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imagesDr Carrie Decker ND, reviews these common conditions and explores strategies and treatments.

Supporting patients who experience anxiety, depression, insomnia often is a long arduous task for both the patient and provider. Although these conditions have standard labels, there often are many changing factors as contributors, never mind that supplements which have been introduced also can change the playing field. With the information that is now available with genetic assessment, specific nutrient supplementation or nutrient forms such as methylated folate or methylcobalamin are more thoughtfully directed at supporting the biological pathways which impact neurotransmitter balance and symptoms such as these. Even though these nutrients may help facilitate enzymatic function and neurotransmitter metabolism, it still is worthwhile to consider other aspects of physiology which may be dysfunctional in these clinical settings, and how supplemental therapies may be directed at addressing them.

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Would you pay £300 for a simple bottle of fermented, salted fish sauce? The ancient Romans once did—it was known as Garum.1  Archaeologists have discovered Garum factories in ancient Spain, Portugal and Northern Africa. Southeast Asian cooking is renowned for its distinctive, nutritious fish sauces. Modern science suggests there is a reason—beyond flavour—that certain fish

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Anxiety; A Naturopathic Perspective

Monday, 03 December 2012 by

Dr. Todd Born ND reviews some of the botanical, lifestyle and nutritional approaches available to manage anxiety.

Picture the world in 2050. A demographic shift towards older age that began generations ago will have reached its peak, and 2 billion individuals will be aged 60 and older. In the United States and much of Europe, one in three persons will be in this old-age demographic (compared with one in five today). It is increasingly clear that the common mental disorders of emotion—anxiety disorders and unipolar depression—are a terrible scourge across the lifespan: they not only induce significant misery and suffering for the patient and his/her whole family, but with increasing age they become increasingly deleterious to health and cognition, even increasing mortality risk in older adults. Given such deleterious effects, understanding the common mental disorders in this large and growing demographic would seem to be a practical question of some importance. Anxiety is a ubiquitous experience amplified during lifespan, rooted in genetic determinants that evolved over millennia to complement the natural desire to survive in an unknown world. However, these triggers are frequently exceeding a level that exceeds easy compensation and adaption.

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L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves. Previous studies of dietary supplements of L-theanine have suggested a therapeutic benefit in reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and improving the quality of sleep.

Akiko Higashiyama, from University of Shiga Prefecture (Japan), and colleagues have found that daily L-theanine supplementation at 200 mg/day helps people with anxiety to focus on their daily activities.  The researchers recruited 18 healthy University students and assessed their anxiety levels using a standardised rating scale.  Student with high anxiety were put in one group, while students with minimal anxiety were put in another group. Both groups received water or water plus 200 mg of L-theanine per 100 ml of water. [1]

cover-mediumUse of benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drugs (like Valium) reached epidemic proportions two decades ago, the use of which was enshrined in the Rolling Stones song ‘Mothers Little Helper’. While long-term side effects have led to a significant decrease in use in recent times, modern benzodiazepine derivatives are still widely prescribed.

Drugs vs. Nutrients
Although nutritional approaches to anxiety have not seen much use by the medical profession, consumers have obtained some degree of anxiolytic relief through the use of such OTC items as B-complex vitamins, magnesium, GABA, and herbs like valerian.

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