A good friend of mine who does professional dog-walking (daily hilly hikes of 4-8 miles) had recently been suffering from increasing pain in his knee and his hikes were getting shorter and less frequent. The doctor said his knee cartilage had deteriorated until the joint was bone-on-bone.
However, just one week after starting a supplement (“Move Free” from Schiff), his pain was relieved and he’s walking further than he has in many months. This supplement contained the usual “joint supplement” ingredients of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid (which I’ve tried and not found helpful for my kind of pain), but also a new one I hadn’t seen before: Calcium Fructoborate.
When I researched it in the NIH Library, I found several studies explaining the effectiveness of this particular molecule for reducing the pain of inflammation, not just in joints, but throughout the body. Continue reading
Neuroactive Steroid Levels in Patients With Generalized Anxiety Disorder – The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences – 2001
Anxiety isn’t just a state of mind, it’ s physical state of the body too.
Several neurotransmittersystems have been suspected to play a role in the pathophysiology of GAD [generalized anxiety disorder]. Various lines of research suggest dysregulation of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA A )/ benzodiazepine (BZ) receptor complex.
These findings include decreased numbers and sensitivities of BZ receptors in patients with GAD and successful pharmacologic treatment of GAD with agents that target the GABA A / BZ receptor (e.g., benzodiazepines). Continue reading
Novel, ‘Non-Habit Forming’ Medication May Reduce Low Back Pain – Nancy A. Melville – Apr 2019 [It’s actually a supplement, not a “medication”.]
A novel, “non-habit-forming” neurosteroid appears to be effective and well tolerated in the treatment of chronic low back pain, new research suggests.
I’ve been exploring the benefits of supplementary neurosteroids for a while, but mainly as a remedy for my chronic anxiety. I’m thrilled to learn they could also ease pain a little.
In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial of almost 100 Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans, those treated with a pharmaceutical-grade tablet formulation of pregnenolone showed “significant and meaningful reductions” in low back pain intensity ratings at 6 weeks compared with their peers who received matching placebo, investigators report. Continue reading
Novel, ‘Non-Habit Forming’ Medication May Reduce Low Back Pain – Nancy A. Melville – Apr 2019
A novel, “non-habit-forming” neurosteroidappears to be effective and well tolerated in the treatment of chronic low back pain, new research suggests.
In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial of almost 100 Iraq/Afghanistan-era veterans, those treated with a pharmaceutical-grade tablet formulation of pregnenolone showed “significant and meaningful reductions” in low back pain intensity ratings at 6 weeks compared with their peers who received matching placebo, investigators report.
I’m excited about this because pregnenolone is an over-the-counter supplement available to us all.
Neurosteroids: Endogenous Role in the Human Brian and Therapeutic Potentials – free full-text /PMC3139029/ – July 2011
This chapter provides an overview of neurosteroids, especially their impact on the brain, sex differences and therapeutic potentials.
Neurosteroids are synthesized within the brain and rapidly modulate neuronal excitability. Neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone are positive allosteric modulators of GABA-A receptors with powerful antiseizure activity in diverse animal models.
Neurosteroids increase both synaptic and tonic inhibition. They are endogenous regulators of seizure susceptibility, anxiety and stress.
This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for: a potential new treatment for the anxiety that has tormented me for decades. Continue reading
3 Amazing Benefits of GABA | Psychology Today – Michael J Breus Ph.D. – Posted Jan 03, 2019
GABA is both a chemical produced within the body and a supplement that’s made for ingestion.
Many medications interact with GABA and GABA receptors in the brain, altering their function to achieve certain effects, typically
- pain relief,
- stress and anxiety reduction,
- lower blood pressure, and
- improved sleep.
Neurotransmitters as food supplements: the effects of GABA on brain and behavior – free full-text /PMC4594160/ – Front Psychol. Oct 2015
Finding this study in PubMed/PMC shows that such supplements are being taken seriously by scientists. To me, that sounds like an endorsement…
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human cortex. The food supplement version of GABA is widely available online. …it is unclear whether these supplements confer benefits beyond a placebo effect.
There is some evidence in favor of a calming effect of GABA food supplements, but most of this evidence was reported by researchers with a potential conflict of interest. Continue reading
How to Figure Out If Your Supplements Are Safe – vitals.lifehacker.com – by Beth Skwarecki – Dec 2015
By law, US companies can’t market supplements that are “adulturated or misbranded,” but no testing or approval is required.
A recent DNA analysis of several herbal supplements (sold at big name retailers like Target and Walgreen’s) showed that some of them didn’t contain any of their purported ingredients. Continue reading
Too many people believe that “chemicals” in our food are “bad” without realizing that all food consists of nasty-sounding chemicals, as shown in this dinner menu of the ACSH conference:
Almost every substance or radiation becomes poisonous in huge quantities (even water), but the same substance can be benign or even helpful in smaller and sometimes trace amounts. (See Beneficial Effects of Low-Dose Radiation)
Why That Daily Coffee May Help When You Hurt – Sep-2018 – Written by: Matt Windsor
This artilcle makes it sound like caffeine is an instant solution to our pain:
“it blocks receptors for the neurotransmitter adenosine, which interferes with pain-signaling”
Coffee has been known to slightly diminish pain and slightly enhance the effects of opioids merely through its stimulating properties, but it’s far from being a “pain reliever”, so this simplistic explanation doesn’t tell the whole story. Continue reading