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Consciousness News

Oct 27th, 2014

Wound Healing & Amino Acids

The immune system plays a role in the early stages of wound healing.  It is responsible for preparing damaged tissue for repair and promoting the recruitment of certain cells to the wound area. Consistent with the fact that stress alters the production of cytokines, it has been discovered that the chronic stress associated with caregiving for a person with Alzheimer’s disease leads to delayed wound healing.  The research results indicate that biopsy wounds healed 25% more slowly in the chronically stressed group and in those caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, than in the unstressed control group.

Other risk factors for delayed wound healing include:

•  Arthritis

• Chronic liver disease

• Diabetes

• Excess alcohol intake

• Impaired self-caring

• Inadequate nutrition

• Inflammatory disease

• Older age (over 65 years)

• Poor circulation

• Poor cognition/cognitive dysfunction

• Smoking

• Vascular disease

• Weakened immune system


Opposing these risk factors, amino acids and other micronutrients are well documented for aiding in wound healing.  How?  Wound healing requires the body to replace injured tissue with new tissue, which requires increased consumption of nutrients, particularly protein and calories.  Improved nutritional status enables the body to heal wounds faster, and accelerated wound healing has actually been observed with nutritional supplementation. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein; you cannot rebuild tissue without them.  Following are some of the ways free-form amino acids aid in wound healing:

  • Nutrition profoundly influences the process of wound healing. Nutritional depletion exerts an inhibitory effect, and nutritional supplementation with such positive effectors as the amino acid arginine, can stimulate wound healing.  The use of amino acid supplements glutamine and arginine enhances wound healing and should be increased.
  • Nutritional care is cost-effective.
  • “Arginine … is involved with protein synthesis … with cell signaling through the production of nitric oxide and cell proliferation through its metabolism to the amino acid ornithine and the other polyamines.  Because of these multiple functions, arginine is an essential substrate for wound healing processes.  The requirement for this amino acid in tissue repair is highlighted.”

If you have a stubborn lesion, a burn or an ulcer, you may want to take free-form amino acid supplements for four to six weeks and note if this helps to speed the wound healing process.  However, always discuss any changes in your recovery process/approach with your health care professional.

You can learn more by reading Dr. Dan’s new book, Recharge Your Body & Mind with Amazing Amino Acids

Oct 7th, 2014

Chronic Emotional And Physical Pain

With an understanding that the body can heal itself when the right nutrients are available, we can then appreciate the importance of supplying all of the amino acids required to build certain chemicals the body needs to heal.  Concerning chronic emotional and/or physical pain, which many of us deal with, we need to look to the body’s natural pain reducing chemicals: the endorphins.  Endorphins require over 15 amino acids as precursors to synthesize.  Herein lies the beauty behind a complete blend of amino acids; it has all 22 amino acids in a well-balanced formula.

Endorphins are our body’s natural morphine.  When someone is very ill or has had a serious injury or surgery, doctors will often prescribe morphine as a saving grace to relieve acute pain.  However, morphine is a poor long-term solution because it creates many other problems.  The body naturally makes endorphins to manage pain whereas morphine only simulates them.

In life, we may have to deal with long-term emotional and/or physical pain for a variety of reasons.  Initially, when you have an injury or an emotional trauma, your body will supply you with plenty of endorphins to assist in reducing the degree of pain you experience.  The problem is, if the pain continues week after week, month after month, and year after year, your body’s endorphin supplies can easily become depleted.  What’s more, it is very difficult to get enough amino acids in your daily dietary intake to maintain the level of endorphins needed to deal with chronic emotional and/or physical pain.

Here again is the beauty of a complete blend; it makes it easy to refuel your body with ample amino acids needed to increase your endorphins, your body’s natural morphine supply.

Additionally, you may want to add to your supplement intake 500 to 1000 mg of the individual amino acid, dl-phenylalanine (DLPA).  DLPA works as a booster to endorphin levels because d-phenylalanine appears to suppress the rate of endorphin breakdown.

Read Recharge Your Body & Mind with Amazing Amino Acids, by Dr. Dan for more information!

May 12th, 2010

Malnutrition at 3 Years and Externalizing Behavior Problems at Ages 8, 11 and 17 Years

Am J Psychiatry 161:11, November 2004 2005


Malnutrition at Age 3 Years and Externalizing Behavior

Problems at Ages 8, 11, and 17 Years

Jianghong Liu, Ph.D.

Adrian Raine, D.Phil.

Peter H. Venables, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Sarnoff A. Mednick, Ph.D.,

Objective: Poor nutrition is thought to predispose to externalizing behavior problems, but to date there appear to have been no prospective longitudinal studies testing this hypothesis. This study assessed whether 1) poor nutrition at age 3 years predisposes to antisocial behavior at ages 8, 11, and 17 years, 2) such relationships are independent of psychosocial adversity, and 3) IQ mediates the relationship between nutrition and externalizing behavior problems.

Method: The participants were drawn from a birth cohort (N=1,795) in whom signs of malnutrition were assessed at age 3 years, cognitive measures were assessed at ages 3 and 11 years, and antisocial, aggressive, and hyperactive behavior was assessed at ages 8, 11, and 17 years.

Results: In relation to comparison subjects (N=1,206), the children with malnutrition signs at age 3 years (N=353) were more aggressive or hyperactive at age 8 years, had more externalizing problems at age 11, and had greater conduct disorder and excessive motor activity at age 17. The results were independent of psychosocial adversity and were not moderated by gender. There was a dose-response relationship between degree of malnutrition and degree of externalizing behavior at ages 8 and 17. Low IQ mediated the link between malnutrition and externalizing behavior at ages 8 and 11.

Conclusions: These results indicate that malnutrition predisposes to neurocognitive deficits, which in turn predispose to persistent externalizing behavior problems throughout childhood and adolescence.  The findings […]

May 11th, 2010

Just In! Dr. Dan on KUNR 88.7 Radio

Dan Erwine explores the role of micronutrients and dietary supplements in sustaining mental health. There will be a conference later this month in Truckee. On the program: Dr. Dan Smith, a chiropractor and nutritional counselor, and Dr. Kaplan, research psycologist at the University of Calgary.

Nov 13th, 2009

Neurotransmitters and Your Health

Neurotransmitters (NTs) are essential chemical messengers that regulate brain, muscle, nerve and organ function. The most common NTs are serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. 

Low levels of these important chemicals are extremely common in the general public and is due to innumerable lifestyle, environmental, and dietary factors.  People with low levels may suffer from one or more of the following conditions: obesity, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, insomnia, attention deficit, learning disorders, panic attacks, migraines, pms, menopausal symptoms, digestive complaints and many more. Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other drugs working on the neurotransmitter biochemistry such as Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, Wellbutrin, etc. are currently some of the most commonly prescribed drugs. 

They work by artificially increasing the amount of serotonin in the synapse of the nerve which allows a temporary improvement in the chemical messaging system. The problem with this approach is that these drugs DO NOT increase serotonin levels and in fact deplete reserves of the NT.  

It is also common for people to experience only temporary improvement due to this effect. 

One effective treatment for optimizing the neurotransmitter levels is to provide the basic amino acid precursors or building blocks so the body can replenish the inadequate levels.