Naturally Relieve Stress and Anxiety with Ashwagandha, GABA and L-Theanine

naturally-relieve-stress

If you haven’t been directly impacted by illness or unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s likely the panic and uncertainty accompanying worldwide shutdowns during these unprecedented times have left you feeling uneasy. No matter the source, dose, or duration, stress has been scientifically proven to reduce all aspects of immunity, leaving the body vulnerable to infection and an overall lower quality of life. While immune-boosting supplements like vitamin C can help ward off infection, it doesn’t address the most common root of lowered immunity: Stress.

Are there other supplements that can assist us in combating chronic stress and anxiety? Here are three dependable, natural supplements that can help you cope in turbulent times.

1. Ashwagandha

Withania somnifera, the scientific name for ashwagandha, is an adaptogenic nightshade cultivated in the dry regions of India and surrounding countries, and it is best known as an Āyurvedic staple due to its wide range of medicinal applications. Āyurveda is one of the oldest, whole-body healing systems. It’s East Indian origins date back to 3300 BCE, with classical texts offering remedies for age-old ailments, like anxiety, that are still being used today in modern and alternative medicine.

How does ashwagandha relieve stress and anxiety? Ashwagandha has GABA-mimicking properties that help form dendrites, the extensions on nerve cells that receive electrical neuron signals between cell bodies. In short, it helps your nerve cells communicate more effectively by being able to receive information. Healthy neuronal communication greatly influences our behavior by balancing dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter that affects mood.

Ashwagandha directly reduces stress by reducing the stress hormone, cortisol. A 2012 double-blind, placebo-controlled study noted significantly lowered cortisol in the ashwagandha group and concluded, “a high-concentration full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance toward stress.” There were also significantly lowered Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) scores and Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) scores at the completion of 60 days of treatment with 300 mg ashwagandha root, compared to the placebo group.

Optimized Ashwagandha is the highest-concentration root extract on the world market today, using a first-of-its-kind extraction process, void of alcohol and chemical solvents. With 14 years of development and product refinement, Ixoreal Biomed created KSM-66® Ashwagandha, which has been clinically proven to reduce stress and anxiety.

Dosage For stress and anxiety, 250-500 mg extract is recommended to boost neurotransmitters and your mood. Each capsule of Optimized Ashwagandha has 500 mg Ashwagandha (Root) KSM-66®.

Contraindications Ashwagandha should not be used during pregnancy or while nursing.

Side Effects Ashwagandha has no known side effects and been granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

2. GABA

Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid naturally produced by our bodies that works as a neurotransmitter. It is the nervous system’s main inhibitory chemical messenger, contributing to functions like vision, motor control, and anxiety regulation.

How does GABA relieve stress and anxiety? With stress, anxiety and fear, messages in our brain can become overactive. GABA works to inhibit certain brain signals that cause over-firing. As hyperactivity in the nervous system decreases, a calming effect is felt and anxiety is reduced, lending to better coping of stressful events. One study showed a reduction in EEG (electrical brain activity), including alpha and beta band brain waves, after taking a 100-mg GABA supplement previous to performing a mental task. “That is to say, that GABA might have alleviated the stress induced by the mental tasks.”

With most studies on GABA being on a small and short-term scale; larger, long-term studies are needed to get a full scope of how GABA supplements offer stress and anxiety-reducing health benefits. While there may not be many direct studies on supplemental GABA, ashwagandha and l-theanine studies seem to show GABA producing activity in the brain that leads to a similar state of calm.

GABA (750 mg):

  • Quiets the brain by calming neurotransmitter overactivity
  • Helps alleviate stress by inhibiting nerve cells from over firing
  • Keeps stress-related messages from reaching motor centers of the brain

Dosage Each capsule has 750 mg of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) and it is recommended to take 1 capsule 1 to 2 times daily as needed, preferably with juice or water on an empty stomach.

Contraindications If you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or breastfeeding, consult your healthcare professional before using this product.

3. L-Theanine Calm-Plex

L-theanine is another amino acid, except instead of being produced naturally by the body, it is most commonly found in tea leaves, both black and green.

How does L-theanine relieve stress and anxiety? L-theanine soothes our bodies of stress in two major ways.

  1. It resembles glutamate, the body’s #1 excitatory neurotransmitter, however L-theanine produces the opposite effect when it binds to glutamate receptors. It actually blocks excitatory stimuli at the reception site and produces an inhibitory effect by stimulating GABA, thereby decreasing anxiety.
  2. L-theanine also works to reduce stress by directly boosting alpha brain waves, giving alert relaxation similar to a deep meditation. This relaxation effect differs from other natural anti-anxiety supplements, such as valerian root, that promote sleep by causing drowsiness.

L-Theanine Calm-Plex is a unique formula that combines L-theanine, GABA and 5-HTP to support mood and promote alert relaxation. The addition of 5-HTP adds a boost to serotonin levels, which plays a key role in healthy cognitive function. The Suntheanine® brand has 46 international patents and is the purest form of L-theanine available on the market, promoting relaxation and relief of:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • PMS in women

Dosage While there are no general safety dosage guidelines for L-theanine, there have been no reports of overdosing or side effects. One study found 200 mg has been shown to increase alpha wave brain activity within 30-40 minutes.

Contraindications Consult your doctor if taking prescription medication. Do not administer L-Theanine to infants. This product should not be taken with prescription antidepressants, weight control drugs, or other serotonin modifying agents.

Drug Interactions While some lab and animal studies have determined L-theanine reduces the side effects and boosts efficiency of chemotherapy drugs, the component epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) reduces activity of the chemotherapy drug Bortezomib.

In Summary

While stress can be unavoidable as we go up and down the roller coaster of life, there are lifestyle choices we can make and supplemental aids that help to stabilize how we feel and react to ever-changing events. Ashwagandha, GABA and L-theanine may offer you the sense of relief and calmness you’ve been needing to enjoy the ride.


Jenny-MenzelJenny Menzel is a Certified Health Coach and branding specialist for various alternative healthcare practices, and volunteers her design skills to the annual grassroots campaign, the Lyme Disease Challenge. Jenny was diagnosed with Lyme in 2010 after 8 years of undiagnosed chronic pain and fatigue, and continues to improve by employing multiple alternative therapies, including Āyurveda, Chinese Medicine and Bee Venom Therapy.


How To Recover From Sore Muscles

Sore-Muscles

Everyone gets sore muscles from time to time. Whether you’re a competitive athlete, a weekend warrior or just simply amble about — at some point you want to know how to recover from sore muscles!

Sore muscles are a frequent side effect for people who participate in athletic competition and train regularly. They often face two big post-performance problems: sore, achy muscles and swollen, stiff joints. Beyond the pain and discomfort, sore muscles and achy joints can interfere with the next training session and make everyday activities a struggle. In time, they can lead to chronic aches and pains.

The typical advice given to recover from sore muscles is to cool down after a workout, get a massage, and use heating pads and ice packs. Some innovative approaches include eating mushrooms for their anti-inflammatory properties that may be effective in reducing some muscle soreness.

Yes, reducing inflammation is the key in muscle and joint recovery, but there are two supplements far more effective at doing that than mushrooms: Curcumin and Pomegranate; particularly, the fusion of two very special forms of these compounds…

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How Hydroxytyrosol Protects Against Heart Disease and Other Ailments

Hydroxytyrosol

Perhaps you’ve never heard of it, but you have experienced hydroxytyrosol, because it’s in the fruit and leaf of the olive, and is the main phenolic compounds of olive oil. And that’s a good thing, given that hydroxytyrosol protects against cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

This is the finding of a very thorough 2014 study on hydroxytyrosol led by Cristina Vilaplana-Pérez PhD. The study also examined hydroxytyrosol’s potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and the ability of hydroxytyrosol to protect against low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the so-called bad” cholesterol) [1] .

Let’s take a look at how hydroxytyrosol protects you from some of the most common and feared chronic diseases, and what food and supplements contain it.

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Ten Remarkable Health Benefits of Melatonin

Benefits-Melatonin

You may think that the benefits of melatonin only have to do with helping you to sleep. Although it’s true that melatonin can encourage sleep and improve its quality, realize that sleeping better has a cascade effect that can improve your overall health. Regular, restorative sleep is essential to reduce stress, improve our immune defenses, fight cardiovascular disease and much more.

Examine.com, the supplement research website, reports the many benefits of melatonin, including general neuroprotective effects from the powerful antioxidants contained in melatonin. It also has several anti-cancer properties, says Examine.com, and is currently being investigated for its role in fighting breast cancer. Moreover, though melatonin does not appear to have much of an effect on lean mass or body fat, it may stop your body from gaining more fat. Melatonin supplementation also benefits eye health, possibly reduces tinnitus, and improve mood.

There are many melatonin brands you can pick from, and they come in various forms. You can get tablets or capsules that you swallow, sublingual tablets you let dissolve under your tongue, and a relatively new delivery method – a liposomal spray.

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The Energy-boosting NAD Supplement You Need For Vital Health

NAD-Supplement

The research results keep pouring in that attest to the anti-aging benefits of a NAD supplement that helps your cells produce more energy, and delay the detrimental effects of aging. The latest is a study published on June 13th in the journal Cell Metabolism, which has identified a novel approach to boosting a certain protein enzyme that helps cells make energy.

I’m going to tell you about this research in a moment, but first I’ll tell you right up front that the NAD supplement that conferred certain anti-aging benefits is NNM, short for Nicotinamide Mononucleotide, a derivative of niacin.

NAD is also an acronym, which stands for Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, a molecule found in every cell in the body. NAD is used to power metabolism by enabling the mitochondria – the ‘power stations’ of the cell –  to convert the food we eat into the energy our body needs to sustain all its functions. As reported on ProHealth Longevity, restoring NAD levels to youthful levels with NMN supplementation can reverse many of the symptoms of chronic disease and aging and maintain cellular energy at youthful levels.

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Bulletproof Your Mitochondria Function With MitoQ

MitoQ

All living things are made up of cells, the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism. And all cells are powered by an organelle inside them called mitochondria, the so-called “energy factory”.

Without functional mitochondria you would die within a few minutes, says David Wynick, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Bristol. This is because these free-floating, bean-shaped organelles that live in almost every cell of our body generate more than 90% of the energy needed by our bodies to sustain life and promote growth.

I’m going to tell you more about how essential robust mitochondria function is to your health and vitality – especially if you seek to extend your healthspan – but first let’s get right to the point of this article…

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7 Phosphatidylcholine Benefits That Can Improve Your Long-term Health

Phosphatidylcholine-Benefits

Before pinpointing how phosphatidylcholine benefits your long-term health, I want to express the importance of finding solutions to health care issues that go to the root of any particular problem. One of the greatest frustrations we experience from our healthcare system is the focus on treating symptoms instead of causes.

If you’re diagnosed you with high blood sugar, instead of working with you to reduce body weight and eat fewer processed carbs, your doctor prescribes a drug that forces your liver to release less sugar into your blood and make your body respond better to insulin. Whatever caused the high blood sugar is not addressed.

If you’re diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol, instead of working with you to eat less saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, your doctor prescribes a drug that forces the liver to reduce its production of cholesterol. Whatever caused the high LDL is not addressed.

I’m not really blaming doctors. They don’t get paid to take the time to try to help patients reinvent their lifestyles. Typically, they get paid to diagnose and prescribe drugs to suppress the symptoms that without regard to whatever created them in the first place.

Where all this is leading it to the proposition that you’re a lot better off if you can find interventions that focus on the root causes that produced the unwanted symptoms. This applies to your nutritional supplements; namely, Phosphatidylcholine.

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NMN Supplements Review: Which Brand Is Best For You

NMN-Supplements-Review

With so many NMN supplement brands being created to meet the demand for this potent NAD+ precursor, I thought it was high time to collect some data and create an “NMN Supplements Review” that compares different brands for dosage, purity and price.

Go straight to the NMN Supplements Review »

Over the past few years, research on NAD+ and its precursors, NMN and NR, have given longevity scientists hope that an effective cellular rejuvenator had been discovered. To give you an appreciation for why these scientists are so optimistic, I will:

  • Briefly review the science;
  • Speak to why we need to keep NAD+ levels up as we age, particularly via NMN; and
  • List NMN supplement brands are available to you.

NAD+, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a coenzyme found in all living cells. Two critical functions enabled by NAD+ make life possible…

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Nine Ashwagandha Health Benefits for A Long and Healthy Life

Ashwagandha-Health-Benefits

Yes, it’s hard to pronounce, and I still must check my spelling when I type “Ashwagandha”, but surely this is one herb you’ll want to know about and try out, because there are at least nine Ashwagandha health benefits that can improve your health and help you in your quest to live a long and healthy life.

Whether you’re stressed, need a testosterone boost, want to better control your blood sugar or cholesterol, or reduce inflammation – Ashwagandha just might be the best single herb you can consume, particularly the KSM-66® enhanced version.

Some Ashwagandha Background

In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” but it doesn’t, not to my nose. The horse reference was used because in traditional cultures the herb was thought to impart the vigor and strength of a stallion, and it has thus been traditionally prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness.

Ashwagandha belongs to the same family as the tomato, the “nightshades”. It’s a plump shrub with oval leaves and yellow flowers that produce a red fruit about the size of a raisin. The herb is native to the dry regions of India, northern Africa, and the Middle East, but today is also grown in mild climates, including in the United States. When growing in the ground, Ashwagandha (also called “Withania Somnifera”) looks like this…

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7 Big Reasons Your Body Needs Liposomal Glutathione for Long-term Health

Liposomal-Glutathione

If you’re over 30 years old and had to choose just one supplement to take, it would be wise to consider liposomal glutathione. Glutathione is one of the best all-around supplements to keep up with the biochemical stress of being alive, and the liposomal form (or in some cases, the S-acetyl form) is the most bioavailable, as it enables your body to absorb what you take.

The reason glutathione should be a first-choice contender is because it’s the body’s main endogenous antioxidant. Often referred to as the “master detoxifier,” glutathione is responsible for excreting multiple metal toxins like mercury, different mold toxins pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals and alcohol metabolites.

Your immune system depends on glutathione. When you run down on glutathione, which we all do as we age (see below), you lose the ability to effectively fight infections, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation and much more, as I’ll cover here in a moment.

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