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Supporting Research & Studies
A number of researchers hypothesize that ashwagandha has an "anti-stress" effect. Early research shows that ashwagandha calms stress-induced increases of dopamine receptors in the brain. It also appears to reduce stress-induced increases of plasma corticosterone, blood urea nitrogen, and blood lactic acid. Ashwagandha seems to have anti-anxiety effects, possibly by imitating the calming chemical GABA.
In a preliminary clinical trial, subjects with moderate-to-severe anxiety received dietary counseling, deep breathing exercise instruction, a multivitamin, and ashwagandha root 300 mg twice daily for 12 weeks. Anxiety scores decreased in the ashwagandha group compared to a control group receiving psychotherapy, breathing exercise instruction, and placebo. [Ashwagandha, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database]
Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial. [Read the Abstract]
Cooley K, Szczurko O, Perri D, Mills EJ, Bernhardt B, Zhou Q, Seely D.
Department of Research and Clinical Epidemiology, The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Canada.
PLoS One. 2009 Aug 31;4(8):e6628. PMID: 19718255
Studies on the immunomodulatory effects of Ashwagandha. [Read the Abstract]
Ziauddin M, Phansalkar N, Patki P, Diwanay S, Patwardhan B.
Medinova Diagnostics Center, Indian Drugs Research Association, Pune, India.
AJ Ethnopharmacol. 1996 Feb;50(2):69-76. PMID: 8866726
Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. [Read the Abstract]
Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S.
Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University
Phytomedicine. 2000 Dec;7(6):463-9. PMID: 11194174
Magnesium deficiency is one of the main causes of anxiety and insomnia. The modern diet tends to be lacking in essential magnesium. Research now shows that as magnesium levels drop, symptoms of anxiety and depression tend to increase.
Latent tetany and anxiety, marginal magnesium deficit, and normocalcemia. [Read the Abstract]
Seelig MS, Berger AR, Spielholz N.
Dis Nerv Syst. 1975 Aug;36(8):461-5. PMID: 1164868
Magnesium, schizophrenia and manic-depressive disease. [Read the Abstract]
Kirov GK, Tsachev KN.
Psychiatric Ward, District General Hospital, Bulgaria.
Neuropsychobiology. 1990;23(2):79-81. PMID: 2077436
Depression and magnesium deficiency. [Read the Abstract]
Rasmussen HH, Mortensen PB, Jensen IW.
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Denmark.
Int J Psychiatry Med. 1989;19(1):57-63. PMID: 2722406
Double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a fixed combination containing two plant extracts (Crataegus oxyacantha and Eschscholtzia californica) and magnesium in mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders. [Read the Abstract]
Hanus M, Lafon J, Mathieu M.
Curr Med Res Opin 2004;20:63-71.
Taken by mouth, GABA is used to relieve anxiety, elevate mood, and relieve premenstrual syndrome (PMS), as well as treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid ( GABA ) administration in humans.
The effect of orally administrated gamma-aminobutyric acid ( GABA ) on relaxation and immunity during stress has been investigated in humans. Two studies were conducted. The first evaluated the effect of GABA intake by 13 subjects on their brain waves. Electroencephalograms (EEG) were obtained after 3 tests on each volunteer as follows: intake only water, GABA, or L-theanine. After 60 minutes of administration, GABA significantly increases alpha waves and decreases beta waves compared to water or L-theanine. These findings denote that GABA not only induces relaxation but also reduces anxiety. The second study was conducted to see the role of relaxant and anxiolytic effects of GABA intake on immunity in stressed volunteers. Eight acrophobic subjects were divided into 2 groups (placebo and GABA). All subjects were crossing a suspended bridge as a stressful stimulus. Immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels in their saliva were monitored during bridge crossing. Placebo group showed marked decrease of their IgA levels, while GABA group showed significantly higher levels. In conclusion, GABA could work effectively as a natural relaxant and its effects could be seen within 1 hour of its administration to induce relaxation and diminish anxiety. Moreover, GABA administration could enhance immunity under stress conditions.
Source: Biofactors. 2006;26(3):201-8. Department of Research and Development, Pharma Foods International Co. Ltd., Kyoto, Japan.
Genetic and pharmacological evidence of a role for GABA(B) receptors in the modulation of anxiety- and antidepressant-like behavior. [Read the Abstract]
Mombereau C, Kaupmann K, Froestl W, Sansig G, van der Putten H, Cryan JF.
Neuroscience Research, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2004 Jun;29(6):1050-62. PMID: 15039762
Brain neurotransmission in panic disorder. [Read the Abstract]
Department of Pharmacology, University of Goteborg, Sweden.
Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 1987;335:31-7. PMID: 2890266
High-dose pyridoxine as an 'anti-stress' strategy. [Read the Abstract]
Pantox Laboratories, San Diego, California, USA.
Med Hypotheses. 2000 May;54(5):803-7. PMID: 10859691
The GABA paradox: multiple roles as metabolite, neurotransmitter, and neurodifferentiative agent. [Read the Abstract]
Waagepetersen HS, Sonnewald U, Schousboe A.
PharmaBiotec Research Center, Department of Pharmacology, Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen.
J Neurochem. 1999 Oct;73(4):1335-42. PMID: 10501176
Exactly how Chamomile reduces anxiety is unclear. Early research suggests that apigenin can bind to calming (GABA) receptors. GABA receptors are the primary receptor sites of anxiety drugs in the central nervous system.
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. [Read The Abstract]
Amsterdam JD, Li Y, Soeller I, et al.
J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2009;29(4):378-382.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study. [Read The Abstract]
Amsterdam JD, Shults J, Soeller I, et al.
Altern Ther Health Med 2012;18(5):44-49.
Taken by mouth, DMAE is used for treating ADHD, improving memory and mood, boosting intelligence, as well as treating Alzheimer's disease, increasing physical energy, and improving athletic performance. It is also used for preventing aging or liver spots, improving red blood cell function, improving muscle reflexes, increasing oxygen efficiency, extending life span, treating autism, and treating tardive dyskinesia.
Seventy-four children referred for problems with learning, including many with hyperactivity, were screened for neurological or psychiatric illness, then given deanol, methylphenidate, or placebo in a double-blind fashion for 3 months. Maintenance dose for methylphenidate was 40 mg daily; for deanol, 500 mg. Behavior rating forms, reaction time, and a series of standard psychometric tests were given before and after treatment. Both drugs showed significant improvement on a number of tests; the pattern and degree of change differed slightly for the two. In this paradigm, deanol thus appeared to improve performance in children with learning and behavior disorders. The mechanism of action remains speculative [Read The Abstract]
2-Dimethylaminoethanol (deanol): a brief review of its clinical efficacy and postulated mechanism of action. [DMAE, WholeHealthMD.com]
Curr Ther Res Clin Exp 1974;16:1238-42.
A review with special reference to deanol. [DMAE, WholeHealthMD.com]
Oettinger L Jr.
Pediatric psychopharmacology. Dis Nerv Syst 1977;38:25-31.
Studies indicate that 5-HTP may work as well as certain antidepressant drugs to treat people with mild-to-moderate depression. Like the class of antidepressants called SSRIs, 5-HTP increases the levels of serotonin in the brain. [5-HTP, PennStateHershey.Adam.com]
One study compared the effects of 5-HTP to a competing SSRI in 63 people and found that those who were given 5-HTP did just as well as those who received the drug. They also had fewer side effects than the Drug group. [5-HTP, DefyMedical.com]
In one study, people who took 5-HTP went to sleep quicker and slept more deeply than those who took placebo. These researchers recommend 200 - 400 mg at night to stimulate serotonin, but it may take 6 - 12 weeks to be fully effective. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
The treatment of depression with L-5-hydroxytryptophan versus imipramine. Results of two open and one double-blind study. [Read The Abstract]
Angst J, Woggon B, Schoepf J.
Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr. 1977;224:175–186.
Treatment of insomnia: an alternative approach. [Read The Abstract]
Attele AS, Xie JT, Yuan CS.
Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(3):249-259.
5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. [Read The Abstract]
Altern Med Rev. 1998;3:271–280.
5-Hydroxytryptophan: a review of its antidepressant efficacy and adverse effects. [Read The Abstract]
Byerley WF, et al.
J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1987;7:127-137.
Dietary supplements used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. [Read The Abstract]
Cauffield JS, Forbes HJ.
Lippincotts Prim Care Pract. 1999; 3(3):290-304.
Use of neurotransmitter precursors for treatment of depression. [Read The Abstract]
Altern Med Rev. 2000;5(1):64-71.
L-5-hydroxytryptophan alone and in combination with a peripheral decarboxylase inhibitor in the treatment of depression. [Read The Abstract]
Zmilacher K, et al.
Second-tier natural antidepressants: Review and critique. [Read The Abstract]
Iovieno N, Dalton ED, Fava M, Mischoulon D.
J Affect Disord. 2010 Jun 24.
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