Saturday April 20, 2019

Depression May Reduce Arginine Levels In Your Body

Arginine is an amino acid which the body uses to produce nitric oxide

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Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
Over 5 crore people in India are known to suffer depressive disorders Pixabay
  • People with depression have lower arginine levels
  • Taking arginine can help cure depression
  • The tests are still going on

People with a major depressive disorder (MDD) have lower levels of naturally occurring arginine in their body than their non-depressed controls, a study has found.

Arginine — an amino acid which the body uses to produce nitric oxide — is a nervous system and immune defence mediator, which also plays a role in vascular regulation.

Depression reduces arginine levels in the body. Wikimedia Commons
Depression reduces arginine levels in the body. Wikimedia Commons

“It is possible that depression-induced inflammatory responses lead to reduced arginine levels. This may result in insufficient production of nitric oxide for the needs of the nervous system and circulation. However, we don’t know yet what exactly causes reduced arginine bioavailability in people with depression,” said lead author Toni Ali-Sisto, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland.

“Although our study shows that people with depression have reduced arginine bioavailability, this doesn’t mean that taking an arginine supplement would protect against depression. That’s an area for further research,” Ali-Sisto said.

Also Read: Eat Grapes To Ward Off Depression

The study, published in journal Affective Disorders, involved 99 adults with the diagnosed major depressive disorder and 253 non-depressed controls. The concentrations of three amino acids, namely arginine, citrulline and ornithine, were analysed from their fasting glucose samples, and this data was used to calculate their global arginine bioavailability ratio (GABR).

The GABR is an indicator of the body’s arginine levels, and the ratio has previously been used to measure the body’s capacity to produce nitric oxide.

Arginine can be used to reduce or even cure depression. VOA
Arginine can be used to reduce or even cure depression. VOA

The results showed that people with depression had weaker arginine bioavailability than their non-depressed controls.

However, in people who had recovered from depression the arginine bioavailability was found to be slightly higher than in people who remained depressed, the researchers said. IANS

Next Story

You Can Feel Better After Paying for an Online Service to Buy a Few Moments of Flattery in China

In fact, the enthusiasm has been such that even national media have warned of the dangers of relying on these virtual communities

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US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

If you are depressed for any reason, here is a chance in China to feel better after paying for an online service to buy a few moments of flattery — no matter what you think about yourself.

That is the idea behind “Kua Kua” groups, a phenomenon that has become very popular across China where depression and anxiety are on the rise.

Initially set up as communities in which university students encouraged each other amid academic pressure and little social activity, the Kua Kua (kua means to praise in Chinese) forums sprouted all over China after its social media success.

Efe news accessed one such forum, formed of about 500 students from the Jiaotong University of Xi’an, where, according to media, these groups originated.

“Hello. I have many problems when I try to do my job and that makes me sad. Can you cheer me up?”

In the next few minutes, several users responded with praises and messages of encouragement.

“That means you work with your heart and not superficially,” one message read.

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The Chinese flag is seen near the Google sign at the Google china headquarters in Beijing, China. VOA

“Fortune and misfortune depend on each other. Misfortune has already arrived, so happiness is closer,” said another.

“You face a lot of pressure but you do it bravely. Your attitude is positive. I like it,” the third one read.

However, not all groups are altruistic. Popular e-commerce platforms such as Taobao have seen proliferation of stores where those in need can rent for a few minutes an entourage of professional flatterers.

Xiao Ruichen is 27 and manages a Kua Kua and a Taobao shop.

“I found out in mid-March through Weibo (Chinese Twitter). It was very popular. So, I decided to make one of my own. Life is getting faster and people are on the verge of anxiety, anguish and depression,” he said.

“This service is very popular,” he said, adding people feel better after a session of flattery and “that makes me feel happy”.

Xiao charges 38 yuan ($5.7) for five minutes and 68 yuan for 10 minutes following which the client is removed from the forum.

Also Read- Mobile Phone Users in Bangladesh Cross 158 mn Mark

Although he preferred not to disclose how much money he earns each month, Xiao said that about 35 per cent of his income goes to the other members – more than a 100 college students whom he has selected under strict criteria such as writing speed or the ability to entertain clients.

According to figures offered by official media, the largest seller of accesses to these Kua Kua forums on Taobao may have earned more than 83,000 yuan in February.

In fact, the enthusiasm has been such that even national media have warned of the dangers of relying on these virtual communities. (IANS)