Turning to Dietary Supplements for Mood and Sleep Disorders

Turning to Dietary Supplements for Mood and Sleep Disorders

150 million adults suffer from some sort of sleep-related issue and many people are turning to natural remedies to ease their minds.

According to a study conducted at the University of Warwick Medical School, around 150 million adults suffer from some sort of sleep-related issue. Researchers analysed sleep problems in African and Asian countries and reported 16.6 percent of the population suffers from insomnia, with 20 percent reported in Canada and the United States. Researchers also pointed out the strong link between sleep problems, depression, and anxiety. As these issues continue to increase, many people are turning to natural remedies to ease their minds, as the Nutrition Business Journal reports that year to year the mood and sleep support supplement industry has continued to grow. 

In the natural products industry, there have been few new offerings since St. John’s Wort became a big hit in the 90s. However, its success was later tainted as it was found to have many adverse effects in people using other medications. A study published in PLOS Medicine suggested the Middle East and North Africa suffer the world’s highest depression rates. In fact, the most depressed country was concluded to be Afghanistan—more than one in five people suffer from the disorder. The pervasiveness of anxiety among Americans also makes it by far one of the largest disorders in the United States, afflicting 40 million adults, which is equivalent to 18 percent of the adult population (Kessler 2005, U.S. Census 2005). Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical support commonly prescribed is problematic for many.

Antidepressants are known to have numerous unpleasant side effects such as cardiac events, fatigue, weight gain, and decreased libido, driving down their rates of compliance. Even some dietary supplement ingredients have drawbacks: St. John’s Wort has unwanted interactions with prescription medications (Carlo 2001), kava was implicated in serious cases of liver damage, and 5-HTP is known to cause nausea and diarrhoea (Thal 1980).

Venetron is a new dietary ingredient for sleep and mood support with great potential to vastly improve health outcomes. While other dietary ingredients have limited benefits or unpleasant side effects, Venetron is a herbal extract with potent effects on brain function based on well-known and safe flavonoid phytocompounds, and has not been shown to have significant adverse events (Xie 2012).

In several placebo-controlled clinical trials, Venetron has been shown to promote a positive outlook, alleviate occasional stress and improve sleep quality. The mechanism of action for the mood support effect is thought to be related to increased serotonin levels found in the subjects’ platelets (KGK Synergize). In a clinical trial with subjects having mild depression, and from case reports of women treated for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression, Venetron at 50 mg per day helped improve symptoms of depression, including different types of insomnia characterised by waking in the middle of the night or in the early morning.

References:

  • Carlo, G.-D. et al. St. John’s wort: Prozac from the Plant Kingdom. 2001. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, no. 22: 292.
  • Kessler, R. C., W. T. Chiu, O. Demler, E. E. Walters. 2005. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry (June) 62(6): 617–27.
  • KGK Synergize Inc. Effect of VENETRON on Symptoms of Depression in Individuals with Mild Depression, n.p., n.d.
  • Thal, L. J., N. S. Sharpless, L. Wolfson, R. Katzman. 1980. Treatment of myoclonus with L-5-hydroxytryptophan and carbidopa: clinical, electrophysiological, and biochemical observations. Ann Neurol (June) 7(6): 570–6.
  • Xie, W., X. Zhang, T. Wang, J. Hu. 2012. Botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Apocynum venetum L. (Luobuma): A review. J Ethnopharmacol (May 7)141(1): 1–8. doi: 10.1016/j. jep.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Mar 6. Review.
  • Yang, J. et al. 2009. Safety study of Apocynum venetum extract in healthy adults. Journal of Nutritional Food, no. 12:1–9.
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