Oxytocin and social anxiety, pyroluria and depression?

March 27, 2015

A 2014 paper published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research looked at how variations in the oxytocin receptor gene is associated with increased risk for anxiety, stress and depression in individuals with a history of exposure to early life stress. Here are some excerpts from this paper:

Oxytocin is a neuropeptide that is involved in the regulation of mood, anxiety and social biology.

Genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) has been implicated in anxiety, depression and related stress phenotypes.

In this study, we examined genotypes in 653 individuals and tested whether SNP variation in OXTR correlates with severity of features of self-reported experience on the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), and whether this correlation is enhanced when early life trauma is taken into account.

The study found a significant effect of several oxytocin receptor genes (OXTR genotypes) on anxiety, stress and depression scores. They concluded that:

These results support the hypothesis that the oxytocin system plays a role in the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders.

In this 2015 paper published in Neuropsychopharmacology, they looked at “Oxytocin modulation of amygdala functional connectivity to fearful faces in generalized social anxiety disorder” and found that oxytocin lessened anxiety by dampening amygdala reactivity to threat in individuals with generalized social anxiety disorder.

Results indicated that in individuals with generalized social anxiety disorder:

Oxytocin enhanced functional connectivity between the amygdala and the bilateral insula and middle cingulate/dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus during the processing of fearful faces

These findings suggest that [oxytocin] may have broad pro-social implications such as enhancing the integration and modulation of social responses.

We know that low serotonin can cause anxiety, worry and depression and research shows there are interactions between oxytocin and serotonin levels. So if you don’t respond to serotonin support (tryptophan or 5-HTP or light therapy), maybe adding oxytocin is a possible solution?  Or maybe supporting serotonin will boost oxytocin? 

What is also really interesting to me is that zinc is needed for binding oxytocin to its receptor so I wonder about the oxytocin connection to pyroluria, a social anxiety condition where higher amounts of zinc and vitamin B6 are needed. I wonder if adding oxytocin to the mix would help even more?  Or if optimizing zinc use and absorption would help promote oxytocin?

Have you had your oxytocin levels tested? Have you used oxytocin with good results and did it help your social anxiety/pyroluria and/or depression?

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

3rd Annual Scattergood Foundation Innovation Award

March 20, 2015

scattergood-award

I’m excited to share that I’m one of the nominees for the 3rd Annual Scattergood Foundation Innovation Award sponsored by the Scattergood Foundation (a non-profit Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health) and The Kennedy Forum (a non-profit founded by Patrick Kennedy to advance mental health treatment/prevention and reduce stigma).

Here is the link to my nomination http://scattergoodfoundation.org/innovideas/anxiety-summit

I have a favor to ask you. I’d really love your comments please!

The commenting and judging period ends 3/27/2015 and I’d so appreciate comments on the above link. If you attended either of the Anxiety Summits please share what you loved about them and how they helped you. Even if you didn’t hear any of my Anxiety Summit interviews, a comment about how food and nutrients have helped your anxiety/depression or your patient’s or client’s anxiety/depression would be wonderful!

The prize is $25,000 which I’ll use for future summit scholarships and to help a non-profit run a summit. For me, the real prize is the exposure and bigger impact I can have. I see this as a wonderful opportunity to get the powerful food-mood message out in an even bigger way so more people can be helped. Thanks so much!  

PS. And do check out other nominees – there are so many people doing great work in the field of mental health!

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Hugs for stress, public speaking, heart health and immunity

March 20, 2015

hugs

New research published in Psychological Science shows that hugging helps us fight infection better and helps us feel more socially connected:

Using a sample of 404 healthy adults, we examined the roles of perceived social support and received hugs in buffering against interpersonal stress-induced susceptibility to infectious disease.

…participants were exposed to a virus that causes a common cold and were monitored in quarantine to assess infection and illness signs. Perceived support protected against the rise in infection risk associated with increasing frequency of conflict.

A similar stress-buffering effect emerged for hugging… Among infected participants, greater perceived support and more-frequent hugs each predicted less-severe illness signs.

These data suggest that hugging may effectively convey social support.

Research in Behavioral Medicine also shows that that hand-holding and a 20 second hug among co-habiting partners, helped with the stressful effects of public speaking:

In response to a public speaking task, individuals receiving prestress partner contact demonstrated lower systolic BP diastolic BP, and heart rate increases compared with the no contact group.

The effects of warm contact were comparable for men and women and were greater for African Americans compared with Caucasians.

These findings suggest that affectionate relationships with a supportive partner may contribute to lower reactivity to stressful life events and may partially mediate the benefit of marital support on better cardiovascular health.

You can read more about hugs and the 5 Love Languages on this recent blog I recently wrote. I shared how Physical Touch is my top love language and how I’ll take (and give) a big hug or spend quality time with Brad or my mom or sister or niece before a gift any day!

The great thing about hugs is you get one when you give one! Have you given someone a hug today?

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

The Hormone Secret and progesterone for anxiety

March 18, 2015

Dr Tami Meraglia, MD, is the author of the forthcoming book, The Hormone Secret. I have an advance review copy and read it on the plane coming back from San Diego and it’s fabulous!

Read on below for a wonderful sample snippet from the book:

Did you know that you have a natural anti-anxiety hormone?

Women have a hormone that is produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands that is like Valium bathing the female mind.  It helps reduce anxiety and is known as the peaceful hormone.  It also helps us sleep soundly through the entire night.

What is this amazing hormone?  Progesterone. 

Progesterone acts on the gamma amino butyric (GABA) receptors in the brain (the same receptors sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and even alcohols act upon), producing a calming effect.  GABA is the primary inhibitory transmitter in the brain.  If you wake between 2am and 4 am wide awake, you likely have a progesterone deficiency.

Progesterone also affects the elasticity of our skin, memory, is anti-inflammatory, is a natural diuretic and helps normalize blood sugar.  It also stimulates that cells that make new bone called osteoblasts.

Unfortunately progesterone leaves our bodies first and leaves us quickly.  You can have a low progesterone level as early as your late 20’s!  Many women think that their increased irritability, loss of enjoyment of life and trouble sleeping if from their 24/7 lifestyle but it is likely more often due to a progesterone deficiency

Here are 7 common symptoms associated with low progesterone:

  1. Anxiety

  2. Waking at night

  3. Fibrocystic breasts

  4. PMS

  5. Bone loss

  6. Low libido

  7. Infertility or irregular periods.

Here are 3 simple and natural things you can do to help your own body produce more progesterone:

  • Vitamin C.   A dose of 750-1000 mg has been shown in studies to raise progesterone in women.
  • Selenium.  200-400 mcg/day was shown to boost production of progesterone in an Italian study.
  • The spices turmeric, thyme and oregano are also useful for raising progesterone.  Use in cooking whenever you can.

Topical progesterone is also available over-the-counter.

If you find that it takes a bit more energy to keep your cool or that you are no longer sleeping through the night I encourage you to look to progesterone as a way to help. 

I love Dr. Tami’s famous quote: “Remember, fine is a four-letter word.  You deserve to feel FABULOUS!”   I could not agree more – we all deserve to feel our absolute best all the time!

Over the next few weeks leading up to the book launch she is doing some great giveaways and events. While they last, you can grab a copy of the book (US shipping addresses only. You just pay shipping and handling). She also has some great bonus videos to share. She’ll also be offering a recipe book and will then be hosting a webinar to share more on the hormone secrets us women need to know!

Learn more here: https://bu182.isrefer.com/go/THS/TrudyScott

PS. I do want to mention that we do differ in our food recommendations. I’m a paleo eater myself and am recommending this more and more to my clients.   But I absolutely LOVE the hormone information in this book!  Just wait until you read about testosterone too – yes! And natural ways to boost your own production! And/or how to use small amounts for women!  It’s very different from what you typically hear. 

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

The Diabetes World Summit and the anxiety-diabetes connection

March 16, 2015

diabetes-summit

The Diabetes World Summit (ONLINE) from March 23-30, 2015!

The mission of The Diabetes World Summit is to change lives. This incredible, online event has the potential to improve the health of tens of thousands with diabetes or pre-diabetes!

387 million people in the world have diabetes, and nearly half of them don’t know it. In the United States alone, type 2 diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death. The statistics are alarming, especially when we’ve proven that type 2 can be prevented and reversed!

Dr. Brian Mowll, The Diabetes Coach™, created The Diabetes World Summit to share the expertise of the world’s leaders in natural diabetes care to help you regain blood sugar control, live the highest quality life and even reverse type 2 and pre-diabetes. The 40 powerful, expert sessions at The Diabetes World Summit will benefit anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, as well as those who want to avoid blood sugar problems and achieve optimal health.

You may wonder: what is the connection between anxiety/depression and diabetes? In this study: Frequency of depression and anxiety in patients attending a diabetes clinic, they found “almost 50% of patients were found to have anxiety and depression.” The study concludes with this: “There is a high incidence of depression and anxiety in patients with chronic type-2 diabetes and clinicians must screen regularly for better care of these patients.”

Register now at the following link: https://vj173.isrefer.com/go/summitreg/trudyscottcn/

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Should I use 5-HTP for a 5 year old boy who has been “glutened”?

March 13, 2015

boy-eating-sandwich

This is a great question that was posted on my blog by Margaret Floyd, author of Eat Naked, a great book on clean eating. Here is a review I did awhile back.

The question (which she gave me permission to share on a blog):

A close friend of mine has a little 5yr old boy who is celiac. Since his Dx, he’s doing much better but they’re struggling to get it out of his diet 100% – he keeps getting “glutened” as she calls it by well-meaning but uneducated parents of his friends, his chess coach, etc. and he’s VERY sensitive to even the slightest exposure. He takes a good 3-4 weeks to recover psychologically every time he’s exposed.

She recently started supplementing him with the supplement SeroPlus (maybe you know it?) which has 5HTP in it. She gave it to him last week when he got “glutened” and noticed his temperament was SO much better than usual. So she’s kept him on it But she’s worried about him developing a dependence on supplemental serotonin in this way.

My instinct is that he won’t develop a dependence because she’s giving him the precursor, and this is so important while his body and specifically, gut, heals. But I wanted to ask you since you’re the pro in these matters. What’s your experience been?

This is a really great question so I decided it was worth sharing with a bigger audience via a blog and my ezine. Here is my response:

I’ve not used Seroplus but it looks good and the positive result is always a good thing! You’re right and I agree, I don’t see dependence as being an issue – we know gluten issues can lead to low serotonin so his continued consumption of gluten may be continually depleting his levels, plus his gut needs to heal.

One issue longer term may be that his gluten exposure may very likely have impacted his adrenals and 5-HTP can raise cortisol which won’t be good if his cortisol is high. This is why in adults I use tryptophan unless I know cortisol results. In kids I always only use tryptophan since it’s closer to food. And I do like to use an individual amino acid versus a combo product as it’s easier to increase and/or decrease just the amino acid. And mom may need to reduce the amount as his gut heals and his serotonin levels come up so you don’t get a reverse effect (too much of any amino can do this).

One more thing to consider is methylation and SNPs – detox is compromised with the MTHFR polymorphisms and this product has 500mcg of folate (the good form!) which may be contributing to his good temperament too. Also if he does have either of the MTHFR mutations it may end up being too much folate if he is given more capsules (hence the benefit of individual amino acids and even individual folate).

I’m sure they are doing all they can to prevent this but would like to suggest this in case…I’d also suggest a card with information on how deadly gluten is to this little guy and really making a point to educate everyone he’s going to be in contact with. I’m sure he’s also old enough to ask smart questions as I’m sure he’s well aware of the effects. It just breaks my heart to hear he keeps getting “glutened”!

Keeping a supply of dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) on hand is also recommended.  DPP-IV specifically breaks down gluten.

I hope this helps you when thinking about whether to use 5-HTP or tryptophan and to understand more about gluten and methylation.

Here is the original blog post which was from my interview on The Anxiety Summit: Targeted individual amino acids for eliminating anxiety: practical applications

And here is the Amino Acids Mood Questionnaire from my book The Antianxiety Food Solution.

Do check out all the fantastic questions on these blogs AND all my answers. I respond to every single question posted on my blog so feel free to post one at any time.

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

Mindful Eating World Summit: Stop dieting and START LIVING

March 10, 2015

This is just a reminder that the Mindful Eating World Summit: Stop dieting and START LIVING! online event runs March 16th – 26th for 11 days.

mindful-eating

I’m very excited to be a part of Dr. Kellee Rutley’s virtual event. She’s brought together over 28 amazing POWERHOUSE experts to help you remove the guilt, shame and confusion around weight issues and TRUE health, and disocver powerful ideas that work to EMPOWER you!

We are Doctors, Educators, Scientists, Zen Masters, Psychologists, Naturopaths and Holistic Chefs! New York Times and Hay House authors, World Renowned Master Trainers, Coaches and Nutritionists. Many of us have had our own issues with poor health, unhealthy weight rollercoasters, emotional eating, anxiety and depression – and our personal stories reflect that.   Had my own issues with anxiety and panic and at one stage was such a choco-holic!

Together, we’ll share ways to help you reach optimal health, vitality and happiness!

I was given a sneak peek at some of the interviews and would love to share some gems from the wonderful interview with Dr. Michael Finkelstein….

Dr. Michael Finkelstein, The Slow Medicine Doctor, has been featured in top media outlets including The New York Times and CNN; has presented at leading venues including GE Corporation and Omega Institute; and blogs on the topic of Slow Medicine for The Huffington Post.

  • Dr. Finkelstein opened with this powerful message: “The promise of science let us down…the reality was that it doesn’t work for everything. Procedures and medicines often cause side-effects and problems, and 80% of people going to the doctor these days have a chronic problem (often contributed in part by their treatments). My patients would say to me (after 15 years of writing prescriptions): ‘isn’t there something else?’   I didn’t have the answer. When my blood pressure started to rise, I went to my physician who said you said to me ‘you need to be on medication’ and I said: ‘isn’t there something else?’ I had to go back to school to study integrative medicine to find the answer and I learned about other tools to augment my tool box. Instead of a pen and a scalpel I had so much more”
  • He suggests putting flowers and candles on the table when we’re eating – to improve our mood and overall eating experience
  • I really love when he talked about how “activity with meaning” or “movement with purpose” and how it is way more than simply exercising (like being on a treadmill). He suggests things like building a community garden, hiking with friends and gardening. “Do something you love and then you’ll do it!”
  • He loves to garden, his office is located in a garden and he shared the importance of nature, air, natural light, rain, getting your hands in the dirt, and probiotics and the microbiome and how it changes when you garden. I loved hearing him say so many of us suffer from nature-deficit-disorder! It’s so true!
  • His best quick fix for your health is Slow Medicine…when you change how you are living, you’ll feel in alignment and your anxiety will go down because your expectations are reasonable.

Dr. Finkelstein also shared how if we aren’t living a life that’s meaningful with purpose, we’re going to be very hungry and our craving will lead us to food because it’s readily available. Sometimes our hunger is emotional and with food we are feeding our bodies, and our minds and spirits.  He talks about finding your purpose and finding the treasure in your pain (for example, your anxiety or emotional eating) and looking for one key to the treasure.   Beautiful!

If you haven’t already heard me speak on amino acids and emotional eating my topic is: 5 Powerful Amino Acids that Banish Emotional Eating and Balance Your Brain Chemistry – No Willpower Required!  

The amino acids may be one of the keys to finding your treasure i.e. the freedom from your anxiety and/or or emotional eating.  

I’ll be offering $50 off my homestudy 6-week digital delivery program called The Amazing Amino Acids for Ending Emotional Eating – No Willpower Required! Really!!

Mark the date and sign up here http://mindfuleatingworldsummit.com?affiliates=33

Enjoy all these great speakers and topics!

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

 

MTHFR and methylation: mood, anxiety, depression, and resources

March 6, 2015

Methylation polymorphisms (also called defects or mutations or SNPs) can impact mood. I’d like to share a few studies on some of the mood issues, other health conditions where we may see impacts and some resources for you to learn more.

If you have one of the MTHFR polymorphisms, the BH4 cycle may be affected and may impact how we make serotonin and dopamine. Here is some of the research:

There is much evidence on the methylation polymorphisms and these health conditions:

Resources for further learning

The two practitioners who I have learned the most from are Dr. Ben Lynch ND and Coleen Walsh, a nutritionist who has been dubbed the “methyl queen”.    

Just remember this great quote from Coleen Walsh during our interview on the Anxiety Summit:

Our DNA is not set in stone! Diet and lifestyle can go a long way to change our health destiny

The good news is that we can change our health, our disease outcomes and how we feel by eating real whole good quality organic food, getting chemicals and toxins out of our diets and environment, reducing stress, supporting the liver and our natural detox processes.

Certain key nutrients can also be very help for many people with polymorphisms. I’ll share more on folate and other nutrients and other SNPs in a later blog post. I’ll also share more on genetic testing.

I’d love to hear if you’ve done genetic testing and how making changes (supplement, diet, lifestyle) have helped. Be sure to post questions too.

YOU’RE WELCOME TO INCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEBSITE AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE THIS COMPLETE BLURB WITH IT:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”