Mental Health And Vitamin Supplements

The connection between mental health and supplements is well known, if not fully understood. It is universally accepted that vitamins and minerals are essential for good health, and there is no reason why this should only apply only to bodily health and not also to mental health.

In fact, can the two be treated as separate entities? When a body suffers from a deficiency of vitamins and minerals, the organs do not work as effectively as they should. Certain conditions occur that can be ascribed to a lack of this vitamin or that mineral. The brain is part of the human body, and there is no reason why a nutritional deficiency should not also cause problems with the way that the brain works.

Vitamins and minerals are essential chemicals that take part in the biochemical reactions of the body that are responsible for the synthesis of complex enzymes that allow such functions as digestion, metabolism of food into energy and the proper functioning of brain cells and the neurotransmitters responsible for passing messages from the brain throughout the body.

These messages are passed through a massive network of electrical connections and nerve cells. If anything goes wrong with this system then the mental functioning of what is known as the mind can be disrupted due to faults in these electrical connections and signals within the brain. People have no conscious control over these connections, and when depressed cannot just ‘shake out of it’. Their problems are as medically genuine as those with any other disorder, and due to an imbalance in the chemistry of the body.

It is important to understand the effect of specific deficiencies on the brain and the mind, that can cause extreme sadness and helplessness in what is commonly termed depression. Mental health is frequently regarded as being connected with the condition of the mind as opposed to the brain as an organ. Naturally, any deficiency that interferes with the chemical processes necessary for the correct operation of the brain as a physical entity will interfere with human consciousness or psyche that is an abstract manifestation of the way the brain works.

Vitamins known and accepted as affecting mental processes include the B vitamins, of which even slight deficiencies can have an adverse effect on mental health. Significant deficiencies can be related to serious mental illnesses such as severe depression. Each one of the B vitamins is known to have a specific effect.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency can lead to depression, anxiety, fearfulness and irritability. The B vitamins are used to create specific enzymes needed for some of the functions in the brain, and it is a lack of these enzymes that ultimately leads to psychiatric disorders. Studies have determined a thiamine deficiency in a large proportion of psychiatric patients. Alcoholics and patients suffering from malnutrition have also been found to suffer from psychiatric disorders, and both of these conditions can lead to a deficiency in thiamine.

Riboflavin, too, has been studied in relation to psychosis. A few studies have indicated a deficiency of riboflavin, vitamin B2, to be associated with increased levels of depression and hysteria. Riboflavin, like thiamine, is essential for the formation and proper use of brain enzymes. The other B vitamins are also known to be essential in the biochemistry of the brain, and depression is a common result of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Other symptoms include psychosis, memory defects and a slowing of the mental processes in general.

In all of these cases, a vitamin B complex supplement appears to have fairly rapid positive results, especially in the treatment of depression. Whether the more severe conditions are helped or not is uncertain since vitamin treatment has rarely been a significant part of the treatment of severe cases of psychosis. It is difficult to see how it could do harm, though while it makes sense for any deficiency to be treated with a corresponding supplement, the damage is generally caused by the presence, or lack of, a chemical farther down the biochemical pathway.

It is well known and accepted that depression is a symptom of insufficient vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and is also needed for the production of serotonin. Produced by the pineal gland deep in the brain, serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for mood and depression, and sometimes called the ‘molecule of happiness’. A lack of serotonin leads to depression.

It is not only vitamins that are essential for good mental health, however. Mineral deficiencies also feature in some mental problems, particularly magnesium and zinc. Take zinc first: this mineral is responsible for a large number of enzyme syntheses in the body, and influences nerve impulse transmissions and also the activity of the thyroid gland. A deficiency will give several symptoms including depression and bevioural problems.

Magnesium takes part in hundreds of biochemical reactions, and a deficiency can be caused by stress since stress increases the demand for magnesium. The deficiency then affects the ability of the heart to react to the stress, and it becomes a vicious circle. The magnesium deficiency manifests in the form of personality changes, depression, irritability and anxiety.

These are known effects and many studies have been carries out to confirm that knowledge. Many more vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid, manganese, iron and potassium, are known to be necessary components of the human biochemical pathways that lead ultimately to chemicals essential for the proper functioning of the brain as an organism, and deficiencies of which can affect the mind. Mild depressions have been significantly reduced by use of the appropriate supplements but should not be regarded as a cure.

Since these known deficiencies cause known psychiatric defects, particularly depression and anxiety, it is only sensible to assume that intelligent and appropriate supplementation should help to avoid them, if not cure them. Some deficiencies are due to alcoholism and malnutrition. In alcoholism, the B vitamins are rapidly depleted in the body by the alcohol, even though there is no deficiency in the diet. Malnutrition speaks for itself, and while supplements can have a dramatic effect in that case, alcoholics must be cured for the effects of vitamin supplements to take real effect.

Vitamin and mineral supplements can be used to avoid many of the mental problems that a deficiency can cause. Of these, the various members of the vitamin B complex is that which is indicated most, and also zinc and magnesium supplementation are amongst the essential minerals required.

The treatment of minor disorders with supplements has had a degree of success but it is doubtful if any significant advantages can be gained by using them for severe symptoms. The more traditional methods have been found to be more effective, though some herbal supplements such as St. John’s Wort might have some beneficial effects. These remedies, however, cannot be regarded as cures for depression or any other psychiatric disorder. The connection between mental health and supplements can be used towards finding a cure for many mental conditions.

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Study Identifies Factors Leading to Discontinuation of Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Earlier considered as a scourge specific to military veterans, opioid addiction has today spread to each section of the society. Surprisingly, the crisis has largely engulfed teenagers, women or older adults. Addiction to opioids, including heroin, morphine and prescription pain pills, has led to severe physical and mental health problems among Americans, apart from creating a burgeoning and dangerous black market of illegal drugs on the streets.

Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that of the 20.5 million people aged 12 years or older who were diagnosed with substance use disorders, 2 million were addicted to prescription pain relievers and nearly 591,000 were hooked on heroin.

Getting rid of opioid addiction is tricky due to the involvement of medication. Additionally, opioid addiction recovery treatment requires long-term engagement in therapy for its success, which many fail to follow. Disengagement from treatment has become a norm in people undergoing recovery from an addiction to opioid drugs.

Until recently, a majority of people addicted to prescription pain relievers were treated with buprenorphine. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment has pointed out that many patients undergoing the treatment process tend to give up midway owing to various reasons, such as unemployment, belonging to a particular race or an acute hepatitis C infection.

What causes disengagement from opioid addiction treatment

According to the study by the researchers from the Boston University (BU), individuals with opioid use disorder are more likely to disengage from treatment programs if they are black or Hispanic, unemployed, or have hepatitis C. Buprenorphine – Subutex and Suboxone – is the most widely used drug for the treatment of opioid addiction due to its efficacy in reducing the rates of heroin and prescription opioid use. Additionally, it reduces the chances of “risky behaviors” that are associated with development of co-morbidities such as HIV or viral hepatitis infection.

As part of the study, the researchers evaluated more than 1,200 patients treated at office-based addiction treatment (OBAT) program between 2002 and 2014 to identify the patient-specific factors associated with retention in the treatment program for longer than one year. Factors such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, education level, employment, infection with hepatitis C virus, co-morbid psychiatric conditions, and prior or current use of drugs or alcohol were specifically evaluated.

Highlighting some important disparities in treatment outcomes (especially racial/ethnic), the study observed, “Older age, female, and co-morbid psychiatric diagnosis were associated with greater odds of treatment retention beyond one year, patients who were black or Hispanic, unemployed, and had evidence of hepatitis C viral infection were associated with decreased odds of treatment retention beyond one year.”

The study plays a key role in understanding the potential of opioid agonist buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction at a time when Americans are fighting a tough battle against prescription drug abuse. The study is expected to open newer avenues of treating opioid addiction, apart from encouraging patients to complete the recovery program.

Treating opioid addiction through effective therapeutic interventions

Like any other addiction, opioid abuse is also a brain disease that needs to be treated immediately. Prescriptions for opioid medications written by doctors has resulted in unprecedented level of opioid addiction in the country. While institutions at the federal level are making efforts to address the issue by sharing guidelines on the nature and extent of prescription to physicians, it is important to identify alternate therapeutic interventions that are more effective.

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Cost of Alcohol Abuse is Far Greater Than Drug Abuse in California, Says Study

The misuse and abuse of alcohol and drugs can have various repercussions, not only on the individuals doing that and their families, but also on the society as a whole. One of its major consequences is financial burden. Besides causing health complications and raising concerns for public safety, alcohol and drugs cost the United States billions of dollars every year.

Like the impact, the economic cost of these substances varies immensely from one place to another. In fact, the cost of alcohol misuse is relatively far greater than the cost of drug misuse in most counties in the U.S. Since studies related to economic and social costs of alcohol and drug abuse are generally conducted at the state and national levels, this allows policymakers to better assess the problems within their jurisdiction and come up with countermeasures.

Similarly, a study, led by author Ted Miller and conducted at the Prevention Research Center of Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, sought to find out the consequences of alcohol and drug misuse in California and was published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (ACER).

Alcohol abuse cost California $129 billion in 2010

The study highlighted the eye-opening economic burden of alcohol and drug related problems on the Californian taxpayer’s money across all 58 counties and 50 midsized cities. It was found that alcohol-related problems are more prevalent and costlier than drug-related problems in California. Moreover, both costs and repercussions varied greatly from one place to another. Some other findings are as follows:

While alcohol-related problems cost $129 billion in 2010, which comes to $3,450 for every Californian, drug-related problems cost $44 billion in the same year.
The highest per capita cost ($7,819) of alcohol problem was more than three times the lowest per capita cost ($2,588). Among the counties with drug-related problems the per capita cost varied between $608 and $3,786.
The rates of alcohol and drug-related problems were found to be higher in the Californian cities. The highest per capita cost of alcohol-related problems in a city was $10,734, 11 times higher than the city with the lowest costs. Among the cities, the highest per capita cost of drug-related problems was $7,159, almost 19 times higher than the city with the lowest cost.

Correspondingly, the breakup of alcohol and drug-related costs are as follows:

Crashes and accidents under the influence of alcohol cost $26 billion in 2010.
Of the $10 billion cost borne due to violence associated to substance use, 73 percent was attributed to alcohol, while the remaining 27 percent was attributed to drugs.
Of the $127 billion expenditure incurred due to other illnesses and injuries, 73 percent of the costs resulted from alcohol-related problems. Similarly, 82 percent of the $4 billion cost incurred due to nonviolent crimes were attributed to drug abuse.
74 percent of $2 billion incurred due to treatment expenditure was attributed to drug-related problems.

The study authors believe that the findings can assist policymakers and help the state in planning and allocating resources for substance abuse problems. In addition, this study provides a crucial tool for predicting and averting alcohol and drug-related problems, as well as a crucial means to plot localized cost estimates.

According to Dr. Miller, “Efficient funding of substance abuse prevention, enforcement and treatment hinges upon understanding the variation of alcohol and other drug problems from place to place. Because estimated costs combine data across many health and social issues, they provide an effective, comprehensible, and comprehensive measure for use in understanding how communities shape their distinctive social environments and for monitoring the effectiveness of our intervention strategies.”

Avoid the death trap

In 2010, problems related to alcohol and drugs in California led to 22,281 and 5,533 deaths, respectively. In addition, crimes related to alcohol and drugs were responsible for 350,000 and 164,000 deaths, respectively. These large and unsettling numbers are pertaining to only one of the 50 U.S. states, signaling a far greater magnitude of the problem.

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Instant Drug Test – What Are They?

This form of drug testing does not have to be sent to the lab for professional analysis. The results appear quickly after being done. This type of drug test can be advantageous in a workplace. This instant drug test can be used if an employee is hurt on the job. It will show if the employee was under the influence of an illegal drug causing the employee to be careless and cause the accident. It is often used in a drug treatment program to see if anyone in the program is lying about the m using illegal drugs. It is also used in probation offices to check those on probation for illegal drug usage.

This test may screen for only one illegal drug like opiates or marijuana but some of them test for several drugs at the same time. An instant drug test may feature parameters or panels, which will tell how many substances the test will screen for. Some of the common instant tests are five panel, ten panel, and three panel. The test that is considered more comprehensive is the ten panel. It will screen for about ninety-five percent of all illegal drugs. This includes methamphetamines, marijuana, opiates, and cocaine.

These drug tests can be done in different ways but the one that is used the most is the urine instant drug test. When it screens the person’s urine, it screens for the metabolites in the urine and not the presence of any particular drug. These metabolites exist only because of a drug that a person might be using. These can test a person’s blood, hair, saliva, and even sweat, too.

In addition to testing for illegal drugs, these tests can also test for recent alcohol consumption. A Breathalyzer┬« is a form of an instant drug test for alcohol. It uses a sample of a person’s breath to determine their blood alcohol content. There are blood and urine tests that screen for alcohol in the body along with alcohol strips. These are put in the mouth to identify if the person has drunk alcohol.

The time a drug can be detected accurately is called the detection period. These time periods vary with each illegal drug because each illegal drug is metabolized at different rates by the body. Marijuana is detected in the urine up to thirty days after smoking it. This is because it is stored in the fat cells of your body and takes longer to purge. Being a water-soluble substance cocaine is usually out of your system within seventy-two hours after using.

An instant drug test makes it harder to get a job and helps prevent employers from paying workers compensation for accidents due to the employee being under the influence of illegal drugs.

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Weight Loss – Is Cardio Really the Best Way to Lose Fat?

If cardiovascular benefits were all you could gain from doing cardio exercises, you would suddenly see emptier gyms around the nation. While it is great to know you can strengthen your heart and clean out your blood vessels by running on a treadmill, you would likely argue the main reason to do cardio is for weight loss. Few, if any people like exercising on those machines. This is not to say you should feel ashamed if you use cardio to lose weight. In fact, it is great if you do because it means you are exercising, never mind you are aiming for weight loss. First and foremost you should be physically active because that is the main way you are going to improve your health in the long-term. Weight loss is secondary.

But assuming you do like to do cardio, it may lead you to ask the following: is cardio the best way to lose fat? If you have not wondered about this before, it is time, because cardio is not without its downside. Cardio – whether it is running, cycling, or walking at a brisk pace, is efficient at burning calories. This much is clear. If you have not guessed it, however, no amount of cardio can overcome a poor diet.

As far as weight loss goes, you must be in a caloric deficit to ensure you make progress. Which means you could fail to lose weight despite running a couple of dozen kilometers a week. More cardio is not the answer. The issue many people encounter with cardio is they see it as a primary solution to their health problems. As beneficial as it can be, a physically active lifestyle must be complemented by a healthy diet.

So, is cardio the best way to lose fat? The short answer is no. A balanced diet with caloric limitations comes first. At the end of the day, cardio is merely a tool you can use to facilitate your efforts and boost your results. Moreover, there are some downsides to cardio you should be aware of. Intense cardio sessions can trigger an insatiable appetite, and this is not without reason. The body simply wants to recover the precious energy it exhausts during exercise.

With that said, knowing this allows you to make the most of a disadvantageous situation. If your willpower is strong enough, you can continue to eat sensibly following your workout to maintain a steady deficit for the rest of the day. It will not be easy, but it may be worthwhile for you.

Ultimately, it is a balance that proves to be ideal for most people. Moderate cardio a few times a week along with a healthy diet is a sure recipe for weight loss success.

Although managing Type 2 diabetes can be very challenging, it is not a condition you must just live with. Make simple changes to your daily routine – include exercise to help lower both your blood sugar levels and your weight.

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