• Quote of the Day
    "Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
    John Wooden, posted by David Baxter

MollyK

Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
75
Points
6
Its no wonder that with the rise in our fast food, additive-ridden diets today that obesity and mental health problems are on the rise. The brain is an organ like any other and perhaps its no coincidence that there is a rise in depression, anxiety, behavoural problems and conditions such as AD(H)D etc. This is a very interesting article that came via a circular to my email from Patrick Holford. This guy did trials in a school in the UK, improving children's diet and giving supplements saw a drastic reduction in behaviour problems, achievement and even kids diagnosed AD(H)D showed enormous improvement. Perhaps we should pay attention to our diets, how much exercise we have, our general lifestyle and consult a nutritionist before heading straight for the anti depressants and therapy .. at least rule this out first perhaps...Anyway .. interesting reading here...also another link I found at the bottom:

A nutritional approach to treating depression

A recent study published in the Public Library of Science Medicine, and reported widely in the press this week, showed that a number of anti-depressant drugs including Prozac, Seroxat and Efexor were little more effective than a placebo for treating depression. Yet with more people than ever seeking help for depression - and current prescriptions for anti-depressants at record levels - is there any alternative?

In fact, there is much that can be done nutritionally to tackle depression. The conventional approach is to give a drug that alters the body's biochemistry - typically to increase levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, that helps keep us happy, or adrenalin/noradrenlin, that helps us stay motivated. But brain health and neurotransmitter production can also be improved with nutrition:

Balance your blood sugar

There is a direct link between mood and blood sugar balance - your brain runs on glucose and the more uneven your blood sugar supply the more uneven your mood. For balanced blood sugar levels, avoid sugary foods and refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread and processed breakfast cereals. Eat whole foods such as whole grains (especially oats), lentils, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables and combine protein foods with carbohydrates - for example, have fish with your pasta, or nuts and seeds with your cereal or fruit. In addition cut right back on stimulants such as tea, coffee, chocolate and cigarettes. These increase levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which in turn increase blood sugar levels.

Consider supplementing chromium

Chromium is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin can't work properly without it. Chromium is highly effective in relieving atypical depression characterized by sugar cravings, gaining weight and feeling tired all the time - in fact just taking proper levels of chromium can make a big difference to certain depressed people.

Ensure optimum levels of omega-3 fish oils

The higher your blood level of omega-3 fats, the higher your levels of serotonin are likely to be. This may be because omega 3s help to build your brain's neuronal connections as well as the receptor sites for neurotransmitters; therefore, the more omega 3s in your blood, the more serotonin you are likely to make and the more responsive you become to its effects. A recent trial by Jazayeri et al published in the Australian and New Journal of Psychiatry (March 2008) showed EPA to be slightly more effective than the anti-depressant fluoxetine. The richest dietary source of omega 3 fats is from carnivorous cold water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. The best seeds are flax and pumpkin seeds. If supplementing omega 3 fish oils you are aiming for about 1000 mg of EPA a day for a mood boosting effect. That means supplementing a concentrated Omega 3 Fish Oil capsule providing 500mg, once or twice a day and eating a serving of fish three times a week.

Check your homocysteine level and get enough B vitamins

People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the protein homocysteine, (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid) are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs. Eat foods rich in these nutrients such as whole foods, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts and supplement a good multivitamin.

Boost your serotonin with amino acids and consider supplementing 5-HTP

Serotonin is made in the body and brain from an amino acid 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn is made from another amino acid called tryptophan which is found in the diet in many protein rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs, while the richest source of 5-HTP is the African Griffonia bean. Just not getting enough trpytophan is likely to make you depressed so consider supplementing it if you are not getting enough in your diet. 27 studies have shown conclusively that 5-HTP is effective in treating depression. However do not take 5-HTP without your doctor's permission if you are currently taking anti-depressant tablets.

To find out more about how to improve your mood, memory and solving mental health problems read New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind.

You can also visit the Brain Bio Centre - an outpatient clinical treatment centre in Richmond, specialising in the 'optimum nutrition' approach to mental health problems

http://www.patrickholford.com/content.asp?id_Content=1023[/B][/I]
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,772
Points
113
Re: Nutritional affects on depression

A recent study published in the Public Library of Science Medicine, and reported widely in the press this week, showed that a number of anti-depressant drugs including Prozac, Seroxat and Efexor were little more effective than a placebo for treating depression.

That study is terribly flawed and pretty much useless. See Antidepressant Data Showed Not as Effective as Thought? - Psychlinks Psychology Self-Help & Mental Health Forum

On the other hand, the benefits of improving nutrition, and especially increasing the relative amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids, is pretty well established. The nutritional factor isn't going to prevent or cure major depression all by itself but it can certainly help.

See Alternative Medicine - Alternative Therapies - Psychlinks Psychology Self-Help & Mental Health Forum
 

MollyK

Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
75
Points
6
Re: Nutritional affects on depression

I'm not sure how the test on anti depressants is flawed David. It is based on a large clinically based trial and is backed up with tried and tested research. I know a lot of people say they help but just speaking from my own experience, I have had virtually every anti depressant known to man and they havent helped me at all and I know others that say this ...but yes others that speak highly of them too... and of course if you have total faith in something, and add to that a doctors total faith it something - it will be like a self fulfilling prophecy!

One thing I think is for sure, they are pretty powerful drugs that are very much over-used and are the first solution when perhaps they should be the last as there could be other contributing factors/solutions. I think the effectiveness of anti depressants is undoubtedly hyped and over-rated

Antidepressant drugs <u>don't</u> work official study - Health News, Health & Wellbeing - Independent.co.uk

'Why anti-depressants have become the alcopops of mental health,' says former depressive | the Daily Mail

What the drug giants WON'T tell you | the Daily Mail

Taking Prozac for depression is mostly a waste of time, say scientists - Scotsman.com News


I am not totally sold on the nutritional approach out of depression and emotional health problems. To just discount the fact that people are emotional/spiritual beings with innate needs, affected by nurture, environment, life experiences and genetic factors errs somewhat. We are not just physical machines!

I believe though that what we put into our mouths (and that of our childrens) is. if not accountable, then a contributing factor in many cases for the plague of emotional illness that besets us today than is ever given credit for and should certainly be ruled out of the equation rather than ignored. How many people who live on McDonalds and junk food go to their GP with depression and leave with a prescription for prozac? We accept tht our diet contributes to heart disease, cancer, hypertension, ulcers etc etc ... isnt the brain an organ too?

I have battled with bulimia and found that when I did the Atkins diet many years ago that my need to binge drastically reduced. (I dont advocate the Atkins diet by the way!) but I then had to consider that what I had always thought was purely emotional may actually have strong physical dietary components. Nowadays, I have cut out refined carbs, sugar (as much as possible) and aim to get five or more portions a day of fruit veg and salad and I take supplements (including Omega 3, magnesium, zinc and a multivitamin). Well I still struggle emotionally but feel so much better, have more energy, am far less inclined to binge and have greater concentration. My level of depression and anxiety had lifted greatly .. (however I am in therapy at the moment and not in good place right now!)

So .. I think this isnt without a lot of credibility and shouldnt be ignored! Of course people in the pharmacuetical business who rake in vast revenues from these drugs, along with anyone who cashes in from people with mental health problems may have a vested interest in not considering other causes and remedies and keeping this over-prescribing going

ps ... thanks for moving my posts by the way David .. i realised I'd posted in all the wrong places!
 
Last edited:

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,772
Points
113
Re: Nutritional affects on depression

I'm not sure how the test on anti depressants is flawed David. It is based on a large clinically based trial and is backed up with tried and tested research.

Read the thread I referenced above. It is NOT a "large clinically based trial and is backed up with tried and tested research". It is a meta analysis poorly conceived and poorly carried out. If anything, it is more an indictment of Paxil than anything else. It was not published in a peer review journal and due to its methodological deficiencies it likely never would have been.


These are not additional studies. These are all reports of the same flawed and pointless study, the flawed and invalid conclusions of which have now been picked up for some reason by newspapers all over the world. I guess a story that says "antidepressants saved my life" isn't news but one that says "those giant phrmaceutical companines have been ripping us off" gets everyone's attention.

What about all the published studies (published in peer reviewed journals, not PLoS) that have shown the significant benefits of medications and especially the com,bination of medications plus psychotherapy in treating a wide range of mental health issues including mood disorders?

I am not totally sold on the nutritional approach out of depression and emotional health problems. To just discount the fact that people are emotional/spiritual beings with innate needs, affected by nurture, environment, life experiences and genetic factors errs somewhat. We are not just physical machines!

I believe though that what we put into our mouths (and that of our childrens) is. if not accountable, then a contributing factor in many cases for the plague of emotional illness that besets us today than is ever given credit for and should certainly be ruled out of the equation rather than ignored. How many people who live on McDonalds and junk food go to their GP with depression and leave with a prescription for prozac? We accept tht our diet contributes to heart disease, cancer, hypertension, ulcers etc etc ... isnt the brain an organ too?

As I said above, I also believe in a holistic approach which definitely includes nutritional factors. A lot of what your article said about nutrition is speculative but I think the evidence re: omega 3 and B12 and mood is by now well-established. Just don't expect nutrition to do all the work. And for that matter don't expect medication to do all the work. Or psychotherapy. But put those three factors together and you have a powerful combination for treating mood disorders, anxiety disorders, etc.
 

MollyK

Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
75
Points
6
Re: Nutritional affects on depression

Well having been someone who has not been helped with anti depressants and whats more, has been adversely affected by them where they have given me additional problems, it did catch my attention because to me this seems true plus hearing accounts from others. I know others who have been helped by them may disagree too but I can only speak for myself.

You say its flawed. What information do you have to prove that it is flawed? I'm asking not for controversy but because I am genuinely interested. What information do you have to say that it was "poorly conceived and poorly carried out?"

I tend to take a more balanced view and am open to the possibility that this may be as much media hype as heralding prozac as the wonder drug was in the past .. I doubted that too! But I am certain that anti depressants arent the "God send" that they are reported to be, that clearly many people are not helped by them, that some experience additional adverse side effects such as suicidal tendences and greatly increased anxiety but some feel that they help them a great deal too.

My last experience with an anti depressant (and I persevered with different ones for years) was when I was very depressed and tried them again. I had an immediate reaction with increased anxiety, agitation, sleepless nights and jitteriness which they seem to cause in me and was entering my 7th week as I was told "persevere with them", when I found myself driving erratically in a 40mph limit at nearly 90 cutting every other vehicle up in my path because I was so agitated it was almost like a wakeup call (I am always a careful driver!!). Even persevering past the first few months, apart from these side effects, I am no less depressed! I binned them and wont touch them again. I am not unique in my experiences with them David.

So this I am afraid does have a ring of truth in to me and I am glad that anti depressant use is being looked at and re-evaluated. I am horrified by the frequency they are given to children and some are quite young children. I saw a documentary a while back about kids that had gone a shooting rampage in the USA in a school who were apparently taking anti depressants .. whether this was contributory or not I dont know, but it makes you wonder!

I think there is a place for anti depressants still but think their use and the alarming frequency in which they are dished out should be re-evaluated, continually really

I'll go and read the attachment you posted now - thanks! .. just wanted to answer you first
 

lallieth

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
831
Points
16
You cannot discount the body/mind connection,in that,what we feed our bodies is essential to the well being of our brains.While I don't think that treating depression or anxiety with diet alone is the answer,I do believe that the nutritional supplements I take make me feel better physically and so I feel better mentally

I do take B,omega,chromium & vitamin d on a daily basis.A brain cannot function properly on a consistent diet of junk food,it needs proper nourishment and our lifestyles today dictate fast foods,processed foods etc.It takes effort nowadays to eat properly.

It would be interesting if a study could have been done 100 years ago,when human diets were more pure and clean as to how many people suffered mental illness in conjunction with their lifestyles..

I agree with Molly,in that anti-depressants are being prescribed too frequently,and I think prescribing doctors need to look deeper into a person's lifestyle,IE eating habits,exercise and nutrition,substance abuse etc before handing over a prescription.

I did notice a remarkable improvement in my anxiety before taking anti-depressants when I started to eat better and get regular exercise,IE cutting out refined sugars and caffeine.
 

rosedragon

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
89
Points
6
Ohhh.. so my sudden depression could be coming when my already low blood pressure goes lower.. because unhealthy diets of instant noodle =D .
 

ladylore

Account Closed
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
3,855
Points
0
It helps me if I have a bit of protein in the morning (an egg, protien milkshake) to help level off my blood sugar. This generally helps with stress levels during the day.
 

lallieth

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
831
Points
16
It helps me if I have a bit of protein in the morning (an egg, protien milkshake) to help level off my blood sugar. This generally helps with stress levels during the day.
I do as well..Low blood sugar can mimic anxiety and vice versa..
 

MollyK

Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
75
Points
6
Why is though that the most yummy food is the most bad for you ... I cant see myself rushing down for breakfast in the morning to face a bowl of steaming lentils!

I do try though!
 

Top Bottom