Mental Health and the Power of Supplements

At R3 Health, we approach mental health with a holistic perspective that considers the interconnectedness of your individual mind, body, and spirit. Mental health is not just about the absence of illness but also the presence of well-being and vitality. Our approach to mental health is grounded in evidence-based research combined with the support of your bio-individuality.

We’ve formulated these supplements to support three key areas that we notice are affecting so many individuals.

L-Theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves that has been shown to have a wide range of potential health benefits, particularly when it comes to supporting mental health. As a functional medicine practice, we often recommend L-theanine to our patients who are struggling with anxiety, stress, and other mood or sleep-related issues.

L-theanine has been shown to increase alpha brain waves! (1) Alpha brain waves in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain induce calm feelings while also supporting the ability to absorb new information. It enhances mental cognition and promotes a sense of relaxation without causing drowsiness.

It’s important to note that many of these effects take place after consuming 200mg of L-theanine. We respectfully source our L-theanine and harmonize its effects with added chamomile in our exclusive blend.

GABA

While research is still developing, animal studies have suggested that L-theanine may increase the production of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps to calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of anxiety. When combined with GABA, studies further show that the time it takes to fall asleep decreases while sleep duration increases. (2)

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry information between nerve cells. GABA is a neurotransmitter that reduces neuron excitability by inhibiting nerve transmission. For example, you feel your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) is being activated during your drive to work or after a disagreement with your boss. Your mouth begins to feel dry, and your heart is starting to pound. When functioning properly, these synaptic fires encourage the release of GABA to slow things back down and reduce the stress response.

Conversely, when we see low levels of GABA, we notice generalized anxiety, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, major depressive disorder, seizures, and epilepsy (3).

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring amino acid and precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. 5-HTP is commonly used as a dietary supplement for its potential to support mental health and well-being.

Serotonin is known to play a key role in regulating mood, and low levels of this neurotransmitter have also been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

In addition to its potential benefits for mood, 5-HTP has also been studied for its potential to support healthy sleep patterns. Serotonin synthesis initiates the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep (4). Therefore, suggesting that supplementing with 5-HTP may increase melatonin levels and improve sleep quality.

It’s worth mentioning that 80% of serotonin is produced in the gut, further highlighting the intricacy and urgency of integrating mental health into the whole-person well-being practice. Conversely, sleep disorders are also commonly associated with other comorbidities, including dementias, chronic pain, mental illness, and gastrointestinal disorders (5).

Final Considerations:

As with any supplement, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before adding anything to your routine. This is especially true if you are taking other medications or have underlying medical conditions.

Our overall well-being is the summation of our daily life practices. It’s equally important to acknowledge that stress itself is healthy, and we can operate from an optimal amount of stress. If you are experiencing heightened physical and emotional reactions to any given stimulus, it’s important to pause and acknowledge what your body may be communicating to you. When we start this dialogue with ourselves, we can have a bigger conversation within our immediate circle while creating improved mental health awareness systems within our community.

R3 Health consistently performs comprehensive lab work, reviews, and consultations when making recommendations for your treatment protocol. R3 Health does not replace the need for psychiatric care but works in tandem with primary care physicians and advanced/specialty medical physicians.