By Natural Advocate | January 29, 2009 - 4:33 pm - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

I was using a brand of 5HTP for a few weeks that I definitely liked – it was the house brand that Vitacost sells, and it was the best deal on 5htp, a derivative of tryptophan, that stuff in turkey that makes you so relaxed, that I could find.  Well, I ended up running out and since I don’t order through mail usually unless I have run out of several other items, so I can save on shipping, I ended up going to the Vitamin Shoppe store that is right near where I work.  They were very helpful, as they always are when you need something and don’t know where to look, and pointed me in the direction I needed to go.

There were several different brands, ranging in price and milligram measurement, and I ended up going with the Vitamin Shoppe store brand because they were the most reasonably priced for the amount of pills I was getting.  The only component I wasn’t sure about in these supplements was the fact that they had Vitamin B6 added to them as well . I didn’t really want that extra vitamin, but I figured what the heck and bought them anyways.

What does Vitamin B6 do?  Well, that’s a good question, I knew that B12 was a well known “energy” enhancement vitamin, but I knew little about B6, so I googled it when I got home.  B6 is a good vitamin that helps us metabolize protein, more specifically, amino acids, and it is also thought to be a possible helpful antidote to clinical depression and PMS (I guess that’s why they added i to my 5htp supplement, so I have no complaints, because I tried it to see if it worked for mood elevation and appetite suppression to begin with).

But besides that, it also acts as a facilitator for the important feel good chemical seratonin and dopamine, and therefore may help to enhance other natural remedies for depression and anxiety which use herbs and other supplements, so that they can harmoniously work to elevate the levels of anti depression chemicals in the body.  That’s the theory anyways, and I do have to say that I only took a few of these new ones supplemented with B6 so far, and I liked them.

Vitamin B6 is found in some meats, many cereals that are fortified (most of them are these days except for some of the more bare bones natural cereals), chick peas, tuna, certain types of nuts, and a variety of other foods from many food groups, which makes it somewhat unique because you wouldn’t expect to get one vitamin out of such a variety of foods that we consume.
Long term results still to be seen, but I think it’s a fairly good supplement that’s straightforward, easy to take, and has no noticeable side effects that I’ve seen thus far.   That’s more than we can usually say for most prescription anti depression and anxiety drugs these days, right!?

By Natural Advocate | January 27, 2009 - 11:24 am - Posted in Medical News

I’m sorry, but this smells so fishy that it’s very subject to skepticism by not only the medical community, but also consumers.  Vytorin is the cholesterol drug that was found in test results and a study last year to be no more effective than a generic drug that is supposed to also lower cholesterol that is much cheaper called Zocor.  This made lots of doctors tell their patients that they could get the same benefits as they could from Vytorin that they could get from this much cheaper version, so a lot of patients willingly dropped Vytorin in favor of the cheaper options – who can blame them?

Here’s for the ultra fishy part, the FDA has now backed Vytorin again and said that a new study showed that Vytorin was better at lowering cholesterol than Zocor, and that they should not abandon the drug as so many had done.  How is it that all the sudden that older study is not right?  This is why I can’t stand this “clinical testing” and other studies – they seem to be so ambiguous, and it seems that the FDA may need to reasses this or explain a little better – it just doesn’t sit well with consumers – at least not with me.

Some of the things you can do to lower your cholesterol naturally is to eat right and not consumer foods that are naturally high in cholesterol or that elevate the cholesterol levels in the blood, like transfats, egg center, butter, and heavily fatted meats and dairy products.  Also, a good omega 3 supplement may help to keep the cholesterol levels a bit lower, in conjunction with a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies.

By Natural Advocate | January 25, 2009 - 6:15 am - Posted in Natural Depression & Anxiety Relief

In studies that suggest a link between teen depression and poverty, there are strong correlations between why the cycle of poverty may be hard to break.  It makes sense that the demographics that were studied, which were teens who were subjected to poor conditions and very low income families experienced depression more often . It’s the expectation that society has set that helps along the depression naturally, in that maybe they cannot afford the nicer things in life and therefore may suffer socially around that age for it, since that is the age where kids put a lot of stock in superficiality.

It also makes sense that these kids who are depressed and also in an economic environment that doesn’t allow for much start having sex earlier and also may get married and move out of the house sooner, and that doesn’t allow them to ever break the cycle of poverty very effectively since that are, in essence, repeating the same things that got their parents in the financial doldrums, so to speak.

The studies findings also suggest that early-onset depression in teens makes it easier for depression to continue, or at least serious cycles of depression that can affect a person’s lot in life, both financially, economically and opportunity wise, later in life and on into adulthood, making the transition much harder and creating for a base that isn’t beneficial for kids to grow up smoothly and enter into a better situation than when they were kids.

Poor kids are also more likely to have poor health.  It is much harder for them to break out of a cycle of poorer health and habits as well.  Habits such as smoking, bad eating, and other lifestyle habits that inhibit good health, are unfortunately rife in the poorer population, and this may all perhaps be linked to the higher probability of depression since bad habits such as smoking, eating poorly, not exercising, and drug use often go hand in hand with depression.

By Natural Advocate | January 23, 2009 - 11:45 am - Posted in Home Remedies

We all suffer from shortages on that vital part of our being called “energy” at times.  Even those of us that seem to have endless energy and boundless enthusiasm for life and activities can get down in the dumps once in a while and want to call it a day and bury our heads in our sheets. Wait, I’m not talking about depression, which is often linked with lack of energy, but actual lack of energy.  Sometimes they do go hand in hand, and some of these tips should help you with depression, anxiety and your energy levels as well since they are all invariably linked.

One of my suggestions runs somewhat counter to common idealogy today about sunlight.  Most people believe now that the sun’s UV rays are just plain dangerous, but they are mistaken if they think that staying indoors or wearing the highest SPF sunblock they can at all times if good for the health . While it is true that limiting our sun exposure should be done since overexposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can be damaging and even cancer causing, so can absolutely no exposure.

Not only that, zero exposure to sunlight makes us sluggish, tired, and you bet – depressed and with less energy.  You may want to make sure that in the winter you get some sort of exposure (do not overexpose!), whether that is at a tanning salon, getting in for one minute or so (this is not for a tan, this is just to get a few precious minutes of that UV light that is so beneficial for your energy levels by the way, you should NEVER burn or even try to tan deeply at these salons), or you can even buy special at home devices that expose you to beneficial infrared and UV lights that help lift mood and increase energy levels, and regulate the hormone Melatonin in the body, which is crucial to your energy levels because it controls the sleep cycles.

Do quick stints of exercise.  For example, if you are an eight hour a day compoter/desk worker, then make sure you get up every hour or so and sneak off to do a few exercises in the bathroom, or take a brisk walk around the building.  Inactivity is one of the worst things we can practice for our energy levels.  It may seem counter to what you would think, but you must move and get exercise to increase your precious energy levels.

Take a B12 supplement or spray.  Vitamin B12 is a great non-stimulant and no-caffeine way to get quick energy boosts.  Many times those with B12 deficiencies say they feel tired all of the time.  Many people even go to the doctor’s to get B12 shots once a month if they are deficient, and they say it makes a huge difference not only in their energy levels, but also often in their moods.

Try doing a little muscle work.  If you’re sitting at your desk, clench muscles that are large, like your quadriceps on your legs, or your biceps.  These large muscles require oxygen and blood to rush to them to be able to work, so this rush of oxygen and blood will help wake you out of your fog.

By Natural Advocate | January 21, 2009 - 3:46 pm - Posted in Nutritional Supplements, Vitamins & Minerals

I love the supplements I take.  Although many of them are for multiple purposes, many of them also serve a dual purpose for good skin and making the skin’s elasticity last longer, as well as nourishing it with vital nutrients that it needs to fight off the many environmental assaults that it comes up against on a daily basis. 

Many of the supplements that are good for the skin and it’s appearance are antioxidants, which of course some people may argue with since the “efficacy of antioxidants” is not known in the body and that our digestive enzymes may destroy them.  Which I think is hogwash.  Otherwise, how to you explain that people that have naturally high antioxidant diets happen to look great, have less disease, and have an abundance of energy?  I rest my case.  Any expert that says differently I’m just going to have to personally disagree with since my personal experience tells me otherwise! 

4 Supplements for Good Skin, and Great Health :

1.)  Fish oil or flax oil.  Omega 3 fatty acids are vital to your connective tissues.  They allow your skin to remain smooth, have great hormone balancing qualities and blood sugar balancing qualities, both of which lend themselves to good skin, and also help to lend the natural glow we all covet. 

2.)  Alpha lipoic acid.  This is an antioxidant that is powerful and helps feed and nurture the skin’s cells and also helps to create healthy cell turnover.

3.)  DMAE.  This is a great one for skin firmness and elasticity.

4.)  Vitamin C Esther.  Excellent antoxidant which helps protect the skin cells from free radical damage. 

 


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