Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

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Lifestyle Factors Contribute to Dementia Risk

January 19, 2012
Stress and Feelings of Depression Can Amplify Dementia Progression

Stress and Feelings of Depression Can Amplify Dementia Progression

Loss of cognitive function, most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease instills feelings of fear and insecurity more than any other chronic condition, including a cancer diagnosis. Researchers publishing in the journal Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that people who rate their health as poor or fair appear to be significantly more likely to develop dementia later in life. Is there really a mind-link association between how we feel about our overall health and initiation of this dreaded disease?

Researchers point to the fact that many chronic illnesses such as heart disease and dementia develop over the course of 20 or 30 years and our perceptions may actually influence how these conditions progress. A positive spirit and happy outlook on life may just help you avoid a host of deadly diseases, including dementia.

Seniors Effectively Able to Predict Risk of Dementia Later in Life

Study Finds That Seniors May be Better Able to Gauge Future Dementia Development

Study Finds That Seniors May be Better Able to Gauge Future Dementia Development

People may possess a much more powerful diagnostic tool than the plethora of diagnostic tests, dyes and pharmaceuticals used by most allopathic physicians and diagnosticians. Dr. Christophe Tzourio, director of Neuroepidemiology at the University of Bordeaux in France explained “Having people rate their own health may be a simple tool for doctors to determine a person’s risk of dementia, especially for people with no symptoms or memory problems”. His research results show that health and disease can be assessed more effectively by an individual from within, as opposed to managing a set of medical results and tests.

A research study was designed with 8,169 people, aged 65 years or older who were followed for a period of seven years. During the study each participant was asked to rate their own health, and 618 people developed dementia. The risk of dementia was 70 percent higher in people who rated their health as poor and 34 percent higher in people who rated their health as fair compared to those who rated their health as good.

Leading an Active Life with Many Friends and Family Members Lowers Dementia Risk

Close Family and Friends Can Help Lower Dementia Incidence in Seniors

Close Family and Friends Can Help Lower Dementia Incidence in Seniors

The study also found a higher correlation between ones health assessment and developing dementia for those individuals who did not have any memory problems or other issues with thinking skills. Those with no visible signs of cognitive decline were nearly twice as likely to develop dementia as those who rated their health as good. Researchers found that having a large social network along with plenty of social activities are associated with a decreased risk of dementia.

Dr. Tzourio concluded “… it’s possible that rating one’s health as poor might be associated with behaviors that limit social interaction and in turn accelerate the dementia process.” A wealth of scientific research studies have found that lifestyle factors including close bonds with family, friends and social groups are important to lowering dementia risk in the elderly population.

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Women Who Drink Coffee Lower Risk of Depression

January 2, 2012
Compounds in Coffee Help Lower Depression in Women

Compounds in Coffee Help Lower Depression in Women

Depression is a chronic and recurrent condition that affects twice as many women as men, including approximately one of every five U.S. women during their lifetime. Loss of productive work hours has become a significant problem in the workplace making the development of strategies to prevent the debilitating condition a priority for research scientists.

The result of a peer-reviewed journal study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine explains that consumption of caffeinated coffee can reduce the symptoms of depression in women in a dose dependent manner. This is an important finding because coffee is a popular beverage already consumed by many. Just three to four cups of java each day may just help lift your spirits and improve feelings of melancholy.

Four Cups of Coffee Consumed Daily Found to Lower Depression Symptom by 20%

Study Finds Coffee Consumption Reduces Depression Risk in a Dose Dependent Manner

Study Finds Coffee Consumption Reduces Depression Risk in a Dose Dependent Manner

The authors of the study noted that 80% of worldwide caffeine consumption is in the form of coffee, the most commonly used CNS (central nervous system) stimulant. The research leader, Dr. Michel Lucas and his team set out to determine if the consumption of coffee or other drinks containing caffeine might be linked to depression risk. To conduct the study they gathered data on 50,737 women with an average age 63 years. It was determined that none of them had depression when the study began.

The participants were part of the Nurses’ Health Study and were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire detailing their caffeine and coffee consumption over a 24 year period. The researchers determined how often they consumed caffeinated and non-caffeinated coffee, non-herbal teas, caffeinated sodas (sugared or low calorie) and all types of caffeine-free soft drinks as well as chocolate intake. For the purpose of this study, depression was defined as having a diagnosis of clinical depression and being prescribed regular antidepressants during the previous two years.

Coffee Found to Lower Depression in Women in a Dose Dependent Manner

Drink 2 to 4 Cups of Fresh Brewed Caffeinated Coffee Daily to Lower Depression Risk

Drink 2 to 4 Cups of Fresh Brewed Caffeinated Coffee Daily to Lower Depression Risk

During the course of the study analysis, 2,607 new cases of depression were recorded among the participants. From the data collected, researchers found that women who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee per day were 15% less likely to develop depression compared to those who drank a maximum of one cup of caffeinated coffee per week. Further they determined women who drank at least 4 cups per day had a 20% lower risk than the females consuming only one cup per day.

Interestingly, the consumption of decaffeinated coffee had no impact on depression risk, an indicator that a synergistic link exists between chemical compounds in coffee and caffeine to produce the risk-lowering effect. Study authors concluded “In this large prospective cohort of older women free of clinical depression or severe depressive symptoms at baseline, risk of depression decreased in a dose-dependent manner with increasing consumption of caffeinated coffee.” Drinking two to four cups daily of a caffeinated coffee beverage may provide significant depression-lowering benefits in women.

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Omega-3 Fats Behind Depression Risk in Seniors

August 27, 2011
Fish Oil Fats Found to Lower Depression Risk in Seniors

Fish Oil Fats Found to Lower Depression Risk in Seniors

Omega-3 fats are part of our nutritional heritage and are shown to play a crucial role in the prevention and treatment of debilitating conditions such as clinical depression throughout all phases of life and especially in the elderly. Neural cellular walls are largely constructed of Omega-3 fats, specifically the DHA long-chain component that determines how nutrients transport across cell membranes, electrical conductivity and the activity of critical neurotransmitters in cellular communications.

Results published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging demonstrate that daily supplementation with Omega-3 fats may significantly suppress the symptoms of depression among elderly women.

Omega-3 Supplementation from Fish Oil Lowers Depression Symptoms in Seniors

Depression Among the Senior Population Presents a Great Health Risk

Depression Among the Senior Population Presents a Great Health Risk

The study found that depressed women that supplemented with 2.5 grams of Omega-3 fats daily experienced significant reductions in their symptoms. In an important finding, the scientists conducting the study found that the long chains fat was responsible for dramatic improvements in future outlook, self-esteem and quality of life. Researchers commentedThis [quality of life] observation has never been achieved before and it appears of great value from the clinical point of view, due to the importance of these aspects in the elderly population.”

One of the most common medications prescribed to adults, and especially the elderly is in the anti-depressant classification. Anti-depressants cause a long list of side effects including blurred vision, weight gain, headache, anxiety and sleep disruption. Many of these effects lead to a lowered quality of life and actually worsen the condition being treated. Multiple studies have determined that Omega-3 supplementation cuts depression ratings by 50%, without the devastating side effects of prescription drugs.

Omega-3 to Omega-6 Balance is behind the Dramatic Increase in Depression Cases

Proper Balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Fats Can Help Depression Symptoms

Proper Balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Fats Can Help Depression Symptoms

A body of research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience pinpoints the critical nature of Omega-3 fats during maternal nurturing and early childhood development. Due to the rapid decline of these essential fats from the diet over the course of the past century, clinical depression cases have exploded as the balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats far exceeds the optimal 1:1 ratio. Researchers determined that insufficient Omega-3 fats in circulation led to disturbed neuronal communications that play a strategic role in neurotransmissions. The dietary fat imbalance influenced emotional behavior, increased anxiety and was the primary cause of depression.

The low fat diet so often prescribed by medical professionals and nutrition experts has caused a critical deficiency of healthy fats necessary for the development of the human brain from infancy to adulthood. In addition to the extensive library of research showing the effectiveness of Omega-3 fats in cardiovascular health and cognition, new evidence documents the need for this essential nutrient through all stages of life to improve self-esteem and prevent depression. Health-minded people will want to supplement with 2.5 grams of combined EPA/DHA to naturally protect against behavior disorders and depression.

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Olive Oil Linked to Lower Risk of Depression

May 23, 2011
Clinical Depression Damages the Lives of Millions Each Year

Clinical Depression Damages the Lives of Millions Each Year

Our diet can have a significant impact on our well being and is shown to influence our mental health and risk of depression. Reporting the results of the SUN Project in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers have linked consumption of synthetic trans fats and saturated fats to an increased risk of suffering the debilitating effects of depression. The same research provides evidence that naturally fresh pressed extra virgin olive oil is protective against this form of mental illness.

Clinical depression is rising at an alarming rate along a similar path with many other chronic illnesses caused by poor diet and lifestyle. Statistics show that 150 million people are depressed worldwide. Medical practitioners are quick to prescribe any of a growing number of designer anti-depressant drugs that have been shown to contribute to long-term mental illness as they erode patient health.

Trans and Processed Saturated Fats Linked with Clinical Depression

Trans Fats From Poor Diet Leads to Depression

Trans Fats From Poor Diet Leads to Depression

The SUN Project followed the dietary and lifestyle habits of more than 12,000 volunteers over the course of six years. None of the participants exhibited signs of depression prior to the beginning of the study and 657 cases were diagnosed by the end.

Researchers found that those individuals with the highest consumption of trans and saturated fats from fast foods and industrially-produced baked goods had a 48% increased risk of developing depression compared with those that did not consume these fats. The study found a dose-response relationship, meaning the more trans and saturated fats consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced in the subject volunteers.

The team conducting the study found that polyunsaturated fats from fish and fish oil as well as monounsaturated fats including extra virgin olive oil influenced the occurrence of depression. The director of the SUN Project, Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez commented “we discovered that these types of healthier fats, together with olive oil, are associated with a lower risk of suffering depression.”

The study concludes that the incidence of depression is escalating at a much greater rate in the western developed countries of Northern Europe and America due to a diet highly concentrated in processed foods known to be laden with trans and saturated fats. Southern European countries that traditionally follow a Mediterranean-style diet including plenty of fish and olive oil have a much lower occurrence of depression.

Olive Oil and Omega-3 Fats Improve Depression Symptoms

Olive Oil Compounds Fight Depression

Olive Oil Compounds Fight Depression

Brain health is dependent on a continual supply of unrefined fats Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats for neural development, communications and signaling. In the absence of these essential fats, inferior sources are employed that lead to premature aging and mental illness. The British Journal of Psychiatry found that EPA, an Omega-3 long-chain fatty acid is an effective intervention in bipolar depression.

Our brain is in a continual state of re-growth and repair. When this process is disturbed by the introduction of synthesized or improperly formed lipid structures (from overheated or fried oils during cooking) neural pathways are damaged and cannot function normally. One of the many consequences is the manifestation of mental disorders including clinical depression. Feed your brain every day with fats in their natural, unrefined form to protect this most critical organ from defect and disease.

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Depression Hinders Weight Loss Efforts, Omega-3 Fats Help

December 13, 2010

(Article first published as Avoid Depression for Successful Weight Loss, Omega-3 Fats Can Help on Technorati.)

Improve Depression Symptoms to Assist Weight Loss

Improve Depression Symptoms to Assist Weight Loss

Clinical depression rates are rising in America almost as quickly as the number of overweight and obese individuals. It makes sense that people who may be depressed are less likely to be concerned over weight issues as they become less involved with physical health issues and their external environment.

While researchers are unable to say whether depression leads to excess weight or if the extra pounds contribute as an underlying cause of depression, those individuals who fall into the obese classification (BMI above 30) are 50 to 150% more likely to suffer from depression than normal weight individuals. Clearly there is a close relationship between the physical and psychological manifestations that contribute to excess weight and clinical depression.

Depression Closely Linked to Body Weight

Depression is a devastating condition that can have a detrimental effect on many aspects of a person’s life. Depressed people are more likely to eat a poor diet of processed junk foods and become less physically active. The results of a study conducted at the University of Washington and reported in the journal General Hospital Psychology demonstrates that treating obese individuals for depression can have a significant impact on their weight loss efforts.

Study Confirms That Treating Depression Leads to Weight Loss

People with Depression Tend to Exercise Less, Weight More

People with Depression Tend to Exercise Less, Weight More

The study involved 203 obese women for a period of 12 months who had been diagnosed with clinical depression. All participants were placed on a reduced calorie diet and broken into 2 groups. Both groups were monitored for caloric intake with food questionnaires and physical activity. Half of the participants were also treated for their depression and their progress was marked using a traditional symptom checklist.

Women who demonstrated the most marked improvement of their depression symptoms were able to lose the most weight. Researchers found that 38% of the women who experienced improved mood lost 5% of their body weight, compared with only 21% in the non-treated group. The study found that depression is closely linked to decreased physical activity, and most of the weight loss was due to an increased level of exercise.

The study authors could not determine if improving depression symptoms led to greater physical activity or vice versa, but concluded, “among women with co-occurring obesity and depression, short-term improvement in depression is associated with weight loss.” They suggest that depression screening should become a normal part of any permanent weight loss program.

Omega-3 Fats Used to Treat Depression

Omega-3 Fats Shown to Improve Depression, Boost Weight Loss

Omega-3 Fats Shown to Improve Depression, Boost Weight Loss

A good alternative to the traditional pharmaceutical therapy for depression is omega-3 fats from fish and fish oils. The human brain is composed largely of long chain Omega-3 fats and when deficient, neurons malfunction and clinical depression manifests. Researchers from the University of Illinois combined the results from 15 independent studies and confirmed that Omega-3 fats are effective at improving mood and may potentially eliminate the need for many people to take antidepressant drugs. Researchers found that the Omega-3 component EPA exerts the most benefit in alleviating the symptoms of depression.

Mood disorders and clinical depression affect nearly 21 million American adults and ranks as the fourth leading cause of morbidity and death. Undoubtedly overweight and obesity are confounding factors that dramatically increase the risk of disease and untimely demise. Research confirms that improving symptoms of depression with traditional therapy and using fish oil supplementation may be the key to relief from clinical depression and successful weight loss.

 

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Depression Linked With Obesity, Hinders Weight Loss

October 1, 2010

(Article first published as Depression Linked to Obesity on Technorati.)

Depression Diagnosed in 25% of Obese Individuals

Depression Diagnosed in 25% of Obese Individuals

One of the many detrimental side effects of being overweight or obese is a dramatic rise in clinical depression. Researchers aren’t sure whether depression leads to obesity or if excess body weight results in the mood altering behavior diagnosed as depression, but the impact on the lives of those afflicted can be devastating. The reciprocal relationship between these two conditions can increase the risk of suicide and many potentially lethal diseases as well.

Nearly 25% of Obese People Diagnosed With Depression

There’s no mistaking the link between obesity and depression, as 23.2% of those individuals falling into the obese range indicate they have been diagnosed with clinical depression. This is according to a Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index poll of more than 250,000 respondents. The rate of depression was 14.9% for those considered overweight and 14.3% for normal weight people. An analysis found that obesity creates negative feelings of stress, worry, anger and sadness.

Depression Increases with Weight

Higher Body Weight Leads to Deeper Depression

Higher Body Weight Leads to Deeper Depression

Information from the Gallup study revealed that the depth of depression increased in a linear fashion to the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the individual. Both overweight and obese people tend to have lower self esteem and body dissatisfaction because of the Western ideal that being thin is more beautiful and desirable. These feelings foster the internal conflict caused by excess weight in many people which is psychologically manifested as depression.

Taking Small Steps to Improve Body Image

Improving Body Image Assists Weight Loss

Improving Body Image Assists Weight Loss

It can be difficult to improve the perception of the person you see every day in the mirror but taking small steps toward this goals can have an immediate and lasting effect on your outlook. Begin by setting your sight on an immediate weight loss goal, such as 5 or 10 pounds. It’s much easier to feel better about yourself when you successfully complete small steps on your way to a final destination. As you pass each benchmark, be sure to reward yourself with something special to reinforce your progress.

Improving Diet to Affect Depression

Some people are particularly sensitive to the effects of a high sugar diet which help to promote mood instability and depression. Elimination of sugar and refined carbohydrates not only boosts mood, but is a powerful trigger to release body fat from storage. Slowly cut sugary foods from your diet and be sure to eliminate sweetened beverages and fruit juice which are a significant source of nutrition-less calories. Slowly back sugar out of your diet over the course a month to avoid sugar withdrawal which some people experience.

Natural Support for Depression

Targeted nutritional supplements have been shown to be effective in improving the symptoms associated with depression. As with any natural agent, supplements should be used in combination with diet, exercise and therapeutic support to improve self esteem. The Omega-3 fatty acid DHA, St. John’s Wart, Gingko Biloba and SAMe are all helpful in improving mood, a necessary step toward your successful weight loss goal.

It’s not surprising that obesity and depression are closely linked. People tend to pre-judge others based on body weight before intelligence and personality. Lowered self esteem and increased stress are cofactors which contribute to the relationship between obesity and clinical depression. You can begin to take small steps to improve mood which will ultimately lead to improved body image and healthy weight loss.

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Improving Mood to Assist Weight Loss Goals

October 1, 2010

(Article first published as Depression Linked to Obesity on Technorati.)

One of the many detrimental side effects of being overweight or obese is a dramatic rise in clinical depression. Researchers aren’t sure whether depression leads to obesity or if excess body weight results in the mood altering behavior diagnosed as depression, but the impact on the lives of those afflicted can be devastating. The reciprocal relationship between these two conditions can increase the risk of suicide and many potentially lethal diseases as well.

Nearly 25% of Obese People Diagnosed With Depression
There’s no mistaking the link between obesity and depression, as 23.2% of those individuals falling into the obese range indicate they have been diagnosed with clinical depression. This is according to a Gallup-Heathway’s Well-Being Index poll of more than 250,000 respondents. The rate of depression was 14.9% for those considered overweight and 14.3% for normal weight people. An analysis found that obesity creates negative feelings of stress, worry, anger and sadness.
Depression Increases with Weight

Information from the Gallup study revealed that the depth of depression increased in a linear fashion to the Body Mass Index (BMI) of the individual. Both overweight and obese people tend to have lower self esteem and body dissatisfaction because of the Western ideal that being thin is more beautiful and desirable. These feelings foster the internal conflict caused by excess weight in many people which is psychologically manifested as depression.

Taking Small Steps to Improve Body Image

It can be difficult to improve the perception of the person you see every day in the mirror but taking small steps toward this goals can have an immediate and lasting effect on your outlook. Begin by setting your sight on an immediate weight loss goal, such as 5 or 10 pounds. It’s much easier to feel better about yourself when you successfully complete small steps on your way to a final destination. As you pass each benchmark, be sure to reward yourself with something special to reinforce your progress.

Improving Diet to Affect Depression
Some people are particularly sensitive to the effects of a high sugar diet which help to promote mood instability and depression. Elimination of sugar and refined carbohydrates not only boosts mood, but is a powerful trigger to release body fat from storage. Slowly cut sugary foods from your diet and be sure to eliminate sweetened beverages and fruit juice which are a significant source of nutrition-less calories. Slowly back sugar out of your diet over the course a month to avoid sugar withdrawal which some people experience.
Natural Support for Depression
Targeted nutritional supplements have been shown to be effective in improving the symptoms associated with depression. As with any natural agent, supplements should be used in combination with diet, exercise and therapeutic support to improve self esteem. The Omega-3 fatty acid DHA, St. John’s Wart, Gingko Biloba and SAMe are all helpful in improving mood, a necessary step toward your successful weight loss goal.
It’s not surprising that obesity and depression are closely linked. People tend to pre-judge others based on body weight before intelligence and personality. Lowered self esteem and increased stress are cofactors which contribute to the relationship between obesity and clinical depression. You can begin to take small steps to improve mood which will ultimately lead to improved body image and healthy weight loss.