Melatonin will help regulate your sleep so when you wake up, you’re ready to conquer your day!

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What can Melatonin do for me?

By Shannon Bennett and Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

Are you on an antidepressant but have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Do you feel sleepy, suffer from brain fog, poor memory, and lethargy throughout the day?

If so, you might benefit from the safe, quick acting, and powerful antioxidant called melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by a gland in your brain called the pineal gland when it is dark outside. Melatonin release is suppressed when it is light outside or when we are exposed to blue lights– television and phone screens for example.

Melatonin regulates your sleep wake cycle (circadian rhythm), and impacts your mood, and regulates many metabolic functions.

Melatonin is one of the 3 main nutrients depleted by the use of anti-depressants, like Prozac2,3, which is one of the main reasons you may be experiencing insomnia while taking your antidepressant.  

In addition to regulating sleep and correcting jet lag, few people know of melatonin’s use as a powerful antioxidant in alternative treatments for cancer, aging and mental health.

Antioxidants are molecules that bind up all of the harmful free radicals circulating in our bodies, thus decreasing the damage caused by oxidation in our cells. To explain oxidation in a little more detail: Oxidation is the reaction occurring when your half-eaten apple turns brown, when a car rusts and oxidation is the cause or consequence in some diseases. Other common antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E, n-acetylcysteine and selenium.

Melatonin helps your body regulate hormones, controls irritable bowel, and combats brain fog, difficulty focusing and poor concentration.

Interestingly we see a link between melatonin and the neurotransmitter dopamine. In making dopamine, your brain needs adequate amounts of melatonin. Therefore if you suffer from ADD/ ADHD or any other issues with focus and attention, you might be deficient in melatonin.  

Melatonin is particularly important if you’re a busy, over-worked, over-stressed individual. At this point, you’re probably thinking this supplement should be added to your daily regimen. If you’re one of the 11% of Americans on antidepressants1, you’ll be glad to know that this vital hormone is not going to cause any interactions with your bottled sunshine. In fact, it may benefit you even more than the antidepressant alone.

As mentioned above, Melatonin is also a major building block for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters happen to be primarily involved in mood regulation, response to stressors and our overall ability to adapt easily and thrive in life.

How good does that sound? To not just survive in life but to THRIVE?

The regulation of these neurotransmitters is intricately involved in the treatment of depression, anxiety and other mental health-related disorders4. Serotonin is the target for SSRIs, impacting the amount available for your body’s use.

To Summarize:

  • Your antidepressant may be depleting your body of melatonin.
  • Melatonin dysregulation leads to insomnia
  • Melatonin is a safe, effective, natural and powerful alternative to medications in helping you sleep again.
  • As an extremely powerful antioxidant, melatonin heals the brain!
  • Melatonin prevents neurdegenerative disorders, for example alzheimers.
  • Melatonin is needed to make dopamine which is the first line treatment in ADHD/ ADD

At Natural Mental Health Supplements we are passionate about creating solutions to the mental health crisis that is occurring in the United States.

By helping one person at a time, one nutrient at a time, we hope to change the world. Step by step. By helping you get on the road to a new life, we know that you will positively impact those around you, and then those around you will impact the world around them.

Our mission is to EMPOWER you in taking back your health.

Antidepressant Companion was specifically formulated to compliment antidepressants as they are working in your body. It does this by providing therapeutic dosages of quality Melatonin to counteract and decrease the negative effects of this known depletion.

Speak with your healthcare provider today about using Antidepressant Companion on your journey to a healthy, and well-rested life!  

References:

  1. http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-largest-antidepressant-drug-users-2016-2
  2. http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000712
  3. Br J Psychiatry. 1995 Feb;166(2):196-8. Effect of fluoxetine on melatonin in patients with seasonal affective disorder and matched controls. Childs PA1, Rodin I, Martin NJ, Allen NH, Plaskett L, Smythe PJ, Thompson C.
  4. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1995;20(7):763-70. Plasma melatonin and cortisol circadian patterns in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder before and after fluoxetine treatment. Monteleone P1, Catapano F, Tortorella A, Di Martino S, Maj M.

Co-Q 10 is the powerful boost you’ve been looking for

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Learn what Co-Q 10 can do for you.

By Shannon Bennett and Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA

With health care costs on the rise and depression becoming more and more common, we find ourselves looking for alternative treatments for depression. A powerful powerhouse nutrient that should not be ignored is: Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10, ubiquinone, ubiquinol).

COQ10 (ubiquinone and ubiquinol) is like the battery that goes in your car. It is used by every single cell in your body to provide energy. Energy helps your cells to work, it is needed to make hormones, neurotransmitters, it is needed for your neurons to send information. In short: COQ10 is essential for every single cell in your body.

But what does this have to do with your mental health?

At the basic level, Ubiquinone is vital in the energy production powerhouse, the mitochondria. Adequate levels allow for the body’s biochemical processes to be efficiently energized.

This is why early signs of deficiency are associated with lowered energy, brain fog and muscle weakness. Do these symptoms sound familiar?

They are some of the most common symptoms in depression.

Without adequate amounts of COQ10, people commonly suffer from depression– especially depression associated with chronic fatigue syndrome and treatment resistant depression4. Ubiquinone plays a particularly vital role in heart health as well and research has revealed a particularly intimate link between one’s heart health and their emotional wellbeing. Late signs that your levels may be low include chest pain, high blood pressure, rapid aging and Alzheimer’s disease3. In fact, because of this, COQ10 is very commonly recommended for patients suffering from heart disease. COQ10 can not only provide the body with the energy it needs for proper heart function but it serves preventive treatment for return of, or worsening of symptoms.

COQ10 deficiencies are becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, COQ10 is one of the 3 main nutrients depleted while taking pharmaceuticals, such as tricyclic antidepressants1,2. This is why people often develop side effects and often worsening of their depression and anxiety after long term antidepressant use. The conventional medical model emphasizes adding additional medications or increasing dosages but this does not get to the root of the problem.

It’s only making it worse.

In the Philosophies of Natural Therapeutics, author, Dr. Henry Lindlhar acknowledges the advantages of preventing disease, rather than waiting for the development of disease and seeking to cure it6. He also provides profound insights into how to treat disease by addressing the root cause.

So, in respect to Dr. Lindlhar’s suggestion, supplementing with nutrients known to be involved in the development of depression may be beneficial while under pharmaceutical treatment. By targeting the root cause of why you are feeling worse on your antidepressant we can help reduce and often eliminate side effects, but we can also often help relieve the depression so that you may be able to taper down and often off of your medications. Note: Medications should always be adjusted under the supervision of your prescribing physician. It can be very harmful and dangerous to make medication adjustments without expert supervision.

Another benefit of Ubiquinone (a specific form of COQ10) is that it is one of the antioxidants that is able to cross the blood brain barrier7. This barrier is what separates the blood circulating in your body from the fluid in your central nervous system. This means that ubiquinol (a form of COQ10) is able to go straight into your brain where it can directly target your mind and mood. If you recall from the previous post regarding the powerful antioxidant melatonin, you know that antioxidants play a role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. COQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and as we age Ubiquinone levels decrease, further increasing the risk of depletion– especially when paired with antidepressant use.

With Ubiquinone’s ability to reach the central nervous system, it is one of the most influential nutrients available for prevention of neurodegenerative changes in the brain.

At Natural Mental Health Supplements we understand the importance in giving the body what it needs to support optimal health. That is why we have specifically formulated Antidepressant Companion to be safely and effectively used in conjunction with pharmaceuticals, as a means to prevent the loss of the nutrients that impact your mental health.

Speak with your healthcare provider today about using Antidepressant Companion on your journey to a healthy, happy life!

References:

1) Drugs that Deplete: Coenzyme Q10. University of Maryland Medical Center Medical Reference Guide. Complementary and Alternative medicine Guide. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement-depletion-links/drugs-that-deplete-coenzyme-q10

2) Drugs that Deplete: Coenzyme Q102011). PennState Hershey. Milton S. Hersehey Medical Center. Retrieved on 4/1/15 from  http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000706

3) Signs of low COQ10: heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, macular degeneration, early and rapid aging, chronic fatigue, and cognitive problems like depression, brain fog and alzheimers disease. Mayo Clinic. Drugs and Supplements: Coenzyme Q10.  http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/coenzyme-q10/evidence/hrb-20059019

4) Low COQ10 plays a role in the cause of depression, especially depression associated with treatment resistant depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome: “The results show that lower CoQ10 plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression and in particular in TRD and CFS accompanying depression” Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9. Lower plasma Coenzyme Q10 in depression: a marker for treatment resistance and chronic fatigue in depression and a risk factor to cardiovascular disorder in that illness. Maes M1, Mihaylova I, Kubera M, Uytterhoeven M, Vrydags N, Bosmans E. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010493

5) Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Mar;104:105-12. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2012.12.027. Epub 2013 Jan 11. Coenzyme Q10 displays antidepressant-like activity with reduction of hippocampal oxidative/nitrosative DNA damage in chronically stressed rats. Aboul-Fotouh S1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23313551

6) Nature Cure; Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure. Nature Cure Publishing. 1914. reprint General Books LLC, 2009, ISBN 978-1-150-08374-7

7) Yossi Gilgun-Sherki, Eldad Melamed, Daniel Offen (2000). Oxidative stress induced-neurodegenerative diseases: the need for antioxidants that penetrate the blood brain barrier. Neuropharmacology 40 (2001) 959–975. Journal of Neuro Pharmacology 2000-2001. Retrieved from: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.477.4396&rep=rep1&type=pdf

5 Reasons Your SSRI Gives You Side Effects

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It’s an age old tale: You are feeling depressed. You go to your doctor and are prescribed an antidepressant. For a while things get a little better, but after a time, the depression starts to creep back. You go back to your doctor and your dosage is increased. This helps push back the feelings of sadness but now you are having difficulty sleeping and are gaining weight. Your doctor explains that these are common side effects of this medication and he switches you to a different kind of antidepressant. It’s the same story: At first things seem to go alright but the depression always comes back, and this time the side effects include: anxiety, struggling to focus and you feel detached emotionally. Another medication is added to your regimen to help with focus, and yet another is added to curb the feelings of panic. Every day now you go to your pill dispenser and swallow back a handful of medications. But you don’t feel happy and you don’t feel like yourself. You feel lost.

Does this sound familiar? If so, know that you are not alone.

There are five main reasons your SSRI may be causing you side effects:

1) Oxidative damage

Oxidative damage is a term you have probably heard in the news. It refers to damage to the cells and tissue caused by oxidation. Oxidation is a normal process where an oxygen molecule removes electrons from a another molecule or atom. This, however, causes damage to the cell, and can be problematic when there is too much of this process occurring.

We see that more oxidative stress is associated with a higher risk of becoming depressed and staying depressed (1)(2) and antidepressants can cause a worsening of depression by causing oxidative stress in the brain. For example, The Journal of Basic Clinical Physiological Pharmacology found that sertraline (Zoloft), which is an selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant, caused oxidative stress in the brain of test subjects (3).

Our body is built to counteract oxidative damage through the production of enzymes that can neutralize the oxygen. Examples of enzymes include vitamins E and A. Consuming foods that are high in antioxidants, which are nutrients that inhibit oxidation, can provide your body with powerful tools in healing all of the tissues and cells in your brain and body. There are many additional powerful vitamins, minerals, and herbs that act as antioxidants to counteract the side effects of your antidepressant, heal the brain and improve your mood.

2) Increased demand for B vitamins

Antidepressants work by increasing the amount of available mood-supporting chemicals, called neurotransmitters, in the brain. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants, for example, stop your brain from reuptaking  serotonin so that more of it remains available for use. In order to produce more chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, the brain requires more building blocks. Particularly important building blocks include your B vitamins. For those taking antidepressants, an ongoing supply of the B vitamins must be available as cofactors to help manufacture the needed neurotransmitters (4)(5).

What often happens, is that in the beginning, your body has enough vitamins and minerals to produce adequate amounts of neurotransmitters. However, if the supply of building blocks does not increase in tandem with the demand, you will start to develop side effects from your antidepressant.. Symptoms will vary based on which nutrient is depleted, but most noteworthy is that it will appear that your antidepressant is not working properly any more. Also side effects will become more pronounced., You may be instructed to increase your dose of the drug, add on a new medication, or change to something different, when perhaps all you needed was a little nutritional support.

3) Blocking ATP

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) functions in your body like the battery in a car. It is produced by every cell in your brain and body, and is used as  energy so that your cells can function. We get the building blocks to make ATP from our food and without enough ATP we will cease to function and live.

Antidepressants impair your cells ability to make ATP resulting in your cells not having  enough energy to carry out their normal functions. This causes myriad symptoms including but not limited to: depression, fatigue, muscle weakness, and diminished brain power (6).

There are many nutrients that can help you increase the amount of ATP in your cells. These may include: Coenzyme Q10, magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B3. It is important, however, to ensure you are taking the proper dosages and forms of these nutrients because some varieties of these nutrients are not well absorbed or utilized by the body.

4) Blocking CoQ10

CoQ10 (ubiquinone) is a coenzyme that is found in every single cell of your body. Healthy cells produce CoQ10 and it is used to protect the body and brain from oxidative damage and harmful substances. CoQ10 can be found in many types of foods like beef, sardines, and peanuts. You can also get it in a dietary supplement.

If you do not have enough CoQ10, you will be at a higher risk of depression, certain types of cancer, and more. Signs of low CoQ10 include: Depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, chest pain, memory loss, asthma, chronic fatigue, gum disease, migraines, weakness, nerve pain, and more.

Antidepressants can cause side effects and increase your risk of depression by actually depleting your body of CoQ10. In fact, low CoQ10 has been shown to play a role in “treatment resistant depression” which is depression that does not seem to improve despite treatment (7)(8)(9). Supplementing with the proper form and dosage of CoQ10 has been shown to be a powerful, natural, antidepressant and can help not only curb side effects of your antidepressants, but also help you feel less depressed to begin with.

5) Depletion of Melatonin

Melatonin is a molecule that is released by a gland in your brain, called the pineal gland. Melatonin is involved in regulating your sleep-wake cycle, called the circadian rhythm, and is also very closely linked to mood stability. When the sun goes down, there is less of a particular type of wavelength of light called “blue light,” and as a result the brain produces more melatonin to tell your brain it is time to go to sleep. Melatonin not only helps you get a good night’s rest but it is also a powerful antioxidant, protects against weight gain, heart disease and even migraine headaches and Alzheimer’s disease.

Research has shown that certain medications, including antidepressant medications like fluoxetine (Prozac), deplete the body of melatonin. This  may be in part why patients experience sleeping difficulties while taking these medications (10).

If you are taking an antidepressant, and are having difficulty sleeping it is possible that you may be having difficulties due to decreased melatonin stores. Before adding more medications to your regimen, like sleep aids, consider asking your doctor about if melatonin might be right for you.

Replace Nutrients for Better Health

If you are taking an antidepressant medication and are experiencing side effects, it is possible that proper supplementation may help to relieve your symptoms. There is an increasing body of evidence showing how vitamins, minerals, and certain herbs can help your brain and body heal. Know that you are not alone in your journey towards health, and that there are science-based solutions to helping you feel like yourself again. You can feel better, the journey starts with healing the body so that you can heal your mind. Get started today!

By: Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA

References:
1)   Oxidative Stress is Related to Depression: “antioxidant levels are lower, and the serum free radical and oxidative damage product levels are higher than controls in depressed patients”: PLoS One. 2015 Oct 7;10(10):e0138904. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138904.
2)   Novel Therapeutic Targets in Depression and Anxiety: Antioxidants as a Candidate Treatment Ying Xu,1,Δ Chuang Wang,2,Δ Jonathan J Klabnik,3 and James M O’Donnell1,* Curr Neuropharmacol. 2014 Mar; 12(2): 108–119. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964743/
3)   Antidepressants can cause oxidative stress in the brain: “Sertraline decreased catalase and PON1 activity which might expose the brain to further oxidative insults” J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol. 2013;24(2):115-23. doi: 10.1515/jbcpp-2012-0022. Brain and liver oxidative stress after sertraline and haloperidol treatment in mice. Abdel-Salam OM1, Youness ER, Khadrawy YA, Sleem AA.
4)   Bottiglieri T. “Folate, vitamin B12 and neuropsychiatric disorders.” Nutrition Review Dec 1996; 54(12): 382-390. Retrieved from http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/practical-guide-avoiding-drug-induced-nutrient-depletion/
5)   Bottiglieri T, M Laundy, R Crellin, et al. “Homocysteine, folate, methylation, and monoamine metabolism in depression.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry Mar 2001; 70(3): 419. Retrieved from http://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/practical-guide-avoiding-drug-induced-nutrient-depletion/
6)   Oxford Journals. Toxicological Sciences. Mitochondrial Dysfunction Induced by Sertraline, an Antidepressant Agent. Yan Li*, Letha Couch†, Masahiro Higuchi‡, Jia-Long Fang† and Lei Guo†,1.
7)   Drugs that Deplete: Coenzyme Q102011). PennState Hershey. Milton S. Hersehey Medical Center. Retrieved on 4/1/15 from  http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000706
8)   Low COQ10 plays a role in the cause of depression, especially depression associated with treatment resistant depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome: “The results show that lower CoQ10 plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression and in particular in TRD and CFS accompanying depression” Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9. Lower plasma Coenzyme Q10 in depression: a marker for treatment resistance and chronic fatigue in depression and a risk factor to cardiovascular disorder in that illness. Maes M1, Mihaylova I, Kubera M, Uytterhoeven M, Vrydags N, Bosmans E. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010493
9)   Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2009;30(4):462-9. Lower plasma Coenzyme Q10 in depression: a marker for treatment resistance and chronic fatigue in depression and a risk factor to cardiovascular disorder in that illness. Maes M1, Mihaylova I, Kubera M, Uytterhoeven M, Vrydags N, Bosmans E. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20010493
10)  Penn State Hershey Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Drugs that Deplete: Melatonin. Retrieved from:  http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000712

3 Ways to Reverse the Libido Squashing Effects of your Antidepressant Medications

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Having a satisfying intimate relationship with your partner is important in the lives of most adults, however, low libido (meaning lack of interest or decreased function) is a potential side effect of all antidepressant medications (1). The good news is that is possible to keep things happy in the bedroom and the rest of your life while taking your antidepressant.

reversethelibidosquashingeffectsofyourantidepressantTWO

Three ways Antidepressant Companion reverses the low libido blues:

1) Libido Boost

There are three key players to the Antidepressant Companion formulation to help boost your libido.

L-Tyrosine: L-tyrosine is and amino acid used by your brain to make chemicals called neurotransmitters. Some of them made from tyrosine include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are key players in your feelings of satisfaction, libido, and energy. Studies have shown that supplementation with L-tyrosine can work quickly to help with erectile dysfunction, achieving orgasm, and increasing interest.

Saffron: Saffron is a delicious spice that has been shown to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression (2), but that’s not all!. In addition to being a powerful antidepressant, Saffron blocks the libido squashing side effects of your antidepressant, and it can also help improve erectile function, arousal, lubrication and interest (3)(4)(5).

L-Citrulline: L-Citrulline is another amino acid that has been used to effectively treat low libido. It is a powerful antioxidant and can treat mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (6). It also helps major depression by increasing production of the chemical nitric oxide (NO), which is associated with blood circulation, energy, libido and more (7)(8).

2) Tapering Down

Often times the side effects of antidepressants are tied to their dosages. Clinical studies have shown that lowering the dose of your antidepressant may enable you to achieve the same mood-lifting benefits, while not experiencing the effect on your libido. Antidepressants work by increasing the amounts of mood stabilizing chemicals in your brain, primarily serotonin, and in some cases norepinephrine. Antidepressant Companion contains building blocks that helps your brain more effectively and easily make these chemicals so that you do not need higher and higher doses in order to maintain stability. Instead, the health-promoting ingredients in Antidepressant Companion will get to the root of your symptoms and help you start to feel better again.

3) Mood support

It is well known that depression impacts your ability to connect with others, your self confidence, your ability to experience pleasure, and therefore your libido. While your antidepressant may be helpful in lifting some of the weight of depression, you may still experience symptoms sadness and anxiety.

Antidepressant companion has nutrients that help boost mood and energy. It decreases inflammation in the brain and body, which has been shown to help improve the symptoms of depression. It also provides your brain with an abundance of antioxidant support, and gives your brain the needed building blocks for making mood-boosting neurotransmitters. With a powerful proprietary blend of herbal medicines, Antidepressant Companion targets and removes oxidative damage, improves energy, and can help lift depression and anxiety.

By Dr. Nicole Cain, MA ND

References:
1) Higgins, A. Nash, M. & Lynch, A.M. Antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction: impact, effects, and treatment. Dove Press Journal: Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety. 8 September 2010. Retrieved from http://edepositireland.ie/bitstream/handle/2262/68355/dhps-2-141.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
2) Lopresti AL, Drummond PD. Saffron (Crocus sativus) for depression: a systematic review of clinical studies and examination of underlying antidepressant mechanisms of action. Human Psychopharmacology. 2014 Sept. 22. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hup.2434/abstract
3) J Integr Med. 2013 Nov;11(6):377-83. doi: 10.3736/jintegrmed2013056. Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Hausenblas HA1, Saha D, Dubyak PJ, Anton SD.
4) Modabbernia A, Sohrabi H, Nasehi AA, et al. Effect of saffron on fluoxetine-induced sexual impairment in men: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012;223(4):381-8.
5) Kashani L, Raisi F, Saroukhani S, et al. Saffron for treatment of fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2013 Jan;28(1):54-60.
6) Urology. 2011 Jan;77(1):119-22. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2010.08.028. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction. Cormio L1, De Siati M, Lorusso F, Selvaggio O, Mirabella L, Sanguedolce F, Carrieri G.
7) Nitric Oxide and Neopterin in Bipolar  Affective Disorder. R. Hoekstra   W.M.A. Verhoeven a D. Fekkes. Neuropsychobiology 2006;54:75–81.
8) Decreased Platelet Nitric Oxide Synthase Activity and  Plasma Nitric Oxide Metabolites in Major Depressive Disorder.  Wendy E. Chrapko, Paul Jurasz, Marek W. Radomski, Nathalie Lara, Stephen L. Archer, and  Jean-Michel Le Melle ́do. BIOL PSYCHIATRY 2004;56:129–134

 

Antidepressant Side Effects

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A Counselor discusses his observations on Antidepressant Side Effects

By Paul Krauss, MA, LPC

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, working in an outpatient setting with patients of various backgrounds and ages, one of the most common struggles I see is depression. Some people can overcome their depression through counseling alone, yet many will need extra support for a period of time.

Consulting with a psychiatrist can get you the boost you need to get through tough times. Antidepressants are not only utilized for depression symptoms, but some are prescribed for off-label uses, such as anxiety symptoms and generalized anxiety disorder. Patients regularly report to me that taking an antidepressant has helped relieve their depression or anxiety symptoms and they are feeling better.

The downside to antidepressant medications is that many patients experience side effects. These side effects can range from mildly irritating, yet manageable, to absolutely frustrating, and crippling.  I can recall many sessions  when a patient was beside themselves with frustration after they realized that they must stay on their antidepressant for therapeutic support, but are sick and tired of the side effects. This is one of the hardest parts of my job as a therapist.  I cannot advocate or recommend for a patient to get off meds, for obvious legal and ethical reasons, but it breaks my heart to see my patients suffering so. Balancing the side effects in order to feel better mentally, but at the same time feel physically worse is incredibly difficult. It’s an awful paradox that far too many people taking antidepressant medications find themselves in.

In my practice, I often hear complaints about 5 common physical side effects that accompany my patients feeling mentally better on their antidepressant medications.  They are low libido, fatigue, weight gain, dry mouth, and insomnia.   Below are some general comments on antidepressant side effects based on my observations and conversations with my patients.

  • Low Libido.
    • Obviously, this is quite a nuisance to many people. Whether in a relationship or not, having difficulties with one’s libido can lead to low mood, low self-esteem, and interpersonal problems….as well as worsening anxiety or depression. Unfortunately, low libido is a side effect of many antidepressant medications.

 

  • “Cloudy head”, fatigue & drowsiness.
    • You wouldn’t think it, but I hear complaints of this diabolical trio all the time. Many patients report difficulties performing at work, recalling facts, and having the energy to be social at all. This is quite a frustration. Being tired all of the time is no picnic. Antidepressant medications are notorious for side effects associated with feeling cloudy headed, fatigued, & drowsy.

 

  • Insomnia.
    • Say no more! So you have been taking an antidepressant and your depression and/or anxiety has gone away, but you can’t sleep? Insomnia is a physical side effect that has terrible effects on people mentally as well.This problem alone is enough for someone to question whether the antidepressant medication is worth the relief.

 

  • Weight Gain.
    • So you’re attempting to pull out of a depressive episode or you are attempting to conquer social anxiety but you’re simultaneously gaining weight. Weight gain alone can be cause for increased depression, increased social anxiety, and low self-esteem. Antidepressant medications can bring relief for sufferers of depression and anxiety, but some patients wonder if the weight gain is worth it.

 

  • Dry Mouth.
    • This many not seem like a big deal, but if you work in an office cubicle and are constantly getting up to refill your water cup or go to the bathroom–this can decrease comfort and productivity at work. Not to mention anyone who sings or does any speaking for work or for leisure, will suffer if they experience dry mouth. Dry mouth can also cause serious dental issues, which obviously can impact your sense of well-being. Antidepressant medications are notorious for causing dry mouth.

My words of advice as a counselor are very simple: First, you are not alone. These issues are common and more people than you would ever guess share stories with me, just like yours.  Second, these side effects are a physiological response to a very vital and potentially life-saving medication.  Physiological responses have biological solutions.  These problems are fixable.  In conclusion, there are options available that will allow you to overcome these side effects. Keep searching, keep learning, and make sure to ask your doctor or get a second opinion from another doctor.

You are not Alone

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Believe it or not, you are not alone. You have struggled with depression, and have felt the most alone you have ever felt in your life, but you are actually in good company. With 25% of the American population struggling with some type of mental health condition, you actually have over 77 million people with you. They get how you feel, and so do we.

You are also not alone in feeling side effects from your medications. If you are lucky, you are among the two-thirds of people who take antidepressants and see improvement. However there is a trade off.  Over forty percent of people who get some relief from depression with their antidepressants end up experiencing side effects. The most common ones we hear from our patients include insomnia, low libido and weight gain. And there is evidence in the scientific literature to back up what you are feeling. (1). So you may have some relief of your depression (or complete relief), but now you have to deal with increased weight, difficulty sleeping, and low libido. Sometimes these side effects make people feel so frustrated that they feel it might even be better to deal with depression, so they stop their medications and suddenly get flooded with depression again. Sound familiar?

There is hope. You can feel better in you body and your mind. Millions have found relief in integrative approaches to mental health, whether it be through diet or with supplements. Our doctors have over a decade of experience in the study of nutrition and the brain and NMHS was created with the mission to help people finally find the relief they are looking for.

Antidepressant Companion was formulated specifically with you in mind. Packed full of nutrients that help get to the root of depression and anxiety, Antidepressant Companion contains specific vitamins, minerals, and herbs in their optimal dosages and forms. These ingredients will not only heal your brain, but it will also target the side effects of your medications. We have found that people who take Antidepressant Companion get better sleep, have more success in achieving their weight goals, and have a healthier sex life. Antidepressant Companion also increases the effectiveness of your antidepressant medication and may even help you to taper off.

There is hope. While you may feel alone and like you will never feel better, millions of people have experienced relief and so can you. Talk with your doctor about Antidepressant Companion today and get on the road to new life.

by Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA 

Reference:
Elisa Cascade,corresponding author Amir H. Kalali, MD, and Sidney H. Kennedy, MD, FRCPC. Real-World Data on SSRI Antidepressant Side Effects. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2009 Feb; 6(2): 16–18. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719451/

 

The Key to Antidepressant Companion is in the Ingredients

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Antidepressant Companion has been designed by our founding Naturopathic Doctor to help your body and brain function optimally. Our doctor has studied and tapped into her extensive knowledge of nutrition and biochemistry as well as the medical research on natural therapies to bring you the most power packed supplement to help you live your best life.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

NAC has the ability to help you feel and look younger and do it with a smile on your face. NAC is a powerful antioxidant for the brain and body, helping to restore energy, repair damage from free radicals, and reduce inflammation. It has also been shown in studies to improve mood as well! This ingredient is a vital component of Antidepressant Companion because antidepressant medications can actually increase the number of free radicals in your system and cause oxidative damage. Antidepressant Companion contains the optimal form and dose of NAC to help you balance your brain chemistry, reduce oxidative damage, decrease inflammation in the brain and can help you feel more energetic, focused, and help you get back to living a happy and productive life again.

Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)

Much like NAC, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps you look and feel younger. CoQ10 is like a powerhouse for every single cell in your body. Without it, you feel low energy, brain fog, and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, many antidepressant medications can actually cause a depletion of CoQ10. Signs of low CoQ10 include: anxiety, high blood pressure, chest pain, memory loss, asthma, chronic fatigue, gum disease, migraines, weakness, nerve pain, and more. Antidepressant Companion contains the optimal form and dose of CoQ10 to replace what your antidepressant is depleting, and help you feel more like yourself.

L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is a key ingredient to help you get your libido back! Without tyrosine, your body can’t make dopamine or norepinephrine, two chemicals that are necessary to a sense of pleasure and ability to perform when aroused. When on antidepressants, particularly SSRIs, your body may shift toward production of other brain chemicals instead of dopamine and norepinephrine, leaving your sex drive in the dumps. By providing tyrosine, Antidepressant Companion effectively corrects that balance so that you can produce all of the chemicals needed to be happy in and out of the bedroom.

Magnesium 

Magnesium deficiency runs rampant in our society, whether you are on antidepressant medications or not. This mineral is a vital nutrient for maintaining stable moods, calm minds, and healthy sleep. It is also helpful for sore muscles, cramps, and headaches. Magnesium is what is often referred to as a cofactor, or an ingredient that is needed to make chemicals that help our bodies function. This includes chemicals that impact mood and our sleep. By taking Antidepressant Companion, you will ensure that your body always has enough magnesium to operate at its highest levels.

Melatonin

Melatonin helps you sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed and ready for the day! Antidepressants like Prozac (fluoxetine) drain your body of it’s melatonin which causes difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. This is why many people who take antidepressants develop insomnia as a side effect. Your body uses melatonin for more than just helping you get a good night of sleep. Melatonin is also an anti-cancer, anti-aging, and an antioxidant. It even regulates reproductive hormones, too!  If you have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep/ staying asleep, fatigue, difficulty focusing and concentrating, brain fog, or irritable bowels, these may be signs that your melatonin stores are low and that replacement melatonin may be beneficial for you. Antidepressant Companion contains the optimal form and dose of melatonin to help you balance your brain chemistry, hormones, and to help you get a good night’s sleep again!

Folate (B9, L-5-MTHF)

Folic acid is the unsung hero of the body. It is like a soccer mom in many ways – it is the hidden force that makes sure everything runs smoothly and on time. From producing hormones and neurotransmitters to helping your body process and use sugar, folic acid is necessary for almost every system in your body and it’s daily function. Folate is the more effective form of folic acid, and L-5-MTHF is the form that is most useable by the body. Studies show that some people have genetic changes that make them unable to use folate correctly. Even when they supplement with it, they aren’t able to use it and end up with signs of deficiency like anxiety and depression. Our doctors have opted to include the L-5-MTHF form because it allows for a detour around the genetic change, making our folate useable by just about everyone!

Saffron

Saffron will help put the spice back into your sex life. This delicious culinary spice also has medicinal value. Researchers have studied saffron and found that it helps to reverse two of the main side effects of antidepressants – weight gain and low libido. Saffron helps to control carbohydrate cravings that often increase when taking an antidepressant. It has also been studied for use alongside antidepressants such as fluoxetine (Prozac). These studies showed that it not only reduced depression more than medication alone, but it also significantly improved libido and sexual function. Here at NMHS we love saffron, and we are certain you (and your partner) will too.

Copper

Much like folate, copper is needed for most of the daily functions of your body. Also like folate, there are some genetic differences that can change the way your body handles copper and zinc. In fact, these two minerals work together like children on a see-saw. Both have to maintain the right balance or it could send the other one way too high or way too low. Having the right balance of copper in your body will help improve mood and sleep, reduce fatigue and irritability, and even help you with brain fog. Antidepressant Companion provides zinc and copper in an ideal ratio so that you can move about your day with ease.

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

Yet another antioxidant, Vitamin C helps keep you looking and feeling younger, but is also a necessary nutrient for producing the chemicals that help keep you in a good mood. It helps process the amino acids in Antidepressant Companion into dopamine and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that promote a good mood and healthy sexual function. Who knew this vitamin that everyone uses for colds could be so helpful for your mental and sexual health as well? We did! And that is why we included as part of your one stop shop for powerful mood support.

Citrulline

Erectile dysfunction will be a thing of the past thanks to Citrulline. This amino acid helps to increase production of nitric oxide, a chemical that increases blood circulation and allows for fuller and more sustained erections. Don’t worry ladies, it can still help you too. Citrulline has been studied as a powerful antidepressant all on its own, so you will benefit from it too.

Turmeric

Turmeric is beloved by many worldwide, not only for its flavor but for its medicinal properties. This herb dramatically reduces inflammation and damage from free radicals, both of which happen with depression and the use of antidepressant medications. This herb has actually been studied and shown to decrease the impacts of stress on the brain. While it may not directly work against the side effects you are having from your medication, it helps to prime your body so that all of the other ingredients can work more effectively.

Vitamin D

No supplement that aims to help those who struggle with depression would be complete without Vitamin D. A deficiency of vitamin D has been well researched and documented as a cause of depression. In some cases, such as seasonal depression, a deficiency of this vitamin may be the only cause. Vitamin D is necessary for stable moods and a healthy immune system, helping you to stay happy and healthy throughout the year.

Centella (Gotu kola)

Gotu kola is your best friend for dealing with stress. This medicinal plant helps reduce the production of stress hormones that increase feelings of depression and anxiety. One of the ways it does this is by increasing blood circulation. This allows all of the nutrients housed within Antidepressant Companion to get to all of your cells throughout your brain and body. If turmeric sets the stage for improved health and mood, gotu kola is the director that makes sure all of the actors give the performance of a lifetime.

Zinc

Zinc works like a spark plug for your body. It is an essential nutrient that is a cofactor in producing hormones and neurotransmitters that are responsible for a happy, healthy mood. If your car has a full tank of gas but no spark plugs won’t get very far .This is the same for a body without Zinc.   If your diet provides all of the amino acids (tyrosine, tryptophan, etc.) to produce neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, etc.) but not enough zinc to start the process of making them,  you won’t get your mood from depressed to happy. A study published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology demonstrates the low zinc is a clinical marker for depression. Low levels of zinc have also been correlated with increased oxidative stress, a significant contributor to depression.  Antidepressant Companion from Natural Mental Health Supplements ensures that you get enough zinc to produce neurotransmitters from the amino acids both in your diet, and in Antidepressant Companion itself so you won’t be left stranded with a full tank of gas but no spark.

Selenium

Selenium helps to control your weight by ensuring that your thyroid works optimally. Thyroid hormones help to control your metabolism and energy. Low thyroid often presents with weight gain, fatigue, depression, dry skin, and hair loss. It is probably not surprising that many studies have shown that supplementing with thyroid hormone alone can improve depression. The thyroid gland requires selenium in order to produce active hormone. Antidepressant Companion aims to give your body the tools to restore its own function, so it provides selenium to help promote thyroid function, which in turn will help promote healthy metabolism and energy that often leads to weight loss.

Thiamine

Thiamine is used by every organ in your body to make amino acids, the building blocks for proteins.  When you are deficient in Thiamine your muscles and nervous system refuse to work properly giving you that Blah feeling. Or more specifically muscle weakness, fatigue, body pains, chronic fatigue, mood imbalances, sexual dysfunction and other general symptoms of malaise. Antidepressant companion provides you with enough Thiamine so your body can produce acetylcholine and GABA.  Acetylcholine is the chemical messenger that your brain uses to make those aches and pains go away. GABA is the messenger that leads to calmness, resting, and relaxing.  Thiamine works in concert with other B vitamins to make certain your body and mind function properly.

Riboflavin

Riboflavin is the vitamin that allows you to make energy!  Without it your metabolism will refuse to work, leaving you run down, tired and chronically sleepy.  Antidepressant pharmaceuticals strip riboflavin out of your body and while eating leafy greens may help it’s hard to avoid a deficiency.  Research also shows that riboflavin deficiency may lead to depression.  The good thing though is you can always tell when you are getting enough Riboflavin, this is the vitamin that turns your pee bright yellow.  Antidepressant companion gives you enough Riboflavin to maximize your energy reserves every day.

Cobalamin (B12)

B12 has become the new happy hour shot for the health conscious. It improves energy and metabolism, helping give our weight loss efforts more of a boost. It does this in many of the same ways that the other B vitamins do (see below). The special thing about B12 is that it is primarily found in animal protein, making it a common deficiency in vegetarians. Without B12, anxiety, depressed mood, fatigue and muscle weakness are common. Antidepressant Companion is formulated to include methyl-B12 because it is better absorbed than other forms, making it easier for your body to turn it into useable energy quickly.

Click here to buy Antidepressant Companion NOW!

Meet the Doctor Behind Natural Mental Health Supplements

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Meet the Doctor

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA founded Natural Mental Health Supplements because of her vision to bring natural solutions to her patients and thousands of others whom she observed surviving instead of thriving. Dr. Cain is an expert in natural and integrative treatments of psychiatric conditions, and is passionate about truly changing how mental healthcare is delivered in America

In the doctor’s words: “I formed natural mental health supplements after years in practice watching my patients take handfuls of pills every day. Some of their pills were prescription medications that they required in order to have a stable mood, and in some of the pills were a myriad of supplements that were given to them by their other healthcare practitioners. My patients came in and complained that they still had side effects, they were spending lots of money on their supplements (often times many of which were such low doses of the actual nutrient or the wrong form of the nutrient that it wasn’t actually offering them any clinical benefit), and they had trouble eating because their stomachs were full of all of pills they were taking. They were miserable and looking for an alternative. My mission in creating Natural Mental Health Supplements was to formulate supplements that were high quality, cost-efficient, and powerful. I worked to create a product that would enable my patients to take much less pills.

The solution to this was my first product called Antidepressant Companion. I began with Antidepressant Companion because the number one concern that I see clinically in practice is depression. In fact, the most common medication prescribed for mood stabilization is an antidepressant.

My passion is to help my patients feel better and there was no nutritional supplement on the market to help those taking SSRI Antidepressant drugs. There is an extraordinary amount of research discussing how nutrients impact the way that your brain and body function. I’ve spent years studying the pharmakinetics of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutrients as they relate to the brain and body. This in combination with my clinical experience lent to a powerful database of information and thus, Natural Mental Health Supplements was born.”

Dr. Cain specializes in the integrative treatment of bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She received a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM), where she also completed an accredited residency in internal medicine. She has a graduate degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (CSOPP) with a M.A. in Clinical Psychology. She studied psychobiology and psychoneuroimmunology during undergraduate training at Luther College. Dr. Cain is a medical consultant for Orb Health, and has participated on the board of Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association (AZNMA), she has also been on the clinical and didactic faculty at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. To read more about Dr. Cain click here.

To purchase Natural Mental Health Supplements’ first product Antidepressant Companion click here.

Antidepressant Companion

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Antidepressant Companion

Finally there is a nutritional supplement that can reduce or remove the side effects of common antidepressants. Antidepressant Companion is designed by a doctor using cutting edge medical research to address the unique nutrition needs of those who take antidepressants. Antidepressant Companion utilizes over 20 different physician grade ingredients for the primary goal of reducing insomnia, weight gain, and sexual side effects common with SSRI, SNRI, and other antidepressant medications.  Additionally the proprietary blend of herbs and amino acids included in Antidepressant companion will improve your overall response to your prescribed antidepressant.

Antidepressant Companion accomplishes it’s goal by providing the raw materials your body needs through the 3 R’s:

  • It REPLACES nutrients and hormones that are depleted by antidepressants.
  • It REINFORCES the body’s ability to produce chemicals associated with improved mood by providing the building blocks in therapeutic doses.
  • It REDUCES the most common and troublesome side effects such as weight gain, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction with powerful herbs and nutrients formulated to work with your medication.

Antidepressant Companion was developed by a doctor for Natural Mental Health Supplements.

Click here to buy Antidepressant Companion NOW!

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