Fighting the blahs…How to “cheer up” during the winter months


JANUARY 2015 – For the past 3 years, I have offered readers information about the health and nutrition industry. You can read previous articles online at beginning with the 12/12 edition.

Being “fit” includes being physically AND mentally fit.  This month I will share some information on a mental condition that most of you have heard about, some of you have experienced or are experiencing, but few understand.

The condition is depression and there are at least nine different forms. According to a report published in the “Archives of General Psychiatry,” an estimated 14.8 million Americans ages 18 and older are affected by major depression every year.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

Causes of Depression

Although scientists agree depression is a brain disorder, the debate continues about exact causes. Many factors may contribute to the onset of depression, including genetic characteristics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical illnesses, stress, grief or substance abuse.

Sponsor-FitnessAny of these factors alone or in combination can bring about the specific changes in brain chemistry that lead to the many symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder and related conditions.

Nutritional Solutions

L-Phenylalanine/B vitamin – Although there are many possible “solutions” to treating depression, here are a few suggestions that might be beneficial for you even if you do not have the symptoms of depression.

There is a high correlation between depression and a reduction or depletion of neurotransmitters (dopamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin) in the brain, therefore it is no surprise increasing the brain’s supply of neurotransmitters alleviates (or at least reduces the symptoms of) most depressions.

Dopamine deficiency causes a bad case of the “blahs.” Dopamine is made from eating certain foods or food supplements.  Life Priority offers two products, LIFT/ LIFT CAPS and ONE PER MEAL LIFEGUARD that help provide specific nutrients (L-phenylalanine, an amino acid in LIFT and a good mix of B vitamins in the ONE PER MEAL multiple that help the brain make dopamine.

Vitamin D-3 – In the Kansas City area, getting adequate Vitamin D-3, an essential nutrient, from the sun during the winter is not practical. It is difficult to get enough from our diet. Researchers are also discovering that vitamin D-3 may play an important role in mental health and in depression. Vitamin D-3 acts on the areas of your brain that are linked to depression. (Life Priority offers SUNLIFE that contains 2,000iu of vitamin D-3 per capsule.)

Fish Oil – Large epidemiological studies repeatedly demonstrate depressed people have significantly reduced levels of DHA and EPA (both found in fish oil) in red blood cell membranes or serum.26,27 One autopsy study revealed lower amount of omega-3s in the brains of those who’d suffered depression compared to those who did not.28. (Life Priority offers Omega-3 Priority, concentrated, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil).

  1. Peet M, Murphy B, Shay J, Horrobin D. Depletion of omega-3 fatty acid levels in red blood cell membranes of depressive patients. Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Mar 1;43(5):315-9.
  2. Maes M, Christophe A, Delanghe J, Altamura C, Neels H, Meltzer HY. Lowered omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in serum phospholipids and cholesteryl esters of depressed patients. Psychiatry Res. 1999 Mar 22;85(3):275-91.
  3. McNamara RK, Hahn CG, Jandacek R, et al. Selective deficits in the omega

Article by Greg Pryor. Please visit our website at and investigate the information on each product listed above. For a free, personal, nutritional counseling session with me, send me an email to or call me at 1-800-787-5438.

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