SAMe Aids Major Depressive Disorder
As many as 29% to 46% of patients with major depression show only a
partial response, even no response to what is considered adequate
antidepressant therapy. Currently in this situation physicians increase
the dose of an antidepressant, switch antidepressant, or add a second
antidepressant in the hopes of greater success. Studies are also
focusing on adding nonpharmaceutical agents to the drug therapy for
a better result, or even using nondrug agents alone. SAMe is one of
these valuable nutrient agents. SAMe has been extensively studied
and impressive literature going back 3 decades supports its
antidepressant efficacy. This study reviews the literature supporting
the use of SAMe for major depression. SAMe has good activity in
major depression. The study appears in the December 2003 issue of
Current Psychiatry Reports.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
The following nutrients are helpful with all levels of depression
- DHA, B-complex vitamins, and Magnesium. L-Theanine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine,
NADH, and Phosphatidylserine complex are also useful. Alpha-Lipoic
Acid and Coenzyme Q10 may be helpful.
Glycosylated Hemoglobin Can Cause Heart Disease even in Non-Diabetics
Glycated hemoglobin is the burning of hemoglobin by excess sugar -
it is a form of glycation, a very dangerous free radical generator.
Physicians check the level of glycated hemoglobin in diabetics because
it gives them a 6 to 12 week portrait of a patients sugar levels and
aids their evaluation of diabetes therapy. In the first study,
researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK reviewed the
effects of chronic elevated blood sugar in both diabetics and non-diabetics.
Chronically elevated blood sugar as assessed by elevations of glycated
hemoglobin increased the risk of having cardiovascular disease.
This study of over 10,000 people shows that the higher the level of
glycosylated hemoglobin, the higher the risk of having coronary
artery disease, cardiovascular disease, or dying. For both women
and men each point increase in HbA1C (glycated hemoglobin) increased
the risk of death by 20% to 30%.
In the second study researchers at Johns Hopkins conducted a
meta-analysis that included 10 studies of patients with type 2
diabetes, and 3 studies with type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent
diabetes). The analysis of the 13 studies shows that increasing
levels of HbA1C in both variations of diabetes was correlated with
an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Both studies appear
in the September 21st issue of the journal Annals of Internal
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.PH.
Obviously controlling blood sugar will decrease the risk of
glycation and blood vessel damage. Diabetics may want to consider
adding combinations of herbs and nutrients to their existing
medication to aid the control of blood sugar and glycation. For
all adults' diabetic or not L-Carnosine and Pyridoxamine are strong
inhibitors of glycation. Quercetin, Green Tea EGCG, GliSODin SOD,
and nutrients that improve Glutathione and detoxification are also
Broccoli (sprouts or Extract) May Halt Growth of Breast Cancer Cells
In recent years, medical researchers have been battling a top
killer of women -- breast cancer. One study may have found
answer in a component of broccoli.
Indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which is found in broccoli, interferes
with the breast cancer cell's life cycle in a way that hints at
a totally new signaling pathway in the cell. The chemical seems
to be working by a very unusual mechanism. It turns off a gene
for an enzyme important in the cell's growth cycle.
The chemical I3C is a component of broccoli and other members
of the Brassica family, such as brussels sprouts, bok choy,
kale, chard and turnips.
I3C has low toxicity but seems to be very effective in fighting
breast cancer cells. According to the study, it is an effective
agent at blocking tumorigenesis in rats. When fed to them, I3C
can block 95 percent of all breast cancers in rats. The compound
also works independently of the hormone estrogen, unlike breast
cancer treatment drugs like Tamoxifen.
I3C would be a good candidate for use in combination therapy
with drugs those that do interfere with estrogen. In fact,
research shows that I3C does not act on estrogen at all. Instead
the chemicals actually stops the cell cycle. When I3C reacts
with stomach acid, the byproducts are the ones responsible for
the anti-estrogen and certain toxic effects of the broccoli
compounds. I3C initiates a sudden drop in the generation of
the enzyme CDK6, or cyclin-dependent kinase 6
Nutrition and Cancer 2004;48(1):84-94