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Prolonged stress significantly impacts and contributes to a myriad of health problems, including the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain immune function disorders, gastrointestinal problems, and deficits in memory and cognitive (brain) function.Even short-term stress can lead to sub-optimal immune function, which can increase the risk of contracting common infections such as the cold or flu. Stress factors can include mental and emotional upset, as well as physical factors such as sleep deprivation, poor diet or malnutrition, long or irregular work hours, excessive exercise, surgery, pregnancy or numerous environmental causes. Fortunately, data show that nutritional supplementation, coupled with healthy diet and lifestyle choices, can have a significant effect on health maintenance and disease prevention.1-9

Nutri-Calm is a vitamin and herbal supplement designed to help the body combat the physical, mental and emotional effects of stress. Nutri-Calm contains vitamins and herbs that support the nervous system, enhance immune function, reduce anxiety, relieve insomnia, relax nervous tension, and even facilitate memory and brain function. Each yeast-free Nutri-Calm tablet provides the following vitamins and herbs:

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – 400mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 20mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 20mg
Niacin (niacinamide) – 40mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – 20mg
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) – 34mcg
Folic acid – 125mcg
Biotin – 100mcg
Pantothenic acid – 80mg

B-vitamins are critical for maintaining healthy nervous system function and reducing the effects of stress upon the body. In fact, adequate B-vitamin intake may be the single most important factor for maintaining the health of the nerves. Symptoms of B-vitamin deficiency include tiredness, irritability, nervousness and depression. In fact, high doses of B-vitamins have been used by practitioners to alleviate mood disorders and psychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, mild depression, nervousness and poor memory. In addition, B-vitamins convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body “burns“ to produce energy. B-vitamins also play a role in supporting immune function and heart health. Poor diet, including the intake of sugar, alcohol, caffeine and excessive carbohydrates, can deplete or contribute to B-vitamin deficiency. Stress, itself, also increases the body’s need for B-vitamins.10-14

Vitamin C is an important anti-stress antioxidant and vital nutrient for adrenal gland function—the adrenal glands play a critical role in the regulatory mechanisms that assist the body in adapting to stress. Vitamin C is more highly concentrated in the adrenal cortex than in any other organ, and when the adrenals are under stress, vitamin C levels are depleted. Experimental and clinical evidence suggests that supplemental vitamin C in levels significantly greater than the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) can support adrenal function and decrease high cortisol levels—elevated cortisol levels suppress the immune system. Likewise, animal research has shown that megadoses of vitamin C (equivalent to several thousand milligrams in humans) significantly reduces stress-hormone levels and other indicators of emotional and physical stress, including adrenal gland enlargement and changes in the thymus and spleen.1,2,15-17

Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis) appears to have adaptogenic properties that enhance the body’s resistance to a variety of physical, chemical and emotional stresses, while simultaneously improving overall regulation of physiological functions. For example, schizandra has been used to combat the effects of stress and fatigue, and some studies have shown that schizandra provides a normalizing effect in cases of insomnia and physical duress. Schizandra also counters the effects of caffeine and improves mental performance. In addition, available data show that schizandra decreases fatigue, increases work capacity, accelerates recovery time following exercise in athletes, and enhances the hepatic (liver) glutathione antioxidant system. Furthermore, experimental evidence suggests that schizandra exhibits antibacterial activity and functions as a potent antioxidant.1,18-23

Choline (bitartrate) is a member of the B-complex vitamin and is a precursor to acetylcholine, an important brain neurotransmitter that facilitates concentration and memory function. Insufficient production and release of acetylcholine is a contributing factor in declining cognitive and memory function associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease. It is interesting to note that animal studies have shown that social and psychological stress significantly decreases brain levels of choline-containing compounds. Plus, individuals with bipolar disorder demonstrate alterations in choline metabolism—a double-blind trial found that choline supplementation provided anti-manic effects in patients with bipolar disorder.10,24-30

Inositol, considered part of the B-vitamin complex, is an important component of brain cell nutrition and is found in large quantities in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid. For example, adequate levels of inositol are required for healthy functioning of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, which is necessary for cognitive and memory function, as well as serotonin, which plays an important role in mood, appetite, behavior and sleep. Research shows that individuals suffering from depression demonstrate low levels of inositol. In addition, animal studies have shown that inositol demonstrates anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. Inositol has been used as an alternative treatment for mood disorders and in the treatment of anxiety disorders such as panic disorder.10,31-36

Bee pollen is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, minerals and essential fatty acids. Bee pollen also provides B-complex vitamins and vitamin C, amino acids, trace elements and enzymes. Although commonly used to enhance energy levels and improve endurance and stamina during exercise or sports, bee pollen may also help reduce serum cholesterol. In addition, animals studies have shown that bee pollen improves immune function and nutritional status.37-42

PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), regarded as part of the vitamin B-complex, stimulates intestinal bacteria to produce folic acid, which is another B-vitamin known for its cardio-protective effects. PABA also participates in the production of red blood cells and functions as a coenzyme in the metabolism and utilization of proteins. In addition, PABA may be helpful in the treatment of skin and connective tissue disorders such as Peyronie’s disease (the accumulation of abnormal fibrous tissue in the penis) and scleroderma (characterized by the hardening and immobility of affected skin). Furthermore, preliminary research suggests that PABA acts as an immunomodulator and anticoagulant. A deficiency of PABA can result from the use of sulfa drugs.10,27,43-46

Lemon Bioflavonoids are highly-effective antioxidants that prevent free-radical cellular damage to blood vessel walls, reduce the tendency of blood clotting, and inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Multiple research studies confirm a diet high in bioflavonoids contributes to a reduced risk of heart disease. In fact, dietary intake of bioflavonoids tied with cigarette smoking as the second most important risk predictor of heart disease. Bioflavonoids also facilitate the absorption and function of vitamin C.31,47,48

Valerian root concentrate (Valeriana officinalis) – Valerian root is regarded as an effective sedative, antispasmodic and mild analgesic (pain-reliever), and is approved by the German Commission E for restlessness and sleep disturbances resulting from nervous conditions. Valerian may help improve insomnia without producing side-effects, by reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and improving sleep quality. However, valerian is also used as a daytime sedative to reduce agitation, anxiety, nervous excitability, restlessness, stress and nervous tension. In addition, valerian may provide weak antidepressant properties. Valerian is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.14,24,37,49-56

Passion flowers concentrate (Passiflora incarnata) – Passion flower is commonly used for its sedative and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects to reduce nervous stress, anxiety and irritability; promote relaxation; and facilitate restful sleep. Passion flower may also be helpful for gastrointestinal disorders related to nervous conditions. Passion flower is approved by the German Commission E for the treatment of nervous restlessness. Passion flower is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.50,52,57-60

Hops flowers concentrate (Humulus lupulus) – Hops flowers, which have been shown to produce mild sedative effects, are approved for use by the German Commission E for mood disturbances such as restlessness and anxiety, as well as nervousness and sleep disorders, including insomnia. Other documented uses include excitability, lack of appetite and tenseness. In addition, recent research indicates that hops extracts may be a safe alternative to ibuprofen for the treatment of inflammation and pain. Two different hops extracts were shown to inhibit COX-2 activity, while significantly sparing COX-1 activity, compared to ibuprofen. The COX-2 enzyme stimulates the release of hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins, which cause inflammation and pain; the COX-1 enzyme is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the stomach lining and regulating blood flow within the kidneys.50,51,57,61-63

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