The brain can become unbalanced when substances like drugs or alcohol are taken. Drugs interact with naturally occurring chemicals in the brain and virtually all mind-altering substances have some impact on the brain’s neurotransmitters used to send signals of pleasure. Drugs and alcohol can raise dopamine levels 2-10 times more than things like food or sex may.
Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter responsible for transmitting signals in-between the nerve cells in the brain. It is known as the ‘feel good hormone’ as it is associated with feelings of euphoria, bliss, motivation and concentration.
Is Your Brain Unbalanced?
It would be very useful to find out which neurotransmitter you are dominant in and which you are deficient in.
I read an extremely interesting book called ‘The Edge Effect’ by Eric R Braverman. This is based on the idea that if you balance the neurotransmitters in the brain you can regain better emotional and physical health. This methodology can also be used to reverse and prevent many diseases. The ‘Edge Effect’ methodology can also be used as a powerful tool to help balance the neurotransmitters in the brain.
By doing ‘The Braverman Personality Type Assessment’ – either online or in the book ‘The Edge Effect’, you can find out which neurotransmitter you are dominant in and which you are deficient in. You will then be better equipped to begin to look at balancing the brain naturally using supplements.
Peter Smith, who is based in London, is an expert at balancing brain chemistry naturally. His website has a depth of information on balancing brain chemistry naturally with supplements. Therefore, I advise you to visit this website and consider contacting Peter Smith who has a wealth of knowledge and expertise on this subject.
Jordan’s first visit to Peter Smith Balancing Brain Chemistry was in June 2014 just over three years before he took his own life. He is extremely knowledgeable in his field and is well worth a visit at any stage in your recovery but extremely valuable in the beginning.
At that time Jordan had a lovely girlfriend and they seemed happy. They both smoked cannabis but, having decided that they wanted to make a future together, they decided that they would try to quit smoking cannabis. To help get this started Jordan went to London to see Peter Smith and came back with lots of information and a prescription for various supplements. I researched all the supplements and sourced the best suppliers. Jordan started on them along with other supplements that I knew would be beneficial for Jordan’s recovery and good health.
I have listed after each supplement the supplier that I used. It is important when using supplements to read the ingredients before you buy them and to make sure that you are buying a high-quality product free from common allergens, wheat, dairy, gluten etc. It should have no fillers, no binders, coatings, added colours or sweeteners.
Jordan’s prescription was as follows:
In the morning:
- Super Omega 3 Fish Oil – (Life Extension)
- Choline and Inositol 250mg (Swanson)
- Tyrosine 500mg – (Twin Lab)
- Magnesium 250mg (Cytoplan, Life Extension)
- Vitamin d 3000iu daily
- Rhodiola 400-500mg (Viridium)
- B-Complex – recommended dosage (Lift Extension)
- Theanine – 200-400mg (Cytoplan)
- Sam E – 250 – 500mg – (Jarrows Formula) (initially this worked for Jordan but later he thought this was not agreeing with him)
- Good Probiotic (Renew Life)
In the evening:
- Tyrosine 500mg then increase to 1000mg
- Magnesium – 250mg
- Tryptophan – 1000mg (Viridian)
- Sam E – 250mg – 500mg (Jarrows Formula)
This worked really well for Jordan for quite some time. I would put the tablets in a small bag for him – am’s and pm’s – so it was easy for him to take them. Jordan said that he felt much better and felt that the supplements were really working, Unfortunately after some months Jordan and his girlfriend returned to smoking cannabis. Jordan wanted to go back on the supplements just before he ended his life; we were waiting for some of the tablets to be delivered.
Jordan’s prescription would not suit everyone, and it is always best to seek professional advice.
ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE BEFORE BEGINNING ANY TREATMENT EVEN IF IT IS ONLY SUPPLEMENTAL AS BELOW
This website has a depth of information on balancing brain chemistry naturally with supplements. I would, therefore, advise you to visit this website and consider contacting Peter Smith who has a wealth of knowledge and expertise on this subject.
Since losing Jordan I have been suffering from depression myself and have used various supplements to help balance my brain and alleviate the symptoms. I truly believe that these supplements have really helped me.
Supplements that I have used and have benefitted from greatly include:
Inositol is a very safe substance to take with no known drug interactions or significant side effects and so you can simply try it on yourself and see if you find it helpful. You should consider trying inositol for:
- Bipolar disorder
- Suicidal depression
- Panic and anxiety disorders
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder PMDD
I use choline and inositol 250mg (Swanson).
Rhodiola has long been known as an adaptogen, a natural substance that increases your body’s resistance to stress in non-specific ways. Rhodiola has been shown to simulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine activity. The proper balance of these neurotransmitters is believed to be involved in healthy emotional health and neurological function. There have been many studies on the effects of supplementing with Rhodiola proving significant improvements in symptoms of stress, fatigue, depression and anxiety. I feel it is working really well for me. I take 2 x 500mg capsules per day but you would need to find which dose suits you.
Sam-e stands for S-adenosyl-L-Methionine. It’s a chemical found naturally in the body which is thought to play a role in many different metabolic pathways. There have been many clinical trials on Sam-E resulting in encouraging evidence for the efficiency of Sam-e for people with depression and anxiety. Sam-e may not be safe for people with bipolar disorder. I find this works well for me – I take 1 x 200mg which is a relatively low dose. Dosage is very much down to the individual.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
Omega 3s can easily travel through the brain’s cell membrane and interact with the mood-related molecules inside the brain. They have anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve depression. Omega 3s plays an important role in brain function. Don’t forget – It’s best to consult your doctor before taking supplements.
Theanine – Cytoplan
L-theanine is a non-essential amino acid. It promotes relaxation and facilitates sleep by lowering anxiety. People have been using L-theanine for anxiety and depression for years. It works by reducing certain chemically-produced signals responsible for negative emotions. Its mechanism of action involves elevating levels of Gaba, serotonin and dopamine. All three compounds are neurotransmitters responsible for regulating many cognitive functions. These functions include mood, energy and feelings of alertness. L-theanine works really well for me.
Vitamin B-12 and B Complex (Pure and Life Extension)
Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate may be linked to depression. Several studies have shown that B-12 may be helpful for those suffering from depression and anxiety. Vegans and vegetarians risk B12 deficiency and it is therefore better to supplement B-12. I am vegetarian and supplement B-12 every day.
L-Glutamine – Allergy Research
L-Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that it can be acquired from food and also manufactured by your body. There are few studies on the effects of Glutamine on stress, anxiety, depression and other brain imbalances. However, Glutamine is the precursor (meaning a substance from which another is formed, especially by metabolic reaction) to another amino acid called Gaba. Gaba is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, meaning that it has a calming effect on your nervous system.
Glutamine is an important energy source for your intestinal and immune cells. It helps maintain the barrier between the inside of your intestines and the rest of your body, helping to protect and repair a leaky gut. This prevents undigested food toxins and bacteria from your intestines entering into the rest of your body where they can cause food allergies, depression and other disorders.
Taurine – Allergy Research
Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the central nervous system and it has various important functions. Humans can produce taurine naturally but often not in sufficient amounts. People who, for one reason or another, cannot make taurine must obtain all of their taurine from their diet or supplements. Taurine is found in meat, fish, chicken, turkey and seafood. Taurine plays a major role in neurotransmitter regulation, helping to calm and stabilise your mind much like Gaba does. Taurine levels are very concentrated in the brain where it aids in transporting potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium in and out of the cells. It can be used to control stress and anxiety and also functions as a mild sedative.
Always take care when supplementing with taurine whilst taking other prescription medicines. As with all supplements, always check with your GP before taking them, especially if you are on prescription medicines as there may be side-effects or interactions.
Acetyl L-Carnitine – Life Extension
According to a Stanford University School of Medicine Scientist and her collaborators, results in a multi-centre study showed that people with depression have low blood levels of acetyl-l-carnitine. People with severe or treatment resistant depression, or whose bouts of depression began earlier in life, have particularly low blood levels of the substance.
There have been many other studies which also prove that people with depression have low blood levels of acetyl l-carnitine
Bio-Curcumin – Life Extension
Curcumin, a common kitchen spice, is actually a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It is, therefore, particularly helpful for people with depression as they have greater inflammation and oxidative stress which can affect all major organs in the body, including the brain. Chronic inflammation can decrease levels of serotonin and dopamine and lead to degeneration in certain brain areas. It is possible that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin can restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood. Whilst further research is still required, curcumin certainly seems like a promising treatment for depression
Probiotics – Royal Flora (Wolfe Clinic) or Probio Basic-Pure
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you. Your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad and they need to be in balance. Probiotics can help balance your good and bad bacteria. Recent studies demonstrate that the brain talks to the gut. However, the gut also talks to the brain; they call it the ‘gut-brain axis’. A person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress or depression. Probiotics can help to heal a leaky gut which can cause a whole list of health problems including depression. The evidence for probiotics alleviating depressive symptoms is compelling. However, further studies are warranted to further assess efficiency.
Vitamin C – Life Extension
It is surprising to find out that Vitamin C’s least known and most powerful function may be in preventing and treating depression and anxiety. Vitamin C is most recognised for boosting the immune system, preventing scurvy, strokes and preventing and fighting some cancers. It can improve or reverse symptoms of anxiety and depression. According to studies, Vitamin C is best taken in the morning.
Vitamin D – Life Extension
Vitamin D is a hormone rather than a vitamin. It is required to regulate body levels of calcium and phosphorus and used in mineralisation of bone. It is mainly produced in the skin in response to sunlight but can also be absorbed from food eaten. Vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK, probably due to the lack of exposure to the sun. More and more evidence is emerging about the importance of Vitamin D on health. Lack of this vitamin has been linked to the development of depression, although the direct relevance and mechanisms underlying these responses remain unknown.
Magnesium – Life Extension
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body and is needed for more than three hundred biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function and helps to support a healthy immune system. Studies have associated low magnesium levels with an increased risk of depression and a lack of magnesium may cause nerve dysfunction and promote mental problems in some people.
Melatonin – Life Extension (prescription only in the UK)
Melatonin is a regulatory circadian hormone having a hypnotic and anti- depressive effect. It has very few adverse effects compared with the more commonly used antidepressants and hypnotics. Though your body produces melatonin naturally, it may not be enough. Supplementing with melatonin before bed can improve sleep and regulate the circadian rhythm thereby easing anxiety and negative feelings. Your body naturally produces higher levels of melatonin at night. It is, therefore, important to get the right amount of sleep at night as lack of sleep can make symptoms of depression and anxiety feel a lot worse.
5HTP (5-hydroxytyptophan) – Jarrow Formulas
5-HTP is an amino acid that your body naturally produces. It is not found in food but is created from another amino acid called tryptophan.
Tryptophan is found in meat, poultry, seafood, dairy and eggs.
The reason that 5-HTP is potentially useful for so many different disorders is that when it is ingested it is converted into two important ‘master’ chemicals; serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter known as the ‘happy molecule’ due to it’s role in supporting a positive mood. People low in this brain chemical often suffer from depression, anxiety, insomnia, low self-esteem, negative thoughts etc. I alternate between taking melatonin and 5HTP. Sometimes I will take 5HTP for three to four nights then switch to melatonin for three to four nights. Occasionally, if I need a really good night’s sleep, I will take both together before bed.
Valerian Drops – A Vogel 30-50 drops
Valerian is a herb which is most commonly used as a sleep aid but can also be taken orally for anxiety and stress. Valerian is a sedative herb that has been used for centuries for the treatment of insomnia. It increases the Gaba levels in the brain thereby helping to reduce the brain’s activity and allow users to relax and fall asleep more easily.