SAD Lamps – Do They Work? Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder With Light Therapy

SAD Lamps – Do They Work? Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder With Light Therapy Many people suffer from the Winter blues. This tends to come from the dark mornings and early sunsets and during the day many people are stuck inside a building filled with fluorescent lights that are quite unlike the natural daylight that the body and mind craves. Treating seasonal affective disorder with SAD lamp light therapy is a step in the right direction but many people can be skeptical about the results, do they actually work? If you want to feel better and are thinking of using SAD lamps, then here some instructions to help you to begin: — Using a SAD lamp It can take individuals different timeframes to start feeling the benefits of using SAD therapy lamps and light boxes to treat depression. Regardless of how much you time you set aside to treat seasonal affective disorder with light therapy, it is unlikely that using a SAD lamp will lift your mood immediately. That would be why it makes sense to be consistent when using a SAD lamp, even before you start to feel better. But since there are some very convenient desk SAD lamps that you can take around with you, so that you can get on with your work while treating yourself. One of the best ways to decide whether you will benefit from using SAD light boxes for light therapy would be to look at the daily practices of owners who already treat seasonal affective disorder with light therapy regularly. Read reviews on sites such as Amazon – these are unbiased and will help you select the best option: Lightphoria 10,000LUX Energy Light LampCheck PriceNatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy LampCheck PriceHappyLight Compact Energy LampCheck PriceVerilux VT10WW1 HappyLight Liberty Natural Spectrum Lamp, 5K EnergyCheck PriceDay-Light Sky 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy...

Fish oils, weight loss, and health

Fish oils are often touted as panaceas for a variety of health conditions, and supplementation is often described as having a positive impact on our metabolic health. In this MotivatingMax article we explore the power of these good fats and consider the evidence base out there. Fish do not produce omega-3 fatty acids themselves, rather they accumulate them in their tissues by eating either microalgae or prey fish (that have, in turn accumulated omega-3 fatty acids). Microalgae are also known to provide a high payload of antioxidants such as iodide and selenium. The combination of anti-oxidants and fish oils is apt as the former protects the fragile polyunsaturated lipids from oxidative damage. What kinds of fish are highest in Omega-3 fatty acids, the fish oils that are generally held to be the most beneficial for our metabolism? The answer is the fatter, predatory fish such as swordfish, tilefish, sharks, and albacore tuna. The drawback to consuming the meat of these fish is that, owing to their privileged position atop the food chain, these species can also accumulate toxic substances through a process known as biomagnification. This has led several health bodies, including America’s Food and Drug Administration to propose limiting the consumption of such species due to potentially damaging levels of substances such as mercury, dioxin, PCBs and chlordane. What beneficial effects follow from consuming the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil? Over the last decade research has pointed to the ability of these fats to curb or aid in the prevention of various conditions that entail some form of inflammation; examples being hypertriglyceridemia and possibly heart disease. There are several mechanisms at play here but the most likely pathway is blood thinning that prevents clotting. At present there is mixed evidence for the utility of fish oils in the treatment of psychological conditions such as clinical depression and...

Garlic… It doesn’t just ward off vampires!

Garlic, like olive oil, is one of the key components of a “Mediterranean diet” often associated with health and longevity. This article is about the potentially beneficial effects of Allicin- the active ingredient in garlic. This compound was first isolated and studied during the second world war and is notable for a distinctively pungent smell. The MotivatingMax take on Allicin is that the odour of Allicin may actually be the key to its positive effects as it serves as a mildly toxic phytochemical (plant substance) which promotes an immune response. It may be that the bitterness of Allicin is part of the plant’s natural defence mechanism against attack from pests, but the dosage is negligible to humans and so may have a positive impact. There is considerable evidence to suggest that Allicin has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects. The evidence of the anti-inflammatory properties of Allicin is particularly strong; especially in the case of animals. In rodents and other test animals, Allicin may reduce atherosclerosis and fat deposition, and lower blood pressure, while exerting anti-thrombotic effects. While blood cholesterol levels have been positively affected in animals, a 2007 Archives of Internal Medicine study cast doubt on whether it would have the same effects in humans; the results stopped short of being statistically significant. As we stated at the top of the article, Allicin is a mild toxin. Hence, excessive ingestion may have negative effects- such as the irritation of stomach lining cells. However, this is extremely unlikely to occur in the sort of quantities that are ingested by those taking Allicin supplements or consuming garlic as part of a balanced diet. When preparing garlic, is worth bearing in mind that (as with many fruits and vegetables) when the skin around each clove is cut or crushed then the antioxidants inside have a very short lifetime, some of them decomposing in...

The evidence for olive leaf oil

Olive oil has long been celebrated for its flavour and health benefits, often being presented as the core element of a healthy “Mediterranean” diet. Yet for this article we turn our attention to the leaf of the plant, which has been used medicinally over several centuries. Extracts from the olive leaf (OLE), are now sold as natural antibiotic, ageing retardants, and stimulators of the immune system. Let’s examine the clinical evidence for these claims; which appears to be mixed on first appraisal. Clinical evidence has been somewhat contradictory regarding the question of whether olive leaf extracts lower blood pressure to a significant degree. At a laboratory level – that is, through direct experimentation at a cellular level – research has lent to support to its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. In terms of its anti-oxidant capacity, a 2006 piece of research led by Dr Lesley Stevenson (manager of the Natural Products Pharmacology Unit at Southern Cross University, Austrialia), found that a liquid extract made directly from fresh olive leaves was shown to have an antioxidant capacity almost double green tea extract and 400% higher than vitamin C. As you may know from reading other posts on the MotivatingMax site, we feel that substances trumpeted as providing natural antioxidants confer a benefit through stimulating an immune response rather than preventing oxidative damage. Yet the Australian finding still bears some consideration as the phytochemicals in olive leaves may be of similar value to those found in green tea extract. These phytochemicals are thought to include oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, as well as several other polyphenols and flavonoids such as oleocanthal. There is some limited evidence to suggest that, when combined with other substances noted for their supposed anti-oxidant properties, OLE may be effective in controlling cancerous tumours. However, full clinical trials are lacking at this stage. In terms of anti-inflammatory effects, OLE...

Hawthorn for health, heart, and happiness

As part of a series examining the metabolic and immunological effects of various plant extracts we turn our focus to Hawthorn AKA the Thornapple, a type of shrub native to warmer regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America. Taking a lead from traditional medicine, there has been a recent surge of studies investigating the effects of Hawthorn in the mainstream medical community. In this piece, we look at these studies in more depth and assess the available evidence. Several species of Hawthorn have been used in traditional and neuropathic medicine, and there has been growing and considerable interest in testing Hawthorn products for evidence-based medical approaches. In traditional Chinese medicine, the dried fruits of certain Hawthorn species (e.g., Crataegus pinnatifida) are used as a digestive aid. The active ingredients in Hawthorn are principally Tannins, Flavonoids (including rutin, quercetin, and hyperoside), Oligomeric ProanthoCyanidins (OPCs, such as epicatechin, procyanidin, and procyanidin B-2), and both Triterpene and Phenolic acids. So what has the evidence revealed? In, 2008 a meta-analysis of study findings was conducted (Pittler and colleagues, see below). This is a kind of “umbrella” study that looks at the results of many other studies and compares their findings using a common yardstick. This process allows us to estimate how large an effect the nutrient in question has on various health measures. The study concluded that there is considerable evidence of potential benefit in treating chronic heart disease. A more recent review by Tassell and fellow researchers, which took place in 2010, acknowledges the promising nature of the evidence base yet identifies the need for additional studies on dosages and treatment regimens. An interesting branch of research on the effects of Hawthorn concerns its use to improve exercise tolerance in people with heart defects. On this subject, the results are somewhat equivocal with some studies showing that Hawthorn...

Whole grains provide a rainbow of health benefits

Over the last decade, evidence has been amassing that whole grains play a vital role in our diets, preventing certain conditions from developing while improving outlooks for those who are already suffering. In fact, The America’s Food and Drug Administration allows products that contain at least 51% whole grains by weight (and are also low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) to display a health claim stating consumption is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. In many studies, eating whole grains has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death. Recent guidelines published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommend that at least 3 servings of whole grains should be eaten daily. In this exclusive piece for motivating max.com we will delve a little further into the evidence and find out exactly how eating whole grains can benefit us in other ways. Heart disease. Studies in both international and European journals show that heart failure leads to poor prognoses, nearly 40% die within the first year after diagnosis and a further 40% in the four years thereafter. With drugs not as effective as is commonly thought, the evidence points towards exercise and dietary factors as being or primary important in the bid to extend quality living. It is no secret that whole grains are fantastic for your cardiac health. In fact, there is an abundance of research evidence from the last ten years to underline why we should consider waking up every day to this versatile staple. There is clear evidence that those who consume grain products and dietary fibre on a daily basis experience a 29% lower risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks. Whole grains contains compounds such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and stanols, and saponins which serve to lower...
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