Is depression caused by inflammation?


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Is depression caused by inflammation?

Oct 24, 2018 6 comments
Is depression caused by inflammation?

Depression affects an astounding 350 million people worldwide, and that includes about 22 million US adults.

Historically, depression has been viewed as a mental/psychiatric illness, with counseling or psychotherapy as the standard go-to treatment.

And then of course the theory (and it IS ONLY a theory) was born that low serotonin levels in the brain cause depression, and this gave rise to the biggest cash cow in the history of man—antidepressants. 

But I have a question—if antidepressants allegedly “work” so well, why do they come with a list of potential side effects that rivals the novel War and Peace, and why are 350 million of us still depressed?

Well, there is another possible underlying cause of depression emerging that is making a lot of sense…and could make a significant difference in the lives of millions of people.

Is depression the result of…INFLAMMATION?

Growing numbers of scientists and psychologists are beginning to view depression as a physical illness which in turn makes you feel sickly and brings your mood down.

And the likely culprit behind this state of physical illness is inflammation.

Inflammation is actually part of your immune system that coordinates your body’s healing efforts.  So when you get swelling following a bug bite or a stuffy nose with a cold, that’s inflammation in action. 

Behind the scenes, proteins called cytokines set off inflammation in your body, and this has the effect of switching your brain into a “sickness mode.”

When this is brief and reactive (as with a bug bite or cold) things get back to normal pretty quickly in your body and mind. 

But chronic or systemic inflammation is a different story!

Both cytokines levels and inflammation have been shown to SKYROCKET during depressive episodes, and then drop off in periods of remission.

In addition, people with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis frequently suffer with depression.  Also, cancer patients treated with a drug called interferon alpha (which boosts their inflammatory response to help fight the cancer) often become depressed.

Non-depressed people can also be temporarily put into a depressed state when given a vaccine that causes a spike in inflammation (which most vaccines do—because they provoke the immune system).

Other inflammation triggers to consider

Injuries, infections or vaccines are not the only way to set off inflammation.

A diet rich in unhealthy fats, refined carbs and sugar has been proven to light fires of inflammation, while a healthy diet full of fresh vegetables helps keep it under control.

Obesity is another risk factor because body fat, particularly belly fat, stores large quantities of cytokines.

Plus stress also causes inflammation, and heaven knows we are not lacking stress in our daily lives!

Yet another great reason to lower inflammation!

With the strong possibility that there is a depression-inflammation link, this is yet another great reason to keep inflammation low in your body!

Here are 4 ways you can help:

1) Eat away at inflammation

These foods have been shown to help reduce inflammation:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fresh vegetables—especially greens and other non-starchy vegetables
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, basil and rosemary

2) Get those Omega-3 EFAs

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are Nature's anti-inflammatory.  These are found in abundance in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and cod.

Unfortunately, also found in abundance in these critters are high levels of mercury, PCB’s, and other toxins, especially in those caught from the Atlantic.

Considering this sad reality, it's wise to significantly limit or avoid Atlantic varieties, and eat only wild-caught Pacific or Alaskan varieties.

But to ensure your body consistently has healthful levels of Omega-3 fats, fish oil supplementation is the way to go.

And for a pure, top-quality fish oil formula that's up to the inflammation-fighting challenge, look no farther than VitalMega-3.

VitalMega-3 is a pure, super-potent fish oil that provides 1,200 mg. of Omega-3 essential fatty acids in every daily 2-capsule serving, including 600 mg. of EPA and 400 mg. of DHA—the two Omega-3 EFAs most recommended by health experts.

3) Do the avoid-dance

Just as important as getting natural sources of anti-inflammatories is avoiding these inflammation-causing foods:

  • Sunflower oil, corn oil and other processed vegetable oils
  • Sugar and salt
  • Bleached white flour
  • Processed, packaged foods of all kinds
  • Fast food
  • Soda
  • Coffee
  • Meat and eggs from conventionally farmed animals, especially beef and chicken. Strive for organic versions of these whenever possible.
  • Conventionally grown produce with high pesticide residues. Try to buy organic as much as you can.

4) Ease inflammatory actions with Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps calm excessive, inflammatory actions of your immune system.  That’s why a vitamin D deficiency is an underlying factor behind numerous inflammatory conditions including heart disease, cancer and autoimmune conditions. 

Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency has now reached epidemic proportions, thanks to our exaggerated fears of the sun and slathering on sunscreen whenever we walk out the door.

Supplementation with a quality vitamin D formula like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can go a long way in helping to counteract these harmful inflammatory responses.

Optimum DK Formula provides a therapeutic 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3, along with its partners vitamins K1 and K2, plus the mineral boron.   

Also, reasonable (not excessive) exposure to sunlight without sunscreen will help your body naturally produce vitamin D.  Just 20 minutes is all it usually takes.  Make sure you never get a sunburn, and if you are going to be in the sun for longer than 20 minutes, then it’s time to apply a safe, natural sunscreen (like Badger).

Curb that inflammation now!

Our sad reality is that the wrath of inflammation is all around us, and it is taking its toll on us physically AND mentally!

But when you take measures to naturally help curb inflammation in your body, you can open the door to feeling a whole lot better in your body and mind!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

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  • Thank you for reaching out to us!

    As far as hormone replacement therapy goes, it is Sherry’s opinion that the more natural route is best, meaning bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). They are plant-derived and mimic the molecular structure of real hormones, instead of a synthetic drug. Sherry highly recommends Suzanne Somers’ book “Ageless” for more information. In addition, Dr. Salerno’s practice in Manhattan, The Salerno Center ( is an outstanding provider of this service.
    In addition, we recommend that you consider non-hormonal vaginal moisturizers (such as Replens or Hyalo Gyn) if you haven’t already done so.

    We hope this helps!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Can you recommend safe alternatives for vaginal atrophy been given Vegimen pessaries not happy as it is a HRT hospital doctor says need it for oestrogen NOT HAPPY to put this into my body. Thank you

    Barbara woodward on

  • Hello Colin!
    Your diet may be a big help to your prostate, as having a more alkaline body helps all of our organs and glands to work their best, the prostate included.

    There are often lower rates of health issues in those who follow a vegetarian-type diet. Nutrients such as zinc and B6 are shown to enhance prostate health and they’re found in meats and fish, among other foods such as eggs. So in that respect, the alkaline/acidic food ratio and food combinations may play a big role as well.

    We hope this helps!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Hi Marion!

    We appreciate your question and certainly understand the pressure seniors may feel to get the flu shot.

    Sherry prefers to prevent the flu by keeping her immune system strong and healthy through diet and probiotic supplementation.

    Here is an article Sherry wrote that you may find helpful:

    Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • This is a small scale observation of male family and friends all around my age, I’m male 68 and a part veggie! , everyone has a prostate problem of varying degrees plus at least one other problem requiring medical attention and they all eat meat ! I could just be the lucky one , I’ve recently been tested for prostate and that was ok, I probably have to get up in the night half a dozen times in the year , I do quite a bit of walking around 500 miles a year ,it would be interesting to know if your readers have noticed any similar observations.
    I live in Deryshire England.

    Colin Eyre on

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