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Overcoming Addictions

Written by: Emanuela Visone, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The addiction crisis is deadlier than ever before.

Overdoses are the 1 cause of accidental death in our country. According to the CDC, there were over 100,000 fatal overdoses in the U.S. during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, from April 2020 to April 2021. That’s the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a single year. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl account for more than half of overdose deaths but there was also a 46% increase in overdose deaths from other stimulants, like methamphetamines, and a 38% increase in deaths from cocaine overdoses.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, this tragedy has gotten worse. In some communities, overdose-related emergency calls are up as much as 40% and 42 states reported increases in overdose deaths during the pandemic.

And it’s not just overdoses taking lives: In 2018, more than 175,000 deaths in the U.S. were related to alcohol and other drugs. That makes substance use the third largest cause of death in the nation.

Substance addictions are powerful states of physical and psychological dependence upon chemicals that ultimately rob a person of health and vitality as well as important moral intangibles. When we want to stop using or abusing drugs, alcohol, and/or nicotine, we often experience unpleasant effects called withdrawal symptoms. Usually, such withdrawal symptoms are an unavoidable yet necessary first step to overcome in the process of conquering our addictive behaviors. At the same time, the inability to handle this array of extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms is the very reason so many people end up returning to their chemical and psychological addiction. Today, alcoholism affects over 10 million people and probably results in 200,000 deaths per year.'

To overcome our addictions, we need to first develop an inner strength through a deeper understanding of why and how we first began our addiction. This is a personal experience that usually requires the help of friends, relatives, therapists, medical doctors, and other intervenors. Equally deserving of our full commitment, and parallel to ending our addiction, is the need to establish a powerful health-restoring nutritional regimen so that typical withdrawal symptoms, often quite horrifying, can no longer drag us back to addiction and loss of self-control.

AFA algae, along with probiotic and enzyme therapy, gives us the nutritional support to successfully cultivate a life without addiction and to establish a state of enduring health that will give us back the vitality we need to become a fully creative and inspiring, caring human being.

Essential Fatty Acids – Deficient in Alcoholics

Alcoholics are known to have a deficiency in essential fatty acids, especially those of the omega 6 variety, because of prostaglandin excretion. Alcohol is broken down in the liver by specialized enzymes (dehydrogenases) into poisonous small molecules called acetaldehydes and other undesirable long-chain organic acids. Further complications typically involve fats deposited within the liver and mood swings related to increased hypoglycemic reactions.

Amino Acids and Maintaining Stable Blood Sugar Levels

One very general observation is that most people involved with an addictive disease are probably protein deficient. The protein available in AFA helps to give the addict an opportunity to maintain stable blood sugar levels. This then leads to a stable and more comfortable emotional state wherein natural neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, replace the artificial chemical high from alcohol, drugs, and nicotine.

Nutritional bioactivation from a food source such as AFA will help to reverse the deleterious effects of chemical addiction. AFA will help to reestablish a healthful homeostasis, which will protect the addict from the physiological depression and other characteristic symptoms that typically return the addict back to self medication.

Alcohol increases intestinal permeability to toxins and undigested foods, causing allergic reactions that greatly increase and form immune complexes that deposit in body tissues. This chain of reactions increases cravings.

Alcoholism impairs the proper function of the liver, within which amino acid metabolism takes place. As a result, depression often sets in, partly because the amino acid content of the blood is so abnormal, far different than the balanced amino acid profile exemplified by a healthy human. The alcoholic is greatly benefited when normal amino acid levels are restored by eating foods such as AFA algae with its balanced amino acid profiles. Restoration to normal levels helps the patient, while branched-chain amino acids inhibit brain dysfunction.4 BCAAs in AFA help to inhibit the breakdown of proteins that accompany cirrhosis of the liver brought on by alcoholism. Relatively small amounts (I gram per day) of glutamine (a nonessential amino acid) have been used in human and animal studies to reduce alcohol cravings.6

Amino acids have been used to fight drug addictions. Methionine for heroin, tyrosine for cocaine, and glutamine for alcohol have been used to combat addiction. Detoxification programs have utilized amino acids such as cysteine and glycine.Along with B vitamins, antioxidants, chlorophyll, and essential fatty acids, a variety of detoxification and withdrawal symptoms – lowering regimens have been developed. If we look carefully at all such detox programs, we begin to see how the ingredients within AFA are being used in a variety of natural approaches in drug treatment programs.

Glutathione as a Detoxifier

Glutathione is synthesized partly from cysteine, a sulfur-containing amino acid found in liver, wheat germ, garlic, and AFA. Antioxidant tripeptide glutathione (GSH) may help to reverse cirrhosis of the liver brought on by alcoholism. In the form of GSH, heavy metals such as lead, and cadmium can be chelated and eliminated. Cadmium toxicity often occurs in the lungs of cigarette smokers and is one factor known to significantly reduce sperm count in men.

GSH helps to decrease the toxic effects of unnatural chemicals and drugs in general because of the role it plays in a variety of enzymes that break down such chemicals in the liver. GSH is also a critical and important antioxidant that protects those parts of the body most vulnerable to the free radical toxins and pollutants of alcohol, drugs, and nicotine. Cysteine seems to be particularly protective against cigarette smoke and alcohol. The immune system of heavy smokers is characterized by low numbers of thymus helper cells. Fortunately, these 1-cells begin to return when smoking is stopped.

Tryptophan Nature's Tranquilizer

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in AFA, has been used as a natural tranquilizer because of its role in the biosynthesis of serotonin, an important mood elevating neurotransmitter. One reason alcoholics have a high suicide rate8 is believed to be that serotonin metabolism is related to depression.9

As a serotonin precursor, tryptophan may have some effect in reducing alcohol cravings, and of some other stimulant drugs. Since serotonin production in the brain is a psychological reward of sorts, it is possible that drug cravings and the need to self-medicate would correspondingly diminish.

Nicotine is a drug known to stimulate the adrenal glands to secrete hormones that greatly inhibit the uptake of serum tryptophan, thus resulting in decreased serotonin brain activity,10 which can lead to depression. Cigarette smokers who eat AFA algae and then quit smoking will experience fewer withdrawal symptoms due, in part, to the tryptophan in AFA.

Alcoholics have very little tryptophan left in their bodies, and what little they do have is barely able to cross the blood-brain barrier to form the neurotransmitter serotonin.11 This explains, in part, the sleep disturbances and depression symptoms experienced by alcoholics. In fact, low levels of tryptophan may lead to coma or brain damage, commonly known as "wet brain."12 The tryptophan in AFA, along with its 19 other amino acids, helps to elevate the mood and improve the sleep patterns of the recovering alcoholic.

Tyrosine Reduces Drug Withdrawal

Tyrosine, a nonessential amino acid found in AFA, is also involved in the manufacturing of neurotransmitters that are derived from phenylalanine. Tyrosine has been used in the treatment of drug withdrawal. When used with tryptophan, the combined mood-elevating effects seemingly reduce depression and anxiety, making drug withdrawal less daunting.

Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine – Help for the Liver

Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the branched-chain amino acids that many body-builders use to help muscle production. They have also been shown to be helpful in treating liver damage caused from excessive alcoholism.

AFA Minerals for Enzyme Bioactivation

Calcium levels tend to drop as our consumption of nicotine, alcohol, and coffee increases." As a result, smokers will generally have a much lower mineral content in their bones. A physical exercise regimen will help to prevent the enormous increase in calcium excretion that accompanies the dangerous combination of drugs coupled with low physical activity.

Magnesium – Vitality for a New Life

Magnesium is a mineral ion that is essential to the life of any cell. In fact, the magnesium ion content of AFA is about equal to that of sodium. Magnesium aids in vitalizing and bio stimulating enzyme systems, helps to deepen the electrical currents balanced inside and outside the cell, and, with calcium, regulates the rhythm of our very heartbeat.

It is no wonder, then, that a magnesium deficiency often leads to subtle but pervasive depression, low energy, an inability to concentrate, decreased appetite, and even suicidal thoughts. These kinds of deficiencies – which can be corrected with leafy green vegetables and AFA algae – are common, especially in the elderly population. Symptoms such as these often lead to addictive alternatives that start with self-medication and all too often lead to alcoholism and drug abuse to avoid difficult bouts of depression.

Enzymes Bioactivated with Selenium

Alcoholics typically have deficiencies in minerals such as selenium that activate antioxidant enzymes such as GSH peroxidase. Because of this, there is increased peroxidation of the phospholipids of the cell membranes of alcoholics.' Selenium is an important trace mineral that, even in extremely small quantities, is essential to all humans for survival. AFA uses it as we do, as part of the antioxidant tripeptide glutathione (GSH). Selenium in GSH protects us from cancer, detoxifies heavy metals, and even bio stimulates the immune system. As a detoxifier, selenium is useful in rendering harmless the otherwise dangerous effects of rancid or per oxidized fats, which are caused by a variety of free radicals. This boosts the immune system because it ultimately enhances the health of the cell membrane.

As alcohol consumption goes up, liver cells begin to die off because of the damaging effects of free radical peroxides on the flexibility of these cell membranes." Without antioxidant protection (generously provided by AFA), fatty infiltration of the liver begins to take its toll.16

Zinc The Most Important Enzyme Bio-activator

The long road to addiction recovery must include a thorough detoxification program. The most important enzyme systems for alcohol detoxification are mostly dependent upon zinc. 17 It is an established fact that as the amount and duration of alcohol consumption goes up, the concentration of zinc goes down.19This is due to the inability to maintain proper intestinal zinc absorption with chronic alcohol consumption. Once this happens, enzyme synthesis function decreases, followed directly by the inability to synthesize proteins to maintain cellular repair. Because of its zinc, amino acid, and essential fatty acid content, AFA is highly recommended as an integral part of any detoxification program.

Vitamin Needs for Addicts and Alcoholics

Vitamin deficiencies in addicts are one of the major causes for their ill health. The presence of intestinal microflora in alcoholics can lead to a toxic bowel, which greatly impairs food absorption and vitamin assimilation, especially of vitamin B12 and folic acid. beta carotene, vitamin A, zinc, and folic acid are common deficiencies, which often lead to a profound decrease in immune and liver functions, as well as a variety of other complications.

Almost all alcoholics are deficient in vitamin C, one of the more important substances needed to help eliminate excess poisons (acetaldehyde) generated in the liver. 20 There is much more vitamin C in AFA algae than in either Spirulina or Chlorella.21 Alcoholics are typically unable to utilize most B vitamins, either in the food they eat or in the supplements they buy, especially if their drinking continues unabated.

Alcohol, heroin, and many other drugs will often, as expect, chemically reduce the absorption of most B vitamins in the intestines. Sometimes you can tell if you have a B vitamin deficiency by the appearance of a slightly swollen red tongue. Even tea and coffee drinkers can have this problem, especially the elderly. Correcting this problem by abstaining from alcohol, coffee, and tea can be almost immediately beneficial.

For example, when folic acid is properly absorbed, it can be used to begin the important process of detoxifying cells.22 Folic acid also seems to help lower substance cravings, migraine headaches, and even mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Alcoholics and elderly people are at risk of folic acid deficiency because of general and intestinal malabsorption problems. Because of this, a combination of AFA, plant enzymes, and probiotics is recommended.

When alcohol breaks down, it turns to a smaller and much more toxic molecule (acetaldehyde) in the blood. One of the L bioactivated enzymes speeds up the detoxification of this and similar toxins.

Choline Helps to Deal with Withdrawal Symptoms

The B vitamin choline is one of the components of AFA’s cell membrane and is essential toward maintaining healthy cell membrane fluidity. Choline is also needed for the biosynthesis of important neurotransmitters. such as acetylcholine, which play a crucial role in mood elevation.

Because of this, we should not be surprised to learn that choline deficiency is intimately connected with memory loss and its ingestion may possibly help in preventing Alzheimer's disease. The choline of AFA is found mostly within its very flexible and accessible cell membrane.

Choline does seem to affect mood disorders, and studies have shown reasonably good improvement in relieving depression and stabilizing manic depression. As with magnesium, getting enough choline from AFA and leafy greens helps people to better deal with addiction withdrawal symptoms. The choline available in some other sources, however, such as in highly saturated fats and oils, is not nearly as beneficial. Saturated fats tend to rob us of any membrane fluidizing effects, thus diminishing the effectiveness of the choline. Studies under way now are looking at morphine addiction withdrawal and recovery. As expected, specialized drugs that contain choline and polyunsaturated fatty acids are proving to be highly promising.

Thiamin – Important in Recovery

Thiamin (vitamin B1) is unfortunately among the most typically deficient vitamins in addicts. Alcoholics are especially at risk for the harmful effects of having their vitamin B1 biochemically deactivated. Since this vitamin (along with B12) is essential in changing blood glucose into usable energy for producing red blood cells and maintaining nervous tissue, vitamin B1 deficiencies often produce mental and emotional confusion. Sometimes there is even difficulty in walking. Because alcohol blocks proper absorption of this important vitamin at the walls of the intestine, it is very important that recovering alcoholics get their B1 vitamin from a wholesome, natural source to feel normal again as soon as possible. Since the thiamin in AFA algae is chelated and naturally bonded to amino acids, its absorption rate into the human system is greatly enhanced.

Niacin Old Toxin Remover

Niacin (vitamin B3) does a wonderful job in lowering cholesterol, detoxifying pollutants and drugs, and stabilizing moods. Recovering addicts of all persuasions may benefit from its abilities to remove toxins that have stubbornly been stuck in fatty tissues. The niacin in AFA is chelated and thus easily assimilated. Cigarette smokers have relatively high blood levels of lead and cadmium (and low levels of vitamin C), as compared to nonsmokers. Deficiencies in such heavy metals, especially lead and cadmium, lead to hypertension and high blood pressure.23

Anyone who thinks they have a problem with drug or alcohol addiction is encouraged to seek counseling, get seriously involved in addiction recovery therapy, and seek and participate in an appropriate twelve-step program.

I hope you found this article very informative so you can make a better decision for you and your family.

If you’d like to learn more, I’d be happy to schedule a complimentary zoom meeting. To schedule your free breakthrough session, please either email me at or call me on cell 917-597-3512.

My book Healing Through Nature’s Medicine, A Story of Hope will also give you a step-by-step guide on how to choose the best foods on earth for your body.

Wishing you and your family extraordinary health!

Follow Emanuela on her Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website for more info.


Emanuela Visone, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Emanuela is a leading expert in restoring health and a Master Transformational, Health, and life coach. After 20yrs recruiting in the finance industry, she discovered her true calling for naturopathy and helping people and their pets throughout the US. The value she provides her clients has put them in a position to gain better health and live a more fulfilling life. Having restored her own health, Emanuela is excited to share her victory and help others do the same, from thyroid conditions, shrinking nodules, blood pressure, hormones, and much more. This inspired her to write her first book, “Healing Through Nature’s Medicine,” A Story of Hope. Having restored her St. Barnard’s health as well, Emanuela coaches many pet owners on how to become their own best healer. She loves spending time with her family and friends, the outdoors, and her deepest passion is helping others transform their health.



  • Abrams, Karl J. (1996). Algae to the Rescue. Studio City, CA: Logan House.

Pgs. 106-112



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