Is deep sleep important?

Deep sleep can be defined as the phase of slow sleep that precedes the onset of REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement Sleep). When sleep becomes deep, the frequency of brain waves decreases, as does body temperature, breathing frequency, pulse or blood pressure.

The individual goes through several stages to reach deep sleep after falling asleep. First, the alpha waves in the brain are gradually replaced by theta waves (stage 1). Then, the electroencephalogram trace becomes irregular and waking up becomes more and more difficult (stage 2).

When sleep deepens further, delta waves appear and muscles are more relaxed (stage 3, medium deep sleep). When sleep becomes deep, the electroencephalogram is dominated by delta waves from 1 to 4 Hz (stage 4). The activity of the smooth muscles of the digestive tract increases. It is usually during this deep sleep that enuresis or somnambulism may appear.

Characteristics

Deep slow sleep is characterized by very slow electrical waves. The activity of vital functions slows down significantly: decrease in heart and respiratory rhythm – decrease in body temperature. At this stage, muscle activity and eye movements almost disappear.

Duration

The time of deep slow sleep represents about 40% of the total time (about 90 minutes)<fn>www.doctissimo.fr/html/psychologie/bien_dormir/ps_6205_sommeil_cycles.htm</fn>. It typically starts about 35-45 minutes after first falling asleep, its duration is longer at the beginning of the night. It decreases with age in favor of phase 2 (light slow sleep).

Role

Deep slow sleep promotes hormonal secretion, especially in children, of growth hormone. Its role is also to strengthen the effectiveness of immune defenses and memory.

When deep sleep is disrupted

Slow sleep has a restorative role for the body: when the individual lacks sleep, slow sleep tends to last longer in the early night.

How to get more deep sleep

Regular bedtime schedules

Maintaining regular hours of sleep, even on weekends and days off, helps us to get into deep sleep more easily. Sleep needs vary for each person but an estimated average of 7 and 9 hours per night is generally such as a sufficient compensatory rest time. And if you decide to change your sleep routine, give your body at least a few days to get used to the change.

Spreading essential oils

The sense of smell is very important when setting up a routine. Using a diffuser of lavender, bergamot or lemon essential oils before bedtime can send a signal to the body that it is time to get ready for a good night’s sleep.

Relax your feet

Feet cannot be compared to the rest of the body, because they support the body weight all day long. Our feet work hard, especially when we exercise, and they deserve a moment of relaxation at the end of the day. Apply a generous amount of cream or oil and massage your feet every night before going to bed.

Turn off screens

Studies have shown that exposure to blue light from screens during the evening can disrupt our biological clock. The production of melatonin and cortisol, the hormones that regulate sleep, is delayed, and falling asleep can become more difficult. Try to turn off electronic devices for one to two hours before closing your eyes.

Keep a notebook as an ongoing record and reminder of your daily activities

You don’t need to have a particular talent for writing: you can keep a journal by writing just a few lines in the evening. This activity allows you to “debrief” your day, and to fall asleep with a lighter heart. Even the simple fact of noting three positive things, for which you are grateful, that happened during the day helps to calm your mind and help you sleep better.




Detox your body from toxins in 2 days

As a result of the hectic lifestyle we lead and the bad eating habits we adopt, our bodies accumulate significant amounts of toxins every day. These substances attack the body, alter its proper functioning and generate various problems such as fatigue, dull complexion, irritability… Thus, a small detox treatment from time to time could be extremely beneficiary to purify our bodies and eliminate every harmful substance.

The term “toxin” refers to any substance that may be toxic to the body. These can come from different internal and external sources.

External sources are associated with the environment, including pollution, medication, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and poor nutrition. Internal sources are linked to waste products produced by normal body function.

The presence or accumulation of toxins in the body can have many health consequences. These substances that invade our organisms prevent the organs from functioning properly and cause many problems such as dull complexion and acne, persistent fatigue or mood swings, depression and weight gain.

Normally, the body is able to get rid of these toxins, but in some cases, their accumulation is so great that it exceeds its cleansing capacity. Thus, helping the body to purify itself and remove toxins from its system is essential to preserve its health and energy.

There are many natural methods you can use to detox your body from drugs and toxins in less than 48 hours, ranging from daily rituals that cleanse quickly, to foods, drinks, and lifestyles that will help you keep your body clean over the long term.

How to detox your body in less than 48 hours

To free the body from toxins, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle:

Follow a healthy and balanced diet: avoid processed foods, fruits or vegetables that are rich in nutrients and especially antioxidants are highly recommended. Also reduce your intake of red meat, probiotics improve intestinal transit and thus facilitate the elimination of toxins.

Drinking plenty of water is also essential to prevent dehydration, but also to drain toxins from the body. It is recommended to drink 1.5 L per day.

Limit or even avoid alcohol consumption. Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages increases the level of free radicals in the body and slow down the liver metabolism, an essential organ in the elimination of toxins.

Get enough sleep, between 7 and 9 hours a day.

Practice sports regularly.

In addition to these different points, it is also recommended to do detox cures to remove toxins from your body. Note that to detoxify the body, it is important to target the organs that are responsible for eliminating waste products, namely the liver, kidneys, intestines, and lungs.

Discover below a detox plan to purify your body and regain your energy!

48-hour detox plan

The detox plan we propose below can be held over a period of 10 days, to be repeated twice a year, or over two days to be done more regularly throughout the year.

Here is the 48-hour version, to be tried during the weekend preferably. Note that during these two days, it is important to drink 250 ml of warm water on an empty stomach before breakfast.

Saturday (Day 1)

Breakfast: A cup of oatmeal, mixed with a teaspoon of linseed. 200 ml almond milk, ½ cup blueberry and a cup of green tea.

Lunch: 250 ml of water, two cups of mesclun, one tomato and green vegetables. A portion of grilled hake, a salad of Swiss chard and steamed potatoes seasoned with olive oil.

Snack: 250 ml of water, a yogurt made from goat’s milk or almond milk and ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

Dinner: 250 ml of water or a large cup of aniseed tea, two cups of salad seasoned with olive oil and lemon, a wholemeal toast, a portion of grilled tuna and a half cup of steamed broccoli and spinach.

Sunday (Day 2)

Breakfast: a cup of oatmeal with a teaspoon of flax seeds, 200 ml almond milk, a pear and a cup of green tea

Lunch: 250 ml water, vegetable soup (peppers, onions, potatoes, peas, carrots and celery) and a portion of grilled chicken breast

Snack: an apple and a handful of nuts

Dinner: A toast of wholemeal bread, a carrot and beet salad seasoned with lemon juice and a grilled salmon steak




Tips to reduce the stress of a completing project

How to reduce the stress of a completing project that you have to execute efficiently and productively.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, work demands can cause physical and emotional stress with short- and long-term repercussions on a person’s well-being. For example, long-distance driving, layoffs, accidents, tight deadlines, setbacks, punctual customers, absent teams, and budget cuts can make the workplace an increasingly stressful environment.

The ability to manage stress is a talent that is acquired through direct experience, in the immediate context of daily living, by learning about triggers and ways to deal with stressful situations, you can focus on the task at hand without feeling overwhelmed or compromising your health.

Here are some warning signs to watch for and some effective ways to combat stress at work.

Signs and symptoms of excessive work stress

  • Anxiety, irritability, depression
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Sleep disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension, headaches
  • Gastric problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Alcohol or drug abuse

What strategies should be adopted to limit stress related to a work project?

Task planning

Involve stakeholders before the project is launched, take their comments and opinions to understand their personal and professional constraints beforehand. Therefore, define a schedule/calendar accordingly in order to start your project management perfectly.

Communication

As we will keep reminding you over and over again, communication within a team is essential. Regular communication is essential. The project manager needs to know what his team is doing, and the teams need to understand what everyone is doing. Communicate at a good pace.

Roles defined for a manageable workload

Stress is often generated because of confusion about the roles and responsibilities that have not been clearly defined. Before the project is launched, clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member and limit everyone’s workload according to their abilities and skills. It is very important to remember that stress management is equal to the workload required.

Breaks between colleagues

Humour and jokes are a great way to dissipate tensions and build relationships between colleagues. A coffee break, off-site discussions lead to a pleasant atmosphere and create teams more motivated to achieve their objectives. As a result, these small intermittent breaks are not a waste of time, on the contrary, they improve the performance of the current project.

Individual meetings

Individual meetings are also very important in project management. They allow each team member to express their concerns and needs regarding the project. An excellent way for the project manager to clear up misunderstandings, understand everyone’s expectations and increase the positive growth of the project. Feeling listened to will encourage your teams to be motivated in their tasks.

In project management, it is important that your teams do not feel overworked, less stress for more productivity. Today, well-being at work is very beneficial for everyone, so maintain it!




5 Tips to help you reduce Stress

Stress is defined as a situation of excessive nervous tension, psychologically, a state of disruption caused by an attack.

Initially, stress was defined as a physiological response of the body to an exhausting, dangerous or distressing situation. The body then produces specific hormones. This notion was later extended to any state of disruption caused by a confrontation with danger, a physical or psychological threat, a difficult environment.

Here 5 tips to help you reduce your stress… in less than 5 minutes!

1. Analyse an image

Get a nice-looking image with several small details, which you can hang near your desk, for example. When you face a stressful situation, take 5 minutes to fix the image by spending several minutes contemplating the details it in an extremely precise way.

2. Guided relaxation (meditation)

Guided relaxation plays an important role to help you relax and relieve stress. For example, I recommend Gabrielle Bernstein guided meditation which offers a variety of small relaxation exercises of only 3 or 4 minutes.

3. Breathing

Breathing really influences stress and reduces its symptoms. By simply taking a few moments for a deep breath, you will be able to calm down quickly. Make sure that you are in a quiet place, place one hand on your stomach and inhale deeply through your nose, slowly counting to four. Then exhale through your mouth, always counting to four. Feel the air entering your lungs, focus on the breath in your mouth.

4. Walking

Go out for 5 minutes to get some air. However, the exercise doesn’t stop there: you will have to walk quietly, paying attention to all the sensations that stimulate your senses, such as the heaviness of your steps, the wind on your face, the fabric of your gloves on your hands, the singing of birds or the small rocks on the sidewalk.

5. Visualization

Visualization can be used in all situations. In this case, you will most likely be able to reduce your stress level by visualizing a place, real or imaginary, in which you feel totally comfortable. The important thing is not necessarily to see images in your head, but rather to try to feel the sensation of relief and well-being that this place gives you. Do this visualization regularly, for 5 minutes, even in quiet moments. This will help the effects to be done more quickly when you feel the need.

Above all, don’t despair: it is really possible to overcome stress, by taking the time, changing certain habits and using the right tools, and being patient.

Read more: Tips to reduce the stress of a completing project




6 benefits of skin icing

Many people take care of their skin health. The skin is extremely exposed to a large number of factors that could cause premature deterioration. Discover here the benefits of skin icing.

Environmental toxins, sunlight and poor eating habits are just some of the reasons that can lead to premature skin aging.

Fortunately, the cosmetics industry has developed a wide variety of products and treatments that counteract harmful effects. These treatments form a protective barrier, however, the problem is that they are extremely expensive. Not everyone has the means to acquire them.

But many people are unaware that it is not always necessary to invest in these expensive products. Natural methods are becoming more and more popular, not only because they are very economical but also because they bring many benefits to the skin.

6 benefits of skin icing

A simple ice cube can be used as an alternative to commercial techniques, as cold makes it easier to close dilated pores and provides a feeling of softness. After the application, the skin is tighter. This makes the skin firmer, which helps to reduce flaccidity and wrinkles. To enjoy the benefits of skin icing without any problems, it is essential to cover them with a piece of fabric before applying them to the skin. A direct application can be aggressive for the skin.

Ice Cubes Reduce Wrinkles

This natural remedy has an interesting effect in constricting blood vessels under the skin. It helps to stimulate blood circulation and promotes better oxygenation of cells. Its temperature controls excess inflammation and minimises the effects of free radicals on skin tissue.

Applying ice cubes regularly to your skin helps to keep your skin firm and elastic, a key factor in preventing the appearance of fine, premature wrinkles.

The ice cube fights dark circles and bags under the eyes

The formation of dark circles and bags under the eyes is an aesthetic concern that we all want to avoid.

The causes of dark circles and bags under the eyes are as follows:

  • Circulatory problems
  • Fluid retention
  • Use of cosmetics
  • Poor rest

Fortunately, all these effects can be easily reduced by taking advantage of the anti-inflammatory effect that ice cubes provide. Simply massage the affected areas with an ice cube before bed and in the morning when you get up.

The ice cube reduces excessive fat

Ice cubes are excellent for controlling alterations in the activity of the skin’s sebaceous glands, which cause excessive fat production.

Its moisturising and astringent properties deeply cleanse pores. It also helps to remove the sebum residues that cause acne.

Ice Cubes Relieve Dry Skin

Applying an ice cube helps to prevent drought. It is useful to control oily skin, but it is also an excellent solution for those whose skin is too dry.

Its moisturising capacity counteract the natural loss of water from skin tissues. It helps to eliminate dead skin and retain moisture.

Since it doesn’t alter the skin’s pH, ice cubes are ideal to complete treatments against skin dryness.

Ice cubes relieve solar burns

Thanks to its cold temperature and moisturising action, this treatment effectively treats superficial burns caused by sunlight. Its application reduces the sensation of burning and itching and also stimulates cell activity.

Ice Cubes Prevent Acne

Since it cleanses the pores of the skin in depth, the application of ice cubes is an interesting method to prevent the formation of pimples and blackheads. If you use it every day, twice a day, you will stimulate the elimination of impurities and dead cells.

Instructions

  • Cleanse your face thoroughly first;
  • Wrap one or two ice cubes in gauze or other soft cloth.
  • When the ice begins to melt and moistens the fabric, apply it to the face.
  • Hold it on different areas of the face for 1-2 minutes.
  • Move the ice gently with circular movements. Go up along the chin and jaw, along the cheeks, along the forehead and nose. Pay particular attention to the area under your nose.
  • Complete the procedure with a toner, moisturiser or acne treatment.

 

 




Melatonin: benefits and side effects

Melatonin is a hormone identified as being potentially important in the regulation of the circadian rhythms including sleep–wake timing.

The role of Melatonin in Sleep regulation

This hormone is produced by the pineal gland (also called epiphysis). Melatonin secretion is inhibited in the presence of light and stimulated in the dark. Maximum production is reached from 2 AM. To 5 AM, hence the names sleep hormone or dark hormone. Through melatonin, the pineal gland informs the brain about the relative duration, hours of darkness and light over a 24-hour period (daily cycle), but also throughout the year (seasonal cycle). By secreting melatonin, the pineal gland “tells” the brain that it is dark and that it is the right time to sleep.

Since the implementation of the new regulations on natural health products, melatonin marketed in some countries like Canada as a synthetic product, entirely manufactured in a laboratory.

Two forms of melatonin are marketed. Immediate-release melatonin (regular form) and sustained-release melatonin. It can be assumed that the first one helps to fall asleep more quickly and the second one helps to stay asleep.

The leaves and roots of many plants contain small amounts of melatonin, including seeds of fenugreek, alfalfa, fennel, poppy, flax, coriander, and sunflowers. This antioxidant substance is believed to protect the fragile germ of these plants from the oxidative effects of UV rays, drought, extreme temperatures, and toxins.

Benefits

  • Prevent or reduce the effects of jet lag (probable)
  • Treat insomnia in people 55 years of age and older.
  • Treat disorders in children with neurodevelopmental disorders or attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity
  • Reduce pain in the newborn (adjuvant treatment)
  • Improves sleep in children with circadian rhythm disorders
  • Reduce the risk of cancer remission and side effects related to chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Contribute to the withdrawal of sleeping pills.
  • Reduce chronic pain (migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia).
  • Reduce agitation and dementia.

Posology

Ordinary melatonin. Take 1 mg to 5 mg from 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime.
This treatment is only effective if insomnia is associated with low melatonin levels.
However, the optimal dosage is not established, as it has varied greatly during the studies.
Sustained-release melatonin. Take 2 mg, 1 to 2 hours before bedtime.
This dosage is the one used during trials on a prescription product available in Europe (Circadin®), but not in Canada. See the Research section for more information.

Side effects

Attention

The use of melatonin in case of serious illness (cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.) must be under medical supervision.

Although melatonin is considered safe in the short term, the effects of continuous use are not known. However, in an open-label study (without a placebo group), children with circadian rhythm disorders were followed for nearly 4 years: sustained-release melatonin was well tolerated by the young participants.

Due to the risk of drowsiness, loss of alertness or balance, do not drive for 4 to 5 hours after taking melatonin. Note that, according to several clinical trials, when melatonin is taken in the evening to improve sleep, it does not harm waking up.

Contra-indications

Due to insufficient safety data, caution should be exercised in pregnant and lactating women and children.

Adverse reactions

Clinical studies have shown that melatonin might cause drowsiness, nausea, headache, and dizziness. Note, however, that these adverse effects also occurred at the same frequency in subjects taking a placebo.

 




Bananas help you sleep better

Bananas can be considered as a natural sleeping remedy. They contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid, which, combined with vitamin B6, allows the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, hormones playing an essential role in promoting sleep. Some doctors recommend its consumption 60 minutes before going to bed to enjoy better sleep. Rich in melatonin (commonly called sleep hormone), banana is an excellent sleep stimulator.

An anti-depression and relaxing fruit

According to a survey conducted on people who suffer from depression, many reports feeling better after eating a banana. Banana dopamine is probably not unrelated to this phenomenon, but it is also explained by the presence of tryptophan, a substance that the body transforms into serotonin, the brain’s chemical messenger known for its relaxing effect.

The good-mood effect is reinforced by the presence of high amounts of vitamin B6 (0.5 mg per 100 g, or a quarter of the recommended daily intake). Also known as pyridoxine, this vitamin is useful for the production of various mood-associated neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. Some studies have shown that, when taken in high doses, it relieves depression associated with the premenstrual syndrome.

A study also showed that a diet rich in tryptophan, combined with an adequate supply of vitamin B6, favored serotonin production and reduced the symptoms of depression and improve sleep quality.




How L-Tryptophan helps you sleep better

Natural L-tryptophan is an amino acid that promotes sleep and reduces stress. It is used by our body to manufacture serotonin, which promotes deep sleep. Serotonin also helps to manage stress and reduce mood disorders. Then melatonin, the sleep hormone, essential for the proper functioning of the internal biological clock.

L-Tryptophan Structure
L-Tryptophan Structure

L-tryptophan is one of the eight essential amino acids our body needs. L-tryptophan is therefore not manufactured by our body and must be provided by our diet. Natural L-tryptophan allows better assimilation by the body. It requires essentially the presence of vitamins B3 and B6 and carbohydrates for its transformation.

Metabolism to Melatonin, the Sleep Hormone

Metabolism of natural L-tryptophan leads to the production of endogenous serotonin and melatonin. The presence of carbohydrates, such as oats, in the presence of L-tryptophan results in a high concentration of L-tryptophan and its passage through the blood-brain barrier of the brain. This is where L-tryptophan is transformed into serotonin, then into melatonin, the mediators of sleep. This transformation requires the mandatory presence of vitamin B6 in sufficient quantity.

In the human body, according to its traditional metabolism, natural L-tryptophan is also used, and at 95%, for the synthesis of vitamin B3. This is why a nutritional intake of vitamin B3 is essential to occasionally reverse this ratio to allow the development of the Serotonin – Melatonin synthesis pathway.

Serotonin organises the structure of our sleep and its continuity. It induces sleep and entry into the phases of deep sleep and REM sleep essential for proper physical and nervous recovery. Serotonin is then transformed into melatonin, the sleep hormone, which ensures the proper functioning of the circadian rhythm or biological rhythm.

Recommended daily intake

According to the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 5 mg/kg body weight/day of L-Tryptophan for adults 19 years and over.

Top Foods high in Tryptophan (Trp)

The table below shows the content in g of Tryptophan/100 g of food.

Tryptophan (Trp) content of various foods
Food Tryptophan
[g/100 g of food]
Protein
[g/100 g of food]
Tryptophan/protein [%]
Egg white, dried
1.00
81.10
1.23
Spirulina, dried
0.92
57.47
1.62
Cod, Atlantic, dried
0.70
62.82
1.11
Soybeans, raw
0.59
36.49
1.62
Cheese, Parmesan
0.56
37.90
1.47
Sesame seed
0.37
17.00
2.17
Cheese, Cheddar
0.32
24.90
1.29
Sunflower seed
0.30
17.20
1.74
Pork, chop
0.25
19.27
1.27
Turkey
0.24
21.89
1.11
Chicken
0.24
20.85
1.14
Beef
0.23
20.13
1.12
Oats
0.23
16.89
1.39
Salmon
0.22
19.84
1.12
Lamb, chop
0.21
18.33
1.17
Perch, Atlantic
0.21
18.62
1.12
Chickpeas, raw
0.19
19.30
0.96
Egg
0.17
12.58
1.33
Quinoa, uncooked
0.167
14.12
1.2
Wheat flour, white
0.13
10.33
1.23
Baking chocolate, unsweetened
0.13
12.9
1.23
Milk
0.08
3.22
2.34
Quinoa, cooked
0.052
4.40
1.1
Rice, white, medium-grain, cooked
0.028
2.38
1.18
Potatoes, russet
0.02
2.14
0.84
Tamarind
0.018
2.80
0.64
Banana
0.01
1.03
0.87

Sleep efficiency of the combination of natural L-tryptophan – vitamin B6 – vitamin B3

The “L-tryptophane-vitamin B6-vitamin B3” complex taken in addition to a high carbohydrate intake has shown a significant 39% increase in deep sleep time in people with difficulty of sleeping, however, these results were not found with synthetic L-Tryptophan.

INCREASED SLEEP TIME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT: 39,3% WITH NATURAL COMPLEX, 3,2% WITH PLACEBO.

A second study showed that taking milk proteins rich in natural L-tryptophan not only improves the quality of sleep but also improves the attention and intellectual performance of the next day.

L-Tryptophan also fights stress, overwork and mood swings

A lot of research provides evidence linking serotonin to stress and depression. This is particularly observed during dietary deficiencies in natural L-tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin synthesis.

Firk, in his double blind versus placebo clinical study, demonstrated that stress can induce a depressive episode, both in people with and without a family history of depression, and that this episode is exacerbated if there is food deprivation with L-tryptophan. This suggests the mediation of serotonin in stressful situations and particularly in people with a family history of depression.

Also, a dietary deficiency of L-tryptophan seems to provide less resistance to uncontrollable stress caused by noise in healthy volunteers than in the placebo.

Conversely, the intake of L-tryptophan would provide better resistance to stress. It is known that cognitive performance often decreases under chronic stress exposure. A clinical study, carried out in double blind versus placebo, shows that a diet rich in L-tryptophan significantly increases cognitive performance (better reaction time) in people sensitive to stress.

This study was confirmed by a second crossover clinical study, double-blind, versus placebo, which observed that a diet rich in L-tryptophan was beneficial in combating mood and stress disorders.

Natural L-Tryptophan VS Synthetic L-Tryptophan

Studies have shown a very good bioavailability of 100% natural L-tryptophan provided from milk proteins. Many foods are excellent sources of L-tryptophan, such as meat, poultry, and fish. But they also contain many other amino acids that compete with L-tryptophan and, therefore, limit its passage through the brain.

On the other hand, synthetic L-tryptophan has very poor bioavailability, making it ineffective and sometimes unsafe.

Milk proteins contain a high concentration of L-tryptophan compared to other amino acids, which allows a better blood concentration of L-tryptophan.

L-tryptophan, a very fragile essential amino acid

It is the least abundant amino acid in food and is very fragile. In particular, it is easily destroyed by cooking that is too long or too hot.

It undergoes a strong competition sometimes causing a lack for our body. Indeed, protein nutritional intakes also contain many other amino acids that compete with L-tryptophan and, therefore, limit its passage through the brain: a meal that is too rich in protein harms sleep because it can cause a higher blood concentration of tyrosine, an amino acid used to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motor activity and aggression.

Finally, as we have seen previously, L-tryptophan is used primarily by our body to preferentially produce vitamin B3 to serotonin and melatonin. It is therefore essential to reverse this ratio to optimise the serotonin – melatonin synthesis pathway.

Foods Rich in L-Tryptophan

The nutritional composition table of food doesn’t detail the precise tryptophan levels. However, the following foods are the richest in tryptophan.

  • Whole grain rice
  • Meat and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Soya protein
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Pulses
  • Chocolate
  • Banana
  • Almonds
  • Cashew nuts
  • Brewer’s yeast

Use of tryptophan

The nutritional recommendations are to consume 500 to 2000 mg of tryptophan per day for a healthy adult.




Kudzu – a Plant for alcohol and tobacco detox

Kudzu is a plant originating from the semi-tropical regions of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Caledonia), it can reach several tens of meters long, it is characterized by petiolated leaves, dark green, 3- or 5-lobed, Yellowish beige cylindrical, fibrous roots.

The fruit is a pod containing black seeds the size of a bean. Its discharges ensure the stabilization of deforested soils.

History

The plant is used for food purposes, fresh tubers or leaves, in the form of porridges, cakes, tofus, etc., it is used in many culinary preparations.

Present in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia since 200 years BC, its Latin name Pueraria lobata means “always in a state of youth” (stink = child). Indian kudzu Pueraria tuberosa (Willd.) DC. is used in Ayurvedic medicine, it has androgenic and aphrodisiac effects, anti-inflammatory, it may become hepatotoxic when taken in high doses.

Parts used

Root and leaves

Components

  • Flavonoids: isoflavones: puerarin, daïdzein (or daidzein), daïdzin (or daidzin), genistein, formononetin
  • Coumarins
  • Beta-sitosterol
  • Triterpenic saponosides (soyasaponin and kudzusaponin)
  • Proteins, sugars, minerals, fibers
  • Arylbenzofuran: puerariafuran

Properties

  • Hepatoprotective action
  • Anti-oxidant action
  • Acts on alcohol metabolism and in alcoholic addictions by inhibition of ALDH2 (mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase) Antabuse effect, kudzu extract does not appear to increase the effects of alcohol
  • Pueraria root is effective on alcoholism by daidzin, which inhibits mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 necessary for the elimination of alcohol (disulfiram-like action) and by puerarin (isoflavones), daidzin inhibits the activity of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH-2), selectively and reversibly.
  • One study showed that intraperitoneal injection of Pueraria lobata root extracts (1.5 g/kg/day i.p.) resulted in a decrease in alcohol intake of at least 50% in golden hamsters, an effect attributed to daidzin and daidzein
  • Estrogenic-mimetic effects
  • Prevents the occurrence of myocardial infarction by allowing an inflow of blood to coronary (puerarin), cardioprotective against ischemia-reperfusion processes
    Reduces peripheral, hypotensive resistance
  • Promotes memory and learning, increases brain glutamate concentration in the hippocampus
  • The active components of Astragalus membranaceus, such as those of Epimedium and Radix Puerariae, reduce cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease, have a neuroprotective effect by reducing iron overload in the brain, inhibit the accumulation of β-amyloids and can provide a new approach for the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Antimutagen effect

Kudzu Cleansing and ‘detox’ action

Some plants could naturally help you stop smoking, alcohol or other so-called “soft” drugs. they have already proven their effectiveness, such as Avena sativa, more commonly known as oats, St. John’s wort or Griffonia simplicifolia rich in 5-HTP, which increases serotonin levels in the body and therefore considerably improves mood. If you have already tried these plants without success, Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a highly recommended plant (pronounced “cudzoo”. Native to Southeast Asia). Kudzu was originally found in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and New Caledonia. It has been used in Chinese medicine for decades to cure allergies, migraines, and diarrhea. It is only in recent years that our Western pharmacopeia has been interested in this root to help alcohol and tobacco withdrawal.

Action against alcohol dependency

In Chinese, kudzu means “drunkenness dissipator”. Dr. David Lee had already observed that the northern Chinese drank kudzu tea to sober up and heal the hangover.

In 1991, Dr. David Lee conducted a study in China at Shin-Yanget University. He tested the effects of kudzu tea on laboratory rats that had been exposed to alcohol. The rats’ motor coordination was improved. They seemed less intoxicated.

The following year, Dr. David Lee suggested to researchers at the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies in North Carolina, an additional study: to see if kudzu helps wean rats that have a genetic tendency to like alcohol. The researchers found that administering kudzu to “alcoholic” rats calmed their drinking tendency.

In 2011, following these encouraging results, Harvard University researchers tested the efficacy of kudzu against placebo in a group of men and women who regularly drank 3 or 4 pints of beer per day. They discovered two interesting phenomena:

  • Members who had taken kudzu had significantly less desire for alcohol than those on placebo;
  • Members cared for in kudzu felt the effects of alcohol more quickly. As a result, they needed to drink less to achieve an equivalent level of happiness.

This plant not only limits the impulses but also reduces the damage that these toxic substances have caused to the body over time. By stimulating the activity of certain enzymes, Kudzu root helps to fight oxidative stress produced by the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol and thus limits their harmful effects. In China, the herbal tea of this plant is also used to limit the harmful effects of alcohol. Thus, taking kudzu could reduce the famous “hangover” of the next morning.

Active substances in Kudzu

recent studies have revealed that the roots of kudzu are rich in isoflavones of the flavonoid family: daidzein, known as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent. The daidzein that acts against cancer. Genistein, which is an anti-leukemic agent. But above all, kudzu is the only source of puerarine.

All these isoflavones are antioxidants and reduce alcohol-related damage.

Studies have shown that these isoflavones stimulate the brain’s natural “opioids”. They act on neurotransmitters such as serotonin, GABA and glutamate.

The common factors of addiction (alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sugar…) bring you peace and well-being. This involves increasing the production of dopamine in your brain.

Action on addiction

Kudzu isoflavones help to relieve addiction. They are involved in the reward system. They stimulate the production of dopamine instead of your favorite “drug”. You are then more relaxed, and your attention turns away from the object of your addiction. You no longer feel the need to have another drink, another cigarette or yet another square of chocolate.

Kudzu compensates for the pleasure you get from your usual “drug” and helps to relieve your addiction. The most important thing is that kudzu itself is not addictive. In fact, several clinical trials have confirmed its safety. However, isoflavones are not recommended for breast cancer.

Thanks to kudzu, you can gradually replace your “drug” and slowly accustom your brain to receiving less strong dopamine impulses.

Kudzu also contains saponosides that prevent cell damage and protect your liver.

Beyond the kudzu in cures against addictions, kudzu is reputed to be effective against stress in general. It soothes, which makes it easier to sleep.

A calming and soothing action

Kudzu root contains highly active substances such as daidzin, daidzein, and puerarin, which are grouped under the term isoflavones. These substances, also present in soya, have a calming and soothing action by acting on the central nervous system and thus make it possible to feel less the desires and impulses towards these toxic substances. The studies, which have been carried out so far in animals, should soon be confirmed in humans. However, the experiments already carried out on average smokers have given very good results in just a few days. Even the patches bought “as a backup” at the pharmacy were not used! No feeling of lack, no irritability, everything goes smoothly and without side effects.

How much and when?

Orally. Up to 500 mg of standardized kuzu extract in tablets containing at least 8% isoflavones, three times a day. 60 drops of fluid extract in a glass of water, 3 to 6 times a day. 3 g kuzu root in a glass of water

Gargle. Make gargle with 100 ml of warm water containing 10 to 15 g of dried flowers, i.e. 1 ml of fluid extract (1/100 dilution).

Inhalation. Inhale boiling water vapours in which 3-10 g of flowers have been infused for several minutes.

For heavy smokers or heavy drinkers, double the doses and distribute them throughout the day.

Duration?

The program should be continued for at least one month, in synergy with B-group vitamins. Usually, the effects are quickly felt.

Formal contraindication

women who are pregnant or who wish to become pregnant. Never consume any plants in this case without the advice of a physician.

A beneficial action against cardiovascular diseases

Its use has also been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation, making it a supplement of choice for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and high blood pressure).

Possible positive effects for diabetics

Action on the pancreatic metabolism and the oxidative stress: In rats, experiments have shown the protective effect of puerarin on certain cells of the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion. It inhibits the programmed death of these cells, stimulates insulin secretion and finally, inhibits the production of free radicals by increasing the activity of catalases and superoxide-dismutases (SOD).

Improvement of glucose tolerance:

Puerarin, which is rapidly absorbed by the intestine, increases glucose tolerance in people with type II diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and increasing the storage of glucose as glycogen in the liver and heart.




At-Home Anemia Test (60 seconds)

Anemia is usually defined as a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood.

It can also be defined as a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen. Iron-deficiency anemia, also spelled iron-deficiency anaemia, is anemia caused by a lack of iron.

Accurate Diagnosis Within 60 Seconds, At Low Cost

When anemia comes on slowly, the symptoms are often vague and may include feeling tired, weakness, shortness of breath or a poor ability to exercise. Anemia that comes on quickly often has greater symptoms, which may include confusion, feeling like one is going to pass out, loss of consciousness, or increased thirst. Anemia must be significant before a person becomes noticeably pale. Additional symptoms may occur depending on the underlying cause.

At-Home Anemia Test Produces Accurate Diagnosis Within 60 Seconds, At Low Cost.

A device that uses a single drop of blood can quickly diagnose anemia and allow inexpensive at-home monitoring.

“Our goal is to get this device into patients’ hands so they can diagnose and monitor anemia themselves,” said Dr. Wilbur Lam, a physician and professor in the department of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, in a statement.

The basic test produces results in about 60 seconds and requires no electrical power. Because of its simplicity and ability to deliver results without electricity, the device could also be used in resource-poor nations. A companion smartphone application can automatically correlate the visual results to specific blood hemoglobin levels.

The disposable self-testing device uses a chemical reagent that produces visible color changes corresponding to different levels of anemia.

As for the new diagnostic device, researchers concede they still need to earn FDA approval before the product can reach consumers. Lam and several of his colleagues have teamed up to launch a startup, called Sanguina, to commercialize the test under the brand name AnemoCheck. They anticipate the product reaching shelves by 2016.

Source: Tyburski E, Gillespie S, Stoy W, et al. Disposable platform provides visual and color-based point-of-care anemia self-testing. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2014.