Mood Disorders and Natural Medicine

depression & anxietyThe information presented here is taken from a talk given by Lee Carroll, BSc, BHSc (WHM), Medical Herbalist MNHAA, in Kerry Bone’s Essentials, Part 2, Understanding Nervous System Function on October 2, 2014.

Major Depressive Disorder has significant impact on people’s lives and their loved ones.  Anxiety disorders are common psychiatric disorders and have a high likelihood to accompany a major depressive disorder leading to grave suffering.  Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. For introductory information, see Depression and Nutrition.

It is hypothesized that there is a lack of trophic support in specific regions of the brain with these disorders, specifically brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), Neurotrophin (NT), and Neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) from the work of JD Gray, TA Milner and McEwen, Neuroscience, 201 -June 2, pages 214-227.

Neurotrophins are important regulators of neuronal and non-neuronal cell survival, growth, differentiation, and synaptic plasticity.  The role of BDNF in major depressive disorder has received the most attention.  It has been found that BDNF is decreased in the serum (blood) of patients with major depressive disorder. (Villanueva, R, 201, Neural Plasticity, Vol 201, article ID 7 27)

We know that chronic stress causes pathological effects in the brain in the areas of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala.  In prolonged stress, the hippocampus is reduced in size, reduced in the number of new neurons produced and  reduced in the dendritic length and branching.  This affects cognition, emotion and memory formation.  (Saaltink DJ, Vreugdenhill E, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 2014 71:24 -2515)

Second, we also know that inflammation plays a role in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder.  Research shows that high inflammatory factors (IL-) in children can predict incidence of depression and likelihood of psychotic experience.  (Khandaker GM, Pearson RM, Zammit S, etal, JAMA Psychiatry, 2014,vol: 10,001/jamapsychiatry, 2014, 1  2)  PCC (protein carbony content) is a measure of oxidative stress.  Depressive patients showed a higher IL-4, IL- and PCC values than healthy controls. (Spanemberg L, Caldlerano MD, Vares EA, etal, 2014, Biological differences between melancholic and nonmelancholic depression subtyped by the CORE measure. Neuropscychiatric Dis Treat. 10:152 – 1)

Thirdly, we know that gut flora plays a role in major depressive disorder and anxiety.  Patients with major depressive disorder had significantly elevated TLR-4 and TLR-4 RNA, NF-Кβ, and gram negative bacteria intestinal translocation.  (Kaeri S, Szabó C, Kelemen O, Brain Behavior Immunology, 2014 Aug; 40:2 5-4)

upset manWhat that means for you is a very nice natural protocol that covers all the aspects mentioned above.  Namely, Kava Forte, Nevaton, Ginkgo Forte, Rhodiola & Ginseng Complex, Adrenal Complex, Echinacea Premium and Gut Flora Complex all from Mediherb.

In a crossover study done in 2009 with 60 subjects, Kava was found to be superior to a placebo in enhancing mood.  In a double-blind trial with 75 participants, Kava was found to significantly support mood compared to the placebo group.  Kava calms the nerves, eases the effect of everyday tension and stress, promotes relaxation and sleep and supports the relief of muscular tension.

Nevaton is MediHerb’s main product for general nervous system support.  It nourishes and strengthens the nervous system, while providing a mild relaxant effect.  It also has adaptogenic properties which help to minimize the effects of stress on the nervous system.  It provides liver support and aids in the elimination of toxins.  Nevaton calms the nerves and restores balance in temporary mood swings, it supports healthy nervous system response, it supports healthy digestive function, encourages balance between the body and mind, eases the effects of occasional stress and provides support and maintenance of the liver.

Gingko Forte helps support memory and cognition, promotes alertness and mental clarity, helps support healthy mental function, supports good health in older adults, supports and maintains healthy tissue fluid levels, including in the legs and supports a healthy cardiovascular system.  One often unrecognized effect of Ginkgo is that it can positively affect mood, psychological function and stress levels.  Ginkgo extract at 120 mg/day for 3 months significantly supported plasma cortisol levels during the stress caused by the glucose tolerance test in healthy volunteers. (Kudolo GB, Clinical Chem 2007; 53 (6, suppl S); A186)

Rhodiola & Ginseng Complex is used to enhance mental clarity and support cognitive function, promote vitality and stamina, help maintain proper energy and support physical endurance, maintain feeling of general well-being when experiencing temporary stress, helps the body adapt to the changes of every day life, support and maintain the body as it ages, supports the body’s natural defenses against emotional and environmental stressors.

Adrenal Complex restores adrenal function to reduce the effects of stress on the body, supports adrenal gland health and energy production to help combat fatigue, helps the body adapt t o the challenges of every day life, promotes the body’s normal resistance function and supports a healthy immune system when experiencing occasional stress.  There are some cautions and contraindication associated with Adrenal Complex so be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you are interested in this product.

Echinacea Premium supports the immune system.  It is known to enhance immune system function, support and promote healthy white blood cells, support healthy immune system response following stress, sudden changes in weather or temperature, encourage healthy upper respiratory tissue, support and maintains healthy throat tissue, support healthy lymphatic system function, stimulate the body’s normal tissue support and renewal function.

Gut Flora Complex supports the intestinal system.  It is known to cleanse and promote health in the lower gastrointestinal tract, encourage a healthy intestinal environment to help maintain proper intestinal flora, support healthy immune system response and promote vitality and stamina.

Lifestyle factors such as having a purpose, regular exercise, positivity and connection with other individuals also play significant roles in staying emotionally healthy.  Avoiding potential food allergies such as gluten, dairy, soy and corn reduces inflammation.  Getting adequate sleep is also a major component of healthy mood.

Healthy Life Solutions sponsor these blog articles to provide health care information .  Health related information provided here is not a substitute of medical advice.  Healthy Life Solutions nor Christine Alejandro have not evaluated the legal status of any products, services or recommendations with respect to state or federal laws, including scope of practice.  Healthy Life Solutions and Christine Alejandro do not and cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions or for any consequences from applications of the information provided and makes no warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the information provided.  It is always best to consult with your own health care professional.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.  Theses products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.

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About Christine

Christine works with people who are tired of not feeling their best, who are ready for a change and want to achieve optimal health. Christine uses the unique combination of being a psychotherapist and a nutritionist to bring health and wellness into her clients' lives holistically. She utilizes the principles of The Vital Health Formula™, modern assessment techniques, and the latest research from science, spirituality and psychology to create breakthrough systems that result in her clients' success.

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