By Jon Trister MD
Nicotine is a drug found in tobacco, which makes smoking addictive. Nicotine can have a wide range of effects on the brain, including:
• boosting mood
• reducing depression
• reducing irritability
• enhancing concentration and short-term memory
• producing a sense of well-being
• reducing appetite
Nicotine can be as addictive as other drugs, including alcohol, cocaine, and morphine.Nicotine withdrawal makes it more difficult to quit. Withdrawal is the set of distressing physical symptoms that occur when you stop using an addictive substance.
What Are the Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal?
The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can begin within 30 minutes of your last use of tobacco. Symptoms will depend on level of addiction. Factors such as duration of used tobacco and how much tobacco se on a daily basis will impact the severity of your symptoms.
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include:
• intense cravings for nicotine
• tingling in the hands and feet
• nausea and intestinal cramping
• coughing, sore throat
• difficulty concentrating
• weight gain
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal typically peak within two to three days. The symptoms often go away by two weeks. Some people may experience nicotine withdrawal for several months.
How Is Nicotine Withdrawal Treated?
Several different treatment options are available for nicotine withdrawal. Over-the-counter nicotine replacement medications such as nicotine gum and skin patches, or prescription nicotine replacement methods such as inhalers and nasal sprays, can help reduce symptoms by slowly decreasing the amount of nicotine in your body.
Treatment may also include the use of non-nicotine prescription medications such as Chantix.
What Complications Are Associated with Nicotine Withdrawal?
Nicotine withdrawal is not a life-threatening condition. However, people may notice some physical or mood changes once they quit smoking. Some people gain weight as a result of stopping smoking
Some people may also experience mental health issues. Patients who have had episodes of depression in the past may experience a relapse. This may also occur for people who have had bipolar disorder or other substance abuse problems. Depression associated with nicotine withdrawal is often temporary and subsides with time. Depression is a treatable condition, but it can be life-threatening if it’s left untreated.
By Jon Trister MD
By Renata Trister , DO
Micronutrients and Macronutrients
The composition of our diet is essential to meeting the needs of our bodies and therefore it’s important to understand the types of nutrients can be split into: macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
The three macronutrients all have their own specific roles and functions in the body and supply us with calories or energy. For this reason, the body requires these nutrients in relatively large amounts to grow, develop, repair and feel good!
Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and should account for about 15-20% what you consume. They help by improving brain development, overall cell functioning, protecting the body’s organs and even helping you absorb vitamins found in foods.
Sources of healthy fats: Almonds, walnuts, seeds (pumpkin, chia), olives, and avocados.
Protein is essential for repairing and regenerating body tissues and cells, a healthy functioning immune system and manufacturing hormones.
Protein is found in meat, chicken, fish and eggs.
Good sources of plant protein: Beans, pulses and legumes, seeds (hemp, chia, flax), nuts (unsalted), quinoa, avocado, beets, raw greens (kale, spinach).
Carbohydrates are comprised of small chains of sugar, which are broken down into glucose and used as the body’s primarily energy source.
Healthy Carbohydrate options: Apples, bananas, cauliflower, carrots, oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa, chickpeas, and kidney beans.
What are micronutrients?
Vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients and instead of being a source of energy or calories like the macronutrients discussed earlier (proteins carbohydrates and fats) the micronutrients actually help us metabolize macronutrients into usable forms for our bodies and they are essential for overall health. They aid in all of our biological processes such as digestion, elimination and detoxification. Micronutrients help improve our immunity and resistance against disease. There are actually two groups of vitamins. The water-soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and vitamin C. Water-soluble vitamins are much more sensitive and are much more likely to be lost during the cooking process. It is actually better to eat vitamin B and C rich fruits/vegetables raw – keeping these nutrients intact. Water-soluble vitamins are also very sensitive to the passage of time. So let’s say we pick an avocado for instance if this avocados travel to long distance the water-soluble vitamins actually are going to be lost. This makes a very strong case for eating local foods as often as possible because they traveled a shorter distance. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K and these are found in the lipid portion of both plants and animals. Fat-soluble vitamins are actually stored in the body so deficiencies show symptoms later.
Minerals (such as Calcium, Iron etc.) are also very important, but frequently overlooked in the modern diet.
By Renata Trister DO
Antimicrobial action of Amyloid and Prion Protein PrP
Many neurological conditions are characterized by the formation of proteins or protein plaques in brain tissue. These proteins include amyloid beta and prion protein (PrP). Amyloid plaques are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Prion protein has been found in patients with Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and in some cases of depression. Prion protein is most famously found in Mad Cow Disease. In Mad Cow Disease and other “prion disorders” PrP protein is believed to fold incorrectly.
It is currently thought by many scientists that both amyloid beta and PrP are the causes of neurological inflammation and disease. In Alzheimer’s, amyloid beta “plaque” is believed to exacerbate symptoms and degeneration.
Recent studies at Mass General Hospital in Boston and Lund University in Sweden have called these ideas into question. These studies showed that both amyloid beta and PrP have another, previously unknown function: they are antimicrobial peptides. These antimicrobial peptides are natural, broad-spectrum antibiotics. They can kill bacteria, enveloped viruses, fungi and even cancer cells.
Therefore, if amyloid beta and PrP are antimicrobial, they likely have a protective function in patients with these neurological conditions. Amyloid and PrP most likely are actually the immune system’s response to infection in patients suffering from these diseases. Amyloid beta protects against fungal and bacterial infections. Mouse brains infected with Salmonella Typhi murium, amyloid beta formed in response to the infection. This data demonstrates that amyloid beta deposition, maybe a mediated response of the innate immune system to a perceived infection.
PrP protein is also an antimicrobial peptide. PrP peptides can destroy Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus.
PrP had an anti-fungal effect against Candida. PrP expression was found to increase in patients with H. Pylori infection, with levels returning to normal as the infection clears.
PrP has been found in skin cells of patients with psoriasis, contact dermatitis, squamous cell carcinomas, and viral warts. These conditions associated with micro biome imbalance of the skin. These findings also point to the possibility that prion protein is actually a response to an infection.
The pathology of these diseases may have an infectious component. The specific infectious agent in these neurological conditions is not yet identified. It is also possible that these proteins fight infection initially, but then with increasing levels cause more problems. Many Alzheimer’s medications are aimed at destroying amyloid deposits. These new findings call this approach into question.More
By Renata Trister DO
Health Benefits of Myrrh
Myrrh has antimicrobial, astringent, expectorant, antifungal, anticatarrhal, antiseptic, immune boosting, circulatory, tonic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties.
Scientifically called Commiphora Myrrha, myrrh is native to Egypt. The resin was frequently used in incense and perfumery.
In addition to extensive use in aromatherapy, myrrh has medicinal uses too.
Myrrh has antimicrobial properties. It can be used to prevent many problems occurring due to microbial infection. It has no adverse side effects, unlike other antibiotics, such as weakening of liver or digestive malfunction.
Myrrh is an astringent, which means that it strengthens the gums and muscles, intestines, and other internal organs, and smoothens the skin. One more serious aspect of this astringent property is that it stops hemorrhaging in wounds. When this astringency makes the blood vessels contract and checks the flow of blood, it can stop you from losing too much blood when wounded.
Myrrh is useful for a cough and cold. It fights the viral infections that can cause them, as well as relieves congestion, and reduces the deposition of phlegm in the lungs and respiratory tracts. Myrrh is an antifungal. It can be used both internally and externally to fight fungal infections.
Myrrh increases perspiration and removes toxins, extra salt, and excess water from your body. Sweating also cleans the skin pores and helps harmful gases like nitrogen escape.
Small amount of myrrh essential oil on cuts and wounds, can keep the cut from becoming infected.
Myrrh stimulates blood circulation and ensures the proper supply of oxygen to the tissues. This is good for attaining a proper metabolic rate as well as for boosting the immune system. Increasing the blood flow to all the parts of the body helps in staying healthy. This tonic effect helps the organs in the body, serving as a protection from premature aging and infection.
Caution: Despite these benefits myrrh it can have toxic effects if used in excess. Pregnant women should avoid it since it stimulates the uterus.
Fasting has been used to manage various chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity, allergy, autoimmune disorders as well as depression and anxiety. It is especially useful for chronic conditions, refractory to conventional treatments.
The 5 stages of prolonged water fasting, as used in the practice of Dr. Yuri Nikolayev, the Director of the Fasting Clinic of The Moscow Institute of Psychiatry.
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev treated more than 7,000 patients suffering from various conditions by using therapeutic fasting. The average duration of a fast would be 30 days.
Dr. Yuri Nikolayev (1905 – 1998) was first exposed to the practice of fasting in his early childhood. Whenever he or his brother Lev would get sick, their mother treated them with 2-3 days of fasting. He was very inspired by Upton Sinclair’s book The Fasting Cure. The two communicated in letters. These letters together with Sinclair’s book would have a profound influence on young Yuri’s personal experience with fasting as well as the implementation of therapeutic fasting in his medical practice.
Dr. Nikolayev cautioned that the hunger treatment should be administered only under carefully controlled conditions. The patient and his relatives must approve the procedure and the patient is thoroughly examined before the treatment starts.
Food Deprivation – Eating Cessation – The First 2-3 Days
During this first initial stage, the patient is being given a solution of MgSO4 (magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as Epsom salt) to trigger complete bowel discharge. The bitter after-taste is usually masked with a sip of juice. For this purpose, lemon water is used.
In the initial phase, the patient is very sensitive to any reference to food – visual, olfactory, or even a mere discussion about food. Any perception of food triggers salivary effects and may cause stomach cramps. Sleep is reduced and superficial, patients are irritable and may develop exacerbation of their symptoms. Weight loss is between 800 grams to 1 kg per day, blood pressure remains stable, while the cardiac rhythm may be easily intensified and irregular.
Acidosis Phase Day 3-5
Between the 3rd and 5th days of fasting, food no longer stimulates the patient. There are occasional headaches, dizziness – especially upon waking or going from sitting to standing. Nausea and generalized weakness are also reported.
The tongue is usually coated with a white layer. Blood sugar may decrease to 65% of its initial level. The feeling of nausea is due to the increased blood acidity. In reality, as the body adapts to the lack of food intake it starts burning its own fat, and the incomplete oxidation may result in products that increase acidity.
The protocol demands increasing water intake, as well as exercise – 3 hours daily.
This active routine is that helps the body ventilate, and sweat. This engages organs of elimination to eliminate toxins from the body (skin, kidneys, bowels, liver). Daily colonics are also used for this. During this stage ketosis has started. Your body is using fat stores for energy.
Burning fat has several benefits for your health—the first being weight loss. Ketosis is a predictable way to target fat stores that otherwise remain untouched even with a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, getting rid of that extra fat has a detoxifying effect on the body. Your body’s natural defenses use fat stores to store toxic metals and other toxins so they can’t wreak havoc on your system. However, during ketosis, these toxic metals and toxins are safely expelled from your body as fat reserves get used up. This cleansing effect may temporarily alter some people’s complexion or cause other signs of a healing crisis.
Compensation and Balance Day 4-7
During the 4-7 day the body suddenly regains balance and the overall status of the patient is radically altered. With the feeling of gone, the patients feel strong, motivated, with significant improvement in mood. After the tenth day, weight loss stabilizes at 200g/day, the white tongue coating clears and the tongue regains its pinkish color.
During stage three, your body starts to enter into a “healing mode.” This healing process begins as your digestive system takes a rest from daily toxins. Consequently, free radicals are reduced and oxidative stress decreases.
Fasting causes a kind of “mental power stress” that provides health benefits. This is a kind of mild stress that is comparable to the stress caused by the discipline of exercise, which ultimately makes you stronger and your immune system more resilient.
When the cumulative effects of this stage add up, they can be the catalyst for significant health improvements. Limiting free radicals and oxidative stress is the cornerstone of healthy aging. This healing process seems to improve health for some.
Another tremendous benefit is the accomplishment of personal goals and growth. Getting this far, the benefits becomes personal and extremely empowering. Fasting, especially beyond the first seven days, takes tremendous dedication. What you get out of the fast in these later stages can be a culmination of all the earlier stages plus the accomplishment of a personal challenge.
Breaking the Fast – Reintroducing Foods
Once the patient passes the crises and gains a feeling of euphoria. The symptoms begin to disappear, until the stored energy source is consumed. This occurs after about 30 days. By that time, the patient’s tongue is clean, his skin color is a healthy pink, bad breath disappears.
Food is reintroduced gradually. Diluted fruit juices are used first, then whole juices and grated fruit mixed with yogurt. Cooked vegetables and boiled cereals follow. Near the 40th day, normal eating is resumed. The doctor said the hunger treatment gives the entire nervous system and the brain a rest. The body is cleaned of poisons and the tissues and glands renovated.
Normal Alimentation (eating)
The fourth to the sixth day after breaking the fast the appetite of the patient may be significantly increased. This is when, at his request, he may be provided with more fruits, bread, and plenty of vegetables.
If the fasting cure was successful, the pathologic disorders of the patient will show improvement. Their blood pressure and the glucose levels stabilize at their initial values. The increased appetite and the increased mood usually last for 2-3 weeks after which they resume to normal.
(Dr. Nikolayev was a vegetarian; therefore his recommendations were low meat consumption). There are many variations of these fasts also.
In conclusion, therapeutic fasting may be a very powerful tool in optimizing wellbeing, it should be implemented with the most caution possible and under medical supervision. Prior to implementing this or any fast/diet discuss your options with your doctor.More
Medicinal Uses of Artemisia Herb
By Renata Trister DO
Artemisia commonly known as Wormwood is a perennial shrub-like plant of the aster family. It is the main ingredient of Absinthe, an alcoholic beverage.
Artemisia is one of the strongest bitters in the plant kingdom.
Artemisia’s biologically active compounds include:
Acetylenes (trans-dehydromatricaria ester, C13 and C14 trans-spiroketalenol ethers, and others)
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
Azulenes (chamazulene, dihydrochamazulenes, bisabolene, camphene, cadinene, sabinene, trans-sabinylacetate, phellandrene, pinene and others)
Flavonoids (quercitin 3-glucoside, quercitin 3-rhamnoglucoside, spinacetin 3-glucoside, spinacetin 3-rhamnoglucoside, and others)
Lignins (diayangambin and epiyangambin)
Phenolic acids (p-hydroxyphenylacetic, p-coumaric, chlorogenic, protocatechuic, vanillic, syringic and others)
Thujone and isothujone
sesquiterpene lactones (absinthin, artabsin, anabsinthin, artemetin, artemisinin, arabsin, artabin, artabsinolides, artemolin, matricin, isoabsinthin and others)
It also contains the anti-inflammatory agents artemisin and anabsinthine that gives this plant its bitter taste.
The bitter substances absithin and anabsinthin are thought to improve digestions and stimulate the digestive system. Historically, this herb was used as an herbal remedy for gallbladder, liver and stomach ailments.
It has been used traditionally as a natural treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colds, chronic fever, heartburn and to enhance the immune system.
Many people turn to natural and alternative treatments when it comes to problems with their gastrointestinal health, and for good reason. Studies show that herbal remedies like wormwood are as good or even better at fighting small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO symptoms.
Today’s typical treatment of SIBO is limited to oral antibiotics with varying rates of effectiveness. A 2014 study had 104 patients who tested positive for newly diagnosed SIBO take either a high dose of rifaximin or an herbal therapy daily for four weeks. The herbal products were specifically chosen because they contained antimicrobial herbs like wormwood, oregano oil, thyme and berberine extracts, which have been shown to provide broad-spectrum coverage against the types of bacteria most commonly involved in SIBO.
Of the patients who received herbal therapy, 46 percent showed no evidence of SIBO on follow-up tests compared to 34 percent of rifaximin users. Adverse effects reported among those taking rifaximin included anaphylaxis, hives, diarrhea and C. difficile colitis, while only one case of diarrhea and no other side effects were reported in the herbal therapy group.
The study concluded that herbal therapies are at least as effective as rifaximin for eradication of SIBO. Additionally, the herbal therapy with wormwood appears to be just as effective as triple antibiotic therapy for individuals who don’t respond to rifaximin. Artemisin also enhances the natural gastric acid and wall barrier.
This herb has anti-infective properties and has been used topically to treat wounds, cuts, and bruises to speed the healing process and prevent infection.
Due to the slight natural anesthetic effect of the herb, it has been used to ease pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism.
An extract made from the plant has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine to rid the body of intestinal worms like round worms and pin worms. This is how the common name wormwood was derived.
Recent experiments have shown that artemisin is effective against the malaria parasite because it reacts with the high levels of iron in the parasite to produce free radicals. The free radicals then destroy the cell walls of the malaria parasite.
Wormwood is thought to have a calming effect and could be helpful to those suffering from epilepsy and muscle spasms and to treat mild forms of depression.
This plant is also also used as an insect repellent.More
By Renata Trister, DO
Medicinal Uses of Thuja
Thuja tree has been used traditionally for centuries by the Native Americans to treat a variety of conditions. Homeopathic practitioners have also used it extensively.
Branches and leaves were made into tincture and used to treat a cough, fever, headache, intestinal parasites, cystitis and venereal diseases.
Topically, thuja was used to treat burns, rheumatism, gout, arthritis, warts, and psoriasis.
Thuja is most commonly used against warts. It is also used for acute bronchitis and respiratory conditions. Thuja has expectorant and anti-catarrhal properties.
Additionally, Thuja has been used to treat cystitis.
Extracts of the herb can be applied to painful joints and muscles to increase blood circulation, reducing pain.
For warts thuja is used topically – usually in the form of an essential oil.
The essential oil is only used to burn away warts. When the oil is used in this regard, glycerol is applied to the area surrounding the wart as a protection and then the poisonous essential oil is used on the wart itself.
Thuja has also antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and is used for the treatment of infected wounds, burns and skin infections such as ringworm.
Recently, German scientists demonstrated that Thuja strengthens the immune system by stimulating T lymphocytes and increase interleukin-2 production.
Growing evidence also shows that theses properties of Thuja may be effective for spirochete illnesses such as Lyme. Furthermore, Thuja has promising effects in fighting co-infections that are seen with chronic Lyme. The virus-resistant and immune strengthening properties of the herb can also be used as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.More
Medicinal Benefits of Boswellia
By Renata Trister DO
Frankincense is the common name for the resin extracted from Boswellia trees. Boswellia serrata is a tree native to India. Compounds derived from this tree have been found to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Boswellia trees have been used to treat inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease for hundreds of years. This resin is also used in many spiritual and religious practices (Churches etc).
Extracts of the Boswellia tree inhibit certain pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators that can damage DNA, feed tumor growth and destroy healthy cells. Over the past several decades, research has given us a better understanding of how boswellia and frankincense oils may benefit our health and boost the immune system. Boswellia extracts seem to lower inflammation and support immune function on multiple levels, including:
Interfering with cytokine production that raises inflammation (interferon gamma, interleukin-4 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha)
Delaying reactions to sensitivities
Helping regulate lymphocytes (white blood cells) and T-cells interactions
Regulating production of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies, which protect the body from bacterial and viral infections
Regulating production of immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies, which are found mainly in the blood and lymph fluid
Boswellia helps lower inflammation and prevents autoimmune diseases. Inflammation is the response of bodily tissues to any form of irritation, injuries, infections or disorders of the immune system. Whenever you feel pain, redness, swelling and sometimes loss of function, this is inflammation attempting to heal you.
Leukotrienes are small chemicals that contribute to inflammation by promoting free radical damages, autoimmune responses, cell adhesion and migration of the cells to any injured areas.
Terpenes and boswellic acids are anti-inflammatory and protective to healthy cells. These components of Boswellia have been most researched. Terpenes are strong-smelling chemicals found in certain plants, (eucalyptus, basil, peppermint and citrus trees). These plants are also associated with antioxidant activity. Terpenes function to protect the plants from predators and environmental stressors.
Other chemical compounds have been identified in boswellia that naturally reduce the inflammatory response by controlling T-lymphocytes, especially one called AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid). Although it works similarly to NSAID pain relievers, AKBA’s exact mechanisms of action are very different because they target different inflammatory enzymes. Because they’re better able to preserve the integrity of the stomach and gut lining, boswellia extracts cause less side effects and pose less risk for toxicity compared to NSAIDs.
AKBA helps fight pain thanks in part to its ability to inhibit an enzyme called 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) and therefore shuts down mechanisms of leukotrienes, which are inflammatory mediators produced by the process of oxidation (specifically of arachidonic acid). AKBA has shown to be effective in helping to fight against a large number of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, bronchial asthma, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and cancer.
Another active component of boswellia is called incensole acetate, which has similar powers over lowering inflammatory reactions, especially those that target the brain and speed up cognitive decline. Studies show that incensole acetate is protective over neurons, helps fight the formation of tumors and has mood-enhancing benefits, making it a potential natural antidepressant and anti-anxiety compound.
Boswellia serrata extract is so powerful that today it’s considered comparable to NSAID pain relievers.
Boswellia and turmeric have similar actions and some research shows that when used together, these two herbs potentiate each other’s effects.
Renata Trister DO
Medicinal Benefits of Ginger
Ginger has over 40 pharmacological actions.
To summarize these include antibacterial, antioxidant, antifungal and anti-parasitic properties.
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, and therefore useful for pain relief.
Ginger is also a thermogenic substance with beneficial impacts on metabolism.
The medicinal uses of ginger have been known for at least 2,000 years in cultures all around the world. Although it originated in Asia, ginger is valued in India, the Middle East and Africa.
The most commonly used medicinal portion of the ginger plant is the root-stem, which grows underground.
Ginger (like many natural plant compounds) is anti-inflammatory, which makes it a valuable tool for pain relief. In 2001, research showed that ginger oil helped reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis. Therefore ginger may be used instead of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to decrease joint pain, muscle soreness and menstrual pain.
Along with help for muscle and joint pain, ginger has been found to reduce the severity of migraine headaches as well as the migraine medication Sumatriptan – with fewer side effects.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties make it beneficial for many chronic inflammatory diseases.
Ginger also can benefit in treatment of diabetes. According to one comprehensive review, a clinical trial that was performed found that after consuming three grams of dry ginger powder for 30 days, diabetic participants had a significant reduction in blood glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. It’s thought that ginger has a positive effect on diabetes because it:
Inhibits enzymes in carbohydrate metabolism
Increases insulin release and sensitivity
Improves lipid profiles
Ginger also has also been established to have a protective effect on the diabetic’s liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and eyes.
Ginger is most famously used for treating digestive upsets. It is one of the best natural remedies for motion sickness or nausea.
Taking one gram of ginger daily may help reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, and those suffering from motion sickness.
Ginger is great for indigestion. Ginger relieves pain and is an antispasmodic agent, which may explain its beneficial effects on your intestinal tract.
Finally, ginger is a thermogenic or metabolism boosting substance with beneficial impacts on overall metabolism and fat storage. Research suggests that consuming thermogenic ingredients like ginger may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent.More
By Renata Trister DO
The B vitamin family has eight B vitamins. Viewed as a group called B complex, this vitamin family works together, however each of the B vitamins has unique function. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body uses to produce energy. These B vitamins, help the body metabolize fats and protein. B-complex vitamins are needed for a healthy liver, skin, hair, eyes and nervous system function. This is a quick guide to each member of these important vitamins.
Thiamin is needed to produce cellular energy from the food, it also supports normal nervous system function. It is rare to be deficient in thiamine, although alcoholics, people with Cohn’s disease, anorexia, and those undergoing kidney dialysis may be deficient. Symptoms of thiamine deficiency include:
Thiamine plays a crucial role in metabolic reactions. Your body needs it to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which every cell of the body uses for energy. Thiamine deficiency can occur in alcoholics, people with Cohn’s disease, anorexia, and those undergoing kidney dialysis may be deficient. Symptoms of thiamine deficiency are:
People with thiamine deficiency have trouble digesting carbohydrates. This allows a substance called pyruvic acid to build up in the bloodstream, causing a loss of mental alertness, difficulty breathing, and heart damage, a disease known as beriberi.
The most important use of thiamine is to treat beriberi, which is caused by not getting enough thiamine in your diet. Symptoms include:
Swelling, tingling, or burning sensation in the hands and feet
Trouble breathing because of fluid in the lungs
Uncontrolled eye movements (nystagmus)
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a brain disorder brought on by thiamine deficiency. Wernicke disease involves damage to nerves in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Malnutrition due to alcoholism is mostly the cause. Thiamin is found in lentils, beans, meats, yeast, nuts, sunflower seeds, peas, milk, cauliflower, spinach.
Also known as vitamin B2, riboflavin supports cellular energy production. Riboflavin is found in a variety of foods such as fortified cereals, milk, eggs, salmon, beef, spinach and broccoli.
Niacin is also known as vitamin B3, and supports cellular energy production. Niacin, in the form of nicotinic acid, helps support cardiovascular health. Good sources of niacin include beef, poultry and fish as well as whole wheat bread, peanuts and lentils.
B5 Pantothenic Acid:
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is widely available in plant and animal food sources and helps support cellular energy production in the body. Sources include organ meats (liver, kidney), egg yolks, grains, avocados, cashew nuts, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, brown rice and milk.
Involved in over 100 cellular reactions throughout the body. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is needed to metabolize amino acids and glycogen (the body’s storage form of glucose), and is also necessary for normal nervous system function and red blood cell formation. Vitamin B6 is found in foods such as meat, poultry, eggs, bananas, fish and cooked spinach.
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is found in brewer’s yeast, strawberries, organ meat, cheese and soybeans. For those who are biotin deficient, studies show that biotin may help support healthy hair, skin and nails. Biotin also supports carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism.
Also known as vitamin B9, folic acid is most commonly known for its role in fetal health and development as it plays a critical role in the proper development of the nervous system. This important developmental process occurs during the initial weeks of pregnancy, and so adequate folic acid intake is especially important for all women of childbearing age. Good sources are dark green leafy vegetables such as well as brewer’s yeast, liver, beets, dates and avocados.
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin is also needed for DNA synthesis, proper red blood cell formation and for normal nervous system function. B12 is predominantly found in foods of animal origin such as chicken, beef, fish, milk and eggs.More