Thursday, December 02, 2010

New information on a powerful way to fight depression....

Today's Post: Thursday, 12-2-2010

1. is well known for their methods of estimating how much of a positive effect you get on your longevity statistically speaking for health or life protecting actions.

And, to make that more interesting, they set that up to give you the resulting age that is that of average people who will live to that point.

If you are doing a good job in most areas, it’s nice to get your real age as 10 or more years younger than your age on the calendar.

And, if you smoke and do several similar things it can be sobering to see your “real age” calculated to be 15 years older than your age on the calendar.

>>> But, they ALSO send out free health emails on a variety of topics to people who ask to be put on their list.

Most of those articles are decently good. Ten days ago, on Monday, 11-22, they sent an email with extremely important information.

2. For dozens of reasons, a lot of people today are more depressed and depressed more often than people once were. So, we’ve posted on many ways to prevent or lessen being depressed before.

Since many people have the problem and the drugs for it are not very effective for many and have obnoxious side effects, every effective way to make depression less likely or turn it off that does NOT use drugs is extremely valuable to know and use.

For example, in the winter low light levels and very little vitamin D from sunshine cause many people to get winter depression. This is called SAD, seasonal affective disorder.

Since it’s winter now, here are three cures for SAD.

You can use a special light box therapy every morning or set up similar lights in your kitchen or bathroom where you already spend time in the morning.

You can, in locations where it’s safe and you can make the time available, take a ten to 15 minute walk outside near noon which works -- & it works even in overcast, gloomy looking weather because the level of absolute light is so much higher than our eyes see.

And, you can either take vitamin D3 supplements or take more than during the rest of the year.

It’s my understanding that taking 2,000 to 7,000 iu a day of D3 in addition to what is in your multi and food does help stop or prevent depression at any time; but is most effective for winter blues. (In the summer, people who spend time outside get from a few thousand iu to well over 10,000 iu a day of vitamin D from sunshine – and with NO bad side effects. Some people get sunburn maybe; but that level of D intake is safe.)

We’ve also posted on how vigorous exercise fights depression and moving from a pessimistic thinking style to an optimistic one helps stop depression. Vigorous exercise can get FAST results which drugs do not do. And, thinking style upgrades have been effective in people where the drugs were not.

3. Now, in addition to that, RealAge’s email had some very important new information that you can use in addition to these other methods.

They title their article: “Cheer Up with This Vitamin Choice”

It seems that vitamin B6 and B12 were found to be strikingly effective at slashing the risk of depression in a study of a bit over 3,000 older adults for seven years.

The researchers in that study found that each 10 mg increase in daily intake of B6 cut their risk of depression by two percent. Even more striking, so did each daily increase in intake of vitamin B12 of 10 mcg.

Their article went on to add that other studies have linked B12 deficiencies to both depression and cognitive decline. (B6, B12, and folic acid and certain supplements reduce homocysteine levels which a recent study shows may partly explain why these deficiencies produce depression and mental decline. Homocysteine may not be the initiator of heart disease it was once thought to be; but this recent study shows it IS a cause of physical damage in the brain. These three vitamins can help prevent or reverse this.)

RealAge reports that the researchers who did the study on B6 and B12 suspect that since B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, it assists in production of mood-lifting serotonin. (Serotonin helps you feel less stressed and more calm and to have a feeling of well being.)

Since the antidepressant drugs are designed to force increases in the blood level of serotonin, that would mean that B6 may be a side effect free and natural way to do well what the drugs do badly. B6 may also be faster acting and more reliable.

And, if B6 also helps ensure you have enough dopamine, another neurotransmitter, and to respond to it well, that may also be even more effective in fighting depression since dopamine literally helps you feel rewarded and to enjoy pleasurable things.

There are some other considerations to include.:

B6 is quite valuable and beneficial –
but only up to a certain point, depending on the person and their individual biology, at some point between 100 mg a day of B6 and a bit over that, B6 begins to produce numbness and at higher doses actual nerve damage.

Amounts of 100 mg a day of B6 and over have some risk; and over 200 mg a day is definitely dangerous.

Second, most multivitamins contain a bit of B6. Mine has 10 mg. Third, B vitamins are much more likely to be beneficial if you take a balanced B complex supplement, not just folic acid, B6, and B12. And the “Stress Formula with C” balanced B complex supplement by Solgar that I take has 25 mg of B6. This means that to be conservative, the most B6 beyond that which is virtually certain to be safe is another 50 mg a day. That’s what I have been taking and suggest you consider.

B12 both may have more room on the upside -- and some people may need more to get an effective net increase.

First, you can get 500 mcg and 1,000 mcg doses of B12. Note that at the 1,000 level, that would be 100 times 10 mcg. This research suggests that would cut depression by 200 %!

That might vary by whether or not the person was a vegan vegetarian who has been getting no B12 from food or with how much homocysteine a person had in their blood. A vegan with high homocysteine might have a huge effect and someone who eats a lot of animal foods containing B12 with low homocysteine might have less of an effect with the extra B12.

Lastly, elderly people and people who take drugs for heartburn or GERD – reflux disease, have low acid in their stomachs and may need to take B12 in a supplement that allows you to absorb the B12 from your mouth by being chewable or quick dissolving to hold in your mouth or under your tongue to get the B12 effectively.

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