Saturday, January 23, 2010

Omega-3 Fish Oil Remains One of the Best Natural Alternatives to Anti-Depressants

Scientists initially became interested in Omega-3 oil and its effect on depression when it was found that countries which consumed more fish had lower rates of depression. They also found that pregnant mothers in England who ate very little fish doubled their risk of developing postpartum depression compared to women who ate fish regularly. So scientists began a series of studies to see why. In a report from ABCNews, At Sheffield University in England, Dr. Malcolm Peet gave omega-3 fatty acids to 70 depressed patients who had not been helped by drugs such as Prozac. After 12 weeks, 69 percent of the patients showed marked improvement compared with 25 percent given placebos.

These researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids, when fed to piglets, had the same effect on the brain as the antidepressant Prozac: The Omega-3 raised levels of a critical neurotransmitter, serotonin. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated oils, which are found abundantly in seafood and especially salmon. This fish oil contains a fatty acid (DHA docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid EPA) with the most direct influence on brain development and function.

"The DHA is highly concentrated in the brain," Hibbeln told ABCNEWS, "and it's concentrated in the brain right where the neurons communicate with each other and all the signals pass back and forth." The DHA from omega-3 makes up the walls of neurons, Hibbeln said. "The body cannot manufacture DHA so it has to get it from our diet."

Omega 3 has also been found to fight and prevent heart disease, cancer, arthritis, alzheimer's disease, ulcers, diabetes, hyperactivity and other diseases. It also can increase your ability to concentrate as well as your energy level. Other forms of Omega-3 can be found in flaxseed, walnuts and a few other foods, but the most helpful form is found in fish. Omega-3 is natural and can be easily incorporated in your daily diet. It not only can relieve you of depression but can prevent heart disease, and a host of other ailments. This is a simply solution to depression and it is far less expensive then seeing a doctor, and far less hazardous to the massive side effects that you find in antidepressants.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A New Study Shows Antidepressant Drugs Are Only as Effective as a Placebo

Antidepressants may only provide relief in extreme cases a recent study indicates, and they are no more effective for most patients than placebo pills according to a new study released this week by New York Times reporter Benedict Carey. Prior studies have painted a conflicting picture, since most studies have been pharmaceutical industry supported which have found the drugs reduced depression symptoms. A number of unpublished or buried studies show that antidepressants show no significant benefits over a placebo. This recent study also evaluated people who were considered to be more moderately depressed. The conflict in results with industry supported studies and unpublished studies may also indicate pharmaceutical industry tampering with the results from prior studies. Since these buried studies show antidepressants have no more effectiveness then a placebo then industry trial studies could be viewed as fraudulent.
The recent study was performed with government grants by a team of researchers, and psychologists. These psychologists also consult widely with drug makers. Media reports that the researchers were from the University of Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Colorado and Vanderbilt Universities. The group evaluated six large drug trials, including 728 men and women, about half of them with severe depression and half with more moderate symptoms. Three of the trials were of the SSRI Paxil by GlaxoSmithKline, and the other three were of imipramine a generic tricyclic classed drug. The researchers indicate that similar SSRI drugs like Prozac, and Lexapro would show similar results.
All the advertising in the world can’t beat a real study of a drug’s effectiveness. It is also possible that the prior studies were rigged to show antidepressants were effective. If this is the case then that is criminally fraudulent by pharmaceutical industry supported researchers and drug companies. These prior trials need to be investigated by State Attorney Generals for integrity and authenticity. There also needs to be more independent studies and no industry supported studies. There is clearly a conflict of interest with industry sponsored studies. Patients need to look at the many alternatives to antidepressants and we can add a placebo as a new alternative.