The US National Institute of Mental Health says we now have over 40 million Americans affected by a mental or emotional condition. Then there is the other 50 million who suffer from intermittent bouts of anxiety and depression.
Wow. That’s nearly one third of the US population with mental health issues.
Scary? Damn right it is!
NIMH says just over 50% of adults with a serious mental illness get treatment .
This typically includes inpatient care (7.5 %) and outpatient therapy (40.5%), but the ‘top dog’ is prescription drugs (antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs).
Although people do achieve relief of their symptoms—side effects can be far worse than the original condition.
Think… suicidal thoughts or actions, the development of tics, liver damage, violent, aggressive or homicidal behavior and impaired immune function, to name a few.
What no-one talks about Neurotransmitters
Google how your brain works, and you’ll begin to understand why mental health conditions make a lot more sense…and you can see that there are other (safer) ways to deal with them!
Billions of cells in my brain talk to each other, exchanging information in the form of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.
If brain cell ‘Fred’ wants to send a message to brain cell ‘Wilma’, Fred releases the proper neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter floats across a miniscule space between the two cells (the synaptic cleft) and the receiving cell, Wilma, “catches” the message in one or more of its “catcher’s mitts” (neuroreceptors).
And it happens at the speed of light – or at last it should if everything is working to the max.
When the message is delivered, the leftover neurotransmitters need a cleanup. This happens in one of two ways:
- They are broken down by enzymes, pass through the liver and end up in your urine or feces
- They get sucked up by little “vacuums” (reuptake pumps) to be recycled.
The Big Stars of your Neurotransmitter Inner World.
Although your body has over 50 neurotransmitters, you do have an A-Team. Here are the nutrients they are made of: We’ll look at the common and less common ones and what happens if you are short on them.
Function: Regulates your appetite, mood, sensory perception and immune function.
Deficiency: Depression, eating disorders, chronic pain, sleep disorders, emotional problems, anxiety and aggression.
Food: Amino acid tryptophan, B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and iron.
Gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA)
Function: Calming effect on your mood.
Deficiency:Anxiety, over-excitability, seizure disorders and mania.
The recipe: The amino acid glutamate, vitamin B6, manganese, biotin, lysine and taurine.
Function: Controls your arousal, movement and hormonal responses.
What deficiency can cause: Muscular and cell rigidity, tremors and Parkinson’s disease.
Food: The amino acids tyrosine or phenylalanine, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, copper, magnesium and zinc.
Function: Controls electrical activity of your brain and is vital for memory storage.
Deficiency: Memory loss, depression, confusion and muscle incoordination.
Food: The amino acid choline, vitamins B6, B5 and B3, manganese, lysine and threonine.
Medications method of ‘helping’ neurotransmitters.
Psychiatric drugs achieve their intended effect by artificially manipulating our neurotransmitter levels.
Some antidepressants block our reuptake pumps from vacuuming up leftover serotonin. The drug forces serotonin to hang around between our brain cells, making us feel “happier.”
This can get nasty. It can eventually cause you to have too much serotonin—which can make your depression even worse!
By encouraging proper levels of neurotransmitters in your body, you could feel a whole lot better from mental health conditions!
Ways you can naturally help support your neurotransmitters…and your state of mind!
- A whole foods diet with lots of organic fresh fruits, green vegetables, grassfed meats, line caught fish, real grassfed butter, coco and olive oil, eggs. These foods that will load us up with the proper nutrients for your body to make your neurotransmitters. We ‘bring home’ our manufacturing process.
- Drop the soda, sugars and refined carbs. These leach essential nutrients from your bodyand are seriously addictive, even causing many mental conditions. If you don’t believe it, stop eating them fopr 2 weeks a see what your bosy and mind make up to force you back onto them!
- Encourage a healthy gut with probiotic supplementation or fermented foods. The majority of your body’s serotonin is created in your gut. From there it is sent express to your brain. Gut health is crucial to brain health!
- Make sure you have enough vitamin B12. B12 supports a process in your body called methylation. Methylation is vital to the formation of many neurotransmitters, and methylation abnormality is a factor behind mental health problems.
- Get sources of Omega-3 essential fatty acids like wild caught fatty fish. Omega-3 EFAs are vital to brain health. Supplement with a purified fish oil formula if your diet is lacking in this area.
- The new kid on the block is molecular Hydrogen. How does Molecular Hydrogen fit into this picture? Let’s look in more detail.
From the 700+ scientific studies so far, one benefit claim clearly emerges: one of the main actions of H2 is to improve cell signalling; in the brain, cell signalling is done by neurotransmitters.
We certainly need the nutrients mentioned above to make neurotransmitters, but it may not be enough. We also need the body to recognise that the neurotransmitter needs to be made. It has to send the message that the nutrients need to be used for that particular purpose. This message delivery is carried via cell signalling, and with our modern lifestyle and constant sate of low to mediam level toxicity, occasionally the body needs help with maintaining optimal cell signalling. H2, it appears, can do this.
A good number of studies have now shown H2 can increase a number of neurotransmitter levels, including dopamine, epinephrine and acetylcholine. In the studies, scientists were able to conclude that increase in dopamine levels were sufficient to lead to a reduction in Parkinson’s symptoms.
In addition to molecular hydrogen’s cell signalling role, it is also anti-inflammatory. This is important to our brain as well as our body. Between the brain and the rest of the body is the blood brain barrier (BBB). This semi-permeable membrane, when functioning optimally, allows the brain’s essential nutrients and neurotransmitters into the brain, and keeps everything else out. However, in less than optimal health, the BBB can become more porous and let things into the brain that are detrimental, such as free-radicals and heavy metals. This increase in porosity can be due to inflammation.
Heavy metals and excess free-radicals in the brain may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimers. They can not only destroy the neurotransmitters. They can damage the receptors. We certainly need sufficient neurotransmitter levels, and proper functioning receptors for proper brain function. By decreasing inflammation at the BBB, molecular hydrogen can help reduce free-radical damage to the neurotransmitters and their receptors.
Molecular Hydrogen is also a selective antioxidant, so it mops up free radicals.
Therefore, in addition to its role in helping neurotransmitters and their receptors talk to each other, and keeping the bad guys out of the brain, it can also help mop up any of the bad guys that do happen to find their way into the brain.
Scientific Studies suggest that Molecular Hydrogen can:
- Help increase the levels of neurotransmitters
- Protect neurotransmitter receptors from damage
- Improve the function of the blood brain barrier
- Reduce free-radical damage in the brain.This video is a discussion between friends about the effects of molecular hydrogen on depression and brain.
For more information on how to access H2, go here.
Dehydration common among UK care home residents
Research recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine concludes…
“patients admitted to hospital from care homes are commonly dehydrated on admission and consequently appear to experience significantly greater risks of in-hospital mortality”.
The researchers were from Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
They reviewed “over 20,000 patients aged 65 years and over admitted to a London hospital trust for the first time between January 2011 and December 2013”, and looked at sodium levels.
“After adjustment for a number of possible explanatory factors, including age and dementia, the risk of high sodium levels was still over five times higher for those admitted from care homes”. The lead researcher, Dr Anthony Wolff, said “High sodium levels in care home residents should raise questions about adequate support for drinking”.
Ian: My worst nightmare is going to an old people’s warehouse. This article reinforces my nightmare.
A new report from Science Daily tells us that diabetes in midlife determines a high probability of cognitive decline 20 years later. So.. we’re looking at a nation of senior morons! Ouch!
And yet diabetes is SO unnecessary!
The study is a rather personal message for me because I experienced what we believe to be incipient Alzheimers’ some 5 years ago. Believe me, it was seriously scary to try to put a sentence together and see GAPS where words used to be, to go to the supermarket and completely forget why you went there, and to lose motor responses sufficient to be banned from the kitchen because I smashed so many things. Our video about my recovery has now hit a quarter of a million views and you’ll see it here.
How am I today? Well, coconut oil was just the beginning. I still consume as much orgainic coco oil as I can but I’ve also experienced that ANY carbs or sugary foods have an effect on my mental clarity, which ties in with this study in that diabetes is the result o9f high sugar and carb intake. It ties in perefectly with our new alkaline diet and that’s why we are revising and updating our old Alkaline Defence Program. It was put together back in 2006 and there’s so much new science since then tying in alkalinity, carb intake, fats and more. I’m madly trying to get it completed by Christmas so stay in touch for your copy – free to blog readers.
Obesity, as we know, creates all sorts of problems. But now there’s a new one! Dementia.
Science Daily reports:
“Early to mid-life obesity appears to be linked to heightened risk of dementia in later life, researchers report. There is a threefold risk for those with severe obesity in their 30s, the observational study indicates.
Estimates suggest that almost 66 million people around the globe will have dementia by 2030, with the numbers predicted to top 115 million by 2050.
There is growing evidence that obesity is linked to dementia, but the research indicates that risk may be heightened or lowered, depending on age. And as yet, no study has looked at the age related effect of obesity on dementia risk across the whole age range in the population of one country.
So the researchers decided to do this, using anonymized data from hospital records for the whole of England for the period 1999-2011. Data in which obesity had been recorded were then searched for any subsequent care for, or death from, dementia.
During the study period, 451 232 of those admitted to hospital in England were diagnosed with obesity, 43% of whom were men.
The analysis revealed an incremental decrease in overall risk of hospital admission for dementia the older a person was when a diagnosis of obesity was first recorded, irrespective of gender.
For those aged 30-39, the relative risk of developing dementia was 3.5 times higher than in those of the same age who were not obese. For those in their 40s, the equivalent heightened risk fell to 70% more; for those in their 50s to 50% more; and for those in their 60s to 40% more.
People in their 70s with obesity were neither at heightened or lowered risk of developing dementia, while those in their 80s were 22% less likely to develop the disease, the findings indicated.
There were some age differences between the risk of developing vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, with those in their 30s at greater risk of both. A diagnosis of obesity in the 40s through to the 60s was associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia, while the risk of Alzheimer’s disease was lower in those diagnosed with obesity from their 60s onwards.
This is an observational study, so no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. But the findings confirm smaller published studies from elsewhere which report an increased risk of dementia in young people who are obese, but a reduced risk in older obese people, say the researchers.
They venture that a possible explanation for the particularly high risk found in early to mid-life may lie in the fact that heavier weight is associated with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors, which are themselves linked to a heightened risk of dementia.
And it would seem that if people can stave off significant weight gain until at least their 60s, or survive long enough with obesity, they may have a lower risk of developing dementia, they suggest.
“While obesity at a younger age is associated with an increased risk of future dementia, obesity in people who have lived to about 60-80 years of age seems to be associated with a reduced risk,” they conclude.
And now for the common garden variety ways obesity can ruin our lives…
As your body mass index rises, so does your risk for coronary heart disease(CHD). CHD is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
Plaque can narrow or block the coronary arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause angina. or a heart attack. (
Obesity also can lead to heart failure. This is a serious condition in which your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
Your chances of having high blood pressure are greater if you’re overweight or obese.
Being overweight or obese can lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries. Eventually, an area of plaque can rupture, causing a blood clot to form.
If the clot is close to your brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain and cause a stroke. The risk of having a stroke rises as BMI increases.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s blood glucose, or blood sugar, level is too high. Normally, the body breaks down food into glucose and then carries it to cells throughout the body. The cells use a hormone called insulin to turn the glucose into energy.
In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells don’t use insulin properly. At first, the body reacts by making more insulin. Over time, however, the body can’t make enough insulin to control its blood sugar level.
Diabetes is a leading cause of early death, CHD, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Abnormal Blood Fats
If you’re overweight or obese, you’re at increased risk of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high levels of triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk factor for CHD. For more information about triglycerides and LDL and HDL cholesterol, go to the Health Topics High Blood Cholesterol article.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.
You can develop any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made if you have at least three of the following risk factors:
- A large waistline. This is called abdominal obesity or “having an apple shape.” Having extra fat in the waist area is a greater risk factor for CHD than having extra fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
- A higher than normal triglyceride level (or you’re on medicine to treat high triglycerides).
- A lower than normal HDL cholesterol level (or you’re on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol).
- Higher than normal blood pressure (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood pressure).
- Higher than normal fasting blood sugar (or you’re on medicine to treat diabetes).
Being overweight or obese raises your risk for colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers.
Osteoarthritis is a common joint problem of the knees, hips, and lower back. The condition occurs if the tissue that protects the joints wears away. Extra weight can put more pressure and wear on joints, causing pain.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
A person who has sleep apnea may have more fat stored around the neck. This can narrow the airway, making it hard to breathe.
Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a breathing disorder that affects some obese people. In OHS, poor breathing results in too much carbon dioxide (hypoventilation) and too little oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia).
OHS can lead to serious health problems and may even cause death.
Obesity can cause menstrual issues and infertility in women.
Gallstones are hard pieces of stone-like material that form in the gallbladder. They’re mostly made of cholesterol. Gallstones can cause stomach or back pain.
People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having gallstones. Also, being overweight may result in an enlarged gallbladder that doesn’t work well.
Overweight and Obesity-Related Health Problems in Children and Teens
Overweight and obesity also increase the health risks for children and teens. Type 2 diabetes once was rare in American children, but an increasing number of children are developing the disease.
Also, overweight children are more likely to become overweight or obese as adults, with the same disease risks.
Hmmm, perhaps dementia is one way of getting out of the pain of ‘normal’ obesity!