Tired, Stressed, Depressed = Diseased…

Even minor distress puts you at risk of chronic disease


Dealing with anxiety, depression, and stress at intense levels for a long time can impact our long-term physical health. But what if we are exposed to low levels of psychological distress? Does it still jeopardize our well-being? According to a new study, the answer is “yes.”

“Although the relationship between significant distress and the onset of arthritis, [chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder], cardiovascular disease, and diabetes is well established,” says Prof. Catharine Gale, from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, “there is a significant gap in knowledge regarding the link between lower and moderate levels of distress and the development of chronic conditions.”

Alongside Kyle McLachlan, at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K., Prof Gale conducted a study investigating whether exposure to low and moderate psychological distress – which includes symptoms of anxiety and depression – could increase the risk of developing a chronic disease.

The results, which have now been published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, indicate that we do not need to experience a lot of distress in order for our physical health to be endangered. A little distress will suffice, the authors warn.

In the new study, the researchers analyzed relevant data collected from 16,485 adults for a period of 3 years. Prof. Gale and McLachlan obtain this information using the UK Household Longitudinal Study, which gathers data regarding the health status, well-being, and living conditions – among other things – of U.K. citizens.

They looked specifically for links between psychological distress and the development of four chronic diseases: diabetes, arthritis, lung disease, and cardiovascular disease.

They also investigated whether any such association could be explained by modifiable factors such as eating habits, exercise, or smoking, or by participants’ socioeconomic status.

Prof. Gale and McLachlan’s study found that, despite the fact that they are not considered clinically significant, even low to moderate levels of experienced distress can heighten the risk for a chronic condition later in life.

Compared with people who reported no symptoms of psychological distress, those who reported low distress levels were 57 percent more likely to develop arthritis.

Also, those experiencing moderate levels of distress were 72 percent more likely to develop this condition, and individuals reporting high distress levels were 110 percent more likely.

Similar associations were also found for cardiovascular disease and lung disease (specifically, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]).

In fact, people with low levels of distress were 46 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular problems, those with moderate levels had a 77 percent higher risk, and those exposed to high levels of distress had a 189 percent higher risk.

For lung disease, the risk did not rise in people reporting low distress levels, but it was heightened by 125 percent in those with moderate distress levels, and by 148 percent in people with high distress levels.

However, the researchers found no significant links between psychological distress and the development of diabetes.

The researchers note that the new study’s results could change the way in which public health policies consider risk factors for chronic diseases.

Distress is a potentially modifiable risk factor, so if the links found by this study are confirmed by further research, it could indicate a new pathway in terms of preventive strategies for chronic diseases.

Prof. Cyrus Cooper, the director of the Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the UK Medical Research Council, believes that Prof. Gale and McLachlan’s findings have “the potential to have a major impact on the development and management of chronic diseases.”

Medical News Today has the report.


Here’s What We Know About Mental Fatigue | Outside Online

Scientists point the finger at the brain chemical adenosine for the endurance-sapping effects of mental fatigue.
— Read on

Movement Modulates Microbiome…

Nice study and commentary from researchers at the University of Illinois about how exercise and fitness/obesity status may modulate changes in the microbiome – and thus alter overall health status via modulation of metabolism via the gut-brain-axis.

Studies are coming out every week showing how our microbiome may be modulated by a variety of lifestyle factors, including diet, age, sleep, stress, medication usage, and recently physical activity and fitness status.

This recent study showed that exercise resulted in an increase in concentrations of beneficial short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and the genes responsible for their production – and these changes in SCFAs were related to exercise-induced changes in body composition.


Exercise Alters Gut Microbiota Composition and Function in Lean and Obese Humans


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: April 2018 – Volume 50 – Issue 4 – p 747–757


Exercise is associated with altered gut microbial composition, but studies have not investigated whether the gut microbiota and associated metabolites are modulated by exercise training in humans. We explored the impact of 6 wk of endurance exercise on the composition, functional capacity, and metabolic output of the gutmicrobiota in lean and obese adults with multiple-day dietary controls before outcome variable collection.


Thirty-two lean (n = 18 [9 female]) and obese (n = 14 [11 female]), previously sedentary subjects participated in 6 wk of supervised, endurance-based exercise training (3 d·wk−1) that progressed from 30 to 60 min·d−1 and from moderate (60% of HR reserve) to vigorous intensity (75% HR reserve). Subsequently, participants returned to a sedentary lifestyle activity for a 6-wk washout period. Fecal samples were collected before and after 6 wk of exercise, as well as after the sedentary washout period, with 3-d dietary controls in place before each collection.


β-diversity analysis revealed that exercise-induced alterations of the gut microbiota were dependent on obesity status. Exercise increased fecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids in lean, but not obese, participants. Exercise-induced shifts in metabolic output of the microbiota paralleled changes in bacterial genes and taxa capable of short-chain fatty acid production. Lastly, exercise-induced changes in the microbiota were largely reversed once exercise training ceased.


These findings suggest that exercise training induces compositional and functional changes in the human gut microbiota that are dependent on obesity status, independent of diet and contingent on the sustainment of exercise.

Nutrient Improvement of Cellular Stress Resilience

Researchers from Brazil describe how a range of phytonutrients (plant-based bioactives) can naturally activate expression of heat shock proteins (HSP) to improve cellular tolerance and resilience to a variety of stressors including oxidation, inflammation, glycation, etc.

Dietary Nutrients and Bioactive Substances Modulate Heat Shock Protein (HSP) Expression: A Review.

Interest in the heat shock proteins (HSPs), as a natural physiological toolkit of living organisms, has ranged from their chaperone function in nascent proteins to the remedial role following cell stress. As part of the defence system, HSPs guarantee cell tolerance against a variety of stressors, including exercise, oxidative stress, hyper and hypothermia, hyper and hypoxia and improper diets. For the past couple of decades, research on functional foods has revealed a number of substances likely to trigger cell protection through mechanisms that involve the induction of HSP expression. This review will summarize the occurrence of the most easily inducible HSPs and describe the effects of dietary proteins, peptides, amino acids, probiotics, high-fat diets and other food-derived substances reported to induce HSP response in animals and humans studies. Future research may clarify the mechanisms and explore the usefulness of this natural alternative of defense and the modulating mechanism of each substance.

Green Tea Prevents Dementia?

Japanese researchers argue that bioactive phytonutrients in green tea (catechins) may be able to reduce neuron (brain cell) damage and prevent/treat the development of a range of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Beneficial Effects of Green Tea Catechins on Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. Green tea, black tea, and oolong tea are made from the same plant Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze. Among them, green tea has been the most extensively studied for beneficial effects on diseases including cancer, obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Several human observational and intervention studies have found beneficial effects of tea consumption on neurodegenerative impairment, such as cognitive dysfunction and memory loss. These studies supported the basis of tea’s preventive effects of Parkinson’s disease, but few studies have revealed such effects on Alzheimer’s disease. In contrast, several human studies have not reported these favorable effects with regard to tea. This discrepancy may be due to incomplete adjustment of confounding factors, including the method of quantifying consumption, beverage temperature, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and differences in genetic and environmental factors, such as race, sex, age, and lifestyle. Thus, more rigorous human studies are required to understand the neuroprotective effect of tea. A number of laboratory experiments demonstrated the benefits of green tea and green tea catechins (GTCs), such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and proposed action mechanisms. The targets of GTCs include the abnormal accumulation of fibrous proteins, such as Aβ and α-synuclein, inflammation, elevated expression of pro-apoptotic proteins, and oxidative stress, which are associated with neuronal cell dysfunction and death in the cerebral cortex. Computational molecular docking analysis revealed how EGCG can prevent the accumulation of fibrous proteins. These findings suggest that GTCs have the potential to be used in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and could be useful for the development of new drugs.

Fiber Is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why. – The New York Times

A series of unusual experiments in mice finds that dietary fiber fine-tunes the immune system and may help prevent chronic inflammation.
— Read on

Lifting Weights Helps Ease Anxiety and Depression | Outside Online

I began strength training three to four days per week, doing mainly compound lifts like squatting, pressing, and deadlifting, and started to feel incrementally better.
— Read on

Two Brains on CBS12

On my recent visit to CBS12 (WPEC) in West Palm Beach Florida, I talked about how our TWO brains can determine our cravings, our mood, and our overall health.


You can see the video HERE

Some of the problems we associate with the brain may actually be the result of faulty signals between our brain and our gut or second brain.

Scientists refer to your gut as your second brain because it determines a big piece of your mental wellness.

What your gut tells your brain and vice versa is connected to your mood, immune system, and food cravings.

Dr. Shawn Talbott says if it’s not sending the right signals to the brain, it may lead to feelings of stress, fatigue and anxiety.

There are several things we can do to balance our gut/brain axis so that we feel better physically and emotionally.

Below, Dr. Talbott shares his three best tips:

1. Bring on the fiber! There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble is like nature’s broom. We don’t digest it, and it carries toxins with it as it exits our bodies. Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps to normalize digestion. It can also act as a prebiotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in our gut. I like soluble guar fiber, because it has been shown in more than 120 clinical studies to support digestive health without the uncomfortable side effects. It also triggers the release of satiation-inducing hormones, so you may not feel as hungry.

2. Add fermented foods to your diet. Kimchi, yogurt, kefir and kombucha all help to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

3. Feed your gut and brain plant-based phytonutrients and amino acids. Amino acids are used by the body for many physiological functions. One amino acid found in matcha or theanine has been shown to promote relaxation without causing drowsiness, reduce nervous tension, and help prevent the negative side-effects of caffeine. It’s a great brain nutrient.

Check out Best Future You for more information.


Amare Product Overviews

Here are a few videos where Amare Founding Wellness Partner Pat Hintze and I discuss the emerging science of the microbiome, the gut-brain-axis, and how Amare Global products support Mental Wellness in complementary and holistic fashion.

The Importance of Your Microbiome VIDEO

The Paradigm Shift Around Mental Wellness VIDEO

Fundamentals Pack Product Overview VIDEO

(Mentabiotics, MentaFocus, MentaSync)

MentaTherapeutics Product Overview VIDEO

(Reboot, Energy+, Mood+, Relief+, Sleep+)

MentaEssentials Product Overview VIDEO

(VitaGBX, OmMega, Digestive, Probiotics)


Gut-Brain Modulation Extends Longevity?

Super-interesting study (in flies) showing how modulation of microbiome balance and optimization of gut-brain-axis signaling might not just reduce a wide range of diseases, but actually extend lifespan and health span.

Longevity extension in Drosophila through gut-brain communication.

Aging and chronic disease development are multifactorial processes involving the cumulative effects of metabolic distress, inflammation, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dynamics. Recently, variations in the gut microbiota have been associated with age-related phenotypes and probiotics have shown promise in managing chronic disease progression. In this study, novel probiotic and synbiotic formulations are shown to combinatorially extend longevity in male Drosophila melanogaster through mechanisms of gut-brain-axis communication with implications in chronic disease management. Both the probiotic and synbiotic formulations rescued markers of metabolic stress by managing insulin resistance and energy regulatory pathways. Both formulations also ameliorated elevations in inflammation, oxidative stress and the loss of mitochondrial complex integrity. In almost all the measured pathways, the synbiotic formulation has a more robust impact than its individual components insinuating its combinatorial effect. The concomitant action of the gut microbiota on each of the key risk factors of aging and makes it a powerful therapeutic tool against neurodegeneration, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other age-related chronic diseases.