Sleep Restoration with melatonin and noboletin

Other than nutrition and exercise, sleep is generally considered one of the most components to a healthy life. It’s an essential function that our body needs to facilitate memory, learning, immune health, metabolism, mood regulation, muscle repair, and so much more.

Unfortunately, millions of Americans experience insufficient or poor quality sleep (and often both). According to the American Sleep Association, about 40% of adults between the ages of 20 and 59 experience sleep deprivation (the typical person needs an average of 8 hours of sleep per night), and upwards of 70 million Americans have a diagnosable sleep disorder, such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea.

With so many people struggling to get a decent night’s rest—and so many serious health problems associated with poor sleep—it’s no wonder that researchers are frequently looking for ways to help people catch those Zzz’s. 

One promising solution is the addition of two natural supplements—melatonin and noboletin. 

What the Research Says: Improving Sleep with Melatonin and Noboletin

Both melatonin and noboletin are natural compounds that have been shown to help you fall and stay asleep. Unlike prescription sleep aids, these compounds are considered relatively safe, aren’t addictive, and are free from issues dependency and withdrawal. 

First things first: melatonin. Your body actually produces this compound naturally. In your body, this hormone helps you enter the relaxed state that is conducive to sleep. People often prefer supplementing melatonin to help combat insomnia or jet lag.

Meanwhile, noboletin—which is a flavanoid derived from citrus peels—has been studied extensively. In addition to helping regulate circadian rhythm (the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle) and ease jet lag, this compound has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Human and animal models have shown that noboletin supplementation can even improve glucose tolerance, cholesterol, cardiovascular health—all of which can be negatively impacted by long-term sleep deprivation!

Other Ways to Enhance Sleep Naturally

In addition to trying a natural supplement such as melatonin or noboletin (with input from your doctor), you can improve your sleep through a variety of other natural methods which don’t involve dependency on potentially addictive and harmful sleep medications. 

Consider the following science-backed methods:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Yup—weekends, too.
  • Sleep in a pitch dark room with an ambient temperature of around 63 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Avoid eating within 3 hours of bed time. Digesting food as you sleep can disrupt blood sugar and hormone levels.
  • Keep lights low near bedtime, and turn off phones and other electronic devices at least an hour before hitting the sack. This minimizes your exposure to blue light emissions (which can throw off your body’s biological rhythm) as well as stimulating media.

Conclusion

The potential health consequences of long-term sleep deprivation are dire. Research suggests that poor sleep has been associated with an increased risk of chronic health problems ranging from diabetes and obesity to heart disease and immune compromise.

Wondering if noboletin or melatonin can enhance your sleep quality? Consult with your doctor and be sure to start with high quality supplements.

Resources:

https://endpoints.elysiumhealth.com/the-complete-guide-to-the-science-of-circadian-rhythms-7b78581cbffa

Sleep and Sleep Disorder Statistics

http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy-sleep/sleep-science/melatonin-for-sleep-does-it-work

https://www.drugs.com/npp/nobiletin.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289493/

Parkinson’s Disease shows promise with Nicotinamide Riboside

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a type of neurodegenerative disorder that affects an estimated 10 million around the world. According to Parkinson’s Foundation, as many as 1 million people will be living with PD in the United States alone by 2020. 

Doctors and scientists have been learning more about this condition for decades. Those affected by it have been advocating for it for years (actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed at age 29, has been a prominent figure). Still to this day, many questions about PD exist. 

One area of research that is meriting closer attention? The possibility that a simple vitamin compound known as nicotinamide riboside could actually play a helpful role in the management of the disease.

Parkinson’s Disease 101

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease that causes nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra to weaken and die over time. The nerve cells which end up degenerating and dying produce a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is a brain chemical messenger that contributes to a variety of functions in the body, including movement.

This loss of dopamine producing nerve cells ultimately explains the primary symptoms of PD—changes with movement. In the earliest stages of the disease, a person may begin to notice issues such as tremor, slower movement, and muscle or limb twitches. Symptoms worsen gradually over time, and eventually can cause a person to have extreme difficulty with basic functional tasks. They may become extremely rigid, have trouble writing or speaking, and experience marked difficulty with things like posture, balance, walking, and blinking. 

PD affects men at about 1.5 times as often as women, and while advancing age is a common risk factor, estimates indicate that around 4% of people living with PD were diagnosed before age 50. Other risk factors include genes and exposure to certain environmental toxins such as herbicides.

Currently, there isn’t a cure for PD, however symptoms can generally be well-managed through medications. These medications can be expensive, however, and may come with unpleasant side effects. 

In an effort to explore different options, some researchers are finding that a simple enzyme precursor may make a huge difference.

Promising News: How This Alternative Form of Vitamin B3 Can Help People with PD

A study was recently published in the June 2018 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports. Researchers tested neural stem cell lines from people with PD with a substance called nicotinamide riboside, better known as niacin, an alternate form of Vitamin B3. The researchers also tested nicotinamide riboside in fruit flies who had the same genetic defect seen in people with PD.

Why test with this compound? As it turns out,once inside the body nictonamide riboside gives rise to an enzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+ plays several roles in the body, including regulating the biological clock (circadian rhythm), converting food into energy, strengthening cellular defense systems, enhancing cellular metabolism, and repairing damaged mitochondria (which produce cellular energy) and DNA.

This last point is what interested the researchers most. After all, mitochondrial damage is known to occur in nerve cells damaged in the development and progression of PD. If, the researchers hypothesized, nicotinamide riboside could repair damaged mitochondria, could supplementing with this vitamin B compound help manage the underlying neurodegenerative disease?

Their findings were promising. Not only did nicotinaimide riboside boost NAD+ production and subsequent mitochondrial repair in diseased cells, but it actually prevented nerve cell loss in the PD flies and preserved mobility. 

The researchers also noted that nicotinaimide riboside is generally well-tolerated, and—because it increases NAD+ production—also offers other health benefits, including protection of cardiovascular health, vision, and diabetes.

Conclusion

The results of this study on nicotinamide riboside are promising for people living with Parkinson’s disease, as well as for people at risk for developing it. As an added benefit, supplementing with this anti-aging compound is relatively affordable, well tolerated, and safe. 

To learn more, speak with your doctor. 

Resources:

Nicotinamide riboside shows promise for treatment of Parkinson’s disease

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6182092/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parkinsons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20376055

https://parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/Statistics

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nicotinamide-riboside

Colorectal Cancer protection with Vitamin D

As many as 40% of Americans are estimated to be deficient in Vitamin D. This important nutrient is famously linked with bone health—and for good reason. Research shows that Vitamin D helps the body absorb and utilize calcium, which is an essential mineral for bone health.

But the benefits of this vitamin don’t stop there. In fact, new research reveals a surprising link between Vitamin D insufficiency and a leading type of cancer.

Deficiency in Vitamin D Associated with an Increased Risk for Colorectal Cancer

In the June 2018 edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a team of researchers determined that people with higher levels of Vitamin D in their blood had a lower risk of colorectal cancer. 

According to the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death for men and women. It’s also the third most commonly diagnosed cancer, affecting an estimated 1 out of every 20 people. 

The study in question, titled “Circulating Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer Risk: An International Pooling Project of 17 Cohorts,” provided strong evidence for the cancer-protective effect of Vitamin D. They also found that people with the lowest levels of Vitamin D were 31% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

In addition to colorectal cancer, low levels of Vitamin D have also been associated with an increased risk of many other chronic health conditions, including multiple sclerosis, depression, and diabetes.

It’s Not Just About The Bones—More Surprising Benefits of Vitamin D

Cancer prevention? Sign us up! But this isn’t the only benefits of Vitamin D. The “sunshine vitamin” has also been shown to:

  • Strengthen the immune system, which can help you fight off illness, injury, and disease
  • Improves fetal development during pregnancy
  • Optimizes healthy lung and heart function
  • Helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels

As mentioned, Vitamin D also strengthens your bones, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis and other skeletal health issues.

Final Thoughts: How Much and How to Get?

Whether you’re at risk for colorectal cancer, your health likely stands to benefit from adding more Vitamin D into your diet. 

Perhaps the best way to get adequate Vitamin D is from healthy sun exposure—about 10-15 minutes around midday prior to donning sunscreen (this varies depending on factors such as time of year, geography, and skin color). You can also source Vitamin D from foods such as whole eggs, beef liver, cod liver oil, salmon, trout, and (if tolerable) dairy products such as fortified milk.

Vitamin D is also easy and affordable to take in a supplement. Indeed, supplementation is advised in many cases, since most adults don’t get enough levels of Vitamin D through their diet alone. Vitamin D supplementation is especially important for older people and people who live in Northern climates, where they have less sun exposure throughout the year. 

How much do you need? The current recommended daily intake for Vitamin D is around 400–800 IU/day. However, many studies show that consuming higher amounts of Vitamin D—upwards of 2,000 to 4,000 IU per day or more—may not only be safe but optimal for certain health protective benefits, including that of colorectal cancer.

As always, it’s recommended to chat with your physician before starting or stopping any new medication or supplement. Even Vitamin D, which is largely recognized as safe and essential, can become dangerous if consumed at high levels.

But if you’re not currently taking Vitamin D, it may be time to consider adding it to your daily health routine—especially if you have risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Resources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-from-sun#overview

https://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/464f3006-0bb2-4f1a-a338-0b21d148bacb/Factsheet-Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-D.pdf.aspx

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php

https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/jnci/djy087

https://5xlhc2qz20k3jc6dy3g31xb4-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019_OMS_FactSheet-2.pdf

Autism protection with Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids—found abundantly in foods such as flaxseed fatty fish as well as in supplement form—have long been heralded as an important part of a healthy diet. Research shows that adding more omega-3 fatty acid to your diet can help with everything from easing symptoms of depression to reducing the risk of heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and inflammation.

Pregnant women are explicitly advised to consume omega-3 fatty acid supplements (namely high quality fish oil) because of the supplement’s positive effect on fetal neural development.

Given this compound’s health-boosting benefits for both mind and body, many researchers have initiated studies with the goal of answering an important question:

Can omega-3 fatty acid help adults, teens, and children living with autism?

Understanding Autism

Autism constitutes a range of neurodevelopmental conditions which impact the way a person communicates, interacts with others, and perceives their environment. With diagnoses typically beginning in the toddler years, common symptoms include decreased eye contact, lack of “make believe” play, difficulty expressing needs and feelings, repetitive language or movement, and difficulty interacting with or showing interest in others.

In the United States alone, approximately 1% of the population is affected by autism or a similar condition on the spectrum, and around 1 in 59 children—and the prevalence is growing. Autism is the fastest growing neurodevelopmental condition—and growing with it are the individual, familial, social, and economic costs of helping people with this condition.

While doctors and researchers don’t yet know the exact cause of autism—which at its core is believed to be related to atypical brain structure and function—biological, genetic, and environmental risk factors have been identified.

Lastly, while autism has no cure, it can be managed through services such as pharmacology and therapy. Many health-conscious parents (and doctors) also choose to seek holistic ways to help their children manage their symptoms more appropriately.

One leading area of holistic interest? Nutrition—particularly the addition of omega-3 fatty acids.

What’s the Link? Potential Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for People With Autism

Research has already shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help manage and improve symptoms of ADHD and mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Promisingly, systematic reviews of the literature (which include several small randomized controlled trials) have also revealed that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may be able to manage symptoms of autism, as well.

For instance, small randomized controlled trials have found that giving omega-3 fatty acids to children with autism may improve social interaction, social responsiveness, mood stabilization, and functional communication.

A leading hypothesis for these potential beneficial effects? Omega-3 fatty acid’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects—also the driving factor behind the popular compound’s other noted health benefits.

By and large, the medical and scientific communities agree that more research needs to be done to further explain if and how omega-3 fatty acids help people with autism. But given how safe omega-3 fatty acid is and how many other known health benefits it can offer, the consensus is that supplementation can be an effective complement to behavioral therapy and other traditional care approaches.

Conclusion

Do you have a child living with autism spectrum disorder? Curious about omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and how it could help? Consult with your pediatrician for more information. You know your loved one best, and you may be surprised by the results.

Resources:
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5108126/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2710498/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751211/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28256376

What is Autism?