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Are There Really Any Benefits To Using CBD Oil?

There are a lot of controversial medications out there, and CBD oil is right up there with the most controversial ones of all. However, that hasn’t dented its popularity. For a number of years now the number of people who have turned to CBD oil as their medication choice has grown exponentially, and the buzz is showing no sign of stopping any time soon. If you don’t know much about CBD oil, though, it can be easy to push it to the back of your mind and not want to join in with the craze. However, it’s widely reported that it really does have a lot of benefits. While hard medical research on the subject is hard to come by, there are a plethora of personal accounts of people who have used it to great effect. So just what are these benefits?

CBD oil is one of many products that come from the cannabis plant, and this is where most people normally cross it off their list of potential medications. However, they shouldn’t be so hasty. CBD isn’t the product from the cannabis plant which gives people a ‘high’; this is actually the THC product, which is what is used in the recreational drug. CBD oil uses all the best components of the plant, which is why it can be so effective for different kinds of medical benefits.

There are a lot of different types of CBD oil and a lot of different places to buy them from. Personally, we think you should check out IDWEEDS if you’re looking for some high-quality CBD oil to help you with different types of conditions.

First of all, CBD oil can act as a great painkiller. Personally, I would advise going with this as your first option and instead, I believe you should stick to the tried and trusted methods prescribed by doctors and nurses. However, if you’ve already done this and nothing seems to be working, CBD oil could present a really good alternative for you. It offers a lot of different pain killing properties and helps to relax various parts of your body without any noticeable side effects. As I said before, solid medical research is lacking and you’ll have to make your decision based on reviews of the people who have used it. If these reviews are anything to go by, however, then you’re probably making the right decision if you do use it. It’s believed to be great with helping chronic pains in areas such as the neck, back, and jaw and could be a great choice for you.

CBD oil is also great at helping people with different mental health issues. This is because of its relaxing properties, which are great at calming your mind and putting you at ease during times where you’d normally be anxious and upset. It’s for this reason that CBD oil is great at helping with conditions such as anxiety and depression, and if you suffer from any of these it could be a good alternative to ordinary prescribed remedies.

CBD oil may also be the key to a good night’s sleep, says health.com. With many adults getting less than 6 – 7 hours of sleep every night, CBD oil may be the solution to finally getting some shut-eye. Long-term lack of sleep can have an impact on health, so looking at options to help solve your insomnia is important. It’s not only CBD oil that allows you to enjoy these benefits, though. You could also try edible CBD gummies, tinctures, sprays, and vapes to consume and obtain the benefits of CBD.




7 Factors To Consider When Choosing A Cannabis Product

 

Over the years, CBD has become more than just a recreational substance. In fact, research-backed benefits have increased its demand as a potent medicinal remedy. People use it for a variety of medical conditions such as pain relief, nausea, epilepsy, seizures, glaucoma and more. Moreover, buying cannabis and other CBD products today has become much easier with their legalization. What’s more, you have endless options these days, from tinctures to oils, edibles, teas, vape pens, and more! But buyers, particularly the beginners, may still be apprehensive about picking the right cannabis products. Whether you buy it online or in-store, there are a few basics that you should know about smart shopping. Let us list some factors that you can consider while choosing a cannabis product.

Start by considering the purpose

To start with, you need to bear in mind the purpose you are going to use the product for. It really matters whether you need it for medicinal or recreational use. This factor actually decides the form that will be ideal for you. For example, a vape pen would be the best choice if you are planning to use it for quick relief from conditions such as anxiety or muscular cramps. This is because the absorption rate through inhalation is considerably higher as compared to other forms. Conversely, you can opt for edibles if you want cannabis for recreational use. This form takes longer to absorb, which may not be much of a concern for recreational users. At the same time, the effect lasts longer too.

Be aware of your individual requirements

Another factor that really matters is your own requirements because everyone’s physiology differs. As a result, the effects of cannabis are individualized. Your experience and requirements, therefore, may be completely different from that of the others. As a rule, don’t just buy the products that your friend is buying. Rather, find out what really works for you. Consider factors such as your age, gender, body weight, previous experience, and overall health before you choose a product. Again, the purpose you would be using it for matters. If you are a first-timer, talk to a seasoned user or medical practitioner (if you are using it for medicinal purposes) for advice. Also, be extra careful with the first time use of cannabis products. Going slow and small (in dosage) is the best advice.

Verify the THC content

The next critical aspect of buying a cannabis product is the amount of THC it contains. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is associated with the psychoactive and intoxicating effects of the product. The potency of THC is expressed as a percentage of the total cannabis content. According to a well-known outlet in San Francisco, Mission Organic Center Dispensary, you need to look for a product with optimal content because too much can cause a high. At the same time, it should not be less than the desired value that gives you therapeutic results. An ideal product is one that neither has too much nor too little of THC. The potency that works for you will depend on individual factors and purpose of use but remember not to overdo. Anything above 20% is considered too strong.

Terpene content matters too

Besides THC and CBD content, the terpene content is another factor to consider while buying a product of your choice. Terpenes refer to the chemical compounds that occur naturally in the fragrant oils of some plants. Cannabis strains usually have a dominant content of terpene, in addition to CBD and THC. Beyond just influencing the aroma and flavor of the products, this substance may also affect their efficacy to some extent. Therefore, you should also check the terpene content of the product before buying it.

Prioritize a seller you can trust

While it is important to be aware of the quality and potency of cannabis products, knowing the seller matters as well. Basically, it all boils down to the seller you buy from, whether you shop from a store or online. Look for a reputed San Francisco Dispensary that has a credible presence. The best way to do this is by asking for recommendations and reading online reviews. It is particularly important to go through their website as it can help you judge the quality of products and services they offer. Go through the product labels and descriptions carefully to find their potency so that you pick ones that are effective yet safe. Rather than buying from different places, stick with someone you can trust.

Understand the safety requirements

As a cannabis consumer, you need to make sure that the products you use are absolutely safe. Understanding the safety requirements is important in this context. There are several ways in which you can know of a specific product is safe. To start with, find out whether it is tested. Once again, you need to be cautious about the brands and sellers you choose. Make sure that they actually test their products rather than just make claims. Another factor that you should verify is that place they source the product from. A seller that gets the raw material from a good source will surely give you quality products.

Consider any specific recommendations

People who use cannabis for medicinal purposes must bear in mind the specific recommendations from the doctor. For example, they may have certain guidelines if you are going to use it for a specific medical condition. Similarly, the doctor may recommend a particular potency if you are going to use medical cannabis for the first time. Taking the right dosage is equally crucial. It is always better to stick to expert advice in such circumstances. Of course, you can try something new once you are confident enough about using the products. At the same time, keep in mind that you have to use them responsibly every single time.

Now that you know all about the factors that you need to bear in mind while shopping for cannabis products, you are good to go. A key advice is to prioritize quality, even if you have to spend some extra bucks on such products. After all, you would want a product that gives you the desired results without compromising your health in any way.




Can Mushrooms Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk?

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

If you’re interested in reducing your risk of prostate cancer, you may want to make sure your diet includes a certain fungus. According to a new study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers say that mushroom consumption may help prevent prostate cancer.

The study included 36,499 men, ages 40 to 70, who first participated in cohort studies in 1990 and 1994. Researchers studied the participants for an average of 13.2 years. During the follow-up period, 3.3% of the men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. When researchers compared the mushroom intake of those who developed the disease versus those who did not, they found that consuming mushrooms once or twice per week was associated with an 8% lower risk of prostate cancer, compared to consumption of less than once per week. Mushroom consumption three or more times per week was associated with a 17% lower risk of prostate cancer.

Researchers did not collect information on specific mushroom species; however, the fact that mushrooms offer plenty of health-promoting benefits is no secret. About 100 different species of mushrooms have been studied for their health benefits. Of those, several stand out in their ability to deliver a tremendous boost to your immune system, which might, in turn, help fight or prevent cancer. These include shiitake, maitake, Reishi, Cordyceps and a mushroom called Agaricus sub rufescent.

Mushrooms not only are capable of bolstering immune function but also have the potential for fighting cancer. Aside from being rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium and minerals, mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants. They contain polyphenols and selenium, which are common in the plant world, as well as antioxidants that are unique to mushrooms.

If you don’t like the taste of fresh mushrooms and you’re having a hard time adding them to your diet, you may want to consider dehydrated mushroom powders. There are two primary types:

  • Mushroom concentrates or extracts — Most of these are so-called hot water extracts, where the mushroom mycelia are boiled for extended periods of time to extract the long-chain polysaccharides. The end product is a concentrated form of glyconutrients (complex sugars) thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits, particularly the immunomodulating properties, of the mushroom. However, the heat of hot water extraction will destroy/denature many of the temperature-sensitive bioactive compounds (vitamins, proteins, amino acids, enzymes) and will not capture the alcohol-soluble or insoluble compounds (insoluble dietary fibers) in the mushrooms.
  • Whole food/raw mushrooms — Consuming the mushrooms raw or using a whole food mushroom (powdered pill) product is generally a better alternative if you’re reasonably healthy and looking to maintain optimal health, as they help maintain the ideal function of your various systems as opposed to imparting a direct effect. The benefits are best achieved by taking this product on a daily, on-going basis.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




Herbal and Natural Remedies for Diabetes

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According to the American Diabetes Association, there were 30.3 million Americans that had diabetes in 2015. Of the 30.3 million Americans, it is estimated that 7.2 million of those were undiagnosed.

However, it is imperative for your health that you get diagnosed and receive the correct care and medication for your condition, because diabetes can lead to other serious health conditions.

Some people choose to use medicine for their treatment of diabetes, others choose to rely on herbal and natural remedies to help with their symptoms. And some people combine the two to help them with their diabetes. Keep reading to find out some herbal remedies you could try.

Herbal Remedies

There are many herbs and spices that are thought to aid with lowering blood sugar levels, which is why people with type 2 diabetes choose to include herbal remedies in their treatment plan.

Is there any evidence to support that herbal remedies work? Some studies do suggest that there are links between herbal therapies and improved blood glucose control.

Some experts argue that many pharmaceutical agents prescribed treatments which derive from natural compounds found in traditional medicinal plants. For example, biguanide metformin which is considered to be one of the first line agents used for treating type 2 diabetes, and its use can be traced to the traditional use of Galega officinalis.

Some common plant-based therapies that have shown anti-diabetic properties include:

  • Aloe vera
  • Bilberry extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Okra

Indian Herbal Remedies

Coccinia Indica is a plant that grows in the wild across the Indian subcontinent. The plant is known as the ivy gourd and was traditionally used in ayurvedic remedies.

Coccinia Indica contains properties that mimics the function of insulin. Experts believe that more studies should be carried out on this herbal plant, but so far the studies suggest that Coccinia Indica can significantly cause changes in glycemic control.

Brazilian Herbal Remedies

Bauhinia Forficata grows in South America and is used in Brazilian herbals cures for diabetes. The plant is known as one which provides vegetable insulin.

Another natural remedy used in Brazil and parts of South America is Myrcia Uniflora. These herbs can be used in tea infusions, however, some studies suggest that this way of utilizing herbs doesn’t provide the greatest hypoglycaemic effects. 

“Brazilian indigenous people have been using traditional medicines grown in South America since the beginning, with many claiming that their herbal remedies can help treat hypertension and diabetes,” says Thiago Arias, from reviewbox.com.br. “One study found that the extraction of the plants has hypoglycemic properties and functions by regulating the glucose consumption by the liver.”

South-Western Europe Herbal Remedies

Ficus Carica, or fig-leaf, is a well-known diabetic remedy in parts of South-Western Europe and Spain. Unfortunately, the active component that helps to treat diabetes is unknown. Some suggest that the fig-leaf encourages glucose to be correctly used in the body.




Beat the Flu Blues with These Mexican Natural Remedies

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Every year, during the colder months many people call in sick at work or school, due to the flu. Colds and flu symptoms are thought to affect between 5 to 20% of the American population each year.

The most common ways to treat the flu or a cold is by getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water, and taking medication to help fight your symptoms. It is also advised to stay away from people so you don’t pass on your symptoms to others.

However, there are also a few herbal remedies that you can try to treat your symptoms and ensure you feel better as soon as possible. Discover these natural Mexican remedies and try them next time you feel yourself coming down with a cold.

3 Mexican Herbal Remedies to Try

Natural remedies are used all over the world and every country has their own preferred methods of treating different symptoms. In Mexico, there are many herbal based plants that grow and can aid in bringing you back to full health.

1. Hot Drinks

Hot drinks are a go to remedy for many people when they start to feel a cold coming along. Drinking hot drinks can help soothe sore throats and warm you up.

In rural parts of Mexico, people use hot beverages such as lemon tea and add lots of garlic or onion in it, to help fight infections. It doesn’t taste the nicest, but if it helps, it is worth it! Meanwhile in urban Mexico, people use hot water and mix it with cinnamon and honey to help fight off cold symptoms.

2. Soup and Stews

Eating hearty foods such as soups and stews can also help to make you feel better when you have a cold or the flu. Remember the phrase, feed a cold and starve a fever? It is true, in order to get better faster you need to give your body the correct nutrients it needs, which is something that the people of Mexico know all too well.

According to Mateo Martìnez, a health expert, from reviewbox.com.mx, “Mexican people rely on the classic Caldo de Pollo dish, which consists of chicken, chicken broth, carrots, potatoes, cilantro, and white rice. This chicken stew is rich in vitamins and nutrients that can help speed up the process of your body fighting the flu.”

3. Onion Cough Syrup

Another common Mexican home remedy for colds and flu is where you make your own cough syrup using onions and sugar. To do this you need to cut thin rounds of onion, place them on a plate, and leave to sit with a lot of sugar on top of them. Then you leave them to sit in a warm place, which allows the onions to ooze out a liquid. The combination of the liquid and the sugar create a cough syrup.

For more natural flu remedies, check out these 12 other ways you can beat the flu blues.




Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Supplements

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. Your diet plays a significant if not primary role as it can either trigger or prevent inflammation
  • Leafy greens, berries, and mushrooms are potent anti-inflammatory foods. People with autoimmune diseases may want to limit vegetables high in lectins, though, as they may cause more problems than they solve
  • Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. Examples include kefir, yogurt, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables
  • Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins are important anti-inflammatories that are particularly crucial for brain and heart health
  • Other anti-inflammatory foods and supplements include green tea, spices such as cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric, herbal remedies such as white willow bark, maritime pine bark, and Cat’s claw, and supplements such as resveratrol, curcumin, capsaicin, vitamin D, zinc and SAM-e

Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. While inflammation is a perfectly normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, it leads to trouble when the inflammatory response gets out of hand and continues indefinitely.

Your diet plays a significant if not primary role in this chain of events and is the perfect place to start to address it. Certain nutritional supplements can also be helpful as add-ons.

Below, I’ll review some of the foods, spices, and supplements are known for their anti-inflammatory power (and the foods known for their inflammatory effects). If you struggle with any chronic health condition, chances are you have inflammation in your body, and would be wise to take a cold hard look at what you’re putting into it.

Anti-inflammatory food basics

A key part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves excluding refined vegetable oils, as they are clearly one of the most pernicious and pervasive poisons in the food supply. Simply avoiding all processed foods and most restaurant foods will go a long way toward helping you avoid them.

As for anti-inflammatory foods to eat more of, vegetables are a key staple. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C that can help protect against cellular damage. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw.

Juicing is an excellent way to get more greens into your diet. There’s a caveat, though. If you struggle with autoimmune disease or have significant inflammation in your body, consider limiting vegetables with high lectin content, as the lectins may pose a problem.

Among the most problematic lectin-containing foods are beans, grains, legumes and members of the nightshade family like eggplants, potatoes and peppers. High-lectin foods can be made safer to eat through proper soaking and cooking, as well as fermenting and sprouting. Using a pressure cooker is particularly beneficial for beans. You can learn more about this in my interview with Dr. Steven Gundry, author of “The Plant Paradox.”

Oxalates are another plant component that can cause problems, as they not only will increase inflammation but will worsen your mitochondrial function. Those prone to oxalate kidney stones typically need to be on an oxalate-free diet as well. Foods high in oxalates include potatoes (white and sweet), almonds, seeds, dark chocolatebeets, beans, and many others.

On the other hand, raw berries — especially blueberries — are an anti-inflammatory basic, as most tend to be low in fructose while rating high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables.

The same goes for mushrooms, which are commonly overlooked. Shiitake mushrooms, for example, contain ergothioneine, which inhibits oxidative stress. Mushrooms also contain a number of unique nutrients that you may not get enough of in your diet.

One of those nutrients is copper, which is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to human health. Since your body can’t synthesize copper, your diet must supply it regularly. Copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease.

Another excellent anti-inflammatory mushroom is the Reishi, which contains ganoderic acid, a terpene that induces apoptosis (programmed cell death of damaged cells) and enhances the immune system.

Fermented and cultured foods

Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are other anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. A majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut as the result of an imbalanced microbiome.

Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables will help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria. Ideally, you’ll want to eat a wide variety of them as each contains a different set of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).

Fermented foods can also help your body rid itself of harmful toxins. Kimchi, for example, has been shown to break down pesticides that promote inflammation. As reported in a study1 in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos degraded rapidly during kimchi fermentation and was 83.3% degraded by Day 3. By Day 9, it was degraded completely.

If you don’t like fermented vegetables, consider yogurt made from raw organic milk from grass-fed cows. Yogurt has been shown to reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of your intestinal lining, thereby preventing toxins in your gut from crossing into your bloodstream.

Other potent anti-inflammatory foods

Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins — such as wild Alaskan salmonsardines, and anchovies — are also important anti-inflammatories2 and are particularly important for brain and heart health. In fact, your omega-3 level is a powerful predictor of mortality.

If you don’t enjoy these types of fish, you could consider using krill oil instead. Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology3 in 2012 confirmed that dietary supplementation with krill oil effectively reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.

As with vitamin D, it’s advisable to check your omega-3 index on a regular basis to ensure optimization. Ideally, you’ll want to maintain an omega-3 index of 8%. (GrassrootsHealth offers a convenient, cost-effective test4 to measure both your vitamin D and omega-3 levels.)

Many teas also offer anti-inflammatory benefits that can be enjoyed by most. Matcha tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea5 and comes in the form of a stone-ground unfermented powder. The best Matcha comes from Japan.

It’s an excellent source of antioxidants, especially epigallocatechin gallate6 (EGCG), catechin with anti-inflammatory activity.7 Tulsi is another tea loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and other micronutrients that help protect against damage caused by chemical pollutants, heavy metals, and physical stress.8

Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices

Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices are among the most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients available and making sure you’re eating a wide variety of them on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing chronic illness.

According to a novel, study9 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, published in 2012, “cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric were able to significantly reduce oxidized LDL-induced expression of TNF-α” or tumor necrosis factor, a cytokine involved in systemic inflammation.

Ginger lowered three different inflammatory biomarkers, suggesting its superior anti-inflammatory action, but rosemary and turmeric also “showed protective capacity by both oxidative protection and inflammation measures.”

The interesting thing about this study is that they used “real world” dosages, meaning amounts you would normally use in your daily cooking, not megadoses you might find in a concentrated supplement. For example, those in the oregano group ate just half a teaspoon of oregano daily for seven days.

Garlic is another kitchen staple that has been treasured for its medicinal properties for centuries. Garlic exerts its benefits on multiple levels, offering antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Most recently, a 2019 review and meta-analysis10 concluded garlic effectively lowered several inflammatory biomarkers, including C-reactive protein, TNF-α, and interleukin-6.

It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Research11 has revealed that as allicin digests in your body it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts faster with dangerous free radicals than any other known compound.

An earlier study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods12 found a direct correlation between the antioxidant phenol content of spice and herb extracts and their ability to inhibit glycation and block the formation of AGE compounds (advanced glycation end products), making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging.

Here, cloves were ranked as the most potent of 24 common herbs and spices found in your spice rack. The following were found to be the top 10 most potent anti-inflammatory herbs and spices:

Cloves Cinnamon
Jamaican allspice Apple pie spice mixture
Oregano Pumpkin pie spice mixture
Marjoram Sage
Thyme Gourmet Italian spice

Curcumin — A powerful anti-inflammatory with poor absorption

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, also has a solid foundation in science with numerous studies vouching for its anti-inflammatory effects.13 As noted in a 2017 review in the journal Foods:14

“[Curcumin] aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and performance of inactive people.

In addition, a relatively low dose of the complex can provide health benefits for people that do not have diagnosed health conditions. Most of these benefits can be attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”

A drawback of turmeric is its poor absorbability and rapid elimination. As noted in this Foods review, taken by itself turmeric typically does not impart the health benefits with which this spice is associated.

Certain components or additives can significantly boost its bioavailability though. One is piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, which has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%.15 This is why you’ll typically find piperine as an ingredient in most curcumin supplements. A typical dosage of a standardized curcumin supplement is 400 to 600 milligrams three times a day.16

Anti-inflammatory ingredients can provide natural pain relief

Another interesting paper in the journal Surgical Neurology International, “Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief,” highlights several foods and spices already mentioned, specifically omega-3, green tea, and turmeric. In addition to those, it also discusses the anti-inflammatory potential of:17

  • White willow bark
  • Maritime pine bark (pycnogenol)
  • Resveratrol
  • Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
  • Chili pepper (capsaicin)

Interestingly, a 2013 animal study18 found capsaicin “produced anti-inflammatory effects that were comparable to diclofenac,” a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly prescribed to patients with mild to moderate arthritis.19

Frankincense

The Surgical Neurology International paper20 also addresses the use of Frankincense extract (Boswellia serrata resin), noting it “possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and analgesic properties” and is an inhibitor of leukotriene biosynthesis.

As such, it’s valuable in the treatment of inflammatory diseases driven by leukotrienes,21 such as degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders. According to this paper, Frankincense:

“… reduces the total white blood cell count in joint fluid, and it also inhibits leukocyte elastase, which is released in rheumatoid arthritis. In one recent study, a statistically significant improvement in arthritis of the knee was shown after 8 weeks of treatment with 333 mg B. Serrata extract taken three times a day …

A combination of Boswellia and curcumin showed superior efficacy and tolerability compared with nonsteroidal diclofenac for treating active osteoarthritis. Boswellia typically is given as an extract standardized to contain 30-40% boswellic acids (300-500 mg two or three times/day).”

An earlier study22 published in Scientific Reports in 2015 confirmed Frankincense and myrrh are both capable of suppressing inflammation by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines.

The importance of vitamin D

Some anti-inflammatory supplements have already been mentioned, such as curcumin, Cat’s claw, Frankincense, and capsaicin. Other supplements with well-documented anti-inflammatory effects include vitamin D, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) and zinc. As reported by Science Daily, vitamin D inhibits inflammation by reducing inflammatory proteins:23

“… [R]esearchers examined the specific mechanisms by which vitamin D might act on immune and inflammatory pathways.24 They incubated human white blood cells with varying levels of vitamin D, then exposed them to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a molecule associated with bacterial cell walls that are known to promote intense inflammatory responses.

Cells incubated with no vitamin D and in a solution containing 15 ng/ml of vitamin D produced high levels of cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, major actors in the inflammatory response. Cells incubated in 30 ng/ml vitamin D and above showed significantly reduced response to the LPS. The highest levels of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml.

Through a complex series of experiments, the researchers identified a new location where the vitamin-D receptor appears to bind directly to DNA and activate a gene known as MKP-1. MKP-1 interferes with the inflammatory cascade triggered by LPS, which includes a molecule known as p38, and results in higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha.

‘This newly identified DNA-binding site for the vitamin-D receptor and the specific pathways inhibited by higher levels of vitamin D provide a plausible mechanism for many of the benefits that have been associated with vitamin D,’ said Dr. Goleva.

‘The fact that we showed a dose-dependent and varying response to levels commonly found in humans also adds weight to the argument for vitamin D’s role in immune and inflammatory conditions.’”

While I strongly recommend getting your vitamin D from sensible sun exposure, if you cannot maintain a protective level of 60 to 80 ng/ml year-round, a vitamin D3 supplement would be prudent, considering its importance for your overall health.

Zinc and SAM-e

Zinc is a commonly overlooked antioxidant, but research shows it’s a potent anti-inflammatory. According to a 2014 review article25 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition:

“Zinc supplementation trials in the elderly showed that the incidence of infections was decreased by approximately 66% in the zinc group. Zinc supplementation also decreased oxidative stress biomarkers and decreased inflammatory cytokines in the elderly.

In our studies in the experimental model of zinc deficiency in humans, we showed that zinc deficiency per se increased the generation of IL-1β and its mRNA in human mononuclear cells following LPS stimulation.

Zinc supplementation upregulated A20, a zinc transcription factor, which inhibited the activation of NF-κB, resulting in decreased generation of inflammatory cytokines.”

Similarly, SAM-e is commonly recommended for patients with osteoarthritis,26 as it has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. According to Arthritis.org,27 “Results may be felt in just one week but could take more than a month.”

Inflammatory foods to avoid

Last but not least, it’s important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking root in your body, so avoiding inflammatory foods is just as important, if not more so, as eating anti-inflammatory ones.

As a group, processed foods of all kinds tend to be pro-inflammatory, thanks to ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, soy, processed vegetable oils (trans fats) and chemical additives. So, in addition to adding anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, spices, and supplements (if needed) to your diet, you’ll also want to avoid the following as much as possible:

Refined sugar, processed fructose, and grains — If your fasting insulin level is 3 or above, consider dramatically reducing or eliminating grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level, as insulin resistance is a primary driver of chronic inflammation.

As a general guideline, I recommend restricting your total fructose intake to 25 grams per day. If you’re insulin or leptin resistant (have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or are overweight), consider cutting that down to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has normalized

Oxidized cholesterol — Cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs

Processed meats

Industrial vegetable and seed oils (a source of oxidized omega-6 fats) such as peanut, corn and soy oil

Foods cooked at high temperatures, especially if cooked with vegetable oil

Replacing processed foods with whole, ideally, organic foods will automatically address most of these factors, especially if you eat a large portion of your food raw. Equally important is making sure you’re regularly reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria, as mentioned above.

To help you get started on a healthier diet, I suggest following my free Optimized Nutrition Plan, which starts at the beginner phase and systematically guides you step-by-step to the advanced level.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




Different Ways to Consume CBD

Cannabis is the hottest new thing everyone is either talking about or doing. Whether it’s for medicinal purposes or for recreational, it’s no doubt that more people are trying it because of the legalization of marijuana sweeping the world. With that in mind, more people are learning about it and becoming curious. With this curiosity, it led to the research of different cannabinoids, including CBD.

What is CBD

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of more than 100 active cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD has been known to be the next in line as far as how much it can help in animals. Humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system which is responsible for our bodies experiencing the benefits from THC or CBD. This system in our body comes with two receptors and each one is responsible for different cannabinoids entering our body and taking effect.

Unlike weed with THC, you can get CBD from anywhere. You can get it at dispensaries, CBD shops, smoke shops, online vape shops, some gas stations and much more.

How to Consume CBD

Just like with marijuana, you can consume CBD in various ways. Some people might not like smoking or their illness won’t support the habit of smoking so you need to change your ways. CBD is smokable too but it’s more popular in every other alternative.

Vaping

Vaping is very popular nowadays because it can be done in various ways. Whether your preferred method is through dry herbs, wax or an oil cartridge, a vape can help with all of that. There are many different types of vapes and they all have a different reason to use it. Some are just batteries for your cartridge and others come with the full atomizer.

Tincture Oil

The most popular way to ingest CBD is through tincture oils. It is known to be one of the fastest ways to absorb it into your body after vaping and smoking. It’s best to drop a few drops under your tongue to get the effects to the fullest.

Edibles

Edibles are not a very popular way to take in THC or CBD however for those that have been diagnosed with any disease that can irritate the throat, vaping and smoking might be out of the question. Edibles can come in a lot of different forms but CBD gummies are the most popular.

Smoking

Smoking is one of the most popular past time activities around the world and ironically, it’s still a taboo in most places too. Most people still love to smoke regardless of the adverse effects. CBD still comes in smokable hemp because of the immediate effects it gives. Your body and lungs absorbs smoke through the lungs quicker than any other method.

Creams and Lotions

In the case of arthritis or a specific location that is bothering you, it’s best to use CBD creams and lotions. Simply lather it on the area that is inflamed every couple of hours. You will notice the movements and flexibility are much higher than usual.

Benefits

Cannabidiol is very helpful for humans and pets for many different illness and diseases. It can help against:

Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most popular reasons as to why people use CBD. Whether it’s your wrist or your legs, arthritis usually worsens from inflammation. Cannabidiol is a great way to reduce the inflammation.

Relaxes Body

Whether you have anxiety or you can’t get your mind to relax and sleep at nights, CBD can help with either one. A lot of people have anxiety and they get it from the thought of being around or in front of people usually.




CBD vs. THC: Differences, Benefits, and Effects

As people continue looking for a more natural approach to deal with chronic health conditions, cannabinoids such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are becoming increasingly popular.

This is because, research has continuously exhibited these compounds as very beneficial and helpful natural remedies against an array of many health conditions including but not limited to chronic pain, muscle spasms, cancer symptoms, anxiety, and depression.

Unknown to many, although these compounds come from the same plant, they are very different as far as their effects on the human body, chemical composition, and even legality are concerned.

In this post, we will let you know what cannabinoids are, the differences between THC and CBD as well as their benefits and effects.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids refer to the over 120+ chemical compounds existing naturally in the cannabis plant. These compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body to bring about various effects such as pain relief.

The most popular or well-understood cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

As already mentioned, both THC and CBD exist naturally in the cannabis plant. What you may not know, however, is that cannabis can either be classified into hemp or marijuana.

What is the difference? You ask.

Hemp is described as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. On the other hand, marijuana is described as cannabis, with more than 0.3% THC.

So in short, CBD is more concentrated in the hemp plant while THC is more concentrated in the marijuana plant.

CBD VS THC

So far, we have not mentioned anything that helps us differentiate CBD from THC.

The main difference between the two compounds is psychoactivity. It turns out that, the high effect associated with the cannabis plant is a result of THC.

On the other hand, CBD or cannabidiol has zero mind-altering effects and hence an ideal option for anyone wishing to try cannabis without getting high.

According to experts, tetrahydrocannabinol binds with the CB1 receptors found in the human brain bringing about the euphoric effect associated with the marijuana plant.

On the other hand, Cannabidiol, yes, binds with the CB1 receptors, but very weakly. As a result, CBD has no mind-altering effects. Some experts actually suggest that CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD vs. THC: Chemical Composition

A very interesting thing to note here; although these two compounds have different effects on the human body, they have the exact same chemical makeup.

Ie, 21 carbon atoms, 20 hydrogen, and two oxygen atoms.

What makes the two compounds different is the arrangement of these atoms. This is illustrated in the following diagram:

Amazing how such a minor difference can make all the difference!

CBD vs. THC: How Each compound Affects The Human Body

As aforementioned, although both THC and CBD bind to the CB2 receptor, they interact or impact the CB1 receptors differently.

The THC’s molecular structure allows it to directly bind with the CB1 receptors. This creates a bond that results in chemical signals being sent to the human brain. This is how you get high after consuming marijuana products.

On the other hand, Cannabidiol does not directly bind to the CB1 receptors and hence, does not cause any ‘high’ effect.

Although THC has a lot of health benefits, not everyone is comfortable with its psychoactive effect. This is where CBD comes in to save the day.

CBD vs. THC: Legality

The legality of cannabis products is still faced with a lot of controversies. This is because different states and countries have different laws regulating the use and possession of various cannabis products.

In the US, for instance, while hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 US states, marijuana products are legal in only a few states and completely illegal according to federal law.

So the question of legality really depends on where you are. Make sure you are conversant with the law regulating the use of cannabis products in your location to avoid getting on the wrong side of the authorities.

THC vs. CBD: Health Benefits

Although the two compounds impact the body differently, many of their health benefits are the same.

However, it is not up to a mid-last year that the 1st cannabis-based drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug’s name is Epidiolex which contains CBD and is used in treating rare forms of epilepsy.

CBD is said to be helpful in the treatment of conditions such as seizures, chronic pain, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, mental disorders, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, and muscle spasms.

On the other hand, THC is popular for its hand in treating conditions such as pain, glaucoma, muscle spasticity, low appetite, insomnia, and anxiety.

So the choice between CBD and THC for medical use comes down to personal preference as well as the legality of these products in a given locality.

THC vs. CBD: Side Effects

At the moment, no research has linked CBD to any severe side effects. However, some side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, have been reported. According to experts, this is mostly due to the interactions between Cannabidiol and other drugs or medications.

On the other hand, Tetrahydrocannabinol is known to cause short-term side effects such as coordination problems, increased heart rate, red eyes, dry mouth, and memory loss.

THC’s side effects are connected to its psychoactive properties.

THC vs. CBD: Wrapping Up

It is clear that although the two compounds share a lot of similarities, they are also very different in molecular makeup, side effects and even before the law.

However, we cannot say that compound A is better than compound B. This is because both CBD and THC are very beneficial to human health and either of them could come in handy depending on the situation.

While some people would never welcome the high effect associated with THC, others find it helpful. It all comes down to your personal needs and preferences.

It is expected that as more findings on the benefits of cannabinoids come to light, more countries will continue legalizing both CBD and THC.




Having Sciatica Pain? Number #3 Will Definitely Change Your Life!

There you are, going about your business and living your life, when suddenly a lightning bolt shoots through your lower back and your legs. At least, that’s what it feels like. This sharp pain is most likely a condition that many of us will have at some point in life: sciatica.

In a nutshell, sciatica occurs when something compresses your sciatic nerve in your lower back. There are many potential causes, from a herniated disc near the nerve to spinal stenosis: a condition which gradually narrows the space around your spinal cord. Sciatica is common in case of people who work long hours. Hence its important to choose the right chairs for work. Chairthrone has several chairs that help in preventing sciatica pain.

If you’re feeling the pain of sciatica, you don’t have to suffer in silence. These treatments may be able to help, depending on the cause of your sciatica.

1. Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Part of the problem with sciatica is that the compression causes your sciatic nerve to become inflamed. Easing the inflammation can reduce your pain. One easy way to do this is by taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.

To make it even more effective, you can change some of your other health habits to reduce your body’s inflammation overall. For instance, try an anti-inflammatory diet and find ways to reduce the stress in your life.

2. Cold Packs

Speaking of inflammation, have you ever wondered why ice packs reduce pain from so many different injuries? It’s because the cold temperatures reduce inflammation in the area.

For that reason, cold packs often help sciatica too. Put the cold pack on your lower back for up to 20 minutes at a time and do this as needed or a few times per day. Be sure not to put the cold pack directly on your skin. Have clothing or a towel on the cold pack.

3. Physiotherapy

While many sciatica treatments are aimed at reducing pain and inflammation, people who treat their sciatica with Scarborough Physiotherapy services are getting to the root of the problem.

Depending on what is causing your sciatica, physical therapy may be able to relieve some of the pressure on your sciatic nerve. According to Willowdale Physiotherapy services, If the problem is a misalignment or a muscular issue, your physiotherapist may also be able to give you stretches to do or posture correction to help you prevent further symptoms.

4. Acupuncture

All the needle-phobes may be panicking, but acupuncture is easier and more relaxing than you think.

During acupuncture for pain relief, a therapist places tiny needles at various pressure points in your body. This triggers a reaction that releases endorphins to reduce pain, and it can decrease inflammation as well.

The results last far longer than your treatment session, but you will need repeated maintenance sessions to maintain your results.

5. Pain Management Injections

With the well-known opiate epidemic today, doctors are more and more hesitant to prescribe addictive pain medications. They don’t want to replace anyone’s sciatica with a drug addiction.

One of the alternative pain relief methods that has become common is using injections. There are different types of injections that work in different ways. For instance, steroid injections reduce inflammation while nerve blockers prevent the nerves from sending pain signals.

For sciatica, your doctor would inject the medication of choice into your lower back to target the sciatic nerve. The results typically last several weeks at a time.

6. Surgery

When it comes to sciatica, surgery is considered a last result. Only a small percentage of people with sciatica have pain that is severe enough and persistent enough to warrant surgery.

The surgery itself will depend on the cause behind your sciatica. In general, the goal is to remove whatever it is that is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Living Your Life Free from Sciatica

There’s no doubt about it: sciatica is a painful condition and sometimes it’s painful enough to prevent you from living your life to the fullest. The treatment options above can help you get back your freedom.




Harvard Study on Cannabis Flavonoids Could Change Cancer Treatment Forever

By Phillip Schneider | Waking Times 

Scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University recently discovered something that could change cancer treatment forever.

In their study, Harvard researchers learned that a compound in the cannabis plant called “flavonoids” can be used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer with a survival rate of only 20 percent within one year.

Flavonoids are a common compound found in most plants, fruits, and vegetables, but the drug used to treat cancer, called FBL-03G, is specifically synthesized from the cannabis plant.

“In this study, a flavonoid derivative of cannabis demonstrates significant therapeutic potential in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.” – Michele Moreau, et al.

This discovery could provide much-needed hope and relief to patients with an illness that has only an 8-percent five-year survival rate. Although pancreatic cancer only affects 3 percent of all cancer patients in America, it is on track to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in America by as early as 2020.

“The most significant conclusion is that tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids, derived from cannabis, enabled both local and metastatic tumor cell kill, significantly increasing survival from pancreatic cancer. – Wilfred Ngwa, Ph.D., study researcher

However, the flavonoid compound only makes up about 0.14 percent of the cannabis plant. In order to extract enough to use as a treatment, drug manufacturers would need to grow fields of cannabis, something they are not likely to do.

To get around this, scientists are making a controversial move by learning how to genetically engineer the cannabis plant to produce more flavonoids. They are having trouble however, as genetic engineering still cannot yield enough cannflavins at this time.

“The problem with these molecules is they are present in cannabis at such low levels, it’s not feasible to try to engineer the cannabis plant to create more of these substances.” – Steven Rothstein, Molecular and Genetic Researcher at the University of Guelph, and co-author of a study on the use of cannflavins as painkillers

Perhaps the most exciting discovery is that the introduction of flavonoids not only kills cancer in the pancreas, but in cancer cells found throughout the body. This could mean that cannflavins may be used to treat other forms of cancer in the future.

“We were quite surprised that the drug could inhibit the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body, representing metastasis, that was not targeted by the treatment. This suggests that the immune system is involved as well, and we are currently investigating this mechanism.” – Wilfred, Nwga

Scientists have found success in treating cancer with cannabis compounds in the past. The main components of the plant, THC, and CBD, have been found beneficial in the treatment of lung, blood skin, and liver cancer, among others, but until recently have been kept illegal by big money interests like the alcohol and prison industries, which benefit from the illegality of these highly medicinal compounds.

Many anecdotal cases also exist of patients who believe that cannabis cured their cancer, including Cheryl Pearson who recovered from stage 4 Ovarian cancer after having an allergic reaction to her chemotherapy drugs and was told that her death was “imminent.” Three months after her supposed end of life date, she was officially in remission, she believes, thanks to cannabis oil.

“I guess I never would have believed it—the results I saw from this plant… Initially, I only thought you could smoke it and I was not going that route. I didn’t have the knowledge. I was just thinking it was a puff of smoke and if I have cancer, I’m not going to add to it.” – Cheryl Pearson

As cannabis becomes more mainstream and scientists discover its medical benefits, we are likely to see a future where debilitating diseases like cancer can be treated not with harmful, synthetic drugs, but with compounds found in plants used for thousands of years – bringing that ancient wisdom into modern, everyday medical life.

About the Author

Phillip Schneider is a student as well as a staff writer and assistant editor for Waking Times. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website, or follow him on the free speech social network Minds.

This article (Not Just CBD – Cannabis Flavonoids Also Show Promise in Fighting Cancer) as originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

Read more great articles at Waking Times.




5 Reasons Why You Should Take CBD Oil

Back in 2012 a CBD product was developed for a little girl suffering from hundreds of seizures a week. The product is called Charlotte’s Web (named after the girl) and it helped to manage the seizures more than any other medication did – but we should also mention that they used a combination of CBD, terpenes, and essential oils.

This isn’t to say that CBD is a guaranteed medicine for seizures, but from the look of things, the compound has some amazing medicinal value for treating neurological conditions. If you don’t believe me, check out this FDA-approved CBD drug for epilepsy.

CBD has been studied for its effects on pain, anxiety, depression, and a host of other conditions affecting millions of people today. The biggest selling point for CBD is the fact that it doesn’t make the user high; so naturally, it can be used by anybody and not affect your ability to work or remain mentally alert. (It doesn’t even show up on drug tests!)

How can I use CBD to manage my condition?

To understand some of the ways CBD can be useful as an alternative medicine, let’s take a look at some of the most common ailments, and the effect of the compound in the body.

1) CBD gets rid of period pain

If you’ve ever had those painful periods, or any cramping as a result of PMS, then using CBD oil can help to regulate hormonal function in a way that reduces period pain. There are many kinds of therapies used to manage period pain, but many of these treatments combine different methods such as essential oils to reduce pain and crumps; but what makes CBD more effective is the fact that it targets the hormones directly through the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

This is important because the endocrine system and the ECS are responsible for regulating mood, pain, sleep, hunger, cognitive function, and many other processes that are altered during PMS. By regulating the hormones, CBD is able to reduce many of the symptoms associated with PMS.

2) CBD reduces anxiety

Another major reason for people using CBD today is anxiety. As much as a third of the U.S. population has some experience with anxiety, and for many of these people, the challenge of finding effective medication through pharmaceuticals has led them to try alternative treatments.

For an anxious person experiencing anxiety in big groups or in a public setting, taking CBD an hour before such an event can reduce symptoms of anxiety significantly. It works by modulating the hormones associated with anxiety – so in the case of stress hormones like cortisol, CBD reduces the production of said hormones and triggers the endocannabinoid system to release more serotonin, which makes you feel calmer and more content.

3) CBD improves quality of sleep

With so many people dealing with stress and chronic pain, being able to sleep through the night can be challenging. Again, with a reduction of anxiety and stress levels, you’re more likely to sleep through the night. CBD regulates the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that is often disrupted by stress, age, disease, and many more factors. Taking CBD about an hour before sleep can increase quality of sleep significantly, without causing any dependency (because CBD is anti-addictive).

4) CBD improves mood

One of the downsides of hormonal disruption is the fact that it causes a change in mood. When this happens, energy levels start to drop, and cognitive function is impaired. Productivity goes down, and any project that you’re working on; whether at home or work, is severely affected. Using CBD regularly can keep your mood levels normal and help to prevent conditions that may arise from it (such as depression).

Having that overall sense of wellbeing is important to our health, and what many people forget is the fact that hormones play a big role in maintaining our physical and mental health; and we must pay attention to any changes in the hormones in order to keep our health in check.

5) CBD prevents insulin resistance

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have the same origin: too much blood sugar. The human body uses insulin to regulate blood glucose levels, and when you eat, the pancreas produces a certain amount of insulin, which triggers the cells to take in glucose from the food to use for energy. Most cases of diabetes involve type 2 diabetes, which occurs when cells don’t respond to insulin.

This is what’s called insulin resistance, and it leads to too much glucose circulating in the blood, depriving the cells of essential energy. CBD oil may have a positive effect on insulin function and reduce the chances of acquiring type 2 diabetes in humans.

Although CBD is still being studied for its medicinal value, there’s plenty of data supporting its use in treating common ailments. We’ve outlined several CBD publications from renowned authorities at the bottom to give you a better idea of how CBD works, and how it’s used.

To learn more about how CBD works, and how it can improve your health, check out our articles on CBDCentral.com.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-ibd-research

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joresablount/2019/08/29/cbd-research-what-we-know-and-where-the-industry-is-going/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475.php

https://www.livescience.com/65811-what-is-cbd.html

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/01/cannabis-medical-cannabidiol-cbd-uk-consumers




University Study Shows Legalized Marijuana Could Cut Medicare Costs by Billions (Here’s Why)

Video Source: University of Georgia

By Marco Torres | Prevent Disease

A well-known fact still denied by conventional medicine is that marijuana saves lives by curbing highly addictive prescription painkillers known to kill tens of thousands every year. In fact, drug overdoses by prescription opioids kills more people than suicide, guns or motor vehicle accidents. University of Georgia researchers has now found that implementing medical marijuana could also reduce Medicare costs by billions.

Related Article: Medical Marijuana Shows Promise for Treating Depression

There is an abundance of evidence that the suppression of medical marijuana is one of the greatest failures of a free society, journalistic and scientific integrity as well as our fundamental values. There is no plant on Earth more condemned than marijuana.

There is solid evidence that marijuana is effective at treating one big condition: chronic pain. There is an abundance of evidence finding that there is at least a 30% greater improvement in pain with cannabinoid compared with placebo across hundreds of studies.

Some studies have examined the effect of adding a cannabinoid to the regimen of patients with chronic pain who report significant pain despite taking stable doses of potent opioids.

An investigational cannabinoid therapy helped provide effective analgesia when used as an adjuvant medication for cancer patients with pain that responded poorly to opioids, according to results of a multicenter trial reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.

An NBER working paper found that access to state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries is linked to a significant decrease in both prescription painkiller abuse, and in overdose deaths from prescription painkillers. The study authors examined admissions to substance abuse treatment programs for opiate addiction as well as opiate overdose deaths in states that do and do not have medical marijuana laws.

Medical marijuana is having a positive impact on the bottom line of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program in states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes, according to University of Georgia researchers in a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

The savings, due to lower prescription drug use, were estimated to be $165.2 million in 2013, a year when 17 states and the District of Columbia had implemented medical marijuana laws. The results suggest that if all states had implemented medical marijuana the overall savings to Medicare would have been around $468 million. Translate those savings over a period of just one decade and the figures escalate to billions of dollars.

Compared to Medicare Part D’s 2013 budget of $103 billion, those savings would have been 0.5 percent. But it’s enough of a difference to show that, in states where it’s legal, some people are turning to the drug as an alternative to prescription medications for ailments that range from pain to sleep disorders.

Their most intriguing finding is that medical marijuana laws alone aren’t enough to cause a significant shift in prescription painkiller use. Rather, the availability of medical marijuana through licensed dispensaries is the key

Because medical marijuana is such a hot-button issue, explained study co-author W. David Bradford, who is the Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs, their findings can give policymakers and others another tool to evaluate the pros and cons of medical marijuana legalization.

“We realized this question was an important one that nobody had yet attacked,” he said.

“The results suggest people are really using marijuana as medicine and not just using it for recreational purposes,” said the study’s lead author Ashley Bradford, who completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology in May and will start her master’s degree in public administration at UGA this fall.

To obtain the results, they combed through data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, a total of over 87 million physician-drug-year observations.

They then narrowed down the results to only include conditions for which marijuana might serve as an alternative treatment, selecting nine categories in which the Food and Drug Administration had already approved at least one medication. These were anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders, and spasticity.

They chose glaucoma in particular because while marijuana does decrease eye pressure caused by the disease by about 25 percent, its effects only last an hour. With this disorder, they expected marijuana laws–as a result of demand stimulation–to send more people to the doctor looking for relief. And because taking marijuana once an hour is unrealistic, they expected to see the number of daily doses prescribed for glaucoma medication increase.

They were not disappointed. While fewer prescriptions were written for the rest of categories–dropping by 1,826 daily doses in the pain category and 265 in the depression category, for instance–the number of daily doses for glaucoma medication increased by 35.

“It turns out that glaucoma is one of the most Googled searches linked to marijuana, right after pain,” David Bradford said. “Glaucoma is an extremely serious condition” that can lead quickly to blindness. “The patient then goes into the doctor, the doctor diagnoses the patient with glaucoma, and no doctor is going to let the patient walk out without being treated.”

Marijuana is classified federally as a “Schedule 1” under the Controlled Substances Act. With its placement in this most restrictive of drug categories, it means that the federal government has determined it has high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns. Several states don’t agree with this assessment, and, in 1996, California became the first to legalize it for medical purposes, followed by Alaska, Oregon, and Washington in 1998. As recently as June of this year, Pennsylvania and Ohio passed laws allowing its medical use.

Related Article: Medical Marijuana Could Be Legal in Pennsylvania by Week’s End

Each of the 25 states plus the District of Columbia with a medical marijuana law has different guidelines for its use and possession limits. Also, physicians in these states may only recommend its use; it remains illegal for them to prescribe the medication.

Patients also can’t walk up to their neighborhood pharmacy to pick up a marijuana prescription; they have to either go to a dispensary or grow it themselves–and the legality of having marijuana plants differs by state. This lack of patient oversight by a trained health care profession, in particular, worries David Bradford.

“Doctors can recommend marijuana and in some states can sign a form to help you get a card, but at that point, you go out of the medical system and into the dispensaries,” he said. “What does this mean? Do you then go less frequently to the doctor and maybe your non-symptomatic hypertension, elevated blood sugar and elevated cholesterol go unmanaged? If that’s the case, that could be a negative consequence to this.”

The researchers will explore these consequences further in their next study, Ashley Bradford said, which will look at medical marijuana’s effects on Medicaid, a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs and typically serves an older population.

They expect the cost savings seen in their current study to be repeated when they look at Medicaid, saying their findings suggest a more widespread state approval of medical marijuana could provide modest budgetary relief. Their current study suggests total spending by Medicare Part D would have been $468.1 million less in 2013 if all states were to have adopted medical marijuana laws by that year, an amount just under 0.5 percent of the prescription drug benefit program’s spending.

Sources:
healthaffairs.org
washingtonpost.com
sciencedaily.com
nber.org

Read more great articles at Prevent Disease.




The Benefits of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil refers to a full-spectrum oil that’s often derived from hemp seed or marijuana plants. There’s minimal risk of intoxication associated with hemp oil since it’s commonly created from food-grain strains of hemp, which contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound that actually causes the ‘high’ effect of marijuana.

Remember, hemp oil isn’t the same as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is produced from the seeds of Cannabis sativa plants. While CBD oil comes from the stalks, leaves, as well as flowers of the hemp plant that contain higher levels of CBD.

Hemp seed oil offers numerous health benefits, including:

Promoting Skin Health

Hemp oil comprises of fatty acids which can significantly benefit the skin. The oil is highly nutritious and can help keep your skin healthy and also prevent breakouts. A recent study found that hemp seed is extremely rich in healthful oils as well as fatty acids. And this is what makes it an excellent option for nourishing the skin and safeguarding it against inflammation, oxidation, and aging.

Applying hemp seed oil on your skin can go a long way in strengthening it while also preventing it from infections. The oil can be particularly helpful in treating skin conditions such as eczema, lichen planus, dermatitis, varicose eczema, acne rosacea, and psoriasis. Get yours from Nordic Oil’s CBD shop.

Brain Health

The fatty acids found in hemp seed oil have also been proven to be highly beneficial for the brain. A recent study performed on mice showed that hemp seed extracts featuring these active compounds were capable of protecting the brain from inflammation. Besides, it was established that hemp seed oil comprises of polyphenols, which can play a significant role in protecting the human brain.

Though these initial results may look promising, scientists still need to perform further studies to confirm the safety and effectiveness of this oil in humans.

Treating Health Issues

Research has also shown that hemp seed oil can be beneficial for the heart. Nonetheless, much information that’s currently available was extracted from older studies or clinical research that utilizes animal models.

Hemp seed oil can help in curing health conditions, such as atherosclerosis, cholesterol levels, as well as high blood pressure. An increase in  alpha-linolenic acid, which is commonly found in hemp oil, can reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Fish oils plus flaxseed oil are also other great sources of this fatty acid that doctors commonly refer to as linolenic acid.

Relieving Pain

Hemp oil can be used for relieving inflammation pain. Most people utilize CBD or hemp oil as a natural remedy for pain. Those who aren’t willing to take over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications might turn to hemp oil for pain relief.

Preventing Acne

The fatty acids found in hemp seed oil might help balance your skin and prevent inflammation which can result in acne. Research shows that CBD oil can affect the sebum glands in persons with chronic acne, reducing the production of sebum and potentially helping cure or prevent acne breakouts.

Muscle tension

Full-spectrum hemp oil which contains CBD can help relieve general stress and muscle tension. Just like fatty acids, hemp oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can relieve muscle tension and promote quick recovery from exercise.

The Bottom Line

Research shows that consuming hemp oil helps treat several health problems, including acne, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, chronic pain, and certain skin disorders. However, it should be taken in moderation.




Healthy Foods That Helps Combat Congestion

Are you going through a frustrating pain in your chest or throat along with mucus, soreness, continuous cough, and cold? Whatever your triggers are, it is a symptom of congestion. Congestion is an illness that when you don’t take proper precaution, it could harm you. It is essential to know the leading cause of blockage in your body so that you can treat the infection, instead of just the signs. Irritation plays a large part in the misery accompanying congestion. Severe irritation in the body might stimulate illnesses such as heartburn, asthma, and arthritis.

A stable diet is a perfect method of protecting infections related to congestion, and anti-inflammatory foods can benefit reducing symptoms once they start. And when you’re unwell, eating the right foods is more significant than ever.

There are numerous reasons for Congestions to occur in the body they are:

  • Common Cold
  • Red Meat 
  • Bacterial and virus-related infections
  • Asthma
  • Spicy Foods
  • Wine & Alcohols
  • Sensitivities and reactions
  • Severe Bronchitis
  • Tuberculosis

Dismissing congestion can necessarily be as simple as eating the right foods. Here is a list of common foods present which helps to fight congestion:

1. Turmeric and Apple Cider Vinegar 

While this mixture, suggested by a nurse, author, and healthcare doctors, is a gargle instead of a drink, turmeric has antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Pair one tablespoon turmeric with half a cup of apple cider vinegar and gulp it. It will surely relieve congestion.

2. Chicken soup

Chicken soups are a great fragility with plenty of health advantages. Chicken soup and its healing effectiveness have been observed from the earliest literature. The jelly in bone broth defends and settles the mucosal lining of the gastric tract and helps in relieving any congestion. It even lessens the inflammation pain and joint pain. Homemade chicken soup is easy and cheaper and better than store-bought.

3. Garlic

If you feel you are stuffed up, then there is another effective medication that is Garlic. Garlic’s antifungal and antibacterial properties can aid to ease congestion. Garlic, when crushed, it releases a healing factor called allicin. All you have to do is to boil garlic and strain it. Drink the juice at least thrice a day, and this will help soothe the throat and chest congestion if any.

4. Apple cider vinegar

Next time when you are heavily congested buy a bottle of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is made of inflamed apple juice that is usually treated in preservers and flavoring of food. This all-around remedy comprises potassium, and the acetic acid in it stops bacteria growth, which might contribute to nasal congestion.  Sip apple cider vinegar daily, and you will be assured that you are alright.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is connected to ginger and has numerous advantages. It is usually used while cooking. It helps in surging the antioxidant volume of the body. It even includes curcumin a natural anti-inflammatory compound when mixed with a little heat to clear and heal the congestion at the same time.

6. Spicy Mustard

Another lovely and beautiful condiment to remove all the congestion is spicy mustard. Yellow mustard is a unique spice due to its exclusivity and fiery flavor. It is also used in many dishes.

7.  Honey 

Honey contains loads of nutrients; it is an environment’s magical gift. It can be used in numerous techniques to give relief to different well-being circumstances. It is very comforting and helps to cure sore throat naturally or any other pain in the body. Honey can be taken directly, warm with water, or it can be added to numerous food items such as tea for cold.

8. Bananas

Banana is a source of vitamin C, Manganese, and potassium. It is a great fruit to eat when you’re sick and feel congested. They aid digestion and gives energy. Besides easy to chew, it even provides the right amount of nutrients and calories. Due to a higher number of BanLec and banana, lectin has the persuasive power to break viruses.

9. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a fantastic source of nutrients and simple to eat. It can fuel your resistant system, enhance blood sugar control, and reduce congestion and inflammation in the gastric order.  The oatmeal is bland and gives loads of calories, vitamins, and minerals you need when you feel you are heavy and congested.

Conclusion:

Congestion is an uncharacteristic or extreme accumulation of body fluid. Herbs and food have been guards for quite a long time. The risk factors included in this severe health condition can be due to excess of smoking, obesity, alcoholism, strain, junk foods. Therefore, eating healthy food should combat congestion.




Dr. Joseph Mercola: How Exercise Treats Depression

Video Source: FoundMyFitness

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Research suggests an exercise is a powerful tool for the prevention and management of depression, in part by normalizing insulin resistance
  • Mechanistic studies have also linked the antidepressant effects of exercise to molecular mechanisms involving kynurenine, myokines, BDNF, the endocannabinoid system, and beta-endorphin
  • By allowing for more tryptophan to be transported into your brain, exercise raises your serotonin and inhibits conversion into kynurenine, thereby boosting mood and preventing depression
  • Low BDNF levels have been implicated as a central component of depression, as depressed patients typically have lower levels than healthy controls
  • While exercise euphoria is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, vigorous exercise also dramatically increases anandamide — an endocannabinoid — in the body, which influences opioid and endorphin receptors. The higher your anandamide level, the better you feel

In this short video, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., a biomedical scientist, and researcher with the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California, discusses the science behind the mood-lifting effects of exercise.1 Indeed, many experts agree that exercise is one of the most powerful tools available for the prevention and management of depression.

For example, a meta-analysis2 published in 2016, which looked at 23 randomized controlled trials in which exercise was used as treatment for unipolar depression, found that, compared to no intervention, exercise “yielded a large and significant effect size,” which led them to conclude, “Physical exercise is an effective intervention for depression.”

How exercise ameliorates depression

One of the ways exercise promotes mental health is by normalizing insulin resistance. Mechanistic studies, several of which are highlighted in Patrick’s video, have also linked the antidepressant effects of exercise to molecular mechanisms involving:

  • Kynurenine, a neurotoxic stress chemical produced from the amino acid tryptophan
  • Myokines
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth factor that regulates neuroplasticity and new growth of neurons
  • The endocannabinoid system
  • Beta-endorphin, an endogenous opioid neuropeptide, and peptide hormone

Exercise boosts the metabolism of kynurenine

As explained by Patrick, tryptophan is an essential amino acid required for the synthesis of serotonin, melatonin, vitamin B3 and kynurenine. While kynurenine is associated with stress and depression at higher levels, higher levels of serotonin are associated with improved mood.

To a degree, exercise will allow you to control what the tryptophan will be synthesized into. By allowing for more tryptophan to be transported into your brain, exercise raises your serotonin and inhibits conversion into kynurenine, thereby boosting mood and preventing depression.

Conversely, chronic stress and low-grade inflammation make more tryptophan available for conversion into kynurenine and less into serotonin, which has a depressive effect.

Kynurenine, in turn, is a precursor to a neurotoxic compound called quinolinic acid, as well as a neuroprotective compound called kynurenic acid. Here too, exercise — and especially endurance exercise — activates a gene that prevents kynurenine from forming quinolinic acid, and makes it form kynurenic acid instead.

Animal research3 has also shown that well-trained muscles have higher levels of an enzyme that helps metabolize kynurenine, thereby ridding the body of it. As noted by the authors:4

 “Our initial research hypothesis was that trained muscle would produce a substance with beneficial effects on the brain. We actually found the opposite: well-trained muscle produces an enzyme that purges the body of harmful substances. So in this context, the muscle’s function is reminiscent of that of the kidney or the liver.”

Endurance training promotes anti-inflammatory myokines

Myokines are a type of a chemical messenger in a class called cytokines. Many of the cytokines we already know about are the kind liberated from adipose tissue, your body fat, particularly the truncal fat mass that gives you that apple-shape.

Many of these are inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 family (IL-1), which are involved in a variety of disease states, including cancer. Interestingly, the cytokines produced by muscle tissue, which are known as myokines (“myo” being the Latin root for muscles), have anti-inflammatory effects.

Myokines also increase your insulin sensitivity by improving glucose utilization inside your muscles and, acting as chemical messengers, myokines help inhibit the release of inflammatory cytokines produced by body fat.

Transient inflammation has beneficial effects

As explained by Patrick, microglia in your brain secretes neurotropic substances such as BDNF in response to exercise. Interestingly, it is inflammatory cytokines that are responsible for this beneficial effect.

So, while the chronic release of inflammatory cytokines can cause grave harm — and is associated with depression — the transient inflammation caused by vigorous exercise actually has a beneficial impact.

According to research cited by Patrick, low BDNF levels have been implicated as a central component of depression, as depressed patients typically have lower levels than healthy controls. As noted in a 2013 study5 on the interactions between exercise, depression and BDNF levels:

“[T]here is strong evidence that decreased BDNF is associated with … increased risk for depression, whereas increasing BDNF by aerobic exercise appears to … reduce depression.” 

Exercise is known to enhance BDNF secretion, while chronic stress reduces it. In one study,6moderate and vigorous-intensity cycling raised BDNF levels by an average of 32% compared to baseline.

As you might expect, duration plays an important role in how much BDNF is produced. Moderate to vigorous intensity for 40 minutes produced a more significant increase than those exercising at the same intensity for just 20 minutes.

The endocannabinoid connection

Cannabinoid receptors in the human body were discovered in the 1990s, which in turn led to the realization that we make compounds in our body — endogenous cannabinoids — that influence these receptors.

It was also discovered that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) orchestrates communication between other bodily systems, such as your respiratory, digestive, immune and cardiovascular systems.

One of the cannabinoids your body produces is called anandamide — a nod to the word “Ananda,” the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” as it attaches to the same CB1 receptors that the psychoactive THC in cannabis attaches to.

While runner’s high is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, running also dramatically increases anandamide in the body, and anandamide not only targets the CB1 receptor, but it also influences opioid and endorphin receptors. Not surprisingly, then, the higher an individual’s anandamide level, the better they report feeling.

Research cited by Patrick shows people engaging in moderate-intensity running or cycling increase their anandamide levels, and that the greatest increase occurs when you’re exercising at 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.7

Exercise boosts feel-good hormones

Exercise also triggers the release of beta-endorphin, an endogenous (meaning it’s made by your body) opioid neuropeptide and peptide hormone produced in specific neurons located in your central and peripheral nervous systems. As noted in the 2008 paper,8 “The Runner’s High: Opiodergic Mechanisms in the Human Brain”:

Reductions in opioid receptor availability were identified preferentially in prefrontal and limbic/paralimbic brain structures. The level of euphoria was significantly increased after running and was inversely correlated with opioid binding in prefrontal/orbitofrontal cortices, the anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral insula, parainsular cortex, and temporoparietal regions.

These findings support the ‘opioid theory’ of the runner’s high and suggest region-specific effects in frontolimbic brain areas that are involved in the processing of affective states and mood.”

Other studies showing exercise can treat depression

As noted by Patrick, there’s a solid and ever-growing body of scientific evidence showing physical exercise is a major key in the successful treatment of depression. Aside from the mechanistic studies highlighted in her video, here’s a short-list of studies and scientific review articles that have investigated this oft-ignored prescription:

JAMA Psychiatry 20189,10 (a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health) concluded exercise “may have greater efficacy than current approaches that target depressed mood.”

Contrary to popular belief, they found that while physical activity affected the participants’ mood afterward, their mood did not affect the amount of physical activity they engaged in. This defies the common assumption that depression causes physical inactivity. In fact, the results suggest it’s largely the other way around.

Frontiers in Pharmacology 201711 addressed the question of whether a comparison between exercise and drug treatment is evidence-based, noting that:

The literature on the benefits of exercise for depression is extensive. Nevertheless, two recent reviews focusing on antidepressants vs. other therapies as a basis for clinical practice guidelines recommended mainly antidepressants, excluding exercise as a viable choice for treatment of depression. The aim of this perspective is to analyze the literature exploring the reasons for this discrepancy …

[I]t is possible that academics and health care practitioners are skeptical of viewing exercise as medicine. Maybe, there is a reluctance to accept that changes in lifestyle, as opposed to pharmacological treatment, can alter biological mechanisms.”

In conclusion, they found three randomized controlled trials comparing four months of exercise to the use of antidepressants (two of which involved patients with major depression and one recruited those with minor depression). All of them found that exercise and antidepressant treatment were equally effective.

Of 11 randomized controlled trials comparing exercise as an adjunctive treatment to antidepressants (combination comparisons) against a wide variety of controls, 10 of them found “a significant depressive improvement after the exercise period, and/or that the proportion of patients with a clinical response was larger for the exercise group than the control.”

The paper reviews a variety of biological mechanisms by which exercise can benefit those with depression, including boosting BDNF and serotonin and lowering inflammation biomarkers. The authors also point out that:

“Two meta-analyses examining the efficacy of exercise as a treatment for major depression concluded that exercise as a treatment for depression can be recommended as a stand-alone treatment or as an adjunct to antidepressant medication, and that exercise can be considered an evidence-based treatment for the management of depression …

Almost all reviews examining exercise vs. other treatments of depression, including antidepressants, support the use of exercise in the treatment of depression, at least as an add-on therapy …

Based on the present review, which examined most or all RCTs published in 1999–2016, and most or all meta-analyses/systematic reviews published in 2009–2016, it can be stated that exercise is an evidence-based medicine for depression — at least as an add-on to antidepressants.”

Current Opinion in Psychology 201512 highlighted the role of inflammation in depression, and how biological markers can help explain how exercise reduces depressive symptoms. As explained in this review:

There is growing support for the efficacy of exercise interventions for the treatment of individuals who present with mild-to-moderate depression … The present article reviews contemporary theoretical accounts and recent empirical data pointing to neuroinflammatory states and neurotrophin production as possible biomarkers of the antidepressant response to exercise …

Recent research suggests that depressed patients have elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with the most reliably observed elevations in Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) …

Along with the elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines among depressed individuals, several studies show lower than average levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin-10 (IL-10) and a lack of correlation between IL-10 and IL-6 that typically is present, suggesting there is a dysregulation of the inflammatory system among depressed patients …

Exercise has emerged as an effective strategy to target inflammatory deregulation … For example, acting as a stressor, acute bouts of exercise result in the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from muscles.

This release of IL-6, in turn, activates the synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 and inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha, suggesting that exercise promotes, in this way, an anti-inflammatory environment.

Similarly, when occurring chronically, exercise (training) reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-alpha and increases the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.”

Many other studies support the view that depression is mediated, and perhaps directly caused,13by inflammation, especially gastrointestinal inflammation.14 Cytokines15 in your blood, and/or inflammatory messengers such as CRP, interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and TNF-alpha are all predictive of16 and correlate17 to depression.

In melancholic depression, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, white blood cells called monocytes express pro-inflammatory genes that provoke secretion of cytokines.18

At the same time, cortisol sensitivity goes down, and cortisol is a stress hormone that buffers against inflammation. Together, these inflammatory agents transfer information to your nervous system, typically by stimulating your vagus nerve, which connects your gut and brain.

In one study,19 the researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome,” and that “these findings justify an assumption that treating gastrointestinal inflammations may improve the efficacy of the currently used treatment modalities of depression …”

In this model, depression is the result of your body’s attempts to protect itself from an inflammatory response and involves hormones and neurotransmitters. Depressive symptoms most strongly associated with chronic inflammation include:20

  • Flat mood
  • Slowed thinking
  • Avoidance
  • Alterations in perception
  • Metabolic changes
Asian Journal of Sports Medicine 201521 looked at “systematic reviews, meta-analyses and large-scale randomized control trials on effects of exercise on depression” to devise recommendations for doctors “who plan to use exercise protocols in depression.”

Here, they highlighted 10 different biological effects of exercise known to have a beneficial effect on people with depression. These effects include22 upregulation or increase in the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, BDNF, endorphins, and endocannabinoids, and downregulation or decrease in the levels of cortisol, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, and ACTH.

They also note psychosocial effects that have a beneficial impact, such as self-mastery, social interaction, and distraction from rumination. According to this evaluation, depressed patients most likely to benefit from exercise are: Between 20 and 40 years old, have higher education status, are untrained and have mild to moderate depression.

Characteristics of an exercise program most likely to benefit people with depression include: Supervised and/or structured exercise; individually tailored exercise consisting of aerobic exercise and resistance training (or a mix); low to moderate intensity; 45 to 60 minutes per session at least three to four times per week for a minimum of 10 weeks. The authors also encourage physicians to employ a multidisciplinary team, noting that:

“It is very beneficial to encourage physicians and exercise specialists to work in collaboration on depression and exercise treatments. It seems that most medical professionals have little or no training in exercise programs and exercise specialists are not familiar with the clinical population, particularly depressed patients.

Physicians’ recommendation is often limited to ‘get more exercise’ while the exercise specialist may advise physical activities that are not actually useful for patients with depression.

However, with a multidisciplinary team, it is possible to prescribe an exercise program more safely, efficiently, operatively, objectively and realistic. Such a multidisciplinary team may include a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, sports medicine specialist and exercise trainer.”

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 201123 concluded 12 weeks of high-intensity exercise led to a 28.3% remission rate in patients who had previously failed to get any relief from SSRIs.
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 2006.24 This meta-analysis of 11 studies concluded doctors would be well advised to recommend exercise to patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, as the evidence showed “substantial benefit.”
Archives of Internal Medicine 199925 reported 16 weeks of aerobic exercise was just as effective as Zoloft for the treatment of major depression in older patients.

Consider lifestyle changes before resorting to drugs

While there’s strong evidence to support moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise and strength training for the treatment of depression, I would also urge you to reassess your diet.

Foods have an immense impact on your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental and physical health. Avoiding processed foods, sugar and grains is particularly important as it will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is an important contributing factor to depression.

Certain nutrients are also known to cause symptoms of depression when lacking, and specific herbs and nutritional supplements may also help counteract symptoms.

For a list of nutrients, herbs and supplements that have been shown to be particularly helpful for depression, as well as a long list of studies showing just how ineffective antidepressants are, and guidelines for safe drug withdrawal, please see “What Does the ‘Best Evidence’ Say About Antidepressants?

You can also learn more about depression and its contributing causes on Patrick’s website26 and in her full-length interview with Dr. Charles Raison27 (who is only briefly featured in the video above), in which he expounds on the links between depression and inflammation, and the use of heat stress as a therapeutic intervention for depression.

Read more great articles at mercola.com