Let’s Be Honest: Menopause Sucks

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First off, it is important to establish that menopause is not a disease or a disorder. In fact, menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life that is filled with emotional transitions, in addition to physical ones too.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life that is experienced differently for each woman. For some, menopause can bring hot flashes, trouble sleeping (from hot flashes), pain during sexual intercourse, bladder control issues, sudden mood changes and irritability and even depression, in more severe instances.  For others, symptoms can be mild and they can be experienced to varying degrees.

Menopause generally occurs in the 12 months after a woman’s final period. In the years leading up to this point, women commonly experience shifts in their menstrual cycles, have hot flashes and other symptoms (as previously mentioned). This period of a woman’s life is called a menopausal transition or perimenopause and usually happens from ages 45 to 55. About seven years of this time (but it can be up to 14) is spent in perimenopause. Its duration depends on a number of lifestyle factors including (but not restricted to) smoking, age it starts, genetics, ethnicity and stress. During perimenopause, a woman’s production of estrogen and progesterone (two hormones made by the ovaries) fluctuates greatly.

What are the Symptoms of Menopause?

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It is important to understand that no menopausal transition is the same. Each woman is unique and experiences it in differing ways. The body starts to burn energy differently too. Fat cells change and women may see more weight fluctuations, usually in gaining weight.

Hot flashes are a common culprit for women experiencing menopause and these can last for years. They are often linked to fluctuating estrogen levels and are a sudden feeling of rushing heat in the body. The face and neck are particularly prone to this, with red blotches on the chest, back, and arms. Heavier perspiration, followed by cold shivering can also occur. Hot flashes can be strong enough to wake someone up. Most hot flashes periods only last between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. They can happen several times an hour or only a few times in a week. As mentioned, everyone is different so their menopausal experience with hot flashes varies greatly.

When symptoms of menopause are experienced, a doctor will further determine if it is occurring by asking questions about a woman’s health and familial history. In some cases a doctor may suggest having a blood test to check for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol (E2) levels to rule out any other causes for the changes experienced.

How to Relieve Menopause Symptoms

Estrogen is used in a variety of places in a woman’s body and as estrogen levels decrease, the likelihood of menopause symptoms occurring increases. Many women experience only mild symptoms and these can be easily treated with minor lifestyle changes. Decreasing caffeine consumption is a common remedy, so is wearing looser and cooler clothing for hot flashes.

Despite all these life-changing factors, there are plenty of natural and non-invasive remedies available to help any woman significantly during menopause. Seeing a doctor to confirm menopause has started is crucial, but there’s not a significant medical treatment or prevention available to totally side step menopause. Instead lifestyle changes and natural remedies are here to see women through this time of their lives.

Because your bones can weaken during menopause (which increases the risk of osteoporosis later) eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D are important to add to or increase in a woman’s diet. The good news is that there are many foods high in calcium, especially dairy products like yogurt, milk and cheese. Leafy green vegetables such as kale, chard and spinach contain high levels of calcium also. Tofu, beans and sardines also contain loads of calcium.

Getting more vitamin D is easy to add too. Just get out in the sun! Our skin naturally produces it when exposed to the sun. However, as we get older, our skin produces less of it. If being in the sun is difficult, taking a supplement or increasing food with vitamin D will help. Oily fish, eggs and cod liver oil supplements are just a few ways to achieve this.

Due to the possibility of gaining more weight with the onset of menopause, achieving or maintaining a healthy weight is another natural remedy you can use. Excess weight will also increase the severity of any hot flashes.

There are a number of herbal remedies that may help alleviate menopause symptoms. Keep in mind, those herbal remedies have varying effects on people and a health care practitioner should be consulted.  Here are just some examples of herbal remedies:

Black Cohosh: Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) This herb has received quite a bit of scientific attention for its possible effects on hot flashes. Black cohosh may act as a hormone imitator, binding to opioid receptors in the brain, and possibly influencing serotonin levels.

Red Clover: (Trifolium pratense), By weakly binding to estrogen receptors in the body, red clover’s phytoestrogens help normalize estrogen action. Its phytoestrogens include lignin’s, coumestans, and isoflavones.

Dong Quai: (Angelica sinensis) Dong quai has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat gynecologic conditions for more than 1,200 years.

Soy: according to some research, is said to beneficial in reducing the severity of hot flashes too. It is said to have a similar physiologic effect to estrogen.

There are a number of ways women can lessen the severity of their menopause symptoms and they should be explored with the help of a healthcare practitioner who specializes in the area of interest you are pursuing.  But most importantly, maintaining a healthy balanced diet, exercising, getting plenty of sleep and of course taking care of your mental and emotional well being are always key to maintaining a healthy, balanced, abundant life.

SOURCES USED :

https://www.verywellhealth.com/natural-remedies-for-menopause-that-actually-work-2322658

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-menopause

https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/natural-remedies-for-hot-flashes

https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/menopause-and-perimenopause/herbal-remedies-for-menopause-symptom-relief/

11 Fascinating Reasons People Like Star Anise

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For many of us, as we age, it’s important for us to be more conscious of what we allow into our bodies. Overall health and wellness have proven extremely necessary as we attempt to ward off conditions that can cause severe health scares and limit our time with family. In today’s climate, the pandemic has taught us how precious every moment we are able to spend with loved ones is.

That’s why it’s important to increase our familiarity with herbs and spices that are not just tasteful in our dishes but are also exceptionally good for our health. Star Anise is one of those spices. In this post, we’ll look at what star anise is and share the many health benefits it brings.

What is Star Anise?

Star Anise is a spice that comes from the fruit Illicium Verum, an evergreen shrub from China. It’s named for the star-shaped pods from which the spice seeds are harvested and has a flavor similar to licorice.

Star Anise dates back 3,000 years and makes up the popular “five-spice” powder mix used in China. In addition to enhancing sweet and savory dishes, Star Anise also has a long history in traditional oriental medicine. It also has many health benefits.

Health Benefits of Star Anise

Star Anise has many active compounds that contribute to an extensive list of health benefits. These benefits lead to the following health improvements:

  1. Boosts Appearance of Skin
  2. Improves the Immune System
  3. Supports Respiratory Health
  4. Helps Improve Sleep
  5. Improves Circulation
  6. Fights Fungus
  7. Aids Digestion
  8. Effects Hormones
  9. Minimizes Risk of Cancer
  10. Helps With Diabetes
  11. Promotes Bone Health

Boosts Appearance of Skin

Star Anise has a high level of antioxidants that help promote the elimination of free radicals throughout the body. That helps to minimize the appearance of wrinkles on the skin, boosts skin elasticity, and covers up old scars and blemishes. Your skin will look young and vibrant.

Improves the Immune System

In today’s pandemic, it’s always good to know a product you can take that will improve the immune system. Star Anise is such a product. Star Anise has been used to treat stomach bacterial infections. But it’s mostly known for being effective against a number of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. That makes it a very important product in the pharmaceutical industry.

Supports Respiratory Health

Star Anise helps support respiratory health and may just be the cure for a cough, sore throat, or early signs of flu. It may be able to sort out the inflammation and neutralize the underlying infection before symptoms get worse.

Helps Improve Sleep

It’s been found that Star Anise has sedative properties that help to stimulate the release of certain neurotransmitters that induce relaxation and sleep. That makes the spice a good remedy for anyone who has insomnia or who regularly has trouble sleeping.

Improves Circulation

A teaspoon of Star Anise contains 13% of your daily recommended amount of iron. This will help boost red blood cells production, which increases energy levels by promoting circulation and proper oxygenation of the body’s extremities.

star anise substitute, star anise pods, what is star aniseFights Fungus

Star Anise has powerful anti-fungal properties and is a remedy for Athlete’s foot, ringworm, Candida, and similar strains.

Aids Digestion

Eating Star Anise fruits after meals have proven effective in helping food to properly digest. It also helps relieve bloating and excess flatulence and easing cramping. It also improves the bacterial balance in the gut for high nutrient uptake efficiency.

Effects Hormones

Star Anise has been proven to impact the balancing nature of both women and men. Star Anise can provide an energy boost and increase the sex drive in men and regulate menstrual cycles, control mood swings, and other hormone-driven side effects of menstruation in women.

Minimizes Risk of Cancer

Star Anise has a diverse range of antioxidants that affect oxidative stress in the body. Its immune-supporting properties help to lower the risk of mutagenic effects that lead to cancer cells and the formation of tumors in the body.

Helps With Diabetes

Star Anise has been proven to normalize blood sugar levels. The spice is low on the glycemic index with a good amount of powerful antioxidants that affect blood sugar levels.

Promotes Bone Health

The antioxidants in Star Anise have been known to improve organ and tissue function, including bone function. Star Anise is a good source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and vitamin K, which all contribute to strengthening our bones.

How To Use Star Anise

Star Anise can be used in different ways, either as a ground or the whole form. It’s used in other spice mixes, like five-spice powder. That is a popular blend in many cultures. The unique licorice flavor of the spice makes it a welcome addition to both sweet and savory dishes. It’s effective in soups, broths, sauces, and curries. Hot tea is also a popular way the spice can be used. The tea is brewed around the world and is trusted as a quick remedy for several respiratory conditions, including gastrointestinal distress, and hormonal imbalances.

 

 

7 Surprising Ways Mangoes Can Affect Your Health

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Did you know that there are around 300 varieties of mangoes? Mangoes (Mangifera indica) are the world’s most popular tropical fruit, and for a good reason; they are juicy and succulent, with a variety of flavors to choose from. Although mangos are present in nearly every corner of the world, their origin is traced all the way back to India around 5000 years ago. And up until today, India has been the leading producer of the fruit.

The word mango, on the other hand, comes from the Portuguese word manga, which the name Portuguese gave to the fruit when they came in Kerala for the spice trade in the 1400s.

Mangos are consumed in a variety of ways. They can be eaten unripe when they are green on the inside and taste sour. Ripe mangoes can be eaten straight from the tree, blended into a thick, smooth orange juice, or dried and enjoyed as a snack.

Apart from being delicious and relatively inexpensive compared to other fruits, the mango is also extremely nutritious and packed with several health advantages, which is one of the reasons it is regularly ascribed to as the king of fruits. The following are some reasons to increase your mango consumption.

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Rejuvenate The Skin

Vitamin C is especially vital for healthy skin and is used in serums. However, skincare starts with what you eat, and mangoes are high in vitamin C, which can help you attain glowing skin. Vitamin C has a plethora of skin-benefiting properties. It primarily stimulates collagen production. Collagen is essential for enhancing skin elasticity, firming your skin, and slowing the aging process by minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. One mango a day, it seems, will help your skin look much younger.

Increases Immunity

Nothing is more fundamental than the body’s ability to tackle infections. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, assisting the body in fighting bacteria and diseases. Also, research indicates that vitamin C plays a vital role in the rapid healing of wounds and injuries. Moreover, it aids in the rejuvenation of the bones, teeth, and cartilage.

Enhancement Of Intestinal Health

Apart from vitamin C, mangoes are high in fiber, which aids in digestion, combats constipation, and promotes regular bowel movements. According to a pilot study conducted by Texas A&M University in 2018, the natural fiber found in mangoes works far better and has longer-lasting advantages even than fiber supplements. Therefore, rather than wasting money on laxatives, why not stock up more mangoes?

Assists In Weight Loss

Mangoes aid in weight loss, factual or just a myth. While this is true, mangoes are not a miraculous fat burner. Like the majority of fruits, Mangoes are immensely low in calories and still maintain a feeling of fullness for an extended period. Being full with food will assist you to avoid binge eating unhealthy foods that are far too high in calories.

To Boost Eye Health

Do you have the impression that your vision has recently deteriorated? Maybe you’re deficient in vitamin A. The ‘king of fruits is high in vitamin A, which is necessary for good eye health. Vitamin A can aid you in improving your vision in a variety of ways. One, it helps in the management of eye inflammations and infections; two, it boosts the cornea membranes work properly, preventing your eyes from drying out; and, last but not least, it assists in the prevention of vision impairment by delaying myopia progression.

Good For The Heart

As demonstrated above, the polyphenols in mangoes assist in lowering inflammation throughout the body, including the heart. Inflammation can impair the heart’s ability to execute its primary function of pumping blood to the rest of the body. Additionally, they can create irregular cardiac rhythms, which can result in serious heart problems. Also, mangoes aid in the prevention of heart disease associated with obesity through weight loss.

Prevents Cancer

Although there is no elaborate cure for cancer, there are ways that can help lower the chances of acquiring the horrible disease, one of which is a healthy diet. Mangiferin, a type of polyphenol, is abundant in mangoes. Mango polyphenols have been found to be quite promising in current cancer treatment studies. They have been shown to reduce inflammation, protect cells from oxidative stress, and inhibit or kill cancer cells, including leukemia. In addition, mango polyphenols have been shown to have the capacity to lessen oxidative stress,

The most often asked questions regarding mangoes are how much is too much and who should avoid them. Could this luscious fruit have any adverse effects? Yes, like with many foods, mangoes should be consumed in moderation, especially by persons with high blood sugar levels. This is because mangoes contain a high sugar content, which may aggravate diabetes.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-mango

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-mango#1

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275921

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/8-incredible-benefits-of-mangoes-the-king-of-fruits-1833145

 

The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet

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Deciding what to eat is probably the single most important health decision a person makes.  While air and water are the two most necessary requirements for staying alive, food occupies our minds most of the time.  Our prerequisites for air and water center almost entirely around whether they are pure and clean.  Food on the other hand introduces the factor of taste.  A question we ask daily, “What do you want to eat?” is almost always a query about flavor rather than nutrition.  Eating food not only sustains human beings, it is one of our carnal pleasures.  Sometimes that need for taste leads us to make bad choices.  We fill our diet with food that isn’t good for us.  Conversely when we find a diet that strikes a better balance we stick with it.  The Paleo Diet, popularized strongly at the beginning of the century, has showed staying power for just that reason.  It’s a well-researched nutrition plan backed by several noted scientists that also happens to have plenty room for variety and taste.

What Is the Paleo Diet?

The concept behind the Paleo Diet is the idea that humankind’s DNA is essentially the same as it was during the Paleolithic era.  Modern humans came into existence between one hundred and three hundred thousand years ago.  The Paleolithic era ended approximately eleven thousand years ago, so our species has spent more than ninety percent of its evolutionary time within the Paleolithic.  The thinking behind the diet is that the human digestive tract has not gone through substantive changes since the Paleolithic era ended.  Our ancestors were essentially hunter-gatherers.  They didn’t eat cultivated grains or domesticated meats in any quantity.  Their water had fewer chemicals, and their physical activity was far more pronounced.

Our habits and food sources have changed significantly through the centuries.  We have access to more diverse meal possibilities due to our famous ability to adapt.  On top of that, our scientific and industrial innovation has given us artificial supplements and food capabilities unavailable to our primitive ancestors.  We ingest meats and grains that the human body has only had a few dozen decades to absorb.  Our plants and animals are fed by fertilizers and steroids, which come into our systems as we consume the food we manufacture.

Creators of the Paleo Diet believe we force ourselves to digest foods that are incompatible with our gastrointestinal systems as well as our health.  As far back as the 1890’s writers such as John Harvey Kellogg and Emmet Densmore lamented the effects of grains on human health.  Author Walter L. Voegtlin published a book in 1975 called “The Stone Age Diet”.  As a gastroenterologist he advocated a meat-centric diet that kept vegetables and starches to a minimum.  In the twenty-first century Dr. Loren Cordain published his book, “The Paleo Diet”, which trademarked the name and system that suggests a diet almost exclusively of vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat, and organ meats

What Are the Benefits Of A Paleo-Diet?

The Paleo Diet allows you to eat the following:

  • Wild Game and Lean Grass-fed Meats
  • Seeds And Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Oils
  • Fish

The diet seeks to avoid the following foods:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Refined Sugar
  • Salt

On top of these restrictions the Paleo Diet frowns upon heavily processed food in general.

As we can see by the above lists, the Paleo-Diet is good for weight loss, since it cuts down on calorie-rich food and carbohydrates.  Since the diet’s proponents also suggest a good exercise regimen and generous water consumption, the system encourages muscle tone and skin health.  The diet’s food components are good regulators of blood sugar.  It helps with stress and keeps dangerous fats at a low level.  The Paleo Diet’s ‘creators’ claim that it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease.  Not enough definitive studies have been done to give these claims firm scientific backing, but elements of the diet have been known to have a positive influence on heart and digestive health.

Since the Paleo Diet forbids dairy products, there is some worry about suffering from Vitamin D and calcium deficiency.  Some other worries are increased diarrhea, as well as possible exposure to more toxins in fish.  Proponents of the diet point out the ability to avoid toxins by practicing simple avoidance. Some foods that the diet allows have supplies of Vitamin D and calcium that can be increased to compensate for the absence of dairy products.

What Are Some Examples of a Paleo-Diet Meal?

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As we first mentioned taste is an important part of anyone’s diet choice.  The Paleo Diet has several fine dishes that are in perfect keeping with its requirements.  Everything from chicken salad to burgers, to grilled salmon and pork is allowed in Paleo Diet meals.  Vegetables fried in coconut oil, sweet potatoes and steak are also on the menu.  Lettuce leaf wraps can be used instead of sandwiches.  Grilled chicken wings with salsa make a nice movie or sports-event snack.

 

SOURCES USED :

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182,

https://thepaleodiet.com/

The Fascinating Science of How Pumpkin Seeds Help Brain Function

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Pumpkin seeds are a fall snack favorite adored by many. But, did you know that pumpkin seeds also have powerful brain health benefits and are integral in healthy brain function? They are rich in many micronutrients that are essential for healthy brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Their magnesium content provides a calming effect on the brain — an amazing and all-natural option for stress relief.

Keep reading to learn more about how pumpkin seeds help brain function.

Key Minerals and Nutrients in Pumpkin Seeds

A quarter cup of raw pumpkin seeds contains about 150 calories, 15 grams of healthy fat, a few grams of carbs, and 8-10 grams of plant protein. They are also packed with nutrients.

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Pumpkin seeds, which are also called pepitas, are an excellent source of manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. Magnesium is key to helping improve mood and sleep. Manganese plays a key role in collagen production — promoting bone and skin health. Iron and Cooper found in pumpkin seeds are involved with energy production, whereas iron helps transport oxygen to the cells in the body. Zinc is key for immunity, vision, and skin health.

Eating just one serving of raw pumpkin seeds can supply between 14-42% of the daily target for these essential nutrients.

Pumpkin seeds contain the following key brain health minerals:

  • Magnesium: This mineral is essential for a well-functioning nervous system, and it also supports brain development, memory, and learning. Research has shown that low levels of magnesium may increase neurological health issues and conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and the risk of stroke, migraines, epilepsy, and anxiety and depression.
  • Zinc: Zinc plays a key role in the regulation of communication between the brain cells that impact brain development, memory, and learning. Zinc deficiency is linked to a number of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and depression.
  • Iron: Iron is another mineral that plays an integral role in the day-to-day functions of the brain and development. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue, headaches, and anxiety. Iron deficiency is a widely known cause of impaired cognitive, language, and motor development.
  • Cooper: Cooper plays a key role in brain function and development and is required for essential enzymes that supply the brain with energy. A proper balance of copper is key because too little or too much can cause brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Menkes, and Wilson’s diseases.

Brain Benefits

Some of the most significant brain benefits that pumpkin seeds pack include:

  • Feelings of calm — The high magnesium content of pumpkin seeds can lead to stress and anxiety relief and an overall sense of calm. Over the past 50 years, as magnesium consumption has plummeted, anxiety rates have gone up drastically. A calm and controlled mind increases your decision-making power and brings you a better sense of clarity.
  • Feelings of happiness — Pumpkin seeds can also help produce serotonin — the incredible neurotransmitter that helps us feel happy. According to the NCBI, Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters that influence mental health.

How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds

You can buy pumpkin seeds at most grocery stores and health food stores. Or, you can make your own! Simply take the seeds from a pumpkin and bake them at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Here are some simple and delicious ways to incorporate more pumpkin seeds into your diet:

  • Eat them alone as a snack
  • Sprinkle them on top of salads for some crunch
  • Mix them into yogurt and smoothies
  • Blend them in with protein balls
  • Sprinkle them on whatever you want for added flavour, crunch, and a brain boost, from oatmeal to cereal and stir-fries and tacos.

Pumpkin seeds are an extremely versatile and delicious snack that packs a serious brain-boosting punch. Try adding them to your meals or snacking on them to harness the brain-boosting powers and ensure healthy and optimal brain function.

Learn How Melatonin Prevents Blood Clots in Ten Minutes

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Everybody needs 7-8  hours of sleep to function well. Without sleep, we don’t perform at our best, and lack of sleep can negatively impact our health.  Many people have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, tossing and turning during those precious hours intended for sleep. Melatonin, a neurohormone supplement, helps many people fall asleep and stay asleep, making it known primarily as a sleep aid. But there is research to show that melatonin can help in preventing blood clots. One of the most important areas of research would be exploring the use of melatonin in preventing blood clots, as around 100,000 people die from blood clots annually.

Melatonin has other health benefits that are just as important as sleep improvement possibly making it effective in treating:

Understanding Melatonin

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Melatonin has a long history in alternative medicine. In the U.S., it’s sold as an over-the-counter supplement, while it’s available by prescription in other countries. Natural melatonin is produced in your body by the pineal gland in the brain. Its production is triggered by darkness, which explains its benefits while sleeping in the dark. The supplement is a synthetic version of the natural substance.

Research on Melatonin and Blood Clotting

As far back as 2008, the Journal of Pineal Research published a study that showed the relationship between taking oral melatonin and blood coagulation. The study included 46 healthy men between 21 and 29 years of age. The subjects were given a placebo containing no medication or 3mg of oral melatonin. The study results reported: “A single dose of oral melatonin was associated with lower plasma levels of procoagulant factors 60 mins later.” Procoagulant factors promote blood clotting, and melatonin had lowered their levels, making clotting less likely. A 2013 research paper published by Arushanian described melatonin as a “natural inhibitor of (platelet) aggregation” that is potentially impactful in cardiovascular disorders so may be “recommended for use in pharmacotherapy.” A 2020 review of studies, published by Otamas, Grant and Aijan supported previous evidence, suggesting that, “…melatonin inhibits platelet aggregation and might affect the coagulation cascade, altering fibrin clot structure and/resistance to fibrinolysis.” In layman’s terms, melatonin inhibits bodily functions that lead to blood clots. This more recent study recommended further study to confirm and progress the research findings. The research on melatonin in this area is ongoing and more is needed in the future.

Who Shouldn’t Take Melatonin?

While Melatonin can have many benefits, including the potential to reduce clotting, it’s important to realize the dangers that may create to people on blood thinners, such as Warfarin, with herbs that can slow clotting, including garlic and ginger, and with blood clotting medication.

Taking melatonin along with blood thinning medication can lead to bleeding or bruising. It can interfere with the work of blood clotting medication. Melatonin is generally not advised for these groups but as always, people should follow the advice of their medical doctors.

Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is an antidepressant medication that increases the absorption of melatonin. Since more melatonin is absorbed creating greater conditions for blood thinning, taking it with fluvoxamine should be avoided.

Should I Take Melatonin?

A healthy person that doesn’t take blood thinning or coagulating medication, Fluvoxamine, or other medications or herbs that can interact with melatonin should be able to safely take melatonin if permitted by their doctors. If you’re considering melatonin, it may help you sleep, have additional benefits, and keep your blood free from unwanted clotting.

SOURCES USED:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5563342_Oral_melatonin_reduces_blood_coagulation_activity_A_placebo-controlled_study_in_healthy_young_men

https://www.livescience.com/42066-melatonin-supplement-facts.html

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1479164120920582?icid=int.sj-abstract.citing-articles.3&

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/d04058a1

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-side-effects#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282008268_Effect_of_melatonin_on_the_thrombocyte_hemostasis_and_its_circadian_organization

This Is Your Brain on Vitamin C

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Vitamin C is well known for enhancing immunity, including preventing colds and improving mental health. Scientific studies indicate that people who consume foods rich in vitamin C experience less stress as they encounter physical challenges. After we consume vitamin C, it causes the body to dispense neurotransmitters that enhance mood such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. People who lack vitamin C have low synthesis of these neurotransmitters, and can become irritable and stressed.

 

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Vitamin C and Mental Health

A German study measured the stress levels of 120 individuals by letting them perform public speaking while solving math problems. The subjects were given 1000 mg of vitamin C prior to the task. Participants who did not take the vitamin showed elevated cortisol levels and higher blood pressure. Those who took the vitamin showed normal blood pressure levels and said that they did not feel that stressed.

Vitamin C also plays a vital role in maintaining the function and integrity of the central nervous system, including the formation of myelin and maturation of neurons, which protects nerve fibers and repairs neurons. In addition, it acts as a neuromodulator, which influences mood regulation.

Research studies also indicate that free radical damage and oxidative stress can play a part in the pathogenic mechanisms underlying several neuropsychological disorders including depression.

The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study stating that low levels of vitamin C were closely related to depression in the elderly. Another study published by McGill University found that administering vitamin C twice a day improved the mood of hospital patients. Vitamin C is also linked to promoting health for people suffering from bipolar disorder and anxiety.

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The Brain consumes a lot of vitamin C. Brain concentrations of vitamin C are higher than those of the rest of the body. It maintains vitamin C levels for a longer period of time after the body depletes them. That’s because metabolic furnaces in the neurons churn through glucose to power one’s movements and feelings. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant. It surrenders electrons for the purpose of neutralizing rogue oxygen molecules which are emitted in the process. These are the free radicals that ruin DNA and cause cells to age.

Vitamin C also plays a role in the maturation and differentiation of neurons and in forming the myelin sheath that expedites impulse transmission and protects neurons. Thus, vitamin C is essential for cognitive performance and is also a cofactor in synthesizing several neurotransmitters. It plays a vital role in converting dopamine to serotonin. It also modulates the release of neurotransmitters in nerve cells. Vitamin C is also found in collagen, which is a stabilizing force for bones, teeth, and blood vessels. It helps ensure that the integrity of blood vessels retain their integrity as an aspect of cognitive capacity, particularly as people age.

In a review of fifty studies of Brain function and vitamin C levels conducted between1980 and 2017, Australian researchers discovered that there was a striking relationship between mental function and vitamin C status. A questionnaire, known as the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) measured the relationship.

In the study, the individuals that were cognitively intact had higher blood concentrations of vitamin C than the individuals who were cognitively impaired. Among the individuals who were cognitively intact, the levels of vitamin C in the blood had a correlation with cognitive ability. There was no linear correlation seen in people with cognitive impairment.

Factors such as exposure to toxins caused by air pollution and smoking as well as drinking alcohol make extra demands for vitamin C by placing the body under oxidative stress. Studies show that conditions like depression, fatigue, and poor healing of wounds happen when vitamin C levels are inadequate.

References

Bundrant, M. vitamin C and Its Key role in mental health. Psych Central. https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2017/01/vitamin-c- nd-its-key-role-in-mental-health/

Marano, H. The Cognitive Benefits of vitamin C. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201801/the- cognitive-benefits-vitamin-c

Got Stress? You Need vitamin C. adrenalfatigue.org. https://adrenalfatigue.org/got-stress-you-need-vitamin-c/

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