Stress, Intelligence , Emotions and Aberrant Behavior The headline of this morning’s news reports the massive killing of a teenage gunman in Germany. Nobody knows the cause of the teenager’s action but one can postulate that he must have a low emotional quotient. How can our society prevent such tragedies? How can we help deranged teenagers?

A few weeks ago, a Professor of the Anatomy Department of a University in Hong Kong reported one of his study findings to a group of journalists. He induced stress/depression in mice by injecting stress hormone-cortisol into the brains of mice and then studied the effect of stress/depression on the growth of cells in the brain. He recorded loss of brain cells in the study mice. Using anti-depressants on these mice could avert the loss of brain cells.

This finding further confirmed previous studies that stress could kill neurons. Similar effects had been shown in humans. Extreme large doses of cortisol whether in natural or iatrogenic Cushings’ Syndrome, may cause psychiatric symptoms in man. That the loss of brain cells could be prevented may be extremely helpful in guiding scientists to revert the detrimental effects of stress on human brains.

Given that children and adolescents undergo much stress and depressive episodes in their lives, continued loss of brain cells may mean that kids under stress may grow into adults with a much smaller number of neurons than their counterparts. Unfortunately, common antidepressants like SSRI are not recommended for adolescents and children because there is growing evidence to show that these drugs could cause self destructive tendencies in the young mind.

It would be interesting to know if foods and herbs may help avert the loss of brain cells. A number of foods like chocolate and coffee are shown to enhance mood. If scientists could study whether foods and herbs will increase growth of neurons and if the results are positive, people could start using herbs and foods to prevent neuronal death caused by stress.

According to traditional Chinese medicine, Postpartum Depression occurs as a result of stress in the internal organs and they could be treated with food ingredients like wheat, licorice and red dates. Replenishing nutrition with these foods to postpartum ladies usually helps resolve the depression they experienced after delivery. It is most likely that these foods and herbs work by providing essential nutrients for brain cells to survive and regenerate.

Vita Green ‘Vita Joy’ contains wheat, red date, licorice and other herbs. It is formulated according to this ancient theory to help elate mood and to improve brain functions. Studies done in a University proved that mice under stressful and adverse conditions react significantly better after taking ‘Vita Joy’. As ‘Vita Joy’ is consisted of natural and mild herbs, long term ingestion by adults and children alike will help to improve metabolism of brain cells and improve emotional functions.