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Tryptophan, Niacin, DHA Bright Kids, Favorite Books, discount code! monthly specials!

September 2008 - Print | Index

Dear Customers,

Our September 2008 newsletter spotlights:

  • DHA and bright kids
  • Tryptophan mood and judgment
  • The niacin link for obesity and cholesterol
  • My Favorite Health Books
  • Check out the end of summer Super Quarterly Specials
  • Check out our monthly specials listed below
  • See and use our extra discount coupon code at the end of the newsletter

“The greatest wealth is health.” ~Virgil

The Vitamin Express Newsletter Team
Michael LeVesque
President, Vitamin Express

Omega 3 Fish oils for brighter, happier Kids!

Since the 1970s, the omega-3 essential fatty acids have generated thousands of studies and clinical trials. Studies showing their benefit for skin, heart, eyes, lungs, joints, and brain to the positive effects for metabolism, mood and healing continue to demonstrate their importance. 

They have one of their most important beginning roles during the last trimester of pregnancy when the fetus is developing. During that time, the brain and nervous system begins accumulating DHA. It is taken from the mother and after birth from breast milk. If a mother's diet does not provide enough DHA for the needs of her baby, her body stores will be called upon to make up the inadequacy. Some experts think that since the human brain is a rich source of DHA, the mother’s brain will be the source of supply of the baby’s needs of DHA. Post-natal depression is higher in countries which do not eat much fish, and a possible cause may by the loss of brain DHA during pregnancy.

During that last trimester of pregnancy and the first few months after birth there is a growth spurt in the human brain that is characterized by a large increase in the cerebral content of DHA. Around 70 per cent of all the cells that make up the adult brain are formed during this period as well as important nerve and retina development. This fact makes insuring adequate intake of DHA during pregnancy and breastfeeding absolutely essential.  The FDA recently allowed manufacturers of infant formulas to fortify their products with DHA.

Helland IB, Smith L, Saarem K, Saugstad OD, Drevon CA. in Pediatrics reported that babies with DHA in their formulas, compared to infants without DHA, had superior problem solving ability at the age 4 months, and when re-evaluated at six years of age continued to show greater problem-solving ability and better decision-making skills. Children with learning disabilities and attention problems also show improvement in learning and adjustment with DHA and EPA. 2003;111:e39-44

The longer chain omega-3 fatty acids of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) are found in fish. These fatty substances are fundamental molecules in the structure and activity of the membranes of all cells throughout the body and help compose the brain phospholipids. They aid the ability to hold water, vital nutrients, and electrolytes. They have special functions in neurological tissues, such as the brain and the retina of the eye aiding the ability to communicate with other cells and be controlled by regulating hormones. They also play a major role in the prevention and management of certain diseases and chronic conditions.

At the other end of the spectrum, a clinical study by Morris, M. C., et al. Arch Neurology  60(7):940-946 in 2003, found that people aged 65+ with high dietary intake of DHA have a 60% reduction in their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

DHA and EPA are available highly concentrated in capsules or liquid and “pharmaceutical grade”- free from peroxides, heavy metals, environmental and other harmful contaminants. These products are best taken at the beginning of a meal.

The Marvels of L-Tryptophan

Psychologists at the University of Cambridge manipulated diets of volunteers to alter serotonin levels using foods high in tryptophan such as cheese, meat, chocolate, and bananas. They found that high levels in volunteers produced behavior in a more rational, level-headed fashion as opposed to low levels allowing emotion to rule volunteers’ heads making decisions that harmed their long-term interests. The study led by Molly Crockett of the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute published in Science Express concluded, “…serotonin plays a critical role in social decision making by keeping aggressive social responses in check.”

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which means it must be consumed through our diet. It is changed by the body into Vitamin B6, Vitamin B3 (niacin) and melatonin a neurohormone which induces sleep. It also is partly converted by metabolism into 5HTP (5-hydrpxytryptophan). Tryptophan is the only natural substance that can be converted into serotonin.

It is this ability to increase the brain’s levels of serotonin and melatonin that aids sleep, elevates mood, relieves PMS (premenstrual syndrome), and reduces carbohydrate cravings. Serotonin has a direct relationship with the appetite center of the brain. A deficiency has been linked to heart spasms. Extensive research indicates tryptophan aiding the treatment of migraine headaches, insomnia, schizophrenia, compulsive overeating and alcoholism.

Recent studies by Dr. Cornelius Gross and colleagues at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Italy have linked tryptophan deficiency with the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Serotonin helps regulate some of the bodies most basic functions including arousal from sleep, body temperature, heart rate and breathing.

Tryptophan is very well tolerated by the stomach and the body can control its conversion to serotonin, making it a very safe nutrient. However, there are rare cases where problems occur when tryptophan is taken with drugs such as Prozac or Zoloft and greater caution if the person is also on tricyclic antidepressant drugs. Therefore, a person prescribed these drugs should consult with their health professional before using tryptophan. It is not uncommon to have a tryptophan deficiency but never a pharmaceutical drug deficiency.

Safety was a major issue for tryptophan in 1990 when the FDA issued an importation ban on tryptophan. A major Japanese supplier to the US used a new untested method of bacterial fermentation which incorporated genetically modified strains of bacteria to produce L-tryptophan. This was followed by a reduction in the filtration and purification process in an improper manufacturing environment. The results allowed for new and greater impurities in the final product which resulted in illness and deaths. Oddly enough the best cure for the illness was properly manufactured pharmaceutical grade L-tryptophan.

Once the specific problem was identified, quality manufacturers were permitted to continue sales of tryptophan providing a guarantee to be free of impurities. The FDA then and now continues to recognize L-tryptophan as GRAS (generally recognized as safe). L-Tryptophan is resuming its popularity as a safe, cost effective supplement as an aid for sleep and depression and appetite cravings.

Obesity, Cholesterol Control With Good Diet and Niacin

Being overweight creates dangers of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, respiratory illness, cancer, joint problems, inflammation, and a multitude of other factors that affect our elimination, nervous system, digestion, and reproductive system.

The increase in obesity is a national problem; two thirds of North America is overweight or obese. Based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys the rate of change in our children is of utmost concern. It has nearly tripled in the last 19 years.




2 to 5 year old

5% overweight

13.9% overweight

6 to 11 year old

6.5% overweight

18.8% overweight

12 to 19 year old

5% overweight

17.4% overweight

Risk for heart disease is occurring as early as the age of 25. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics has gone even so far as to recommend cholesterol lowering drugs for eight year old kids. However, it is well established that cardiovascular disease is not caused by a failure to take enough pharmaceuticals as a child. It is a lifestyle disease.

The Academy does state that the first course of action is physical activity and nutritional counseling which places exercise and proper diet as most important for children.

As for cholesterol issues niacin (vitamin B3) even at low doses offers an inexpensive, safe, and effective way to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and increase the levels of HDL (good cholesterol). The president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Steven E. Nissen in the New York Times (Jan23,’07) stated, “Niacin is really it. Nothing else available is that effective.” Niacin is the only vitamin that is given drug status because of its cholesterol lowering abilities.

Niacin moves fat from tissues for fat metabolism, burning it for energy. It is also vital for the production of hydrochloric (stomach) acid promoting good digestion. It promotes healthy skin, the health of the myelin sheath (the protective covering of the spinal nerves), and helps protect the pancreas.

Niacin releases histamine that dilates the blood vessels, which temporarily produces heat, redness, and possible itching of the face, chest, back and legs for about ten to fifteen minutes. Some people enjoy the flushing and others dislike it and prefer non-flush niacin. It also dilates the capillaries in the brain and can help to relieve depression, delusions and dementia. It is also used clinically as an aid for schizophrenia, migraines, vertigo, high blood pressure, acne and diarrhea. A deficiency causes a disease called Pellagra characterized by diarrhea, dementia and dermatitis. It is available as tablets or capsules in 50mg to 1000mg dosages. The low dosages of 100 to 200mgs have shown almost as much effectiveness for some individuals as high dosages.

Two of My Favorite Health Books

In 1973 I received a copy of an incredible book. It was written by H. Rudolph Alsleben, M.D. and Wilfred E. Shute, M.D. (of Vitamin E fame) called How to Survive the New Health Catastrophes. It is to this day one of the greatest books on modern health issues I have ever read. It belongs to the present generation.

The book looks at the current health catastrophes, problems of heart attacks, insecticide poisoning, nerve degeneration and the biochemical disaster. It includes introductions to heavy metals, arteriosclerosis, malnutrition, infection and offers therapeutic suggestions. Alsleben was one of the first doctors using chelation therapy and amino acid fractionalization testing.  His writing is inspiring and his depth of knowledge awe inspiring.

Jethro Kloss’s book Back to Eden is still one of the great health books to own and read though it belonged to my parents’ generation. It possesses information that your parents or grand parents might recall. It’s breadth of scope and information is incredibly useful. It has always remained a companion to me for ailments. Where else can you find such broad information on Slippery Elm or cayenne or water?  Where else do you find remedies based on those golden years of the Eclectics, the true doctors of the past expounded for any and all problems? This book is a great inspiration.

Source Naturals L-Tryptophan 500mg
Source Naturals L-Tryptophan 500mg
60 Caps $28.50 $14.30
120 Caps $57.98 $27.95

Thompson DHEA 50mg
Thompson DHEA 50mg
60 Caps $8.39 $6.70

NOW Flush-Free Niacin 250mg
NOW Flush-Free Niacin 250mg
180 Caps $19.99 $15.95

TwinLab Niacin (B-3) Caps 1000mg
TwinLab Niacin (B-3) Caps 1000mg
Regular 100 Tabs $15.99 $12.80


Natural Factors Products

Natural Factors Lung, Bronchial, Sinus Formula
Lung, Bronchial, Sinus Formula
90 Tabs $24.95 $16.85

Natural Factors Wild Alaska Salmon Oil
Wild Alaska Salmon Oil
180 Softgels $19.95 $11.70

Natural Factors Alpha Lipoic Acid 200mg
Alpha Lipoic Acid 200mg
60 Caps $19.95 $11.70
120 Caps $33.95 $19.90

Natural Factors CoQ10 bonus pack
CoQ10 100mg Bonus Pack
60+60 Softgels $59.95 $29.95

Natural Factors Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfates 900mg
Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfates 900 mg
120 Caps $29.99 $17.95


Nordic Naturals Products

Nordic Naturals Children's DHA
Children's DHA
180 Softgels $21.95 $17.55

Nordic Naturals Children's DHA Liquid
Children's DHA Liquid
4 oz. $14.95 $11.95

Nordic Naturals Omega 3-6-9 Junior
Omega 3-6-9 Junior
90 Softgels $19.95 $15.95

Nordic Naturals Nordic Berries
Nordic Berries
120 Chews $21.95 $17.55

Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA
Prenatal DHA
90 Softgels $26.95 $21.55


Rainbow Light Products

Rainbow Light Women's One Multivitamin
Women’s One™ Multivitamin
90 Tabs $29.95 $20.95

Rainbow Light Men's One Multivitamin
Men’s One™ Multivitamin
90 Tabs $29.95 $20.95

Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multivitamin
Prenatal One™ Multivitamin
90 Tabs $31.95 $22.35

Rainbow Light Just Once® Multivitamin
Just Once® Multivitamin
Regular 120 Tabs $42.95 $27.90
Iron-free 120 Tabs $42.95 $27.90


Enter the coupon code DX07Y when you checkout and receive $7.00 off any order during 09/08! One coupon per customer.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products listed in this newsletter are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your physician before taking any of these products.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products listed in this newsletter are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with your physician before taking any of these products.