Depression is increasingly recognized as a problem rooted in chronic inflammation. While other factors may also be involved, inflammation can have a profound impact on your mental health. The study of these connections is known as psychoneuroimmunology, i.e., the impact of inflammation on behavior. As noted in one 2012 study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology:1 “Elevated biomarkers of inflammation, including inflammatory cytokines and acute-phase proteins, have been found in depressed patients, and administration of inflammatory stimuli has been associated with the development of depressive symptoms. Data also have demonstrated that inflammatory cytokines can interact with multiple pathways known to be involved in the development of depression, including monoamine metabolism, neuroendocrine function, synaptic plasticity, and neurocircuits relevant to mood regulation … Psychosocial stress, diet, obesity, a leaky gut, and an imbalance between regulatory and pro-inflammatory T cells also contribute to inflammation and may serve as a focus for preventative strategies relevant to both the development of depression and its recurrence.” Inflammation and DepressionIn this model, depression is the result of your body’s attempts to protect itself from an inflammatory response, and involves hormones and neurotransmitters. Depressive symptoms most strongly associated with chronic inflammation include flat mood, slowed thinking, avoidance, alterations in perception and metabolic changes.2 Cytokines in your blood, or inflammatory messengers such as CRP, interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and TNF-alpha are all predictive of3 and correlate4 to depression. For example, in melancholic depression, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, white blood cells called monocytes express pro-inflammatory genes that provoke secretion of cytokines.5 At the same time, cortisol sensitivity goes down, and cortisol is a stress hormone that buffers against inflammation. Together, these inflammatory agents transfer information to your nervous system, typically by stimulating your vagus nerve, which connects your gut and brain.6 During inflammatory states, brain cells called microglia are activated. When this happens, an enzyme called indoleamine 2 3-dioxygenase (IDO) directs tryptophan away from the production of serotonin and melatonin, instructing it instead to produce an NMDA (an amino acid derivative) agonist called quinolinic acid, which can trigger anxiety and agitation.7 Errant Immune System May Alter Your MoodRecent research again highlights the inflammatory underpinnings of depression. As reported by BBC:8 “The focus is on an errant immune system causing inflammation in the body and altering mood … [Professor Ed Bullmore, head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and an employee of GlaxoSmithKline]said: ‘Depression and inflammation often go hand in hand … [I]f you have flu, the immune system reacts to that, you become inflamed and very often people find that their mood changes too. Their [behavior] changes, they may become less sociable, more sleepy, more withdrawn. They may begin to have some of the negative ways of thinking that are characteristic of depression and all of that follows an infection’ … Inflammation is part of the immune system's response to danger … If it is too high, it causes damage. And for some reason, about one-third of depressed patients have consistently high levels of inflammation.” When patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with anti-inflammatory drugs targeting specific parts of the immune system, they also reported an improvement in mood. This was what raised the curiosity of professor Iain McInnes, a consultant rheumatologist. He told the BBC: "When we give these therapies we see a fairly rapid increase in a sense of well-being, mood state improving quite remarkably often disproportionately given the amount of inflammation we can see in their joints and their skin." Anti-Inflammatories Boost MoodMcInnes’ team performed brain scans on patients with rheumatoid arthritis, before and after giving them an immune targeted drug. The brain scans seemed to confirm and validate the patients’ feedback. After taking an anti-inflammatory drug, there were significant changes in their brains’ neuro-chemical circuitry. Importantly, pathways known to be involved in alleviating depression were favorably altered. Interestingly, work by Carmine Pariante, a professor of biological psychiatry, shows that people who have overactive immune systems are less likely to respond to anti-depressants. He also found that emotional trauma may alter your immune system and “prime” it in such a way that it predisposes you to depression. BBC quotes Pariante, saying: "We think the immune system is the key mechanism by which early life events produce this long-term effect. We have some data showing adult individuals who have a history of early life trauma, even if they have never been depressed, have an activated immune system so they are in a state of risk." Arthritis Drug Being Tested on Depressed PatientsThe arthritis drug sirukumab is currently being tested on depressed patients. GlaxoSmithKline and others are also working on developing anti-inflammatory drugs targeting depression. The problem with this approach is that you’d simply be switching from one form of drug to another, and virtually all drugs have side effects. Sometimes terminal, as the 60,000 who died from the anti-inflammatory Vioxx. Fortunately, you don’t need drugs to combat inflammation. One of the most effective ways to quell inflammation is to eat a ketogenic diet, high in healthy fats and low in net carbs (total carbs minus fiber). In fact, one of the most remarkable effects of nutritional ketosis is that your C-reactive protein (CRP) level (an inflammatory marker) virtually disappears. It can really drive your inflammation levels about as low as they can go. Snacking on Nuts Decreases InflammationRaw nuts are a great source of healthy fat, and eating 1 ounce (about a handful) of nuts five times per week can reduce inflammation according to recent research.9,10,11 As reported by Reuters:12 “Past research has linked eating nuts to lower rates of heart disease and diabetes, but the exact reason was unknown, senior study author Dr. Ying Bao, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, told Reuters Health. ‘We hypothesized that nuts may exert these health benefits by reducing inflammation,’ Bao said …” By looking at data from two long-term studies — the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) — in which participants documented what they ate and provided blood samples that were analyzed for inflammatory biomarkers, the researchers found that people who ate nuts at least five times a week had 20 percent lower CRP levels and 16 percent lower IL-6 than those who rarely or never ate nuts. This remained true even when other anti-inflammatory dietary and lifestyle strategies such as exercise, body weight and smoking were taken into account. I use macadamia nuts and pecans nearly every day as part of my diet plan, about 2 ounces of each, as they really help safely keep my calorie level high. Other Health Benefits Linked to Regular Nut ConsumptionOther research has linked regular nut consumption to:
Fewer risk factors for metabolic syndrome14 and a lower risk for diabetes
Improved cardiovascular health
Reduced mortality risk and increased longevity. In one study, people who ate a small handful (1 ounce or 28 grams) of nuts seven times per week or more were 20 percent less likely to die for any reason, compared to those who avoided nuts. Eating nuts at least 5 times per week was associated with a 29 percent drop in mortality risk from heart disease and an 11 percent drop in mortality risk from cancer specifically15,16,17,18
Anti-inflammatory ingredients in nuts include fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, the amino acid L-arginine and unsaturated fatty acids such as α-linolenic acid. Organic, raw and unpeeled nuts are best, as processing can destroy many nutrients, and most of the antioxidants are actually in the skin. When roasted and/or peeled, those valuable antioxidants are lost. Top Picks: Macadamias and Pecans Most nuts’ nutritional makeup closely resembles what I consider to be an ideal ratio of the basic building blocks, with fat making up the greatest amount of your daily calories, followed by a moderate amount of high quality protein and a low amount of non-vegetable carbs (see my Food Pyramid for Optimal Health). That said, some nuts have more ideal ratios than others. My favorite nuts, macadamia and pecans, provide the highest amount of healthy fat while being on the lower end in terms of carbs and protein. Raw macadamia nuts also contain high amounts of vitamin B1, magnesium and manganese. Moreover, about 60 percent of the fatty acid in macadamia is the monounsaturated fat oleic acid. This is about the level found in olives, which are well known for their health benefits. This little tidbit is a fact few people make note of when discussing the benefits of macadamias. Pecans also boast more than 19 different vitamins and minerals that studies suggest can help you lower LDL cholesterol and promote healthy arteries, and are in the top 15 foods known for their antioxidant activity, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). One of those antioxidants is vitamin E, which may convey neurological protection and keeps blood lipids from oxidizing in your body. Beta-carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin in pecans also help rid your body of harmful free radicals, protecting it from inflammation. One ounce of macadamia nuts has only 4 grams of carbs, but over half of those are non-digestible fiber so it provides an ultra-low 2 grams of sugar per ounce of nuts. The Importance of Animal-Based Omega-3 DHAAnimal-based omega-319 is a potent, all-natural anti-inflammatory. While many nuts contain plant-based omega-3 (with the exception of pecans, which are very low in omega-3 and omega-6), your body cannot efficiently convert the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in plants to the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in marine animals such as fatty fish and krill. DHA is particularly important for brain health, as more than 90 percent of the omega-3 fat found in your brain tissue is DHA.20 Furthermore, the marine-based DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are actually structural elements needed by every cell in your body; part of their biological effects include anti-inflammatory activity and communication within the cell and between cells. With this in mind, it’s important to avoid making the mistake of thinking you can get all the omega-3 you need from plant sources. You simply cannot afford to get this wrong, especially if you’re struggling with depression or other inflammation-based conditions. To learn more about the differences between plant- and animal-based omega-3 fats, please see my previous article, “How Good Fats Prevent Heart Disease.” Good sources of animal-based DHA and EPA include fatty, cold-water fish like wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, fish roe and krill oil. Vitamin D — Another Important Anti-InflammatoryVitamin D, which is best obtained from regular, sensible sun exposure, also inhibits inflammation. It produces over 200 anti-microbial peptides and up-regulates a large number of genes, including one that boosts your ability to fight infections and chronic inflammation. In one placebo-controlled study, high-dose vitamin D supplementation boosted anti-inflammatory molecules, showing promise as an anti-inflammatory “medicine” for people with heart failure.21 Daily supplementation with 50 micrograms (mcg) — equivalent to 2,000 International Units (IUs) — of vitamin D for nine months increased blood concentrations of anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10) by 43 percent, while simultaneously preventing an increase in the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha in patients diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF). Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to depression specifically. In one previous study, seniors with the lowest levels of vitamin D were found to be 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, vitamin D receptors appear in a wide variety of brain tissue, and researchers believe optimal vitamin D levels may enhance important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of glial cells that help nurse damaged neurons back to health. To learn more about how to optimize your vitamin D level through sensible sun exposure, please see my interview with Dr. Michael F. Holick, who is a well-recognized expert on vitamin D. A vitamin D3 supplement can also be used, but you'll need to monitor your levels regularly. To reap maximum benefit, you need a vitamin D level of at least 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Optimal Sun ExposurePlease remember that there are inherent dangers in using vitamin D3 as an oral supplement. It is a hormone, not a vitamin, and has profoundly important physiologic actions. Ultimately, we were designed to get nearly all of our vitamin D from appropriate solar exposure and, as such, vitamin D is a marker for UV light exposure, which also has a wide ranging host of metabolic benefits. If you give your body a false signal with oral vitamin D, there is potential that you will disrupt some important physiological cycles. I personally have not swallowed vitamin D in seven years, but moved to Florida to get high quality sun exposure. Also, UVB is not the only wavelength in sunlight. You really need all the frequencies to effectively treat depression. For example, daily exposure to sunlight outdoors without glasses or contacts (ideally grounded to the earth) for several minutes within an hour of sunrise is a powerful stimulus to normalize your circadian rhythm. Avoiding all blue light from artificial sources is another factor. When these are done you typically sleep better, which is a profoundly important factor for depression. Regain Your Mental Health by Quelling InflammationIf you suffer from depression, it may be well worth your effort to take steps to reduce the level of inflammation in your body. No drugs are necessary for this. In fact, your best strategy is to address your diet, and make sure to get enough animal-based omega-3 and vitamin D. Raw organic nuts are a great source of healthy fats, but I wouldn’t recommend hitching your hopes on nuts alone. You also need to ditch the processed foods (which are chockfull of inflammatory ingredients) and switch to real foods, as that’s where you’ll find important antioxidants and nutrients that help combat inflammation. I would strongly encourage you to consider a ketogenic diet — the anti-inflammatory capacity of which is truly profound. Also be sure to address your gut health, as impaired gut flora is also frequently involved in depression. One of the easiest ways to help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria is to eat traditionally fermented and cultured foods such as kefir, natto, kimchi and fermented vegetables, most of which are also easy and inexpensive to make from scratch at home.
DNA has a lot to do with depression as a lot of depressed people have brain fog through histamine intolerence (food Intolerance and when given anti depressants they are feeling just as bad because their DNA is at fault so the never ending circle begins before taking any anti depressant have a gene test carried out MTHFR and Histamines are a full on possibility in your genes CYP2D6 genetic mutation Cytochrome P450 genes
Allison vickery is one person to follow if you do have a problem with Histamine intolerance
cut and paste this page to google below http://alisonvickery.com.au/the-anti-depressant-brain-fog-and-histamine-intolerance-connection/ http://alisonvickery.com.au/tag/mast-cell-activation-disorder/ http://alisonvickery.com.au/cyp450-enzymes-a-complete-list-of-the-most-potent-inhibiting-and-inducing-foods-a
before taking anything medically for the below problems do your DNA so a proper analysis can be done to see if you dont have a problem with Histamine intolerance head fog is a standard with histamine intolerance
Anger and violent behaviour.
ADHD, ADD. Hyperactive, difficulty paying attention, inappropriately acting on impulse.
... and many other brain-related illnesses (neuropathies).
A healthy diet and lifestyle plus traditional remedies can prevent and treat all of the above.
What is depression?Depression can vary from a slight and temporary feeling of low mood, through to major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD is also known as clinical depression, major depression, recurrent depressive disorder, unipolar depression, or unipolar disorder.
Clinical depression is a mental disorder that can seem all-encompassing to the sufferer. It is a disabling condition that adversely affects personal relationships and family, social, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health and wellbeing.
Incidence of depression 8-12% of people worldwide suffer from major depression at some time in their lives. This ranges from a low of 3% in Japan to a high of 12% in the USA. (15)
Major depression is about twice as common in women as in men.
The most common age of onset is 20-30, with a peak between 30-40.
Symptoms of depression and some other psychological and mental ailments
Most people have occasional low moods, but with depression they persist for weeks or years, and may be due to something trivial or no logical reasons at all. A depressed person is often preoccupied with thoughts of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt or regret, helplessness, hopelessness or self-hatred. They may have suicidal thoughts.
Feeling low, sad, melancholy, hopeless, discouraged.
Isolation and withdrawal from normal social life and activities.
Lack of enthusiasm for anything, including formerly pleasurable activities.
Anxiety. About half of those who have clinical depression also suffer from lifetime anxiety. (1)
Low confidence or low self-esteem.
Children. Young children may be particularly clingy, demanding, dependent or insecure. School aged children may be irritable, lose interest in school, and show declining academic performance. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also occur.
Inability to make any decisions.
Finding it hard to concentrate.
Frequent crying spells.
Sleep problems. Insomnia affects over 80% of depressed people. Excessive sleeping is also a symptom.
Changes in appetite. Loss of weight most common, sometimes weight gain.
May report fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, aches and pains.
May appear either agitated or lethargic to friends and family.
In severe cases psychosis (loss of contact with reality).
Consequences of many psychological and mental ailments
Reduced life expectancy because of high risk of suicide and many other illnesses (14). Increased risk of cardiovascular disease. (3)
Hospitalisation may be necessary in cases with serious self-neglect or a significant risk of harm to self or others.
Happiness and success in life.
Root / primary causes of psychological and mental ailments
Recurrent negative thinking. This may be from a reaction or overreaction to trauma, pain (2) or other negative and stressful life events (10), and the lack of skills, resilience or assistance to cope. If the negative thinking continues, it can become self-sustaining (obsessive compulsive disorder). Continual thinking in a particular way reinforces itself and physically changes the brain. Research shows that the brain is highly plastic.
Intra-cellular infection with pathogens. (30) Usually a virus, small bacteria or protozoa. These parasites live inside cells, and some shed their own cellular walls to better hide from the immune system. Thousands of these microorganisms can live inside a single cell; eventually the cell walls burst and they spread to a new cellular host. These pathogens mostly affect the brain, nerves and immune system rather than other parts of the body. For example, toxoplasma gondii infection is associated with schizophrenia, mood disorders and cognitive impairment. (19) Chlamydia pneumoniae has been found in the brains of nearly all multiple sclerosis patients, and the majority of Alzheimer's patients.
Bacterial imbalance. (30) Loss of healthy bacteria, and the proliferation of other bacteria and micro-organisms. (10) This is in addition to the intra-cellular infection of brain and nerve tissue cited under the Primary Causes above. Note that most autistic children have digestive disorders and most schizophrenics have digestive problems that started as children.
Toxins. Accumulation of a wide variety of toxins to which the brain and nervous system are exposed. Foods are the most common and major source of toxins, usually accompanied by a wide variety of digestive problems. A range of estrogen-like hormones and chemicals (xenoestrogens) in the environment cause a wide variety of hormonal problems. A huge range of other toxic pollutants in our homes, everyday environment, personal care products and water are so diverse and so individual to each person, that it is difficult to connect the dots between the toxin and the ailment. One of the worst toxins is bromine, a widespread cause of psychoses and many psychological disorders. Bromides are used in soft drinks (colas, sodas, sports drinks), white flour and processed foods, and many pharmaceuticals and household products. The antidote to bromine? Iodine Another common toxic halogen that is put in the water supply in America and countries closely aligned with the USA is fluorine. Fluorides are also added to many common household products, especially toothpaste. (22) See fluoride removal. Another toxic cause of autism and mental ailments is Glyphosate or Roundup. Studies examined soy and many other common foods containing Monsanto's Roundup, and found an irrefutable correlation. (21)
Secondary causes of psychological and mental ailments
Toxic diet. Usually based on processed food, with a high level of chemical additives, sugar and refined carbohydrates, manufactured vegetable oils, and grain-based. Malnutrition - a lack of natural vitamins and minerals, particularly magnesium, vitamin D and omega-3 essential fats.
A diet with a high level of sugar, starch and carbohydrates may also feed a pathogenic infection (see above).
This type of toxic diet will also cause a high level of allergies and food reactions.
Pharmaceutical drugs. The medications used to treat depression are toxic, addictive and have a variety of serious and horrible side effects. Once started they are difficult to stop, because a rapid reduction in dosage can cause symptoms to reappear with a vengeance. Drugs must be discontinued slowly, usually over many months. Unfortunately doctors have a strong financial and professional incentive to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs in preference to altering patient's diet or using the natural cures recommended on this page. Aside from being lucrative profit earners, they lock in their patients/customers for years, sometimes for life.
One of the most common side-effects of anti-psychotic drugs is a strong increase in appetite. Most people who take these drugs put on weight, with many becoming obese after starting one. The obesity leads to diabetes and other ailments. But one of the worst effects is that just when the patient is suffering from depression or some psychosis, their self-image may be threatened when they look in the mirror at their new, fat body.
Lack of exercise. Exercise is an excellent toxin remover and form of relaxation.
An over-reaction to a life event such as bereavement, loss of job or not getting what you had hoped for. Not reacting appropriately to life's stresses. Lack of support, life skills, amenities.
Regular exposure to stresses that exceed the ability to cope. Social or business rejection, a bad boss, an abusive spouse or family member, or any other repeated stress. (30)
Pyroluria. If you also have several of the other symptoms listed for this condition, this may be the key to successfully treating depression and many other psychological and physical ailments.
Air pollution (small particulate) is associated with many mental and psychological disorders, and may also act as a trigger. (23,24)
Genetic. One study estimated the hereditary differences in occurrence to be about 40% for women and 30% for men. (4)
Estrogen is associated with depressive disorders, both at abnormally high or low levels. Premenstrual and postpartum periods of low estrogen levels are also associated with increased risk. (5) Recovery from depression post-partum, peri-menopause, and post-menopause after estrogen level was normalised. (6)
First, a non-toxic diet is essential for those cases of depression that have a toxic primary cause.
Second, eat foods that starve rather than feed a viral or small-bacteria infection in the brain or nervous system. This is essential for those cases of depression caused by a pathogenic infection.
Third, avoid using polyunsaturated fats (except for omega-3 oils) which displace the healthy saturated fats in cell membranes and nerve cells. You cannot enjoy good mental and physical health without lots of saturated fats in your diet. This is exactly the opposite to what you hear on TV advertisements and from many old-fashioned doctors.
The diet and lifestyle in my ebook Grow Youthful is the perfect remedy for depression and most other neuropathies. It is a gluten-free (28,29) and near-ketogenic diet (but not a ketogenic fast, although ketogenic fasts are extremely effective when used for a limited period.)
Probiotics. Get the best possible bacterial exposure. Use probiotic foods and drinks throughout your life.
*** Exercise. A 30 minute walk can have a markedly beneficial effect on a depressed person. Any movement is beneficial. Regular daily exercise, in which your heart and breathing rates go up, especially assists those cases of depression that have a toxic primary cause.
A major 30 year study (25) following 2,235 men found that exercise such as daily walking reduced their risk of dementia by a staggering 60%. (If any money-making pharmaceutical did this, it would be the most-prescribed drug in the history of medicine). Aerobic exercise protects you from Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and most other dementia. It improves your memory and keeps you sharp. (26)
Relaxation. Make time for gentle and loving social connection. Warmly give to others. (31) Try meditation, watching the sunrise, or a walk among the trees or out in nature.
Major depressive episodes often resolve over time even if they are not treated. Outpatients on a waiting list often reduce by 10-15% in a few months, with approximately 20% no longer meeting the full criteria for their depressive disorder. (13)
Antidepressant drugs are commonly prescribed for depression but cause horrible and serious side effects. They are also highly addictive, and very difficult and time-consuming to stop using. Other remedies should always be a first treatment, with pharmaceutical drugs only being a last resort when the life or safety of the patient or others is at risk.
Meaningful social connection. Spend more time relating with people. They will help put things in perspective, and help you be more positive. Depression is often self-centred. Other people help bring you out of yourself. A study showed that meaningful social interaction reversed brain shrinkage associated with ageing (31).
Share your feelings and emotions with close relatives or friends and don't bottle them up. Talking about problems is healthy and not a sign of weakness.
Back to nature. New studies (16,17,18) show that taking time out to go for a walk in a nature setting is highly beneficial for depression. Getting outdoors and away from phones, decision overload, technology and information overload has huge benefits. Children with ADHD had dramatic improvements. After four days of immersion in nature, a group of adults increased their performance on a creativity and problem-solving task by a full 50%. (18)
Sunlight. Natural vitamin D is an essential part of the defence against intra-cellular infections. Sunlight is also important for general good health through a variety of other mechanisms. Light at specific wavelengths can heal a wide variety of other problems, ranging from wounds, to strokes, to skin problems. Sunlight directly affects the production of melatonin. (27)
Iodine is an essential part of the defence against intra-cellular infections. It strengthens the immune system, and displaces halogen toxins. Most people are iodine-deficient.
Boron. Taken in the form of borax, boron destroys fungi and bacteria in the body, and is one of the most effective treatments for mycoplasma deep in the brain or nerves. It is also an effective detox agent.
Magnesium. This master mineral relaxes both your mind and your muscles. Magnesium helps you sleep properly. It is usually deficient in cases of chronic stress, and is depleted by stress.
Zinc and B vitamins (particularly B6), especially if your suffer from the common condition pyroluria.
Try to avoid extra stress. If possible, postpone or delegate major decisions. Tackle only one problem at a time. Break tasks into small, achievable goals and work through them.
Avoid repeated exposure to stressful events. Ask for help in figuring out what to fix, what to put up with, and what to walk away from. The longer you leave these stressors, the more likely they are to wire a depressing response in your brain.
Awareness of, but not an obsession with, sources of pollution in your environment. Grow Youthful lists the most likely sources.