Tag Archives: Anxiety

Saffron for Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, & More

Updated 6/18/2016, 6/22/2016 & 7/2/2016..

(source: www.intercaspian.com)
(source: www.intercaspian.com)
Reading about the health properties of saffron has driven home what I’ve been learning about the differences between our woeful Western diet (often called the Standard American Diet, or SAD – how  unfortunately apt is that?) and the traditional, spice and herb rich diets of India, Persia, and other Middle Eastern cultures.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of the Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus.  Saffron is so highly prized for culinary and medicinal uses, as an ingredient in perfumes and dyes, and so labor intensive to grow and harvest, it’s often referred to as ‘red gold’.
80% of the world’s saffron is grown in Iran. While there last fall, we saw beautiful heaps of saffron stigmas (called threads) for sale in the bazaars we visited – and it often appeared as an ingredient in our food. I bought some lovely saffron filaments from this spice merchant (and his son?) in the vast and beautiful Grand Bazaar in Esfahan.

 

Photo by Joan Rothchild Hardin
Photo by Joan Rothchild Hardin

 

I could happily have spent days exploring this bazaar (Qeysarriyeh Bazaar in Farsi) – and also the bazaars in other cities we visited: Hamadan, Tabriz, Zanjan, Shiraz, and Yazd! Each is different and quite wonderful in its own way.
I also saw small patches of saffron crocuses growing in the dry soil on the much trod paths in front of desert monuments such as Naqsh-e Rustam – four tombs carved into the side of a cliff embellished with intricate relief carvings. King Darius I (550-486 BCE), the builder of nearby Persepolis, is in the first tomb. The other tombs are attributed to Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, and Darius II. Wish now I’d taken a photo of these brave little crocuses to show you.

 

To my amazement, I saw saffron crocuses growing in the dry, tamped down soil in front of the tombs at Naqsh-e-Rustam, Iran

(Source: ususmundi.info)
(Source: ususmundi.info)

 

“Saffron’s use is ancient. Saffron-based pigments have been found in 50,000 year-old paintings in northwest Iran. It conjures romance, royalty, and delicacy wherever it appears. Alexander the Great bathed in saffron to cure battle wounds. Cultivated saffron emerged in late Bronze Age Crete, bred from its wild precursor by selecting for unusually long stigmas making the plant sterile. Called Kumkum or Kesar in Ayurveda, it also appears as an important medicinal herb in many ancient texts including Ayurveda, Unani, and Chinese Medicine.” (Joyful Belly Ayurveda, 2016)
The first known mention of saffron appeared in a 7th century BCE Assyrian botanical reference. Since then, documentation of saffron’s use in the treatment of some 90 illnesses as been found. (Srivastava, 2010)

 

A detail from the “Saffron Gatherers” fresco of the “Xeste 3” building, one of many frescos depicting saffron found at the Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri, on the Aegean island of Santorini

(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

 

AYURVEDIC MEDICINE

In Sanskrit, ayur means ‘life’ and veda means ‘wisdom’. The aim of Ayurveda, an ancient form of traditional medicine originating in India over 5,000 years ago, is to create a state of harmony in the body – physical balance, mental balance, and emotional balance. In Ayurveda, this understanding of health is called swastya (a Sanskrit word meaning health). Being in a state of swastya helps us live with good energy, enhances immunity, prevents the onset of ill health, and nurtures the body back into good balance if it does fall sick.
Swastya also includes the idea of being firmly established in one’s self. (Art of Living Retreat Center, 2015)
As a psychotherapist who focuses on mind-body balance, this approach makes a lot of sense to me.

 

Dhanvantari , the deity associated with Ayurveda

Godofayurveda

 

THE DOSHAS

Ayurveda sees the body as having three basic energies, called doshas
  • Vata: kinetic energy
  • Pitta: energy transformation
  • Kapha: cohesive energy
Balance among the three doshas produces swastya, a state of health.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

SAFFRON IN AYURVEDIC MEDICINE

“Saffron helps pacify all three doshas. It improves immunity, increases energy, helps fight phlegm and respiratory disorders, improves vision and reduces inflammation. Its tonic can lower cholesterol, improve digestion and help treat spleen ailments, insomnia, impotency, premenstrual syndrome and neurodegenerative disorders.” (Sharma, 2016)

 

PSYCHOTROPIC MEDICATIONS FOR DEPRESSION

Modern psychopharmacology has been marketing a variety of antidepressants world wide for more than 50 years. The use of these antidepressant medications in the US has increased by 400% in the last 28 years – over 11% of Americans age 12 and older now take them. (Downey, 2013)
The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2003 that 1 in 10 adult Americans described themselves as depressed and the World Health Organization estimated that depression is expected to be the world’s second-leading cause of disability by 2020, second only to cardiovascular disease. (Swartz, 2003)
This dire situation is compounded by yet another: Taking these psychotropic medications is often accompanied by at least one of many physiological adverse side effects – anxiety, agitation, emotional numbness, suicidal thoughts, improper bone development, improper brain development, insomnia, constipation, weight gain, gastrointestinal bleeding, sexual dysfunction, and more. (Downey, 2013) & (Kresser, 2008)
Seems to me that experiencing any of these side effects would be quite depressing, especially for people who are feeling depressed to begin with.
On top of all this, taking antidepressant drugs often doesn’t resolve the original depression.

 

 

 

 

SAFFRON FOR DEPRESSION

 

(Source: stampedepanik.blogspot.com)
(Source: stampedepanik.blogspot.com)
If depression is a problem for you, you might want to look into an alternative to pharmaceutical antidepressants with their undesirable side effects and try an age old remedy from Ayurvedic Medicine:  saffron.
There is compelling scientific evidence that saffron (Crocus sativus) is as effective as some pharmaceutical antidepressants for alleviating depression – without the unpleasant side effects. And for people not wanting to give up their existing antidepressants, saffron has been found to work as a highly  effective adjunct therapy to block adverse sexual side effects.
Saffron also has been shown to treat other conditions for which antidepressants are often described – such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Downey, 2013)
Traditional Persian medicine prized saffron for relieving depression. Now 21st century research has studied saffron extract and found it produces a powerful antidepressant benefit. (Downey, 2013) & (Dharmananda, 2005)

SAFFRON FOR ANXIETY

Research findings  demonstrate that constituents in saffron known as crocins reduce anxiety without adverse reactions. (Downey, 2013)

 

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

 

 

 

SAFFRON FOR OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are often treated with combinations of antidepressants.
Research evidence has suggested a functional interaction between the crocins found in saffron and the serotonin-neurotransmitter system, leading scientists to study the effect of saffron on OCD. In an animal model of this condition, crocin compounds from saffron substantially reduced both obsessive and compulsive symptoms without significant adverse effects. (Downey, 2013)

UNCONTROLLED EATING AND SNACKING

Neurotransmitter imbalances, particularly low levels of serotonin, have been shown to increase vulnerability to food cravings, overeating and obesity.
Appetite-suppressing medications can cause numerous, sometimes  deadly side effects—including heart valve damage, birth defects, liver injury, and increased blood pressure.
Scientists conducted a clinical trial using a saffron extract  with 60 mildly overweight female volunteers, at least half of whom suffered with compulsive snacking behavior.
Study subjects were randomly given either daily doses of 176.5 mg of patented saffron extract or a placebo. They were all instructed to maintain their normal dietary habits and all between-meal snacking was recorded.
“Over 8 weeks, the number of snacking events for the placebo group decreased by 28%. In the saffron group, between-meal snacks decreased by 55% and they reported a reduced feeling of the “need” to snack!
“After 8 weeks and without any dieting, the saffron group had lost an average of 2 pounds and reported increased energy and alertness. These small weight loss results show how its takes more than reduced snacking to achieve meaningful weight loss.”
The subjects experienced no unwanted side effects. (Downey, 2013)

 

 

 

SAFFRON FOR ASTHMA

Asthma is an autoimmune disease in which lung tissue becomes inflamed, resulting in a narrowing of the airways. Saffron reduces inflammation so helps open the airways. (Downey, 2013) & (HealthyLifeInfo.com, 2014)

 

(Source: www.salinetherapy.com)
(Source: www.salinetherapy.com)

 

SAFFRON FOR INSOMNIA

The compound safranal in saffron has been found to increase total sleep time without any negative impact on motor coordination. (Downey, 2013).

 

SAFFRON FOR CANCERS

 

(Source: www.slideshare.net)
(Source: www.slideshare.net)
Western Medicine generally treats cancers, which cause over 7.5 million deaths each year, with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
“Recent scientific evidence, both in vitro and in vivo, has suggested that saffron extract and its main active constituents can help inhibit carcinogenesis and tumor genesis. Rodent studies further demonstrate that saffron can reduce the serious negative effects of the anticancer drug Platinol® (cisplatin). These anticancer findings have prompted extensive current research on saffron and its components, including safranal and crocin, as promising preventive agents against cancer.” (Downey, 2013)
Saffron’s biochemical compounds zea-xanthin, lycopene, α- and β- caroteneaffron have also been shown to be helpful for cancer prevention. These compounds act as immune modulators to protect the body from cancer. (Gyanunlimited, 2016)

 

 

 

 

SAFFRON FOR ALZHEIMER’S

 

memory-1

An enormous increase in the number of people developing Alzheimer’s is expected, eventually reaching nearly 15 million within 40 years.
Doctors commonly prescribe antidepressants for Alzheimer’s patients even though the published data strongly suggest antidepressants are not helpful and often cause adverse reactions.
A double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial testing the efficacy of saffron for Alzheimer’s patients demonstrated that saffron improved both cognitive and clinical profiles after 16 weeks in subjects with mild to moderate Alzheimers – without side effects. (Downey, 2013)

 

 

MORE ABOUT SAFFRON

 

Picking saffron on in Shahn Abad village in northeast Iran

(Photo credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The saffron crocus is native to Iran and Southwest Asia. It takes stigmas from 50,000 to 75,000 Crocus sativus blossoms (an acre of flowers) to make a pound of the spice. ‘Saffron’ derives from the Arabic za’faran, meaning yellow – possibly the Arabized form of the Persian word zarapan, meaning ‘golden stamens’ or ‘golden feathers’. Sumerians, Persians’ predecessors in the 3rd millennium BCE, called saffron ‘perfume of the gods’. (Batmanglij, 2011)

 

Hand separating saffron filaments from crocus flowers

(Source: www.florasaffron.com)
(Source: www.florasaffron.com)
Saffron from Crocus sativus possesses a number of medicinally important properties, such as:
  • Anti-inflammatory effect
  • Anti-convulsant effect
  • Anti-tussive effect
  • Protection against cancers (anti-genototoxic and cytotoxic effects)
  • Anti-anxiety effect
  • Relaxant property
  • Anti-depressant effect
  • Positive effect on sexual functioning
  • Improvement of memory and learning skills
  • Increased blood flow in retina and choroid (the pigmented vascular layer of the eyeball between the retina and the sclera)
  • Anti-oxidant effect to deter coronary artery disease
  • Reduction in sensitivity to painful stimuli (anti-nociceptive effects)
              – (Srivastava, 2010)
See Crocus sativus L.: A comprehensive review for additional (and thorough) information on saffron: its chemical constituents, pharmacological actions, uses, formulations, toxicity studies, and contraindications.

 

 

 

 

SAFFRON AS A NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT

David Miller, MD, the highly knowledgeable nutritional supplements guru at LifeThyme Market on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village (NYC), recommends this  (and only this) version of saffron:

 

(Source: www.lifeextension.com)
(Source: www.lifeextension.com)

 

Life Extension Optimized Saffron with Satiereal, Veggie Caps: 1 capsule/day for 6 weeks. Take after your largest meal OR the meal containing the most fat. (Miller, 6/7/2016)
NOTE ADDED ON 6/22/2016:
I had time to stop by LifeThyme yesterday and have another talk with Dr Miller about this saffron supplement. This is what he said:
It’s OK to take saffron longer than 6 weeks. In fact, it can be taken long term if it works for you. If you start taking 1 capsule/day and want to increase to 2 capsules/day, that’s OK.  The reason he’d said to take it for six weeks is that six weeks is, as with antidepressants, usually long enough to tell whether it’s working and he wanted my patient to let him know at that point how she’s doing on the saffron supplement.
If it’s not working by six weeks and you’re otherwise doing OK on it, take for another few weeks. As with antidepressants, it can take longer than six weeks for some people to feel a therapeutic effect. Saffron works for mood much like an SSRI – but without the side effects of  pharmaceuticals. (MILLER, 6/21/2016)

 

 

 

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION ON SAFFRON RESEARCH TO DATE

 

imgres-1

 

 

For comprehensive information compiled by Examine.com on findings from saffron research to date, see Summary: All Essential Benefits/Effects/Facts & Information. (Examine.com, 2016)
It would be wise to inform yourself more fully by taking a look at this article before starting on saffron.

 

HOW AYURVEDA AND FOOD AS MEDICINE CAME TO BE REPLACED BY WESTERN MEDICINE AND PHARMACEUTICALS

After 5,000 years of Ayurvedic practice in India and Sri Lanka, Ayurveda was viewed as ‘primitive’ by the British when the subcontinent became a colony of great Britain and was supplanted by Western Medicine during the British Raj between 1858-1947. After India regained its independence from Britain in 1948, Ayurvedic medicine enjoyed something of a renaissance there but Western Medicine and its approach of reducing symptoms went on to be considered the gold standard around the world while Ayurveda was looked down upon as an ‘alternative’ approach – unsophisticated and inferior.
(Source: medilifeayurveda.com)
(Source: medilifeayurveda.com)
Here’s a brief video on the history of Ayurveda with its emphasis on achieving and maintaining balanced health and how it came to be replaced by Western Medicine with its focus on reducing symptoms of disease and neglect of how to achieve health.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the Developed World’s looking down on traditional healing techniques is pure hubris. We’re the ones hell bent on destroying our own health along with the health of the entire planet. Maybe ‘primitive’ knowledge offers us something we desperately need.
“HEALTH IS NOT THE MERE ABSENCE OF DISEASE. IT IS THE DYNAMIC EXPRESSION OF LIFE.”
– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of Sri Sri Ayurveda

 

 

100-pure-premium-saffron-extract-satiereal-saffron-extract-natural-appetite-suppressant-60-capsules-one-month-supply_652010_500-1

 

 

ADDED ON 7/2/2016

FOR THOSE WANTING MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SATIEREAL SAFFRON

 I asked Dr David Miller why it was only the satiereal form of saffron he recommends so he sent me the following articles to explain.  
See pages 64-71 in the current issue of Herbalgram (Journal of the American Botanical Council) for this article about saffron: Saffron: The Salubrious Spice – Emerging Research Suggests Numerous Health Benefits. (Woolven & Snider, 2016). 
And see Satiereal: Women Taking Satiereal Report Decreased Hunger. (PLT Health Solutions, undated).

 

 

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

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Art of Living Retreat Center. (2015). Ayurveda 101: The Aim of Ayurveda. See: https://artoflivingretreatcenter.org/8-limbs-ayurveda-aim-of-ayurveda/?keyword=ayurvedic&campaignid=339107161&adgroupid=22739666521&feeditemid=&cname=&targetid=kwd-13050861&gclid=CKbi3armrc0CFVclgQodPtMEmw

Batmanglij, N. (2011). Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies. See: https://www.amazon.com/Food-Life-Ancient-Persian-Ceremonies/dp/193382347X

Dharmananda, S. (2005). Saffron: An Anti-Depressant Herb.  See http://www.itmonline.org/articles/saffron/saffron/htm

Downey, M. (2013). A Safer Alternative for Managing Depression. Life Extension Magazine. See: http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2013/7/a-safer-alternative-for-managing-depression/page-01

Examine.com. (2016). SAFFRON – Summary: All Essential Benefits/Effects/Facts & Information. See: https://examine.com/supplements/saffron/

Gyanunlimited. (2016). 31 Surprising Health Benefits of Zafaran (Saffron). See: http://www.gyanunlimited.com/health/31-surprising-health-benefits-of-zafaran-saffron/9146/

HealthyLifeInfo.com. (2014). Saffron Health Benefits. See: http://www.diethealthclub.com/health-food/health-benefits-of-saffron.html

Herb Wisdom. (2016). Saffron (Crocus Sativus). See: http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-saffron.html

Joyful Belly Ayurveda. (2016). Saffron. See: http://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/ingredient/Saffron/52

Kresser, C. (2008). The dark side of antidepressants. See: https://chriskresser.com/the-dark-side-of-antidepressants/

Miller, D. (6/7/2016). Personal communication.

Miller, D. (6/21/2016). Personal communication.

Petri, O. (2008). History of Ayurveda. (Video). See: https://youtu.be/l2Zw-vYn270

PLT Health Solutions. (undated). Satiereal. Women Taking Satiereal Report Decreased Hunger. See: http://www.plthealth.com/sites/plthomas.com/files/ckfinder/userfilesfiles/SATIEREAL%20Product%20Sheet_2016.pdf

Sharma, K. (2016). Saffron Benefits: Ayurveda’s Golden Spice. See: http://www.curejoy.com/content/saffron-ayurvedas-golden-spice

Srivastava, R. et al. (2010). Crocus sativus L.: A comprehensive review. Pharmacognosy Review, 4:8, 200–208. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249922/

Swartz, H.A. & Rollman, B.L. (2003). Managing the global burden of depression: lessons from the developing world. World Psychiatry. 2003, 2:3, 162-3. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1525095/

Woolven, L. & Snider, T. (2016). Saffron: The Salubrious Spice – Emerging Research Suggests Numerous Health Benefits. Herbalgram. (Journal of the American Botanical Council), 110, 64-71. See: http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/pdfs/HG110-online.pdf

 

 

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

 

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

3 Breathing Techniques Taught by Dr Andrew Weil

 

“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”
Andrew Weil, M.D.

 

Andrew Weil, MD

Weil_Andrew2

 

Most of us can use some help handling the stresses in our lives, keeping ourselves from becoming depressed or anxious – or getting back to a good place if we do get mentally or physically depressed or too wound up, and getting enough restorative sleep.
Below are three breathing techniques (pranayamas) Dr Andrew Weil teaches his patients, other doctors,  and anyone else who’s interested to help them maintain a relaxed, focused state of mind. They’re reproduced here from Weil’s article Breathing: Three Exercises. Each breathing technique description includes a video of Dr Weil demonstrating how to do it.

 

 

Exercise 1:
STIMULATING BREATH (BELLOWS BREATH)

The Stimulating Breath is adapted from yogic breathing techniques. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.

Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.

Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this diaphragmatic breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.

Watch a video of Dr. Weil demonstrating the Stimulating Breath.

Exercise 2:
THE 4-7-8 (RELAXING BREATH)

This breathing exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

Watch a video of Dr. Weil demonstrating the 4-7-8 Breath.

 

Exercise 3:
BREATH COUNTING

If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice.

Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

  • To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
  • The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
  • Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.
  • Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.”
  • Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

Watch a video of Dr. Weil demonstrating Breath Counting.

 

 

 

Samuel Jakob Kirschner

(Source: twitter.com)
(Source: twitter.com)

 

Many years ago, Samuel Jakob Kirschner, a wonderful meditation/breath work teacher in New York City, explained depression and anxiety to me this way:

“Depression lives in the out-breath and anxiety lives in the in-breath.”

What he means by this is:
* We let our breath out with a sigh when we feel depressed and then don’t re-energize ourselves with adequate in-breaths. This breathing imbalance keeps us emotionally and physically depressed.
* We breath in and then hold our breath when we’re anxious and then don’t allow ourselves to calm down by breathing out. This keeps us feeling anxious and can lead us into a panic attack if we keep it up.
See The BREAZE to learn more about Samuel, where he’s teaching, and how to get his CDs.
Many thanks to Christian John Lillis of the Peggy Lillis Foundation for bringing Dr Weil’s article to my attention.

 

 

(Source: drjainwells.com)
(Source: drjainwells.com)

 

 

 

REFERENCES

BreathBodyMind. (2016). Samuel Jakob Kirschner. See: http://www.breath-body-mind.com/samuel-kirschner.php

Kirschner, S.J. (2016). The BREAZE. See: http://www.thebreaze.com/

Weil, A. (2016). The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise. See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/VDR00160/Dr-Weils-Breathing-Exercises-4-7-8-Breath.html

Weil, A. (2016). Breathing Exercises: Breath Counting. See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/VDR00159/Dr-Weils-Breathing-Exercises-Breath-Counting.html

Weil, A. (2016). Breathing: Three Exercises. See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html

Weil, A. (2016). The Stimulating Breath. See: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/VDR00161/Dr-Weils-Breathing-Exercises-Stimulating-Breath.html

 

 

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

 

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

 

To Calm an Overactive Mind

 

Brain-gears

You know that unpleasant feeling when you want to be feel centered inside but your brain keeps spitting out thoughts at a rapid pace – useless things like the name of a song you absolutely must remember right that moment, worries, things you’ll have to do next week, fears about the future, regrets about the past, guilt, anxiety, maybe even panic? One thought leads to another until you’re exhausted and in quite a state, unable to get anything useful done or calm down and fall asleep if this happens at bedtime.

691cc0_b7af641d43ba12c5b6ee4e1a59e737be

I chose the brain scan images below not to advise you to meditate (though I do think meditation greatly enriches life) but to show how different an active and a relaxed brain are. There’s lots of active thinking going on in the brain on the left and very little in the one on the right.

 

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The scans below show brain activity in a normal brain vs an obsessive compulsive brain. You can see there’s a whole lot more activity going on in the OCD brain, most of it probably not at all helpful to the person in which that brain resides.

brain_scan

No matter what your circumstances or how long your brain has been running you this way, you have the ability to calm yourself down and feel centered. Not overnight but with practice.
If you don’t already have helpful techniques for quieting your brain, perhaps these three suggestions will help you get out of your brain and reconnect with your body.

 

 

DON’T JUMP INTO THE TANK

 

Oregon Coast Aquarium (Newport, OR)
(Source: travelchannel.com)
(Source: www.travelchannel.com)

 

Our powerful human brains keep generating thoughts even when we don’t want them to. Meditators call this phenomenon monkey brain – our thoughts jump around in our heads like playful monkeys.
In a meditation workshop I took with Sally Kempton, a well-known teacher and writer, someone asked her how to stop thoughts from popping into his head while he was trying to meditate. Sally offered this nice image for the hardest part in developing a meditation practice or quieting your brain when you’re trying to fall asleep – non-judgmental noting of distracting thoughts and emotions: “When you’re in front of a large aquarium looking at an interesting creature, you don’t jump into the tank and swim after it. Instead you say to yourself or the person you’re with ‘what a beautiful fish” and move on.
Sally’s advice to us was simply to note that we’ve had a thought, say silently to ourselves thought – and not swim after it.
With a little practice, this actually works. There are nights when my brain is abuzz with an ongoing stream of things I really don’t need to be thinking about right then. Thinking thought, thought, thought … to myself interrupts the stream and lets me fall asleep.

 

dogs cartoon.key to meditation.stay

 

 

USE EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TAPPING TECHNIQUE (EFT) TO RELEASE NEGATIVE ENERGY & RELAX MUSCLE TENSION

We tend to tighten up the muscles in our faces, especially around our eyes, when our brains are racing. Helping those muscles relax also helps us be grounded in our bodies,  feel more spacious inside, and relax our minds.
The Emotional Freedom Tapping Technique is quite effective at relaxing those muscles – and other energy points you may decided to tap, releasing negative energy in them and restoring balance to the body’s bio- energy system.

 

EFT-Infographic-1

EFT is an energy-based self-help method combining the principles of ancient Chinese medicine’s system of energy pathways (meridians) with modern psychology.  Its techniques are used to release negative thoughts and behaviors which have become stored in our bodies on a cellular level.
Descriptions of the tapping technique usually recommend saying positive affirmations out loud while tapping in order to clear  blockages. I’ve found mental, emotional, and physical relief solely from tapping, particularly around the eyes and the crown of my head,  without saying any affirmations. I do set intentions for myself. Maybe one of these days I’ll also add some affirmations.

 

EFT-Infographic-3

In EFT,  you use your fingertips to tap on your body’s acupressure points.
See Tamsin Young’s EFT Tactics for Success, Meditation & Relaxation for a fuller explanation of the theory and practice of EFT.  The five minute video, Intro to EFT – Tapping with Brad Yates, about half way through the article, demonstrates how to perform the technique. It’s clear and worth watching to help you get started.
This 8 minute tutorial video by Dr Dawson Church offers more information on the technique: EFT Tapping How-to Video with Dawson Church.
Dr Patricia Carrington’s Using EFT to Relax Muscle Tension is also interesting.

 

 

CREATE A ROOM OUTSIDE YOUR BRAIN FOR CHATTERING THOUGHTS

 

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A very smart and creative psychotherapy patient of mine, realizing he wasn’t ever going to be able to stop all the obsessive thoughts his brain generated,  came up with a clever way to co-exist with them: He ‘built’ a ‘room’ just outside his head to put them in. That way, they could still be yammering away out there but they wouldn’t take over his thinking. This ‘room’ has let him get on with what he wanted and needed to do with his conscious brain.

 

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Alva Noë, a philosopher at UC-Berkeley, disagrees with Decartes’ famous formulation: I think, therefore I am. Noë’s version is I am, therefore I think. He argues that we are NOT our brains – that it’s considerably more than the neurons in the brain that determine our perceptions and sense of self, that  consciousness is created in a continual and lively interaction with our surroundings.
This view, that we are engaged in an ongoing dance with our environment,  that our perceptions are habits, makes it clear we can actively change our consciousness to alter what takes place in our brains. Which takes us back to don’t jump into the tank.

 

descartes

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Carrington, P. (2012). Using EFT to Relax Muscle Tension. See: https://patcarrington.com/using-eft-to-relax-muscle-tension-article/

EFTuniverse.com. (undated). EFT Tapping How-to Video with Dawson Church. See: http://www.eftuniverse.com/english/eft-tapping-how-to-video-with-dawson-church

Hardin, J.R. (2013). The Vagus Nerve. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/the-gut-brain-axis/the-vagus-nerve/

Noë, A. (2009). Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness (1st Edition). See: http://www.amazon.com/Out-Our-Heads-Lessons-Consciousness/dp/0809016486

Young, T. (2015). EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique. See: http://www.inspirationalresults.com/self-development-tools/eft-emotional-freedom-technique/

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

 

Psychobiotics: Your Gut Bacteria – Your Mood

Updated 7/5/2015 & 7/9/2015.

 

(Source: jama.jamanetwork.com)
(Source: jama.jamanetwork.com)

 

Very good news! An exciting new field of medicine is on the horizon: PSYCHOBIOTICS.
PROBIOTICS are micro-organisms that have beneficial effects on the body when consumed.
Ted Dinan, Catherine Stanton, and John Cryan, pioneering researchers in the field, define a PSYCHOBIOTIC as “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness”. (Dinan, Stanton & Cryan, 2013)

 

(Source: www.youtube.com)
(Source: www.youtube.com)
Scientists are discovering that some probiotic micro-organisms living in our guts are also psychoactive. That is, they deliver neuroactive substances such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin that influence the brain via the gut-brain axis.
I’d say that the field of psychobiotics in the not so distant future will be understood more broadly to include all of us, not just those with diagnosable mental illnesses. For example, we’ll be able to fine tune our anxiety levels day to day – by taking particular probiotics before events we know make us anxious (public speaking, flying, big dates, exams). And, even better, we’ll be able to AVOID depression’s deep troughs of despair and the exhausting paralysis of anxiety by nourishing healthy populations of the appropriate probiotics in our guts.
(Source: http://www.maryvancenc.com/
(Source: http://www.maryvancenc.com/

 

As we understand the gut-brain axis at this point, communications between the gut and the brain (and vice versa) travel via the long vagus nerve, spinal cord, and/or neuroendocrine systems to mediate various physical and mental states – including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and behaviors, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Here’s a diagram of the vagus nerve’s path, showing the organs it connects between the brain at its top end and the intestines at its bottom end. You can see what an important communication highway it provides for the body, allowing the brain, lungs, heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, pancreas, stomach, and intestines to ‘talk’ to one another.

 

THE VAGUS NERVE

It runs from the brain stem down each side of the neck, across the chest, down through the abdomen allowing the brain, lungs, heart, spleen, liver, pancreas, kidneys, stomach and intestines to communicate bi-directionally along its network.

(Source: emedicine.medscape.com)
(Source: emedicine.medscape.com)
“So far, psychobiotics have been most extensively studied in … patients with irritable bowel syndrome, where positive benefits have been reported for a number of organisms including Bifidobacterium infantis. Evidence is emerging of benefits in alleviating symptoms of depression and in chronic fatigue syndrome. Such benefits may be related to the anti-inflammatory actions of certain psychobiotics and a capacity to reduce hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. ” (Dinan, Stanton & Cryan, 2013)
Did you notice the mention of the anti-inflammatory actions of probiotics in the quote above?
Most physical and mental diseases have inflammation as their root cause. The vast majority of our immune system, about 70% of it, is located in the gut microbiome. Unbalance in the composition of microbes there creates inflammation inside the intestinal linings, increasing gut permeability, leading to chronic inflammation elsewhere in the body – and disease.
This is my short hand explanation for how the connection works:
Chronic imbalance of microbes in the gut –> chronic inflammation in the gut –> increased gut permeability –> chronic inflammation elsewhere in the body –>  diseases in the gut and/or elsewhere in the body

 

(Source: www.nature.com)
(Source: www.nature.com)

 

These signaling irregularities affect our emotions, mental abilities, behaviors, and perception of and reactions to pain (nociception). The whole system is something like an enormous, highly complex switchboard. If something interferes with signaling somewhere in the system, a circuit can malfunction and perhaps cause the entire switchboard to break down.

 

(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
(Source: en.wikipedia.org)

 

Chronic imbalances in our gut bacteria that lead to gut-brain axis signaling irregularities can also lead to a wide variety of other health problems – including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid problems, dental issues, cancers, degenerative neurological diseases, obesity, ADD/ADHD, allergies, asthma, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic Lyme disease … and many, many more. And they all begin with the health of the several pounds of miniscule critters living in our gut microbiomes.

 

 

gut-microbiome

 

Our gut microbiome, the 100 trillion micro-organisms (500-1,000 species of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other tiny life forms) living in our intestinal linings, is so important to the proper functioning of the entire body that many scientists now regard it as an organ in and of itself. The theory is that these micro-organisms  communicate with the nervous system using some of the same neurochemicals the body uses to relay messages in the brain. (Smith, 2015)
These several pounds of micro-organisms in our guts secrete a large number of neurochemicals, including dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the very same chemicals our neurons use to communicate and regulate mood – and chemicals that also play a role in GI disorders, which, not strangely, are associated with high levels of depression and anxiety.  (Smith, 2015)

 

(Source: www.itsokaytobesmart.com)
(Source: www.itsokaytobesmart.com)

 

 

 

 

ANXIETY, OBSESSIVE BEHAVIOR, LEAKY GUT AND BACTEROIDES FRAGILIS

 

(Source: www.find-happiness.com)
(Source: www.find-happiness.com)

 

In 2013, microbiology researchers Mazmanian and Hsiao published research results that linked a specific variety of probiotic bacteria with anxious behaviors in mice. The mice were known to have alterations in their gut microbiota and GI barrier defects  (increased gut permeability, AKA leaky gut) and also exhibited anxious, obsessive behaviors (such as obsessively burying marbles). When they were given oral doses of  one of two strains of the bacterium Bacteroides fragilis (probiotic bacteria found in normal gut flora), both their GI problems and maladaptive behaviors improved. (Hsiao et al, 2013) (Smith, 2015)

 

 

 

 

STRESS, DEPRESSION AND THE PROBIOTICS LACTOBACILLUS AND BIFIDOBACTERIUM

 

 

(Source: www.menshealth.co.uk)
(Source: www.menshealth.co.uk)

 

A recent study found that a combination of the probiotics Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum (probiotic bacteria found in healthy human gut microbiomes) reduced anxiety, depression, and stress levels and improved coping strategies. (Messaoudi, 2011)
Our psychological and physiological reactions to fear and stress play a large role in depression. People suffering from major depression also have elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone our adrenals release to get us ready to fight for our lives or flee from the danger. Back when we frequently encountered predatory animals and were often in a fight or flight situation, this elevated release of cortisol was a very useful thing.
What often happens now is that we live in a state of chronic cortisol overproduction, over stimulated, afraid, unable to calm down, wearing out our adrenals. Chronically elevated cortisol production interferes with learning and memory, lowers immune functioning, decreases bone density, increases weight gain,  raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels, leads to heart disease, increases risk for depression and anxiety, decreases resilience – and is generally exhausting. A combination of the probiotics, Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum, was found to reduce cortisol levels. (Berglund, 2013) (Davidson, 2014)
GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is our central nervous system’s chief inhibitory neurotransmitter, playing a central role in reducing neuronal excitability throughout the body and regulating muscle tone. (Wikipedia, 2015)
Many physiological and psychological processes associated with depression, including negative ruminations, can be traced to a deficiency in the neurotransmitter GABA. Microbes that actively secrete GABA in the gut have been identified by researchers. Chief among them are strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Bifidobacterium longum has anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antimutagenic properties and may protect you from developing colon cancer.  It’s present in breast milk and is one of the first probiotics to colonize a newborn’s gut.

 

Emmenthaler Cheese
(Source: cheesecrafters.ca)
(Source: cheesecrafters.ca)

 

Swiss and Emmenthaler cheeses contain Lactobacillus helveticus. (We’re talking about real cheeses, not the tasteless, processed kinds often found prepackaged in the US.)

 

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

 

Bifodobacterium longum is found in unprocessed yogurts, various types of fermented dairy foods (kefir’s a good choice), and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut.
(Source: www.rsc.org)
(Source: www.rsc.org)
Good news for those of us who love dark chocolate: The plentiful polyphenols in dark chocolate serve as PREbiotics, nourishing the beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium  in our guts.  (Davidson, 2014) The higher the cacao and lower the sugar content the better. Organic and fair trade also if possible.
Both L. helveticus and B. longum can also be taken as supplements.

 

 

 

 

MOOD, OXYTOCIN AND LACTOBACILLUS REUTERI

 

(Source: www.bbc.co.uk)
(Source: www.bbc.co.uk)
A team of biologists at MIT found that another probiotic strain, Lactobacillus reuteri, improved mood, restored a youthful appearance to the skin, and promoted general health by increasing levels of oxytocin, the love hormone. (Davidson, 2015)
L. reuteri is one of the fastest colonizing probiotic bacteria available. This is a good thing – colonizing probiotic strains of bacteria in your gut can restore your health.

 

 

 

 

ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND LACTOBACILLUS RHAMNOSUS (Davidson, 2014) (Mercola, 2011) (Saey, 2011)

 

(Source: www.drperlmutter.com)
(Source: www.drperlmutter.com)
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a bacterial strain that has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression in anxious mice.
GABA, the central nervous system’s principal inhibitory neurotransmitter, regulates many physiological and psychological processes in the body. Alterations in GABA receptor expression are linked to the the development of anxiety and depression.
Study results published in 2011 shed light on exactly how L. rhamnosus in the gut impacts the brain’s chemistry.
The researchers found that the probiotic L. rhamnosus markedly affected GABA levels in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.
When the vagus nerve was severed, GABA receptor levels and the animals’ behavior remained unchanged after treatment with L. rhamnosus, confirming that the vagus nerve is most likely the primary pathway of communication between the bacteria in the gut and the brain.
The researchers allow that the vagus nerve is the obvious communication route but perhaps not the only one, that messaging may also occur via other nerves or chemicals in the blood.
If you doubt there’s a direct connection between the health of the gut microbiome and mental health, keep in mind that functional bowel disorders and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are generally comorbid (they generally occur together).

Strains of L. rhamnosus  are found in some dairy products such as live culture yogurts, cheeses (eg, real Parmigiano Reggiano), and kefir. They’re also found in fermented dry sausages and some fermented soy cheeses. (Panyko, 2015)

 

 

 

PAIN, CHRONIC FATIGUE, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS

 

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

 

Lactobacillus acidophilus improves the functioning of canabinoid receptors in the spinal cord that are important for regulating pain perception. (Davidson, 2014)
A 2009 study to see if treatment with live L. acidophilus was helpful for chronic fatigue syndrome and the depression that’s part of it showed promising results. When the researchers supplemented chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers with a live casie strain of L. acidophilus for two months, they saw a significant decrease in the subjects’ depression, anxiety, and general emotional distress. (Rao et al, 2009)
Food sources of L. acidophilus include live culture yogurt and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut, sauerkraut juice, kimchi, miso, chutneys, and kefir.

 

 

SEROTININ, CHRONIC INFLAMMATION AND BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS

 

(Source: www.amazon.com)
(Source: www.amazon.com)
A number of microbes can produce other neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. For example, Bifidobacterium infantis, taken as an probotic, alters serotonin levels – just like Prozac but without the undesirable side effects. (Davidson, 2014)
Bifidobacterium infantis has been clinically demonstrated to be very good at reducing the symptoms caused by chronic immune activation in the gut, autoimmune diseases, and excessive cortisol release. So it, along with some other probiotic bacteria, is a good choice for people with leaky gut, IBS, IBD, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease. (Nootriment, 2015)
Infantis in this bacteria’s name indicates that it’s a strain vitally important for infant health.  B. infantis is usually one of the first probiotics mothers pass on to their babies during vaginal births. Many scientists and doctors therefore recommend that pregnant women take it as a supplement.
The main benefit from B. infantis is to improve digestion and protect us against infection and sickness. It has also been shown to fight allergies and prevent kidney stones. It accomplishes all this by producing large amounts of acid to make our digestive tracts and vaginas inhospitable to pathogenic bacteria and parasites. (Jerkunica, 2015)

 

 

 

(Source: www.starrybrook.com)
(Source: www.starrybrook.com)

 

 

 

 

 

FERMENTED FOODS

(Source: http://www.sacfoodcoop.com)
(Source: http://www.sacfoodcoop.com)

 

NOTE:
If you’ve decided to add ready-made fermented foods like sauerkraut or pickles to your diet for their probiotic benefits, remember it’s only the truly fermented versions that are helpful. The ones made with vinegar, although they may say ‘pickled’ on their labels, aren’t actually fermented and don’t offer any probiotic or enzymatic benefits. Look for the fermented versions in the refrigerated areas in stores.
Fermented foods contain living cultures. Refrigeration slows down the fermentation process. The brine may be cloudy – full of lactic acid bacterial growth (the desirable probiotics) created during fermentation. The jar lids may be slightly swollen from the  ongoing fermentation process. Fermented pickles have a complex taste – they’re alive on your tongue. Pickles made with vinegar taste like vinegar.

 

904e4a80c69ade6cdc800d4c0bbf9e3d
Years ago, when I was living in Cambridge, MA, my neighborhood grocery store was Savenor’s. Mrs Savenor kept a huge, wooden pickle barrel next to the checkout counter.  The top of the barrel was open. The brine was cloudy, sometimes scummy looking, and every once in a while the barrel emitted a big belch of gas. I thought the whole thing was unsanitary and never bought her pickles. Now I wish I’d known then what I’ve since learned about the benefits of that living culture.
Savenor’s was also where Julia Child shopped for her meats. The Childs lived in the neighborhood of beautiful big houses on the north side of Kirkland Street. I was in the neighborhood of old apartment buildings on the south side of Kirkland, where students and other people with little money lived.
Here’s a fond memoir about Mrs Savenor by one of her grandsons, Alan Savenor: How a Matriarch Ran Savenor’s. She was a character. Reputedly, she’d smuggled her young boys out of Lithuania by walking across the border with them under her voluminous, floor length skirt when the Nazis set about exterminating all the Jews there.

 

1165_Savenor_1

 

 

 

For those of you interested in improving your gut microbiomes and overall health by eating probiotic-rich foods, here’s a good article on Probiotics & Fermented Foods written by the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop.

 

 

(Source: fundrazr.com)
(Source: fundrazr.com)

 

 

 

YOUR BRAIN ON BUGS

This is what pioneering Integrative Health doc J. E. Williams, OMD, has to say about psychobiotics and how best to get them into your body:
“Microbiota, those microscopic bugs that live in your body—mainly in the gut—can influence brain chemistry and consequently behavior. We know that Clostridium difficile, the nasty gut hospital-based gut infection that kills 14,000 people each year in the U.S., is associated with depression and dementia. Two antidepressants, mirtazapine (Remeron) and fluoxetine (Prozac), are linked to a nearly 50 percent increased risk for Clostridium difficile infection.
“Doctors have long known that foods and changes in the gastrointestinal system are associated with mood changes. Does the pathway to happiness actually exist in your gut?

Sources of Psychobiotics

“Probiotics come in a variety of forms, from powders and capsules to foods such as yogurt, dairy drinks, infant formulas, cheese, and even some energy snack bars. Any of these forms may be effective for digestive problems as long as they contain the right kind of beneficial organisms in adequate numbers.
“In my clinical experience, I’ve found that supplements with live friendly bacteria in high dosages are more effective for treatment of depression, immune deficiency, and gastrointestinal problems then consuming yogurt or fermented vegetables alone.

Friendly Psychobiotics

  • Bacteriodies fragilis
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus brevis

Brain-Immune-Gut Axis

“We’re finding that most diseases, including psychiatric illnesses, have inflammation as their root cause. Inflammation is associated with immune system imbalance and disruption of hormone activity. Probiotics may also influence how your genes work. Psychobiotics could target genes responsible influencing neurotransmitters like GABA that have a strong connection to mood and behavior.
“We know that “gluten brain” is a type of mental fog common in people with gluten sensitivity. People with gluten sensitivity feel better when eliminating wheat, but the benefit is limited. If you have tried the gluten-free diet and wonder what’s next, consider psychobiotics
“The autonomic nervous system links the brain and gut largely through the vagus nerve. More than 90 percent of the body’s serotonin, a feel good neurotransmitter, lies within the gut. In fact, your gut has a mind of its own and it’s called the enteric nervous system.
“Changes in diet have immediate effects on the bacterial composition in your gut. Antibiotics have disastrous effects on gut bacteria. Now we have good research and more than enough clinical evidence that specialized probiotic bacteria are essential for health, and also profoundly influence mood.
“So, it’s not surprising that when your gut is healthier, so is your brain and mood. Your immune system works better too, so you have fewer episodes of the cold and/or flu.”
– Williams, 2014

 

 

 

 

IS YOUR FATE IN YOUR GENES?: GENETICS VS EPIGENETICS

 

Time_DNA_Destiny_Cover

 

If there’s been mental illness – say depression, anxiety or panic disorder, OCD, autism, schizophrenia – in your family as far back as anyone can remember, you needn’t feel that you or your children are doomed. Genetics is the study of genes, heredity, and genetic variation in living organisms. Epigenetics is the study of factors that turn genes on and off and affect how cells read genes.
Your genetics account for only 25% of the chance you’ll develop a disease. The other 75% is environmental (both internal and external) and therefore largely up to you. So take very good care of your gut microbiome. Provide it with lots of good microbes (probiotics and psychobiotics) to keep a good balance in there and avoid the bad ones (bacterial pathogens and other toxins) as much as possible.
This is also true of genetic predispositions for heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer,  and pretty much every other illness. You are not a prisoner of your genes. Probiotics influence activity in our genes, allowing them to express their contents in a positive, disease-fighting manner.
Research has shown that probiotic bacteria produce positive changes in the mucosal lining of the small intestines which affect gene activity and cellular reactions.

“Consumption of a dairy drink containing three strains of probiotic bacteria was associated with changes in the activity of hundreds of genes, with the changes resembling the effects of certain medicines in the human body, including medicines that positively influence the immune system and those for lowering blood pressure.”

– Mercola, 2010

 

 

 

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STAY TUNED! There’s lots of good research being done now on the relationship between probiotics in the gut,  mood – and pretty much every other working of the body.

 

 

 

(Source: www.medscape.com)
(Source: www.medscape.com)

 

 

Many thanks to both Liz Poirier and Alex Tatusian for pointing me to the New York Times Magazine article by Peter Andrey Smith, which prompted this post: Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?  It’s very good and I recommend reading it.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Berglund, C. (2013).  Cortisol: Why “The Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No. 1: 5 simple ways to lower your cortisol levels without drugs. See: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

Davidson, J. (2014). Nature’s Bounty: The Psychobiotic Revolution. Psychology Today. See: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201404/natures-bounty-the-psychobiotic-revolution

Dinan, T.G., Stanton, C., Cryan, J.F. (2013). Psychobiotics: A Novel Class of Psychotropic. Biological Psychiatry: A Journal of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Therapeutics. See: http://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(13)00408-3/abstract

Hsiao, E.Y. et al. (2013). Microbiota modulate behavioral and physiological abnormalities associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. Cell, 155:7, 1451-63. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24315484

Jerkunica, E. (2015). Facts About B. Infantis Probiotic Strain. See: http://probiotics.org/9-health-benefits-of-bifidobacterium-infantis/

Mercola, R. (2010). The Healing Power of Probiotics Impresses Researchers. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/11/probiotics-healing-power-impresses-researchers.aspx

Mercola, R. (2011). Hike Up Your Happy Hormones With Probiotic Supplements. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/10/22/this-supplement-can-actually-make-you-happy.aspx

Messaoudi, M. et al. (2011). Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 105:5, 755-64. See

Nootriment. (2015). Bifidobacterium Infantis Probiotic Supplements Review. See: http://nootriment.com/bifidobacterium-infantis/

Panyko, J. (2015). Lactobacillus rhamnosus: Probiotic Bacteria with Impressive Health Benefits. See: http://www.powerofprobiotics.com/Lactobacillus-rhamnosus.html

Rao, A.V. et al. (2009). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of a probiotic in emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Gut Pathogens, 1:6. See: http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/1/1/6

Sacramento Natural Foods Coop. (undated). Probiotics & Fermented Foods. See: http://www.sacfoodcoop.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=438%3Aprobiotics-a-fermented-foods&catid=59%3Aconsumer-guides&lang=us&Itemid=65

Saey, T. H. (2011). Belly bacteria boss the brain: Gut microbes can change neurochemistry and influence behavior. Science. News. See: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/belly-bacteria-boss-brain

Savenor, A. (2013). How a Matriarch Ran Savenor’s. See: http://www.theeditorial.com/think/2013/12/10/how-a-matriarch-ran-savenors

Smith, P.A. (6/28/2015). Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood? New York Times Magazine. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/magazine/can-the-bacteria-in-your-gut-explain-your-mood.html?_r=1

Wikipedia. (6/23/2015). gamma-Aminobutyric acid. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma-Aminobutyric_acid

Williams, J.E. (2014). YOUR BRAIN ON BUGS—WILL BACTERIA BE THE NEXT TREATMENT FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION? See: http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2014/02/28/your-brain-on-bugs-will-bacteria-be-the-next-treatment-for-anxiety-and-depression

 

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

BIMUNO – PREbiotics for Anxiety, OCD, Depression & Overall Health

 

 

prebiotics-and-probiotics-14-638

 

I was looking for a non-pharmaceutical way to help my anxious and OCD patients so asked my supplements guru, David Miller, MD at LifeThyme (a health food store in NYC). He sent information about a new PREbiotic supplement that’s been demonstrated to be helpful for anxiety and OCD thinking – and the entire immune system located in the gut microbiome. It’s called Bimuno®. (Miller, 2015)
Bimuno® isn’t readily available yet in the US but can be ordered from the company’s website in England. Research on it and the information on the company’s site are very interesting.
It comes as sachets of tasteless powder to sprinkle over food or add to drinks and also as soft chewable pastilles. I just ordered some (the pastilles) to try myself – especially to use during travels outside the country, which often lead to upsets in my gut microbiome.
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Bimuno® is a new PREbiotic product that feeds the good, PRObiotic bacteria living in our guts (such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria) to the detriment of the bad bacteria (pathogens). As the good bacteria multiply, they flush out the bad bacteria.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER!?

 

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRE- AND PRO-BIOTICS

 

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PREBIOTICS are specialized plant fibers containing complex sugars (such as inulin,  fructo-ogliosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides) that are indigestible by humans but promote the growth of beneficial bacteria (PROBIOTICS) living in our gut microbiomes by serving as food for them.
PROBIOTICS are helpful, live bacteria and yeasts our bodies need to function and maintain good health. They are found in fermented foods such as kefir, live-culture yogurt, real sauerkraut and pickles (not ones made with vinegar), kimchi, kombucha and other naturally fermented foods. If our gut flora has already become seriously out of balance, we can also benefit from taking high quality probiotics as supplements to populate the necessary array of friendly bacteria in our gut microbiomes. There are hundreds of probiotic species living in the human gut – some that are known to be ancient life forms and many that scientists haven’t even been able to identify yet.
Sometimes PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS are combined in the same supplements, called SYNBIOTICS.
See my earlier posts Prebiotics and Probiotics and  PREbiotics and PREbiotics for more information.

 

 

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SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR THIS PREBIOTIC PRODUCT’S EFFICACY

From the Bimuno® website:

Scientific studies have demonstrated that Bimuno can significantly increase levels of Bifidobacteria (good bacteria) in the gut.1

Bimuno is the only second generation Galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotic available. It is a truly unique prebiotic with a powerful Bifidogenic effect.

3D Model of the patented prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharide

Bimuno’s unique galacto-oligosaccharide structure

It selectively boosts Bifidobacteria which play a key role in immune function and maintaining and building a healthy digestive system.

Bimuno is the result of many years of intensive research by a team of international digestive health experts and the University of Reading.

A number of clinical trials have been published and there is an ongoing research and development program into Bimuno across a number of health areas including:

  • The Immune system
  • Various aspects of digestive Health
  • Digestive health while abroad
  • Various aspects of human metabolism

Reference: 1. Am J Clin Nutr 2008; 87 :785-91

 

Bimuno® original powder is the natural way to increase and energise your good gut bacteria helping you to manage your gut health.  Bimuno works in a similar way to prebiotics naturally found in human breast milk which promote a healthy bacterial balance within the gut.

Scientific studies indicate that the unique second generation Galacto-oligosaccharide formulation of Bimuno powder, can help to encourage and sustain a healthy level of your friendly gut bacteria(Bifidobacteria). In fact Bimuno has the most potent bifidogenic (Bifidobacteria promoting) effect of any available prebiotic.

Published scientific studies have shown that, with daily use, the majority of Bimuno users experience a significant increase in their gut Bifidobacterium within just 7 days.

This in itself is impressive but by a unique anti-adhesive action it also helps flush ‘bad’ bacteria from your gut at the same time for a healthy microflora balance.

Give your digestive system a healthy boost

Bimuno powder:

  • Increases your Bifidobacteria levels, helping to maintain a healthy intestinal balance.
  • Reduces gas producing bacteria
  • Reduces bad bacteria levels
  • Energises your friendly gut bacteria
  • By maintaining a healthy digestive balance you can support overall well-being

 

 

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GUT DYSBIOSIS AND ANXIETY

Christian John Lillis, of the Peggy Lillis Foundation, reports noticing an uptick in the number of people on Clostridium difficile Facebook groups who mention that they’re also struggling with anxiety. (Lillis, 2015)
This overlap between C. diff (a serious bacterial infection of the colon) and anxiety isn’t at all surprising. An out of balance (dysbiotic) gut microbiome produces a wide variety of symptoms – including anxiety, depression, and OCD.

 

http://www.peggyfoundation.org/
http://www.peggyfoundation.org/

 

 

Animal studies have previously shown a link between mood and brain function and probiotics in the gut microbiota. Ingestion of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (a strain of PRObiotic) has been demonstrated to modulate information processing strongly linked to anxiety and depression and to improve the neuro-endocrine stress response in lab animals – in plain English, this probiotic turned anxious, fearful mice into mellow ones.
Now new research on healthy human adults conducted by a group of neurobiologists at Oxford University demonstrated that supplementation with PREbiotics (Bimuno® galacto-oligosaccharides, B-GOS) lowered the subjects’ neuro-endocrine stress responses and increased their ability to  process positive versus negative attentional vigilance. In other words, PREbiotic supplementation with Bimuno REDUCED THEIR ANXIETY LEVELS AND OCD THINKING.
The researchers assessed how subjects processed emotional information, such as positively and negatively charged words, after they’d been taking the prebiotic supplement. Results showed that the supplemented group paid less attention to negative information and more attention to positive information than either a group given another type of prebiotic (fructooligosaccharides, FOS) or a group given a placebo. The people who had taken Bimuno® also had lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone linked with anxiety and depression) in their morning saliva.
A similar effect has been observed in people taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pharmaceutical medication. (Schmidt et al, 2014) (Gregoire, 2015)
This is very good news for people suffering from anxiety and OCD. Taking a prebiotic supplement may relieve their life-impinging symptoms while also improving their overall physical health – without the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals.

 

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BIMUNO‘S INGREDIENTS

Information listed on the box of Bimuno powder sachets:
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Lactose (from milk)
  • Glucose syrup
  • Thickener (gum arabic)
  • Galactose
  • Acidity regulator (trisodium citrate)
  • Free from artificial colors, flavours and preservatives
  • Gluten-free
  • 16 Cal/sachet
The galacto-oligosaccharides in Bimuno® are a mixture of disaccharides, trisaccharides, a tetrasaccharide and a pentasaccharide.

 

 

 

 

THE BIMUNO WEBSITE

I recommend checking out the Bimuno website. The pull down menus are chock full of useful and fascinating information about digestive and whole body health, prebiotics/ probiotics and the immune system.
See the information under:
  • Maintain your digestive health
  • Digestive problems & solutions
  • Support your immune defences
  • Digestive health for traveling

 

 

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REFERENCES

Bimuno. (2015). Bimuno’s website. See: http://www.bimuno.com/

Depeint, F. et al. (2008). Prebiotic evaluation of a novel galactooligosaccharide mixture produced by the enzymatic activity ofBifidobacterium bifidum NCIMB 41171, in healthy humans: a randomized, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled intervention study. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/3/785.full

Gregoire, C. (2015). The Surprising Link Between Gut Bacteria And Anxiety. The Huffington Post. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/04/gut-bacteria-mental-healt_n_6391014.html

Hardin, J.R. (2013). Probiotics and Probiotics. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/superimmunity/prebiotics-and-probiotics/

Hardin, J.R. (2014). PREbiotics and PRObiotics. AllergiesAndYourGut.com. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=prebiotics

Lillis, J.C. (2015). Private communication.

Miller, D. (2015). Private communication.

Schmidt, K. (2014). Prebiotic intake reduces the waking cortisol response and alters emotional bias in healthy volunteers. See: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00213-014-3810-0

Vulevic, J. et al. (2008). Modulation of the fecal microflora profile and immune function by a novel trans-galactooligosaccharide mixture (B-GOS) in healthy elderly volunteers. See: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/5/1438.short

 

 

© Copyright 2015 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

Moms to EPA: Recall Monsanto’s Roundup

An article called MOMS TO EPA: RECALL MONSANTO’S ROUNDUP arrived in my inbox this morning, the day after I’d posted Genetically Modified Organisms – Our Food.
It tells the  stories of  how two groups of mothers, Moms Across America and Thinking Moms Revolution, discovered that the serious health problems their children suffered from were linked to exposure to the chemical glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.
When these moms had their sick children and the rest of their families’ glyphosate levels checked, the tests revealed high, unsafe levels in their children’s urine, in the families’ drinking water, and in the mothers’ breast milk.
This turned them into activists who are now taking action to get the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recall Monsanto’s Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world.
The stories of their children’s suffering from entirely preventable illnesses are heart breaking – their stories of how they brought their children back to health by removing all GMOs from their diets are inspiring.
I’m also reprinting the article here because it contains links to the plentiful scientific research findings that demonstrate the serious harm being done to humans, animals and the environment by glyphosate. I’ve added a Source list after the article.
Glyphosate is the active chemical in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which is sprayed on crops grown from its Roundup Ready seeds. Roundup Ready seeds have been genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate – allowing farmers to douse their crops with Roundup herbicide without killing the crops themselves.
Since Monsanto introduced Roundup in 1975, it has become the best-selling herbicide in the world. Its prolific use has led to the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds – inducing farmers to spray ever heavier amounts of Roundup on their crops.

Note: I’ve added a list of sources to the bottom of the original article.

 

 

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The Organic Consumers Association’s article:

 

Moms to EPA: Recall Monsanto’s Roundup
By Alexis Baden-Mayer
Organic Consumers Association, May 29, 2014

For related articles and information, please visit OCA’s  All About Organics page, our Genetic Engineering page, and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

 

Hell hath no fury . . . like a mother whose child has been sickened by a toxin that’s almost impossible to avoid.

Two activist groups, Moms Across America and Thinking Moms Revolution, want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to recall Monsanto’s Roundup, the most widely used herbicide/pesticide in the world.

Now is the time to do it, they say, because the EPA is conducting a registration review of glyphosate.

Representatives of the two groups contacted the EPA to request a meeting. When the EPA ignored them, they rallied supporters. In just three days, about 10,000 moms from all over the country rang the phones off the hook at the EPA.

A week later, five Moms Across America leaders were sitting around a boardroom table with nine EPA employees who have the power to recall Roundup. The moms brought lawyers, scientists and advocates from Organic Consumers Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, Beyond Pesticides and the Truth-In-Labeling Coalition as back-up.

What was supposed to be a one-hour meeting turned into two. The EPA’s Dana Vogel, director of the Health Effects Division in the Office of Pesticide Programs, and other EPA staff stayed glued to their seats as one mother after another shared heart-wrenching stories of parenting children with life-threatening allergies, severe gastrointestinal problems, mysterious autism-spectrum disorders, and major nutritional deficiencies.

The common thread in those stories? Exposure to glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.

Wrenching tales of preventable illnesses

The activist moms had long suspected pesticides might be behind their children’s health problems. So they had their families tested for glyphosate. The tests showed unsafe levels of glyphosate in their drinking water, in their breast milk and in their children’s urine.

That’s when they resolved to get in front of the EPA. And when they did, they told their stories.

Moms Across America co-founder Zen Honeycutt recounted how when she learned of the link between glyphosate and autism, she had her middle child, who had been exhibiting autism symptoms, tested for glyphosate. His urine had 8.7 parts per billion glyphosate—eight times more than is allowed in drinking water in the E.U. She immediately eliminated all potential sources of glyphosate from his diet. After six weeks, the glyphosate was out of his system. And so were the autism symptoms. He stopped hitting people, and his grades went back up from D’s to A’s.

After a year of eating organic, her eldest son’s walnut allergy went from a 19 to a 0.2. It’s no longer life-threatening.

In fact, all of the mothers’ children suffered from deteriorating conditions until they put them on all-organic diets. When they figured out that going organic was the only thing that helped ease their children’s symptoms, they started investigating the food they had been eating for possible causes of their children’s poor health.

Each mother began to suspect glyphosate.

Zoe Swartz, leader of East Coast Moms Across America and founder of GMO Free Lancaster County told the EPA, “I’m really angry that I didn’t know that there was glyphosate in the food I was feeding my daughter.” She described her toddler’s problems with “leaky gut syndrome” which has been linked to glyphosate exposure. After three weeks of an organic diet, the child’s symptoms began to disappear.

Megan Davenhall of Thinking Moms Revolution, mother of an 11-year-old boy with autism, told the EPA, “It’s going to be a long road for us.”

She began her research when her son was diagnosed at age three. As she turned to organic foods, and eliminated chemicals, he started to grow—something he hadn’t done for two and a half years. He weighed only 38 pounds at age six. Now, Davenhall told the EPA, “He’s doing better. He’s not off the spectrum. … It’s a long road for us, because my son was so very damaged. … He was skin and bones and it’s taken us years to recover his gut health.”

“The damage didn’t need to happen to him,” Davenhall said. “And I don’t want to see it happen to one other kid out there, not one. What we feed our kids, what we put into our bodies, is the most important thing. Healthy food should be available for everybody. It needs to happen. It needs to happen today.”

Sarah Cusack of Thriving Family Health talked about her daughter Claire who at 12 months, changed from a happy, easy-going baby to a miserable, constipated baby who was literally starving. She was emaciated. She had a huge bloated belly. At 20 months, she was diagnosed with celiac disease. But the turning point came when she switched to an organic diet. Claire is now a healthy six-year-old. Her mom is a health coach. Cusack says that an all-organic diet is the centerpiece of her practice. She’s seen improvement in clients with myriad health problems, including migraines, eczema, rashes, gastro-intestinal conditions, mood disorders like anxiety and depression, constipation and auto-immune conditions.

Swaying decision-makers with Science

After the testimonials, It was time to hit the EPA with hard science.

Honeycutt delivered a 20-minute presentation on how glyphosate figures as an environmental cause of so many of the diseases impacting our kids today. She left behind a binder, prepared by Moms Across America volunteers, packed with scientific articles supporting her assertions. Zen’s presentation and the materials she presented to the EPA covered the following points.

•    Exposure to glyphosate correlates with chronic illness. Chronically ill people have significantly higher levels of glyphosate in their systems than healthy people.

•    Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor which is toxic to placental cells. This means it may impact our ability to conceive and carry healthy babies to term. It may also cause breast cancer.

•    Glyphosate destroys the gut bacteria we need for good health. Scientists have observed that in chickens and cattle, glyphosate kills the good gut bacteria while leaving behind bacteria that causes food poisoning. Glyphosate’s negative impact on our microbiome may be the reason for increasing rates of allergies, celiac sprue and gluten intolerance, and colitis and Crohn’s disease.

•    Glyphosate makes vaccines far more toxic than they would otherwise be. When children are overexposed to glyphosate, they are more likely to react badly to vaccination. There’s an intricate connection between the gut and the brain, such that an unhealthy digestive system translates into pathologies in the brain. Aluminum, mercury and glyphosate work synergistically to create severe deficiency in sulfate supplies to the brain. This may be what’s causing the epidemic levels of autism and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

•    Glyphosate is a chelator that deprives living things of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals. This is how glyphosate kills plants. It may also be how it’s killing people. Glyphosate-induced vitamin deficiency may be a factor in the growing cancer rates. Glyphosate has been directly linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A recent meta-analysis found that exposure to glyphosate doubled the likelihood of contracting B cell lymphoma.

Will the EPA consider this evidence and move to protect our children from glyphosate?

We’re about to find out.

For five years, the EPA has been collecting and analyzing data. This year (2014), the agency will publish a risk assessment and open a 60-day public comment period. Then it will publish a proposed registration and provide another opportunity for public comments.

Finally, the EPA will make a registration decision to either continue business-as-usual, place new restrictions on the use of glyphosate, or to take it off the market.

Moms want it off the market.

Moms Across America and Thinking Moms Revolution are currently working with the EPA to develop protocols for an independent scientific study of glyphosate in breast milk for inclusion in the agency’s review.

These moms won’t stop until Roundup is recalled and they need your help. Please join the Recall Roundup campaign at Moms Across America or Thinking Moms Revolution.

 

Alexis Baden-Mayer is political director of the Organic Consumers Association.For more information on this topic or related issues you can search the thousands of archived articles on the OCA website.Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603 ·
Contact Us
Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652 ·
Please support our work: Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

 

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The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.

 

This is the article as it appears on the Organic Consumers Association site: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_30153.cfm

 

 

SOURCES CITED IN THE ARTICLE – listed in the order the links appear

All About Organics pageWhy We Should All Eat More Organic Food. Organic Consumers Association. See:  http://organicconsumers.org/organlink.cfm

Genetic Engineering page:  Earth Open Source. GMO Myths and Truths. Organic Consumers Association. See:  http://www.organicconsumers.org/gelink.cfm

Millions Against Monsanto pageMillions Against Monsanto. Organic Consumers Association. See: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/

Moms Across America:  Moms Across America. See: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/

Thinking Moms Revolution:  Thinking Moms Revolution. See: https://www.facebook.com/thinkingmomsrevolution

recall Monsanto’s Roundup:  See: https://www.facebook.com/events/897793350237253/

glyphosate:   Mercola, R. (April 15 2014). New Studies Reveal Damaging Effects of Glyphosate. Organic Consumers Association. See: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29790.cfm

tested for glyphosate:  Glyphosate Testing Kit for Urine and Water. See: http://www.microbeinotech.com/Default.aspx?tabid=57

unsafe levels of glyphosate:  Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine and Water. See: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/glyphosate_testing_results

Zen HoneycuttCA State Grange Rally for GE Labeling Jan 6th CA Capitol Steps- Zen Honeycutt’s Speech. Moms Across America. See: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/ca_capitol_steps_speech

glyphosate and autismJeffrey Smith interviews Dr. Stephanie Seneff about Glyphosate. See video:  http://vimeo.com/6591412

GMO Free Lancaster County:  See:  https://www.facebook.com/GMOFREELANCASTERCOUNTYorg

linked to glyphosate exposure:   Samsel, A. & Seneff, S. (2013). Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy 2013, 15, 1416-1463. See: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/sls/publications/2013/Seneff_Entropy-15-01416.pdf

Thinking Moms Revolution:   Thinking Moms Revolution. See: http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/

Thriving Family Health:  Sarah Cusack Scholl. See: http://www.thrivingfamilyhealth.com

Exposure to glyphosate:  Kruger, M. et al.(2014). Detection of Glyphosate Residues in Animals and Humans. Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology, 2014, 4:2.
See: http://omicsonline.org/open-access/detection-of-glyphosate-residues-in-animals-and-humans-2161-0525.1000210.pdf

Glyphosate is an endocrine disrupter:   Gastnier, C. et al. (2009). Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. Toxicology, 2009, 262:3, 184-91. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19539684

toxic to placental cells:  Richard, S. et al. (2005). Differential Effects of Glyphosate and Roundup on Human Placental Cells and Aromatase. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2005; 113:6, 716–720. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257596/

ability to conceive:   Mercola, R. (April 1 2014). Roundup Toxicity May Impact Male Fertility: Study. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/01/Roundup-toxicity-male-infertility.aspx

cause breast cancer:   Thongprakaisang S. et al. (2013). Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors. Food & Chemical Toxicology, 2013, 59, 129-36. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170

Glyphosate destroys the gut bacteria:  Sustainable Pulse. (Sept 7 2013). New Review Shows Glyphosate Destroys Human Health and Biodiversity. See: http://sustainablepulse.com/2013/09/07/new-review-shows-glyphosate-destroys-human-health-and-biodiversity/#.U4i24ighy-9

chickens:  Shehata. A. A. et al. (2013). The effect of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. Current  Microbiology, 2013 66:4, 350-8. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224412

cattle:  Kruger, M. et al. (2013). Glyphosate suppresses the antagonistic effect of Enterococcus spp. on Clostridium botulinum. Anaerobe, 2013, 20,74-8.  See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23396248

Glyphsate’s negative impact on our microbiome:  Polan, M. (2013). Some of My Best Friends are Germs. New York Times Magazine, May 15 2013. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html?pagewanted=all

increasing rates of allergies:  Basulto, D. (2014). The secret to treating your allergies may lie in your stomach. WashingtonPost.com, April 17 2014. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/04/17/the-secret-to-treating-your-allergies-may-lie-in-your-stomach/

celiac sprue and gluten intolerance:  Samsel, A. & Seneff, S. (2013). Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdisciplinary Toxicology, 2013, 6:4, 159–184. See: http://sustainablepulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Glyphosate_II_Samsel-Seneff.pdf

Crohn’s disease:  Samsel, A. & Seneff, S. (2013). Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy, 2013, 15:4), 1416-1463. See: http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

Glyphosate makes vaccines far more toxic:   Viadro, C. I. (2014). Sulfate, Sleep and Sunlight: The Disruptive and Destructive Effects of Heavy Metals and Glyphosate. Mercola.com. See:  http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/08/heavy-metals-glyphosate-health-effects.aspx

epidemic levels of autism and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s:  Seneff, S. (2013). Roundup: The “Nontoxic” Chemical that May Be Destroying our Health. The Weston A. Price Foundation. See:  http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/Roundup-the-nontoxic-chemical-that-may-be-destroying-our-health/

growing cancer rates:  Hardt, R. (2014). Glyphosate it binds minerals and cuts off the production of neurotransmitters and hormones: A visual connection of the routes of diseases and cancer. Academia.edu. See:  http://www.academia.edu/5772865/GLYPHOSATE_IT_BINDS_MINERALS_AND_CUTS_OFF_THE_PRODUCTION_OF_NEUROTRANSMITTERS_AND_HORMONES….A_VISUAL_CONNECTION_OF_THE_ROUTES_OF_DISEASES_AND_CANCER

exposure to glyphosate doubled the likelihood of contracting B cell lymphoma:  Schinasi, L. & Leon, M.E. (2014). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2014, 11:4, 4449-527. See:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24762670

Moms Across America:  Moms Across America. See:  https://www.facebook.com/MomsAcrossAmerica

Thinking Moms Revolution:  Thinking Moms Revolution. See:  https://www.facebook.com/thinkingmomsrevolution

Organic Consumers Association:  Organic Consumers Association. See: http://www.organicconsumers.org/

 

 

© Copyright 2014 Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

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