F The Natural Way to Beat Depression Dr. David Brownstein’s

Dr. David Brownstein’s
December 2011
Vol. 4, Issue 12
The Natural Way to Beat Depression
F
or many people, the holiday season is the
happiest time of the year. We reminisce
with family and friends, sharing the latest
news about our accomplishments and activities
and keeping loved ones up-to-date on our future
goals. The fellowship we share and the feelings we
experience during the holidays mark a fitting end to
the year gone by and prepare us for the year ahead.
However, for too many people the holiday
season can be a time of terrible depression.
Depression is a serious health problem in the
United States, with symptoms that include sadness,
dramatic weight change (loss or gain), insomnia or
oversleeping, loss of energy, and thoughts of death
or suicide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) reports that 1 in 10 American adults suffer
from depression, and the use of antidepressant drugs
has tripled in the past decade. 1
In this issue of Natural Way to Health, I will
focus on the depression that plagues so many
people not only during the holiday season, but
throughout the year as well. I will explain some of
the poor science behind antidepressant medications,
and describe some of the safe and effective natural
therapies that can help overcome the effects of
depression without harmful side effects.
How Does the Brain Function?
Despite great medical advancements, brain
function is still not well understood. We know
that electrical activity in the brain is carried by
nerve fibers and is responsible for all of the brain’s
functions, including memory, cognition, and
emotion.
As the electrical charge reaches the end of the
nerve fiber, called the presynaptic area, it causes
the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin,
norepinephrine, and dopamine. The released
neurotransmitter moves across the synapse (the
junction between two neurons, or brain cells) to
the postsynaptic site on the opposite neuron. The
successful binding of the neurotransmitter at the
postsynaptic site results in a further movement of
the electrical impulse down the next nerve fiber.
But constant stimulation of the postsynaptic site
can cause many problems, including nervousness,
anxiety, and hyper-responsiveness.
To ensure that excess neurotransmitters do not
overstimulate the postsynaptic sites, the brain has
a system to reabsorb the neurotransmitter into the
presynaptic cell for future use.
The ‘Chemical Imbalance’ Theory
Of Depression Is Wrong
I was taught in medical school that depression
was a result of a “chemical imbalance” in the
brain, and that the solution was to correct that
chemical imbalance with medications. This theory,
In This Issue . . .
Depression Medications Are Ineffective................ 3
Antidepressants Are Not for Children.................. 3
Case Study: Junk Food Goes to Patient’s Head.... 4
Psychotherapy Shows Positive Results................... 5
Exercise Releases Endorphins................................ 5
In the News: Vitamin C Fights Aging................... 6
St. John’s Wort Can Ease Depression..................... 7
Ask Dr. Brownstein................................................. 8
Solving Beth’s Depression
Beth had suffered from depression
for 10 years. “I was fine until a few
months after my child was born,”
she told me. “After that I was always
crying and had difficulty sleeping.”
Three weeks after her symptoms
had started, Beth was referred to
a psychiatrist who diagnosed her
with depression. At that visit, he
prescribed Prozac. When I asked Beth
if the doctor performed a physical
exam or ordered laboratory tests, she
said, “No.”
Initially, Beth felt improvement
with Prozac. “My mood was better
and I just felt better overall. I thought
the Prozac was helping,” she stated.
But after a few months, Beth
began to have brain fog and anxiety.
When she asked the doctor if these
symptoms were due to the Prozac, he
said absolutely not.
Over the next few weeks, her
symptoms continued and Beth
decided to see for herself. She looked
up Prozac in the Physician’s Desk
Reference. “I saw the same side
effects I was having: anxiety and
insomnia.” Beth tried to stop taking
Prozac, but found that if she missed a
few doses her symptoms got worse.
At this point, Beth came to me.
Testing revealed she was suffering
with hypothyroidism, a deficiency
of thyroid hormone. I told her that
hypothyroidism can cause depression,
anxiety, and brain fog. I treated Beth
with a natural, desiccated thyroid
first proposed in a research article published in
1965, proposes that a deficiency or under-activity
of a neurotransmitter (or neurotransmitters) is
responsible for depression.2
Over the last 45 years, there have been many
versions of the chemical imbalance theory of
depression. One hypothesis states that a deficiency
of compounds called monoamine neurotransmitters
— dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine — is
responsible for depression.
In fact, it was the chemical imbalance hypothesis
of depression that spurred pharmaceutical
companies to develop and market the class of
antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin
reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
If you believe the media and the Big Pharma
cartel, you’d think the chemical imbalance
hormone as well as a combination
of vitamins and minerals to treat her
nutritional deficiencies. Furthermore,
I asked Beth to eat a diet free of
refined foods and asked her to drink
60 ounces of water per day.
Within three weeks, all of her
symptoms were improved. Two
months later, I had Beth slowly taper
off the Prozac pills. Once off the
medication, Beth felt even better.
Two years later, Beth is doing
well on a nutritional regimen. It is
ridiculous to prescribe a medication
such as an SSRI without performing a
physical exam, compiling a thorough
patient history, and ordering
appropriate laboratory tests to search
for underlying causes of depression.
hypothesis was a fact. But the theory has never been
proven. In fact, later research has discredited it.
The fundamental flaw with the chemical
imbalance theory is that no one has ever shown that
changes in neurotransmitters can treat depression.
In fact, studies have been contradictory on whether
increases or decreases in various neurotransmitters
cause or treat depression.
For years, reserpine (an old medication derived
from the Indian snakeroot plant) was used to treat
hypertension, insomnia and psychotic symptoms.
However, due to side effects, it is rarely used today.
One of reserpine’s modes of action is to
deplete monamine neurotransmitters in the
synapses of the brain. It does this by blocking the
transport of monamine neurotransmitters to the
presynaptic sites of the nerves. The unprotected
Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health is a publication of Newsmax Media, Inc., and Newsmax.com. It is published monthly at a charge of $108.00 per year and is offered online
and in print through Newsmax.com.
Our editorial offices are located at 560 Village Boulevard, Ste. 120, West Palm Beach, Florida 33409.
The owner, publisher, and editor are not responsible for errors and omissions. Rights of reproduction and distribution of this newsletter are reserved.
Any unauthorized reproduction or distribution of information contained herein, including storage in retrieval systems or posting on the Internet, is expressly forbidden without the consent
of Newsmax Media.
For permission, contact the publisher at: PO Box 20989, West Palm Beach, Florida 33416.
CEO Christopher Ruddy Health Publisher Travis Davis Author David Brownstein, M.D. Contributing Editor Matthew Kalash Production/Art Director Elizabeth Dole
To contact Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health send e-mail to: [email protected] Subscription/Customer Service contact 1-800-485-4350 or [email protected]
com. Send e-mail address changes to [email protected]
© 2011 Newsmax Media, all rights reserved. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical
or nutritional course of action.
health
Page 2
drbrownstein.newsmax.com
December 2011
neurotransmitters are rapidly metabolized by an
enzyme (MAO) so that the postsynaptic receptors
are not overstimulated.
Animal studies showed that reserpine decreased
brain levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and
dopamine. If the chemical imbalance theory were
true, lowering the levels of these neurotransmitters
would result in depression in those who took
reserpine.
However, in 1971, research showed that reserpine
did not cause depression in the vast majority of
people that took it.3 In fact, earlier studies suggested
that reserpine actually improved depression.4
A valid hypothesis must withstand all criticisms.
The chemical imbalance theory fails to explain why
reserpine does not cause depression in significant
numbers.
Depression Medications
Are Ineffective
Numerous studies have tried to prove the
chemical theory of depression by lowering serotonin
levels in order to cause depression. This is done by
having subjects limit their ingestion of the amino
acid tryptophan, which is needed to make serotonin.
An analysis of over 90 studies failed to show
that lowering serotonin levels produced depression
in individuals who were not previously depressed.
In fact, in the vast majority of studies, there was no
change in the subjects’ mood.5
But perhaps the most compelling argument
against the use of SSRIs is their performance
against placebo. In 2000, researchers studied the
seven newest antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil,
Effexor, Serzone, Remeron, and Wellbutrin SR) and
none of these blockbuster drugs were found to be
significantly more effective in treating depression
than a placebo.6
In fact, the studies found that the antidepressant
medications improved the symptoms of depression
by 40 percent while the placebo improved the
symptoms of depression by 41 percent. Furthermore,
the older antidepressants — called tricyclics —
were found to be 41.7 percent effective in treating
the symptoms of depression. In other words, both
classes of drugs failed to outperform the placebo.
Big Pharma’s push to market the SSRI
December 2011
Antidepressants Are Not for Children
Depression does not just affect adults. Today,
children are being diagnosed and treated with
antidepressant medications in ever-increasing
numbers. In 2009, over 1 million antidepressant
prescriptions were dispensed to children under the age
of 10, and more than 8.5 million prescriptions were
filled for children 10-19 years old.
I am just amazed that doctors can prescribe these
kinds of medications — and in these numbers! — to
children when there are hardly any studies showing
that antidepressants are beneficial for the young.
In fact, prescribing these medications to children
can have serious, life-threatening consequences,
including increased risk of suicide.
antidepressants stated flat out that these drugs
worked better and were safer. Neither is true.
Instead, Big Pharma has sold doctors, the media,
and the public a slick advertising campaign that
convinced consumers that the newer drugs were a
better option than cheaper, non-patentable products.
But for the vast majority of people, neither the
newer nor the older antidepressant medication is
a great choice. Studies have failed to confirm their
efficacy, and they are fraught with adverse effects.
Continued on page 5
David Brownstein, M.D., is a
board-certified family physician and
one of the foremost practitioners
of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein
has lectured internationally to
physicians and others about his
success with natural hormones and
nutritional therapies in his practice.
His books include Drugs That
Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why
You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way
To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming
Arthritis; Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a
Gluten-Free Diet; The Guide to Healthy Eating; and The
Guide to a Dairy-Free Diet. He is the medical director of
the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich.,
where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage
daughters, Hailey and Jessica. For more information about
Dr. Brownstein, please go to www.drbrownstein.com.
newsmaxhealth.com
Page 3
Junk Food Goes Straight to a Patient’s Head
In each issue, I will share with you the story of one of
my patients and how sometimes simple alternative
approaches can solve major health problems. Names
and some details have been changed for privacy’s sake,
but the problems and their resolutions are real.
— Dr. David Brownstein
Rick, age 59, had suffered from Meniere’s disease for
over 10 years. This is a disorder of the inner ear that
causes spontaneous episodes of vertigo or dizziness
along with ringing or loss of hearing.
In most cases, Meniere’s only affects one ear. It
occurs mostly in patients in their 40s and 50s, and a
person suffering from a Meniere’s episode is literally
bedridden. But the episodes come at random intervals
— some patients experience frequent attacks while
others can go many years between episodes.
Rick described a Meniere’s attack to me this way:
“I get dizzy and my head feels heavy. Then, as the
dizziness worsens, I begin to vomit. If I don’t move my
head at all, the dizziness is controlled. But even a slight
movement of my head causes it to begin again.”
What You Need Is Good Salt
When Rick had his first attack, he went to an ear,
nose, and throat specialist (ENT) who diagnosed
Meniere’s disease. He advised Rick to go on a low-salt
diet and to take a diuretic medication.
Soon after seeing the ENT, Rick asked my opinion.
I told him, “Let’s get your levels checked before you go
on that diet and take the medication.”
A blood electrolyte test showed Rick’s sodium level
was low at 135 mmol/L. (A normal reading is 136 to
145 mmol/L.) Taking a diuretic medication, which
causes the body to lose sodium, in combination with
a low-salt diet could have been disastrous. What Rick
really needed was more good salt in his diet.
Conventional medicine would have you believe that
all salt is harmful. Not only is their message wrong,
following their recommendations will lead to more
illness.
There is no question that we get too much refined
salt in our diet. This is the fine white salt that is on
nearly every restaurant table and the pantry of most
houses throughout the country.
What most people don’t know is that the refining
process removes all the healthy minerals from salt,
leaving behind a harmful product that contains too
much sodium and toxic byproducts. If you have
Page 4
refined salt in your house, throw it out.
Unrefined salt has not had its vital minerals
removed. It should be part of everyone’s diet.
(However, those with kidney problems should use
caution, and consult their doctors.)
Salt is the second most prevalent substance in
the body next to water. We need unrefined salt to
maintain optimal adrenal gland and immune system
function. In fact, every cell in the body requires the
minerals in unrefined salt to function optimally.
‘My Body Won’t Tolerate Refined Salt’
Rick immediately increased his intake of unrefined
salt in the form of Celtic Brand Sea Salt. He took 1 to
2 teaspoons per day, and his response was immediate.
“After the first dose, I felt better,” he told me. “The
dizziness diminished and the nausea began to fade.
About 36 hours later, they were gone.”
I asked Rick what he thought precipitated his
Meniere’s attacks. “Whenever I go off my diet and
start eating junk food I start to feel a little off,” he
claimed.
Ten years after the first attack, Rick was on a
vacation with his son. During a long car ride, he
ate some junk food full of refined salt. When he
reached his destination, he began to feel unsteady. In
the middle of the night, he became very dizzy, had
ringing in his ears and began to vomit. He had started
another Meniere’s attack.
Rick sent his son to the closest health food store
to buy Redmond’s Real Salt. Rick took one-quarter
teaspoon of unrefined salt in a glass of water every
hour for three hours. After the first dose of salt, he
began to feel better. By the third dose, Rick said,
“I was 80 percent better. I was still dizzy, but the
symptoms were calming down. I learned a big lesson
— I can’t eat like I used to because my body won’t
tolerate refined salt.”
I’ve treated many Meniere’s patients with unrefined
salt as part of a holistic treatment regimen. I’ve never
seen a patient’s symptoms flare up from using healthy
salt. In fact, similar to Rick, most patients’ symptoms
dramatically improve.
How much unrefined salt should you ingest? Most
people do well with approximately one-half to one
teaspoon per day.
More information about salt can be found in my
book, Salt Your Way to Health and in the September
2011 issue of Natural Way to Health.
drbrownstein.newsmax.com
December 2011
SPECIAL ADVERTISER SUPPLEMENT
Are You Ready To Say Good Bye To Body Aches And Pains
Without Relying On Dangerous OTC Or Pharmaceutical Drugs?
Well Now You Can With Super Osteo GOLD™!
a Regenerate new cartilage
a Stop cartilage from deteriorating
a Block inflammation and reduce pain
a Form and strengthen connective tissue
a Create more shock absorbing fluid
a Stimulate natural joint lubrication
Introducing A Breakthrough Product That Can Change How You Feel In As Little As 7 Days!
Super Osteo GOLD™ is the only product to combine the 9 most effective ingredients for proven pain reduction and
joint health support. Just one dose contains 1,500 mg of Glucosamine HCl, 1,200 mg of Chondroitin, 500 mg of MSM,
100 mg of Hyaluronic Acid and a 500 mg proprietary blend of 5 anti-infammatory herbal extracts, including Curcumin, Tart
Cherry and more. No other formula can match the superior joint health support that you’ll get from Super Osteo GOLD™!
Try Super Osteo GOLD™ RISK FREE - AND Get Free Priority Shipping! (a $7.95 value)
q YOUR VERY BEST DEAL
Three Easy Ways to Order:
(Price per bottle includes bonus bottle)
1. Toll-Free: 800-627-9721 (Reference Code: SOGSP94)
2. Online: www.StopAgingNow.com/painfree94
3. By Mail: Complete this order form and mail to:
Please send me 6 bottles of Super Osteo GOLD™ plus 1
FREE bonus bottle for only $129.43 (that’s just $18.49
per bottle). This offer also includes FREE SHIPPING!
q GREAT SAVINGS
Please send me 3 bottles of Super Osteo GOLD™ for only
$74.85 (that’s just $24.95 per bottle). This offer also
includes FREE SHIPPING!
Stop Aging Now, Attn: Orders Dept,
8825 Boggy Creek Road, Orlando, FL 32824
NOTE: This is NOT an automatic ship plan. No other charges will be made other than your initial
order. Free shipping applies to ground shipments in the U.S. & Canada. Coupons cannot be applied.
q GOOD SAVINGS
Please send me 1 bottle of Super Osteo GOLD™ for $29.95.
This offer also includes FREE SHIPPING!
365 DAY
Return Policy
Made in USA
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Continued from page 3
Antidepressants Increase Suicide Risk
Suicidal thoughts and behavior frequently
accompany depression. You would think that drugs
created specifically to treat depression would be
effective for preventing such thoughts and behavior.
On the contrary, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has issued a Public
Health Advisory about the relationship between
antidepressants and suicide. The advisory states that
adults being treated with antidepressants should be
watched closely for worsening of depression and for
increased suicidal thinking or behavior.
How could a class of medications that is
supposed to prevent depression and suicide possibly
be causing or worsening the adverse effects?
In my book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural
Therapies that Do, I write, “You can’t poison a crucial
enzyme or block an important receptor for the long
term and expect a good result.”
SSRIs work by poisoning an enzyme that is
responsible for reabsorbing serotonin at its receptor.
For the vast majority of people treated with these
drugs, it cannot be healthy to continually block the
reuptake of serotonin.
So if you have depression, what can you do? Here
are some natural therapies that can treat depression
without the adverse side effects.
Psychotherapy Shows Positive Results
Psychotherapy — or talk therapy — has been
shown to have potent antidepressive capabilities
without the risk of adverse side effects associated
with medications. Psychotherapy has also been
shown to reduce the rate of relapse often associated
with depression. 7
My clinical experience has shown that
Exclusive to Current Subscribers
Current subscribers have instant access to any and every
past edition of Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health.
Simply go here:
drbrownstein.newsmax.com
Check your e-mail inbox for this month’s password.
Adverse Effects of Depression Meds
You might be surprised to learn what adverse
effects are associated with antidepressant
medications. According to the Physician’s Desk
Reference, the PDR, the adverse side effects of Prozac,
and their frequency, include:.
• Agitation: frequent
• Amnesia: frequent
• Anxiety: 12 to 15 percent
• Decreased libido: 3 to 11 percent
• Dizziness: 10 percent
• Insomnia: 16 to 33 percent
• Somnolence (drowsiness): 13 to 17 percent
• Tremors: 10 percent
Looking at that list is enough to make you
depressed!
And if that’s not enough, one study found that
there is a 55 percent higher risk of death for those
who take antidepressant medications.
In addition, use of antidepressant medications
during pregnancy can cause newborns to develop
a serious condition known as persistent pulmonary
hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Infants exposed
to SSRIs had a tenfold higher risk of PPHN.
psychotherapy can be a very effective treatment for a
depressed patient.
Finding the right therapist can take some time,
but in my opinion, it’s well worth the effort. Before
rushing to take an antidepressant drug, I suggest
working with a qualified therapist.
Exercise Releases Endorphins
Researchers studying exercise as a treatment
for depression examined three groups of subjects:
a group treated with exercise, a group treated with
exercise and Zoloft (an SSRI medication), and a
group treated with Zoloft alone. They reported
that after four months of treatment, depression
significantly improved in all three groups. 8
However, relapse of depression occurred in 38
percent of those treated with Zoloft and 31 percent
of those treated with Zoloft and exercise. Yet those
in the exercise-only group had just 8 percent
recurrence of depression — and that without the use
(Please remember to use lowercase letters.)
December 2011
Continued on page 7
newsmaxhealth.com
Page 5
In the News: Reading Between the Medical Headlines
Supplement Study
Deeply Flawed
Scientists surveyed 38,772
women three times over an
18-year period to study the
relationship between supplement
use and mortality. In their report,
published in the October 2011
issue of Archives of Internal
Medicine, the authors concluded
that “dietary vitamin and mineral
supplements may be associated
with increased total mortality risk.”
This study made headlines
across the country by claiming that
taking nutritional supplements
increased the risk of dying. But this
was a deeply flawed study. These
women were asked just three
times over 18 years about which
supplements they were taking. No
lab tests were conducted.
Which brand of supplements
did they take? Were the
supplements recommended by
doctors? These questions were not
answered.
Finally, this study actually
showed, as compared to those who
were non-users, most supplement
users had a neutral or decreased
risk of mortality with nearly
every nutritional item studied —
multivitamins included.
Magnesium Lowers
Diabetes Risk
A meta-analysis of 13 studies
that included 536,318 subjects
found that the risk of diabetes was
lowered 22 percent in people who
ingested the most magnesium.
Specifically, for every 100 mg
per day increase in magnesium
consumption, the researchers
reported a 14 percent lower risk
of developing diabetes. The results
were published in the September
issue of the journal Diabetes Care.
Magnesium is an important
mineral used in hundreds of
Page 6
enzymatic reactions in the body.
Unfortunately, our food
supply has become depleted of
magnesium, leading to increases
in a variety of health ailments.
This study showed a significantly
lower risk of developing diabetes
in those subjects with the highest
magnesium levels.
I recommend taking 200 to 400
mg per day for patients who are
deficient. Magnesium is best taken
before bed as it aids sleep.
Vitamin C Fights Aging
Researchers studied 655 elderly
Japanese women, who did not take
supplements, to ascertain how
vitamin C levels affect strength,
balance, and overall fitness. The
study, reported in the September
20, 2011, issue of the Journals of
Gerontology Series A: Biological
Sciences and Medical Sciences,
examined physical performance,
lifestyle, and plasma vitamin C
concentrations of the subjects.
This study positively correlated
vitamin C levels with strength,
agility, and walking speed — all
of which are important measures
of aging. The authors found
plasma vitamin C concentrations
positively correlated with handgrip
strength, length of time standing
on one leg with eyes open, and
walking speed. Furthermore,
plasma vitamin C levels were
inversely correlated with body
mass index. (In other words, the
lower the vitamin C levels, the
higher the weight.)
Humans cannot make their
own vitamin C; we must obtain
it from our diet. We get vitamin
C from many food sources, most
prevalently fruits and vegetables.
However, the vitamin C content
of these food sources is directly
dependent on how long before
consumption the produce was
drbrownstein.newsmax.com
removed from its source plant. The
longer ago a food has been picked,
the lower its vitamin C content.
That’s why fresh produce is best.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant
and helps maintain normal
immune system function. It
also helps maintain optimal
detoxification pathways.
I recommend taking 3,000 to
5,000 mg per day. If you get loose
stools with vitamin C, lower the
dosage. Besides loose stools, there
are few side effects.
CoQ10 Decreases Damage
In Head Trauma
In the July 29, 2011, issue of
BMC Neuroscience, researchers
reported on the effect of coenzyme
Q10 in the treatment of head
trauma. In the study, rats that
experienced brain injury were
given CoQ10 after the trauma.
CoQ10 was found to lower the
levels of oxidant-stress markers
in treated rats. The scientists
concluded that CoQ10 may
decrease damage due to brain
injury.
CoQ10 is naturally produced
in our bodies. It is an important
molecule that has been shown
to lower the risk of heart disease,
cancer, and congestive heart failure.
This study expanded the benefits
of CoQ10 to the area of brain
injury.
Unfortunately, CoQ10 levels
are lowered by taking a statin
medication. I have written
extensively about the dangers of
statin medications in previous
newsletters and in my book, Drugs
That Don’t Work and Natural
Therapies That Do.
It is important to keep CoQ10
levels optimal. One way to do that
is to avoid a statin medication. If
you do supplement with CoQ10, I
suggest 100 to 300 mg per day.
December 2011
Continued from page 5
of an expensive drug with numerous side effects.
Exercise has been shown to outperform
psychotropic drug therapy in numerous studies.
Furthermore, it has demonstrated this positive effect
without any risk of adverse effects. Exercise should
be the first recommendation given to a patient
suffering from depression.
How does exercise combat depression? Exercise
has been shown not only to raise serotonin levels,
but also help the body release amino acids called
endorphins, which are produced in the pituitary
gland and the hypothalamus portion of the brain
when the body is excited. (Endorphins are also
produced as a reaction to pain, consumption of
spicy foods, and during and after sexual intercourse.)
Endorphins are thought to be responsible
for the “runner’s high” many people experience
with prolonged exercise. They also function
as neurotransmitters, and have been shown to
have antidepressive activities. Daily exercise has
been shown to elevate the body’s production of
endorphins.
So how much exercise do you need? As little
as 20 minutes a day, three times per week of mild,
moderate, or hard exercise has been shown to help
depression. Walking and running, aerobic and
non-aerobic exercise all have been shown to have
antidepressive benefits. And those benefits are long
lasting; that means the longer you do it, the more
benefit you’ll get.
Along with exercise, there is no question in my
mind that the best prescription for preventing and
treating depression is to eat a healthy diet full of
fresh fruits and vegetables and whole, unrefined
grains. In addition, drink adequate amounts of
water, avoid artificial sweeteners such as aspartame,
and ingest sufficient amounts of unrefined salt.
St. John’s Wort Can Ease Depression
St. John’s Wort is a flowering plant, indigenous
to Europe, which has been used for thousands of
years in treating depressive symptoms. It is thought
to work through the same mechanism as SSRIs,
by impeding the reabsorption of serotonin in the
presynaptic area of the neuron.
There have been many studies comparing
December 2011
St. John’s Wort to commonly prescribed SSRI
medications. The Cochrane Collaboration — an
independent, nonprofit healthcare study group —
found that St. John’s Wort was superior to placebo
in patients with major depression, and compared
favorably to SSRIs and older tricyclic medications.
Furthermore, St. John’s Wort was found to have
75 percent fewer side effects than standard antidepressive medications.9
I have used St. John’s Wort to help wean patients
off SSRIs. However, you have to be very careful
when taking the two together. If you are taking an
SSRI, consult your health care provider before using
St. John’s Wort.
While St. John’s Wort can be helpful in treating
depression, I believe other methods — including
exercise, psychotherapy, cleaning up the diet, and
drinking adequate water — are more effective, and,
in the end, better options.
Today, 10 percent of the American population
is on some kind of antidepressant medication, most
of which come with harmful, if not dangerous, side
effects.
This is hard for me to fathom. It also suggests
that something is terribly wrong with the way the
medical establishment handles depression.
The truth is that you do not have to suffer
from depression and you do not have to suffer
from side effects of antidepressant medications.
While there are some patients who do benefit from
antidepressants, for the vast majority of patients,
natural therapies are safer and more effective against
depression.
More information can be found in my book,
Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That
Do.
References
1. Vendantam, S., Washington Post. December 3, 2004, p. A15.
2. American J. of Psych. (122)1965; 509-22.
3. Semin. Psych. 3, No. 435-48. 1971.
4. The Lancet. 266. N. 6881. P. 117-20. 1955.
5. Molec. Psychiatry. 12. 331-59. 2007
6. K
han, A. Symptom reduction and suicide risk in patients treated with placebo in
antidepressant clinical trials: An Analysis of the Food and Drug Administration
Database. Arch. Of Gen. Psychiatry. 57:311-17. 2000.
7. J. of Consulting and Clin Psychology. 73(4); 647-57. 2005.
8. Babyak, M., Psychosomatic Medicine. 62:633-638. 2000.
9. C
ochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD000448. DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD000448.pub3.
newsmaxhealth.com
Page 7
Ask Dr. Brownstein
Dear Readers,
I will try to answer as many questions as I can.
However, because of the volume of questions, I
cannot answer each letter personally. Please include
your full name, city, and state when submitting.
If you have a question for me, please email it to:
[email protected]
I have Grave’s disease and I was recently diagnosed
with hypothyroidism. What is your position on
drinking a cup of organic soymilk daily?
— Angela P., Colorado Springs, Colo.
Soymilk is a form of non-fermented soy that
contains anti-nutrients that block mineral and
vitamin absorption. Furthermore, this type of soy
is known as a goitrogen, as it can cause a goiter or
swelling of the thyroid gland.
My experience has been clear: Over the long
term, patients who ingest large amounts of nonfermented soy have more thyroid problems than
those who do not ingest soy.
More information about soy can be found in the
November 2011 issue of Natural Way to Health and
in my book, The Soy Deception.
I heard a scientist say that it’s very important that
people over 60 get the shingles vaccine. I’m not 60
yet, but do you think I should get vaccinated?
— Alice A., Farmington Hills, Mich.
It is better to eat a healthy diet and maintain
optimal vitamin B12 levels to help prevent shingles.
My employer is demanding that all employees get
the flu shot. Do you recommend that I get it?
— Mark H., Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) claims that 3,000 to 49,000 people die from
the flu yearly. I say those numbers are hogwash.
Only a few hundred people die yearly from the flu,
and most of those people have complicated medical
conditions.
Most flu vaccines are preserved with mercury.
There is no excuse for injecting any living being
with mercury. Furthermore, the flu vaccine is not
very effective.
Every vaccine that you take causes inflammation
of the brain. It is better to eat a healthy diet, keep
vitamin D levels optimized and supplement with
vitamin C.
Some employers are mandating the flu vaccine
even though the it has not been shown to be very
effective at preventing the flu.
We don’t need our employers or Big Brother
mandating that we be injected with a vaccine that is
ineffective for the vast majority of people.
To your good health,
Shingles is a miserable illness caused by a
reactivation of the chicken pox virus (herpes
zoster). Shingles usually occurs in older people.
Unfortunately, my research has shown that the
vaccine was ineffective for the vast majority of
people who took it.
In fact, most vaccines have a poor response for
older patients. And the shingles vaccine is expensive
— about $200. With an effectiveness rate of just 0.26
percent (according to the American Academy of
Family Physicians) it’s not worth the cost.
Please note: All information presented in Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical
advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented in Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information
found in Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail
to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural
Way to Health do not necessarily reflect those of Newsmax Media.
Page 8
drbrownstein.newsmax.com
December 2011