SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) – SAM-e has many useful functions and maintaining a stable mood is only one of the many benefits of this supplement. SAM-e is an amino acid derivative made in the body that can decrease with age. SAM-e is necessary for the synthesis of 3 neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. It is distributed throughout the body but is concentrated mostly in the brain and liver. SAM-e can help prescription antidepressants work faster. People with bipolar disorder should only use SAM-e under medical supervision.
Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P or Bio-active B6) – B6 is necessary for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and is needed so your body can use dopamine, norepinephrine and GABA, which are also neurotransmitters that are critical for brain function and mood. Vitamin B6 helps your body convert as much tryptophan as possible into serotonin. A 2004 Danish study found that people who were clinically depressed had low levels of B6 in their blood. B6 also helps maintain hormone balance in women by regulating levels of estrogen and progesterone. We use P5P instead of vitamin B6 because P5P is the bio-active form of B6 and some people have trouble converting B6 into P5P. The B vitamins are water-soluble and are not stored in your body, so they need to be constantly replenished. Many substances can prevent B6 from being absorbed, including alcohol, coffee, birth control pills, food coloring and more. In addition, B vitamins are delicate and are easily destroyed by microwaving, freezing, canning and heat.
L-Theanine – L-theanine is an amino acid derivative found in green and black teas that is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and positively affect brain chemistry. It is thought that L-theanine changes levels of amino acids affecting serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Stress hormones called glucocorticoids cause imbalances in brain chemistry that interfere with mood and memory. Glucocorticoids disrupt serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and other brain chemicals. L-theanine suppresses glucocorticoids and may act as a glutamate antagonist. L-theanine also triggers the release of GABA, which activates calming neurotransmitters, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Oral GABA does not cross the blood-barrier well so l-theanine is a good way to increase GABA. L-theanine is the bio-active form your body can absorb and use. D-theanine does not affect your brain at all.
Riboflavin 5-Phosphate (Bio-active vitamin B2) – The B vitamins are extremely important for supporting mood and decreasing irritability, and B2 is no exception. Studies have shown that diets that are low in B2 can cause personality changes and aggression. B2 can be depleted by smoking, alcohol, tricyclic antidepressants, phenothiazines, birth control pills and other medications. We use the more effective 5-phosphate form of B2 because it is better absorbed. Please note: people with cataracts should not take more than 10 mg of B2 per day and our Mood Support Formula has significantly more than 10 mg of B2.
Thiamine (B1) – One of the B vitamins and useful for supporting mood, fighting stress, and relieving anxiety and restlessness. Thiamine is used in nearly every cell in your body and supports energy levels, especially for your brain and nervous system. Low levels of thiamine are associated with depression. One study of elderly Chinese adults showed that poor thiamine levels were linked with a higher risk of depression. Thiamine can reduce brain inflammation and supports nerve function, which is important for controlling stress and anxiety and improving your mood. B1 also helps reduce irritability and enhances learning abilities. Thiamine is also necessary for a healthy metabolism because it is involved in making adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is your body’s energy molecule.
Bacillus Coagulans Probiotic – We have included a shelf-stable probiotic that does not require refrigeration because recent research has made it clear that beneficial bacteria in our bodies are incredibly important for our mental health, immune system, and overall health. Researchers call it the gut-brain axis; what happens in your gut, affects your brain. A French study found that a bacteria combination had a beneficial psychological effect on human volunteers: the stress hormone cortisol was lower, and there was a significant decrease in depression, anxiety, anger, obsessive-compulsive actions, phobias, paranoia, and better sleep, as well. Probiotics also restore the integrity of the intestinal wall, which is a barrier to pathogens entering the bloodstream from the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is involved in depression, is present in the GI tract. In fact, 80% of the serotonin in our bodies is in the GI tract!
Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate – Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation is a fast, safe, and effective treatment for mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety. Magnesium is as effective as antidepressant medication at relieving depression and is less expensive and has fewer side effects. We use bisglycinate because it is much more bio-active than other types of magnesium. Magnesium bisglycinate is four times more effective than citrate forms of magnesium. Bisglycinate passes directly into cells so people with poor digestion or absorption can still see beneficial results. It is one of only two forms of magnesium that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Magnesium assists with vitamin B6 metabolism, and taking magnesium together with B6 will improve the absorption of the magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is common due to our consumption of processed foods and the depletion of magnesium from agricultural soil and water. Caffeine and alcohol consumption also deplete magnesium. Very few people get the daily recommended intake of magnesium. It can take three months to see results of magnesium supplementation.
Zinc Orotate – Zinc is required to utilize P5P (B6) which is one of the most important nutrients for brain and mood support. In studies, zinc was found to be low in those suffering from depression. And when we are under stress, we tend to get rid of zinc in our urine, sweat and saliva. Our supplements use only zinc orotate because it passes through cell membranes easier than other types of zinc, so therefore there will be higher concentrations in your tissues. Zinc gluconate and zinc oxide are popular but not very bio-available; little is absorbed by your body. Zinc is depleted by alcohol consumption. If you eat processed foods or very little meat, a zinc supplement is a good idea. Zinc is also an excellent antioxidant and will protect your cells from free radical damage, which is why we also include it in our Antioxidant Formula.
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin) – B12 is important for regulating mood, preventing irritability, improving sleep, and supporting brain cell health. Research has found that many people with symptoms of depression had B12 deficiencies. B12 is necessary for the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine. Most B12 supplements use cyanocobalamin which is chemically synthesized. We use methylcobalamin because it is naturally occurring and bio-active. Methylcobalamin is also retained in higher amounts within your tissues. Methylcobalamin works in your brain but cyanocobalamin does not. B12 deficiency is a common problem for many older adults, vegans and vegetarians. As we age, the absorption of B12 from food declines. Alcohol consumption depletes B12 and issues with GI function can lead to deficiency because B12 absorption depends on digestive enzymes and stomach acids being in balance.
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) – Vitamin D is essential for brain health and provides long-term mood support. There are vitamin D receptors in many parts of the brain that are linked to the development of depression. Vitamin D reduces brain inflammation and is thought to increase not only serotonin, but also dopamine and norepinephrine, which are needed for a positive mood. Vitamin D is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in the United States. It is estimated that 70% of the US. population is not getting adequate D. Another study found that only 10% of the US. population had therapeutic levels of vitamin D3 in their systems. Adequate levels of vitamin D will elevate your mood and improve your memory and other cognitive abilities. We use D3 instead of D2 (ergocalciferol) because D3 is about 87% more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations than D2, and is also converted into its active form 500% faster than D2. It can take several months for vitamin D supplementation to normalize levels.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that can prevent apathy associated with depression. There is a huge concentration of vitamin C in the fluid surrounding the neurons in your brain and it protects your brain cells from free radical attack. It is an excellent antioxidant and stimulates the production of white blood cells that attack bacteria and viruses, and is included in our Immune Support Formula. Vitamin C is also extremely important for eye health and vision, which is why it is also in our Vision Formula. We include vitamin C in our Diabetic Formula as well because it lowers the levels of sorbitol, the sugar that damages cells in the eyes, kidneys and nerves.
Folate (B9 as Quatrefolic) – Vitamin B12 and folic acid are necessary for the synthesis of norepinephrine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are crucial for mood support. Quatrefolic is a Registered Trademark of Gnosis S.p.A, U.S. Patent No. 7,947,662. Quatrefolic is a natural, concentrated form of vitamin B9/folic acid that is found in high-quality supplements. Quatrefolic is easily and quickly absorbed because it is already in a form that your body can use. Other forms of folic acid are not biologically active and need to be converted multiple times in your body before they can be used. Some people lack the ability to convert folic acid and develop a deficiency.