On Tuesday, I told you about new research suggesting that a simple supplement might succeed where popular antidepressants fail. And honestly, I can’t get enough of news like this — because I couldn’t possibly hate this class of drugs more than I already do…
Their risks run the gamut from heart attack to premature death. And half the time, they don’t even work — at least, not over the long term.
So why do so many people take them? Well, here’s one reason: Because writing a prescription is what mainstream doctors do best. If there’s a drug that can “fix” the symptoms(s) for the time being, they don’t have to put forth the effort to look at what’s really going on with the patient as a whole.
It’s a tragedy, really. Because most patients struggling with depression would be shocked to learn just how much influence something as simple as the food you eat can have over your mood. And if you want a good example, it just so happens I have one…
Fast food access fuels depression
As part of a recent study, Australian researchers compared depression rates among the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands — which boasts notable access to fast food — and more isolated populations without access to this modern convenience.
They talked to roughly 100 residents of both islands — interviewing them about their diets, screening them for depression, and collecting blood samples. And their findings say it all.
A whopping 16 of the 19 subjects identified with having moderate to severe depression lived on the island with fast food at their fingertips. That’s nearly 85 percent!
As always, fat matters the most
Blood sample analysis showed key differences in the levels of two fatty acids among the population groups.
Specifically, the fast-food-eating islanders had higher levels of inflammatory omega-6s and lower levels of mood-boosting omega-3s (a condition, incidentally, that reflects what you’d find in the average industrialized Western nation).
Meanwhile, this trend was reversed among remote islanders who filled up primarily on seafood rather than Big Macs.
Now, does this mean that we could wipe depression from the face of the earth simply by ditching McDonald’s? Obviously not. Effectively treating mental illness is a lot more complex than that.
But I’ll say this: Any doctor who hands out a prescription for Prozac without asking about diet first is doing their patients a very serious disservice. (I’d go as far to say it’s downright “negligent.”)
Of course, there’s also more to combatting depression with diet than simply swapping French fries for fish. In fact, I addressed this very subject in detail back in the January 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“The real culprit behind post-holiday depression”).
It’s a must-read for anyone who struggles with depression, chronic or seasonal. And subscribers have full access to that article (and more) in my archives. So if you haven’t yet, consider taking a minute to sign up today.
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