Depression Vs. Anti-Inflammatory Meds. Surprisingly Encouraging!:
Frequently, SCIENCE will get the idea that it knows everything.
And for a long time, it decided that it understood psychology’s problems and how to medicate them all perfectly. But that’s not always true.
For example up until recently, Science had no idea exactly how Prozac worked, just that it did.
(it was actually encouraging neurogenesis among other things)
And a Chinese team just confirmed that Depression might not only be a chemical-imbalance, but something Big Pharma wasn’t even thinking about in 1972…
Meds Vs. Woo-Woo. The History Of Scientific Hubris:
So Science has a long history of coming up with a formula it thinks will work for 99% of the population,
And reflects a total understanding of the problem; only to be proven-wrong later.
That’s why people come to sites like HT and weirder ones to look at new & “out-there” studies, hearsay, or even internet Bro-science, that might offer clues in another direction.
Since the current percentage of treatment-resistant depression is about 30%, that’s one area of treatment Science isn’t perfect at either.
But The Short Answer for the current work is that after looking at a cross-section of many studies, Chinese doctors have concluded that anti-inflammatories can help reduce symptoms of Depression where other drugs do a less-than-perfect job by themselves.
Read on to find out the details…
Solutions Can Be Very Complicated “Stacks”:
A very small example of how things get complicated is for the mood-supplement 5HTP.
It turns out you can’t just take it alone.
Because it’s not just a Serotonin-Imbalance you’re working with.
You actually have to balance like 3 or 4 things, because if you increase Serotonin you reduce the others.
But kinda-odd amounts & types of other vitamins & minerals.
And since that kind of “stacking” is not for amateurs, most of the time others just recommend cycling-off of 5HTP for long-periods,
Or even limiting the duration you take it completely.
Weird stuff, and not simple.
Give The Biochemists Some Credit. Complex Problems Need Complex Solutions:
Now imagine the task faced by biochemists trying to solve the tough conundrum of mood-disorders.
They seem to have accomplished some fair results, despite the side-effects of things like weight-gain and brain-zaps.
But their drugs are still not perfect, and some are even on the list of ones that can hurt your brain.
Well, the team from Huazhong U. went down that more recently-discovered path that’s been coming up in the Fish Oil studies.
What if there is some type of Inflammation going on, and could you use a regular old anti-inflammatory to help?
Anti-Inflammatory Effects On Depression, The Study Results:
So here’s what they looked at:
Over the span of 30 Different Trials, and over 1600 people, in any study they could find right up until 2019,
The HU team looked at anything that seemed to have a positive effect on treatment-resistant depression.
It was a lot like the previous work on Fish Oil, but looking at both Medication and Supplements, not just the latter.
And what they found was just as good as the vitamins, minerals & supplement studies.
Four Strange Categories Of Inflammation Mitigation:
If patients suffering Depression tried any of the treatment-aids, their results got a lot better.
1) NSAID Anti-Inflammatories like Advil or possibly Aspirin
2) Omega 3s like Fish Oil
3) Statins like cholesterol meds
4) Weirdly, Tetracycline Antibiotics
Before we get into the percentages, let’s be clear about these.
They were not advocating that people who don’t need cholesterol medication start taking it.
They were also not recommending people who don’t need tetracycline-style antibiotics start taking them, either.
Also note: If you take too many substances of any type that have blood-thinning properties, like Aspirin, Advil, Fish Oil, Garlic, NAC, Resveratrol, etc. within 6+ hours of each other, you could be setting yourself up for a potentially-fatal bleeding-ulcer.
So if you are thinking of taking any anti-inflammatory, talk to your doctor and tell them every single vitamin, supplement, mineral, and drug you’re considering and follow their advice to the letter.
Several of these have adverse interactions with alcohol too, so be careful & read the directions and warnings, too!
Huge Reductions, Just From A Little Ibuprofen!:
Ok with that out of the way, the results!
In all of those 1600+ subjects who also used an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen,
1) 52% of them had Reduced-Severity of depressive symptoms
2) And almost 80% had their depressive-symptoms Eliminated Entirely!
(these tests were vs. adding a Placebo to their anti-depressant meds)
There were no major Side-Effects reported.
But one Caveat is that most of the trials lasted from 4 weeks, and some up to 12 weeks.
So right now, we don’t have a study on Long-Term usage, Effectiveness, and presence of Unwanted Side-Effects.
Whether this regimen can continue for the duration a depression-sufferer might need unfortunately remains to be seen.
How & What? A Few Angles You Might Look At Yourself:
Now for the “What If” section of this post.
Why do people have Inflammation in their bodies & brains in the first place?
Some of what we’ve learned here before suggests that many parts of Diet can hurt your health in surprising ways,
And maybe some of these include your brain-health, too.
The Modern-American Diet Can Create Inflammation:
Every single one of these can increase Inflammation in one way or another.
Whether it’s the strange changes Soybean oil makes to more than 100 genes in a single region in your brain,
Or the instantly-inflammatory compounds in the oils from fried-food.
They all find a way to get into several of your systems and cause havoc.
We also learned on HT that Body Fat does not regulate the amount of hormones it produces,
So when you have a large excess of fat, you get a large excess of hormones.
That results in, you guessed it: Inflammation that might make it toward your brain.
Oils, Fat, Sugar, & Sleep:
One of the strange things about Depression is that a high-percentage of sufferers have problems with Sleep.
And one of the strange things we found out about Soybean Oil is that it messes with the specific region of your brain that controls sleep.
So maybe getting as many Omega 6 Oils out of your diet, and Especially Soybean oil, would be a great step in getting several parts of yourself and maybe even your brain healthier in the future.
Another strange facet of those Ultra-Processed-Foods that are chocablock with that specific oil, is that they are also full of both Sugar and Salt.
Not only have studies been published that show Sugar makes SAD and Depression worse,
Food Can Both Have & Create Inflammatory Compounds:
And that it may contribute to the Inflammation from excess body-fat in a vicious-cycle,
But your Gut Microbes can be disrupted by anything you eat,
Or even killed-off in some number by a diet that has too much Salt in it!
Even worse than that? Those microbes make almost 50% of all the Serotonin your body uses.
One other dietary-avenue is the effects on Depression from Resveratrol in Red Wine,
But alcohol is neurotoxic, and also a very touchy subject.
So you probably shouldn’t be exceeding the recommended safe-dose of it set by the major international health-organizations.
-Which seem to be getting smaller and smaller as time goes by!
Neal & Sandrine Have Some Great Ideas:
In addition to a list of things you might consider getting out of your diet to help reduce inflammation you might be accidentally creating,
Strangely-enough, one of them is Cardiovascular Exercise, which makes your brain grow new neurons, just like Prozac!
Many Things Might Help Including One More Pill:
So in-closing, there are several things that you can do that are fairly side-effect-free,
That may have an actual-impact on the amount of total-inflammation you have in your body,
And potentially, your brain.
But it may be fitting that since much of the world’s solution to health-issues is just popping a pill,
That an even more effective way of clamping-down on Depression when the Big Pharma pills aren’t really working, might be to just add a little anti-inflammatory to cover another facet of the problem!