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Fix Your Gut, Ease Your Anxiety?

Pamela Wirth wrote a book about how better nutrition, supplementation, and functional medicine helped improve the health of her family (adults and children alike), with contributions from doctors, including pediatric neurologist Melanie Alarcio, M.D., immunologist Ryan Casper, M.D., and Jeremy Appleton, N.D. Her book explains the things that can trigger genetic predisposition to autoimmune disease and mental health issues, and discusses the difference between conventional medicine and functional medicine. It explores the new understanding about the connection between our bellies, our brains, and our behaviors. 

Every day brings new headlines about the ways in which our minds and bodies are one. We are learning more every year about the connection between gut health, our immune system, and our mental health.

Adapted Excerpt from Hello, Health: Navigating and Winning Better Cognitive and Immune Function: A Guidebook for Saving 21st Century Families

As of early 2016, we are happily maintaining the physical and mental health of our family with the use of daily probiotic, B12, D3, complete omega (or krill) oil, a gluten-free and low-sugar diet, and a regimen of daily essential oils. We are in good company, as researchers learn more and more about the power of plant extracts in both healing and preventative care.

 Numerous studies, for example, have shown the antibacterial effects of tea tree oil. One recent study, for instance, compared the healing times of patients with wounds infected withStaph. It looked at conventional treatment alone and conventional treatment plus fumes of tea tree essential oil. The results showed a significantly decreased healing time in participants treated with tea tree oil.[1] Likewise, combinations of essential oils including lavender and cinnamon have been shown to kill E. coli.[2] These extracts may work by weakening the cell wall of resistant bacteria. They contain secondary metabolites that are capable of inhibiting or slowing the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds.[3] 

I’ve had friends tell me, “Pam, this whole thing is ridiculous. Just get what you need from food.” But it’s my understanding that the right foods don’t even have the same nutrients that they did fifty years ago. Our farmland is over-farmed, the pest control is so much stronger than it once was, so the toxicity is higher. So, you’ve got to be thinking about, “What am I taking in? What is organic? What is safe to be non-organic?” 

A lot of the chemicals in our food supply will prevent you from absorbing your vitamins and minerals correctly. If you have high amounts of toxicity in some of the stuff that’s coming into your system, it’ll prevent you from having a healthy balance. Your body has to attackthat and cannot fixthis. 

It’s important to eat right, to reduce our carbohydrates, to eat lots of lean meats and fruits and vegetables but in absence of that, especially in people with autoimmune disorders and/or anxiety issues, it’s crucial to really make sure that you have additional support there to take care of our bodies. Thus, supplementation is smart.

Benefits of Supplements for the General Population

Again and again, studies show that the microbiota in our guts could activate the immune and central nervous system (CNS). Gut microorganisms can produce substances such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid, which act on the brain. Preclinical research in rodents suggests that certain probiotics have antidepressant and anti-anxiety activities.[4] 

We have all certain predispositions to something. And we will all encounter something in life that will act as a trigger to whatever that predisposition is. Some have a predisposition to an autoimmune disorder, and when you get hit with a bacterial infection and a virus at the same time, that can be a trigger. There’s now a very interesting study that says that people with Alzheimer’s may have had some serious infections in their lives that acted as their trigger and have been very slowly evolving.[5] 

It begs the question: if you can limit the number of bacterial and viral infections you come into contact with, or that your body reacts to, how much better off will you be? We come into contact with stuff all the time, but is your body strong enough to fight it off? Or does it make its way in? What is the collateral damage from an infection? If we can prevent some of that damage from happening, we should. It’s similar to a vaccine—you don’t get the mumps, the measles, etc. when you have it. 

Is it possible that by taking some of these supplements, it’s almost like you’re vaccinating your body and making it stronger to fight against anything that could act as a trigger to your genetic predispositions? It all comes back to healing from the inside out.[6] Are you making your cells stronger? Or are they just going to start not acting properly?

Our Supplement Protocol

 

  •    Olive Leaf Extract (especially as needed when a viral infection is present)
  •    QBC and Copaiba as needed for inflammation (as a natural alternative to Motrin)
  •    Daily B12 and D3 for immune support
  •    Daily Omega-3s
  •    Daily Prebiotic/Probiotic
  •    Daily l-methylfolate (different than folic acid) for Ryan’s heterogenous MTHFR 6 and 12
  •    PS (Phosphatidylserine) as needed for sleep at night. This supplement has also shown success for those with ADD and anxiety.
  •    Diffused 3-4 drops nightly of thieves, thyme, frankincense, and lavender. However, any of the oils can be diffused.  
  •    Took capsules every day with a meal. Recipe: three drops each of oregano, thyme, thieves, frankincense, lavender, and copaiba. Our entire house followed this regimen and we had all had different positive reactions ranging from no allergies to increased focus, better mood, better sleep, etc.

 

 

 

To learn more about these topics, please pick up a copy of Pamela’s bookHello, Health:Navigating and Winning Better Cognitive and Immune Function at Amazon.com today.

 

 

[1] Chin KB and Cordell B, “The effect of tea tree oil on wound healing using a dressing model,” Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 19, n.12 (December 2013). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23848210 (accessed May 6, 2019).

[2] Yap PS, et al. “Antibacterial Mode of Action of Cinnamomum verum Bark Essential Oil, Alone and in Combination with Piperacillin, Against a Multi-Drug-Resistant Escherichia coli Strain,” Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology 25, n.8 (August 2015) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25381741 (accessed May 6, 2019).

[3] Nazzaro F, et al. “Effect of Essential Oil on Pathogenic Bacteria,” Pharmaceuticals 6, n.12 (Published online November 2013) 1451-1474. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873673/ (accessed May 6, 2019).

[4] Evrensel A and Ceylan ME, “The Gut-Brain Axis: The Missing Link in Depression,” Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience 13(3) December 2015; 239-244. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662178/ (accessed April 3, 2019).

[5] Yong E, “Even More Evidence for the Link Between Alzheimer’s and Herpes: Several new studies have rejuvenated a long-dismissed idea that links the common brain disease to the viral infections,” The Atlantic (July 2018)www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/07/herpes-viruses-alzheimers/564887/ (accessed April 15, 2019).

[6] Rodriguez T, “Essential Oils Might be the New Antibiotics,” The Atlantic (January 2015) www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/the-new-antibiotics-might-be-essential-oils/384247 (accessed May 6, 2019).

 

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