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Depression Update & Save 15% on Brain Recovery

I am writing to you from Expo West, in Anaheim, the huge annual food and supplement trade show, with 70,000 attendees and over 4000 exhibits. I’m running into people I know and learning new info from them, and finding wonderful new products. Yesterday I spoke to the chairman of Bubbie’s, the company that makes my favorite sauerkraut, both great-tasting and wonderful for the microbiome. Their sauerkraut, dill pickles and sour tomatoes taste like the ones my own Jewish Bubby (grandmother) used to make!

Check my Facebook page for updates and photos from the show.

Now for today’s topic– the brain, including depression, antidepressants and natural solutions. More people are on antidepressants than ever before, with all the attendant side effects, the short list being nausea, headaches, weight gain, impaired sexual function and even suicidal thoughts and behavior. During and after weaning slowly and safely, the medications  should be replaced with natural products that help to rebuild and restore the brain and neurotransmitters.

I developed such a product, Brain Recovery AM&PM, that works brilliantly for withdrawal and for long term maintenance too, since there was most likely some imbalance that led to taking antidepressants in the first place. Brain Recovery AM&PM is  also very useful for recovery from addictive substances – sugar, alchol, opiates,meth, and more. Check out first hand comments here

And we have Brain Recover AM&PM on special this month, with 15% off, along along with some products from my distriutor, Tango. 

How’s your memory? I find that people are complaining increasingly about memory loss; like, “where did I leave my keys?”  or being at a loss to remember a good friend’s name. Is this an inevitable part of aging or can we avoid or at least, forestall it? A few years ago I developed a formula, Brain Cell Support Plus, to do just this and have been getting great feedback on it. My patients tell me they’re “addicted” to it – and  notice when they don’t take it! See first hand comments.

Scroll down for some informative articles on the gut -brain connection and the effect of sugar on the brain (hint: it’s not good!)

To keep up with my activities as well as for useful health info/news ongoing, please go to my Facebook page and “like” me.

Yours in good health,

Hyla Cass, MD


Brain Gut ConnectionRole of Gut Bacteria in Mood and Emotion. Are Probiotics Key to a Better Antidepressant?
English is rich with idioms that connect our bellies with our behavior. We get “butterflies in our stomachs” or just have a “gut feeling” about things. But increasingly, there’s scientific evidence that the bacteria in our guts might influence emotion and behavior Our gastrointestinal tracts teem with tens of thousands of species of bacteria. These germs are already known to help regulate the digestive process and to play a role in weight and food cravings. Some scientists are finding, though, that these same microbes can also alter our brain chemistry. Just how this happens is still being figured out, but one pathway might be the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the stomach. The bacteria…(>> read)

 


MitochondriaHow Sugar “Rush” Shrinks Brain Mitochondria, Affects Ability to Control Blood Glucose Levels
The spike in blood sugar levels that occurs after a meal is controlled by the brain’s neuronal mitochondria, which are considered the “powerhouse of cells,” according to a new study from the Yale School of Medicine published in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal Cell. The findings could provide a better understanding of how type 2 diabetes develops. Blood glucose levels are thought to be primarily controlled by the pancreatic hormone insulin, the liver, and the muscles. This new study, however, highlights a crucial role for mitochondria in a small subset of neurons of the brain in systemic glucose control. The study was designed to explore how neurons in the brain adapt to the glucose “rush.” The researchers were…(>> read)


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Role of Gut Bacteria in Mood and Emotion. Are Probiotics Key to a Better Antidepressant?

English is rich with idioms that connect our bellies with our behavior. We get “butterflies in our stomachs” or just have a “gut feeling” about things. But increasingly, there’s scientific evidence that the bacteria in our guts might influence emotion and behavior.

Mind Gut Connection

Our gastrointestinal tracts teem with tens of thousands of species of bacteria. These germs are already known to help regulate the digestive process and to play a role in weight and food cravings. Some scientists are finding, though, that these same microbes can also alter our brain chemistry. Just how this happens is still being figured out, but one pathway might be the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the stomach. The bacteria stimulate the vagus nerve, and that, in turn, stimulates the production of various neurotransmitters—the brain chemicals that partly determine what we think and how we feel.

Mice raised in sterile, bacteria-free bubbles exhibit autistic-like social traits. “When we look at the brains of these animals, we see marked changes in the serotonin system and the levels of proteins involved in plasticity,” said John Cryan, a neuroscience professor at Ireland’s University College Cork during a recent talk.

One study showed that giving such mice a certain probiotic reversed their autistic symptoms. Feeding a different probiotic to anxious rodents brought down their anxiety levels, as did administering a fecal transplant to one particularly anxious mouse.

And it’s not just mice: In 2011, a small group of human volunteers saw reductions in depression and anxiety after taking a combination of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum for 30 days. Two years later, scientists at UCLA found that healthy women who ate yogurt twice a day showed changes in the parts of the brain that process emotion.

Now, Cryan and others have put forth a speculative theory that our gut bacteria played a key role in developing early humans’ social personalities. As human society evolved, people needed to understand each other better in order to cooperate, share resources, make tools, hunt, mate, and raise children. Based on the story of the autistic, bacteria-free mice, Cryan suggests that it might have been our gut bacteria that spurred us, back in our caveman days, to learn to get along with others. Look at it from the bacteria’s perspective: The better their human hosts became at socializing, the more likely it would be that they would prosper and multiply. And the more humans there were, the more real estate there was for the gut bacteria.

“It’s better for humans to be in social groups, but also better for bacteria,” said Cryan, who presented this theory in an article in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

“Anything that increases the potential for one’s genes to be passed on and to be spread is what’s driving evolution. Being in a social group would allow that for the bacteria and for humans.”

All of this research is still at the very early stages. We have no idea which probiotics will treat specific psychological symptoms. Cryan said it’s important to develop more scientific rigor behind this idea before we go swapping our Celexa for Chobani.

The next step, he notes, is “about designing precision probiotics so we know how they are on their own and collectively.”

Given how dissatisfied people tend to be with traditional antidepressants and their side effects, though, it’s promising that there might be a future in which we can feel happier just by manipulating our microbiota. It certainly would add merit to the idea that what we eat affects everything. Or as Cryan put it, “Your state of mind might be dependent on your state of gut.”

Source: lga Gakhazan, The Atlantic – link


How Sugar “Rush” Shrinks Brain Mitochondria, Affects Ability to Control Blood Glucose Levels

The spike in blood sugar levels that occurs after a meal is controlled by the brain’s neuronal mitochondria, which are considered the “powerhouse of cells,” according to a new study from the Yale School of Medicine published in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal Cell. The findings could provide a better understanding of how type 2 diabetes develops.

Mitochondria

Blood glucose levels are thought to be primarily controlled by the pancreatic hormone insulin, the liver, and the muscles. This new study, however, highlights a crucial role for mitochondria in a small subset of neurons of the brain in systemic glucose control.

The study was designed to explore how neurons in the brain adapt to the glucose “rush.” The researchers were surprised to find that not only do mitochondria of neurons “feel” the change in circulating glucose levels, but that adaptive changes in these same mitochondria are at the core of the body’s ability to handle sugar in the blood. To test this point, the research team generated several mouse models in which a specific mitochondrial protein called uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) was either missing or present in varying amounts in the subset of brain cells that sense circulating sugar levels.

“We found that when sugar increases in the body, mitochondria in subsets of brain neurons rapidly change their shape and their function is altered,” said senior author Sabrina Diano.

Diano said what surprised the research team is not that these changes occur in response to glucose, but that these seemingly subtle adjustments in a “housekeeping” cellular event in a handful of brain cells has such a powerful impact in circulating glucose levels by affecting many peripheral tissue functions.

“The findings imply that alterations in this mechanism may be crucial for the development of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, in which the body is not able to clear the blood from high levels of sugar that occur after meals.”

Diano and her team will focus their future research on assessing whether alteration of this mitochondrial mechanism in the brain is involved in the development and propagation of type 2 diabetes.

Source: Sugar rush shrinks brain cell powerhouse

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