Some Good News about Depression and Anti-oxidants!

We've all heard how much money Americans spend on anti-depressants every year, and how much of them wind up in our water supply.

What a boon to the Earth and to humanity for a natural, non-toxic substance to be found just as effective in the treatment of this condition.  The fantastic news is that we may have stumbled on just such a discovery.

It thrills me that the very foods and anti-oxidants we've been talking about here for months are the very same ones that can help re-balance brain chemistry and address the very real symptoms of depression.

After my mother's onset of dementia, I became clinically depressed.  She lived with us, and my children were 10 and 1 at the time.  I worked full-time, so the lovely nanny we hired to care for my 1-year-old watched mom for a few hours, and my sister would come take her for a couple of hours.

Her situation worsened, so that it became a full-time job keeping track of what she was doing.  More than once she would unlock the baby-proofed cabinets and give my 1-year-old spray bottles to play with... glass cleaner, bleach, 409, you name it.  A couple of times he'd run around the house clutching something he found on the floor, and it would be one of her blood thinners that she dropped.  It was also a time when my marriage was a little strained. The stress caused my depression.

I was put on Wellbutrin, which messed with my brain in very unhealthy ways. I couldn't think clearly, I could no longer multitask or plan meals or appointments for the next few days. I got off the meds and tried St. John's Wort. My MD said it was not safe for my son to have Mom live with us, and was causing me too much stress, so my older sister who worked part time and whose children were much older, converted her garage to an apartment for Mom.

Based on my experience I would not recommend prescription drugs to anyone, unless they had exhausted other methods of treatment.

Below is some very good news!

Antioxidants as antidepressants: fact or fiction?

Scapagnini G, Davinelli S, Drago F, De Lorenzo A, Oriani G. 2012, Jun 1st

Source : Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy.

Depression is a medical condition with a complex biological pattern of aetiology, involving genetic and epigenetic factors, along with different environmental stressors. Recent evidence suggests that oxidative stress processes might play a relevant role in the pathogenic mechanism(s) underlying many major psychiatric disorders, including depression.

medicines-1756239_1280.jpg

Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species have been shown to modulate levels and activity of noradrenaline (norepinephrine), serotonin, dopamine and glutamate, the principal neurotransmitters involved in the neurobiology of depression. Major depression has been associated with lowered concentrations of several endogenous antioxidant compounds, such as vitamin E, zinc and coenzyme Q10, or enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase, and with an impairment of the total antioxidant status.

Additionally, curcumin, the yellow pigment of curry, has been shown to strongly interfere with neuronal redox homeostasis in the CNS and to possess antidepressant activity in various animal models of depression, also thanks to its ability to inhibit monoamine oxidases.

There is an urgent need to develop better tolerated and more effective treatments for depressive disorders and several antioxidant treatments appear promising and deserve further study.

~ Hooray! 

Gluta-what??

"It's the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease --

yet you've probably never heard of it. It's the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer's disease. There are more than 89,000 medical articles about it -- but your doctor doesn't know how address the epidemic deficiency of this critical life-giving molecule ...

What is it? I'm talking about the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE (pronounced "gloota-thigh-own").

The highest concentration of glutathione is found in the liver, making it critically important in the detoxification and elimination of free radicals. Accumulation of these dangerous compounds can result in oxidative stress, which occurs when the generation of free radicals in the body exceeds the body’s ability to neutralize and eliminate them. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds created in the body during normal metabolic functions; they can also enter the body through the environment.

 

How Should Glutathione Be Taken?

 Unfortunately the BEST way to get supplemental glutathione into our system is through intravenous therapy.

Glutathione is probably not well absorbed into the body when taken by mouth.  A more practical solution is to take the precursors -- that is, the molecules the body needs to make glutathione -- rather than glutathione itself. While there is no solid proof this works, the consensus among experts is that doing so will increase the amount of glutathione in the cells.

Note: Glutathione was the main ingredient in the immune system boosting 'cocktail' I was given daily at the Immune Clinic I've mentioned in earlier blogs, in Orange County.

   "The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.

    This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.

   At first I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness -- and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health and performance. "  from Dr. Mark Hyman's blog .. read more here.

Another Source:

 Glutathione: New Supplement on the Block

July 30, 2001 -- Who wouldn't like to get their hands on a naturally occurring substance that acts as an antioxidant, an immune system booster, and a detoxifier? Something that can help your body repair damage caused by stress, pollution, radiation, infection, drugs, poor diet, aging, injury, trauma, and burns?

 A handful of researchers are saying the antioxidant glutathione can do all that and maybe more. But can you believe such sweeping claims? What's the evidence to back them up? Here are what three experts have to say:

 Gustavo Bounous, MD, is director of research and development at Immunotec and a retired professor of surgery at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. "It's the [body's] most important antioxidant because it's within the cell."

 Antioxidants -- the most well-known of which are vitamins C and E -- are important for good health because they neutralize free radicals, which can build up in cells and cause damage.

 Glutathione occurs naturally in many foods, and people who eat well probably have enough in their diets, says Dean Jones, PhD, professor of biochemistry and director of nutritional health sciences at Emory University in Atlanta. Those with diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables and freshly prepared meats are most likely just fine. On the other hand, those with poor diets may get too little.

 What Does Glutathione Do?

 The strong antioxidant effect of glutathione helps keep cells running smoothly. Bounous and another glutathione expert, Jeremy Appleton, ND, say it also helps the liver remove chemicals that are foreign to the body, such as drugs and pollutants.

 Appleton is Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore., and senior science editor for Healthnotes, a database on complementary and alternative medicine available at newspaper stands and health food stores.

 "If you look in a hospital situation at people who have cancer, AIDS, or other very serious disease, almost invariably they are depleted in glutathione," says Appleton. "The reasons for this are not completely understood, but we do know that glutathione is extremely important for maintaining intracellular health."

 Since Glutathione is not well absorbed when taken by mouth, a solution is to take the precursors -- that is, the molecules the body needs to make glutathione -- rather than glutathione itself.  While there is no solid proof this works, the consensus among experts is that that doing so will increase the amount of glutathione in the cells.

 Bounous has developed a glutathione-enhancing product called Immunocal, which is made up of glutathione precursors, mainly the amino acid cysteine.

 Who Does Glutathione Help?

 Animal and laboratory studies have demonstrated that glutathione has the potential to fight almost any disease, particularly those associated with aging, since free radical damage is the cause of many of the diseases of old age.

 "Theoretically, there are many very strong arguments in favor of a therapeutic use of glutathione," says Appleton. "But when people have actually tried to use glutathione as an oral supplement, nasal spray, or intravenously, the results have been more of a preliminary nature. The amount of research on glutathione as a supplement ... is very limited."

 The best studies have been conducted in cancer. One study involved women with ovarian cancer who were being treated with chemotherapy. Some of the women were also treated with intravenous glutathione. Those given the glutathione not only had fewer side effects from the chemotherapy but also had better overall survival rates.

 Case Study

Myriam Abalain of Montreal, Canada, is one of the many people who have taken Bounous's Immunocal to combat cancer. In 1996, at age 33, a routine PAP smear revealed she had precancerous cells on her cervix, which is one step away from having cervical cancer. The three specialists she visited all told her that a hysterectomy was her only option, but she hesitated to have such major, life-altering surgery.

 Instead, she waited. For more than two years, her condition remained stable. Then a friend suggested she try Immunocal. After eight months of taking the supplement, her physician could no longer detect any precancerous cells. Does this mean Immunocal cured her? It's hard to say based on just one case like hers. It is possible her body went into remission naturally.

 Even Bounous acknowledges there's no real proof his product cured her cancer, but he's working on conducting good clinical research, comparing individuals with cancer taking glutathione to those who are not.

 

What Are the Risks?

 Overall, taking glutathione or its precursors in reasonable amounts appears to be quite safe, although it should be avoided in people with milk protein allergies and in those who have received an organ transplant. There is also some concern, however, about the safety of taking glutathione for the one condition for which there is the greatest evidence of its usefulness: cancer.

 "People don't get concerned about these health-promoting [supplements] until they're in their 50s and 60s," says Emory's Dean Jones. At that point, they may already have the initial precancerous [cells]. Therefore, the supplements, just like they promote health in normal tissues, might promote health in the precancerous tissue."

 Appleton recognizes this possibility but says "there's no evidence that supplementing with glutathione, even intravenously, is in any way going to make any cancer worse. In fact, the evidence we have suggests the opposite."

 Bounous says his research has demonstrated that taking Immunocal actually lowers glutathione in cancer cells while increasing it in normal cells. As a result, the cancer cells are more vulnerable to chemotherapy, and the normal cells are protected.

 The upshot? The experts disagree on who should take glutathione or its precursors. Bounous says everyone should take it in order to optimize overall health. Appleton would reserve it for people with cancer. Jones says it might only prove beneficial for those who eat poorly and are thus unlikely to be getting much glutathione or its precursors in their diet.

 They all acknowledge that people with severe diseases known to be associated with low glutathione levels, such as AIDS, may well benefit from the supplement, although there is no proof to this effect.

 For her part, Myriam Abalain is still taking Immunocal and feeling fine. "I'm doing pretty good now," she says. "I'm in better shape than ever!"

*~*~*~*~*~

 If you have any of the listed illnesses, talk to your doctor about Glutathione treatment, especially if you are in Chemotherapy.

  ~ Be Well. 

AHCC - ImmPower

ImmPower : Produced by American Biosciences of Blauvelt, NY  

A fermented extract produced from the mycelium of hybridized medicinal mushrooms grown in the extract of rice bran, AHCC been shown to significantly improve the immune system by increasing the production of the body’s “killer cells”, whose function is to destroy abnormal cells and invading organisms in the body.

Currently used in over 700 clinics throughout Asia, AHCC has gained wide acceptance due to the volume of research devoted to its applications. As the subject of over 100 research papers from the world’s leading research centers, AHCC has been studied at prestigious U.S. institutions such as the UC Davis Cancer Center, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, the Yale School of Medicine and the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, among others.

The most important factor driving the acceptance of AHCC at cancer clinics has been its impact on reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. AHCC has been shown to help reverse the suppression of immunity (that results from cytotoxic chemotherapy treatments) by significantly raising patients’ white blood cell counts, as well as contribute to the prevention of chemically induced alopecia (hair loss), the reduction of nausea and vomiting and the protection of the bone marrow (by helping prevent myelo-supression and anemia, which contribute to the patient’s fatigue). Read full article here.

Research shows provides unsurpassed support for the immune system's front-line defenses:*

  • Maintaining peak Natural Killer cell function*
  • Supporting enhanced cytokine production*
  • Promoting optimal T-cell and macrophage activity*

"Animal studies suggest that AHCC has antioxidant effects and may protect against disorders induced by oxidative stress and also enhance resistance against bacterial and viral infections.

A study of healthy subjects aged 50 years and older suggests that AHCC improves T-cell immune responses via increased production of interferon-l and tumor necrosis factor-alpha for up to 30 days after treatment. In healthy humans, AHCC increased dendritic cell number and function."

Herb-Drug Interactions:  AHCC can induce CYP450 2D6. This may decrease the activity of other drugs, like doxorubicin or ondansetron, which are substrates of this enzyme.  Read full article here.