 mg during pregnancy and 1.6 mg during breastfeeding.

Interestingly, when added to a B complex formula or a multivitamin, B2 seems to have a protective effect against an increased cancer risk associated with high doses of certain B vitamins.

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

Niacin is the most common form of vitamin B3, with nicotinamide being another common form. As with riboflavin, both niacin and nicotinamide play an important role in the generation of ATP, but are also important in the break down of dietary fats, carbohydrates and proteins and the synthesis of carbohydrates and fatty acids.

As with riboflavin, deficiency of niacin leads to the development of inflammatory disorders, but also similarly to riboflavin this is now incredibly rare in the West due to fortification of foods [3].

One interesting usage of niacin, but not nicotinamide, is as a lipid-lowering medication. Acting to reduce the amount of low-density lipoproteins and increase the amount of high-density lipoproteins.

Foods rich in niacin include liver, tuna, salmon, avocados, leafy vegetables, dates and wholegrain cereals. The RDA for men is 16 mg per day and 14 mg per day for women with an upper limit of 35 mg per day for each. At doses exceeding this there are some mild side-effects including facial flushing whereby blood rushes to the face causing a redness and tingling.

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid is a cofactor used in the synthesis of coenzyme A, which is important in the synthesis of fatty acids and the generation of ATP. As the “pan” in its name would suggest, pantothenic acid is found in nearly every food, in part because it is so vital to life.

Deficiency in pantothenic acid is virtually unheard of as it is so prevalent in the diet, although some small trials have described similar effects to those seen with other B vitamin deficiencies [5].

The RDA for pantothenic acid has been set at 5 mg per day for men and women, increasing to 7 mg per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women. No upper limit or side effects have been described.

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

Pyridoxine is vital in the synthesis of amino acids and important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Deficiency of pyridoxine gives rise to similar symptoms described above including inflammation and a lack of energy or confusion. Although severe deficiency is uncommon low level deficiency can be relatively common and as with other B vitamin deficiencies can be missed or misdiagnosed.

Foods rich in pyridoxine include chick peas, bananas, pork and beef. The RDA for pyridoxine is 1.7 mg per day for men and women rising to 2.0 mg per day for pregnant and breast feeding women. As with all B vitamins pyridoxine is water soluble meaning that excessive doses are often passed out in urine. However, continued very high doses of pyridoxine are associated with very severe side effects including the development of heart arrhythmia and neurological damage. Confusingly, the maximum recommended dose varies quite widely, set at 10 mg per day in the UK, 25 mg per day by the EU and 100 mg per day in the US.

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid is a cofactor used in the synthesis of coenzyme A, which is important in the synthesis of fatty acids and the generation of ATP. As the “pan” in its name would suggest, pantothenic acid is found in nearly every food, in part because it is so vital to life.

Deficiency in pantothenic acid is virtually unheard of as it is so prevalent in the diet, although some small trials have described similar effects to those seen with other B vitamin deficiencies [5].

The RDA for pantothenic acid has been set at 5 mg per day for men and women, increasing to 7 mg per day for pregnant and breastfeeding women. No upper limit or side effects have been described.

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

Pyridoxine is vital in the synthesis of amino acids and important neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Deficiency of pyridoxine gives rise to similar symptoms described above including inflammation and a lack of energy or confusion. Although severe deficiency is uncommon low level deficiency can be relatively common and as with other B vitamin deficiencies can be missed or misdiagnosed.

Foods rich in pyridoxine include chick peas, bananas, pork and beef. The RDA for pyridoxine is 1.7 mg per day for men and women rising to 2.0 mg per day for pregnant and breast feeding women. As with all B vitamins pyridoxine is water soluble meaning that excessive doses are often passed out in urine. However, continued very high doses of pyridoxine are associated with very severe side effects including the development of heart arrhythmia and neurological damage. Confusingly, the maximum recommended dose varies quite widely, set at 10 mg per day in the UK, 25 mg per day by the EU and 100 mg per day in the US.

 

Vitamin B7 – Biotin

Biotin is required for the production of fatty acids, and the break down of sugars, potentially to maintain blood sugar level. Biotin is commonly recommended as a dietary supplement for the strengthening of nails and hair. These claims arise from the fact that these symptoms arise when biotin is deficient, as well as other more common B vitamin deficiencies including inflammation of the skin. However, data supporting a beneficial effect in those already obtaining the required amount of dietary biotin is weak [6,7].

Whilst severe deficiency is rare, mild deficiency may be relatively common due to dietary deficiencies. Rich dietary sources include leafy green vegetables, nuts and egg yolks (but not the whites which contain avidin which neutralises biotin). Importantly there is no current RDA for biotin, rather there are “Adequate Intakes” which are meant to act as a guide until better information is available. These are currently set at 30 μg per day for both men and women.

Vitamin B9 – Folic acid

Vitamin B9 is perhaps the most famous of all the B vitamins due to its importance role in pregnancy and early infancy. Folic acid is converted into tetrahydrofolic acid which acts as a cofactor in many cellular reactions, but especially the synthesis of amino acids and nucleic acids, vital for rapid cell division. Times when rapid cell division is important? During pregnancy and early infancy, and also in the production of red blood cells which have a rapid turnover within the body.

As you can imagine a deficiency of folic acid is associated with some poor health effects. In pregnancy a lack of folic acid was linked with the risk of neural tube and congenital heart defects which are a major causes of miscarriage and early infant death [8,9]. As such folic acid supplementation is strongly recommended before and during pregnancy and also in the babies diet after birth.

Outside of pregnancy folate deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms including depression, confusion, anaemia and fatigue [10]. Anaemia caused by a lack of red-blood cell production may be the major symptom here driving the development of the other symptoms such as depression and fatigue as the brain is not being supplied with sufficient energy.

Foods rich in folic acid include leafy green vegetables such as spinach or kale as well as citrus fruits and many cereals. Fortified bread The RDA for folic acid varies by age and sex. For those over 14 years old a dose of 400 μg (micro-gram) per day is recommended, increasing to 600 in pregnant women and 500 in breastfeeding women. An upper limit of 1,000 μg per day has been recommended although no harmful effects have been associated with high levels of consumption. Interestingly there is some suggestion that high intakes of folic acid can mask vitamin B12deficiency which can be much more serious, although no in-depth study has yet been performed [11].

Vitamin B12 – Hydroxocobalamin

Finally, to hydroxocobalamin. The most important role of hydroxocobalamin is in the synthesis of DNA in a similar fashion to folic acid, hence why it is possible for an excess of folic acid to mask a deficiency of hydroxocobalamin. Whilst there is a large overlap in function between the two hydroxocobalamin seems to also play an important role in the maintenance of adult neurological tissue in the brain. As such a deficiency can lead to several severe neurological disorders such as a loss of sensation, dementia and other neurological conditions, which unlike other vitamin B deficiencies may not be reversible [12,13].

Most animal derived foods including fish, meat, poultry and eggs is rich in hydroxocobalamin meaning vegetarians of vegans are strongly recommended to supplement their diet. A RDA of 2.4 μg per day for men and women has been set, rising to 2.8 μg per day in pregnant and breastfeeding women. No adverse effects have been associated with excess vitamin B12 intake from food or supplements in healthy individuals.

Vitamin B12 dosing

To begin, Vitamin B12 seems to be the most popular B vitamin to supplement with, and the market has responded with mega dose supplements everywhere. These supplements usually list their doses in terms of micrograms. You’ll most commonly see 1,000 and 5,000 mcg doses. This converts to 1 mg and 5 mg respectively.

Tying this back into the JAMA study, we see that a 1 mg dose is more than double the 0.4 mg dose of B12 that was associated with an increased risk of cancer in the Norwegian population. 1 mg of B12 represents 16,667% of your daily B12 intake. So, in the world of B12 supplements, we want a product that offers methylcobalamin (the quality form of B12) and a dose of 500 mcg or less.

Good luck.

Most of the products on the market are made with at least 1,000 mcg.

This B12 product by Nature’s Way is made with only 500 mcg, but Nature’s Way uses cyanocobalamin, which is cheap B12 that we want to avoid.

Then you have products like this one from Jarrow, which uses 5000 mcg of methylcobalamin, which is way too large of a dose for regular use.

Now let’s turn our attention to B complex products. That’s probably where we want to play anyway because of the potential protective effect of B2.

Good B Complex products

It is important to keep in mind that you may not need a B vitamin supplement at all. Although many who have MTHFRmutations feel better on a methyl folate supplement, side effects are also common. be sure to discuss the pros and cons of taking B vitamins with your doctor before starting with any of these products.

Pure Encapsulations B Complex Plus

Pure Encapsulations B Complex Plus is one of my favorites. It has a relatively conservative dose of a high quality B12 (methylcobalamin) at 400 mcg, and also offers 400 mcg of folate (methylfolate), which cuts the 0.8 mg dose of folic acid from the JAMA study in half. Pure also adds B2 to the formula which, based on the data, we have theorized could be protective.

Thorne Research Stress B Complex

However, as much as we like the Pure B Complex, Thorne Research makes my favorite B complex supplement because the dosing is so conservative, even more so than the Pure product. If you want to “push the envelope” in a safe way, Pure is a good option, but if you want to supplement with B vitamins and play it very safe, I would opt for Thorne.

The B12 dose (methylcobalamin) is only 100 mcg, which I love, and the folate dose is 334 mcg, again well below the dose used in the JAMA study. Thorne adds B2 to the formula, but the one thing I don’t like about the Thorne product is the high dose of B6 which comes in at 28.4 mg. This is a very large dose that I would not take for extended periods of time. The Thorne B complex, like most B complex supplements, should be cycled on and off.

Take home message

 

 

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ProLon – the easy, evidence-based way to do a 5-day fast

 

Below is an article that was well written regarding Prolon, a fasting mimicking diet that I highly recommend

  • ProLon is a 5-day fasting mimicking diet (FMD) that provides 800-1100 calories per day while triggering many of the beneficial effects of a ‘true’ fast.
  • ProLon was designed by Dr. Valter Longo to support individuals undergoing treatment for cancer. The diet helps protect healthy cells while increasing the susceptibility of cancer cells the chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • A growing body of research suggests that in cancer-free individuals, FMDs can help reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, blood pressure, body weight, and help promote better immune function and anti-aging effects.
  • Non-human animal research has also noted benefits of fasting or calorie restriction for cognitive function, promoting neuroprotection and neural regeneration.
  • Fasting can be dangerous for some people and should only be done under the guidance of a health care professional.

Designed to take the headache out of fasting (not literally, you may still have a headache for the first day or two), ProLon was invented by Valter Longo, an esteemed longevity researcher who has a long string of accolades and credentials. His work on intermittent fasting and fasting mimicking diets (FMD) has focused largely on using fasting as a way to enhance cancer treatment and mitigate the negative impact of chemotherapy, with considerable success. Now, however, many people are using ProLon to help lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, combat insulin resistance, promote weight loss, and enhance immune function. What is ProLon, and is their “fasting mimicking diet” product rooted in science?

First, let me just get this out of the way: ProLon isn’t vegan, so I haven’t tried it, and, unfortunately for me, I won’t (John has, though! His review will be published shortly). While all the marketing screams plant-based, the 5-day plan contains gelatin and honey, much to my chagrin as, having read the research, I’m otherwise pretty high on ProLon.

Secondly, ProLon actually provides around 800-1100 calories per day. This means it’s not fasting in the traditional sense, which can seem a bit confusing at first. The key thing here is that over the two decades it took to design ProLon, Longo and colleagues were careful to create a balanced plan that provides the essential micronutrients you need to maintain and promote good health while essentially ‘tricking’ the body into thinking you’re fasting.

Before we dig into the research on ProLon, fasting, and calorie restriction, let’s quickly define some key terms:

Fasting – a complete absence of food intake. Prolonged fasting usually means at least 3 days in humans.

Intermittent fasting or alternate-day fasting – a long-term practice of fasting every other day, with standard food intake on non-fasting days.

Fasting mimetics – pharmacological agents that trigger some of the effects of fasting.

Fasting mimicking diet (FMD) – a dietary regimen composed of macronutrients and micronutrients, with minimal calorie restriction, designed to trigger a response akin to fasting. Specifically, to influence levels of glucose and IGF-1.

Caloric restriction – A 20-40 percent reduction in standard calorie intake, but a standard intake of micronutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals, etc.).

ProLon is a fasting mimicking diet (FMD), which typically refers to a diet that contains no animal protein, low amounts of plant protein, very low amounts of saturated fat, high amounts of unsaturated fats, very low amounts of sugars, and high amounts of complex carbohydrates. This is in stark contrast to a typical Western style diet where animal protein, saturated fats, and sugars tend to be present in excessive amounts and intake of complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats tends to be low.

Now that’s out of the way…

Contents [Hide]

What is ProLon?

The ProLon program includes nut bars, chocolate bars, kale crackers, tomato soup, olives, herbal teas, and various vitamin pills to get you through the five days. On Day One, the food provides 1150 calories, dropping to 800 on Day Two and a little lower beyond that.

The ProLon diet provides enough protein, carbohydrate, and fats, as well as micronutrients, to keep you alive over the 5-day period and appears to offer many of the benefits of fasting without actually fasting. These benefits likely include weight loss, reductions in cholesterol and blood glucose, less insulin resistance, stem cell regeneration, and a slowing down of the ageing process.

Why was ProLon invented?

Valter Longo designed ProLon to support people undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer. This is, in part, because intermittent fasting has been found to reduce levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Lowering levels of IGF-1 can enhance the resistance of normal cells to chemotherapy-dependent damage while simultaneously increasing the susceptibility of a large number of tumors to chemo and radiotherapy (RR).

Short-term calorie and protein restriction provide partial protection from chemotoxicity but do not delay glioma progression

IGF-1 is an important molecule needed to promote tissue growth in the body. We need it for muscle growth, for instance. Unfortunately, too much IGF-1 is linked to abnormal, excessive growth, i.e. cancer.

Excessive levels of IGF-1 are also implicated in metabolic issues that predispose a person to type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, though, low levels of IGF-1 have also been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (R). Genetics may have a role to play here, given that our genes can influence growth hormone receptor activity, meaning that IGF-1 could have a bigger impact on some individuals compared to others.  The Association Between IGF-I and Insulin Resistance

ProLon may have been designed to support people during cancer treatment, but it is now being used and researched for its potential anti-aging benefits. That’s because Longo, and many others, are convinced that decreasing IGF-1 levels can have a significant effect on slowing down the aging process by promoting stem cell-based regeneration and immune system ‘rejuvenation’.

Is there evidence for these claims? In short, yes, the science is solid on this front, but we could definitely do with more research to round out the picture.

Fasting for weight loss an effective strategy or latest dieting trend

Reduced levels of IGF-I mediate differential protection of normal and cancer cells in response to fasting and improve chemotherapeutic index.

Protein Restriction, Epigenetic Diet, Intermittent Fasting as New Approaches for Preventing Age-associated Diseases

Nutritional strategies to optimise cognitive function in the aging

Precision Medicine for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

 

Fasting research – a quick overview

Several non-human animal studies have shown that fasting is associated with dramatic increases in lifespan and ‘healthspan’, i.e. the number of years of healthy life the animals can ‘enjoy’ (in the laboratory). As for humans, the research on fasting (as defined as a total lack of food intake) is largely speculative. Not surprisingly, it is hard for researchers to get ethics approval and funding for full-on fasting studies, meaning there is scant literature available for us to assess.

Indeed, there is no long-term research on fasting in humans. This means that we simply don’t yet know if the short-term beneficial effects on cholesterol levels and blood glucose actually translate to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

There is a growing body of research on fasting mimicking diets and ProLon, though. And the evidence clearly supports claims of numerous benefits from this 5-day plan when it is used once a month for three consecutive months. Specifically, ProLon has been seen in clinical studies to reduce abdominal fat, maintain healthy blood glucose levels, and promote lower levels of C-reactive protein and IGF-1.

Calorie restriction and fasting – What the research says

You can’t understand ProLon and the fasting mimicking diet without understanding its calorie restriction roots. Calorie restriction research was the catalyst for Longo’s fasting research. His mentor, Ray Wolford, was one of the participants of the Biosphere experiment, in which a group of researchers lived for two years on a calorie restricted diet in an enclosed terrarium designed to mimic Mars. Although calorie restriction had shown promise in extending lifespan in animal models, the Biosphere was a failure. People simply don’t want to live the austere life a calorie restricted diet requires, and Longo cites the gaunt appearance of the Biosphere participants as they emerged from the experiment as his light bulb moment in which he realized we needed a better way.

Biosphere taught us that chronic calorie restriction can be a real challenge for many people and may not be advisable, especially for older adults whose ability to absorb micronutrients is often impaired. ProLon or another FMD certainly offer advantages in this regard, especially given the likelihood that an FMD can combat age-related immunosenscence (which we will get to in a moment).

In a study carried out by Longo and colleagues, an intermittent fasting protocol (a four-day FMD twice a month) increased lifespan in mice by around 11 percent on average. The FMD also led to reductions in visceral fat, cancer incidence, skin lesions, and bone mineral density loss, while enhancing the immune system (R). The FMD was even associated with improved cognitive performance in older mice, likely due to enhanced neurogenesis in the hippocampus, as well as reduced IGF-1 activity, modulated protein kinase (PKA) activity, and elevated NeuroD1. The latter two are factors in neuron differentiation and protection.

A periodic diet that mimics fasting promotes multi-system regeneration, enhanced cognitive performance and healthspan

Extending this research to humans as part of a pilot clinical trial (detailed in the paper as above), Longo and co-authors noted that:

“three FMD cycles decreased risk factors/biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer without major adverse effects, providing support for the use of FMDs to promote healthspan.”

Some of the beneficial changes included lower levels of C-reactive protein, and reduced body weight and body fat, without loss of lean mass.

In other studies, mice who fasted for two days and humans who fasted for five days had decreases of over 30 percent in blood glucose, over 50 percent in IGF-1, and a 5-10-fold increase in the protein that binds to IGF-1 to decrease its activity (R).  Fasting molecular mechanisms and clinical applications.

Basically, all of the benefits listed above as associated with calorie restriction are also associated with an FMD, and an FMD is, arguably, much easier to incorporate into your regular lifestyle. FMDs like ProLon may also have additional benefits for addressing immunosenescence and autoimmune issues.

Prolonged fasting and immune system function

As we age, the ability of our hematopoietic stem cells to form new immune system cells declines, leading to immunosenescence (basically a slowing down of the immune system). This is why older adults are more vulnerable to infections.

Our immune system cells are also more likely to become dysfunctional as we age. This can lead to the development and progression of autoimmune disease, where the immune system falsely identifies and targets the body’s own cells as foreign invaders. Diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and others are a result of immune system dysfunction, with treatments often focusing on blanket immunosuppression that also leaves sufferers at increased risk of infection.

Prolonged fasting has been proposed as a way to not only reverse immunosenescence, but to also address the dysfunction at the heart of autoimmune disease. Prolonged fasting appears to ‘reset’ the immune system by killing off the cells that erroneously target the body’s own cells, while stimulating the regeneration of the stem cells needed to create functional immune system cells (R).

Fasting downregulates an IGF-1/PKA pathway in stem cells, it protects hematopoietic cells from chemotoxicity, and promotes the self-renewal of hematopoietic stem cells to reverse immunosuppression. This has been well documented in the scientific literature and is an exciting development in autoimmune research and longevity. In one study, prolonged fasting caused a 28 percent decrease in white blood cell number, which was fully reversed after animals resumed eating (R). This means that almost a third of the white blood cells were renewed after the fast, helping to refresh the immune system, with potential benefits for those with aberrant immune system cells.

Nutrition and fasting mimicking diets in the prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases and immunosenescence.

For the average person without an autoimmune disease, fasting can also help stimulate stem cell regeneration which may help prevent or delay immunosenescence and autoimmune issues.

Should you try ProLon?

After looking at the research, I’m convinced that ProLon has some major selling points. Aside from its likely benefits for anyone undergoing cancer treatment, there may well be some considerable benefits for healthier individuals as well as those with immune system problems.

ProLon makes it super simple to give fasting a try without having to worry about malnutrition. The product packaging is easy on the eye and the food, by most accounts, tastes pretty delicious! The cost is likely to be prohibitive for many people, however, although there are discounts available if you buy in bulk or sign up for a subscription.

One interesting additional benefit of ProLon is that it seems to make a person reassess their relationship to food (and alcohol!). After ‘fasting’ for five days, you’ll probably think harder about everything you put in your mouth. Smaller portion sizes may suddenly seem much more reasonable, and you’re likely to be better at forgoing snacks and foods that were unhealthy habits. That said, there are probably easier ways to promote mindfulness around food.

Interested in a mimicking fasting diet but don’t want to try ProLon? Your best bet is to work with a qualified nutritionist. That’s because trying to design your own is liable to lead to dangerously low blood pressure, blood glucose, palpitations, and other possibly fatal complications. This isn’t just marketing hype. Even on ProLon, which took decades to design, your assigned nutritional advisor will likely tell you to avoid driving or any strenuous or stressful activity because it could be more dangerous than usual.

In fact, the makers of ProLon have a long list on their website of folks who shouldn’t use the product. If none of these caveats apply to you, it seems well worth giving ProLon a go. If you do, be sure to swing by the comment section to let me know how you get on.

 

Intermittent administration of a leucine-deprived diet is able to intervene in type 2 diabetes in db db mice

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Vinegar Soak for Toenail Fungus

Vinegar Soak for Toenail Fungus

If your toenails are thick, crumbling and yellow, white or black in color, you may have a fungal infection on the nails, according to MayoClinic.com. Soaking the foot in vinegar is an old home remedy to reduce nail fungus. Its antifungal properties may help vinegar cure your toenails. If your doctor approves, you can try vinegar to help reduce fungus.

Significance

Soaking the feet in vinegar for approximately 20 minutes in one part vinegar and three parts water may help reduce the growth of fungus on the nail, recommends MayoClinic.com. Soak your feet every day until the nail fungus is completely gone. Rinse your feet and toes with water and dry your toenails completely after soaking. Fungus grows in wet, warm environments, so keep your feet as dry as possible at all times.

Function

Vinegar has antifungal properties and may completely destroy fungal infections, according to Kathi Keville in her book “Herbs for Health and Healing.” She recommends combining 4 oz. vinegar, 2 tbsp. pau d’arco tincture, 1/8 tsp. peppermint essential oil, 1/4 tsp. tea tree oil and 1/4 tsp. lavender essential oil. Soak a cloth in the mixture. Apply the cloth directly to your afflicted toenail three times a day.

Considerations

Vinegar may also be effective in treating foot fungus, or athlete’s foot, and fungus of the fingernails. Vinegar is an acidic substance and may cause skin irritation, especially if you are soaking your feet in vinegar every day. If the vinegar causes skin irritation, soak your feet three times a week, dilute the mixture with water or soak your feet for 15 minutes instead of 20.

Expert Insight

There is no evidence that suggests vinegar may help reduce nail fungus, according to MayoClinic.com, but it may inhibit the growth of bacteria on the feet. Soaking with vinegar is a home remedy that may not work for everyone, particularly if your toenail fungus is severe. Over-the-counter and prescription treatments may take a long time to be effective, so vinegar may be worth trying while you’re waiting for other treatments to work as long as it’s OK with your doctor.

Warning

In some cases, nail fungus may be so severe that toenail removal is the only effective treatment. Once the toenail is removed, there is a chance the nail may not grow back. Get prescription treatment from a doctor immediately if you have health problems like diabetes or AIDS, or you’ve had an organ transplant, because toenail fungus may spread more quickly and turn into a serious illness. In these cases, do not use vinegar as a home remedy.

How to Soak Feet in Vinegar & Water

How to Soak Feet in Vinegar & Water

Vinegar is not only used for cooking, but is used for cleaning and deodorizing the home. Its acidic properties also make it an ingredient that can help with foot problems, such as hard and dry feet, warts and toenail fungus. If you are treating athlete’s foot — a fungal infection that can cause scaling and itchy skin — a vinegar soak is a convenient alternative to special foot baths or treatments.

Toenail Fungus

Step 1

Pour 1 cup of white distilled vinegar into a plastic basin.

Step 2

Add 2 cups of water to the basin. If this is not enough to fill the basin, add more vinegar and water. Keep the ratio at 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.

Step 3

Soak your feet in the vinegar and water mixture for 15 minutes each day. This helps to relieve toenail fungus.

Hard, Dry Feet

Step 1

Pour 1 cup of white distilled vinegar into a plastic basin.

Step 2

Add 2 gallons of warm water to the basin.

Step 3

Soak your feet in the mixture for 45 minutes. Soaking your feet helps to loosen dead, hard skin on the surface of your feet.

Step 4

Rub your feet with a pumice stone or exfoliating brush. Use the pumice stone or brush to remove dead skin and soften the feet.

Warts

Step 1

Pour 1 cup of white distilled vinegar into a plastic basin.

Step 2

Add enough warm water to the basin so that you can immerse the area of your foot that has the wart.

Step 3

Immerse your foot and soak for 20 minutes.

Step 4

Continue to soak your foot in the vinegar and water solution until your wart disappears.

Athlete’s Foot

Step 1

Pour 5 cups of apple cider vinegar into a plastic basin.

Step 2

Add 5 cups of water to the basin. If this is not enough to fill the basin, add more vinegar and water, keeping the ratio at 1:1.

Step 3

Soak your feet in the mixture for 10 minutes a day. Continue for up to 10 days or until the symptoms disappear, whichever comes first.

CALDREA Aromatherapy

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Vitamin C & Bladder Infections

Bladder infections, medically known as cystitis, are urinary tract infections commonly affecting women, particularly during their reproductive age, pregnancy and after menopause. Usually they are caused by bacteria and symptoms include increased frequency to urinate and burning, painful sensation while urinating. Urine is cloudy and sometimes contains blood, according to Merck Manual Online. If you have been diagnosed with bladder infection and consider taking vitamin C and other supplements for this condition, talk to your health care provider.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, medically known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble nutrient found in fruits and vegetables and also as an over the counter supplement. Vitamin C has antioxidant qualities. Your body can not produce vitamin C, and thus is important to obtain it from foods and if necessary to take it as a supplement. Dietary sources of vitamin C include citric fruits, berries, kiwi, red pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, green pea, spinach and potatoes.

Natural Approaches for Controlling UTIs

Vitamin C Dosage and Other Supplements

A daily dose of 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C may be beneficial for managing bladder infections, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Other important nutrients that your health care doctor may consider for bladder infections are vitamins A, B complex, E, magnesium, calcium, zinc, selenium, omega 3 fatty acids, probiotics and grapefruit seed extracts.

Considerations

Consult a qualified health care provider to learn more about the benefits of vitamin C and other natural supplements that may help manage your condition. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water may also help prevent and manage bladder infections. Keep in mind that vitamin C does not replace and should not be used to replace any antibiotics or other prescription drugs used for bladder infections. Don’t take vitamin C without medical supervision — high doses of vitamin C can cause side effects, including digestive upset.

 2005 Jun;24(3):158-65.

Vitamin C and UTI’s

The urinary tract is one of the most common sites of bacterial infections in humans. Numerous bacterial organisms may be the cause of urinary tract infections, but the most common pathogen is E. coli, which is responsible for roughly 80% of cases of UTI. A variety of antibiotics are used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections, and a growing concern is the increasing
resistance of UTI pathogens to conventional antimicrobial agents. Because of this, the use of drugs other than conventional antibiotics for prophylaxis and treatment of UTIs is desired, and the search for such treatments is ongoing.

One such agent proposed to be useful in preventing urinary tract infections is vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an antioxidant with a number of proposed health benefi ts, including treatment and prevention of the common cold, hypertension, coronary heart disease, gout, and cancer. The recommended dietary allowance of the vitamin is 75 milligrams per day in women and 90 milligrams per day in men. High-dose vitamin C, at one to two grams per day, is commonly used for disease treatment and prevention. When the vitamin has been used in even higher daily doses, several types of adverse effects have been reported, including diarrhea, hyperglycemia, hemolysis, and renal failure.

Vitamin C is thought to have an effect in UTIs by acidifying the urine. The urine contains nitrates, both obtained from the diet and produced naturally by the body. Bacteria with nitrate reductase activity, such as E. coli, convert these nitrates to nitrites. At an acidic pH, the nitrites are then converted to various nitrogen oxides which are toxic to bacteria. Therefore, urine acidifi ed
by vitamin C may be deadly to many of the bacteria that cause urinary infections, including E.coli.
Although vitamin C has long been suggested as a supplement to prevent UTIs, there have been relatively few studies looking at its effectiveness. The studies that do exist found that decreasing the pH of urine to a level of 5.5 or lower effectively kills E. coli bacteria. However, at the doses used in the trials, between two and four grams per day, the vitamin C was not found to effectively lower the pH to this level of acidity, and therefore was not effective in killing the bacteria. The research on this topic does not support the use of high-dose vitamin C for the prevention of urinary tract infections.
Further studies could be done to determine whether even higher doses of the vitamin may be useful for UTIs, but the risk of adverse effects at such doses may be greater than the potential benefits.

References
Bannwart C, Hagmaier V, Straumann E, Hofer H, Vuillemier JP, Rutishauser G. [Modifi cation of urinary pH through ascorbic acid]. Helv Chir Acta
1981; 48 (3-4): 425-428. Carlsson S, Govoni M, Wiklund NP, Weitzberg E, Lundberg JO. In vitro evaluation of a new treatment for urinary tract
infections caused by nitrate-reducing bacteria. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2003; 47 (12): 3713-3718. Castelló T, Girona L, Gómez MR, Mena Mur A, García L. The possible value of ascorbic acid as a prophylactic agent for urinary tract infection. Spinal Cord 1996; 34 (10): 592-593. Hetey SK, Kleinberg ML, Parker WD, Johnson EW. Effect of ascorbic acid on urine pH in patients with injured spinal cords. Am J Hosp Pharm 1980; 37 (2): 235-237. Micromedex online. “Ascorbic Acid.” Accessed 6 January 2012. Available at http://0-www. thomsonhc.com.polar.onu.edu/micromedex2/librarian/ND_T/evidencexpert/ND_PR/evidencexpert/CS/FAD26D/ND_AppProduct/evidencexpert/DUPLICATIONSHIELDSYNC/EFF751/ND_PG/evidencexpert/ND_B/evidencexpert/ND_P/evidencexpert/PFActionId/evidencexpert.DisplayDrugdexDocument?docId=0057&contentSetId=31&title=Ascorbic+Acid&servicesTitle=Ascorbic+Acid&topicId=dosingInformationSection&subtopicId=adultDosageSection

Vitamin C Source Food Articles, Cure of Urinary Tract infection in North India

Strategies for healthy weight loss: from vitamin C to the glycemic response.

Abstract

America is experiencing a major obesity epidemic. The ramifications of this epidemic are immense since obesity is associated with chronic metabolic abnormalities such as insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and heart disease. Reduced physical activity and/or increased energy intakes are important factors in this epidemic. Additionally, a genetic susceptibility to obesity is associated with gene polymorphisms affecting biochemical pathways that regulate fat oxidation, energy expenditure, or energy intake. However, these pathways are also impacted by specific foods and nutrients. Vitamin C status is inversely related to body mass. Individuals with adequate vitamin C status oxidize 30% more fat during a moderate exercise bout than individuals with low vitamin C status; thus, vitamin C depleted individuals may be more resistant to fat mass loss. Food choices can impact post-meal satiety and hunger. High-protein foods promote postprandial thermogenesis and greater satiety as compared to high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods; thus, diet regimens high in protein foods may improve diet compliance and diet effectiveness. Vinegar and peanut ingestion can reduce the glycemic effect of a meal, a phenomenon that has been related to satiety and reduced food consumption. Thus, the effectiveness of regular exercise and a prudent diet for weight loss may be enhanced by attention to specific diet details.

High-Dose Vitamin C & Weight Loss

Getting a daily dose of vitamin C not only helps your body function properly, but it could aid in effective weight loss. In fact, people who are deficient in vitamin C may have a harder time losing fat mass, according to a review published in 2005 in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition.” Taking high doses of vitamin C, however, could cause unpleasant side effects — and isn’t a guarantee you’ll shed pounds.

Effects on Weight Loss

Although vitamin C doesn’t necessarily cause weight loss, it seems to be related to body weight. According to the review published in 2005 in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” higher vitamin C intakes are associated with lower body-mass indexes. The authors of this review also point out that getting sufficient amounts of vitamin C increases body fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise. Therefore, vitamin C deficiency may hinder weight and body fat loss.

Sources of Vitamin C

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 90 milligrams daily for men and 75 milligrams per day for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. These amounts should be treated as minimum daily requirements. Vitamin C-rich foods include red peppers containing 95 milligrams in 1/2 cup, orange juice providing 93 milligrams on each 3/4-cup portion, a medium orange with 70 milligrams and one medium grapefruit supplying 64 milligrams of vitamin C, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C is also a common nutrient found in multivitamins and other dietary supplements.

Too Much Vitamin C

More vitamin C isn’t always better, even when you’re trying to shed pounds. Ingesting too much vitamin C may affect the absorption of other nutrients — and could cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. To help avoid side effects and potential health risks, adults should aim to ingest no more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily. That includes vitamin C from food and drink, as well as supplements. You can consider IV sources of Vitamin C as it is included in IV formulations.

Weight-Loss Considerations

You won’t lose weight, even if you consume high amounts of vitamin C, if your overall caloric intake is higher than the number of calories you burn throughout the day. Eating vitamin C-rich, high-fiber fresh fruits and vegetables helps fill you up without the extra calories. To effectively shed about 2 pounds per week — the maximum recommended amount for long-term weight-loss success — eat 1,000 fewer calories than you burn off daily, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vitamin Cures for Stretch Marks

Vitamin Cures for Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are wavy marks that appear on the skin due to rapid weight gain. Often, they occur during or after pregnancy, commonly appearing on the thighs, abdomen, hips and buttocks. Stretch marks may gradually fade, but can still remain visible. Certain vitamins may reduce or eliminate the appearance of stretch marks. Consult a physician before increasing your daily vitamin intake.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is thought to be useful in fading stretch marks. Applied topically, it can promote the growth of new skin cells, add elasticity and strengthen the skin. Vitamin A also may benefit the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and acne. Vitamin A is available in supplement form and is present in yellow and green fruits and vegetables, animal livers and fish liver oils. Consult your doctor before increasing vitamin A intake if you are pregnant or suffer from liver disease or hypothyroidism.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C aids in the restoration of the skinconnective tissue. It is available in supplement form and is found in foods, such as citrus fruits, green vegetables and broiled fish. Among possible side effects of vitamin C is diarrhea, which generally occurs as the result of too much in the body. You should consult a physician on the proper daily amount.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E promotes the growth of new skin cells and builds firmness and elasticity in the skin. It's available in supplement form and can be found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, almonds and mangoes, among other foods. Consult a doctor before taking vitamin E if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or overactive thyroid. Those taking anticoagulants also should consult a physician before increasing vitamin E intake.

Cracked Heels & Nutritional Deficiency

Cracked heels or heel fissures refer to the buildup of thick, dry skin on the heel of the foot and the consequential cracking of the skin. The fissures can be mild–consisting of dry, cracked skin on just the outer layers of the epidermis–or severe, affecting the internal layers of the dermis. Damage to the dermis layer can cause pain, discomfort and bleeding. An inadequate consumption of key vitamins and minerals can increase the risk and severity of cracked heels.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is generally associated with healthy vision, but it also plays an important role in maintaining and rejuvenating skin tissue. Vitamin A promotes cell division and growth, including the sloughing of skin cells that leads to smooth healthy skin. Carrots, milk, eggs, green vegetables and orange fruits are all good sources of vitamin A. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 700mcg and 900mcg for adult women and men, respectively.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E works to protect skin cells from harmful free radicals produced by the body and other environmental sources, such as the sun. As an antioxidant, vitamin E keeps skin cells healthy and smooth. It can be found in foods such as green vegetables, nuts, fortified cereals and whole-grain products. The RDA for vitamin E is 15mg daily.

Vitamin C

Like vitamin E, vitamin C protects the skin from free radicals. Free radicals destroy the skin’s structural support of collagen and elastin fibers and cause wrinkles or cracks in the skin. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and green-leafy vegetables. According to the IOM, only 75mg to 90mg of the vitamin is needed by the adult body daily. However, most adults consume much larger amounts of this vitamin.

Zinc

Zinc provides enzymes that benefit skin cells in multiple ways. Zinc facilitates cell division, growth and wound healing. It’s widely distributed in foods, but high amounts of zinc are found in oysters, red meats, seafood, poultry, whole grains and fortified cereals. The RDA for zinc is 11mg for men and 8mg for women daily.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The body doesn’t naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids, yet they are essential to the human body and must come from the diet. They help with blood circulation, wound healing, skin integrity and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids come in three types: eicosapentaenic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are obtained by eating cold-water fish. ALA comes from plant oils and seeds such as flaxseeds. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the general public consume at least two servings (3.5 oz per serving) of fatty fish such as canned tuna, shrimp, halibut, pollock and catfish weekly.

___________________________________________

However, if you are an endurance athlete, excess ORAL vitamin C hampers muscle generation:

Oral administration of vitamin C decreases muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and training induced adaptations in endurance performance

Vitamin C administration significantly hampers
endurance capacity in rats and does not improve
V˙ O2max associated with training in rats and in humans

ROS formed in exercise activated the expression of
antioxidant enzymes in skeletal muscle, but vitamin C
administration prevents the activation

ROS formed in exercise activated mitochondrial
biogenesis in skeletal muscle, but vitamin C
administration prevents the activation

Vitamin C administration during training decreases the
protein concentrations of markers of mitochondrial
content

One of the main conclusions from that
study was that the mitochondrial content of muscle is a major  determinant of endurance capacity, whereas the maximal aerobic
workload capacity appears to be regulated by V˙O2max (21). We
offer a molecular explanation for this result (ie, that vitamin C
decreases exercise-induced mitochondrial biogenesis and the antioxidant
capacity in skeletal muscle). We have found that exercise
training up-regulates the following mitochondriogenic pathway:
PGC-13 NRF-13 mTFA3 cytochrome C. All of these
adaptations are prevented by vitamin C administration.

Free radicals as signals in muscle cell metabolism:
potential interference by antioxidant vitamins.

It is important to consider that free radicals are not always
damaging to cells; in many cases, they serve as signals to adapt
muscle cells to exercise via modulation of gene expression (9,
33). We have found that training causes an increase in 2 major
antioxidant enzymes (Mn-SOD and GPx) in skeletal muscle. We
were surprised to see that vitamin C prevents these beneficial
effects of training. On the basis of the paradigm that enzymatic
antioxidant systems such as Mn-SOD and GPx provide a firstline
defense against ROS, it is expected that exercise may induce
these protective mechanisms. Moderate exercise increases life
span and decreases disability in rats (12) and humans (15). We
report here that exercise training causes an increase in the  expression of antioxidant enzymes, which is prevented by the
administration of vitamin C.

Moderate exercise as an antioxidant
A major conclusion that can be drawn from our experiments is
that exercise itself is an antioxidant, because training increases
the expression of 2 antioxidant enzymes related with longevity—
namely, SOD and GPx. We provide evidence that the continuous
presence of small stimuli, such as low concentrations of ROS, in
fact induces the expression of antioxidant enzymes as a defense
mechanism. Low concentrations of radicals may be considered
to be beneficial, because they act as signals to enhance defenses,
rather than being deleterious, as they can be when they are at
higher concentrations.

 

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The Effects of Depression in Your Body

Depression is one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, affecting about 26 percent of adults. Depression is technically a mental disorder, but it also affects your physical health and well-being. Learn more about some of the most common symptoms of depression, as well as how depression can affect your entire body, especially if left untreated.

Effects of depressionShare on Pinterest

Feeling sad or anxious at times is a normal part of life, but if these feelings last more than two weeks they could be symptoms of depression. It’s estimated that each year 17 million American adults will experience depression. However, clinical depression, especially left untreated, can interrupt your day-to-day life and cause a ripple effect of additional symptoms.

Depression affects how you feel and can also cause changes in your body. Major depression (a more advanced form of depression) is considered a serious medical condition that may have a dramatic effect on your quality of life.

Central nervous system

Depression can cause a lot of symptoms within the central nervous system, many of which are easy to dismiss or ignore.

Older adults may also have difficulty identifying cognitive changes because it’s easy to dismiss the signs of depression as related to “getting older.” According to the American Psychological Association, older adults with depression have more difficulties with memory loss and reaction time during everyday activities compared with younger adults with depression.

Symptoms of depression include overwhelming sadness, grief, and a sense of guilt. It may be described as a feeling of emptiness or hopelessness. Some people may find it difficult to put these feelings into words. It may also be difficult for them to understand as symptoms can manifest and cause physical reactions. Frequent episodes of crying may be a symptom of depression, although not everyone who is depressed cries.

You may also feel tired all the time or have trouble sleeping at night. Other symptoms include: irritability, anger, and loss of interest in things that used to bring pleasure, including sex. Depression can cause headaches, chronic body aches, and pain that may not respond to medication. It’s also sometimes an effect of certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s diseaseepilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

People with depression may have trouble maintaining a normal work schedule or fulfilling social obligations. This could be due to symptoms such as an inability to concentrate, memory problems, and difficulty making decisions.

Some people who are depressed may turn to alcohol or drugs, which may increase instances of reckless or abusive behavior. Someone with depression may consciously avoid talking about it or try to mask the problem. People experiencing depression may also find themselves preoccupied with thoughts of death or hurting themselves.

While there’s a 25 times greater risk of suicide, even during the recovery process, the American Association of Suicidology reports that treatment for depression is effective 60 to 80 percent of time.

Symptoms in children

Depression may be more difficult to detect in children who can’t articulate their symptoms. Behaviors you may want to look out for include persistent clinginess, worry, and unwillingness to attend school without improvement over time. Children may also be excessively irritable and negative.

Digestive system

While depression is often thought of as a mental illness, it also plays a heavy role in appetite and nutrition. Some people cope by overeating or bingeing. This can lead to weight gain and obesity-related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes.

You may even lose your appetite entirely, or fail to eat the right amount of nutritious food. A sudden loss of interest in eating in older adults can lead to a condition called geriatric anorexia.

Eating problems can lead to symptoms that include:

  • stomachaches
  • cramps
  • constipation
  • malnutrition

These symptoms may not improve with medication if a person doesn’t eat the correct diet. Sweets and foods high in carbohydrates may provide immediate relief, but the effects are often temporary.

It’s important to maintain a healthy diet when experiencing depression. Nutrients are essential to making sure the body’s neurotransmitters are firing right. According to a study, the most common vitamin and nutritional deficiencies are.

  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • B vitamins
  • minerals
  • amino acids

Cardiovascular and immune systems

Depression and stress are closely related. Stress hormones speed heart rate and make blood vessels tighten, putting your body in a prolonged state of emergency. Over time, this can lead to heart disease.

Recurrence of cardiovascular problems is linked more closely to depression than to other conditions like:

  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol

Untreated, depression raises the risk of dying after a heart attack. Heart disease is also a trigger for depression. The Cleveland Clinic estimates that about 15 percent of people with heart disease also develop major depression.

Depression and stress may have a negative impact on the immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections and diseases. One review looked at studies and found that there seemed to be a relationship between inflammation and depression, although the exact connection is unclear. Inflammation is linked to many illnesses, such as stress. Some anti-inflammatory agents have shown to benefit some people with depression.

Suicide prevention

If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:

  • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.

If you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

Sources: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

A Nutritional Guide to Managing Your MDD

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Major depressive disorder (MDD) can have a huge impact on your life. You may lose interest in your favorite activities, have difficulty sleeping, or experience a change in appetite. Persistent sadness, irritability, and frustration can also change your relationships with family and friends, or interfere with your ability to concentrate at work or school.MDD, also known as clinical depression, is characterized by sadness that lasts for weeks or months. Some people find relief with treatment. But even with antidepressants and talk therapy, symptoms may linger.If you’re looking for an approach to supplement your current therapy, adding certain foods to your diet can make a difference. Although there’s no specific diet to relieve symptoms of MDD, some foods may provide a much-needed mood boost.

B vitamins

Low levels of vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and folate can increase the risk of depression. These vitamins affect mood and brain function. A deficiency may occur if you don’t consume enough food rich in B vitamins, or if you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for your body to absorb vitamins. This can happen with digestive disorders, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

Your doctor can test your vitamin B levels and, if necessary, recommend a vitamin B supplement. You should also modify your diet and include foods rich in these vitamins. Good sources of vitamin B include:

  • almonds
  • beet roots
  • dark, leafy greens
  • eggs
  • fish, poultry, and other lean meats
  • lentils
  • liver
  • low-fat or fat-free milk

Vitamin D

If you have MDD, you may be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to mood disorders. A simple blood test can diagnose a deficiency.

Depending on the severity of your deficiency, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter vitamin D supplements or give you a prescription for vitamin D. If you prefer not taking a supplement, eating the right foods may correct a deficiency.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s essential for strong bones. So if you have a vitamin D deficiency, you may also experience other symptoms like unexplained aches and pains.

Because the sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, increasing the amount of time you spend outdoors can improve your mood and relieve symptoms of depression. If you can’t get outdoors, sit or work under a vitamin D light box for about 30 minutes a day. This box emits light that mimics natural sunlight.

In addition to these suggestions, eating more vitamin D-rich foods can have a positive impact on your mood. Good sources of vitamin D include:

  • beef liver
  • cereals
  • vitamin D-fortified dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese)
  • egg yolks
  • fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, and salmon)
  • portobello mushrooms
  • vitamin D-fortified orange juice

Omega-3 fatty acids

If you’re not eating enough omega-3 fatty acids, you may also have difficulty managing your depression symptoms. Fatty acids are essential to good health and offer several benefits. They can:

  • reduce inflammation
  • lower your risk of cancer
  • improve heart health
  • boost mood

Your body doesn’t naturally produce fatty acids. You receive these fats through food.

Mood swings and depression can occur if you have a deficiency. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • fatty fish (tuna, salmon, and sardines)
  • flaxseed
  • dark, leafy greens
  • soybeans
  • walnuts

Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids alone may not significantly improve depression. But you may see improvement if you eat omega-3 foods along with taking an antidepressant.

If you prefer an omega-3 supplement, talk to your doctor before combining a supplement with your prescription medication.

Selenium

There’s also a link between low selenium levels and depression. Selenium is a trace mineral with antioxidant properties, so it can protect your body from cell damage. Because this mineral is also important to brain function, a deficiency can trigger low moods.

Taking a selenium supplement along with an antidepressant might help. You can also increase your intake of selenium through food. Good sources of selenium include:

  • brown or white rice
  • cheese
  • chia seeds
  • couscous
  • egg noodles
  • portobello mushrooms
  • poultry
  • seafood (tilapia, bass, oysters, salmon sardines, and crab)
  • sunflower seeds
  • whole wheat pasta
  • yogurt

Other tips

When you’re feeling down, you may crave junk foods to feel better. The good news is that you don’t have to feel guilty about reaching for a chocolate bar. Dark chocolate may improve depression. Chocolate increases the brain’s production of endorphins, which are hormones that affect mood.

However, it’s important to consume dark chocolate in moderation. Too much can raise your blood sugar and cause a sugar crash.

Be aware that alcohol and caffeine may worsen your symptoms. Some people turn to alcohol to numb the pain of depression and feel better. Alcohol is fine in moderation, but too much can reduce serotonin levels and increase anxiety and depression. Caffeine is also linked to lower serotonin levels.

The takeaway

Depression can be debilitating, but there are ways to improve your symptoms. You shouldn’t stop your current treatment unless advised by your doctor. You can, however, supplement your treatment by modifying your diet and adding mood-boosting foods. If it’s more convenient to correct a deficiency with a supplement, speak with your doctor first.

Ketamine Treatment Center | 703-844-0184 | Loudon, Va | Fairfax Va 22304 | Ketamine IV for depression | Ketamine for OCD | PTSD | Dr. Sendi

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Ketamine and Depression

ketamine

ketamine

Introduction

What comes to mind when you think of Ketamine? A drug of abuse? A horse tranquiliser? An anaesthetic agent? In reality it is all three. It usually has short-term hallucinogenic effects or causes a dissociative feeling (e.g. detachment from reality, sedation, or  inability to move). However, with frequent use over time it can cause permanent problems such as ‘ketamine bladder’, resulting in pain and difficulty passing urine.

What we already know

 

Ketamine’s effects are mainly mediated via NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonism, although it is also an agonist at some opioid receptors and interacts with various other receptors, including noradrenaline, serotonin and muscarinic cholinergic receptors.

It is a class B illicit substance and was, in fact, upgraded from class C in June 2014 following a review of its harmful effects. Ketamine (either intramuscularly or intravenously) is licensed for use as an anaesthetic agent in children, young people and adults, but over the last few years interest has been growing in the role of Ketamine as an antidepressant agent. It is not currently licensed for this purpose.

Areas of uncertainty

A study published in 2013 suggested that a single injected dose of Ketamine was associated with a rapid-onset antidepressant effect in patients with treatment-resistant depression (Murrough et al). The biggest challenge in terms of research with ketamine is that it remains tricky to compare against a placebo, given the fairly obvious side effects of taking a hallucinogenic drug, but this study compared Ketamine with Midazolam and this is probably the best comparator so far.

The following year, an open label study was published, which found similar antidepressant effects but a whole host of adverse effects were identified (Diamond et al), including anxiety and panic symptoms, increased suicidal ideation, vomiting, headaches and the anticipated feelings of detachment, confusion and dissociative symptoms.

There was a paucity of good quality information until, in 2015, a systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 studies  showed that single ketamine infusions produced a significant anti-depressant effect for up to seven days. Beyond this time, there was no evidence to suggest a prolonged effect.

What’s in the pipeline

There is some evidence to suggest that Ketamine may also work for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Another proposed use for Ketamine (currently being researched at the University of Manchester) is as an adjunct for Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), potentially minimizing the cognitive impairments experienced post-ECT.

Ketamine remains one of the most promising new treatments for depression, both unipolar and bipolar, but it is not without its problems. Requiring specialist referral and a stay in hospital overnight for a single dose clearly has financial and logistical implications far beyond those of antidepressant tablets with a stronger evidence base behind them. We also need more information about safety and adverse effects, before it can be introduced to a wider market.

References

Coyle, C. M. and Laws, K. R. (2015), The use of ketamine as an antidepressant: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hum. Psychopharmacol Clin Exp. [Abstract]

Diamond PR, Farmery AD, Atkinson S, Haldar J, Williams N, Cowen PJ, Geddes JR and McShane R. Ketamine infusions for treatment resistant depression: a series of 28 patients treated weekly or twice weekly in an ECT clinic (PDF). J Psychopharmacol, 0269881114527361, first published on April 3, 2014. [PDF]

Murrough, J.W.; Iosifescu, D.V.; Chang, L.C.; Al Jurdi, R.K.; Green, C.E.; Perez, A.M. et al. (2013). Antidepressant efficacy of ketamine in treatment-resistant major depression; a two-site randomized controlled trial. Am J Psychiatry, 170, 1134-1142. [Abstract]

The antidepressant effects of ketamine are confirmed by a new systematic review and meta-analysis

shutterstock_18453376In recent times, few drugs have caused more excitement among clinical researchers than ketamine. It’s well known for its role in anaesthesia and veterinary surgery (“horse tranquilizer”), as well as its illicit use, but progress has been ongoing for about 15 years to repurpose it as an antidepressant.

As a consequence, many new studies are published every month that evaluate to what extent ketamine lives up to its promise as a new antidepressant drug (Aan Het Rot, Zarate, Charney, & Mathew, 2012). To make sense of the flood of new information, naturally intrigued mental elves clearly need researchers to provide timely updates of the current state of knowledge. To this end, Coyle and Laws (2015) have recently published an extensive systematic review and the first meta-analysis that summarises the latest, methodologically sound research.

The key questions of interest to these researchers were:

  • Does ketamine have an immediate effect in reducing depressive symptoms?
  • Are the antidepressant effects of ketamine sustained over time?
  • Are repeat infusions more effective in reducing depressive symptoms?
  • Do primary diagnosis and experimental design moderate the impact of ketamine on depressive symptoms?
  • Do men and women experience differences in the antidepressant effect of ketamine?

This review looked at how well the effects of ketamine are maintained over

This review looked at how well the effects of ketamine are maintained over 4 hours, 24 hours, 7 days and 12-14 days.

Methods

The authors followed PRISMA guidelines and scanned all relevant medical databases for studies assessing the antidepressant potential of ketamine in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD). To evaluate possible methodological factors and design variables, the authors also specifically assessed whether studies were: repeat/single infusion, diagnosis, open-label/participant-blind infusion, pre-post/placebo-controlled design and patients’ sex.

Effect sizes were calculated either relative to placebo or relative to baseline, in case no control group was provided. To correct for bias in small studies, a Hedge’s g procedure with random effects was used. Statistical heterogeneity, publication bias and moderator variables were assessed to have an idea of other variables that might influence the reported antidepressant potential of ketamine. Statistical heterogeneity among studies was assessed using I² values, with values above 50% generally representing substantial heterogeneity.

Results

In total, 21 studies enrolling 437 patients receiving ketamine were identified that satisfied inclusion criteria:

  • 17 were single infusion studies and the majority reported data collected at 4h (11) and 24h (13) after ketamine treatment
  • 6 studies had follow-up for 7 days
  • 4 studies had follow-up for 12-14 days

In general, there are grounds to assume publication bias for single infusion studies at 4h and 24h.

Of the 21 included studies, 2 were judged to be at a high risk of bias, 13 medium risk and 6 low risk of bias.

  • In general, ketamine had a large statistical effect on depressive symptoms that was comparable across all time points
  • Effect sizes were significantly larger for repeat than single infusion at 4 h, 24 h and 7 days
  • For single infusion studies, effect sizes were large and significant at 4 h, 24 h and 7 days
  • The overall pooled effect sizes for single and repeated ketamine infusions found no difference at any time point, suggesting that the antidepressant effects of ketamine are maintained for at least 12-14 days

table3

Moderator analyses suggest that responsiveness to ketamine may vary according to diagnosis. Specifically, while ketamine produced moderate to large effects in both MDD and BD patients, the effect of a single infusion was significantly larger in MDD than BD after 24h. On the other hand, after 7 days, this pattern reversed and ketamine showed higher efficacy in BD patients. However, the small number of studies makes it tricky to draw any conclusions.

In addition, single-infusion pre-post comparisons did not differ in effect size estimation from placebo-controlled designs except for at 12-14 days, where only one study was available. In a similar vein, there were no effect size differences between single infusion studies with open-label and blinded infusions.

Of note, the meta-analysis found the percentage of males in the group was positively associated with ketamine’s antidepressant effects after 7 days, although this finding warrants replication with more data points.

There's huge room for improvement in the primary research, but this analysis shows ketamine in a promising light as an antidepressant.

There’s plenty of room for improvement in the primary research, but this meta-analysis shows ketamine in a promising light as an antidepressant.

Conclusions

The authors conclude:

Single ketamine infusions elicit a significant anti-depressant effect from 4h to 7days; the small number of studies at 12-14 days post infusion failed to reach significance. Results suggest a discrepancy in peak response time depending upon primary diagnosis – 24 h for MDD and 7 days for BD. The majority of published studies have used pre-post comparison; further placebo-controlled studies would help to clarify the effect of ketamine over time.

Limitations

This meta-analysis suffers from several limitations that are inherent in the available studies:

  • For one, there were only four studies that assessed the effect of repeated ketamine infusions, which is a shame given that maintenance of antidepressant effects is one of the key drawbacks of rapidly acting interventions
  • In addition, the authors note that their results suggest publication bias, which may be taken to indicate that several negative findings have not been published and thus could not be included in this meta-analysis
  • Also, more information about adverse effects would have been useful, especially to evaluate whether ketamine can be safely applied in a broader clinical context

Summary

This is the first meta-analysis to evaluate ketamine’s antidepressant effects. For single infusion specifically, ketamine exerts large antidepressant effects in MDD as well as BD patients that seem to last at least 7 days, while too few studies are available beyond this time point.

It’s noteworthy that the effect sizes did not differ between time points, which indicates that the effect of a single infusion remains relatively stable in the short-term. While repeated infusions were shown to provide higher effects than single infusions at least for the first week, more studies are needed to corroborate the supremacy of repeated treatment.

Before ketamine can become a clinically viable treatment option, however, this review makes it clear that more methodologically refined studies (especially RCTs with adequate placebo controls) need to be conducted. With this in mind, researchers should take these findings as an incitement to action!

High quality

High quality placebo controlled trials are needed to drive forward progress in this field.

Links

Primary paper

Coyle, C. M. and Laws, K. R. (2015), The use of ketamine as an antidepressant: a systematic review and meta-analysisHum. Psychopharmacol Clin Exp, doi: 10.1002/hup.2475. [PubMed abstract]

Other references

Aan Het Rot, M., Zarate, C. a, Charney, D. S., & Mathew, S. J. (2012). Ketamine for depression: where do we go from here? Biological Psychiatry72(7), 537–47. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.05.003

NAD Therapy for Addiction | Alcoholism | 703-844-0184 | Fairfax, Va 22304 | Ketamine Treatment Center | Dr. Sendi | IV Vitamins Therapy | Addiction Treatment Center | IV NAD

NAD Therapy for addiction and aging | 703-844-0184

 

NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is the chemical term for a molecule that reacts with oxygen in the mitochondria in every cell of your body in order to create energy so you can move, breathe, pump blood, digest food, think, and generally, live your life.

NADH-the-energizing-coenzyme

NAD+ in aging, metabolism, and neurodegeneration

NAD+ in Aging Molecular Mechanisms and Translational Implications

NAD metabolism Implications in aging and longevity

Anti-aging pharmacology

NMNAT It’s an NAD+ synthase . . . It’s a chaperone . . .

Targeting mTOR signaling by polyphenols A new therapeutic target

Lack of this essential cellular fuel is now recognized as a key feature of chronic fatigue, apathy, depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug addiction, weak immune system (infections and cancer), muscle pain and weakness, headaches, memory disturbance, sleep problems, focus and concentration defects and other chronic diseases. NAD deficiency may be an unrecognized epidemic of cellular disease.

NAD is an activated form of vitamin B3 which becomes a coenzyme when it is bound with hydrogen becoming NADH.  Hydrogen, as in hydrogen bomb, is the explosive power that the body uses, along with oxygen, to make energy. Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen explode when blended together becoming the fuel that propels rockets into the sky.  Hydrogen is so explosive that it must be safely inserted into a molecule so that it can be used by the body.    NAD is the carrier for reactive hydrogen as it becomes NADH.

This is how it works.  We eat carbohydrates, proteins and fats which provide the chemicals that enter the Citric Acid Cycle, a molecular roundabout that produces NADH.  The NAD is now “loaded” with hydrogen (NADH) which in turn enters the electron transport chain in the mitochondria and is “sparked” with oxygen and the outcome is energy, or, ATP, along with water. ATP, or adenosine triphospate, is the fuel for the heart to beat, the muscles to contract and for every cellular energy requirement with in the 100 trillion cells of the body.

It is clear to see how important NADH is for the body as it is involved in every bodily function and catalyzes more than a thousand metabolic reactions in the organs and tissues.  The heart uses the most NAD as it beats around 86,000 times daily.  The brain consumes about one-third of all the energy produced by the body.  Often an energy deficiency is first detected in the brain with poor concentration, difficulty focusing, and attention deficit.  If the energy shortage lasts long enough, brain neurons cannot synthesize neurotransmitters, the molecules of consciousness, such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, and we experience anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and other mood changes.

Let us take a look at some of the functions of NADH in the body:

  • Increases energy in heart cells
  • Increases energy in brain cells
  • Protects and repairs DNA, reducing DNA mutations which contribute to atherosclerosis, cancer, immunodeficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, and much more
  • The “most powerful antioxidant” in the body according to Dr. Richard Passwater in his book NADH-The Energizing Coenzyme  NADH-the-energizing-coenzyme
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates production of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, thereby improving moods
  • Stimulates nitric oxide production, thereby improving blood flow in the body

shutterstock_360887024Medical research has shown the following medical conditions to improve with NAD therapy:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Alcohol and drug addiction
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Memory loss (forgetfulness)
  • Attention deficit
  • Fevers, sore throats and swollen lymph glands
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cancer

Research has also shown that NAD can provide the following benefits in “healthy” people:

  • Increased physical energy
  • Improved mental performance
  • Improved response to short term sleep deprivation
  • Reduce the effects of jet lag
  • Enhance libido
  • Anti-aging

Since NAD is so fundamental to good health, how is it that we can become deficient in this powerful molecule?

First of all, the vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, proteins and fats come from our diet and provide the building blocks to citric acid cycle energy production.  If any one of the nutritional factors is low, energy production is weakened.  Since oxygen is just as important as hydrogen in cellular energetics, lack of exercise and shallow breathing due to stress are common factors that can reduce the amount of oxygen at the cell level. And finally the enzymes that catalyze the citric acid cycle are often inhibited or destroyed by chemical or physical toxins that create oxidative, or free radical, damage.

Free radical damage comes from cigarette smoke, drugs, radio waves from cell phones and wi-fi, and the myriad chemicals found in all humans at this time on earth, including phalates, parabens, pesticides, styrene, benzene, toluene, and thousands more.  For example, medical scientists now widely believe that Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease share the common feature of nerve cell degeneration due to impairment of the ATP producing enzymes with the citric acid cycle and mitochondria.

However, there is more than acquired NAD deficiency, due to poor diet, chronic stress, sedentary living and toxin accumulation so common in our modern world – it may also be genetic for some people.  Genetic NAD deficiency may be present at birth and appear in children as poor sleeping, behavioral problems, hyperactivity, impaired concentration, academic stress and underachievement.

Some people have been tired and depressed for as long as they can remember.  For these people there is a greater tendency to try drugs and alcohol in order to improve energy and mood, and simply feel better, but the risk for addiction is high. I have treated several people addicted to drugs, alcohol or medical drugs such as benzodiazapenes, like Valium, Librium and Klonopin, with intravenous NAD, thereby eliminating the addiction and leading to improved energy and moods in the long run.

Genetic disorders in energy production are complex and the research is accumulating to help us understand this important issue.  There may be a genetic polymorphism that reduces a gene coding for a mitochondrial protein.  Since mitochondrial DNA is all received from the mother through the egg (no mitochondria are found in sperm) we can look to the maternal side for clues to energy production in the family history.

How do we diagnose NAD deficiency?  Fatigue is often the first signal, but there are many conditions in the body that present as fatigue, such as low thyroid.  The following clues are used in making a diagnosis of NAD deficiency:

Family history

  • Fatigue and depression, mainly on the mother’s side

Personal history

  • Fatigue and/or depression beginning early in life, such as childhood or teen years
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Chronic fatigue any time in life
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Almost any chronic disease

Traditional blood tests

    •  Lactic acid and pyruvate (blood):
      • Pyruvic acid comes from foods and supplies energy to the citric acid cycle when oxygen is present and alternatively ferments to produce lactic acid when oxygen is lacking (fermentation).  Therefore elevated lactic acid or pyruvate may be a signal of NAD deficiency.

Specialty lab tests

      • Organic Acid testing (urine) is available from Genova Diagnostics, Great Plains Laboratory and Metametrix Clinical Laboratory:
        • Pyruvate and lactic acid can also be measured in a first-morning urine.
      • Citric Acid Cycle Intermediates are organic acids found in the urine that directly reflect CAC activity and when elevated indicate CAC dysfunction and reduced NADH.  There are many metabolic reasons for elevated CAC intermediates.
      • Citric Acid Cycle Intermediates include the following:
        • Citric acid
        • Cis-Aconitic acid
        • Isocitric acid
        • Alpha-ketoglutaric acid
        • Succinic acid
        • Malic acid
        • Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaric acid

How do you treat NAD deficiency?

First of all NAD is in many of the foods that we eat, but it is mostly  lost in cooking and what little remains is broken down by the acid in our stomachs.  Many research scientists have observed that NAD is oxidized and degraded before it is absorbed from the digestive tract.  More recent studies have shown that NAD can be provided in a stabilized form and will increase ATP production in the body and in the brain, thereby offering hope to patients with neurodegenerative disorders.

shutterstock_237803158For patients with severe NAD deficiencies, such as alcoholics or drug addicts, the intravenous form has been shown to be highly effective, usually eliminating the physical craving within three or four days and then producing a clarity of thinking with continued daily IV therapy.  The cognitive and emotional improvement is likely due to increased production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, noradrenalin and dopamine. Numerous studies have shown that IV NAD is highly beneficial for drug addicted patients, including those addicted to benzodiazepine medications like Valium, Librium and Klonopin.

Intravenous therapy for four to six days is often beneficial to people with chronic depression, often unresponsive to antidepressant therapies.

There is now a new form of oral NAD that is proving highly beneficial to patients with NAD deficiency and the widespread problems with adequate cellular energy production.

In the future, NAD therapy will likely prove beneficial for a range of common medical problems, including fatigue, jet lag, mood disorders, menopausal symptoms, obesity and more.  Like aerobic exercise and healthy whole food nutrition, NAD therapy offers a foundational treatment that promotes health throughout the body.

 

 

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Pycnogenol and Selenium interview with Dr Passwater

Marlene Prendeville’s interview at the A4M Expo following her meeting with Dr Richard Passwater Ph.D. Director, Selenium Nutritional Research Center

Marlene Prendeville met Dr Richard Passwater Ph.D. Director, Selenium Nutritional Research Center at the A4M Winter 2014 expo and conference in Las Vegas and requested his thoughts on Pycnogenol and Selenium.

Dr Passwater said: “ First, I wish to confirm that I am in full agreement with the remarks submitted by Carolina Burki-Sozzi below. Second, I wish to make clear that I have never been affiliated with Horphag Research.

My research and writings are and have been independent of Horphag Research. I am the Director of Research at the Selenium Nutritional Research center in Berlin, MD. I have written five books on selenium and six books on Pycnogenol.”.

Below are some of Marlene Prendeville’s questions and Dr Passwater’s responses:

What are Dr. Richard Passwater’s views/recommendations on Pycnogenol and Selenium and their contribution towards the aging process?

“Selenium is a dietary essential nutrient involved in many health and anti-aging mechanisms in the body primarily because it is an essential component of several selenoprotein enzymes that help protect against several major deleterious reactions and diseases of the aging process.

Pycnogenol is a specific and patented mixture of nutrients consisting largely of the Bioflavonoid family and its derivatives and oligomers. These nutrients can influence the expression of genes and influence fundamental aspects of cellular function. Thus, Pycnogenol can “turn on” and “turn off” specific genes in such a way as to determine our health and aging.”

Dr. Carolina Burki-Sozzi has cited specific studies indicating how Pycnogenol contributes to healthy aging of several body systems. I will discuss just one example of how Pycnogenol supports a healthy cardiovascular system because covering more systems would require a book. Incidentally, my latest book, co-authored with Professor Peter Rohdewald, has just been printed. (The Pycnogenol Phenomenon” Ponte Press Verlags-GmbH, Bochum, Germany)

Dr Passwater claims Pycnogenol has several modes of action in protection against cardiovascular disease. Pycnogenol helps prevent the blood clots that form in narrowed arteries that cause heart attacks and strokes. It does this by normalizing blood platelet activation by blocking the production of excess thromboxane. This keeps the blood slippery and free of blood clots.

He says: Pycnogenol also reduces chronic inflammation and LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol), while increasing HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol). Pycnogenol helps regulate the inflammation master switch, NF-. B. The less inflammation, the less risk of atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries due to deposits).

Another important mode of action of Pycnogenol is the protection of the lining (endothelium) of the artery walls. Pycnogenol acts as a catalyst for the enzyme that produces nitric oxide in the artery walls. This keeps the arteries open and flexible, better able to prevent deposits and normalize blood pressure.

Pycnogenol helps prevent damage to blood vessels caused by free radicals and other reactive species including elevated blood sugar. This means less damage to the heart, arteries, nerves and all organ systems. It is not the passage of time alone that causes aging. It is the damage that occurs to organs caused by oxidation, radicals and sugar that ages organ systems.

Should older women and men in their 70s take the above two products on a regular basis to stave off and protect against Colon Cancer and other diseases?

“For optimal health, all persons should take optimal amounts of selenium and Pycnogenol. The sooner one optimizes his or her diet, the longer the protection will be in place. The non-germ diseases associated with aging usually develop over decades. These diseases include most cancers, heart disease, dementia, arthritis, and many, many more.”.

Does Dr. Passwater recommend any products for Memory and Brain Focus which women and men in their 70s could take as part of their everyday diet as they approach aging?

Several nutrients have been shown to improve memory and focus associated with aging. Important, but not limited to, are EPA and DHA (as from fish oil for example), phosphatidylserine, Pycnogenol and Selenium.

I myself and many of my readers would like to try out Pycnogenol and Selenium for prevention of Colon Cancer – please let me know how I will be able to obtain these two products and also the Memory and Brain Focus in 3. above.

Dr Passwater replied: “Early epidemiological studies suggested that selenium greatly reduced the risk of colon cancer in those not adequately nourished with selenium. A recent clinical trial with men already receiving adequate intakes of selenium found no difference when additional selenium was taken. This trial does not support the earlier findings. At this time, vitamin D and calcium appear to be the best nutrients to protect against colon cancer.

More studies are needed, but in the meantime, it seems prudent to optimize vitamin D, calcium and antioxidant nutrient intakes.

World Health Net

Piping Rock Nutrition

Dr. Passwater

https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/metametrix.html

 

What is NAD+?

NAD+ stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NAD+ is a molecule synthetized de novo from tryptophan or from the recycling of nicotinamide, salvaged from the degraded NAD+ molecule. NAD+ is found in each cell of our body under its oxidized form NAD+ or its reduced form NADH. It donates or receives an electron in redox reactions without being consumed, constantly cycling between its 2 forms: NAD+/ NADH. NAD+ was first identified as an important coenzyme in glycolysis, the energy producing metabolic cycle of the cell, therefore its other name, Coenzyme 1. Today, research has shown that NAD+ regulates many metabolic functions, in particular DNA repair and transcription. Research has shown that a decreased ratio of NAD+ to NADH is associated with chronic illness, ageing and the metabolic and behavioral changes associated with alcoholism and addiction.

NADH/NAD+ Therapeutic Uses

NADH is used orally to increase ATP, the energy currency of the cell produced in the Krebs cycle. NADH has proven to be useful in the following conditions: Parkinson disease, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, depression and anti-aging. NAD+ is used to improve the ratio of NAD+ to NADH in drug and alcohol abuse. Increased levels of NAD+ speed up brain cell repair. NAD+ has been used intravenously in holistic addiction therapy to improve physical recovery at the molecular level, as a part of a wider approach including spiritual, mental and emotional changes.

History of NAD

Dr. Hitt Neurotransmitter Restoration Therapy (NRT)

After many years of research on the use of amino acids, minerals and vitamins to speed up the detoxification process from opiatesalcohol and other drugs, Dr. William Hitt, an American doctor and scientist, created a protocol for drug addiction recovery, known as Neurotransmitter Restoration Therapy, (NTR). This protocol addressed the neurotransmitter depletion and neurotransmitter receptor damage due to drug or alcohol overuse. Drugs produce their psychological effect by mimicking brain neurotransmitters, either by plugging into the receptor site or modifying the receptor site itself. When drug abuse ceases, the brain recovers on its own, but it may take up to a year or more. Dr. Hitt protocol speeds up this recovery time, therefore reducing the possibility of relapse due to cravings. Studies found that his protocol not only reduces cravings but limits side effects of drug withdrawal and promotes long term recovery.

Research on NRT

In the 1980’s with the support of the World Health Organization, Dr. Hitt, conducted a clinical trial in his clinic in Mexico. He administered his Neurotransmitter Restoration Therapy protocol to 3000 patients and follow them up for 3 years. After 3 years, 70 per cent of them were still sober, 2 to 7 times higher than the recovery rate of conventional approaches. After being forgotten for several years after his death, the Neurotransmitter Restoration Therapy, is coming back to life with those who worked with him and are now popularizing his treatment. NAD+ is used, not only for recovery from addiction, but also for PTSD, anxiety and depression, chronic illness and anti-aging.

“NAD has emerged as a putative metabolic regulator of transcription, longevity and several age-associated diseases, including diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases”. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, a metabolic regulator of transcription, longevity and disease Su-Ju Lin and Leonard Guarente Current Opinion www.current-opinion.com

NAD Treatment

NAD+ is administered intravenously over 10 consecutive days. The duration of the drip, up to 5 hours or more, varies according to the dosage and individual tolerance. NAD+ may be preceded by a Myers cocktail or a magnesium push to increase its tolerance and it is followed by a drip combining amino acids, vitamins and minerals, essential to neurotransmitter’s synthesis.

How Does NAD Work?

NAD+ / NADH and Brain Repair

NAD+ is absorbed by the astrocytes in the brain. Astrocytes have the important role, among many other functions, to provide nutrients to repair neurons after traumatic injury. Recent studies have shown that the administration of NAD+ can decrease ischemic brain injury. Increased levels of NAD in the neurons protects against degeneration
“Our latest studies have suggested that NADH can be transported across the plasma membranes of astrocytes, and that NAD+ administration can markedly decrease ischemic brain injury”.

[Study link: PMID: 17127427 Front Biosci. 2007 Jan 1;12:1863-88. “NAD+ and NADH in brain functions, brain diseases and brain aging.” Ying W., Front. Biosci. 2007; 12:1863 – 88.]

 

NADH can be transported across the plasma membranes of astrocytes

NADH can be transported across the plasma membranes of astrocytes

 

NAD+ has a Neuroprotective Effect Against Axonopathy

“Axonopathy is a critical early event in distinct degenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease(AD), Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis (MS),and it occurs in response to infections, alcoholism, acute chemotherapy-associated toxicity, diabetes and normal aging [33]”
NAD+ metabolism in health and disease, Peter Belenky, Katrina L. Bogan and Charles Brenner* TRENDS in Biochemical Sciences Vol.32 No.1

NAD+ and the Biology of Addiction

The compulsive need to consume a substance despite its negative health and social consequences can be viewed as the behavioral result of a neurological disorder in which the deep part of the brain is no longer controlled by the cortex. (Those deep changes in the brain have been demonstrated by MRI). All addictive substances, regardless of their behavioral effect, high, euphoria or sedation, activate the dopamine reward system of the brain and repeated use induce molecular and cellular changes in this system leading to adaptation and dependency. This biological process is the target of NAD+ administration.

NAD and Alcoholism

Alcohol is processed mostly in the liver. The first step in alcohol metabolism is the oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde and NADH catalyzed by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase containing NAD+. Acetaldehyde is a toxic compound that eventually harm the mitochondria and the liver.

CH3CH2OH + NAD+ —> CH3CH=O + NADH + H+

Large consumption of alcohol produces an excess of Acetaldehyde and NADH that cannot be processed by the liver to the final form of acetic acid. Some acetaldehyde and NADH escape in circulation and reaches the brain where it alters neurotransmitters and causes the known behavioral effects of alcohol intoxication. The excess of acetaldehyde and NADH in the liver is the cause of the metabolic effects of alcohol: hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia depending on whether glycogen stores are adequate, inhibition of protein synthesis, elevations of triglycerides which accumulate in the liver resulting in fatty liver and hyperlipidemia. The elevated ratio of NADH to NAD and elevated acetyldehyde is also the cause of the addictive effect of alcohol as demonstrated by recent studies.

“Recent investigations have suggested that acetaldehyde may be responsible for the development of alcohol addiction. Acetaldehyde in the brain may inhibit enzymes designed to convert certain nerve transmitters from aldehydes to acids. The nerve transmitters that accumulate may then react with the acetaldehyde to form compounds which are startlingly similar to certain morphine-type compounds”.

A number of metabolic and psychological effects from alcohol are directly linked to the production of an excess of both NADH and acetaldehyde.

 

NAD IV Therapy

 

NAD+ and Cravings

Cravings combined with the lack of control of the cortex over impulsivity lead to relapse. The biology of cravings is deeply seated in the brain neuronal circuits changes in response to chronic drug use. Studies have shown that NAD+ can help repair these circuits and reduce drug cravings

The following study was conducted about the effect of NAD+ on addiction –
500 mg to 1500mg of NAD+ was administered to 60 patients for 10 days daily over a period of time of 5 to 10 hours. Cravings were rated at the beginning of the treatment, at 5, 10 days and 12-20 months.

The study reports a decrease in cravings for stimulants opiates and alcohol 5 days after the starting of the treatment
of excess NADH generated by ethanol oxidation

In our effort to provide the most innovative, advanced, and effective therapies to promote healing of the body, mind and spirit, we now turn our attention to NAD BR+ (Brain Restoration) therapy. Although not-well known in the medical field, this therapy boasts benefits that include:

  • Restoring cellular production of energy (ATP)
  • Protecting and repairing DNA (PARP)
  • Strengthening the immune system (improved cell signaling of Immune-CD38, CD157)
  • Anti-aging impact via increased tankyrase activity / longer telomeres
  • Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Stimulating production of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, thereby improving mood and brain function
  • Improving athletic endurance and combating fatigue

To gain more insight on this completely nutrient-based and safe specialized therapy, we turned to one of the pioneers of NAD BR+ Therapy, Richard Mestayer, M.D., of the Springfield Wellness Center, the first and longest operating clinic to provide NAD Brain Restoration Plus treatment (BR+) in the United States.

What is NAD+?

As we grow older, certain genes can be triggered that accelerate degenerative aging processes. This can result in symptoms such as chronic fatigue, loss of mental clarity, depression, stress, anxiety, and various other chronic illnesses. A critical factor in this process is a coenzyme by the name of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), that enables the transfer of energy from the foods we eat to vital cell functions, especially in the brain. Every cell in the body needs it. This compound is required to “turn off” those genes that accelerate aging. The problem comes when NAD+ levels begin to decline, either due to lifestyle, diet, use of drugs or alcohol, stress, toxins, or a host of other factors.

“NAD+ is probably as important as oxygen to make cells work,” Dr. Mestayer explains. “It’s in every cell of your body; it’s in every mitochondria. It has multiple functions. We’re still learning the new nuances, but it’s important and involved with DNA repair, cellular function including energy production, promoting cell health – that’s why it’s involved in longevity – and immunity. It is involved in a multitude of reactions: redox reactions – it could help reduce oxidized stress – and we think it helps to reduce inflammation generally as well.”


NAD+ is probably as important as oxygen to make cells work.”

Modern Life and the Impact on NAD+Production

The rigors of modern life have taken a toll on the levels of NAD+ in our bodies. Three main factors are to blame for NAD+ deficiencies:

  1. Stress: We simply can’t seem to escape it in today’s rat race environment. Stress has become common place, with the American Psychological Association linking chronic stress to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. Add in oxidative stress, where an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract with antioxidants occurs, and you create an environment where NAD+ is being depleted quite quickly.One such biomarker of oxidative stress is 8-Isoprostane. This prostaglandin-like compound is produced by free radical-catalyzed peroxidation, and has been suggested to be the most reliable approach to monitor oxidative stress. High levels of 8-isoprostane is an indication of oxidative damage and a reduction in available NAD+.

    “I think the biggest issue that keeps the levels down is the extreme use of it. If you have a lot of oxidative stress, you’re going to use more and deplete. If you have a lot of DNA repair which happens as you get older, you’re depleted”, says Dr. Mestayer.

  2. Diet / Alcohol / Drugs: Part of the reason for NAD+ deficiency is that diet and what you put in your body is critical. “You get [NAD] from your diet. The body doesn’t make NAD unless there is something put in like Vitamin B3 or tryptophan,” Dr. Mestayer adds. The modern day diet for most has resulted in the abandoning of traditional, whole foods in favor of modern processed foods high in sugar, refined flour and unhealthy fats.In addition, the use of alcohol and drugs are contributors of NAD+ depletion. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy and safety of IV NAD in detoxifying patients from alcohol, opiates, tranquilizers and stimulants. Clinical experience has shown benefits in greatly reducing withdrawal symptoms, as well as reducing, and often eliminating associated cravings.
  3. Inflammation: Inflammation has become a major issue and contributing factor in a majority of common chronic conditions. Simply put, inflammation is your body’s response to stress – whether it be from diet, emotions, lifestyle, or environment. One particular component of inflammation that is associated with NAD+ depletion is a glycoprotein called CD38. Found on the surface of many immune cells, CD38 plays an important role in inflammation. CD38 causes migration of neutrophils and monocytes toward sites of inflammation, signals maturation of dendritic cells during inflammatory cytokine activation, and generates Ca2+mobilizing metabolites. To do this though, it must consume large amounts of NAD+.Dr. Mestayer explains: “If you have a lot of immunity issues – there’s a compound called CD38. CD38 is a tremendous utilizer of NAD and it is very much involved in reducing inflammation and bolstering immunity. CD38 is also involved in oxytocin production, so there’s a link between NAD and oxytocin production – which is all new stuff.”

NAD+ and Relation to Other Conditions

Addiction: Restoration of proper brain biochemistry is a major requirement for breaking any addiction, restoring clarity of mind, stabilizing moods, and reducing or eliminating cravings. Dr. Mestayer and Springfield Wellness Center have helped hundreds of patients break free of alcohol and drug addictions with minimal or no withdrawal. According to Dr. Mestayer, “We’ve shown a tremendous reduction in a compound, 8-Isoprostane. It’s a marker for oxidative stress. So we’re actually demonstrating a reduction in oxidative stress in our addiction patients. Nobody has really studied that in addiction patients. We only assumed that.”

Degenerative Diseases: Current research also indicates that NAD deficiencies may trigger a host of metabolic and degenerative diseases—including obesity, Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s. NAD+ treatment has been shown to be capable of dramatically reducing related neurological symptoms. Although more research needs to be done, these results are consistent numerous known benefits of NAD + which is an essential component of energy production (mitochondrial function); heavily involved in DNA repair and cell repair; responsible for turning certain genes on and off; and essential for maintaining neurotransmitter levels, for the proper functioning of the brain.

Anxiety, Depression & PTSD: NAD+ is essential for maintaining proper levels of neurotransmitters—intricately involved in brain communications. NAD also plays a role in DNA repair, and in turning genes “off” and “on.” We also know that NAD levels are depleted when the body is dealing with illness, addiction, environmental toxins (including medications) and stress. So, if depression is caused by one or a combination of the following: faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems, it’s likely that NAD plays a role in resetting the brain to regulate moods appropriately and get you feeling good again.

Sleep Disorders: Our sleep and wake cycles are dictated by circadian rhythms. These biological rhythms of life are established and maintained by a central clock consisting of around 20,000 pacemaker neurons in the supra-chiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Along with NAD+, Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAmPRTase or Nampt) helps to drive the circadian clock feedback cycle through SIRT1, a protein also known as NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1. As levels of NAD+ oscillate over the day/night cycle, the activity of SIRT1 oscillates with it, linking the metabolic state of the cell through an epigenetic mechanism to the circadian clock. Therefore, a deficiency of NAD+ has been associated with circadian dysfunction and sleep disorders.

Autism: NAD has been linked to social behavior as it relates to oxytocin. Through studies in people, researchers have shown that oxytocin plays a vital role in many social behaviors, such as the building of trust between strangers and the bonding between mother and child. Autism, a spectrum disorder (ASD), is characterized by social and communication impairment, and linked to significant defects in the OXT system. Many recent clinical trials have been focused on providing oxytocin nasal spray to improve social abilities, however brain oxytocin secretion is regulated by NAD+ metabolites, and natural supplementation of NAD+ can have a direct impact on OXT release and improvement in social function.

NAD+ and Aging

Compelling research shows that NAD+ has a unique ability to protect tissues, induce DNA repair, and increase life span. To understand how NAD+ can prevent aging, we have to look at an increasing subject of aging – telomeres. Telomeres form the ends of human chromosomes. Without them, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job. They basically act as the aging clock in every cell. The issue arises because telomeres shorten with each round of cell division, and shortening can be exacerbated by a number of other influences. Shorter telomeres are linked to an increased incidence of disease and premature cellular aging. Other studies have associated short telomeres with a decrease in bone mineral density in women and immune functioning.

Research has shown the correlation of NAD+ and telomere length. Increased NAD+ availability can increase tankyrase removal of Telomeric Repeat Factor 1 (TRF1). TRF1 is a protein that binds at telomere ends, and is known to protect telomeres from DNA mechanisms that are used for repair purposes and at the same time regulate the activity carried out by telomerase. This action in turn improves telomerase access and elongation of the telomere, which is important in slowing of the aging process.

NAD+ and the Brain

One of the most impacted organs from NAD+ deficiency is the brain. NAD+ plays a vital role in the brain, with a 2007 study stating, “NAD+ and NADH (the reduced form of NAD+) may also mediate brain aging and the tissue damage in various brain illnesses. Our latest studies have suggested that NADH can be transported across the plasma membranes of astrocytes, and that NAD+ administration can markedly decrease ischemic brain injury. Based on this information, it is proposed that NAD+ and NADH are fundamental mediators of brain functions, brain senescence and multiple brain diseases.”

NAD+ helps to replenish the supply of neurotransmitters, improve cognitive functioning, withdraw from addictive substances, overcome anxiety, depression, chronic or acute stress, post-traumatic stress, CTE, and other conditions by giving the brain what it needs to return to proper functioning. NAD+ has been shown to be effective with cases of brain fog, cognitive impairment, and “chemo brain”. It has a powerful capacity to “reset” the brain to its original set point.


That’s the thing we see almost across the board – people feel much more mentally clear.”

» Looking for an oral NAD+ supplement for the brain? Check out our nutraceutical, NADovim®.

How NAD BR+ Therapy is Different

After numerous years of looking for the right formula to maximize delivery of NAD+, NAD BR+ was created. Administered both in intravenous form as well as a nasal spray, the proprietary formula is compounded in a state-of-the-art, FDA-regulated facility, that can only be found in a small number of medical offices in the world and requires special licensing and training. “The thing that distinguishes the NAD BR+ product, and the way the protocols distinguish themselves are the added experience of all the clinicians when we compile information,” states Dr. Mestayer. “For instance, in our protocols now we’re using a lot of Liposomal C. We don’t use the IV C because we’re trying to preserve patients veins because we’re giving them 10 days of IVs and these are people who may have used their veins for IV use. So we have to be careful about that. We’re also using amino acids that we’re blending in.”

The quality and formula separate it from other NAD+ therapies and supplements. As Dr. Mestayer puts it, “Well first of all, it’s the best form of NAD. It’s the most pure that we have been able to find. We have tested every raw material in the world, and it is the purest and the most potent, so to speak. The problem with impurities are….you would be surprised. We found other things like lead and mercury. You know, if you got a 92 percent pure product, what’s the other 8 percent? So this product is 100 percent, maybe 99.9 percent pure. I look at all the certificates of analysis, and the other thing is, the pharmacy sends off 1 vial out of 25 for independent analysis. The standard is 1 out of 300, but they exceed the standard because they know it has to be perfect every time. That’s what sets us apart – the purity of the product and the way we use it in protocols and combinations with other nutrients.”

As for safety and side effects, Dr. Mestayer assures that the completely nutrient-based and natural formula is very safe. “There are not any reports or anything of long-term side effects. There’s a short term effect if the drip is going too fast.” The two areas of precaution are those with MTHFR gene mutations (as there is a methylation issue with high doses of NAD) and patients with bipolar disorder (NAD may activate a manic episode in these patients).

 

Opioid Addiction Treatment Center | 703-844-0184 | Suboxone ® | Buprenorphine | Fairfax, Va 22306 | Zubsolv | Sublocade | Ketamine Treatment Center

Addiction Treatment Center |703-844-0184 | Suboxone | Suboxone Doctor | Fairfax, Va 22304 | Ketamine Treatment Center

 

Insomnia can affect everyone, but those recovering from addiction often have a difficult time sleeping as they embark on their recovery. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to help improve your sleep.

Exercise

As little as 10 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to increase the duration of sleep. It can also make it easier to fall asleep, which some studies suggest is due to the way exercise raises then lowers core body temperature. Either way, exercise physically wears you out and can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Lower Your Bedroom Temperature

When your body prepares for sleep, its temperature lowers slightly. If you are struggling to fall asleep, try lowering your room temperature an hour or so before you plan to sleep. Experts recommend temperatures between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. For those with extreme insomnia, lowering the temperature even earlier might be effective.

Sleep, vigilance, and thermosensitivity.

 

Reduce Blue Light Exposure in the Evening

Some people find that using their phones or laptops at night makes it more difficult to fall asleep. This is caused by the blue light electronic devices emit, which can trick the body into thinking it’s daytime. To reduce your phone’s effects on your sleep, consider installing an app that filters out blue light, or doing something else before bed, like reading or listening to music.

Avoid Caffeine Before Sleeping

Although caffeine has many beneficial effects, it can remain elevated in the body for six to eight hours after consumption. This can make it difficult to fall asleep. By avoiding caffeine after three or four o’clock in the afternoon, you can better prepare your body for sleep and allow the concentration of caffeine in your body to decrease.

Supplement Melatonin

Melatonin is naturally produced by the body to aid with sleep. If you struggle to fall asleep, you might want to consider taking a melatonin supplement. Taking a 2 mg supplement right before bed may naturally assist you in falling asleep. It may also increase the quality of your sleep. Melatonin supplements can be found over the counter.

 2007 Dec;16(4):372-80.

Prolonged-release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects.

Abstract

Melatonin, secreted nocturnally by the pineal gland, is an endogenous sleep regulator. Impaired melatonin production and complaints on poor quality of sleep are common among the elderly. Non-restorative sleep (perceived poor quality of sleep) and subsequently poor daytime functioning are increasingly recognized as a leading syndrome in the diagnostic and therapeutic process of insomnia complaints. The effects of 3-weeks prolonged-release melatonin 2 mg (PR-melatonin) versus placebo treatment were assessed in a multi-center randomized placebo-controlled study in 170 primary insomnia outpatients aged > or =55 years. Improvements in quality of sleep (QOS) the night before and morning alertness (BFW) were assessed using the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire and changes in sleep quality (QON) reported on five categorical unit scales. Rebound insomnia and withdrawal effects following discontinuation were also evaluated. PR-melatonin significantly improved QOS (-22.5 versus -16.5 mm, P = 0.047), QON (0.89 versus 0.46 units; P = 0.003) and BFW (-15.7 versus -6.8 mm; P = 0.002) compared with placebo. The improvements in QOS and BFW were strongly correlated (Rval = 0.77, P < 0.001) suggesting a beneficial treatment effect on the restorative value of sleep. These results were confirmed in a subgroup of patients with a greater symptom severity. There was no evidence of rebound insomnia or withdrawal effects following treatment discontinuation. The incidence of adverse events was low and most side-effects were judged to be of minor severity. PR-melatonin is the first drug shown to significantly improve quality of sleep and morning alertness in primary insomnia patients aged 55 years and older-suggesting more restorative sleep, and without withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

Prolonged‐release melatonin improves sleep quality and morning alertness in insomnia patients aged 55 years and older and has no withdrawal effects

Eat an Earlier Dinner

Several studies have shown that eating later in the evening can increase the time it takes to fall asleep. Eating late reduces natural melatonin production, so the later you eat, the longer it will take for you to grow tired. Those struggling with insomnia should make sure to eat at least two hours before they plan to sleep.

A review of nighttime eating disorders.

 2009 Feb;13(1):23-34. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2008.07.005. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

A review of nighttime eating disorders.

Abstract

Nighttime eating is categorized as either night eating syndrome (NES) or sleep-related eating disorder (SRED). These conditions represent an interruption in the overnight fast that characterizes human sleep. A critical review of the literature on NES and SRED will suggest that they are situated at opposite poles of a disordered eating spectrum. NES could be considered an abnormality in the circadian rhythm of meal timing with a normal circadian timing of sleep onset. Conversely, the feeding behavior in SRED is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating after an arousal from nighttime sleep with or without amnesia. Both conditions are often relentless and chronic. Multiple definitions of night eating have limited our ability to determine the exact prevalence of NES. Studies have suggested that central nervous system (CNS) serotonin modulation may lead to an effective treatment of NES. SRED is frequently associated with other sleep disorders, in particular parasomnias. Early studies have shown that the anti-seizure medication topiramate may be an effective treatment for SRED.

Draw a Hot Bath

Research shows that taking a hot bath before bed can help you fall asleep more quickly. Other activities that you find relaxing can also help increase sleep, so if you don’t enjoy baths, you could try meditation, reading or something else that you enjoy.

 1999 Jul;80(2):71-5.

Bathing before sleep in the young and in the elderly.

Abstract

In this study we investigated the effects of bathing on the quality of sleep in 30 elderly people (ages 65-83 years) and in 30 young people (ages 17-22 years) in their homes. Room temperature did not vary significantly during the nights that data were acquired, ranging from 8 to 12 degrees C. After bathing and at the beginning of sleep, the mean (SE) rectal temperatures of the young and the elderly were 37.8 (0.08) and 37.5 (0.07) degrees C, respectively, and were higher by 0.7 (0.13) and 0.6 (0.07) degrees C, respectively, than when the subjects had not bathed. At the beginning of the sleep after bathing in the young subjects, skin temperature was 32.5 (0.24) and 1.5 (0.34) degrees C higher than when those subjects had not bathed. In the elderly, however, there were no significant differences in skin temperature with and without prior bathing because they used electric blankets during sleep. After bathing, the young people reported “warmth” in their hands and/or legs, while the elderly more often reported “good sleep” or “quickness of falling asleep”. During the first 3 h of sleep, body movements were less frequent after bathing for both the young and the elderly subjects. The results suggest that a bath before sleep enhances the quality of sleep, particularly in the elderly.

PMID:
10408315
DOI:
10.1007/s004210050560

Avoid Spending Excess Time in Your Bedroom

When you spend frequent time in your bedroom unrelated to sleep, your mind will start associating it with being awake. This can make it difficult to fall asleep. Optimally, you should only spend time in your bedroom right before you sleep.

The process of recovery can make sleeping difficult for some people. These sleeping tips are great options to experiment with in order to get a better night’s sleep. If you continue to struggle with sleep interruptions or disturbances, you might want to consider seeing a sleep specialist, but it’s important to remember that sleep issues due to the process of recovery will eventually pass.

What Sleep Experts Do To Get A Good Night’s Rest

By Corrie Pikul

These sleep experts have done the research, they’ve heard the up-all-week horror stories (as well as the surprise successes) — so, we asked, what works for them?

Nap Proactively
The expert: W. Christopher Winter, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The sleep secret: “I like to take a lunchtime nap to make up for those unavoidable late nights. As a sleep consultant for a number of sports teams, I often travel on weekends, but I need to see patients early Monday morning. So I’ll block out 1-1:30pm, always the same time. Naps work best if they’re on a schedule because your body learns to anticipate the rest. I follow the same routine: dim the lights, turn on a sound machine, and recline in my chair 180 degrees. It’s very important not to sleep longer than 30 minutes to avoid the post-nap funk. I set a wake-up alarm and also ask my assistant to check on me. I have a Zeo sleep management device—a Jawbone UP does this, too — that shows me how much time I spent in light and deep stages of sleep. If I fall quickly into deep sleep during a nap, I know I’m really sleep deprived and should plan another nap tomorrow.”
Sleep disappointment: “Although I counsel those who struggle with sleep to exercise in the morning, that doesn’t work for me. I do better with squeezing in a workout later, sometimes at 10 or 11pm.”

Do Boring Yet Challenging Math
The expert: Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight through Better Sleep
The sleep secret: “The number-one complaint I get from patients is, ‘I can’t seem to turn off my mind at night.’ I’ve had the same problem, especially when I’m on the road. I used to keep a worry journal in which I would jot down all the things on my mind along with a solution, even if it was just, ‘Think about this tomorrow.’ That can be effective, but I needed another trick. Counting backwards from 300 by threes is my take on counting sheep, which research has shown is too easy to be effective. It forces me to focus enough to blocks out stressors, but at the same time, it’s really boring and puts me right to sleep. I guarantee that even if you do it every night for a month, you still won’t make it to the single digits.”
Sleep disappointment: “I’m not crazy about memory-foam mattresses. They’re great for support, but you can get stuck in one position, and trying to turn to your other side takes five minutes.”

Let In The Light
The expert: Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD, medical director of Stanford Sleep Medicine Center
The sleep secret: “I like to use light to help synchronize my internal clock. I avoid bright light two to three hours before bedtime, so if I’m reading, I use just enough light to see the words on the page. Then, within 30 minutes of waking up, I open the curtains to let in natural light. We know from the literature that light activates the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which is a group of nerve cells in the brain that controls the timing of the sleep-wake cycle and coordinates with our circadian rhythms. For patients who have a hard time waking up and who don’t have access to sunshine every morning, we recommend a light box that has more than 10,000 lux, and tell them to keep it about 18 inches from their eyes. This morning light puts a kind of time stamp on the brain and shifts your internal clock for sleep earlier — that will help you feel sleepy at the other end of the day, too.”
Sleep disappointment: “I’ve heard other physicians recommend valerian-root tea as a natural sleep aid, and there some small studies that show it makes some patients drowsy. I was curious, but it didn’t affect me.”

Turn On A Fan
The expert: David N. Neubauer, MD, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The sleep secret: “I sleep with a bedside fan every night, no matter what the temperature. If the fan’s not on, I will definitely have difficulty falling asleep. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that white noise can be soothing because it blocks out sudden variations in sound—like a barking dog, or a car alarm—that can lighten our sleep or wake us. It also creates ventilation, and we know that people tend to sleep best in cooler temperatures — try keeping the room at a temp that you would describe as a little chilly when you’re not covered up. When I’m traveling, I often buy a small fan for the hotel room. It’s worth it to help block out unfamiliar noise and let me get the sleep I need.”
Sleep disappointment: “I think the ‘no reading in bed’ rule makes sense for chronic insomniacs, but I find reading relaxing. I feel like I can put the book down when I get tired.”

Claim Your Own Blankets
The expert: John Dittami, an Austria-based sleep researcher and co-author of Sleeping Better Together
The sleep secret: “In Europe, where I live, it’s not at all strange for couples to have their own blankets in bed. This solves a lot of problems. We know from talking to couples for our book that using one blanket for two people is not conducive to good sleep. Not only does it make you more aware of your partner’s movements, but it can also amplify the heat—and it can cause arguments when the blanket isn’t evenly spread over both people. In my case, my partner and I will spend time together talking or cuddling before sleep, but after about 10 or 15 minutes, she turns over, and I turn over, and we each draw up our own separate covers. I know that I snore, so this helps a little bit. The separate covers are like our version of a peace treaty.”
Sleep disappointment: “I’ve tried melatonin for jet lag, and while it did make me drowsy and cause me to sleep later, it wasn’t a restful sleep, and I didn’t feel refreshed in the morning. To paraphrase Shakespeare, ‘it provoked the desire but took away the performance.’”

Get Out Of Bed
The expert: Michael A. Grandner, PhD, research associate at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania
The sleep secret: “I used to have a really hard time falling asleep, but I’ve since learned that spending time awake trains us that the bed is a place for worry and rumination. The bed needs to be a cue for sleep, period. So now whenever I hear that voice that says, ‘This sleep thing is not happening’—which could take 10 minutes or 40 — I go read or write in a darkened room for at least 30 to 60 minutes. When I try to sleep again, I usually drop right off. In the clinic, this is called stimulus-control therapy, and 20 years of data shows that it can be more effective at treating insomnia than sleeping pills. The problem is that it’s much slower to take effect than a pill, and it also has a side effect: you’ll probably be tired for the first couple of days. This is why so many people give up and take naps, or sleep in, or refuse to get out of bed at night, and then they’re back at square one. For those two sleepy weeks, I suggest patients drink extra coffee, avoid long night drives, and take other stay-awake precautions — but they also need to hang in there.”
Sleep disappointment: “I’ve tried exercise, but it didn’t work nearly as well as the stimulus control.”

Establish A Nighttime Routine
The expert: Sam J. Sugar, MD, FACP, director of sleep services at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Doral, Florida
The sleep secret: “I used to go to sleep whenever I started feeling drowsy, which could be as late as 2 a.m. I would usually disrupt my wife, who was already in bed. About two years ago, she suggested trying the thing that experts — including myself — had been recommending to patients for years: that we both go to bed at the same time every night (we didn’t have to worry about setting an alarm, because our dog wakes us up every day at 6:29). The idea is that you’re creating a habit that the body then wants to stick to, so it tells you that it’s tired at the chosen time. Many studies have shown that this kind of repetition is self-reinforcing, including one from last year of over 650 retirees that found that going to bed and waking at the same time helped people fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed. That’s what happened to me, too. I’m lucky that I have my wife to keep us on schedule, but other people might find it helpful to set a go-to-sleep-now alarm, or create a bedtime routine (turn the computer off at 9:50, or wash your face at 10:45).”
Sleep disappointment: “I have trouble sleeping on planes. On one long transatlantic flight, my colleagues insisted that I take a sleeping pill ‘to take the edge off.’ For 18 hours, I sat wide awake, watching everyone snooze. It was a reminder that we all react differently — and unpredictably — to medication.”

Best Foods to Eat in Addiction Recovery

Let’s face it; eating healthy isn’t always the easiest thing to do. When a friend invites you to go get fast food or 9 p.m. rolls around and the chocolate ice cream in the fridge is calling your name, it can be hard to fight temptation. While the food you eat may not have the immediate impact that drugs or alcohol do, they can certainly negatively impact your long-term well-being. Making the best choices to improve your overall health is key. So what foods will help you stay on track?

First, H20

When you are thirsty, do you reach for a soda, juice, or water? Many of us are guilty of quenching our thirst with loads of sugar instead of what our bodies are truly wanting. How much water should you be drinking? Here is a list of free apps to help you figure that out as well as track how much you are drinking every day. Some even have alerts to remind you to stay hydrated.

While water itself is not considered “food”, it is the foundation of everything we eat. It is also something that is necessary to make our bodies function properly, especially when going through withdrawal. Dehydration, a common symptom of withdrawal, puts a lot of a stress on your body. Staying hydrated keeps everything working as well as flushes out harmful toxins.

Make Your Plate Colorful

Fruits and veggies are a no-brainer when it comes to healthy food, but like anything, you must have variety and eat them in moderation. Here are some benefits according to Choose MyPlate:

  • They have no cholesterol, which helps prevent heart disease
  • They are full of nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin C
  • They can help reduce constipation, obesity, and type 2 diabetes
  • They can help with vision, keeping skin healthy, and protect against infections

Make Your Body Strong

Proteins help keep your bones and muscles strong and healthy. While in addiction recovery, your body is repairing itself, and the proteins help build your tissues and organs.

Protein can be found in many foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. If you are vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry, you can find protein in beans, peas, soy products, nuts, and seeds. Just because your body needs protein doesn’t mean you can eat a cheeseburger or T-bone steak every night. It is important to eat lean cuts of meat that are not highly processed. Choose the lowest fat content of red meat, or choose naturally lean meats such as grilled chicken, seafood, or turkey.

Good For You Oils & Fats

Believe it or not, oils and fats can be good for you. One thing to keep in mind is that they must be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated to lower the risk of heart disease. Here is a list of recommended oils:

  • Olive
  • Canola
  • Flaxseed
  • Avocado
  • Sesame

Healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds, fish (those healthy omega-3s), and some dairy products.

Superfoods

Superfoods are a term for those foods which have a high concentration of vitamins and minerals and pack a powerful punch when regularly incorporated into your diet. 15 of the top superfoods include:

  • Wheatgrass
  • Cinnamon
  • Blueberries
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Goji Berries
  • Raw Milk
  • Almonds
  • Kale
  • Spirulina
  • Acai Berries
  • Coconuts
  • Flaxseeds

Salmon, chicken, turkey, broccoli, cabbage, kale and spinach are considered to be particularly useful in recovery from addiction.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Just like you have goals in addiction recovery, set goals for yourself when it comes to eating healthy. Keep a journal or use an app to help you stay on track. While eating a bag of chips may not seem to be a setback, not feeding yourself the nutrients your body needs will slow down the physical aspect of your recovery. If you find yourself having a cheat meal or snack, know that it does not mean you should stop trying. In fact treating yourself, in moderation, can make it easier to make healthy choices more often. A healthy lifestyle is a lifetime commitment, and you owe it to yourself and your body to give it only the best.

Staying Fit & Active in Addiction Recovery

There are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes it can feel like there isn’t enough time to finish everything on your list of to-dos. Between going to receive addiction treatment, working, attending counseling sessions, and fulfilling other commitments, you may feel overwhelmed and low on energy. Keeping your body healthy should be a top priority and often times eating healthy and exercising gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Especially when you are tired and low on energy, working out seems like the most miserable thing. But it doesn’t have to be.

Work Hard to Get More Work Done

It may seem impossible to work out when you are low on energy, but it could give you that needed boost to finish out the day strong. When you exercise, your brain secretes hormones that make you feel good. To put it into perspective, whether it be heroin or pain pills, opioids caused the same “feel good” sensation but in an unnatural way. Exercising will give you a natural, euphoric feeling that can give you the motivation to complete whatever is on your list.

Advantages of Working Out

There are some obvious advantages of working out, like losing weight and building muscle. However, there are several others that benefit your overall lifestyle:

  • Provides Structure – When you work out, you have to dedicate time to do it. Going back to your to-do list, this should be one of your priorities. When you start or finish the day with exercise, you are building a routine. This routine can help you stay occupied and lessen the chance of a relapse.
  • Relieves Anger and Stress – Hitting a punching bag, doing a set of pushups, or even a light jog can be an outlet for you to let go of anger and stress. There are going to be days where you struggle or aren’t in a great mood, and exercising is a healthy way to rid yourself of negative emotions.
  • Improves Your Health – Your heart, lungs, muscles and digestive system…pretty much your entire body benefit from exercise. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on your organs. Exercise and a nutritious diet can slow the effects down and help rebuild healthy tissue and muscle.

How Do I Get Moving?

Now that you are motivated, how do you act on it? Here are some tips to get you going:

  • Dedicate time, about 15-30 minutes, to exercise for 3 days a week.
  • Find an exercise that interests you. It can be yoga, speed walking, an organized sport, weight lifting, swimming, etc. If there are organized sports ran through the city or rec center, it is a great way to meet new people and be a part of a team.
  • Log your exercise in a journal, mobile app, or look into smartwatches that will do it automatically for you.

Remember to push yourself, but not so hard that you feel uncomfortable. If at any time you feel symptoms such as light headedness, chest pain, or shortness of breath, stop what you are doing and call your doctor.

Exercise, like your addiction recovery, takes dedication and confidence. Knowing that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to is key in developing positive habits. If you are not able to do a certain exercise due to pain or other reasons or you don’t like the first exercise you try, don’t be discouraged. Find modifications to the exercise or find a new exercise altogether. What is most important is that you are staying active and completing productive tasks. You can do it!