Brain Reward

Brain Reward A Course Correction for Your Mind
Order On Line    or call Dr AnaMaria Cobo at 610-291-6627 for the Brain Kick Start Program discount
Brain Reward™, the latest incarnation of SynaptaGenX, nutritionally supports the ability to experience reward benefits from normal activities, especially in people with reward deficiencies who have greater difficulty achieving satisfaction from normally rewarding thoughts, experiences, and ingested foods and beverages.*

Among its other benefits, the patented nutritional formula in Brain Reward™ has been shown to:
  • Support dopamine sensitivity and function*
  • Help regulate cravings*
  • Improve energy*
  • Relieve stress*
  • Support focus, concentration, and cognition*
  • Support optimal brain health, elevated mood, overall wellness & vitality*

More information on Brain Reward™

I have had Dr. Kenneth Blum's book on ‘Reward Deficiency Syndrome’ for years and often refer to it when discussing the genetic tendency towards addictive behavior.  And I had often wondered what Dr Blum has been doing since co-discovering an addictive gene that we now know 30% of Americans carry.
In 2012 I was able to attend a talk Dr Blum gave.  Turns out he, in a collaborative effort with Bernard Downs (Bill), has developed a nutrigenomic neuronutrient product that nourishes, supports, and optimizes the gene expression of the A1 allele (variant) of the Dopamine Receptor D2 gene (DRD2 gene, aka the “addiction gene”) in the brain and reduces or eliminates the need for its overexpression that results in aberrant reward seeking thoughts and behaviors. In other words this neuronutrients rebalances the chemistry in the reward sites of the brain and normalizes reward-seeking behaviors.

Because this gene and other addiction genes (since discovered) are so prevalent among Americans and the ramifications so far reaching, I find it imperative that we take the time to truly understand what the battle is and that a solution exists.

What's the most common result of the Reward Deficiency Syndrome these days?

Obesity! (self medicating with food)  Read what Dr Blum has to say about the connection.

Then watch this excellent youtube explaining the Reward Deficiency Syndrome and the use of the KB220Z Nutrigenomic Neuroadaptogen (available as ‘Endorphamine’ in the product ‘Brain Reward’).

The article below is from The Malibu Beach Recovery Center entitled “Dopamine for Dummies.” In addition, an article in PubMed (full free text available), authored by Bernard Downs, a long-time colleague of Dr. Blum, also provides a comprehensive overview of obsessive, compulsive, impulsive and addiction-related problems, their causes, consequences, and the KB220Z nutrigenomic solution, from a practical clinical perspective.

Dr. Blum, who has devoted his life to studying the relationship between genetics and addiction, is credited with co-discovering the Reward Gene, called the “alcoholic gene” in 1990.  That was the year he authored with Dr. Ernest Noble, former director of the NIH's National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and researcher from UCLA, a study published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, which found a 77% correlation between the presence of the Dopamine D2 Receptor Taq 1 A1 allele (a gene) and alcoholism.

Dopamine is sometimes called “the reward chemical,” the “pleasure molecule,” and the “anti-stress” molecule. It is the primary neurotransmitter found in the brain that is responsible for happiness and other emotions.  It is essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system. Dopamine provides feelings of enjoyment and reinforcement that motivate a person proactively to “feel good.”

Several years after discovering the “alcoholic gene,” additional studies led Dr. Blum and others to conclude that it was a misnomer and there is, in fact, no such thing as a “single” alcoholic gene.  Dr. Blum came to believe that the genetic anomaly previously found in alcoholics is also present in drug addicts and other people with obsessive, compulsive, impulsive and addictive disorders, including overeating and obesity, attention-deficit disorder, pathological gambling and many more.  He has since clarified that this gene is more accurately defined as the “reward gene.” To date there are over 2,866 published peer reviewed articles claiming that the Dopamine D2 receptor gene is associated with addiction and reward dependence behaviors.

In 1995, Dr. Blum defined the condition that occurs when genetic predispositions and dopamine resistance are intensified by excessive stress, and/or inadequate nutritional support as “Reward Deficiency Syndrome.”  His evidence indicates that over 1/3 of the U.S. population has some form of Reward Deficiency Syndrome, and that genetic factors account for as much as 75% percent of a person's vulnerability to a wide array of RDS conditions. These include ADD, ADHD, OCD, Impulsive Disorder, Polysubstance abuse, food addiction, gambling, tics, Tourette Syndrome, autism, and many more influenced by the effects of environment on gene expression and function  (aka ‘Epigenetics’).

In a healthy person, Dopamine and other neurotransmitters “cascade” like water cascading from one pool to another in a waterfall.  One neurotransmitter flows into an area of the brain and triggers release of another neurotransmitter.  The flow begins with Serotonin.  When it is released in the hypothalamus area of the brain enkephalins and endorphins are released and initiate the transmission of GABA, which acts like a traffic cop.  GABA is important as it fine tunes the release of Dopamine. GABA allows just enough dopamine to be released to provide reward, comfort, and pleasure from ordinary activities and a degree of calming to fight off unwanted stress. However, excessive GABA (or glutamine) intake, intended to have a calming effect, can profoundly inhibit dopamine function and ultimately go from the calming effect to depression and even suicide ideation. 

People who suffer from Reward Deficiency Syndrome cannot cope with much of life’s stresses, angst, agitation and emotional pain.  Their brains are unable to produce enough Serotonin, Endorphins, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and more. When levels of these "feel good" chemicals are low, significantly out of balance, or blocked from the brain's receptors by genetic or environmental influences; stress, excessive cravings, pain, discomfort and agitation are the result.  To provide temporary relief  people with low dopamine levels self-medicate with substances that will produce a short-lived Dopamine response including  alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, junk foods, sugars, carbohydrates, caffeine, nicotine or other stimulants. These substances produce negative behaviors such as poor sleeping patterns that further depress their own endogenous Dopamine levels.  Exposure to prolonged periods of stress and alcohol or other substances can also lead to a corruption of the "cascade.”

Some people with low Dopamine levels do not self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, but become clinically depressed and anxious.

These behaviors bring with them the possibility of more serious short-term and long-term consequences.

Both genetics and environment greatly affect what Dr. Blum calls the “brain’s reward cascade.”  Therefore, it is often quite difficult to determine the root cause of Reward Deficiency Syndrome. However, if Reward Deficiency Syndrome has its origins in your genetic makeup, according to Dr. Blum’s research, people have the power to change their genes' expression. That is, they have the ability to respond to whatever life circumstances they may be in right now and change them to something better through healthier choices -- be it healthier nutrition (nutrigenomics) or healthier thoughts, emotions, and lifestyle choices (epigenetics). Either way, the choice and the power are theirs.

Dr. Blum has long believed, and many studies have proven, that in order to overcome genetic predisposition to addiction, certain amino acids and other nutraceuticals must be used to bolster the brain’s ability to increase or decrease gene expression and the amount of certain neurotransmitters or enzymes that control the brain reward cascade.

Dr. Blum and Bernard (Bill) Downs advocate a non-specific “healthy diet” and non-specific regular exercise to accompany a regimen of taking Brain Reward (formerly known as Symbiotic MB), the KB220Z nutrigenomic neuroadaptogen they developed to rebalance the brain reward cascade and increase the endogenous production of Dopamine, reducing negative Reward Deficiency Syndrome thoughts and behaviors.  The scientific evidence they have thus far accumulated, demonstrates that Brain Reward rebalances neurotransmitters in the reward sites of the brain. To enhance the benefits of Brain Reward, it is best to follow a low-glycemic diet and a modest but regular exercise program. In addition, tai chi exercise and breath work are perfect companions to Brain Reward.



Breast Cancer Study Finds Parabens in Virtually All Tumors

A comprehensive study published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Applied Technology shows more evidence of a correlation between parabens and incidences of breast cancer.

Titled "Measurement of paraben concentrations in human breast tissue at serial locations across the breast from axilla to sternum," the team of researchers, led by Dr. Philippa Darbre from the University of Reading in the UK, found that virtually all -- 99 percent -- of the tissue samples collected from women participating in the study contained at least one paraben, and 60 percent of the samples contained no less than five parabens.

Parabens are chemicals used as a preservative in a number of cosmetics and personal care products including deodorant, shampoo, makeup, lotions and oral care products, as well as in processed food items and some pharmaceutical products.

Underarm deodorants often contain parabens and have been thought to contribute to an increased risk of high paraben levels in the body that have been linked to breast cancer. But according to Darbre's team, even women who did not use underarm deodorant were found to have parabens present in breast tissue.

The estrogen-mimicking properties of most parabens are believed to be a factor responsible for the rising cases of breast cancer. The prevalence of the number of types of paraben toxins found in the human body, however, make it difficult for researchers to conclude which of the preservatives are most likely the causal agents, but many speculate that parabens commonly found in underarm antiperspirants and deodorants can easily move into breast tissue and may result in tumors.

Extra Virginity

I recently was lucky enough to catch Tom Mueller on NPR talking about fraud in the Olive Oil industry and then read his book Extra Virginity.
Scary but enlightening information!

I've promised patients who I have been filling in on this issue that I would post trustworthy sources of health promoting quality olive oil.
The ExtraVirginity website now has such a list: 
Places to get great olive oil in America   

A mail order store soon to go live is another option for trustworthy oils:
Amphora Nueva

In the meantime be sure to read Truth in Olive Oil on the Extra Virginity website to educate yourself about how to pick great Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or better yet get the book Extra Virginity from the library.  It's a great read.

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