Lemon balm, mood, and sleep in angina

sleeping womanWhen the heart muscle does not get enough blood—often due to narrow or blocked arteries—the chest pain that can occur is called angina. In this study, 80 men and women, aged 40 to 75, with chronic stable angina, took 3 grams of lemon balm per day, or a placebo.

After eight weeks, those taking lemon balm reported greater decreases in anxiety, stress, and symptoms of depression, compared to placebo. Sleep duration, quality, and time in bed sleeping rather than lying awake, all improved.

Doctors believe lemon balm works by reducing levels of cortisol, the “stress” hormone, and by increasing gamma- aminobutyric acid (GABA), the major nerve-signaling compound in the brain that helps prevent overstimulation and promotes calm.

Anthocyanin, insulin, lipids, and inflammation

In a review of 19 placebo-controlled clinical trials, doctors found those taking anthocyanins—the dark red, blue, purple, and black colored antioxidants in fruits and other plants— saw reduced insulin resistance and improved insulin production. When the dose of anthocyanins was greater than 300 mg per day, in trials lasting at least 12 weeks, total cholesterol levels, and levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, also declined.

In a second review of 17 placebo- controlled clinical trials, those taking anthocyanin supplements saw significant reductions in triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol, as well as increases in HDL, the “good” cholesterol. Signs of inflammation, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), also improved.

Reference: Clinical Nutrition; August 2018, Vol. 26, 47-52
Natural Insights for Well Being November 2018

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