"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis

The Natural Treatment of Stress, Low Moods & Depression
If you or anyone you know is experiencing severe stress, low moods or depression the information in this newsletter can dramatically improve lives.

The natural program for relieving depression program outlined in my book The Way Up From Down & available on my website at NATURAL TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION has helped tens of thousands of people over the years. Most of those who carefully followed the program experienced relief in 2-6 weeks. The program consists of nutritional supplements & a healthy diet without sugar & alcohol. If you have carefully followed the original program for at least six weeks & do not feel completely improved, I recommend adding the following supplements:

Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin: (please note that this replaces the B/12 listed in the book) I prefer the methylated form of Vitamin B12, which was not available at the time the book was written. It is the most active form of vitamin B12 in the body, especially the brain and nervous system. Also see my in depth newsletter on B12 & folic acid. Most forms of B12 on the market are cyanocobalamin which is a low-grade, low-quality form of vitamin B-12 that's used by all the cheap vitamin manufacturers. Methylcobalamin is the form of B12 your body must have. When you use a non methylated form, your body must methylate it for it to be useful. However, approximately 45% of people have a genetic trait called MTHFR (Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase) defect & cannot methylate or utilize non methylated forms. For this reason I now always recommend supplementation with methylated B12 & folic acid.

For more information see "Methylation Problems Lead to 100s of Diseases" by pharmacist Suzy Cohen.

You can read more interesting details re Methylation Problems at New Story of Vitamin B12 by Ed Sharpe

Optimized Folate (L-Methylfolate): Is involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and critical enzymatic reactions throughout the body. Folate benefits cardiovascular health and nervous system function, by depleting excess homocysteine, which is a damaging chemical produced in the body.

Folic acid is the synthetic/ unmetabolized form of folate. Many supplements are only folic acid. But again the 45% of the population who cannot methylate cannot properly utilize these forms of folic acid It is better to avoid straight folic acid & to only use the methylated form. Research has shown that methyl folate can deliver folate immediately, without the need for conversion.

Methylated folate has been used to support a range of health concerns, including:

  • Mood disorders - Methyl folate represents a better option for patients due to its greater bioavailability and lack of side effects.
  • Homocysteine reducer - A folate enriched diet, or supplementation with bioavailable methyl folate has been shown to lower homocysteine levels, an amino acid associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy - A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that patients with diabetic neuropathy experienced quality of life improvements with methyl folate.
  • Skin disorders - A recent 2013 study found high proportions of methyl folate in the epidermis, even as serum folate levels dropped. This has suggested it as a potential UV skin protectant and an option for skin conditions such as psoriasis.
  • Prenatal supplementation - Methyl folate supplementation ensures adequate folate levels necessary to support normal neural development to avoid spina bifida in offspring.
LGlutamine: Is a major energy source for the brain. If there is not enough L-glutamine the brain relies on glucose for fuel. An over production of glucose can lead to obesity, diabetes and many other diseases.

The two amino acids I most frequently prescribe in my practice are L-glutamine & L-tyrosine. Though glutamine has multiple functions, as you will see, the benefits most often achieved are improved mood, focus, concentration, memory, & energy. Glutamine is often depleted in those with yeast overgrowth, the depletion of which is partially responsible for the "brain fog" in those individuals.

Glutamine plays a key role in the metabolism, structure & function of the entire gastrointestinal tract. It is the primary energy source for the cells that line your intestines & is essential to keeping them healthy.

Potential uses of glutamine:
  • General energy booster
  • Improve low moods
  • Memory, focus, concentration
  • Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range
  • Detoxify ammonia
  • Improve stress tolerance
  • Muscle support & building especially with prolonged exercise or for athletes & body builders
  • Supports growth hormone release - in doses of 2 gms daily
  • Improves mental fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Helps make DNA (cellular genetic material)
Please see Dr. Slagle's Newsletter on Glutamine.

Vitamin D: Studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. In a 2013 meta-analysis, researchers noticed study participants with depression also had low vitamin D levels. The same analysis found that, statistically, people with low vitamin D were at a much greater risk of depression.

The researchers believe that because vitamin D is important to brain function: Insufficient nutrient levels may play a role in depression and other mental illnesses. An earlier 2005 study identified vitamin D receptors in the same areas of the brain associated with depression.

Click link for a comprehensive look at the research on Vitamin D

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: People who suffer from mood disorders such as depression benefit from fish oil supplementation which contains Omega 3. Studies have shown depressed people have reduced RBC membrane or serum DHA and EPA which are components of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield and many other studies found that fish oil supplements alleviated the symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis. Dosages needed for psychiatric conditions may be up to 9 grams daily.

Additional studies have found that people taking antidepressant medications and still suffering from depression, may have reduced intensity of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and sexual dysfunction when supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids.

A review of 35 randomized controlled trials on omega-3 fatty acids and depression revealed the more severe the depression, the more likely omega-3's will help improve mood. They found the EPA component to be more effective with depression than the DHA component.

For more information, see my "Benefits of Omega-3" newsletter.

Probiotics: In the double-blind placebo-controlled and randomized parallel group study conducted by Messaoudi et al., healthy volunteers took Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum or a placebo for 30 days; the results showed that psychological stress levels, including depression scores, were decreased in subjects who took the probiotics regularly. A study performed by Mohammadi et al. indicated that consuming a probiotic yogurt or a multispecies probiotic capsule for six weeks had beneficial effects on the mental health biomarkers of petrochemical workers. Another study, conducted by Benton et al., found that probiotic yogurt improved the mood of those with an initially poor mood. A study by Akkasheh found that eight weeks of administration of probiotics to patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) had beneficial effects on Beck Depression Inventory scores. The effects of probiotics on human health, especially psychiatric disorders, have recently emerged as an area of interest in neuroscience. The regulation of probiotics through diet may have critical benefits for preventing and treating depression.

Read "Effect of Probiotics on Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials" for more information.

Since most people don't know when they are overly stressed or depressed. You can take a quick test called the Zung Self Rating Depression Scale . There are 2 pages, 20 questions. Answer what best fits you most of the time. Take the test on the first page & see how to score & interpret on the second page. If your score is more than 50 you would feel better if you made some of the changes explained in my book & here.

If you think you are happy that is enough to be happy. If you are unable to think this, there may be some element of low mood.

I hope you have found this newsletter helpful. All of the supplements mentioned in this newsletter & much more are available on my website, so click the link & start to feel good again!
PRISCILLA SLAGLE, M.D. or Cathy Jones, Assisitant
Phone: 1 (760) 322-7797
Fax: 760-322-7608