Rheumatoid Arthritis – when your body declare war on itself !

As opposed to Osteoarthritis which is caused by wearing and tearing down cartilage in joints through a lifetime of use, Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by an autoimmune response that causes the immune system to attack it’s own body.

There’s no cure and there’s no way of healing it since there’s no blood flow to the cartilage. if diagnosed early then Rheumatoid Arthritis can however be stoped or slowed down from progressing. However only 50% of treated patients will experience a reduction in disease activity. Since Rheumatoid Arthritis also carries and increased risk of cardio vascular diseases that number is way to low.

in the latest article I looked at Omega 3 as a natural way of reducing or even eliminate the pain from Arthritis – However a study published last year in JCI insight takes it a step further.

Because Omega 3 is a precursor to the prostaglandin ( a group of compounds with hormone like effect) group Specialized Proresolving Lipid Mediators (SPM) that decreases inflammation and inhibits the neutrophils that attacks the joints, these scientists decided to see if fish oil suppelements could raise SPM levels in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The trial did show an increase of the SPM Resolvin, along with significantly reduced joint inflammation to keep it short – the study more then implied that Rheumatoid Arthritis can be stoped by the use of a potent Omega 3 supplement.

Furthermore a study published in Annals of The Rheumatic Diseases on people who are genetically at risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis actually showed that fish oil plays a huge role in preventing rheumatoid Arthritis by regulating the number of antibodies that cause the disease.

These studies along with the knowledge we have on Omega 3 and pain relief makes it a must to be taking fishtail if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Further Rading and source material:

Proresolving and cartilage-protective actions of resolvin D1 in inflammatory arthritis

Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a lower prevalence of autoantibodies in shared epitope-positive subjects at risk for rheumatoid arthritis

Is there a natural way to relieve pain from Arthrtis ?

If suffering from Arthritis then you are probably also suffering from severe pain. Most likely your physician has also prescribed you an NSAID (Non Sterodial Anti Inflammatory Drug) such as Naproxen, Ibuprofen, Voltaren, or Celecoxib.

The problem with using these drugs are their severe side effects, such as ulcers, vomiting, nausea, asthma or allergic reactions, & elevated risk of heart attack and stroke.

As such not a type of drugs that you would love to take on a daily basis – and if you do then you are most definitely placing yourself at risk. The worst of it is that for most patients with arthritis they lower the pain, but they do not take it away. So the obvious question is – is it worth it ? and is there a natural way to relieve joint pain ?

The answer to the first question should be up to you – I am not the one with your pain and it has to be your choice if it’s worth it. The answer to the second question is YES Most definitely there is. You should not be forced to be stuck with crappy lethal NSAID drugs that do not work, because you DO have a CHOICE !

Osteoarthritis is caused by chronic inflammation in your joints. The inflammation in the joint is what triggers the pain nerve and causes the sensation of pain. Inflammation is actually a natural part of the body’s healing process, but the inflammation is not supposed to be chronic. However the anti-inflammatory chemicals that the body uses to turn the inflammation off, is constructed from the food we eat, and since most of us eat more pro-inflammatory food then anti-inflammatory foods we end up with a body that can’t turn off all the inflammatory fires inside us – and we say hello chronic pain !

One of those nutrients that the body uses to inhibit both pain and inflammation is Omega 3.

Most joint pains comes from osteoarthritis, which means that the cartilage in the joint is more or less broken down. This increases the friction in the joint which causes inflammation which in turn causes the pain. In Rheumatoid Arthritis however it’s an acute inflammation caused by the body immune system to attack the joints. As such Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease and again the key to getting rid of the pain is by reducing the inflammation.

Osteoarthritis can’t be cured since there’s no blood flow to the cartilage, so the cartilage can’t be rebuild. The same goes for Rheumatoid Arthritis if the attacks has caused the cartilage to be broken down.

So what could you do ? Well let’s start with the pain.

When someone has chronic joint pain then the first thing that I suggest is that they test their Omega 3/6 balance. A significant imbalance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 could be why chronic pain continues.

Omega 6 delivers the raw material for both the pain transmitting chemicals in our body as well as the pro-inflammatory chemicals. Omega 3 on the other hand deliver the raw material to the pain inhibiting chemicals as well as the anti-inflammatory chemicals the body need in order to turn inflammation off. The problem however is that 95% of the population has 12-25 times more Omega 6 then Omega 3.

Therefore, adding a high quality fish oil supplement can both remove inflammation and lower the pain.

What is arthritis – and what old school doctors are missing !

There’s actually more then 100 different types of Arthritis. We are not going through all of them today, but looking into the two most common types of Arthritis – Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis: In this condition you wear and tear the cartilage in the joints down. The cartilage in the joints absorb the shock from movements, and in the most critical cases it ends up being bone against bone, which is severely painful.

In the past Osteoarthritis was classified as non inflammatory Arthritis. However modern research has proven that to be a false. Unfortunately a lot of old school doctors who do not keep up with evolution is still saying non inflammatory Arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is caused by chronic inflammation in the joints. Chronic inflammation occurs when the body is not fed with enough anti inflammatory compounds to turn the acute inflammation off. Due to the inflammation the cartilage wears down as we use our joints, until there’s nothing or very little left.

Common symptoms of Osteoarthritis can be: deep aching pain, trouble getting dressed or combing your hair, difficulty with gripping things, problems with climbing stairs, stiffness after resting or sleeping, pain during movement, warm or swollen joints and inability to move through a full range og motion.

arthritis, joint pain

Rheumatoid Arthritis: on the other hand has always been categorized as inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s own immune system attacks the joints and cause inflammation.

There is however still confusion over why Rheumatoid Arthritis set off. There are those who believe that the immune system gets confused from an infection of virus or bacteria.

What we do know though is that the antibody Anti-Cyclic Citrulinated Peptide (anti-CCP) is present in most patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Along with a number of other blood tests and other diagnostic tools can anti-CCP be used to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as estimate the severity of the disease.

Researchers has made the discovery that Rheumatoid patients who test positive for anti-CCP, have a common sequence of amino acids called the shared epitope, which is encoded into specific genetic markers – Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA). The HLA is producing proteins that control immune responses. One theory is that the shared epitope could be responsible for creating the anti-CCP antibodies by attaching to these proteins.

So scientists really doesn’t know yet what’s causing Rheumatoid Arthritis. We know that there’s a genetic pre disposition to Rheumatoid Arthritis through anti-CCP and Rheumatoid Factor (RF) but most people suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis doesn’t have a family history.

However knowing that in both cases of Arthritis inflammation plays a significant triggering role, then we get back to what I’ve been saying for years – that lifestyle and nutritional choices is a much bigger factor in our health then genetics.

If you hold that thought then let’s take a look at who’s in the highest risk group of getting Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Women is more likely to get Rheumatoid Arthritis then men
  • Overweight people are more prone to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • If you smoke, you are more likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis and if you do, your symptoms are likely to be more severe
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis is more likely to appear at 40-60 years of age
  • If you are exposed to asbestos and Silica you are more likely to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis
    All risk factors with the exception of gender, and partly but not solely age, is risk factors that blow chronic inflammation off the charts. Fat cells produce vast numbers of inflammatory compounds like their life depended on it ( and in a way it does) so overweight people are by definition highly inflamed. Smoking elevates inflammation like no other thing you could ever be exposed to, and environmental toxins are also a source of inflammation.

    All in all, there’s a puzzle that forms a pretty clear picture – Chronic inflammation is the trigger to both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis – so making sure that your diet is anti inflammatory is not only the best way to prevent arthritis but also the best way to control it, if you already have it.

    Blood Pressure issues could be due to unbalanced diet !

    Going back just a few years, blood pressure was the number one guideline to determine a patients health status in the medical field. That has changed, both because blood pressure is highly inaccurate – most people get anxious when they see the blood pressure measuring equipment and as such get further raised blood pressure values due to anxiety, but also because high blood pressure can be a chronic condition that is not linked to an immediate threat.

    However a chronic high (hypertension) or low (hypotension) blood pressure can be a marker for health related issues, and most of them are diet induced.

    But what is blood pressure ? Blood pressure consists of two readings – systolic value and diastolic value. When your heart beats, it contracts and push blood through your body – this creates pressure on your arteries and is the systolic blood pressure. A normal systolic blood pressure is 120 or below. Consistent readings of 140 or higher is considered hypertension.

    The Diastolic value indicates the pressure in the arteries when the heart rest between beats. A normal diastolic blood pressure is 80 or less, and a value of 90 or more, on consistent measurements is considered hypertension.

    Knowing that, why could my blood pressure go up or down ? In acute incidents of high or low blood pressure it could indicate a heart problem, heart attack, stroke, an infection, and anxiety attack or general ill-being. Pulse is also an important co factor here. But something as simple as lack of sleep can cause rapid hypertension.

    However in this article I want to move away from the acute cases ( which by the way should always be treated by a physician or qualified medical professional) and move over to the chronic cases.

    High blood pressure can be an indicator of heart disease or diabetes and should function as a clear sign of chronic inflammation, and these are the first things you should look for in cases of chronic high blood pressure. Most common to get chronic high blood pressure is: those older then 55, overweight, inactive, heavy alcohol drinkers, smokers and those who regularly use medications such as Ibuprofen and Asprin. Same goes for regular use of decongestants ( for nose clots) and illegal drugs such as cocaine.

    The medical profession states that in 95% of Essential Hypertension ( Chronic high blood pressure) the cause can not be determined.

    This is where all common sense stops as they say ” We don’t know why your blood pressure is high, but take this drug it will help you”.

    The reason why it is like that – and the US number more or less mirrors the rest of the world is that doctors don’t know anything about nutrition. There’s a point to why the education they take to become physicians is called medicine and not health. Because a physician is not supposed to know what to do to make you healthy, only which medicine to give you once it’s to late.

    One essential contributor to chronic hypertension is the imbalance between the two fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6. In Europe we consume on average 15 times as much Omega 6 as we do Omega 3. if you doubt me, just ask yourself how many fatty fish you ate the last week, and then start reading labels on your groceries – if you find words like soy, canola, rapeseed etc. then it’s Omega 6.

    The problem with hypertension and imbalance between these two essential fatty acids is that they both serve different roles in regulating blood pressure.

    Omega 6 is a precursor to a hormone like substance that promotes vasoconstriction, while Omega 3 is a precursor to a hormone like substance that promotes vasodilation. This means Omega 6 makes the arteries contract and Omega 3 makes them dilate or expand.

    This is one of several reasons why optimal balance between Omega 6 and 3 should be 1:1. Now imagine that you have two different armies of workers running around in your arteries. One of them contracting and the other dilating. What would happen if for each dilating worker you had 15 or more contracting workers? Exactly your arteries contract and your blood pressure goes up.

    But the Omega 6/3 balance is not the only factor when it comes to chronic high blood pressure. Vitamin D plays another essential role.

    What we know is that the further from the equator we live, the higher the average blood pressure. That tells us that sunlight, hence Vitamin D plays an essential role in regulating our blood pressure.

    We know that Vitamin D deficiency will increase parathyroid hormone, and high parathyroid hormone levels will raise blood pressure.

    If we look at research towards Vitamin D and blood pressure, then a randomized placebo controlled study published in the American Journal of Hypertension 2012 found that vitamin D3 supplementation significantly decreased blood pressure.

    Another study carried out by Center for Clinical & Transitional Science concluded that Vitamin D deficiency “serves as a trigger to contribute to the development of EH (Essential Hypertension) in vulnerable middle-aged people”.

    Low blood pressure on the other hand can be just as fatal as high blood pressure but the cause can be much more complicated to find.

    Low blood pressure (Hypotension) can be caused by long bedrest, pregnancy, decreased blood volume, medications, endocrine problems, septic shock (blood infection), allergic reactions, standing up in a prolonged period of time, dehydration and nutritional deficiencies.

    If you feel symptoms of low blood pressure, and you haven’t been in bed for a long time, been standing up for most part of the day, ain’t having an allergic reaction, you are not pregnant and you are not on medication for Parkinson, Depression, Erectile Dysfunction, and you don’t feel better after drinking a glass or two of water then I would seek medical advice immediately.

    However if after receiving medical care, and they’ve ruled out any acute problems, or haven’t found a cause, and the problem continues then you should start taking a Vitamin B12 and folic acid supplement as deficiency can lead to Anemia ( a decrease in red blood cells) and also supplement with Vitamin D to regulate your Thyroid. Both Thyroid conditions and Anemia can lead to low blood pressure.

    Further Reading:

    Effect of Cholecalciferol Supplementation During Winter Months in Patients With Hypertension: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial

    Vitamin D Deficiency and Essential Hypertension

    Prebiotics may reduce stress related insomnia !

    New research carried out by Monika Fleshner at University of California (Boulder) shows that probiotics might reduce stress related insomnia.

    Prebiotics are dietary fibers naturally found in Chicory, artichokes, raw garlic, leeks, cabbage and onions. They serve as the main food for the guts healthy bacterias the probiotics, and science suggests that adding prebiotics is much more efficient in restoring a healthy gut
    micro biome then adding the probiotics itself.

    Fleshner’s study was carried out on 3 week old male rats that was fed chow with or without probiotics.

    The study found that the rats fed a prebiotic diet spend more time in NREM sleep which is the restorative sleep cycle, compared to the rats on a non prebiotic diet. This pattern was also found after exposing the rats to stress.

    The study concludes that it’s still to early to say that probiotics should be a recommended supplement as a sleep aid and that we need to conduct more studies.

    From a personal point of view, I say that the findings are extremely interesting. We know already that stress distorts the gut micro biome, and as such it makes sense for stressed people to digest prebiotics. We also know that keeping a healthy micro biome in the gut helps to lower chronic inflammation, and that stress induces inflammation. So there’s a lot of the findings in this study that makes sense – and taking prebiotics together with saffron ( which we have covered in a number of articles on this blog) might actually be a really good choice to combat stress related insomnia.


    A group og researchers at Stanford University set their minds into studying how one night of poor sleep would affect brain function.

    David M. Holzman and colleagues studied 17 adults between 35 and 65 years of age. None of them had problems with sleeping but half of them was for one single night exposed to sounds that would keep them from deep uninterrupted sleep.

    What the study found was that a single night of poor sleep boost amyloid beta, a protein that has been linked with Alzheimers. The study also found that a full week of poor sleep elevates tau, another brain protein tied to brain damage in Alzheimers and a number of other neurological diseases.

    The study report acknowledges that the weakness of the study is the small study group but gives a clear picture as to what sleep means for not only the risk of Alzheimers but also other neurological diseases.

    In my opinion the most alarming finding in this study is that just one night of poor sleep is enough to elevate amyloid beta – and that given how easy the protein is raised, it also points to a link between stress and Alzheimers as well as other neurological diseases.

    Omega 3 & 6 – Is there a friend and a foe ?

    In 1982 Sune K. Bergström, Bengt I. Samuelson and John R. Vane won the Nobel Prize in Physiology “for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances”.

    This formed the foundation for the science of the Omega 3/6 balance. A subject that has since become one of the most thoroughly studied subjects on nutrition and physiology.

    Basically the omega 3/6 balance science says that Omega 3 produces anti inflammatory eicosanoids and Omega 6 produces pro inflammatory eicosanoids. If we have to many pro inflammatory eicosanoids, then we build chronic sub clinical inflammation which creates lifestyle diseases.

    Just for the record, eicosanoids are hormone like substances that performs many vital metabolic processes at the cardiovascular, immune and nervous system. The main classes of eicosanoids are prostaglandins, prostacyclins, thromboxanes, and leukotriens.

    So does that mean that omega 3 is the good boy in the class and Omega 6 is the cruel bully ?

    NO! We would not be able to survive without any of them. I will in this article give you 6 examples of how Omega 3 and Omega 6 work closely hand in hand to keep us alive.

    1). Omega 3 produce eicosanoids that promote blood fluidity, and Omega 6 produce eicosanoids that promote platelet aggretion and blood clotting.

    This should be spot on – blood clotting can trigger a heart attack so Omega 6 is the bad guy, right ? No because if we didn’t have the blood clotting ability to close off the wound, then we would bleed to death from just a small cut. We need our blood to have a high fluidity but we also need it to be able to clot.

    2). Omega 3 produce eicosanoids that cause vasodilation (expansion of blood vessels) and Omega 6 causes vasoconstriction (contraction of blood vessels).

    If we have extreme vasoconstriction then our blood pressure goes up to the point where we could possibly die. On the other hand in the case of extreme vasodilation we would experience a drop in blood pressure, that would cause us to faint and could also be potentially lethal.

    3). Omega 3 produce eicosanoids that cause immunosuppretion, where as Omega 6 produce eicosanoids that promotes immunity.

    No, immunosuppretion does not cause Omega 3 to be todays bad boy. Because if our immune cells wasn’t kept in a strict leach then it would potentially cause the immune system to go rouge and cause auto immune diseases where the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body.

    4). Omega 3 produce anti inflammatory eicosanoids, Omega 6 produce pro inflammatory eicosanoids.

    The anti inflammatory eicosanoids help slow down the aging process and inflammatory degradation that is leading to a number of lifestyle diseases.

    On the other hand – the pro inflammatory response is exactly what we need to fight invasion from foreign pathogens or damage to our cells – so even here, one would not work without the other.

    5). Omega 3 produce pain inhibiting eicosanoids. One of many reasons why people with chronic pain often reports relief when taking fish oil in the right dosage.

    Now none of us want to live in pain. So as I tell you that Omega 6 produce pain transmitting eicosanoids you’d probably say that you only want the Omega 3’s. Right ? Well wrong again, without the eicosanoids that comes from Omega 6 you would not be able to feel the pain that alert you when you place your hand on a hot stow or when you get an injury that demands immediate attention.

    6). Omega 6 produce eicosanoids that promotes cell proliferation, the process that makes it possible for our cells to renew themselves. On the other hand if we did not have the cell proliferation inhibiting eicosanoids from Omega 3 then huge threats like tumors would be able to grow uncontrolled and rapidly.

    So you see we need both Omega 3 and Omega 6’s. The logic question to ask now is, in that case – why does science keep telling us to eat more Omega 3 and not Omega 6 ?

    The answer to this is simply that we generally get way to much Omega 6 from our modern diet. After Ancel Keys managed to get his falsified theory that fats are dangerous published, has the food industry replaced the saturated fats with vegetable oils, which means that today we find Omega 6’s in almost every processed food source we eat such as: cooking oils, margarine, salad dressings & mayonnaise, nuts & seeds, chips, all fried fast foods, cookies, candies, meat (because live stock today is rapidly fed on corn), poultry etc.

    The problem has actually become so severe that more then 95% of the population is out of balance. Now given what we just learned about the functions of Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s, balance is extremely important – and should be as close to 1:1 as possible, so they can balance each other out, and let our bodies work as the perfect machine that it is.

    Reality is extremely different though. On average the europeans have a balance of 15:1 and in the USA we see an average balance of 25:1.

    This means that when we produce more inflammatory eicosanoids then anti inflammatory our bodies build up chronic inflammation which results in arthritis,atherosclerosis ( leading to heart attack) obesity and a number of other lifestyle related diseases.

    It means that when we produce more pain transmitting eicosanoids we get prone to chronic pain.

    At this point you might want to know if you need to take an Omega 3 supplement. Especially if you have a chronic condition that is bothering you. There’s really just one way to know – take a test.

    There’s a few tests out there to choose from, and they vary in price. I offer a test as well, it’s not cheap but it’s one of the most comprehensive and in-depth tests on the market. the test can be done from the comfort of your own home, and takes about 20 days to get your results. What you get is a 14 page analysis on your entire fatty acid profile including dietary advice based on your test results.

    Aditional information on the test can be found here.

    Dust promotes growth of fat cells !

    It’s no secret that the quality of nutrition we consume and the level of activity we perform play a crucial role in wether we are obese or not.

    However a new study published in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology suggests that there’s good reason to make cleaning a priority.

    The study focus on dust and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC). EDC’s are substances that can be synthetic as well as natural, which interfere with or mimic our bodies hormones. EDC’s are used among others as flame retardants in furniture, and other sources of EDC include electrical equipment, and even some food and beverage products.

    Animal studies show that early exposure to some EDC’s can cause weight gain later in life.

    Bottle Dusty Aged Dust Glass Grey Old Vintage

    The new study lead by Heather Stapleton looked at wether EDC’s that’s build up in dust would promote weight gain.

    The researchers studied dust samples from 11 north carolinan homes against mouse cells in a laboratory. 7 of the 11 samples triggered the celles to develop into mature fat cells and 9 samples spurred the fat cells to divide and create a larger pool of fat cells.

    The study also showed amounts as little as 3 micrograms caused measurable effects.

    You an find the full study here.

    Exit from darkness !

    Todays blog post is a bit different then what you are used to get from my hand. Acesalus.com usually place high emphasis on science and every article and every fragment of advice is based on what the science says or by questioning the validity of science, when it doesn’t add up.

    But today, as we – for now – puts closure to the theme on mental illness, I am going to do things quite differently. I am going to tell you my own personal story – with depression, completely striped down and naked.

    It’s my hope that I might be able to inspire someone out there to fight and overcome it, and if just one person finds inspiration and a better life then it’s been worth it.

    My story starts back in the year 2000. At the time I was franchising a 7-Eleven store, and I was at a place where although stressed and from time to time under huge pressure I felt that I could do anything in the world that I put my mind into. In a lot of ways, that was also what I did.

    However that year also set off my first depression, and started life events that would mark me for the rest of my life.

    What happened was that I was faced with 3 armed robberies that year – and as luck would have it, I was working all 3 times.

    First one didn’t bother me much really. It happened and I moved on. Six months later, I found myself looking into a gun barrel once more – and this time I felt the adrenaline rush through my veins differently then the first time, but again I brushed it off as a random event. Yet it shouldn’t be more random then the event reoccurring two weeks later but very differently.

    It was early morning, still dark, and I was actually having my back to the door while sorting that days delivery of news papers. I did not hear the door open, I didn’t hear his steps either, not a sound until I heard the sound of the gun hammer being pulled back. I have no idea how I was able to recognize the sound, but I instantly knew what was going on, and as I turned around I remember thinking “Shit, not again !”.

    But what I found when I turned was not even slightly close to what I had expected. At this point I was looking at a tall skinny person dressed completely in black, with exception of the white pattern of the skeleton on his face mask. If you remember the Scream movies that was popular at the time – that was exactly the mask he was wearing.

    He pointed the gun at me and ordered me to empty the cash register in his carry bag – I remember considering while doing it, wether or not I could in any way press the alarm without making a weird movement, and gave up on that idea while watching the gun point to my chest. Then at that point the most dreadful thing happened – as I was in the process, he said something to me, I’ve forgotten today what it was, but it made the blood in my veins freeze to ice, as I could recognize the voice. I could very distinctively recognize the voice, but something blocked me from placing a face to the voice.

    Now what really shook me around this last time was knowing that it was someone that I knew but not knowing who it was. Actually a few days after I had an idea who it was, but not knowing his name or being sure that it was him, it became a suspicion that I never said out loud. However seen in the backlight before the robbery he was at the store several times a week, after that incident I never saw him again – so maybe I was right after all.

    The experience was traumatic, and during the following months I asked 7-Eleven to arrange conversations with a counsellor. That however was denied, on the grounds that their counsellor service was only for employees not for franchisors. So rather then dealing with it I ended up on anxiety medication, frightened to be alone, and frightened to walk into my own store.

    It took me a year to get back on my feet and out of the medication. One of the tools to do this was letting go of the store and moving into a new environment.

    However medication or not, the trauma remained there and few years later, everything began to pop up again. This time I went to my doctor in the hope of being send to a counsellor, but given a 6 month waiting list for a counsellor he decided that it would be better to place me on medication. I was given Cipralex, at the time a pretty new drug used to treat depression.

    So over the next 6 months sudden anxiety attacks, dark and depressed thoughts was replaced with bad memory, low physical sensitivity, fatigue, and constant cognitive decline ( A few times I actually experienced to call the wrong person up and not realizing it until I was way into the conversation) , and a constant feeling of being “high” on something – as if I was there, but I was not.

    By allowing myself to rest, find my place in life and redefine my purpose and the support and love of a few select friends I managed to get off the medication and return to life.

    But it was not without a price. previously I had been known for having and elephants memory of even small details, but since taking the Cipralex I lost that extraordinary memory function and it has since taken years to retrain my brain up to normal memory function. On the physical side of things the sensitivity in my nerves and finer movement has suffered as well.

    The next years that follow I was in and out of depression, but whenever I was in it was always for limited times of 1-2 months and never with the agony of that first great depression, until the summer of 2016.

    That summer passed a lot of events on me. Primarily cut backs at my workplace of the time combined with a new leadership structure and a team spirit that was changed from “We stand together” to “Survival of the fittest” drew major strains on my mind control.

    When at the same time I had to let go of what I had at the time defined as my life purpose and highest passion – I fell completely to the floor, I was overwhelmed with fatigue, very dark and hopeless thoughts, as if life had no meaning and no joy.

    From there on it was like a freefall, I stoped my workouts (I used to be at the gym 4-5 times a week), I isolated myself as I had no energy for being social and if I had to be around people it would take me hours, and sometimes days, to work up the energy for that.

    As an attempt at overcoming the problem, I decided to change job, and getting into a new positive work environment did push me in the right direction. However it should not last very long, as at the same time I got in contact with a person who thrived on bullying, harassing and belittling me – unfortunately that contact was in a context where I couldn’t just walk away. I was back at working, sleeping and eating because that was all I had energy for.

    But that was also the time when sleeping failed me. I stoped being able to fall asleep and for the next 6 months I was sleeping 2-4 hours per day, after spending hours upon hours trying to fall asleep. If I was lucky then once a week my body would give up and sleep for 10-14 hours.

    It is obvious that this was not healthy in any way, neither physically or mentally, and as I look back at it now, I often wonder how I survived.

    The simple explanation to my survival is because I got sick and tired of feeling miserable. I started to rethink why I am here, what is my my purpose of being alive – and put it down on paper. One of those purpose defining things is actually this blog and the formation of a company devoted to promoting healthy life choices and natural alternatives to common health care.

    At the same time as I took this step, I started surrounding myself with people with a positive insight to life, and who could build me up through personal development.

    This was a life changer. I started to feel excitement sprout again. But I was still not getting regular sleep, fatigue was still after me like a demon in the night and though I was capable of smiling it never really hit the eyes.

    So how could I get the last bit of way ? I asked myself that question many times. Given what the antidepressants I was given years earlier ruined for me – that was one path that I knew I would never take again. But what then ?

    That was when I was introduced to a new supplement named VIVA. In my previous article I went through the science of Saffron as an antidpressant and anti anxiety remedy.

    Saffron was exactly what this supplement was based on – So with the knowledge of Saffron as a well studied remedy for better sleep, better mood and less anxiety I was excited to try it out.

    But what happened next impressed me more then any product had ever impressed me. The positive side of supplements is that they usually work better then pharmaceutical drugs on the long term – because they take care of the underlying root causes of disease, rather then just being a symptom treatment. They are usually also safer because they are simply food, but the downside is that most supplements takes time to work, and I have never seen a supplement that work faster then a pharmaceutical drug.

    So when I decided to test VIVA I took 2 tablets shortly before bedtime, and within half an hour I was sound asleep. I followed the procedure the following two nights with the same result. But whats further more is that I felt energetic at the point of waking up. On the 3rd and 4th day I also experienced radically enhanced mood levels. I was so impressed because not even pharmaceutical antidepressants work this fast.

    Today I’ve found a formula that works perfect for me – one tablet of VIVA in the morning to enhance my mood and two tablets 15 min. prior to bedtime for improved sleep.

    In my mind there’s no doubt that the main reason why we have ever increasing problems with mental illness is that our food today is deprived of nutrients like Omega 3 and antioxidants so that chronic inflammation in the brain causes levels of serotonin to fall, and by depriving us of the nutrients that’s supposed to give us fuel to cope with challenging events in life – simultaneously as we now soround ourselfs with more and more challenging lifestyles.

    If you want additional information on VIVA with Saffron then you can find it on this link or by clicking the image on the right. Also I would be happy to answer any questions you might have or go into more details with the process I went through – In that case you are welcome to send me a private message through my Facebook Page. All private messages remain that – private !

    Could Saffron be the missing piece in side effect free mental health treatment ?

    If you’ve ever worked in psychiatric care, or if you have a mental issue or know someone suffering from a mental issue then you know that the drugs that we use for mental treatment today, is everything but safe and free of side effects.

    Because of this it’s been a long time hope to find a safe way to keep those mental issues under control. From the study mentioned in the previous article Inflammation Linked To Mental Illness we now know, that there’s a definite link between inflammation and mental health.

    Muscular Man Male Back Blue Depressed Depression

    We’ve seen links between anti inflammatory diet components, such as fish oil and/or high dosages of antioxidants, which has been reported to be mood enhancers. Now thanks to the study by Boston Children’s Hospital we know why it works – Because mental illness is caused by inflammation in the brain.

    With an ORAC value of 20,580 ( ORAC is an international scale used to measure the antioxidant capacity of food) compared to apples with 17,933 , Reishi Mushroom with 9,244 , Cranberries with 9,090 or red wine with 4,523 – Saffron becomes highly interesting, not only as an anti inflammatory agent but also in the perspective of mental illness.

    if we look towards history then Saffron has been used in traditional medicine as a calmative and antidepressant agent. The herb is also known to be relaxing the muscles in the digestive tract which helps the digestive process and enhance appetite.

    But one thing is what is believed to be true by traditional medicine, or people using specific diets or herbs and report that they feel better – another thing is science , so where is the science ? Is all this make-believe or does it have any scientific validity ?

    Iranian Hassein Hasseinzadeh, has done a vast number of studies on Saffron and mice that has shown increased mobility, enhanced erectile function and antidepressant like effects of Saffron. So these studies actually supports that Saffron can have an effect on mood.

    But then how do humans react to Saffron ? Another Iranian study lead by S. Akhondzadeh showed a significantly higher effect on mild to moderate depression from Saffron compared to Placebo in a double blinded trial. Another study by the same research group ( also double blinded) proved similar effects of Saffron compared to Prozac.

    A review study from 2015 concluded good effects of Saffron in treating depression as well as Alzheimers, where Saffron showed same effect as Donepezil but without the vomiting side effects.

    Another review study from 2013 concluded the same “Saffron supplementation can improve symptoms of depression in adults with MDD” (MDD = Major depressive disorder”).

    So what does this mean ? Well it does not mean that if you are diagnosed with a mental disorder you should throw away your medicine and start cooking with Saffron. It also does not mean that you should throw away your medicine and use a Saffron supplement instead – at least not without consulting your doctor.

    However it does mean that it would make sense to supplement your conventional medication with a Saffron supplement. It also means that if you are one of the vast majority of people who suffers from periodic depression then it would make sense to use a Saffron supplement as a prevention measure. The same goes for those who lives stressful lifes – as stress often leads to depression.

    It also means that these studies brings hope that in time we can come up with a safe and natural way of controlling mood and mental challenges.

    So which supplement should you use ? There’s a number of choices, and I myself has been one of those suffering from a damaging depression, but has overcome it , with the help of among others a Saffron supplement. In the next two articles I will go in-depth with my personal story and choices along the way.

    Further Reading and source material :

    Hydro-alcoholic extract of Crocus sativus L. versus fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized pilot trial.

    The effects of CrTocus sativus (saffron) and its constituents on nervous system: A review

    Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

    Crocus sativus L. in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial.