Nutrients for Better Mental Performance by Steven Fowkes (Full Transcript)

Sleep with regularity. Don’t stay up to five in the morning and then do an all nighter. Sleep regularly. Sleep in the dark. Stray light suppresses melatonin. You need to be in the dark and the dose and the timing is very critical for melatonin, and when you wake up in the morning, wake up with red light. That’s the dawn and dusk effect. When the sun goes up what color is it? Red. Okay. When it sets, what color is it? Red. And so dark adaptation that happens at night is mitigated by red light. So if you want to set up a light in your bedroom or in your bathroom – I have two flood lamps in my bathroom so when I’m sitting on the john, I just turn them on and I get bathed in red light; incandescent light. Very helpful for keeping your circadian rhythm going. If you need tryptophan for serotonin, you can use that, occasionally. However, I suggest that you keep your dose down. There are some potential adverse health effects from using melatonin – or excuse me tryptophan indiscriminately or 5-hydroxytryptophan. And so if you mix your tryptophan with predigestive collagen protein, you can use doses that are one-tenth as large and get a better hypnotic effect.

This is the tough part. Anybody with chronic inflammation is going to have consequences; health consequences; degenerative health consequences. But identifying inflammation – it’s a tough one. You go to a doctor and ask them to help you with it; good luck. If you have unlimited amounts of money, you can throw PCR tests at things and stuff, but it’s a really tough problem. So if you can focus on the issue of possible infections; if you have chronic issues with, for example, herpes flare-ups; if you can balance yourself with Vitamin D and Vitamin A and reduce that inflammatory effect, your health will benefit greatly as well as your sleep will benefit greatly.

Food allergies; delayed hypersensitivities to things like wheat or corn or yeast or milk; to pick four of the top five food allergies. If you can clean those out of your life, you’ll be better off for it; or adding digestive enzymes to help you digest your foods. And the gut; the integrity of the gut. Things like zinc, for example; low dose zinc with each meal can help tighten up your gut and prevent food, undigested food particles from passing in and producing inflammation.

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And if you need a sleep drug, don’t use Ambien. Use Xyrem. Xyrem is a nutrient. It was declared to be the date rape drug by the FDA and then they made it a prescription orphan drug. It’s now available and Xyrem is a great way to get very, very good sleep, and it’s one of the few drugs that enhances the Stage 3 and Stage 4 architecture phases of sleep. Normally when you go to sleep, you go Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4 and then up into rapid eye movement; and that takes about 90 minutes. And as we age, the Stage 3 and Stage 4 phases get compromised. And by the time people reach middle age, oftentimes they will not have any Stage 4 sleep at all. And by the time people hit 70 to 90, they usually don’t have any Stage 3 sleep as well. And what this means is is that you’re not really asleep at night and you’re not really awake during the day. You need to be deeply asleep to be deeply awake. And Xyrem does that. It specifically enhances Stage 3 and Stage 4 sleep. By the way, this is a hundred times more expensive than it was as a nutrient before the FDA took it off the marketplace.

Here’s a challenge for the geeks in the audience, the nerds, a perfect audience to consider this high tech solution: do-it-yourself sleep studies. So what you can do is, is you can set up a camcorder and video tape and audio tape your sleep at night; play it back at 10 times speed the next day; and see what’s going on with your sleep. Are you waking up? Are you vocalizing? Are you moving? Is your breathing changing? Do you have apnea? All of that stuff can be verified at home. At some point in the next 10 years, this will probably be over the counter. Right now, there’s a vacuum.

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Is there an alternative to SRI drugs? Lots. Let’s start with the least respect. B vitamins. The Rodney Dangerfield of nutrients.

Steven Fowkes: Yes?

Audience: What’s SRI?

Steven Fowkes: Serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They’re also called SSRIs although the first S is really more promotion than fact. So I just delete the first S. Zoloft, Paxil –

Mineral deficiencies; correcting mineral deficiencies and discovering undisclosed or unrecognized toxicities. I have a 94 year old client who had Alzheimer’s disease, who had an undiagnosed lead toxicity. So these things can go on for 20, 40, 60 years and you don’t know about it.


Audience: Can you define deficiency or just, you’ve been using the term a lot, is it something that if you get more of it, you get better or is there an actual number?: What is a deficiency?

Steven Fowkes: Deficiency? Oh, well there, that’s a good question. The question what is a deficiency? And are there numbers attached to it? And the answers are yes, however, there isn’t a consensus on it. So if you go to Vitamin Diagnostics in New Jersey and ask them, they’ll define it in terms of normative numbers. How many standard deviations in the general population? Are you above? Below? So they define it based on statistics. And most medical tests are done that way. You get a cholesterol level; it’s based on statistics. You get a thyroid T4 TSH level; it’s based on statistics. But there are other kinds of companies like SpectraCell in Texas who do a functional assay. So they’re looking at the ability of white blood cells to proliferate in the presence of a nutritional challenge. And so if you take away B-12 and your cells immediately stop proliferating, then they presume this means you have very, very low B-12 reserves. And so they’re defining deficiency in that context as the performance of those cells under a stress.

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