New study suggests a link between tryptophan in seeds and calmer nerves
TORONTO, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- As you enjoy your second piece of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, consider this: A Toronto physician has found that an amino acid found in pumpkin seeds helped research subjects feel less nervous in stressful situations.
In the most recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (September 2007; 85(9):928-932), Craig Hudson, M.D., reports that subjects who consumed pumpkin seeds reported feeling calmer -- and recorded slower heart rates -- as they performed a task while being videotaped.
Organic pumpkin seed flour, pressed to remove the oil, contains a high amount (22 mg per gram) of the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to both melatonin and serotonin. Combined with carbohydrates to cross the blood-brain barrier more effectively, the tryptophan reacts to light to ease stress during the daytime and promote sleep after dark.
In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study (Nutritional Neuroscience, April 2005, 8(2):121-127), research subjects reported not only that they fell asleep more easily and stayed asleep longer when taking the food-based tryptophan, but that they felt less stressed and more relaxed during the day, lost weight and even enjoyed sex more.
Dr. Hudson, a Toronto psychiatrist, studies how the brain responds to dietary changes. In his book Feel Great Day and Night, Dr. Hudson suggests a simple behavior modification plan to trade bad sleep habits for restful nights and more pleasant days.
He formed Biosential to market the pumpkin seed preparation used in the studies. Zenbev, a simple lemon-flavored powder, is mixed with hot or cold liquid. An 8.8-ounce jar retails for $34.99 .
Gateway(TM) Nutrition Products of Everson, Wash., distributes Zenbev in the United States. To order, visit zenbev.com or call 866-460-7363.
Toronto-based Biosential was founded in 1997 by Craig and Susan Hudson to develop functional food products based on Dr. Hudson's research on nutrients' effects on the brain. Biosential's first product, Zenbev, was launched in 2004 and is sold in natural foods stores in Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and now the United States. Patents have been issued or are pending in 12 countries.
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