Anxiety; a shortage of B6 & Iron the cause?

Approximately 40 million adults in the United States experience anxiety each year.  There are many theories regarding the root cause of anxiety, including brain chemistry, genetics, environmental factors or other medical factors/or disease, however, there is not yet a definitive answer to the root causes of anxiety.

A study out of Japan may provide an important insight into the connection between nutritional deficiencies and mental health.  This study reveals that low levels of vitamin B6 and iron may actually trigger the chemical changes in the brain responsible for panic attacks, hyperventilation and other forms of anxiety.

The research team analyzed the nutritional levels of 21 participants with varying levels of anxiety, panic attacks and hyperventilation episodes.  While some experience minor attacks, manageable at home, other attacks resulted in emergency room visits.  The participants were tested for a number of different nutritional deficiencies or abnormalities in the hope of identifying a pattern.  At the same time, they ran a similar set of tests on a control group of 20 people, and compared the two.

The data showed that those who were experiencing anxiety were found to have lower levels of B6 and iron than those in the healthy control group.  This is important due to the fact that one of the most accepted theories regarding the development of anxiety is that it is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain, with serotonin seen as a key player.  Serotonin is one the “happiness hormones”, responsible for triggering the reward and pleasure centers of the brain.   Serotonin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, and both iron and vitamin B6 play an important role in this process.  An absence of these nutrients, therefore, can cause a decrease of serotonin levels.  As a fact, many of antidepressant drugs work on the same theory; boost serotonin levels to regulate mental health.

“These results suggest that low serum concentration of vitamin B6 and iron are involved in panic attacks and hyperventilation.  Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanism involved in such differences’      

Those struggling with chronic anxiety may wish to have their B6 and iron tested, and if low, consider consuming foods high in B6 and iron, take high-quality supplements, and reach out to LisaMarie for a health consult.

Lower Risk of Death From Cardiovascular Disease

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Higher adherence to a plant-based diet resulted in a lower risk for heart disease and up to a 25 % lower risk of all-cause mortality and 19% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared with lower levels of adherence.

Researchers compared four dietary patterns among middle-aged adults and tracked mortality rates. Diets that included more plant foods received higher ratings than those that included more animal products. Higher intakes of fiber and micronutrients and lower intakes of processed meat and saturated fat on a plant-based diet may account for the decreased risk of death.

Plant-based diets lower the risk of death from heart disease by up to 19 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


Kim H, Caulfield LE, Garcia-Larsen V, Steffen LM, Coresh J, Rebholz CM. Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in a general population of middle-aged adults. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019;8: e012865.      
 

Shortage of B-12 related to gastric bypass surgery

There are a variety of types of weight-loss surgery, know collectively as bariatric surgery.  In the United States, gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common types of bariatric surgeries performed.

After gastric bypass surgery, food bypasses parts of the patients stomach and small intestine.  B-12 usually breaks down into usable form in the stomach and small intestine, therefore, it is likely post-surgery, a patients B-12 levels will need to be monitored to assure adequate B-12 levels.   Supplements or B-12 shots may be required to sustain an adequate level.

The impact of B-12 deficiency can be serious.  Vitamin B-12 in intimately involved with protein metabolism and DNA synthesis; two important biochemical processes controlling everything from heredity to metabolism.

If you had gastric bypass surgery, make sure you know your B-12 levels.  

If you would like more information on this subject matter, or health care in general, reach out to your physician, or to me.    

Best in good health!

LisaMarie

Paleo Diet; Harmful to long-term health?

A “paleo diet” increases levels of TMAO, a metabolite associated with heart disease, according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers tracked TMAO levels and markers of gut-bacteria health for those following a “paleo diet,” which included meat, while excluding grains and dairy products, and compared results to a control group. Decreased consumption of carbohydrates, especially from fiber-rich grains, and increased fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol intake in the paleo group led to more gut bacteria species linked to heart disease and inflammation than those in the control group. The authors note that these results suggest that a paleo dietary pattern may be harmful to long-term health.

References:
Genoni A, Christophersen CT, Lo J, et al. Long‑term Paleolithic diet is associated with lower resistant starch intake, different gut microbiota composition and increased serum TMAO concentrations. Eur J Clin Nutr. Published July 5, 2

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Plant-Based Diets Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Adherence to a healthful, plant-based diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes prevents type 2 diabetes, according to a review published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers reviewed nine studies on plant-based diet adherence and type 2 diabetes incidence rates. Results showed an inverse association between consumption of a plant-based diet and risk of diabetes when compared to low adherence to the diet. These associations appeared stronger when studies defined plant-based diets as containing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, which help provide protective nutrients and antioxidants and avoid high-cholesterol and high-fat products associated with inflammation and weight gain.

References

Qian, F, Liu G, Hu FB, Bhupathiraju SN, Sun Q. Association between plant-based dietary patterns and risk of type 2 diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 22, 2019.

Increased Risk for Colorectal and Breast Cancer


Researchers scored dietary habits based on inflammatory effects and antioxidant content and compared cancer risk. Those who consumed the highest amounts of inflammatory products, including red and processed meat increased their risk for colorectal cancer when compared to those who consumed the fewest inflammatory foods and consumed the highest amounts of antioxidants and fiber. P

The highest intakes of pro-inflammatory products were also associated with an increased risk for breast cancer, compared with the least intake.

These results suggest a link between meat intake and pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory effects associated with increased cancer risk.

References: Obón-Santacana M, Romaguera D, Gracia-Lavedan E, et al. Dietary inflammatory index, dietary non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity, and colorectal and breast cancer risk (MCC-Spain Study). Nutrients. 2019;11:1406-1426.

Is your endocannabinoid system (ECS) effectively working?

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Our endocannabinoid system [ECS] is vitally important to maintaining homeostasis throughout our bodies and minds.  It is one of the most important communication systems in the body.  An imbalanced ECS may contribute toward conditions such as depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, migraines, IBS, obesity and more.  

Our brains have a complex network of receptors, central nervous system and immune system that are activated by two natural chemicals (endocannabinoids) called anandamide and 2-AG.  The receptors (CB1 and CB2) are everywhere in our bodies.  Endocannabinoid activity is involved in a myriad of physiological functions; sleep, appetite, sexual reproduction, pain, immune system, mood, memory and cell growth.

Scientists believe the ECS works as a master biological regulator, a bit like a conductor in an orchestra, making sure that all the individual sections work in harmony. 

Due to our current culture (lifestyles of the 21st century) of rushing, living fast, eating processed foods, self-medicating with alcohol/drugs, sleep deprivation, increased stress, our endocannabinoid system is straining and struggling.  The results of the ECS struggles is resulting in a litany of health conditions ranging from fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, MS, anxiety and depression.

Signs your endocannabinoid system may be off-balanced and straining:

  1. High or oversensitivity to pain:

Scientists have discovered that a number of conditions relating to oversensitivity to pain such as fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, and MS share what is known as endocannabinoid deficiency. This refers to lower levels of the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG as well as fewer endocannabinoid receptors.

  •  You feel anxious or depressed

While there is a variety of reasons someone may be anxious or depressed, a deregulated endocannabinoid system is believed to be a biomarker.

Studies indicate that low levels of  2-AG (a key endocannabinoid) are present in depressed states and PTSD.  In addition, normal CB1 endocannabinoid receptor expression in the brain appears to play a pivotal role in maintaining mental health as well:  a study trialing a new obesity drug found that blocking the CB1 receptor had the unwanted side effect of causing anxiety.

Good news:  something as simple as going for a power-walk or run could be a good way to give our ECS a mood boost. We know that the euphoria experienced through intense exercise is as much to do with anandamide as endorphin production.

  • You Have an Autoimmune Condition

Over the last fifty years there has been a dramatic rise in autoimmune conditions.  Elevated stress levels certainly play a role, but could an off-kilter endocannabinoid system also be a factor?

A fully functioning  ECS is vital to keeping our immune system in balance. It acts rather like a dimmer switch, giving our immune system a boost when it needs a helping hand, and dampening it down when over-activated. Immune over-activation occurs in autoimmune disease. Instead of fighting off outside invaders, our immune system literally turns in on itself, reaping havoc in the body.

We know that elevated endocannabinoid levels and CB2 receptors are found in patients with autoimmune diseases and conditions associated with chronic inflammation. It is thought that this increased activity is the ECS trying to bring our systems back into balance again.

Compounds in cannabis and hemp like CBD have been found to reduce inflammation in the body and, thanks to their antioxidant properties, may even protect autoimmune sufferers from further cell damage.

  • You Find it Hard to Lose Weight

Above we spoke about a deficient ECS, but it’s also possible for our endocannabinoid system to become over-activated, causing weight gain and even diabetes. That’s why an obesity drug trialed was found to block endocannabinoid CB1 receptors.  Scientists, however, are unsure if overeating causes increased CB1 signaling, or whether obesity itself is a consequence of an overactive endocannabinoid system. Either way, the goods news is that diet and exercise, as well as, quality Omega 3 will bring your endocannabinoid levels back into balance again.  Our endocannabinoid system works tirelessly on our behalf. 

It may be time to start giving your ECS much needed tender loving care.  How?

  1. Minimize stress
  2. Receiving enough sleep
  3. Eating healthy
  4. Eliminating/reducing alcohol
  5. Regular fitness
  6. Supplementing with natural, organic CBD Oil.  CBD oil is high in cannabinoids.

Known or believed benefits:

  1. Neuroprotective properties
  2. Reduce acne
  3. Alleviate cancer related symptoms
  4. Benefit hearth health
  5. Anti-tumor effects
  6. Diabetes prevention
  7. Substance abuse treatment
  8. Anti-psychotic effects
  9. Reduction of anxiety
  10. Pain relief

Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil is high in cannabinoids; a group of phytochemicals found in cannabis plants. It is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis. Scientists have proposed Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Syndrome (CEDS) as a spectrum disorder

 To learn more about CBD Oil and how it may help you, your loved ones, or your animal companions, give us a call.

Crohn’s Disease Remission

According to a case study published in Nutrients. a plant-based diet may lead to a remission in Crohn’s disease.

Clinicians followed a patient with Crohn’s disease whose condition did not reach remission after more than a year of intravenous treatment.

During his second year of treatment, the patient removed all animal products and processed foods from his diet for a 40-day religious observation and experienced a total absence of symptoms.

The patient decided to maintain the new dietary pattern and experienced a complete remission of Crohn’s disease.

The prevalence of Crohn’s disease across areas with increased intakes of animal products highlights the dietary factors involved in this condition

Sandefur K, Kahleova H, Desmond AN, Elfrink E, Barnard ND. Crohn’s disease remission with a plant-based diet: A case report. Nutrients. Published online June 20, 2019

Essential Oils for Gums & Teeth

Essential Oils for Gums & Teeth

Essential oils, known for their healing and therapeutic benefits, have been used for centuries, dating back to 2000 BC.  In recent years essential oils are rebounding, and to the benefit of all who use them.  They are used in aroma-therapy treatments for relaxation, expulsion of toxins and healing.  Many are ingestible, and others used topically.  There are myriad reasons to use essential oils.  In this piece, I highlight the benefits of essential oils for gums and teeth.

 Clove is essential for oral health. Clinical research indicates that clove oil can relieve tooth pain, cure bad breath, and help reduce gum disease.  Clove oil also has the natural ability to restrict the development of bacteria and can help fight mouth and throat infections.

Thyme contains natural chemicals that help defend from tooth decay, gingivitis and general oral infections.

Oregano is a powerful antioxidant known to contain anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce bacterial and fungal infections. Oregano oil is also known to help boost the immune system.  

Tea Tree is a natural remedy for bad breath and contains ingredients that diminish plaque. This oil has the ability to kill bacteria, diminish tooth decay and relieve bleeding gums.  Note:  you must spit it out after use and rinse mouth with water. It is not meant for internal use

Peppermint is known for its cooling and numbing elements which can effectively soothe tooth and muscle aches. Research has found that peppermint oil is exceptionally powerful for fighting oral pathogens and killing common bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease.

Cinnamon is antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic, making it an effective cleanser for oral health care.  It also contains one of the greatest antimicrobial properties protecting against bacteria accountable for tooth decay. w

Plant-Based Diets Lower Risk Factors for Heart Failure

Plant-based diets can reverse heart failure, according to a case study published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

A 54-year-old woman with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart failure began a whole food, plant-based diet, and researchers tracked her health outcomes. She removed all animal products, limited processed foods, and increased her intake of fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, grains, and legumes. In less than six months, she lost 22.7 kg (50 pounds), reduced her HbA1c by 2.4 points without medication, and improved her dyspnea.

Plant-based diets offer effective treatment and prevention via reduced inflammation and blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and A1C, reduced BMI, and improved gut microbiome. The authors note that most clinicians rely on pharmacotherapy due to insufficient training in nutrition and recommend clinicians integrate plant-based diets as part of treatment to reverse systolic dysfunction and care for heart failure.

Allen KE, Gumber D, Ostfeld RJ. Heart failure and a plant-based diet. A case-report and literature review. Front Nutr. Published online June 11, 2019.