5-HTP for Weight Loss?

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Chlorella Species Algae

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B Vitamins for Mood?

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White Sapote (Casimiroa edulis): Anxiolytic, Antidepressant and Sedative

weight lossThe white sapote (Casimiroa edulis) is a small tree belonging to the Rutaceae or citrus family of plants. That the white sapote has central nervous system effects is evidenced by the native Mexican name for the plant which is cochitzapoti or “sleep-sapote”, on account of the plant’s sedative effects. Extracts of leaves and seeds have traditionally been used to treat anxiety and insomnia in humans and these effects are well reported in Mexican traditional medicine. In rats, the central nervous system effects of the leaves of white sapote have been shown to include significant anti-anxiety effects. Research suggests that these effects are similar to the benzodiazepine drug diazepam. Further, leaf extracts have also been shown to have antidepressant effects in rats similar to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drug, fluoxetine. Leaf extracts also produce sedative effects in rats. Therefore leaf extracts of white sapote appear to have significant and wide ranging central nervous system effects in animals.

white sapote anxiety depression

White sapote (Casimiroa edulis) may contain a number of phytochemicals that explain its pharmacological activity. Like all plants, white sapote contains a range of flavonoids and these may contribute towards the central nervous system effects of the plant. In particular, the plant may contain flavones including zapotin and zapotinin. Flavones such as apigenin and chrysin have been shown to bind to the benzodiazepine receptor in the brains of animals, and both zapotin and zapotinin may also share this activity. Image is the fruit of the white sapote tree. Image from: By Takoradee – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https:// commons.wikimedia.org/ w/ index.php?curid=6906797.

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Mora, S., Diaz-Veliz, G., Lungenstrass, H., Garcia-Gonzalez, M., Coto-Morales, T., Poletti, C., De Lima, T. C. M., Herrera-Ruiz, M. and Tortoriello, J. 2005. Central nervous system activity of the hydroalcoholic extract of Casimiroa edulis in rats and mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 97(2): 191-197
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Cannabidiol: Anti-Anxiety Component of Cannabis sativa

weight lossCannabis sativa is perhaps most well known for the psychoactive phytochemical Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. However, Cannabis sativa contains a large number of cannabinoids and most are not psychoactive. Evidence suggests that cannabidiol, one of the cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa, has anti-anxiety effects in animals. For example, in healthy subjects cannabidiol is able to block the anxiety normally caused by administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Many studies have also reported that cannabidiol is able to exert an anti-anxiety effect in animal models of anxiety. In humans, some studies have shown that cannabidiol is able to reduce anxiety in humans with clinically diagnosed anxiety disorders. In particular, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorders appear to respond positively to cannabidiol administration. Cannabidiol is available is purified form such that it can be taken orally without the associated Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

cannabis sativa anxiety depression cannabidiol

Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid found naturally in the Cannabis sativa plant. There are over 100 cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa, and most are not psychoactive. Cannabidiol interacts with cannabis receptors but the pharmacology of the compound is not fully understood. Some evidence suggests that cannabidiol may antagonise the normal interaction of cannabinoids with the cannabinoid receptor in the brains of animals. Image shows the structure of cannabidiol. Image from: By Harbin – Own work, Public Domain, https:// commons.wikimedia.org/ w/ index.php?curid=7712509.

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Zuardi, A. W., Shirakawa, I., Finkelfarb, E. and Karniol, I. G. 1982. Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by Δ 9-THC in normal subjects. Psychopharmacology. 76(3): 245-250
de Mello Schier, A. R., de Oliveira Ribeiro, N. P., e Silva, A. C. D. O., Hallak, J. E. C., Crippa, J. A. S., Nardi, A. E. and Zuardi, A. W. 2012. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug. Official Journal of the Brazilian Psychiatric Association. 34 (1): 104-117
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Cecropia: A Useful Treatment for Mood Disorders?

weight lossCecropia is a group of tropical trees that is found throughout the tropic and is Native to America. The Cecropia group of trees has been shown to possess a number of pharmacological activities which includes antihypertensive, bronchodilator and antacid activity. However, the phytochemicals in some species of Cecropia, which included high amounts of flavonoids, may be beneficial at treating mood disorders. For example, Cecropia glaziovii is a Brazilian tree, extracts of which are used to treat mood disorders and have been shown to be effective in animal models of anxiety and depression. Another species of Cecropia, Cecropia pachystachya, has been shown to reverse the oxidative damage induced by ketamine administration to rats. The Cecropia pachystachya extract were able to achieve this because they decreased oxidative stress in the areas of the brain affected by the ketamine. Therefore the antioxidant content of Cecropia plants may play a pivotal role in the mood effects of the herb.

cecropia anxiety depression

A number of phytochemicals have been isolated from extracts of Cecropia glaziovii, including a high content of flavonoids. Flavonoids identified include procyanidins and catechins. However, no specific pharmacological action of these chemicals on mood disorders has been identified for this plant. That being said, it is known that flavonoids do have positive effects on mood disorders including an ability to modulate the benzodiazepine receptor. Flavonoids also have antioxidant effects that may be responsible for improving mental health. Image is Cecropia glaviovii. Image from: By Eurico Zimbres – Own work, Public Domain, https:// commons.wikimedia.org/ w/ index.php?curid=1260872.

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Tanae, M. M., Lima-Landman, M. T. R., De Lima, T. C. M., Souccar, C. and Lapa, A. J. 2007. Chemical standardization of the aqueous extract of Cecropia glaziovii Sneth endowed with antihypertensive, bronchodilator, antiacid secretion and antidepressant-like activities. Phytomedicine. 14(5): 309-313
Gazal, M., Kaufmann, F. N., Acosta, B. A., Oliveira, P. S., Valente, M. R., Ortmann, C. F., Sturbelle, R., Lencia, C. L., Stefanello, F. M., Kaster, M. P., Reginatto, F. H. and Ghisleni, G. 2015. Preventive effect of Cecropia pachystachya against ketamine-induced manic behavior and oxidative stress in rats. Neurochemical Research. 40(7): 1421-1430
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Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola): Mood Enhancer

weight lossCentella asiatica (Gotu Kola) is a herb that is thought to have adaptogenic properties. Gotu kola belongs to the Apiaceae family of plant and is found growing over large areas of Asia and the rest of the World. Gotu kola is able to cause modulation to the general stress response, such that it helps maintain homeostatic parameters within the normal range. One parameter that is benefited by administration of gotu kola is mental function, and in this regard extracts of gotu kola may be able to improve mood and cognition. For example, in one study, researchers administered gotu kola extracts at either 250, 500 or 750 mg per day for 2 months to elderly subjects. The results of the study showed that administration of the highest dose of the gotu kola extract significantly improved the cognition of the subjects. All doses of the gotu kola extract improved the calmness of the subject and the highest dose increased the alertness of the subjects. Gotu kola therefore has central nervous system effects that may benefit cognition and mood.

gotu kola anxiety depression

Gotu kola has a number of health benefits because it is an adaptogenic herb with wide ranging biological activity. This may relate to the phytochemical content of the herb, that includes a number of compounds called asiaticosides.

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Wattanathorn, J., Mator, L., Muchimapura, S., Tongun, T., Pasuriwong, O., Piyawatkul, N., Yimatae, K., Sripanidkulchai, B. and Singkhoraard, J. 2008. Positive modulation of cognition and mood in the healthy elderly volunteer following the administration of Centella asiatica. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 116(2): 325-332
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Citrus Aurantium: Phytochemistry Influenced By Ripeness

weight lossCitrus is a large group of fruit bearing trees that include oranges and lemons. Citrus fruit are well known for their vitamin C content, but also contain a number of other phytochemicals that are of interest. Citrus aurantium is commonly known as the bitter orange, and like all citrus, it is a rich in vitamin C. The vitamin C in Citrus aurantium provides some of the antioxidant capacity the fruit is known for, and this may explain the benefits of Citrus aurantium on mental health. This is because foods high in antioxidants have been shown to have particularly beneficial effects on mood, and may act as anxiolytics and antidepressants. The antioxidant capacity of Citrus aurantium may also be due to the presence of polyphenols, which comprise mainly of naringin and neohesperidin. These polyphenols increase in concentration during ripening, which suggests that riper fruit may have a considerably higher antioxidant capacity compared to less ripe fruit. Similar observations have been made for other citrus fruit such as mandarin oranges.

citrus aurantium polyphenols

The seeds of citrus fruit can also be a rich source of polyphenols. Polyphenols found in citrus seeds include hydroxybenzoic acids, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, flavones, simple phenols and coumarin.

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Moulehi, I., Bourgou, S., Ourghemmi, I. and Tounsi, M. S. 2012. Variety and ripening impact on phenolic composition and antioxidant activity of mandarin (Citrus reticulate Blanco) and bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L.) seeds extracts. Industrial Crops and Products. 39: 74-80
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L-Theanine in Tea Leaves

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Treating Anxiety With Herbs

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