Suppose you feel stressed and anxious. You’re having trouble sleeping or you just feel down. Maybe you schedule a “session” with a psychiatrist. You expect to talk about your impossible boss, difficult relationship or financial woes.
Instead, what you get is 15 minutes of working out which pill and dosage you should take — and then you’re sent on way, Big Pharma prescription in hand.
And there’s a 72% chance you won’t even be diagnosed as depressed.1
Big Pharma couldn’t be happier. Doctors and psychiatrists write more than 250 million scripts for antidepressants every year. And most are for people who aren’t even depressed.2
In a minute, I’m going to show you a much more effective – and much safer – way to alleviate your anxiety and stress.
But first, let’s look at another dirty, little secret that Big Pharma and the FDA don’t want you to know about – antidepressants don’t work.
Researchers took at look at 38 clinical trials covering 3,000 depressed patients. They found that 75% of mood improvement came from the drugs’ placebo effect.3 In other words, you could take a sugar pill and get the same benefits.
Those were just studies published in journals. Another review looked at clinical trials submitted to the FDA by drug companies. More than half of those studies showed NO real difference between the drugs and a placebo.4
So that begs the question: How did these drugs get approved if they’re no better than a placebo?
The FDA has a funny way of reviewing studies and research. They will approve a drug as long as there are just two studies showing some benefit over a placebo. It doesn’t matter if 10 other studies show no benefit at all.
And the FDA approves these bogus drugs, in spite of serious side effects, like nausea, weight gain, and loss of sex drive. Depression drugs are also strongly linked with violent behavior. I’m talking about homicides, suicides, assaults and physical abuse.5
I don’t prescribe these dangerous drugs. Instead, I help my patients lift depression using natural therapies.
The natural therapies I recommend will help you boost your physical and mental stamina.
Here 5 Natural Remedies That Will Improve Your Mood Safely
1. Challenge Your Body to Exercise: Studies show exercise reduces symptoms of major depressive disorder.6 It boosts your mood by increasing circulation of blood and oxygen to your brain. Exercise also releases serotonin – the “feel good hormone” – in your brain. And it lets loose endorphins, your brain’s natural morphine-like pain relievers. Together they give you a sense of pleasure.
Try doing 10 to 20 minutes of exercise three or four times a week using the PACE fitness program as a guide.
2. Eat More Omega-3 Fats: Your brain is 60% fat. It needs omega-3 fatty acids to build brain cell membranes and nerve connections. And studies show omega-3 fats help ward off depression.7 People who take in more omega-3s have increased gray matter in the areas of the brain that control depression, emotions, and mood.8 Even bipolar patients who don’t respond to drugs have been shown to improve with omega-3s.9
You can get omega-3 fats from oily fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, anchovies, sardines, trout and fresh tuna. Another good source is grass-fed beef. But it’s almost impossible to get enough omega-3s from your diet. I recommend krill oil and squid oil to my patients.
To prevent depression, take at least 2,000 mg per day. If you already have depression, a dosage of up to 4,000 mg of omega-3s per day helps lift mood.10
3. Get More Sunshine: A study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings linked higher levels of vitamin D in the blood to a significantly lower risk of depression.11
I help my patients get off drugs like Prozac and Zoloft by getting more vitamin D. The best way to do that is sunshine. Try spending 10 to 15 minutes in the midday sun unprotected. It will give you between 3,000 and 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3.
You can also get vitamin D from food. A serving of wild salmon or mackerel provides roughly 350 IU of vitamin D3. Sardines or tuna in oil provide about 225 IUs.
I recommend taking 5,000 IU per day of vitamin D3. Just be sure to avoid D2, the synthetic form of vitamin D. It’s less potent and less absorbable.
4. Increase Your Magnesium: Low levels of magnesium in our farm soil have been linked closely to increases in mental illness.12 And low magnesium in the brain is linked to serious depression that resists most drugs. Studies reveal that magnesium works better than the common antidepressants. And it doesn’t have the bad side effects.13
Case histories show magnesium supplements can lift major depression in less than seven days. All it took was 125–300 mg of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime.14 I recommend taking between 600 and 1,000 mg of per day. Look for the glycinate or taurinate forms.
4. Boost Your B12: Research shows people with low vitamin B12 are 70% more likely to suffer severe depression than those without a deficiency.15
In one study of 12 depressed patients, doctors prescribed 500 mcg tablets of vitamin B12 twice per day. At the end of six weeks, all of the patients reported relief from depression.16
But you have to eat what I call a primal diet to get enough of this critical vitamin. B12 is found almost exclusively in animal products. Foods like beef, liver, lamb, salmon, shrimp, clams and eggs are the best sources.
But the older you get, the less able your body becomes at absorbing vitamins. So you may need to supplement. I recommend taking at least 100 mcg per day. But I advise many of my patients to take as much as 2,000 mcg per day for improving brain function.
Look for patches, lozenges or sublingual sprays. They go directly into your bloodstream for better absorption.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
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8Conklin SM, Gianaros PJ, Brown SM, et al. “Long-chain omega-3 fatty acid intake is associated positively with corticolimbic gray matter volume in healthy adults.”Neurosci Lett. 2007;421(3):209-12.
9Frangou S, Lewis M, McCrone P. “Efficacy of ethyl-eicosapentaenoic acid in bipolar depression: randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study.” Br J Psychiatry. 2006;188:46-50.
10Logan AC. “Omega-3 fatty acids and major depression: a primer for the mental health professional.” Lipids Health Dis. 2004 Nov 9;325.
11MinhTu T. Hoang et al, “Association Between Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Depression in a Large Sample of Healthy Adults: The Cooper Center Longitudinal Study.” Mayo Clin Proc. 2011; 86(11): 1050–1055.
12Whittle, Nigel; Li, Lin; Chen, Wei-qiang; et al. “Changes in brain protein expression are linked to magnesium restriction-induced depression-like behavior.” Amino Acids 2011 Apr;40(4):1231-48.
13George A. Eby III, Karen L. Eby. “Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: A review and hypothesis.” Medical Hypotheses Volume 74, Issue 4, April 2010, Pages 649–660.
14George A. Eby III, Karen L. Eby. “Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment.” Medical Hypotheses Volume 67, Issue 2, 2006, Pages 362–370
15Tiemeier MJ, van Tuijl HR, Hofman A, et al. “Vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine in de-pression: The Rotterdam study.” Am J Psychiat, 2002: 159: 2099-2101.
16Joseph A. Mitchell, Ph.D., LPC.The Effect of Folic Acid and B12 on Depression: Twelve Case Studies Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Vol. 22, No. 4, 2007