The Connection Between Methylfolate and Depression

Methylfolate-prohealth

There may be many reasons as to why someone experiences depression. In recent years, however, several studies have attempted to shed some light on the connection between reduced serum levels of folate, an essential B-vitamin that helps the body make DNA and divide cells, and depression.

But merely popping a folic acid pill or eating more folate-rich foods may not be the answer to improving your depression symptoms. That’s because there’s a more bioavailable form of folate, known as methylfolate, which may hold the key to correcting folate imbalances – helping you take the next steps to improve your mental well-being.

  • One study showed that patients who used methylfolate to assist with depression symptoms self-reported improvements in work, home, and social functioning.
  • Research also demonstrates that using methylfolate, in conjunction with prescription antidepressants, can increase the effectiveness of medications.
  • Research suggests methylfolate exerts antidepressant effects, though its role as a stand-alone therapy requires further evaluation.

Based on clinical research, supplementation with methylfolate may help control, manage, and keep depression symptoms at bay. Read on to learn how Quatrefolic, a leading brand of methylfolate, may ensure you absorb and get the supply of methylfolate you need to feel your best.

An Overview of Methylfolate

Most people have heard of folic acid – in fact, conventional bread, pasta, and cereal are fortified with it. Folic acid is a poorly-metabolized, synthetic form of the B-vitamin. In order for the body to utilize folic acid, the body has to break it down into a bioactive, chemical compound known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). That’s a mouthful, to say the least!

For this conversion to take place, the body requires an enzyme, called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). MTHFR aids in a multi-step process of providing you with a form of folate your body can put to use for a range of functions, including DNA production, neurotransmitter creation, cardiovascular health, hormone development, maintaining the health of the cells and liver, and supporting mother and child during pregnancy.

But a portion of the population has genetic variants, which may inhibit their ability to sufficiently produce MTHFR, and therein lies the problem. If your body can’t produce MTHFR, it can’t break down folic acid. Certain bodily functions may suffer, and conditions like depression can develop.

Furthermore, studies show that folate deficiency has also been linked to certain types of cancer, heart disease, strokes, preterm births, congenital heart defects, and other birth defects, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Signs of Folate Deficiency

Several things can lead to a deficiency in folate. In addition to the genetic component that may make getting adequate amounts of folate difficult, other factors, including a diet lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, bowel diseases like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, certain medications, heavy alcohol use, and more can contribute to insufficient levels of folate. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with a folate deficiency are as follows:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Lack of folate while pregnant can lead to neural tube defects like spina bifida
  • Depression

What is Quatrefolic?

Quatrefolic is a brand of methylfolate that is easy for the body to assimilate and metabolize when compared to its ill-absorbed, human-synthesized counterpart, folic acid. Additionally, Quatrefolic passes through the gut, wheres it’s absorbed by the small intestine to maximize the uptake of the essential vitamin. Quatrefolic has enhanced stability, bioavailability, solubility, and delivery over previous generations of folate supplements.

Why Choose Quatrefolic?

  • The Quatrefolic brand of methylfolate is available without a prescription.
  • It comes in professional strength dosages (5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg) at a fraction of the cost of a hefty, prescription price tag.
  • Quatrefolic has undergone rigorous testing to ensure safety and consistency of the product.
  • It’s manufactured following strict quality control procedures.
  • The chemical stability of the product remains intact at both room and refrigerated temperatures.
  • It has received the distinction of being “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) and can be added as a naturally-occurring source of folate in both conventional and medical food.
  • It’s available in easy-to-swallow capsules; you can also open the capsule and use a portion of it.
  • Quatrefolic is a superb option for vegetarians because it’s animal and shellfish-free.

What Dosages are Available for Purchase?

Quatrefolic is available in doses that are comparable to those of prescription brands – minus the high price. It comes in 5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg capsules.

Other Considerations

Promising studies are on the horizon for the ways in which methylfolate may help people with depression. Overall, the current body of research associated with methylfolate indicates it may play a key role in reducing depression symptoms, as well as preventing strokes, and reducing the risks of some forms of cancer. (remove from email version)

When purchasing methylfolate, you’ll find no shortage of companies making big claims. But few products come close to the quality and potency of Quatrefolic. If you’re looking for a natural way to boost your intake of bioavailable folate, consider Quatrefolic for superior results.

Sources:

Folate. National Institutes of Health website. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-Consumer/

Martone G. Enhancement of recovery from mental illness with l-methylfolate supplementation. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. 2018 Apr; 54(2): 331-334. DOI: 10.1111/ppc.12227

Shelton RC, Sloan Manning J, Barrentine LW, Tipa EV. Assessing Effects of l-Methylfolate in Depression Management: Results of a Real-World Patient Experience Trial. The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders. 2013;15(4). DOI: 10.4088/PCC.13m01520

Restore Your Health with Bone Broth

pro-health-bone-broth-85450

The old is new again! And just as before it promises better quality of life and overall health for everyone.

Bone broth has become popular (again) both for its health benefits and in fine dining too. For dining, it adds flavor and character to food with the bonus of being full of valuable nutrients. These nutrients make it nutritious, but they also improve digestion, support the immune system, provide relief for sore muscles and achy joints, and restore and maintain overall health.

But bone broth isn’t new. It goes back eons to when people first started cooking. It’s been a staple of the human diet ever since then. This is likely why it’s so popular with those who follow a paleo-diet today.

The reality is, bone broth belongs in every diet. The way it promotes overall health and well-being makes it invaluable to promote a great quality of life and healthy aging. In this article, we’ll take a look at what bone broth is, what are its benefits, and how to get and use it for maximum benefit, especially for anyone with sore, achy joints or health issues related to a leaky gut.

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is made by boiling and slow simmering connective tissue and bones stripped of their meat with herbs, seasonings and vegetables for anywhere from 6 to 18 hours. The bones and tissue typically come from chicken, fish or livestock such as cow or lamb. It remains an important part of the diet for people around the world and a secret to delicious meals, especially for fine dining – just under another name.

The term “bone broth” is more accurately called stock.[i] You’ve probably seen stock next to broths in stores. Stock is made from bones whereas broth is made from meat which gives broth its thinner consistency. The thicker consistency of stock – bone broth – comes from the collagen that the long simmering draws from the joints and bones. Collagen is just one of the many nutrients that makes bone broth a health food.

Why Bone Broth is Good for You

Bone broth supplies a unique nutrient profile not found in other foods. It contains collagen and more importantly, the amino acids proline and glycine. These amino acids make up collagen, the primary structural protein of connective tissue in the joints.

Your body uses proline and glycine to repair joint tissue and muscle when it gets damaged. Yet, these two amino acids are not considered “essential” by experts since the human body can make them on its own. What’s interesting is that research shows if you remove proline from your diet, its levels decrease by 20% or more.[ii]

A 2003 article by the Weston A. Price Foundation noted some in the health and medical community believe amino acids like proline and glycine should be considered “conditional” amino acids. This means that although the body produces them, it cannot make enough to meet all its needs.[iii]

Another possibly “conditional” amino acid in bone broth is glutamine. It plays a vital role in some of the body’s most important functions such as energy production and protein synthesis. Glutamine also supports a healthy digestive system. As an amino acid, glutamine is an important component of glutamate, an amino acid that is:

  • Essential for an active metabolism,
  • Needed by the nervous system,
  • Vital to muscle function, and
  • An important neurotransmitter in the brain.

Bone broth is also an excellent source of essential minerals calcium, magnesium, sulfur and silicon. The importance of the first two is well known. Calcium supports strong healthy bones, metabolism and energy, and hormone function.[iv] Magnesium is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions that support the heart, blood pressure, blood sugar management, digestion and nerve health.[v]

Sulfur and silicon haven’t received the same amount of attention, despite their importance.

Sulfur – It is the third most abundant mineral in the human body. Sulfur is essential in the building of glutathione, the body’s primary antioxidant for detoxing and removing waste and toxins. It’s also an important mineral for joints as a building block for chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, nutrients which have become popular supplements for joint health and the repair and rebuilding of cartilage.

Not surprisingly, sulfur deficiency has been linked to sore muscles and joint pain. Taking sulfur has been useful as a therapy for fibromyalgia, healing from injury and more.[vi] Bone broth offers a high quality (and less expensive) source of sulfur, as well as the joint-healthy compounds glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

Silicon – Also called silica, it’s a mineral known for its role in computers, ie., “Silicon Valley,” but people also need it to build and maintain strong bones and connective tissue, especially collagen. Researchers have found the greater one’s dietary intake of silicon, the stronger their bones and the healthier their joints.[vii]

How to Get the Best Bone Broth

Fresh bone broth can be easily made. Look for “soup” bones from organically raised chicken, fish or livestock. A butcher is a good source of bones like these. Assemble vegetables, herbs and seasonings. There are plenty of recipes online you can follow. Of course, you’ll need at least six hours and up to 16 to make it.

Now, if you don’t have 16 hours to spend slow simmering bone broth, you can still enjoy its benefits. For bone broth without the work, you can take a bone broth supplement like any of the three Organic Bone Broth Proteins listed below. You’ll save time and still get the benefits.

Plus, some supplements combine additional herbs to enhance the primary benefits of bone broth.

Pure Organic Bone Broth Protein

The chicken base used for this bone broth makes it ideal as general support for overall health. And research shows that “chicken soup” offers special immune-boosting effects:

  • In 2000, a highly publicized study released by University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers showed that chicken soup did in fact help ease the symptoms of colds and illness.[viii]
  • A study of patients suffering from the Influenza A virus found carnosine, an amino acid in chicken, reduced inflammation and help fight the infection.[ix]

As a bone broth, it also provides the following benefits:

Keeps Skin Healthy and Younger-looking

Collagen is a vital component of skin. It keeps it firm, toned and slows the appearance of wrinkles. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of women ages 35-55, those who took collagen hydrolysate enjoyed significantly greater skin elasticity at the end of 8 weeks, especially the older women in the group.[x]

Boosts Metabolism

Glycine is essential for production of glutathione, the body’s main antioxidant needed to protect cells, metabolize nutrients and maintain DNA synthesis, cell replication and immune response.[xi] It prompts the release of stomach acid which improves digestion and nutrient availability. Glycine also helps convert glucose into energy in the muscles and improves insulin response.[xii]

Although the body produces glycine on its own, levels drop when amino acid consumption declines. Bone broth supplies amino acids, prompting the body to boost production and drive metabolism.[xiii]

Supports the Immune System and Reduces Inflammation

The way bone broth protects the intestines and the joints reduces inflammation throughout the body. This calms the immune system and encourages a healthy response to inflammation and infection.

Improves Digestive Health

Researchers have found patients with irritable bowels have lower levels of collagen.[xiv] Consuming gelatin has been shown to reduce inflammation in the intestines and ease a symptom of these irritable bowels.[xv] But the benefits of bone broth don’t end there. Glutamine has been shown to protect the lining of the gut and preserve the mucus layer which prevents irritation, improves digestion and nutrient absorption – all of which have long-term positive impacts on health and quality of living.[xvi]

Bone Broth Soothes Joint Pain

Gelatin contains proline, an amino acid required for the repair and rebuilding of cartilage. In 2008, a 24-week study tested collagen hydrolysate (a powdered form of gelatin) as a way to address joint pain in athletes. Those who took the collagen had less joint pain and recovered faster.[xvii]

A recent Spanish trial tested collagen hydrolysate, chondroitin, and glucosamine – all found in bone broth – in a six-month study of patients suffering from chronic joint aches and pains. The patients reported significant reductions in pain and stiffness with an improvement in overall function.[xviii]

A review of studies of glucosamine between 2003 and 2016 further recommends it for relief of joint pain.[xix] One 2017 study found chondroitin sulfate as effective as a prescription drug.[xx]

How to Use Pure Organic Bone Broth Protein: Take it daily as an excellent way to support and promote overall health and healthy aging. Always follow serving instructions and consult with a physician before starting any new supplement, especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

 

Copywriter Peter Rufa writes for a wide range of clients but specializes in health. He has written for doctors, supplement providers, healthcare, medical, and fitness organizations and businesses throughout the United States.

References

[i] https://www.bonappetit.com/story/difference-between-bone-broth-and-stock

[ii] Jaksic, T & Wagner, David & R Young, V. (1990). Plasma proline kinetics and concentrations in young men in response to dietary proline deprivation. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 52. 307-12. 10.1093/ajcn/52.2.307.

[iii] https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essential-roles-for-proline-glycine-and-gelatin/

[iv] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/

[v] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

[vi] Parcell S1. Sulfur in human nutrition and applications in medicine. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Feb;7(1):22-44.

[vii] JUGDAOHSINGH R. SILICON AND BONE HEALTHThe journal of nutrition, health & aging. 2007;11(2):99-110.

[viii] Rennard, Barbara O. et al. Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro. CHEST , Volume 118 , Issue 4 , 1150 – 1157.

[ix] Babizhayev MA1, Deyev AI. Management of the virulent influenza virus infection by oral formulation of nonhydrolized carnosine and isopeptide of carnosine attenuating proinflammatory cytokine-induced nitric oxide production. Am J Ther. 2012 Jan;19(1):e25-47. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e3181dcf589.

[x] Proksch E1, et al. Oral supplementation of specific collagen peptides has beneficial effects on human skin physiology: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(1):47-55. doi: 10.1159/000351376. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

[xi] Wu G1, et al. Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health. J Nutr. 2004 Mar;134(3):489-92.

[xii] Mohammed El-Hafidi, Martha Franco, Angélica Ruiz Ramírez, et al., “Glycine Increases Insulin Sensitivity and Glutathione Biosynthesis and Protects against Oxidative Stress in a Model of Sucrose-Induced Insulin Resistance,” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2018, Article ID 2101562, 12 pages, 2018.

[xiii] Yu YM, et al. Quantitative aspects of glycine and alanine nitrogen metabolism in postabsorptive young men: effects of level of nitrogen and dispensable amino acid intake. J Nutr. 1985 Mar;115(3):399-410.

[xiv] Koutroubakis IE, Petinaki E, Dimoulios P, et al. Serum laminin and collagen IV in inflammatory bowel disease. Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2003;56(11):817-820.

[xv] Frasca G, Cardile V, Puglia C, Bonina C, Bonina F. Gelatin tannate reduces the proinflammatory effects of lipopolysaccharide in human intestinal epithelial cells. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology. 2012;5:61-67. doi:10.2147/CEG.S28792.

[xvi] van der Hulst RR1, et la. Glutamine and the preservation of gut integrity. Lancet. 1993 May 29;341(8857):1363-5.

[xvii] Clark KL1, et al. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908X291967 . Epub 2008 Apr 15.

[xviii] Puigdellivol J1, et al. Effectiveness of a Dietary Supplement Containing Hydrolyzed Collagen, Chondroitin Sulfate, and Glucosamine in Pain Reduction and Functional Capacity in Osteoarthritis Patients. J Diet Suppl. 2018 Apr 27:1-11. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2018.1461726. [Epub ahead of print]

[xix] Ogata T, et al. Effects of glucosamine in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Rheumatol. 2018 Apr 30. doi: 10.1007/s10067-018-4106-2. [Epub ahead of print]

[xx] Torjesen Ingrid. Chondroitin sulfate seems as effective for knee osteoarthritis as widely used celecoxib BMJ 2017; 357 :j2515

Ease Pain and Support Joint Health with Bone Broth

Joint-Health-Bone-Broth-84007

The old is new again! And just as before it promises better quality of life and overall health for everyone.

Bone broth has become popular (again) both for its health benefits and in fine dining too. For dining, it adds flavor and character to food with the bonus of being full of valuable nutrients. These nutrients make it nutritious, but they also improve digestion, support the immune system, provide relief for sore muscles and achy joints, and restore and maintain overall health.

But bone broth isn’t new. It goes back eons to when people first started cooking. It’s been a staple of the human diet ever since then. This is likely why it’s so popular with those who follow a paleo-diet today.

The reality is, bone broth belongs in every diet. The way it promotes overall health and well-being makes it invaluable to promote a great quality of life and healthy aging. In this article, we’ll take a look at what bone broth is, what are its benefits, and how to get and use it for maximum benefit, especially for anyone with sore, achy joints or health issues related to a leaky gut.

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is made by boiling and slow simmering connective tissue and bones stripped of their meat with herbs, seasonings and vegetables for anywhere from 6 to 18 hours. The bones and tissue typically come from chicken, fish or livestock such as cow or lamb. It remains an important part of the diet for people around the world and a secret to delicious meals, especially for fine dining – just under another name.

The term “bone broth” is more accurately called stocki.  You’ve probably seen stock next to broths in stores. Stock is made from bones whereas broth is made from meat which gives broth its thinner consistency. The thicker consistency of stock – bone broth – comes from the collagen that the long simmering draws from the joints and bones. Collagen is just one of the many nutrients that makes bone broth a health food.

Organic Bone Broth for Joint and Muscle Support

Anyone who experiences muscle soreness and swollen, achy joints might find greater benefit from a bone broth formulated specifically to address joint and muscle pain. Organic Bone Broth for Joint and Muscle Support features organic bone broth and the nutrients which support joint and muscle tissue, combined with three herbs known to help reduce inflammation. These are:

1. Ashwagandha Root – As an adaptogen, this popular Ayurvedic herb supports the body in a variety of ways. One way it works is to reduce inflammation.ii  Researchers have identified several compounds that specifically target inflammation that affects the joints and are responsible for chronic pain.iii

In one animal study, ashwagandha helped to regulate the immune system to decrease auto-immune response; researchers also noted an increase in glutathione levels in the treated animals, improving the body’s natural antioxidant response.iv  Another study reported that ashwagandha specifically protected collagen from breakdown.v

2. Organic Turmeric – Even though turmeric captured popular attention for its anti-inflammatory properties years ago, enthusiasm for its ability to ease joint pain hasn’t waned. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has shown a great deal of promise in the treatment of joint and muscle inflammation.

  • In 2012, a study of 45 patients suffering from chronic joint pain reported those who took curcumin experienced greater relief than those in the placebo group.vi
  • Curcumin has also been shown to reduce muscle pain and inflammation.vii
  • A recent study reports a blend of curcumin with Boswellia brought significant relief to patients ages 40-70 suffering from osteoarthritis.viii

3. Wokvel (Boswellia Serrata) – Commonly known as Frankincense, Boswellia serrata has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine for joint health. Modern research supports its anti-inflammatory properties, especially in the treatment and protection of jointsix.  WokVel® is an extract developed by Verdure Life Sciences to ensure the maximum availability of the nutrients to support its effect.

How to Use Organic Bone Broth for Joint and Muscle Support: Take daily. A natural chocolate flavor gives it a pleasant taste when mixed with water, milk or your preferred beverage. Always follow serving instructions and consult with a physician before starting any new supplement, especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.



References:

[i] https://www.bonappetit.com/story/difference-between-bone-broth-and-stock

[ii] Agarwal R1, et al. Studies on immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) extracts in experimental immune inflammation. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Oct;67(1):27-35.

[iii] Zaka M1, et al. Comparative in silico analyses of Cannabis sativa, Prunella vulgaris and Withania somnifera compounds elucidating the medicinal properties against rheumatoid arthritis. J Mol Graph Model. 2017 Jun;74:296-304. doi: 10.1016/j.jmgm.2017.04.013. Epub 2017 Apr 19.

[iv] Khan MA, et al. Effect of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) root extract on amelioration of oxidative stress and autoantibodies production in collagen-induced arthritic rats. J Complement Integr Med. 2015 Jun;12(2):117-25. doi: 10.1515/jcim-2014-0075.

[v] Ganesan K1, et al. Protective effect of Withania somnifera and Cardiospermum halicacabum extracts against collagenolytic degradation of collagen. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2011 Oct;165(3-4):1075-91. doi: 10.1007/s12010-011-9326-8. Epub 2011 Jul 26.

[vi] Chandran B1, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

[vii] Tanabe Y, Maeda S, Akazawa N, et al. Attenuation of indirect markers of eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage by curcumin. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 2015;115(9):1949-1957. doi:10.1007/s00421-015-3170-4.

[viii] Haroyan A, Mukuchyan V, Mkrtchyan N, et al. Efficacy and safety of curcumin and its combination with boswellic acid in osteoarthritis: a comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018;18:7. doi:10.1186/s12906-017-2062-z.

[ix] Cameron M, Chrubasik S. Oral herbal therapies for treating osteoarthritis. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2014;5:CD002947. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002947.pub2.

Night Sweats – No Sweat!

night-sweats-no-sweat-80309

by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D.

Part One

Are you waking up during the night in a sweat?

It’s no fun, and trying to fall back asleep when your bedclothes, sheets, and pillowcase are wet can be a challenge. The good news? Night sweats are optional. More good news? When you treat their underlying causes, you’re going to feel much better overall!

There are 4 key causes of night sweats:

  1. Deficiencies of reproductive hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
  2. Infections, such as candida.
  3. Drops in blood sugar from inadequate adrenal function.
  4. Nighttime acid reflux.

This four-part series will take a look at all of these and how to address them. Don’t be surprised if more than one underlying process is contributing.

A helpful tip for all of these? Sweating is controlled by our hypothalamic autonomic control center. This can be stabilized using a special herb called Black Cohosh. Research has shown that the only brand that is effective is Remifemin (by Enzymatic Therapy). Take two twice a day and give it two months to work, so you can sleep dry and comfortably. It also helps the daytime sweats. Then the dose can often be lowered.

In this first article, let’s look at reproductive hormone deficiencies.

Optimizing Reproductive Hormones

In Women

Ever wonder what each of these hormones do?

Inadequate estrogen will result in poor sleep, sweats, brain fog, vaginal dryness and depression.

Inadequate progesterone will result in anxiety and poor sleep.

Inadequate testosterone, even in women, will result in weakness, loss of libido, and pain.

The problem? Most doctors will not diagnose estrogen or progesterone deficiency until your menses stop, or the blood tests become overtly abnormal. Unfortunately, estrogen and progesterone deficiency have already been present for 5 – 12 years before these occur.

Have you had a hysterectomy or tubal ligation? Hysterectomy can trigger estrogen and progesterone deficiency about 1 – 2 years afterward. Even if you’re only 20 years old! Most doctors are not familiar with this old research by Philip Sarrel, emeritus professor in the Yale Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and presume that if the ovaries are left then there is no problem.

This is simply not the case. Especially in younger women, where suddenly being thrown into menopause can trigger major problems, including fibromyalgia. Sadly, I find hysterectomies to be more frequent in young women with a childhood history of sexual abuse. It seems almost as if the psyche is trying to do a “clean sweep. ” Other techniques to deal with the trauma such as EFT (emotional Freedom technique) can be very helpful.

How to tell if you need bioidentical estrogen support

Instead of relying on the blood tests I find one single question to be most helpful. “Are your sleep or fibromyalgia symptoms worse the week around your menses?” If the sleep, brain fog, pain, and fatigue are worse around your menses, when your estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, this suggests that deficiencies of these hormones are contributing to your symptoms and a trial of bioidentical estrogen and progesterone are warranted. This can be used just around your menses, or even throughout the month depending on which leaves you feeling the best.

If you simply are having irritability around your menses (at any age), this suggests low progesterone, and I will give the prescription Prometrium 100 mg 1 capsule once or twice daily (although I will go higher if needed) around the menses, adjusting the dose as feels the best. Alternatively, a compounded progesterone cream can be used, with 30 – 60 mg a day being optimal for most women. This can do wonders for PMS, anxiety, and sleep, and a low dose may be used through the rest of the month as well.

For woman suffering refractory migraines mostly during ovulation and around the menses, this is often being triggered by shifts in estrogen and progesterone. In these cases I will use just the estrogen patches plus Prometrium during these periods to prevent migraines.

Some doctors will not give progesterone to women who had a hysterectomy, because they think the progesterone is only needed to prevent uterine cancer from estrogen treatment. This simply is not so. Progesterone is a critical hormone for sleep and maintaining a calm mood. So I do recommend it as part of hormone replacement even if a woman has had a hysterectomy.

If testosterone levels are in the lowest one third of the normal range, adding testosterone can be very helpful.

Over 70% of women with fibromyalgia, as well as those in menopause, are in the lowest 30th percentile for testosterone. Using bioidentical testosterone by prescription (one half – 5 mg daily) has been shown to not only improve function, but also will decrease fibromyalgia pain. This was shown in a study on women with fibromyalgia done by Prof. Hilary White at Dartmouth University. It can also help improve libido. In one study we did, when we asked women with fibromyalgia how the libido was, the answer 73% of the time was “what libido?”

For treatment, I only use bioidentical hormones and not the synthetics. The bioidenticals are very healthy and the synthetics are quite toxic. Most often I will use the compounded mixes that contain BiEst, progesterone, and testosterone. These will need to be prescribed by a holistic physician. Alternatively, the standard estrogen patches (0.1 mg) and Prometrium (100 – 200 mg daily) are both bioidentical and can be obtained at irregular pharmacy (often insurance covered). Unfortunately, this does not supply the testosterone.

The overall research is suggesting that these bioidentical hormones are very healthy, actually being associated with a lower risk of breast cancer. It was the toxic synthetics that caused the problems.

In women who prefer not to use hormones, eating a handful of edamame each day around their menses can also be helpful, as can the black cohosh. Use only the Remifemin, brand. This is the only form shown to be effective in research studies.

Treating Testosterone Deficiency in Men

inadequate testosterone levels in men, even if the blood levels are “normal”. “Normal” simply means that you are not in the lowest 2% of the population, often including 80 year old men, which is an absurd way to define the normal range for younger man. Low testosterone often causes night sweats. It also can trigger erectile dysfunction, low libido, diabetes with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol (called metabolic syndrome), weight gain with a “spare tire” around your middle, and a generalized poor mood and decrease in motivation.

Studies show that using bioidentical testosterone (not to be confused with the toxic chemicals bodybuilders sometimes use) helps bring down blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol while helping many of the other symptoms. It also seems to be associated with improved overall health and longer life.

I do not recommend testosterone shots or synthetic testosterone. Instead, in men over 55 who are no longer looking to have more children, I use compounded testosterone cream, switching over to the subcutaneous pallets if convenient and if they feel better on it. The cream should be put on different locations each day or the skin may him stop absorbing the cream over time.

In men under 55, I preferred to begin by giving the prescription medicine clomiphene, which stimulates the body’s own production of testosterone. I have them take half of a 50 mg tablet each night, and repeat the testosterone level the morning after the seventh dose. If it is over 550 ng/dl, then the clomiphene by itself is often adequate and I will leave them on one half tablet a night or every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night.

For those with difficulty with elevated blood sugars, a wonderful new herb called hintonia latiflora (sold as Sucontral D) can be very helpful, lowering average glycosylated hemoglobin’s by almost 1%. I am so impressed with it, I wrote a book on it!

If you have diabetes or prediabetes, I invite you to read my newest book “Diabetes Is Optional.” It can be found on Amazon.

If so, here are the things to look at:

  1. drops in blood sugar. For those of you who find yourself getting “Hangry” (irritable when hungry) during the day, this suggests adrenal fatigue. If you have this, you may also be dropping your blood sugar in the middle of the night, which will leave you waking wide-awake. A simple solution? Eat a 1 – 2 ounce protein snack at bedtime, such as a hard-boiled egg, or some meat or fish. This will maintain steady blood sugars while you’re sleeping. Don’t do a sugar or carbohydrate snack as this will make it worse.Meanwhile, if you have this you may find that your relationship is suffering from the mood shifts caused by drops of blood sugar during the day. Taking a supplement for adrenal support called Adrenaplex each morning can eliminate this, and is much cheaper than marriage counseling or a divorce attorney!
  2. Waking with a sweat? If you have acid reflux, the stomach acid coming up during the night can wake you with sweats. You can decrease this by adding half a teaspoon of Arm and Hammer baking soda to 4 ounces of water and drinking right before bedtime. This neutralizes stomach acid for four hours. Rinse with a few sips of water and swallow after you drink it.If you are over 45 years old, and sleep and night sweats are worse around your menses, you may be developing perimenopause with low estrogen and progesterone. This occurs 5 to 12 years before your blood tests become abnormal and your periods stop. Use a bioidentical vaginal estrogen and progesterone cream from a holistic doctor to take care of this. Some testosterone can be added to the cream to help libido as well.
  3. Night sweats. This can come from a number of problems. In fibromyalgia, I find that the most common ones are hormonal deficiencies (estrogen and testosterone), and infections (especially Candida). We have discussed how to treat these in earlier articles.

Another common cause is night time acid reflux. Although you may sometimes notice the heartburn when you wake up, other times you won’t and you’ll just wake up in a sweat after inhaling the stomach acid. This is especially likely to be a problem if you have daytime indigestion as well. After three weeks doing the below, you may find your daytime heartburn starts to settle down as well.

A. Start by taking an acid blocker such as Prilosec or Nexium an hour before bedtime for three to four nights. If this helps, you’ve identified the problem. Stop the acid blocker, as it is quite addictive and toxic when used long-term. Instead follow the instructions below.
Though it’s a bad idea to keep your stomach acid “turned off” during the day (you need it to digest food), you don’t need stomach acid at bedtime while sleeping. So here are a few tips:

B. Bicarbonate of soda. Take 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda (e.g., Arm and Hammer) in 4 oz of water at bedtime to neutralize the acid in your stomach (not for children under 16 years old).

C. Don’t eat within two hours before bedtime and take 2 caps of a plant based digestive enzyme an hour before sleep. This will ensure your stomach is empty when you sleep.

D. Sleep with your upper body elevated. Raise your upper body at least 6-8 inches when in bed (just raising your head with pillows won’t work). One way to do this is to place a 6-8″ brick or phone book under the legs of the bed (just the two legs by the end of the bed where your head is). Another wonderful solution is to use a sleep wedge pillow (you can find one online at www.Hammacher.com.

E- Melatonin. Take 5-6 mg at bedtime. This decreases reflux

F- Immediate Heartburn Relief chewable antacids. Keep a few at bedside to take if needed.

The Fibromyalgia and Glutathione Link

The-Fibromyalgia-and-Glutathione-Link-prohealth-80294

By Peter Rufa

Your body may hold the answer to many of today’s most mysterious health problems.

For decades scientists and researchers have sought for these answers in drugs, herbs, and a variety of innovative therapies. But what they were looking for may have been inside every cell in every human being the whole time. This may be especially true for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.

That answer is a simple molecule called glutathione. You’re probably familiar with it. Frankly, it’s not a new discovery; scientists have known about it for over a century. Yet, what is new could lead to a revolution in human health.

This revolution will be led by s-acetyl-glutathione, a new bioavailable form of glutathione. This molecule could rejuvenate the body at the cellular level and spell relief (or better) and healthier living for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. Quite honestly, it could transform health for everyone else on the planet by addressing the root causes of disease and slowing aging.

S-acetyl-glutathione could be a veritable “fountain of youth.” This has everything to do with the glutathione inside every cell of your body.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is the human body’s primary antioxidant. Some medical professionals have called it “the master antioxidant.” It consists of three primary amino acids – cysteine, glycine and glutamine – and its powerful antioxidant action comes from sulfur chemical groups. It exists in every cell in the human body with its biggest concentrations in the liver and kidneys. The human body typically recycles glutathione. When it doesn’t, that’s when problems develop.

What does Glutathione do?

As an antioxidant, glutathione protects the body, especially the liver, from free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) created by activities like toxin removal, natural hormone breakdown and cellular chemical reactions that create ROS by-products. This activity protects cells, mitochondria and DNA from damage. Glutathione is also essential for a strong immune system to prevent infection, illness and disease.

Glutathione is not like other antioxidants. Where most antioxidants neutralize free radicals and ROS, they rely on a glutathione-dependent detox process to remove the toxins from the body. This is done through a three-step process (simplified here):

  1. Toxins are identified and metabolized into a form the body can more easily handle.
  2. In this phase called “glutathione conjugation,” glutathione binds to metabolites, making them water-soluble and preventing them from spreading and damaging other tissue.
  3. Glutathione-related enzymes complete the breakdown and excretion of the toxins via the liver or kidneys.

At the end of the process, the body recycles glutathione and uses it to recycle other antioxidants like vitamins C and E.

Why is Glutathione important?

In every moment of our lives, our bodies’ produce or are exposed to vast amounts of free radicals. Glutathione protects us from the damage these free radicals would cause.

  • It protects mitochondria from the free radicals produced by the making and breaking of chemical bonds.
  • It protects the liver from free radicals produced by the enzymatic reactions that break down food, hormones or any of the more than 300
    metabolic processes the liver performs.
  • It neutralizes free radicals and damaged cells due to exposure to heavy metals, xenoestrogens and other environmental or dietary toxins.

Glutathione’s importance to mitochondrial function cannot be understated. Mitochondria are the location of energy production in the body. The more you have, the more energy you have and the better each cell works. When mitochondria breakdown, cells produce less energy and don’t work well. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to a host of diseases including metabolic disorders, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, neurologic disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome and even aging.i

As the body’s detoxifier, the liver needs abundant glutathione. When the body’s toxic load gets too high, glutathione can’t keep up and neither can the liver. The problem compounds as the liver is the site of glutathione recycling, which drops when the liver is overwhelmed. A downward spiral follows.

This decline in liver function has ramifications throughout the entire body. Digestion may suffer due to a lack of needed enzymes. Hormones may become imbalanced. Toxins may build up in the tissue as the body looks for places to store them to ease the burden on the liver.

Glutathione and Fibromyalgia

The exact cause of fibromyalgia remains a mystery to researchers. Yet, studies have found correlations between glutathione levels, mitochondrial dysfunction and fibromyalgia.

  • One study reported individuals with fibromyalgia have significantly lower levels of glutathione when compared to healthy controls.ii
  • Researchers see evidence between oxidative stress and corresponding mitochondrial dysfunction in patients with fibromyalgia.iii
  • Individuals with fibromyalgia show lower antioxidant levels.iv

Based on the research, antioxidant supplementation might help. However, without enough glutathione to complete the full detoxification process, the additional antioxidants may only offer temporary support. To make matters worse, glutathione levels typically drop as we age.

Glutathione supplementation would seem to be the answer. That however has been problematic.

The Problem with Glutathione Supplementation

Glutathione’s composition has been a problem for oral supplementation. Comprised of three amino acids – cysteine, glycine and glutamine – early glutathione supplements metabolized quickly during digestion, never reaching the blood stream. The answer for years has been to eat foods rich in building block nutrients or supplement with n-acetyl-cysteine or milk thistle. Of course, while indirect supplementation may help, the body may use the nutrients in any number of ways.

For years this has been the problem of glutathione supplementation. And it’s why s-acetyl-glutathione may revolutionize health for fibromyalgia patients, and everyone else in the world too.

What is S-acetyl-glutathione?

This alternative form of reduced glutathione features an acetyl group that protects it from the usual breakdown and enables it to survive digestion and be absorbed into the blood stream. The acetyl group also makes it possible for the glutathione to pass into the cell where it is needed most. The addition of an acid resistant capsule by supplement manufacturers improves its bioavailability.

Early research showed that s-acetyl-glutathione increases the amount of glutathione in cells.v Additional studies indicate it has a positive effect on oxidative stress.

By boosting glutathione levels, S-acetyl-glutathione promises to:

  • Support toxin removal
  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Improve liver health and efficiency
  • Enhance the immune system
  • And even protect cells from aging

As those with fibromyalgia commonly have low levels of glutathione, s-acetyl-glutathione may offer a new and innovative approach to provide relief, or perhaps even better outcomes.

Considerations:

Although s-acetyl-glutathione contains essential nutrients recognized by the body, women who are pregnant should always consult with a physician before taking any new supplement. If you have any questions, you should always consult with your physician or primary healthcare provider.

References

i Nicolson GL. Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Chronic Disease: Treatment With Natural Supplements. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. 2014;13(4):35-43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566449/

ii Sendur OF1, et al. Serum antioxidants and nitric oxide levels in fibromyalgia: a controlled study. Rheumatol Int. 2009 Apr;29(6):629-33. doi: 10.1007/s00296-008-0738-x. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

iii Cordero MD1, et al. Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in fibromyalgia. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2010;31(2):169-73.

iv La Rubia M1, Rus A, Molina F, Del Moral ML. Is fibromyalgia-related oxidative stress implicated in the decline of physical and mental health status? Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2013 Nov-Dec;31(6 Suppl 79):S121-7. Epub 2013 Dec 16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24373370

v Okun JG1, et al. S-Acetylglutathione normalizes intracellular glutathione content in cultured fibroblasts from patients with glutathione synthetase deficiency. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2004;27(6):783-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15617191