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AMINO ACIDS & DEPRESSION

with Vonda Schaefer, MFT CNNT

I

f we want to change the way the brain works, one strategy is to alter neurotransmitter balances. Substances like serotonin, GABA, Substance P and others can all have their functions enhanced with pharmaceuticals that alter metabolic pathways.

Another way is to nourish those same pathways with enriched mixes of cofactors and amino acids.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and neurotransmitters are proteins.

So making certain that enriched mixes of selected amino acids are paired with a rich mix of vitamin and mineral cofactors, can alter the same neurotransmitter balances that medication does.

While no powerful healing method is foolproof, amino acids are relatively safe compared to pharmaceuticals, have fewer side effects, and are easy to learn.

When used correctly, it’s not unusual for clients/patients to feel pleasant shifts in their mood within minutes.

Kenneth Blum pioneered the use of amino acids for altering brain activity back in the very late nineteen-eighties. He coined the term “reward deficiency syndrome” to describe the habituation of dopamine receptors to pleasure and their attempt to protect themselves from overstimulating by downregulating … at which point one needs more to get the same level of pleasure.1,2,3,4 This is a neuroendocrine description of a prime metabolic dynamic reinforcing addictions.

The scientific literature in this area appears to have had substantial pharmaceutical industry-supported input. Studies are mixed, and in particular studies that use randomized normal populations tend to return negative results. Studies on those with certain psychopathologies however tend to be fewer while returning more optimistic results.5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13

Clinical results by those trained in their use and focused on those in need show positive effects in a majority of those who try them.

This course provides an introduction to the subject matter area and explains the use of some basic amino acids for various types of depression.

Online Live Webinar

Sunday, Oct 23, 9am-12pm PDT (GMT-7)

(10am-1pm MDT, 11am-2pm CDT, 12pm-3pm EDT)

3 California BBS CE Hours

 $69

  • Course will be recorded for viewing at at your convenience.
  • Enrollees not attending live will be awarded their hours/credits/points upon successful completion of a short quiz.
  • Assessing symptoms of depression
  • Protocols for 5-HTP, tryptophan & folate
  • Connecting with clients
  • Imposters of depression

With a degree in Nutrition, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and a certification in Neuronutrient therapy, Vonda Schaefer, MFT CNNT is able to explore and encourage biological connections and symptom-relief through healthy solutions. Her work is to create sustainable, healthy, and non-addictive solutions to psychological issues.

Online Live Webinar

Sunday, Oct 23, 9am-12pm PDT (GMT-7)

(10am-1pm MDT, 11am-2pm CDT, 12pm-3pm EDT)

3 California BBS CE Hours

$69

  • Course will be recorded for viewing at at your convenience.
  • Enrollees not attending live will be awarded their hours/credits/points upon successful completion of a short quiz.
  • Assessing symptoms of depression
  • Protocols for 5-HTP, tryptophan & folate
  • Connecting with clients
  • Imposters of depression

Course Description

This course will present an evidence-based nutritional approach to addressing mental health
symptoms of depression and anxiety. Nutritional information will include targeted supplements, diet
and food
, as well as how to screen for other potential causes.

Who is this Course For

This course is designed for those in a helping profession (Psychologists, Marriage and Family
Therapists, Social Workers, Counselors, and other integrative health professionals including
acupuncturists, chiropractors and others.
)

Participants Will Understand

  • The connection between diet and symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as other diagnoses
    such as bipolar disorder and substance abuse.
  • How to assess for and implement evidence-based protocols of nutrition intervention for depression
    and anxiety.
  • Methods for introducing nutrition in a clinical setting.
  • Which specific amino acids are connected to specific symptoms and why.
  • Why specific nutrients are crucial for balanced brain chemistry.
  • The impact of blood sugar on specific mental health diagnoses.
  • Precautions with supplementation of amino acids.
  • How to assess for pyroluria
  • Methods for connecting with clients.

 1. Blum, Kenneth. The Reward Deficiency Syndrome: A Biogenic Model 1997. Cincinnati: Gardner Press.

 2. Gold MS, Baron D. Neurological correlates of brain reward circuitry linked to opioid use disorder (OUD): Do homo sapiens acquire or have a reward deficiency syndrome? J Neurol Sci. 2020. Nov 15;418:117137.

 3. Blum K, McLaughlin T, et al. Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) Surprisingly Is Evolutionary and Found Everywhere: Is It “Blowin’ in the Wind”? J Pers Med. 2022. Feb 21;12(2):321.

 4. Braverman, Eric. The Healing Nutrients Within: Facts, Findings, and New Research on Amino Acids
2012. Laguna Beach: Basic Health Publications.

 5. Wu GF, Ren S, et al. Antidepressant effect of taurine in chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depressive rats. Sci Rep. 2017. 7(1):4989.

 6. Schaffer S, Kim HW. Effects and Mechanisms of Taurine as a Therapeutic Agent. 2018. Biomol Ther (Seoul). 26(3): 225–241.

 7. Jakaria MD, Azam S, et al. Taurine and its analogs in neurological disorders: Focus on therapeutic potential and molecular mechanisms. 2019. Redox Biol. Jun; 24: 101223.

 8. Chen C,Xia SF, et al. Roles of taurine in cognitive function of physiology, pathologies and toxication. 2019. Life Sci. Aug 15;231:116584.

 9. Hase A, Jung SE, Rot MAH. Behavioral and cognitive effects of tyrosine intake in healthy human adults. 2015. Pharmacol Biochem Behav.Jun;133:1-6.

10. Bloemendaal M, Froböse MI, et al. Neuro-Cognitive Effects of Acute Tyrosine Administration on Reactive and Proactive Response Inhibition in Healthy Older Adults. 2018. eNeuro. 30;5(2)

11. Aquili L. The Role of Tryptophan and Tyrosine in Executive Function and Reward Processing. 2020. Int J Tryptophan Res. Oct 22;13:1178646920964825.

12. Israely M, Ram A, et al. Tyrosine Treatment on Cognitive Function and Psychological Parameters in Severe Hospitalized Anorexia Nervosa Patients. 2017. Isr J Psychiatry. 54(3):52-58.

13. Israely M, Ram A, et al. A Double Blind, Randomized Cross-Over Trial of Tyrosine Treatment on Cognitive Function and Psychological Parameters in Severe Hospitalized Anorexia Nervosa Patients. 2017. Isr J Psychiatry 54(3)

Provider: Duane Law, L.Ac. Duane has taught acupuncturists since the 1980s and has been a provider of continuing education for mental health professionals in California since 2000.

Course Instructor: Vonda Schaefer, MFT CNNT has been a teacher and mental health therapist for over fifteen years. She’s served as Clinical Supervisor and a BBS-approved Practice Supervisor.

The Amino Acids for Depression course meets the qualifications for 3 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, 3 PDA points as required by NCCAOM, and 3 hours of CE credit as required by the California Acupuncture Board.

Normally there are no refunds issued to enrollees after the course begins or once course materials are viewed or downloaded, except if you’re really annoyed for some reason get in touch and we’ll work things out to your satisfaction. The same applies to anyone with a grievance.

If you need special accommodations for any reason please let us know at the time of your enrollment in the course by sending me a message, texting or calling me at (310) 498-2777.

Course certificates for live course attendees will be provided by email within 48 hours at the end of the seminar. Asynchronous attendees viewing the webinar recording will be asked to pass a short quiz; the passing rate will be 70% correct and certificates for these students will be provided by email within 48 hours of completing the quiz. Asynchronous attendees seeking NCCAOM PDAs will also need to complete a worksheet.

Duane Law, L.Ac. (CAMFT 102132) is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs; and by NCCAOM (Provider #9140) and the California Acupuncture Board (CE Provider #1667) to provide continuing education for acupuncturists.

Duane Law, L.Ac. maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

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