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Melatonin.

Melatonin Superior To Toxic Drug In Migraine Prevention Study

Melatonin Superior To Toxic Drug In Migraine Prevention Study1

27th May 2016

By Sayer Ji

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Melatonin, a substance secreted by your own brain, was found superior to a commonly prescribed toxic pharmaceutical at significantly reducing migraine headache frequency. 

GreenMedInfo.com has a special research section titled, “Superiority of Natural Substances versus Drugs,” which catalogs research from the National Library of Medicine (pubmed.gov) that clearly demonstrates the superiority of foods, herbs, and even therapeutic interventions like acupuncture and yoga, versus conventional drug-based interventions. Thus far, GreenMedInfo has indexed compelling complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) solutions that have proven to be superior to pharmaceutical drugs for 175 ailments, and the research keeps coming in.

The newest addition to this special catalog of studies, which includes over 7,600 topics you can peruse on our newly re-designed Research Dashboard (.7 beta version), is a powerful new study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, which compared melatonin, a hormone like substance first discovered in the pineal gland, to the commonly prescribed drug amitriptyline, for the prevention of migraine attacks.

Titled, “Randomised clinical trial comparing melatonin 3?mg, amitriptyline 25?mg and placebo for migraine prevention,” the new study sought to investigate whether melatonin could provide an alternative to a commonly prescribed drug amitriptyline, which has an unfavorable side effect profile that limits its use.

The study pointed out that migraine disorder is a debilitating and chronic neurological condition that affects between 12-20% of the world’s population. Presently, about half of those who seek medical help for their migraines stop seeking care for their headaches, because of the side effects associated with conventional, drug-based treatment, which for amitriptlyine run the gamut from physical to psychiatric disorders; some of which can be more debilitating than the migraines themselves, such as:

  • unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating;

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;

  • confusion, hallucinations;

  • a seizure (convulsions);

  • painful or difficult urination;

  • severe constipation;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding; or

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing.

  • constipation, diarrhea;

  • nausea, vomiting, upset stomach;

  • mouth pain, unusual taste, black tongue;

  • appetite or weight changes;

  • urinating less than usual;

  • itching or rash;

  • breast swelling (in men or women); or

  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm.

[Source: Drugs.com]

The new study was conducted using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol, as follows:

Men and women, aged 18–65 years, with migraine with or without aura, experiencing 2–8 attacks per month, were enrolled. After a 4-week baseline phase, 196 participants were randomised to placebo, amitriptyline 25?mg or melatonin 3?mg, and 178 took a study medication and were followed for 3?months (12?weeks). The primary outcome was the number of migraine headache days per month at baseline versus last month. Secondary end points were responder rate, migraine intensity, duration and analgesic use. Tolerability was also compared between groups.”

The results were summarized as follows:

Mean headache frequency reduction was 2.7 migraine headache days in the melatonin group, 2.2 for amitriptyline and 1.1 for placebo. Melatonin significantly reduced headache frequency compared with placebo (p=0.009), but not to amitriptyline (p=0.19). Melatonin was superior to amitriptyline in the percentage of patients with a greater than 50% reduction in migraine frequency. Melatonin was better tolerated than amitriptyline. Weight loss was found in the melatonin group, a slight weight gain in placebo and significantly for amitriptyline users.”

The authors concluded:

Melatonin 3?mg is better than placebo for migraine prevention, more tolerable than amitriptyline and as effective as amitriptyline 25?mg.”

Discussion

Amazingly, not only was melatonin found to be equipotent to the drug amitriptyline in reducing headache frequency, and at a much lower dose (3 mg versus 25 mg), but as stated above,Melatonin was superior to amitriptyline in the percentage of patients with a greater than 50% reduction in migraine frequency.” This is all the more powerful when you consider that melatonin is a natural compound produced by the human body (pineal gland), and is perhaps several of orders of magnitude safer than the synthetic, xenobiotic chemical amitriptyline.

Considering that neuropsychiatric and physiological side effects commonly occur while on the drug, and that these “side effects” are the primary reason why those who are seeking help for their headaches end up discontinuing its use, melatonin appears to represent an ideal natural alternative.

Notably, the melatonin group experienced significant weight loss; an effect opposite to the weight-promoting effects commonly observed with amitriptyline. The study expanded on these findings:

Melatonin was more tolerable than amitriptyline and as tolerable as placebo. Weight loss was found in the melatonin group as opposed to a slight weight gain in placebo and a significant one in amitriptyline group. This is a very important and original finding that deserves special discussion. There is substantial experimental evidence in the literature indicating the role of melatonin in the control of food intake, energy balance and body weight. An inhibitory action of melatonin in preadipocytes differentiation into adipocytes, reducing the number of cells in the visceral adipose tissue has been demonstrated.15 Melatonin treatment reduced body weight gain, visceral adiposity, blood triglycerides and insulin resistance in a model of high-calorie diet-induced metabolic syndrome.16 Likewise, a single daily administration of melatonin decreased visceral fat in middle-aged mice,17and after melatonin treatment aged rats showed weight reduction, preceded by an increase in insulin signalling in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral tissues.18 In addition, melatonin might have a direct anorexigenic action regulating hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression.19 In ageing animals, melatonin and moderate exercise training induced a reduction in food intake associated with a reduction in body weight and amount of visceral adipose tissue depot.20 Melatonin should be considered as regulating the other side of energy balance increasing the energy expenditure by its ability to convert white adipose tissue into brown adipose tissue increasing its metabolic rate.21 The reduction in body weight of patients in the melatonin treated group is, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration of the putative effect of melatonin in body weight reduction in humans.”

Lower levels of melatonin have been measured in those suffering from migraine attacks, which may explain why correcting this deficiency with supplemental melatonin may have an ameliorative effect. The study discussed additional possible mechanisms through which melatonin exerts its therapeutic effects:

Melatonin mechanism of action in migraine prevention could be due to one of its several effects, including: membrane stabilisation, anti-inflammatory properties, inhibition of dopamine release, modulation of serotonin, gamma amino butyric acid (GAMA) and glutamate neurotransmission, scavenging toxic-free radicals and cerebrovascular regulation.22

The study, however, cautions that melatonin could have contraindications in certain patients:

Melatonin also potentiates opioid analgesia; therefore, it should be used with caution in patients taking and/or overusing opioids.23 Patients with diabetes and hypertensive patients should be monitored since melatonin may decrease blood pressure24 and glucose levels.25

That said, melatonin is clearly safer than conventional drugs in its interaction/contradiction profiles, which the authors reiterate in the concluding remarks:

Owing to its favourable side effect profile and efficacy, melatonin could be an option for patients sensitive to other drugs or with a preference for natural products. With the same efficacy level compared with other treatments and a low cost, melatonin should be a cost-effective treatment.

They also point out the need for further research to clarify the correct doses and applications of melatonin for migraines and related conditions (comorbidities):

Different melatonin doses (lower and higher) should be studied, as well as its effect in other migraine types and comorbidities. The use of other chronobiotic agents, including melatonin analogues, could be tested in migraine prevention. Other trials in different populations and other latitudes should be conducted in the future.

For additional research both on the therapeutic properties of melatonin, and the wide range of factors involved in migraine attacks, and their resolution naturally, use our new research sections on the topic:

About the author:

Sayer-Ji

Sayer Ji is the founder of GreenMedInfo.com – an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. He is on the Board of Governors for the National Health Federation and Fearless Parent, a Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC), a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Since 2003, Sayer has also served as a patient advocate and an educator and consultant for the natural health and wellness field.

For more, visit GreenMedInfo.com and Facebook/GreenMedInfo, or sign up for GreenMedInfo’s free e-Newsletter.

Recommended articles by Sayer Ji:

Aluminium Foil and Cooking.

Here’s Why You Should Never Use Aluminum Foil to Cook Your Food

by James Holbrooks
Natural Blaze

According to a study published by the International Journal of Electrochemical Science, you may want to think twice before wrapping your food in aluminum foil to cook it — because some of that foil will leach into your meal.

“Aluminum foil used in cooking provides an easy channel for the metal to enter the human body,” concludes the study, which examined the effect foil has on a variety of different foods when used to prepare them.

The human body is wired to excrete small amounts of aluminum quite efficiently, so minimal exposure to the metal isn’t a concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even established daily intake levels of aluminum that have been shown to cause no harm.

“But most people are exposed to and ingest far more than this suggested safe daily intake,” said Ghada Bassioni, one of the study’s researchers, in a recent article.

This is due, in part, to the fact that aluminum — the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust — is found in a wide range of foods and spices. But it’s also used in cooking utensils. Pots and pans, for instance, are lined with aluminum. Most are oxidized to prevent the metal from leaching into food, but, according to Bassioni, this process becomes increasingly negated over time as people scrub their utensils after meals.

Further, aluminum sulfate is used as a coagulant in the process of purifying drinking water — a practice the WHO has found “may lead to increased concentrations of aluminum in finished water.”

This documented overexposure has scientists looking into just how damaging aluminum is to the human body. Bassioni points out that several studies have suggested high aluminum intake can cause significant harm to people with renal impairment and certain bone diseases, and has been shown to reduce the growth rate of brain cells in human beings.

Particularly, researchers are making connections between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease, leading them to contend that the condition could in fact be a modern illness born out of the industrialization of the planet.

When it comes to cooking, aluminum in pots and pans is far less problematic than foil, Bassioni’s research group found. This is because the de-oxidation process happens gradually and can actually be worked around altogether. Boiling water several times in new pots, for example, creates a matte layer that will prevent leaching.

But aluminum foil is disposable. Single sheets aren’t used repeatedly, so there’s no way to create a protection layer prior to cooking. And due to the volatile nature of aluminum, chemical reactions occur during the cooking process that leads to leaching — particularly with foods that are highly acidic.

“This research suggests that aluminum foil should not be used for cooking,” concludes Bassioni. “Instead, we’d recommend using glassware or porcelain when preparing baked dishes.”

This article (Here’s Why You Should Never Use Aluminum Foil to Cook Your Food) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to James Holbrooks and UndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to undergroundreporter2016@gmail.com. Image credit: Pixabay

What is Mindfulness and How it Can Help You.

Mindfulness is often defined as “paying attention on purpose moment by moment without judging” ( from Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn, a world authority on the use of mindfulness training in the management of clinical, mental and emotional problems). This means developing the ability to pay deliberate attention to your experience from moment to moment. With practice you can learn to tune into what is going on in your mind, emotions and body day to day without judging your experience.

How Mindfulness Impacts on Your Life and Your Health:

Mindfulness is a skill and practice that is increasingly recognized as an effective way of improving our lives and our health:

It improves the quality of your life by freeing it from the harsh dictates of the human mind. Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and body sensations may not sound like an obviously helpful thing to do, however, learning to do this in a way that suspends judgement and the resulting self criticism can have surprising results. Many people report finding inner strengths and resources that help them make wiser decisions about their health and life in general. Most of us find ourselves frequently ‘swept away’ by the current of thoughts and feelings, worries, pressures, responsibilities and the desire for things to be different from how they are right now. This can be particularly powerful when we are faced with pain, difficulties and illness that confound our attempts to find a solution or to feel better. Feeling stuck in this way can be draining. Mindfulness can help us to work directly with the struggle we sometimes have in relating to life’s experience and in doing so can really improve the quality of our life. Most emotions are your body’s reaction to your mind’s self talk and chatter. Mindfulness helps you free yourself from your mind and rise above thought.

It helps with pain management and reduction. If you really narrow your focus to pain or any other unpleasant body sensation, it quickly gets worse. When you have pain in your body, all sorts of thoughts go through your mind.Mindfulness meets them openheartedly and openmindedly without making a big deal of them. We can make space for an attitude of honoring things completely and at the same time not making them into too much of a big deal. It’s a paradoxical idea, but holding these two attitudes at the same time is the source of enormous relief and joy. We hold a sense of respect toward all things, along with the ability to let go. It’s not about belittling things, but on the other hand not fanning the fire until you have your own inner war of nerves. In addition to mindfulness I incorporate EFT/Tapping to deal even more effectively with pain. Once the mental and emotional aspects are handled, acupressure and trigger point therapy may or may not be needed as well. Often the pain is reduced to a manageable level without the need for any physical treatment.

Relieving Stress. In my work as a Health and Life Coach, the biggest stumbling block that I have noticed my clients run into is stress. Mindfulness is one way of managing stress. Mindfulness based approaches are intended to teach people practical skills that can help with physical and psychological health problems and ongoing life challenges. The approach is an integration of meditation, the philosophy of mindfulness ( being inwardly  aware and living in the present moment) with current psychological understanding and knowledge. It is taught in an entirely secular way and has no religious context at all. It is a skill that can to be practiced by anyone and like prayer can be used by anyone of any religion. It helps us accessing our existing inner understanding. It is a skill that brings our attention to the breath and the body during stillness and movement. The two main approaches that have been developed in recent years are Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction(MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy(MBCT). There is also Core Mindfulness for borderline personality disorder. Many other types of therapy are starting to include mindfulness techniques. EFT/Tapping is in a similar way going mainstream as far a therapy is concerned. For the everyday member of the public, it is a way of developing more peace, focus and results in less stress.Mindfulness reminds us to see life life from the point of view that everything is spontaneously arising and that things aren’t “coming at you” or “trying to attack you” in any given moment. It teaches you to give yourself more space and room to relax into. Your stomach, which may tend to be in a knot, can just relax. Your tense neck can relax. Your mind can stop spinning and relax and be open and still. You let your  thoughts go and perceive what is there after you have let go. It opens up a boundryless dimension of being which is characterized by awareness, letting go and flowing with the current of life. It helps you reduce or end your ‘life drama’.Dwelling in a place of silence, space and listening is stress relieving indeed. This assists us in our relationships on all levels as we are much less hot headed and reactive.

Beat Addictions and Develop Positive Habits. You will find on the internet a lot of courses and programs that tackle beating addictions using mindfulness. These range from quitting smoking, drinking, drug taking, various eating disorders to weight loss. You may have noticed that I offer similar programs. It seems that some aspects of mindfulness are used in most of these programs. That is a great idea, because mindfulness works, whether you are trying to stop bad habits and/or cultivate new healthy habits or deal with stress. I also consider biochemical balancing using  nutrition , superfoods, supplements, minerals, fats, enzymes, detoxification techniques like massage, reflexology, shiatsu, kinesiology and exercise plus EFT/Tapping, mindfullness, NLP, CBT, coaching and bach flower remedies to deal with the mental and emotional factors that often block us from making changes. I am not saying that everyone needs all of these. They are some of my favorite techniques. I consider them all as old friends when it comes to making successful change in a persons life.

If you go onto utube you will find numerous presentations where mindfulness is being promoted to control/heal cardiac problems, high blood pressure, PMT and hot flushes, overcome depression, enhance emotional intelligence, strengthen the immune system, slow aging down, enhance studying, focus and concentration, control weight and a lot of other medical problems. Mindfulness is also popular in the corporate world as it helps  stress management and productivity for those in business.

Mindfulness:

I will end this blog by looking at mindfulness and breath. In my next mindfulness blog I will go into mindfulness walking, mindfulness and observing your thoughts and mindfulness  and being present with your emotions. I will also give tips on common hurdles that come up in daily practice.

Mindfulness and your breath:

Tune into your body right now. What can you sense? Are you relaxed and tension free? Is there heaviness or discomfort? Take a few long, slow deep breaths and check your body again. How does it feel now? Those few deep breaths may have made a really noticeable  difference to the way you feel. A few deep breaths can make you feel lighter, calmer and more grounded. Learning to regulate your breathing consciously is a valuable skill to learn. Breathing brings more oxygen into the body and expels waste CO2 on the outbreath. Taking control of your breathing rate and depth allows you to stimulate the body’s brakes- the parasympathetic nervous system. This puts the body into repair mode which is necessary for healing. Breath raises life force in the body. Movement of energy through us is registered as feelings. Breath rate and depth provide us a thermostat for controlling emotional intensity. Some of my clients have told me that they stressed in their lives. When I have asked them to deepen and slow their breathing, they have noticed tension and emotional upset in  their bodies. When I have asked them to keep breathing like this while feeling the tension in their bodies, the tension releases. Because emotions are such a powerful source of insight and wisdom, not breathing deeply and slowly prevents us from accessing them fully. On the one hand this is useful if those emotions are unpleasant. On the other hand, if we are committed to total health and want to grow  in awareness, then we need to make contact with them in order to receive the message that they hold for us. A technique called focusing can be included here to go deeper into what is emerging. It is a simple process of noticing how your body feels about something and then listening to what your body wisdom has to say to you. Entering into a caring relationship with your feelings and accepting them as they are, the doors of change and insight open and relief from tension follows.

Sitting down to a 10-20 minute session of mindfulness once a day will reduce your overall stress levels. If you are in the middle of great stress in your life, you may benefit from two or three sessions of mindfulness sitting per day. It is very helpful if you are sick or detoxifying, or going through work, family or personal crisis of some kind.

 

Depression.

Depression is a common condition that according to the DSM iv can give rise to:

  1. Poor appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain.
  2. Insomnia or excessive sleeping habit.(hypersomnia)
  3. Physical hyperactivity or inactivity.
  4. Decreased interest or pleasure in  usual activities or decrease in sexual drive.
  5. Loss of energy. Fatigue.
  6. Feeling worthless–guilty and ashamed of being a loser.
  7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate.
  8. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Studies:

An American Government study that was ran in the Washington Post stated “Antidepressants fail to cure the symptoms of major depression in half of all patients with depression, even if they get the best care. Antidepressants have serious side effects that include suicidal thoughts, weight gain and personality changes.”

Another study compared a group of people with depression who were divided into 4 groups. The first group was put on antidepressants alone. The second group had psychotherapy alone. The third group had to work out with exercise coaches twice a week. The forth group was the control group and they were put on a placebo alone. The study continued for a year. After the first month the group doing exercise had the best results by far, next came the placebo group, then the psychotherapy group and lastly the group on medication. The results stayed the same for the rest of the year. The results are a quite a shocker!

What is Depression:

Almost everyone has at some point in their lives experienced “the blues”. We all feel sad in the face of significant loss, whether that is the loss of a job, a loved one, or an adored animal companion. Watching the news or reading the newspaper on most days is enough to trigger  the blues. True depression is much more serious than a temporary disappointment or sorrow. People who are depressed can feel a profound and persistent sadness in the absence of an identifiable external cause. The symptoms extend beyond melancholy mood to sleep disruption and loss of appetite and energy. It affects the whole body, changing the way we think and behave, often damaging our physical health as well as our emotional state. It can leave us debilitated, unable to work, maintain relationships, or deal with other responsibilities. Although external factors play a role, depression and other mood disorders arise primarily from subtle imbalances in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Depression can strike all ages and races, both sexes and all socioeconomic groups. Twice as many women suffer from depression as men. Millions of depression cases are never diagnosed or treated. Untreated major depression can last for 6 months to a year, with recurrences becoming more frequent and severe. Major depression is the leading cause of disability in society and ranks just behind high blood pressure as the most common chronic condition doctors see. Every year many people commit suicide as a result of depression. The condition costs society a fortune.Depression is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed problems. Many doctors treat the obvious  symptoms of depression, such as poor appetite, insomnia, and headaches, but overlook the real problem. Left  untreated, depression can become more frequent and severe, leading to physical and emotional suffering, loss of job and relationships, and even to suicide.

Medical textbooks describe depression as a mood disorder, lasting at least 2 weeks, that produces exaggerated, inappropriate feelings of sadness, worthlessness, emptiness and dejection. To feel upset because of a job layoff, a broken marriage, a bankruptcy, or the loss of a loved one is a normal response to an unhappy event. Our feelings of sadness are proportional to our loss and this reactive depression goes away with time. Major depression often strikes for no apparent reason. It doesn’t seem to be caused by outside events. The black mood grows from within. This darkness can last for weeks, months, or even years, making it impossible for us to carry on our normal lives. Symptoms may include:

  • Profound, persistent sadness.
  • Profound, persistent irritability.
  • Unexplained crying.
  • Loss of self esteem.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism, worthlessness. guilt and emptiness.
  • Dwelling on past mistakes.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns.
  • Changes in eating habits.
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss.
  • Restlessness.
  • Unexplained headaches, stomach upset, or other physical problems that are not helped with standard treatment.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Loss of interest in sex.
  • Loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities.
  • Difficulty making decisions.
  • Memory difficulties.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • A slow down in in physical movements.
  • Fatigue.
  • Thoughts of suicide or death.
  • Suicide attempts.

The symptoms may come in any combination. Mildly depressed people may gain weight as they seek comfort in favorite foods, while those more profoundly depressed may lose weight as sadness deadens their appetites. Sleep patterns may also be affected this way. Some depressed people have difficulty falling or staying asleep, while others sleep more than usual and awaken feeling tired.

Causes of Depression:

We know that several neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) including dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin help regulate our moods and keep us happy. Depressed people tend to have lower levels of these three. Why do these mood regulators fall in some people, but not in others? Genetics plays a role. Depression tends to run in families. Men with chronic low cholesterol tend to depression. Many environmental toxins can trigger depression. People who are pessimistic, easily overwhelmed by life or have low self esteem are more likely to suffer from depression. Some people have large reserves of happy neurotransmittors in their brains that keep them safe while others  have just enough to barely keep a smile on their faces. Biochemistry plays a huge role in the condition. If you have large reserves of certain nutrients, you get through troubling times with minimal difficulties. Stress is linked to depression. Certain states of immunological signaling can lead to depression.

Prescription Medication:

Doctors and psychiatrists have numerous drugs at their disposal. I will name some of them and their common side effects:

Tricyclic antidepressants:headache, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, fatigue, weakness, drowsiness, nervousness, anxiety, excessive sweating, tremor, insomnia, weight gain, “sweet tooth”

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors(MAOIs): dizziness, restlessness, tremors, dry mouth, constipation,difficult urination, blurred vision, “sweet tooth”.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors(SSRIs):nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, anxiety, drowsiness, insomnia, headache, increased sweating, increased or decreased appetite, and decreased sexual drive.

Antidepressant medications, while helpful to some people, are not panaceas. Some studies have shown that drugs are of no value in about one third of depression cases while the above mentioned studies found this to be the case in half the people treated. When you have one problem, why complicate matters by taking toxic chemicals?

Nutrition and Depression:

Many factors can contribute to the development of depression. In some cases it is mainly biochemical and this should be checked via blood and or hair analysis. A person with MTHFR could be a prime candidate for nutrient deficiency caused depression. Check up on this as a possibility. Psychological issues may predispose another individual to depression. What triggers your tendency to depression ? Is it a stressful event, a bereavement, loss of a job or breakup of a relationship. Counselling is a way of investigating what the emotional triggers are.

Remember that alcohol dulls our inhibitions, but it is a depressant in the long run. Limit yourself to one drink a day if you use it as a relaxant. What is your daily intake of caffeine? There are many sources of caffeine commonly used eg coffee, tea, cool drinks, chocolate/cocoa and many over the counter medications. Poor nutrition is often a cause among the poor and elderly people. Different nutrients play a role in regulating mood. A deficiency in a few nutrients can cause depression. In a British double-blind study of hospitalized elderly patients, supplementation with a daily protein/micronutrient drink improved symptoms of depression.

Reactive Hypoglycemia:

There is a direct link between mood and blood sugar balance.The more uneven your blood sugar supply, the more your mood goes up and down. A high sugar intake has been implicated in aggression, problems concentrating, fatigue, anxiety and depression. The body often tries to raise blood sugar by increasing cortisol. Elevated cortisol can cause depression. Insulin resistance can contribute to neurotransmitter deficiencies leading to depression. People who eat a lot of bread and or other carbohydrates (pasta, rice, cakes, puddings) may have depression. Fructose and lactose malabsorption should be considered as a potential contributing factor in patients with depression. Malabsorbed sugars in the gut block tryptophan absorption in the gut, thereby decreasing serotonin synthesis.

Aspartame and/or Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) consumption have been reported to cause depression in individuals.

Candida:

A diagnosis of candidiasis should be considered in depressed patients who have had recurrent vaginal yeast infections or a history of treatment with antibiotics, oral contraceptives or systemic glucocorticoids.

Homocysteine:

Those with high levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid found in the blood, will have double the rate of depression present. This goes more for women than men. The ideal level is below 7. Homocysteine  levels indicate how good your body is at methylation, a critical  biochemical process in the brain and body. The nutrients that help normalise overmethylation and high homocysteine are B2, B6 (P5P form), B12 (methyl form), Folic Acid (methyl form), Zinc Picolinate, Magnesium Glycinate and TMG while undermethylators need other nutrients. Read my blog on methylation on this site for further information.

Allergies:

Ensure that food allergies are not the cause of depression. Environmental chemicals can also result in depression. Petrochemical byproducts can cause depression.

Natural Supplements that Fight Depression:

Scientific studies and clinical experience show that natural remedies and supplements can help alleviate depression. Do not try all of these at once. It is best to try one at a time and estimate how much it is working. In cases of extreme sadness or hopelessness seek help immediately. I usually test to see which of these are needed by the individual from the very outset. I have not given any doses because that is a totally individual matter. For example SAMe or Tryptophan may help some individuals or hinder healing. This is because  we are all biochemically different and it is risky to self medicate or try to work out dosages on your own after reading an article such as this. Dosage needs to be tailored to your needs and feedback should be carefully monitored.

  • SAMe-can be stimulating and should be used with caution in those with bipolar disorder, hyperactivity or schizophrenia.
  • L-Tryptophan .Do not conbine these with SSRI antidepressants. You could end up making too much serotonin.
  • 5-HTP
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic Acid-the 5-MTHF form, not normal folic acid which is synthetic.
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Chromium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Thiamine-B1
  • Vitamin B3
  • D and DL-Phenylalanine
  • Inositol
  • Choline
  • L-Carnitine
  • NADH
  • Acetyl-L- Carnitine
  • Selenium
  • Lithium
  • L-Glutamine
  • Phosphatidyl Serine
  • DMAE
  • Hormones.Levels of thyroxine, Progesterone, Pregnenolone, Testosterone DHEA and melatonin need to be checked out. Bio identical hormones may be needed to raise lowered hormone levels.
  • Herbs: St Johns Wort, Bacopa Monniera, Damiana, Kava kava, Oat extract, Passion flower, Schisandra, Siberian ginseng, Skullcap, Valerian, Withania, Ginkgo Biloba, Rhodiola Rosea, Bach Flower Remedies.

 

Exercise:

Cardiovascular exercise, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, pilates can be very helpful. Spending time outdoors has been shown to dramatically improve people’s mood and significantly reduce symptoms of depression. Outdoor activities could be just about anything, from walking a nature trail to gardening or simply taking your exercise outdoors. Tai chi and Qi gong are traditionally practiced outdoors.

Meditation and Relaxation:

Calm and balance the stressed individual.

EFT / Tapping:

EFT is a powerful self help method based on research showing that emotional trauma contributes to mental disease. Clinical trials have shown that EFT is able to rapidly reduce the emotional impact of memories and incidents that trigger emotional distress. Once the distress is reduced or removed, the body can often rebalance itself and accelerate healing. EFT can detoxify emotional baggage and reprogram the way your body responds to emotional stressors. An EFT study involving 30 moderately to severely depressed college students was conducted. The depressed students were given four 90 minute EFT sessions. Students who received EFT showed significantly less depression than the control group when evaluated three weeks later. I prefer to combine EFT with journaling, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga exercises, CBT and NLP.

Bodywork:

Massage, shiatsu, acupuncture, kinesiology, reflexology, polarity, quantum touch, reiki and many other hands on body techniques help depression.

Sunlight and Sunbathing:

These have proven to be very helpful to some individuals.

Homeopathy:

An  approach which has different remedies for different kinds of individuals. Aurum metallicum is an example of one such remedy.

 

With so many natural healing approaches available, people have many avenues open to them when dealing with depression. In my experience drug treatments are rarely needed if natural healing methods are used properly. Trust and patience make all the difference to the outcomes of the treatments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrition and Healthy Eating.

The Foundation of Good Health:

One of my Naturopathy teachers was Dr.F.O.Lawrence. He taught us that health is like a coach pulled by many horses. The strongest and leading horse is our nutrition. Sayings like “you are what you eat”, “food is your best medicine” and many similar sayings have been around for thousands of years. Moment to moment you’re always choosing what to consume. In time you become the results of what you choose to eat and drink.

As a health coach, I focus primarily on helping  you take the best care of your body, health and happiness. Starting today, you can choose to eat healthy foods and take steps to cultivate a variety of good habits. Do not worry about major dietary and lifestyle changes at the moment. Let’s start by making a few simple effective choices. What you eat, how much you sleep, the amount you move, what you think, how you deal with stress, how much water you drink, how many bad habits you discard and how much your social relationships support you, can all be changed slowly step by step if needed. Eventually your health program can have a profound effect on the quality of your life and your longevity.

Think:

Of the many positive steps you can take, three can be controlled to give you maximum results. The steps are : what you eat, how much you move or exercise and what you think about. They tend to be fixed patterns in many peoples lives, but can be gradually changed without too much drama. If you want vibrant health, freedom from disease and to be filled with energy and vitality, start to upgrade your health habits today. Most people are digging their graves with their knives and forks at every meal. While food is only one of the essential ingredients of vibrant health, it is a big one. Your body is composed of more than 70 trillion cells. Each cell has a little engine. For those engines to function properly, they require specific fuels. If the fuel is of a poor grade, the engine will lose power. Most of the fuel for our cells comes from what we eat and drink.

Plan:

Food contains vitamins, minerals, water, protein, carbohydrates, fats and enzymes that are needed to sustain life in our cells. These nutrients are involved in every bodily process. For example food and nutrients are involved in fighting infection, providing energy as well as  healing and repairing the body and keeping it going every day. Most people eat too much low nutrient, man made, toxic, chemical laden food every day. That is not a good plan. The human body has tremendous resilience and often hides the repercussions of unhealthy food choices for many years. Eventually poor eating catches up with you. Even if you aren’t obviously sick (sometimes referred to as vertical illness), you may not necessarily be healthy. By understanding nutrition and knowing what nutrients you need and what foods contain them, you can improve the state of your health, ward off disease and maintain the harmonious balance that nature requires.

Why Age?

Why do you choose the foods that you eat? Most people make poor food choices on a daily basis that unconsciously constitute a slow suicide. What do you think consuming chemicals via eating, drinking, applying externally, and breathing does to us on a daily basis? What do you think consuming junk food; nonfood; genetically modified food; nutritionally void food; tinned or packaged food; chemically treated food and lab produced food will do to you? Your body requires the best fuel to operate. Do you put sugar into the gas tank of your car? You know that it will damage or destroy your engine! Do you want to live to 120 years old? What if you could do so and be in perfect health? What if you could even reverse ageing? At present, just when we are at the top of our careers, when we are good at “who we are and what we do”, our health betrays us due to a lifetime of poor lifestyle and dietary choices. Then suddenly it’s too late. You are caught spiraling downward, ending up in hospitals, with brain fog and lack of energy, with bones that won’t hold you up, living on pills and eventually ending up in the nursing home. Do you want to escape that fate? There is another way-a healthy way! The choice to be healthy, to live a longer better quality longer life requires a shift in your thinking and lifestyle now.

Up to You:

The first step is to understand that the way you have been eating is not serving your health. This is true for most people. You have to decide to completely change your thought processes about food. What foods are you addicted to? Be addicted to healthy eating. Beat any other sort of food addiction. This is not about dieting ! We need to eat healthy plant based foods that build us up and enhance our immunity, health and energy levels. Life involves millions of choices. Moment by moment you are making choices and they give you results in your life. What you think, what you imagine, how you react, what you eat, how you move, what you say, what you feel and what you expect in life results in your current situation. With that in mind, it is time to take full responsibility for the decisions you make. Start right now by acknowledging your immense power to create what you’ve always wanted- a healthy, fit body and a joyful, fulfilling life.

Explore more closely the importance of your day to day food choices. Reprogram and retrain your senses to choose empowerment and release self limiting beliefs and habits. The primary goal of an aliveness eating program is to get to the point where you’re eating a sufficient amount of high quality living foods prepared with love. Avoid fanaticism. Some of you may need to do ‘baby steps’ to incorporate healthy eating gradually. Coach yourself or work with a coach if the job seems daunting. Eat mainly vegetables either raw or lightly steamed. Fresh, in season, preferably organic, beautifully coloured delectable plant foods can be found. Soups, stews and stir fried foods can be health giving. Use culinary herbs and spices in healthy ways to enhance healthy eating. I shop for grass fed beef, lamb, ostrich and venison plus organic chicken and eggs for protein. If your fruit, vegetables and protein are not organic, do not stress about it. At least try to avoid all GMO foods and seed oils.Make sure that your drinking and cooking water supply is flouride and chemical free. Whatever makes it to your kitchen, cook it with love and reverence for all life. Love and care in the preparation of food makes it high octane fuel. I end this article with a list of  what I consider to be the best foods to consume.

Shopping List:

  • Acai Berries
  • Aloe Vera gel or juice
  • Almonds.
  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula or Rocket
  • Asparagus
  • Aubergine. Brinjal.
  • Avocados
  • Baby Marrows.Courgette
  • Banana
  • Barley Grass
  • Beans
  • Beetroot and its leaves.
  • Berries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Celeriac
  • Cherries
  • Chick Peas
  • Chilis
  • Chlorella
  • Chlorophyll
  • Cinnemon
  • Cocao
  • Coconut oil, milk, flour or shredded coconut.
  • Collards
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Daikon
  • Dandelion leaf and root.
  • Dates
  • Eggs.Organic.Free Range.
  • Fats.Coconut Oil.Palm Oil. Macademia Oil.Lard.Duck Fat. Cold Pressed Olive Oil
  • Fennel
  • Fermented Foods. Kefir. Sauerkraut.Kimchi.Coconut Kefir
  • Figs
  • Fish.Unpolluted.
  • Flaxseed or Linseed
  • Flower Blossoms.Non toxic flowers only
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Goji Berries
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Beans
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Kale
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Leeks
  • Lemons
  • Lentils.
  • Lettuce.Cos.Iceberg.Butter lettuce
  • Limes
  • Mango
  • Meats.Beef.Lamb.Mutton.Chicken. Turkey. Duck. Goat. Venison. Ostrich.Organ Meats. Bone Broth Soups.
  • Medicinal, Culinary Herbs and Spices.
  • Melons
  • Millet
  • Miso
  • Mung Beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Seed and its leaf.
  • Nuts.Almonds. Brazil. Cashew. Hazel Nuts.Macadamia.Pecan. Pine Nuts.Pistachio. Walnuts.
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Parsley
  • Parsnips
  • Paw Paw
  • Pears
  • Peas. especially Mangetout
  • Peppermint
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Pomegranates
  • Prunes
  • Pumpkins and their Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Radish
  • Raisins
  • Raspberries
  • Red Peppers (Green/Purple/Yellow/Black)
  • Salt-Sea and Himalayan
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Seeds. Chia. Sunflower. Pumpkin.
  • Sesame Seeds–Tahini
  • Spinach and Swiss Chard
  • Squashes of various kinds
  • Strawberries
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tapioca
  • Tea (Green, Ceylon, Puer, Rooibos, Honeybush, Hibiscus, Mints, Chamomile and many others)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Vinegars. Cider.Balsamic. Red Wine.
  • Walnuts
  • Water -pure and chemical free.Distilled.Reverse Osmosis.Spring.Structured.Many kinds of clean water.
  • Watermelon
  • Watercress
  • Wheatgrass
  • Yellow Split Peas
  • Yogurt made from kefir.Not necessarily made from cows milk.Sheep,Goat,Buffalo are generally well tolerated
  • In addition to this list there is the ever growing list of superfoods from South Africa and all around available.

Happy Shopping and Food Preparation!

Aging.

 

The quality of our lives is what is most important. We all want that inner glow that shows health of body, mind and spirit. Grey hair and wrinkles can be a crown of maturity demonstrating that lifes’ hardships have been endured. They do not necessarily indicate poor health.There is a lot you can do to slow the effects of aging on your body.

Continue reading Aging.

Be a Visionary.

Your Personal Vision

I SEE MYSELF IN PERFECT HEALTH

This is a wonderful affirmation that can be used to retrain your mind for health and well being. It is also a powerful statement of personal vision. When you look at any area of your life that you want to change and focus on a desired outcome, you are exercising the power of your vision. Having a goal or a vision of something that you want to create helps you to stay creative and healthy. If used wisely, your vision can keep you motivated and growing. It may keep you alive if you suffer from a life threatening disease. Continue reading Be a Visionary.

The Principles of My Coaching and Your Consciousness.

Quantum Physics:

Quantum physics is a liberating science because it explores the world of possibilities and shows you how you are in control of your future. It’s empowering to know that you control your future and you determine your destiny. I use coaching + these energetic rules of nature and apply them to any situation to bring about very successful results. Continue reading The Principles of My Coaching and Your Consciousness.