Kid’s Mood featured (again) on ABC News

I love this clip from ABC News in Los Angeles – we talk about natural solutions for helping kids (and adults) with mental focus, mood, and stress resilience – things that we ALL can benefit from these days!

ABC has aired this clip several different times – probably because there are just SO many people who are looking for natural solutions for these benefits?

At Amare, we use these natural herbals in our Kid’s Mood+ that has been shown to help kids perform in stressful situations.

If you or your kids could use a little extra mental focus, a boost in your mood, or some fortification of your stress resilience, then check out some of the safe and effective natural approaches =

You’re Probably Burned Out – What to Do?

Really nice article about BURNOUT in The NY Times earlier this week.

Also – check out my article about using Nutrition to Beat Burnout in Thrive Global =

Your Body Knows You’re Burned Out

Feb. 15, 2022

Alva Skog

Leer en español

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Dr. Jessi Gold, a psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis, knows she’s edging toward burnout when she wakes up, feels instantly angry at her email inbox and doesn’t want to get out of bed. It’s perhaps not surprising that a mental health professional who is trying to stem the rising tide of burnout could burn out sometimes, too. After all, the phenomenon has practically become ubiquitous in our culture.

In a 2021 survey of 1,500 U.S. workers, more than half said they were feeling burned out as a result of their job demands, and a whopping 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in December in what has come to be known as the “great resignation.” When people think of burnout, mental and emotional symptoms such as feelings of helplessness and cynicism often come to mind. But burnout can lead to physical symptoms as well, and experts say it can be wise to look out for the signs and take steps when you notice them.

Burnout, as it is defined, is not a medical condition — it’s “a manifestation of chronic unmitigated stress,” explained Dr. Lotte Dyrbye, a physician scientist who studies burnout at the Mayo Clinic. The World Health Organization describes burnout as a workplace phenomenon characterized by feelings of exhaustion, cynicism and reduced efficacy.

“You start not functioning as well, you’re missing deadlines, you’re frustrated, you’re maybe irritable with your colleagues,” said Jeanette M. Bennett, a researcher who studies the effects of stress on health at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

But stress can have wear and tear effects on the body, especially when it doesn’t ease up after a while — so it makes sense that it can incite physical symptoms, too, Dr. Bennett said. When people are under stress, their bodies undergo changes that include making higher than normal levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These changes are helpful in the short term — they give us the energy to power through difficult situations — but over time, they start harming the body.

Our bodies were “not designed for the kinds of stressors that we face today,” said Christina Maslach, a social psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who has spent her career studying burnout.

Here’s how to recognize burnout in your body and what to do about it.

What to look out for

One common burnout symptom is insomnia, Dr. Dyrbye said. When researchers in Italy surveyed frontline health care workers with burnout during the first peak of the pandemic, they found that 55 percent reported having difficulty falling asleep, while nearly 40 percent had nightmares.

Research suggests that chronic stress interferes with the complicated neurological and hormonal system that regulates sleep. It’s a vicious cycle, because not sleeping throws this system even more out of whack. If you’ve noticed you’re unable to sleep at night, that could be a sign that you’re experiencing burnout, Dr. Dyrbye said — and your sleeplessness could exacerbate the problem.

Physical exhaustion is another common sign. Dr. Gold said that one of her key symptoms of burnout was fatigue. “I realized I was sleeping every day after work — and I was like, ‘What is wrong with me?’ but it was actually burnout,” she said.

Changes in eating habits — either eating more or less than usual — can also be a sign of burnout: In the study of Italian health care workers, 56 percent reported changes in food habits. People might eat less because they’re too busy or distracted, or they might find themselves craving “those comfort foods that we all like to go to when we need something to make us feel better,” Dr. Bennett said. Research suggests, too, that stress hormones can affect appetite, making people feel less hungry than usual when they’re under a lot of stress, and more hungry than usual when that stress alleviates.

Headaches and stomachaches can also be incited by burnout, Dr. Gold said. One study of people in Sweden suffering from exhaustion disorder — a medical condition similar to burnout — found that 67 percent reported experiencing nausea, gas or indigestion, and that 65 percent had headaches. It’s also important to note that burnout can develop alongside depression or anxiety, both of which can cause physical symptoms. Depression can cause muscle aches, stomachaches, sleep issues and appetite changes. Anxiety is linked to headaches, nausea and shortness of breath.

What to do

If you’re experiencing physical symptoms that could be indicative of burnout, consider seeing your primary care doctor or a mental health professional to determine whether they are driven by stress or rooted in other physical conditions, Dr. Dyrbye said. Don’t just ignore the symptoms and assume they don’t matter.

“It’s really easy to blow off your own symptoms, especially in our culture, where we’re taught to work hard,” Dr. Gold said.

If it is burnout, then the best solution is to address the root of the problem. Burnout is typically recognized when it is job-driven, but chronic stress can have a variety of causes — financial problems, relationship woes, and caregiving burdens, among other things. Think about “the pebbles in your shoe all the time that you have to deal with,” Dr. Maslach said, and brainstorm ways to remove some of them, at least some of the time. Perhaps you can ask your partner to help more with your toddler’s bedtime routine, or get take-out when you’re especially busy so you don’t have to plan dinner, too.

Despite popular culture coverage of the issue, burnout can’t be “fixed” with better self care, Dr. Maslach said — in fact, this implication only worsens the problem, because it lays the blame and responsibility on those with burnout and implies that they should do more to feel better, which is not the case, she said. However, some lifestyle choices can make burnout less likely. Social support, for instance, can help, Dr. Gold said. This could include talking to a therapist or meeting with friends (even if over Zoom). It may also help to take advantage of mental health or exercise benefits offered by your employer. Sleeping more can help too — so if you’re suffering from insomnia, talk to a doctor about possible treatments, Dr. Bennett suggested.

When burnout stems from job-related woes, it may help to request better working conditions. Dr. Maslach suggested brainstorming with co-workers and presenting your employer with ideas that would help — like providing quiet areas for breaks and personal phone calls, creating “no meeting” days so that employees can have more time to focus, or ensuring that there’s always coffee in the break room. Even small changes like these can make a dent in the risk for burnout if they fix a problem people face at work every day. “It’s the chronic job stressors that drive people really nuts after a while — they don’t have the right equipment, they don’t have the things they need, they don’t have enough people to do the work,” Dr. Maslach said.

Taking time off work could also help, but it’s likely only a temporary Band-Aid, Dr. Gold said. She compares it to using a bucket to empty water out of a sinking ship. “It’s still sinking, right? You have to do more than just occasionally take the water out,” she said. Still, it is important to take time off regularly, Dr. Dyrbye said.

Ultimately, you want to ensure you have some freedom and autonomy in your job, Dr. Gold said. “Anything you can do to regain an element of control can be really helpful,” she said. That could mean doing your least favorite work activity right before your break, so you have something to look forward to during the task and time to recover from it afterward. Or it could be trading a dreaded task with a co-worker and, in return, picking up their most hated task, which might not be so difficult for you.

Finally, while you may not want to add more to your plate, try to make a bit of time each day for something you love, Dr. Dyrbye said. Her work has found that surgeons who make time for hobbies and recreation — even just 15 to 20 minutes a day — are less likely to experience burnout than surgeons who don’t.

“You have to have something outside of work that helps you de-stress, that helps you focus and helps you relax,” she said.

Melinda Wenner Moyer is a science journalist and the author of “How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes.”

Amare Edge is a Finalist for “Best New Supplement”

Very excited that Amare’s Edge product (for mood, motivation, and metabolism) has been named as a FINALIST for “Best New Supplement” in the NEXTY Awards.

Edge was chosen by a panel of expert industry judges form more than 1,100 nominations.

You can learn more about Edge here = Amare Product Stacks – with EDGE

And see more about the NEXTY Awards here =

Butyrate Reduces Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Very interesting new study about how “taking” butyrate as a dietary supplement might help reduce the inflammation and tissue damage seen in rheumatoid arthritis.

An even more effective way to increase butyrate levels may be “making” it yourself via your own microbiome. Several studies have shown this – including a few of ours on Fundamentals – that we can nourish the microbiome with the right “biotics” (probiotics, prebiotics, postbiotics, and phytobiotics) to significantly increase our internal production of butyrate. The benefits include better mood, higher energy, sharper focus, better immune function, and even weight loss – it’s pretty miraculous what this little microbiome-derived molecule can do – and Amare is the only company with products that allow you to “take” butyrate (MentaSync) as well as “make” more of your own butyrate (Fundamentals and Kids Fundamentals).

Gut microbiome butyrate and rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers at Peking University People’s Hospital in Beijing and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have identified an intestinal imbalance in the microbiomes of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis linked to the levels of a short-chain fatty acid known as butyrate. Sequencing the gut bacteria of 25 people with untreated rheumatoid arthritis and comparing them to 29 people without the disease, they found people with the disease have lower levels of a number of bacterial species producing butyrate—and elevated levels of bacteria that metabolize it. They showed that feeding mice dietary butyrate supplements reduced aspects of the disease, suggesting the potential for butyrate supplementation therapy for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Intestinal butyrate-metabolizing species contribute to autoantibody production and bone erosion in rheumatoid arthritis

. 2022 Feb 11;8(6):eabm1511.

doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abm1511. Epub 2022 Feb 11.

Jing He  1   2 Yanan Chu  3 Jing Li  1   2 Qingren Meng  4 Yudong Liu  5 Jiayang Jin  1   2 Yifan Wang  1   2 Jian Wang  3 Bo Huang  1   2 Lianjie Shi  1                   2 Xing Shi  6 Jiayi Tian  1   2 Yunzhi Zhufeng  1   2 Ruiling Feng  1   2 Wenjing Xiao  1   2 Yuzhou Gan  1   2 Jianping Guo  1   2 Changjun Shao  3 Yin Su  1   2 Fanlei Hu  1   2 Xiaolin Sun  1   2 Jun Yu  7 Yu Kang  3 Zhanguo Li  1   2   8



The imbalance between pathogenic and beneficial species of the intestinal microbiome and metabolism in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains unclarified. Here, using shotgun-based metagenome sequencing for a treatment-naïve patient cohort and a “quasi-paired cohort” method, we observed a deficiency of butyrate-producing species and an overwhelming number of butyrate consumers in RA patients. These outcomes mainly occurred in patients with positive ACPA, with a mean AUC of 0.94. This panel was also validated in established RA with an AUC of 0.986 in those with joint deformity. In addition, we showed that butyrate promoted Tregs, while suppressing Tconvs and osteoclasts, due to potentiation of the reduction in HDAC expression and down-regulation of proinflammatory cytokine genes. Dietary butyrate supplementation conferred anti-inflammatory benefits in a mouse model by rebalancing TFH cells and Tregs, as well as reducing antibody production. These findings reveal the critical role of butyrate-metabolizing species and suggest the potential of butyrate-based therapies for RA patients.     

Microbiome Predicts Diabetes Onset

Composition of gut microbiome predicts the onset of type 2 diabetes

16-Feb-2022Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of Turku

The international research group utilised targeted machine learning techniques to discover if specific signals in the gut microbiome composition were associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

They identified six bacterial groups from family Lachnospiraceae and its close relatives which were associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the follow-up. 

– People from Eastern and Western Finland are known to have both genetic and lifestyle differences, which are also reflected in their health. Despite these differences, the microbes identified in the research were robustly associated with incident disease throughout Finland, explains one of the two main authors of the research article, Postdoctoral Researcher Matti Ruuskanen from the University of Turku. 

– These bacterial species have been also previously linked with prevalent type 2 diabetes and several other metabolic diseases, such as fatty liver disease. They also seem to be at least partly linked with the quality of diet, says the other main author, Postdoctoral Researcher Pande Erawijantari

The results of this study support previous notions on links between adult-onset diabetes, dietary habits, and metabolic diseases, likely modulated by the gut microbiome.

Risk Factors Help Predict Disease Occurrence

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is still increasing around the world. The disease has major impacts on quality of life, and it is recognised as a serious and costly public health concern. Prevention and treatment of adult-onset diabetes are thus highly important research topics. 

– One viable strategy in preventing the development of the disease would be to identify the early signs of type 2 diabetes to undertake preventative measures, such as lifestyle modification, says Matti Ruuskanen. 

Previous research has identified several risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Moreover, changes in gut microbiome composition have also been associated with type 2 diabetes, but previous studies have mostly reported differences between healthy volunteers and those already diagnosed with the disease.

– The results of this study help us better understand the risk factors of type 2 diabetes and could aid in the development of more effective treatments in the future, envisions Pande Erawijantari.

The analysis was conducted by studying fecal samples collected from a large, representative, and unique Finnish population cohort, FINRISK 2002. Extensive health data from over 5,000 participants was collected during sampling, and the incidence of disease was tracked for nearly 16 years through electronic health records. This enabled the identification of microbial biomarkers which predicted the incidence of type 2 diabetes in participants who were healthy at the baseline examination.

The research was funded in part by grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation, the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, and the Academy of Finland.  

The research article “Gut Microbiome Composition is Predictive of Incident Type 2 Diabetes in a Population Cohort of 5,572 Finnish Adults” has been published in the journal Diabetes Care


Diabetes Care

Method of Research

Data/statistical analysis

Subject of Research


Article Title

Gut Microbiome Composition Is Predictive of Incident Type 2 Diabetes in a Population Cohort of 5,572 Finnish Adults

Article Publication Date


The secret to treating Long Covid may lie in the gut microbiome

In the journal ‘Gut,’ a team of researchers report how gut bacteria could help predict who will develop Long Covid, and help treat the condition.
— Read on

Microbiome Linked to Body Fat (again)…

Interesting new study from the journal Nature Metabolism – add this one (VB – a regulator of mitochondrial metabolism) to the long and growing list of the different “signals” that originate in the microbiome and traverse the Gut-Brain-Axis to influence fat loss/gain, appetite, energy levels, mood, mental focus, motivation, immune function, inflammation, and so many more aspects of metabolism.

Microbial metabolite delta-valerobetaine is a diet-dependent obesogen | Nature Metabolism

Obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders are linked to the intestinal microbiome. However, the causality of changes in the microbiome–host interaction affecting energy metabolism remains controversial. Here, we show the microbiome-derived metabolite δ-valerobetaine (VB) is a diet-dependent obesogen that is increased with phenotypic obesity and is correlated with visceral adipose tissue mass in humans. VB is absent in germ-free mice and their mitochondria but present in ex-germ-free conventionalized mice and their mitochondria. Mechanistic studies in vivo and in vitro show VB is produced by diverse bacterial species and inhibits mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation through decreasing cellular carnitine and mitochondrial long-chain acyl-coenzyme As. VB administration to germ-free and conventional mice increases visceral fat mass and exacerbates hepatic steatosis with a western diet but not control diet. Thus, VB provides a molecular target to understand and potentially manage microbiome–host symbiosis or dysbiosis in diet-dependent obesity. Delta-valerobetaine is a microbiome-derived metabolite that correlates with obesity-related phenotypes in humans, and exacerbates diet-induced obesity in mice.
— Read on

Long-Haul COVID-19: Gut Microbiome May Hold the Key?

A person’s microbiome may be linked to the risk of developing long-haul COVID-19 syndrome after infection with SARS-CoV-2.
— Read on

“…up to 75% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 described at least 1 symptom 6 months after discharge. These included respiratory, neuropsychiatric (headache, dizziness, loss of taste and smell, anxiety, poor concentration, disrupted sleep, low mood, poor memory, blurred vision), gastrointestinal, hair loss, and musculoskeletal symptoms as well as fatigue.”