Yet another medical study continues to verify that probiotics absolutely robustly treat depression.
Researchers found that only 4 weeks — just ONE MONTH — of probiotic therapy significantly lifted depression, decreased anhedonia, reversed sleep disturbances… and that these improvements were still sustained months later.
These results are so impressive because probiotics had zero of the adverse side effects that prescriptions antidepressants do and can safely be taken indefinitely.
(presented at the 13th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry on June 19, 2017)
- 10 patients with major depressive disorder in a current episode of depression were treated with a probiotic containing two strains: Lactobacillus helveticus R0052and Bifidobacterium longum R0175.
- Clinical symptoms were assessed at baseline and again after 2, 4 and 8 weeks of probiotic treatment: including mood, anhedonia, anxiety, sleep disturbance.
- In addition, molecular markers of inflammation were assessed, sleep studies were followed, and tryptophan and serotonin levels were documented.
- Every single parameter improved significantly, with mood having the most robust immediate response:
- mood raised by 55%
- anhedonia improved by 20%
- sleep quality improved by 33%
- … and all after only one month on the probiotic!!!
- Additionally, these results were maintained or continued to improve by the two month assessment
The latest statistics estimate that about one in every ten Americans now takes an antidepressant, and antidepressants are the third most prescribed form of medication.
Probiotics are safe, effective…
…and even better…
…available without a prescription.
Earlier studies suggest that the gut microbes in depressed individuals are decreased in both amount and in variety.
If the natural flora of the gut is diminished in depression, then restoring the natural vitality and variety of healthy organisms in the digestive tract might be a very powerful way to improve outcome in depression (and other mood disorders, such as anxiety.)
Sp… starting probiotics is one easy way to naturally treat depression.
Here are 4 more holistic ways to feel better ASAP:
1. Sleep One More Hour
A study (presented at the American Academy of Neurology 2017 Annual Meeting on April 27, 2017) reveals that even a minor sleep disturbance (even a shortage of just one hour of sleep!) can significantly up your risk of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
- Researchers looked at data collected from over 20,800 adult participants
- Participants were 50% women, 50% men, and an average age of 47.5 years old.
- Sleep duration was inversely associated with mental health.
- Each hour of sleep made a statistically significant difference in the rates of depression, hopelessness, nervousness, restlessness and fidgeting.
- Getting just one hour more of sleep significantly alleviated every single one of these symptoms.
- These rates compounded with each additional hour. Getting two hours less sleep TRIPLED the rates of nervousness and hopelessness, and almost QUADRUPLED the rates of depression and restlessness.
Wow! If only one hour more sleep is shown to help treat depression, hopelessness and anxiety, we really need to take sleep seriously.
It’s no longer enough to just get by on fumes, stressing out your adrenals and hoping to just catch up your sleep deficit over the weekend. Yes, we know chronic sleep issues are no way to live… increasing rates of Alzheimers and increasing severity of asthma attacks and upping ADHD symptoms and more.
But now we know, as little as a 60 minutes less sleep at night significantly affects mood and mental health too. We need to do everything we can do to maximize how restorative every minute of our sleep is, every night.
My fav way to get better sleep?
2. Light Therapy
We all know that getting morning light each day significantly improves seasonal blues (or winter depression.)
But a new study shows that light therapy lifts depression â€” even depression that is NOT seasonally related â€” *more effectively* than antidepressant drug therapy.
The Study (Published in JAMA Psychiatry on Nov 18, 2015):
- 122 patients being treated for depression randomly assigned to either a 30 minute session of light therapy or a placebo device alone, a combo of light therapy plus an antidepressant medication, or a combo of the placebo device and antidepressant medication.
- The depressed patients had to have a major depressive disorder lasting at least 45 weeks or longer.
- Light therapy was a 30 minute a day exposure to a fluorescent light box as soon as possible after awakening in the morning.
- After only 4 weeks, depression assessment scores were significantly better than baseline assessment in both groups using the light therapy (either with Rx or without a Rx antidepressant.)
- Notably, the lightbox therapy was actually significantly MORE effective than drug therapy in treating depression.
Light therapy can be used safely in conjunction with medical treatments (including Rx medications) so if you are on an anti-depressant, augment your treatment with light therapy and it’s possible you can work with your physician to decrease dose!
And if you are not on an antidepressant but suffer from depressed mood, whether seasonal or not, consider getting 20 – 30 minutes of light therapy every day for a few weeks before giving those antidepressants a try.
The best light therapy box is waiting for you right here.
Portable, full strength, LED, zero UV rays, clinically proven effective.
3. Vit D Supplements
A study (published in the November 2011 issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings) showing that low levels of Vit D is significantly linked to increased risk of depression. And the important thing to note about this particular medical study is that the researchers found that the link between low Vit D levels and depression was even higher in patients who had a prior history of depression.
What does that mean? It means if you have a history of depression, it is extremely important for you to be sure to supplement with Vitamin D, or be certain to get daily exposure to natural sunlight.
Even in those who did not have a prior history of depression, Vitamin D levels were low across the board… with 50.7% of ALL study participants having low Vit D levels. This suggests that at least half of us, regardless of mood, are already low in Vit D.
So far there have already been two studies that both show that after treatment with high doses of Vit D (thereby achieving an elevation in serum Vit D levels) depressive symptoms declined or resolved entirely.
And especially important for those with a history of depression or a family history of depression… it’s great news that higher Vitamin D levels can actually help decrease risk of future depression.
4. Zinc Supplements
On December 15, 2013, the medical journal Biological Psychiatry published the results of a huge study that found overwhelming evidence of a link between zinc and depression. Researchers looked at 17 different studies that measured peripheral blood—zinc concentrations in over 1600 depressed patients and 800 control patients.
The research showed that mean peripheral blood—zinc concentrations were not only lower but that zinc levels correlated with how severe the depression was. The most severe depression was associated with the greatest deficit in zinc levels.
Looking at both animal studies and pre-clinical and clinical trials, researchers found that zinc added to antidepressant therapy produced more rapid and more effective improvement in symptoms of depression than without zinc supplementation.
These 5 holistic treatment options:
vitamin D &
can all be safely and effectively combined to help treat your depression and can also safely be used in combination with Rx treatment for depression.
So please know, there are lots of all natural ways to support your mood and please forward this info on to any friends or loved ones who could use the extra support.
Not too many physicians know about these holistic ways to help treat depression and many don’t realize that these extra steps can make a world of difference to their patients who are not being adequately treated through a conventional approach alone.
With great faith in your natural healing potential…