Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
Q. Dear Terry, “I am an Iraq war veteran and have been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). I have trouble with severe anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Do you have any recommendations?” — Nathan B., Virginia Beach, VA
A. Dear Nathan, I want to first thank you for your service to this country. I am so sorry to hear of your struggles.
I would first recommend adding a high quality, standardized St. John’s wort extract to your daily regimen. St. John’s wort has been shown to be every bit as effective for mild to moderate depression as prescription drugs. In fact, it has shown great promise in numerous double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials for alleviating depression – without the side-effects that are often seen in conventional approaches. I would suggest taking 900 mg of St. John’s wort every day in the morning.
Look for a specialized extract that is available as a once-daily 900 mg supplement and is standardized to 0.3% hypericin. Clinical studies have shown that St. John’s wort standardized to this amount of hypericin has shown the most (and most consistent) benefits.
My second recommendation is a unique echinacea extract derived from Echinacea angustifolia. This specialized extract is very different from the echinacea you see in stores that is sold for immune health and helping to overcome colds and the flu. Researchers at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences discovered that when grown under the right conditions, harvested and processed in a particular way, and taken at the right dosage level, compounds in this plant can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. The unique compounds in this particular echinacea extract have been shown to attach to certain brain receptors, which help to instill a sense of calm and relaxation. Taken before bedtime, this extract will help calm your mind before you go to sleep. I recommend taking 40 mg daily.
My third recommendation is a blend of bioactive vitamin B6 and magnesium. This combination is excellent for healthy neurological function, and can also exert a mood balancing effect. Take 1-2 capsules of this formula twice daily. Make sure the vitamin B6 is in the form of P-5-P (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate), the biologically preferred form of vitamin B6 in the human body. Also look for a blend that contains a highly absorbable form of magnesium, like magnesium glycinate. Magnesium in poorly absorbed forms tends to cause loose stools, especially when taken at the higher levels you may need.
As always, it’s very important for you to work with your healthcare practitioner. I encourage you to talk with your doctor and see what he/she thinks of using the protocol I have recommended.
Terry . . . Naturally