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Newsletters
9/24/14 (under construction)
9/17/14
9/10/14
Previous newsletters

Recent Longevity News for the week ending 9/17/14:

Higher Vit D in Menopause Linked to Big Reduction in Fracture - Medscape, 9/15/14 - "assessed 1620 women who were enrolled in the bone cohort of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), funded by the US National Institutes of Health ... Most of the women (74.5%) were premenopausal or early menopausal, 7.2% were late perimenopausal, and 4.8% were postmenopausal, early in the course of the study, 2 years after enrolling ... The women had mean 25(OH)D levels at the 2-year visit of 21.6 ng/mL ... The mean age of the women at time of 25(OH)D measure was 48.5 years ... average follow-up of 9.5 years ... each 10-ng/mL increase in mean serum 25(OH)D was associated with a 25% lower nontraumatic fracture risk" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Vitamin E intake critical during 'the first 1,000 days' - Science Daily, 9/15/14 - "A lifelong proper intake of vitamin E is also important, researchers said, but often complicated by the fact that this nutrient is one of the most difficult to obtain through diet alone. It has been estimated that only a tiny fraction of Americans consume enough dietary vitamin E to meet the estimated average requirement ... people who are highly motivated to eat a proper diet consume almost enough vitamin E, but broader surveys show that 90 percent of men and 96 percent of women don't consume the amount currently recommended, 15 milligrams per day for adults" - See Jarrow FamilE (contains all eight members of the vitamin E family, includes Tocomin) at Amazon.com.

Should We All Take a Bit of Lithium? - NYTimes.com, 9/13/14 - "Lithium is a naturally occurring element, not a molecule like most medications, and it is present in the United States, depending on the geographic area, at concentrations that can range widely, from undetectable to around .170 milligrams per liter. This amount is less than a thousandth of the minimum daily dose given for bipolar disorders and for depression that doesn’t respond to antidepressants ... Suicide rates were inversely correlated with the lithium content in the local water supply ... Lithium is, by far, the most proven drug to keep neurons alive, in animals and in humans, consistently and with many replicated studies ... If lithium prevents dementia, then we may have overlooked a very simple means of preventing a major public health problem" - See lithium supplements at Amazon.com.  Also see my lithium page.  Related studies:

  • Fountain of youth from the tap? Environmental lithium uptake promotes longevity, scientists demonstrate in worms - Science Daily, 2/18/11 - "A regular uptake of the trace element lithium can considerably promote longevity ... even a low concentration of lithium leads to an increased life expectancy in humans as well as in a model organism, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans ... the Jena scientists analyzed the mortality rate in 18 adjacent Japanese municipalities in relation to the amount of lithium contained in tap water from the respective regions. "We found that the mortality rate was considerably lower in those municipalities with more lithium in the drinking water," Ristow explains the key finding. In a second experiment, the Jena scientists examined exactly this range of concentration in the model organism C. elegans. The result was confirmed: "The average longevity of the worms is higher after they have been treated with lithium at this dosage," ... we know already that a higher uptake of lithium through drinking water is associated with an improvement of psychological well-being and with decreased suicide rates"
  • Does Lithium Prevent Alzheimer's Disease? - Drugs Aging. 2012 Apr 14 - "Lithium salts have a well-established role in the treatment of major affective disorders. More recently, experimental and clinical studies have provided evidence that lithium may also exert neuroprotective effects. In animal and cell culture models, lithium has been shown to increase neuronal viability through a combination of mechanisms that includes the inhibition of apoptosis, regulation of autophagy, increased mitochondrial function, and synthesis of neurotrophic factors. In humans, lithium treatment has been associated with humoral and structural evidence of neuroprotection, such as increased expression of anti-apoptotic genes, inhibition of cellular oxidative stress, synthesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cortical thickening, increased grey matter density, and hippocampal enlargement ... A recent placebo-controlled clinical trial in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) showed that long-term lithium treatment may actually slow the progression of cognitive and functional deficits, and also attenuate Tau hyperphosphorylation in the MCI-AD continuum"

High protein diets lead to lower blood pressure, study finds - Science Daily, 9/11/14 - "high blood pressure (HBP) ... participants consuming the highest amount of protein (an average of 100 g protein/day) had a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure compared to the lowest intake level ... The researchers analyzed protein intakes of healthy participants from the Framingham Offspring Study and followed them for development of high blood pressure over an 11-year period. They found that adults who consumed more protein, whether from animal or plant sources, had statistically significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels after four years of follow-up ... When the diet also was characterized by higher intakes of fiber, higher protein intakes led to 40-60 percent reductions in risk of HBP"

What Are the Effects of Cannabis Use During Pregnancy? - Medscape, 9/12/14 - "Cannabis compounds have a small molecular size and are lipophilic in nature which allows for the drug to readily cross the placental barrier ... In children about 6 years old, lower verbal reasoning scores were associated with heavy cannabis use during the first trimester, and impairment of short-term memory and lower composite and quantitative scores on intelligence testing were associated with heavy cannabis use during the second trimester.[2,9] Evaluation of children born to women who used cannabis throughout pregnancy found significantly higher depressive symptoms and attention problems at 10 years of age and delinquency at 14 years of age compared with those who were not exposed" - Note:  Plus what about the permanent DNA damage to the female egg and/or male sperm even if they quit prior to pregnancy?  Err!!  I've seen young people tout reports from college professors telling them what they want to hear.  I'm convinced you can find what you want to hear on the Internet on any subject if you search long enough.  Things you do in like can affect the offspring several generations later.  Search "generations" on my website.

Not enough vitamin B1 can cause brain damage - Science Daily, 9/11/14 - "Thiamine deficiency is among the nutritional deficiencies that can cause brain diseases such as Wernicke encephalopathy. The condition likely is underdiagnosed. Although clinical studies find a rate of 0.13 percent or less, autopsy studies show a prevalence as high as 2.8 percent ... Particularly in those who suffer from alcoholism or AIDS, the diagnosis is missed on clinical examination in 75 to 80 percent of cases ... Untreated, Wernicke encephalopathy can lead to Korsakoff syndrome (KS), characterized by profound memory loss and inability to form memories -- patients often can't remember events within the past 30 minutes. Other KS symptoms can include apathy, anxiety and confabulation (fabricating imaginary experiences to compensate for memory loss). About 80 percent of Wernicke encephalopathy patients develop KS, and once this occurs, only about 20 percent of patients recover"

Fish, fatty acid consumption associated with lower risk of hearing loss in women - Science Daily, 9/10/14 - "Data were from the Nurses' Health Study II, a prospective cohort study. In the study, 65,215 women were followed from 1991 to 2009. After 1,038,093 person-years of follow-up, 11,606 cases of incident hearing loss were reported. In comparison with women who rarely consumed fish, women who consumed two or more servings of fish per week had a 20 percent lower risk of hearing loss. When examined individually, higher consumption of each specific fish type was inversely associated with risk. Higher intake of long-chain omega-3PUFA was also inversely associated with risk of hearing loss" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.

Statins May Help Prevent Diabetes-Related Nerve Damage, Study Finds - WebMD, 9/9/14 - "The researchers compared the outcomes of more than 15,500 patients who used statins to more than 47,000 patients who were not taking the drugs ... After a median follow-up of 2.7 years, the study showed that people who used statins were 34 percent less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes-related nerve damage and 40 percent less likely to develop diabetes-related damage to the retina. These patients also had a 12 percent lower risk of gangrene than those who did not take statins"

Anxiety Medications May Be Tied to Alzheimer's Risk - WebMD, 9/9/14 - "The drugs in question are benzodiazepines, a widely prescribed group of sedatives that include lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax) ... They found that people who'd been prescribed benzodiazepines for more than three months were 51 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's ... The risk was almost doubled if they'd taken the medications for more than six months ... people in the early stages of Alzheimer's can have symptoms like sleep problems and anxiety. That raises the possibility that benzodiazepine use is the result of Alzheimer's, and not the cause of the disease ... her study was designed to counter this possibility. They only considered prescriptions that were started at least five years before a person's Alzheimer's diagnosis"

Teen Marijuana Use Linked to Long-term Adverse Outcomes - Medscape, 9/9/14 - "Compared with nonusers, daily users of cannabis before age 17 are more than 60% less likely to complete high school or obtain a university degree, 7 times more likely to attempt suicide, have an 18 times' greater chance of cannabis dependence, and are 8 times as likely to use other illicit drugs down the road ... The associations are "biologically plausible" ... as some research suggests that heavy cannabis use in adolescence can have an effect on central nervous system development. For example, in relation to education, it's feasible that this could decrease cognitive function"

Abstracts from this week:

Diabetes and CVD risk during angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin II receptor blocker treatment in hypertension: a study of 15 990 patients - J Hum Hypertens. 2014 Jun 26 - "the risk of new diabetes onset was lower in the candesartan group (hazard ratio (HR) 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.69-0.96, P=0.01) compared with the enalapril group"

Probiotics and vitamin C for the prevention of respiratory tract infections in children attending preschool: a randomised controlled pilot study - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep 10 - "children aged 3-6 years, 57 received 1.25 × 1010 colony-forming units of Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL21 (NCIMB 30156), Lactobacillus acidophilus CUL60 (NCIMB 30157), Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL20 (NCIMB 30153) and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CUL34 (NCIMB 30172) plus 50 mg vitamin C or a placebo daily for 6 months.Results:Significant reductions in the incidence rate of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI; 33%, P=0.002), the number of days with URTI symptoms (mean difference: -21.0, 95% confidence interval (CI):-35.9, -6.0, P=0.006) and the incidence rate of absence from preschool (30%, P=0.007) were observed in the active group compared with the placebo. The number of days of use of antibiotics, painkillers, cough medicine or nasal sprays was lower in the active group and reached significance for use of cough medicine (mean difference: -6.6, 95% CI: -12.9, -0.3, P=0.040)" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com and vitamin C products at Amazon.com.

Tolerance of Phellodendron amurense Bark Extract (Nexrutine®) in Patients with Human Prostate Cancer - Phytother Res. 2014 Sep 9 - "All the toxicities were transient. By the end of the neoadjuvant treatment, 81% of the patients had a decline in prostate-specific antigen" - See Nexrutine® products at Amazon.com.

Luteolin Induces Apoptosis in BE Colorectal Cancer Cells by Downregulating Calpain, UHRF1, and DNMT1 Expressions - Nutr Cancer. 2014 Sep 10:1-8 - "We conclude from these results that targeting calpain, UHRF1, and DNMT1 using luteolin could be an interesting way to prevent and/or treat colorectal cancers" - See luteolin products at Amazon.com.

Low-carbohydrate diets and cardiovascular and total mortality in Japanese: a 29-year follow-up of NIPPON DATA80 - Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep;112(6):916-24 - "low-carbohydrate diets (LCD) ... The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for CVD mortality using the Cox model comparing the highest v. lowest deciles of LCD score was 0.60 (95 % CI 0.38, 0.94; P trend= 0.021) for women and 0.78 (95 % CI 0.58, 1.05; P trend= 0.079) for women and men combined; the HR for total mortality was 0.74 (95 % CI 0.57, 0.95; P trend= 0.029) for women and 0.87 (95 % CI 0.74, 1.02; P trend= 0.090) for women and men combined. None of the associations was statistically significant in men"

Chlorogenic acid and caffeine in combination inhibit fat accumulation by regulating hepatic lipid metabolism-related enzymes in mice - Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep;112(6):1034-40 - "chlorogenic acid (CGA) ... forty mice were randomly assigned to four groups and fed diets containing no CGA or caffeine, CGA, caffeine, or CGA+caffeine for 24 weeks ... There was a decrease in the body weight and IPAT weight of mice fed the CGA+caffeine diet. There was a significant decrease in the serum and hepatic concentrations of total cholesterol, TAG and leptin of mice fed the CGA+caffeine diet ... These results indicate that CGA+caffeine suppresses fat accumulation and body weight gain by regulating the activities and mRNA and protein expression levels of hepatic lipid metabolism-related enzymes and that these effects are stronger than those exerted by CGA and caffeine individually" - See green coffee bean extract at Amazon.com.

Pioglitazone treatment restores in vivo muscle oxidative capacity in a rat model of diabetes - Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014 Sep 8 - "Pioglitazone treatment restored in vivo muscle oxidative capacity in diabetic rats to the level of lean controls ... Diminished in vivo muscle oxidative capacity in diabetic rats results from mitochondrial lipid overload and can be alleviated by redirecting the lipids from the muscle into adipose tissue using pioglitazone treatment"

The effects of low and high concentrations of luteolin on cultured human endothelial cells under normal and glucotoxic conditions: involvement of integrin-linked kinase and cyclooxygenase-2 - Phytother Res. 2014 Sep;28(9):1301-7 - "Luteolin protects against high glucose (HG)-induced endothelial dysfunction whereas its cytotoxicity has been reported against normal endothelial cells ... The protective effect of luteolin was associated with decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Ca(2+) (Cai(2+) ) levels and enhanced nitric oxide (NO) production" - See luteolin products at Amazon.com.

SMILE upregulated by metformin inhibits the function of androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells - Cancer Lett. 2014 Sep 5 - "Metformin, a diabetes drug, has been reported to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells ... metformin upregulated the protein level of small heterodimer partner-interacting leucine zipper (SMILE), a coregulator of nuclear receptors, and knockdown of SMILE expression with shRNA abolished the inhibitory effect of metformin on AR function ... these results suggest that SMILE, which is induced by metformin, functions as a novel AR corepressor and may mediate the inhibitory effect of metformin on androgen-dependent growth of prostate cancer cells" - See metformin at IAS.

Metformin Inhibits Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Prostate Cancer Cells: Involvement of the Tumor Suppressor miR30a and its Target Gene SOX4 - Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014 Sep 5 - "Tumor metastasis is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity of prostate cancer (PCa) patients. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a critical role in cancer progression and metastasis. Recent evidence suggested that diabetic patients treated with metformin have lower PCa risk and better prognosis ... metformin significantly inhibits proliferation of Vcap and PC-3 cells, induces G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and inhibits invasiveness and motility capacity of Vcap cells" - See metformin at IAS.

Health Focus (Depression):

Popular Supplements:

Neurotransmitters in Various Disorders:
  Major Depressive Disorder Generalized Anxiety Disorder Panic Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder Phobia Smoking ADHD Obesity
Serotonin X X X X X X      
Norepinephrine X X X     X X X X
Dopamine X           X X X
Source: American Psychiatric Association 155th Annual Meeting, May 18 - 23, 2002

Alternative News:

  • The effects of curcumin on depressive-like behavior in mice after lipopolysaccharide administration - Behav Brain Res. 2014 Aug 14 - "we examined the effects of curcumin on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced depressive-like behavior and inflammation in male mice ... curcumin may be an effective therapeutic agent for LPS-induced depressive-like behavior, partially due to its anti-inflammatory aptitude" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.
  • Investigation of the Efficacy of Adjunctive Therapy with Bioavailability-Boosted Curcuminoids in Major Depressive Disorder - Phytother Res. 2014 Aug 4 - "One hundred and eleven subjects were assigned to standard antidepressive therapy plus curcuminoids-piperine combination (1000-10 mg/day; n = 61) or standard antidepressive therapy alone (n = 50) for a period of 6 weeks ... Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) ... There were significantly greater reductions in total HADS score and subscales of anxiety and depression in the curcuminoids versus control group (p < 0.001). Likewise, reductions in BDI-II total score and scores of somatic and cognitive subscales were found to be greater in the curcuminoids compared with control group" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com and piperine extract at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of fish oil supplementation on prefrontal metabolite concentrations in adolescents with major depressive disorder: A preliminary 1H MRS study - Nutr Neurosci. 2014 Jun 10 - "10-week open-label supplementation with low (2.4 g/day, n = 7) or high (16.2 g/day, n = 7) dose FO ... In the intent-to-treat sample, depressive symptom severity scores decreased significantly in the high-dose group (-40%, P < 0.0001) and there was a trend in the low-dose group (-20%, P = 0.06)" - See fish oil supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Effects of curcumin on learning and memory deficits, BDNF, and ERK protein expression in rats exposed to chronic unpredictable stress - Behav Brain Res. 2014 Jun 7 - "Recent studies have shown that curcumin exhibits antidepressant-like effects. The aim of the present study was to determine whether curcumin administration influences chronic unpredictable stress (CUS)-induced cognitive deficits and explores underlying mechanisms. Male Wistar rats were subjected to CUS protocol for a period of 5 weeks to induce depression. The depressive-like behavior was tested using sucrose preference test, open field test and Morris water maze test. Effects of curcumin on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) levels in the hippocampus were also examined. Chronic treatment with curcumin significantly reversed the CUS-induced behavioral and cognitive parameters (reduced sucrose preference and impaired learning and memory function) in stressed rats. Additionally, CUS reduced hippocampal BDNF and ERK levels, while curcumin effectively reversed these alterations" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and without Biological Flaws - Nutrients. 2014 Apr 11;6(4):1501-18 - "A meta-analysis of all studies without flaws demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in depression with Vitamin D supplements (+0.78 CI +0.24, +1.27) ... Vitamin D supplementation (≥800 I.U. daily) was somewhat favorable in the management of depression in studies that demonstrate a change in vitamin levels, and the effect size was comparable to that of anti-depressant medication" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Antidepressant Effects of Resveratrol in an Animal Model of Depression - Behav Brain Res. 2014 Apr 6 - "More recently resveratrol was shown to alleviate depressive-like symptoms induced by stress or other means in mice and rats ... forced swim test (FST: a measure of helplessness) ... Both acute and chronic administration of resveratrol resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in FST ... These findings indicate an antidepressant-like effect of resveratrol in an animal model of depression possibly via activation of hippocampal BDNF, and suggest therapeutic potential of resveratrol in at least a subpopulation of depressed patients" - See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.
  • Ginseng Total Saponins Reverse Corticosterone-Induced Changes in Depression-Like Behavior and Hippocampal Plasticity-Related Proteins by Interfering with GSK-3 β -CREB Signaling Pathway - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:506735 - "This study aimed to explore the antidepressant mechanisms of ginseng total saponins (GTS) in the corticosterone-induced mouse depression model. In Experiment 1, GTS (50, 25, and 12.5 mg kg(-1) d(-1), intragastrically) were given for 3 weeks. In Experiment 2, the same doses of GTS were administrated after each corticosterone (20 mg kg(-1) d(-1), subcutaneously) injection for 22 days. In both experiments, mice underwent a forced swimming test and a tail suspension test on day 20 and day 21, respectively, and were sacrificed on day 22. Results of Experiment 1 revealed that GTS (50 and 25 mg kg(-1) d(-1)) exhibited antidepressant activity and not statistically altered hippocampal protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurofilament light chain (NF-L). Results of Experiment 2 showed that GTS (50 and 25 mg kg(-1) d(-1)) ameliorated depression-like behavior without normalizing hypercortisolism" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.
  • Resveratrol reverses the effects of chronic unpredictable mild stress on behavior, serum corticosterone levels and BDNF expression in rats - Behav Brain Res. 2014 Feb 3 - "Depression is one of the most common neuropsychiatric disorders and has been associated with the neuroendocrine system and alterations in specific brain proteins ... The present study attempts to explore the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant-like action of resveratrol by measuring serum corticosterone levels and the content of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus and amygdala of rats exposed to the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). Male Wistar rats were subjected to the CUMS protocol for a period of 5 weeks to induce depressive-like behavior. Resveratrol treatment (20, 40 and 80mg/kg/i.p. 5 weeks) significantly reversed the CUMS-induced behavioral abnormalities (reduced sucrose preference, increased immobility time and decreased locomotor activity) and the elevated serum corticosterone levels observed in stressed rats. Additionally, five-weeks of CUMS exposure significantly decreased BDNF levels in the hippocampus and amygdala, and was accompanied by decreased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) and cAMP response element-binding protein (pCREB), while resveratrol treatment normalized these levels. All of these effects of resveratrol were essentially identical to that observed with the established antidepressant, desipramine" - Note: "decreased ... the elevated serum corticosterone levels".  That might mean it lowers cortisol.  See resveratrol products at Amazon.com.
  • Depression Linked to Low Zinc Levels in Blood - Medscape, 1/2/14 - "The analysis included 17 studies that measured peripheral blood–zinc concentrations in 1643 depressed patients and 804 control participants ... mean peripheral blood–zinc concentrations were lower by approximately 1.85 µmol/L in depressed individuals compared with control participants ... More severe depression was associated with greater differences in zinc levels between depressed and control participants ... Zinc has antioxidant properties, helps to maintain endocrine homeostasis and immune function, and plays multiple roles in regulating the hippocampal and cortical glutamatergic circuits that subserve affective regulation and cognitive function. Thus, changes in zinc homeostasis might compromise neuroplasticity and contribute to long-term neuropsychological and psychiatric decline" - See zinc supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Longitudinal relationship of diet and oxidative stress with depressive symptoms in patients with metabolic syndrome after following a weight loss treatment: The RESMENA project - Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov 22 - "based on volunteers (n = 55) with metabolic syndrome (age 50 ± 1 y.o.; 38M/17F) ... Participants followed two hypocaloric diets (control diet and RESMENA diet) with the same energy restriction (-30% TCV) for six months ... A higher intake of folate and a decline in malondialdehyde plasma levels during a weight loss intervention, were related to improvements in manifestations of depression" - See folic acid products at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes, depression - Science Daily, 12/2/13 - "Researchers in this study tested the efficacy of weekly vitamin D2 supplementation (50,000 IUs) for six months on depression in women with type 2 diabetes. Depression significantly improved following supplementation. In addition, 61 percent of patients reported shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet (neuropathic pain) and 74 percent reported numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers, and legs (sensory pain) at the beginning of the study. Researchers found a significant decrease in neuropathic and sensory pain at three and six months following vitamin D2 supplementation" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Are probiotics a promising treatment strategy for depression? - Science Daily, 11/14/13 - "Human studies are still largely lacking, but a few have shown promising results. In one, healthy volunteers received either a probiotic combination (L.. helveticus R0052 and B. longum) or placebo for 30 days. Those who received the probiotics reported lower stress levels. In a separate study, volunteers who consumed a yogurt containing probiotics reported improved mood" - See probiotic products at Amazon.com.
  • A systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary patterns and depression in community-dwelling adults - Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov 6 - "Six electronic databases were searched for articles published up to August 2013 ... high intakes of fruit, vegetables, fish, and whole grains may be associated with a reduced depression risk"
  • Tea Consumption and Depressive Symptoms in Older People in Rural China - J Am Geriatr Soc. 2013 Oct 1 - "Compared with no or irregular tea consumption, controlling for age, sex, education, leisure activities, number of comorbidities, and Mini-Mental State Examination score, the odds ratios of having high depressive symptoms were 0.86 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.56-1.32) for weekly and 0.59 (95% CI = 0.43-0.81) for daily tea consumption (P for linear trend = .001); the linear trend of the association remained statistically significant when further controlling for history of stroke, transient ischemic attacks, and presence of carotid plaques" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Amino acid offers potential therapeutic alternative in psychiatric disorders - Science Daily, 10/8/13 - "drug discovery is at a near standstill for treating psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and common forms of autism ... According to Professor Berk, there is now an incontrovertible evidence base that these disorders share inflammation and oxidative stress as part of their disease physiology ... The amino acid, NAC, seems to have multiple effects on all these pathways: it boosts glutathione, which is the body’s major antioxidant defence; has anti-inflammatory properties; enhances levels of nerve cell growth proteins and the growth of new neurons; and reduces cell death pathways. It also appears to reduce dysfunction of mitochondria ... NAC reduces the core symptoms of schizophrenia including negative symptoms such as improved apathy, social interaction and motivation. It also appears to reduce depression in people with bipolar disorder and at this meeting ... there is intriguing evidence that it reduces cravings in a number of addictions including cocaine, cannabis and cigarette smoking" - See n-acetyl cysteine at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intakes Are Inversely Related to Elevated Depressive Symptoms among United States Women - J Nutr. 2013 Sep 4 - "assessed whether self-reported depressive symptoms were inversely associated with n-3 fatty acid intakes by using a cross-sectional study in 1746 adults (aged 30-65 y) in Baltimore City, MD (2004-2009). The 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) was used, with a CES-D score ≥16 suggestive of elevated depressive symptoms (EDS) ... In sum, among United States women, higher intakes of n-3 fatty acids [absolute (n-3) and relative to n-6 fatty acids (n-3:n-6)] were associated with lower risk of elevated depressive symptoms, specifically in domains of somatic complaints (mainly n-3 PUFAs) and positive affect (mainly n-3 HUFAs)" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Effect of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense (Relora(R)) on cortisol and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects - J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug 7;10(1):37 - "Magnolia (Magnolia officinalis) and Phellodendron (Phellodendron amurense) barks are medicinal plants commonly used as traditional remedies for reducing stress and anxiety ... assessed salivary cortisol exposure and psychological mood state in 56 subjects (35 men and 21 women) screened for moderate stress and supplemented with a standardized/patented MP combination (Relora(R), Next Pharmaceuticals) or Placebo for 4 weeks ... After 4 weeks of supplementation, salivary cortisol exposure was significantly (p<0.05) lower (-18%) in the Relora group compared to Placebo. Compared to Placebo, the Relora group had significantly better (p<0.05) mood state parameters, including lower indices of Overall Stress (-11%), Tension (-13%), Depression (-20%), Anger (-42%), Fatigue (-31%), and Confusion (-27%), and higher indices of Global Mood State (+11%) and Vigor (+18%)" - Note: The biggest affect was on anger (-42%).  - See Relora at Amazon.com.
  • Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial - Phytother Res. 2013 Jul 6 - "60 patients diagnosed with MDD were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio for six weeks observer-masked treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg) and curcumin (1000 mg) individually or their combination ... curcumin was well tolerated by all the patients. The proportion of responders as measured by the HAM-D17 scale was higher in the combination group (77.8%) than in the fluoxetine (64.7%) and the curcumin (62.5%) groups; however, these data were not statistically significant (P = 0.58). Interestingly, the mean change in HAM-D17 score at the end of six weeks was comparable in all three groups (P = 0.77). This study provides first clinical evidence that curcumin may be used as an effective and safe modality for treatment in patients with MDD without concurrent suicidal ideation or other psychotic disorders" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D improves mood and blood pressure in women with diabetes - Science Daily, 6/25/13 - "The pilot study included 46 women who were an average age of 55 years, had diabetes an average of 8 years and insufficient blood levels of vitamin D (18 ng/ml). They took a weekly dose (50,000 International Units) of vitamin D ... After six months, their vitamin D blood levels reached sufficient levels (average 38 ng/ml) and their moods improved significantly. For example, in a 20-question depression symptom survey, scores decreased from 26.8 at the beginning of the study (indicating moderate depression) to 12.2 at six months (indicating no depression. (The depression scale ranges from 0 to 60, with higher numbers indicating more symptoms of depression.) ... Blood pressure also improved, with the upper number decreasing from 140.4 mm Hg to 132.5 mm Hg. And their weight dropped from an average of 226.1 pounds to 223.6 pounds" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Effect of green tea on reward learning in healthy individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study - Nutr J. 2013 Jun 18;12(1):84 - "Seventy-four healthy subjects participated in a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study with oral administration of green tea or placebo for 5weeks. We used the monetary incentive delay task to evaluate the reward learning by measurement of the response to reward trial or no-reward trial. We compared the reaction time of reward responsiveness between green tea and placebo treatment. Furthermore, we selected Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale (MADRS) and 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD-17) to estimate the depressive symptoms in these two groups ... The results showed chronic treatment of green tea increased reward learning compared with placebo by decreasing the reaction time in monetary incentive delay task. Moreover, participants treated with green tea showed reduced scores measured in MADRS and HRSD-17 compared with participants treated with placebo" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Mediterranean Diet and Depressive Symptoms among Older Adults over Time - J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(5):441-5 - "Community-dwelling participants (n=3502) of the Chicago Health and Aging Project aged 65+ years (59% African American) who had no evidence of depression at the baseline ... Our results support the hypothesis that adherence to a diet comprised of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, and legumes may protect against the development of depressive symptoms in older age"
  • Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and the risk of depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis - J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(5):447-55 - "Relevant studies were identified by systematically searching the PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and PsycINFO databases ... Our results indicate an inverse association between serum 25(OH)D levels and the risk of depression" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Green tea and coffee consumption is inversely associated with depressive symptoms in a Japanese working population - Public Health Nutr. 2013 Mar 4:1-9 - "Higher green tea consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms. Compared with participants consuming ≤1 cup/d, those consuming ≥4 cups green tea/d had a 51 % significantly lower prevalence odds of having depressive symptoms ... Coffee consumption was also inversely associated with depressive symptoms (≥2 cups/d v. <1 cup/d: OR = 0.61; 95 % CI 0.38, 0.98). Multiple-adjusted odds for depressive symptoms comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of caffeine consumption was OR = 0.57 (95 % CI 0.30, 1.05; P for trend = 0.02)" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis - Br J Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;202:100-7 - "One case-control study, ten cross-sectional studies and three cohort studies with a total of 31 424 participants were analysed. Lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared with controls (SMD = 0.60, 95% CI 0.23-0.97) and there was an increased odds ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories in the cross-sectional studies (OR = 1.31, 95% CI 1.0-1.71). The cohort studies showed a significantly increased hazard ratio of depression for the lowest v. highest vitamin D categories (HR = 2.21, 95% CI 1.40-3.49)" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Hold the diet soda? Sweetened drinks linked to depression, coffee tied to lower risk - Science Daily, 1/8/13 - "The study involved 263,925 people between the ages of 50 and 71 at enrollment. From 1995 to 1996, consumption of drinks such as soda, tea, fruit punch and coffee was evaluated. About 10 years later, researchers asked the participants whether they had been diagnosed with depression since the year 2000 ... People who drank more than four cans or cups per day of soda were 30 percent more likely to develop depression than those who drank no soda. Those who drank four cans of fruit punch per day were about 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks. People who drank four cups of coffee per day were about 10 percent less likely to develop depression than those who drank no coffee. The risk appeared to be greater for people who drank diet than regular soda, diet than regular fruit punches and for diet than regular iced tea"
  • Lack of nutrients and metabolic syndrome linked to different subtypes of depression - Science Daily, 11/26/12 - "Melancholic depression involves typical depressive symptoms, such as a depressed mood. Non-melancholic depression is characterized by other types of symptoms, such as low self-esteem and feelings of worry and anxiety ... Among subjects with the highest folate intake, the risk for melancholic depressive symptoms was almost 50 per cent lower than among those with the lowest intake. In addition, among those with the highest vitamin B12 levels, the risk for melancholic depressive symptoms was almost three times lower than among those with the lowest levels. Both findings are new. A similar association with non-melancholic depressive symptoms was not observed ... Another novel observation is that the risk for the metabolic syndrome was twofold among those with non-melancholic depressive symptoms, as compared to those with melancholic symptoms or those with no depressive symptoms" - See folic acid products at Amazon.com and vitamin B12 at Amazon.com.
  • Attenuation of post-myocardial infarction depression in rats by n-3 fatty acids or probiotics starting after the onset of reperfusion - Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct 15:1-7 - "Proinflammatory cytokines play a central role in depression-like behaviour and apoptosis in the limbic system after myocardial infarction (MI). A PUFA n-3 diet or the combination of Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175 probiotics, when given before the ischaemic period, reduce circulating proinflammatory cytokines as well as apoptosis in the limbic system ... These results indicate that a high-PUFA n-3 diet or the administration of probiotics, starting after the onset of reperfusion, are beneficial to attenuate apoptosis in the limbic system and post-MI depression in the rat" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com and probiotic products at Amazon.com.
  • Dietary intake of fish and PUFA, and clinical depressive and anxiety disorders in women - Br J Nutr. 2012 Oct 10:1-8 - "The present study analysed data from a sample of 935 randomly selected, population-based women aged 20-93 years. A validated and comprehensive dietary questionnaire ascertained the consumption of n-3 and n-6 PUFA. Another assessed fish and energy intake and provided data for a dietary quality score. The General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) measured psychological symptoms and a clinical interview (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Research Version, Non-patient edition) assessed depressive and anxiety disorders ... The only PUFA related to categorical depressive and anxiety disorders was DHA. There was a non-linear relationship between DHA intake and depression; those in the second tertile of DHA intake were nearly 70 % less likely to report a current depressive disorder compared to those in the first tertile. The relationship of DHA to anxiety disorders was linear; for those in the highest tertile of DHA intake, the odds for anxiety disorders were reduced by nearly 50 % after adjustments, including adjustment for diet quality scores, compared to the lowest tertile. Those who ate fish less than once per week had higher GHQ-12 scores, and this relationship was particularly obvious in smokers" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Rhodiola rosea: Nature’s antidepressant - Fox News, 9/10/12 - "Over 300 human studies on Rhodiola rosea show that the plant has anti-stress, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant properties, and that taking the extract of the root produces no significant negative effects ... Overall, Rhodiola rosea demonstrates greater effectiveness and safety than pharmaceutical drugs for anxiety, depression and fatigue. So why don’t more doctors recommend Rhodiola to their patients? They don’t know about it. For many medical doctors, the herbal world is still a dark green jungle of uncertainty" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid versus docosahexaenoic acid in mild-to-moderate depression: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2012 Aug 18 - "Eighty-one mild-to-moderately depressed outpatients were randomly assigned to receive either 1g/d of EPA or DHA or placebo (coconut oil) for 12 weeks ... Although there was no significant difference between groups at baseline, patients in the EPA group showed a significantly lower mean HDRS score at study endpoint compared with those in the DHA (p<0.001) or placebo (p=0.002) groups. Furthermore, response to treatment (defined as a ≥50% decrease from the baseline HDRS score) was only observed in 6 patients receiving EPA, while no one in any of DHA or placebo groups responded to treatment" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Outmuscling major depression with creatine - Science Daily, 8/7/12 - "women with major depressive disorder (MDD) who augmented their daily antidepressant with 5 grams of creatine responded twice as fast and experienced remission of the illness at twice the rate of women who took the antidepressant alone ... Creatine is an amino acid made in the human liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It also is found in meat and fish. Inside the body it is converted into phosphocreatine and stored in muscle. During high-intensity exercise, phosphocreatine is converted into ATP, an important energy source for cells. For this reason, creatine has become a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes who are trying to add muscle mass or improve athletic ability ... The group that received creatine showed significantly higher improvement rates on the HDRS at two and four weeks (32 percent and 68 percent) compared to the placebo group (3.7 percent and 29 percent). At the end of eight weeks, half of those in the creatine group showed no signs of depression compared with one-quarter in the placebo group. There were no significant adverse side effects associated with creatine" - See creatine at Amazon.com.
  • A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Creatine Monohydrate Augmentation for Enhanced Response to a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor in Women With Major Depressive Disorder - Am J Psychiatry. 2012 Aug 1 - "Fifty-two women with major depressive disorder were enrolled in an 8-week double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and randomly assigned to receive escitalopram in addition to either creatine (5 g/day, N=25) or placebo (N=27) ... In comparison to the placebo augmentation group, patients receiving creatine augmentation showed significantly greater improvements in HAM-D score, as early as week 2 of treatment. This differential improvement favoring creatine was maintained at weeks 4 and 8" - See creatine at Amazon.com.
  • Erythrocyte n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid and Seafood Intake Decrease the Risk of Depression: Case-Control Study in Korea - Ann Nutr Metab. 2012 Jul 6;61(1):25-31 - "Multivariate-adjusted regression analysis showed that the risk of depression was significantly and negatively associated with erythrocyte levels of 20:5 n-3, 22:6 n-3, 16:0 and 18:0, but positively associated with erythrocyte levels of 18:2t and 16:1 after adjusting for confounding factors. In addition, the risk of depression was negatively associated with the intake of energy, carbohydrate, seafood and grains, but positively with the intake of fat and meat after adjustment for confounding factors. Conclusions: The risk of depression could be decreased with increased erythrocyte levels of n-3 PUFA and saturated fatty acids, as well as seafood intake, but decreased erythrocyte levels of trans fatty acids in Koreans" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Hormone curbs depressive-like symptoms in stressed mice - Science Daily, 7/9/12 - "A hormone with anti-diabetic properties also reduces depression-like symptoms in mice ... The hormone, called adiponectin, is secreted by adipose tissue and sensitizes the body to the action of insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar ... So far, only about half of the patients suffering from major depressive disorders are treated to the point of remission with antidepressant drugs ... The prevalence of depression in the diabetic population is two to three times higher than in the non-diabetic population. Unfortunately, the use of current antidepressants can worsen the control of diabetic patients. Adiponectin, with its anti-diabetic activity, would serve as an innovative therapeutic target for depression treatments, especially for those individuals with diabetes or prediabetes and perhaps those who fail to respond to currently available antidepressants" - [Abstract] - See my adiponectin page for ways to raise it.
  • Treating vitamin D deficiency may improve depression - Science Daily, 6/25/12 - "Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency ... Vitamin D may have an as-yet-unproven effect on mood, and its deficiency may exacerbate depression ... Pathak presented the research findings in three women, who ranged in age from 42 to 66. All had previously diagnosed major depressive disorder, also called clinical depression, and were receiving antidepressant therapy ... After treatment, all three women reported significant improvement in their depression, as found using the Beck Depression Inventory" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Rhodiola rosea: Nature’s anti-depressant - Fox News, 3/7/12 - "Many studies support what even the ancient Chinese emperors knew - that Rhodiola rosea gives a terrific lift to body and mind. In one study of people with stress-related fatigue conducted in Sweden, the Rhodiola exerted an anti-fatigue effect, increased mental performance, decreased the stress hormone cortisol in the blood, and reduced stress overall ... In another study reported in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Rhodiola rosea caused improvement in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Yet another study of depressed people in Armenia showed significant improvement in overall mood as a result of taking Rhodiola rosea extract" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.
  • More Evidence Links Low Vitamin D to Depression - Medscape, 2/13/12 - "One thing that complicates trials is that if you give someone vitamin D, it takes a long time for it to have much effect, as vitamin D levels go up and down very slowly; it probably wouldn't be a fast antidepressant" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • A link between oxytocin and serotonin in humans: Supporting evidence from peripheral markers - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2012 Jan 30 - "Pharmacological studies indicate a functional interaction between the serotonergic and oxytocinergic systems. In particular, some selective serotonin (5-HT) reuptake inhibitors, such as citalopram and fluvoxamine, seem to exert part of their antidepressant effects through oxytocin (OT) release. Further, the administration of fenfluramine, a serotonergic agonist, to healthy subjects increases plasma OT levels. Interestingly, immunocytochemical and double-immunofluorescent techniques revealed a high degree of overlap between 5-HT transporter (SERT)-labeled fibers and OT-containing cells ... This result represents the first evidence of an interaction between OT and SERT, as measured by [(3)H]-Par binding, at peripheral levels in humans. Given the several activities mediated by both OT and 5-HT, such a relationship might provide new perspectives and insights into psychiatric disorders and/or social relationship disturbances, as well as novel treatment strategies overcoming and/or integrating the serotonergic paradigm" - See oxytocin 6x5iu tablets at International Antiaging Systems or Oxytocin Factor.
  • Low vitamin D levels linked to depression, psychiatrists report - Science Daily, 1/5/12 - "UT Southwestern researchers examined the results of almost 12,600 participants from late 2006 to late 2010. Dr. Brown and colleagues from The Cooper Institute found that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a significantly decreased risk of current depression, particularly among people with a prior history of depression. Low vitamin D levels were associated with depressive symptoms, particularly those with a history of depression, so primary care patients with a history of depression may be an important target for assessing vitamin D levels. The study did not address whether increasing vitamin D levels reduced depressive symptoms" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Associations between n-3 PUFA concentrations and cognitive function after recovery from late-life depression - Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan 4 - "sample of 132 eligible participants who had recovered from major depression (mean +/- SD age: 67.8 +/- 6.6 y) were enrolled from outpatient psychiatric services. A series of cognitive tests and a structured questionnaire were administered. Fasting blood samples were collected for n-3 PUFA measurements ... the strongest and most consistent correlations were found between immediate recall and concentrations of total n-3 PUFAs and α-linolenic acid (ALA) in erythrocytes, which were observed only in participants with recurrent depression ... Total erythrocyte n-3 PUFA concentrations are positively associated with cognitive function, particularly immediate recall, in older people with previous depression. Lower concentrations of n-3 PUFAs or ALA in erythrocyte membranes may be good predictors for cognitive impairment in older people with previous recurrent depression" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Frequent consumption of vegetables predicts lower risk of depression in older Taiwanese - results of a prospective population-based study - Public Health Nutr. 2011 Dec 16:1-6 - "In a regression model that controlled for demographic, socio-economic, lifestyle and disease/health-related variables but not cognitive status, both fruits (OR = 0.66, 95 % CI 0.45, 0.98, P = 0.038) and vegetables (OR = 0.38, 95 % CI 0.17, 0.86, P = 0.021) were protective against depressive symptoms 4 years later. However, when the same regression model was also adjusted for cognitive status, only vegetables (OR = 0.40, 95 % CI 0.17, 0.95, P = 0.039) were protective against depressive symptoms. Higher consumption of eggs was close to being significant in both regression models (P = 0.087 and 0.069, respectively). Other food categories including meat/poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, legumes, grains and tea showed no significant associations"
  • Increased caffeinated coffee consumption associated with decreased risk of depression in women, study finds - Science Daily, 9/26/11 - "During the 10-year follow-up period from 1996 to 2006, researchers identified 2,607 incident (new-onset) cases of depression. When compared with women who consumed one cup of caffeinated coffee or less per week, those who consumed two to three cups per day had a 15 percent decrease in relative risk for depression, and those consuming four cups or more per day had a 20 percent decrease in relative risk. Compared with women in the lowest (less than 100 milligrams [mg] per day) categories of caffeine consumption, those in the highest category (550 mg per day or more) had a 20 percent decrease in relative risk of depression. No association was found between intake of decaffeinated coffee and depression risk"
  • ffects of n-3 fatty acids, EPA v. DHA, on depressive symptoms, quality of life, memory and executive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomised controlled trial - Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep 20:1-12 - "Depressive symptoms may increase the risk of progressing from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia. Consumption of n-3 PUFA may alleviate both cognitive decline and depression ... A total of fifty people aged >65 years with MCI were allocated to receive a supplement rich in EPA (1.67 g EPA+0.16 g DHA/d; n 17), DHA (1.55 g DHA+0.40 g EPA/d; n 18) or the n-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA; 2.2 g/d; n 15). Treatment allocation was by minimisation based on age, sex and depressive symptoms (Geriatric Depression Scale, GDS). Physiological and cognitive assessments, questionnaires and fatty acid composition of erythrocytes were obtained at baseline and 6 months (completers: n 40; EPA n 13, DHA n 16, LA n 11). Compared with the LA group, GDS scores improved in the EPA (P = 0.04) and DHA (P = 0.01) groups and verbal fluency (Initial Letter Fluency) in the DHA group (P = 0.04). Improved GDS scores were correlated with increased DHA plus EPA (r 0.39, P = 0.02). Improved self-reported physical health was associated with increased DHA. There were no treatment effects on other cognitive or QOL parameters. Increased intakes of DHA and EPA benefited mental health in older people with MCI. Increasing n-3 PUFA intakes may reduce depressive symptoms and the risk of progressing to dementia. This needs to be investigated in larger, depressed samples with MCI" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Mind-altering microbes: Probiotic bacteria may lessen anxiety and depression - Science Daily, 8/29/11 - "Probiotic bacteria have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders ... mice fed with Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 showed significantly fewer stress, anxiety and depression-related behaviours than those fed with just broth. Moreover, ingestion of the bacteria resulted in significantly lower levels of the stress-induced hormone, corticosterone ... regular feeding with the Lactobacillus strain caused changes in the expression of receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA in the mouse brain, which is the first time that it has been demonstrated that potential probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry in normal situations" - See probiotics at Amazon.com
  • Vitamin D intake from foods and supplements and depressive symptoms in a diverse population of older women - Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 24 - "After age, physical activity, and other factors were controlled for, women who reported a total intake of ≥800 IU vitamin D/d had a prevalence OR for depressive symptoms of 0.79 (95% CI: 0.71, 0.89; P-trend < 0.001) compared with women who reported a total intake of <100 IU vitamin D/d. In analyses limited to women without evidence of depression at baseline, an intake of ≥400 compared with <100 IU vitamin D/d from food sources was associated with 20% lower risk of depressive symptoms at year 3 (OR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.95; P-trend = 0.001). The results for supplemental vitamin D were less consistent, as were the results from secondary analyses that included as cases women who were currently using antidepressant medications ... Overall, our findings support a potential inverse association of vitamin D, primarily from food sources, and depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • A gut-full of probiotics for your neurological well-being - Science Daily, 7/5/11 - "A recent study in mice, for example, showed that the presence of neurochemicals such a serotonin in the bloodstream was due to direct uptake from the gut ... Until recently the idea that probiotic bacteria administered to the intestine could influence the brain seemed almost surreal ... Yet in Lyte's paper the concept is supported by studies showing that microbes can produce and respond to neurochemicals, which can induce neurological and immunological effects on the host ... The research presents an idea for selecting probiotic strains with neurological applications and linking this with immune-modulatory effects, while highlighting the fact that microbial strains already being widely ingested in fermented food can produce neurochemicals" - See Garden of Life, Primal Defense at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 may reduce depression symptoms in the elderly: Study - Nutra USA, 5/18/11 - "According to findings published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, depressed women who received daily supplements containing 2.5 grams of omega-3 experienced significant reductions in their symptoms ... In addition, researchers from the University of Pavia also report that omega-3 supplements providing a daily EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) dose of 1.67 grams and a daily DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) dose of 0.83 grams reported improvements in the ‘quality of life’" - [Abstract] - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Deficiency of dietary omega-3 may explain depressive behaviors - Science Daily, 1/30/11 - "The dietary ratio between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 increased continuously over the course of the 20th century. These fatty acids are "essential" lipids because the body cannot synthesize them from new ... the researchers studied mice fed a life-long diet imbalanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They found that omega-3 deficiency disturbed neuronal communication specifically. The researchers observed that only the cannabinoid receptors, which play a strategic role in neurotransmission, suffer a complete loss of function. This neuronal dysfunction was accompanied by depressive behaviours among the malnourished mice" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Eating poorly can make you blue: Trans-fats increase risk of depression, while olive oil helps avoid risk - Science Daily, 1/26/11 - "the participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially-produced pastries and fast food, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) "presented up to a 48% increase in the risk of depression when they were compared to participants who did not consume these fats," ... In addition, the study demonstrated a dose-response relationship, "whereby the more trans-fats were consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced in the volunteers," ...Furthermore, the team, ... also analyzed the influence of polyunsaturated fats (abundant in fish and vegetable oils) and of olive oil on the occurrence of depression. "In fact, we discovered that this type of healthier fats, together with olive oil, are associated with a lower risk of suffering depression,""
  • Not All Omega-3s Equal When It Comes to Antidepressant Effects - Medscape, 12/8/10 - "In fact, only eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) — and not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — is associated with mood improvement in patients with depression" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids for major depressive disorder associated with the menopausal transition: a preliminary open trial - Menopause. 2010 Oct 27 - "The pretreatment and final mean MADRS scores were 24.2 and 10.7, respectively, reflecting a significant decrease in MADRS scores (P < 0.0001). The response rate was 70% (MADRS score decrease of ≥50%), and the remission rate was 45% (final MADRS score of ≤7). Responders had significantly lower pretreatment docosahexaenoic acid levels than nonresponders did (P = 0.03). Hot flashes were present in 15 (75%) participants. Among those with hot flashes at baseline, the number of hot flashes per day improved significantly from baseline (P = 0.02) and Hot Flash Related Daily Interference Scale scores decreased significantly ... These data support further study of omega-3 fatty acids for major depressive disorder and hot flashes in women during the menopausal transition" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Probiotics show potential against stress-related conditions - Nutra USA 10/29/10 - "Results showed that levels of psychological distress, including measures of depression, anger-hostility, anxiety, and problem solving, were significantly improved in the probiotic group, compared with placebo" - [Abstract] - See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation ( Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects - Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct 26:1-9 - "In the preclinical study, rats were daily administered PF for 2 weeks and subsequently tested in the conditioned defensive burying test, a screening model for anti-anxiety agents. In the clinical trial, volunteers participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised parallel group study with PF administered for 30 d and assessed with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-90), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Perceived Stress Scale, the Coping Checklist (CCL) and 24 h urinary free cortisol (UFC). Daily subchronic administration of PF significantly reduced anxiety-like behaviour in rats (P < 0.05) and alleviated psychological distress in volunteers, as measured particularly by the HSCL-90 scale (global severity index, P < 0.05; somatisation, P < 0.05; depression, P < 0.05; and anger-hostility, P < 0.05), the HADS (HADS global score, P < 0.05; and HADS-anxiety, P < 0.06), and by the CCL (problem solving, P < 0.05) and the UFC level (P < 0.05). L. helveticus R0052 and B. longum R0175 taken in combination display anxiolytic-like activity in rats and beneficial psychological effects in healthy human volunteers" - Note, in case you missed it, it's saying that it also reduced cortisol. See probiotics at Amazon.com.
  • Fish and n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake and Depressive Symptoms: Ryukyus Child Health Study - Pediatrics. 2010 Aug 16 - "The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 22.5% for boys and 31.2% for girls. For boys, fish intake was inversely associated with depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio [OR] for depressive symptoms in the highest [compared with the lowest] quintile of intake: 0.73 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55-0.97]; P for trend = .04). EPA intake showed an inverse association with depressive symptoms (OR: 0.71 [95% CI: 0.54-0.94]; P = .04). DHA intake also showed a similar inverse, albeit nonsignificant, association (OR: 0.79 [95% CI: 0.59-1.05]; P = .11). In addition, intake of EPA plus DHA was inversely associated with depressive symptoms (OR: 0.72 [95% CI: 0.55-0.96]; P = .08). Conversely, no such associations were observed among girls" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Adding Nutritional Supplement to Antidepressant Therapy May Boost Response in Refractory Depression - Medscape, 8/18/10 - "significantly more SAMe-treated than placebo-treated patients (36.1% vs 17.6%) experienced a clinical response on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), which was the primary study outcome. Remission rates (ie, HAM-D score of ≤7) were also higher with SAMe than with placebo (25.8% vs 11.7%)" - See SAM-e at Amazon.com.
  • Role of zinc in the development and treatment of mood disorders - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Aug 4 - "Not only has zinc deficiency been shown to induce depression-like and anxiety-like behaviors, supplementation has been used as a treatment for major depression. Zinc administration improves the efficacy of antidepressant drugs in depressed patients and may have a particular role to play in treatment-resistant patients. Recent investigations into the molecular mechanisms responsible for these observations suggest a role for zinc in the regulation of neurotransmitter systems, antioxidant mechanisms, neurotrophic factors, and neuronal precursor cells" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com (too much zinc can cause a copper difficiency).
  • Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms and on Health-Related Quality of Life in the Treatment of Elderly Women with Depression: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Randomized Clinical Trial - J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Feb;29(1):55-64 - "Supplementation with n-3 LCPUFA is efficacious in the amelioration of depressive symptoms and quality of life in the treatment of depressed elderly female patients" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) Augmentation of Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for Antidepressant Nonresponders With Major Depressive Disorder: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Trial - Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Jul 1 - "These preliminary results suggest that SAMe can be an effective, well-tolerated, and safe adjunctive treatment strategy for SRI nonresponders with major depressive disorder and warrant replication" - See SAM-e at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamins B6, B12 May Protect Against Depression in Older Adults - Medscape, 7/1/10 - "Odds of depressive symptoms were 2% lower per year for each additional 10 mg of vitamin B6 and an additional 10 μg of vitamin B12"
  • Treating depression with Omega-3: Encouraging results from largest clinical study - Science Daily, 6/21/10 - "Initial analyses failed to clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of Omega-3 for all patients taking part in the study. Other analyses, however, revealed that Omega-3 improved depression symptoms in patients diagnosed with depression unaccompanied by an anxiety disorder. Efficacy for these patients was comparable to that generally observed with conventional antidepressant treatment" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Is Exercise the Best Drug for Depression - Time Magazine, 6/19/10 - "depressed adults who participated in an aerobic exercise plan improved as much as those treated with sertraline, the drug that was marketed as Zoloft ... Subsequent trials have repeated these results, showing again and again that patients who undergo aerobic exercise regimens see comparable improvement in their depression as those treated with medication, and that both groups do better than patients given only a placebo ... exercise may alter brain chemistry in much the same way that antidepressant drugs do — regulating the key neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine"
  • Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Depressive Symptoms in Older Women and Men - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 May 5 - "Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). Depressed mood was defined as CES-D of 16 or higher ... Women with 25(OH)D less than 50 nmol/liter compared with those with higher levels experienced increases in CES-D scores of 2.1 (P = 0.02) and 2.2 (P = 0.04) points higher at, respectively, 3- and 6-yr follow-up. Women with low vitamin D (Vit-D) had also significantly higher risk of developing depressive mood over the follow-up (hazard ratio = 2.0; 95% confidence interval = 1.2-3.2; P = 0.005). In parallel models, men with 25(OH)D less than 50 nmol/liter compared with those with higher levels experienced increases in CES-D scores of 1.9 (P = 0.01) and 1.1 (P = 0.20) points higher at 3- and 6-yr follow-up. Men with low Vit- D tended to have higher risk of developing depressed mood (hazard ratio = 1.6; 95% confidence interval = 0.9-2.8; P = 0.1). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that hypovitaminosis D is a risk factor for the development of depressive symptoms in older persons. The strength of the prospective association is higher in women than in men"
  • EPA but not DHA appears to be responsible for the efficacy of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in depression: evidence from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - J Am Coll Nutr. 2009 Oct;28(5):525-42 - "Meta-regression studies showed a significant effect of higher levels of baseline depression and lower supplement DHAEPA ratio on therapeutic efficacy. Subgroup analyses showed significant effects for: (1) diagnostic category (bipolar disorder and major depression showing significant improvement with omega3 LC-PUFA supplementation versus mild-to-moderate depression, chronic fatigue and non-clinical populations not showing significant improvement); (2) therapeutic as opposed to preventive intervention; (3) adjunctive treatment as opposed to monotherapy; and (4) supplement type. Symptoms of depression were not significantly reduced in 3 studies using pure DHA (standardized mean difference 0.001, 95% CI -0.330 to 0.332, z = 0.004, p = 0.997) or in 4 studies using supplements containing greater than 50% DHA (standardized mean difference = 0.141, 95% CI = -0.195 to 0.477, z = 0.821, p = 0.417). In contrast, symptoms of depression were significantly reduced in 13 studies using supplements containing greater than 50% EPA (standardized mean difference = -0.446, 95% CI = -0.753 to -0.138, z = -2.843, p = 0.005) and in 8 studies using pure ethyl-EPA (standardized mean difference = -0.396, 95% CI = -0.650 to -0.141, z = -3.051, p = 0.002). However, further meta-regression studies showed significant inverse associations between efficacy and study methodological quality, study sample size, and duration, thus limiting the confidence of these findings. CONCLUSIONS: The current meta-analysis provides evidence that EPA may be more efficacious than DHA in treating depression. However, owing to the identified limitations of the included studies, larger, well-designed, randomized controlled trials of sufficient duration are needed to confirm these findings" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Red clover may counter depressive symptoms in older women - Nutra USA, 3/4/10 - "Symptoms of depression and anxiety were reduced by about 80 per cent following 90 days of supplements containing 80 milligrams of red clover isoflavones" - [Abstract] - See Trinovin (for men), Promensil (for women) at Amazon.com and red clover at Amazon.com.
  • Improvement of postmenopausal depressive and anxiety symptoms after treatment with isoflavones derived from red clover extracts - Maturitas. 2010 Mar;65(3):258-61 - "assigned to receive two daily capsules of MF11RCE (80mg red clover isoflavones, Group A) or placebo of equal appearance (Group B) for a 90-day period ... After receiving the MF11RCE compound the total HADS (anxiety and depression subscale scores also) and the total SDS scores decreased significantly. This effect was equivalent to a 76.9% reduction in the total HADS score (76% for anxiety and 78.3% for depression) and an 80.6% reduction in the total SDS score. After placebo, total HADS (anxiety and depression subscale also) and total SDS scores also decreased significantly in comparison to baseline but only equivalent to an average 21.7% decline. CONCLUSION: Red clover derived isoflavones (MF11RCE) were effective in reducing depressive and anxiety symptoms among postmenopausal women" - See Trinovin at Amazon.com and red clover at Amazon.com.
  • More folate may mean less depression: Study - Nutra USA, 1/27/10 - "Men with the highest blood levels of folate were50 per cent less likely to have symptoms of depression, compared to men with the lowest levels" - [Abstract] - See folic acid products at Amazon.com.
  • Serum folate and homocysteine and depressive symptoms among Japanese men and women - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jan 20 - "The multivariate-adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) of depressive symptoms for the lowest to highest quartiles of serum folate were 1.00 (reference), 0.53 (0.27-1.03), 0.33 (0.16-0.68) and 0.51 (0.25-1.03), respectively" - See folic acid products at Amazon.com.
  • Green Tea Drinking in Elderly Linked to Lower Risk for Depression - Medscape, 12/29/09 - "Compared with green tea consumption of 1 or less cup per day, odds ratios for mild and severe depressive symptoms were 0.96 for 2 to 3 cups (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 - 1.42) and 0.56 for 4 or more cups of green tea per day (95% CI, 0.39 - 0.81; P for trend = .001), after adjustment for confounding factors. Similar associations were seen for severe depressive symptoms" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Mood Improves On Low-fat, But Not Low-carb, Diet Plan - Science Daily, 11/10/09 - "After one year, a low-calorie, low-fat diet appears more beneficial to dieters' mood than a low-carbohydrate plan with the same number of calories"
  • Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly - Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Oct 14 - "A more frequent consumption of green tea was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in the community-dwelling older population" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Supplements Provide Mixed Results as Antidepressant - Medscape, 7/8/09 - "There is a large body of epidemiological data to support a link between omega-3 and depression ... For example, 8 of 11 epidemiological studies evaluating the association between depression and fish consumption report a statistically significant inverse association. In other words, less fish means more depression" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Prevent Depression In Coronary Heart Disease? - Science Daily, 6/9/09 - "The prevalence of depression ranged from 23% in participants in the lowest tertile of omega –3 fatty acids (< 3.1% of total blood fatty acids) to 13% in participants in the highest tertile ( >4.3% of total blood fatty acids; p for trend = 0.004). Each unit decrease in EPA + DHA was inversely associated with depressive symptoms as a continuous variable, and these associations persisted after adjustment for age, sex and race. Similarly, each SD decrease in EPA + DHA was associated with significantly greater odds of depression as a dichotomous variable (Patient Health Questionnaire score >10)" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Kava for Anxiety: Is Short-Term Use Safe? - WebMD, 5/14/09 - "the WHO report suggested that liver toxicity may be limited to kava formulations that used the whole kava plant, instead of just the root, or used acetone and ethanol to extract the active ingredient from the plant instead of water ... As measured by standardized anxiety and depression questionnaires, the participants reported much less anxiety when they were taking the kava than when they took placebo pills ... Depression levels also dropped among many patients who reported depression and no serious side effects were associated with kava use" - See kava at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids Ease Depressive Symptoms Related To Menopause - Science Daily, 1/28/09 - "Their study, published in the February issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, presents the first evidence that omega-3 supplements are effective for treating common menopause-related mental health problems ... Test results before and after the eight-week period indicate that omega-3s significantly improved the condition of women suffering symptoms of psychological distress and mild depression ... Women with hot flashes also noted that their condition improved after consuming omega-3s. At baseline, the number of daily hot flashes was 2.8 and dropped by an average of 1.6 in the group taking omega-3s and by 0.5 in the control group" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • St. John's Wort for Depression - Clinical Psychology News, 12/08 - "The best available evidence suggests that St. John's wort is better than placebo for treating major depressive disorder, is as effective as some synthetic antidepressants when used in low to moderate dosing ranges, and has fewer side effects than do synthetic antidepressants"
  • Symptoms Of Depression Associated With Increase In Abdominal Fat - Science Daily, 12/1/08 - "There are several mechanisms by which depression might increase abdominal fat, they note. Chronic stress and depression may activate certain brain areas and lead to increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which promotes the accumulation of visceral fat. Individuals with depression may have unhealthier lifestyles, including a poor diet, that could interact with other physiological factors to produce an increase in abdominal obesity" - See my cortisol page for ways to reduce it.  Cortisol is like the chicken and the egg with depression.  They don't seem to know whether it is the cause or result.
  • St. John's Wort Holds Its Own in Meta-Analysis - Clinical Psychology News, 11/08 - "St. John's wort was more effective than placebo and just as effective as standard antidepressants in treating depression, a Cochrane analysis of 29 studies of almost 5,500 adults with major depression shows" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • St. John's Wort Relieves Symptoms Of Major Depression, Study Shows - Science Daily, 10/13/08 - "Cochrane Researchers reviewed 29 trials which together included 5,489 patients with symptoms of major depression. All trials employed the commonly used Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression to assess the severity of depression. In trials comparing St. John's wort to other remedies, not only were the plant extracts considered to be equally effective, but fewer patients dropped out of trials due to adverse effects" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • St. John’s Wort for Major Depression? - WebMD, 10/10/08 - "Can taking an herbal supplement be as good as a prescription medication for people who are severely depressed? ... Researchers in Germany think so" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • Taking herb 'helps depression'  - BBC News, 10/8/08 - "Overall, the St John's Wort extracts tested in the trials were superior to placebo, similarly effective as standard anti-depressants, and had fewer side effects ... Doctors think it works because the herb keeps serotonin, a chemical which makes you happy, in the brain for longer" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • Add-On Therapy Improves Depressive Symptoms In Bipolar Disorder - Science Daily, 9/2/08 - "sought to evaluate whether N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an over-the-counter supplement that increases brain glutathione, might help alleviate depressive symptoms ... Glutathione is the brain’s primary antioxidant defense, and there is evidence of increased oxidative stress in bipolar disorder. Therefore, we studied the potential benefit of NAC treatment in bipolar disorder and found that it impressively remedied residual depressive symptoms" - See n-acetyl cysteine at Amazon.com.
  • St. John's Wort and Duloxetine Equally Effective in Mild to Moderate Depression - Doctor's Guide, 9/1/08 - "Twenty patients received St. John's Wort at a dosage of 900 mg QD, whereas the remaining 20 participants were treated with duloxetine 60 +- 30 mg QD ... In the group of patients suffering from moderate depression, we did not find any statistically significant differences between the 2 treatment groups" - See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • Continuation and long-term maintenance treatment with Hypericum extract WS((R)) 5570 after recovery from an acute episode of moderate depression - A double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled long-term trial - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Aug 9 - "3x300 mg/day WS((R)) 5570 or placebo for 26 weeks. 426 patients were evaluated for efficacy. Relapse rates during continuation treatment were 51/282 (18.1%) for WS((R)) 5570 and 37/144 (25.7%) for placebo. Average time to relapse was 177+/-2.8 and 163+/-4.4 days for WS((R)) 5570 and placebo, respectively (time-to-event analysis; p=0.034; alpha=0.025 one-sided). Patients treated with WS((R)) 5570 showed more favorable HAMD and Beck Depression Inventory time courses and greater over-all improvement (CGI) than those randomized to placebo. In long-term maintenance treatment a pronounced prophylactic effect of WS((R)) 5570 was observed in patients with an early onset of depression as well as in those with a high degree of chronicity. Adverse event rates under WS((R)) 5570 were comparable to placebo. WS((R)) 5570 showed a beneficial effect in preventing relapse after recovery from acute depression. Tolerability in continuation and long-term maintenance treatment was on the placebo level" - Note:  The 5570 extract is the Perika Brand.  See St. John's wort at Amazon.com.
  • A double-blind dose-finding pilot study of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for major depressive disorder - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2008 Jun 5 - "Group A (n=14): 1 g/day of oral DHA; Group B (n=11): 2 g/day; and Group C (n=10): 4 g/day. We measured HAM-D-17 scores, plasma DHA, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and n-6/n-3 ratio. Completer response rates (>/=50% decrease in HAM-D-17 score) were 83% for Group A, 40% for Group B, and 0% for Group C; Groups A and B had significant decreases in HAM-D-17 scores" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Rhodiola for What Ails You? - Dr. Weil, 5/15/08 - "A 2002 review in Herbalgram, the Journal of the American Botanical Council, reported that over the years, numerous studies of rhodiola in humans and animals have shown that it helps prevent fatigue, stress and the damaging effects of oxygen deprivation. Evidence also suggests that it has an antioxidant effect, enhances immune system function and can increase sexual energy ... A study published in 2007 in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry showed that patients with mild-to-moderate depression who took a rhodiola extract reported fewer symptoms than those who took a placebo. And a study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine found that fruit flies that ate a diet supplemented with rhodiola lived an average of 10 percent longer than flies that didn't eat this herb" - See Rhodiola rosea at Amazon.com.
  • Plasma eicosapentaenoic acid is inversely associated with severity of depressive symptomatology in the elderly: data from the Bordeaux sample of the Three-City Study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1156-62 - "Higher plasma EPA was associated with a lower severity of DS in elderly subjects, especially those taking antidepressants" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Many Depressed Older Adults Lack Vitamin D - WebMD, 5/6/08 - "Researchers reporting in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry have linked low blood levels of vitamin D -- the "sunshine vitamin" -- and increased parathyroid hormone levels to depression among older adults" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.
  • Diets With High Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratios Enhance Risk for Depression, Inflammatory Disease - Medscape, 4/25/08 - "Whereas the early hunter-gatherers had a dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 2:1 to 3:1, this ratio is now 15:1 to 17:1 in North America today ... It is believed that these dietary changes might be related to increases in inflammatory-related diseases, including depression and cardiovascular disease ... at higher levels of depressive symptoms, as the omega-6:omega-3 ratio increased, there was a marked increase in proinflammatory cytokine levels ... compared with the study participants who did not have syndromal depression, the 6 participants who had depression had significantly higher omega-6:omega-3 ratios and higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 EPA may benefit depressives, says study - Nutra USA, 4/7/08 - [Abstract] - "were randomly assigned to receive a daily EPA supplement (1000 mg, supplied by Minami Nutrition, Belgium), or 20 mg fluoxetine daily, or a combination of the two for two months ... At the end of the study, data from the 48 people who finished the study showed a 50 per cent reduction in HDRS scores for people in the EPA group, a 56 per cent reduction in people in the fluoxetin group, and a 81 per cent reduction in people in the combined intervention group" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Major Depressive Disorder During Pregnancy: Results From a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial - J Clin Psychiatry. 2008 Mar 18;:e1-e8 - "As compared to the placebo group, subjects in the omega-3 group had significantly lower HAM-D scores at weeks 6 (p = .001) and 8 (p = .019), a significantly higher response rate (62% vs. 27%, p = .03), and a higher remission rate, although the latter did not reach statistical significance (38% vs. 18%" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Comparison of therapeutic effects of omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid and fluoxetine, separately and in combination, in major depressive disorder - Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;42(3):192-8 - "EPA + fluoxetine combination was significantly better than fluoxetine or EPA alone from the fourth week of treatment. Fluoxetine and EPA appear to be equally effective in controlling depressive symptoms. Response rates (>/=50% decrease in baseline HDRS) were 50%, 56% and 81% in the fluoxetine, EPA and combination groups, respectively" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Association of folate intake with the occurrence of depressive episodes in middle-aged French men and women - Br J Nutr. 2007 Dec 6;:1-5 - "the risk of experiencing recurrent depressive episodes (two or more) during the follow-up was strongly reduced in men with high folate intake (OR 0.25 (95 % CI 0.06, 0.98) for the highest tertile v. the lowest" - See folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • Folate may reduce depression symptoms for men, says study - Nutra USA, 12/7/07 - "male subjects with the highest average intake (235 micrograms per 100 kcal) were 50 per cent less likely to have depressive symptoms than men with the lowest average intake (119 micrograms per 100 kcal)" - [Abstract] - See folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • High {omega}-6 and Low {omega}-3 Fatty Acids are Associated With Depressive Symptoms and Neuroticism - Psychosom Med. 2007 Nov 8 - "Lower EPA, and higher AA, AA:EPA ratio and AA:DHA ratio were associated with greater NEO-PI-R Neuroticism" - See Mega Twinlab Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.
  • Low Omega-3s in Diet Linked to Higher Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Heart Failure Patients - Doctor's Guide, 11/7/07 - "Heart Failure patients who were prone to depressive symptoms ate 15% fewer omega-3 fatty acids and those with anxiety consumed 14% fewer omega-3 fatty acids than heart failure patients without symptoms"
  • Augmenting antidepressants with folate: a clinical perspective - J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68 Suppl 10:4-7 - "Folate in particular has been found to further reduce symptoms in patients with depression when used in conjunction with an antidepressant, and because folate is a water-soluble B vitamin, its safety and tolerability are well established. This strategy would typically be used in patients with low plasma or red blood cell folate levels. Folate augmentation may be used (1) to enhance the efficacy of antidepressants in nonresponders, (2) to enable those who partially respond to antidepressant monotherapy to achieve remission, and (3) to alleviate residual symptoms during antidepressant treatment" - See folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • The role of folate in depression and dementia - J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;68 Suppl 10:28-33 - "folate deficiencies may be caused by improper absorption and utilization, often due to genetic polymorphisms. Individuals, therefore, can have insufficient levels or lack needed forms of folate, despite adequate intake. Supplementation with the active form of folate, methyltetrahydrofolate, which is more readily absorbed, may be effective in the prevention and treatment of both depression and dementia" - folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • Antidepressant-Like Effect of Cordyceps sinensis in the Mouse Tail Suspension Test - Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Sep;30(9):1758-62 - "Cordyceps sinensis (CS) has been known as a component of traditional medicines that elicit various biological effects such as anti-fatigue, immunomodulatory, and hypoglycemic actions. Since it has been well-established that fatigue is closely related to depression, we used the tail suspension test (TST) in mice to examine the antidepressant-like effects of hot water extract (HWCS) and supercritical fluid extract (SCCS) of CS ... these results suggest that SCCS may elicit an antidepressant-like effect by affecting the adrenergic and dopaminergic systems, but not by affecting the serotonergic system" - See cordyceps at Amazon.com.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone and monoamines in the limbic system of a genetic animal model of childhood depression - Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Aug 20 - "The results from the current study may imply that treatment with DHEA could be a promising novel therapeutic option for depressed children and adolescents that fail to respond to common (monoaminergic) antidepressant treatments"
  • Diets With High Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratios Enhance Risk for Depression, Inflammatory Disease - Medscape, 4/26/07 - "Whereas the early hunter-gatherers had a dietary omega-6:omega-3 ratio of 2:1 to 3:1, this ratio is now 15:1 to 17:1 in North America today ... compared with the study participants who did not have syndromal depression, the 6 participants who had depression had significantly higher omega-6:omega-3 ratios and higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines"
  • Depressive Symptoms, omega-6:omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Inflammation in Older Adults - Psychosom Med. 2007 Mar 30 - "Diets with high n-6:n-3 PUFA ratios may enhance the risk for both depression and inflammatory diseases"
  • Omega 3 fatty acids and the brain: review of studies in depression - Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16 Suppl:391-7 - "Experimental studies in animals have shown that diets lacking omega 3 PUFA lead to substantial disturbances in neural function, which in most circumstances can be restored by the inclusion of omega 3 PUFA in the diet ... It is clear from the literature that DHA is involved in a variety of processes in neural cells and that its role is far more complex than simply influencing cell membrane properties"
  • l-thyroxine augmentation of serotonergic antidepressants in female patients with refractory depression - J Affect Disord. 2007 Feb 6 - "Triiodothyronine (T3) augmentation in treatment-resistant depression had been successfully performed with both tricyclic as well as with SSRI antidepressants. In this paper, the efficacy of addition of moderate dose of l-thyroxine (T4) to serotonergic antidepressants in refractory depression was evaluated ... four weeks of l-thyroxine augmentation, the remission, assessed as 7 or less points on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was obtained in eleven patients (64.7%). Five other patients (29.5%) had responded (reduction>50% on HDRS) and one patient did not show an improvement"
  • Omega-3 in fish oils might ease depression - USA Today, 3/6/07 - "The more DHA a person consumed, the more gray matter there was in three areas of the brain linked to mood: the amygdala, the hippocampus and the cingulate, Conklin says. Seriously depressed people tend to have less gray matter in these areas" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Vascular Nutritional Correlates of Late-Life Depression - Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;14(9):787-795 - "The depression group had higher intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, higher body mass indices, lower alcohol intake, and higher Keys score than the comparison group"
  • Omega-3s may help depressive kids - pilot study - Nutra USA, 6/23/06 - "seven out of ten children in the omega-3 group and none of the children in the placebo group had depression score reductions of 50 per cent or more"
  • Omega-3 treatment of childhood depression: a controlled, double-blind pilot study - Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Jun;163(6):1098-100 - "Analysis of variance showed highly significant effects of omega-3 on symptoms using the CDRS, CDI, and CGI ... Omega-3 fatty acids may have therapeutic benefits in childhood depression"
  • Melatonin Improves Mood In Winter Depression - Science Daily, 5/2/06 - "melatonin, a naturally occurring brain substance, can relieve the doldrums of winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD"
  • Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment - Med Hypotheses. 2006 Mar 14 - "Case histories are presented showing rapid recovery (less than 7 days) from major depression using 125-300mg of magnesium (as glycinate and taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime. Magnesium was found usually effective for treatment of depression in general use" - See magnesium at Amazon.com.
  • Depression and long chain n-3 fatty acids in adipose tissue in adults from Crete - Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb 8 - "The inverse relationship between adipose DHA and depression in adults, replicates findings of a previous study. This relationship indicates that a low long-term dietary intake of DHA is associated with an increased risk for depression in adults" - See Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin B(12) and folate serum levels in newly admitted psychiatric patients - Clin Nutr. 2005 Oct 7 - "About 30% of patients had low folate values compared to 2.5% in the control group" - See folic acid at Amazon.com.
  • Chromium Picolinate Linked With Reduced Carbohydrate Cravings in People With Atypical Depression - Doctor's Guide, 9/29/05 - "65% of the chromium picolinate patients with high carbohydrate craving versus 33% of those receiving placebo had significantly greater improvements on total HAM-D-29 scores (p < 0.05). HAM-D-29 is a standard tool commonly used in assessing severity of symptoms in depressed patients" - See chromium supplements at Amazon.com.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression - Clinical Psychiatry News, 5/05 - "English investigators conducted a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of EPA doses of 1,000, 2,000, or 4,000 mg/day in addition to unchanged standard treatment in 70 patients with persistent depression. The 1,000-mg group showed a significant decrease in depression as compared with placebo, but the other groups showed little evidence of efficacy ... The bulk of evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is effective in treating depression in patients with low omega-3 diets" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com.

Depression and Endocrinology:

  • Wilson's Thyroid Syndrome - "Conversion of T4 to T3 can also be impaired by glucocorticoids" - Maybe that is the mechanism by which cortisol causes depression, and if so, could T3 then cure the depression? - Ben, Related article:
  • Thyroid Function Within the Normal Range and the Risk of Depression: A Population-Based Cohort Study - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Feb 24 - "Overt hypo- and hyperthyroidism are associated with an increased risk of depression ... depressive symptoms [Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)] were assessed. A CES-D of 16 or greater is indicative of a depressive disorder ... follow-up (mean 8.0 y) ... persons in the lowest TSH tertile (0.3-1.0 mU/L) had more depressive symptoms [CES-D score (mean): 7.95 vs 6.63, P = .014] as well as an increased risk of a CES-D of 16 or greater [10.7% vs 5.0%, odds ratio (95% confidence interval) 2.22 (1.18-4.17)], compared with persons in the highest normal range TSH tertile (1.6-4.0 mU/L)"
  • Active thyroid may raise risk of depression in older individuals - Science Daily, 2/20/14 - "older individuals with thyroid activity at the high end of the normal range had a substantially increased risk of developing depression over the course of an eight-year period compared to individuals who had less thyroid activity within the normal range ... people with even minor changes in thyroid function may experience similar mental health effects as those with overt thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism ... researchers measured participants' TSH levels and gauged their depression symptoms using a question"
  • Saliva Test May Spot Depression Risk in Male Teens - WebMD, 2/20/14 - "boys with high levels of a stress hormone called cortisol were 14 times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression later ... Girls with high cortisol levels were only four times more likely to receive such a diagnosis ... This is the emergence of a new way of looking at mental illness"
  • Does depression contribute to the aging process? - Science Daily, 2/21/12 - "telomere length was shorter in the depressed patients, which confirmed prior findings. Importantly, they also discovered that shorter telomere length was associated with a low cortisol state in both the depressed and healthy groups ... stress plays an important role in depression, as telomere length was especially shortened in patients exhibiting an overly sensitive HPA axis. This HPA axis response is something which has been linked to chronic stress and with poor ability to cope with stress" - Note:  I'm not sure if that's correct because depressed people usually have high cortisol, not low cortisol.  I read somewhere that PTSD was associated with low cortisol.
  • Link between depression, abdominal obesity confirmed by new study - Science Daily, 6/9/10 - "cortisol, a stress hormone, is related to depression and abdominal obesity. "So, there is reason to suspect that people who are depressed would have higher levels of abdominal obesity versus other parts of the body because of elevated cortisol,""
  • Symptoms Of Depression In Obese Children Linked To Elevated Cortisol - Science Daily, 6/11/09 - "There is evidence in adults that abnormal regulation of cortisol plays a role in both obesity and depression ... Cortisol levels in the saliva in the afternoon and evening correlated positively with symptoms of depression ... The more depressive symptoms that subjects reported, the higher the cortisol levels at those times"
  • Neurogenesis In Adult Brain: Association With Stress And Depression - Science Daily, 8/31/08 - "Chronic stress can affect the brain and lead into depression"
  • Depression can trigger diabetes, study suggests - MSNBC, 6/17/08 - "Depressed people were 42 percent more likely to develop diabetes ... depression also pushes up the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol ... Elevated cortisol levels can impair insulin sensitivity in the body and encourage belly fat, a risk factor for diabetes"
  • Depression Associated With Low Bone Mineral Density - Medscape, 12/3/07 - "The novelty of this study is the fact that these women were not severely depressed ... Depression is considered a disease of chronic stress, Dr. Cizza said, with attendant increases in the stress hormone cortisol, and cytokines produced by the immune system. "Those substances are helpful to fight stress, but if there is too much cortisol or cytokines, there are side effects," he said. "One of the side effects is bone loss, so it was obvious to ask the question, 'do women with depression have low bone mass?'""
  • l-thyroxine augmentation of serotonergic antidepressants in female patients with refractory depression - J Affect Disord. 2007 Feb 6 - "The study included 17 female patients ... After four weeks of l-thyroxine augmentation, the remission, assessed as 7 or less points on Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was obtained in eleven patients (64.7%). Five other patients (29.5%) had responded (reduction>50% on HDRS) and one patient did not show an improvement"
  • Use OF T3 Thyroid Hormone to Treat Depression - DrMirkin.com - "some people become depressed when they take just T4 and their depression can be cured when they take both thyroid hormones, T3 and T4"
  • Thyroid Supplementation Enhances Antidepressant Response - Medscape, 9/21/06 - "Remission occurred in 31 patients (58.5%) receiving T3 compared with 19 patients (38%) in the placebo group" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems but check with your doctor first.
  • Salivary Cortisol Response to Prednisolone Challenge Helps Understand Treatment-Resistant Depression - Doctor's Guide, 9/19/06 - "prednisolone is a better corticosteroid than dexamethasone to assess the HPA axis because it binds to 2 different receptors, not only the glucocorticoid receptors but also the mineralocorticoid receptors, providing a more physiological approach"
  • A Comparison of Lithium and T3 Augmentation Following Two Failed Medication Treatments for Depression: A STAR*D Report - Am J Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;163(9):1519-30 - "After a mean of 9.6 weeks (SD=5.2) of treatment, remission rates were 15.9% with lithium augmentation and 24.7% with T(3) augmentation" - See T3 at International Anti-aging Systems.
  • Chronic Exposure To Stress Hormone Causes Anxious Behavior In Mice - Science Daily, 4/17/06 - "Scientists already knew that many people with depression have high levels of cortisol, a human stress hormone, but it wasn't clear whether that was a cause or effect. Now it appears likely that long-term exposure to cortisol actually contributes to the symptoms of depression" - See my cortisol page for ways to reduce it.
  • T3 augmentation of SSRI resistant depression - J Affect Disord. 2006 Feb 14 - "T3 augmentation was associated with a statistically significant drop (p<.003) in the mean HAMD at end of the three weeks compared to baseline scores ... T3 augmentation resulted in improvement of mood scores"
  • Depression May Raise Women's Diabetes Risk - WebMD, 12/22/04 - "symptoms of depression were linked to greater levels of insulin resistance among the women ... depression can alter hormones relating to how the body handles stress. This in turn can affect body fat distribution and how it handles blood sugar metabolism"
  • Algorithm-Based Treatment Shows High Lack Of Response To Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors - Doctor's Guide, 4/17/03 - "When the clinicians added T3, they found it was effective among 10 out of 16 women patients (62.5%), but was not effective in any of the 9 male patients who received it. Although values were within the normal range, patients who responded to T3 had higher serum thyroid-stimulating hormone levels than those who did not ... The effect of T3 may be related to thyroid function even within the normal range"
  • Mirtazapine Attenuates Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical Axis Hyperactivity in Depressed Patients - Doctor's Guide, 4/17/03 - "it has been shown to have an acute inhibiting effect on cortisol secretion in healthy subjects ... Apparently, mirtazapine rapidly attenuates HPA axis hyperactivity in depressed patients via direct pharmaco-endocrinological effects. However, this amelioration of HPA system dysregulation is not necessarily related to clinical improvement" - Click here for a previous study.
  • Treatment of Subclinical Hypothyroidism Advocated - Doctor's Guide, 4/7/03 - "Adverse effects fall into four general categories, according to Dr. Gardner -- neuropsychiatric symptoms, abnormal lipids, altered myocardial function, and greater risk of atherosclerotic heart disease ... Adding to the controversy, he added, is growing evidence that the upper limit of normal serum TSH concentration should be less than 2.5-3.0 U/mL and not the current levels of 5.0-5.5 U/mL"
  • Testosterone May Help Depressed Men - WebMD, 1/3/03 - "nearly half of the men who had not responded to conventional depression treatment had low or low-to-normal testosterone levels. And several showed dramatic improvement when the male hormone was given along with antidepressants"
  • Depression Management - ContinuingEducation.com, exp. 12/31/02 - See table six, recommends 5 - 50 mcg T3, 100 mcg (.1 mg) T4
  • New Vistas in Antidepressant Development - Medscape, 11/21/02 - "The evidence for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) hypersecretion in depression and certain anxiety disorders is compelling ... CRF is transported to the anterior pituitary via the hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal system where it promotes the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the general circulation, which in turn stimulates the production and release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex ... Numerous studies have revealed that the direct injection of CRF into the CNS of laboratory animals produces effects reminiscent of the cardinal symptoms of depression, including decreased libido"
  • Bipolar Patients Sensitive to Thyroid Function Variations - Doctor's Guide, 1/8/02 - "They studied 65 patients in the depressed phase of bipolar I disorder to test the hypothesis that patients with lower thyroid function, even within the normal range, might have a poorer response to treatment initially ... Outcomes were relatively poor unless patients had FTI [free thyroxine index] values above the median and TSH values below the median"
  • Thyroid Hormones Accelerate Depressive Response to Drug Therapy - Doctor's Guide, 10/30/01 - "Five of the six studies found T3 to be significantly more effective than placebo in accelerating clinical response ... Investigators say they found that the average effect was highly significant"
  • Researchers Explore New Meds for Mood Disorders - Clinical Psychiatry News, 10/01 - "Another approach being developed for patients with high levels of circulating cortisol involves the abortion pill mifepristone ... The findings, to be published this month in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, suggest that a rapid antidepressant response (approximately 7 days) may occur in some patients"
  • Researchers Hopeful Antidepressant Augmentation Will Improve Remission - Clinical Psychiatry News, 9/01 - "In psychotic depression, a corticosteroid antagonist looks most promising. Mifepristone, which is used to induce abortions but was originally designed as treatment for Cushing's disease, has achieved rapid reversal of symptoms in some 30 psychotically depressed patients, ostensibly by blocking cortisol receptors. The drug is now being investigated in a large double-blind trial, he said"
  • Major Depression: Tianeptine At Least Halves Relapse And Recurrence Rates - Doctor's Guide, 3/29/01 - "A smaller proportion of the tianeptine group experienced either relapses or recurrences compared to placebo (16 and 36 percent, respectively) ... events related to treatment were rare and mild in both arms of the study ... The rates of relapse and recurrence decreased between two- and three-fold among tianeptine users compared to placebo. However, the treatments were equally well accepted by the two groups" - note: tianeptine is believed to inhibit cortisol - Ben
  • Mirtazapine Regulates Stress Hormones, Improves Sleep In Depressed Patients - Doctor's Guide, 8/8/01 - "Mirtazipine might be the best option for depressed patients with sleep disturbance and irregularities in stress hormone function ... Depression is often accompanied by sleep disturbance -- subjective and objective -- as well as [hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal] HPA-axis dysregulation ... Mirtazapine is a treatment that [profoundly affects] the HPA-axis within hours and promotes sleep within days ... They tested the 24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels of 16 healthy men and 20 men and women with major depression ... mirtazipne significantly reduced UFC concentrations, which is often elevated in depressed patients"
  • Effects of thyroxine as compared with thyroxine plus triiodothyronine in patients with hypothyroidism - N Engl J Med. 1999 Feb 11;340(6):469-70 - "among 15 visual-analogue scales used to indicate mood and physical status, the results for 10 were significantly better after treatment with thyroxine [t4] plus triiodothyronine [t3]"
  • Study Supports Role Of Anticort In Treating Alzheimer's, HIV - Doctor's Guide, 4/17/98 - "Cortisol's role as a cause of disease is most recently confirmed in a study to be published in the May issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience. Authored by Dr. Sonia Lupien of McGill University, the study reports that high levels of cortisol play a key role in Alzheimer's, memory loss, shrinkage of the brain and aging. Dr. Lupien also states that such illnesses might be prevented with medications to reduce elevated cortisol levels."
  • RU-486 could aid variety of ills - MSNBC, 11/2/00 - "RU-486’s ability to block the action of a different hormone — cortisol — has prompted doctors to try it for psychotic depression. In addition to feeling sad and worthless, people with this devastating condition have distorted thinking and often suffer delusions or hallucinations. Many
    become suicidal.

    “They have very, very disturbing and crazy thoughts ... and they have no ability to suppress them,” said Joseph K. Belanoff, a California psychiatrist who is chief executive officer of Corcept Therapeutics Inc., a small pharmaceutical company. Corcept is sponsoring a study of RU-486 for psychotic depression.

    Several lines of evidence have led researchers to suspect that some of the symptoms of psychotic depression are caused by an excess of cortisol in the brain. Cortisol levels rise in response to stress and may be abnormally elevated in depressed individuals. Similar symptoms can occur in patients with Cushing’s syndrome, an overabundance of cortisol usually caused by a tumor, and RU-486 has cured the mental disturbance in some
    such cases.

    “Our feeling has been that a lot of the cognitive problems and delusions that you see in some of the patients are due to the [cortisol],” said Alan F. Schatzberg, chairman of the psychiatry department at Stanford University School of Medicine, where researchers are conducting a study that will test RU-486 on 30 patients with psychotic depression.

    RU-486 or other cortisol-blocking drugs “may be better alternatives than ... some of the typical treatments” such as antipsychotic drugs or electric shock therapy, he said."
  • Two studies implying that cortisol is the cause, not the result of depression:

Other News:

  • Internet use may cut retirees' depression - Science Daily, 4/18/14 - "Internet users had an average predicted probability of depression of .07, whereas that probability for nonusers was .105. Based on the difference, Internet use led to a 33 percent reduction in the probability of depression ... Number of people in the household partially mediates this relationship, with the reduction in depression largest for people living alone ... This provides some evidence that the mechanism linking Internet use to depression is the remediation of social isolation and loneliness. Encouraging older adults to use the Internet may help decrease isolation, loneliness, and depression"
  • Elevated CRP Linked to Depression, Psychological Distress - Medscape, 12/27/12 - "those who had the highest levels of CRP were more than twice as likely to have psychological distress and depression than those with normal levels of CRP ... more research is now needed "to establish the direction of the association between CRP and depression" — especially because these studies were primarily cross-sectional ... evaluated data from 73,131 adults between the ages of 20 and 100 years from the Copenhagen General Population study and the Copenhagen City Heart study ... the age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio (OR) was 1.11 when CRP levels were between 1.01 and 3.00 mg/L compared with the lowest levels of 0.01 to 1.00 mg/L. The ORs increased to 1.80 for CRP levels of 3.01 to 10.00 mg/L and to 2.61 for levels greater than 10.00 mg/L"
  • Obesity, depression found to be root causes of daytime sleepiness - Science Daily, 6/13/12 - "Three studies being presented June 13 at sleep 2012 conclude that obesity and depression are the two main culprits making us excessively sleepy while awake ... Insufficient sleep and obstructive sleep apnea also play a role; both have been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, obesity and accidents"
  • Anti-depressants likely do more harm than good, study suggests - Science Daily, 4/25/12 - "Andrews and his colleagues examined previous patient studies into the effects of anti-depressants and determined that the benefits of most anti-depressants, even taken at their best, compare poorly to the risks, which include premature death in elderly patients ... The findings include these elevated risks: ... developmental problems in infants ... problems with sexual stimulation and function and sperm development in adults ... digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, indigestion and bloating ... abnormal bleeding and stroke in the elderly ... You've got a minimal benefit, a laundry list of negative effects -- some small, some rare and some not so rare. The issue is: does the list of negative effects outweigh the minimal benefit?"
  • Link between fast food and depression confirmed - Science Daily, 3/30/12 - "consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression ... a dose-response relationship was observed"
  • False promise - The Daily, 3/13/12 - "Antidepressants help only a small fraction of the people who take them, but that didn’t stop Reuters from running an article that carried the headline: “Study suggests overall benefit from antidepressants.” ... Much of the Reuters article ... contradicts its own headline. It explains that about one in three adults who received a placebo recovered from his or her depression. Only one in five people who popped Prozac recovered from his or her depression because of the chemical’s effects of the drug on the brain. The numbers are even worse for seniors ... To make matters worse, the article only makes a passing mention of the downsides of antidepressants. Effexor can make people nauseous, dizzy, drowsy and even anorexic. Prozac can also cause problems with sleep and digestion"
  • Depressive symptoms, antidepressant use, and future cognitive health in postmenopausal women: the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study - Int Psychogeriatr. 2012 Feb 3:1-13 - "mild cognitive impairment (MCI) ... Antidepressant use was associated with a 70% increased risk of MCI, after controlling for potential covariates including the degree of depressive symptom severity. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) were both associated with MCI (SSRIs: hazard ratios (HR), 1.78 [95% CI, 1.01-3.13]; TCAs: HR, 1.78 [95% CI, 0.99-3.21]). Depressed users (HR, 2.44 [95% CI, 1.24-4.80]), non-depressed users (HR, 1.79 [95% CI, 1.13-2.85]), and depressed non-users (HR, 1.62 [95% CI, 1.13-2.32]) had increased risk of incident MCI. Similarly, all three groups had increased risk of either MCI or dementia, relative to the control cohort"
  • Working too much is correlated with two-fold increase in likelihood of depression - Science Daily, 1/25/12 - "The odds of a major depressive episode are more than double for those working 11 or more hours a day compared to those working seven to eight hours a day"
  • Depression and chronic stress accelerates aging - Science Daily, 11/9/11 - "The telomere is the outermost part of the chromosome. With increasing age, telomeres shorten, and studies have shown that oxidative stress and inflammation accelerates this shortening. On this basis it has been suggested that telomere length is a measure of biological aging, and telomere length has subsequently been linked to age-related diseases, unhealthy lifestyle, and longevity. The research team shows that shorter telomere length is associated with both recurrent depression and cortisol levels indicative of exposure to chronic stress"
  • Gut bacteria linked to behavior: That anxiety may be in your gut, not in your head - Science Daily, 5/17/11 - "For each person, the gut is home to about 1,000 trillium bacteria with which we live in harmony. These bacteria perform a number of functions vital to health: They harvest energy from the diet, protect against infections and provide nutrition to cells in the gut. Any disruption can result in life-threatening conditions, such as antibiotic-induced colitis from infection with the "superbug" Clostridium difficile ... Working with healthy adult mice, the researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behaviour; the mice became less cautious or anxious. This change was accompanied by an increase in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked, to depression and anxiety ... When oral antibiotics were discontinued, bacteria in the gut returned to normal. "This was accompanied by restoration of normal behaviour and brain chemistry,""
  • Dual medications for depression increases costs, side effects with no benefit to patients, study suggests - Science Daily, 5/2/11 - "One group received escitalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI) and a placebo; the second group received the same SSRI paired with bupropion (a non-tricyclic antidepressant); and a third group took different antidepressants: venlafaxine (a tetracyclic antidepressant) and mirtazapine (a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) ... After 12 weeks of treatment, remission and response rates were similar across the three groups: 39 percent, 39 percent and 38 percent, respectively, for remission, and about 52 percent in all three groups for response. After seven months of treatment, remission and response rates across the three groups remained similar, but side effects were more frequent in the third group ... Only about 33 percent of depressed patients go into remission in the first 12 weeks of treatment with antidepressant medication" - Note:  Considering that most know that they are getting the real drug because of the side effects, it makes you wonder how much of the 33% are from the placebo effect.
  • More than half of depression patients give up their treatment - Science Daily, 11/22/10 - "Most patients who take anti-depressants give up their treatment in less than six months, the minimum period recommended for treating severe depression and other derived pathologies ... only 25% continue their treatment for more than 11 month"
  • Depression as deadly as smoking, study finds - Science Daily, 11/18/09 - "depression is as much of a risk factor for mortality as smoking"
  • Depression Raises Risk for Type 2 Diabetes - WebMD, 6/8/09 - "Depressed participants who were not being treated had significantly greater insulin resistance than study participants who were not depressed. But treatment for depression appeared to improve insulin sensitivity ... There are several theories about how depression may contribute to type 2 diabetes, but the most widely cited theory involves the stress hormone cortisol ... Cortisol is a key player in blood sugar metabolism and insulin sensitivity ... High cortisol levels are also associated with increased fat deposits around the abdomen, or belly fat, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes"
  • Low free testosterone levels are associated with prevalence and incidence of depressive Symptoms in older men - Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 May 25 - "Free testosterone levels below 170 pmol/L are associated with depressive symptoms while free testosterone levels below 220 pmol/L (lowest quintile of our population) predict the onset of depressive symptoms"
  • Depression Linked With Accumulation Of Visceral Fat - Science Daily, 4/28/09 - "Our results suggest that central adiposity – which is commonly called belly fat – is an important pathway by which depression contributes to the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes"
  • Heart Disease Tied to Depression, Anger - WebMD, 3/9/09 - "Chronically angry or hostile adults with no history of heart disease may be 19% more likely than their peers to develop heart disease"
  • Physical Activity Improves Mood For People Serious Mental Illness - Science Daily, 1/14/09 - "even meager levels of physical activity can improve the mood of people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as bipolar disorder, major depression and schizophrenia"
  • FDA OKs TMS Depression Device - WebMD, 10/8/08 - "TMS is much safer than ECT. Unlike ECT, TMS does not require sedation and is administered on an outpatient basis"
  • Antidepressants Linked To Type 2 Diabetes, Study Suggests - Science Daily, 3/25/08 - "the risk of diabetes almost doubled for the patients who were using two types of therapies at the same time, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)"

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