Tryptophan and melatonin make a big difference but why do I still wake at 4am?

August 26, 2016

waking-up-early

I get many questions on the blog about problems with sleep: not able to fall asleep, not waking rested and waking in the early hours and not being able to go back to sleep. By far the most common question is “Why do I still wake at 4am and can’t go back to sleep?”

So let me share one of the typical questions I receive and my feedback in the hope that something you read here may help you or someone you’re working with. Here is the question:

I purchased Lidtke l-Tryptophan and time release melatonin and notice a big difference in my sleep. Instead of waking up every two hours I’m sleeping better but still wake up at 4 am and can’t get back to sleep. GABA hasn’t helped. What can I take to get back to sleep and what are your thoughts on Seriphos Phosphorylated Serine? I think my anxiety has to do with my adrenals because I wake up in a sweat and am way past menopause.

Since she is seeing a big difference with tryptophan and timed-release melatonin, low serotonin is the likely root cause of her insomnia or at least one of the root causes. We always want to capitalize on what is already working. Too many people don’t see expected results with 1 x 500mg tryptophan at bedtime and 1mg timed-release melatonin and start looking for other solutions when the answer may be right in front of them.

Here are the steps I’d follow with a client with similar sleep challenges:

  • Try more tryptophan, increasing it slowly over the course of a few weeks in the hope that it more will provide more serotonin support. This is what I call an amino acid trial where you rate and log your improvements as you incrementally increase – with the goal of finding an optimal amount for your needs. We all have different needs and post menopause it’s not uncommon for women to experience anxiety, depression and insomnia related to low serotonin and fluctuating sex hormones. We also always want to capitalize on what is already working.
  • Also, to add to what’s working, add tryptophan mid-afternoon if it’s not already in place. When someone scores high on the low serotonin questionnaire the typical timing of tryptophan is mid-afternoon and an hour before bed (always away from protein). Serotonin levels start to decline mid-afternoon hence the benefits of a mid-afternoon dose. Start low and increase slowly.
  • I would also suggest trying the tryptophan opened up (at both times) to see if this makes a difference.
  • Taking a tryptophan at the 4am waking can help you go back to sleep so this is worth trying. For some people 500mg at 4am is too much and using 125mg or 250mg works well. You determine the amount based on how you feel when you do get up. If you were able to go back to sleep easily buy wake groggy then it’s too much.
  • Some people are reporting better results with Lidtke Tryptophan Complete (which has all the co-factor nutrients) so this may be worth trialing too. I’d start by adding to what is already in place.
  • If we get benefits with any of the above by are not quite there then I would suggest additional timed-release melatonin until sleep improves.

This is always done slowly and methodically over the course of a few weeks. I always have my clients carefully log what they try and what is working and not working.

Other factors we’d make sure are addressed:

  • What GABA was used, was it trialed (starting low and increased) and was it used sublingually?
  • Is high cortisol at night a factor? Doing an adrenal saliva test will provide the answer. If it is then the Interplexus Seriphos is the best for lowering it. It’s best to take 1-3 x Seriphos about 2-3 hours before the high cortisol.
  • Is gut health a factor? Look into SIBO, gluten sensitivity, other food sensitivities, dysbiosis and parasites (which are often active in the early hours and can cause night sweats)
  • Is there a sex hormone imbalance? Even with someone way past menopause, the night sweats mean this should be ruled out. The addition of amino acids starts to balance the hormones but more support may be needed.  
  • Is any caffeine (even decaf) still being consumed?
  • Is blood sugar stable? Make sure to have breakfast with animal protein and healthy fats and the same at each meal and for snacks. Consider a trial of glutamine during the day and just before bed for added blood sugar stability
  • Are medications a factor? Current medications or prior use of benzodiazepines or SSRIs can affect sleep even long after they have been tapered.
  • Is sleep apnea a factor?

We also address all the usual sleep hygiene factors: dark room, cool room, quiet room, no cell phone or clock radio on the bedside table, no late night computer use and getting some early morning light.

Many essential oils can provide added benefits when diffused at night or mixed with a carrier oil and used topically. One lovely combination I share on the Essential Oils Revolution 2 (happening now) is lavender, roman chamomile and neroli which helps both insomnia and anxiety.

There can be many other possible root causes of insomnia: autoimmunity, Lyme disease, pain, past trauma or grief and even genetic polymorphisms, all covered on the recent Sleep Success Summit.

Have you used tryptophan (or other amino acids like GABA) and melatonin to reduce or eliminate early morning waking episodes?

If you’re a practitioner, have you helped your clients/patients with this methodical approach?

What else has helped you?

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!”

Bergamot as effective as diazepam for reducing anxiety?

August 19, 2016

bergamot-green

Could the essential oil bergamot be as effective as diazepam (a benzodiazepine) in reducing anxiety?

An animal study shows very promising results: Acute effects of bergamot oil on anxiety-related behaviour and corticosterone level in rats

both BEO [bergamot essential oil] and diazepam exhibited anxiolytic-like behaviours and attenuated HPA axis activity by reducing the corticosterone response to stress

What this is means is that the bergamot was found to be as effective as diazepam in reducing the anxiety. Bergamot also reduced cortisol levels.

I’m really excited to see a study comparing an essential oil with benzodiazepines because I’m really worried that so many people are being prescribed benzodiazepines and that they are being used long-term. They are meant to be used short-term, if at all. They have very addictive properties, there are dependence issues and can be really really hard to quit, often with a very challenging withdrawal period. And too many people, including many in the medical profession, are not aware of all the issues once you start down this road.

If you’ve been following me for some time you’ll know I’m really vocal about the dangers of this class of medication.  You can read about the first World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day here.

How wonderful if we use these other wonderful approaches instead of benzodiazepines: use an essential oil like bergamot (or more than one – like lavender, roman chamomile and neroli too) and make food changes (like quitting gluten, caffeine and sugar), and add some amino acids like GABA and tryptophan and reduce the stress in our lives!  

I talk about this research and other essential oils for anxiety and stress in the upcoming Essential Oils Revolution 2 summit which runs August 22 to 29. I’m so thrilled to be part of this event!

essential-oils-revolution-banner

I can’t wait to learn more and hope you’ll tune in and learn tons too. Here is the registration link https://qt247.isrefer.com/go/EOR16reg/trudyscottcn/

Let’s get the conversation started now. Feel free to share which essential oils you use for anxiety and stress? And how do you use them?

 

Tryptophan and ascorbic acid for anxiety caused by lead toxicity

August 19, 2016

lead-toxicity

Lead toxicity is a factor when it comes to anxiety, panic disorder, phobias and depression, even with low levels of lead exposure.

This 2010 paper, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, Blood lead levels and major depressive disorder, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder in U.S. young adults reports the following:

In this sample of young adults with low levels of lead exposure, higher blood lead was associated with increased odds of major depression and panic disorder. Exposure to lead at levels generally considered safe could result in adverse mental health outcomes.

The paper discusses a possible mechanism of action i.e. lead disruption of neurotransmitter production (of the catecholamines and serotonin):

If lead exposure contributes to the etiology of these disorders, the mechanism of action could involve perturbation of neurochemistry, such as brain monoamine neurotransmission.

Lead exposure is known to disrupt catecholaminergic systems, and depression and anxiety disorders are strongly associated with disturbances in these systems.

Studies in animals show that chronic lead exposure can decrease serotoninergic activity in several brain regions including the nucleus accumbens, frontal cortex, and brainstem.

It is surprising that generalized anxiety disorder was not associated with increased lead levels in this study but other research does find anxiety correlations:

Addressing lead and other heavy metal toxicity is not to be taken lightly and can often be quite a lengthy process. Finding a knowledgeable practitioner who understands chelation is important. We covered much of this in my interview with Dr. John Dempster on season 4 of the Anxiety Summit – Anxiety and heavy metals: chelation of mercury and lead

The good news is that while you are working on lead detoxification there is promising research that supports what I see in my clients: using the amino acid tryptophan reduces and often completely eliminates anxiety, panic attacks and depression while you are dealing with other underlying issues. In this instance it’s the lead toxicity but it could also be Lyme disease or gluten sensitivity or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and many other conditions.

The animal study I’m referring to was published at University of Lagos paper in 2012: Neurobehavioural and neurotoxic effects of L-ascorbic acid and L-tryptophan in lead exposed rats and states that:

The sub-chronic exposure to lead decreased brain serotonin, while causing oxidative stress by decreasing reduced glutathione levels, antioxidant enzyme activity and increasing lipid peroxidation and brain protein contents.

Ascorbic acid attenuated [or reduced] both lead induced neuronal oxidative stress, and abnormalities in behaviour.

Tryptophan ameliorated [or improved] lead-altered neurobehaviour [such as anxiety and aggression].

Co-administration of ascorbic acid and tryptophan on lead exposed rats showed a reversal in all indices assessed towards the physiological state of control. This suggests that ascorbic and tryptophan can be used to compliment chelating therapy in lead neurotoxicity.

I don’t know if you can extrapolate the dosages from the rat to a human weight-wise but since I have a curious mind I did some calculations: it turns out that they used a rough equivalent of 2000mg of ascorbic acid and 1000mg of tryptophan for an adult human. The starting dose for tryptophan is typically 500mg, and less if you’re sensitive or a “pixie dust” person. I would start here and do an amino acid trial, increasing over a few weeks until anxiety symptoms start to resolve. You can read more about the amino acids process here

Have you used tryptophan (or other amino acids like GABA) to reduce or improve anxiety symptoms with success, while dealing with a bigger underlying issue such as lead toxicity?

If you’re a practitioner, have you helped your clients/patients with tryptophan while dealing with lead toxicity?

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!”

Anxiety and Hypoglycemia Symptoms Improve with Diet Modification

August 12, 2016

strawberry-smoothie

A paper published by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine last month supports what I see with my clients on a daily basis: when it comes to anxiety caused by low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia) the correct diet can have a huge impact. And this means is the inclusion of enough protein, fats and fiber, especially at breakfast.

Here is the abstract from the paper: Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hypoglycemia Symptoms Improved with Diet Modification

Observational evidence suggests that a relationship may exist between high glycemic index diets and the development of anxiety and depression symptoms; however, as no interventional studies assessing this relationship in a psychiatric population have been completed, the possibility of a causal link is unclear.

AB is a 15-year-old female who presented with concerns of generalized anxiety disorder and hypoglycemia symptoms. Her diet consisted primarily of refined carbohydrates. The addition of protein, fat, and fiber to her diet resulted in a substantial decrease in anxiety symptoms as well as a decrease in the frequency and severity of hypoglycemia symptoms.

A brief return to her previous diet caused a return of her anxiety symptoms, followed by improvement when she restarted the prescribed diet.

This case strengthens the hypothesis that dietary glycemic index may play a role in the pathogenesis or progression of mental illnesses such as generalized anxiety disorder and subsequently that dietary modification as a therapeutic intervention in the treatment of mental illness warrants further study.

Here are some details about this case report for AB, who was a 15-year-old female student of south-Asian descent:

  • she had anxiety (rated as 8/10 with 10 being the highest level of anxiety), worried excessively, experienced heart palpitations, shakiness, discomfort in her stomach, and muscle tension and often missed school because of how she felt
  • she experienced symptoms of hypoglycemia/low blood sugar and when her blood sugar dipped too low she experienced muscle weakness, headaches, nausea, anxiety, and poor concentration
  • when she felt anxious she would eat she would eat chocolate, chips, fruit and when her blood sugar dipped she would eat a granola bar

As you can see from her typical daily diet she was eating mostly carbohydrates, with very little protein, fat or fiber:

  1. Breakfast: fruit smoothie containing fruit, fruit juice, and water.
  2. Morning snack: bagel with margarine.
  3. Lunch: pasta or white rice with vegetables.
  4. Afternoon snack: granola bar or cookies or gummy candies.
  5. After school meal: white pasta; it may include meat.
  6. Dinner: white rice or spaghetti; it may include meat.
  7. Evening snack: cookies and toast.
  8. Beverages: 2 liters of water, 1 cup of juice, 1 cup of lactose-free milk, and 1 cup of tea.

She made the following changes in her diet adding protein at breakfast, lunch, dinner and at snack time, and adding healthy fats like flax seeds, olive oil and nut butters:

  1. Breakfast: includes a smoothie containing fruit, water, 1 scoop of protein powder, and 1 tablespoon of flax seeds or olive oil.
  2. Lunch and dinner: include a serving of protein (meat, legume, and soy) and a serving of vegetables.
  3. Snacks: include protein when possible (e.g., apple with sunflower seed butter, vegetable sticks with hummus, and pumpkin seeds).
  4. Continue to eat carbohydrate-containing snacks as needed for the management of hypoglycemia symptoms.

Over a 4-week period she made a few simple dietary changes and saw profound results: her anxiety decreased significantly from 8/10 to 4 or 5/10, she had more energy, she had fewer headaches, better concentration and improved mood.

The interesting factor is that when she slipped up for a week and went back to her old diet she felt more anxious within a day, but felt better within 2 days of adding back protein, fats and fiber.

These results are very typical with my clients and getting a handle on stabilizing blood sugar is the first thing I do with all my clients. Believe it or not, for some people this is ALL they need to do. I would add that I recommend making these changes in conjunction with the removal of gluten and caffeine.

I also like to see animal protein (and fat) as part of the snacks: like grass-fed beef jerky, grass-fed beef sticks, boiled eggs or pemmican. AB was allergic to eggs, nuts, and fish so these were not an option for her. Soy is often as issue so would need to be watched.

So this case study supports the fact that we must not forget the basics like blood sugar control. It’s very common for me to get questions like this on my blog: “I’m anxious, which amino acid should I use?” I always reply: focus first on real whole food and eating to balance blood sugar, remove sugar, gluten and caffeine, and then look at doing a trial of one or more of the amino acids

I do like to make things easier for my clients and this is where an amino acid like glutamine is very helpful in terms of providing added blood sugar stability, a calming effect and help with gut healing

Adding the glutamine and also doing a trial of an amino acid like GABA Calm may get the anxiety down a few more notches because we are always aiming for zero.

Addressing adrenal issues (which are closely related to blood sugar issues), and of course addressing all the other possible factors like thyroid health, gut health, other food sensitivities and so on would be the next step.

Have you see the positive impacts of keeping your blood sugar stable? What makes the most impact for you?

If you are a practitioner, how do you help your clients or patients address blood sugar issues?

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!”

Lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli essential oils for anxiety and sleep

August 11, 2016

Lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli essential oils for anxiety and sleep

Lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli essential oils have been found to be beneficial for anxiety and sleep in patients going through a surgical procedure. 

The aromatherapy blend was in a ratio of 6 :  2 : 0.5  for lavender: roman chamomile: neroli.  

Participants received 10 treatments before percutaneous coronary intervention/PCI (formerly known as angioplasty with stent) and the same essential oil blend was inhaled another 10 times after the procedure.

Here are the details of the study: Effects of aromatherapy on the anxiety, vital signs, and sleep quality of percutaneous coronary intervention patients in intensive care units

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of aromatherapy on the anxiety, sleep, and blood pressure (BP) of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients in an intensive care unit (ICU). Fifty-six patients with PCI in ICU were evenly allocated to either the aromatherapy or conventional nursing care.

Outcome measures patients’ state anxiety, sleeping quality, and BP (blood pressure).

The aromatherapy group showed significantly low anxiety and improving sleep quality compared with conventional nursing intervention.

If these surgical patients could see these results imagine how these essential oils could help you if you suffer from anxiety and/or sleep issues.

Join us on the Essential Oils Revolution 2 to hear me cover this and  and other essential oils combinations for anxiety and insomnia.

essential-oils-revolution-banner

Here is the summit registration link:
https://qt247.isrefer.com/go/EOR16reg/trudyscottcn/

Have you found that this combination helps you with anxiety and sleep?  What ratio works for you?

 

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!”

Sleep restriction for insomnia – Dr. Breus on the Sleep Success Summit

August 8, 2016

sleep-success-summit

As you probably know, insomnia is often a big issue if you have anxiety and/or depression. I like to address low serotonin, low GABA and low blood sugar for the sleep and mood issues but sleep issues can be caused by so many factors.

The Sleep Success summit addresses so many of these other factors: the adrenals, the thyroid, the gut, hormone health (all of which can impact sleep), plus topics on sleep apnea (and the inflammation connection), MTHFR, autoimmunity, using essential oils, sleep problems we see in kids and so much more.

sleep-summit-speakers

Dr. Michael Breus is the host of the summit and is interviewed by Sean Croxton: “An Interview with The Sleep Doctor.” He shares:

We know that when people aren’t able to stay asleep or fall asleep there is always some type of a mental component, either anxiety or depression (60-70% of the time)

There are just not a lot of people out there treating insomnia other than just prescribing pills and I’m not a big fan of that. Now you have two problems – you have a sleep problem and you have a pill problem.

I learned something new listening to Dr. Breus’ interview. He uses an evidence-based technique called “sleep restriction” to help his patients with insomnia.   He says it trains your brain to know when to sleep and it works for about 50% of his patients.   When the “sleep restriction” technique isn’t enough he uses cognitive behavior therapy to help with the negative thoughts and worry around the lack of sleep and supplements. He does use medications short-term (a few weeks only) to break the insomnia cycle.

I’m so intrigued by this “sleep restriction” method that I went looking for the research and found this study published just last month: 70% of the women receiving cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) said they had no more insomnia after 8 weeks and 84% said they had no more insomnia after 24 weeks!

A randomized clinical trial was conducted among 106 perimenopausal or postmenopausal women aged 40 to 65 years with moderate insomnia symptoms and 2 or more daily hot flashes.

Telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) – which included sleep restriction, stimulus control, sleep hygiene education, cognitive restructuring, and behavioral homework – was compared to menopause education MEC/ information about menopause and women’s health.

At 8 and 24 weeks, 33 of 47 women (70%) and 37 of 44 (84%) in the CBT-I group, had scores in the no-insomnia range, compared with 10 of 41 (24%) and 16 of 37 (43%) in the MEC group.

Dr. Breus’ expertise is CBT-I and he is new to the naturopathic and nutritional world so we do have some professional differences of opinion, like buying Cosco magnesium (I would suggest looking for a quality product just like I do with all supplments) and avoiding 5-HTP and melatonin (although I do agree we do need to be informed consumers when using them).  The good news is that because he’s new to this he does ask great in-depth questions of the experts on the summit.

Other great interviews to check out:

  • Ben Lynch, ND – Are Your Genes Affecting Your Ability to Sleep?
  • Izabella Wentz, PharmD, FASCP – Getting to the Root Cause of Hypersomnia and Thyroid Fatigue
  • Magdalena Wszelaki, HHC – Your Hormones Could Be Affecting Your Sleep
  • Alan Christianson, NMD – Heal Your Adrenals and Get Better Sleep
  • Daniel Kalish, DC – How Sleep Influences Functional Medicine
  • Amy Myers, MD – Sleep, Functional Medicine and Autoimmune Function
  • Eric L. Zielinski, DC, MPH(c), BA – Sleep and Essential Oils: What’s the Connection?
  • Emily Fletcher – How Meditation Cured my Insomnia!
  • David Wolfe – How Your Environment Could Be Affecting Sleep! (Earthing and grounding for better sleep + Analyzing your environment to sleep better)

You can REGISTER HERE

You can PURCHASE HERE (it’s summit special pricing until the summit ends) 

I’d love to know if you’ve ever done cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) and if it helped you?   Is yes did it include all of the following: sleep restriction, stimulus control, sleep hygiene education, cognitive restructuring, and behavioral homework? Please share in the comments.

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!”

Reduced anxiety in forensic inpatients – long-term intervention with Atlantic salmon

August 5, 2016

wild-salmon

Wild salmon (picture used with permission: Vital Choice

Seafood is a great source of amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iodine, iron, calcium, selenium, and vitamins B12, A, and D, many of which are beneficial for mood disorders.

Fish in the diet has a positive impact on depression

A number of studies have found that including fish in the diet has a positive impact on depression, especially those that refer to traditional diets (the famous one is by Jacka and colleagues) and the Mediterranean diet (there are a number of studies by Sanchez-Villegas et al). A study from Finland found that the prevalence of depression was lower in countries where consumption of seafood is high.

When it comes to diet and nutrients there is much more research on depression than anxiety, so when my book The Antianxiety Food Solution was published in 2011, I wrote the following:

Given the link between anxiety and depression, it’s possible that seafood consumption could also help reduce the incidence of anxiety.

A study that now shows reduced anxiety with fish consumption

We have a study that now shows this: Reduced anxiety in forensic inpatients after a long-term intervention with Atlantic salmon

In the study, 95 male forensic patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups:

  • a Fish group where they consumed Atlantic salmon three times per week from September to February OR
  • a Control group where they consumed other protein sources such as chicken, pork, or beef three times per week, also from September to February

The paper lists the incidence of the following disorders amongst the study participants (all sexual offenders) who were in a secure forensic inpatient facility in the USA:

Personality disorders (antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder or personality disorder with antisocial traits) were diagnosed among 76% of the participants. Moreover, about 31% of the participants were diagnosed with some kind of anxiety disorder (GAD, OCD, PD or post-traumatic stress disorder) and about 18% were diagnosed with depression (major depressive disorder or depressive disorder). About 31% of the participants had both a personality disorder and an anxiety or depressive disorder.

The study findings

The study participants consumed salmon for 6 months and the study findings suggest that

Atlantic salmon consumption may have an impact on mental health related variables such as underlying mechanisms playing a key role in emotion-regulation and state-anxiety

And that

The present results showed that fatty fish consumption caused changes in HRV [heart rate variability] which is regarded as an essential underlying biological mechanism involved in anxiety and emotion-regulation.

A few interesting factors about this study

  • The salmon was farmed and mercury and dioxin levels were measured. Despite this, mental health benefits and reduced anxiety was observed. I suspect even more favorable results would have been observed had wild salmon been used
  • The authors mention that a longer intervention as in this study i.e. 23 weeks/6 months is likely to lead to better results than a shorter intervention
  • The Fish group had a significant increase in both omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA
  • The authors speculate about how improved vitamin D status in the Fish group may help regulate serotonin production and thereby help regulate heart rate variability and reduce anxiety
  • The study highlights nutritional benefits of fatty fish other than marine omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D: selenium, iodine, vitamin B12 and high quality proteins. I’d like to add that it is a source of zinc and iron too, both of which are co-factors for making brain chemicals.
  • Although the study found a significant decrease in state-anxiety, it did not find any changes in trait-anxiety (here are the differences in state-anxiety and trait-anxiety). The authors suggest that trait-anxiety may be more difficult to change during a 6-month intervention study. I’d like to add that other concurrent nutritional and biochemical interventions would likely have provided additional mental health benefits. This could include: a gluten-free diet, targeted individual amino acids, addressing dysbiosis, addressing high or low histamine, pyroluria and zinc-copper imbalances and so on.

The authors mention a limitation of the study, in that this group of adult male forensic inpatients may make it difficult to generalize the results to other groups in the population and recommend further similar research in children and women.

I look forward to future research but I feel very comfortable about putting this limitation aside for now, especially with the positive results found with this group of patients with very severe symptoms.

I also feel very comfortable extrapolating these results from salmon to sardines and would expect similar beneficial results. I highly recommend selecting wild salmon or wild sardines rather than farmed.  

If you suffer from anxiety and stress, or any mood disorder, I hope this research is further motivation to eat wild fatty fish a few times a week. How much fatty fish do you eat each week and have you observed mood or other health improvements?

And if you’re a practitioner, I hope this research is a bigger incentive to continue to recommend fatty fish to your clients or patients.

If you’re looking for some great recipes check out this yummy summer salmon pate recipe and this delicious pomegranate olive mint salsa to serve on grilled salmon. Vital Choice, a wonderful source for great quality home delivery WILD fish, has great recipes on their site 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!”

Bergamot, lavender and ylangylang for anxiety and high blood pressure

August 4, 2016

bergamot-eo

The wonderful combination of bergamot, lavender and ylangylang essential oils have been found to lower high blood pressure and reduce anxiety.

The study The effects of the inhalation method using essential oils on blood pressure and stress responses of clients with essential hypertension was published in 2006 and looked at 52 people who were anxious and stressed, and had high blood pressure.

The participants were placed in an essential oil group, a placebo group, and a control group by random assignment.

The essential oil group used aromatherapy inhalation by blending lavender, ylangylang, and bergamot essential oils once a day for 4 weeks.

To evaluate the effects of aromatherapy, blood pressure and pulse were measured two times a week and serum cortisol levels, catecholamine levels, subjective stress, and state anxiety were measured before and after treatment in the three groups.

 Here are the results of the study:

The blood pressure, pulse, subjective stress, state anxiety, and serum cortisol levels among the three groups were significantly statistically different.

The results suggest that the inhalation method using essential oils can be considered an effective nursing intervention that reduces psychological stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as the blood pressure of clients with essential hypertension.

They did not see any significant differences in catecholamine levels among the three groups but keep in mind this was only a 4-week study. And to see those other results in just 4 weeks is very encouraging! A simple intervention and yet very profound.

Dietary changes and amino acids and other nutrients are my go-to approach for anxiety but I’m finding more and more of my clients benefit with the addition of essential oils.

Essential oils are also very beneficial in the following instance where amino acids and other supplements can’t be taken or are not tolerated:

  • Young children (inhalation aromatherapy and creams/lotions work well here)
  • Older adults (creams/lotions work well when there is loss of smell with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Someone going through benzodiazepine withdrawal and is too sensitive for supplements or can only tolerate small amounts

I talk about this research and other essential oils for anxiety and stress in the upcoming Essential Oils Revolution 2 summit which runs August 22 to 29. I’m thrilled to be part of this event!

essential-oils-revolution-banner

People all over the world are scrambling to find the answer to health problems like diabetes, pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety, estrogenic cancers and more. Millions are turning to natural solutions and many have experienced great success with essential oils. Learn if oils could be the missing ingredient for you and your family! What you will gain from this event:

  • Why essential oils are truly nature’s best medicine
  • How to use essential oils safely and effectively
  • Tips for regaining control of your health
  • Home recipes, guides, safety protocols and best practices
  • And so much more!

More than 165,000 people joined the 2015 Essential Oils Revolution. This year, the experts in aromatherapy, medicine and research will deliver in-depth discussion, debunk common myths and help you learn about the possibility of regaining your health using essential oils.

I can’t wait to learn more and hope you’ll tune in too. Here is the registration link:
https://qt247.isrefer.com/go/EOR16reg/trudyscottcn/

Let’s get the conversation started now. Feel free to share which essential oils you use for anxiety and stress? And how do you use them?

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!”