Monthly Archives: July 2016

Vitamin C for Tooth Pain

 

(Source: www.deviantart.com)
(Source: www.deviantart.com)

 

I’d been under a heavy load of emotional stress for some days and noticed that I was developing pain around an upper molar – not awful enough to keep me up at night but certainly unwelcome and inconvenient.
I mentioned it to David Miller, MD (the nutritional supplements guru at LifeThyme Market in Greenwich Village) just to see if he had a trick up his sleeve for this that didn’t involve an emergency dental appointment. And he did! He recommended taking vitamin C. Knowing I had some Emergen-C at home, he suggested taking one packet of it every two hours until mildly loose stool began.
So that evening I drank a packet of Emergen-C Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai) mixed into a cup of filtered water – and my tooth pain was gone a few hours later!

 

 

emergen-c-immune-plus-system-support-vitamin-d-blueberry-acai

 

 

 

SO WHY DID IT WORK?

I’ve since learned it was the high amount of Vitamin C in Emergen-C that stopped the pain.
Emergen-C Immune Plus® System Support (Blueberry Acai) contains:
  • 1000 mg Vitamin C
  • 1000 IU Vitamin D
  • Proprietary Complex
  • 7 B Vitamins, antioxidants and Electrolytes
  • Other Natural Flavors
  • No Caffeine

 

Vitamin C destroys bacteria and also enlivens blood circulation so more blood began going to the tooth and gum area that had become tender. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had been clenching my jaw during that time of great stress. Vitamin C also supports the immune system and is critical to the formation of collagen.

 

 

VITAMIN C IS A NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC

Vitamin C is a powerful, natural broad-spectrum antibiotic, antihistamine, antitoxic, and antiviral. The astute, early 20th century dentist Weston Price, best known for his theories on the relationship between nutrition, dental health, and physical health, labeled Vitamin C an “invisible toothbrush”.  (Cheraskin, 2001).
More research led to the 3rd edition (2011) of Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD’s interesting book Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. This is Amazon’s description of it:

“Several years ago the author, cardiologist Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD was asked to assist Hal Huggins, DDS, with a number of Dr.  Huggins’ dental patients. Each of the patients was quite ill and obviously suffering with one or more very serious medical conditions. Prior to sedating each patient Dr. Huggins asked Dr. Levy to administer a specific protocol of vitamin C.

“Dr. Levy had never performed or even heard of such a practice, but was greatly impressed as each patient left the dental office markedly improved — many were asymptomatic. As a result, his interest in vitamin  C was greatly aroused and he began a search through all the medical literature for any studies concerning this vitamin therapy and the miraculous results he had witnessed time and time again.

“He quickly found the medical journals were filled with thousands of studies and articles about vitamin  C. Many of them reported similarly dramatic results with a myriad of diseases and other difficult medical conditions. Dr. Levy knew that this was information that all his colleagues needed. Consequently, he was compelled to spend the next four years researching and writing Curing the Incurable. Because this book was written especially for his medical colleagues, Dr.  Levy has taken great care to research, document, and report the vital truths about vitamin C — he cites over 1,200 scientific references.

“Curing the Incurable provides the information you need to most effectively use vitamin C to:

  • Prevent, cure, reverse and/or greatly improve a massive list of health conditions.
  • Cut your mortality risk (from all causes) by as much as 50%.
  • Boost your immune system and energy levels to optimum levels.
  • Optimize blood and intracellular levels of vitamin C.
  • Dramatically increase bio-availability (up to 800% or more) without increasing your dose size.
  • Avoid gastric discomfort, the diarrhea, and increased urination that prove most of your large doses of vitamin C are headed for the sewer.
  • And much, much more
I also came across another person’s report of his experience using Vitamin C for a painful toothache:
“I got a terrible toothache from an impacted dental implant. My face swelled. My vision blurred as the swelling put pressure on my optic nerve. The pain was extreme.
“I decided to take 15 of the 500 mg. vitamin C three times a day with a lot of water. It was now almost impossible to eat due to pain and swelling. The day after I began taking the large amount of vitamin C there was improvement: I no longer felt like screaming from the pain. By the third day the swelling was down and the pain was mostly a memory. I was, to say the least, impressed.” (Health Boundaries, 2016)
I don’t know for sure, but my assumption is that the 1,000 mg of Vitamin C in the packet of Emergen-C brought more blood to the afflicted area and  attacked whatever infection was beginning in that tooth and/or the gum surrounding it.
And now I’ve just ordered  Dr Levy’s book and am eager to read it.

 

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VITAMIN C INCREASES BLOOD CIRCULATION

Vitamin C both tones blood vessels and prevents free radicals from damaging the circulatory system, ensuring that blood flows freely throughout the body. (Poor Circulation, 2016)
“One of the most intensely studied areas of vitamin C benefits is in the area of cardiovascular health. Researchers are finding that vitamin C impacts several aspects of cardiac health, ranging from blood pressure to endothelial health. Perhaps it’s not surprising that as the relationship between oxidative damage, inflammation, and atherosclerosis becomes increasingly investigated by science, vitamin C is seen as a key protective element against many aspects of cardiovascular disease.
“For years, scientists have warned us against the dangerous buildup of plaque that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Researchers are investigating the possibilities that vitamin C may play a role in reducing our risk of plaque buildup.
“In the early stages of atherosclerosis, white blood cells called monocytes migrate and stick to the walls of the endothelium. Once this process begins, our vessel walls begin to thicken and lose their elasticity, which paves the way for atherosclerosis.
“Interestingly, British researchers studied the effects of vitamin C supplementation (250 mg/day) on this adhesion process in 40 healthy adults. Before the study, subjects with low pre-supplementation levels of vitamin C had 30% greater monocyte adhesion than normal, putting them at higher risk for atherosclerosis. Impressively, after six weeks of supplementation, the rate of this dangerous monocyte adhesion actually fell by 37%.
“The researchers went on to demonstrate that the same small dose of vitamin C was able to normalize a molecule that white blood cells use to adhere to the endothelium. The findings indicated that through supplementation with vitamin C scientists were able to regulate how specific genes produce vital proteins, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease at the molecular level.
“Building on this important work, scientific researchers in 2005 studied the impact of antioxidant supplementation on degenerative aortic stenosis, an age-associated heart valve disorder that has an inflammatory component.9 The scientists studied 100 patients with mild-to-moderate aortic stenosis, randomly assigning 41 of them to receive vitamins C (1,000 mg/day) and E (400 IU/day), 39 to receive vitamin C only (1,000 mg/day), and 20 to serve as untreated controls. Both supplemented groups experienced significant reductions in levels of several important adhesion molecules, potentially reducing further inflammatory damage to the heart valves.
“And just as vitamin C helps preserve vascular integrity, it is also proving beneficial in combating other risk factors for endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.” (Goepp, 2008)

 

 

HEALTHY MOUTH, HEALTHY HEART

(Source: www.mitchmarderdds.com)
(Source: www.mitchmarderdds.com)
“Not getting enough ascorbic acid — more commonly known as vitamin C — in your diet can lead to atherosclerosis and the build up of plaque in the blood vessels that impedes blood flow. Vitamin C may also assist in keeping arteries flexible, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Foods that contain ascorbic acid include fruits such as watermelon, oranges, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tomatoes and mango. Vegetables are good sources of vitamin C as well, including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, winter squash and leafy green.” (Miller, 2015)

 

(Source: www.drsinatra.com)
(Source: www.drsinatra.com)

 

 

 

VITAMIN C SUPPORTS THE  IMMUNE SYSTEM

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

“One of the most important functions of vitamin C is to support and energize the body’s immune system. Immune cells have active vitamin C transporter molecules embedded in their membranes that actively pump the vitamin into the cells when more vitamin C is required.” (Robertson, 2015)
People with many common diseases have severely reduced Vitamin C blood levels compared to healthy individuals. And, in part because of an increasingly oxidative environment that eats up Vitamin C,  the elderly tend to have lower levels of Vitamin C circulating in their blood stream and immune cells, leading to impaired immune function. (Robertson, 2015)

 

(Source: slideplayer.com)
(Source: slideplayer.com)

 

The table below shows lower plasma vitamin C levels in people with serious diseases (especially cancer and sepsis) than in healthy individuals. Note that a healthy Vitamin C blood level range is considered to be 61-80 micromolecules/L. (Robertson, 2015)

 

TABLE: VITAMIN C LEVELS FALL IN MULTIPLE DISEASE STATES
Healthy Vitamin C Range is 61-80 mmol/L

Vitamin C In Disease States                                 Mean Plasma Vitamin C Level (micromol/L)

   Diabetes                                                                                         42 mmol/L

   Gastritis                                                                                         46 mmol/L

   Pancreatitis                                                                                 33 mmol/L

   Pneumonia                                                                                  31 mmol/L

   Cancer                                                                                        < 24 mmol/L

   Trauma or sepsis (overwhelming infection)               10 mmol/L

   Arthritis                                                                                        27 mmol/L

A healthy vitamin C level is considered to be between 61 and 80 micromol/L. Those afflicted with serious diseases have much lower vitamin C levels. It is likely that the inflammation and oxidative stress caused by some of these diseases contributes to this reduced vitamin C since it will rapidly be used up quenching free radicals. It’s also possible that lower levels of vitamin C contributed to the development or progression of some of these disorders.

 

 

 

 

VITAMIN C IS NECESSARY FOR COLLAGEN PRODUCTION

 

(Source: www.vitalproteins.com)
(Source: www.vitalproteins.com)
The body requires Vitamin C for collagen production. Collagen is a protein that performs many important functions in the body (English & Cass, 2013):
  • Collagen forms connective fibers in tissues such as skin, ligaments, cartilage, bones and teeth.
  • Collagen acts as a kind of intracellular “glue” that gives support, shape and bulk to blood vessels, bones, and organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver.
  • Collagen fibers keep bones and blood vessels strong and help anchor our teeth to our gums.
  • Collagen is required for the repair of blood vessels, bruises, and broken bones.
  • Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for more mass than all the other body’s proteins put together.

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

Dr Emily Kane, ND, LAc, recommends 4-9 grams/day of Vitamin C, to promote collagen healing and retard plaque growth. She says gums that bleed easily may be a sign of Vitamin C deficiency. “Vitamin C is a large, complex molecule that can ‘absorb’ a free-radical and stop the chain of destruction. Vitamin C is inexpensive (manufacturers never cheat in its production, unlike with Vitamin E), widely available in a variety of forms and generally well tolerated. Some people with very sensitive stomachs need to take a buffered form, rendered a neutral pH with the addition of minerals such as calcium or magnesium.” (Kane, 2001)

 

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

 

 

 

WHY HUMANS NEED TO GET VITAMIN C FROM OUR DIET OR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Most animals and plants are able to synthesize Vitamin C to meet their nutritional needs.  4,000 species of mammals produce it in their livers from glucose, but a few – including humans,  guinea pigs, bats, and dry-nosed primates – have lost this ability due to a mutation in the GULO (gulonolactone oxidase) gene. We – and they – must obtain our Vitamin C from outside sources. (Biology, 2012), (Cell Press, 2008) & (Misner, 2016)
“Normal GULO is an enzyme that catalyses the reaction of D-glucuronolactone with oxygen to L-xylo-hex-3-gulonolactone. This then spontaneously forms Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). However without the GULO enzyme, no vitamin C is produced.” (Biology, 2012)
Because humans are unable to produce vitamin C and must obtain it from other sources and because most of us don’t consume enough foods containing ascorbic acid, it  makes sense to supplement daily with vitamin C.  (Robertson, 2015)

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

 

 

A footnote to my recent experience taking Emergen-C for dental pain:
It took only that single dose of Emergen-C to produce the loosened stool effect Dr Miller said to look for. I’ve always been sensitive to big doses of Vitamin C and generally take a buffered version when I can.
Irwin Stone (an American biochemist, chemical engineer, and author) and my father (an enzyme chemist) became good friends during their time working together at the Wallerstein Company (a processor of malts and hops for beer making) in the late 1930’s-early 1940’s. Stone was the first to use ascorbic acid in the food processing industry as a preservative. He also originated and published the hypothesis that humans require much larger amounts of Vitamin C for optimal health than is necessary to prevent scurvy.
Stone’s book, The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease was first published in 1955.
He  piqued Linus Pauling’s interest in the health benefits of Vitamin C and is recognized as one of the founders of Orthomolecular Medicine. Stone’s research provided additional scientific background for the clinical results of megadose ascorbate treatments claimed by Dr Frederick Robert Klenner, his contemporary.
Irwin Stone and his wife Barbara were  living in the San Francisco Bay Area when my husband and I moved to Palo Alto for a year. My dad wrote to his friend, who invited us and our infant son to come for dinner at their house. Barbara made a beautiful looking, tart, refreshing soup to start the meal. I couldn’t quite place the source of its tartness but shortly after dinner found myself desperately needing to know the location of their bathroom.
When I returned to the table and said I couldn’t figure out what had caused this reaction, Irwin confessed that my father had told him I was nursing a baby and not getting much sleep so he’d asked Barbara to put 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid into my soup to boost our immune systems.

 

 

Irwin Stone (1907-1984), a founder of Orthomolecular Medicine

(Source: paulingblog.wordpress.com)
(Source: paulingblog.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Biology. (2012). Why do Humans not produce Vitamin C like other mammals? See: http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/401/why-do-humans-not-produce-vitamin-c-like-other-mammals

Cell Press. (2008). How Humans Make Up For An ‘Inborn’ Vitamin C Deficiency. ScienceDaily. See: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080320120726.htm

Cheraskin, W. (2001). The Invisible Toothbrush. Weston A. Price Foundation. See: http://www.westonaprice.org/holistic-healthcare/the-invisible-toothbrush/

English, J. & Cass, H. (2013). Linus Pauling’s Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease. Nutritional Review. The Collagen Connection. See: http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/collagen-connection/

Goepp, J. (2008). Newly Discovered Health Benefits of Vitamin C. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2008/4/newly-discovered-benefits-of-vitamin-c/Page-01

Health Boundaries. (2016). Vitamin C. See: http://www.health-boundaries.com/home/b12-malabsorption/diarrhea/vitamin-c/

Kane, E. (2001). Toothache and Gum Disease. See: http://dremilykane.com/2001/12/16/toothache-and-gum-disease/

Levy, T.E. (2011) Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins, 3rd Edition. See: https://www.amazon.com/Curing-Incurable-Vitamin-Infectious-Diseases/dp/0977952029

Miller, S-J. (2015). Vitamins That Increase Blood Flow. LiveStrong.com. See: http://www.livestrong.com/article/511125-vitamins-that-increase-blood-flow/

Misner, W. (2016). Humans lack the ability to make vitamin C. Hammer Nutrition. See: https://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/humans-lack-the-ability-to-make-vitamin-c.278.html

PoorCirculation.net. (2016). VITAMINS FOR CIRCULATION OF BLOOD – HOW DO THEY HELP? See: http://poorcirculation.net/blood-circulation-vitamins/

Robertson, C. (2015). The Link Between Vitamin C And Optimal Immunity. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2015/11/the-link-between-vitamin-c-and-optimal-immunity/page-01

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

How to Survive Days of High Heat, Humidity & Pollution

Updated 7/30/2016.

 

(Source: www.8screensavers.com)
(Source: www.8screensavers.com)

 

One evening earlier this week my body suddenly felt like its power grid was shutting down and I was going to faint. Fortunately I was sitting at my computer desk at the time.
New York City, along with much of the country, has been suffering through a prolonged heat wave with temperatures in the upper 90’s, high humidity, and ‘bad air’ alerts nearly every day.  Even a short while spent outdoors produces heavy sweating as the body tries to keep itself at a reasonable working temperature.
I’d been trying to stay hydrated but this scary  experience made me realize I was probably dehydrated at the cellular level and needed to pay more attention to my electrolyte balance during this kind of weather.
So this is what I did – and will continue to do until the weather becomes more conducive to life:
  • Replenished my electrolytes with a packet of Emergen-C  Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai flavor) – because it’s what I had around – mixed into a cup of filtered water
  • Ate some pink sea salt to restore needed trace minerals to my body
  • Manually cleared the lymph glands in my neck and across the top of my chest to drain accumulated toxins from my lymphatic system and sinuses
  • Worked on my pyloric and ileocecal valves to get my digestion moving
  • Used a hollow, spiky 6″ Bodymind ball vertically along the center of my back to open up the energy channels running from my spine to the rest of my body

 

 

 

ELECTROLYTE BALANCE RESTORATION

 

(Source: the-sage.org)
(Source: the-sage.org)

 

WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES

Electrolytes are minerals found in our bodily fluids. They carry an electric charge and are essential to keeping the heart, nerves and muscles functioning properly. Therefore, it is important to maintain a precise and constant balance of electrolytes to stay healthy. The kidneys play an important role in ensuring that electrolyte levels remain steady despite any changes the body may undergo. Having an electrolyte imbalance – an excess or a deficiency – in the body can be dangerous and in some cases fatal. (Gulati, 2011)
On average, the body produces about 100 watts of electricity a day. Our electrolytes take on a positive or negative charge when they dissolve in body fluid, enabling them to conduct electricity and move electrical charges or signals throughout your body. These charges are vital to many processes that keep us alive and functioning well, including the operation of the brain, nerves, and muscles, and the creation of new tissue. (Morris, 2015)

 

FUNCTIONS OF ELECTROLYTES

There are many electrolytes needed to run the body. Here’s a list of some of the most important ones and their primary functions (Morris, 2015):

Sodium

  • Helps control fluids in the body, impacting blood pressure
  • Necessary for muscle and nerve function
  • Helps balance all the electrolytes

 

Chloride

  • Helps balance electrolytes
  • Balances acidity and alkalinity, which helps maintain a healthy pH
  • Essential to proper digestion

 

Potassium

  • Regulates the heart and blood pressure
  • Helps balance electrolytes
  • Aids in transmitting nerve impulses
  • Contributes to bone health
  • Necessary for muscle contraction

 

Magnesium

  • important to the production of DNA and RNA
  • Contributes to nerve and muscle function
  • Helps maintain heart rhythm
  • Helps regulate blood glucose levels
  • Enhances the immune system

 

Calcium

  • A key component of bones and teeth
  • Important to the movement of nerve impulses and muscle movement
  • Contributes to blood clotting

 

Phosphate

  • Strengthens bones and teeth
  • Helps cells produce the energy needed for tissue growth and repair

 

Bicarbonate

  • Helps the body maintain a healthy pH
  • Regulates heart function

 

Our electrolytes perform many other functions, including regulating body temperature, respiratory rate, digestion, energy production, fluid transport across cells, ion transport, renal function (including bladder control), glucose metabolism, neurological function, signal transduction, thought, and memory; maintaining fluid levels; preventing cardiac arrhythmia. All our senses also rely on electrolytes in the body for gathering information and then transporting those messages to the brain and the muscles; and many, many more. (Kane, 2016)
It would be easier to count the number of stars in the sky than the number of functions electrolytes perform in our bodies. (Kline, 2015)

 

 

 

WHEN ELECTROLYTES BECOME UNBALANCED (Morris, 2015)

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

The levels of the fluids found inside and outside the cells of our bodies should remain fairly consistent. On average, about 40% of our fluids are inside the cells and 20% are outside the cells. Electrolytes help the body adjust these values to maintain a healthy percentage balance.
While it’s normal for our electrolyte levels to fluctuate, they can become seriously imbalanced – resulting in the creation of  too many or not enough minerals or electrolytes. Among the things that can cause such an imbalance are:
  • Fluid loss from heavy exercise or physical activity
  • Over hydration – drinking too much water
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Medications such as diuretics, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs
  • Alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Severe burns
  • Some forms of cancer

 

 

 

EMERGEN-C

 

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I took a packet of Emergen-C Immune Plus because it was what happened to be at hand. If you prefer to avoid the sugars, colors, and flavors in Emergen-C products, you could use LyteShow or LyteCaps, and/or drink raw coconut water and switch from refined table salt to a pink sea salt.
Ingredients in Emergen-C Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai) packets:

 

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If you can’t make out the fuzzy image above (the best I was able to find), see this page on VitaCost’s site – which also lists the less than desirable ingredients in Emergen-C, such as the fructose and maltodextrin.

 

 

 

LYTESHOW & LYTECAPS

These two electrolyte products will replenish your electrolytes without any of the calories, sugars, sweeteners, carbohydrates, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in Emergen-C products:

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Liquid: LyteShow – Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Rehydration – 40 Servings (With Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc)
Each 4 ounce bottle contains 40 servings of LyteShow concentrate. Depending on usage, each bottle lasts approximately 2-6 weeks. Ingredients include balanced ions of magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium. Also contains zinc, an essential trace element, and citric acid. (Amazon.com)

 

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Capsules: LyteCaps – Perfect Balance of Electrolytes for Serious Rehydration – 30 Servings, 60 Vegetarian Capsules (With Magnesium, …
  • Each 60 vegetarian capsule bottle contains 30 servings of LyteCaps. Ingredients include balanced ions of magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium. Also contains Vitamin D3 and L-Tyrosine.
  • LyteCaps contains a carefully formulated balance of electrolytes in a dry, capsule form. Minerals include magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, as well as patented TRAACS® manganese and zinc.
  • Contains no calories, sugars, sweeteners, carbohydrates, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Manufactured in an FDA-regulated and NSF GMP-certified facility.
  • Take LyteCaps with water to replace electrolytes and fluids lost from sweating, exercising, or even drinking alcohol. More comprehensive than your typical sports drinks, LyteCaps provides a health-focused alternative that can help prevent muscle cramps and help you recover quickly. (Amazon.com)

 

 

 

RAW COCONUT WATER

Then there’s my very favorite way to restore electrolytes: Hold Harmless Organic Raw Coconut Water. I like to mix it about 50/50 with filtered water.

 

CCW_Facts_OGP

 

HIMALAYAN PINK SEA SALT

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt contains 84 trace minerals, including the electrolytes our bodies need. I carry a small GoTubb of it in my purse when I’m traveling or eating out in my own city – and also sometimes just sprinkle some into my palm and lick it off.

 

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Here’s a brief comparison of refined white table salt with Himalayan Pink Salt so you can see how switching from table salt to Himalayan Pink will benefit your health.

 

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For more information on the benefits of sea salts and health risks of refined table salt, see The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts. (Hardin, 2014B) and Sea Salts vs White Table Salt (Hardin, 2016).

 

 

SPORTS DRINKS, ENERGY DRINKS & SODAS

 

(Source: blog.smilegeneration.com)
(Source: blog.smilegeneration.com)

 

It’s best to avoid a “sports drink” like GatorAde if possible – unless it’s the only thing available to you to avoid dehydration and electrolyte depletion. These drinks tend to be loaded with sugar (or, even worse for you, artificial sweeteners) and food dyes. You’ve no doubt observed their garish colors.

 

(Source: www.wikihow.com728 × 546Search by image )
(Source: www.wikihow.com728 × 546Search by image)

 

And I hope you know by now that sodas like Coke, Pepsi, and other soft drinks – both the regular and diet versions – are not good choices either, that they damage your health in the following ways:
  • Most of them contain caffeine
  • The diet or ‘lite’ versions contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, a  ‘sugar coated poison’.
  • They damage teeth
  • They weaken bones
  • They damage kidneys
  • They promote weight gain
  • They adversely affect fertility
  • They promote gastroesophageal reflux
  • They interfere with brain functioning
  • And … they’re actually DEHYDRATING to boot
For more information on why these pseudo-thirst quenchers are harmful, take a look at 10 Reasons Why Drinking Coke (and other Soda Drinks) May Be Harmful For Your Body
(Naik, 2016).

 

 

 

 

MANUAL CLEARING OF LYMPH GLANDS IN NECK & CHEST

 

(Source: www.higherpurposehealing.com)
(Source: www.higherpurposehealing.com)
Lymph is a clear, watery fluid that contains our white blood cells, protein molecules, various salts, glucose, bacteria.
Our lymphatic system is the body’s inner drainage network, protecting us from illness and disease-causing chronic inflammation. Its principal role is to protect the body against damage from infections caused by pathogenic bacteria and cancel cells while helping keep fluid levels in balance.
The lymph system consists of a complex network of vessels and nodes spanning almost the entire body, carrying fluids from tissues into the blood, and vice versa. This system is a critical part of our immune system and important for wound healing.
Along with those lymph vessels and nodes, the tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are also part of the lymphatic system.
Lymph nodes are located near major arteries since the lymphatic system needs to connect to our blood flow to keep the blood clean. Some of the most prominent locations of our lymph nodes are the throat, armpits, chest, abdomen, and groin.
Toxins, pathogenic bacteria, and other illness-causing microbes  enter our bodies every day and make their way into the lymphatic fluid. Eventually, this fluid and its contents can get trapped inside the lymph nodes, where infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes attempt to destroy them. Bacteria and toxins are filtered out and more white blood cells are produced, used up, and replenished.
Another important function of the lymphatic system is keeping bodily fluids in balance. (Axe, 2016)

 

 

lymphaticsystemgraphic1

 

Unlike the circulatory system which has the heart to pump blood around the body, the lymphatic system has no type of pump. Movement of the lymph from the outer reaches of the body toward the heart occurs when we breathe and move our muscles. This arrangement worked well before we took to sitting as much as most of us do today – at desks, in cars, in front of the TV, as spectators at sporting events. In our sedentary life style, the lymph in the body is likely to become stagnant and fail to move toxins through the lymph nodes and out of the body.
See Fighting Off A Virus (Hardin, 2014A) for instructions on how to clear your own lymph glands manually. After even a few minutes squeezing out the lymph nodes on your neck or along the top of your chest, you’ll likely feel more a lot more alert, healthier, and happier.

 

 

 

PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES

 

PYLORIC VALVE – LOCATED BETWEEN THE BOTTOM OF THE STOMACH & TOP OF THE SMALL INTESTINE

(Source: slideplayer.com)
(Source: slideplayer.com)

 

 

 

LOCATION OF ILEOCECAL VALVE – LOCATED BETWEEN THE END OF THE SMALL INTESTINE & TOP OF THE LARGE INTESTINE

(Source: www.utahmillers.com)
(Source: www.utahmillers.com)

 

Malfunctioning pyloric and/or ileocecal valves play a part in many physical illnesses and conditions. Either or both of these valves can become sluggish and remain open when they should be closing or stay closed when they should be opening.
An ileocecal valve stuck in the open position can cause diarrhea, leading to dehydration and lack of energy. A valve sticking in the closed position can cause tightness in the bowel movements or constipation. Both conditions create a toxic condition and cause imbalances anywhere in the body where there is blood.
See MALFUNCTIONING PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES – AND HOW TO FIX THEM for various techniques to work on your pyloric and ileocecal valves.

 

 

BODYMIND BALLWORK

 

(Source: www.yogacitynyc.com )
(Source: www.yogacitynyc.com)
This technique is taught by Ellen Saltonstall at her yoga studio in New York City. “The distinct feature of Bodymind Ballwork is the use of rubber balls of varying sizes and textures (as small as a walnut and as big as a melon), which support, massage and stretch localized areas of the body.  There are techniques for every part of you, from head to toes. The result is a wonderful feeling of lightness and ease in the body, and quiet alertness in the mind.” (Saltonstall, 2016)
The ball I use down the center of my back is the green spiky one shown at the lower right of the photo above. It’s hollow and about 4″ in diameter.
See Ellen’s website for more information.  She’s currently at work on a book on BodyMind BallWork principles and techniques.

 

 

Many thanks to Ellen Saltonstall for bringing LyteShow to my attention.

 

 

 

CLEAR SIGNS IT’S TOO HOT OUTSIDE

damn_its_hot_outside_640_16

 

505135be5bea3e19e471339bc26bd29f

 

signs-its-hot-seagulls-beach

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Axe, J. (2016). The Lymphatic System: How to Make It Strong & Effective. See: https://draxe.com/lymphatic-system/

Gulati, S. (2011). The Role Of Electrolytes In The Body. See: http://www.symptomfind.com/nutrition-supplements/role-of-electrolytes-in-the-body/

Hardin, J.R. (2014A). Fighting Off A Virus. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/12/fight-viruses/

Hardin, J.R. (2014B). The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=healing+properties+unrefined+salts

Hardin, J.R. (2015). MALFUNCTIONING PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES – AND HOW TO FIX THEM. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/08/15/malfunctioning-pyloric-ileocecal-valves-and-how-to-fix-them/

Hardin, J.R. (2016). Sea Salts vs White Table Salt. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/05/22/sea-salt-vs-white-table-salt/

Kane, E. (2016). The E-Lyte Story: Why You Need Electrolytes! BodyBio. See:  http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=elyte-electrolyte-101

Kline, D. (2015). What Are Electrolytes And Why Do You Need Them? Cherish the Body. See: http://cherishthebody.com/what-are-electrolytes-and-why-do-you-need-them/

Morris, S.Y. (2015). How to Prevent an Electrolyte Imbalance. See: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/how-to-prevent-an-electrolyte-imbalance#Overview1

Naik, D. (2016). 10 Reasons Why Drinking Coke (and other Soda Drinks) May Be Harmful For Your Body. See: http://listsurge.com/10-reasons-why-drinking-coke-and-other-soda-drinks-may-be-harmful-for-your-body/

Saltonstall, E. (2016). Bodymind Ballwork. See: http://www.ellensaltonstall.com/ballwork-kinetic-awareness/

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

GOLDENSEAL & MILK THISTLE FOR DIABETES

Updated 7/25/2016.

diabetes-infographic

I inherited a genetic predisposition for Type 2 diabetes from both my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother and developed mild gestational diabetes toward the end of my pregnancy in 1976 which resolved after the birth of my son.  My fasting and non-fasting glucose levels were within normal range since then but then my A1C became slightly high about a year ago – so David Miller, MD (the nutritional supplements guru at LifeThyme Market on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village) suggested I take two phytonutrients, milk thistle and goldenseal, both of which have been found to be as effective for preventing and controlling  diabetes as any of the pharmaceuticals typically prescribed.
As with the colon and breast cancer history in my family, I have no intention of allowing that inherited tendency for diabetes to express itself. I always prefer nutritional supplements over pharmaceuticals (which my body generally has a hard time with) so was very interested in Dr Miller’s suggestions.
(In case you’re interested, at the bottom of this post I’ve included the brands and dosages I’m taking.)

 

A NOTE ABOUT GENETICS VS EPIGENETICS:

A reminder that inheriting a predisposition for Type 2 diabetes – or any other condition or disease – does NOT mean you will necessarily develop the disease. You have a choice in whether you allow your DNA to become your destiny.
“Chronic diseases, especially autoimmune ones, are only 25% determined by genetic inheritance. The other 75% is affected by other factors. It’s a matter of genetics vs epigenetics. You may have a genetic predisposition for diabetes but also have a large say in whether your DNA expresses that predisposition in your body.
“If we know that both the composition and abundance of micro-organisms living in our guts  change over the course of a lifetime, shouldn’t it be possible to learn how to make deliberate changes to our gut microbiome – changes that prevent diabetes from developing even if we have a genetic predisposition for it?” (Hardin, 2015B)

 

 

(Source: www.vicepigenetics.org.au)
(Source: www.vicepigenetics.org.au)

 

 “We know from twin studies, from identical twin studies, that 25% of autoimmunity is your genetics, and 75% is from the environment. … So that’s an enormous amount that we have control over and can influence.”

Amy Myers, MD. (Sanfilippo, 2015)

 

 

GOLDENSEAL

 

(Source: pilladvised.com)
(Source: pilladvised.com)

 

Native to North American, GOLDENSEAL has a long history as a medicinal plant among Native Americans, who used it as an herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer to treat inflammatory conditions such as respiratory, digestive and genitourinary tract inflammation induced by allergy or infection. The Cherokee used it to treat cancer, general debility, and dyspepsia; to stimulate a poor appetite; and as a tonic and wash for local inflammations. The Iroquois made a decoction of its roots to treat whooping cough, diarrhea, liver disease, fever, sour stomach, flatulence, pneumonia, nausea, heart trouble, and as an emetic. They also prepared it as an infusion with other roots for use as drops to treat ear ache and as a wash for sore eyes.  They mixed it with bear’s grease for use as an insect repellent. Native people also used goldenseal’s yellow roots as a stain and dye. (Morgenstern, undated) & (HerbWisdom, 2016)
Among the numerous health benefits offered by goldenseal is reducing blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Berberine (an active compound in goldenseal) is responsible for this beneficial effect. “In a preliminary trial, supplementation with 1 gram per day of berberine … for two months significantly lowered blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.” (University of Michigan Health System, 2015)
Goldenseal’s other health benefits include its antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, immune enhancing, digestive stimulating actions. See this 2015 article on Goldenseal by the University of Michigan Health System for more information.

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

See the Herbal Encyclopedia’s article on goldenseal for a full list of it’s key actions and key components.

 

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

For the MDs reading this post and others of you who are interested in understanding the mechanism by which the berberine in goldseal helps control diabetes, I recommend taking a look at Frank Shallenberger’s article Can This Herb Completely Replace Drugs for Type-2 Diabetics?
Dr Shallenberger is Editor-in-Chief of Second Opinion Newsletter and Second Opinion Health Alert. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and received his post graduate training at Mt Zion Hospital in San Francisco. He has been practicing medicine for over 43 years and is board certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine.
This is an excerpt from his article:

“So from now on, in my diabetic patients with low insulin levels, you can bet that I will be starting them right away on berberine.

“My guess from (my diabetic patient’s) experience and also from articles like the one I mentioned here is that many patients who are taking insulin or drugs designed to increase insulin may be able to either stop them or reduce them after starting berberine.

Better than metformin for diabetes

“Now I’d like to tell you about another study that proves this. In fact, this study shows that berberine might just be the best medication there is, natural or otherwise, for diabetes.

“This study looked at the effect of berberine on 36 patients. All of them were newly diagnosed cases of type-2 diabetes.

“Half of the patients took 500 mg, three times daily of the drug metformin (also known as Glucophage). The other half took berberine (berberine hydrochloride) in the same dose – 500 mg, three times a day. Then the researchers measured the participants’ blood sugar levels for the next three months. Here’s what happened: In terms of blood sugar control, both treatments worked equally as well. The fasting blood sugars went down 30%. And the sugar levels after eating (called the post prandial levels) went down even more – 45%.

“But here’s the really astounding thing about berberine. All of this happened within the first two to four weeks of taking the treatment. And unlike metformin, there were no side effects at all in any of the patients taking berberine. In addition to the sugar levels, the A1c levels went down as well – a full 20%. That may not sound like a lot. But it’s a very significant improvement.

“In addition to the remarkable effects it had on blood sugar control, berberine had another important effect that metformin did not have.

“Triglycerides are the fats found in the bloodstream that the cells metabolize for energy. Since type-2 diabetics do not effectively burn fat (that’s why they get fat), their triglyceride levels are always elevated.

“In this study, those patients taking berberine had a reduction in their triglyceride levels of 21%. Those taking metformin had no reduction at all. This indicates that berberine not only improves sugar metabolism, it also improves fat metabolism. This might make berberine the most effective overall medication for diabetes that exists today, including pharmaceuticals. In fact, the authors of the study stated that berberine ‘can serve as a new class of anti-diabetic medication.'”

 

 

 

 

MILK THISTLE

 

(Source: www.buyextracts.com)
(Source: www.buyextracts.com)
Research has demonstrated that another phytonutrient, MILK THISTLE, improves insulin resistance, a main characteristic of Type 2 diabetes. Silymarin, an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, (the principal active constituent in milk thistle),  is responsible for this beneficial effect.
The milk thistle plant is native to Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of the Mediterranean. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years  – as a remedy for snakebites; liver ailments; depression; irregular menstruation; varicose veins; kidney, liver, and spleen problems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used for clearing heat and removing toxicity. (Milk Thistle Resource, 2014)
Human and animal studies confirm that milk thistle protects against metabolic syndrome – cluster of conditions (including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels) that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Milk thistle also protects against against fatty liver disease and neutralizes the hepatitis C virus.
And, unlike most pharmaceuticals, milk thistle extracts “benefit liver function by multiple mechanisms of action. In this way, milk thistle extracts provide broad-spectrum benefits for supporting overall health.
“Milk thistle’s components help the liver cleanse the blood of toxins and shield liver cells from the barrage of free radicals, fats, sugars, and other compounds that lead to common liver ailments.” (Nevis, 2016)
For more detailed information on milk thistle and how it works, see this excellent article in Life Extension Magazine Mediterranean Herb Guards Vital Liver Functions  and also  Milk Thistle Extract Could Help Diabetes Control.

 

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

 

MILK THISTLE AND CANCER

There is also evidence that milk thistle protects against a variety of common cancers. “Laboratory studies demonstrate that silymarin stabilizes cellular membranes, stimulates detoxification pathways, stimulates regeneration of liver tissue, inhibits the growth of certain cancer cell lines, exerts direct cytotoxic activity toward certain cancer cell lines, and possibly increases the efficacy of certain chemotherapy agents.” (National Cancer Institute, 2016)
For more information on the use of milk thistle in the prevention of cancer and as a treatment and adjunct agent for people who have cancer, see Read About the Numerous Anti-Cancer and Protective Effects of Milk Thistle Extract (Silymarin) and Milk Thistle (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version.

 

 

(Source: www.youtube.com)
(Source: www.youtube.com)

 

 

 

 

CAUTIONS

In researching this post, I came across a variety of cautionary advice regarding goldenseal and milk thistle supplements:

GOLDENSEAL

“Large doses should be avoided. Goldenseal stimulates contraction of the uterus and thus should be avoided during pregnancy. It may also raise the blood pressure and should not be used by people who suffer any kind of cardiac problems.” (Morgenstern, undated)
“If taken over an extended period of time, it can cause digestive disorders, mucous member irritation, constipation, excitatory states, hallucinations, and occasionally deliria. Goldenseal is habitually overused, much like conventional antibiotics, and similarly, for inappropriate reasons. Most herbalists recommend that it be used for no more than three weeks at a time without a break of at least two weeks in between.
It may cause a decreased vitamin B absorption rate with higher doses of the herb.” (Cloverleaf Farm, 2016)

 

MILK THISTLE

“Usually, milk thistle causes few, if any, serious side effects. Studies show that it’s safe when taken for up to 41 months.
“Milk thistle may cause diarrhea. More rarely, it may cause nausea, bloating, gas, and upset stomach.” (WebMD, 2005-2016)
Side Effects & Precautions (Lewanda, 2013):
  • Milk thistle is well-tolerated with few, if any, serious side effects.
  • May cause: diarrhea, nausea, bloating, gas, upset stomach.
  • Drug interactions are possible with milk thistle extracts. As with all polyphenol flavanoid compounds, silymarin is metabolized by the liver enzyme “Cytochrome P-450” which also is responsible for metabolizing many pharmacologic drugs. Taking silymarin along with any of those drugs may increase the toxicity of those drugs. Studies show, however, that the dose of milk thistle extract that inhibits Cytochrome P-450 is high and not likely able to be achieved with oral intake. One exception was recently identified with a potential interaction with the blood thinner, warfarin (milk thistle extract slowed the metabolism of warfarin, increasing the risk of bleeding.)
  • If you have an allergy to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies, you should avoid milk thistle. Milk thistle may cause a rash or lead to severe allergic reaction.
  • Since milk thistle may mimic the effects of estrogen, some women should avoid this herb. This includes women who have fibroid tumors or endometriosis. Additionally, women with breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers should not take milk thistle. (per WebMD)

 

 

 

DIABETES PREVENTION

 

(Source: www.opther.eu)
(Source: www.opther.eu)

 

Of course, preventing diabetes is preferable to trying to control it after it has developed. See Prediabetics Have Fewer Gut Bacteria (Hardin, 2015B) for more information.

 

 

 

 

THE GOLDENSEAL & MILK THISTLE SUPPLEMENTS I’M TAKING

These are the brands and dosages I take:
Goldenseal (Natures’s Way)           — 1 after breakfast/1 after dinner
Milk Thistle Plus (Enzymatic)         — 1 after breakfast/1 after dinner
My body has been doing well on these phytonutrient supplements in the months I’ve been taking them. A recent retest of my blood glucose and A1C  levels found both are stable and good, results  for generalized inflammation in the body [C-Reactive Protein and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)] are negative, and my liver and kidney functions are good – even though I’ve added grains (organic as much as possible) back into my diet, returned to eating chocolate (organic) pretty much every day, and gained some weight.
I like that both goldenseal and milk thistle provide health benefits beyond keeping my body from becoming diabetic.

 

 

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71UlBXSItcL._SY679_

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: www.pinterest.com)
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Cloverleaf Farm. (2016). Goldenseal. Herbal Encyclopedia. See: http://www.cloverleaffarmherbs.com/goldenseal/

Daniells, S. (10/30/2006). Milk thistle extract could help diabetes control. See: http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Milk-thistle-extract-could-help-diabetes-control

Hardin, J.R. (2014). Is It Necessary To Express an Inherited Trait? See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/necessary-express-inherited-train/

Hardin, J.R. (2015A). Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Improve Your Gut Bacteria. http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/07/12/dark-circles-under-your-eyes-improve-your-gut-bacteria/

Hardin, J.R. (2015B). Prediabetics Have Fewer Gut Bacteria. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/08/28/prediabetics-have-fewer-gut-bacteria/

HerbWisdom. (2016). Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis). See:  http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-goldenseal.html

Lawenda, B.D. (2013). Read About the Numerous Anti-Cancer and Protective Effects of Milk Thistle Extract (Silymarin). Integrative Oncology Essentials. See: https://integrativeoncology-essentials.com/2013/01/read-about-the-numerous-anti-cancer-and-protective-effects-of-milk-thistle-extract-silymarin/

Milk Thistle Resource. (2014). Milk Thistle History. See: http://www.milkthistleresource.com/milk-thistle-history/

Morgenstern, K. (undated). Goldenseal in Profile. Sacred Earth. See: http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/plantprofiles/goldenseal.php

National Cancer Institute. (2016). Milk Thistle (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version: Overview. See: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/milk-thistle-pdq

Nevis, L. (2016). Mediterranean Herb Guards Vital Liver Functions. LifeExtension.com. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/5/Mediterranean-Herb-Guards-Vital-Liver-Functions/Page-01

Sanfilippo, D. (2015). Podcast Episode #178: The Autoimmune Solution with Dr. Amy Myers. See: http://balancedbites.com/2015/02/podcast-episode-178-autoimmune-solution-dr-amy-myers.html

Shallenberger, F. (2014). Can This Herb Completely Replace Drugs for Type-2 Diabetics? http://www.faim.org/diabetes/can-this-herb-completely-replace-drugs-type2-diabetics.html

University of Michigan Health System. (2015). Goldenseal. See: http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2099007

WebMD. (2005-2016). Milk Thistle: Benefits and Side Effects. See: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/milk-thistle-benefits-and-side-effects

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Clue to How Gut Bacteria Affect Mood – New Evidence that Gut Bacteria Feed on a Neurotransmitter

 

 

images

If you’ve read that bacteria in our guts influence our moods and have wondered how that works, here’s a new clue towards solving this piece of the recently enlivened mind/body axis puzzle.

 

 

 

THE NEUROTRANSMITTERS GABA & GLUTAMATE

 

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

GABA

The amino acid called GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) is the principal INHIBITORY neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system,   sending chemical messages through the brain and nervous system and helping regulate communication between brain cells.
GABA’s chief role is to reduce the activity of nerve cells. It plays an important role in behavior, cognition, and  how we respond to stress. Research suggests that GABA helps control fear and anxiety when neurons become overexcited. Below normal GABA levels in the brain have been linked to depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and schizophrenia.
Pharmaceuticals called benzodiazepines bind to the same receptors as GABA, mimicking GABA’s natural calming effects. Examples of popular benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia are Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam).  They slow down the body’s central nervous system and cause sleepiness. (Konkel, 2015)
Source: www.gaba-supplement.com)
Source: www.gaba-supplement.com)

 

GLUTAMATE

Glutamate (also called L-glutamate or glutamic acid)) is another important amino acid neurotransmitter released by nerve cells in the brain. It is involved in most aspects of normal brain functioning, including cognition, memory and learning. It is the major mediator of EXCITATORY signals in the mammalian central nervous system. (Danbolt, 2001)

 

(Source: neuroplastix.com)
(Source: neuroplastix.com)

 

 

 

 

GABA & GLUTAMATE IN BALANCE

 

(Source: www.scilogs.com)
(Source: www.scilogs.com)

 

Calming GAMBA restrains the release of excitatory glutamate. So you can see that a balance between GABA and glutamate production is needed for proper functioning.  It’s a Goldilocks situation: The brain needs to release just the right amount of both GABA and glutamate. Too much or too little of one or the other causes problems.

 

 

(Source: neuroplastix.com)
(Source: neuroplastix.com)

 

 

 

 

IT TURNS OUT THAT A TYPE OF BACTERIA IN THE GUT LIVES ON GABA

Researchers have now observed gut bacteria consuming the brain chemical GABA. They found that a type of recently discovered gut bacteria, called KLE1738, can survive and reproduce only if it has GABA molecules to feed on. The researchers tried providing KLE1738 with other types of neurotransmitters but the bacteria couldn’t survive on anything but GABA. Without GABA, these bacteria die.
This is an important clue about how our gut bacteria influence our mood. “GABA acts by inhibiting signals from nerve cells, calming down the activity of the brain, so it’s surprising to learn that a gut bacterium needs it to grow and reproduce. Having abnormally low levels of GABA is linked to depression and mood disorders, and this finding adds to growing evidence that our gut bacteria may affect our brains.” (Coghlan, 2016)
An earlier experiment, in 2011, demonstrated that a different type of gut bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, dramatically altered GABA activity in the brains of mice as well as affected how well they responded to stress.
When the researchers surgically removed the vagus nerve, the communication pathway between the gut and the brain, the effect on the mice disappeared – more evidence on how gut bacteria influence the brain. (Coghlan, 2016)
The research team, led by Philip Strandwitz at Northeastern University in Boston, is now searching for other gut bacteria that consume or even produce GABA. They plan to test their effect on the brains and behavior of animals. Such work may eventually lead to new treatments for mood disorders like depression or anxiety.
“Due to this unique growth requirement, we provisionally name KLE1738 Evtepia gabavorous. Using growth of E. gabalyticus as an indicator, we then identified novel GABA producing bacteria from the gut microbiome. Reduced levels of GABA are associated with depression, and we found fewer GABA producers in a human cohort of depressed individuals. By modulating the level of GABA, microbial producers and consumers of this neurotransmitter may be influencing host behavior.” (Strandwitz et al, 2016)

 

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

 

 

Researchers are just at the beginning of looking into the many ways the gut microbiome influences, if not regulates, many bodily processes and how unbalance in the gut microbiome eventually leads to poor health.

 

 

(Source: www.medicaldaily.com)
(Source: www.medicaldaily.com)

 

This finding of a dependence of a type of gut bacteria on the neurotransmitter GABA doesn’t mean you should start yourself on one of the GABA supplements you’ll find for sale online. But do stay tuned! Neurotransmitters and specific microbes may become the treatment of choice for mood disorders – or, even better, for preventing mood disorders in the first place.
Keep your gut microbiome health, keep your body healthy.

 

 

(Source: slideplayer.com)
(Source: slideplayer.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Coghlan, A. (2016). Gut bacteria spotted eating brain chemicals for the first time. NewScientist. com. See: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2095769-gut-bacteria-spotted-eating-brain-chemicals-for-the-first-time/

Danbolt, N.C. (2001). Glutamate as a Neurotransmitter – An overview. Center for Molecular Biology & Neuroscience, The Neurotransporter Group – Dynamics of extracellular transmitter amino acids. See: http://neurotransporter.org/glutamate.html

Konkel, G. (2015). What Is GABA? See: http://www.everydayhealth.com/gaba/guide/

Strandwitz et al. (2016). Gaba Modulating Bacteria of the Human Gut Microbiome.  American Society for Microbiology 2016, Session 347 – Microbial Mind Control. See: http://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/4060/presentation/18619

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.