Research Group Project
Comparison of Over the Counter Mood Supplements
Mental health America defines mood disorders as a category of illnesses that describe serious changes in mood, examples include; depressive and bipolar disorders. Its fundamental causes lie in an imbalance of brain chemicals that produce an effect upon the functionality of mood. They are a major public health problem and are associated with considerable burden of disease, suicides, physical comorbidities, high economic costs, and poor quality of life (Qureshi.N.,Al-Bedah.A, 201. Major depression is more prevalent among those within the low-socio-economic conditions, those with a low education background, divorced or separated couples, disorganized families, single parents and those from poor rural background(Bromet et al,2011). The adverse impact of major depression include reduced productivity in workplaces, increased absenteeism, interfearance with family life, engament in suicidal tendencis, violence, crime, sexual dysfunction among others (Kessler,2012). In 2015, an estimated 16.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults (NIH, 2015).
The following table compares two over the counter mood supplements; Valerian Root Plus Calming Blend Dietary Supplement by Natures Bounty and Estroven Plus Mood and Memory at Walgreens.
2. Table of Comparison
Nature's Bounty Valerian Root Plus Calming Blend Dietary Supplement Capsules
Estroven Plus Mood and Memory
Valerian works in harmony with your natural cycle to promote relaxation, and is designed to help with occasional sleeplessness.* Our capsules are enhanced with a Proprietary Herbal Blend that features Passion Flower, Lemon Balm and Hops.
Estroven Stress Plus Mood & Memory is a safe and effective dietary supplement that is both drug-free and estrogen-free,*** created to help take care of all of those menopausal symptoms.*
It contains naturally-sourced Black Cohosh plus clinically proven Soy Isoflavones, to help reduce the frequency & severity of hot flashes and night sweats.*
It also includes naturally-sourced Magnolia Bark to safely help manage daily stress, irritability and menopausal anxiety.* Plus naturally-sourced and clinically studied strength Ginkgo Biloba for healthy brain function, including mental sharpness & memory support.*
Duration of action
Takes 2-3 weeks before people start experiencing the full benefits of the suppliment
Results start to show after 60 days of one capsule a day
To be taken after meals
Best taken with food to enhance overall energy and health
3. Directions For Usage
Valerian root is derived from valerian (Valeriana officinalis), a perennial flowering plant from the Valerianaceae family.it is vailble in various forms such as dry powdered extract in capsule form, tea, tincture or fluid extract.For insomnia, it may be taken one to two hours before bed or up to three times in the course of the day, with the last dose near bedtime. It is recommended for adults above the ages if 18 years and are adised to take upto five (5) capusles which may also be prepared as a tea. Once sleep improves, its recommended that you keep taking valerian for two to six weeks. For anxiety, try 120 to 200 milligrams, three to four times per day.
On the other hand, as is common in other supplements, Estroven Plus Mood and Memory supplement also has a variety of ingredients developed naturally that make it work effectively in relieving menopausal symptoms.As such, it is recommended for women often between the ages of 45-60 to take one caplet daily with food for best results.
4. Warnings or Special Considerations
Although regarded as a natural herb, Valerian root has been knownto cause some side effects of varyiing severity and has also been recommended not to be used under certain circumsatnces .These include ; pregnant and nursing mothers on medication or with preexisting medical condition should consult a doctor before using valerian herb.secondly incase of adverse reactions such as anxiety and restlessness, one should disccontinue using it an d immediately consult a doctor.third, Excessive consumption may impair ones ability ro operate heavy machinery or drive vehicles.Fourth,Valerian herb is recomended for persons above the age of 18 and a doctor should therefore be consulted before use.Finally ,Valerian root should be not be used with depressants, such as alcohol, and narcotics since valerian can increase the sedative effect of depressants.
For Estroven Plus Mood and Memory on the other hand, it is also not recommended for pregnant,lactating or women intending to be pregnant. Secondly it also contains Soy which may cause allergic reactions in some women.Lastly, in extreme situatins Estroven Plus Mood and Memory has caused ; Diarrhea,Nausea Headaches, Weight gain, Slow heart rate, Morning drowsiness,Hepatitis and Liver cirrhosis.It is therefore important to work with your physician to determine the suitability of this suppliment for you body.
5. Cost comparison and any available generic alternatives
Various companies are involved in the sale of these supplements and thus varyong prices.At walgreens we found that Valerian Root plus Calming Blend Dietary Supplement Capsules 450 mg by Nature's Bounty costs $10-15 while the Estroven Plus Mood and Memory costs between $15-20...
As previously discussed, valerian root is widely known and used to aid in sleeplessness or insomnia; there are however other alternatives that have also been used in aiding sleep such as Sleep Gummies and Melatonin. For the Estroven Plus Mood and Memory alternative may include One a Day Women's Menopause Formula Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement whisch also Supports Some Symptoms of Menopause
6. Scientific Evidence
Although valerian is commonly used in the United States and Europe as a dietary supplement for the treatment of anxiety and as a sedative hypnotic to treat insomnia, current evidence on the efficacy of valerian for improving sleep outcomes disputes these facts. A study published in 1988 examined the use of valerian and propranolol on their effectiveness at reducing stress when healthy volunteers were placed in stressful social conditions. The authors concluded that valerian alone and in combination with propranolol may. reduce stress in healthy volunteers(Kinrys,2009). However, Recent systematic review and meta-analysis of valerian by Bent et al,2006 and Taibi et al(2007 ) have concluded that evidence in support of the effectiveness of the herb was inconclusive. Despite the lack of evidence for efficacy, these products are unlikely to cause harm other than perhaps delaying individuals from seeking the effective treatment for insomnia symptoms.
Although current evidence fails to support efficacy of valerian for relief of insomnia, the widely variable and methodologically mixed nature of the extant literature clearly leaves room for further clarification (Taibi et al 2007). First, it is important to note that the source valerian plant material used in most studies was extracted from dried, rather than fresh, root and rhizome. The concentration of certain constituents of valerian varies between fresh and dried products, and study findings on dried root extracts should not be generalized to fresh root preparations. Second, valerian preparations were administered in pill form rather than as a liquid, which is the preferred method recommended by herbalists (personal communication Robin DePasquale, January, 2007). No studies were found that tested valerian tinctures for sleep; although one tested cognitive impairment with a syrup.( Gerhard et al ,1996)
In summary, the World Health Organization ranks mood disorder (MDD) as the 4th leading cause of disability worldwide(Murray and Lopez,1996) and projects that by 2020 it will be the second leading cause due to currently unexplained increasing prevalence in recent cohorts(Murray and Lopez,1996b). However, numerous studies over the past few years have resulted in complexity in the treatment and management of mood disorders and consequently continues to present challenges to mental health providers across the country.Several patients with mood disorders have therefore resorted to alternative treatments, such as the use of Over-the-counter supplements that are cheaper and more efficient than conventional medicine, depending on the severity of symptoms.Nonetheless, despite the fact that alternatives are known to contain bioactive substances, it is important to take caution when using them. Rai et al (2001) analyzed the heavy metal content in nine plant species used for the preparation of herbs in India and found that most samples had a heavy metal content exceeding the upper limits set by the World Health Organization. It is therefore imperative to consider alternatives to supplements such as Valerian Root Plus Calming Blend Dietary Supplement and Estroven Plus Mood for the functioning of the neural networks involved in mood regulation.
Bromet E, et al.(2011) Cross-national epidemiology of DSM-IV major depressive episode.BMC Med.;9:90.
Bent Set al (2006). Valerian for sleep: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med
Gerhard et al (1996). Vigilanzmindernde Effekte zweier pflanzlicher Schlafmittel. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax (15):47381.
Kessler C.(2012) The costs of depression. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2012;35:114.
Murray J, Lopez D(1996) Evidence-based health policy--lessons from the Global Burden of Disease Study.Science274:7403.
Murray J, Lopez D(1996). The Global Burden of Disease: a comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Harvard University Press
National Institute of Mental Health (2015). 12-month Prevalence of Major Depressive Episode Among U.S. Adults (2015). Retrieved from ;https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/nsduh-mde-2015-graph-logo_148151.pdf
Rai Vet al S(2001). Heavy metal accumulation in some herbal drugs.Pharm Biol. ;39:384387.
Qureshi.N.A,Al-Bedah.A,M. (2013) Mood disorders and complementary and alternative medicine: a literature review.Rettieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3660126/
World Health Organization(2004). World Mental Health Survey Consortium: prevalence, severity and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in WHO world mental health surveys. JAMA. ;291:25812590.
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