Saturday, January 20, 2007

How to BEAT Depression Through Proper Nutrition

I have had this since early 2002 in my saved mail. I think it is great advice. I tried to look this particular letter up on the net, but couldn't find it. Oh, well... now it's on the net! Happy weekend, all! Next up is Pepperoni Pasta Salad.

Dr. Berg's HealthySelf Tip of the Week A common cause of DEPRESSION

Dear friend,

There's a theory going around that the cause of depression is a serotonin (brain hormone) deficiency. This theory says that too much stress in one's life depletes serotonin, which eventually leads to depression - then an anti-depression drug like Prozac is recommended.

Getting data from the Freedom of Information Act on Prozac (, I found some interesting information. By 1992, 28,600 adverse reactions from Prozac were reported by the FDA, not to mention 1,700 deaths. The way that drug was approved back in 1987 would be criminal today (2001). I'll let you read up on this at the site mentioned above.

Serotonin is known to inhibit pain and perhaps cause sleep.

Saying Serotonin deficiency causes depression is like saying constipation causes fatigue. There might be some connection but it's not the true cause of the problem. Many medical theories don't inspect deeply enough: high blood pressure causing heart attacks, obesity causing heart disease, or high cholesterol causing heart disease are just things late on the chain of events.

From a dietary point of view, I've had a high percentage of depression cases clear up just by stabilizing blood sugar. I need to explain this because I had a client recently who thought that eating more sugar is what he needed to do since he interpreted low blood sugar meaning "needs more sugar".

Nearly all food in the body breaks down to sugar eventually so the body can utilize it as fuel. This process occurs over time in the intestines and the liver. If you bypass this machinery by eating straight sugar, you really mess up the process.

This is where great stress and imbalances occur in the body, including cholesterol problems, diabetes, obesity and even thyroid problems.

Your body puts great importance on maintaining a very specific amount of sugar in the blood and it is the hormones that regulate excesses and deficiencies. When one hormone goes up, others go down. It's a very complex process with over 500 hormones in the body working together.

In brief, foods that don't affect blood sugar are recommended in dealing with depression. That would include proteins, vegetables and healthy fats.

Cheese, nuts, fish, eggs, salads, etc. STABILIZE and greatly help depression and mental focus. Wine, sweets, breads, pasta, corn bread, cereals, gum, sodas, etc. all DESTABILIZE blood sugar and increase depression and mental fogginess.

Depression occurs when your blood sugars are on the low side, because the brain and body starves for food. If you fed your body straight sugar, hormones would quickly remove it, leaving you worse off. It might give some temporary pleasure but a price to pay.

It's like using your checkbook to purchase Christmas presents, then realizing after the fact that you had a zero balance before writing them. WOOPS!

That would cause depression, wouldn't it?

The most important meal of the day should be breakfast. Nearly every person who comes into my office with depression either skips breakfast or eats fruit or some grain food for breakfast. It's one for one. I tell them they would be better off eating a hamburger (without the bun) than cereal and toast. If they don't make these changes; they can take all the vitamins in the world and still not experience any improvement.

Think of a time when you skipped a meal. Did you get irritable, grouchy?

Now think of a time when you ate something really sweet. How did you feel about two hours later? Make the changes and see how you feel.

Have a good week,

Dr. Berg

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: