Foods Containing Magnesium

Magnesium (Mg) is necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. An adult body contains about 25 grams magnesium. Over 60% of all the magnesium in the body is found in the skeleton, approximately 27% is found in muscle. Less than 1% of total magnesium is in blood serum, and these levels are kept under tight control. Magnesium is absorbed by the small intestine, and is eliminated through renal excretion and perspiration.

Magnesium Deficiency

Some gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, pancreatitis, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and taking diuretics can lead to deficiencies. Too much coffee,  or salt, as well as heavy menstrual periods, excessive sweating, and prolonged stress can  lower magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency also associated to a host of medical conditions, including alcohol abuse, prolonged use of antibiotics, anorexia nervosa, and excessive use of H-2 receptor antagonists such as Zantac or Tagamet. Deficiencies of magnesium can cause nausea and vomiting, irritability, anxiety,  insomnia, numbness, tingling, restless leg syndrome, weakness, poor nail growth, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms, confusion, muscle spasm, and hyperventilation.

Foods Containing Magnesium

Rich sources of magnesium include tofu, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, spinach, Swiss chard,  beet greens, navy beans, kidney beans, green beans, soy beans, baked potatoes (with skin), halibut, tempeh, wheat bran, whole wheat flour, soybean flour, cashews, Brazil nuts,  almonds, pumpkin and squash seeds, black walnuts, pine nuts, cocoa powder, agar seaweed, poppy seed and cumin seed. Because magnesium is part of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium.  The magnesium content of refined foods is generally low. Brown rice loses 80% of its magnesium content when refined into white rice. Also, boiling vegetables causes a 50% magnesium content loss. Hard water is a good source of magnesium. A number of research have found reduction mortality from cardiovascular diseases in populations who routinely consume hard water.

Magnesium Benefits and Studies

This mineral plays an important role in many biological processes. Magnesium is especially crucial for the heart, kidneys, and muscles; it also helps regulate other minerals, such as  potassium,  zinc, and copper, as well as vitamin D within the body.


MagnesiumMagnesium is important to heart health. Because magnesium can improve energy production within the heart and dilate the coronary arteries, adequate magnesium status will protect against angina, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, enlarged heart, hypertension, intermittent claudication mitral valve prolapse, stroke. Intravenous magnesium treatment is  used in Europe to reduce the damage from a heart attack. Magnesium helps protect a normal heart rhythm and is occasionally given intravenously in the hospital to reduce the chance of atrial fibrillation and cardiac arrhythmia. One study found that taking magnesium orotate for a year reduced symptoms and improved survival rates compared to placebo in patients with congestive heart failure. Researchers have theorized that magnesium protects the surviving heart muscle cells from the toxic impacts that result when oxygen-rich blood reaches the cells that were damaged by the heart attack. Injections of magnesium at the time of a heart attack reduced deaths by a fourth in a study of more than 2,300 patients, British scientists reported. The magnesium injections also reduced by 25%  the incidence of heart failure among patients during their stay in a coronary care unit after a heart attack, the scientists reported in The Lancet.

A prospective study tracked 88,375 female nurses to determine whether serum magnesium levels measured early in the study and magnesium intakes from food and supplements assessed every 2 to 4 years were linked with sudden cardiac death over 26 years of follow-up.  Women in the highest compared with the lowest quartile of ingested and plasma magnesium concentrations had a 34% and 77% fewer risk of sudden cardiac death, respectively. A review reported online on May 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds evidence to a preventive effect for magnesium against the risk of cardiovascular disease, including fatal ischemic heart disease. Analysis of the studies that assessed the effects of serum magnesium found a 30% fewer risk of cardiovascular disease in association with each 0.2 micromole per liter increase in the mineral, as well as trends toward lower ischemic heart disease and fatal ischemic heart disease risk. Also, there was a 22% lower risk of ischemic heart disease with each 200 mg per day increase in magnesium intake. The authors of a meta-analysis of 22 studies with 1,173 normotensive and hypertensive adults concluded magnesium supplement for 3–24 weeks dropped systolic blood pressure by 3–4 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 2–3 mmHg. A clinical study of more than 8,500 women found that a higher intake of dietary magnesium may reduce the development of high blood pressure in women.


Magnesium may reduce stroke risk. In a meta-analysis of 7 prospective trials with a total of 241,378 people, an additional 100 mg/day magnesium in the diet was associated with an 8% decreased risk of total stroke, particularly ischemic rather than hemorrhagic stroke. For the research, Swedish researchers from the Karolinska Institute reviewed data from seven previously published studies of magnesium intake and stroke. The average magnesium intake of all study people ranged from 242 milligrams a day up to 471 mg daily. The research demonstrated that participants who had higher amounts of magnesium in their diets had a lower risk for stroke. “Dietary magnesium intake is inversely associated with risk of stroke, specifically ischemic stroke,” said lead author Susanna Larsson, a professor at the Karolinska Institute.

Preeclampsia and Eclampsia

Preeclampsia-eclampsia is a disease that is unique to pregnancy and may occur anytime after 20 weeks of pregnancy through 6 weeks following birth. Preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy impact 5-8% of all births in the United States. About 5% of women with preeclampsia go on to develop eclampsia, which is a important cause of maternal death. Magnesium, given in the hospital intravenously, is the therapy of choice to prevent or treat seizures linked with eclampsia or to prevent complications from preeclampsia. Magnesium sulfate helps prevent the occurrence of seizures in women with severe preeclampsia and decreases seizures in women with eclampsia. Magnesium is believed to relieve cerebral blood vessel spasm, increasing blood flow to the brain.


To prevent osteoporosis, it is important to get enough magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D.Magnesium is involved in bone formation and influences the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Also affects the concentrations of both parathyroid hormone and the active form of vitamin D, which are major regulators of bone homeostasis. In a two-year open, controlled trial, 22 out of a group of 31 postmenopausal women who took daily magnesium supplementation demonstrated gains in bone density. A study of over 900 elderly men and women found higher dietary magnesium intakes were linked with increased bone mineral density at the hip in both men and women. One short-term study found that 290 mg/day magnesium citrate for 30 days in 20 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis suppressed bone turnover compared with placebo, suggesting that bone loss decreased. A 2006 study by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that teenage girls who were provided with a daily intake of 300 milligrams of magnesium demonstrated a higher, healthier level of bone mineral content than those who were given a placebo


Some studies have showed that getting insufficient amounts of magnesium increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and the development of diabetes complications. Between 25% and 38% of diabetics have been found to have decreased serum levels of magnesium. Swedish researchers reviewed the published studies that looked at magnesium and risk of diabetes and found that for every 100 mg increase in daily intake of magnesium, there was a 15% decrease in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A study in 63 participants with type 2 diabetes and hypomagnesemia found that those taking an oral magnesium chloride solution for 16 weeks had improved measures of insulin sensitivity and glycemic control compared to those taking a placebo. In a meta analysis of 13 cohort studies, 536,318 people, and 24,516 cases of diabetes, increased magnesium intake was found to be significantly inversely associated with type 2 diabetes.


Magnesium is one of the most important mineral in the human body, connected with brain biochemistry and the fluidity of neuronal membrane. A deficiency of magnesium magnifies  stress and depression. Cerebral spinal fluid  magnesium has been found low in treatment-resistant suicidal depression and in individuals that have attempted suicide. One study in elderly type II diabetic individuals with newly diagnosed depression and low serum magnesium levels has noted that 450mg  Magnesium Chloride daily for 12 weeks duration was equally effectual as 50mg imipramine for reducing depressive symptoms.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

PMS involves many different symptoms lasting a few days to weeks prior to the onset of menses. Reduced magnesium levels have been reported in women affected by PMS. Researches indicate that magnesium may help relieve symptoms linked with PMS, insomnia, bloating, leg swelling, and breast tenderness. A study reported in a 2007 edition of the journal Clinical Drug Investigation, investigated the efficacy of 250 mg of modified-release magnesium tablets for the therapy of premenstrual syndrome. After 3 months of assessment in women ages 18 to 45 suffering from PMS, the study concluded that magnesium is effectual at reducing PMS symptoms. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are particularly beneficial for breast pain, water retention, tension headaches, cravings, anxiety and depression. A 2000 study reported in the Journal of “Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine” found that the combination of vitamin B6 and magnesium can provide better improvements in premenstrual syndrome symptoms than either of the supplements. The results of the study demonstrated that the combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 produced a noticeable synergistic effect that lead to improvements in anxiety-related PMS symptoms.


Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, memory, sleep, and mood issues. Fibromyalgia and magnesium deficiency have a direct relation according to new research. A clinical trial of 24 participants with fibromyalgia found that a proprietary tablet containing both magnesium and malic acid improved pain and tenderness associated with fibromyalgia when taken for at least two months. The clinical study of the effects of malic acid and magnesium on fibromyalgia sufferers was reported in the Journal of Nutritional Medicine and used 15 fibromyalgia patients aged from 32 to 60 as participants. These participants received a dose of 300 to 600 mg of magnesium and 1,200 to 2,400 mg of malic acid over a period of 4 to 8 weeks. Every single case found important improvements in the levels of pain in tender points.


People who suffer from recurrent migraine headaches have lower intracellular magnesium levels than people who do not experience migraines. Two placebo controlled studies have showed decreases in the frequency of migraine headaches after supplementation with 600 mg/day of magnesium. Some researchers suggest combining magnesium with the herb feverfew along with riboflavin (vitamin B2) may be beneficial when you have a headache. A study in 86 children with frequent migraine headaches found that oral magnesium oxide reduced headache frequency over the 16-week intervention. Researchers at Erciyes University in Turkey reported participants taking 600 mg of magnesium citrate daily for 3 months experienced less severe and less frequent migraine attacks compared with those who took a placebo group, according to study published in the June 2008 edition of Magnesium Research. In another study, participants who took magnesium reduce the frequency of attacks by 41 %, compared to 15 % in those who took placebo. In an article published in the March 2009 edition of the journal “Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics”, scientists at The New York Headache Center offered compelling evidence supporting the use of magnesium as a simple, inexpensive, safe and well-tolerated option for the prevention and therapy of migraine headaches. Magnesium and Migraines


Magnesium was found to improve attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in some children. Magnesium insufficiency may be more common in children with diagnosed ADHD, with one study of 116 children noting a deficiency rate of 95%. In a study of 75 magnesium-deficient children with ADHD, those who received magnesium supplementation demonstrated an improvement in behavior compared to those who did not receive the supplementation. The scientists reported  a study examining the effects of magnesium preparations in ADHD children. This study involved 50 attention deficit hyperactivity disorder children between the ages of 7 and 12 whose serums, red blood cells and hair were deficient in magnesium. In the period of six months those examined regularly took magnesium in a dose of 200 mg/day. The results demonstrated that the children receiving magnesium preparations were no longer deficient in the mineral and demonstrated the most important decrease in hyperactivity and a general improvement in other symptoms of ADHD. A 2004 study done by French scientists reported in “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” investigated the effects of combining magnesium and vitamin B12 supplements for treating ADHD children. The children were given vitamin B12 and magnesium daily for six months. At the end of the study period, normal red blood cells magnesium levels were reported in all 52 children as well as improvements in ADHD symptoms.


Scientific findings demonstrates that intravenous magnesium infusion is an effective therapy for severe, acute asthma. Magnesium sulfate  has been considered as an adjunct treatment for severe and life-threatening asthma exacerbation. A population based  study of more than 2,500 children 11 – 19 years of age found that low dietary magnesium intake may be linked with risk of asthma. Magnesium sulfate, causes a noticeable widening of bronchi, a process called bronchodilation, according to an article reported in the Feb 1990 edition of Chest. One study in 38 patients, who did not respond to initial therapy in the emergency room, found improved lung function and decreased likelihood of hospitalization when IV magnesium sulfate was infused compared to a placebo. In a German study of 81 migraine patients reported in the journal Cephalalgia, 42% of the participants taking oral magnesium reduced both the duration and intensity of their migraine attacks. A meta-analysis of 5 randomized placebo-controlled studies, involving 182 children with severe asthma, found that IV infusion of magnesium sulfate was associated with a 71% diminution in the need for hospitalization. A systematic review of seven randomized, controlled studies concluded that IV magnesium sulfate is useful in individuals with severe, acute asthma.

Almond Benefits and Health Effects

The almond, Prunus amygdalus, is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is  also the name of the edible seed of this tree. Almonds are rich in B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, potassium magnesium and healthy fat.Also, almonds are a important source of protein and fiber. An ounce of almonds, which equates to approximately 25 almonds, contains 12 % of our needed daily protein.  One serving provides almost 15 % of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E.

Almond Benefits

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eating 1.5 ounces a day of most nuts, like almonds, may reduce the risk of heart disease. Vitamin E is an efficacious antioxidant and also reduces the risk of heart diseases, while the presence of magnesium in almonds can help prevent heart attacks. Almonds are one of the most important sources of alpha-tocopherol —the form of vitamin E that’s best absorbed by your body. It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. Twenty potent antioxidant flavonoids were identified in almond skins in a study. “We have identified a unique combination of flavonoids in almonds,” said Jeffrey Blumberg, scientist and director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University. Further blood tests showed that eating almonds with their skins significantly increases both flavonoids and vitamin E in the body. In a study reported in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition“, almonds can reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of artery-damaging inflammation.

AlmondPotassium, an significant electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and the contraction of all muscles including the heart, is another mineral that is necessary for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. A quarter cup of almonds contain 257 mg of potassium, and it beefs up your defense against serious problems like high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. If have heart failure, heart rhythm  or high blood pressure problems, getting enough potassium is particularly important. In a study of people with high blood pressure, taking potassium supplements reduced systolic blood pressure by approximately 8 points. The BMJ research, which specifically looked at the effects of potassium on heart disease and stroke, indicate that a higher intake of potassium could cut the risk of stroke by 24%. In review of 33 studies that included more than 128,000 people, consuming more potassium was linked to lower blood pressure and lower risk of stroke.

Magnesium helps to improve the flow of blood, nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. Most cases of heart attacks are associated with a deficiency in this mineral. Increased intakes of magnesium in the diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality by approximately 50%, indicate recent results from Japan. Researchers from the “Karolinska Institutet” reported that, findings pooled from seven prospective studies showed that, for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake, the risk of stroke was reduced by approximately 9%. Higher intakes of magnesium were linked with effects, with a 22% reduction in the risk of ischemic heart disease reported by the Boston-based scientists. Increased circulating levels of magnesium may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, says a meta-analysis from Harvard School of Public Health. The scientists found that every 0.2 mmol/L increment increase in circulating magnesium was related with a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Almonds contain 2 important brain nutrients, L-carnitine and riboflavin (vitamin B2), which have been shown to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s mice that were fed an almond rich diet demonstrated much better on memory tests than mice fed the standard diet. Neelima Chauhan at the “University of Illinois” gave mice with an Alzheimer’s-like disease an almond-rich diet. The animals had already developed some of the abnormal brain deposits thought to underlie the disease. After 4 months, the team gave the mice a memory test. Animals eating the almond-rich diet did much better than those fed the usual chow. Chauhan says almonds contain substances that act like cholinesterase inhibitors, medications used to treat Alzheimer’s.

A handful of almonds a day can fight cancer, according to the Daily Express. Research indicate that phytochemicals in almonds and other nuts may help prevent certain types of cancer. In a study of rats exposed to a colon cancer-causing agent and fed almonds, it was found that almonds significantly prevented colon cancer. Dr. Paul Davis,  of the University of California, has examined the possible effects of whole almonds on an array of colon cancer variables. Dr. Davis concluded that the monounsaturated fat in almonds may have a favorable effect in the reduction of colon cancer.

Eating almonds could help prevent diabetes, say researchers. A study published in the journal Metabolism, demonstrated that consuming an ounce of almonds straight before eating a high-starch meal brought a 30% diminution in post-meal glucose levels for patients with type 2 diabetes, compared with a 7% reduction for non-diabetics. Also, after overnight fasting, patients with type 2 diabetes whose meal contained almonds had a lowering of blood sugar levels after their meal. The effect of regular almond consumption on blood glucose levels for people with type 2 diabetes was also studied, with the daily consumption of one ounce of almonds over a twelve-week period being linked with a 4% reduction in haemoglobin A1c and the same reduction in body mass index. A study done by scholars from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and reported in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition” confirms that the nut can control diabetes if consumed regularly. A diet consisting of 20% of calories as almonds over a 16-week period is effective in improving markers of insulin sensitivity and yields clinically significant improvements in LDL-C in adults with pre-diabetes. Scientist Dr Michelle Wien said: ‘It is promising for those with risk factors for chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease that dietary changes may help to improve factors that play a potential role in the disease development.’

New studies have showed that diets featuring almonds and other tree nuts do not cause weight gain and may actually promote weight loss. A study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders demonstrated that a low calorie almond diet helped people lose more weight faster than those on a low calorie diet high in complex carbohydrates. A study reported in the Oct edition of the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that study participants eating 1.5 ounces of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated fat intake without increasing body weight. The newly reported four-week clinical trial led by scientists at Purdue University, examined the effects of almond snacking on weight and appetite. Despite consuming about 250 additional calories per day from almonds, volunteers did not increase the total number of calories they ate and drank over the course of the day or gain weight over the course of the four-week study. A study reported in Jan 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who chewed almonds 40 times felt fuller afterward than participants who just chewed their almonds 10 times before swallowing.

Acidophilus Benefits and Food Sources

Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) is part of a group of bacteria that live in the small intestine and vagina. Acidophilus is considered a probiotic. As a natural probiotic, acidophilus helps to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive and intestinal tracts, encourages proper nutrient absorption and promotes immune health. There are as many as 100 trillion bacteria belonging to more than 400 species in the intestinal flora.

Natural Food Sources

The main dietary sources of Lactobacillus acidophilus include milk enriched with acidophilus, yogurt containing live L. acidophilus cultures, kefir, fermented soy products, tempeh and miso. L. acidophilus can also be taken in powder, liquid or capsule form as dietary supplements. A cidophilus is usually combined with bifidobacteria, and the resultant combination is commonly referred to as Acidophilus bifidus.

Acidophilus Benefits

With more than 400 different bacteria living in the human gastrointestinal tract, the most common forms of intestinal probiotics are Bifidobacteria bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria act as balancing agents for non-friendly, pathogenic, gut-bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Candida. When the “friendly bacteria” are not present enough, a number of bacteria-related health problems such as digestive upset, headaches, sluggishness, irritability, cadidiasis can ensue. Yogurt, which contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, is usually recommended by practitioners to help reduce the adverse effects of oral antibiotic treatment.

AcidophilusL. acidophilus supports a favorable environment for the absorption of nutrients, encourages intestinal microflora balance, and promotes the healthy functioning of the intestinal system. Acidophilus has been used to treat or prevent vaginal yeast infections, yeast infections of the mouth, urinary tract infections and diarrhea caused by taking antibiotics. Some research has showed that acidophilus may provide additional health benefits, including improved gastrointestinal function, a boosted immune system, and a decrease in the frequency of vaginal yeast infections. Acidophilus is generally considered to be beneficial, as it produces vitamin K, lactase, and anti-microbial substances such as acidolin, acidolphilin, lactocidin, and bacteriocin.

A high acidophilus level creates an environment that is fatal to other dangerous bacteria such as streptococcus, salmonella and Escherichia coli. In one of the many research reports on acidophilus and gastrointestinal tract health, acidophilus was showed to have antimicrobial activities against pathogens and fungal microorganisms. Also  since  acidophilus is able to survive in environments of pH 4-5 or below, it is able to survive the harsh conditions of the stomach and pass through to the small intestine. A University of Nebraska study found that feed supplemented with acidophilus and fed to cattle resulted in a 61% diminution of Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria which infects just stomach tissues. This bacterium are responsible for more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and up to 80% of gastric ulcers. The presence of acidophilus appears to decrease H. pylori density in the human stomach and could enhance antibiotic treatment for Helicobacter pylori  eradication. According to a study reported in the June 2002 edition of the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, the use of acidophilus preparation reduced the density of the Helicobacter pylori colonies in the stomachs of patients with stomach ulcers.

Bacterial vaginosis is the most important cause of vaginal discharge. Bacterial vaginosis is characterized by alteration of the normal vaginal microflora, in which a mixed anaerobic bacterial flora becomes prevalent over the population of lacobacilli. Tablets or suppositories containing live acidophilus cultures may help treat the problem of bacterial vaginosis. A study reported in the October 2012 edition of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology demonstrated that slow-release vaginal tablets containing acidophilus and another probiotic reduced symptoms of yeast infections in a group of women. In a study, women who consumed 8 ounces of L. acidophilus -containing yoghurt per day had a threefold decrease in the incidence of vaginal yeast infections and a reduction in the frequency of Candida colonization in the vagina. In another study, women with vaginal Trichomonas infection received vaginal L. acidophilus suppositories for one year.  Over 90% of them were reported to be cured of their clinical symptoms in that time.

Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest important amounts of lactose the major sugar found in milk and milk products. Acidophilus milk has been used to treat people with lactose intolerance. Active bacteria cultures, such as acidophilus, may  help treat lactose intolerance by producing an enzyme that helps digest the lactose sugars in intestines.A study in the “Journal of Family Practice” reviewed information on this and other probiotics as a potential therapy for lactose intolerance . The review suggested that acidophilus may work. The hydrogen breath test is the standard tool for diagnosing lactose intolerance. Strains of L. acidophilus demonstrated reduced amount of hydrogen. The authors concluded that, “…probiotics in general do not reduce lactose intolerance… However some evidence suggests that specific strains and concentrations are effective…”

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a very common functional condition. Many studies have found that probiotics may help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. A review of previously published studies that appeared in the Aug 2009 edition of the “Revista Espanola de Enfermedades Digestivas” found that supplements with probiotics, (such as acidophilus), improves symptoms of IBS.

Some research suggests acidophilus may be useful when used to prevent traveler’s diarrhea. A mix of probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Saccharomyces boulardii) helped treat traveler’s diarrhea in one study. Taking acidophilus supplements may help maintain the health of gastrointestinal system, especially after taking a course of antibiotic drugs. While they can be efficacious at killing the “bad” germs, unhappily, antibiotics also destroy the “good” bacteria in our bodies as well. For years, acidophilus has been recommended by doctors to help control certain types of diarrhea, in particular diarrhea caused when oral antibiotics destroy the normal flora of the intestine. In an article in the May, 2012, edition of Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers reported that sufficient evidence exists to indicate that probiotics such as acidophilus can help treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Mullein Benefits and Health Effects

Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus L.) is widespread throughout the US.  This herb is classified in the literature as both an expectorant, to promote the discharge of mucus, and a demulcent, to soothe and protect mucous membranes. Traditionally, it has been used to treat respiratory illnesses and coughs  with lung congestion. According to the Commission E (Germany’s regulatory agency for herbs) monograph, the recommended daily dose of mullein is 3-4 g.

Mullein Benefits

Mullein contains a high proportion of mucilage; mucilage is usually thought to have a soothing effect.  Mullein may act as an expectorant for clearing mucus from bronchial airways. The saponins are responsible for the expectorant action of mullein. On this basis, mullein has been suggested as a therapy for asthma, colds, sore throats, and coughs. Traditionally, mullein has been used as a remedy for the respiratory tract, especially in cases of irritating coughs with bronchial congestion. Other herbs commonly used as expectorants in traditional medicine include elecampane, lobelia, yerba santa, gumweed, wild cherry bark, eucalyptus, and anise.

Mullein is traditionally combined with other herbs in oil preparations to soothe the pain of ear infections. In a 2003 study of 171 children with otalgia, those who used ear drops containing mullein had a statistically important improvement in ear pain over the course of 3 days. (Oil preparations may obscure a doctor’s view of the ear drum and should just be used with a healthcare professional’s directions). The compounds mullein might be able to fight herpes and influenza viruses, and some bacteria that cause respiratory infections.In laboratory experiments reported in 2002, scientists found that mullein helped kill certain types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli.

Tyrosine Dosage and Food Sources

L-tyrosine (4-hydroxyphenylalanine) is a nonessential amino acid that the body synthesizes from phenylalanine. This amino acid is necessary for making the brain neurotransmitters dopamine,  epinephrine and norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells communicate and influence mood.  Tyrosine is made in our bodies and is also found naturally in animal protein  and plant protein.

Natural Sources

Tyrosine is found naturally in soy products, fish, turkey, chicken, almonds, peanuts, bananas, avocados, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, lima beans, oats, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Tyrosine Benefits and Health Effects

Tyrosine is the precursor of the catecholamines; alterations in the availability of L-tyrosine to the brain can influence the synthesis of both dopamine and norepinephrine in experimental animals and presumably in humans. In animals, stress increases the release of catecholamines, which can result in the depletion of their levels, an effect that can be corrected by giving tyrosine. Some studies show that tyrosine supplements boosts mental performance under stress. In a study, tyrosine was given at a dosage of two grams per day for five days during a demanding military combat training course; it improved various aspects of cognitive function relative to placebo. A 2010 study reported in the “Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition” found that tyrosine supplement led to significantly greater improvements in focus and alertness after exhaustive exercise. In a study, a protein drink containing 10 g per day of tyrosine was more powerful than a carbohydrate drink for improving mental performance scores in a group of cadets taking a stressful 6-day combat training course. In another clinical trial found that one-time administration of 150 mg of tyrosine per 2.2
pounds of body weight helped prevent a decline in mental performance for approximately 3 hours during a night of sleep deprivation.

In a study, alcoholics treated with tyrosine combined with other supplements had reduced withdrawal symptoms. In this clinical trial, a group of alcoholics were treated with 1.5 g of D,L-phenylalanine, 400 mg of  tryptophan, 300 mg of glutamine and 900 mg of L-tyrosine  per day, plus a multivitamin-mineral supplement. This supplement regimen led to a important decline in withdrawal symptoms and decreased stress in alcoholics compared to the effects of placebo.

L-tyrosine reduces the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain. A study reported in 1982 in “Life Sciences” demonstrated that tyrosine may benefit patients with Parkinson’s disease. Scientists administered 100 mg/kg of tyrosine to each of the 23 patients with Parkinson’s disease. Evaluation of tyrosine’s effect in 23 Parkinson’s disease patients showed 100 mg/kg tyrosine daily raised plasma and cerebral spinal fluid tyrosine and homovanillicacid levels, indicating increased catecholamine synthesis and release. In a small study showed  that some patients with Parkinson’s disease who supplemented with tyrosine for 3 years had better clinical results and fewer adverse effects than did patients using L-dopa.

Tyrosine Dosage

As reported in the literature, the recommended daily dosage of tyrosine is 100-150 mg/kg body weight. Some health professionals recommends taking tyrosine supplements 30 minutes before meals in three daily doses between 500 to 1,000 mg each. L-Tyrosine may need to be supplemented with its synergistic amino acids including 5-Hydroxytryptophan, L-Phenylalanine, and L-Methionine. Also, vitamin B6, B9, and copper are necessary for conversion of tyrosine into neurotransmitters.

Side Effects

Tyrosine is usually safe with infrequent reports of adverse effects. Occasional nausea,vomiting, diarrhea, or insomnia are reported by those taking higher doses of tyrosine (>150 mg/kg daily). Tyrosine can interact with certain other drugs. Before adding tyrosine supplements to drugs such as Levothroid , levoxyl, unithroid synthroid, or consult with your doctor. Tyrosine may cause a severe increase in blood pressure in people taking antidepressant drugs known as Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). Tyrosine should not be taken at the same time as Levodopa (L-dopa).  The use of tyrosine with L-dopa may lower the effectiveness of L-dopa because they compete for absorption in the small intestine.