30 Million Americans On Antidepressant Drugs When Dietary Supplements Are More Appropriate

More than 250 million prescriptions for Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, Sarafem, Wellbutrin, Tofranil and other antidepressant drugs.  That’s a lot of medicine.

What causes it?

Short answer: in women, commonly the onset of menopause; in others, elevated homocysteine levels in the brain.

How should women allay chemical mental depression?

Answer: estrogen acts as a natural inhibitor of monoamine oxidase, an enzyme that breaks down a brain chemical called serotonin.  [Cleveland Clinic]  The onset of depression in women typically occurs in the period just prior to menopause, which is when prescriptions for antidepressants for females rise.  [Depression Toolkit]  While there are many MAO inhibiting drugs, women should either opt for an Rx for bio-identical hormones or take a natural MAO inhibitor like resveratrol (in a modest dose 100-250 mg).  [European Neuropsychopharmacology June 2010]

High levels of homocysteine, an undesirable blood protein, appear to be the cause of many cases of mental depression.  B vitamins are the antidote, but how many of these cases are prescribed inappropriate antidepressant drugs instead?  [Annual Review Nutrition July 2016]

For unexplained reasons, probably public demand, almost 70% of people taking a major class of antidepressant drugs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) have never suffered from major depression and do not meet the criteria for the pills.  [Journal Clinical Psychiatry Jan 2015]  Physicians appear to be using it as a convenient tool to get patients to return for prescription renewals.  So the reported 11.9% prevalence of mental depression in the population at large, based upon prescriptions for the problem, appears to be bogus. [Journal General Internal Medicine 2008] One study found only 38.4% of adults surveyed met the criteria to take an antidepressant drug.  [Psychotherapy Psychosomatics 2013]

Daytime sleepiness is another symptom of high homocysteine.  [European Journal Internal Medicine June 2016]

A combination of B vitamins (B6, B12, folic acid) plus omega-3 fish oil is superior to B vitamins alone in lowering homocysteine. [Nutrition Research June 2016]

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