Best B12 Supplement

best b12 supplementIt always amazes me how complex depression is.

It also always amazes me when someone simply has one vitamin deficiency and once that is fixed, all symptoms go away.

Depression is tricky yet simple.  On the one hand, it can be hard to figure out what the root cause of your own depression is.

It also is especially hard when you’re already depressed in the first place and have a foggy head, no energy, feel faint, and trying to figure out how to cure yourself all at the same time.

On the other hand, with a simple diagnosis of symptoms, it can be very straightforward.

On the spectrum of amazingly simple, a B12 deficiency is quite common. When this is the case, all it can take is one supplement to fix your depression.

Read on to find out what the best b12 supplement to take is and to see a reader’s story of finding relief in 5 days.

What is Vitamin B12?

Best b12 supplement

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B 12 also goes by the name cobalamin. According to Wikipedia, it is involved in in every single cell of the human body.  It affects the creation of DNA, fatty acids, and producing energy.

No plant or human alive is capable of producing Vitamin B12.  It can only be produced by humans using bacteria.  The reason I recommend eating lots of healthy foods, including healthy meats, is if you aren’t getting enough Vitamin B12, you are going to be depressed.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of Vit B12 deficiency is, you guessed it, depression.  Any B Vitamin deficiency will result in depression.  B Vitamins are crucial to every step in creating neurotransmitters and overall mood.

If you’ve been stressed out for a long time or suffered from trauma It is likely that you are deficient in B Vitamins one way or another.  Sugar also depletes B Vitamins.  If you’ve been stressed and eating sugary foods to ease your pain, then B Vitamins become even more important.

Low Vitamin B12 symptoms can include or mimic:

  • Memory problems
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Learning disorders
  • Cancer
  • Infertility

Yes, cancer.  Don’t mess around with B Vitamin deficiencies.  Especially Vitamin B12.

B12 deficiency if far more common than you might think.  Data from the Tufts University Framingham Offspring Study shows that 40% of people in the age range of 26 to 83 have plasma B12 levels in the lower ranges.

If any of those symptoms above sound like what you are experiencing, try supplementing with B12 for a few days to see the results.

Who Is Most Likely To Benefit From Taking A B12 Supplement?

best b12 supplementVitamin B12 is more complex than just simply eating the right foods.  If you have any problems with your digestive system, have leaky gut or gut inflammation, drink a lot of alcohol, or take medications your ability to absorb and utilize B12 can suffer.

Even if you are eating plenty of healthy food and animal products, if your digestive system is off, you are going to have a hard time getting enough B12 to feel the best that you can.

Vegetarians and vegans are the most suspect to having a B12 deficiency. A lot of plant sources don’t contain actual B12, just B12 analogs.  80% of vegans are shown to be deficient in B12.  All vegans and pretty much all vegetarians should supplement with B12.

If you truly want to know for sure whether or not you are deficient in Vitamin B12, most insurance companies will cover the cost if you go to a doctor.  If not, you can order a simple test from a place like DirectLabs for around $65.

Benefits of Vitamin B12

best b12 supplement

Vitamin B12 helps prevent brain shrinkage.

Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin.  Without it, you cannot properly renew the skin cells.  Benefits of B12 also includes converting carbohydrates into energy.  Experiencing severe fatigue is another sign you may be deficient in B12.

Vitamin B12 helps protect against cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease.  It helps maintain a healthy digestive system.

Last but not least, it helps regulate the nervous system. Vitamin B12 benefits include preventing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.

Sources of Vitamin B12

The top Vitamin B12 sources are shellfish, beef liver, fish, crab, tofu (although I recommend being careful eating soy), red meat, dairy (check for allergies first), cheese, and eggs.  As you can see, vegans and vegetarians are at risk for not getting these foods rich in vitamin B12 in their diets.

Vitamin B12 is made in the gut.  If you are eating enough healthy foods and your digestion works properly, you should be getting enough Vitamin B12.  If you are taking a Vitamin B Complex on top of it all you shouldn’t have any problems.

However, you may need to take extra B12 if you find yourself with low energy, depression, anxiety, and have responded well to B Vitamins in the past.  Try taking B12 especially if you are depressed and tend to stay away from eating meat, or if you are experiencing feelings of faintness or serious fatigue.

Vitamin B12 Side Effects

Severe allergic reactions can occur if your body can’t tolerate B12 supplements.  This can include getting a rash, hives, having difficulty breathing, having tightness in your chest, or swelling in your mouth.

However, according to Drugs.com there are no commonly reported side effects by taking Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Overdose

Symptoms of taking too much Vitamin B12 can include itchiness, improper heart functioning, giddiness, and regular headaches.

Again, this is very rare.  Just be careful if you are the very rare minority that begins to feel any of those symptoms.

What B12 Supplement is Best?

The best B12 supplement for absorption is sublingual B12 or taking injections.

Methylcobalamin

The most common form of Vit B12 is called cyanaocobalamin.  Methylcobalamin has recently been shown to be a better choice.  Japanese studies show that it is better absorbed because it bypasses a few problems that can occur in the B12 absorption cycle.  It also provides methyl groups to the body, which are important for overall health and mood.

Best B12 Supplement Reviews

Best B12 SupplementMany people believe that Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin is the best B12 supplement on the market. It can be placed under the tongue for maximum absorption.  Supplements don’t have many restrictions and regulations to ensure quality, but Jarrow Formulas is a brand I know that I can always trust.

A bottle of 60 lozenges at 5,000mcg from Jarrow Formulas is priced right around $15.  On Amazon.com, it is the best seller out of all the B12 supplements

Best b12 supplement

Best B12 Supplement

Jarrow Formulas B12 Reviews on Amazon.com

best b12 supplement

Jarrow Formulas 1,000mcg Version Reviews on iHerb.com

Best b12 SupplementNature’s Bounty comes in a close second place to Jarrow Formulas.  The price is significantly lower. At 250 microlozenges and 2500mcg, the price is $15.  Jarrow Formulas is about twice the price of Nature’s Bounty if you factor in the dosing difference.

Nature’s Bounty is sublingual also and can be placed under the tongue for absorption.  It is the same cherry flavor as Jarrow Formulas.

The one thing I don’t like about Nature’s Bounty is it contains mannitol.  Some people can have issues digesting this artificial sugar and others are allergic to it.  Jarrow Formulas uses xylitol as a sweetener, which most people are able to handle.

My personal recommendation is to go with Jarrow Formulas unless you are really struggling financially, then Nature’s Bounty would be an option.

B12 Dosage can vary, but most people who are deficient find that 5,000 mcg is an effective dose.

Best Time To Take A B12 Supplement

Don’t take a B12 supplement too close to bedtime as Vitamin B12 can be stimulating and cause insomnia.  We all know what insomnia can do to our moods.

When taking a sublingual lozenge, it is important to let the tablet dissolve as slowly as possible under the tongue.  Sublingual B12 can be taken at any time.  You don’t have to take it with food or not, although many people report that taking it right after a meal has positive effects.

How Quickly Can Taking A B12 Supplement Work?

One reader was emailing me and his symptoms indicated he may be deficient in B12 the more I talked with him.  I simply told him to take the brand I recommended to you above, Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin, and he experienced relief in only a few days.

From not being able to work from dizziness, severe fatigue, and feeling faint, he found himself finally being able to function from taking one supplement.

Best B12 Supplement Best B12 SupplementWith depression, it is important to go deep and find your own root cause for why your experiencing these awful symptoms of despair.  People always ask me if it is possible to beat depression.  My answer always is the same and can be found in the linked article.

To learn more about vitamin B supplements, amino acid supplements, antioxidant supplements, methylcobalamin b12, or the best vitamin brands, make sure to check out the supplements for depression master page.

If you want a proven depression relief system that takes what symptoms you are currently experiencing and shows you the best route and action steps to take for your own individual depression type, check out the course here.

If you simply want free, actionable daily emails that get you one step closer to finding your root cause and moving towards recovery, sign up here for the email list.

Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP Reviews

jarrow formulas 5-ht reviews intro

Boost your serotonin naturally

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was just serotonin pills we could take and feel better?

Especially if it was natural?

And didn’t cause dependency?

If you’ve been depressed for a while, chances are you’ve heard the news about serotonin.

Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and low self-esteem are symptoms of low serotonin.

In other words – not having enough serotonin makes life miserable.

Serotonin is made by converting L-Tryptophan into 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan) and then into 5-HT (serotonin).

Most people are able to get enough tryptophan and B vitamins in their diets to produce sufficient serotonin.

However, if you are depressed, you can jump start that process to get your brain back quicker.

Read on to learn about the uses of 5-HTP and the best brand to take.

Does 5 HTP Work

5htp is made from griffonia simplicifolia. Seeds from this african plant are harvested in order to producue 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). In fact, many vendors sell griffonia seed extract for the same effects of taking a 5 htp supplement.

5-HTP is well known for its quick effects when taken on an empty stomach.  According to Julia Ross and her clinic, 5-HTP can raise your serotonin levels by 540%.  That is compared to Prozac’s 150%-250%.

By taking a 5-htp supplement you are stepping in halfway in the process of making serotonin.  5-HTP works for around 80% of people who try it for depression.  Others, like myself, tend to respond to L-Tryptophan better.

5 htp uses range from using it to combat depression and anxiety, help you sleep better at night, fix irritability, or some people get a 5 htp high by taking large amounts of it.  There is also a big community of people who get high off MDMA (ecstasy) and use 5-HTP to lessen their withdrawal symptoms.

5 htp Benefits

5 htp Weight Loss

Jarrow formulas 5-htp weight loss

Claims of weight loss have exploded with 5-htp

I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of 5-htp before.  The biggest marketing pitch for 5-htp is for weight loss.

One research study took two groups of overweight women.  One group had 5 htp 200mg before each meal.  The other group took a placebo before each meal.  The women who took the actual 5-htp ate 1,084 fewer calories per day and felt less hungry.

Another research study found that women who took a 5-HTP supplement lost 10.3 pounds in 3 months.  The placebo group only lost 2.2 pounds.

Why does this happen?  You crave food when you have low serotonin.  You especially crave carbs when you have low serotonin.  If you are suffering from depression and find that you tend to binge on carb rich foods like candy, bread, starches, and treats then 5-HTP might be something to look into.

5 htp Insomnia

Many people use 5 htp for sleep.  Your body produces melatonin from the extra serotonin left over at the end of the day.  That is why, if you are like me, you find it so frustrating that when you are depressed and need sleep, you don’t sleep!

People find it bizarre that when I become sleep deprived and depressed I tend to have a harder time sleeping.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, people who took 5-htp went to sleep quicker and slept more deeply than those that were given a placebo.

5 htp Anxiety

Using 5 htp for anxiety is recommended for those people that are suffering from both depression and anxiety.  Many people that suffer from social anxiety have found relief by taking 50 mg of 5-htp everyday for 3-4 days.

One user on a social anxiety forum said that he found that he increasingly talked to his family members, reconnected with old friends, and slept better after taking 5 htp for a few days.

5 htp Depression

If you are reading this site chances are you’ve been waiting to hear all about using 5 htp for depression.  5 htp effects have been described as calming, uplifting, soothing, and has an anti-depressive effect.

Like you saw earlier, there have been studies that have shown that 5-htp effectively raises serotonin more than popular antidepressants do. Not only that, but the dreaded side effects of traditional antidepressants aren’t seen with 5-htp.

Antidepressants have around a 50%-70% chance of giving someone sexual side effects and dysfunction.  5-HTP has never produced sexual dysfunction in people who have taken it.

Here’s the kicker.  Antidepressants only make existing serotonin more available.  They do not produce more serotonin.  They also don’t increase 5HIAA which is essential for your mood.

jarrow formulas reivews serotonin supplements

Antidepressants don’t solve the complete problem

This means that this serotonin can’t move on to perform other functions.  Serotonin is used to make melatonin or 5HIAA. Many people on antidepressants have messed up sleep patterns.  Not sleeping defeats the whole purpose of taking an antidepressant.

5HIAA might be just as essential to your mood and well-being as serotonin itself.  There have been several court cases involving violence where the criminal was shown to have lower levels of 5HIAA.  Not allowing serotonin to move on and produce 5HIAA can have bad effects long-term on your mental well-being.

The good news about using a supplement like 5-HTP is that you are producing more serotonin.  Not just reusing the existing serotonin in your brain.

5 htp Dosage

The best way to find out what 5 htp dose you need is to always start with a low dose.  5htp dosage can vary from person to person.  You should always start out with the smallest amount you can find (typically 50mg) and move up from there.

jarrow formulas 5-htp reviews 5-htp dosage

Take just one 50mg pill to test out 5-HTP effects on your personal biochemistry

The 5 htp dosage for depression I would recommend is start out with 1 capsule of 50 milligrams for a few days.  Take the capsule on an empty stomach.

If you don’t feel any weird effects at that dose, try raising it all the way up to 200mg a day.  Take 2 capsules of 50 mg each once in the afternoon meals and another 2 capsules before you go to bed.

Do this for a week, and see how it affects your mood.

After a while of taking 5htp and having it help you feel better, always try at the end of each bottle to see if you can stop taking it.  A lot of the time you will have restored your serotonin naturally.  You can stop taking 5htp and still feel good.

If you ever start to feel bad again, you can use 5htp to get yourself back quickly.  5 htp half life is short and acts very quickly, so you should begin to feel results almost immediately.

If you want to learn more about taking amino acids, which schedules to follow, printable guides, videos and instruction on how to tackle boosting your serotonin back up make sure to check out my course here.

5 htp Side Effects

Side effects of 5 htp include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.  These typically occur only at very high amounts.  As I mentioned before, start with the lowest dose possible for a few days to see hot it affects you.  Then, and only then, move on to taking larger amounts to avoid these side effects.

5 htp Safety

If you are taking St. John’s Wort, antidepressants, or other medications, make sure to speak to a doctor before trying out 5-htp.  Combining it with other herbs and drugs, or a 5 htp overdose, can possibly cause a problem called serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome can produce suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and basically resemble not having enough serotonin.

5 htp Drug Interactions

The biggest drugs to be careful combining with 5htp is other antidepressants.  Because of the effects both 5htp and antidepressants have on serotonin, you have to start out very small and work closely with your doctor.  Many psychiatrists are now combining 5htp with antidepressant drugs safely.

5 htp Alcohol

jarrow formulas 5-htp reviews 5-htp and alcohol

Be careful taking 5-HTP with alcohol… Unless you use it for the hangover

You should be careful combining 5 htp and alcohol.  Many people have reported strong reactions such as seizures, blacking out, being really drowsy, or having a bad experience.

You should allow at least 6 or so hours after taking 5 htp to drink alcohol.

However, if you want to help ease your alchohol withdrawal, 5 htp can help.  A study done in 2006 showed that 5-HTP helped reduce alcohol withdrawal in rats.

5 htp and Melatonin

People who are taking melatonin might find they like taking 5 htp better.  There aren’t any real harmful interactions between taking them both at the same time that we know of.

Many people that take melatonin and suffer from depression find that melatonin can make them feel worse (this is what happens to me).  Also, melatonin shouldn’t be taken more than 1 or 2 weeks straight.

5-HTP raises melatonin levels by making serotonin.  This extra serotonin can be used to produce more melatonin.

You can enjoy the same benefits of melatonin by taking 5HTP.  You will also be getting the other benefits from increased serotonin levels that you don’t get by taking melatonin alone.

Try experimenting with one or the other to see which one affects you the best.

Best 5 htp Brand

Supplements for Depression

Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP Capsules in my Hand

5 htp reviews are confusing to navigate.  Searching “5htp reviews” in Google brings up nothing but random generic websites.

The biggest and most popular are NOW 5-HTP and Natrol 5-HTP.

However, in my research on supplement brands and personal experience, Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP should be your first choice.

Jarrow Formulas 5-htp Dietary Supplement

jarrow formulas 5-htp reviews bottle

Jarrow Formulas 5-htp

Jarrow products are known for their high quality. The only problem is that their products are usually a little more expensive.  I typically take Jarrow Formulas when that is the only brand that I have used that I have felt any effects.

I take other brands if they work due to their lower cost.  Jarrow B Right is an excellent product for people who need B Vitamins that absorb easier on the stomach, for example.

Jarrow Formulas reviews are typically very high.  You can learn more about Jarrow vitamins at Jarrow.com.

I have tried other 5 htp pills and never really felt anything.  I thought that 5-HTP simply didn’t work for me but decided to keep searching to find the best 5 htp.  When I tried out Jarrow Formulas 5 htp 50 mg I felt the effects of 5htp for the first time.

Jarrow Formulas 5-htp Ingredients

Jarrow Formulas 5-htp reviews ingredients

Jarrow Formulas 5-htp Ingredients

The only ingredient in Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP is 5-Hydroxytryptophan.

Jarrow Formulas 5 htp Reviews

Jarrow Formulas 5-htp reviews

Jarrow Formulas 5-htp reviews on Amazon

This is the one warning I have with Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP: There are a few reviews on there that say one bottle for them worked while another bottle didn’t.

As far as everything I have tried, Jarrow Formulas products always work.  I haven’t had the 5-HTP I bought from Jarrow not work for me, but I have only bought 2 bottles of the stuff.

People who have subscribed to a monthly delivery of it have said that sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  However, the vast majority of reviews appear to be positive.

The positive reviews range from “I’m finally sleeping!” to “This changed my life.”

With Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP, if you get a good bottle (which is most likely) it will work really well.  There might be a small chance that you get a bad bottle, however.

A bottle of Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP 50mg 90 capsules goes for around $12.29 a bottle.

Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP Reviews vs 5 htp Natrol

Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP reviews

Natrol 5 htp Reviews on Amazon.com

Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP reviews natrol

Natrol 5-HTP 100mg

This is the 5-HTP you will see at Costco.  It is one of the most popular brands that is often marketed for weight loss.  It has more reviews than Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP and has sold much more.

Price comparison wise, you can get a bottle with 150 tablets of 100mg Natrol 5-HTP for $22.89.  It is cheaper than Jarrow Formulas.

The Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP comes in capsules, which offers better absorption.  I also prefer the 50mg version of Jarrow Formulas as mentioned in the side effects and warnings of taking too much 5-HTP above.

A few reviewers say that this brand is a little on the weak side and only slightly sedative.  That is with a higher dose of 100mg (there is a Jarrow Formulas 5 htp 100 mg version, but again, I’d recommend sticking with 50mg first).

However, if these work for you, they might be a better option because of the price difference.  You could simply cut the tablet in half to test it at the low dose of 50mg.  I have just personally taken these and not felt much.

Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP Reviews vs NOW 5-htp

Jarrow Formulas Reviews NOW Foods amazon

NOW Foods 5-HTP 100mg Reviews on Amazon.com

Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP reviews NOW Foods

NOW Foods 5-htp

NOW Foods is one of my favorite supplement companies.  However, for some reason, NOW Foods version of 5-HTP didn’t click with me.  I might have gotten a bad bottle from them and need to try it again, but I just didn’t feel much.

NOW Foods 5-HTP is cheaper than Jarrow Formulas.  You can get the NOW Foods 5-HTP 50mg 90 capsules version for $9.50 on Amazon.com.

NOW Foods 5-HTP also has more negative reviews than the other brands.  It seemed to have a lot of mixed results with people finding it a lifesaver, having it only “kind of” work, and other people saying it didn’t work at all or it made their situation worse.

Basically with NOW Foods 5-HTP, your mileage may vary.

Where to Buy 5 htp

The best place to buy 5-htp is Amazon.com or iHerb.com.  If you use iHerb.com, the Rewards Code GVH528 will give you $10 off.  Sometimes the price on Amazon.com can be cheaper than iHerb.com and vice versa.  

Amazon.com

iHerb.com

  • Click here to open up iHerb with all the supplements in one place.  Delete the ones you don’t want.

If you want to learn more about serotonin supplements and supplements that work for depression, make sure to check out my master page of which supplements have been proven to work.

Twinlab Niacin Review

twinlab niacin review niacin flush

This guy took a little too much

Want a vitamin that makes you relaxed, calm, sleep better, and fixes your depression?

A vitamin that only costs $0.06 per capsule?

One that has even been shown to cure schizophrenia?

Is extremely safe, water soluble, and easy to try?

Read on to find out how to take this vitamin, what to do if “flushing” occurs, and where to buy the best niacin out there for the lowest price.

Niacin is something I wish I would have tried earlier.

Nicotinic acid, which is niacin, is a common name for vitamin B3.  Getting enough B3 vitamin in your diet is necessary to break down fats, proteins, and to help process carbohydrates to use for energy.

Niacin can be confusing.  There are two forms – nicotinamide (also called niacinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate.

Niacin causes flushing, whereas products labeled no flush niacin typically contain inositol hexanicotinate.

Read on to find out more about how these different forms work and which one you should take for depression.

What is Niacin Good For

Niacin Detox

twinlab niacin review niacin detox

Niacin is popular among the drug using crowd to supposedly clean your system out faster.

Many people do a niacin cleanse to flush toxins out of their body.  If you search Google you will find tons of people using Niacin to flush drugs out of their system before a drug test.

Supposedly, niacin opens the capillaries when you get the “flush” effect causing blood to flow closer to the surface of the skin.  This causes your body to release histamines.  This increase in histamines tells the body to send more blood in order to remove excess toxins.

However, there has been no documented studies showing that it will help flush out marijuana quicker for your drug test.  If you’re worried about that, just ask me to send you a clean pee sample and I got you covered. Just kidding, that is illegal.

Niacin to Lower Cholesterol

One of the major niacin uses is to use niacin for cholesterol. You won’t be able to use the flush-free version.  Sorry cholesterol sufferers, but you are going to have to experience the dreaded flush.  Niacin can lower two types of your bad cholesterol while it increases your levels of good cholesterol.  Crazy thing is, it has even been shown to increase HDL more than medications.

No-flush niacin is basically inositol hexanicotinate.  It works great for energy and helping your nervous system, but hasn’t been shown to affect cholesterol levels.

If you’re looking to lower cholesterol while improving your mood, stick with the regular niacin.

Niacin Weight Loss

twinlab niacin review weight loss

Niacin supposedly helps with weight loss as well

Among the list of niacin benefits is weight loss.  Niacin slows down the production of cortisol.  Cortisol is the hormone that is released in response to stress. If you have too much cortisol, your body won’t be able to burn fat.  You will be storing all that food in the fat cells on your body.

Vitamin b 3 helps convert the food you eat into energy.  It helps your body make L-Carnitine, which is an amino acid that helps burn fat.

Niacin and Blood Pressure

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information Niacin B3 caused short-term lowered blood pressure.  Larger studies show that prescription niacin and extended release niacin have a blood pressure lowering effect over the long-term.  Many people list lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol as the main vitamin B3 benefits.  But, obviously, I had other plans in mind when I took it.

Niacin For Depression

Why I became interested in niacin benefits was obviously for depression. My first experience taking a niacin pill was after buying Twinlab niacin caps off the internet.

What was weird was how relaxed I felt after I took it.  I literally felt like a warm blanket was placed over me.  After I took one Twinlab Niacin 500 mg capsule I had that “Everything is going to be okay” type of feeling.  I liked niacin so much I wanted to create a site purely for niacin reviews.

twinlab niacin review depression

Depression & social isolation used to be how I lived

I gave my brother some, and he loved it so much it almost looked like he was taking a drug.  He took it every night for about a month.  I almost thought he needed to go to Niacin Anonymous from all the flushing he was doing.

There is a lot of debate around B Vitamins and curing not just depression, but schizophrenia as well.  Andrew Saul had a patient that had been hospitalized for schizophrenia and was extremely hyperactive at night, unable to sleep.  Using 3,000mg of niacin and 1,000mg of Vitamin C each day, he suddenly slept 18 hours a day and was normal in a few days.

What is the deal with niacin therapy?  Do we all have a niacin deficiency?

Dr. Hoffer, a leading doctor in orthomolecular therapy that uses vitamins to cure people, explains a few key points about niacin:

twinlab niacin review schizophrenia

Painting done by someone with Schizophrenia

  • Niacin acts as an antihistamine.  People who suffer from psychotic behavior typically have some form of cerebral allergies.  Eating certain foods can really mess them up, such as junk food and sugar.  This means that they need more niacin to cope with these foods than the average person.
  • If you take niacin and don’t flush red, that means you need more of it.  You are literally soaking up the niacin in your body.  The Niacin creates NAD, which is one of the most important coenzymes in the body.
  • Schizophrenic patients have have a high amount of oxidized adrenalin, called adrenochrome, that has an almost LSD-like effect on the body.  Niacin serves to reduce the body’s production of this toxic material.

Niacin Dosage and How To Take Niacin

What I didn’t know for a long time was that flushing meant you were saturated with enough niacin.  In other words, if you flush beet red from niacin, you’ve taken plenty (if not a little too much).

twinlab niacin review bottle

Twinlab Niacin B-3 Caps

This is particularly interesting, because there have been a few times where I took a Twinlab Niacin B-3 capsule and literally didn’t flush at all.  Now I know that that meant I needed all that niacin and it was being absorbed into my body.

You want to take just enough so that you have a slight flush.  This means a little bit of pinkness visible on your skin.  If you are turning beet red like you’ve been living on the sun for a few says and this lasts a half hour or longer, this means you’ve taken too much.

Niacin should be taken right after you eat a meal.  If you take it on an empty stomach, a niacin flush can occur within 20 minutes.  If you take it after a meal, it can appear in an hour or two.  If you start to flush red, just remember that you took niacin that day!

Many people suggest taking a small dose, around 50mg to 100mg, after each meal over the course of one day.  I would suggest trying to take one half of the Twinlab Niacin (b-3) 500mg 100 Capsules and see what happens.  If you don’t flush at all, take a whole capsule the next time.  If you flush too much, try taking it with food or even a smaller dose.

It would be wise to take niacin along with a b complex and other B Vitamins throughout the day.  B Vitamins work together, and a B Complex is one of the best vitamins you can take for fixing depression.  To learn more about which B Complex vitamins I recommend, check out my Supplements for Depression page.

Niacin Side Effects

The biggest side effect you will find taking Twinlab Niacin B-3 caps is the “flush.”  Niacin flushing can be described as burning, tingling, itching all over, redness of the body, and even headaches.

Other side effects can include stomach upset, intestinal gas, and dizziness.  If you experience anything like this, than you have definitely taken too much.

If the main side effect of niacin is simply the flushing, why not just the buy no flush niacin?

Flush Free Niacin

To flush or not to flush, that is the question.  Why would someone take flushing niacin when non flush niacin forms exist?

There is nothing wrong with taking the non flush version.  However, it is less effective in inducing relaxation and calming effects.  It also doesn’t do much to lower cholesterol.

I have talked to people that say they took large amounts of flush free niacin and significantly reduced their depression.  I have tried it myself, and personally felt nothing.  With regular flushing niacin, I can definitely feel the effects.

There is also a sustained release niacin.  It is often advertised as another niacin flush free product.  It is supposed to not cause a flush while still keeping all the cholesterol lowering and calming effects of regular niacin.  However, the flush can simply just happen hours later.  This makes it harder to tell if you are properly saturated with niacin and how to adjust your dose.  They can also cost a lot more (Twinlabs Niacin B3 is extremely cheap).

Twinlab Niacin Ingredients

twinlab niacin review ingredients

Twinlab Niacin Ingredients

Twinlab niacin B-3 500mg capsules simply contain Niacin.  The picture above shows the Twinlab Niacin 1000 mg version.  I’d personally recommend getting the niacin 500 mg version (links below).  Taking niacin 1000mg is almost guaranteed to cause a pretty intense flush.

Other ingredients are gelatin, purified water, and MCT.

Twinlab Niacin Review

Why twinlab niacin?

Twinlab vitamins are known for their high quality, pure ingredients, and amazing reviews.  Their version of niacin is also some of the cheapest niacin I have ever seen in comparison to other brands such as nature made vitamins.  You can currently buy Twinlab Niacin off of Amazon.com for $0.06 a capsule.

Twinlab Niacin review amazon reviews

Twinlab Niacin Amazon Reviews

Where to Buy Niacin Pills

My favorite place to buy niacin supplements and niacin pills is Amazon.com.  Some people like iHerb.com better because Amazon supplements can sit on the shelf for a while.  I’ve never received an expired niacin vitamin bottle from Amazon.com before, but iHerb is a great vendor to choose from as well with comparable prices.

Twinlab Niacin B 3 500mg – This is the “internet bottle.”  It is break resistant, ships easier, and is only $7 dollars for 120 capsules when you order it with any order over $25.

Twinlab Niacin B 3 1000mg – Same as above, except the 1000mg mega dose.  Costs $11 dollars.  I would recommend sticking with 500mg for first time users of niacin.

Twinlab Niacin No Flush isn’t typically reviewed very well.  I would recommend going with another brand if you decide to opt for the no flush route (I would urge you to try using regular niacin!)

Life Extension No Flush Niacin 800 Mg , 100 Capsules – This goes for around $13 dollars and contains the special form of niacin (inositol hexanicotinate) that I talked about in the intro that doesn’t cause flushing.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil Review

carlson labs very finest fish oil review

Fish Oil – Does it really work for depression?

Can taking fish oil have an almost immediate effect on your mental well-being?

Are all fish oils created equal?

Did you know that some fish oil is contaminated with toxic metals like mercury?

That some fish oil doesn’t break down in your stomach properly for digestion?

Read the article below to learn some secrets on fish oil and get the low-down on various fish oil supplements and why Carlson Labs comes out as a top brand for fish oil.

Why Take Fish Oil?

The benefits of fish oil supplements have been hammered into our heads for many years now.  You may have heard advertisements about fish oil and weight loss, fish oil Vitamin D, Fish Oil Anti Inflammatory, and Fish Oil Cholesterol benefits.

But what is fish oil for?

Our brains are made up mostly of fatty acids.  This fatty acid balance is delicate.  When it is properly working, your brain will be firing on all cylinders.

Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio is completely messed up in most people’s diets.  Most people have way too many Omega-6 fats and not enough Omega-3 fats.

Without enough Omega-3 fats, you are more prone to inflammation, your neurotransmitters won’t be produced as efficiently, your cholesterol will be higher, and your fatty acid balance will be out of whack.

Fish Oil works to prevent artery disease, namely heart disease and strokes.

Most people take fish oil liquid or fish oil pills purely for the health benefits of fish oil.  If you aren’t taking it for just that, you should.  However, the main reason why I started taking it (and you should too if you’re reading this site) is for depression.

Fish Oil For Depression

According to Julia Ross in her book The Mood Cure, eating more fish and getting more omega-3 fats by taking fish oil, you can raise the amount of neurotransmitters responsible for attention and focus by 40%!

You can also feel the effects quite quickly.  Many people who have serious issues with this fatty acid imbalance report that they are suddenly feeling energized for the first time in years once they start taking fish oil.

Fish Oil EPA DHA

Fish oil contains EPA and DHA.  These are omega-3 fats that are best used in the brain. You want DHA and EPA if you are depressed. Flaxseed also contains omega-3 fats, but many people cannot convert those fats into DHA and EPA efficiently.

The reason is because flaxseed contains ALA, or alpha linolenic acid.  This has to be converted into DHA and EPA.  It has been shown that about 66% of people cannot properly break down ALA and our ability to do also declines with age.  Aim to get high quality fish oil instead.

MAO Inhibitor

EPA and DHA act as an MAO inhibitor.  This means that fish oil literally slows down the enzymes in your brain that destroy dopamin and serotonin.

If you start taking more fish oil and getting more Omega-3 fats, your brain will have more feel good neurotransmitters such as catecholamines and serotonin.

How Much Fish Oil Should You Take?

If you are suffering from depression, you should start taking around 2 grams per day of combined DHA and EPA.  You can see on the label of fish oil how much DHA and EPA each serving contains. If you decide to just eat fish instead, that would be about eating a one-quarter pound of salmon.

Fish oil can also be overstimulating to many people.  If you take too much fish oil and you find yourself suddenly starting to wake up at 4am with too much energy, you might need to cut back a bit.

How to Take Fish Oil

You want to find pure fish oil so that you can avoid toxic metals such as mercury in certain fish oil brands.  You also want high EPA fish oil.  You can check out fish oil ratings.  A 5-star rating means that the fish oil has greater than or equal to 60% concentration of EPA and DHA per gram of fish oil.

If you are depressed and correcting fatty acid imbalances, I would recommend taking a serving of fish oil at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Make the total amount for the day equal 2 grams of combined DHA and EPA.

I also like taking fish oil with vitamins that are fat soluble, such as Vitamin D, as taking those vitamins with a source of fat will increase their absorption.

For a few months you might need to take even more fish oil than that.  You will know you have taken too much if a higher dose overstimulates you.

People suffering from bipolar have found relief with using fish oil alone by taking up to 9 grams per day.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil Review

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish oil is one of the best fish oil supplements out there in my personal opinion.  Many people think that Carlson Labs is the best fish oil brand due to its high quality and manufacturing standards.  You can get more information on this family owned business at Carlsonlabs.com.

Julia Ross lists Carlson Labs as one her first recommendations for fish oil in her well researched book.

Many people prefer to take fish oil in capsules, but I think liquid fish oil is far superior.  It absorbs better, can take a spoonful of it easily, and you know that it is fresh. Fish oil in capsule form can be hard to tell if it has gone rancid.  When fish oil is in liquid form, you’re forced to notice if it’s rancid.

The only issue is you have to keep it in the fridge, which can cause problems if you want to take Carlson Fish Oil liquid while at work.

Carlson Fish Oil shows almost 500 reviews on Amazon.com.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review amazon reviews

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil Review on Amazon.com

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil by Carlson has the right concentration of EPA/DHA of 1.3g/teaspoon.  This stuff also tastes good.  It has extra Vitamin E in it as well. Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil Lemon 500ml is usually priced right around $30.  This is a price effective choice for fish oil as 500ml is quite a lot and will last you a while.

I actually like this liquid fish oil so much, I had my sister buy it for me as my Christmas present.

Carlson Fish Oil Review Consumer Labs

ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of information for supplements.  They independently test products in the health and nutrition industry.

Consumerlab.com’s suvery rated Carlson Laboratories as a #1 Fish Oil Brand on 4/30/2013.  The results were based on the consumer satisfaction from over 10,000 subscribers to ConsumerLab.com.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil Ingredients

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review ingredients

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil Nutrition

You can see above in Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil Label that there is a high amount of EPA and DHA per serving. Just one teaspoonful will get you 1,600mg of omega-3 fatty acids!

Carlson Labs Fish Oil Soy

Carlson Labs Fish oil has been tested for soy and does not contain soy.  If you are allergic or have problems with soy, you are safe taking this fish oil supplement.

Carlson Labs Fish Oil Mercury

Carlson Labs Very Finest Fish Oil is regularly tested, using AOAC international protocols, for freshness, potency, and purity.  It has been determined by a FDA-registerd laboratory to be fresh, fully potent, and free of detrimental levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, PCB’s, and 28 other contaminants.

You know by taking Carlson Labs Fish Oil that you aren’t harming yourself with other contaminants. Carlson labs fish oil purity is of the highest standard.

Carlson Labs Liquid Fish Oil vs Nordic Naturals Fish Oil

Nordic Natural Ultimate Omega Fish Oil has been one of the biggest fish oil supplements on the market.  They are known for high quality products and get plenty of great reviews.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review nordic naturals amazon

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Fish Oil Amazon.com Reviews

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review Nordic Naturls front bottle

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

They are typically higher cost, as a bottle with 180 softgels costs $45.

I have never taken them myself personally, but I have heard of people getting good results with it.

According to testing done, Nordic Naturals was a clean product.  It is rated 5 stars as a fish oil supplement, is soy free, GMO free, mercury free, and the price is OK.

On the other hand, it contains cholesterol, it is not enteric coated, it is not vegetarian, it is not certified Kosher, and it has a relatively low omega-3 potency.  Some people have reported the taste of their other products isn’t quite as good as Carlson Labs either.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil 16.9 vs Barleans Fish Oil

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review Barlens Omega Swirl Fish Oil

Barleans

Barleans Omega Swirl Fish Oil is another popular fish oil product.  It supposedly tastes amazing, is a 5-start rated fish oil supplement, has one of the highest omega-3 potencies on the market, is molecularly distilled, soy free, GMO free, mercury free, and cholesterol free.

On the other hand it is not enteric coated, is not vegetarian, is not certified Kosher, and can be more on the expensive side.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review Barleans omega swirl amazon review

Barleans Omega Swirl Amazon.com Reviews

This is a good product to try if you aren’t a fan of the taste of Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil for some reason and are willing to spend a little extra money for the taste and high Omega-3 potency of Barleans.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil vs Kirkland Fish Oil

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review Kirkland Signature Amazon pic

Kirkland Signature Omega 3

Kirkland Signature Omega-3 Fish Oil is one of the cheapest sources of fish oil you will find.  A bottle of 400 softgels costs less than $14 on Amazon.com and you can find it at Costco for sometimes cheaper.

Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil review Kirkland Signature Amazon

Kirkland Signature Fish Oil Amazon Reviews – You Can See More Negative Reviews and comments like “SEEMS to be pretty good”….

There are mixed opinions on this brand of fish oil.  On the one end, Consumerlabs.com (and even Julia Ross) recommend it as a fish oil supplement.  On the other end, there are many negative reviews of Kirkland Fish Oil being rancid, having gone bad, or not being potent.

According to a report by WebMD.com, two of three samples of Kirkland Signature Fish Oil Supplements had an enteric coating (used to prevent a fishy aftertaste) which did not dissolve properly.

This means that the coating might break up in the stomach rather than in the small intestine. This fish oil might not be the best for proper absorption in the body.

Many fish oil supplements passed the test (including Carlson Super Omega-3 Gems and Barlean’s Organic Oils EPA-DHA) but Kirkland Signature Fish Oil did not pass.

Where to Buy Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil

I recommend people buy top fish oil supplements on Amazon.com.  I have seen Carlson Labs Very Finest Liquid Fish Oil in local stores and the price has usually been a lot higher than what you can get it for online.  Whole foods fish oil in particular seems to cost way more than Amazon.com’s prices.

Calson Labs Fish Oil Amazon:

Other Choices of Fish Oil

For more information on other supplements that have been shown to alleviate depression, check out the master page: Supplements for Depression

Which Vitamin D Should I Take? Thorne Research Vitamin D Review

Thorne Research Vitamin D Review

Most people don’t get enough sunlight to have optimal levels of Vitamin D in their bodies

Did you know that something simple like being deficient in Vitamin D can result in depression?

Getting your Vitamin D levels tested is cheap and easy?

You can take inexpensive supplements to get your Vitamin D levels in the optimal range, which affects many aspects of your well-being?

But there are supplements out there that simply don’t work.

And you should avoid them, unless you like wasting money.

I supplemented for a year with Vitamin D by taking Nutrigold Vitamin D3 5000 IU and didn’t get any results.  The product had over 300 5-star reviews on Amazon.com so I thought it must be a good product.

Thorne Research Vitamin D Review

Nutrigold Vitamin D’s Reviews Tricked Me

Wrong.

My blood test revealed no big difference in my Vitamin D levels.

Most of the reviews for Nutrigold are fake and part of a good marketing plan.  They fooled me.  Not all amazon reviews can be trusted.

After talking with a doctor about high quality brands, she told me about Thorne Research Vitamin D/K2.  Researching Thorne Research and seeing that the brand seemed to be of exceptional quality, I decided to put the product Thorne Research – Vitamin d (d3) liquid – 1 oz to the test.

Thorne Research Vitamin D Liquid

Thorne Research Vitamin D Review

Bottle of Thorne research Vitamin D (d3) liquid

You can buy Thorne Research Vitamin D Capsules but putting a few drops of Vitamin D liquid on your tongue is supposed to absorb better.  The only problem you can experience with the liquid form is it is much harder to carry around.  With other supplements, I always like to throw them in a zip-lock bag and take them with me throughout the day.

I tried carrying around the little vial of Thorne Research Vitamin D drops with me in my pocket but that didn’t really work out.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.  It is best to take Vitamin D with food and after eating a good source of fat for maximum absorption.

Instead of taking small amounts throughout the day, I took my dose in the morning after eating breakfast and at night before going to bed after eating a handful of almonds.

My Blood Test Results

I took Nutrigold Vitamin D for a year and my blood test showed that my Vitamin D levels were still in the lower range at 34 nd/mL.  That is OK, but it is best to get your levels more in the range of 60-80.

Thorne Research Vitamin D Review

My Vitamin D Results After 1 Year of Taking the Nutrigold Brand

After taking that for a year, I wondered why my levels were still slightly low.  Did I need even more Vitamin D? I was taking 5,000 IU of Vitamin D every day!

The doctor I mentioned earlier told me that she only uses Thorne Research products.  I bought a vial of liquid Vitamin D3 the next day.

After taking Thorne Research Vitamin D3 for 3 months, my Vitamin D levels went from 34 nd/mL to 66.34 nd/mL.  I took basically the same dose of Thorne Research Vitamin D3 (6,000 IU) per day as I did Nutrigold Vitamin D (5,000 IU).

Thorne Research Vitamin D Review

My Vitamin D Results After Taking Thorne Research – Vitamin D (D3) Liquid for 3 Months

The Verdict for My Thorne Research Vitamin D Review

I took one vial of Thorne Research Vitamin D liquid (one fluid ounce) and successfully raised my Vitamin D levels from 34 nd/mL to 66.34 nd/mL in 3 months.

As of this writing I am feeling about the best I have ever felt.  Getting your Vitamin D levels in the appropriate range is critical for optimal health and overcoming depression.

Let me know if you know of any other good and bad brands out there when it comes to Vitamin D.  When it comes to supplements and messing with our delicate brain, quality is important.  And if you haven’t yet gotten yourself tested, go do that now!

You can buy Thorne Research – Vitamin D (d3) Liquid on Amazon.com or other supplement retailers like iHerb.com.

UPDATE: Taking Thorne Research Vitamin D/K2 Is A Better Option

It has now been shown in studies that combining vitamins D and K can provide better elasticity for your arteries and health when compared to people who only receive vitamin D.  We also know that vitamin K2 protects against vitamin D toxicity.

I now recommend taking Thorne Research Vitamin D/K2 liquid instead of just the regular version containing only vitamin D.

Combining vitamins D with K can provide better artery elasticity and health when compared to people who only receive vitamin D.

Note: All the links above are affiliate links.  If you buy one of the supplements through my links, I make about $0.12.  I’ve only recommended supplements that I know works for depression through scientific research, treatment centers, and my own experiences.

TwinLab Stress B-Complex Caps Review

Twinlab B Stress Complex Caps Review

Vitamin B12 – Critical for Proper Brain Functioning!

Did you now that the average person is deficient in B Vitamins?

Many people can find relief from depression just by taking B Vitamins?

That B Vitamins are involved in making serotonin?

If you are struggling with depression this is important.

I believe that TwinLab Stress B Complex caps with Vitamin C is one of the best b complex vitamin brand out there if you don’t get the coenzymate form.

You can take B Vitamins for a few months until you are back on track.  You can then put them on the shelf until you are under more stress and feel you need them again.

What Does B Complex Do?

B Vitamins are extremely important for mental health.  Your brain needs a lot of B vitamins in order to repair and produce neurotransmitters.  B Vitamins also support the adrenal glands.  In recommending stress relief supplements I always include B Vitamins for this reason.

Stress uses up B Vitamins.  One of the benefits of B Complex vitamins is people often report they get a midafternoon “lift” when they take it with lunch.  Some people report they use B Complex for anxiety and it calms them down – others say taking B Vitamins gives them their energy back.

Without enough niacin, your brain will convert tryptophan into niacin instead of 5-HTP.  If you don’t have enough vitamin B6, your brain won’t be able to effectively convert 5-HTP into serotonin.

A lot of people have taken a Vitamin B12 supplement and found quick relief from their depression, but it is best to take all of the B Vitamins together.

Twinlab Stress B Complex Ingredients

Twinlab Stress B Complex Caps Review

Twinlab Stress B Complex Supplement Facts

Twinlab Stress B Complex has 250 mcg of Vit B 12, 100mg of niacin, and 250 mg of pantothenic acid.  This B complex with Vitamin C has 1000mg of Vitamin C per serving.  The B complex dosage is two capsules.

The Twinlab Stress B Complex Caps Label also shows PABA, choline bitartrate, and inositol.

Twinlab’s manufacturing plant is in American Fork, Utah.  It is a GMP registered facility.  The NSF has verified that the manufacturing plant meets the stringent independent registration process guidelines.  You can visit www.Twinlab.com if you are curious.

In other words, facilities registered GMP by NSF means that they have to conform to the highest verification process.  This means that you are putting in high quality ingredients into your body and not getting other harmful ingredients in your supplement.

B Complex Side Effects

Any B complex supplement can have side effects.  Although B Complex vitamins are natural supplements and healthy products they can have undesirable side effects for a small minority of individuals.

B Complex vitamins are water soluble so you don’t have to worry too much about the toxic effects of overdosing like you do with fat soluble vitamins.

Taking too much niacin can produce the “niacin flush” – a reddening and itchiness of the skin.

Sometimes taking B Complex Vitamins can upset your stomach.  In that case it is better to take a coenzymate form of the vitamin B complex.  An example of a Coenzyme B Complex is Jarrow Formulas B-Right.

Other Stress B-Complex Caps by Twinlab Reviews

Twinlab B Stress Complex Caps Review

Over 115 Reviews on Amazon for Twinlab B Stress Complex

Many people like to buy their vitamins online and Amazon is one of the top resellers of supplements.  On their site, TwinLab stress b-complex 250 Caps has over 115 reviews as of this writing.

  • 78 5-Star Reviews
  • 19 4-Star Reviews
  • 8 3-Star Reviews
  • 4 2-Star Reviews
  • 7 1-Star Reviews

Some of the bad reviews are about Amazon in general and shipping, not the actual product itself.

The Verdict of My Twinlab Stress B-Complex Caps Review

TwinLab B Stress Complex Caps Review

TwinLab B-Stress Complex Caps Review

My experience with TwinLab Stress B Complex Caps has been positive.  By taking two of them everyday, I have noticed I feel better and I feel more effects from the amino acids that I take.  That probably has to do with the fact that you need enough B Vitamins for Tryptophan to convert into serotonin.  If you don’t have enough niacin, the tryptophan you take will convert into niacin instead.

Many of the top doctors and researchers suggest that people try the coenzymate form of B Vitamins for more serious cases of depression.  If you think a lack of B Vitamins is a major issue, I’d suggest taking the coenzymate form.  I link to Jarrow Formulas B Right above, which is an example of a B Complex in coenzymate form.

If you have had success with regular B Vitamins and don’t like the price of the B Complex supplements in coenzymate form, give TwinLab B Stress Complex caps a try.

You can check them out here: Amazon Twinlab Stress B Complex.

Note: All the links above are affiliate links.  If you buy one of the supplements through my links, I make about $0.12.  I’ve only recommended supplements that I know works for depression through scientific research, treatment centers, and my own experiences.

NOW Foods Tryptophan Review

I wish I would have discovered L-Tryptophan much sooner.  I had tried various sources when I first learned about the l-tryptophan supplement and many of them were good. When I came across the NOW Foods Brand they were slightly cheaper so I didn’t know if they would work.  Choosing high quality when it comes to supplements is important, especially when you are overcoming depression.  You want to know if a particular amino acid works for you or not.  A bad quality supplement will mess up that trial-and-error process.

After learning more about NOW Brand supplements, reading a NOW Foods review, and seeing how some of my favorite people, like Julia Ross, were fans of NOW products, I decided to give them a try.

One of the first supplements I tried was NOW Foods L-Tryptophan.

NOW Foods Tryptophan: The Product

According to NOW Foods website, they use good manufacturing practices to make sure there is no contamination in their amino acid supplements.  If you are anything like me when I was first experimenting with supplements on my biology, I used to take a lot of different supplements.  One of the things that I always worried about was if I was putting other things in my body that weren’t listed in the ingredients on the bottle.

With the research they do in clinical trials, adhering to standards for ingredient substitution, and their emphasis on making sure all their products are as natural as possible, NOW Foods Supplements is the perfect middle ground for quality and not spending your whole week’s paycheck on l-tryptophan supplements.

Should I Get 500mg or 1000mg?

When choosing a tryptophan supplement (or any amino acid supplement) you should always start with the lowest possible dose first.  When messing with your brain chemistry, it is always smart to err on taking too little than too much at first.

That’s why I will always recommend that people choose the smallest possible dose they can find and work up from there.  This is for two main reasons:

  1. The smallest dose might be all you need.  If 500mg of L-Tryptophan does the trick, you shouldn’t be taking 1000mg.  This will also save you money.
  2. Higher doses have higher chances of adverse side effects.  Starting out small allows you to test your body’s response to the supplement and gradually increase your dose if all goes well.  You can take two 500mg tryptophan pills to get the same effect as the larger supplement.  It is a lot harder to take the larger supplement and divide it into smaller doses.
NOW Foods tryptophan review

Tryptophan pills are easy to swallow

Benefits, Cons, and Tryptophan Side Effects

Benefits

The biggest benefit to taking L-Tryptophan is the effects it has on sleep.  When I was suffering from insomnia, L-Tryptophan is what saved me.  One of the most popular articles on this website is my article on curing insomnia.  One reader even fixed his year-long Xanax addiction by using Tryptophan.

L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that the brain uses to produce niacin and serotonin.  With the use of B Vitamins, L-Tryptophan is converted into 5-HTP and then 5-HT (serotonin).  This boosts your natural stores of serotonin without having to resort to the use of antidepressant drugs.  Leftover serotonin is used to produce melatonin, which helps you sleep.

What I have noticed is that when I take NOW Foods L-Trytophan at night I will still feel the effects the following day.  When I can feel that I am starting to get a little depressed, start having lower self-esteem, reduced enjoyment in life, and stop sleeping good I will even take L-Tryptophan in the day.

Tryptophan can also aid in reducing anxiety.  A lack of serotonin can produce anxiety in numerous people.  Taking an L-Tryptophan supplement can fix the issue.

My Honest Comparison to Other Brands

NOW Foods tryptophan review

Source Naturals has a stronger effect but usually is more expensive than NOW Foods Tryptophan

I have tried and used other brands of L-Tryptophan before.  Some didn’t affect me as much as NOW Foods brand does and others have affected me more.

Source Naturals L-Tryptophan affected me more than NOW Foods L-Tryptophan.  When taking Source Naturals L-Tryptophan, I felt it “hit me harder” and quicker than NOW Foods.  It wasn’t a massively huge difference, but definitely noticeable when it came to falling asleep and feeling good.  Sometimes when I took Source Naturals L-Tryptophan I almost even felt like I felt a little too good.

NOW Foods Tryptophan feels more subtle and gentle than Source Naturals does.  I buy NOW Foods brand right now because it is slightly cheaper and I don’t need a stronger effect anymore.  I can take NOW Foods L-Tryptophan and fall asleep and slightly boost my serotonin to where it needs to be.

Sometimes the Source Naturals brand is actually cheaper than NOW Foods on Amazon.com.  If Source Naturals is cheaper, I’d go with Source Naturals L-Tryptophan.

Some People Respond to 5-HTP Better

Most people respond to 5-HTP better than L-Tryptophan.  In my course, I recommend that people try 5-HTP before trying L-Tryptophan.  If your body doesn’t have enough niacin it will often convert L-Tryptophan into niacin instead of serotonin.  If you are suffering from depression, you should be supplementing with a B Vitamin supplement everyday to ensure your brain can produce the neurotransmitters for you to feel good.

Taking 5-HTP can be a more direct route to serotonin production than L-Tryptophan.  Some people respond to 5-HTP better while others respond to L-Tryptophan better.  I personally feel more energetic when I take 5-HTP and 5-HTP is shorter lasting, so it doesn’t work for helping me sleep or producing longer lasting effects.  Naturally I am inclined to recommend L-Tryptophan first, but the research shows that 5-HTP is effective for most people.

Side Effects and Complications

If you take too much L-Tryptophan it can make you sleepy.  This usually means that you have enough serotonin stores in your brain and don’t need to take any more tryptophan supplements.  I recommend that people take L-Tryptophan in the late afternoon and evening when first trying it out to avoid this situation and to not take it during work if you are taking it for the first time.

According to WebMD.com, other side effects of L-Tryptophan includes heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, and sexual problems.  I haven’t heard of anyone having these more serious issues taking L-Tryptophan, but again, you should start with the lowest possible dose first to avoid having those experiences if you are one of the unlucky few that won’t react well.

Where To Buy NOW Foods Products

I choose to buy L-Tryptophan and other NOW Foods supplements from Amazon.com.  I have never had an issue with supplements ordered from Amazon.com.  Many people prefer to purchase supplements from iHerb.com because Amazon.com has been known to keep supplements on the shelf longer than iHerb.com does.

Another great feature of iHerb.com is if you are traveling and need to order some extra supplements.  I needed to buy a supplement in Thailand and iHerb.com was able to get it to me in a couple weeks.

You can buy these supplements from a local store, but nine times out of ten you will get it cheaper online.  I’d go with Amazon and buy a few supplements at once to get free shipping and check the expiration date when the supplements arrive.  Amazon.com can be $5-$6 dollars cheaper with supplements than iHerb.com.

NOW Foods tryptophan review

NOW Foods Tryptophan Review on Amazon.com

You can buy L-Tryptophan through the links below. Disclaimer: I make about $0.12 when you purchase through my link.

Amazon.com

iHerb.com

I would try NOW Foods L-Tryptophan 500mg first.  Take it on an empty stomach in the late afternoon or in the evening.  If you don’t feel any effects, gradually increase your dose.  Buy it from Amazon.com.

If you are more worried about quality than price, buy Source Naturals L-Tryptophan from iHerb.com if the price is right.  If you are looking to learn more about other supplements in overcoming depression, you can see the master list here.

NOW Foods GABA Review

Topics Discussed:

0:20 – What is GABA?
1:02 – Valium and Other Benzodiazepines Mimic GABA
1:48 – Blood-Brain Barrier Conflicting Research
2:55 – GABA Might Be a Little More Complex
3:15 – Should You Try Other Amino Acids First?
4:18 – My Honest Experience With GABA’s Effects

GABA is said to be ineffective yet so many people have benefited from it.  We’ll dive deeper into why this is a little later, but in case you are a little unfamiliar with this amino acid, let’s review the facts.

The body makes GABA from glutamine.  GABA is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the body that calms you down.  It inhibits activity in the brain and therefore calms you down.  Things like valium mimic GABA in the brain and central nervous system.  GABA calms down the hypothalamus and amygdala which can help lift your depression and calm down your anxiety.

If you don’t have enough GABA, you will also have a hard time sleeping.  The body makes gamm-hydroxybutyrate, otherwise known as GHG, from GABA.  Hibernating animals have higher levels of GABA.  GABA can control aggression, help patients not just with depression and anxiety but also suffering from schizophrenia, and too little GABA has been shown to result in “mental inflexibility.”

An imbalance of GABA has been shown to be common in people suffering from seizures.  It also has been shown to be lowered in autistic individuals.

Symptoms of Having Low Levels of GABA in The Brain

A GABA deficiency will result in a low level of anxiety.  It might not be crippling anxiety, but an overall sense of stress and inability to relax.  Not having enough GABA can also result in other poor moods such as depression.  Many people who have found relief by taking a GABA supplement feel “uneasy” all the time.  Nothing feels as if it is alright even if external conditions are normal.

A deficiency can also result in a lack of patience.  GABA keeps you calm and if you don’t have enough it can present itself like ADHD.

More general symptoms include:

  • Having a low stress tolerance.  You “snap” easily under stress.
  • Insomnia and inability to fall asleep
  • Using drugs for the purpose of calming yourself down.
  • Being constantly overwhelmed by daily tasks.
  • Having anxiety and nervousness even in periods where you don’t have external stressors.
  • Craving starches, sweets, wine or marijuana in the afternoon, late night, but never in the morning.
  • Feeling overworked, pressured, and always having a looming sense of deadlines.
  • Can’t laugh at the TV – You can’t relax and “loosen up”
  • Feeling weak or shaky at times
  • If you skip a meal, you feel horrible
  • Being sensitive to bright light, noise, or chemical fumes. You have to wear sunglasses a lot.

Why Did I Make a NOW Foods GABA Review?

NOW Foods GABA 500mg

NOW Foods GABA 500mg

Throughout my own struggle in overcoming depression, I could never turn off my fight or flight response.  I always felt a little tense and nervous everywhere I went.  The build up of stress would eventually wear me down.  I had social anxiety, feared public speaking (a little fear is OK but I was terrified like I was going to die), everything from school to basic tasks that needed to be completed stressed me out, and every day seemed to be filled with terrifying situations.

Naturally, GABA was something I wanted to try and NOW Foods GABA because the company typically makes products that work for me.  I bought a bottle of GABA for $15 and tried it out.

I never really felt any effect.  I couldn’t tell if it was making me relaxed or not.  With other amino acids, I could literally feel the effects within a half hour.  If I took L-Tyrosine, I’d start to get edgy and a little angry.  If I took L-Phenylalanine, I would feel excited about the day and feel as if everything was a little more pleasurable.  If I took L-Tryptophan I’d feel confident and happy.

With GABA, I didn’t feel anything, despite wanting to.  Unfortunately, I didn’t even get a placebo effect from it.  It didn’t seem to help with stress levels during the day or with sleeping at night.

For many people that are depressed, my guess is that you also have issues with serotonin production.  My first recommendation would be to try something like L-Tryptophan or L-Theanine for stress and calming yourself down.  It seems as if GABA has a lot of mixed reviews.  Also, GABA has been reported to be unable to cross the blood-brain barrier in the brain.

The Blood-Brain Barrier Debate Concerning GABA

NOW Foods GABA blood brain barrier
Among medical circles, GABA does not cross the blood-brain barrier.  Taking it in a supplement shouldn’t work.  But yet there are many people that take it and experience anti-anxiety effects.  Looking at the reviews of GABA supplements on the internet shows hundreds and hundreds of success stories.  There is one study that actually even shows that is does cross the blood-brain barrier.  However, this could still be a placebo effect.

People in the study might have had effects from GABA because the people that would need these effects could have a weakened blood-brain barrier due to inflammation. If their blood-brain barrier is messed up due to inflammation that person is likely going to be depressed and anxious.

Even with all the confusing information on GABA and crossing the blood-brain barrier, it also has other effects on the body that might be the result for why people have lowered anxiety when taking it as a supplement.

GABA is found in the adrenal glands, pituitary, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, and testis.  It is involved with issues concerning reproductive systems and the adrenal glands.  The adrenal glands are what produce your fight or flight hormones.  If your reproductive systems are out of whack it can cause some serious issues with anxiety.

Other than affecting your adrenal glands and reproductive systems, GABA is also anti-inflammatory.  GABA can be found in immune cells.  This means that if you don’t have enough GABA, you can have issues with inflammation.  Inflammation causes all sorts of problems in the body and can lead to anxiety as a result.  Inflammation is higher metabolic activity which increases the activity in the brain.  If you have inflammation issues long-term, you will have problems not just with anxiety.

In other words, we aren’t quite sure why taking GABA in supplement form gives some people great effects.  It could either be from those people having weakened blood-brain barriers or from the other effects that GABA has on the rest of the bodily systems.

NOW Foods GABA 500mg with B-6

The kind of GABA that I tried was NOW Foods GABA 500 mg with Vitamin B-6.  Vitamin B-6 is involved in numerous interactions in the brain and a lack of Vitamin B-6 can make it hard for you to process amino acids effectively.  I chose 500mg over 250mg or NOW Foods GABA 750mg because with the conflicting research on GABA I figured I could try the middle dose and not worry about it too much.

Even taking several of these capsules, I never really felt much of an affect myself.  However, I still can’t deny that GABA appears in almost every book I read on using nutrient therapy to overcome mood disorders and there are 39 4-star and 5-star reviews on the product.  And there still might be effects from the other ways in which GABA interacts with the body.

NOW Foods GABA Orange Flavored Chewable

For everyone that doesn’t want to take GABA as a supplement and hate swallowing pills, you can always get the chewable kind.  The people that have tried the Orange Flavor Chewable of NOW Foods GABA report that it works for them and is especially useful if you want to give it to your children.

If the only thing holding you back from trying out amino acids in becoming depression free is you hate swallowing pills, I always advise people to try liquid forms or chewable versions of the supplement.

NOW Foods GABA Powder Review

If you don’t like pills and even hate chewing tablets you can always get the powder version.  Some people even report that taking a scoop of the powder is more effective than taking it as a supplement.  Many people need to take high doses of GABA in order to feel anything and the powder allows them to do so.

If stress and turning off your fight-or-flight response is a major issue for you and other things don’t work and you are ready to give GABA a try, you can get the powder version to make sure you can take higher doses.  Some people need a few grams at a time to feel anything.

If you are burnt out and seriously need some help, consider getting the powder and taking some higher doses to see if you can get GABA through your blood-brain barrier and have the beneficial affects on the rest of your body.

Conclusion

With all the confusing research out there yet so many people that have benefited from taking GABA, it seems as if GABA does cross the blood-brain barrier, but just not that much.  Even if it does not effectively cross the blood brain barrier, it may cross the blood brain barrier more easily in the people that are suffering from things such as anxiety and inflammation because their blood brain barriers will be weakened.  If it still doesn’t cross the blood brain barrier, then the effects it has on the rest of the body, such as the adrenal glands, may be the result in its anti-anxiety effects.

If it is something you need or have been thinking of trying, just try it.  If it doesn’t work, something like L-Theanine, L-Tryptophan or glycine may work better in dialing down the stress in your life.  You can look at the master list of other supplements in helping depression if you are lost.

When it comes to deciding whether or not to try GABA (and symptoms of low GABA is the main factor in your problems) think of it this way: Best case scenario is you just found something that helps you in life immensely.  Worst case scenario is that it does nothing and you lose a few dollars.  When it comes to something as important as your well-being and mood, if you are constantly stressed out and on edge, give GABA a try and see if it is something you benefit from if you haven’t already tried serotonin boosting supplements like L-Tryptophan or 5-HTP and supplements like L-Theanine.  I’d rather try something and risk losing a couple dollars then stay stressed and unhappy all the time because I am unwilling to try new things.

Does It Work? An Honest Review of Natural Calm Magnesium

natural calm magnesium review insomnia

Insomnia will wreck your life

Sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Have insomnia every single night?

Anxiety that prevents you from living the life that you want?

Restless leg syndrome?

Not sure which product you can trust when ordering this mineral?

Did you know this mineral is commonly deficient in just about everybody?

Watch the video below to see my honest review of Natural Calm.

I even stir it up and show you how it mixes.

Topics discussed:

0:20 – Why Magnesium is so Important for Depression
1:25 – Which Magnesium Supplements I Have Tried
2:30 – Try Magnesium Or Test Your Blood Levels
3:40 – One Downside of Natural Vitality Natural Calm
4:02 – Mixing Magnelevures in Water Demonstration
5:25 – Mixing Natural Calm in Water Demonstration
6:25 – Magnesium in My Body
6:45 – What Happens If You Take Too Much Magnesium

One of my favorite supplements I have ever tried is Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm Magnesium powder.  I used to suffer from intense anxiety and insomnia and started reading about magnesium’s effect on depression.

I tried several magnesium supplements and never could really tell they were working.  I tried Solgar Magnesium, regular magnesium tablets from Costco, etc.  Then I found Natural Calm Magnesium on Amazon.com and saw all the positive reviews so I ordered a big ‘ole tub of it to find out.

After a while my anxiety lessened, I actually started sleeping better (my most popular post on this website is my post on how to defeat insomnia naturally), and I even started to crave the stuff.

I got a blood test done later that showed my levels of magnesium were actually low.  Makes sense that magnesium made such a difference for me.

Natural Calm Magnesium Benefits

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium is necessary for the metabolism of amino acids and carbohydrates.  Magnesium helps your body utilize vitamins C and E and convert the B vitamins into a form your body can use.

This means that if you are taking a large amount of B vitamins you might be using up a lot of magnesium.  If you don’t have enough magnesium, you won’t be able to properly use all those B Vitamins that are so critical for fighting off depression.

A lack of magnesium is a very bad thing.  Most common results of a magnesium deficiency is depression, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and confusion.  If you are severely deficient in magnesium you will start hallucinating.

Magnesium has been used for patients to cut down on their painkilling medications, to help with migraines, and to ease PMS discomfort.

According to The Way Up From Down by Priscilla Slagle, studies showed that there were “significantly lower levels of magnesium in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of depressed patients, and the lowest levels in suicidal patients.”

Most people are slightly deficient in magnesium.  Alcoholics are especially prone to being deficient in magnesium. Stress, sugar, and caffeine deplete magnesium, which is familiar to many people in this modern world.

Getting enough magnesium is essential to feeling 100%.  If your body can’t convert B vitamins, use Vitamin C and E, then you are not going to feel good.  What I specifically noticed when using magnesium was its effects on anxiety and insomnia.

Natural Calm Magnesium for Anxiety and Insomnia

If you read my sleep post I referenced earlier, you’ll notice that to start sleeping I recommend that you take a handful of supplements.  The good news is after a while you don’t have to take all those supplements anymore.

The only supplement I still take at night is Natural Calm Magnesium.  It doesn’t knock you out like an Ambien would.  What it does is make you relaxed to where you can fall asleep.  I also sleep really well throughout the night.

Not only that, but restless leg syndrome has been linked to a deficiency in magnesium.  Many people who have had insomnia due to restless leg syndrome started sleeping after they started taking additional magnesium.

A lack of magnesium results in anxiety.  When you start supplementing with magnesium it’s likely you will get a reduction in anxiety.  If you are anything like me, anxiety sucks and if it gets bad enough it can hold you back in life far beyond what is manageable.

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement Side Effects

Magnesium Blood Levels Test

My Magnesium Blood Levels Test

Magnesium is relatively safe.  Side effects are uncommon. Taking doses around 350 milligrams or lower should be safe for most people.  If you take significantly more than that, common side effects can be stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting.  The serious side effects of taking massive quantities of magnesium can include irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, coma, slowed breathing, or death.

What is the most common side effect of taking too much magnesium? Loose bowels.

I have had only a few people email me about natural calm side effects.  In a minority of cases, some people have taken a relatively small dose and found that it made their insomnia worse, gave them anxiety, etc.  This is why I always suggest with any supplement and in my email list to start with the lowest dose possible first.

If you do this, then you can only increase your dose if everything is fine and avoid any bad natural calm side effects that could potentially occur.

 

Magnesium levels after taking Natural Calm

Magnesium levels after taking Natural Calm

Natural Calm Magnesium for Constipation

Yes. The main side effect that you will experience if you take too much natural calm magnesium is you will have loose stools.  Some people actually take natural calm magnesium for this reason alone.

However, if your bowels get too relaxed you should cut down on how much magnesium you are taking as that means you are getting more than enough.  If you take too much over a long period of time, the buildup of magnesium in your body can lead to those other more serious side effects like irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure.

The good news is you are going to notice you have loose bowels long before that happens.

Natural Calm Magnesium and Calcium

Natural Calm Magnesium Calcium

Natural Calm Magnesium Plus Calcium

Too much magnesium can cause loose bowels.  Too much calcium can lead to constipation.  The body needs a balance of magnesium and calcium.

One of the reasons why many researchers think that a lot of people are deficient in magnesium is because they don’t intake enough magnesium and take in way too much calcium.  If you take in too much calcium it will cause your magnesium levels to lower and vice versa.

Calcium itself can help ease symptoms of anxiety and some doctors have described taking a calcium+magnesium combo as taking the body’s natural tranquilizer.  However, most people will have too much calcium and too little magnesium.

Natural Vitality offers a Natural Calm Magnesium Calcium product for people that need to get both.  I have never personally tried it as I used to have extra calcium lying around so I would use that instead.  Now I don’t take any additional calcium because my levels are balanced and I just need a little boost in magnesium to keep my insomnia and anxiety at bay.

Natural Calm Magnesium Testimonials

According to Natural Vitality’s website they say that Natural Calm has been the best selling magnesium supplement for over 7 years.  Obviously that is coming from the company themselves, so before I purchased natural calm magnesium I checked out reviews all over the place.

Calm-billboard3-630x250

Pretty much everywhere I went I saw positive reviews of Natural Calm Magnesium.  A tub of it costs $20.  I figured I could spend $20 and either fix some of my issues surrounding depression and anxiety or lose out on a twenty dollar bill.

You can read all the Natural Calm Magnesium Powder reviews (over 700 of them) on Amazon here: Natural Calm Magnesium Amazon.

My personal experience with Natural Calm has been positive.  I haven’t tried any of the flavors as I prefer buying everything in their unflavored versions and the taste doesn’t bother me.  After a while I actually found myself liking the unflavored magnesium’s taste, but everyone is different in that regard and I’ve been known to be able to drink nasty things like papaya juice with ease.

 Conclusion

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement Facts

Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement Facts

There are a lot of magnesium supplements out there that are going to work.  The most important factor when using a supplement is that it works for you.

I used to debate back and forth in my head forever trying to think if a supplement was worth it, but if you have been struggling with depression, anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia for a long time just spend a few bucks to see if magnesium is what does the trick for you.

Personally I found the best success with Natural Vitality’s magnesium and that is the one I can honestly recommend.  If you order Natural Calm through those links to Amazon above I get around $0.50 from an affiliate commission.  If you aren’t cool with that you can search on Amazon for magnesium without using my links.  I’d rather have you trust my review and try magnesium if you truly need it then to think I’m merely trying to make a few cents off writing this.

When taking any supplement, always start out with a small dose to see how it affects you.  After seeing that a small dose affects you well, then you can gradually increase the dose.  Although rare, taking too much magnesium can have side effects such as nausea.  Always start with a small dose first!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any other forms of magnesium you have tried or any other experiences with taking magnesium that you have had.  It has been a game changer for me.  A lot of people use it to help them wean off of antidepressants. Magnesium is on my huge list of supplements that help with depression for a reason.

If you’d like free truthful steps on how to recover from depression, click here to sign up for free actionable steps to feeling like your old self again (plus a free bonus).

Jarrow Formulas SAM-e an Honest Review

Topics Discussed:

0:16 – How Testing For Pyroluria Led Me To SAM-e
1:00 – Taking the First Dose
1:14 – Day 6 Thoughts and Feelings
1:37 – Lowered Motivation and Reduced Social Anxiety
2:10 – Month And A Half Later
2:40 – Dating More Women and Increased Pleasure
3:15 – Effects of SAM-e On Meditation
3:55 – Having More Fun Versus Working on SAM-e
4:30 – SAM-e with L-Phenylalanine
5:25 – Should You Try SAM-e?

I used to sit there and debate back and forth whether or not something would work in overcoming my depression.  It wasn’t until I had a severe depressive episode after my best friend died that I decided to think openly about different approaches.

If it looks safe and the research is safe – just try it and see.  That’s much better than debating back and forth in your head.

One thing I hadn’t tried yet was SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) but I had always heard about it.  I took one pill of Jarrow Formulas SAM-e 200mg every morning until the box was empty and recorded my experiences.

So how does SAM-e work?

Methylation Process And SAM-e

The body makes neurotransmitters out of amino acids by changing the amino acid slightly.  It usually does this by sticking a methyl group onto it.

The body needs a way to supply these methyl groups in order to use these amino acids for neurotransmitter production.  The methyl groups are attached to a molecule called SAM.  SAM delivers the methyl groups to where they are needed. Methylation is where the methyl group jumps off the SAM molecule to the amino acid.

After this happens, that SAM molecule turns into Homocysteine which is normally recycled back into the whole process.  A methyl group is added to SAM, it carries it back up to where it is needed, and the methyl group pops off again.  In order for this to happen correctly, the body needs the right amount of vitamins and nutrients, specifically Vitamin B12 and folic acid.

If it sounds complicated just remember this – if you don’t have enough nutrients in your body, the Homocysteine builds up and SAM isn’t made.  If SAM isn’t carrying methyl groups to where they are needed, neurotransmitters are not made, which is bad for depression.

The supplement SAM-e increases the supply of SAM in the body leading to an increased amount of methylation and therefore more neurotransmitters in the brain.

When I took a test for Pyroluria, my results actually showed that I had high levels of homocysteine.  So trying out SAM-e seemed to be a good choice.

Histamine Copper and Zinc levels

My Histamine, Copper, and Zinc results from when I tested myself for Pyroluria

Why I Chose Jarrow Formulas SAM-e 200mg

Jarrow Fomulas SAM-e

Jarrow Fomulas SAM-e 200mg

When researching SAM-e, Jarrow Formulas kept popping up.  It had numerous 5-Star reviews on Amazon and excellent reviews on other sites.  I had used Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP before and knew the brand was high quality.

Supposedly SAM-e also reacts with exposed to air.  If SAM-e is in a jar it can lose its potency quickly.  Jarrow Formulas puts their SAM-e in blister packs so they are protected from light and air.

I chose Jarrow Formulas SAM e 200 mg over Jarrow Formulas SAM-e 400 mg because I like to start with the lowest dose of something first. It’s safer and if a lower dose works that’s all you need anyways.  With supplements it’s always best to start low and increase the dose from there.

It’s the only brand I have tried and I’m sure there are other brands of SAM-e that work, but it appears to be the highest quality choice.

Reduced Anxiety and Enhanced Dating Life

The first thing I noticed was that I had reduced anxiety and increased pleasure.  Things started to feel slightly good for no reason at all and I was really enjoying my time.  My anxiety was reduced and I had an easier time talking to people.

After about a week of taking SAM-e I all a sudden started dating a bunch of women at once.  I dated more women in a few weeks than I usually do in a month.  I’m not sure why, but talking to the opposite sex seemed to come a lot more naturally.  I think that the effect of lowered anxiety also helped me with my sex drive as well.

Listening to music sounded better, riding a motorcycle through town was more fun than normal, and overall I was more laid back about things.

During one part of the experiment I got a little sick, but I also hurried and jotted down a few notes.  In my notes looking back I mention not feeling as motivated when it comes to work and how I just wanted to date women instead.

Experience taking Jarrow Formulas 200mg SAM-e

Experience taking Jarrow Formulas 200mg SAM-e

Lowered Anxiety, Increased Pleasure, But Lowered Motivation

I noticed after a while though that I was having a lot more fun than I was working.  I had lowered motivation and just wanted to have a good time.  This is the first time I’ve actually understood how some people get distracted by having a bunch of fun all the time.

I’ve always been able to work hard when I need to and ignore going out and having fun, but when I was taking SAM-e going out and having fun seemed to a much better choice.

After a while I realized that I wasn’t working anymore, so I decided to try supplementing with L-Phenylalanine with the SAM-e.

Combining SAM-e with L-Phenylalanine

Combing these two gave me even more pleasure than before.  I was able to work, but it felt like I had a lot of endorphins running through my brain.  I was really social, wanted to hang out with everybody, and I felt a lot more caring and loving.

Amino acids need to be taken on an empty stomach.  Since amino acids need some time to absorb, it is perfect for me to take them first thing in the morning and then meditate for 20 minutes.

During my meditation taking SAM-e and L-Phenylalanine together I would drift off into pleasurable states of mind all the time.  Before the experiment I would rigidly focus on my breath and not waver too much.  Taking the SAM-e and L-Phenylalanine beforehand I noticed I would sit there in an almost blissful state for 20 minutes.

Other Uses of SAM-e

I personally used SAM-e as an experiment to see how it would affect my daily mood and took it in the morning.  However, some people have taken SAM-e at night to help with sleep.  Other people take SAM-e to help with

joint pain.

It makes a lot of sense because Methylation isn’t just need for making neurotransmitters.  It is involved in numerous functions throughout the body.  If you have poor Methylation, you are also at risk for things like cardiovascular disease.

SAM-e has been known to help people suffering from liver disease and osteoarthritis.

SAM-e Jarrow Formulas 200mg Supplement Facts

SAM-e Jarrow Formulas 200mg Supplement Facts

Conclusion

Technically, people shouldn’t need SAM-e if they have enough B Vitamins (especially folate and B12) because that’s enough for the methylation process to function normally.

Some sources say that if you take SAM-e when you still have a shortage of B Vitamins necessary for Methylation, you will still build up Homocysteine in the body.

I don’t think SAM-e is a long term solution, but something that would be great to have for when you need it.  You are going strong for a few months, then are under a bunch of stress and feel like you are worn down, then take SAM-e for a week or two to get back on track.

Regardless, I can say that SAM-e definitely had an effect on me and works.  If it is something you haven’t tried yet I would recommend trying it out, especially if you know you might have higher levels of homocysteine (and therefore have an issue with Methylation).

The optimal solution is to have enough Vitamin B12, TMG, and folic acid to have the Methylation process occur naturally, but SAM-e can give you a boost if you need it.  SAM-e is a great choice if other supplements don’t work.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...