Melatonin, Lavender, NAC, Creatine, Antidepressants, Metabolic Syndrome, and Much, Much More

publishedabout 1 month ago
7 min read

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By the way, if you're celebrating Halloween tomorrow or handing out candy, remember this famous quote: 🎃

I'm sure glad I finished off the leftover Halloween candy, so it didn't go to waste.
- No one, ever

Even better...hand out protein bars. The kids will be way better off, and you can eat the leftovers and feel good about it!

Enjoy today’s carefully curated newsletter!

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📖 Deep Dives

Melatonin: The Complete Guide to Improved Sleep and Beyond. You’ve probably heard the buzz about melatonin. Whether it’s your neighbor who swears it’s the secret to their sound sleep or the endless articles touting its myriad health benefits, melatonin is having a moment. And for a good reason. It’s a crucial component of your circadian rhythm, which not only regulates sleep but most aspects of your health. Read (or listen to) Melatonin: The Complete Guide to Improved Sleep and Beyond.

Lavender Essential Oil for Anxiety and Depression. Is lavender essential oil helpful for anxiety or depression? If so, which is the best way to take it? How much should you use? I’ll address these questions and others right here. Lavender essential oil has been used for thousands of years, in part, to deal with feelings of anxiety, depression, and other factors affecting mental wellbeing. As we’ve progressed into modern times, it seems more and more people suffer from anxiety or depression, or both. Read (or listen to): Lavender Essential Oil for Anxiety and Depression.

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Another health benefit of NAC. Researchers investigated the impact of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on complications linked to aging and obesity. They specifically focused on cellular senescence in fat cells, which is basically the aging process at the cellular level that can cause problems like inflammation and insulin resistance. Using a marker called SA-β-gal, the researchers found that NAC significantly reduced this cellular aging. This is a big deal, as past studies have shown that other drugs and antioxidants can achieve similar results, opening doors for new treatment options. The study also revealed that NAC improved how the body manages insulin, although it didn't significantly change lipid profiles or body measurements like weight and BMI.

Creatine supplementation can be a game-changer for those battling post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome. Compared to a placebo, creatine significantly boosted brain and muscle energy levels, while alleviating symptoms like lung pain and poor concentration. This study builds upon earlier research, which had mixed results mainly due to insufficient dosages of creatine. Interestingly, the increase in brain creatine was remarkably higher in this study compared to other neurological conditions, suggesting that post-COVID-19 brains might be more receptive to creatine absorption.

🏋️‍♂️ Exercise

Resistance training better than traditional antidepressants for General Anxiety Disorder and Minor Depressive Disorder. New research emphasizes the remarkable efficacy of resistance exercise training (RET) in alleviating depressive symptoms in young adults, especially those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and minor depressive disorder (MDD). RET was equally effective in both males and females, producing a significant and clinically meaningful reduction in depressive symptoms over eight weeks. This is monumental because the antidepressant impact of RET outshined that of traditional antidepressant medications, which often show limited effectiveness for mild-to-moderate depression. Importantly, RET also showed promise in treating comorbid conditions like GAD and MDD, thereby suggesting its potential as a primary or adjunctive treatment for those suffering from anxiety and depression.

Resistance training and interval training improves insulin sensitivity, while aerobic exercise fell short. According to a new study, Interval Training (IT) and Resistance Training (RT) can effectively control Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) levels in people with prediabetes. Aerobic Training (AT), on the other hand, didn't significantly impact FPG levels or any other glycemic indices.

And for women with metabolic syndrome...Both resistance training (RT) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) showed significant positive impacts on metabolic syndrome (MetS) indicators in women. While no significant difference was found in the levels of the metabolic regulator protein SIRT1 between the two exercise methods, HIIT was more effective in improving cardiorespiratory fitness and reducing key risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. On the flip side, RT proved superior in building muscle mass and strength. The study also indicated that exercise, in general, enhances SIRT1 levels, a protein pivotal for physiological functions like glucose metabolism. The findings reinforce the role of targeted physical activity in not just weight management, but also in combating serious metabolic disorders.

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🥩 Nutrition

Sarcopenic obesity (SO) reversed with higher protein intakes. Even those who are significantly overweight can develop sarcopenia, a condition called sarcopenic obeisty. A comprehensive scoping review indicates that protein supplementation, particularly from high-quality sources like whey protein, is not just a nice-to-have, it's a must for those combating SO. The study reveals that individuals taking protein supplements showed significant improvements in muscle mass, strength, and various metabolic health markers when coupled with exercise.

🧠 Mental Health

Probiotics impact stress levels. In recent years, the link between gut health and mental well-being has come under the scientific spotlight, and it's shaking up our understanding of stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that "psychobiotics," or probiotics geared toward mental health, could be game-changers. For instance, one study found that participants who took a probiotic multivitamin for six months had a 40% improvement in general stress indicators. Interestingly, the same group had stable cortisol levels, a hormone often elevated due to stress. Multiple other studies show similar results, but the effects of probiotics on mental health is very much strain-specific.

Nutrient deficiencies in Alzheimer's. A groundbreaking study has revealed that brains with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) have notably lower levels of certain antioxidants—lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, retinol, and α-tocopherol—compared to healthy elderly brains. This deficiency is alarming because these antioxidants play critical roles in protecting the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation, two factors closely linked with AD. What's more, the study found an unidentified xanthophyll—referred to as XMiAD—in significantly higher concentrations in AD brains, opening new avenues for research. While the study doesn't explain why these levels are low, it aligns with previous research showing that higher dietary levels of these antioxidants can reduce AD risk and slow cognitive decline.

🌎 Other News

Biden admin to eliminate terms "mother" and "father." The Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services has proposed that “gender-specific” terms like “paternity,” “mother,” and “father” be replaced throughout child support services regulations within the federal agency. CatholicVote reports that the regulatory proposal, issued by the by the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the HHS, has yet to be published. The document “proposes to make changes to replace the gender-specific terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ with the gender-neutral term ‘parent’ where such terms appear” in federal regulation governing childcare law enforcement. Keep reading...

COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines Reduce a Major Beneficial Bacteria, Gut Biodiversity: Research. Research has shown that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines reduce bacteria belonging to the Bifidobacteria genus, a common and beneficial gut bacteria. COVID vaccination is also linked to reduced gut biodiversity. Works by gastroenterologist Dr. Sabine Hazan, the CEO of ProgenaBiome, a microbiome genomic research laboratory, found that after COVID-19 vaccination, people's Bifidobacteria levels can fall by as much as 90 percent. Some of her unpublished data found that Bifidobacteria levels are negligible in vaccinated people. Keep reading...

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In faith, fitness, and fortitude,
Tom Nikkola, CSCS

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