Anxiety is a Problem of Missing Brakes
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
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A new study shows that individuals with anxiety1 have a disconnect of regulation between the frontal lobes of the conscious brain and a core regulating center in the subconscious brain (amygdala). In normal situations your frontal lobe thought process dampens and regulates the alarm coming from the amygdale, helping to keep negative emotions in check and under control. The new study shows for the first time that this method of self-regulation is lacking in people who have too much anxiety as a baseline of function. In essence, they are lacking anxiety brakes.
I have written about this issue from several different angles in my previous articles “Are Your Stress Brakes Working” and “New Insights on Overcoming Fear and Anxiety.” This new research adds yet another dimension to this issue. While the current researchers didn’t know why the brains of anxious people were failing to self-regulate, the new science is painting a likely explanation.
As anxiety levels ramp up inflammation within the brain becomes excessive, especially the accumulation of substance P that makes a person feel wound up like a cat on a hot tin roof. We now know that the glial cells in this inflamed condition turn off the normal flow of neurotransmitters. This leaves the amygdala fending for itself, which as I previously noted also lacks its own brakes.
Taking medications to sedate this system does little to fix it. Basic brakes are based on the mineral magnesium and the amino acids glycine and taurine. More advanced brakes are based on antihistamine activity which can be accomplished with nutrients like quercetin and carnosine. Strengthening nerves and improving nerve transmission can be done with basic B vitamins, Acetyl-l-carnitine, and calcium (I like calcium AEP as a form of the nutrient for nerve support, also calcium taurate). Additional regulators of nerve inflammation can also be used and include nutrients such as grape seed extract, DHA Docosahexaenoic acid Essential omega 3 fatty acid integral to the health of all cell membranes, nerve and brain function. Must be gotten through the diet via cold water oceanic fish or some very limited plant sources or taken as a supplement., resveratrol Natural phenol or type of antioxidant found in red grapes, red wine. Research has shown beneficial effects as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents along with supporting healthy blood sugar and cardiovasculature function., silymarin, and tocotrienols.
The point is that there are many natural approaches that can be used to restore your stress brakes, improve nerve transmission and connections, and get irritant nerve inflammation out of your nerves so they can relax. Of course adequate sleep and a balanced lifestyle will help. 20% of our population is too anxious. Nerves overheating can lead to many other health problems as nerves impact the regulation of everything in your body.
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