Which Supplements Are Best For Your Life? PT.2 with Dr. Kidd

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

Ok, so you’ve decided to try taking supplements to improve your health. In the second part of a series on nutritional supplements with Dr. Paris Kidd, Dr. Daniel Amen, Tana Amen, and Dr. Kidd go over which supplements are best for common conditions such as anxiety, stress, focus, mood, cravings, and memory.


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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome back. We're here with Dr. Parris Kidd, and we are in supplement week, talking about the value of nutritional supplements. I want to tell you just a little bit about how I got involved in it, 'cause I'm a classically trained psychiatrist. There was no supplements in my training. It's, what symptoms do you have and what drug can I give you for them?

Tana Amen: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: When we started our brain imaging work in 1991, I started scanning people who I had on those medications, and some of them were awesome, and they clearly helped. And some of them were downright toxic for brain function, especially the benzos like Xanax and Valium and Ativan. I'm like, I'm making this person's brain look like he's an alcoholic.

Tana Amen: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: I was not happy. And then the opiates, and I'm thinking, first do no harm. Use the least toxic, most effective treatment. And then, I think one of my best gifts as a physician is I actually listen to my patients.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Yeah.

Dr Daniel Amen: So many of my patients, they say, wow they told their doctor about this supplement or that supplement and they just dismissed them. You know what MD stands for, right? Minor deity.

Tana Amen: Yes.

Dr Daniel Amen: They just dismissed them. I think, for me, I've always been good at paying attention. If they went off aspartame and their arthritis went away, well, I tried it and my arthritis went away. People go, "Well there's no science," so I went to PubMed.com and there's a huge body, as you said in the last one.

Tana Amen: Oh my god. There's so much.

Dr Daniel Amen: Of science around multiple vitamins, omega three fatty acids.

Tana Amen: Vitamin D, probiotics.

Dr Daniel Amen: Right.

Tana Amen: Magnesium.

Dr Daniel Amen: That was my journey that led to BrainMD. In this podcast, let's talk about some of the conditions that people might find them helpful for. You have a question.

Tana Amen: I do.

Dr Daniel Amen: 'Cause you're kicking me under the table.

Tana Amen: I am. I'm kicking you under the table. I don't have heels on though. I just had surgery, so I can't wear heels. Aren't you grateful. He hates when I wear pointy shoes and I kick him under the table.

This is where I get so many questions from my community as well, so I want to make sure ... and I'm so happy to have you here. I want to make sure that I get these questions answered for my community as well.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Sure.

Tana Amen: Because the brain stuff is some of the questions about supplements and the brain and mood, and all that stuff, are really important.

Dr Daniel Amen: Do you have something you want to start with?

Tana Amen: Yeah. One of the questions we actually got specifically was, should people order ... We have a product called Neurolink, and we have Serotonin mood support. They both contain 5HTP. People think they should be taking them together.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Yeah. It's fine to take them together at the recommended maximum dose of four caps of each.

Tana Amen: Okay.

Dr. Parris Kidd: On an empty stomach. That way they get 200 milligrams of 5HTP, which is fine.

Tana Amen: Empty stomach. Okay.

Dr. Parris Kidd: The really important thing to watch there is to try not to combine them with antidepressant drugs or with MAO inhibitors. Or if there's a need, then have a physician work very closely with them, a nutritionally informed physician such as one of the Amen Clinic physicians. So four types [crosstalk 00:03:28] are fine.

Dr Daniel Amen: So if you're on antidepressants or antipsychotics, you should always talk to your doctor when you're adding things like nutritional supplements.

Tana Amen: Also, if you're pregnant, you should check.

Dr Daniel Amen: I'm just a huge fan of Serotonin Mood Support and Neurolink. Serotonin Mood Support has 5HTP in it, but it also has saffron in it, and saffron, in a number of studies, has been shown to be ... and these are randomized double blind placebo studies ... significant positive impact, not only for mood. There are studies for PMS. There's also studies for sexual function.

Tana Amen: So interesting.

Dr Daniel Amen: As opposed to most SSRIs, which are negative effect on sexual function.

Tana Amen: Very negative.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: That saffron has a positive effect on sexual function. Then, a whole new group of studies, you and I have talked about, on memory. Anything that helps my mood, my sexual function, and my memory, and for women during that time of the cycle, they are happier, I'm like, put it in the water. I'm like, let's try this. I think this can be helpful.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Yeah. I'm actually following saffron very closely, and I have some plans to recommend to you about saffron, because it has a tremendous future as a standardized herbal dietary supplement. It's just amazing. You told me that in the middle east, somebody comes out feeling good, somebody else says, neighbor says to them, "You must have been eating saffron."

Tana Amen: Oh, yeah. It's a joke. Yeah.

Dr Daniel Amen: If you're too happy.

Tana Amen: Too happy.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: You must have gotten saffron.

Tana Amen: What about the different the, between GABA and 5HTP? Who should take what for what reason? I have to tell you, it's really funny. If I take the GABA and the 5HTP, you love it when I take it because I act like I'm high.

Dr Daniel Amen: No. You're not high. You're just calm.

Tana Amen: No, to me, that's like being high.

Dr Daniel Amen: You're not over-reactive.

Tana Amen: But I'm not over-reactive anyways. I'm just ready and reactive. I don't like feeling slowed down. Okay? For me, I feel like I'm being slowed down.

Dr Daniel Amen: We chill you out.

Tana Amen: Yeah, I don't like being chilled out.

Dr. Parris Kidd: But the GABA calming product is meant to be calming, even while it's mentally sharpening.

Tana Amen: Yeah, see I'd rather take focus and energy.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Yeah. But the GABA calming is not meant to be sedative. It's just meant to take the edge off, and then it also helps to maintain sharpness.

Dr Daniel Amen: You know, we haven't really talked about Neurolink, which I don't want to get beyond that 'cause Neurolink is why we [crosstalk 00:06:01].

Tana Amen: I know, but we're gonna confuse people now, 'cause now we just introduced GABA compared to the 5HTP.

Dr Daniel Amen: So let me make this clear. For mood, we recommend Serotonin Mood Support if you're a worrier and you can't let go of negative thoughts.

Tana Amen: My daughter. Oh my god.

Dr Daniel Amen: If you do something wrong and your spouse doesn't forget it, like for eight years.

Tana Amen: But that's all women. That's every woman I've [crosstalk 00:06:28].

Dr Daniel Amen: Well women, according to a study from Montreal ...

Tana Amen: We make less serotonin.

Dr Daniel Amen: Make 52% or half. It says 52% less serotonin in their brain.

Tana Amen: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: That's why generally, females do better with Serotonin Mood Support while males may do better with SAM-e. Here at Amen Clinics, we do brain typing, and I wrote a book on healing anxiety and depression where we sub typed it into seven different types. It's not all the same. That's why taking the brain health assessment, brainhealthassessment.com, it'll tell you which of the 16 types you have and what supplements that we might recommend.

Tana Amen: So GABA then is when?

Dr Daniel Amen: GABA is for our anxious people, people who are nervous, who are shy, who, they have too much going on in their brain. We have two anxiety formulas, really. We have GABA calming and then everyday stress. The difference is, if you're really anxious, GABA calming is the place to start. If you're under a lot of stress, if you're raising an autistic child, if you have a boss you hate, if there's a lot of drama at home. You're under chronic stress, and everyday stress relief is awesome. It's an awesome formula. It has whole leaf basil in it, which is an adaptogen that has been shown to decrease both adrenaline and cortisol. It has Relora in it that blocks cortisol, and it has thionine. It has a good dose of thionine. One is anxiety, one is stress.

Tana Amen: If you've got a combination of these symptoms, it's okay to take more than one?

Dr Daniel Amen: Sure. Sure, you bet.

Tana Amen: Okay. I just wanted to make sure.

Dr Daniel Amen: Because there's no rule you get one thing.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Yeah. [crosstalk 00:08:21]

Tana Amen: Let me just tell you really fast, a funny thing. My daughter, best teenager on the planet. Really hard child. Really hard child, 'cause she wanted world domination when she was two. Just intense. But, she's a really good kid now. Scanning her, for me, was really helpful because first of all, I was making her worse without realizing it. I thought she had ADD, so I was giving her something for focus. I actually started giving her focus and energy, thinking, okay, this kid needs to focus. I don't know what her problem is, but she needs to focus. I made her 10 times worse. She was just getting more antsy. When we started giving her the ...

Dr Daniel Amen: Serotonin Mood Support.

Tana Amen: Serotonin Mood Support. Totally different thing.

Dr Daniel Amen: Her scan, she's totally hyper frontal.

Tana Amen: She has got the busiest brain ever.

Dr Daniel Amen: Frontal lobes work way too hard.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Right. Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: But her cerebellum was really cold, really low in blood flow. We gave her coordination exercises for the cerebellum, but the Serotonin Mood Support just evened her out.

Dr. Parris Kidd: The saffron in Serotonin Mood Support is also very good for anxiety.

Tana Amen: She's an anxious kid.

Dr Daniel Amen: And memory, which is good for school.

Tana Amen: When people think that they don't do anything, I'm like, I would watch [crosstalk 00:09:36]

Dr Daniel Amen: She just finished her ninth grade and got straight As.

Tana Amen: But I had to talk her off of a ledge because she got a B on one of her finals and she lost her mind. I looked at her final grade in the class and it was 97%.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Oh my gosh.

Tana Amen: I'm like, why are we so freaked out? But that's the kind of kid she is.

Dr Daniel Amen: Where did that come from?

Tana Amen: I don't know. But anyways, my point being, people think that they are innocuous, but they're not.

Dr Daniel Amen: Where did that come from.

Tana Amen: They are not innocuous, that's my point. You need the right thing.

Dr. Parris Kidd: I think you both raise a very important point here, that for people who are having mental issues, it's a really good idea to have their brain image with SPECT, the way the Amen Clinics do it, because then there's a handle on what regions of the brain are over-performing, what regions of the brain may be under-performing. With all of these years of experience, and what, 120,000 sets of brain scans.

Dr Daniel Amen: 140,000.

Dr. Parris Kidd: 140,000 brain scans, the Amen doctors can get a handle on how to approach it with a comprehensive regimen that includes supplements, but may not be limited to supplements.

Dr Daniel Amen: Can you imagine psychiatry 20, 30, 40 years from now without imaging?

Dr. Parris Kidd: I can't imagine it, no. No, I think imaging will be central to it.

Dr Daniel Amen: I was interviewed by the BBC yesterday, and the guy went after the controversy, and it's like, well your colleagues don't do this, and I'm like, "Well, can you imagine not doing this 30 years from now?" This is the future.

Dr. Parris Kidd: It's so very obvious.

Dr Daniel Amen: You have to look. If you don't look, you don't know, but the exciting thing is it doesn't mean you have to go right away to medicines that have a lot of side effects. I mean, one of the reasons I fell in love with supplements is, the side effects are so few.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: It's not no side effects, which is why you have to do it in a thoughtful way. For example, St. John's Wart decreases the effectiveness of birth control pills. Increases sun sensitivity.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Right, but we actually don't carry St. John's Wart.

Dr Daniel Amen: We don't because it has problems.

Dr. Parris Kidd: We have far more innocuous supplements that work just as well or better than St. John's Wart.

Tana Amen: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: First, do no harm.

Dr. Parris Kidd: One of the things that I've learned with my experience, is that we want to try the supplements first. We work out the diet supplements, the lifestyle first, and see how far we get with that. And only-

Dr Daniel Amen: That's generally the process here. [crosstalk 00:12:12] Unless it's an emergency.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Right. Right.

Tana Amen: So what is the brain type test ... how can people hone in? They can either call in and get help, or they can take the ...

Dr Daniel Amen: The first thing is to go to AmenClinics.com.

Tana Amen: Right.

Dr Daniel Amen: Or you can just go to brainhealthassessment.com. You'll find out which of the 16 types you have. We had a crisis last year with Tana's sister and her mother ... your stepmother, really rescued the situation. She went to Oregon and spent time, but they were fighting like dogs and cats. The first thing I did was go, "Go take the brain health assessment," and she was a type three, which we call persistent.

Tana Amen: Doesn't let stuff go.

Dr Daniel Amen: She just never let go of anything, ever.

Tana Amen: Well she gets hyper focused, and she just-

Dr Daniel Amen: That's what I just said.

Tana Amen: Yeah, but I mean the littlest things.

Dr Daniel Amen: On Serotonin Mood Support, all of a sudden they started getting along with each other. And then she ran out and they said, "I'm not getting along."

Tana Amen: And it wasn't her that called to get it refilled. It was my sister. She's like, "Please send some."

Dr. Parris Kidd: And we all have these examples in our families, right?

Tana Amen: Yeah.

Dr Daniel Amen: We all have them. Yeah, nobody escapes.

Dr. Parris Kidd: That's where the assessments and the imaging become so very important.

Tana Amen: Right. So start with the assessment. It will help you determine what will work for you.

Dr Daniel Amen: Look on BrainMD. There's so many different products. We think of mood, Serotonin Mood Support and SAM-e. Anxiety, we have the calming support or everyday stress relief.

Tana Amen: Lack of focus.

Dr Daniel Amen: Focus, focus and energy, which you really like, which has been very helpful. Attention support for attentional issues in kids. Craving control on that one.

Dr. Parris Kidd: If I could make one more parting point. There's no conflict between supplements and pharmaceutical drugs. If both are used responsibly and scientifically, each can support the other.

Tana Amen: But you would recommend that they at least talk to their doctor and not do-

Dr. Parris Kidd: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Dr Daniel Amen: Please talk to your doctor. They're synergistic.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Yeah, it takes a lot of skill, and you can't get those regimens from the internet. It just doesn't work that way.

Tana Amen: Please don't.

Dr. Parris Kidd: But the supplements can actually augment the effects of the drugs, and the supplements can help to protect against the side effects of the drugs, and so there ought to be a scenario in the Amen family where we can use all of these to optimum advantage for the patient, right?

Dr Daniel Amen: Well, and we have a new product. We have a new baby called Right Minds, which ...

Dr. Parris Kidd: Memory powder, yeah.

Dr Daniel Amen: ... You helped to design.

Dr. Parris Kidd: Took me a year.

Dr Daniel Amen: That goes and supports the brain in many different ways. For those of you that read my book, Memory Rescue, the pneumonic is Bright Minds, so blood flow, retirement and aging, inflammation, and so on. So many great things. When we come back, we're gonna talk about kids.