Ann Louise Gittleman PhD, CNS, author of The Fat Flush Plan and Guess What Came to Dinner, was interviewed on the Anxiety Summit by host of the Anxiety Summit, Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution.
The Parasite/Anxiety Connection
- How common are parasites and how do we become infected (even if we live in a first world country)
- How do parasites contribute to anxiety and depression and even schizophrenia
- Other symptoms of a parasitic infection
- How to avoid being exposed to parasites
- How to test for parasites and how do we get rid of the parasite/s
Here are some gems from our interview:
Parasitic infections in the USA are far more common than you would expect – in fact the estimates are that 1 in every 3 people have a parasite or more than one
Parasites can contribute to or cause anxiety and fear by altering “hormonal and neurotransmitter communication and/or direct interference with the neurons and brain regions that mediate behavioural expression”
According to folklore, parasites are more active around the full moon, so testing and treating around this time may yield better results
Toxoplasma gondii is one parasite that has been researched a great deal and is one that has big implications for anxiety and other mood conditions, especially schizophrenia.
Ann Louise shared this interesting article from Scientific American called Toxoplasma’s Dark Side: The Link Between Parasite and Suicide
In 2003, E. Fuller Torrey of the Stanley Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland his colleagues noted a link between Toxoplasma and schizophrenia – specifically, that women with high levels of the parasite were more likely to give birth to schizophrenics-to-be
scientists have discovered a link between suicide and parasite infection
When we are infected with a parasite like Toxoplasma gondii, our immune system goes on the offensive, producing a group of molecules called cytokines that activate various immune cell types. The exact mechanism by which cytokines cause depression and other mental illnesses is poorly understood, but we do know they are able to pass the blood-brain barrier and alter neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
Here is the parasite testing and products we discussed:
The Expanded GI panel (for testing)
Colon Cleaning kit with Verma-Plus and Para- Key (together with a probiotic)
Verma-Plus contains the Native American herb called Centaury (aerial portion) (Centaurium erythraea)
It seems to have antimicrobial properties too: Volatile organic compounds from Centaurium erythraea Rafn (Croatia) and the antimicrobial potential of its essential oil.
And gastroprotective effects: Gastroprotective effect of small centaury (Centaurium erythraea L) on aspirin-induced gastric damage in rats.
We also talked about using filtered water for washing fruits and vegetables and this is the water filter Ann Louise recommends: Countertop Ultra-Ceramic Water Filter. “It purifies your tap water for the removal of incoming contaminants including parasites, chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, cloudiness and sediment. The ceramic filter also inhibits the growth of bacteria”
Ann Louise has written many wonderful books. Here are three of them that were mentioned in this interview:
Guess What Came to Dinner? Parasites and Your Health (this is the book about parasites)
Before the Change: Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause (this is the one that helped me so much when I was in my late thirties and having perimenopausal symptoms – with the zinc, vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil )
The Fat Flush Plan (this is one of many her classic weight loss books)
Here is her gift: a 50-Page Report on Parasites – Still the Greatest Masqueraders of All Time
If you are not already registered for the Anxiety Summit you can get live access to the speakers of the day here: www.theAnxietySummit.com
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