Kids and ADHD, Depression, Anxiety?

Here is a very well-balanced article in the NYT about how to approach drugging kids for #MentalWellness issues such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety.

This should be a LAST resort.

A better first-line option might be to help the child to naturally restore normal microbiome balance and optimize their gut-brain-axis?


Excellent article in NYT…

Interesting if we could naturally modulate our own microbiome to prevent tick-borne diseases, including Lyme Disease (I think we can)…

3 Types of Energy

I visited Fresh Living (KUTV Channel 2 – Salt Lake City) yesterday to talk about how during the long hot summer days, it’s important to keep our energy levels high so we can get out there and enjoy everything that we can.

It’s easy to temporarily boost energy with sugar/caffeine as with a typical energy drink – but that energy boost is short-lived and almost always comes with a “crash” a few hours later. I joined the hosts on Fresh Living to discuss a better approach to deliver a more sustained THREE-way boost of energy (physical energy, mental energy, and mental awareness).

See the segment HERE


  • Physical Energy = with Matcha Green Tea that contains catechins, theanine, and natural caffeine


  • Mental Energy = with flavonoids from berries, apples, grapes, and New Zealand Pine Bark


  • Mental Awareness = with Guayusa Leaf – used by Amazon hunters to increase “connection with the universe”

Also – look for products with natural flavors and natural sweeteners – and low sugar content of around 5g which helps to enhance hydration much better than zero-calorie or full-sugar options like soda or energy drinks (afternoon dehydration is an important source of fatigue for many people)

ENERGY SPECIAL REPORT: Eight Easy Ways to Increase Energy and Boost Metabolism

Almost HALF of all Americans, or around 150 million people, report experiencing debilitating daily fatigue on a daily basis. Luckily, energy levels and overall metabolism tend to normalize with some attention to eating well, exercising appropriately, managing stress and getting enough sleep. In some cases, though, the prudent use of certain nutritional supplements may be the extra help you need to get the spring back in your step.

  1. Eat Frequent Small Meals (Beginning With Breakfast)

Spreading calorie intake outover several small meals, rather than stuffing it all into one or two big ones, results in a steady stream of nutrients, thus keeping your energy supply on an even keel as well. Another big benefit: Eating small frequent meals, or grazing as it’s commonly called, boosts metabolic rate thus helping to burn more calories. In fact, researchers have found that people consuming 2,000 calories a day via grazing tend to lose weight, while those eating the same number of calories at lunch and dinner only tend to gain weight. No doubt you’ve heard someone say, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It’s true – people who skip breakfast struggle more often with weight problems and low energy than do those who make time to eat. People who eat breakfast have a higher metabolic rate (meaning they burn more calories and fat) compared to those who miss it.

  1. Maintain Macronutrient Balance

Eating a balanced diet is still the best nutritional strategy for maintaining energy. A “balanced” diet means that you’ve combined different types of wholesome foods in each of your small meals to obtain a healthy proportion of the macronutrients – protein (lean beef, poultry, fish, eggs or low fat dairy), carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits and vegetables) and fats (nuts and seeds, fish oil, olive oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil). They’re all important because each macronutrient serves a different role in keeping energy constant. Protein is required for growth and repair of virtually every tissue in your body and serves an important role in the production of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters that influence energy. Carbohydrates are your muscles’ and brain’s preferred source of fuel, and fats are used in the creation of cell membranes and hormone-like substances called eicosanoids that help regulate heart rate, blood pressure blood vessel constriction and the nervous system. Fats also moderate digestion to make you feel full longer.

  1. Limit Sugar

Since glucose is one of the primary raw materials used in producing energy for the muscles and the brain, you may think the more the merrier. But sugary foods and drinks actually belong on your what-not-to-eat list. Why? Because while high-sugar foods like candy, cookies or ice cream give your blood glucose a swift kick, it’s actually too much, too fast. Sudden peaks in blood sugar are quickly followed by sudden peaks in insulin, the hormone released by your pancreas to lower blood sugar by shuttling glucose out of circulation and into cells. What ensues after eating sugary foods is the infamous blood sugar roller coaster that wreaks havoc on your mental acuity, energy and moods. A better plan is to increase blood sugar gradually with several small meals daily containing a combination of protein (such as lean beef, fish, poultry soy, low fat dairy or eggs), healthy carbs (like whole grains and vegetables) and healthy fats (like nuts, seeds or avocadoes).

  1. Drink Enough Water

The human body is 60 to 70 percent water – and even a modest level of dehydration is sensed as “fatigue” by the body and brain. About two-thirds of our water is found inside cells where it’s required for all biochemical processes (especially fat burning), while the remainder is in bodily fluids like blood and the lymph system where it carries nutrients to cells and washes away toxic metabolism by-products. The age-old standby of eight cups or 64 ounces a day of water is still a pretty good rule of thumb as it represents the amount of fluid the average person loses in a day through sweat and urine, as well as the amount of water needed to fully metabolize the food you eat each day and the fat you want to lose from your body. Itmay sound like a lot, butthink of it like this: Drink one cup when you first get up, one with each of your four to five small, frequent meals, one after your workout, another before bed, and you’re there.

  1. Move it or Lose it (Exercise)

It’s a paradox: You need to expend energy to have energy. Exercise improves your strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination and balance, while being sedentary leads to muscle atrophy, fat accumulation, stiffness and fatigue. In fact, much of the decline in our ability to physically function as we grow older is due not to aging itself, but to inactivity. Certain kinds of exercise influence some aspects of fitness and energy more than others. For example, weight training particularly improves muscle tone, strength and endurance, while aerobic exercise like walking, hiking, jogging, cycling or swimming more greatly enhances cardiovascular capability. Yoga or Tai Chi improves flexibility, coordination, balance, and to a lesser extent muscle tone. Yet any movement is better than no movement and will enhance your energy supply – even “non-exercise” exercise like gardening, house cleaning or playing with your kids or dog in a park.

  1. Use Supplements Responsibly

Optimal nutrition, exercise and sleep are key for maintaining a healthy energy level, yet too many people look to dietary supplements to make up for poor lifestyle habits. Don’t fall into this trap because supplements can never fill those shoes. Do the best you can to live a life that honors the importance of nutrition, exercise, rest and managing stress. Then, once you’ve done that, you can consider how nutritional supplements may support these efforts. From a big-picture perspective, supplements play supportive energizing roles in a couple of ways. Some all-natural phytonutrients, like Guayusa Leaf, Matcha Green Tea, New Zealand Pine Bark, and Apple & Grape Polyphenols, can help your body help itself for long-term energy production, positive mental outlook (good mood), and a high-performance fat-burning metabolism. Be careful of becoming dependent on stimulants such as caffeine, as they only serve as short-term energetic band-aids, rather than addressing fundamental metabolic needs.

  1. Get Some Sleep

Like water, food and air, sleep is a foundational health factor, so if you’re one of the many sleep-deprived folks in this county, running low on energy shouldn’t surprise you. Your body perceives lack of sleep as a profound source of stress, and, as a result, increases release of the stress hormones adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol by as much as 80 percent. Sleep deprivation also slows cognitive processing, impairs memory, and can even lead to weight gain over time. The National Sleep Foundation says that the average adult requires about eight hours of high-quality sleep nightly, although you may find you need more or less.

  1. Manage Your Body’s Response to Stress

Your body’s reaction to stress, the fight-or-flight response, served our ancestors well. Back in the day, stress was intermittent and short-term. Things would be going along fine, then all of a sudden an enemy would enter the scene and people had the choice to either stay and fight or get the heck out of there. Either way, the adrenaline rush and resulting energy spike was used up in a hurry and peace returned. Not so today. The same flood of adrenal gland stress hormones –adrenaline and cortisol – that served our predecessors so well is killing us now. Why? Because our battles are continuous and are fought sitting in a car while stuck in traffic, or behind our desk counting to 10 in an effort to not strangle an inconsiderate boss. In other words, the stress hormones keep flowing but there’s no outlet for them, no way to put them to good use. So they keep building. As they do, what are life-saving short-term effects of the stress response become chronically debilitating, resulting, for example, in high blood pressure, ulcers, irritable bowels, increased fat deposits and diabetes. All of these conditions can have a negative effect on your energy level, yet perhaps the most direct impact comes when, over time, elevations in cortisol lead to lower metabolic efficiency, which means your body burns less energy and stores more of it (as fat around your midsection).


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