Vitanova - Blog

Vitanova Pays It Forward: Building a School by Hand

This July, Vitanova co-founder and Creative Director Timothy Rose and his son Luca traveled to Rio Blanco, Ecuador, to help build a community school, plant trees and learn firsthand about sustainability in the world’s most biodiverse region.

Ser is a hand-constructed, green school deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. It is a small, community-owned space nestled in the jungle that promotes intercultural, nature-based free learning for children five and up with a heavy focus on environmental, botanical and healthy living. This artistic learning community was founded in 2010 by a group of families seeking to create a harmonious living space and a respectful learning environment for their children.

Vitanova became aware of the school recently during the founders’ trip to Ecuador to visit the Shuar community. Since Vitanova has been paying forward 10 percent of all its proceeds to help indigenous peoples maintain their languages, cultures and botanical wisdom, Vitanova cofounders Kamal El-Wattar and Timothy Rose thought this would be a great project for the brand to support.

“We were looking for something that would really make a difference in the lives of this community and something physical we could do to help that happen this summer.”

Rose brought his teenage son, Luca, with him and got to work.

“We literally grabbed plants, shovels and heavy gloves and got to building. Many companies throw money at things, but it is something really special to be there on the ground making a difference.” Rose pointed out.

Ser teaches the community not only techniques of sustainability learned from the local Shuar tribes but also how to create an edible forest from a permaculture perspective. They believe that education should include a deep love and appreciation for the environment and a healthy, harmonious balance with nature.

“We have designed and adapted four hectares of Amazonian forest to permaculture. An environmentally friendly place where it is produced onsite and the reuse of organic waste and biomass in general is implemented.” says Ser family investor Julián Larrea Arias.

With the participation of the Shuar, Achuar and Quichua families (indigenous Amazonian peoples), the school has planted an Amazon vegetable garden where yuccas, bananas, tomatoes, lettuce, citrus, ginger, guava and other plants grow organically.

The Ser school also participates in the National Reforestation Program of the Ministry of the Environment and are developing actions for the protection and conservation of more than 30 hectares of native forest, home to one of the greatest diversity of plants and animals found in the world.

In addition to the 100 trees planted since the project began, more than ten one hundred-year-old pituca trees 35 meters high bear fruit and self-fertilize.

“We strengthened the forest by planting native trees at risk of extinction, such as mahogany, cedars and cannelloni,” adds Arias.

Apart from the botanical commitment and positive educational opportunities for the community, the school also employs bio-construction using bamboo canes (native bamboo) harvested on their land. The cane is ecological because it is a giant grass that is renewed with the cut. Ser also builds composting centers, organic orchards and dry ecological baths, without sewage treatment. Everything is off the grid and 100 percent recycled.

Ser also boasts a multipurpose green space, soccer field, an art space, hammocks and play areas. The school is built on the concepts of respect for nature, self-sustainability and creativity.

“The connection between health and nature is core to Vitanova’s values. What this school is doing mirrors the company’s own beliefs. Having the opportunity to help the school and bring my own son along to learn about the Shuar people, sustainable farming and botanical knowledge was one of the best moments of my life.” Rose concludes.

“The natural state of living beings is to be healthy. Getting away from nature and its cycles is what makes us sick,” says Arias.

Vitanova is committed to helping preserve botanical wisdom, language and the indigenous knowledge keepers. They pay forward 10 percent of their earnings to help build schools, preserve cultures and promote a healthy, sustainable environment.

To learn more about supporting the Ser community school, write to julianlarreaarias@yahoo.es. To learn more about Vitanova’s Paying Forward language preservation programs, go to www.vitanova.com.

New multivitamins bring “new life” to women and men

Age-old tradition meets modern, nutritional science in the newly released Vitanova multivitamins. Always on the brink of scientific advancements, Vitanova has reformulated their multis––one for men and one for women––with a different, more absorbable form of vitamin B12, methylcobalamin.

Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. It’s widely known to boost energy, mood and concentration, and can be found naturally in foods such as meat, fish and dairy products.1,2,3,4,5,6

Current research has found that methylcobalamin, the activated form of vitamin B12, is the most effective form for being taken up by subcellular organelles of neurons, thereby increasing its bioavailability in the human body. Methylcobalamin has been proven to regenerate injured nerves, increase the myelination of neurons and relieve neuropathic pain––among other things.7,8

As always, Vitanova imparts this new science with the wisdom of ancient tradition––specifically, fermentation. Vitanova makes their vitamins with organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, then infuses this whole-food complex with probiotic cultures for the ultimate in nutrient absorption.

“Vita nova” means “new life” in Latin. And Vitanova’s new Women and Men formulations are created for today’s modern lifestyle, containing a balanced array of nutrients most needed to protect and support the body’s natural function. The complex of nutritional ingredients include elements to support cell defense and cell repair and to boost vitality within the whole body system.*

Improving health by helping to preserve botanical wisdom.

Vitanova understands that a biodiverse environment will inspire nutritional and pharmacological discoveries, now and in the future. In fact, right now, hundreds of natural-product-derived compounds are currently undergoing clinical trials or are in preclinical development.9

For this reason, Vitanova has chosen to support botanical knowledge preservation and revival projects around the globe. Vitanova currently gives 10% of all profits to its “botanical pay-it-forward” communities––in the Amazon, Micronesia, North Africa and Eastern Europe, to name a few.

Vitanova closes the loop between the consumers of nutritional supplements and the indigenous people responsible for guarding the knowledge of our future health “medicine cabinet.”9

The company is engaging with the world’s leading linguists, anthropologists and indigenous communities. Video links to some of the projects and leaders can be found at vitanova.com.

Vitanova features real people with real stories.

“Vitanova Valiants,” people who boldly challenge themselves to live their lives to the fullest, are featured on the new Vitanova box.

With current psychology, neurology and sociology research in mind, Vitanova as a brand supports its customers to achieve their true potential.10 Leading researchers show us that positivity and a fulfilling life are not only good for the individual but also for the planet as a whole.11

Links to the real people on the box and their bold-life video stories can be found on the Vitanova website.

 

1 Herbert V. Vitamin B12 in Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 17th ed. Washington, DC: International Life Sciences Institute Press, 1996.

2 Herbert V, Das K. Vitamin B12 in Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 8th ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins, 1994.

3 Combs G. Vitamin B12 in The Vitamins. New York: Academic Press, Inc., 1992.

4 Zittoun J, Zittoun R. Modern clinical testing strategies in cobalamin and folate deficiency. Sem Hematol 1999;36:35-46. [PubMed abstract]

5 Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1998.

6 Clarke R. B-vitamins and prevention of dementia. Proc Nutr Soc 2008;67:75-81. [PubMed abstract]

7 https://oxfordbiosciences.com/methylcobalamin-research

8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888748/

9  Ethnopharmacology and integrative medicine – Let the history tell the future. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 10 Apr-Jun; 1(2): 100–109. Pulok K. Mukherjee, P. Venkatesh, and S. Ponnusankar

10 https://my.happify.com/public/experts

11 https://www.livehappy.com/practice/can-happiness-save-planet

Gift Giving Expert Aileen Avery Provides Unique Gift Suggestions for Dads and Grads on Tips on TV Blog

Aileen shared the top gifts for Dads and Grads! (PRNewsfoto/Tips on TV, Aileen Avery)

ATLANTA, June 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. Many years later, choosing gifts for dads and added to it the grads, is still a challenge, according to Aileen Avery, who has studied and written about both the psychology and history behind gift giving in her popular book Gift Rap: The History and Art of Gift Giving.

ONE GIFT THAT IS SURE TO IMPRESS ANY DAD

When looking for gifts to impress Dad it can sometimes be hard. So, in addition to great gifts they can unwrap, try giving dad a memorable experience too. This Father’s Day, give him the gift of travel. To ensure a stress-free and comfortable getaway, start by choosing the right hotel. The All Suites brands by Hilton have more than 800 properties all over the United States, and include Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites. Not only do they have spacious accommodations complete with separate living and kitchen areas, but they also offer a variety of free amenities, from daily breakfast to an evening reception. Starting at $99 a night, Dad will feel special and the budget will go farther. Go to hiltonbringit.com to check out these deals.

UNIQUE GIFT TO CONSIDER GIVING DADS & GRADS THIS YEAR

Holidays and new phases in life can lead to stress. As a matter of fact, a recent study found that more than a third of Americans said not having enough time to get organized leads to stress. This year, consider giving a unique gift that can help relieve stress by helping that special Dad or Grad get organized. Gladiator, the leader in garage storage and organization solutions for the past 15 years, has the answer with its best-selling Gladiator GearTrack Pack starter kit. It installs in just 15 minutes to organize tools, sports gear, and more to create space and gives Dads and Grads more time to do what they love. For the grad who is moving into their first apartment, it offers quick, accessible storage. For the outdoor-loving Dad, the piece is easily outfitted to hold camping gear and equipment. Even the hooks can slide and be repositioned as seasons and hobbies change. The GearTrack Pack has a great price point of about $50 and is the foundation of the Gladiator organizational system of workbenches, cabinets, shelving and more that can be found at retail stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, or online at gladiatorgarageworks.com.

A SPECIAL GIFT THAT HAS A PERSONAL TOUCH

Everybody wants their Dad to be around for a long time, and also their grads to be prepared for the next step in life. It is important to exercise and stay healthy, and to take care of brain health. When stressed, it can really affect the brain’s function. Vitanova’s Brainfood has ingredients derived from organic blueberries and sunflower seeds, which help to boost mental performance and enhance memory function. This allows your mind to become sharper and more focused. Vitanova also give back 10% to support the preservation of botanical wisdom that comes from the indigenous communities that maintain the botanical knowledge and sourcing of the whole ingredients used in Vitanova’s supplements. For their full range of supplements, you can visit Vitanova.com and get a Brainfood and receive a Men’s or Women’s Multivitamin free!

BEST GIFTS THAT CAN BE FOUND ONLINE THIS YEAR

When shopping for the perfect gift for Dads and Grads this year, check out a great website Monoprice.com. Monoprice is a leading online retailer for high-quality, affordable consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories. They recently launched the Strata Home Appliance line, which includes the All-in-One Pot that is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and rice cooker. This multi-functional product is easy to use and prevents kitchen clutter. It is the ideal gift for anyone from a convenient cook to an amateur chef and is just under $70. Monoprice has the Cadet High Suction Robotic Vacuum. It is the perfect gift for someone starting college or graduating from college and heading into the real world. The ultra-compact vacuum allows for easy cleaning under furniture, all hands-free, and is under $100. Both have free shipping. These are just a few things you can find on Monoprice.com, as there are over 7,000 products. Where everyone is sure to find the perfect gift for Dads and Grads!

Contact: tipsontv@gmail.com

Related Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtcb5mVk9sw

SOURCE Tips on TV, Aileen Avery

Re-posted from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gift-giving-expert-aileen-avery-provides-unique-gift-suggestions-for-dads-and-grads-on-tips-on-tv-blog-300475966.html

Tips On TV – Aileen Avery Gives Unique Gift Ideas for Dads & Grads

Find out the Gifts that Should be on Every Dad’s and Grad’s Wish List this Year

The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. Many years later, choosing gifts for dads and added to it the grads, is still a challenge, according to Aileen Avery, who has studied and written about both the psychology and history behind gift giving in her popular book GIFT RAP: The History and Art of Gift Giving. Now, Avery will use her unique expertise to provide gift suggestions for choosing gifts that every dad and grad will appreciate.

ONE GIFT THAT IS SURE TO IMPRESS ANY DAD
We love our Dads and we want them to have a great Father’s Day. Sometimes it is hard to find a special gift for dad, so in addition to great gifts they can unwrap, try giving dad a memorable experience too. This Father’s Day, give him the gift of travel. To ensure a stress-free and comfortable getaway, start by choosing the right hotel. The All Suites brands by Hilton have more than 800 properties all over the United States, and include Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites. Not only do they have spacious accommodations complete with separate living and kitchen areas, but they also offer a variety of free amenities, from daily breakfast to an evening reception. Starting at $99 a night, Dad will feel special and your budget will go farther. Go to hiltonbringit.com to check out these deals.

A UNIQUE GIFT TO CONSIDER GIVING DADS & GRADS THIS YEAR
A recent study found that more than a third of Americans said not having enough time to get organized leads to stress. A unique gift that you can give to help that special Dad or Grad get organized is the Gladiator. It is the leader in garage storage and organization solutions for the past 15 years that has a best-selling Gladiator GearTrack Pack, a starter kit that installs in just 15 minutes to organize your tools, sports gear or whatever is cluttering your space. The kit can be split into two pieces which shows its versatility. For the grad who is moving into their first apartment, it offers quick, accessible storage. For the outdoor-loving dad, the piece is easily outfitted with camping gear and equipment. Even the hooks can slide and be repositioned as seasons and hobbies change. It can be found at a great price of about $50, but they also have full systems like workbenches, cabinets, and shelving that can be found at retail stores like Lowes or Home Depot, or online at gladiatorgarageworks.com.

SUGGESTIONS FOR A SPECIAL GIFT THAT HAS A PERSONAL TOUCH
We all want our dads to be around for a long time, and we want our grads to be prepared for the next step in life. It is important to exercise and stay healthy, and also to take care of our brain health. When we are stressed, it can really affect our brain’s function. Vitanova’s Brainfood has ingredients derived from organic blueberries and sunflower seeds, which help to boost mental performance and enhance memory function. This allows your mind to become sharper and more focused. For their full range of supplements, you can visit Vitanova.com and get a Brainfood and receive a Men’s or Women’s Multivitamin free!

THE BEST GIFTS THAT CAN BE FOUND ONLINE THIS YEAR
The best website that is perfect for finding the right gifts for Dads and Grads is Monoprice.com. Monoprice is a leading online retailer for high-quality, affordable consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories. They recently launched a Strata Home Appliance line, which includes the All-in-One Pot that is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, and rice cooker. This multi-functional product is easy to use and prevents kitchen clutter. It is the ideal gift for anyone from a convenient cook to an amateur chef and is just under $70. They also have the Cadet High Suction Robotic Vacuum. It is the perfect gift for someone starting college or graduating from college and heading into the real world. The ultra-compact vacuum allows for easy cleaning under furniture, all hands-free, and is under $100. Both have free shipping. These are just a few things you can find on the website, as there are over 7,000 products. You are sure to find the perfect gift!

Re-posted from http://www.tipsontv.com/aileen-dads-grads/

Phosphatidylserine: Enhance Cognition for Healthy Individuals and Those with Dementia

By Sara Lovelady

There is perhaps no condition more feared than dementia. For most of us, it’s much easier to imagine losing our physical capacity as we age than our mental functioning. Fortunately, there is a natural compound that can help: Phosphatidylserine (PS), a fatty component of cell membranes. Consumption of PS may reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly.Ɨ And it can even enhance cognitive function in healthy individuals!*

Why PS is so important to nerve cells

PS contributes to cell membrane structure and fluidity.* That’s important because nerve cells rely on these membranes for effective signal transmission.* Therefore, if you want to be able to send messages to and from your brain, you need to have adequate PS.*

Our bodies make PS in the liver, but we also get some from food. It is most concentrated in fish and meat (especially organ meats). Vegetarian sources include white beans, soy, and sunflower seeds.

Researched benefits of phosphatidylserine

Research indicates PS can improve cognition for healthy individuals as well as those suffering from age-related cognitive decline.* Double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have found PS improved memory, processing speed, and processing accuracy in diverse populations.*

In a study published in 2010, elderly Japanese adults suffering from mild cognitive impairment took either PS or a placebo for six months. Compared to those taking the placebo, the folks taking PS experienced improvements in scores of cognitive decline and dementia.Ɨ Their improved performance remembering a list of words was especially notable. This is important because this task is a reliable test of dementia in its early phases.Ɨ

That study echoed an earlier study in which people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) saw significant improvement in cognitive measures after taking PS for 12 weeks.Ɨ Researchers noted that PS seemed to help those with less severe impairment the most and suggested “phosphatidylserine may be a promising candidate for study in the early stages of AD.”

A small study of young male athletes published in 2011 found supplementation with PS for two weeks improved their speed of calculation by 20 percent—and their accuracy too.* Volunteers taking PS supplied 13 percent more correct answers to subtraction problems and 39 percent fewer incorrect answers.*

Similar results were found in a study published in 2010 of older adults with no memory problems. Participants took PS complexed with omega-3 fatty acids for 15 weeks. At the end of the study period, their memory and learning processes had improved and the time needed to complete tasks had decreased.*

How phosphatidylserine works

PS may work by increasing glucose utilization in the brain, according to a 1990 study of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). After three weeks of supplementation with PS, glucose metabolism in subjects taking PS increased by 14.8 percent overall and by 13.5 to 16 percent in the areas of the brain most affected by AD.*

Early research on phosphatidylserine was conducted on PS derived from cow brains, but concerns about mad cow disease and other viruses led most suppliers to switch to vegetarian sources such as soy and sunflower seeds.

* This statement has not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Ɨ Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that phosphatidylserine may reduce the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22017963

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20523044

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21103034

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1609044

http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/107142

John Crider

John Crider was a fit, healthy, energetic 57-year-old chemist who was living as if nothing could ever take him down. He was an avid skier, hiker, biker, and loved his daily walks on the beautiful Colorado trails across the street from his house. He generally did anything he wanted, whenever he wanted. He was the guy who never looked or acted his age, and he was fitter than most 40-year-olds. He thought it would always be that way—until one day when he was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in his feet, and his life changed literally overnight. Not willing to take it lying down, he did everything necessary to battle back and walk normally again. Now, he’s a strong, fit 60-year-old who is back to doing most everything he likes—except now, he doesn’t take a single step for granted.

I’ve always worked out and enjoyed being able to do whatever I wanted. Several things I enjoyed the most were bike riding, walking or hiking. I walked every day if I was able, and most days I was. To go to bed seemingly perfectly healthy one night and not be able to walk the next morning was a huge shock. From the time I felt the pain to when I couldn’t walk was overnight, but there were signs. I would get these occasional “pings” throughout my torso—my upper and lower quadrants. They were painful, but not so much that they made me jolt, and they were in different areas at different times, which seemed odd. But, I didn’t think much of it. I figured it was just part of getting older.

Looking back, the pings were an obvious a sign that something was going on with my body. I went to bed one night feeling fine, and the next morning, I couldn’t put any weight on my right foot and couldn’t put a shoe on and felt like I was walking on hot knives. My life from that point changed overnight. I didn’t really know what was going on, and since this happened on the weekend, I had to wait until Monday to see my doc. When I got in to see the doc, he diagnosed me with gout (even though he knew I have a family history of RA and autoimmune diseases), which normally lasts 10-14 days and then it’s over. But, mine continued. With my family history of the disease, I was suspicious that it could be what I had, so I started doing all kinds of online research and found everything I could about gout and RA. The more I educated myself, I realized it that it most likely wasn’t gout, and I was even more suspicious of RA. So, I saw a rheumatologist, had a blood test, and he confirmed the diagnosis of RA.

When I was diagnosed, I was pretty stunned. I went from doing anything I wanted to realizing that life is precious. Stuff can happen and your life can change overnight. That’s what happened to me. My biggest concern was whether I was ever going to walk again. I couldn’t even stand in the kitchen to make dinner. I live across the street from open space and trails that I love walking, and to think that I might not ever do that again was really eye opening. I was determined to not let it beat me.

Going through the initial treatments took about three months, and I had very little success with the treatments. It was helping with limited success, but I still couldn’t walk far at all, and every step I took was painful. Most of it was in my right foot, but some in my left foot, too. Once I got on a biologic drug for RA, it brought things under control quickly. It’s an amazing drug, and I’m grateful it worked for me because it doesn’t work for everyone. I felt the difference overnight, and within a week or two, I was able to start walking much farther.

It took about six months before I could start walking the trails again, and nearly a year before I could walk to Stearn’s Lake, which is 3.2 miles. I felt so good the first time I got to the lake and back—that was a big celebration. I took every step for granted before getting diagnosed, and now I was finally able to have it back again. One of the things I could always do with very little pain was ride my bike. I was fortunate that I could still ride without too much pain—and that gave me hope throughout the time I couldn’t walk. I really focused heavily on that—at least I could ride.

To stay fit, I keep an active, healthy lifestyle: I work out, eat right, take vitamin D and eat mostly organic foods. I believe that pesticides and herbicides in our food system get into our bodies and affect us negatively. It’s a cumulative effect, and it may take many years to show the effects, but it will show up eventually. My motto has always been everything in moderation. We only live once, so I figure I’ll eat foods I enjoy as long as they don’t cause harm to me. It’s all part of living every day with gusto. I took out some unhealthy habits that were doing more harm than good, and now I’m much healthier than I was before the diagnosis.

Even though I have to take daily meds, I can still do things that I want to do and not let RA control me. I’ll always have this disease, but it doesn’t define me. I just do the best I can to live my life the way I want. RA brought me down to my knees, temporarily, but I wasn’t going to let it beat me—and it didn’t beat me. While there is no cure for RA, I fought it head on. I will continue to stay physically and mentally fit, and appreciate every walk on the trail.

Coffee with America – Dr. V.

Click to below to watch! Famous TV Host Dr. Yael Varnado-Rhodes, RD, Shares Her Amazing Strategy for Improving Your Health & Wellness

ASK DR ‘V’ HOW TO KICK START YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS THIS SUMMER

As a trusted health and lifestyle expert, Dr. Yael Varnado, affectionately called Dr. V, has garnered the respect of her peers, patients, and the public with her blend of passion-driven clinical knowledge and compassion. She has a passion for PREVENTION especially for young adults and a focus on women’s health and is known for her ability to deliver relatable, usable and relevant information. She is committed to educating the masses about how important it is to live healthy early on in life, so you can enjoy great health in the golden years.
In this interview, Dr. V will explain why Women’s Health Week (May 14-20) and other celebrations during the month of May can be a spring board for inspire women to make health changes. The US Department of Health and Human Services points out that heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression and autoimmune diseases are the top five health issues facing women.

SOME OF THE HEALTH CHECKS DR. V DISCUSSES INCLUDE:
The importance of antioxidants and a healthy diet
Understanding problems and sexual issues facing women as they age
How effective are vitamins and supplements and for young and older women
Important information about a serious problem that affects one in three women

SPOKESPERSON BACKGROUND: Dr. Varnado has made frequent guest appearances as a medical contributor on The Today Show, CNN, Dr. Oz, The Bethenny Show, Fox News, CBS, The Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Refinery 29, Hot 97, Perez Hilton, and The Steve Harvey Show to name a few, weighing in on breaking news issues and hot health topics. For almost three years she co-hosted the medical health segment on Reverend Al Sharpton’s syndicated radio show “Keeping it Real.” She is the founder of Get Checked 4 Life, Inc., getchecked4life.org a 501(c)(3) non-profit grassroots organization that provides at-risk and underserved communities across the nation with access to health services.

L-Theanine: Catch Some Zs

By Sara Lovelady

Have you ever wondered why drinking a cup of hot tea seems to have a calming effect, even though tea contains caffeine? The answer is L-theanine, an amino acid and a component of black and green tea that helps calm the brain.* If the wheels of your mind can’t stop spinning at night—and that keeps you from falling asleep—L-theanine can be part of the solution.*

More time sleeping, less time tossing and turning

In 2011, a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial studied the effect of L-theanine on boys aged 8 to 12 who were taking stimulating medications. It found that 400 mg of L-theanine daily for six weeks significantly improved their sleep efficiency (the time spent awake versus asleep while in bed).* There was also a small decrease in the boys’ movements while asleep.* However, it did not improve their sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep.)

L-theanine promotes a calm mood—which is exactly what you want when you hit the hay.* A 2007 double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested volunteers’ ability to perform math problems in their heads. It found that the people who took L-theanine were less stressed by the task than those who took the placebo pills.* Their heart rates and the level of immunoglobin (a marker of stress) in their saliva were lower than in the folks who took a placebo.*

How does L-theanine work?

L-theanine works by increasing the production of relaxing alpha brain waves, which help ease the transition to sleep.* It also increases levels of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter.* Lastly, L-theanine blocks L-glutamic acid from binding to receptors that cause brain cells to become overexcited.*

The effect of L-theanine on alpha brain waves has been demonstrated in several studies. In one small 1998 trial, female university students took a single dose of 200 mg of L-theanine, and researchers then measured their brain waves. The results showed L-theanine generated alpha waves in the occipital and parietal lobes of the volunteers’ brains.* One interesting thing about this study is that L-theanine worked best for the people who needed it the most—the effect was more pronounced in the students who were experiencing more stress at the time of the test.* A 2003 study found this same effect: an increase in alpha brain waves in stressed but not in non-stressed young men.*

A 2008 study found a relatively low single dose of L-theanine (50 mg) also increased alpha waves. Researchers gave 35 healthy young people L-theanine or a placebo. They then measured their brain waves while the participants relaxed with their eyes closed or engaged in a passive activity. The result was a significant increase in alpha waves in those taking the L-theanine.*

Your cup of tea?

If you want to take advantage of L-theanine’s ability to promote restful sleep, tea before bedtime is probably not the best idea because of the caffeine. It makes more sense to take it as a supplement. L-theanine is available in capsules, tablets, gummies and powders. It may also be combined in formulas with other sleep-promoting ingredients such as GABA, nutrients, and sedative herbs that address other aspects of the sleep cycle, such as sleep latency.

* This statement has not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22214254

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16930802

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273220751_Effects_of_L-Theanine_on_the_Release_of_ALPHA-Brain_Waves_in_Human_Volunteers

https://koreamed.org/SearchBasic.php?RID=0124KJN/2003.36.9.918&DT=1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328

7 Kids and Us – Vitanova Adds 4 New Supplements including Keep Calm and Sleep Well

May 2017 – 7 Kids and Us – Vitanova Adds 4 New Supplements including Keep Calm and Sleep Well

I find it really amazing that so many different things we put in our body can do so many things. I mean, if we drink a lavender tea, we feel relaxed, and if we eat sunflowers, it can boost our brain power. I love that Vitanova has packaged each of these things for me, in one convenient tablet.

Vitanova has recently added to this line of distinctive supplements four new products designed to support daily living and wellness.
Read more

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