03/12/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx: "Strange. I was only a social drinker for about 15 years, the last 10 years being very rare that I had a drink. The first 5 years I would have a couple of drinks on a Friday after work--but not every week. Twenty years after..."
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Ted from Bangkok, Thailand: "As in most remedies against addiction, it involves the lowered serotonin levels that bought about such condition, generally speaking. Hence remedies that increase serotonin levels is the key but not used in practice, but can be extremely effective if done right. I have noted a friend of mind "suddenly" one day disappeared the addiction to cigarettes completely but that was due to his dietary pattern changes that helped his brain restore its ability of serotonin as I have observed.
Depressant drugs (ie., heroine, opium, alcohol, etc.) lowers the serotonin signals through their suppression of neuroactivity but does not directly resolve this problem. In extreme cases, the brain through the use of drugs also loses its ability to produce serotonin and takes weeks to restore the brain's ability to produce serotonin, bringing extreme suffering for its victim.
People feels anxiety and withdrawal syndrome whenever cigarettes or alcohol are withdrawn, but from different causes but they are still linked to reduction in serotonin levels.
A cigarettes has a nicotine, so if the brain level is already low with nicotinic acid for example (vitamin B3 niacinamide), the nicotine, being a close cousin of the nicotinic acid or vitamin B3 niacinamide, actually does lower the anxiety problems, but is not nutritionally relevant and hence damages the brain in the long run. B3 or niacinamide, by the way is related to the brain's synthesis of serotonin and is one of the required nutrients. A simple demonstration of its effectiveness of reduction of anxiety level can be noted if I took B3 niacinamide, about 300-500 mg mixed in a water, and the feeling of reduction of anxiety or burn out can be felt within 30 minutes. It is actually faster, but 30 minutes is my worse case scenario. Similar instance can be noted if a general amino acid supplements (or predigested protein) are taken, but those take a bit longer within one hour, because certain amino supplements don't have suffient amount of them.
In case of an alcoholic addiction it is seen with a twist, the alcohol's depressive effects lowers the brain activity, thus reducing the need for serotonin only temporary, because brain activity is reduced. Whenever the alcohol goes out the system, the brain also loses some ability to produce serotonin due to the physiological damaging effects of alcohol has on the brain. Hence, the brain needs serotonin, but instead of treating the cause, we turn our backs and take alcohol or even barbiturates, which again lowers the need for serotonin without actually resolving the cause.
Hence, the addiction cycles becomes vicious and the more alcohol is taken the worse it becomes. Although I won't deny the blood sugar hypothesis to addiction because alcohol helps replenish the sugar. A much simpler solution can be seen by eating candies, toffees and chocolate. However I don't see any alcholic running to eat candies or even at least a glucose supplement to raise his blood sugar. Hence, in psychology, the science of addiction is understood to be serotonin as the primary cause of addiction and eating candies to raise sugar level or at least stabilize it won't help directly in reducing such addiction.
A more reasonable approach appears to be to take supplements to HELP in raising the serotonin levels as being the remedy to resolve this addiction problem. Obviously I can use generalized remedies against this through eating fishes (high in protein, an hence amino acid), eating brocolli and partially cook liver (high in vitamin Bs).
Of course a more specific supplement might more fitting in raising the serotonin. The most well known amino acid is the tryptophan, which helps reduce anxiety level and helps increase serotonin levels, but can also help in certain children (ADHD) with restless leg syndrome just the same. Firing of serotonin levels if it becomes problematic, can lead to restless leg syndrome, hyperactivity, anxiety, learning disorders, addiction, and even grinding of teeth during sleep (serotonin and heavy metals are implicated here). Hence, for an adult dose I might consider 1000 mg-3000 mg of tryptophan, for example.
The second one I think that has helped is the niacinamide B3 about 300 mg, biotin about 8 mg, vitamin C sodium ascorbate 1000 mg, and some B6 about 100 mg, zinc gluonate 50 mg three times a week, as well as the general vitamin B complex overall three times a week, as one possibility. Those are synergistic in helping the brain produce serotonin. But this list is not complete, without considering a tiny amount of lithium, which is a required nutrition. Its been known for ages that lithium helps stabilize the serotonin levels. This is one reason why a person who gets addicted easily to alcohol do so because his level of serotonin is unstable and lithium is implicated as one possiblity, as opposed to the blood sugar hypothesis. The dose for lithium is extremely small if we compare to people who take it for other reasons, and the dose that I find ideally are about 5-10 mg of lithium citrate or lithium carbonate. A bipolar disorder uses a large amount, such as 250 mg, but I think at that dose, they are physiologically damaging to the such size of the dose. Hence, I would much prefer to take supplements that help increase serotonin and stabilize them if an alcholic addiction or even a withdrawal symptoms, or even people who desire to quit smoking or drinking, a supplements such as these are called for.
Now I am not trying to discourage the use of glutamine amino acid, but there is some study to show that the increase of serotonin lead to a decrease in glutamine (Molecular Pharmacology, Vol 13, 640-651, Copyright © 1977 by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Inhibition by Serotonin of Amino Acid Release and Protein Degradation in Skeletal Muscle) and this leads me to wonder whether the opposite is true, such as increases in glutamine, leads to decrease in serotonin. However, what I can be for certain is amino acid supplements will generally increase the serotonin but a more direct approach might be to take tryptophan amino acid as a more direct approach. I will also at least consider niacinamide B3 as the second most important one, but others should not be generally ignored either.
Even if addiction is dealt with, I cannot ignore the negative effects alcohol does in destroying the liver, and certain supplements are protective of fatty liver from alcohol and hence granulated lecithin, one tablespoon. Assuming the theory of unstable blood sugar is at risk, well stabilizing the blood sugar are most effective from the lecithin and perhaps the glutamine, however, I would concentrate more phyisological dependency of the brain to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol as the primary consideration at the very least."
EC: For Reader Feedback on Ted's alcoholism remedies, click here.
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12/15/2009: Lmc from Charlotte, Nc: "Ted's remedies for alcoholism
suffering from anxiety and depression, I have tried several recommened remedies: GABA, 5htp, Ltryptophan, and now b-complex with additional inositol with cholin. I have found that all of these remedies actually increase my symptoms. could my problem be something other than serotonin? If so, what is a suggested remedy?"
EC: Lmc is referring to Ted's remedies here: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/alcoholism.html#TED
12/16/2009: Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Lmc,
There is another remedy that may detoxify the liver from alcohol, which is alpha lipoic acid taken along with food at about 100 mg along meal with some vitamin E, 200 i.u. and vitamin C 500 mg.
Suffering from anxiety and depressions needs very different supplements. This one deals with alcohol that does liver damage.
If I am looking at anxiety and depression I will likely look at 600 mcg of selenium and amino acid supplements, and perhaps niacinamide B3 500 mg to calm things down."
08/30/2009: Devon from Johnson, Vt: "Hey Ted, interesting article on Alcohol addiction. I was surprised to see very little on Glutamine, but then at the end noticed it mentioned. From what I was reading Glutamine under the tongue can have an immediate effect on alcohol craving. Also, I noticed you singled out Seritonin entirely as the nerotransmission basis for your article. Makes me curious about the other transmitters; in particular I thought that dopamine release was related to alcohol as well. Finally, I thought that Kudzu would be a worthy mention as well. Thanks for your article."Replies
05/06/2011: Tittiger from Springfield, Missouri, State Of Missouri replies: "Hmmm do not see where to post a new thread so I reply instead.....
It seems that the Gentleman that started AA origionally included a large (3 gm) dose of Niacin as part of the program but that was buried for y. A lot of this is included in the book "The Vitamin Cure for Alcoholism: How to Protect Against and Fight Alcoholism Using Nutrition and Vitamin Supplementation"
To make things short these are the supplements suggested in the book:
B vitamins complex - plus B3 niacin 3,000 mg
vitamin C 2,000 mg
amino acid L-glutamine
It worked miracles with my cravings. Read the book if you have to."
05/06/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa replies: "Tittiger;I do not feel that what you are writing or copied per se' is totally accurate about an alcoholic, it takes much rigorous work such as mental, emotional, physical and spiritual to help with alcoholism. Please be aware of what real damage can do if any drunk should feel this really works.
If vitamins are not a sure thing for a sick or dying person then who is to say that the vitamins you say or copied are rest assured to work? Not.
There are millions of alcoholics still out there too ashamed to go to AA with hopes one day there will be an easier, simpler cure. In all honesty most of us may live on blind faith, I know I do. Good luck"
05/07/2011: Rethinking from Earth replies: "I think different people develop addictions for different reasons. Be it drugs (which includes legal ones such as alcohol), food, sex, prescription meds, overspending, coffee, sugar, fat, etc.
Vitamin therapy may work for some (it did for me), others do better with therapy, or AA, or meds, etc. This is because we are not all addicts because of one single reason. We really need to stop thinking in terms of "one disease, one cure". This is the basis of allopathy and look where it took us. Everybody is different. We need to find what works for us, as an individual.
I personally attended NA for a while, and while it is an outstanding group helping millions of people worldwide, it didn't work for me. I left every meeting having insane cravings because that's all we talked about: drugs! So I had to find my own thing. Cure doesn't come in one package. Find your own."
05/18/2011: Ricardo from Waterbury, Ct replies: "This is a response to Diamond on her comment. I use to think that way too. You know chemical imbalances and micro organisms living inside you can make you think and act differently that you really like to act. Addiction to anything can be clearly caused by these facts. Example: a person who suffers with Candida for example think that they love sugar and starchy foods. When you treat the disease the "LOVE" will disappear.
Alcoholism is not a psychological problem, lets think. The alcohol is loaded with yeast used in the fermentation process. The fungus already inside the body creates the necessity for the beverage. One time I gave some Candida treatment to my sister, very alcoholic, 45 years alcoholic, the worst case. She stayed away from alcohol long time, then later she went back to the addiction. She would not stay with the treatment a little longer, she was good for awile. With no counseling or AA, anything and she was sober for several weeks. Obviously she should stay longer until the detoxification was complete. If the psychological part was true how come she stayed sober for such long time?
One time I was on a sugar diet, I felt fantastic, the best in my life. I was thin and lean, the people noticing me. The problem is, it is a lot of work finding foods without sugar, a full time job. My love for sugar disappeared completely. Now I know that an addiction has nothing to do with psychological problems. People with mind problems will do whatever wrong things they like to, but not necessarily be an addicted person. Addiction is a disease in the body. Too much toxins, nutritional deficiency and stress are the cause. All of this plus chaos electromagnetic. Treat these problems and all diseases will be gone. Take care."
03/12/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "Strange. I was only a social drinker for about 15 years, the last 10 years being very rare that I had a drink. The first 5 years I would have a couple of drinks on a Friday after work--but not every week. Twenty years after I drank my last drink at a wedding (which was my first drink in 10 years), I came up with fatty liver disease. Would that small amount of alcohol have caused this? Dr. Oz says it comes from sugar. I found that taking milk thistle with artichokes helped a lot and ordering fresh salads with artichokes were helpful. I also drank dandelion tea religously. I was able to reverse it, but now it's back. I didn't know dandelion contained lecithin. I tried soy lecithin granules and had a severe allergic reaction. Never again!!! I've had gallstones come and go. Sometimes, when I noticed they came back, I would go out and eat a big greasy burger with fries. It would flush everything out of me. Seemed to work, anyway. Love this site and all the information available! Thanks, EC."
[YEA] 04/21/2012: Andrea from Glendale, Ca replies: "Absolutley an incredible and insightful remedy for alcoholism and addiction! I can honestly say, that after following Ted's thorough and simple plan addressing the several complex issues of addiction, my life has completely changed. I have tried every remedy (even Ambien and Lunesta as a last result would not work) for the insomnia associated with alcoholism. This brilliant and logical plan rid me of all of my withdrawal and cravings. The only thing I did not follow 100% was that I took his suggested supplements every day instead of three times a week. I did this for about a month. Now, I just take the supplements once or twice a week. It's like a miracle. I highly recommend the lecithin, as well. I really feel it helped my liver get back into shape! I frequently use this site for other ailments. I don't know why it never occured to me to look up "alcoholism" until recently! Thank you Ted and Earth Clinic!!"