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Green light for pain and anxiety.

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Regarding human research, a small trial with humans being treated for fibromyalgia or both fibromyalgia and migraine showed improvement.  A human trial using 21 adults to test green light for fibromyalgia pain showed that it did improve pain.  The subjects were exposed to green light emitting diodes or GLEDs for one to two hours a day, for a ten-week period.  The green light had an effect similar to some medications in that it blocked painful sensations by the sensory neurons in the central nervous system.  Green light also reduced hypersensitivity of the nervous system to pain (107).  Green light can also modulate serotonin production and help to regulate the sleep/wake cycle by modulating melatonin production (108).

A human study (25 people) for fibromyalgia related migraine showed a similar result.  Here the subjects exposed to green light reported a reduction in the intensity of migraine by more than 50% (106;108).  When the study started the subjects reported an average pain score of eight out of ten (8/10).  By the time it ended their average pain score was 2.8 out of ten (23/10). There were two conditions, the green light group and a placebo group (white light).  When the subjects were exposed to white light nothing changed.  In the green light condition subjects reported that their pain scores had dropped to an average of 2.8 out of ten (3/10).  Importantly, the subjects use of opioid drugs was almost halved (106).  The treatment also resulted in a drop in the number of headaches per month, from an average of 19 to an average of 6.5 per month.  The subjects reported quality of life went up significantly, from an average score of 48 to an average of 78 (108).  The white light placebo condition showed no improvement whatsoever.  Green light can also help to modulate serotonin and it can reset circadian rhythms via its impact on melatonin production (108). 

Treating anxiety by stimulating the opioid system naturally is now being looked at as a treatment for anxiety and emotional problems (109).  The way natural occurring opioids impact the brain is still not well understood.  But it is known that they strongly influence how fear related memories are developed and stored.  They also regulate emotional responses after a threat has passed.  Anxiety and other emotional problems may be the result of disruption in neural circuits meant to control emotions.  Natural opioids seem to play a role in anxiety, and the use of opioid medications designed for pain are used for anxiety, PTSD etc.  Animal research shows that disrupting production of enkephalin (a natural opioid) increases anxiety, aggressiveness, and fear.  This is probably because natural occurring opioids regulate neural circuits that are important to fear and anxiety.  And, boosting the natural opioids is an emerging treatment for anxiety disorders.  When enkephalin production is increased (or the breakdown of it slowed) the negative behaviors etc., are reduced.  It is known that when enkephalin binds to delta opioid receptors it decreases anxiety.  Keep in mind that opioids can, under certain circumstances, increase anxiety.  For instance, when it binds to mu opioid receptors it can increase anxiety (109).

How it works: green light stimulates activity in a certain part of the eye.  This triggers production of neuro-chemical (peptide) called Enkephalins that bind to opioid receptors, stimulating them.  To work a green light bulb must emit a wider wavelength range, ideally between 490 and 565 nanometers.  Some researchers suggest a band between 510 and 530, so as to ensure no other colour in the light spectrum is detected by the eye.

Green light bulbs in 4 packs can be bought online or in stores.  A regular green lightbulb is about $3.50 before tax.  Long lasting bulbs, or bulbs that are light changing (with a remote control or app) are more expensive, but last for many years. They are available on line for purchase.

Green light lamps can be bought on line.

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).

References found at: http://lifeisbeautifullifecoach.com/light-therapy-an-overview/

Creatine for Cognitive Health.

Creatine for Cognitive Health/aging brain.

Creatine can assist with brain/cognitive functioning (9).  The brain needs significant amount of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and research demonstrates that the brain requires a substantial quantity of ATP when engaged with difficult cognitive, or thought related, tasks (9).  Creatine supplements can improve the amount of phosphocreatine in the brain.  Phosphocreatine or creatine phosphate (CP) is type of creatine molecule that rapidly mobilizes reserves of high energy phosphates in both muscles and the brain, and which can recycle ATP, the main provider of energy at the cellular level.  Basically, creatine supplements help with ATP production in the brain.  Creatine can also assist with cognitive functioning by improving both mitochondria functioning and dopamine levels (9;25;26).  The first, mitochondria, mainly perform cellular respiration, meaning it takes nutrients from the cell, breaks them down, and turns them into energy.  The second, dopamine, is a hormone in the body and a neurotransmitter in the brain.  As a neurotransmitter it plays a pivotal role in motivation.  Creatine is especially helpful with cognition in times of stress (sleep decrepitation, exercise, and stressful cognitive activities like math). Vegans and vegetarians, who tend to lack protein in the diet, may also be assisted by this.

Regarding age related cognitive decline and creatine, research is showing that after two weeks of supplementing older adults show a substantial improvement on both recall ability and memory (49).  And, in these subjects specifically creatine supplements could assist with the following: boost brain function; protect against neurological disorders; and diminish age-related muscle loss and concordant loose of strength (50).  Keep in mind that creatine from food sources take a lot longer to digest than those from supplements.

Creatine can be an adjunct, or additional, treatment for neurological disorders. Creatine might have protective qualities concerning neurological disorders.  Research (primarily animal) implies that creatine can, when combined with medical treatment, help treat the symptoms of neurological diseases, as well as their progression, and even positively impact the life expectancy of those suffering from neurological diseases.  This is because several neurological disorders have the same factor in common, a reduction in brain phosphocreatine (27).  They also involve an overabundance in stress related reactive oxygen species or free radicals (28).  Creatine supplements can increase levels of phosphocreatine, so it can help avoid, or at least slow down the development of, neurological problems.  Creatine also helps address free radicals.

Dementia: Creatine helps cells work efficiently, so they don’t have to work as hard, the aging process is slowed and the cells survive longer before dying off.  Individuals diagnosed with dementia (Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s) as well as other conditions have exhibited improvements to brain health after taking creating.  It helps to reduce the dosage of other medications and lowers the number of side effects, and helps improve oxygen in the brain.  The last improves mental functioning and lowers mental fatigue.  It also improves outlook/mood.  Creatine can help improve cognitive functioning, even when the person lacks sleep. 

Alzheimer’s dementia: may be reduced through the taking of creatine (50).  Creatine has, in animal studies, proven to protect brain cells from damage related to beta amyloid plaque toxicity.  Alzheimer’s disease is believed to be caused by a build up of beta-amyloid plaques and tangles in a substance called tau.  Both are produced within brain cells, reducing or eliminating the cells ability to function properly.  Research is showing that those individuals who develop Alzheimer’s have lower levels of phosphocreatine when they enter into the first stages of the disease (50).  They experience up to an 86% reduction in the activity of an enzyme (creatine kinase) that stimulates creatine to make energy in cells.  They can also experience up to an 14% reduction of in creatine kinase protein expression (50).  At its worst, Alzheimer’s symptoms involve confusion, deteriorating cognitive functioning, a loss of long-term memory, and sever dementia.  It is now thought that creatine supplementation may assist in protecting against Alzheimer’s, as creatine within cells makes energy. 

Creatine may help protect against or even help improve symptoms of dementia.  This is because it improves the way cells thought out the body work.  All cells have mitochondria, this is where food etc., is made into energy.  It becomes dysfunctional before the onset of dementia.  It is this dysfunction that may be the root of dementia (109).  Cells slowly stop working properly because when energy in the cells is made, by products can also be produced.  When energy is created a by-product is also made.  It is called lipofuscin or aging pigment.  Ideally, it is washed out of the cell.  But, with age, it starts to build up and contribute to dementia and its symptoms (problems with memory, lack of decisiveness, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia).  Creatine slows cellular damage from excitotoxicity, specifically damage from a toxic substance called Abeta proteins.  It can protect cells from Abeta related damage (87;110).  This toxin is specific to Alzheimer’s disease (111).  

Creatine also assists in the removal of an age-related substance called lipofuscin.  Lipofuscin is a yellow-brown substance that is associated with age-related disruptions to cells ability to remove toxins that can cause damage.  Toxins speed up oxidative stress and damage to cells.  They also slow the cells’ ability to produce energy.  Toxins and the disruptions they cause can result in the effected cells dying prematurely (79;80).  In animal research, creatine has been shown to reduce the presence of lipofuscin (82).  This allowed for the animals to live up to 9% longer in comparison to animals with the same physical condition but not given creatine.  The nine percent in mice when converted into human years is approximately seven years for a human.  It should also be noted that the animals given creatine also performed better on tests of neurobehavior (82;113).

Parkinson’s disease may be treated partially with creatine. This condition is characterized by a decrease in dopamine, which is a key neurotransmitter for brain health (2;29).  An excessive drop in dopamine production within the brain can lead to brain cell death, as well as many symptoms of Parkinson’s disease including the following: loss of muscle function, tremors, and speech impairments (29).  Research (using animals) on creatine and Parkinson’s disease, has shown that creatine supplements can prevent up to 90% of the comorbid loss in dopamine (27).  Concerning other Parkinson’s symptoms, sufferers often try to maintain muscle mass to improve strength and functioning, so they weight train.  Creatine is a great assistant in building muscle (30;31).  One study those Parkinson’s patients who took creatine and did regular load-bearing exercise improve more on measures of strength and daily functioning when comparison to Parkinson’s patients who only did load-bearing exercise (32).  Keep in mind that it may be necessary for Parkinson’s patients to take more creatine than healthy individuals.   Some studies of Parkinson’s patients and creatine have shown that patients taking between four and ten grams per day, the recommended amount for healthy people, don’t show a significant improvement on measures of daily activity (33).

Huntington’s disease can benefit from creatine.  In a (animal) study of creatine supplements and Huntington’s, supplements restored brain phosphocreatine levels to 72% of the subjects’ pre-disease levels, in comparison to only a 26% improvement in the no creatine control subjects (34).  Further, this renewal of phosphocreatine facilitated the preservation of daily functioning.  It also lowered cell death by about 25% (34).

Creatine supplements may assist with treating other neurological problems (35; 36;37; 38).  Keep in mind that much of the research has been done on animal subjects.  These diseases include: Alzheimer’s, Brain injury, spinal cord injury, Epilepsy, and ischemic stroke.  Creatine is also showing promise regarding Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.  ALS is an ailment that affects motor neurons, which are necessary for movement.  In this case the brain loses the ability to communicate with muscles.  The body loses the ability to move at will.  Eventually, the muscles break down, and the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and breathe is lost.  In one study creatine improved motor functioning, while reducing muscle loss.  It also prolonged the survival rate of patients by about 17.5% (39).

Stroke damage may be improved by creatine: stroke is often the result of a lack of sufficient blood supply to the brain, or some of its parts.  Stroke most often occur as a result of insufficient blood supply to areas of the brain.  Decreased blood flow to the brain is associated with excessive amount of a substance called lipofuscin within the brain (78). Lipofuscinbuild up is the end result of a disruption of the cells ability to remove dysfunctional components.  This ability is called autophagy.  As autophagy slows down, and lipofuscin builds up, there is an upswing in oxidative stress, and a concurrent decrease in energy, leading to cell death (79;80 81).  Animal studies are showing that creatine has the ability to boost cellular energy and to reduce built up lipofuscin within the brains of the subjects (82; 83).  Creatine also assists with the preservation of necessary levels of high-energy phosphate-based molecules within tissues (brain, heart, muscle) needed in times of high energy usage (84;85; 86).  Further, creatine enhances the production of ATP, an energy transfer molecule, which helps full cellular metabolism   High levels of creatine support the body’s production of ATP, the universal energy-transfer molecule, when ATP itself is used up by these power-hungry tissues (87;88).  Some research suggests that cellular level brain damage due to stroke is associated with higher levels of Lipofuscin.  So, creatine, with its capacity for depressing lipofuscin, can be of some benefit with this aspect of stroke.  Animal studies of creatine administration after stroke (reduction in blood flow) have shown a significant reduction in brain damage regarding the size of the area damaged (89). In addition, creatine supplementation also replenished stroke depleted ATP.  Even though there were no human studies of creatine’s impact on stroke related brain damage available when the animal research was carried out, the researchers still suggested that, given creatine’s safety record, those at high risk of strokes consider creatine supplements (89).

For references and more about creatine for health and wellbeing go to the following page:

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

Bromelain for Health & Wellbeing.

Bromelain is made from enzymes found in pineapple juice and plant stems (1).  Bromelain has historically been used as a folk remedy for burns and wounds.  It has a large degree of uses.  For instance, it aids digestion when taken orally it.  It is both a natural pain reliever and a natural anti-inflammatory (2).  It is believed to be as effective as NSAIDs/non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (5).  It slows swelling, blood clotting, and the growth of tumors, and is a natural blood thinner. 

How bromelain works:

Bromelain assists with digestion and disorders of the digestive tract.  It is an enzyme which digests protein, vitamins, and minerals.  So, by improving the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, bromelain it improves health.  It can also assist with healing problems in the bowels, like Crohn’s disease, constipation, and indigestion. 

Irritable bowel disease/IBD can help to treat inflammatory bowel disease.  An animal study showed that bromelain can help suppress IBD associated inflammation.  Here bromelain was shown to reduce the severity and incidence of spontaneous (not lab induced) colitis.  Bromelain also lowered significantly the severity of inflammation in the colon in these animals, according to histology reports.  It is believed that these results were due to bromelains anti-inflammatory effects (21).  In a study involving taking biopsied tissues from people with irritable bowel diseases (inflammatory bowel disease or IBD, Crohn’s disease or CD), and from people who were healthy.  The tissues were then treated with bromelain in Petri dishes.  The treated tissues experienced a reduction in the secretion of pro-inflammatory disease-causing factors.  The concluding of the study was that bromelain may be a new or novel therapy for irritable bowel disease (22).

Diarrhea and intestinal issues are improved by bromelain.  Bromelain can counter the effects of E. coli (Escherichia coli) and Vibrio cholera, and reduce diarrhea.  It does this in two ways, firstly by reducing the ability of the bacteria to stick to cell receptor sites on the walls of the intestines; and secondly, by disrupting the cell signals that lead to the secretion of too much liquid by the intestines, which can cause symptoms of diarrhea (23).

Bromelain can improve allergies.  It does this by moderating the immune response, and by blocking the activity of cells (called DC44 antigen-presenting cells).  Bromelain also improves the functioning of (modulates) cells that link the part of the immune system that changes in reaction to challenges, called the adaptive immune response, with the part of the immune system that remains static or unchanged, called the innate immune response (called CD 11c dendritic cells).  so, bromelain helps both the initiate immune response and the adapt the immune system in better addressing threats.  In this way it can improve or slow allergic reactions/responses like nasal congestion, itchy eyes, rashes, and runny nose.  

Sinusitis involves chronic inflammation of the sinuses.  A small study of 12 people who had sinus surgery showed that those treated with bromelain for three months had better post surgery tests (rhinoscopy results), a great improvement in their symptoms, and reported an improved quality of life.  Some research shows that bromelain can help reduce sinusitis related nasal mucus and coughing, and hay fever related swelling and inflammation (19).

Asthma can be improved with bromelain.  Bromelain reduces inflammation of the airway, reduces swelling in the bronchi and bronchioles, and lowers mucus production (3).  This last helps decrease any obstruction of airways.  In an animal study bromelain was shown to have significant anti-inflammatory activity in the subjects’ respiratory passages.  These animals also had lower numbers of pro-inflammatory enzymes etc. in their blood streams (eosinophil, leukocyte, and cellular infiltrate counts, as well as BAS CD8+ T and CD4+ cells, and interleukins IL-4, IL-12, IL-17, and IFN-a).  At the same time no damage was done to healthy cells (3).

Urinary tract infections: when mixed with antibiotics bromelain boosted their effect on UTIs (4).

Osteoarthritis: bromelain helps treat osteoarthritis because it is anti-inflammatory in nature, and arthritis is a disease of inflammation (5).  Arthritis is often related to age.  It both chronic and progressive (worsening) in nature.  It gradually reduces movement as bone related pain increases.  It causes the loss of joint mobility and can impact life quality.  Bromelain assist with osteoarthritis in three ways. It is analgesic (pain relieving).  It helps to protect joint cartilage from damage, so slows the progression of arthritis.  It can diminish inflammation related swelling and damage to joints.  So, bromelain can be a good alternative to pain medication, which can have side effects (liver and kidney damage).  Research has shown bromelain to be as effective as drugs used to treat arthritis related pain.  Called NSAID or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  At higher doses (945 mg per day) bromelain has been shown, in human trials, to have a similar impact to prescription anti-inflammatory diclofenac.  And, an even higher dose, 1890 gm per day was shown to have a greater impact than this medication on joint swelling (6).  Some preliminary research suggests that bromelain can also reduce pain related to rheumatoid arthritis, but it is preliminary at this stage (19).

Heart/stroke: Bromelain slows or inhibits the build up of blood platelets, called platelet aggregation.  This can cause clotting or thrombosis.  It has the ability to prevent blood clot from growing and becoming problematic, called a fibrinolytic ability (6). 

Skin: Bromelain stimulates wound healing.  Its anti-inflammatory ability is one reason it is used to heal wounds (7).  It also helps to clean skin wounds and remove dead, infected, thickened or callused skin.  This is called debridement of skin.  The enzymes from pineapple are of a class needed for proper cell division, so they are important for tissues health (8).  When used topically (on skin) bromelain-based cream, with 35% bromelain, has been shown to eliminated debris from burns and to speed up wound healing (9).  Bromelain, in clinical trials, has been effective in treating the skin condition pityriasis lichenoides chronica.  This condition involves lesions that can be long-lasting.  The cause of this disease is unknow.  Treating it is problematic and results are inconsistent.  A small study involving giving bromelain orally (by mouth) to eight people (three males/five females) resulted in all eight subjects going into remission.  The study involved giving the subjects 40 mg of bromelain three times per day for one month.  Followed by giving 40 mg two times per day for one month.  And, giving the subjects 40 mg once per day for the final month.  Two subjects had a relapse after five or six months, but this went away after they took bromalin for another three months, and on the same dosage schedule.  This result was believed to be due to bromelain’s anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and immunomodulatory effects (10).

Bromelain assists with keeping skin looking young (14).  It can help to renew cells, whiten skin, and reduce the appearance of cellulite.  Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties means that it can reduce the inflammation associated with red, irritated skin.  Bromelain’s ability to reduce swelling also means that it can reduce age related eye puffiness.  Bromelain is an exfoliant.  It can break down proteins holding dead skin cells together.  But, as bromelain doesn’t penetrate as deeply, it is less of an irritant.

you can make a face mask from pineapple by blending it until it is creamy. Then spread it over your face and neck, avoiding eyes. Leave the mask on for five minutes and then wash your face etc. with cool water.

you can also break open a bromelain capsule and mix the powder into your night cream once and a while. it will feel tight and dry, but your skin will glow when this is washed off.

Hair: health and length may be improved with bromelain.  Bromelain is believed to improve protein absorption by the body (20).  Hair is made from protein, so if the body is breaking it down and absorbing it in greater amounts, it will improve all bodily systems, including hair.

Varicose veins: may be managed better when taking bromelain.  This condition involves the walls of veins becoming lax/relaxed, and the veins becoming larger and bulging.  Bromelain can reduce the damage done to the veins and sustain the elasticity in them.

Cancer: Bromelain is being considered as an adjunct or add on therapy for cancer (11). for instance, it disrupts the growth of malignant/cancerous cells (12).   Animal research and human research (breast cancer) demonstrated bromelain’s ability to slow or even stop tumors.  This effect was dose dependent, with the animals absorbing 40% of the bromelain they consumed through their intestinal tract.  These animals also experienced a reduction in both swelling (antiedematous) and inflammation. Bromelain has also been shown to inhibit experimentally induced tumors in animals, predominantly dose dependently, and exhibit antiedematous and anti-inflammatory activity (13).  Bromelain has the ability to modulate the way the immune system interacts with tumor causing properties, called immune-cytotoxicity.  Here substances called monocytes act to fight tumor cells, and they stimulate enzymes that help kill tumor cells called cytokines (11).

Dental health: Bromelain, when taken by mouth, can reduce swelling/edema, as well as pain and bruising in dental treatments.  It also stimulates healing and reduces healing time after dental work.  It is best to take Bromelain both before and after treatment (15;16).

Bone: Bromelain is known to help accelerate healing of bone fractures.  When it was mixed into a proteolytic enzyme formula (rutin and trypsin) and given to people healing from fractures of the long bone these patients healed faster.  They also reported less pain and needing less pain medication (17).   

Bromelain can improve antibiotics ability to work (18), it may also benefit those suffering from bronchitis and angina (19).

Interactions and precautions: consult a health care provider before taking. 

Don’t take bromelain if you are taking any of the following (19):

Antibiotics, the amount of which is absorbed may be increased by bromelain. 

Blood thinning medications like antiplatelet and anticoagulant medications (Warfarin/Coumadin, Clopidogrel/Plavix, or aspirin).  Bromelain can reduce blood’s clotting ability, so it can increase bleeding.

Sedatives: bromelain magnify the effect of the following: Alcohol, Anti-depressants (tricyclics like amitriptyline/Elavil), anti-seizure medications (Dilantin/phenytoin and Depakote/valproic acid). barbiturates, benzodiazepines (Xanax/alprazolam or Valium/diazepam), herbs (catnip, kava, valerian), and insomnia medications (Rozerem/ramelteon and Lunesta).

Bromelain side effects: are usually mild like loose bowel movements or abdominal distress.  Rare reactions (usually in those with established allergies) include skin rashes, itching and hives, as well as breathing problems and swelling in the throat and face; diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting; and in younger women, increased menstrual flow.  Keep in mind that bromelain can thin the blood and so increase the risk of bleeding during surgery.  It is advised that if taking bromelain, it be stopped at least two weeks prior to surgery (19).

Bromelain should be avoided if you have one or more of the following: a bleeding disorder or high blood pressure; a kidney or liver disease; are pregnancy; or have an allergy to the following: carrots, celery, fennel, Latex, papain, pineapple, pollen (grass and cypress), or wheat (19).

Dosage: bromelains effect is dose dependent, and different conditions and different people may need different doses.  It has been shown to be affective starting at 160 mg per day, with the therapeutic action toping out at 2000 mg per day.  The last should be divided throughout the day.  Bromelain should be taken on an empty stomach, so either before a meal or between meals.

Allergies: 500 mg twice a day                     Arthritis/joint pain: 500-1000 mg twice a day

Cancer: 1000 mg twice per day                

Digestion: 250 mg, twice a day

Injuries: 500 mg, four times a day            Surgery/wound recovery: 1000 mg twice per day.

References:

1   MacKay, D., & Miller, A.L., (2003).  Nutritional support for wound healing. Altern Med Rev.,8(4):359-77.  PMID: 14653765.

2   Graf, J., (2000). Herbal anti-inflammatory agents for skin disease. Skin Therapy Lett.,5(4):3-5. PMID: 10785407.

3   Secor, E.R., Jr., Shah, S.J., Guernsey, L.A., Schramm, C.M., & Thrall, RS., (2012).  Bromelain limits airway inflammation in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of established asthma. Altern Ther Health Med.,18(5):9-17. PMID: 22894886.

4   Mori, S., Ojima, Y., Hirose, T., Sasaki, T., & Hashimoto, Y., (1972).  The clinical effect of proteolytic enzyme containing bromelain and trypsin on urinary tract infection evaluated by double blind method.  Acta Obstetrica et Gynaecologica Japonica., 19(3):147–153.

5   Brien, S., Lewith, G., Walker, A., Hicks, S. M., & Middleton, D. (2004).  Bromelain as a Treatment for Osteoarthritis: a Review of Clinical Studies.  Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM, 1(3), 251–257. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neh035.

6   Taussig, S.J, & Batkin, S., (1988).  Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananas comosus) and its clinical application.  An update.  J. Ethnopharmacol., 22(2):191-203.  DOI: 10.1016/0378-8741(88)90127-4. PMID: 3287010.

7   MacKay, D., & Miller, A.L., (2003). Nutritional support for wound healing. Altern Med Rev.,8(4):359-77. PMID: 14653765.

8   Mótyán, J. A., Tóth, F., & Tőzsér, J. (2013).  Research applications of proteolytic enzymes in molecular biology.  Biomolecules, 3(4), 923–942. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom3040923.

9   Altern. Med. Rev. 1998; 3:302–5.

10   Massimiliano, R., Pietro, R., Paolo, S., Sara P., & Michele, F., (2007).  Role of bromelain in the treatment of patients with pityriasis lichenoides chronica.  J Dermatolog. Treat.,18(4):219-22.  DOI: 10.1080/09546630701299147. PMID: 17671882.

11   Maurer, H.R., (2001).  Bromelain: biochemistry, pharmacology and medical use.  Cell Mol Life Sci.,58(9):1234-45.  DOI: 10.1007/PL00000936. PMID: 11577981).  It disrupts the growth of malignant/cancerous cells.

12   Taussig, S.J, & Batkin, S., (1988).  Bromelain, the enzyme complex of pineapple (Ananas comosus) and its clinical application.  An update. J. Ethnopharmacol., 22(2):191-203.  DOI: 10.1016/0378-8741(88)90127-4. PMID: 3287010.

13   Grabowska, E., Eckert, K., Fichtne,r I., Schulze-Forster, K., Maurer, H., (1990).  Bromelain proteases suppress growth invasion and lung metastasis of B16F10 mouse melanoma cells.  Planta Med., 56: 249-53.

14   Lourenço, C.B., Ataide, J.A., Cefali, L., Novaes, L.C., Moriel, P., Silveira, E., Tambourgi, E.B., & Mazzola, P.G., (2016).  Evaluation of the enzymatic activity and stability of commercial bromelain incorporated in topical formulations.  Int J Cosmet Sci.,38(5):535-40.  DOI: 10.1111/ics.12308. Epub 2016 Mar 16. PMID: 26833020.

15   Tassman, G.C., Zafran, Z.N., & Zayon, G.M., (1965).  A double-blind crossover study of a plant proteolytic enzyme in oral surgery.  J. Dent. Med., 20:51–4.

16   Tassman, G.C., Zafran, Z.N., & Zayon, G.M., (1964).  Evaluation of a plant proteolytic enzyme for the control of inflammation and pain.   J. Dent. Med.,19:73–7.

17   Kamenícek, V., Holán, P., Franĕk, P., (2001).  Systémová enzymoterapie v lécbĕ a profylaxi poúrazových a pooperacních otoků [Systemic enzyme therapy in the treatment and prevention of post-traumatic and postoperative swelling].  Acta Chir Orthop Traumatol Cech.,68(1):45-9.  Czech. PMID: 11706714.

18   Bromelain. (1998).  Altern Med Rev.,3(4):302-5. PMID: 9734239.

19   Mount Sinai Hospital, Bromelain, Ananas comosus; Bromelainum.  Accessed at: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/bromelain.

20   Castell, J.V., Friedrich, G., Kuhn, C.S., & Poppe, G.E., (1997).  Intestinal absorption of undegraded proteins in men: presence of bromelain in plasma after oral intake.  Am J Physiol., 273(1 Pt 1): G139-46.  DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.1997.273.1. G139. PMID: 9252520

21   Hale, L.P., Greer, P.K., Trinh, C.T., & Gottfried, M.R., (2005).  Treatment with oral bromelain decreases colonic inflammation in the IL-10-deficient murine model of inflammatory bowel disease.  Clinical Immunology, 116(2): 135-142.  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2005.04.011.

22   Onken, J.E., Greer, P.K., Calingaert, B., & Hale, L.P., (2008).  Bromelain treatment decreases secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines by colon biopsies in vitro.  Clinical Immunology, 126(3):345-352.  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clim.2007.11.002.

23   Pavan, R., Jain, S., Shraddha, & Kumar, A. (2012).  Properties and therapeutic application of bromelain: a review.  Biotechnology Research International2012, 976203.  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/976203.

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).

bromelain and pineapple improve skin.

How creatine can support emotional wellbeing.

Creatine for emotional wellbeing.

Depression may be improved by creatine supplements. Preliminary studies are showing it to have protective effects against, as well as an ability to treat, the symptoms of depression. This might be due to the fact that it increases Adenosine triphosphate or ATP. This is an indication of how well brain cells are working or metabolizing energy. In short, creatine speeds up cellular metabolism within brain cells. Studies show that after taking creatine the brain is better able to use primary brain fuel oxygen (45), so it functions better. This is important as there is a growing body of scientific evidence that depressed people’s brains don’t metabolize energy in the same way that non-depressed people’s brains do (28). Studies using functional brain imagine (positron and single photon emission tomography or PET scans) have shown that the brains of depressed people often have diminished blood flow and metabolism. Specifically, in the frontal lobes and the basal ganglia. In one study of depression and creatine, which used measures of creatine in spinal flued, it was found that those subjects who were depressed, and expressed a desire to commit suicide, also had lower levels of creatine in their spinal fluid (28).

Regarding anxiety, in a study of people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder or GAD, but no childhood trauma, it was found to have reduced levels of total creatine in the cerebral white matter or brain tissue (28). A similar level of low creatine was found in a study of people who experienced panic attacks, but this time in the right amygdalohippocampal region of the brain. And, another study of panic disorder found creatine levels to be asymmetrical, with more phosphocreatine in the right frontal lobe than the left (28). In an animal study, using both male and female rats, those rats on creatine, regardless of sex, exhibited less anxiety than animals not given it (46).

Creatine is proving to be an adjunct or alternative treatment PTSD: it is now being investigated as a potential treatment for post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD combined with depression. Further, in studies of PTSD, using a control group, it was found that subjects diagnosed with PTSD had reductions of creatine in both the right and left hippocampal brain regions. Preliminary studies on creatine for PTSD are showing some success. A study of PTSD, where subjects were treatment resistant (drug resistant), found supplements improved symptoms in both men and women. The greatest response was in those subjects who had PTSD and depression. So, there is some proof that creatine can be therapeutic for PTSD. Regarding anxiety disorders specifically, there are few studies at this point. One case study, on a 52-year-old female who suffered from depression, fibromyalgia, and PTSD, found that the subject had abnormally low levels of phosphocreatine and ATP. She was unresponsive to medications before creatine supplements were introduced. After daily supplementation of creatine there was a reported improvement on measures of depression and fibromyalgia, and a 30% improvement on an overall quality of life scale (28).

When it comes to creatine doses for phycological problems, it is suggested that using lower doses (5 g) of creatine may be better and have more bioavailability, in comparison to higher (10 g) doses. This is as larger doses may slow the absorption of creatine. Smaller doses usually absorb in about two hours. And larger doses can cause the saturation of target sites in the body, resulting in a downregulation of, or lowering of priority of, creating in the cells. Tissues that are lower in creatine before supplementation show greater accumulation of it after supplementation. Keep in mind that it takes about four weeks for creatine supplements to build up in the brain and muscle tissue (28). An example is an experiment in which people given 5 g of creatine a day for four weeks found that the subjects experienced a significant increase in total brain creatine. This was especially true of the following brain areas: thalamus, cerebellum, white matter, and gray matter (28).

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 skin health & appearance.

Creatine improves skin health & appearance.

Creatine supports skin health and protects against, and reverses, age related skin damage. Or, that which is associate with aging is connected to damage to skin cells, especially within the mitochondria and DNA. Mitochondria, found in every cell, converts nutrients from food into energy. Aging is related to dysfunctional mitochondria (102). So, creatine is important in preserving the skin’s (and body’s) cellular energy system. It is turned to phosphocreatine (its phosphorylated form) in the body and, in this way, acts as a pivotal source for high energy phosphates, one of three components of ATP or adenosine triphosphate. The other two are sugar or ribose, and a nitrogen base called adenine. As aging sets in, and oxidative stress does more damage to cells, it becomes more difficult for the body to maintain the creatine system, and so more difficult to maintain the concordant energy storage mechanism in skin, in this way skin is negatively affected by a loss of creatine. The aging of the skin specifically is associated with a deterioration in cellular energy metabolism. This loss of energy is the result of harmful changes in mitochondrial function. This in turn is the result of free radicals created by solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, called exogenous noxes (103). In short, as skin ages the cells try to counter any loss of mitochondrial energetic capacity by producing extra-mitochondrial pathways like glycolysis or the creatine kinase (CK) system.

A study of creatine metabolism and skin aging showed that aging is associated with a stress related deterioration in the mitochondrial energy supply in human skin (epidermal) cells, which is associated with a reduction in mitochondrial creatine kinase (Ck) activity (103). The same study shows that creatine supplementation is taken up by skin cells, where it is correlated with an increase in mitochondrial CK activity, improved mitochondrial functioning, and provided protection from free oxygen radical stress, or free radicals/oxidative stress (103).

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

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Creatine may improve bone health.

1/2 tsp of Creatine powder a day can improve bone density & strength.

Creatine has, according to preliminary studies, the ability to improve bone strength. Currently creatine, and its ability to improve cellular energy, is being investigated for its beneficial effects on the brain, aging, and even bone health (63; 77). Bone health in particular is a primary concern to post menopausal women, as this population is especially vulnerable to weakening bones. This situation can lead to fractures, frailty, and a loss of function on a daily basis (64).

Exercise improves bone density and so is good for both bone strength and tissue health. Small studies of creatine (Cr) are showing it to have the ability to enhance bone mineral density. Bone mineral density is the amount of bone mineral in bone tissue. The more minerals present in the bone, the greater its strength, and the less likely it will be to degenerate or brake/fracture.

Creatine (Cr) supplementation may improve bone health in a multiplicity of ways. Firstly, Cr is used by the bone cells for cellular energy stimulation (7). So, by increasing creatine within the body as a whole, the bones have a better or enhanced access to creatine. The more creatine, the more metabolic activity within the bone cells. this means there is a greater chance that new bone is formed and that more minerals are absorbed, leading to greater bone strength and health (8). Secondly, Cr improves muscle performance (3; 4;5). When muscle vibrates against bone it stimulates bone cell development. The stronger the muscle, the more the muscle stimulates the bone, and the greater the stimulation, the more likely it is that the bone mass density will improve or increase (6). In order to garner the greatest effects from taking creatine for bones, resistance/weight training should be undertaken three times per week (67;71). Creatine should be consumed either during exercise/exertion or shortly before or after it.

Creatine should be combined with weight/load bearing exercise to result in improved bone health. A small placebo-controlled study (9), which also controlled for diet (via food journals), of postmenopausal women (half of whom took creatine for one year) showed that weight training (three times per week) combined with creatine supplements (seven grams) results in: the maintenance of bone mineral density; a mild increase in bone strength; and a mild increase in muscle strength. Conversely, the placebo/sugar pill group lost a significant amount of bone mineral density. The bone tested was the Femur, which is a large leg bone, and often prone to fracturing with age (1;10).

Some research is showing that for older adults it is better to take creatine right before, or during, exercise (11). It is hypothesised that creatine taken at this time increases the blood flowing to the muscles under exertion during exercise. This then results in better, or more, creatine being transported/moved into the muscles and building up or accumulating into the muscles (11). The best option might be to take it just before exercise. This was shown in two studies to increase muscle uptake of creatine, as well as muscle concentration of creatine. Both of these factors can lead to better overall results regarding muscle health and performance (12;13). When choosing a dose of creatine, effective dosing (after the first week of taking the full scoop to get it into the muscle) is approximately three grams or half a tea spoon. In short, creatine in combination with exercise and other dietary proteins is important regarding bone and muscle health during the aging process, especially for postmenopausal women (14).

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

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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).

For references go to: http://lifeisbeautifullifecoach.com/932-2/

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).

References can be found at: http://lifeisbeautifullifecoach.com/932-2/

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.

References:

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:    https://www.sciencedirect.com/tompics/neuroscience/melatonin.

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:   www.memorylossonline.com

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:          http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/3111894.

91   Taylor medical group website.  Webpage:  estrogen and progesterone: two important hormones.  Accessed at:         https://taylormedicalgroup.net/healthtopics/estrogen-and-progesterone.

92   Santin, A. P., & Furlanetto, T. W., (2011).  Role of estrogen in thyroid function and growth regulation.  Journal of Thyroid Research., 2011, 875125. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4061/2011/875125.

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: https://doi.org/10.4061/2011/875125

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;  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28589382

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: https://doi.org/10.1038/cmi.2010.73.

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.

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For more information on light therapy go to: http://lifeisbeautifullifecoach.com/light-therapy-an-overview/

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.

For References go to:

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