May this new millennium bring us greater peace & enlightenment.
It is the beginning of the Age Of Aquarius, imbued with the
feminine receptive energy, yin. We live in awesome, exciting
times as we move forward into the ever expanding exploration
of out inner & outer universes.
IS ANXIETY A FACT OF LIFE?
I don't think so. Readers have requested we address the
subject of relieving anxiety by using the amino acids
Taurine, & GABA, and Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Though setting
out to do this, by the time anxiety & taurine were finished,
the news was too long, so GABA & B3 will have to wait.
Taurine has many other benefits, so if anxiety is not
your interest you may want to skip ahead to the Taurine
section. I would not begin helping someone with anxiety
by giving these single agents alone, & indeed they may
not need to be given.
Suffice it to say, when you are physically healthy & biochemically
balanced you should have no symptoms of anxiety unless
you find yourself in an extremely emergent situation.
Those under 18 or over 38 who suddenly develop anxiety
which disrupts their normal activity may have one of
the medical illnesses which can include anxiety & should
have appropriate medical evaluation.
Apparently, many in our society are anxious because minor
tranquilizers are one of the most widely prescribed group
of drugs & among the most problematic when regularly
used long term, which, unfortunately, they often are.
They are highly addicting & over time risk adding to
the very symptoms they were originally intended to alleviate.
Though the Physicians Desk Reference warns of their addictive
potential & suggests only intermittent or short term
usage, these warnings are often ignored. Some of these
tranquilizers are Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, Librium.
Tranxene, as well as some of the sleeping meds.
PHYSIOLOGICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL ANXIETY, OR BOTH?
It helps to distinguish whether the anxiety begins with
physical symptoms such as racing heart, sweaty palms,
shaking, nervous stomach, restlessness, tension, etc.
& then perhaps spreads to associated thoughts & fears.
Or does it begin with fearful anxious thoughts & spread
to become a physiological reaction? Or is it only manifested
by thoughts with no physical component or physical symptoms
with little associated fear thoughts.
When there is a usual thought onset to the symptoms, besides
doing all of the next recommended items, it is important
to decondition your thought patterns. There are many
techniques for doing this. My current favorite is the
use of Hypnoperipheral Processing reprogramming tapes.
This is a combination of hypnosis & Neurolinguistic Programming.
It is a powerful & effective tool for change! You can
find such tapes at http://www.metamodels.com/maps/hpp.html.
I would suggest the series "Changing Emotions" & "Feeling
We also clarify the timing of the anxiety. Is it all the
time, or at certain times of the day or night? Is it
only in very specific situations? I had a patient who
only had severe anxiety when going out in the car. We
found she was sensitive to auto fumes & when we had her
wear a carbon filtered mask to keep out the fumes, she
was able to go out without any anxiety. What percentage
of agoraphobics are having their symptoms as a reaction
to a specific chemical environment?
All of this detective work helps to clarify how much is
physical, how much is psychological, or even how much
is a psychological conditioned response to a physical
Is the problem related to blood sugar instabilty, which
I see quite often & commonly has a pattern of middle
of the night, early a.m. or mid-afternoon symptoms. Or
is it related to food sensitivities? Is there is a personal
or family history of allergies or is a person repetitively
eating the same foods, or many of the high allergen foods,
such as milk, cheese, wheat, eggs?
We also look for a history of high caffeine, alcohol, or
sugar intake , or a general junk food diet.
Is there a premenstrual or menopausal component?
Is the person on medications which can cause anxiety as
a side effect?
WHAT DOES NUTRITION HAVE TO DO WITH ANXIETY?
It is known that deficiencies of certain nutrients can
cause anxiety, so begin by improving your diet. Those
nutrients are: Vitamins B1, B3, B6, B12, folic acid,
calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, omega-3-fatty acids,
such as fish or flax seed oil, & certain amino acids,
such as L-tryptophan, taurine, GABA. Too much calcium
can also cause anxiety.
First, clean up your diet. With your diet improvement
you may want to add a good multivitamin mineral, an extra
B complex, & an omega-3-fatty acid to basically cover
most of the above listed nutrients.
You would then only add extra items if all of the above
failed to make a difference after 2 weeks. My first choice
would be extra magnesium
& the next choice would be taurine.
WHAT IS TAURINE?
Taurine is an amino acid which plays a major role in the
brain as an "inhibitory" neurotransmitter & neuromodulator.
It is similiar in structure to the amino acids GABA &
L-Glycine, which are also neuroinhibitory. This means
it helps to calm or stabilize an excited brain.
Taurine stabilizes nerve cell membranes thus depressing
the firing of brain cells & dampening the nerve cell
action of the excitatory amino acids, glutamate, aspartate,
Taurine acts by regulating the sodium & potassium concentration
in the cells & the magnesium level between the cells.
This has everything to do with the electrical activity
of the cells & subsequent communication between cells.
By this mechanism, it has anti-anxiety & anti-convulsant
activity. It has also been found useful in some cases
of migraine, insomnia, agitation, restlessness, irritability,
alcoholism, obsessions, depression, hypomania/mania.
Dosage is from 500 mg twice daily to a total of 5000 mg
daily in 3-4 divided doses, though I rarely recommend
that high a dose. The total ideal body pool of taurine
for adults is 12,000- 18,000 mg.
Since taurine also affects the hypothalamus to help regulate
body temperature, a higher dose can decrease your temperature
& give chilliness, so be aware of that.
Taurine also plays a role in memory & increases the level
of a memory neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, in the brain
(in animal studies).
HOW DO YOU GET TAURINE?
Taurine is highly concentrated in animal & fish protein
or organ meats. Strict vegetarians can be at risk for
taurine deficiency. Your body can make taurine in the
liver & brain from the amino acids, L-Cysteine, & L-Methionine.
Three enzymes are involved in the conversion, all requiring
the pyridoxal-5-phosphate form of Vitamin B6 for this
A B6 deficiency can thus cause a taurine deficiency.
Some studies suggest humans are dependent upon dietary
taurine to maintain "adequate" taurine reserves. Females
tend toward lower taurine levels than males as their
production pathways don't work as efficiently.
Taurine is closely bound to zinc & manganese so deficiencies
of either of these can interfere with its' utilization.
Likewise, zinc & manganese enhance the effects of taurine.
Taurine is the amino acid present in highest concentration
of all amino acids in the fetal & newborn brain, which
is the most dependent upon taurine & the least able to
synthesize it.. The developing infant must derive taurine
from the placenta, the newborn, from breast milk or taurine
fortified formula. It is low in cow's milk. Taurine is
essential for proper development of the central nervous
system & the eyes. Nursing mothers especially need taurine
as it stimulates prolactin to promote lactation, which
is an interesting twist of nature, since infants need
it so much. ( We could speculate that a mother unable
to lactate may be taurine deficient, among other possibilites,
& the infant is thus protected from receiving taurine
deficient breast milk) Premature infants are especially
prone to taurine deficiency.
WHAT ELSE INFLUENCES TAURINE LEVELS?
MSG can decrease taurine. Trauma, surgery, radiation therapy,
burns, muscle diseases, steroid use, intestinal dysfunction
with bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel can all
lead to excess loss of taurine in the urine & subsequent
The medications Thorazine (a major tranquilizer) & Chloroquine
(an antimalarial) can reduce taurine levels. Some depressed
patients have decreased taurine.
WHAT ELSE DOES TAURINE DO?
EYES: It is in high concentration in the eyes where it
has multiple functions to maintain normal retinal structure
& function. Depletion leads to degeneration of the photoreceptor
cells. Degenerative changes in the retinas of taurine
deficient cats & dogs resemble retinitis pigmentosa.
Taurine may be helpful in preventing cataracts. Age related
macular degeneration has responded favorably to "injected"
taurine as reported by American Biologics Mexico Hospital.
CARDIOVASCULAR: Taurine is the most abundant amino acid
in the heart, a particularly electrically excitable tissue,
as are the brain & eye. Since taurine participates in
electrical stabilization of the cell membranes & the
normal regulation of nerve-muscle interaction, it is
useful in heart irregularities & mitral valve prolapse,
acting similarly to a calcium channel blocker (a class
of drugs used in CV Disease) Taurine also helps control
high blood pressure & is useful in congestive heart failure.
DIABETES: Taurine affects carbohydrate metabolism. It potentiates
the effect of insulin, enhances glucose utilization &
glycogen (stored glucose) synthesis.
FAT METABOLISM: Taurine reduces cholesterol by forming
bile acids which are the end products of cholesterol
breakdown & are the only route for eliminating cholesterol
from the body. This action requires a functioning gall
bladder. Taurine has an inhibitory effect on the formation
of cholesterol gall stones. It is required for efficient
fat absorption & solubilization. It is helpful in states
of fat malabsorption such as with cystic fibrosis & other
pancreatic deficiency syndromes.
DETOXIFICATION: Taurine conjugates & detoxifies various
internal & external toxic compounds & may help chemical
ANTIOXIDANT: Taurine plays a major role in protecting cell
membranes from oxidative attack.
STRESS: It can inhibit the release of adrenalin & thus
help with anxiety in this way, as well as protecting
from other adverse effects of too much adrenalin.
MISC: Acts as an immune stimulant to increase Natural Killer
Cell Activity & Interleukin 2. Controls cell volume &
osmolality. Is involved in the regulation of iron metabolism.
Modulates levels of serum copper.
TAURINE CAN ALSO STIMULATE RELEASE OF STOMACH ACID SO YOU SHOULD
AVOID IF YOU HAVE ULCERS OR GASTRITIS.
AGAIN, I WELCOME YOUR REQUESTS
"In whatever activity you engage, be there fully in consciousness
also.--- Simply be aware of whatever you are doing. If you
are slicing the bread, do not be thinking of your thirst.
If you are listening to a friend, do not be thinking of what
you are going to say next. If you are eating a meal, do not
be thinking of what you are going to do when the meal is over,
but show the Earth the appreciation of your fullest attention." --The Starseed Transmissions
- BE HAPPY!!
- Priscilla Slagle M.D.