Energy Drinks and Mental Fitness

Life Priority teamed up with life extension scientists, Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw® to market and develop a full line of products designed to improve and enhance your cognitive function, which spans not only memory, but attention, learning, problem solving, decision making, and reasoning.

Healthy Energy Drinks and Mental Fitness

Life Priority teamed up with life extension scientists, Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw® to market and develop a full line of healthy products called Designer Foods to improve and enhance your cognitive function, which spans not only memory, but attention, learning, problem solving, decision making, and reasoning.

Each new day presents challenges that, if not met and overcome, may leave you less fit mentally to control your life . . . to achieve your financial goals . . . to set the stage for pursuing your personal happiness.

By starting each day with a cool, refreshing glass of delicious LIFT™ (or LIFT Caps™) or Mind™ or Muscle Memory™), you can embrace a lifelong “Mental Fitness” program.

Life Priority healthy drink mixes, many of which are healthy energy drink mixes. These include the LIFT™ family mentioned above, all of which employ the amino acid phenylalanine, a precursor to an important memory molecule, noradrenaline, and your brain’s version of adrenaline. They also include the necessary enzyme cofactors vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and folic acid, along with natural flavors.

These formulations are based on the nutrient choline, which is the important memory nutrient involved in concentration and focus.* As we age, choline becomes less bioavailable, with serious consequences for memory function.

The “Mental Fitness” drinks are great-tasting, natural, fruit-flavored citrus cooler containing choline and essential nutrient cofactors plus the important amino acid taurine. Use Mind to help preserve and protect your memory function.*

Supplements for Memory “Loss”

Over time, the effects of too little sleep, aging, and the stress of a busy life can impair both your cognitive and memory functions. It may seem as if your memory has been “lost.” While many try to combat these effects with stimulants like caffeine, these only provide a temporary lift, and come with a host of unwanted side effects. Instead of masking the symptoms, why not improve the underlying problems instead? Try our Productive Sleep drink with choline.

Our formulas are carefully tested to ensure that they are safe and meet your needs. Often taking cues from historical findings, our scientists use their knowledge of the human body to create formulas based on scientific studies. They give real results.

Instead of settling for poorly designed energy drinks or caffeine pills that provide only a short burst of energy followed by a mental crash, consider products that have been developed using real science. Other sources can leave you feeling jittery, and carry the threat of weight gain from all the extra sugar and calories these drinks usually contain. If you rely on products like caffeine, you may also experience the symptoms of addiction. With Life Priority products, these are concerns you no longer have to consider. We carefully test all products to ensure that as long as the proper dosage recommendations are followed, you will notice no negative side effects from their use.

Drink Mixes

Nutrient Drink Mixes are a delicious way to supplement your diet with additional vitamins, minerals and amino acids necessary for enhanced cognitive, physical and sexual function. When mixed with water or your favorite beverage, they’re a convenient and efficient way to fuel your body, helping you feel and perform at your very best.

Life Priority   offers a wide variety of formulations for increased energy, mood and sleep enhancement, improved sexual function, weight loss, HGH release, and “Smart Nutrients” for cognitive enhancement and creative mental energy. Just choose the formula (or two) that’s right for you. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious, convenient and effective they are. At Life Priority, we offer a variety of “smart nutrients” from several different formulators. When mixed with water or your favorite beverage, they’re a convenient and efficient way to fuel your body, helping you feel and perform at your very best.

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.

*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.

*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Testimonial: Taking Life Priority products have changed my Life! Harry H.

Testimonial from Harry H. Life Priority customer since 1998!

I’ve been a truck driver for almost 30 years and a Life Priority customer for over 15 years.

I use to spend the first part of my mornings feeling like I was running behind the curve, like I was trying to catch up with my day. Then I discovered Life Priority. Now, I start each morning with a combination drink that includes Lift, Mind and Muscle Memory.

Quite honestly, it has changed my life. I find that my mornings are now more focused and I am ready to take on the day. It’s amazing how greatLife Priority Lift Powder it feels to start the day feeling good, feeling focused, and feeling in charge. I make another drink in the afternoon to keep me feeling that way the rest of the day.

I also take several other Life Priority supplements. I take them with confidence knowing that Greg and Michelle have
researched them and will only offer them if they are quality products.

When it comes to Life Priority supplements…I’m a BELIEVER!!!!

Harry J. H. Shawnee, KS.

Mental Fitness is a Life Priority!

Mental Fitness is a Life Priority!

As we age and encounter multiple stressors and responsibilities, our minds become pulled countless directions and we can see the negative effects. Sometimes we forget things, can’t focus or be as sharp as we once were and this can hurt our daily lives. To overcome these deficiencies, we reach for caffeine or other artificial sources in an attempt to regain our former mental capacities, but things like caffeine don’t solve the problem. Artificial boosters can only keep you “up” for so long before you come crashing back down, and they have other harmful side effects. So instead of providing your mind and body with a temporary solution, chooses to help correct the whole problem and create a healthier you.

Life Priority has paired with scientists Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw® and their expertise since 1994 to establish a line of supplements specifically designed to help improve and develop your brain and all of its cognitive faculties. These products were created after countless hours of research and testing. We only use the safest and highest quality ingredients based on Durk and Sandy’s recommendations. With so much care directed toward providing a quality product, our supplements are designed to deliver real results.

Lift and Lift Caps were created to help provide you with some energy when you’re feeling like you’re on empty. Lift™ is great because it’s the natural way to help increase energy. It helps stimulate your mind and your body using your own faculties so you don’t experience a caffeine crash later. In addition to helping with your energy and focus, Lift™ can also help curb your appetite and thus help you lose weight. Two other great products are Mind™ and Muscle Memory™.  They can help improve your memory, concentration and physical ability to function. All of these supplements can help you create a healthier mind and body for the future, instead of just for a few hours or a day.

 

Too often in today’s world, people look for the quick fix. Our lives are filled with so many responsibilities and obstacles that finding solutions to problems instead of masking them is challenging. Caffeine and energy drinks can only do so much or so long, and they can lead to negative side effects in some cases like weight gain. Instead of reaching for these quick fixes, make the decision to create a healthier you with a healthier lifestyle using natural supplements. With Life Priority, your health is our only concern and our line of carefully tested products is designed to help suit your needs and help you become healthier.

To Your Mental Health!

Life Priority Inc. www.lifepriority.com 800-787-5438

Information for educational purposes only. Not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any medical condition.

B Proactive With Your Brain Health-Vitamin B Is the Key

As we age, our brains accrue more and more stress. The rigors of life can slow our minds and thinking ability down while also causing problems with memory. Yes, our age plays a role on cognitive function, but we could also be deficient in essential vitamins, like Vitamin B.

A lack of Vitamin B in your diet can come at a hefty price. Symptoms include moodiness, trouble sleeping, a mental haze, and lack of energy. None of these are good, and can disrupt anyone’s day or even way of life.  The scary thing is that deficiencies in Vitamin B are not just limited to the elderly. Anyone can be deficient at any age. Vitamin B can be found in leafy greens, legumes and fruits.

Life Priority Lift PowderOf course incorporating more of those Vitamin B sufficient foods in your diet are important, but sometimes even that isn’t enough. Adding supplements to your diet can really help ensure you’re getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals for your body to be healthy.

Lift and Mind are two Life Priority products which include Vitamin B in their formulas. Both are designed with the intention to help give your brain and mind a mental boost and eliminate mental fatigue. Lift might MIND Brain Health Supplementhelp you feel less tired and more alert and energetic for the day ahead. Mind on the other hand, could possibly help with your memory, thinking and analyzing skills. These products just might be able to help you feel 20 years younger mentally and more rejuvenated. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, see if Lift and Mind can help your brain start feeling younger today.

 

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Short-term memory, and critical thinking problems?

Today’s fast-paced world demands people be mentally capable of multitasking and their woman-multitaskingbrains functioning at a high level, but this isn’t always the case. Exhaustion, fatigue, stress, and forgetting everyday chores are common, and there may be a good explanation for all this. Some doctors have noted for cases of vitamin B12 deficiencies in people which can cause the symptoms above.

Vitamin B12 is responsible for energy production because it turns carbohydrates and other fats into energy your body can use throughout the day. In addition, vitamin B12 helps with the repair of cells and their growth. Therefore, B12 can help your immune system function properly, while also helping regulate mood and sleep patterns. Even though all these are important for our bodies to function properly, some recent research suggests B12’s major contribution is protecting our brain from wearing down at faster rates.

As we get older, it is natural for our cognitive abilities to decline and challenge our routines. Studies have shown elderly people with low levels of B12 are more susceptible to concentration, short-term memory, and critical thinking problems. This may scare some of you, but we can do something to help combat the natural aging process. We can start taking control of our health and begin by eating healthier foods and beverages. Food and drink alone cannot provide the correct amount of nutrients and vitamins we need to stay healthy and function at maximum capacity, so it becomes necessary to invest in supplements to fill in the missing gaps in our diets.

Our brains drive the car that is our body, so we must take care of it and provide as much support as possible for the brain to work properly. If you can increase the amount of B12 in your system, you can start seeing noticeable, positive changes in your mental faculties. Your memory, thinking, and energy can all improve. Also, your sleep patterns can improve (resulting in a more restful night’s sleep), you can have fewer mood swings, and your immune system can be stronger than ever. Who would have thought ingesting more B12 MIND Brain Health Supplementcould potentially help with so many important aspects of our lives.

To see if our high quality supplements with vitamin B12 product is right for you, check out Mind, Lift, and Lift Caps on our website, lifepriority.com, and start making your health a bigger life priority today.

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

A Hypothesis About Alzheimer’s Disease, Its Cause and a Possible Method of Treatment, and Experimental Support for the Hypothesis by Sandy Shaw

A Hypothesis About Alzheimer’s Disease, Its Cause and a Possible Method of Treatment, and Experimental Support for the Hypothesis
by Sandy Shaw

The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 18 No. 6 • October 2015life-extension-book

A Hypothesis About Alzheimer’s Disease, Its Cause and a Possible Method of Treatment, and Experimental Support for the Hypothesis

by Sandy Shaw

One hypothesis shared by me and probably some others about AD is that it is the ultimate dissociative disorder, with the connections between various areas of the brain being destroyed, leaving behind the originally connected material (memories, stored data, etc.), in a state where it cannot be accessed by other brain areas (some scientists including myself wonder whether it might theoretically be possible to reconstruct the connections and retrieve this material. If that is possible, it is likely, I think, to be limited to a certain critical period of time as neurons die when they are not active.)

If the hypothesis is correct, then one prediction is that the restoration of connections in a model of cholinergic denervation might be a reasonable model for Alzheimer’s disease and a possible correction. Thus, a 2010 paper (Kampen and Eckman, 2010) is right on point. Here, the researchers studied the use of cholinergic agonists to restore hippocampal neurogenesis and improve cognition in a model of cholinergic denervation (the very connections the hypothesis would suggest are missing or damaged). The authors report “the effects of various cholinergic compounds on indices of hippocampal neurogenesis, demonstrating a significant induction following pharmacological activation of [cholinergic] muscarinic M1 receptors, located on hippocampal progenitors in the adult brain [of female Sprague-Dawley rats].” The chemicals studied included nicotine (which is an agonist, that is, it activates, nicotinic-cholinergic receptors and the cholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine, the nonselective cholinergic agonist carbachol, the muscarinic agonist oxotremorine, or their vehicle.

Results showed that the maximal induction was observed following the highest dose of oxotremorine, the muscarinic agonist. Only lower doses of carbachol elevated cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus (an area of neurogenesis), and the CHOLINESTERASE INHIBITOR physostigmine triggered a modest, but significant, elevation in the production of new neurons from progenitors. As the authors explain, “…we have shown that selective activation of muscarinic receptors is capable of triggering an induction of cell proliferation not only in the DG [dentate gyrus], but also the CA1 region of the hippocampus, an area of severe neuronal loss in AD [Alzheimer’s disease].” “…oxotremorine-induced increases in BrdU-positive cell counts [neurogenic cells] are likely to reflect an effect on cell proliferation rather than an indirect effect on cell survival.” “…impairments in cell proliferation, in a model of basal forebrain cholinergic cell loss are counteracted by chronic muscarinic activation. This restoration of cell proliferation is accompanied by a time dependent increase in the number of newly generated cells expressing neuronal markers and by a reversal of cognitive deficits characteristic of this model.”

  • Kampen, Eckman. Agonist-induced restoration of hippocampal neurogenesis and cognitive improvement in a model of cholinergic denervation.Neuropharmacology. 58:921-9 (2010).

 

www.lifepriority.com 800-787-5438

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Greg Pryor: Fighting the Stress of Post Season Baseball

Greg Pryor- Life Priority offers the following products that allow you to touch all of your nutritional bases so put them into your daily nutritional “lineup”

KC Royals 1985 World Series Win
KC Royals 1985 World Series Win

After I attended my first MLB game in Cleveland, Ohio as a 7-year-old, I became “addicted” to baseball.  Fortunately I was able to spend 16 seasons as a professional player (5 seasons for the Kansas City Royals).  I have experienced the depths of stressful feelings that baseball can create, on and off the field.  Last season, all KC Royals fans were treated to one of the best postseason runs in baseball history.  I noticed a resurgence of incredible love for Royals baseball from thousands of “veteran” fans and new ones.

We were constantly on the edge of our seats during the month of September and October as we lost work time and sleep!  Some of us forgot what day of the week it was! From the glorious night of last season’s Wild Card game versus the Oakland A’s to the last out of the World Series….WE FELT STRESSED!

The ’15 Royals team has been so much fun to watch from spring training to the inevitable day we clinched our first American League Central Division title since 1985! We are thinking ahead of who our opponents might be in the Division playoffs, and, hopefully, the American League championship and World Series game. Again, it is STRESS time for many Royals fans!

As a co-owner of a health and nutrition company for the past 20 years (lifepriority.com), this is a great time to inform you about how stress affects us and offer some information that might help increase your natural defense systems to deal with the stress in our lives, especially all Royals fans!

Stress is the body’s natural response to threatening situations, and it affects everyone. Stress can be good, like buying a

brainnew car, or bad, like running up credit cards. Either way, your body and mind react to such situations with a heightened state of readiness, which is called the “fight or flight” response. This reaction causes your brain to make hormones including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline gives you more energy by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure.  Cortisol increases the amount of glucose in your blood and impairs bodily functions that might be harmful in a fight or flight situation, such as digestion and reproduction. This can help you perform well on a test or at a sporting event, but it can also distract you, keep you up at night, and make you lose your appetite.

Stress becomes chronic when your body does not shut off its stress response, so you are always in a heightened state of readiness.  This affects your immune system and can lead to mental and physical health problems.

One of the ways that you can defend yourself is to make sure that you provide your body with stress-reducing nutrients through your diet. To ensure that your diet provides you with enough of those nutrients, you should consider supplementing your diet with a potent, high-quality multi-vitamin with adequate amounts of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D3, and omega-3 fatty acid. Life Priority offers the following products that allow you to touch all of your nutritional bases so put them into your daily nutritional “lineup”: One Per Meal Lifeguard, Sunlife, Omega-3 Priority, Vita C2, Lift and Mind.  Read about these great products and other Life Priority products at www.lifepriority.com today!

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Caffeine Getting You Down?

People always say adversity tells a lot about an individual. They can push through and keep going, stay satisfied with the current situation or concede. Overcoming obstacles is almost a daily activity, so people need to be mentally strong. Let’s explore how you can help yourself by helping your brain overcome obstacles!

iStock_000021022342_FullFor some, caffeine is a simple way to provide energy to power through the day and whatever life throws at you. Coffee, energy drinks and sodas loaded with caffeine all seem to provide a boost, but after a while that wears off. The effect of large amounts of caffeine consumed in a relatively short amount of time can best be described by a race analogy. The day is quite long, so why sprint as hard as you can? This will cause you to become fatigued quickly and you won’t have enough steam to finish the race. The slow and steady approach will ensure a more balanced and productive day. Of course, people can continue to consume coffee and other similar products, but each drink does less than the previous. So, what is a person to do?

Life Priority Lift PowderLift, developed by two of the most respected research scientist Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, is a natural way that may boost energy and thus productivity.  It can provide your brain with a system of nutrients used to manufacture noradrenaline, your “get up and go juice” and L-Phenylalanine which helps to regulate your appetite and your mood. By using an all-natural approach, Lift ensures there won’t be a crash from your boost of energy. Without the infusion of vast amounts of caffeine, your body can use what’s within to promote energy and better moods to navigate the life’s daily challenges.

mindAnother potential valuable supplement for the brain is called Mind. It was also developed by Pearson and Shaw, and Mind targets the processing your brain does. It can help with increasing focus and concentration. We all have so many responsibilities and obligations but so little time. Mind can help you stay on track by calming your state of mind and helping you focus your efforts and brain function. We all wish for more productive days at some point.

Don’t let life’s trials and tribulations slow you down. Give your brain an extra boost with Lift and Mind! These two supplements can help you become more productive every day and help you overcome whatever obstacles try to throw you off course. Make the decision to fight through the tough times and come out on top.

To Your Health,
Michelle & Greg Pryor

 

Life Priority, established in 1994, offers supplements that are scientifically-formulated, results-oriented, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and are manufactured at USDA and FDA inspected facilities.
*The products and statements made about specific products on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. All information provided on this web site or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new vitamins, supplements, diet, or exercise program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
*Any testimonials on this web site are based on individual results and do not constitute a guarantee that you will achieve the same results.

Phenylalanine May Cheer You Up

blue-monday-2017As we approach Blue Monday 2017, this article from our trusted friends at Life Enhancement is a very important read! If you’re struggling with the blues, please take a minute to read this article written by Will Block, Publisher and Editorial Director of Life Enhancement magazine!

~ Sincerely
The Life Priority Team

We all want happiness, right? And the Declaration of Independence cites our “unalienable Right” to pursue it. Some people choose to do that with mind-altering drugs, some of which can also alter the structure of the brain—and not in a good way. The brain is an organ so exquisitely fine-tuned to perform its innumerable tasks—among which is to make us feel happy—that disrupting its delicate chemical balances with molecules that are alien to it is foolhardy.

Depression Is Still a Challenge

Of course, those chemical balances can also be disrupted in the normal course of events, and that’s bad enough. Sometimes we’re not happy, and if that condition is severe enough and lasts long enough, it’s called depression.

A susceptibility to depression has hung like a black cloud over mankind throughout history. During that time, men and women have applied endless ingenuity toward finding remedies that work. Some of them do work—sometimes, for some people. It’s an iffy proposition, and the challenge remains almost as great as ever. The advent of antidepressant drugs in modern times has been an undeniable blessing, but it’s one with some unpleasant strings attached.

Enter Phenylalanine

A more natural approach is to use nutritional supplements, which many people prefer because they’re largely free of adverse side effects, and they’re less expensive too. The amino acid phenylalanine has long been of interest because of its role in the production of dopamine and noradrenaline, two neurotransmitters that play key roles in the regulation of mood, especially with regard to our sense of well-being, i.e., our happiness. Significantly, deficiencies of these neurotransmitters in the brain are associated with depression.

Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid—it must be obtained from outside sources because our bodies cannot synthesize it in appreciable amounts. It’s one of the 20 common amino acids found in dietary proteins that we obtain from plants and animals. (Babies, take note: breast milk is particularly rich in phenylalanine.)

lem0808molecules194How Amino Acids Are Used

When our digestive juices degrade dietary proteins to their constituent amino acids, the latter enter our bloodstream and then enter the cells of our bodies, there to be used in different ways. The main use is in the synthesis of new (human) proteins, the workhorses of life processes. Amino acids also undergo chemical degradation to form major metabolic intermediates that can be converted to glucose (our premier cellular fuel) or oxidized in the Krebs cycle, the biochemical pathway that provides the chemical energy for life.

Also important is the use of amino acids as the chemical precursors of many small molecules with diverse and biologically important roles. Among these derivatives are purines and pyrimidines, the organic bases that constitute the base pairs (the “rungs in the ladder”) in the structure of our nucleic acids, DNA and RNA.

Some amino acids also serve as precursors for hormones. In our adrenal glands, for example, some tyrosine—another amino acid that’s found in our food—is converted to a nonfood amino acid called dopa (aka L-dopa or levodopa). Some dopa, in turn, is converted to the hormone dopamine, some of which is converted to the hormone noradrenaline, some of which is converted to the hormone adrenaline. These three hormones are called catecholamines because their molecular structures incorporate that of the compound catechol.*


*For two previous articles on this subject, see “Catecholamines Kick Out the Demons of Depression” (September 2003) and “Nourish Your Brain with Amino Acids”(September 2004).

Why Tyrosine Is Important

The catecholamines are hormonal neurotransmitters in both the peripheral and central nervous systems. The same biochemical pathway that converts tyrosine to the catecholamines in the adrenal glands occurs in the brain, albeit under different conditions and with different consequences. Since the catecholamines are not produced via any other pathway, the key compound, obviously, is tyrosine, which is found in abundance in our food (especially cheese). That means that our catecholamine levels depend entirely on tyrosine, right?


†Compared with dopamine and noradrenaline, adrenaline is rather unimportant as a neurotransmitter. It’s enormously important, however, as a hormone that affects various processes in the body, especially those involved in cardiovascular function. By the way, the terms adrenaline and noradrenaline are obsolete among most scientists, who prefer to call them epinephrine and norepinephrine. We use the former terms because they’re more familiar to laymen.


Wrong. In addition to being obtained from food, small amounts of tyrosine are produced in our bodies by the conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine. Phenylalanine levels, therefore, have some impact on tyrosine levels and hence on catecholamine levels. But how great an impact? That’s hard to say, because both phenylalanine and tyrosine also participate in multiple biochemical pathways that are unrelated to the catecholamines. Depending on the circumstances, they can go off in different directions, including those outlined above for amino acids in general.

The Complexity . . . The Ambiguity . . .

lem0808freeway260rhThink of these metabolic pathways as a complex of intersecting freeways with multiple cloverleaf formations and on and off ramps for funneling traffic in every possible direction. Over time, the traffic in any given section of the system will ebb and flow, varying from sparse to congested (or gridlocked). Trying to predict the ever-changing patterns throughout the system is very difficult, because it depends on constantly changing circumstances and intricate, multilayered feedback loops, both positive and negative.

And that task is easy compared with trying to understand and predict neurochemical behavior via multiple networks of interlocking metabolic pathways: the math is complex, and even with the requisite deep knowledge of biochemistry and physiology, it can be very confusing—as are the results of numerous studies in this area. Where the effects of phenylalanine and tyrosine on mood are concerned, the data have been ambiguous and often contradictory.

In general, it appears that tyrosine, even though it increases the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the blood and the brain, has little or no effect on mood in healthy people. It may, however, be helpful in those who are suffering from depression or who have a history of depression. Curiously, it seems to have an effect on neurons that are sensitive to catecholamines only when the neurons have been very active, but not otherwise.1

Phenylethylamine—The Hidden Asset

It’s significant that the administration of supplemental dopa, which lies between tyrosine and dopamine in the metabolic pathway, produces no antidepressant effects. This suggests that supplemental tyrosine may exert its effects not via dopa and the catecholamines, but instead via its conversion in the opposite direction, to phenylalanine (this is allowed by the laws of chemistry).2

But how could phenylalanine exert antidepressant effects? Well, phenylalanine is the precursor to a psychoactive compound you may have heard of: phenylethylamine, aka the “love molecule.” In the brain, phenylethylamine (PEA for short) acts as a neuromodulator—a compound that influences the actions of neurotransmitters—in this case, dopamine and noradrenaline.

Thus, even if phenylalanine and tyrosine don’t affect the levels of dopamine or noradrenaline via the tyrosine pathway—and we don’t know for sure whether they do or not—they may indirectly affect the activity of these neurotransmitters via the PEA pathway.3 (Perhaps both mechanisms are involved.)

Although plasma levels of phenylalanine and PEA are correlated, dietary intake of phenylalanine appears to have no short-term (overnight) effect on PEA levels.4 This is probably a reflection of the multiple metabolic pathways that phenylalanine can take, which dilute its short-term effects on any given metabolite. In the longer term, however, the effect of phenylalanine on PEA levels can be seen.

Of Romance and Chocolate

In the laboratory, PEA is the precursor to a great variety of other psychoactive compounds, including neurotransmitters, hormones, stimulants, antidepressants, and hallucinogens. One such derivative is amphetamine, and PEA’s pharmacological properties are, in fact, similar to those of amphetamine.5 (Remember, though, that PEA is made naturally in the brain and elsewhere in the body, in small, safe quantities.)

PEA has been linked neurologically with the euphoria of the early stages of romantic love (hence the nickname), and it’s found, perhaps not coincidentally, in chocolate. (It’s also found in oil of bitter almonds, which is not quite as popular as chocolate on Valentine’s Day.) This discovery led to the “chocolate theory of love,” but the theory doesn’t hold much water, alas, because dietary PEA is so quickly metabolized by the enzyme monoamine oxidase-B in the blood that hardly any of it can get through to the brain.*


*For more on phenylethylamine, see the sidebar “It’s Good to Be PEA-Brained” in the article “Chocolate for Longer and Happier Life” in the May 2007 issue.


Be Positive!

A very important part of being happy—and healthy—is to maintain a positive attitude, no matter what. (Remember Norman Vincent Peale?) That’s easier said than done, of course, and if you could use a little help along the way, a phenylalanine formulation might be just the thing to lift your spirits. If it works for you, that’s great. Scientists would love to know exactly how it works. But it doesn’t really matter, does it?

References

  1. Milner JD, Wurtman RJ. Catecholamine synthesis: physiological coupling to precursor supply. Biochem Pharmacol 1986;35(6):875-81.
  2. Kravitz HM, Sabelli HC, Fawcett J. Dietary supplements of phenylalanine and other amino acid precursors of brain neuroamines in the treatment of depressive disorders. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1984;S4/1Suppl:119-123.
  3. Pogson CI, Knowles RG, Salter M. The control of aromatic amino acid catabolism and its relationship to neurotransmitter amine synthesis. Crit Rev Neurobiol 1989;5(1):29-64.
  4. Davis BA, O’Reilly RL, Placatka CL, Paterson A, Yu PH, Durden DA. Effect of dietary phenylalanine on the plasma concentrations of phenylalanine, phenylethylamine, and phenylacetic acid in healthy volunteers. Prog Neuro-Psychopharmacol Biol Psychiat 1991;15:611-23.
  5. Janssen PA, Leysen JE, Megens AAHP, Awouters FHL. Does phenylethylamine act as an endogenous amphetamine in some patients? Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 1999;2:229-40.

A Tale of Two StudiesTwo studies conducted several decades ago provided some clinical evidence of a benefit of phenylalanine in depressed patients. In the first study, German researchers tested 20 adult patients who had been diagnosed with various types of depression.1 The study was open-label, i.e., the patients knew they were receiving phenylalanine; there was no placebo control.

For 20 days, the patients received 75 mg of phenylalanine per day, except for three patients who received 200 mg/day. At the end of the test period, 8 patients were completely recovered, and 4 had shown a good response to the treatment. Another 4 were only mildly to moderately improved, and 4 showed no improvement at all.

The researchers cited studies showing that depression is associated with reduced urinary excretion of phenylethylamine, whereas mania and schizophrenia are associated with its increased excretion. They speculated that the positive results seen in their study could be attributed to the metabolism of phenylalanine to phenylethylamine.

In the second study, researchers in Chicago recruited 40 adult patients with major depressive disorders, for an open-label study that lasted 3 or more weeks for each patient.2 The patients were given daily doses of phenylalanine that started out at 1200 mg (1.2 g) and increased to a maximum of 14 g. At the end of the trial, 11 of the patients had recovered completely, 20 had shown partial recovery, and 9 had been unaffected by the treatment.

Here too, the researchers cited prior evidence in support of the phenylethylamine hypothesis to explain their results, and they offered detailed arguments of their own to back that up. They concluded by stating,2

The observed mood-elevating effect of LPA [L-phenylalanine] complements a series of observations suggesting that low PEA [phenylethylamine] levels may underlie some forms of depression and that the brain is able to use dietary amino acids to enhance the production of brain neuroamines capable of sustaining mood.

References

  1. Beckmann H, Strauss MA, Ludolph E. DL-Phenylalanine in depressed patients: an open study. J Neural Transmission 1977;41:123-34.
  2. Kravitz HM, Sabelli HC, Fawcett J. Dietary supplements of phenylalanine and other amino acid precursors of brain neuroamines in the treatment of depressive disorders. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1984;S4/1Suppl:119-123.

Will Block is the publisher and editorial director of Life Enhancement magazine.

How a Healthy Mind Helps You Function Better

healthy-mind-better-functionAs you develop your New Year’s Resolutions, make sure you are also making your mental health a priority. Weight loss and physical goals always seem to be at the forefront this time of year, but remember, you can’t achieve those goals without taking care of your mind first. Even with the most mundane of tasks and functions, our brain health greatly affects how well these tasks are performed. When you have a sharp mind, all other aspects of your daily life become better executed resulting in a healthier, more well-balanced you.

The human brain is like a roadmap full of nerve and vessel pathways that control our minds and bodies. As we age some of those “roads” can become obstructed or even completely blocked affecting our memory, reasoning, processing time, and even our physical functioning. The hard reality is that some of these changes are inevitable as time goes on, but if we do our best to promote a healthy mind and brain, we can prevent and delay the onset of these symptoms.

One study has shown improvements in the activities of daily living for older adults who were engaging in cognitive training. The participants were tested on their ability to multi-task and their memory skills repeatedly, resulting in increased cognitive functioning and in turn, promoted improvements in their daily living functions.

Many of these professional cognitive tests come in the form of a computer software program, but other mind stimulating activities could include playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, completing crossword puzzles, or playing “brain training” games or apps.

In this busy day and age that we live in, it is not always reasonable for us to take the time to sit down and complete a puzzle, so we need to make sure we are taking other steps to maintain our healthy minds. Evidence has shown that a healthy Mediterranean style diet that is low in processed and refined sugars and high in Vitamin B12 and Omega 3’s, especially when fish is consumed, promotes a healthier and younger brain. Additionally, aerobic exercise, has shown to reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.

All of these methods are examples of how we can exercise and maintain our minds. These activities help promote healthy brains, and in some cases, can even build new connections in our brain roadmap. The best part is, as these measures boost our cognitive functioning, our physical and daily living activity performance enhances as well, keeping our mind and body operating in tip top shape.

So eliminate brain “roadblocks” by engaging in simple cognitive exercises and by eating a nutritious diet.
When you are proactive about your mind health,
your physical functions will reap the benefits as well!

 

Sources:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/the-4-best-ways-to-maintain-your-brain
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626
http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/204643
http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/21/health/mediterranean-diet-healthier-brain/