New research is revealing that many cases of depression are caused by an allergic reaction to inflammation. Tim de Chant of NOVA writes: “Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication. It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines.” Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, unhealthy diets in general, and other causes.
There are many natural substances that can counteract inflammation and by extension depression. Rhiola is one, as noted in this article Roseroot may have potential as alternative treatment for depression:
“For 12 weeks, each participant received either standardized roseroot (rhodiola) extract, sertraline or a placebo. The researchers measured changes in the participants’ depression during this period.
“The researchers found that although the participants receiving sertraline were more likely to report improvements in their symptoms by week 12 of their treatment than participants receiving roseroot extract, the differences were not statistically significant.
“In comparison with participants receiving a placebo, patients taking roseroot had 1.4 times the odds of improvement, whereas patients taking sertraline had 1.9 times the odds.
“However, far more patients receiving sertraline (63%) reported side effects than those receiving roseroot (30%). This finding suggests that roseroot may have a more favorable risk to benefit ratio than sertraline for treating mild to moderate depression.
“These results are a bit preliminary but suggest that herbal therapy may have the potential to help patients with depression who cannot tolerate conventional antidepressants due to side effects,” says Dr. Mao.”
In addition to Rhodiola, other natural anti-inflammatories work well such as curcumin and saffron and many others. It seems nature does not want us to be depressed, and offers many alternatives through it’s abundance, if only we’ll listen.
However, as a postscript on the subject of depression, recent information has now indicated that the drug group called “statins” which are used to treat cholesterol problems may be a new cause of depression as noted in this article from Psychiatric Times journal:
“For more than a decade, Golomb and her team have researched the effects of statin medications.
“ ‘Some individuals taking statins report problems with anxiety and depression, but far more report problems with irritability and changes in personality,” Golomb told Psychiatric Times.
“ ‘An analysis of 324 e-mails of individuals taking statins who reported adverse effects found about 30% reported mood changes (depression, anxiety, irritability),” she said.
“In a survey of persons citing statin adverse effects, Golomb reported that nearly two-thirds (65%) of the 843 respondents endorsed increased anxiety or irritability and 32% endorsed an increase in depressive symptoms as part of the adverse-effect complex they attributed to statins.”