Curcumin – Nature’s Antidepressant

Curcumin is the most biologically active ingredient found in the herb, turmeric, which is part of the ginger family. Grandpa and sonUsed for centuries in Indian cooking, this potent phytochemical (plant chemical) has been identified as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid (inhibits abnormal protein deposits – like brain plaque), anti-tumor (causes apoptosis or cell death in cancerous cells) and enhances immune system function by increasing the production of glutathione.

If that wasn’t enough – there’s more!

A recent study published in Psychopharmacology on curcumin found that it behaves like a natural antidepressant by increasing serotonin as well as dopamine levels.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is often treated with antidepressants to balance MAO’s (monoamine oxidase enzymes). A safe and natural compound like curcumin could be a very welcome option for many.

Unfortunately, most natural forms of curcumin are not very bioavailable. By the time they pass from the stomach into the small intestine for absorption the active ingredient is quite degraded and has lost its potency. However, a naturally-occurring and patented form of curcumin has been developed called BCM-95®, which delivers six times more bioactive curcumin into the blood than typical curcumin.

Curcumin Extreme contains this optimal type of pharmacologically bioactive curcumin known as BCM-95® in a unique synergistic formula.

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published study results recommending that vitamin D3 be used in conjunction with curcumin to prevent Alzheimer’s and cellular damage/destruction to brain cells caused by free radicals through oxidative stress.

According to Dr. Milan Fiala, study author and a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, “We hope that vitamin D3 and curcumin, both naturally occurring nutrients, may offer new preventive and treatment possibilities for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 is a drinkable, highly bioavailable and active form of D3. Using Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 along with Curcumin Extreme™ would be an excellent response to Dr. Fiala’s suggestion.

New video on Vitamin D shows profound impact on Breast Cancer

This newly aired video shows a striking correlation between breast cancer and vitamin D.

A March 2009 article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine explored the dramatic decrease of vitamin D in the overall population from 2001 to 2004. Seventy five percent of adults have insufficient levels of vitamin D. In addition, a significant number of teenagers, young children, and even 40% of infants have been found to be seriously low as well. Inadequate levels of vitamin D have also been measured in 50-80% of pregnant women, even though over 90% of those tested were using a prenatal vitamin.

Supplementation and dietary changes are advised to increase blood serum levels of vitamin D rather than more sun exposure according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

A study of Hawaiian skateboarders (who tended not to use sunscreen) validated this recommendation. Even in this group, 51% had significantly low levels of vitamin D. This is noteworthy considering that just 30 minutes of sunlight on the skin produces approximately 10,000 iu’s of vitamin D in the body.

Healthy adults utilized about 4000 iu’s of vitamin D daily. The Vitamin D Council suggests that supplementing with up to 10,000 iu’s daily of vitamin D3 is very safe for most people.

The bottom line conclusion is: “Current recommendations for vitamin D supplementation are inadequate to address the growing epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency.” – 2009 March, Archive of Internal Medicine

Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2 provides 5000 iu’s of cholecalciferol (a bioavailable form of vitamin D3) plus 45 mcg of vitamin K2 in a drinkable isotonic form.

The Power of Isotonic Formulas Compared to Tablets

In 2009 a group of researchers in Italy conducted a study to see if an isotonic formula of a known highly effective Tablets vs liquidsantioxidant behaved differently on the body compared to the same antioxidant in tablet form.

Isotonix OPC-3® is a powdered antioxidant blend that when mixed with the appropriate amount of water becomes “isotonic“.  Isotonic means “same concentration” and is an ideal ratio between solid and liquids that our bodies convert what we ingest into before it can pass into the small intestine.

The four hour test compared Isotonix OPC-3® in a tablet form to Isotonix OPC-3® in its standard isotonic form.  The amount of water that was consumed with the tablet was equal to the amount of water used in the isotonic version.

Results of the test were startling. Levels of free radicals were measured in the blood plasma of test subjects.  The isotonic OPC-3® reduced free radicals six times more in just 10 minutes compared to the tablet version. The tablet form did eventually reduce free radicals substantially as well, but seriously lagged behind the isotonic form thorough out the four hour test .

Researchers concluded that “the findings demonstrate that the flavonoid mixture provided in isotonic OPC-3® is significantly more bio-available in humans, in terms of antioxidant activity than an equivalent mixture in tablet form.”  Overall the isotonic OPC-3® formulation resulted in a stronger antioxidative effect than an equivalent tablet form.

The results of this test highlight the importance of leveraging the advantage of isotonic formulas for established nutritional supplements like: Isotonix® Coenzyme Q10, Isotonix® Resveratrol, ORAC formulas, Isotonix® Vitamin D with K2, Isotonix® Calcium Plus, B Complex, Vitamin C, Acai, Probiotics, Isotonix® OPC-3 Beauty Blend, Multivitamins, Isotonix® Prenatal Multivitamin, Children’s vitamins, Digestive Enzymes, L-Tryptophan, Blood SugarVision formulas, Anti-aging and Joint Health Formulas. Reducing the amount of work the body needs to do in order to receive the nutritional benefits of these products provides significant “bottom line” results.

Do you have Serotonin Deficiency Syndrome?

If you’ve wondered whether an emotional behavior may be rooted more in chemistry than physiology, you may be right.  Serotonin has a powerful effect on our feelings and physical behavior. When serotonin levels are adequate we feel safe, happy, content, satiated, and have great impulse control.  Serotonin deficiency syndrome is when levels are low enough to cause or exacerbate the following:

These behaviors and emotional states are not necessarily produced by a physical dysfunction in the brain. Instead, it may be based on a biochemical condition that can be traced back to the brain’s serotonin neural circuits which are hampered due to inadequate amounts of serotonin in the nerve pathways. A serotonin precursor called l-tryptophan (or tryptophan) can restore these biochemical transmissions to the serotonin neural receptors. L-Tryptophan supplementation is a safe and natural way of increasing low serotonin levels.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lift your mood and get great sleep naturally

happy-couple3Millions suffer from depression and feelings of sadness along with difficulty falling asleep.  Incorporating a simple, natural amino acid like L-tryptophan may be just the ticket to an elevated mood and peaceful sleep!

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which promotes seratonin and, in turn, melatonin balance.  A common myth is that tryptophan is what causes sleepiness after eating turkey on Thanksgiving.  The actual cause of fatigue is the body’s demand for increased blood flow to the digestive system to handle all the excess calories.  Eating any type of large meal can cause sleepiness.

Tryptophan triggers seratonin and melatonin production.  Seratonin is the “feel good” hormone which enhances mood and produces feelings of happiness.  Melatonin regulates sleep cycles which are often out of order in many people’s hectic lives.  Proper amounts of melatonin encourages natural sleep patterns.

Between 1982 and 2005 the FDA banned all forms of tryptophan due to contamination concerns.  The only exception was a trademarked form of l-tryptophan known as Tryptopure®. Tryptopure is 99-100% pure and safe.

A study done in 2002 by the College of Medicine in South Korea found that seratonin and melatonin also reduce oxidative stress in the brain.

Unlike many over-the-counter and prescription mood enhancers and sleep aides, l-tryptophan can be used long term quite safely and produces no negative side effects.

Isotonix® L-Tryptophan is made from Tryptopure® and synergistically combines vitamin C, B-3 and B-6 improving the metabolism of this amino acid.  Genuine isotonic formulas are extremely bio-available and 95% absorbed unlike capsules, tablets and liquid supplements.

What makes Curcumin Extreme unique?

I’ve posted several articles on the health benefits of curcumin, the powerful antioxidant found in the spice turmeric.  The product that my husband and I take is Curcumin Extreme™ from SHOP.COM (powered by Market America).  So what makes Curcumin Extreme™ different from other curcumin products on the market?

BCM-95®

One of the issues with curcumin is that it is not very bioavailable, which means that your body can’t readily absorb it.  Studies have shown that we can only absorb a small amount of curcumin when ingested.  However, a special formulation called BCM-95® by DolCas Biotech has been shown in clinical studies to be over 6 times more bioavailable than regular curcumin.  BCM-95® contains the natural spectrum of the turmeric rhizome and is 100% natural.

(Additional information on BCM-95 is available at www.bcm95.com)

Broccoli Seed Extract

Curcumin Extreme™ also includes 167mg of broccoli seed extract, a powerful source of sulphoraphane glucosinolates. Sulforaphanes support the normal production of Phase II liver detoxification enzymes including glutathione synthase, heme-oxygenase and catalase. Sulforaphanes also support gene transcription, the process by which genetic information is copied from DNA to RNA. They also support the body’s natural defense systems. Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the human body which serves to preserve and protect the brain and other body tissues by protecting them from the damage of free radicals. Furthermore, glutathione recycles vitamins C and E which are also powerful antioxidants.

Related research:  Immunomodulatory activity of sulforaphane, a naturally occuring isothiocyanate from broccoli (Brassica oleracea). Phytomedicine vol. 14: 538-545, 2006.

Selenium

Selenium is a required cofactor for selenoproteins such as glutathione peroxidase. Selenomethionine is incorporated directly into proteins because selenomethionine cannot be distinguished from methionine during the translation of mRNA into protein. This serves as a storage form of selenium and is liberated upon protein catabolism. Selenium accumulates in the prostate, promoting the health of the prostate. Selenium supports immune function by promoting normal growth and development of T helper cells.

Related research:  Selenium, selenoproteins and human health: a review. Public Health Nutrition vol. 4: 593-599, 2001