Elk Haven Herbals

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Mood Food


Mood Food is Elk Haven Herbal’s natural take on an antidepressant/antianxiety supplement.  The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) classifies depression as feelings of sadness or depressed mood that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. The NIMH separates depression into a number of categories including Major Depression and Persistent Depressive Disorder or PDD. Some symptoms of both include persistently sad, anxious, pessimistic, irritable, or restless feelings as well as feeling of hopelessness and insomnia. Individuals suffering from depression may also feel overwhelmingly antisocial (1).

The most popular forms of antidepressant therapy involves using drugs that increase serotonin concentration in the brain. These are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. Common SSRIs include Fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa) (1).

It has recently been shown however that serotonin may not play an integral role in depression at all (2). In fact, the models in this study weren’t able to produce serotonin and still didn’t exhibit symptoms of depression.

Some botanical and fungal based compounds have shown positive effects in improving mood and reducing anxiety, although their exact mechanisms are unclear. This is likely due to the fact that a number of active compounds are at work and contribute to a complex cascade of chemical reactions in the brain.

For example, recent studies show that the fungus Hericium erinaceus demonstrated an antidepressant effect over a 4 week period with individuals showing a significantly lower score on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) (3).

It is also now widely known that depression has been correlated with low levels of the neurotransmitter GABA (4). GABA occurs naturally and can even be found in some plants such as the tomato but taken as a supplement it can not enter your brain. Nonetheless, studies have shown that Picamilon (GABA complexed with vitamin B) does have this ability (5).

Another compound found in low levels correlated with depression is known as alpha lipoic acid (ALA). ALA has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier in its natural state and is a potent antioxidant.

At Elk Haven Herbals our Mood Food contains a combination of compounds found to be deficient in individuals suffering with depression, as well as the fungas shown to be effective in improving mood and reducing anxiety. This includes the proper therapeutic and naturally derived doses of picamilon, ALA, and Hericium erinaceus.

1. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
2. Mariana Angoa-Pérez, Michael J. Kane, Denise I. Briggs, Nieves Herrera-Mundo, Catherine E. Sykes, Dina M. Francescutti, and Donald M. Kuhn (2014).  “Mice Genetically Depleted of Brain Serotonin Do Not Display a Depression-like Behavioral Phenotype.” ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 5 (10), pp 908–919.
3. Nagano, M (Nagano, Mayumi); Shimizu, K (Shimizu, Kuniyoshi); Kondo, R (Kondo, Ryuichiro); Hayashi, C (Hayashi, Chickako); Sato, D (Sato, Daigo); Kitagawa, K (Kitagawa, Katsuyuki); Ohnuki, K (Ohnuki, Koichiro (2010) “Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.” BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH-TOKYO. Volume: 31  Issue: 4  Pages: 231-237
4. Zubin Bhagwagar, Marzena Wylezinska, Peter Jezzard, John Evans, Erie Boorman, Paul M. Matthews and Philip J. Cowen (2008).  “Low GABA concentrations in occipital cortex and anterior cingulate cortex in medication-free, recovered depressed patients” The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology Volume 11 / Issue 02 / March 2008, pp 255-260.
5. Matsuyama K, Yamashita C, Noda A, Goto S, Noda H, Ichimaru Y, Gomita Y (1984). "Evaluation of isonicotinoyl-gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and nicotinoyl-GABA as pro-drugs of GABA". Chem. Pharm. Bull. 32 (10): 4089–9.
6. Yang, P (Yang, Pei); Li, XC (Li, Xuechun); Ni, J (Ni, Jian); Tian, JC (Tian, Jingchen); Jing, F (Jing, Fu); Qu, CH (Qu, Changhai); Lin, LF (Lin, Longfei); Zhang, H (Zhang, Hui) (2014) “Alterations of Amino Acid Level in Depressed Rat Brain.” KOREAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY & PHARMACOLOGY. Vol: 18 (5): 371-376.

*Results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medication or have a medical condition, please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking any dietary supplement.