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Foods to Improve Dopamine

The following foods may naturally increase dopamine: bananas, (the riper the better), almonds, apples, watermelons, cherries, yogurt, beans, eggs, and meats (17). You can also take L-tyrosine supplements, including collagen, or tyrosine rich foods. This is as the amino acid tyrosine is an important precursor, or building block, of dopamine. Dopamine then forms norepinephrine, another mood related chemical. Tyrosine can be found in protein rich foods (32).

Sources are: almonds, peanuts; eggs; lean meat, cheese, turkey, chicken and fish; also, green vegetables like spinach and kale; and garbanzo beans (chickpeas).

Supplements that help boost dopamine, are L-Tyrosine (see above), Mucuna, L-theanine, and Rhodiola.

Mucuna or velvet bean. It has up to 5 percent L-Dopa or levodopa. It can cross the blood-brain barrier (this is a natural shield protecting the brain from noxious substances) and increase dopamine levels in the brain. It has been used as a natural treatment for stress, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. It also boosts serotonin and norepinephrine. If you take the supplement, take it as an extract with 15% L-Dopa, take 300 mg two times per day (33).

L-theanine is an amino aid found in green tea and it is known to create relaxation, but not sleepiness. It helps to treat depression, anxiety, and stress (both physical and mental). It also improves cognitive functioning (learning and memory). It helps boost GABA and serotonin in the brain, as well as dopamine. This is as it can cross the blood-brain barrier. 100 mgs will improve attention and focus. It is recommended that a person take 200 mg of L-theanine two to three times per day (33). Green tea (organic, one cup a day) is also associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. Regarding weight loose, in one study women with polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS who drank green tea experienced a greater weight reduction.

Rhodiola or golden root can help with depression, improve work performance, reduce fatigue, and treat stress (mental and physical). It helps stabilize dopamine and supports its reuptake, leading to decreases in: anxiety, fatigue, and depression. It also increases the ability to deal with stress. If you want a supplement, get it in standardized root form, (Rhodiola rosea root) containing 3% total rosavines and at least 1% salidroside’s. Take 170 mg per day, twice a day (33).

Multi-vitamins and minerals can help boost mood: zinc, vitamin B6, and folate, are all needed for dopamine synthesis and neurotransmission. They are often depleted by stress, medications (including hormone-based birth control/HRT), poor diet, and toxic environmental exposure.

Keep in mind that too much dopamine is unhealthy or dangerous. Talk to a health car provider. Don’t mix dopamine supplements with methyldopa, antidepressants, or antipsychotic drugs without talking to a doctor and pharmacist. Tyrosine and mucuna can interact with other supplements like St. John’s Wort, 5-HTP, Tryptophan, and SAM-e. Don’t take if pregnant or breast feeding.

This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment. Seek out a qualified health care provider if you have questions or need help. Dr. Grant is not responsible for any possible health consequences of anyone who follows or reads the information in this content. Everyone, but especially those taking medication (over the counter or prescription) should talk with a physician before undertaking any changes to their lifestyle or diet (including taking supplements).

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Eat to Improve Serotonin.

Healthy fats and protein are good for wellbeing.

Eating strategically may increase serotonin. The amino acid Tryptophan is a necessary building block (precursor) to serotonin, and it is readily available in protein rich foods and carbohydrates. But, another amino acid in protein has been found to slow, or even block, the production of serotonin so, ideally to increase serotonin production in the brain, eat sweet or starchy (ideally complex) carbohydrates without protein (15; 16;5). This may help to separate the pro-serotonin nutrients from the anti-serotonin ones. Eat low or fat free and protein free carbohydrates on an empty stomach (about three hours after a protein). The food source (like gram crackers, pretzels etc.,) should have at least 25 to 35 grams of carbohydrates and no more than 4 grams of protein. Try to eat less than three grams of fat per serving as this can increase your weight. If you want a quick boost to your mood try a simple carbohydrate, but keep in mind that this will raise your blood sugar and it may deplete levels of dopamine, another Nero-chemical associated with wellbeing (17). Here, chronic dopamine surges from easily digestible sources may lead to a loss of dopamine activity in the brain, as dopamine receptors stop functioning properly. This can result in constant cravings for foods that make dopamine (18) and ultimately weight gain. You should feel an effect 20 to 40 minutes after eating (5). Tryptophan is also necessary to make the sleep hormone melatonin as well as niacin, also called vitamin B3 (19). Sleep disruptions are common in depression, so this is important. Eat Tryptophan rich foods like the following: algae spirulina, bananas, beans, or legumes (like green peas or chickpeas), dairy, eggs, grass fed beef or lamb, Wild fish like cod or salmon, nuts like cashews or walnuts, potatoes, poultry, sesame seeds, and whole grains. The last includes brown rice, corn, oats, and quinoa.

The following foods may help to naturally increase serotonin: turmeric, dark chocolate, green tea, cold-water fatty fish, and fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, unpasteurized sauerkraut). The last helps balance gut bacteria as too much of a” bad” bacterium called lipopolysaccharides can lower serotonin levels (15;20;21). Also, adding vitamins (B6, B9, and B12), and the supplement SAM-e, that is S-adenosylmethionine, to your diet can help deal with depression (22; 23). Magnesium has been found to substantially help with treatment resistant depression (24) as have vitamin D and amino acids, especially tryptophan (25) and Glycine. The amino acid Glycine slows or stops the production of neurotransmitters that excite the nervous system, and therefore cause anxiety, often called the fight or flight response (26). When it is pared with glutamate it promotes the actions of glutamate in the forebrain, which may help in cognitive or thought processes (81). Glutamate is both excitatory and inhibitory. It can cause excitement in the brain and nervous system. Conversely, when turned into GABA it is inhibitory, causing feelings of calm. This is as glutamate is necessary to the production of GABA, or y-aminobutyric acid, which like glycine inhibits producing feelings of relaxation (27;28). In animal model’s glycine increase the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. It is possible that glycine helps psychological problems associated with a lack of serotonin (29;30). Glycine can be found in high protein foods like fish, dairy, legumes, and meat.

The amino acid Phenylalanine (found in the algae supplements Chlorella and Spirulina) is converted into phenylethylamine (PEA) in the body (31). PEA boosts dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure, sexuality, and the brain’s reward system overall. This is why dopamine helps with feelings of wellbeing, with treating depression, and with reducing anxiety.

This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment. Seek out a qualified health care provider if you have questions or need help. Dr. Grant is not responsible for any possible health consequences of anyone who follows or reads the information in this content. Everyone, but especially those taking medication (over the counter or prescription) should talk with a physician before undertaking any changes to their lifestyle or diet (including taking supplements).

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Light Therapy for Peri/Menopausal Thyroid Problems.

Light therapy

Light therapy helps thyroid function: it assists inreversing hypothyroidism by modifying gonadotropin hormone release (32).  Gonadotropins are hormones that, in women, stimulate the release of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH) from the pituitary gland.  In the female body, LH stimulates the production of testosterone, which is then converted to estrogen.  FSH stimulates the egg follicles to mature, these follicles will eventually produce progesterone and small amounts of estrogen.  Human gonadotropin(hCG) hormones are weak stimulators of thyrotropin or TSH.  Human gonadotropin hormones stimulate a substance called adenosine monophosphate or cAMP (89) that then produces more thyroid stimulating hormone.  In both humans and animals hCG has been shown in studies to stimulated thyroid activity.  For instance, when people have overly high levels of hCG they are often diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (89). 

This link between sex hormones and thyroid functioning in women should not be overlooked.  Women are up to 20 times more likely to develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  This condition is linked to disruptions in sex hormones.  Progesterone deficiency, often experienced in the menopausal transition, is interrelated with estrogen dominance (too much estrogen in comparison to the amount of progesterone).  This condition is linked to thyroid problems.  Estrogen increases the production of a protein made in the liver that inactivates thyroid hormone, called thyroid binding globulin or TBH (90).  The end result of such an imbalance is a slow down of the metabolism and increased weight and body fat.  Conversely, progesterone improves thyroid hormone activity by lowering the production of thyroid binding globulin.  When thyroid hormones are active, the body’s metabolism is stimulated, energy levels are improved, more fat is burned, and weight is better managed (91).  And, if estrogen dominance goes unchecked, hypothyroidism can be the result.  There are several shared symptoms of estrogen dominance and hypothyroidism (fatigue, headache, hair loss, reduced sex drive, and weight problems).  Estrogen dominance is also considered a symptom of thyroid insufficiencies (92).  So, these two conditions, which overlap, can be mistaken for one another (95). 

Hypothyroidism is associated with depression in research where other factors, like economics, race, age, and education levels, have been ruled out (93).  When progesterone drops and estrogen goes up or is imbalanced (normal estrogen, but not as much or no progesterone) thyroid binding globulin (TBG) goes up.  In response to elevated TBG, thyroid hormone T3 production is slowed.  So, it becomes less available to cells, disrupting their functioning.  This is one way in which progesterone deficiency disrupts limbic system functioning.  There are thyroid hormone receptors on brain cells (102), and if the brain is deprived of thyroid hormones mood states and cognition can become compromised (103), especially in the limbic system (104).  The limbic system is an area of the brain that includes the amygdala, hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus and other structures.  These structures are involved in regulating mood, as well as motivation, learning, and memory.  Making things worse, when T3 goes down, production of neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine also drops.  As these neurochemicals are involved in mood and though process, the result can be low mood, depression, and a lack of interest in pleasure, called anhedonia (94).

Keep in mind that thyroid disruptions can also impact sex hormones.  Thyroid hormone T3 can galvanize the release of progesterone from luteal cells (100).  Progesterone production mainly takes place during or slightly after ovulation.  It happens in the ovaries, specifically in the corpus luteum, which is a temporary structure and the remains of an ovarian follicle, after it has released a mature ovum or egg.  So, if women have trouble ovulating, they will have trouble producing enough progesterone.  This is another reason that the menopausal transition is associated with thyroid problems. 

Thyroid problems are also connected to the inflammatory response and the oxidative stress underlying it.  Thyroid hormones are meant to play a protective role regarding damage due to inflammation and oxidative stress.  But, if the thyroid is not functioning properly, this can’t happen.  So, hypothyroidism can amplify oxidative stress, which can magnify inflammation, which can then suppress sex hormone production, causing yet more thyroid issues (101) and problems producing neurochemicals.

Melatonin, which is improved with light therapy, also impacts thyroid health.  Both melatonin and thyrotropin releasing hormone or TRH are produced by the pineal gland.  TRH stimulates the production of thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH.  TSH then galvanizes the production of thyroid hormone.  So, melatonin can directly stimulate TSH production (87).  In a study of women lacking proper estrogen/progesterone production, those who took 3mg of melatonin for three to six months were shown to increase thyroid hormone levels (88).

Light therapy improves vitamin D production.  Vitamin D deficiency is associated with thyroid disease (96).  It one study, 72% of subjects with autoimmune thyroid disease had D deficiency (97).  In another study, on Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, 85% of subjects had low levels of D, and high levels of anti-thyroid antibodies (98).  And, it follows that vitamin D can help to treat thyroid problems.  In one study, those patients who received 1,200 to 4,000 international units or IUs of vitamin D per day over a period of four months showed lower levels of anti-thyroid antibodies at the end of the treatment (98).  Keep in mind that this is above the recommended daily allowance of 600 IUs.  Regarding thyroid stimulating hormone specifically, in a study of hypothyroidism and vitamin D, those who took supplements for 12 weeks showed improved levels of thyroid stimulating hormone.  Keep in mind that there was no change to thyroid hormones T3, thyroxin, T4, or triiodothyronine (99).

Depression is connected to sex hormone dysregulation.  In the female body, LH stimulates the production of testosterone, which is then converted to estrogen.  FSH stimulates the egg follicles to mature, these follicles will eventually produce progesterone and small amounts of estrogen.  Female sex hormones are neuromodulators, they play a significant role in controlling the dopamine neurons, called nigrostriatal, found in the area of the brain linked to cognitive processes, called the Substantia nigra.  In animal studies (female rats and primates) subjects who had their ovaries removed experienced a 30%, or higher, loss of dopamine cells (35).  This is very important as neurotransmitter dopamine is produced in these cells.  So, sex hormones, by way of the Substantia nigra, are central to cognition, emotion, and movement.  The neurons in the Substantia nigra travel to the frontal lobes (attention and executive function) and the area of the brain associated with motor control.  If there is a death of neurons in the Substantia nigra, cognitive problems, and loss of motor control, will result (36).  Further, estrogen also intensifies the effects of norepinephrine (adrenaline in the brain) and serotonin.  It does this partly by decreasing the monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity in the central nervous system (CNS).  MAO breaks down serotonin and norepinephrine, so estrogen slows this process down, leaving the neurotransmitters active longer.  This may explain the antidepressant like effect of melatonin (if given/taken at the right time of day) in perimenopausal and menopausal women (32). In a human study of natural morning light, it was found that post menopausal women who had less morning window covering and more morning light experienced less depressed mood (37). 

This information is for educational and informational purposes only.  It is not to take the place of medical advice or treatment.   Seek out a qualified health care provider if you have questions or need help.  Dr. Grant is not responsible for any possible health consequences of anyone who follows or reads the information in this content.  Everyone, but especially those taking medication (over the counter or prescription) should talk with a physician before undertaking any changes to their lifestyle or diet (including taking supplements).

Information is copy written.


32   Zimmermann, R.C., & Olcese, J.M., (2007).  Melatonin, in Treatment of the Postmenopausal Woman, Basic      and Clinical Aspects, (third ed), 2007.  Academic Press. Elsevier Inc., Amsterdam, Netherlands.  DOI:  10.1016/B978-0-12-369443-0.x5000-5.   Accessed at:

35   Leranth, C., Roth, R.H., Elsworth, J.D., Naftolin, F., Horvath, T.L., & Redmond, D. E., (2000).  Estrogen is  essential for maintaining nigrostriatal dopamine neurons in primates: implications for Parkinson’s  disease and memory.  Journal of Neuroscience 20:8604-8609.

36   Rutgers’s University Website: Memory Loss and the brain.  The newsletter of the memory disorders project at   Rutgers’s University.  webpage: Glossary Substantia nigra.  Accessed on: Jan 03, 2018.  Accessed at:

37   Youngstedt, S.D., Leung, A., Kripke, D.F., & Langer, R.D., (2004).  Association of morning illumination and window covering with mood and sleep among post menopausal women.  Sleep and Biological Rhythms 2(3):174-183.  DOI:10.1111/j.1479-8425.2004.00139.x.

87   Sakamoto, S., Nakamura, K.,Inoue, K., & Sakai, T., (2000).  Melatonin stimulates thyroid stimulating hormone accumulation in the thyrotropes of the rat pars tuberalis.  Hstochem Cell Biol., 114(3): 213-218.  DOI:         10.1007/s004180000188.

88   Bellipanni, G., Di Marzo, F., Blasi, F., & Di Marzo, A., (2005).  Effects of melatonin in premenopausal and menopausal women: our personal experience.  Ann N Y Acad Sci., 1057:393-402.  DOI: 10.1196/annals.1356.030.

89   Hershman, J.M., (1999).  Human chorionic gonadotropin and the thyroid: hyperemesis gravidarum and trophoblastic tumors. Thyroid, 9(7): 653-657.  DOI: 10.1089/thy.1999.9.653.

90   Ben-Rafael, Z., Struass, J.F., Arendash-Durand, B., Mastroianni, L. Jr., & Flickinger, G.L., (1987).  Changes in thyroid function tests and sex hormone binding globulin associated with treatment by gonadotropin.       Fertility and Sterility., 48(2):318-320. DOI: 10.1016/S0015-0282(16)59363-7.  Accessed at:

91   Taylor medical group website.  Webpage:  estrogen and progesterone: two important hormones.  Accessed at:

92   Santin, A. P., & Furlanetto, T. W., (2011).  Role of estrogen in thyroid function and growth regulation.  Journal of Thyroid Research., 2011, 875125. DOI:

93    Zavareh, A.T., Jomhouri, R., Bejestani, H.S., Arshad, M., Daneshmand, M., Ziaei, H., Babadi, N., & Amiri, M., (2016).  Depression and hypothyroidism in a population-based study of Iranian women.  Rom J Intern Med.,             54(4):2170221.  DOI: 10.1515/rjim-2016-0033.

94   Santin, A. P., & Furlanetto, T. W., (2011).  Role of estrogen in thyroid function and growth regulation.  Journal of thyroid research, 2011, 875125.  DOI:

95   Kumar, P., & Magon, N., (2012).  Hormones in pregnancy.  Niger Med J., 53(4): 179-183.  DOI: 10.4103/0300-     1652.107549.

96   Yavropoulou, M.P., Panagiotou, G., Topouridou, K., Karayannopoulou, G., Koletsa, T., Zarampoukas, T., Goropoulos, A., Chatzaki, E., Yovos, J.G., & Pazaitou-Panyiotou, K., (2017).  Vitamin D receptor and progesterone receptor protein and gene expression in papillary thyroid carcinomas: associations with histological features. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation., 40(12):1327-1335. DOI: 10.1007/s40618-        017-0700-4.  Accessed at;

97   Kivity, S., Agmon-Levin, N., Zisappl, M. et al., (2011).  Vitamin D and autoimmune thyroid diseases. Cell Mol Immunol., 8, 243–247.  Accessed at:

98   Mazokopakis, E.E., Papadomanolaki, M.G., Tsekouras, K.C., Evangelopoulos, A.D., Kotsiris, D.A., & Tzortzinis, A.A., (2015).   Is Vitamin D Related to Pathogenesis and Treatment of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Hell J Nucl      Med.,      18(3):222-7.  PMID: 26637501.

99   Simsek Y, Cakir I, Yetmis M, et al., (2016).  Effects of Vitamin D Treatment on Thyroid Autoimmunity.  J Res Med Sci., 21:85.  DOI:10.4103/1735-1995.192501.

100   Datta M, Roy P, Banerjee J, Bhattacharya S., (1998).  Thyroid hormone stimulates progesterone release from         human   luteal cells by generating a proteinaceous factor.  Journal of Endocrinology., 158(3):319-25.      Accessed at:

101   Mancini, A., Di Segni, C., Raimondo, S., Olivieri, G., Silvestrini, A., Meucci, E., & Currò, D., (2016).  Thyroid Hormones, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation.  Mediators of inflammation, 2016: 6757154.      

102   Schroeder, A.C., & Privalsky, M.L., (2014).  Frontiers in Endocrinology, 5: 40.  DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2014.00040.

103 1   Dais, J.D., & Tremont, G., (2007).  Neuropsychiatric aspects of hypothyroidism and treatment reversibility. Minerva Endocrinol., 32(1): 46-65. 

104   Bauer, M., London, E., Silverman, D.H., Rasgon, N., Kirchheiner, J., &Whybrow, P.C., (2003).  Thyroid, brain      and mood odulation in affective disorder: insights from molecular research and functional brain imaging.  Pharmacopsychiatry, 33(supp 3): s215-s221.  DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-45133.

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This information is for educational and informational purposes only. Contact a certified health care provider if you need help.

Red light for Improved Dental Health.

Dental health: may benefit from light therapy devices. Blue LED or dental halogen curing lamps are specifically designed to fit into the mouth. Periodontal disease leads not only to loss of gum recession and tooth loose, but are associated with other, systemic, diseases. These devices can kill certain bactria found in the mouth (actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobactrium nucleatum, and Porphyromonas gingivalis) in 15 to 60 seconds, but only if in a certain state (biofilm) in other states (planktonic state “2) it is helpful in reducing pathogens only (21). Keep in mind that blue light may activate reactive oxygen species after gum surgery, which could be damaging to gum tissue after surgery specifically.

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This information is for educational and informational purposes only. Please see a qualified medical professional if you need help.

Light Therapy for Diabetic Pain.

Light therapy can help treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This is considered to be the disease or dysfunction of peripheral nerves, causing numbness or weakness. It does this by improving plantar sensitivity, or sensitivity to touch of the plantar area of the food, which is usually decreased in diabetics. Light therapy was shown to help with (short-term) improvements to tactile sensitivity (16). It has also been used, in conjunction with muscle stretching exercise, to treat myofascial trigger points. It (830 m) also helps improve circulation and joint range of motion, pressure sensitivity, and pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (10).



Creatine for inflammation.

Creatine has anti-inflammatory properties: it tempers inflammation caused by free radicals, at least exercise related inflammation. The results of a study (90) of creatine’s effect on muscle soreness and inflammation “indicate that creatine supplementation reduced cell damage and inflammation after an exhaustive, intense race.” The study used experienced runners performing in a 30-kilometer race. The subjects were broken into two groups, a test/creatine group and a parallel/control group. The first group was given 20 gram of creatine and 15 grams of maltodextrine per day for five days prior to the race, and the control/parallel group was given only the maltodexrine for five days prior to the race. The researchers looked for signs of inflammation and soreness in the muscles (blood was taken looking for: creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, prostaglandin E2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha) in all participants both before and after the 30 Km race. Blood samples were re-taken directly after the race, and at the 24-hour post race mark. The results showed the following: the treatment /creatine group had only a 19% increase in creatine kinase for the treatment/creatine group, vs a 400% increase in creatine kinase for controls; no change in lactate dehydrogenase plasma concentration for treatment/creatine vs. a 43% increase in lactate dehydrogenase in the control group; a 61% increase in prostaglandin E2 for treatment/creatine group vs. a 600% increase in prostaglandin E2 for controls; and a tumor necrosis factor-alpha increase of 34% for treatment/creatine vs. a 200% increase in tumor necrosis factor-alpha for the controls. And, no one in the treatment group reported any side effects.

Preliminary studies (using animals) demonstrated that creatine (either taken by mouth or injected) decreased the inflammatory response in several different models of acute inflammation. This is proving to be true in studies of chronic inflammation as well. Arthritis for instance has been shown to benefit from creatine treatment in animal models/studies (92). And, studies with people are also indicating that these effects help treat post-exertion/exercise related muscle-based inflammation. Creatine has been shown, in two different animal studies, to have favorable effects on the progression of arthritis. Most importantly, regarding inflammation, human trials have shown these effects to translate to exercise; studies have demonstrated that creatine reduced markers of inflammation following an Iron Man style triathlon (90), a thirty-kilometer food race (93), and an aerobic (running) test (94).

This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a qualified medical practitioner before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. For references go to the page creatine for health and well being .

Creatine for Fatigue

3/4 tsp to 1tsp Creatine powder is all you need.

Creatine can also reduce fatigue and tiredness (23). This is because it can improve energy production within cells while also increasing dopamine levels. Dopamine is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone, depending on where it is found in the body. It is used in the brain to send signals from one cell to another. It is associated with motivation as well as motor control and the release of numerous hormones. Regarding creatine’s role in fatigue reduction, one study of fatigue, testing the use of creatine by athletes taking a cycling test in high heat, found that it did reduce fatigue (58;59). Regarding fatigue and the effects of creatine, a study looking at how creatine impacted dizziness on those suffering from traumatic brain injury, found that while 80% of the control group reported fatigue, only 10% of the test (creatine) group did (23). Regarding dizziness, creatine supplements reduced this by 50% (23). A study on sleep deprivation noted that creatine supplements reduced fatigue while increasing energy levels (24). Creatine helps guard against heat related fatigue during exercise as well as lowering the amount of sweat produced and helping the body to better regulate temperature (60). In one study of male athletes, 21 endurance trained volunteer who were not used to training in high heat and who had not taken creatine for 8 weeks prior to the study, were broken into two groups. Before being given creatine or a placebo/sham the athletes trained for seven days to exhaustion (constant load exercise). They were then broken into two groups. The creatine/test group received 5 grams of creating four times a day, plus 35 grams of carbohydrates, for seven days. The other/control group received 40 grams of carbohydrates four times per day or 160 grams in total, for seven days, the time needed to move the creatine into the muscles. After taking the creatine long enough to get into the muscles the tests were performed again. The findings: the creatine/test groups’ time to exhaustion became significantly longer, and their body mass increased, they also experienced a significant change(lowering) in the body temperature of the creatine/test group as well as a significant decrease in the rate of sweat they produces. The finding was that creatine induced an improvement in the water content of the body, called hyperhydration, which resulted in a more efficient thermoregulatory response. This is the body’s ability to maintain a consistent temperature or to regulate its temperature, even when it is different from the environment, and example is sweating in heat.

This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a qualified medical practitioner before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.

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Creatine for muscle maintenance

Creatine for muscle health

Creatine helps build muscle and is known to enhance other muscle building processes (11;4). This is due to its ability to alter or change a number of cellular pathways which lead to new muscle development or growth. For example, creatine improves protein formation in new muscle fibers (12;56; 57;53;54). And, creatine can increase something called insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), also called somatomedin C. This is a hormone similar in molecular structure to insulin. It has an anabolic effect in adults, meaning it plays a significant part in building molecules from smaller units. IGF-1 is important in the building up process of metabolism, in this case leading to the body’s ability to build and maintain muscle. So, creatine’s effect also promotes an improvement in muscle mass (12;56). What’s more, creatine supplements can increase the water content of your muscles, called cell volumization. This process can quickly increase muscle size (53;55). Furthermore, some studies show that creatine reduces levels of myostatin, a molecule which stunts muscle growth. So, lowering myostatin can accelerate muscle gain (21). In short, creatine stimulates many biological functions leading to increased muscle size and growth.

Regarding muscle mass, which deteriorates with age,creatine is considered by some to be the world’s most effective supplement for increasing this muscle and combating age related muscle loss (11;20). Studies have shown that simply supplementing with creatine for five to seven days can markedly improve or increase both muscle size and lean body weight. Keep in mind that these preliminary improvements are the result of an upsurge in water within muscle tissue (11;55). In the longer term, creating assists with muscle fibre growth. It does this by signaling key biological pathways, while also improving strength-based muscle performance (12;56; 57; 53;18).

A wide-ranging review of scientific literature showed a consistent result in studies of creatine (Cr) and muscle gain in which those subjects taking Cr gained more muscle than those in control groups, who did the same exercise, but did not take supplements (20). For instance, a study involving participants following a training regiment for six weeks while taking creatine added an extra 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) in muscle beyond the muscle mass developed by the control group (18). This wide-ranging review went so far as to look at how well Cr effected performance when compared to other, more popular, sports supplements, and it was found that creatine was the better choice. Creatine is considered to be safer than many sports supplements. Another benefit of creatine is its relatively inexpensive cost (20).

Creatine may assist with hypothyroid related muscle wasting. Thyroid disorders are associated with increased muscle loss and muscular disorders. When the body is trying to build more muscle, it releases creatine kinase into the blood stream. After creatine (Cr) is naturally produced by the body in the liver and kidneys it enters the bloodstream and is moved to where it is needed. About 5% of creatine goes to the brain, the rest to the muscles, which have high energy demands. The presence of Cr in muscles is associated with exercise related damage. When creatine acts as a type of enzyme, called a kinase, it modifies another molecule, which accelerates ATP production, allowing for quicker healing. A study found that there is a strong correlation between low levels of thyroid hormone T3 in the blood and higher than normal levels of creatine kinase (22). This is why hypothyroidism is associated with, and sometimes tested by measuring, the amount of creatine kinase in the blood. The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism (heart rate, blood flow, rate at which food is metabolised, fat burning), and it is this metabolic activity of which creatine is a part. This fact may be why muscular disorders are associated with thyroid problems. At the moment the association is known, but the cause is not.

If you have a thyroid problem, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you are taking creating supplements before undergoing any thyroid testing.

This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a qualified medical practitioner before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.

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Hyaluronic Acid & Digestion

HA for better digestion!

How HA can help protect the gastro-intestinal tract.  Taking hyaluronic acid (HA) supplements may help reduce acid reflux symptoms.  In a study using HA on tissue samples in a test tube, HA mixed with chondroitin healed acid-damaged tissue quicker than no treatment (17). So, it is possible that HA can help to soothe and repair the damage done to the esophagus by stomach acid, which is regurgitated into the throat during acid reflux.  A human study of HA, mixed into a supplement form with chondroitin and administered with an acid reducing medication, decreased reflux symptoms by 60% more than only taking acid reducing meds alone (18 821). When this supplement mix was compared to a placebo, the supplement mix was found to be five times more effective (19).  Taking chicken-based collagen can help the body make HA.

HA is naturally present in the large particles of the gut that protect it from, and repair damage done by inflammatory bowel diseases (Chhorn’s, leaky gut syndrome, and ulcerative colitis). You can encourage your body to naturally heal from such issues by consuming HA rich foods or supplements.  These include bone broth, protein powder made from it.

Please, keep in mind that the overuse of isolated HA, which has smaller particles than naturally occurring ones, can sometimes result in increased inflammation in the gut (20). 

Information about HA and how it works in the body tissues.  Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, meaning it has the capability to maintain a high viscosity while holding a lot of water. It is considered to be a lengthy link of carbohydrate molecules which are bound together.  These molecules hold water, so they provide a way for fluids to move in the body and for fluid related pressure to be absorbed.  The most important fact about HA is its ability to retain water throughout the body (skin, eyes, joints).  In short, hyaluronic acid has a great capacity for retaining water, whether on the skin, in the eyes or within soft tissue. It is present in a variety of bodily tissues, but the majority of it, 50%, is in the skin.  It is here where HA provides structure and moisture. Aside from the skin, HA is prevalent in joints, tendons, skeletal tissues, synovial fluid, the eyes, heart (aorta and valves), lungs, and prostate.

Emerging research on HA has shown that it has many important roles in the body. These include the following: repairing injury of fibroblasts (these are the cells that synthesize collagen, produce the structural framework for tissue, and play a critical role in wound healing); HA helps to sustain epithelial cells (cells on the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels, and the inner surfaces of cavities in many internal organs); it hydrates tissues; it fills the spaces in tissues and between cells; HA helps to build a framework via which cells can migrate; HA  assists in controlling  inflammation via regulating the activation of inflammatory cells; it assists in the immune response; it  partakes in the repair of tissues and wounds; it even lubricates joints (21).

How Hyaluronic Acid Works in the tissues.  There are a variety of HA molecule sizes.  This is a main reason that HA can have so many different functions within the body.  The larger molecules are antiangiogenic and immunosuppressive. Antiangiogenic means the process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels. This is the process that continues the growth of the vasculature by processes of spurting and splitting.  Immunosuppressive means the larger HA molecules can slow or stop an immune response. These larger molecules can be found in healthy tissues.  These control dehydration, inflammation, and free radical damage.  Smaller HA polymers can send signals of distress to the immune system, and so can raise or increase inflammation to help in the repair or wounds or assist in healing injury.

Hyaluronic acid is in a class of (essential) membrane proteins called hyaluronan synthases.  These proteins form the basis of hyaluronan synthesis within the body tissues. this process is vital to maintaining health. These are the basis of hyaluronan synthesis in the body, which is vital to health. People have three kinds of hyaluronic acid synthases for creating HA (HAS1, HAS2 and HAS3). HA plays a significant role in the central nervous system, CNS, in that it plays a role in cell migration and cell signaling. Hyaluronan does this by binding to two hyaluronan receptors, DC44 and RHAMM (22).

Hyaluronic acid supplements for joint pain are available in the U.S. There are several treatments based on HA that have been appr9oved for osteoarthritis of the knee.  Four such products, made from rooster or chicken combs and sometimes bacteria, are Hyalgan, Orthovisc, Supartz and Synvisc (23).   

Please, keep in mind that the overuse of isolated HA, which has smaller particles than naturally occurring ones, can sometimes result in increased inflammation in the gut (24). 

Adding hyaluronic acid-rich foods and supplements to an existing diet can encourage the body to heal itself by supporting the gastrointestinal systems in protecting and repairing itself.  These supplements include   bone broth or protein powder made from bone broth (25;27).

Hyaluronic acid, HA, is naturally found in the body, and is in every connective tissue and organ (skin, blood vessels, serum, cartilage, brain, heart valves, and synovial fluid).  HA production diminishes with age. A person 75 years old has only 25% of the HA naturally present in the body that a 19-year-old would have (2).

Hyaluronic acid: food sources of hyaluronic acid (HA) include the following: grass fed meats , especially beef, poultry and pork; bone broth and organ meats; starchy root vegetables contain some HA, and they boost production of it as they have many helpful nutrients (fiber, potassium, vitamins B6 & C), this is especially true of yams, but also potatoes, sweet potatoes, tubers like jicama & Jerusalem artichoke;  isoflavone rich soy-based foods enhance the production of HA. Also eat fruits high in naringenin, which inhibits the breakdown of HA, these include citrus fruits, tomatoes, and bananas. Bananas also contain a bit of HA, magnesium and vitamin C.  Vitamin C and magnesium both help galvanize the production of HA; foods high in both are: citrus fruits like grapefruits & oranges, tomatoes avocados, cherries, grapes, and mangoes, bananas; sweet peppers are high in vitamin C; magnesium rich foods help include nuts (almonds and cashews are high in magnesium), seeds, leafy greens like spinach, kale and swiss chard, and avocados, dark chocolate has small amounts of magnesium, but it also has zinc, which helps HA production and it contains flavanols (bioactive compounds or plant derived nutrients which promote healthy blood vessel function);  beans also contain both zinc and magnesium;  and, red wine has phytoestrogens which help in HA production (26).

Cautions about HA.  If you take medications that thin the blood, like aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin), don’t take HA supplements, these can increase the risk of bleeding.  If you have a history of cancer be cautious about taking HA. Keep in mind that HA is associated with increased blood vessel formation and fibroblast migration in tumor formation. And, the correlation of the aggressiveness of a tumor with the level of HA on the tumor cell’s surface has also been reported (3). 

The U.S. federal drug administration (FDA) states that HA related products are usually safe when used topically or taken orally.  Those who are pregnant, or breast feeding, should avoid using it as may negatively affect the development of a baby or fetus.

This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please see a qualified professional for help. 

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Hyaluronic acid for hair health

HA means softer, healthier hair.

Hyaluronic acid for hair health. As HA nurtures skin it improves hair follicle health and helps to regulate hair growth cycles (50).  And, Hair growth can be impeded by UV damage to the scalp.   While some sun exposure is good for skin, helping to produce nutrients like vitamin D, too much damages skin.  UV damage leads to inflammation, the activation of tissue degrading enzymes (MMPs), and damage too, or death of, keratinocyte cells (50). Keratinocytes help protect the skin of the scalp and the hair follicle from UV damage.  And, keratinocyte cells are germinated in, or grown in, hair follicles, which are usually self renewing, they cycle and regenerate.  So, anything damaging to keratinocytes is also damaging to hair follicles, which  can lead to hair thinning and baldness.

This information is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Please see a qualified professional or health care provider if you have any health issues.

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