The primary danger of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) — and what drives the processes of chronic disease — is the mitochondrial damage triggered by peroxynitrites
Peroxynitrites are potent reactive nitrogen species associated with systemic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, and are thought to be a root cause for many of today’s chronic diseases
You cannot see, hear or smell EMF, and most do not feel it. Still, biological effects are taking place whether you’re able to sense it or not
The number of people reporting pathological hypersensitivity to EMFs is rising. Between 1994 and 2008, prevalence of electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome in Austria rose from 2% to 3.5%. In 2011, Taiwan reported an incidence rate of 13.3%
The possibility of large portions of the population being unable to work or live as free individuals due to incessant, elevated exposure to EMF is a very real threat to society as we know it. There are very few EMF-free zones left on the planet, and such zones will further shrink with the global implementation of 5G
Over the past decade, I’ve written many articles discussing the evidence of biological harm from nonionizing electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.
While the wireless industry is built on the premise that the only type of radiation capable of causing harm is ionizing — X-rays being one example — researchers have for a long time warned that even nonionizing and non-heating radiation can jeopardize your health. This includes not only human health, but also that of plants and animals.
Over time, I became so convinced of the deleterious effects of EMF, I took three years to write “EMF*D,” which is slated to be released in February 2020. In it, I review the now overwhelming evidence showing EMFs are a hidden health hazard that simply cannot be ignored any longer, especially seeing how the rollout of 5G will exponentially increase exposures.
Scientists Now Understand How EMFs Impact Your Health
Over the years, I’ve interviewed several experts who have shared their in-depth knowledge about the poorly understood mechanisms behind EMF harm. Among them:
•Martin Pall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of biochemistry and basic medical sciences at Washington State University, has published research1,2,3,4 showing that the primary danger of EMFs — and what drives the processes of chronic disease — is the mitochondrial damage triggered by peroxynitrites, one of the most damaging types of reactive nitrogen species.
Low-frequency microwave radiation activates the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) in the outer membrane of your cells, causing them to open, thus allowing an abnormal influx of calcium ions. This activates nitric oxide, which is a precursor for peroxynitrite.5
These potent reactive nitrogen species are associated with an increased level of systemic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction, and are thought to be a root cause for many of today’s chronic diseases.
For an in-depth understanding of peroxynitrites and the harm they inflict, see “Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite in Health and Disease”6 by Dr. Pal Pacher, Joseph Beckman and Dr. Lucas Liaudet. It’s one of the best reviews I’ve ever read and free to download.
One of its most significant downsides of peroxynitrite is that it damages DNA. While your body has the capacity to repair that damage through a family of enzymes collectively known as poly ADP ribose polymerases (PARP), PARP require NAD+ for fuel, and when they run out of NAD+ they stop repairing your DNA, which can lead to premature cell death.
•Dr. Sam Milham, a physician and epidemiologist, wrote the book, “Dirty Electricity: Electrification and the Diseases of Civilization.” In his interview, he explains the biological mechanisms of high-frequency electric transients (electromagnetic interference patterns), and details some of the lesser-known household sources of this “dirty electricity.”
•Magda Havas, Ph.D., associate professor at Trent University in Canada, has written research including the effects dirty electricity can have on children’s behavior, and helpful remediation techniques.
EMF Pollution Is Likely Taking a Hidden Toll on Your Health
The problem with EMF radiation is that you cannot see it, hear it or smell it, and most do not feel it. Still, researchers assure us that biological effects are taking place whether you’re able to sense it or not. For most, it’s simply a matter of time and overall exposure load.
Here, it’s important to realize that we’re not just talking about radiation from your cellphone. The electromagnetic frequencies emitted from your Wi-Fi router, computer, home appliances, all manner of wireless “smart” technology, and even the wiring inside your walls are all capable of inflicting serious biological harm to your body and mind. And with 5G, it’s bound to get far worse.
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome Is on the Rise
For some, the effects of EMFs are unmistakable and undeniable, and the number of people reporting pathological hypersensitivity to EMFs is rising. In 2008, an Austrian study7 noted that actual prevalence of electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome in Austria had risen by 1.5% since 1994, from 2% to 3.5%.
In 2006, Germany had an electrosensitivity incidence rate of 9%, and Taiwan reported an incidence rate of 13.3% in 2011.8 The RT documentary “Wi-Fi Refugees,” featured in “Documentary Explore Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome,” investigates the struggles reported by these “canaries in the coal mine.”
While symptoms may vary from one individual to another, commonly reported symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome include:
Skin itch/rash/flushing/burning and/or tingling — Many describe a “burning pins and needles” kind of pain, especially in the head and chest area
One 2015 study9 pointed out that electromagnetic hypersensitivity is becoming an increasing challenge to the medical profession, which has yet to fully understand its implications, let alone its remedies.
Still, the complaints of modern-day hypersensitivities match those reported in the 1970s and ’80s by those working with radio and radar equipment and cathode ray tube monitors, which tells us that this is not a brand-new phenomenon. According to the authors:10
“In population-based surveys, the prevalence of EHS has ranged from 1.5% in Sweden to 13.3% in Taiwan. Provocation studies on EMF have yielded different results, ranging from where people with EHS cannot discriminate between an active RF signal and placebo, to objectively observed changes following exposure in reactions of the pupil, changes in heart rhythm, damage to erythrocytes, and disturbed glucose metabolism in the brain.”
As early as 2005, the World Health Organization warned that people have “for some time” reported health problems attributed to EMF exposure, and that some are “so severely affected that they cease work and change their entire lifestyle.”11
The possibility of large portions of the population being unable to work or live as free individuals due to incessant, elevated exposure to EMF is a very real threat to society as we know it. The reality is that there are very few EMF-free zones left on the planet, and such zones will further shrink with the global implementation of 5G.
I believe EMF exposure is one of the greatest challenges to public health facing us today. If we go back in time to the end of World War I, around 1918 or so, and use that timeframe as a baseline of EMF exposure among the general public, you come to the astonishing conclusion that EMF exposure has increased about 1 quintillion times over the past 100 years.
Knowing the impact EMFs can have, it’s completely irrational to assume that this radical increase won’t have adverse effects. My new book, “EMF*D,” is an attempt to inform you about the hidden harms of EMF and what you need to do to protect yourself and those you love. In it, you’ll learn:
How EMFs are impacting your body and mind
Where you can find them in your daily life
How they can cause disease and speed up aging
How to repair the damage done by EMFs at the cellular level
Practical strategies to protect yourself and your loved ones from EMFs
In my book, I also reveal the reasons why you’ve been left in the dark about this serious health threat. “EMF*D” comes out February 18, 2020, but you don’t need to wait. Preorder your copy today and receive these five bonus gifts immediately:
Early access to a chapter from the book
$10 discount on a Mercola order
30-page Sneak Peak PDF Book
7 strategies to help reduce EMF exposure
5 tips to minimize your cellphone risk (SMS exclusive bonus)
Brain Cancer Is Not the Only, Nor the Major, Concern
While a number of studies have shown that cellphone radiation can trigger brain cancer this is not the greatest cause for concern. Your brain does have a far greater density of VGCCs than other organs, but so does your nervous system and heart, as well as male testes.
As a result of the elevated density of VGCCs in these areas, EMFs are likely to contribute to neurological and neuropsychiatric problems,12 as well as heart and reproductive problems, including but not limited to cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety, depression, autism, Alzheimer’s and infertility13,14 and miscarriage15,16,17,18 — and these conditions are far more prevalent than brain cancer.
That said, studies have also linked radiofrequency radiation equivalent to that emitted by 2G and 3G cellphones to other forms of cancer, including heart tumors. This includes U.S. government-funded animal studies19 published in 2018 that were further corroborated by the Ramazzini Institute that same year.20
As early as 2011, the evidence was strong enough for the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer research arm of the WHO, to declare cellphones a Group 2B “possible carcinogen.”21
I’ve already mentioned one of the primary mechanisms by which EMFs harm your biology — i.e., the creation of peroxynitrites, which are potent oxidant stressors — but EMFs also damage your health in other ways.
For example, the enzyme ATP synthase — which passes currents of protons into the mitochondrial intermembrane space, similar to current passing through a wire — powers the generation energy of the creation of ATP from ADP, using this flow of protons.
Magnetic fields can change the transparency of the flow of protons to the mitochondrial intermembrane space, thereby reducing the current. As a result, you get less ATP, which can have system wide consequences, from promoting chronic disease and infertility to lowering intelligence.
EMFs may also alter your microbiome, turning what might otherwise be beneficial microbes pathogenic or toxic. This too can have far-ranging health effects, since we now know your microbiome plays an important role in health.
5G Rollout Will Significantly Magnify Health Risks
Any and all health ramifications attributed to previous generations of wireless technologies will be exponentially magnified with the rollout of 5G, which is simply being added on top of the already existing wireless infrastructure. This 5th generation technology may also present additional health risks.
A main concern with 5G is that it relies primarily on the bandwidth of the millimeter wave (MMW), which is known to penetrate 1 to 2 millimeters of human skin tissue.22 There’s also evidence suggesting sweat ducts in human skin act as antennae when they come in contact with MMWs.23
Many can feel the impact of MMWs as a burning sensation and/or pain, which is precisely why it’s used in nonlethal crowd control weapons.24 MMW has also been linked to eye problems, suppressed immune function and altered heart rate variability (an indicator of stress) and arrhythmias.25
In 2015, more than 230 scientists engaged in the study of biological and health effects of nonionizing EMFs in 41 nations signed an international appeal to the United Nations, calling for protection from nonionizing EMF exposure due to evidence of health effects even at low levels.26
Two years later, more than 180 doctors and scientists from 35 countries signed a petition27 to enact a moratorium on the rollout of 5G due to the potential risks to wildlife and human health.
Dr. Mercola Answers Your EMF Questions
I believe that the risk of EMFs is so important that I’ve decided to answer your questions on this topic in an upcoming video. Please submit any EMF questions you may have by clicking on the button below.
The earlier I get the questions, the greater the likelihood I will have a chance to include them in my response. Looking forward to answering your questions!
Protect Yourself From Excessive EMF
There’s no doubt in my mind that EMF exposure is an important lifestyle component that needs to be addressed if you’re concerned about your health, which is why I spent three years writing “EMF*D.”
My aim was to create a comprehensive and informative guide, detailing not only the risks, but also what you can do to mitigate unavoidable exposures. To get you started, see the tips listed in my previous article, “Top 19 Tips to Reduce Your EMF Exposure.”
If you know or suspect you might already be developing a sensitivity to EMFs (full-blown hypersensitivity can often strike seemingly overnight), mitigating your exposures will be particularly paramount. Many sufferers become obsessed with finding solutions, as the effects can be severely crippling. My book can be a valuable resource in your quest for relief.
The EMF Experts website28 also lists EMF groups worldwide, to which you can turn with questions, concerns and support, and EMFsafehome.com29 lists a number of publications where you can learn more about the dangers of EMFs.
Should you need help remediating your home, consider hiring a trained building biologist to get it done right. A listing can be found on the International Institute for Building-Biology & Ecology’s website.30
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019
Low levels of testosterone can come with glaring symptoms such as erectile dysfunction and reduced bone mass. Before opting for hormone replacement therapy and facing the risk of serious side effects, here are five science-backed ways to optimize your testosterone levels naturally
In the face of aging and the treatment’s increasing popularity, many men around the world immediately opt for testosterone replacement therapy. While significant results may manifest in no time, there can be serious consequences down the road, particularly if the underlying cause of low testosterone isn’t addressed properly. Here are five things that you can explore for a natural testosterone boost:
A deficiency in zinc, an essential dietary mineral, has long been associated with testicular suppression, including suppression of testosterone levels. A 1996 study found a significant reduction in the blood testosterone of healthy young men after 20 weeks of zinc restriction.[i] It also revealed that six-month zinc supplementation in marginally deficient elderly men translated to a testosterone boost.
While research demonstrates that poor zinc levels in the diet can adversely affect testicular function, it is a reversible process and can be corrected via proper supplementation.[ii]
The exact mechanism behind how zinc deficiency exactly affects testosterone levels is yet to be fully understood, but the mineral may affect the cells in the testes that produce testosterone.[iii] Zinc helps your immune system function properly, plays a role in cell division and helps enzymes break down nutrients.
Studies have shown that magnesium intake affects testosterone and total insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).[iv] The age-related decline in these anabolic hormones is deemed a strong predictor of metabolic syndrome and diabetes, as well as mortality in elderly men.
One proposed mechanism behind this mineral’s testosterone-enhancing role is its ability to inhibit the binding of testosterone to sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), resulting in an enhancement of bioavailable testosterone.[v]
3. Weight Management
Weight gain and related chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, have been strongly tied to a reduction in testosterone, especially in middle-aged and elderly men.[vi],[vii]Here’s how it works: as you gain weight as fat, your testosterone production drops. However, this can be reversed through weight loss via adjustments in diet and lifestyle.
4. Vitamin D
A dose of sunshine can be a handy solution to low testosterone levels, with studies vouching for vitamin D‘s impact on regulating testosterone levels.[viii] Ideally, you would be able to get all the vitamin D your body needs through optimal sun exposure. This, however, may not be the case for those who live far from the equator, are dark skinned or spend most of their time indoors. Here’s GreenMedInfo.health’s review and recommendations for vitamin D.
5. Adequate Quality Sleep
One of the insidious effects of regular lack of high-quality sleep is decreased testosterone production. A 2013 study probed the effects of 33 hours of sleep loss on endocrine function as well as reactive aggression in 24 young men and 25 women, and found that sleep deprivation lowered testosterone in the male subjects.[ix]
There’s a double whammy here, as sleeplessness also facilitates fat gain, which, as mentioned earlier, is linked to impaired testosterone production.[x]
Scientific findings are quick to show that correcting a mineral or nutrient deficiency or insufficiency may raise low testosterone levels. For further information, check out the GreenMedInfo.com testosterone database to better learn how to increase testosterone naturally.
The GMI Research Group (GMIRG) is dedicated to investigating the most important health and environmental issues of the day. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental health. Our focused and deep research will explore the many ways in which the present condition of the human body directly reflects the true state of the ambient environment.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
TMG (Trimethylglycine) is a powerful nutrient, much like a vitamin, functioning as methyl donor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, energy booster, toxin remover, immune booster and more.
Also called betaine (first isolated from sugar beets) but different from Betaine Hydrochloride.
TMG the Methyl Donor
The TMG molecule comprises three methyl groups (CH3) joined to one molecule of glycine (C2H5NO2). The benefit of TMG is that it releases easily one, two, or all three of the methyl groups.
Releasing one methyl group then leaves behind DMG (Dimethylglycine) which is just TMG with only two methyl groups. Releasing all methyl groups leaves just Glycine, which is the smallest molecule of all of the amino acids, which allows it to go almost anywhere in the body, including crossing the blood-brain barrier.
DMG is considered a B-complex vitamin, shown to help:
Behaviour and speech in autistic children and adults
ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder)
Anti-viral and anti-bacterial
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Alcoholism, drug addiction.
Cholesterol and triglycerides
Although DMG has all of these benefits, and is available as a supplement, LeanMachine recommends that people supplement with TMG as we then receive all of the benefits of DMG plus the benefit of 50% better methylation.
Methyl groups (CH3) are essential for millions of biochemical reactions every second in the body, these are a few examples:
Lowering homocysteine, an amino acid, which inflames arteries when levels rise, leading to “hardening of the arteries”. Homocysteine levels are a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease than cholesterol. High homocysteine is commonly caused by insufficient methyl groups. The body gets methyl groups from TMG, Active Folate, Active Vitamin B-12, SAM-e, DMAE, Methionine, Taurine, Cysteine and Vitamin B-6.
Other causes are mercury and copper toxicity. High homocysteine also causes methionine deficiency, in turn causing SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) deficiency which can lead to depression. Methionine is required for protein synthesis
Excess homocysteine also leads to osteoporosis, birth defects, cancer, ageing and free radicals, all helped by TMG
Methyl groups are required for the Phase 2, P450 liver detoxification pathway, a critical biochemical sequence of events. Fat-soluble toxins are joined to a methyl group, enabling a greater water solubility, then allowing the liver to remove them from the body. For toxins unable to be removed, methylation helps render them less toxic
TMG increases production of SAM-e, helping to reduce depression
TMG reduces risk of diabetes, as insulin release and insulin activity rely on methyl group donation
TMG donates methyl groups for protein synthesis (biosynthesis), the copying of genetic code from DNA to RNA (genetic transcription), then to the synthesis (formation) of every chemical in the body
TMG insufficiency causes biosynthesis slowing, telomeres shortening, and genetic errors (transcription errors) raises cancer risk from DNA mutations
The Methylation Process
This is a vital and most common chemical process in hundreds of essential chemical reactions, including:
Methylation is essential for manufacture of all the chemicals for the body
Stops certain viruses that could damage DNA
Stops the production of trophoblast (fast-growing cells that may lead to cancer)
Suppresses replication of DNA in areas where the body does not want it replicated
Important for neurological chemicals and blood chemicals
Corrects timing problems of the X chromosome in cell replication
Causea a genetic trait to come from only one parent, and not both
Prevents some genetic diseases
Helps prevent shortening of gene telomeres
Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification system
Methylation converts toxins of all kinds from insoluble, less soluble or fat-soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds to allow excretion. Larger molecules are eliminated through the bile, smaller ones are excreted in the urine
Methylation is required for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, improving mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity
Methylation helps with liver detoxification
Methylation is required for conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which converts to other amino acids by various pathways
Methylation helps balance hormones such as estrogens, reducing risk of estrogen-related cancers
Reduces inflammation by removing toxins, balancing hormones, synthesising neurotransmitters and other methods
Methylation protects the mitochondria and adaptive energy production to stop us from becoming very tired
Restores SAM-e in spinal fluid, working as a methyl donor when restored by methyl groups
Methylation is required for the body to make CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), vital for heart health and energy production in the mitochondria
Methylation increases muscle mass, important in cancer and other wasting diseases, and for general health
Methylation may improve libido in some people
Who needs TMG?
Almost everyone needs supplemental TMG, even healthy people with a healthy diet, to provide enough methylation for modern life. Those subject to stress, toxins, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, depression, fatigue, exhaustion or almost any other medical condition, almost certainly need extra TMG.
Other benefits of TMG
The Parasympathetic System
TMG can improve the parasympathetic system, helping balance the autonomic nervous system. Hair mineral analyses show about half the population has an autonomic nervous system imbalance (sympathetic dominance), where the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system is “switched on” too often and too long, usually due to stress, causing many chronic health conditions. TMG may help reverse any imbalance, contributing to healing. Some doctors use “sympathetic dominance” in a different context such as “a sympathetic state of body chemistry” which is different from “sympathetic dominance” used here.
The MTHFR Defect
Almost half the people on Earth have the abnormal MTHFR gene expression, where the biosynthesis of folate is reduced, sometimes marginally, sometimes largely.
Often incorrectly called a “genetic defect” when it is actually a transcription error, polymorphism or abnormal gene expression where errors occur in copying the DNA code rather than a problem with the actual DNA code.
This is why Active Folate has benefits, as it is already in the (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate form required by the body, while regular folate must be converted in the body to this form.
TMG can help supply the methyl groups where insufficent folate cannot. Active folate can be up to 700% more useful in the body, compared to regular folic acid. Note that folic acid is a cheap folate substitute used in many foods claiming to be “folate enriched” but folic acid may prevent absorption of real folate in foods or active folate supplements, and LeanMachine advises total avoidance of foods or supplements containing folic acid.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
There are not many reports on these properties, but they do exist, possibly as a result of methyl group donation
Effects on the Brain
TMG has a positive effect on the brain, likely due to methylation and SAM-e production. Recommended for those at high risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, depression, anxiety, seizures, migraine headache, ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder), MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and other brain conditions.
1. Heart Disease
SAM-e is used for heart disease, also for fibromyalgia, abdominal pain, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic lower back pain, ageing, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), improving mental performance, liver disease, spinal cord injury, lead poisoning, to break down bilirubin or porphyrin (or precursors).
SAM-e is often taken for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and a more severe form PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).
IV use of SAM-e
IV (Intravenous) use of SAM-e is used for depression, osteoarthritis, AIDS-related nervous system disorders, fibromyalgia, liver disease, cirrhosis, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a liver disorder in pregnant women)
SAM-e is often injected for fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Effects on Digestion
TMG aids digestion, again likely because of positive methylation throughout the body.
Glycine is the component left over when all three methyl groups have been donated from TMG.
Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids and very important for collagen formation and many other functions. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is used for connective tissue: Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, nails, arteries, veins, etc. Without collagen, we could not stand up, our body would be a pile of mush on the floor!
Glycine, in large doses (up to 3000 mg daily), has been found helpful for sleep and alertness. Although not recommended as a first-line supplement for sleep, it may help if other supplements like Valerian fail to work. This may explain why TMG helps induce restful sleep in some individuals.
Natural sources of TMG
TMG is normally made in the body, but not enough when there are toxins present or the diet is poor or absorption of nutrients is a problem.
TMG can come from the diet. Foods high in TMG include broccoli, quinoa, spinach, lamb, chicken, and beets. A vegetarian or vegan diet tends to be very low in TMG. Foods high in TMG are usually also high in folate, and both are methyl donors.
However, most people do not eat enough of these foods, and even eating large amounts will not provide enough TMG for optimum health.
Risk factors for low TMG
Generally, the body cannot make enough, the modern diet is poor in TMG, and the number of pesticides, chemicals, heavy metal contamination uses up all TMG available.
Mercury is a poison that lowers TMG production in the body, and at the same time increases the need for TMG in the body. Almost everyone is mercury toxic now, as mercury is everywhere in the environment, especially in seafood and in dental amalgam fillings
Copper toxicity also interferes with TMG, and most people today are toxic from copper pipes, tapware, cookware even if blood or urine tests are negative. While copper is essential for the body to build hemoglobin in blood, we need Chelated Copper from food or supplements, not metallic copper from copper pipes and cookware. Zinc deficiencies cause accumulation of copper in the body, and women have a higher risk than men. Causes headaches, female organ problems, depression, anxiety, skin conditions. Too much zinc (and/or magnesium) competes with copper for absorption, often leading to a copper deficiency.
Supplementary TMG is helpful for most people because of low body production, low in the diet, and higher requirements in our toxic world. TMG 1000mg 100 tablets (most popular, best value).
Stress, inflammation, inflammation and some diseases increase our need for more TMG.
Dosage of TMG
Women: Up to 1000 mg daily
Men: Up to 3000 mg daily
Children: Less than adults, in proportion to body weight
There are no reliable guides or tests to determine TMG dosage, but the figures above should be a good starting point.
If the sodium/potassium ratio is low, extra TMG may help.
Do not overdose, as too much TMG may lead to over-methylation, causing fatigue, nausea, hair loss, dizziness or other symptoms.
Most people have no side effects from TMG apart from feeling better, getting better sleep and having more energy. Cautions:
Do not continue a high dose for extended periods.
Children need proportionately less TMG than adults, depending on their size and weight, but babies generally do not need TMG. Older children may need about 250 to 500 mg daily.
TMG is available as tablets, liquid capsules or crystals. Some children and the elderly may have problems with swallowing tablets. TMG has a sweet taste, so TMG crystals can be simply added to food.
Some people have problems tolerating TMG, so they may need a smaller dose. Try reducing the dose until any symptoms disappear.
People who have unresolved resentments seem to have more problems taking TMG, as an enzyme is activated which can cause anger, fear, depression or anxiety symptoms. These symptoms disappear if the dose is reduced or eliminated, but if one can tolerate the symptoms, TMG may help the person resolve their issues of conflict.
Some reports suggest that too much TMG may cause diarrhea and nausea, and may raise cholesterol levels, so those with high cholesterol should keep the level monitored.
Several factors affect poor methylation, such as:
Raw vegetables are considered healthy, but cooked vegetables provide more dietary methyl groups
Sugars in any form appear to harm correct methylation, and are bad for our health anyway
Fermented foods are healthy, but are problem for methylation because:
Some contain aldehydes (toxic to the liver), including kombucha tea, kimchi, and most fermented grains
They contain ferments, which are bacteria or yeasts
Safer fermented foods, eaten in moderation, include yogurt, kefir, miso and most good quality cheeses
Too much animal protein in the diet can cause high methionine and reduce methylation
Fighting inflammation or infections consumes methyl groups, requiring more methylation
Heavy metal toxicity, especially copper and mercury, interfere with methyl group formation
High-dose niacin or niacinamide cause the body to use up methyl groups to detoxify and excrete niacin through the liver. Doses less than 50 mg daily are generally tolerated well
Any liver toxins will reduce formation of methyl donors, also liver detoxification pathways require methyl groups, using up more methyl groups
Methyl donor production seems to decrease with age, so seniors need more TMG
Women of child-bearing age have much better methylation than men. Men always need more TMG than women
Methylation and Cancer
Cancer increases the need for methylating agents like TMG. People often die with cancer because they cannot eliminate their toxic metals and chemicals because of poor liver methylation, so toxins accumulate until death occurs.
Hair Mineral Analysis
More TMG may be required if a hair mineral test reveals:
High zinc level, which may indicate presence of hidden toxic metals
“Four lows pattern” meaning all four electrolyte minerals low: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Indicates impaired methylation
High mercury, becoming more common
High levels of the other toxic metals
These results indicate long-term toxic metal exposure.
LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.
(NaturalHealth365) While you’re likely familiar with essential oils like frankincense and lavender, you may never have heard of spikenard essential oil. Today, we’ll focus on how to defeat insomnia with a natural remedy.
Although it’s not as well-known as other essential oils, spikenard been used for centuries for health, beauty, and even religious purposes. While it’s valued as a prized perfume for its musky, earthy, spicy scent, it also offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties used by integrative healthcare providers for years.
A relative of the valerian plant, spikenard is a flowering plant that grows in the Himalayas in India, China, and Nepal, and it’s usually only found at around an altitude of 10,000 feet. Although it’s long been hailed for its ability to treat a variety of health problems, research backs up its use for treating insomnia, helping to reduce stress, and more.
How to defeat insomnia and reduce stress naturally without negative side effects
Multiple studies have investigated the use of spikenard essential oil as a sedative, as well as its ability to defeat insomnia. One study not only documented the sedative effect of the oil, but also discovered that when it’s mixed together with other oils like sandalwood, patchouli, borneol, and galangal oils, the sedative response was even more significant.
Another study went on to isolate two of the components of spikenard essential oil – beta maaliene and valerna-4,7(11)-diene. They found that the valerna-4,7(11)-diene offered the strongest sedative effect on test subjects and even had an effect similar to chlorpromazine, a medication often given to patients with behavior or mental disorders.
Spikenard oil also has a calming effect, which helps reduce stress. The combination of stress-relief and sedative effects make it a useful, natural treatment for people who have insomnia.
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Additional science-backed uses for spikenard essential oil
Beyond its ability to reduce stress and work as a sedative to relieve insomnia, spikenard essential oil offers many other science-backed health benefits, as well. One of the most studied benefits of this spikenard is its ability to fight fungus and bacteria.
Studies show that spikenard is one of the most effective essential oils against certain strains of bacteria, and it also works to heal skin problems caused by fungal infections.
Spikenard essential oil also has the ability to fight inflammation, which is at the root of many diseases. When studied in treating acute pancreatitis, spikenard treatment helped reduce the severity of the acute pancreatitis, proving its ability to work as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Other potential health benefits include:
Stimulating the immune system
Lowering blood pressure
Reducing joint pain
Relieving gastrointestinal issues
Reducing pain related to menstruation and muscle aches
Promotes hair growth
Spikenard essential oil is often used topically or as aromatherapy. It can be diffused or inhaled directly from the bottle.
Another option is to add it to a carrier oil for a massage oil that promotes sleep while relieving sore muscles and headaches. You can also add a few drops to a bath to reduce stress and help relieve insomnia.
Researchers from Arizona and Texas have made a breakthrough discovery in plant DNA that could lead to stopping cancer cold, as well as slowing the aging process
Centenarians are optimistic and have low rates of depression and other psychiatric problems
Good quality sleep, in the right amount, can improve how you think and adapt to life’s circumstances
Eating well and avoiding toxins also factor into your overall well-being
Youthfulness, vitality and a long, prosperous life have been sought after throughout human history. And now, it seems scientists may have discovered one of the keys to turning back the hands of time.
Researchers from Arizona State University and Texas A&M University have made a breakthrough discovery in plant DNA that could lead to stopping cancer cold and slowing the aging process, ABC affiliate News 15 Arizona reports.1
The research involves telomerase, an enzyme that produces the DNA of telomeres, which have been shown to play a role in the aging process. As your telomeres lengthen, they protect your cells from aging.
Take It From the Experts: Centenarians Share Their Secrets
While direct applications from the study to human health are distant, there are a number of things you can do now to improve your health span, according to one of the co-authors. In interviews and surveys with centenarians, certain themes came up time and time again when they explained why they’ve lived so long. The 10 most common reasons they gave for their long lives were:
Keeping a positive attitude
Eating good food
Participating in moderate exercise like walking, gardening swimming, etc.
Living clean (not smoking or drinking excessively)
Having family to interact with
Having a circle of friends
Being born with “good” genes
Staying mentally active and continually learning
Centenarians are the fastest growing segment of the U.S population, with numbers doubling every decade; by the year 2050, the number of people who will have reached the century mark is expected to pass 1 million.
Centenarians have 60% lower rates of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, yet scientific explanations for their health and longevity remain elusive. As a group, they are happy and optimistic and have extremely low rates of depression and other psychiatric problems, suggesting you may live longer by maintaining the right attitude.
Hopefulness and Positivity Affect the Heart
There are compelling links between cardiac health and mental health. For example, having untreated depression or anxiety disorder increases your odds of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Stress hormones are again a primary culprit.
According to Julia Boehm, author of earlier Harvard studies looking at optimism and cardiovascular disease (CVD):2
“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status or body weight.”
With a later study,3 author Eric Kim told The Harvard Gazette:
“While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference.
Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviors and healthier ways of coping with life challenges.”
The Significance of Sound Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is an important part of both mental and physical health. Too much or too little can lead to metabolic issues, as well as changes in mood and your ability to focus. Your circadian rhythm, which affects your sleep/wake cycle, holds implications for your brain, body temperature, hormones and cell regeneration among other things.4
“Irregular rhythms have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder,” say scientists from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.5
Italian researchers found that deletion of a specific gene related to aging also affects glucose homeostasis. According to their article, published in the journal Glia, “Disruption of the circadian cycle is strongly associated with metabolic imbalance and reduced longevity in humans.”6
Telomeres and telomerase activity are also controlled by your circadian rhythm,7 making proper sleep an important part of longevity. In a 2007 study involving 21,268 adult twins, Finnish researchers found that adults who slept more than eight hours per night, or less than seven, showed increased risk of death.8
Of course, the quality of your sleep is also important, not just the quantity. Good quality sleep, in the appropriate amount, can improve how you think and adapt to the demands on your time and changes throughout your day. There is evidence suggesting that a calm mind and active body are two important ingredients for longevity.
The meditative technique known as “mindfulness” has even been shown to have a beneficial effect on genetic expression. According to a 2018 article in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity,9 meditation has also been found to affect the enzyme telomerase, which some researchers believe is actively involved with the process of aging.
After Resting, Be Sure to Refuel
Additionally, there are many other strategies you can implement to improve your health and extend your life span. To live longer, you need to counteract the progressive loss of muscle mass by increasing your protein intake as you age. The elderly, bodybuilders and endurance athletes typically have higher than normal protein requirements for their age group.
It’s also important to cycle high and low protein intake. Ideally, combine protein restriction with time-restricted eating, followed by increased protein intake on strength training days.
Fasting 16 to 20 hours each day is likely ideal, as this allows your body to more thoroughly deplete the glycogen stores in your liver. Benefits of fasting include the suppression of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the activation of autophagy, both of which play decisive roles in disease prevention and longevity.
You’d also be wise to avoid eating two to three hours before bed, as late-night eating will decrease your nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) level, which is crucial for health and longevity. Late-night eating will also make you pack on unwanted pounds, as the excess calories will not be burned but stored as fat.
Preventing Cognitive Decline
Naturally, if you’re going to live longer, you’ll want to be healthy for the remainder, and that includes maintaining your cognitive function. Specific nutrients that can help prevent dementia and cognitive decline include vitamin D, DHA, folate and magnesium. Additional nutrients of notable interest, which are readily available in supplement form, include:
Astaxanthin — Commonly called “king of the carotenoids,” is a potent anti-inflammatory from specific types of microalgae and may be useful for treating joint and muscle pain. It also supports healthy vision and can be used as an “internal sunscreen.”
Ergothioneine — Found in porcini mushrooms, ergothioneine appears to play a specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage. Along with glutathione, it may offer protection against age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and heart disease.
PQQ — Particularly important for the health and protection of your mitochondria, PQQ has been shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It also works synergistically with CoQ10, producing better results than when either one is used alone. Celery, parsley and kiwi are dietary sources of PQQ.
Kick the Chemicals to the Curb
Naturally, there’s also the issue of toxic exposures, which can take a toll on your health, so avoiding toxins is a given, right along with eating a wholesome diet of organic, unprocessed foods.
This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with nontoxic alternatives.
A group of scientists from Southeast University and Changzhou No. 7 People’s Hospital in China recently published a study10 about the role of plastics in our environment and how long-term exposure affects our health. They found that high concentrations of nanoplastic particles reduced the life span of roundworms.
They believe that different levels of exposure may have effects on locomotion and immune response, indicating that nanopolystyrene is likely toxic to all types of organisms.
“Our results highlight the potential of long-term nanopolystyrene exposure in reducing longevity and in affecting health state during the aging process in environmental organisms,” they wrote. Next week I will post my interview with leading researcher James Clement on his book, “The Switch,” that will go into far more fascinating details on this topic.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs seasonally, typically ramping up in the fall and winter months and disappearing come spring
Helpful treatments include optimizing your vitamin D and omega-3 levels, light therapy (including blue light exposure in the morning, but not later in the day), optimizing your sleep, the Emotional Freedom Techniques and exercise
Your health and mood are intricately tied to exposure to sunlight. For example, your serotonin levels (the hormone typically associated with elevating your mood) rise when you’re exposed to bright light. Your melatonin level also rises and falls (inversely) with light and darkness
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, and should be a top consideration when you’re looking for a solution to flagging mood and energy — especially if it occurs during fall and winter months
While light therapy can take up to four weeks before you notice improvement, it was shown to be more effective than antidepressants for moderate to severe depression in a 2015 study
The loss of daylight hours during winter is a common cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that hits seasonally and lifts as spring and summer rolls back around.
The fact that SAD occurs when the days begin to darken and sunlight is at a minimum is not a coincidence. Your health and mood are intricately tied to exposure to sunlight. For example, your serotonin levels (the hormone typically associated with elevating your mood) rise when you’re exposed to bright light.
Your melatonin level also rises and falls — inversely — with light and darkness. When it’s dark, your melatonin levels increase, which is why you may feel tired when the sun starts to set, and in the heart of winter, this may be at as early as 3 p.m. if you live far from the equator. Light and darkness also control your biological clock, or circadian rhythm, which impacts hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism.
As explained in the paper, “Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Approaches,” published in the journal Depression Research and Treatment in 2015:1
“… SAD is a recurrent major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern usually beginning in fall and continuing into winter months. A subsyndromal type of SAD, or S-SAD, is commonly known as ‘winter blues.’ Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
Symptoms center on sad mood and low energy. Those most at risk are female, are younger, live far from the equator, and have family histories of depression, bipolar disorder, or SAD … Typical treatment includes antidepressant medications, light therapy, vitamin D, and counselling.”
Considering the many health risks associated with antidepressants, and the fact that their efficacy is right on par with placebos, my recommendation is to avoid them if at all possible.
Aside from light therapy and vitamin D, other drug-free treatment options include optimizing your omega-3 level, exercise, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and normalizing your circadian rhythm, all of which will be reviewed here.
The Role of Vitamin D
As explained in the featured paper,2vitamin D appears to play a role in the activity of serotonin, a mood-balancing hormone, and melatonin, a hormone that responds to light and dark.
People with SAD tend to have lower serotonin and higher melatonin levels, which can account for the fatigue, tiredness and depressed mood typically associated with this condition. According to the Depression Research and Treatment paper:3
“A systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression … During the winter months of November through February, those living about 33 degrees north or 30 degrees south of the equator are not able to synthesize vitamin D.
Many people with SAD and S-SAD have insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D, and although no further studies have confirmed the findings, research investigating this association suggests that taking 100,000 IU daily may improve their symptoms.
Taking vitamin D before winter darkness sets in may help prevent symptoms of depression. Adverse reactions or intoxication is rare but could occur from doses of more than 50,000 IU per day.”
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, and should be a top consideration when you’re looking for a solution to flagging mood and energy — especially if it occurs during fall and winter months.
Ideally, you’ll want to get your vitamin D level tested twice a year, in summer and winter, when your levels are highest and lowest. This will help you fine-tune your dosage over time. While regular sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D level, this isn’t possible in many areas during the winter, thus necessitating the use of oral supplements instead.
GrassrootsHealth has a helpful calculator that can help estimate the dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. The optimal level you’re looking for is between 60 and 80 ng/ml, and for all-around health, you’ll want to maintain this level year-round.
Omega-3 Fats Are Important Too
Another nutrient that can be helpful is marine-based omega-3. As noted in a 2009 review4 of three studies looking at the impact of omega-3 supplementation on patients with unipolar depression, childhood major depression and bipolar depression:
“Twelve bipolar outpatients with depressive symptoms were treated with 1.5-2.0 g/day of EPA for up to 6 months. In the adult unipolar depression study, highly significant benefits were found by week 3 of EPA treatment compared with placebo.
In the child study, an analysis … showed highly significant effects of omega-3 on each of the three rating scales. In the bipolar depression study, 8 of the 10 patients who completed at least one month of follow-up achieved a 50% or greater reduction in Hamilton depression scores within one month.”
In another study5 published that same year, people with lower blood levels of omega-3s were found to be more likely to have symptoms of depression and a more negative outlook while those with higher blood levels demonstrated the opposite emotional states.
A more recent review,6 published in 2015, pointed out that “Cell signaling and structure of the cell membrane are changed by omega-3-fatty acids, which demonstrates that an omega-3-fatty acid can act as an antidepressant.”
Importantly, this paper also points to research showing that the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 is an important factor that can influence your depression risk. People with severe symptoms of depression have been found to have low concentrations of omega-3 in conjunction with considerably higher concentrations of omega-6.
You can learn more about the importance of this ratio in “Getting Your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio Right Is Essential For Optimal Health.” The key, really, to normalizing this ratio is to increase your omega-3 intake while simultaneously lowering your omega-6 consumption. This means you’ll need to ditch processed and fried foods, as they’re typically loaded with omega-6-rich vegetable oils.
Get Tested Today
GrassrootsHealth, which is conducting consumer-sponsored research into both vitamin D and omega-3, is one of your most cost-effective alternatives when it comes to testing.
Their vitamin D testing kit enrolls you into the GrassrootsHealth D*Action project, where your anonymized data will help researchers to provide accurate data about the vitamin D status in the population, the level at which disease prevention is obtained, and guidance on dosing to achieve optimal levels.
Their vitamin D, magnesium and omega-3 test kit is another option that will allow you to check the status of several vital nutrients at once. Each kit contains instructions for how to collect your blood sample. You then mail in your sample and fill out a quick online health questionnaire through GrassrootsHealth. A link to your test results will be emailed to you about a week after your blood samples have been received.
Light Therapy Is More Effective Than Antidepressants
Light therapy,7 using full-spectrum nonfluorescent lighting that has blue light to artificially mimic sunlight, is among the most effective treatment options for SAD. You want to avoid fluorescents as they emit large amounts of dirty electricity. Ideally, have the light exposure in the morning, well after sunrise. As noted in the Depression Research and Treatment paper:8
“Knowing the difference decreased daylight can make in triggering SAD and S-SAD, approaches seeking to replace the diminished sunshine using bright artificial light, particularly in the morning, have consistently showed promise …
Light boxes can be purchased that emit full spectrum light similar in composition to sunlight. Symptoms of SAD and S-SAD may be relieved by sitting in front of a light box first thing in the morning, from the early fall until spring …
Typically, light boxes filter out ultraviolet rays and require 20–60 minutes of exposure to 10,000 lux of cool-white… light daily during fall and winter.
This is about 20 times as great as ordinary indoor lighting … Light therapy should not be used in conjunction with photosensitizing medications such as lithium, melatonin, phenothiazine antipsychotics, and certain antibiotics.”
While light therapy can take up to four weeks before you notice an improvement, it was shown to be more effective than antidepressants for moderate to severe depression in a 2015 study.9,10 In it, the researchers evaluated the effectiveness of light therapy, alone and in conjunction with the antidepressant fluoxetine (sold under the brand name Prozac).
The eight-week trial included 122 adults between the ages of 19 and 60, who were diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. The participants were divided into four groups, receiving:
30 minutes of light therapy per day upon waking, using a 10,000 lux Carex brand day-light device, classic model, plus a placebo pill
Prozac (20 mg/day) plus a deactivated ion generator serving as a placebo light device
Light therapy plus Prozac
Placebo light device plus placebo pill (control group)
In conclusion, the study found that the combination of light therapy and Prozac was the most effective — but light therapy-only came in at a close second, followed by placebo. In other words, the drug treatment was the least effective of all, including placebo.
The mean changes in the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale from baseline to the eight-week end point was 16.9 for the combination therapy (active light- and drug therapy), and 13.4 for light therapy alone.
Blue Light During Daytime Hours May Improve Your Mood
In addition to the bright white light used in light therapy, blue light has also been shown to be useful. According to a 2010 study,11blue light appears to play a key role in your brain’s ability to process emotions, and its results suggest that spending more time in blue-enriched light could help prevent SAD.
Blue light is prevalent in outdoor light, so your body absorbs the most during the summer and much less in the winter. Because of this, the researchers suggested that adding blue light to indoor lighting, as opposed to the standard yellow lights typically used, may help boost mood and productivity year-round, and especially during the winter.
Keep in mind, however, that blue light after sunset or before sunrise should be avoided, as it can disrupt your circadian rhythm. In fact, one of the reasons for insomnia and poor sleep is related to excessive exposure to blue light-emitting technologies such as TV and computer screens, especially in the evening.
The blue light depresses melatonin production, thereby preventing you from feeling sleepy. So, to be clear, you only want to expose yourself to blue light in the morning, and possibly afternoon, but not in the evening.
“[R]ods and cones in the eye… are specialized cells that can transduce a photo signal into a nerve signal… In the mid-90s, a different type of cell was discovered… [called] intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGC).
It does the same thing as rods and cones: it transduced light to a nerve signal. But instead of the signal going to your visual cortex, it goes to your master clock. Those cells are most responsive to blue light. If you can block blue light, you can actually create something called circadian darkness or virtual darkness.
What that means is that you can see, but your brain doesn’t think that it’s daytime; your brain thinks that it’s in darkness. That is actually a practical solution for living with artificial light in our modern world…
With more awareness, future digital devices will adjust lighting in the evening to automatically dim and emit amber/red light [instead of blue]. This is much better for healthy circadian rhythms and sleep quality.”
As you can tell by Pardi’s explanation above, the blue light issue is closely related to your sleep quality and circadian rhythm maintenance, and this too is an important component of mental health.
Historically, humans went to sleep shortly after sunset and woke up when the sun rose. Straying too far from this biological pattern will disrupt delicate hormonal cycles in your body, which can affect both your mood and your health. Indeed, the link between depression and lack of sleep is well established, and sleep disturbance is one of the telltale signs of depression.12
Sleep therapy has also been shown to significantly improve depression. While there are individual differences, as a general rule, you’ll want to aim for about eight hours of sleep per night.
For many, this will require going to bed earlier, which can be difficult if you’ve been watching TV or using electronics beforehand, as the blue light from the screen suppresses your melatonin production.
So, an important part of the solution is to avoid screen-time for a couple of hours before bed. Alternatives to not watching TV or using electronics is to install a blue light modulating software such as Iris,13 or using blue-blocking glasses.
Just make sure you don’t wear blue blocking glasses during the daytime, which is when you need the blue light exposure. Also, make sure the glasses filter out light between 460 to 490 nanometers (nm), which is the range of blue light that most effectively reduces melatonin. You can easily tell this by looking at a blue light and if it doesn’t disappear with the glasses, it is not blocking that frequency.
Exercise Helps Prevent Depression
Like sleep, exercise can impact your risk of depression. Even a minimal amount of exercise may be enough to combat depression in some people — as little as one hour a week could prevent 12% of future cases of depression, according to one study.14
Participants were followed for 11 years in this study, during which time it was revealed that people who engaged in regular leisure-time exercise for one hour a week, regardless of intensity, were less likely to become depressed. On the flipside, those who didn’t exercise were 44% more likely to become depressed compared to those who did so for at least one to two hours a week.
Exercise benefits your brain and mood via multiple mechanisms, including creating new, excitable neurons along with new neurons designed to release the GABA neurotransmitter, which inhibits excessive neuronal firing, helping to induce a natural state of calm15 — similar to the way anti-anxiety drugs work, except that the mood-boosting benefits of exercise occur both immediately after a workout and on in the long term.
Exercise also boosts levels of potent brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress. What’s more, anandamide levels are known to increase during and following exercise.16Anandamide is a neurotransmitter and endocannabinoid produced in your brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. It can also be activated with CBD products.
Tap for Symptoms of Depression
Last but not least, EFT, a form of psychological acupressure, is a noninvasive way that can help treat symptoms of depression, whether related to seasonal light differences or not.
Some people avoid energy psychology, believing it’s an alternative form of New Age spirituality. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is merely an advanced tool that can effectively address some of the psychological short circuiting that occurs in emotional illnesses.
It is not associated with any religion or spiritual outlook at all, but merely an effective resource you can use with whatever spiritual belief you have. In the video above, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how you can use EFT to relieve your symptoms.
It’s the Season To Be Glad, Not SAD
Since SAD is triggered by the loss of light, it makes sense that light therapy is among the most effective treatments. Vitamin D and/or omega-3 deficiency, as well as lack of sleep and exercise, can also play a significant role, so addressing these basic lifestyle factors could also be what you need to avoid the winter blues.
In closing, it may be worth noting that it’s natural for your body to want to slow down somewhat in the wintertime. While this can be difficult when your work and personal life dictate otherwise, allowing yourself to slow down a bit and surrender to the overwinter process may ultimately help you to respect your body’s circadian rhythm, and recharge.
That said, this doesn’t mean you should plant yourself on the couch for the winter and not venture outdoors. On the contrary, staying active and spending time outdoors during the day are among the best “cures” for SAD.
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019
Insomnia: Everything You Knew
Valerian is the herbal superstar for insomnia. Several studies prove that valerian safely helps you fall asleep faster and enjoy a better sleep. Double-blind research shows that valerian improves sleep in 89% of people and that 44% of them report perfect sleep.
How good is valerian? Valerian is better than the best drugs for insomnia. In one double-blind study, 600mg of valerian extract equalled the benzodiazepine oxazepam while being safer, and in another it beat it: while both treatments significantly improved sleep quality, the valerian was safer, and 82.2% of people with insomnia felt they had very good results with valerian while only 73.4% felt they did with oxazepam. A review of controlled studies of insomniacs found that nine out of twelve studies of valerian found improvement in at least one measure of sleep. According to the authors, there were severe design flaws in the three studies that didn’t find a benefit.
Valerian and hops can also be combined with passionflower. A double-blind study compared the three herb combo to the drug zolpidem in 78 adults with insomnia. The herbal dose was 300mg valerian extract standardized to .8% valerenic acid, 80 mg passionflower extract standardized to 4% isovitexin and 30 mg hops extract standardized to 0.35% rutin. Each person took one dose at bedtime. In both groups, time to fall asleep improved significantly and comparably. The two treatments both also significantly and comparably improved the amount of time they slept: the drug group improved from 3.5 to 5.7 hours, and the herb group had a slightly better improvement from 3.4 to 5.9 hours. The two treatments were also equally effective for significantly improving night time awakenings and quality of life.
Another good herb to combine with valerian is lemon balm. Double-blind studies prove that this combination works (1). It works as well as the drug Halcion without the daytime drowsiness and trouble concentrating that the drug causes (2).
More than Insomnia: Everything You Didn’t Know
Insomnia & Menopause
Women going through menopause often struggle with insomnia: about 50% of menopausal women experience sleep disturbances. But a four week triple-blind study of 100 postmenopausal women with insomnia found that quality of sleep improved significantly more with valerian than with placebo. 30% of women in the valerian group had improved sleep versus only 4% in the placebo group. The dose was 530mg concentrated valerian extract twice a day.
When 100 menopausal women with sleep disturbances were given a placebo or a combination of valerian and lemon balm, there was significantly better improvement in sleep in the herbal group.
It may not come as much of a surprise that the greatest herb for insomnia can help menopausal women with insomnia. What is much more surprising is that valerian doesn’t just help the insomnia of menopause, it helps the menopause.
A new triple-blind study gave a placebo or 530mg of valerian twice a day for two months to sixty postmenopausal women. Both the frequency and severity of hot flashes improved significantly more in the valerian group.
This is not the first study to show that valerian helps hot flashes. An earlier study of 68 women found that, when compared to placebo, 225mg of valerian given three times a day significantly reduces the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Hot flash severity dropped from 9.82 to 5.23 after eight weeks on valerian, while the placebo group only changed from 9.96 to 9.86. As for frequency, the valerian group improved from 7.91 hot flashes a day to only 4.83 while the women on the placebo went from 7.73 to 7.75.
And menopause is not the only problem that valerian can solve for women. A recent double-blind study gave women with PMS valerian extract or placebo. There was significant improvement on valerian but no improvement on placebo. Valerian was significantly better at improving PMS symptom severity. It significantly improved both emotional and physical symptoms.
And that’s not all. A double-blind study gave either a placebo or 255mg of valerian three times a day to 100 students. The valerian was given for three days beginning at the start of menstruation for two consecutive cycles. The valerian was significantly more effective at reducing menstrual pain.
The great sleep herb valerian is also as good as drugs for anxiety. When researchers compared valerian to benzodiazepines for insomnia, they found an unexpected result: it not only equalled the drug for insomnia, it also equalled it for anxiety and with fewer side effects. Combining valerian and passionflower is also effective (3).
Anxiety down, stress to go. Valerian, passionflower and lemon balm are all great herbs for relaxing. This double-blind study gave seventy men either a placebo or a combination of 90mg valerian, 90mg of passionflower, 60mg of lemon balm and 90mg of butterbur or no treatment for four days. The men were then subjected to a social stress test, consisting of a five minute oral presentation and a five minute mental subtraction activity while being taped in front of a live audience. Tests for self reported levels of stress revealed that the group on the herbs suffered significantly less stress than the other two groups.
Valerian may even be able to help people struggling with OCD. An eight week double-blind pilot study of 31 adults with OCD found that 765mg a day of valerian was significantly better than placebo at treating OCD (J Complement Integr Med 2011;8).
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To learn more about ways Valerian may benefit your health, visit the GreenMedInfo database on the subject.
1. Dressing H, Köhler S, Müller WE. Improvement of sleep quality with a high-dose valerian/lemon balm preparation: A placebo-controlled double-blind study. Psychopharmakotherapie 1996;6:32-40.
2. Dressing H, Riemann D, Low H, et al. Insomnia: Are valerian/balm combination of equal value to benzodiazepine? Therapiewoche 1992;42:726-36.
3. Brown D. Valerian root: Non-addictive alternative for insomnia and anxiety. Quart Rev Nat Med 1994;Fall:221-4 [review]
Linda Woolven and Ted Snider are the authors of several books on natural health and of the natural health newsletter, The Natural Path. Their latest book, Chocolate: Superfood of the Gods, clearly lays out the science that dark chocolate is nature’s perfect superfood.
(NaturalHealth365) Antibiotics are a popular class of drugs that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate are frequently over-prescribed. In fact, the CDC has previously suggested that as many as 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary!
Used to kill infections, antibiotics can also wreak havoc on your gut health and immune system. And along with the physicians incorrectly prescribing them and individuals incorrectly taking them, antibiotics are giving rise to the dangerous public health crisis of antibiotic resistance, aka “superbugs.” To make matters worse, data indicates that a certain type of antibiotic sold as, Zithromax poses serious heart risks to consumers.
Heart attack warning: Zithromax antibiotic could be a deadly choice
Zithromax is an antibiotic typically prescribed for infections like bronchitis, ear infections, and pneumonia. Sometimes called azithromycin, Zmax, or “Z-Pack”, many doctors and patients prefer it because it can be taken for fewer days than other common antibiotics like amoxicillin. Compared to the typical 10-day course, a full course of Zithromax is only five days.
However, Zithromax is twice as expensive as generic amoxicillin and can cost as much as a few bucks per pill – which likely explains why pharmaceutical companies love it so much (sales for the drug topped $464 million in 2011 in the United States alone).
But data from a 2012 study out of Vanderbilt University determined that people who use Zithromax have an increased risk of sudden deadly heart issues. Researchers looked at millions of antibiotic prescriptions given to well over half a million Medicaid patients between the years of 1992 and 2006.
They discovered that 29 heart-related deaths occurred among people taking Zithromax during the short five-day course.
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While rare, these heart-related deaths were enough to show that certain individuals taking Z-Pack drugs may be twice as likely to die while taking the drug compared to similar individuals taking other kinds of antibiotics (or taking none at all). The proposed reason is that Z-Pack drugs may lead to dysfunctional electrical activity and ultimately lead to fatal heart rhythms.
This data has been corroborated by other research, including a follow-up paper published in May 2012 in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions medical providers to avoid giving Zithromax to patients with known cardiovacular risk factors, including prolonged QT intervals, potassium or magnesium deficiencies, bradycardia (slow heart rate), or people already taing drugs to treat abnormal heart rhythms.
How to avoid the need for antibiotics and reduce your risk of infections
Let’s face it: antibiotics are a risky class of drugs and are medically unnecessary at least 30% of the time.
So, to help yourself stay healthy throughout the year and help you avoid both bacterial infections and antibiotics …
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and vitamin D through foods like leafy greens, citrus fruits, fatty fish and eggs (you can also back up your health with high quality supplements).
Cut out heavily processed foods: Especially simple sugars, these foods are main drivers behind the rise of chronic disease and can make you sick, fat, and more prone to infections.
Commit to good quality sleep! Not getting enough sleep damages your immune system. It also promotes weight gain and higher levels of stress.
Mounting research suggests your gut microbiome helps regulate not only your mood but also your sleep cycle through what’s known as the gut-brain axis — a bidirectional communication “highway” that links your central and enteric nervous systems
Your gut microbiota affect brain function through the immunoregulatory pathway, the neuroendocrine pathway and the vagus nerve pathway, all three of which have this bidirectional flow
Research shows the microbiota in your gut are under circadian control, which means disruptions in sleep can affect the composition and health of your microbiome, which can have significant impact on your overall health
The microbes in your gut can also affect the actual quality of your sleep. Total microbiome diversity is positively correlated with increased sleep efficiency and total sleep time
Recent research shows the composition of your gut microbiome, the quality and quantity of your sleep, your immune function and cognition are all connected
Sleep plays an integral role in your immune function, and one of the surprising mechanisms behind this link has to do with how sleep impacts your gut microbiome. Two recent studies shed light on this connection between sleep and your gut health.
The first, published in the December 2018 issue of Frontiers in Psychiatry,1 focused on the microbiome’s role in insomnia and depression. As noted by the authors:
“Numerous studies have suggested that the incidence of insomnia and depressive disorder are linked to biological rhythms, immune function, and nutrient metabolism, but the exact mechanism is not yet clear.
There is considerable evidence showing that the gut microbiome not only affects the digestive, metabolic, and immune functions of the host but also regulates host sleep and mental states through the microbiome-gut-brain axis.
Preliminary evidence indicates that microorganisms and circadian genes can interact with each other. The characteristics of the gastrointestinal microbiome and metabolism are related to the host’s sleep and circadian rhythm.”
Your Gut Microbiome’s Role in Insomnia and Depression
As noted in the Frontiers in Psychiatry study,2 mounting research suggests your gut microbiome helps regulate not only your mood but also your sleep cycle through what’s known as the gut-brain axis — a bidirectional communication “highway” that links your central and enteric nervous systems.3
According to the authors of this paper, your gut microbiota affect brain function through three different pathways, all of which have this bidirectional flow:4
1.The immunoregulatory pathway — Here, gut bacteria influence brain function via interaction with immune cells that regulate your levels of cytokines, cytokinetic reaction factor and prostaglandin E2.
2.The neuroendocrine pathway — With more than 20 types of enteroendocrine cells, your intestine is the largest endocrine organ in your body. As explained by the authors,5 “The gut microbiome may affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the central nervous system (CNS) by regulating the secretion of neurotransmitters such as cortisol, tryptophan and serotonin (5-HT).”
3.The vagus nerve pathway — Your enteric nervous system also plays an important role in the vagus nerve pathway. Here, gut microbiota can exert influence via sensory neurons in your intestinal myenteric plexus.
These intestinal neurons have synaptic connections to motor neurons in the intestine that help regulate hormone secretion in the gut and intestinal motility. Synaptic connections also exist between the intestinal nervous system and the vagus nerve, which connects your brain and intestine.
The authors note that neurotoxic metabolites produced by various gut microbiota can also enter into your CNS via your vagus nerve, “thereby affecting brain function, stress responses and sleep structure.”
As mentioned, the information flow through these three pathways is bidirectional, so your CNS can also regulate the composition of your gut microbiome through these pathways.
As one example, through its ability to alter the function of epithelial cells in your intestine, the HPA axis can affect the bacteria’s living environment, and in so doing, influence the composition of your gut microbiome.6
Circadian Genes Affect Your Gut Microbiome
In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to three biologists for their discovery of master genes that control your body’s circadian rhythms. Your body contains not just one biological clock, but a vast array of clocks that regulate everything from metabolism to psychological functioning.
While the master clock in your brain synchronizes your bodily functions to match the 24-hour light and dark cycle, each and every organ, indeed each cell, has its own biological clock.
Half of your genes are also under circadian control, turning on and off in cyclical waves. As you might expect, the microbiota in your gut are also under circadian control, which means disruptions in sleep can affect the composition and health of your microbiome as well. As reported in Frontiers in Psychiatry:7
“Evidence suggests that Clostridiales, Lactobacillales, and Bacteroidales, which account for ~60% of the microbiota, show significant diurnal fluctuations that result in time-of-day-specific taxonomic configurations.
Liang et al. found that the two primary components of the mammalian intestinal microbiota, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes, showed cyclical changes in abundance from day to night that are related not only to rhythmic food intake and dietary structure but also to the biological clock and gender of the host.
Recent studies showed that circadian clock misalignment, sleep deprivation, and shift experience changes circadian clock gene expression and microbial community structure.
Interfering with the sleep patterns of mice can also change the structure and diversity of the intestinal microbiota. These findings suggest that circadian genes might affect the intestinal microbiota.”
So, to summarize the findings of this Frontiers in Psychiatry, there’s a bidirectional connection between your gut microbiome, your sleep and your risk of depression, and endocrine hormones and clock genes play important roles in these processes.
Microbiome Diversity Linked to Sleep Quality
The second study8,9 addressing the curious link between your gut health and sleep was published in PLOS ONE in 2019. Here, the researchers investigated how the microbes in your gut affect the actual quality of your sleep — which we already know can have far-reaching effects on your general health.
Poor sleep and/or lack of sleep has been linked to a wide variety of ailments and health conditions, ranging from poor cognitive performance and neurological dysfunction to an increased risk for Type 2 diabetes,10 heart disease,11 cancer12 and Alzheimer’s disease.13
Using advanced sleep measuring devices, the researchers were able to measure the quality of participants’ sleep, which was then compared to the composition of their gut microbiome to see if a correlation could be made. As reported by the authors:14
“We found that total microbiome diversity was positively correlated with increased sleep efficiency and total sleep time, and was negatively correlated with wake after sleep onset. We found positive correlations between total microbiome diversity and interleukin-6, a cytokine previously noted for its effects on sleep.
Analysis of microbiome composition revealed that within phyla richness of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were positively correlated with sleep efficiency, interleukin-6 concentrations and abstract thinking.
Finally, we found that several taxa (Lachnospiraceae, Corynebacterium, and Blautia) were negatively correlated with sleep measures. Our findings initiate linkages between gut microbiome composition, sleep physiology, the immune system and cognition. They may lead to mechanisms to improve sleep through the manipulation of the gut microbiome.”
The Role of Cytokines
As mentioned at the beginning, sleep is known to influence your immune function, and cytokines, produced in response to an antigen, are multifunctional chemical messengers that help regulate your innate and adaptive immune systems.15
Interestingly, cytokines also appear to act as a “critical interface between sleep physiology and gut microbiome composition,” according to this study. As explained by the authors:16
“The acute phase pathway cytokines IL-1β and IL-6 in particular are strongly associated with sleep physiology. IL-1β is a major somnogenic factor. IL-1β administration in human and non-human animals increases spontaneous sleep and fatigue, and IL-1β increases with ongoing sleep loss.
Unlike IL-1β, IL-6 is not a direct somnogenic factor, but sleep loss results in increased IL-6 levels. In the gut, IL-6 and IL-1β mediated-inflammation fluctuate in response to stress and disease.
For example, intestinal mucositis results in increased expression of IL-6 and-IL-1β in the small intestine and in serum and colon tissue in mice. In humans, chronic stress alone increases IL-6 and-IL-1β.
Despite the close relationship between cytokine activity, gut microbiome activity and sleep, only a handful of studies have examined sleep and gut-microbiome composition … In humans, previous research has shown that partial sleep deprivation can alter the gut microbiome composition in as little as 48 hours …
A more recent study showed that high sleep quality was associated with a gut microbiome containing a high proportion of bacteria from the Verrucomicrobia and Lentisphaerae phyla, and that this was associated with improved performance on cognitive tasks.”
So, in summary, what this PLOS ONE study reveals is that the composition of your gut microbiome, the quality and quantity of your sleep, your immune function and cognition are all connected.
Lack of Sleep Makes Chronic Health Problems Extra Risky
The finding that poor sleep and lack of sleep can deteriorate your gut health helps explain why sleeping too little when you’re struggling with a chronic health issue could be a downright deadly prescription. As reported by CNN Health:17
“If you’re a middle-aged adult with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes or existing heart disease and you typically sleep less than six hours each night, you could be setting yourself up for cancer or an early death from heart disease.”
The study18,19,20 CNN is referring to was published in the October 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA). In it, researchers sought to determine whether short sleep duration would increase the risk of death associated with cardiometabolic risk factors and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.
Data from 1,654 adults from the Penn State Adult Cohort were evaluated. Using Cox proportional hazard models, the adjusted hazard ratio for all-cause mortality among those who slept less than six hours and had cardiometabolic risk factors (high blood pressure, elevated glucose or Type 2 diabetes) was 2.14 times higher than those who regularly slept six hours or more.
They also had a 1.83 times higher risk of dying from cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases. Among those with a diagnosis of heart disease or stroke, sleeping less than six hours a night increased their all-cause mortality risk by 3.17 times. Interestingly, it also increased their risk of dying from cancer, specifically, by 2.92 times.
All of these associations were found to be independent of age, sex, ethnicity, obesity, smoking and other health conditions that might influence the results. Conversely, sleeping less than six hours did not increase the risk of death in those that did not have cardiometabolic risk factors or a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease diagnosis.
Likewise, those with cardiometabolic risk factors or a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease diagnosis who slept six hours or more were not at increased risk for death either. It was specifically the combination of chronic health problems and short sleep duration that increased the risk of death, including cancer mortality.
Sleep Duration Plays a Role in Mortality Prognosis
As noted by the authors:21
“Our novel findings show that objective short sleep duration increases the mortality risk of middle‐aged adults with CMRs [cardiometabolic risk factors] and those who have already developed CBVD [cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases].
Middle‐aged adults with CMR who slept <6 hours were at a high risk of dying from CBVD, whereas middle‐aged adults with CBVD who slept <6 hours were at a high risk of dying from cancer …
If these findings are replicated in other large cohorts with objective sleep measures, short sleep duration should be included in the prediction of the mortality prognosis of middle‐aged adults with CMR or CBVD.
The primary finding of the current study indicated that there was an ≈2‐fold risk for all‐cause, CBVD, and non‐CBVD mortality in participants who had CMRs at baseline and demonstrated short sleep duration in the sleep laboratory.
Individuals who had CMRs and normal sleep duration at baseline, on the other hand, did not show a significantly increased risk on any of the mortality outcomes. This finding suggests that obtaining an adequate amount of sleep may minimize the adverse effect of CMRs on multiple mortality outcomes.
For instance, participants with both CMRs and short sleep at baseline showed an 83% higher risk of dying from CBVD, whereas their CMR counterparts with normal sleep duration had a modest 35% nonsignificant higher risk of CBVD mortality …
In conclusion, objective short sleep duration is an effect modifier of the mortality risk associated with CMR or CBVD. More important, our data suggest that short sleep may operate through different mechanisms on CBVD versus cancer mortality.”
General Sleep Guidelines
Considering the massive importance of sleep for preventing the two top killers in the U.S. (heart disease and cancer), just how much sleep do you need to reap protective benefits?
According to a scientific review of more than 300 studies published between 2004 and 2014, a panel of experts came up with the following recommendations. Keep in mind that if you’re sick, injured or pregnant, you may need a bit more than normal.
Hours of sleep needed for health
Newborns (0 to 3 months)
14 to 17 hours
Infants (4 to 11 months)
12 to 15 hours
Toddlers (1 to 2 years)
11 to 14 hours
Preschoolers (3 to 5)
10 to 13 hours
School-age children (6 to 13)
9 to 11 hours
Teenagers (14 to 17)
8 to 10 hours
Adults (18 to 64)
7 to 9 hours
Seniors (65 and older)
7 to 8 hours
Set a Nightly Alarm to Help You Get Enough Sleep
There’s simply no doubt that sleep needs to be a priority in your life if you intend to live a long and healthy life. For many, this means forgoing night-owl tendencies and getting to bed at a reasonable time.
If you need to be up at 6 a.m., you need a lights-out deadline of 9:30 or 10 p.m., depending on how quickly you tend to fall asleep. If you find it difficult to get to bed on time, consider setting a bedtime alarm to remind you that it’s time to shut everything down and get ready for sleep. For further guidance, see “Sleep — Why You Need It and 50 Ways to Improve It.”
How to Nurture Your Gut Microbiome
As for how to improve and maintain a healthy microbiome — which might do more to improve your sleep than is currently appreciated — it isn’t very complicated, but you do need to take proactive steps to encourage its health while avoiding factors known to cause harm. This includes:
Eat plenty of fermented foods — Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass fed kefir, natto (fermented soy) and fermented vegetables.
Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary, and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Take a probiotic supplement — Although I’m not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are an exception if you don’t eat fermented foods on a regular basis.
Conventionally raised meats and other animal products, as factory farmed animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics and GE grains loaded with glyphosate, which is widely known to kill many bacteria.
Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts and seeds, including sprouted seeds.
Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water — Especially in your bathing such as showers, which are worse than drinking it.
Get your hands dirty in the garden — Exposure to bacteria and viruses can help to strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease.
Getting your hands dirty in the garden can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil.
Food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols and xanthan gum also appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora.
Unless 100% organic, they may also contain GMOs that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate. Artificial sweeteners have also been found to alter gut bacteria in adverse ways.22
Open your windows — For the vast majority of human history, the outside was always part of the inside, and at no moment during our day were we ever really separated from nature.
Today, we spend most of our lives indoors. And, although keeping the outside out does have its advantages, it has also changed the microbiome of your home.
Research shows that opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you.23
Agricultural chemicals —Glyphosate (Roundup) in particular is a known antibiotic and will actively kill many of your beneficial gut microbes if you eat foods contaminated with it.
Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher — Research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may actually decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system.
Antibacterial soap — It kills both good and bad bacteria and contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance.
Night Terrors can be a very emotional event for parents, especially if they become more common.
The good news is that there are things that will help, and most children “grow out of it” eventually. The average age for Night Terrors is from 3 to 12 years, although some start sooner and finish later.
Nightmares can happen at any age, often recurring in children at a particular age.
Difference between night terrors and nightmares
Children can have both, which makes things confusing, however, dealing with nightmares may be similar to the guidelines below for night terrors.
Night terrors frighten the parents, and the children have little or no recollection in the morning. During the event, they are still in a very deep stage of sleep. Children appear to be awake, but are in fact still in deep sleep as they scream or run around violently. They may not recognise their parents and usually refuse any offer of help.
Because the child is so active and seems awake but distressed, parents attempt to calm the child, but as the child does not hear the parents because of the deep sleep, they usually do not respond.
Any calming attempts fail, and trying to awaken the child may cause even more stress.
Night Terrors may last from a minute to an hour, and if they wake up during the event, they are often confused, and have no memory of the Terror.
The best approach seems to be to carefully restrain them, ensure their safety where they sleep, allowing an eventual return to natural sleep.
Nightmares (scary dreams) can and do frighten children.
Often they remember their nightmares, which happen during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep rather than Deep Sleep. During REM sleep, the child may more readily awaken during a nightmare.
This is the time for reassurance, and the child will respond to a hug and soft words.
What causes Night Terrors?
Night terrors can be caused by many things, including:
Dairy or Grain-based foods
Vitamin B group and or Niacin deficiency
Bad sleep quality
Sleep patterns out of routine
Sleep deprivation – bed time too late
Too hot or cold in bed
Noisy sleep environment
Stressful events – perhaps starting a new school, new teacher, new baby-sitter, bullying, etc
Listening to parents arguing
Watching violent TV (even the News)
Playing violent video games
Medication, especially antihistamines, decongestants, over-the-counter and prescription medication
Genetics – children of Night-Terror parents are more likely to suffer
Central nervous system problems or immaturity
What causes Nightmares?
Somewhat similar to night terrors.
Remedies for both conditions
Calm the child before bed. Read a story (not Ghostbusters or Friday 13th!)
A heavy blanket has a “hugging” effect which improves the sense of security. In warm weather, a light blanket with weights sewn into the corners may be helpful. Discourage TV for an hour before bed.
Try to maintain a consistent routine and bed time each night. Make bed time early, as children and adults tend to wake up when the sun comes up, so late bed time means less sleep. Avoid junk food, improve nutrition
Avoid all processed food, especially those with a chemical number in the ingredients list.
Avoid all grain foods, especially wheat or wheat flour, as gluten sensitivity may be a problem. Even if the doctor says the child does not have coeliac disease, they may still have gluten sensitivity and/or Leaky Gut Syndrome. Avoid dairy products as lactose or casein intolerance may be a problem.
Get the child to place all worries into an imaginary (or real) garbage bag, tie it up and place it in the bin (real or imagined).
Place a “Dream Catcher” over the bed – generally a wire loop decorated with string, beads, etc with “magic dream-catching” properties. The child may feel better if something in the room is their friend. Lavender or other calming oils – a few drops on or under the pillow, or a sprig of real lavender. Snack before bed – this may help children who have unstable blood sugar during the night (usually caused by a bad diet with too much sugar). St.John’s Wort is a natural antidepressant (children’s dose only). Not to be used with any prescription medication as many meds use the same pathway in the body. B Complex vitamins may help, also Niacin (Prolonged Release) if there is a deficiency. GABA supplements have a calming effect and may help. Vitamin D3 supplements may help, especially if the child does not get adequate direct sunshine in the middle of the day. This is a high dose, so once or twice a week is normally enough as this is a fat-soluble vitamin, not easily flushed away like the water-soluble vitamins. White noise – such as recording of ocean waves gently rolling onto the beach can have a calming effect. Even subtle noise from running a fan or ioniser may help. Classical music softly played during the night may help.