How Nutraceuticals Can Help End Mental Illness

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

Due to popular request, this week’s series of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast will include more content from The End of Mental Illness Live Class from earlier this year. This week’s content focuses on how to attack some of the main risk factors for mental illness. In this episode, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen discuss nutraceuticals, can how you and pair them with a proper diet, meditation, and hypnosis to maximize your treatment of brain health issues.

To take The End of Mental Illness Brain Health Revolution 6 Week Class and Challenge, visit

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Daniel Amen, MD:

Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel. Amen.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.

Daniel Amen, MD:

The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to

Dr Daniel Amen:               Hi, this is Dr. Daniel Amen.

Tana Amen:                        And I’m Tana Amen.

Dr Daniel Amen:               We’re so excited you’re with us. For this week’s series, what we’re doing is we’re playing the live class from the end of mental illness.

Tana Amen:                        We wanted you to join us on this journey because we had such a good time in our class and the people who joined us had just saw such incredible transformation that we wanted to share the challenge with our tribe. So we wanted to share this with you and we hope that you will join us in the challenge.

Dr Daniel Amen:               Welcome to week three of the brain health revolution end of mental illness live class. We’re just so grateful for the thousands of people that have tuned in. And this week, we’re going to continue with the bright minds format, but taking a deep dive into each of them. So how was your week?

Tana Amen:                        Busy. It was very busy.

Dr Daniel Amen:               Are we creating mental illness at home or ending mental illness at home?

Tana Amen:                        Anxiety, for sure.

Dr Daniel Amen:               So we’re… Yeah. No, it’s been a great week.

Tana Amen:                        It’s been a great week, just a busy one.

Dr Daniel Amen:               We are grateful for all of you. And we have questions. Maybe we’ll start by answering a question or two. Last week, we talked about blood flow and hyperbaric oxygen, and can hyperbaric oxygen treatment possibly help sleep maintenance and insomnia. And I love that question because one of the first things I noticed in our NFL study is that when players went into a hyperbaric chamber, they started sleeping better. And then I had a patient-

Tana Amen:                        Interesting.

Dr Daniel Amen:               … last week on Saturday, he went into the chamber for the first time and sleep was sort of a big issue. And he slept 10 hours that night.

Tana Amen:                        Wow.

Dr Daniel Amen:               So for some people, it can be so helpful. Do you want to answer number two?

Tana Amen:                        Let’s see. What is number two? What do you think about the use of a probiotic or kombucha drinks in helping the gut? Are they worth it? Absolutely. Now, let me separate that question out. Probiotics 100% you should be… That’s one of my five, my top five. When I tell people about supplements, that’s one of the five main ones. Your maintenance supplements are probiotics. Kombucha can be good, but you’re not going to get enough. As far as drinking kombucha every day isn’t going to give you enough usually to make up for what you would want to add for most of us who have taken antibiotics and done all sorts of naughty stuff to our gut.

Tana Amen:                        And you have to be careful with kombucha that you’re not buying a commercial brand that has a lot of sugar added. That just sort of negates the whole point of doing something healthy for your body. Unfortunately, most of them do. There are a couple brands that don’t have a lot of sugar added. There might be one or two grams. They’re very bitter. I actually like them. They taste pretty good, but those are actually not so bad.

Dr Daniel Amen:               Yeah. But you like green drinks.

Tana Amen:                        I do. I like weird stuff.

Dr Daniel Amen:               Unsweetened and…

Tana Amen:                        Yeah.

Dr Daniel Amen:               You must’ve been a cow in your last life.

Tana Amen:                        I’m not sure that went over really well.

Dr Daniel Amen:               She tried to give me these green drinks in the morning and I’d drink them, it just taste like grass. And I’m like, “I’m not a cow. I’m not doing this.”

Tana Amen:                        Yeah. And then I started putting it in his smoothie in the morning.

Dr Daniel Amen:               I did not call you a cow by the way.

Tana Amen:                        You did, kind of, you did. I think everyone heard it, too. So that’s my answer to probiotics and kombucha.

Dr Daniel Amen:               Hey James, have Kim get me my laptop so that I can see some of the questions and dialogue. I just didn’t bring it. All right. So the M in bright minds is mental health or mind storms. And so let’s talk about it. So mental health problems, chronic stress, emotional trauma, grief, depression, bipolar disorder, ADD, ADHD, have all been associated with brain health issues. And so getting these treated is really important. That doesn’t mean you have to first go to medication, head to head against antidepressants. Saffron has been shown to be equally effective. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be equally effective. Walking like you’re light, learning how to not believe every stupid thing you think.

Dr Daniel Amen:               The American Journal of Psychiatry wrote that nutraceuticals are actually a low cost option that should be considered for mental health, brain health issues. And so we think, what are the things that enhance your mental health, brain health? Fish oil, we’ve talked about that. Saffron, I just talked about that. I mean, we actually, Brain MD is coming out with a brand new product. So we already have serotonin mood support, 5-HTP plus satiereal, which is a certain form of saffron.

Dr Daniel Amen:               We’re going to come out with another one. We’re going to call it Happy Saffron in the next couple of months because it actually has the saffron preparation that has been shown in the randomized double blind placebo controlled trials, that show it works just as good as Prozac, as Zoloft, as Effexor, as imipramine. And to enhance it, Dr. Kidd, our chief scientist, and I decided we’re going to add curcumins because that has a level scientific evidence, it helps your mood. And zinc, which helps in some of the processes to boost neurotransmitters in your brain. Huge fan of saffron. And saffron not only has been shown to be helpful for mood, it’s been shown to be help. It’s pro sexual. So most-

Tana Amen:                        Right. They’re the opposite.

Dr Daniel Amen:               … antidepressants tend to decrease your ability to have an orgasm, decrease your interest.

Tana Amen:                        No. I mean, if you’re a sex addict, that could be a good thing. But if you’re not and you want to stay married, then yeah, it’s not a good thing.

Dr Daniel Amen:               100% of the time, SSRIs, in my experience, treat premature ejaculation.

Tana Amen:                        That’s… Do we need to know that?

Dr Daniel Amen:               Absolutely. If that’s an issue for you, that’s a problem.

Tana Amen:                        Yeah. If you’re married, this is a problem.

Dr Daniel Amen:               It’s a problem. But saffron tends to be pro sexual. It’s been shown to help with PMS. And now that I have one, two, three, four girls at home, I’m thinking about it more often. And it’s been shown to help with memory. And some new studies out that it helps with eye health. So fan of saffron, SAM-e the supplement, SAM-e stands for S-adenosylmethionine, has been actually shown to be helpful for depression and pain. Exercise, we talk about that a lot. Meditation, hypnosis can be very helpful. And vegetables.

Tana Amen:                        Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr Daniel Amen:               There’s a study from Australia, there is a linear correlation between the number of fruits and vegetables you eat a day and your level of happiness. So up to eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day, you get happier. So if you have two a day, you’re not as happy as those people who have four a day, those people are not as happy as those who have eight a day. So really focusing on fruits and vegetables is really important. And it’s not that hard, and you actually have sort of the best strategy for it, which is your smoothies in the morning.

Tana Amen:                        Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, it’s the only way I can get that many servings in a day is to start off by throwing a few into a smoothie in the morning. Although another strategy is so instead of eggs with toast, you can throw a couple of eggs over some spinach or you do it that way.

Dr Daniel Amen:               Or you have an egg basket in avocados. Avocado’s a fruit.

Tana Amen:                        Right.

Dr Daniel Amen:               I mean, most people don’t think of it as a fruit, but it is a fruit. Also, the M I put in the end of mental illness is mind storms, so I thought I’d just give them both M’s. Why? Because a lot of people don’t know the brain can have abnormal electrical activity and people think of that as seizures. But what I’ve seen, if they’re in the emotional centers of your brain, it can go with things like mood instability, irritability, temper problem, anxiety for little or no reason out of the blue, which is why it’s common after traumatic brain injuries because they hurt this part of your brain called the temporal lobes, which house the amygdala, that part of your brain that senses fear and threat and your hippocampus involved in memory and mood. And sometimes people have mind storms, get headaches that are triggered by fluorescent lights.

Tana Amen:                        If you’re enjoying The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll always know when there’s a new episode. And while you’re at it, feel free to give us a review or five star rating as that helps others find the podcast.

Daniel Amen, MD: If you’re considering coming to Amen Clinics or trying some of the brain healthy supplements from BrainMD, you can use the code podcast 10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at or a 10% discount on all supplements at For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.