Posts Tagged Inflammation and RLS ·Tagged aspartame

“RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME – A SCOURGE, BUT THERE ARE SOLUTIONS” by Ken Cowley. Heart Disease Miracle Blog

BikramQuote1(Editor’s Note: While researching online I found this article plugging my website http://www.rlcure.com and I’d like to share it with you).

As a contributor to this blog I’ve spoken before about my own health, nutrition and fitness thoughts and issues.

One issue I’ve had, and which I might be able to help others with is Restless Legs Syndrome. If you’ve never had it, you won’t understand it, but if you have you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say it’s a scourge. It’s not debilitating, it’s not exactly painful, it doesn’t stop you doing things, but it does/can have a big impact on quality of life.

So, what is it?

Essentially it’s a restless creeping feeling in one’s legs, particularly in the quads/thighs, and particularly at night and particularly (for me anyway) when sitting down. It’s extremely uncomfortable and I find it at it’s worst during flights or long films, or even just sitting down in my living room watching tv.

I’ve done quite a bit of research in to it, including what people usually say are the biggest triggers (caffeine, stress, poor diet, high blood pressure) and what are the solutions (medication, quinine, stretching etc.).

However, I recently came across a website with some excellent suggestions in it about RLS, and I’m happy to give it a plug here. The chap who runs the website isn’t even selling anything, he just wants to pass on his findings. Here’s the link; http://www.rlcure.com

Basically, he says that RLS is completely caused by Inflammation. Now, inflammation is a whole other subject, with a whole other list of causes and symptoms.

However, his cure, which simply involves a combination of herbs which can be purchased at any health store, DOES seem to helping me a lot, so I suggest you have a think about if, if you suffer from RLS.

Two other things that have also helped are;

Bikram Yoga, and again, that’s a whole other subject, which I’ll come back to some day.
65f064ee487967f293f01ed3d9500b3c
ProArgi9 from Synergy Worldwide. The reason I think Pro Argi helps with RLS is that it creates Nitric Oxide in the body and therefore has a big impact on circulation, blood flow (and possibly inflammation) thereby helping the legs to relax, including when seated or lying down at night time.

So, that’s my tuppence worth on Restless Legs Syndrome, a nasty little affliction, and I hope the above may be of some help to fellow sufferers!

Ken Cowley has a background in the leisure industry and sales, and wants to further explore all aspects of health, fitness and wellness and share this with friends and colleagues along the way. http://www.heartdiseasemiracle.com

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I’ve Been Banned from RLS.uk and RLS.org

ImageI created a link to my most recent post about RLS being a symptom (and not a disease) on the discussion boards at RLS.uk and RLS.org.

RLS.org deleted the posting. RLS.uk removed the posting and banned me from their community.

This brings up an issue I have with the admins of these discussion boards. They are always very pro-med and not open in the least to any sort of natural remedy.

A few years ago, the admin of the RLS.or.au community board actually said that “Sifrol was God’s gift to humankind”. The sad part is, she wasn’t kidding. She actually felt that she had found her Nirvanna.

The sad irony is that she prevented me from posting on their website because I was promoting the benefits of natural RLS remedies.

ImageJust so you know, here’s a list of possible side-effects of the wonder-drug Sifrol (Pramipexole hydrochloride).

from MyDr

feeling sick (nausea)
    vomiting
    constipation
    diarrhoea
    dry mouth
    drowsiness
    tiredness
    confusion or hallucinations (seeing, feeling or hearing things that are not there)
    restlessness
    dizziness
    headache
    light-headedness on standing up, especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position (hypotension)
    blurred vision
    swelling of hands, ankles or feet (peripheral oedema)
    uncontrollable twitching, jerking or writhing movements (dyskinesia)
    difficulty sleeping or unusual dreams
    weight gain or loss
    loss or gain of sexual drive

Some of these side effects are more common at the start of treatment and lessen or disappear with time. Tell your doctor immediately if you or your family notice any of the following side effects:

    loss of memory (amnesia)
    fainting
    signs of allergy such as rash or hives on the skin; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or   other parts of the body; wheezing or difficulty breathing
    excessive sleepiness or sudden onset of sleep during normal daily activities
    compulsive behaviour such as gambling, hypersexuality, shopping, eating, medication use and repetitive purposeless activities
    mental illness causing severe suspiciousness (paranoia)
    shortness of breath or tightness in the chest (dyspnoea)
    shortness of breath, swelling of the feet or legs due to fluid build-up (heart failure)

Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.”

ImageYIKES!

How did this person become the admin of a community that is trying to get well?

I don’t like the fact that she blocked my posts, but what bothers me even more is that she is promoting this horrendous drug to others as the best option available.

Another thing that irritates me about the overall “unwellness” of these online communities is that the admins are usually quick to say to anyone that finds some sort of relief “that’s great that you found a remedy … I hope that your success continues. Remember there are many paths and many solutions.”

ImageTRANSLATION: “Whatever you did won’t help me. There’s no sense in my even trying. My RLS is far worse than you could ever imagine. It’s a heavy cross I bear!”

What kind of support is this? It makes no sense?

This is especially true at RLS.org where they have a specific board for “Natural Remedies”, yet this board is monitored by pro-med administrators.

I contacted Georgianna Bell at RLS.org and to her credit, she got back to me right away. She said she would look into it.

I hope this issue is dealt with, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

This is a travesty for anyone looking for help.

Here’s my analogy to help put this craziness into perspective.

ImageLet’s say I’m a recovering alcoholic with several years of sobriety, now living a wonderful life.

I have my life together, I feel great, and I want to try and give back – to help others that are in a place that where I once was. A place that was dark, painful and without hope.

I visit an online community for alcoholics that are trying to stop drinking.

ImageIt turns out that most of the community is taking Antibuse (a supplement that makes you barf if you drink alcohol) as their way to stop their habitual drinking, including the moderator.

Antibuse doesn’t heal or change anything and doesn’t deal with the reason WHY you drink in the first place … all it does is make you sick when you try to drink. It’s really the definition of a “band-aid” cure.

Most of the talk on this community board is about the right amount of Antibuse to take.

So, I draw from my experience and post a comment of how going regularly to AA meetings has really helped me, as well as attending a treatment center, reading books on recovery, getting a sponsor, meditating, praying, following a proper diet etc.

The pro Antibuse moderator then either:
a) belittles my methods, and makes it clear that if this hokum worked, then I wasn’t a real alcoholic.
b) deletes the post before anyone sees it because it might corrupt their minds.

I’m sure many of you are as frustrated as I am.

Hopefully, someday, someone creates an RLS support community that allows ALL points of view, without censorship.

ADDED NOTE (Aug 15, 2013)

I’ve been allowed back onto the RLS UK discussion board (thanks to a lot of support from some of their members who protested the ban). To say I’m on thin ice there is an understatement.

Also, my post about RLS being a symptom has been put back up at RLS.org. They said that it was originally deleted by mistake. I’m also wearing out my welcome there.

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Your Restless Legs Syndrome is Not a Disease. It’s a Blessing in Disguise (PART TWO)

ImageTHE EPIDEMIC OF CHRONIC (SILENT) INFLAMMATION

Do you really in your heart of hearts think that the 40% higher than normal mortality rate of the RLS subjects in the Harvard study, is due to a low iron count? Or because they didn’t take enough potassium? Or they didn’t wear stretchy socks at night? Or didn’t fork out the dough for a magnetic belt?

No, obviously not. The deaths have NOTHING to do with twitchy legs. The deaths have EVERYTHING to do with the CHRONIC inflammation that resided within these people.

Chronic inflammation has reached EPIDEMIC proportions!

Again, I’m only going to list a few excerpts to support this. THe full article can be found at: http://www.rlcure.com/blessing.html

from “Silent Inflammation” by Dr. Barry Sears
“We often make medicine more complex than it really is. That’s because the underlying cause of chronic disease is increased inflammation. What we see as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s are not different diseases, but simply different manifestations of long-term damage caused by a continued inflammatory attack on your organs.”

from “Chronic Inflammation – The Health Epidemic You Don’t Know About” by Steve Wallach
“Chronic inflammation is often referred to as “the silent killer” because most people aren’t aware they’re inflamed until it’s too late (i.e., they suffer a heart attack or are diagnosed with disease).”

from “12 Tips for Extinguishing Disease-Causing Inflammation” by Paul Fassa
“Chronic Inflammation is a silent epidemic; a plague afflicting millions of unsuspecting Americans. It is the mother of most major chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s and many others.

Chronic inflammation is typically a silent, under the radar, asymptomatic disease – until actual tissue damage and loss of function occurs. There is no single direct test for inflammation. Instead, doctors use indirect methods by measuring blood levels of C-reactive protein, a pro-inflammatory marker and homocysteine levels.

Managing inflammation before it manifests into a recognizable disease is an important key to maintaining one’s health. Diet accounts for the majority of the benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle, and keeping inflammation in check is a major part of these benefits.”

from Natural Grocers “Inflammation: The Newest Epidemic?”
“What do heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes and arthritis all have in common? They all stem from chronic inflammation – the culprit behind almost every modern disease. Understanding the biochemical reactions behind acute versus chronic inflammation can reduce your disease risk and help you lead a more productive, fulfilled life.”

from “The New “Plague” Of Our Times: America’s Inflammation Epidemic” by James South, M.A.
“Throughout most of human history, the main threats to human life and health have been the germ diseases: smallpox, bubonic plague, tuberculosis, dysentery, influenza, typhoid fever, etc. In the developed world these diseases have been mostly eradicated over the past century, and a new set of diseases has become the main cause of debility, illness and death.

The illnesses/conditions that plague the industrialized nations include allergies, asthma, age-related frailty, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia, depression, diabetes, heart attack, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, lupus, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, periodontal disease, overweight/obesity, skin disorders, stroke and surgical complications.

Surprisingly, modern science has discovered a common denominator to all these conditions, and it isn’t germs. It is inflammation. And while germs may be considered enemy aliens who invade our bodies, inflammatory conditions are created by our own physiologic reactions. As Pogo wisely stated, ‘We have met the enemy-and it is us.'”

from Time Magazine “Health: The Fires Within” by Christine Gorman, Alice Park and Kristina Dell
“Suddenly, inflammation has become one of the hottest areas of medical research. Hardly a week goes by without the publication of yet another study uncovering a new way that chronic inflammation does harm to the body.

ImageA SHORT LIST OF INFLAMMATORY DISEASES AND CONDITIONS

Just to drive the point home, below you’ll find a list of diseases and conditions that prolonged or “chronic” inflammation can eventually manifest as. More information of each of the diseases and their relationship with inflammtion can be found here www.rlcure.com/othercond.html

Parkinson’s, Acne, Acromegaly, Aging, Alzheimer’s, Amyloidosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Anemia, Aortic Valve Stenosis, Arthritis, Asthma, Ataxia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Cancer, Celiac Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Sarcoidosis, Chronic Venous Disorder, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Cryoglobulinemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Depression, Diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction (ED), Fibromyalgia, Heart Disease, Hodgkin Disease, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Huntington’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Disease / Renal Failure, Liver Disease, Lupus, Lyme Disease, Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, Myelitis, Narcolepsy, Neuropathy, Obesity, Pancreatitis, Parkinson’s, Poliomyelitis (Polio), Pregnancy Psoriasis, Pulmonary Hypertension, Scleroderma, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Sleep Apnea, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Spinal Cord Conditions, Stroke, Tourette’s Syndrome and Tuberculosis.

ImageHaving read the above excerpts about the epidemic of chronic inflammation at the top of this page, and having looked over the diseases listed above – the most widespread diseases and conditions that exist in the world today … how could anyone POSSIBLY state, without a doubt, that Willis-Ekbom Disease/Restless Legs Syndrome DOESN’T belong on that list?

That’s it’s an exception?

That’s not being insightful. That’s just being stubborn.

And it could cost you your life.

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I Heard Back From EasyHealthOptions.com and Got My Link and Credit!

ImageI sent an e-mail to Dr. Cutler about the article he wrote on the website EasyHealthOptions.com that included a lot of information taken from my Restless Legs website www.rlcure.com

Dr. Cutler didn’t return my e-mail, but the owner of the website, Carl Lowe, got back to me right away and apologized for the oversight.

He is going to put up a link and also asked me to submit an article.

“Good afternoon Mr. Wimble,

I am the editor of easyhealthoptions.com. As you suggested, we will put a link to your website in our story about restless leg syndrome.

If you would you like to write a short item for easyhealthoptions.com, I could run it in the near future and include another link to your site in that article, too.

Yours,

Carl Lowe”

I appreciate the fact that he even got back to me. The link and article are a bonus.

I know, a single link or article doesn’t seem like much to anyone. But having been constantly under attack for over 4 years now, with no help in sight, for me, this is a major victory.

ImageThis is the first professional support that I have received since my ongoing discussions several years ago with Dr. Leonard Weinstock. He and his team published a study showing that there is likely a strong connection between inflammation and RLS.

Dr. Weinstock was kind enough to talk to me at the time about his upcoming paper, and we actually learned quite a bit from each other. Unfortunately some RLS zealots (some real kooks) forced him (through legal action) to break all ties with me.

Still, his study speaks for itself. There is no denying the facts that it presents.

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Testimonial from Marty Krais, Brooklyn, NY

Image“Dave, I just had to let you know that you’ve changed my life. My words can’t express how I feel. I can’t thank you enough!

It’s only been about 3 weeks and my legs are in amazing shape. I stopped taking Requip after about 8 days. I’m telling everyone I know about it.

My wife has fibromyalgia and she’s going to try out your remedy as well. The drugs she’s using now are so powerful she can only go on them for a short while.

I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks again!”  

– Marty

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Glutamate, Inflammation, Restless Legs and Insomnia: PART 2 of 2

ImageHOW TO LOWER YOUR GLUTAMATE LEVEL (FOR A BETTER SLEEP)

from Nancy Mullan MD
“If you keep the total amount of glutamate in your body under control, you can prevent neurologic symptoms. One way you can do this is by eliminating gluten and casein from your diet. You also want to eliminate glutamate and anything that sounds like that, and aspartate and anything that sounds like that, from your supplements.

Glutamine is a frequently recommended supplement, but glutamate and glutamine change back and forth into each other. This means that the administration of glutamine, say for gastro intestinal support, actually increases the level of glutamate.

There is a neurotransmitter, which opposes glutamate, which has a calming effect. This is GABA, gamma amino butyric acid. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Glutamate should be able to convert into GABA.

Glutamate is acted on by the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), but several factors may interfere with this conversion, and you get stuck at glutamate.

GABA is the neurotransmitter involved with this function. GABA is very prominently involved with the neuronal connections of language. It actually puts the gaps between words. Decreased GABA leads to increased anxiety, increased aggressive behavior, decreased social behavior, decreased eye contact, and decreased bowel function. GABA is necessary to stimulate bowel contraction.

Decreased GABA also causes eye-focusing problems, like both eyes focused in toward the nose or vertical or horizontal eye wavering.

Calcium is another factor in the glutamate GABA story. If glutamate is like a gun, then calcium is the bullet. Glutamate creates the scenario for excitotoxicity to happen, but the agent that actually destroys the nerve cell is the influx of calcium. The combination of excessive glutamate from any source and too much calcium is major.

Evaluate calcium levels using a urine essential elements test. Vitamin D and Vitamin K are fat-soluble vitamins and are important for re-establishing calcium balance. Your body can store Vitamin D, but Vitamin K may need to be supplemented on a daily basis unless you are eating dark leafy green organic vegetables.

Supplementing calcium may be done by using chamomile and/or nettle rather than by taking calcium directly. Increasing magnesium relative to calcium, using zinc to limit glutamate damage, and monitoring lithium, iodine and boron levels will all aid in reducing glutamate levels and reversing the flow of calcium into the neurons and back to the bones and teeth.

A common issue is taking too many supplements too soon. The more sick you are, the more carefully you need to add supplements. You should add them one at a time, starting with really tiny amounts.”

Image

WHAT IS GABA?

from Novus Medical Detox Center
and thebrain.mcgill.ca
“GABA is a chemical messenger that is widely distributed in the brain. GABA’s natural function is to reduce the activity of the neurons to which it binds. Some researchers believe that one of the purposes that GABA serves is to control the fear or anxiety experienced when neurons are overexcited.

GABA receptors are probably the most common kind in the mammalian nervous system. It is estimated that close to 40% of the synapses in the human brain work with GABA and therefore have GABA receptors.

GABA receptors are channel receptors. This means that when GABA binds to them, they change shape slightly to allow ions to pass through their central channel. This channel mainly allows negatively charged chloride ions to enter the neuron, thus reducing its excitability.

Because of this property of the GABA channel receptor, GABA is classified as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, as opposed to excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, which augment the nerve impulses in the neuron.

When GABA binds to a nerve cell receptor, it opens the nerve cell so that chloride ions which are present in the brain are allowed to move into the nerve cell and slow the activity of the cell, and the person normally experiences a calming feeling.

For example, if our brain produces more excitatory neurotransmitters like norepinephrine or epinephrine (adrenaline) than normal, we can become anxious or have more stress than normal.

If our brain is working normally, it will produce more GABA and this will slow down the actions in the brain and thus have a calming and relaxing effect on us.

Because of our unique DNA and the way that each of us metabolize drugs, each of us may have different amounts of GABA in the brain but we are still considered to be operating “normally.” Unfortunately, there are no accepted medical tests to determine if we have too much or too little GABA activity.

In addition, it appears that people who are nutritionally deficit and dehydrated often have problems with the operation of GABA in their brains.

It is widely believed that caffeine produces its stimulant effects by inhibiting the release of GABA and thereby allowing the increase of excitatory neurotransmitters.

Research is indicating that a major factor in people who suffer from anxiety disorders or panic attacks and in people who have become addicted or dependent to street drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol is that they are likely to be suffering from low GABA activity.”

 

ImageTHE GLUTAMATE-GLUTAMINE CYCLE

During all the research I’ve done over the last few years, researching EVERY area of RLS, from the scientific to the emotional, to the outrageous … I’ve never been as confused and overwhelmed as I have been in trying to decipher all the information that’s available on how to naturally boost your GABA level.

One thing that is unanimous, is that the “supplement” GABA is essentially useless. So that option is eliminated.

The really confusing area (the part that hurt my brain) is whether or not to take L-Glutamine to help boost your GABA level.

To understand the relationship between GABA, glutamine and glutamate, you have to understand a bit about the intimate cycle they are involved with. This cycle determines whether more GABA or more glutamate is produced.

Here are a couple of explanations.

from Wikipedia, Glutamate-glutamine cycle
“In biochemistry, the glutamate-glutamine cycle is a sequence of events by which an adequate supply of the neurotransmitter glutamate is maintained in the central nervous system. Neurons are not able to perform new synthesis of the neurotransmitter glutamate and y-aminobutyric acid (GABA) from glucose. Discoveries of glutamine and glutamate pools within intercellular compartments led to suggestions of the glutamate-glutamine cycle working between neurons and astrocytes. The glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle is a metabolic pathway that describes the release of glutamate or GABA from neurons and then taken up into astrocytes (star shaped glial cells). In return, astrocytes release glutamine to be taken up into neurons for use as a precursor to the synthesis of glutamate or GABA.”

from Natural Stresscare
“Think of glutamic acid (GA), glutamine (GAM) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as three members of a close-knit family with three very different personalities. Glutamic acid is a non-essential amino acid (the body can manufacture it when things are working right) that’s also an excitatory neurotransmitter.

Its cousin GABA has an opposite personality – it calms our nerves and relaxes us. Glutamine is the source for both of them – the body can make either glutamic acid or GABA from glutamine. This is a special family … the members can change into each other from time to time.”

As I understand it, the glutamine in your body is used to either build your GABA level, in turn lowering your glutamate level … or vice versa – depending on which way they are out of balance at that time.

Glutamine is essentially a manager, determining what needs to be produced in order to keep the GABA and glutamate levels in balance.

For restless legs sufferers, that have some inflammation going on, and in most cases, a racing mind at night … it’s seems logical that the l-glutamine that you intake is going to be used to raise your GABA level, which will in turn lower your glutamate level, and help calm down that racing mind of yours.

But, there’s a catch. Because you have a higher than normal amount of inflammation in your body, this can affect the transport and monitoring that are part of the Glutamate-glutamine cycle.

As you may have read in some of the scientific studies posted on my website regarding inflammation and glutamate, inflammation can affect how the cycle behaves … which is often badly.

ImageIt’s kind of like how your keyboard behaves after you spill a cup of coffee on it. It will probably still work, but with a few quirks.

I sent an e-mail to Dr. Mullan asking her to clarify this confusing area for me. Here is her response.

“Be careful when you read studies. You never know what the author’s motive may be or who may be backing the study. Dr Amy Yasko does not recommend l-glutamine because it can turn into glutamate, especially if the GAD gene or enzyme is affected in any way.

And certainly be aware of any dietary influences, especially MSG (it goes without saying). Peas, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese are also on the high glutamate avoid list.”

After taking everything I’ve learned into consideration, my recommendation is to take neither the supplement GABA or L-Glutamine.

Because of the inflammation in your body, their behavior in the delicate Glutamate-glutamine cycle is unpredictable. My suggestion is to take L-Theanine or Taurine and to also consider some of the other natural GABA boosters you’ll read about below.

NATURAL REMEDIES TO INCREASE GABA AND LOWER GLUTAMATE LEVELS

ImageL-THEANINE

from The Wellspring School for Healing Arts
“L-Theanine is a free (non-protein) amino acid found primarily in tea leaves, (Camilla Sinensis).

L-Theanine, otherwise know as gamma-ethylamino-L-glutamic acid, is thought to be the key to tea’s subtle but calming effects despite the caffeine content in tea. L-Theanine is thought to counter the stimulating effects of caffeine by increasing the production of alpha brain waves. Alpha waves are associated with a state of deep relaxation while being mentally alert. In studies, subjects on L-Theanine exhibited alpha brain wave patterns similar to the state achieved by those during meditation.

Additionally, L-Theanine easily crosses the blood brain barrier, and is thought to play a role in increasing and regulating several neurotransmitters, most notably GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), which is an important inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA promotes a pleasant calm without the drowsiness. L-Theanine is thought to interact with dopamine and serotonin as well, resulting in increased focus, improved memory and learning ability.”

from Natural Stresscare
“Rather than GABA or l-glutamine, one can take the amino acid l-theanine instead. L-theanine is converted to several useful calming and mood-elevating substances in the brain, including GABA.3,4 So one can use theanine as a kind of “bank shot” to get around the blood brain barrier issue with respect to GABA.”

“Theanine and glutamate transporter inhibitors enhance the antitumor efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents.”
Sugiyama T, Sadzuka Y. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Dec 5;1653(2):47-59. School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, 52-1 Yada, 422-8526 Shizuoka, Japan.

“The combined effects of theanine, a specific amino acid in green tea, and glutamate transporter inhibitors on the antitumor activity of doxorubicin (DOX), were investigated and we clarified the biochemical mechanisms of action of these modulators.

We revealed the novel mechanism of enhancement of antitumor efficacy of DOX via the inhibition of glutamate transporters. Similarly, theanine enhanced the antitumor activities of other anthracyclines, cisplatin and irinotecan. Consequently, the modulating effect of theanine on the efficacy of antitumor agents is expected to be applicable in clinical cancer chemotherapy.”

ImageTAURINE

from Integrative Psychiatry
“Taurine is an amino acid that is present at significant levels in the CNS and is positive modulator of GABA that does not have any adverse side-effects. Taurine also potentiates glycine – the inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord.

The role of taurine as an inhibitory amino acid has been confirmed in many studies. Not surprisingly, brain tissue and cardiac tissue, which are susceptible to high levels of neurotransmitter stimulation, maintain high levels of taurine. Taurine has been shown to prevent the neuronal damage that can occur when there is an exposure to increased levels of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Over stimulation by excitatory neurotransmitters is the primary cause of neuron death in ischemic stroke. Taurine has been found to significantly reduce neuron death caused by over stimulation.

The calming effects of taurine have been well studied. Other studies of taurine have found that it can reduce epileptic seizures and that low taurine levels are associated with anxiety.”

from Charles Poliquin on Poliquin Inc.
“I call taurine the amino acid of anxiety control and stress management because it will lower cortisol and helps people be less anxious. The benefits of taurine don’t stop there. It also improves athletic performance and reaction time, supports insulin health, can prevent diabetes, elevates energy production, is a potent brain nutrient, increases work capacity and time to exhaustion from intense exercise, lowers blood pressure, protects the heart, helps with detoxification, and fights inflammation.

It’s best to lay the building blocks for success before you start taking taurine because this amino acid is an excellent addition to a protein-rich diet and supplement plan that ensures you aren’t deficient in any of the essential nutrients. For example, be sure you are getting a nice therapeutic dose of omega-3 fats, and have your fat intake balanced because this will help taurine work its magic.

Taurine is an amino acid that calms the nervous system by facilitating the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. By helping to raise GABA levels, taurine will allow your body to manage anxiety so that your thoughts don’t go spiraling out of control and you don’t get the associated cortisol and adrenaline spikes that go with anxiety and stress.

Research shows that taurine supplementation can lower anxiety in stress-producing situations, thereby allowing for greater work output and performance. One study in Advances in Experimental Medicines and Biology found that giving rats a taurine treatment prior to an anxiety-inducing exercise maze resulted in less anxious behavior and better speed through the maze a rat group that were given a placebo.

Take taurine for better sleep, but make sure you are getting a magnesium supplement that your body can absorb as well. Together these nutrients are the answer to abolish stress, calm the nervous system, and help you sleep better. You’ll also have a better overall mood. People who are deficient in either magnesium or taurine are at greater risk for depression and poor motivation.

Magnesium is well known to calm the nervous system, while countering fatigue. Similarly, taurine raises GABA levels, calming the nervous system and lowering anxiety and stress hormones that hinder rest. I suggest magnesium taurate, a form of taurine that is bound to magnesium for best results.”

“Taurine prevents the neurotoxicity of beta-amyloid and glutamate receptor agonists: activation of GABA receptors and possible implications for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.”
Louzada PR, Paula Lima AC, Mendonca-Silva DL, Noël F, De Mello FG, Ferreira ST. Departamento de Bioquímica Medica, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-590, Brasil. FASEB J. 2004 Mar;18(3):511-8.

“Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and several other neurological disorders have been linked to the overactivation of glutamatergic transmission and excitotoxicity as a common pathway of neuronal injury. The beta-amyloid peptide (Abeta) is centrally related to the pathogenesis of AD, and previous reports have demonstrated that the blockade of glutamate receptors prevents Abeta-induced neuronal death. We show that taurine, a beta-amino acid found at high concentrations in the brain, protects chick retinal neurons in culture against the neurotoxicity of Abeta and glutamate receptor agonists. The protective effect of taurine is not mediated by interaction with glutamate receptors, as demonstrated by binding studies using radiolabeled glutamate receptor ligands. The neuroprotective action of taurine is blocked by picrotoxin, an antagonist of GABA(A) receptors. GABA and the GABA(A) receptor agonists phenobarbital and melatonin also protect neurons against Abeta-induced neurotoxicity. These results suggest that activation of GABA receptors decreases neuronal vulnerability to excitotoxic damage and that pharmacological manipulation of the excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter tonus may protect neurons against a variety of insults. GABAergic transmission may represent a promising target for the treatment of AD and other neurological disorders in which excitotoxicity plays a relevant role.”

ImageVALERIAN

from Wikipedia – Valerian (herb)
“Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. Valerian root has sedative and anxiolytic effects. These effects are suspected to be mediated through the GABA receptor. The amino acid valine is named after this plant.”

from LIVESTRONG.COM
“The University of Maryland Medical Center says valerian root might increase the concentration of GABA within your brain. Because of this action, valerian is often prescribed as a natural remedy for anxiety and those affected by insomnia. It might take up to three weeks of consistent use for its effects to be felt.”

“Synaptosomal GABA release as influenced by valerian root extract–involvement of the GABA carrier.”
Santos MS, Ferreira F, Cunha AP, Carvalho AP, Ribeiro CF, Macedo T. Department of Zoology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 1994 Mar-Apr;327(2):220-31.

“The effect of an aqueous extract obtained from the roots of Valeriana officinalis was investigated on the uptake and release of GABA in synaptosomes. It is concluded that valerian extract releases [3H]GABA by reversal of the GABA carrier, which is Na(+)-dependent and Ca(2+)-independent.”

OTHER NATURAL REMEDIES

by Dr. Mike Dow, The Dr. OZ Show

“You know that feeling you get in the middle of a frantic workday with 3 deadlines approaching while your kids keep texting you about dinner? If we were to take a look inside your brain, the chemicals that act like your car’s accelerator pedal – dopamine, adrenaline, norepinephrine – are surging. And GABA, the chemical that acts like your car’s brakes, is in short supply.

While there are several drugs that help to boost GABA, there are also some natural ways to get the peace and calm your brain needs. Finding natural solutions have a few benefits. First, they’re not addictive like many of the prescription medications. Also, they won’t leave you feeling groggy, so you’ll still be able to be productive at work and at home.

Here are 4 ways to get the GABA your brain is craving:

Swap your afternoon coffee for a cup of oolong tea.
When we feel overworked and worn out, coffee is a natural go-to. But its high levels of caffeine send the activating brain chemical dopamine soaring. The tradeoff for short-term productivity is a jittery feeling and insomnia hours later. Try oolong tea instead. It contains GABA, and sipping it may provide you with the break your brain and body needs. The break you’ll get may provide you with the stamina to get everything done without feeling worn out.

Swap the candy bar for cherry tomatoes and hummus.
The high levels of fat in that candy bar are not only bad for your waistline, it’s bad for your brain! High levels of unhealthy fat also increase dopamine levels. But cherry tomatoes are rich in GABA, and the olive oil in hummus helps to balance your omega-3 versus omega-6 ratio. This ratio can help balance all of your brain chemicals over the long-term which will leave you feeling peaceful and happy.

Swap the soda for a glass of kefir, a probiotic drink.
Soda is not only associated with obesity; a new study showed an association with soda (and diet soda) and depression. Kefir contains GABA, and the carbohydrates boost serotonin – your other main feel-good, peaceful brain chemical. Talk about a double whammy!

Swap orange chicken and fried rice for grilled shrimp and brown rice. The high fat in orange chicken and fried rice flood your brain with dopamine which can even set you up for food addiction. But the shrimp contains a healthy dose of GABA, and the high-fiber brown rice gives you nice, healthy release of serotonin.”

ImageYOGA

from Science Daily “Yoga May Elevate Brain GABA Levels, Suggesting Possible Treatment For Depression”

“Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and McLean Hospital have found that practicing yoga may elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels, the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. The findings, which appear in the May issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, suggest that the practice of yoga be explored as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety, disorders associated with low GABA levels.

Using magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging, the researchers compared the GABA levels of eight subjects prior to and after one hour of yoga, with 11 subjects who did no yoga but instead read for one hour. The researchers found a twenty-seven percent increase in GABA levels in the yoga practitioner group after their session, but no change in the comparison subject group after their reading session. The acquisition of the GABA levels was done using a magnetic resonance spectroscopy technique developed by J. Eric Jensen, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an associate physicist at McLean Hospital.

According to the researchers, yoga has shown promise in improving symptoms associated with depression, anxiety and epilepsy. “Our findings clearly demonstrate that in experienced yoga practitioners, brain GABA levels increase after a session of yoga,” said lead author Chris Streeter, MD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology at BUSM and a research associate at McLean Hospital.

“This study contributes to the understanding of how the GABA system is affected by both pharmacologic and behavioral interventions and will help to guide the development of new treatments for low GABA states,” said co-author Domenic Ciraulo, MD, professor and chairman of the department of psychiatry at BUSM.

“The development of an inexpensive, widely available intervention such as yoga that has no side effects but is effective in alleviating the symptoms of disorders associated with low GABA levels has clear public health advantage,” added senior author Perry Renshaw, MD, PhD, director of the Brain Imaging Center at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital.”

KAVA KAVA

from LIVESTRONG.COM
“Consume 150 to 300 mg of kava kava standardized extract one to three times per day. Make sure the extract contains 30 to 70 percent kavalactones, which are this herb’s primary active compound. It is suggested that this herb increases the number of attachment sites for GABA in the brain. By creating more attachment sites, it is believed the effects of GABA might be more profound, which results in a mild sedated state. Use extreme caution when supplementing with kava kava, as this herb might have detrimental effects on the liver if consumed in excess. Thus, discuss the use of kava kava with your physician to ensure its safety.”

B-COMPLEX
from Paleo for Women
“Foods rich in B-complex vitamins, particularly inositol, prompt GABA production. In fact, B-vitamins are necessary for the functioning of nearly all brain processes and chemicals. Foods containing B-vitamins comprise a rich and varied list. They include: fruits such as bananas, figs, cantaloupe oranges and figs, and vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, such as beets, broccoli, kale, and spinach, and nuts, and seafood, and beef and beef liver, chicken liver, all organ meats, and all game/ruminant meats.”

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A Doctor that Actually Recommends Natural Treatments for RLS

ImageI’m currently gathering information for a post that will connect high glutamate levels (because of a recent study that shows that RLS sufferers have a higher presence of glutamate in their brain), inflammation, RLS and insomnia.

It’s exciting what I’ve found so far, and should be helpful to many of you, if not all of you. I’ll hopefully be able to have this posted by the end of today.

I’m doubly excited because during my research I found an article by a doctor, Dr. Tim Gerstmar, that suggests a good place to start for RLS recovery is my website www.rlcure.com

The author recommends using a micellized curcumin product, cayenne, and ginger, and drinking carrot juice as a starting place. He suggests you’ll begin to see relief within 2 weeks of following this regimen. From there he recommends a repair/healing phase and then a maintenance phase. This seems like a inexpensive, safe place to start the non-drug treatment of RLS.

Dr. Gerstmar summarizes by saying “Based on my review of the literature and the science behind RLS I think the best place to start in the natural treatment of RLS is with an ‘anti-inflammatory’ diet and lifestyle, followed by repleting the nutrients needed to create dopamine.”

This is VERY hopeful. As more doctors concede to the obvious advantages of natural healing, it should help get the word out and educate RLS sufferers, and let them know, at the very least, that they have options.

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