Herbs and
Nutritional Supplements

I have found a herbal supplement helpful for restoring my cognitive functions effected by the hypothyroidism and stress. Mind Set provides natural nutrients that nourish the brain and restore the brain's depleted neurotransmitters. It provides neurotransmitter precursor amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Health Thru Nutrition blend the formula based on research done over a period of 60 years and is used as a supplement in treatment centers and hospitals. Health Thru Nutrition reports Mind Set may help:

Relieve depression

Prevent cell damage from stress

Create restful sleep patterns

Decrease the need for medication for those with ADD/ADHD

Reduce alcohol & drug cravings

Increase concentration & focus

Lower blood pressure & enhance weight loss

A friend had told me about it and I am trying it. I have been taking it since March 2000. So far I have noticed improvement in concentration, comprehension, memory recall (I can recall names and other details which I have not been able to do in a long time prior to taking the Mind Set.), formulation of thoughts, and calculation of figures. I am now processing information faster. It's as if my immediate memory is now working properly.

I also noticed an absence of long standing irritableness, quicker recovery over life's minor problems (I haven't held onto negative emotions like I was accustomed to. Now I get over it in a few minutes plus I'm not as disturbed by things like I use to be.), return of goals and dreams, and waking up easier in the mornings without feeling sleepy and groggy. (This I had contributed to not being a morning person. As far as I remember I've always woke up feeling sleepy and groggy.)

I have learned that stress effects our memory and extreme stress researchers are finding does cause brain damage. Therefore I am taking Mind Set to reverse the negative effects of both the hypothyroidism and stress has had on my brain.

To Order
Health Thru Nutrition You can check out their web page for more information. They just set up their page so you can order online. You can either order online by completing the application online or call 1-800-765-0140. You will need to give them my PIN # 67198 and name (Linda Ransom) to become a member of HTN (it's free) and order Mind Set or any other product you may want. (They need the PIN # & my name to sign you up.)You can order a bottle for $30 or set it up for auto-ship where you get it every month for $27 and save $3 each month.

I tried ginko and other herbs recommended by my sister and friends only to find little or no benefits. When a friend gave me a couple of Mind Set pills I noticed while reading a chapter in the Old Testament (1Chronicles) I comprehended what I read. I had been trying to read before but very few of the words would I comprehend but that night I noticed all the words I comprehended. I do hope and pray this improvement continues and this may be helpful to others with Hashimoto's Disease and other conditions that effect cognitive abilities.

Update 1/21/04

It's been a long time since I've updated this page. While I'm fixing a bad link I'll give a brief update. I had resumed taking the Mindset since I've noticed a slow but gradual decline in the old grey matter. It helps with the cognitive problems and also gives the old grey matter some nutrients that it needs due to the stresses of life and environmental pollutants. Anyway the brain functions seem to be consistant in it's functioning. Some days it works pretty good and some days it takes the day off. I've noticed other people's brains do the same thing as well. As I share else where on this site, there are some deficits in the grey matter functioning possibly due to being a premie and worsened by the decline due to the hypothyroidism. Stress, fatigue and hormonal changes make it worse, plus being a perfectionist and "trying to fit in socially" makes the stress and frustration worse. What makes a person "successful in climbing the corporate ladder"? Having the social gift of gab, memory and social grace sure is an unspoken requirement. Those of us with deficiencies in these areas sure do have an added struggle in life. I have to keep reminding myself I'm not part of this world so my faith in the Lord plus my weakness in social skills help contribute to me being "different". It's hard sometimes but I'm having to learn to accept this fact and others will just have to learn to accept my "weaknesses" as I had to learn to accept others. Oh well. Just sharing some thoughts. Maybe it will help someone. My internist shared with me his feeling inadequate socially and getting anxiety symptoms in social settings. He's an MD. Many people think of medical doctors as "having it all together". It sure helped me to feel better. Sharing our struggles helps others through theirs. When we come through a struggle or trial it makes us more understanding and empathetic towards others going through trials and struggling with weaknesses. That is one way God uses people to help others.

I do believe the MindSet has helped reverse some of the damage (cognitive problems) in my brain. Needless to say it wasn't a 100% cure but it did help considerably over what the brain was functioning at one time. (I have a couple of neuropsychological reports that point out the improvement which of course the psychologist nor neurologist could explain.) However high levels of stress (family serious illnesses, a twin sister's failed marriage & traumatic divorce, job stresses, ect.) did trigger a rather lengthy depressive episode. (However during depression or any significant illness I tend to reevaluate my thoughts & priorities which eventually result in positive changes.) Due to the antidepressants I did stop the MindSet but did not notice a decline in cognitive abilities. I think the MindSet provided the brain the minerals & nutrients it needed to heal the parts that the MindSet was able to improve. I am currently taking a B complex vitamin (for PMS) which provides the brain the B vitamins it still needs. I also just heard a NIH doctor report some clinical studies showed the brain often lacks Omega 3 which is needed for the brain to function. Omega 3, according to the report, helps to decrease depression. Omega 3 is found in fish & most of us don't eat enough fish. Anyway I picked up some Omega 3 supplement at the local grocery store. I do firmly believe the cognitive problems & other "neurological symptoms" is caused by lack of nutrients & minerals and toxic effects from the environment (additives to foods, pollution, ect.). I believe adding a few supplements, eating better, decreasing stress (including working on decreasing negative "stinkin' thinkin', which we all have, I have.), exercising more, increasing emotional support, spending more time studying God's word & praying and expressing my feelings more rather than stuffing them inside, will help to improve my overall health & decrease "symptoms".

As with any herb or exercise program it is always a good idea to inform your doctor of your plans to start the herb or excercise program. Unfortunately a few people have started a new herb or exercise program and experienced adverse effects. From what I have found most of the ingredients in Mind Set are vitamins but many people do have various subclinical conditions (medical abnormalities which causes no symptoms or problems) so it is always a good idea to get a good physical every so often and keep abreast of any medical condition you may have.

Sites with more information

Increase Intake of Omega-3 Fats in Fish Oil to Protect Against Disease "The best type of omega-3 fats are those found in fish. That's because the omega-3 in fish is high in two fatty acids crucial to human health, DHA and EPA. These two fatty acids are pivotal in preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. The human brain is also highly dependent on DHA - low DHA levels have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. Researchers are now also linking inadequate intake of these omega-3 fats in pregnant women to premature birth and low birth weight, and to hyperactivity in children.

Sadly, though, eating fresh fish, whether from the ocean, lakes and streams, or farm-raised, is no longer recommended. Mercury levels in all fish have now hit dangerously high levels across the world, and the risk of this mercury to your health now outweighs the fish's omega-3 benefits.

Routine consumption of fish oil, however, is highly encouraged as a key ingredient in improving your health. Fish oil contains the highest levels of the best omega-3 fats - those with the EPA and DHA fatty acids - and, as it is in pure form, does not pose the mercury risk of fresh fish. The Carlson brand of fish oil and cod liver oil, regularly tested by an independent FDA registered laboratory, is the most highly recommended for its potency and purity."

DHA & the Omega-3 Revolution "In tandem with omega-6 fatty acids, omega-3s help balance the body by keeping inflammation in check, and by helping mental function, vision, blood pressure, immunity, metabolism and cell-membrane health, notes Andrew L. Stoll, M.D., in The Omega-3 Connection."

The Omega-3 Connection: How You Can Restore Your Body's Natural Balance and Treat Depression From Dr. Andrew L. Stoll's book. "We had no evidence that omega-3 fatty acids would be helpful in bipolar disorder, yet it made sense. Already used by some physicians in the treatment of heart disease, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, these oils are precursors to important signaling molecules in the body and are essential components of the healthy cell membrane the same membranes that appear to mediate the activity of lithium and valproate in the brain. The omega-3 fatty acids are found in unusually high concentration in the brain. Although almost nothing in the literature connected them with bipolar disorder, the possibility that they might act to stabilize mood was very real.

Our subsequent clinical study, ultimately published in The Archives of General Psychiatry, suggested that these safe and natural oils had therapeutic value in the treatment of bipolar disorder. In this one study, looking at thirty patients over four months, omega-3 fatty acids, used alone or with other medications, enabled a few seemingly incurable patients to lead normal lives and enhanced mood stability for those already gaining some benefit from other medications. Omega-3 fatty acids were also safer than valproate and lithium: they had few side effects, and, in my practice, at least, they have become one of the most frequently used "medications" for patients with mood disorders.

But there is more. While our discovery emerged from a search for a new treatment of bipolar disorder, evidence points to far wider applications for omega-3 fatty acids in the care and nurturing of the brain. Studies now under way indicate considerable potential as an antidepressant in the more common type of mood disorder, termed unipolar major depression. Other research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may yield new treatments for postpartum depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, and possibly many other disorders as well. They may be very appropriate for children and the elderly, whose bodies often cannot tolerate conventional psychiatric medications. Furthermore, it is possible that omega-3 fatty acids may actually prevent these disorders from developing at all.

For those of us engaging in neuroscience research, the possibility of global healing power for this natural lipid makes sense. Until the twentieth century, omega-3 fatty acids, derived largely from cold water oily fish from the ocean or freshwater lakes and rivers, as well as wild animals and plants, were common elements of the human diet. Today, with the advent of processed foods and the reduction of omega-3 fatty acids in the typical Western diet, that has changed.

We often think of depression and bipolar disorder as purely hereditary in nature, but research on the omega-3 fatty acids indicates that some of what is inherited may not be in the genes. In studies of omega-3-deprived mice, scientists learned that it may take several generations for offspring to deplete their brains of omega-3 fatty acids. This is because the body tenaciously holds on to the omega-3s throughout life, and also because most of the omega-3s in young animals come from what their mother (and her mother) have consumed and stored. Over time, of course, depletion occurs. Could this possibly be one reason that depression and other mood disorders are on the rise in the United States, or be a factor in the apparently low rate of depression in Japan and other countries where the consumption of fish has remained high for generations?

Researchers in psychiatric epidemiology have found that the prevalence of depression varies as much as sixty-fold from country to country. In a fascinating study from Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, data shows that the international pattern of major depression corresponds strongly to cross-national differences in coronary artery disease, suggesting similar dietary risk factors. Of all the dietary variables, fish consumption appears to be the most significant, with fish-eating nations at lower risk for both major depression and heart disease.

There is evidence that omega-3 deficiency may play a role in postpartum depression as well. The developing fetus and newborn require high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and receive them through the placenta and breast milk, respectively. The baby's ability to import and incorporate omega-3 oils outweighs the typical Western mother's ability to replace what she has lost. It is well-documented that infants and toddlers who were breast fed rather than bottle fed score higher on cognitive and visual system tests. It has been determined that one reason is the high levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids in breast milk. (There are none in U.S. formula.) If the mother does not maintain sufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids in her diet, she puts her body at risk of depletion during the pregnancy and breast-feeding period. Low levels of omega-3 in her brain and body may put her at greater risk for depression and possibly other disorders.

In studies of children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), meanwhile, Jay R. Burgess of Purdue University has found that some 40 percent showed evidence of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Research into use of omega-3 supplements as an adjunctive treatment for ADHD is currently under way.

Although the results of the ADHD studies are not yet in, research with healthy populations indicate that omega-3 fatty acids may indeed play a role in attention as well as cognitive abilities like memory and response time. In a fifty-day study of 285 normal women, with a particular focus on EPA, David Benton, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Wales Swansea, found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements improved measurements of memory, vigilance, and mood."

B Vitamin Level Linked to Antidepressant Success
By Merritt McKinney

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Vitamin B12 may play a role in how well people with depression respond to antidepressant drugs, new research from Finland suggests.

In a study of people being treated for depression, participants with higher levels of vitamin B12 tended to get a greater benefit from antidepressants, researchers report.

"The findings suggested that those who had higher vitamin B12 levels had a better treatment outcome," Dr. Jukka Hintikka of Kuopio University Hospital, who led the study, told Reuters Health.

The Finnish researcher said it is still too early to suggest that people with depression take vitamin B12 or other vitamin supplements to treat depression. But the results of the study do justify future trials to test the effect of vitamins in combination with antidepressants, according to Hintikka.

"This is important because many patients with depression still do not respond to current treatments," the researcher said.

Several studies have found low levels of vitamin B12 and the B vitamin folate in people with depression. Some research has suggested that levels of vitamin B12 and folate influence the effectiveness of antidepressants, but the evidence is not conclusive.

Hintikka's team measured levels of vitamin B12 in the blood of 115 people who had major depressive disorder. All of them were being treated for depression during the 6-month study.

Levels of vitamin B12 were directly related to the odds of treatment success, the team reports in the latest issue of the journal BMC Psychiatry.

People who responded fully to antidepressant treatment had the highest levels of B12 at both the beginning and end of the study. Levels of the vitamin were next highest in people who had a partial response to antidepressant medication and were lowest in those who did not respond at all.

The relationship between vitamin B12 levels and treatment success persisted even after the researchers took into account other factors that could have influenced the results, including age, sex, duration of depression, smoking habits, and severity of depression.

Folate levels were not significantly associated with treatment outcome once these factors were considered.

Exactly how vitamin B12 may affect treatment outcome is uncertain. One possibility, according to Hintikka, is that vitamin B12 is needed to form substances called monoamines that are found in the central nervous system. Antidepressants increase the activity of monoamines, so higher levels of vitamin B12 may boost the drugs' efficiency by promoting the synthesis of monoamines, Hintikka said.

Another theory, the Finnish scientist said, is that a deficiency in vitamin B12 may promote the accumulation of a protein called homocysteine, which may enhance depression.

SOURCE: BMC Psychiatry 2003.

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