“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “
Targeted Medical Pharma : I review three products for this company. It was quite exciting because it targeted three important areas of my chronic condition: Pain, fatigue/cognitive function, and the infamous sleep issues. All at the same time for the course of three months for the trial I took them for. I recommend reading the product information on the website yourself or even the links I provided you for some in-depth into on what they are using. It is fascinating. I like their methodology and I like the products they have designed. So I am going to give a speel here on the products themselves. All of which you can find in detail on this page on their site because it is important to understand what they are doing here. Then I will follow with a personal review.
I should point out these are Medical Foods and they define these as “Congress defined “Medical Food” in the Orphan Drug Act and Amendments of 1988 as “a food which is formulated to be consumed or administered internally [or orally] under the supervision of a physician and which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation.” Medical Foods are complex formulated products, requiring sophisticated and exacting technology, and that are used only for a patient receiving active and ongoing medical supervision wherein the patient requires medical care on a recurring basis for, among other things, instructions on the use of the Medical Food.” Essentially they were looking at factors such as amino acids that are lacking or deficient in a specific condition and adding that back in with natural products. This an intriguing concept to me. It reminds me of the fact that most people are missing certain digestive enzymes and by taking them overall it helps with digestion. Important to note, they specifically say to take with medical advice. Which, of course, is recommended with all supplements.
Theramine –is a medical food for chronic pain disorders and inflammatory conditions containing a blend of amino acids and polyphenol ingredients in specific proportions. As unhealthy individuals, we do not exactly take in food and nutrients the same way. “Thus, the distinctive nutritional needs associated with a disease reflects the total amount needed by a healthy person to support life or maintain homeostasis, adjusted for the distinctive changes in the nutritional need of the patient as a result of the effects of the disease process on absorption, metabolism and excretion” (Thus their methodology) It turns out with pain increased nutritional requirements are required for tryptophan, GABA, choline, arginine, flavonoids, and certain antioxidants. This is interesting because a psychologist once recommended tryptophan for me actually and gave me a prescription for it. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin so it makes sense this one would benefit in pain. Some experience nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea, but I had no side effects with it at all.
Additional review of tryptophan on WebMD: Mostly with this one, you want to remember it does turn into serotonin. So medications you are on that have that already are a consideration for your doctor.
Additional review of choline on WebMD
Additional info for GABA on WebMD
Sentra AM – Medical Food for chronic fatigue and cognitive function and they need increased nutritional requirements for choline, flavonoids, and certain antioxidants. They tend to have issues with reduced plasma levels of choline and have actually been shown to respond to oral administration of choline formulations. Choline reduced diets can result in the decrease of circulating choline. Patients with these conditions sometimes have activation of the degradation pathways that increase the turnover rate of choline thus leading to a reduced amount of production of acetylcholine for a choline blood level. Genetic disposition can lead to the accelerated degradation and thus to increased requirements in patients.
“Choline is required to fully potentiate acetylcholine synthesis by brain neurons. A deficiency of choline leads to reduced acetylcholine production by the neurons. Patientswith fatigue and cognitive disorders frequently consume diets that are choline deficient. Flavonoids potentiate the production of acetylcholine by the neurons thereby reducing fatigue and cognitive impairment. Diets deficient in flavonoid rich foods result in inadequate flavonoid concentrations, impeding acetylcholine production in certain patients with fatigue and cognitive disorders. Acetylcholine in pre-synaptic and post-synaptic ganglia is necessary for neuronal function. Provision of choline, flavonoids, and antioxidants, in specific proportions can restore the production of beneficial acetylcholine, thereby reducing fatigue and improving cognitive function” Choline is needed by diet. Some adverse reactions were nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea but I had no issues with this one that is taken in the morning.
Sentra PM – Is a Medical Food for chronic sleep disorders. The missing nutritional requirements in insomniacs are tryptophan, choline, flavonoids and some antioxidants. As I said above I had been told to take tryptophan in the past and it was in fact for my horrible insomnia issues. I was quite pleased to see it on the list, as it is often recommended instead of sleep medications. People with sleep disorders have been shown to respond to oral tryptophan or a 5-hydroxytryptophan formulation. Reduced levels of tryptophan can lead to reduced serotonin, which actually I remember being informed of. Once again side effects include nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea and once again, I had no issues with these.
Targeted Medical Pharma was the most comprehensive supplement program I have been on in some time. I rather liked the fact they gave me the three months trial since it does, in fact, take time to give supplements time to be effective. They are easy to take, morning, day and night. I just added them to my other morning, day and night pill sorter. I am equally impressed with their methodology and ingredients.
The Sentra PM was the most effective for me and I found my quality of sleep was quite improved on it. I have some profound insomnia issues since childhood so it is very, very difficult to treat I am told due to it being so ingrained not to mention pain now complicating it. I already take two medications to get a sort of sleep and sometimes none at all.With this added into it I was actually able to get the full 8-9 hours of sleep. With very little wakings. I am quite impressed with that result. Only pain interfered with that result because on high pain days I can just not sleep at all. So it was a great non-medication approach to enabling me to get an Actual Normal Sleep for once in my life.
I am unfortunately experiencing a massive flare of symptoms right now pain and fatigue wise so it was an inopportune time to see any improvement in those areas. My pain and fatigue have actually been substantially on the high side so I wouldn’t have noticed any improvement on that side of the scale. I was hoping to because it has been so, so much worse and maybe I, in fact, did but relatively speaking it is quite hard to say. I believe the approach is quite valid though such that it is well worth it to take. My experience with the Sentra PM for example and my excessively aggressive insomnia suggests I was, in fact, getting something from it. I do wish my pain hadn’t been so aggressive lately as I would have liked to feel the response from that.
However, that being said… I have improved cognitively on Sentra AM. It wasn’t able to do anything for this massive increase in fatigue I feel lately, but maybe if I am on it longer but I don’t know the cause of that yet. But cognitively I did notice some clarity of thought. I have cognitive issues with chronic migraines, brain fog, aphasia, and just difficulties with concentration and confusion as well as fibrofog issues from FM. Overall I noticed more clarity of thought, more able to focus, less confusion. Ideas came to me easier. Still had trouble with my long-term memory but short-term was much better. Working memory seemed the same. It was a boost and I felt it. Trust me when I say the cognitive effects of my diseases I Notice. And Abhor. So when I get this clarity all of a sudden and ideas again. Yeah, I felt the change all right.
*For Canadians you might be aware until recently tryptophan was prescription only, as it was when I took it myself and it says here and here it was removed 2012, however, many doctors still do it by prescription basis. Interesting history of tryptophan here.