Since the start of COVID-19, rates of debilitating depression have TRIPLED in women.
If you go to a traditional doctor, you’ll hear that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that leads to low serotonin levels.
This theory is over 60 years old. I have to admit, I believed it for a long time. I’ve even written to you about it…
But I’m now convinced that the depression-serotonin connection was created by drug companies to sell their serotonin drugs — called SSRIs.
Big Pharma has made a fortune on our modern epidemic of depression. Most doctors are quick to offer not one but two or even three pills for everything from low mood to major depression.
In one study, researchers tested serotonin levels in spinal fluid taken from two groups of people. One group was depressed patients. The other group had no depression. Results showed both groups had the exact same levels of serotonin.1
And in an animal study, researchers knocked out the part of the brain that makes serotonin. You’d think that would produce some very depressed mice. But the mice with no serotonin were no more depressed than a control group.2
It’s no wonder studies show Big Pharma’s depression drugs don’t work.3
I believe depression is caused by inflammation.
A study from Emory University found a clear link between inflammation and depression. Patients with major depression had more inflammation. The researchers also found reducing inflammation lifts depression.4
And our modern grain-based diet is at the root of that inflammation. The inflammatory protein gluten in many grains has been linked to depression…
In a study from Australia, 22 people on a gluten-free diet were given gluten, whey or a placebo for just three days. Then they were tested for their mental state. Those getting gluten scored much higher on the depression scale than the others.5
I advise my patients to avoid grains and get back to what I call a “primal way of eating.”
To eat like our ancestors, get most of your calories from fat and protein. Look for grass-fed beef and dairy products, wild-caught fish and poultry and eggs from pastured animals.
Relieve Depression Without Big Pharma’s Fake Drugs
If depression strikes, I recommend natural compounds to lift your mood. Here are three of the best:
- SAMe. Your brain needs this co-enzyme to produce neurotransmitters. It’s been used in Europe to treat depression for over 20 years. In a Harvard study, psychiatrists treated 30 patients with major depression who didn’t respond to Big Pharma’s drugs. They gave them up to 1,600 mg of SAMe daily. After six weeks, 50% of the patients responded to SAMe. And 43% had remission of their symptoms.6
I recommend 200 mg a day to start. If after two weeks you don’t see an improvement, take 400 mg.
- Special Omega-3s. Your brain is composed of two omega-3s called DHA and EPA. DHA is concentrated in your brain’s “mood zone.” It helps electrochemical signals jump between cells. But DHA needs EPA to control inflammation.
If the brain doesn’t get enough DHA and EPA, it creates second-rate brain cells that can’t do their job properly. Studies show how the brain needs EPA and DHA to ward off depression.7
But it’s almost impossible to get what you need from food. So supplements are the best way to boost your levels. I recommend krill oil and squid oil to my patients. It doesn’t have the toxicity problems of fish oil. Plus, krill oil stores its omega-3s in the more absorbable phospholipid form.
Take 500 mg of DHA and 60 mg of EPA. And combine it with astaxanthin. This powerful antioxidant helps DHA cross the blood brain barrier.
- Magnesium. Low magnesium in the brain is linked to serious depression that resists most drugs. But taking magnesium can rapidly terminate stubborn depression. Research shows it works better than the common antidepressant imipramine. And it doesn’t have the bad side effects.
Case histories show magnesium supplements can lift major depression in less than seven days. All it took was 125 mg to 300 mg of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime.>
I recommend taking between 600 mg and 1,000 mg of magnesium per day. Look for the glycinate or taurinate forms.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
Whitaker R. (2010). Anatomy of an epidemic: Magic bullets, psychiatric drugs and the astonishing rise of mental illness in America. Crown Publishing.
Angoa-Pérez M, et al. “Mice genetically depleted of brain serotonin do not display a depression-like behavioral phenotype.” ACS Chem Neurosci. 2014;5(10):908-919.
Lacasse JR and Leo J. “Serotonin and depression: A disconnect between the advertisements and the scientific literature.” PLOS Med. 2005;2(12):e392.
Miller AH, et al. “Inflammation and its discontents: The role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of major depression.” Biol Psychiatry. 2009;65(9):732-741.
Peters SL, et al. “Randomised clinical trial: Gluten may cause depression in subjects with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity – an exploratory clinical study.” Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014;39(10):1104-1112.
6 De Vanna M and Rigamonti R. “Oral s-adenosyl-l-methionine in depression.” Curr Ther Res. 1992;52:478-485.
7 Bozzatello P, et al. “Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in psychiatric disorders: a review of literature data.” J Clin Med. 2016;5(8):67.