The Vagus Nerve.
Sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? But unlike the other Vegas, what happens in the vagus doesn’t stay there, in fact, it can have a profound impact on your overall health and well being.
It may interest you to know that the vagus nerve plays a big role in your overall performance, including things like your “gut feeling” which leads you into some of your decisions.
What is the vagus nerve?
The vagus nerve plays a very important role in the body, yet most people have barely heard of it. It is a long bundle of motor and sensory fibers, running from the brain stem, and extending down the neck, chest and abdomen. This nerve interacts with a number of vital organs or systems, including the heart, lungs, gut, liver, spleen and kidneys.
Vagus means “wandering” in Latin, which is fitting for a nerve which meanders down the body. It is the most complex of 12 pairs of cranial nerves emanating from the brain, and transmits information from the brain to the tissues and organs it reaches.
The vagus nerve is busy. There are multiple nervous system functions which it or its related parts are responsible for. A huge role is its contribution to the parasympathetic nervous system.
We can break down the functions of the vagus nerve into four key areas:
Basically, it is helping with major functions that keep us alive.
What happens when the vagus nerve isn’t operating well?
A little research into the vagus nerve finds a whole host of conditions that have either been positively linked, or are currently being investigated for a link to the nerve. These range from minor annoyances to major issues. Of course, if you are impacted anywhere on a spectrum, it can affect your overall feeling of well being and general performance.
Most people will experience a vasovagal response due to a stressor or overstimulation of the vagus nerve at some point. Blood pressure lowers, heart rate slows, and the blood vessels in your legs widen, which can cause nausea or fainting. This is a generally harmless response which goes away on its own, however, some people who experience it more chronically may need to seek medical help.
Some other problems linked with vagus nerve dysfunction include: obesity, anxiety, mood disorders, bradycardia, gastrointestinal diseases, chronic inflammation, fainting and seizures.
Of course, most of these conditions outlined can lead to further illness, for example, obesity and inflammation are both linked with cancersand diabetes. Anxiety or mood disorders might also lead to depression.
How does “hacking” the vagus work?
There is a growing body of research to suggest that we can manipulate or “hack” the vagus nerve. Vagus hacks date back to some research conducted in 1998 by Kevin Tracey. Through his work, he discovered that by stimulating the vagus nerve with an electrical impulse, he could reduce the body’s inflammatory response.
This has positive implications for the treatment of conditions such as Crohn’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Tracey’s research forms the basis of the idea for bioelectronics, which we now see treating conditions such as depression and epilepsy.
Outside of those conditions, inflammation is a response that we all have in our bodies, often as a result of stress. For some people (hey there, entrepreneurs!), that stress and inflammatory response can become chronic, leading to other health issues.
The vagus nerve is linked to so many different functions, that there are more “hacks” than having a bioelectric device implanted to stimulate it (this is usually only for extreme cases). In fact, researchers have found that we can combat inflammation by engaging the vagus nerve and improving “vagal tone” – kind of like a workout! Let’s look at what you can be doing:
Vagus Nerve Tone
The vagus nerve offers a simple explanation why our stomachs and intestines react to stress and heightened emotions as they often do. It is the sensitivity of the vagus nerve and the signals it sends. But there is much more.
The health of the vagus nerve is not only critical to our mental health and emotional health, but to a host of other health issues as well. In many cases, for instance, inflammation is our body's response to stress. According to a blog post on Psychology Today (Christopher Bergland, The Athlete's Way, July 6, 2016), the healthy "tone" of the vagus nerve plays an important role in reducing or eliminating inflammation. This has considerable implications for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases, including Parkinson's, Crohns, and Alzheimer's. Additionally, it has been asserted that stimulating the vagus nerve can lead to the inhibition of cytokine production. An excess of cytokines can lead to the growth of tumors, both benign and malignant. The vagus nerve can help regulate heart rate and blood pressure and it may have an impact on a range of conditions, including: heart disease, diabetic neuropathy, cysts, autoimmune disorders, MS, and cluster headaches.
Stress and Good BacteriaThere is a bi-directional relationship with stress and bacteria. When you’re stressed or anxious, the amount of good bacteria goes down. But when you work on gut health and get your good bacteria numbers up, it actually lowers the stress response in the body. How? Well, good bacteria in your gut can lower cortisol levels—your main stress hormone and also alter expression of GABA receptors—which helps you feel calm.
How to improve Vagus nerve function
1. GABA GABA ia a major inhibitory neurotransmitter. A GABA deficiency can be a big factor contributing to stress and anxiety. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is one of the major neurotransmitters, chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other. It is the primary inhibitory brain chemical that calms the mind and slows brain activity. If you are easily overstimulated and often overwhelmed and stressed out, you might be deficient in this important neurotransmitter.
L-Tryptophan Eat foods rich in tryptophan. Dietary tryptophan is metabolized in the gut and may help the astrocytes control inflammation. These foods include spinach, seeds, nuts, and bananas.
3. Intermittent Fasting. Some studies suggest that fasting and dietary restriction can activate the vagus nerve, and considering all the other health benefits of fasting, it's definitely something to think about.
4. Biofeedback. Biofeedback, especially heart rate variability biofeedback, is an amazing type of technology that works by displaying a visual representation of what's happening inside the body. This way, a person can better understand the physiological effects of deep breathing or relaxation techniques; the vagus nerve plays a major role in breathing regulation and heart rate variability, so this can be a fun way to exercise it.
5. Cold Exposure.Studies show that cold exposure causes a shift toward parasympathetic nervous system activity, which as we know is modulated by the vagus nerve. So if you've never explored the benefits of hot to cold showering, your vagus nerve could be a good reason to start.
6. Probiotics. We already know that the vagus nerve plays a major role in the gut-brain axis, but thanks to science, we now know that gut microorganisms can actually activate the vagus nerve. As you can imagine, this plays a major role in our brain and behavior—in case you needed another reason to invest in an effective probiotic.
Our gut microbiome is our most important human organ. This complex ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and bacteriophages has been called the conductor of the immune-neuroendocrine system, home of the immune system, and even the second brain. In fact, the gut microbiome’s role in human biology is so widespread that scientists from nearly every specialty are checking for potential health solutions within the gut. With chronic diseases on the rise across the world, the gut microbiome is now front and center in this epidemic.
It’s Time To Redefine Our Relationship With Bacteria. Our relationship with bacteria is a complicated one. While most bacteria that live in and on us work in harmony, we only ever seem to hear about bacteria when they cause a devastating outbreak.
From the bubonic plague, which is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria, to food recalls caused by various Salmonella strains, history is full of occurrences where bacteria have wreaked havoc and caused widespread fear. Even today, antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains like MRSA and CRE (ominously known as “nightmare bacteria”), continue to perplex doctors and researchers.
These terrifying scenarios have contributed to the widespread belief that all bacteria are harmful, and fueled our all-out war against microorganisms ever since the discovery of penicillin in 1929. However, mounting research suggests that more often than not, bacteria contribute to our health in positive ways.
Scientists now sound the alarm to reexamine our conventional views on bacteria. Not only are these microbes critical to our survival, but they also influence everything from shaping our body to affecting our mood.
As Martin J. Blaser, professor of microbiology and director of the Human Microbiome Program at the New York University School of Medicine, put it, “The composition of the microbiome and its activities are involved in most, if not all, of the biological processes that constitute human health and disease.”
Why Your Gut Microbiome Matters? Every one of us is covered in microbes with the gut being the richest source. The microorganisms in and on our bodies weigh between two to six pounds, making them heavier than the brain. We each have multiple microbiomes in our eyes, mouth, nose, skin, and if you are a female, also in the vagina.
Starting at birth, you are bathed in your mother’s microbiome as you exit her birth canal, which is where you begin building your microbiome. During the first seven years of your life, what you eat and what you come in contact with continues to develop your microbiome. Though your microbiome continues to shift throughout your life, scientists believe that you maintain a microbial signature, or a “fingerprint,” which is most similar to your mother’s.
How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Digestion? The microorganisms living in your gut help you extract and synthesize many nutrients and byproducts that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain from your food. These microbes:
· Digest your food
· Create important neurotransmitters
· Synthesize vitamins
· Produce essential nutrients
· Use food to create health-boosting byproducts like short-chain fatty acids
We once thought these polysaccharides, oligosaccharides, and other carbohydrates were completely indigestible. But it turns out our microbes break these down and ferment them into beneficial short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, propionate, and acetate.
Short-chain fatty acids help protect against obesity, insulin resistance, and are anti-inflammatory. Due to the disease-fighting power of these fatty acids, Viome’s personalized recommendations aim to support bacteria known to be the highest producers.
Our microbes also heavily regulate how much energy we can extract, store, and use from our food. So much so, that scientists believe our weight may have much more to do with what microorganisms are in our guts than how much we eat.
How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Immune System? The gut microbiome teaches the immune system the difference between friend and foe, making it an integral part of how well immunity functions. In fact, the gut is the home of 70- 80% of our immune system.
This interwoven relationship and constant communication between the gut microbiome and the immune system is the primary reason researchers search for cures to all sorts of illnesses by focusing on the gut.
An imbalance of gut microbiota, known as dysbiosis, can contribute to an increased weakness of the gut lining, which is more commonly called ‘leaky gut.’ When there are gaps in the gut lining, toxins, bacteria, and food particles can leak into the bloodstream and cause widespread inflammation throughout the body. This process has been implicated in:
· Autoimmune conditions
· Heart disease
· Type 2 diabetes
How Your Microbiome Affects Your Hormones? The gut microbiome is so essential in hormonal regulation and balance, it’s now considered part of the endocrine system. Similar to an orchestra playing a harmonious symphony, hormones circulate throughout the body in delicate rhythms, keeping numerous body systems in order.
The gut microbiome acts as a conductor for the symphony, making sure everything plays in tune and on time. When your gut microbiome is out of harmony, it can throw off your hormones and cause a variety of health issues ranging from weight gain to thyroid dysfunction.
How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Mental Health/ Everyone has experienced the feeling of ‘butterflies” in their stomach at some point in their lives. That feeling isn’t merely a sensation, it’s your gut communicating with your brain.
The gut-brain connection is constant and even has its designated line of communication, the vagus nerve. In fact, the biggest producer of your happy neurotransmitter, serotonin, isn’t the brain—it’s your gut microbiome, which produces over 90 percent.
Changes in the gut microbiome are linked to the mind on many levels including:
· Your mood
· Your happiness
· Your pain tolerance
· Your cognitive performance
· Your behavior
· Your mental health
The gut-brain connection is so strong that one of the fastest growing areas of neuroscience looks at the gut first.
How Your Gut Microbiome Affects Your Skin? Beauty truly comes from the inside out. The gut microbiome plays a direct role in the appearance of your skin through influencing:
· Inflammation—the underlying cause of most diseases
· Oxidative stress—a significant cause of inflammation
· Tissue lipid levels—an essential factor for a healthy metabolism
· Glycemic control—your ability to balance blood sugar
· Neuropeptide levels—a factor linked to your mood, pain tolerance, and body’s homeostasis·
· Opportunistic bacteria, harmful bacteria that can cause conditions when it overgrows
When it comes to autoimmune skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, the gut is known to be a major driver behind the worsening of these conditions. The gut’s fundamental role in skin health is why so many creams and lotions are a waste of money.
How Your Microbiome Affects Your Heart? Could the gut microbiome be a predictor of heart disease? Researchers from the University of Cambridge seem to think so.
They found that specific metabolites, such as trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), could be a good indicator of heart disease risk. High levels of TMAO in the body occur when bacteria convert choline into trimethylamine (TMA), which is then absorbed by the body and converted to the harmful version, TMAO.
Choline (one of the B-complex vitamins) is found in many animal products and legumes, which might make you want to cut back on these foods. However, the initial part of this conversion from choline to TMA, only occurs when you have certain bacteria in your microbiome. For example, if you have high levels of gammaproteobacteria, which are known for this conversion, it’s more likely that high choline foods are contributing to your heart problems.
Everyone knows someone diagnosed with a chronic illness, diabetes, or an autoimmune disease. Moreover, we know that once treatment begins, it can often be too late.
What is a Migraine
A migraine is a common disorder characterized by recurrent, throbbing headaches that can last up to three days. Several symptoms distinguish migraines from normal headaches. They typically involve only one side of the head and are accompanied by other signs. These include nausea and hypersensitivity to light, sounds and smells. Some people also experience visual disturbances, known as auras, before getting a migraine.
In 2001, an estimated 28 million Americans experienced migraines. Research has shown greater frequency in women than men.
The underlying cause of migraines is unknown, but hormones, stress and dietary factors may play a role. About 27–30% of those with migraines believe that certain foods trigger their migraines. Given that evidence is usually based on personal accounts, the role of most dietary triggers is controversial. However, studies suggest some people with migraines may be susceptible to certain foods.
Below are 11 of the most frequently reported dietary migraine triggers.
Coffee; Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. It is high in caffeine, a stimulant also found in tea, soda and energy drinks. Caffeine’s connection to headaches is complex. It may affect headaches or migraines in the following ways:
Aged Cheese; About 9–18% of people with migraines report sensitivity to aged cheese. Scientists believe this may be because of its high tyramine content. Tyramine is a compound that forms when bacteria break down the amino acid tyrosine during the aging process. Tyramine is also found in wine, yeast extract, chocolate and processed meat products, but aged cheese is one of its richest sources. Levels of tyramine appear higher in people with chronic migraines, compared to healthy people or those with other headache disorders. However, the role of tyramine and other biogenic amines in migraines is debated, as studies have provided mixed results. Aged cheese may also contain histamine, another potential culprit.
Alcohol; Most people are familiar with hangover headaches after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. In certain people, alcoholic beverages may trigger a migraine within three hours of consumption. In fact, roughly 29–36% of those with migraines believe that alcohol may trigger a migraine attack. However, not all alcoholic beverages act in the same way. Studies in people with migraines found that red wine was much more likely to trigger a migraine than other alcoholic beverages, especially among women.
Some evidence indicates that the histamine content of red wine may play a role. Histamine is also found in processed meat, some fish, cheese and fermented foods. Histamine is produced in the body, too. It is involved in immune responses and functions as a neurotransmitter. Dietary histamine intolerance is a recognized health disorder. Apart from headaches, other symptoms include flushing, wheezing, sneezing, skin itching, skin rashes and fatigue. It is caused by a reduced activity of diamine oxidase (DAO), an enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine in the digestive system. Interestingly, reduced activity of DAO appears to be common in people with migraines. One study found that 87% of those with migraines had reduced DAO activity. The same applied to only 44% of those without migraines. another study showed that taking an antihistamine before drinking red wine significantly reduced the frequency of headaches among people who experience headaches after drinking
Processed Meats; Around 5% of people with migraines may develop a headache hours or even minutes after consuming processed meat products. This type of headache has been dubbed a “hot dog headache”. Researchers believe that nitrites, a group of preservatives that includes potassium nitrite and sodium nitrite, may be the reason why. These preservatives are often found in processed meat. They prevent the growth of harmful microbes like Clostridium botulinum. They also help preserve the color of processed meats and contribute to their flavor.
Processed meats that contain nitrites include sausages, ham, bacon and lunch meats like salami and bologna. Hard-cured sausages may also contain relatively high amounts of histamine, which could trigger migraines in people with histamine intolerance. If you get migraines after eating processed meat, consider eliminating them from your diet. In any case, eating less processed meat is a step toward a healthier lifestyle.
5-11. Other Possible Migraine Triggers People have reported.
5. Monosodium glutamate (MSG): This common flavor enhancer has been implicated as a headache trigger, but little evidence supports this idea.
6. Aspartame: A few studies have associated the artificial sweetener aspartame with an increased frequency of migraine headaches, but the evidence is mixed.
7. Sucralose: Several case reports suggest that the artificial sweetener sucralose may cause migraines in some groups.
8. Citrus fruits: In one study, about 11% of those with migraines reported citrus fruits to be a migraine trigger.
9. Chocolate: Anywhere from 2–22% of people with migraines report being sensitive to chocolate. However, studies on the effect of chocolate remain inconclusive.
10. Gluten: Wheat, barley and rye contain gluten. These cereals, as well as products made from them, may trigger migraines in gluten-intolerant people.
11. Fasting or skipping meals: While fasting and skipping meals may have benefits, some may experience migraines as a side effect. Between 39–66% of those with migraines associate their symptoms with fasting. Studies also suggest that migraines may be an allergic response or hypersensitivity to certain compounds in foods, but scientists haven’t reached a consensus on this yet.
Yoga is a complementary mind–body therapy that may help people manage cancer symptoms or adverse effects of treatments and improve their quality of life. The summary of research from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health on mind–body interventions suggests that yoga may help with anxiety, depression, distress, and stress in people with cancer. Results of studies of patients with early-stage breast cancer and survivors suggest that yoga may help to reduce fatigue. Meditation, one of the tools of yoga, has similarly been shown to address anxiety, stress, fatigue, and general mood and sleep disturbances.
Yoga is a synergistic system of knowledge and practices grounded in ancient Indian philosophy, with a goal of stilling the fluctuations of the mind and developing physical, mental, and emotional equanimity. It is widely popular in the United States: As of 2012, 9.5% of US adults had reported using yoga, with 8% using meditation.
Physically challenging styles of yoga are less appropriate for patients with cancer coping with health challenges than are hatha, yin, therapeutic, and Viniyoga. Viniyoga adapts the tools of yoga (breath, movement, meditation) to the needs, goals, and abilities of the individual. There is a continuum, ranging from group classes to individual yoga therapy, in which the therapist customizes and supports a program for the client.
CLINICAL ONCOLOGY GUIDELINES
Clinical oncology practice guidelines based on a systematic literature review from 1990 through 2015 detail a growing body of evidence for recommending mind–body therapies as supportive breast cancer care during and after treatment. Specifically, yoga and meditation appear to be highly or moderately helpful for reducing anxiety and stress, improving depression and mood disorders, and enhancing quality of life.
A review of 11 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 6 non- RCTs found consistent support from the efficacy of yoga to improve mental health outcomes (such as distress, mood and anxiety) during cancer treatment. Some research found improvements in sleep, fatigue, and quality of life during treatment. A review of 9 RCTs and 6 nonrandomized studies of yoga use by cancer survivors suggests physical and psychosocial benefits. Preliminary findings show potential relief from fatigue, dyspnea, gastrointestinal issues, menopausal symptoms, pain severity, and improvements in respiratory function, heart rate, and HRV, as well as sleep-related benefits, emotional well-being, vigor, stress, and cognitive functioning.
YOGA CHANGES HOW THE MIND FUNCTIONS
Neuroscience and psychology show that the default state of the human brain is mind wandering—ruminating about the past or thinking about the future. Yoga and meditation shift attention to the interoceptive neural network by directing attention to present-moment interoceptive bodily sensations such as breath. Genetics and life experiences contribute to individual capacity for interoceptive awareness. That capacity can improve with training. Regular practice develops an attentional habit and capacity to direct attention to interoceptive sensations. An increased capacity and propensity to direct attention to bodily sensations (interoceptive awareness) promotes emotional and bodily awareness. In other words, we notice how we are feeling when we get triggered, making it more likely we will make different choices, such as stop and take a deep breath, think and then respond, rather than just react.
SELF-REGULATION HELPS MAINTAIN PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL BALANCE
Self-regulation is “our ability to control how we feel and act. What self-regulation of bodily tries to do is to maintain homeostasis; and self-regulation of emotional states helps us maintain equilibrium, or balance. Interoception and bodily states are inseparable; interoception and emotional states are inseparable. The autonomic nervous system continuously makes metabolic and vascular adjustments to try to maintain homeostasis (and keep us alive). Conscious awareness of bodily states (through interoception) alerts our mind to make changes in the body or our environment to maintain homeostasis. Good emotional awareness means that someone detects bodily signals and can clearly differentiate how each emotion feels. That awareness enables that person to take steps to alter emotions or situations to maintain, increase, or decrease an emotion.
EFFECTS OF YOGA
Practicing yoga regularly can potentially support change in the way the mind and body function:
ADVICE FOR PATIENTS WITH CANCER
Yoga interventions are noninvasive, low cost, and can be adapted for people who have functional or other impairments. Selecting an appropriate style of yoga and an experienced, certified instructor will minimize potential risks of harm for people undergoing cancer treatment, including elderly patients and those with limited mobility. Knowledgeable, experienced yoga teachers often offer private sessions adapted for the individual that can be practiced at home. Certified yoga therapists are trained to deliver individualized therapeutic yoga
Depression is a serious mood disorder with symptoms that range from mild to debilitating and potentially life-threatening. Some people look to manage depression with herbal remedies, rather than with medication a doctor prescribes. The most recent data from the National Institute of Mental Health suggest that in the United States, 6.7 percent of people experienced a major depressive episode in 2016. Medications and counseling are conventional ways to alleviate the symptoms of depression. However, some herbs and supplements may also help.
1. St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is also known as Hypericum perforatum. This plant has been a common herbal mental health treatment for hundreds of years. However, people must use caution if they chose to try it as a potential treatment for depression. A 2016 systematic review found that St. John's wort was more effective than a placebo for treating mild to moderate depression and worked almost as well as antidepressant medications. While St. John's wort might help some people, it does not show consistently beneficial effects.
This supplement comes from the gnarled root of the American or Asian ginseng plant. Siberian, Asian, and Eleuthero ginseng are different plants with different active ingredients. Practitioners of Chinese medicine have used ginseng for thousands of years to help people improve mental clarity and energy and reduce the effects of stress. Some people associate these properties of ginseng with potential solutions for the low energy and motivation that can occur with depression. However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) advise that none of the many studies that people have conducted on ginseng have been of sufficient quality to form health recommendations.
A study in 2012 reviewed data about chamomile, which comes from the Matricaria recutita plant, and its role in helping to manage depression and anxiety. The results show that chamomile produced more significant relief from depressive symptoms than a placebo. However, further studies are necessary to confirm the health benefits of chamomile in treating depressive symptoms.
Lavender oil is a popular essential oil. People typically use lavender oil for relaxation and reducing anxiety and mood disturbances. A 2013 review of various studies suggested that lavender might have significant potential in reducing anxiety and improving sleep. Lavender has mixed results in studies that assess its impact on anxiety. However, its effectiveness as a treatment for ongoing depression has little high-quality evidence in support at the current time.
Some studies cite using saffron as a safe and effective measure for controlling the symptoms of depression, such as this non-systematic review from 2018. However, more research would help confirm the possible benefits of saffron for people with depression. Scientists also need to understand any possible adverse effects better.
SAMe is short for S-adenosyl methionine. It is a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. However, they also found that SAMe had about the same effectiveness as the common antidepressants imipramine or escitalopram. Furthermore, it was better than a placebo when the researchers mixed SAMe with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications. As with many other studies into herbs and supplements, the investigations into the safety and efficacy of SAMe are of low quality. More research is necessary to determine its exact effect. People use the supplement in Europe as a prescription antidepressant. However, the FDA have not yet approved this for use in the U.S.
7. Omega-3 fatty acids
\In a 2015 systematic review, researchers concluded that omega-3 fatty acid supplements are not useful across the board as a depression treatment. While the study authors reported no serious side effects from the supplement, they also advised that it would only be an effective measure in treatment for depression that was due to omega-3 deficiency.
Also known as 5-hydroxytryptophan, this supplement may be useful in regulating and improving levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that affects a person's mood. 5-HTP has undergone a number of animal studies, and some, such as this review from 2016, cite its potential as an antidepressant therapy. However, evidence of its effects in human subjects is limited. 5-HTP is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) supplement in the U.S. but may require a prescription in other countries. More research is necessary, especially regarding concerns that it may cause serotonin syndrome, a serious neurological complication if a person takes 5-HTP in excess.
Though often referred to as vitamin B8, inositol is not a vitamin at all but rather a type of sugar with several important functions. Inositol plays a structural role in your body as a major component of cell membranes. It also influences the action of insulin, a hormone essential for blood sugar control. In addition, it affects chemical messengers in your brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. It has been estimated that a typical diet in the US contains around 1 gram of inositol per day. Rich sources include grains, beans, nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables. However, supplemental doses of inositol are often higher. Researchers have studied the benefits of doses up to 18 grams per day with promising results and few side effects. Supplement manufacturers do not have to prove that their product is consistent. The dose on the bottle may also be inaccurate.
People should ensure they purchase herbs and supplements from a trusted manufacturer.