Saturday, 10 June 2017 marks the third time Global Wellness Day has been celebrated worldwide. Observed in more than 90 countries across the world, it brings together many thousands of people around the shared vision that “One day can change your whole life!”. This global initiative is dedicated to recognising and highlighting the value of everything connected to improving health and wellbeing. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the importance of general wellness, defined by the World Health Organisation as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being” 1
. Such wellbeing is dependent on many factors including emotional equilibrium and levels of stress which can be difficult to control. A number of beneficial molecules have been identified by the scientific community which can help restore that control and emotional balance. Here we focus on three solutions for maintaining or restoring your body’s general wellbeing.
The importance of magnesium for general wellbeing
Key role of magnesium in the body
Magnesium is a mineral that plays an essential role in general wellbeing, a theme explored in detail in two recent articles published in the specialist journals Nutrients2
and Physiological Reviews3
. In analysing all the available scientific data on this mineral, the authors of these articles demonstrated that magnesium constitutes a true mainstay of the human body, participating as it does in many hundreds of enzymatic reactions. Several of these are essential for healthy body function, including energy metabolism and synthesis of DNA and RNA, and of proteins. Through its multiple actions, magnesium plays a regulatory role in functions such as muscle contraction, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiac excitability and nerve transmission.
Negative effects of magnesium deficiency
Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is by no means uncommon and can affect general wellbeing. A lack of this mineral often manifests in feelings of stress and extreme fatigue. Over the long term, it can lead to health problems, with some scientists identifying an association between such deficiency and the development of chronic diseases. Supplementation is therefore indicated for preventing or compensating for a lack of magnesium. Several scientific studies have confirmed the efficacy of such supplements, demonstrating improvements in the body’s general wellbeing and ability to counteract stress, fatigue, depression and migraine. These benefits are now available via Supersmart’s range of magnesium supplements
including the formulation OptiMag
which combines eight different forms of magnesium for optimal absorption.
Benefits of SAM-e for mood and general wellbeing
Little-known activity of SAM-e in the body
An often little-known molecule, SAM-e (S-adenosyl-methionine) is naturally present in all living cells. It helps the body function properly by promoting the process of methylation. As such, it plays a key role in the glutathione cycle, in the production of amino acids as well as in the metabolism of hormones, proteins and neurotransmitters. SAM-e has thus attracted the interest of the scientific community, as reflected in an article published in 2009 in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry4
. The article’s authors refer to the many studies conducted on SAM-e which have investigated its effects on the central nervous system and mood.
Efficacy of supplementation with SAM-e against depressive disorders
Given the role of SAM-e in the central nervous system, a number of scientists have examined its potential for treating depression. Their research has shown positive results from SAM-e supplementation in subjects with depression. It may also offer benefits in boosting mood and restoring wellbeing. As a result, some scientists believe it to be a safe and effective alternative to antidepressants, often criticised for their adverse side effects.
Benefits of Bacopa monnieri for mental wellbeing
A medicinal plant with neuroprotective effects
Used therapeutically for thousands of years, the plant Bacopa monnieri
is recommended in Ayurvedic medicine for treating brain-related disorders. It is, for example, used for treating nervous, mental and memory problems. Providing a better understanding of this plant’s therapeutic potential, a recent article summarised its benefits for mental wellbeing5
. Published in 2015 in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
, the article attributes the plant’s virtues to its considerable antioxidant potency. Helping to fight free radical damage, this antioxidant activity primarily protects nerve cells from age-related effects. In this context, Bacopa monnieri
supplementation has demonstrated positive results for preventing loss of cognitive function.
Benefits of supplementation for cognitive function
An article published in 2016 in the journal Medical Hypotheses6
, summarises the results of several studies conducted on the plant Bacopa monnieri
. The authors discuss its positive effects on cognitive function including memory and speed of information-processing. While its antioxidant activity may be responsible for its benefits for mental wellbeing, some studies suggest it may also have a positive effect on synaptogenesis. This refers to neuro-molecular mechanisms which enhance neural connections in the brain. A number of animal studies show that this mechanism may be improved by the administration of Bacopa monnieri
resulting in the activation of specific kinases in synapse and post-synaptic cells which helps to grow and strengthen connections between neurons.
> Sources :
1. Inserm, 9 Effets sur le bien-être et la qualité de vie, Activité physique – Contextes et effets sur la santé, 2008
2. Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K, Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy, Nutrients, 2015 Sep 23, 7(9):8199-226.
3. Baaij JH, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ, Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease, Physiol Rev., 2015 Jan, 95(1):1-46.
4. Papakostas GI, Evidence for S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e) for the treatment of major depressive disorder, J Clin Psychiatry, 2009, 70 Suppl 5:18-22.
5. Simpson T, Pase M, Stough C, Bacopa monnieri as an Antioxidant Therapy to Reduce Oxidative Stress in the Aging Brain, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2015, 2015:615384.
6. McPhee GM, Downey LA, Noble A, Stough C, Cognitive training and Bacopa monnieri: Evidence for a combined intervention to alleviate age associated cognitive decline, Med Hypotheses, 2016 Oct, 95:71-76.