By Jessica Wilhelm - May 23, 2019
How do I choose vitamins for my symptoms and test results?
Supplementation helps to support the body and brain, but how do you know you are taking the right ones? How do you know what to look for in a multivitamin? You heard that certain amino acids and supplements can help improve mood and sleep, but when you walk into the local health food store, you feel overwhelmed by the options, choices, and decisions.
This is where we step in
Wellnicity offers a solution that combines functional testing with high-quality supplementation to achieve optimal health based on YOUR results. A clinical team composed of nutritionists and dieticians review ALL lab results which are cross-referenced with your health profile. We then develop a custom vitamin regimen to rebalance your levels with the right kind and amount of supplements while simultaneously working on changing dietary and lifestyle habits.
One of our most popular tests is the My Brain Balance Kit. It measures the 7 important neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, GABA, glutamate, and histamine. This test will help identify the custom supplements for someone experiencing mood issues, anxiety, poor concentration, focus issues, and trouble sleeping. We’ve all experienced these symptoms at one point or another, but when the issue becomes chronic many try supplements to address their symptoms.
However, since everyone’s body is unique to them, the vitamins you take should be, too. Your brain balance supplements should be specifically tailored to you.
Serotonin is considered the master neurotransmitter. Most people who test with Wellnicity have found they have depleted levels of serotonin, which correlate to their reported issues with sleep, mood, cravings, and headaches. To rebuild serotonin pools, the amino acid 5-hydroxytryptohan (5-HTP) is needed. 5-HTP is the amino acid intermediate from the metabolism of Tryptophan and a precursor to the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. The conversion of Tryptophan to 5-HTP is estimated to be approximately 3%. This means you would need to take an entire handful of Tryptophan capsules to get the equivalent amount of the amino acid 5-HTP per capsule.
However, dosing 5-HTP can get tricky. This is why it’s best to know your serotonin levels before starting this amino acid supplement. Testing ensures that you are taking the right amount for YOU to relieve symptoms and optimize neurotransmitter levels. As a clinician, I’ve talked to many clients who say they’ve tried 5-HTP and it only made a little difference. After a little digging, we found out the reason it didn’t work was because: 1. they didn’t take enough and 2. it was food-grade NOT professional-grade. Without testing, they would’ve just gone on thinking that 5-HTP isn’t the right amino acid supplement for them. But, with a quick test, we were able to adjust the dose of 5-HTP to match their specific needs (in some cases, the dose even had to be tripled!)
Food-Grade vs. Professional Grade
The second part of that example reminds us that not all amino acid supplements are created equal. Most of what is available in health food stores are food-grade, whereas Wellnicity uses professional-grade 5-HTP.
So, what does professional-grade mean anyway? It means that you are getting pure-form 5-HTP that has been third-party tested to meet quality and potency standards. And it is produced in a laboratory that is FDA compliant and follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). What’s on the label is exactly what you are getting in each capsule. Nothing more, nothing less. This isn’t the case for other 5-HTP supplements on the market which use fillers and don’t test every lot of supplements for quality and potency. Clinically, we have seen that it can take double the amount of food-grade 5-HTP to boost serotonin levels in comparison to professional-grade. It is also key to point out that the body needs b-vitamins and other key nutrients to make neurotransmitters. In particular, vitamin B-6 is required for the production of serotonin. This is where taking a neuro-multivitamin with bio-active, cell-ready forms of nutrients is helpful and why we include one in with every regimen.
It’s not rocket science, but better supplements create better and quicker results. When you’re looking for vitamins for things like depression, sleep, and anxiety, you want results quickly.
We’ve seen many clients who experience headaches, poor concentration, focus, and memory issues, coupled with gastrointestinal distress like gas/bloating or heartburn. Upon review of their health pro it was found they had a recent course of antibiotic therapy.
The combination of these factors coupled with elevated levels of the stimulating neurotransmitter histamine tells us there is most likely an imbalance in gut bacteria and/or a potential food sensitivity playing a role in their brain health. Elevated histamine causes dopamine, our focus neurotransmitter, to become inefficient. This creates issues with concentration, attention, and focus. Vitamin C is often used to assist in countering an overactive histamine response. Vitamin C is a nutrient that our bodies do not make which means we must get it from the diet and/or supplementation. It specifically helps to decrease excess histamine by increasing the enzyme diamine oxidase which breaks down histamine.
Your Second Brain
A neuro-multivitamin and vitamin C are a great start, but a probiotic is also needed to help recolonize the healthy bacteria in the gut that was disrupted by antibiotic use. When there is an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut it can lead to gas, bloating and bowel changes. Having inadequate amounts of probiotics or an abundance of unhealthy bacteria in the gut impacts neurotransmitter production. Did you know that approximately 95% of serotonin is made in the gut? This is why gut health products have also been related to brain function.
If elevated histamine is coupled with low serotonin and/or headaches, we would firmly suggest a reduction in gluten-containing foods. Gluten is a sticky protein that prevents the absorption of some of the serotonin made in the gut and why there is a strong correlation between gluten-sensitivity, low serotonin, elevated histamine, but also headaches.
The foods we consume, even those we think are healthy, could be negatively impacting gut and brain health. This is why we would advise a follow-up test for food sensitivities. Anytime we are supporting the brain, we always think about the gut. It’s called our second brain for a reason.
Finding the perfect dietary intake, gut health products, and neuro-multivitamin is key to optimal health. Don’t wait until you’re wandering the supplement aisle looking for a vitamin to help with your ADD, headaches, gut health, sleep, or depression - get tested today. We’ve got a team of experts to create your own vitamin pack. Not only that, those vitamins are delivered right to your door.
I’ve worked with many clients who’ve spent a lot of money purchasing supplements that ended up not helping their symptoms or issues. In the long run, testing will help you feel better quicker and, in some cases, save money. No more trial and error with wasted supplements.
Testing not an option?
At Wellnicity, we believe that neurotransmitter testing is the best path to determine both your need for supplementation and the therapeutic dose for getting you back on track. While testing is best, we understand that it isn’t always an option for everyone. However, we still want to make our personalized vitamin sets available to all who need them.
Wellnicity recommends and procures only professional-grade supplements. This means they contain the purest ingredients on the market without harmful fillers or unnecessary ingredients that may impede your body’s ability to absorb or utilize them.
The purity and potency of our personalized vitamins can’t be matched by over-the-counter supplementation. That’s why Wellnicity requires the guidance of a Clinical Nutritionist when utilizing our professional-quality supplement line. So if you’re not ready to test, and still need supplementation, don’t hesitate to contact a Wellnicity Clinician today for a free clinical consultation.