4 Natural Anti-inflammatories to Uproot Depression Before it Brings You Down
For years, clever advertising campaigns convinced us that chemical imbalances are the cause of depression—and what better way to correct the imbalance than by taking an antidepressant to help “rewire” your brain’s neurotransmitters?
But the more we learn, the clearer it becomes that depression is far deeper and more complex.
While stressful events, certain medications, and genetics are all well-known potential triggers for depression, you may not be aware that chronic, low-grade, systemic inflammation can also play a major role.
Chronic Inflammation and Depression?
Research has shown that patients with depression have elevated inflammatory markers, even in the absence of illness. Also, pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines have been found to influence almost every pathway in the brain involved in the development of depression.
In simple terms, once inside your brain, these inflammatory proteins can mess with your neurotransmitters, causing them (and your mood) to run amok. On top of that, the presence of certain inflammatory markers can determine the severity of depression symptoms.
In a recent study out of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, researchers analyzed data on 3,033 adults. They found that those whose blood had the inflammatory molecule GlycA experienced more severe symptoms of depression. This remained true even when they controlled for factors such as antidepressant use, gender, ethnicity, age, smoking/drinking, education, and body mass index.1
The researchers hope this new information can help doctors predict or diagnose depression based on these inflammatory markers—and develop therapies that target inflammation directly to treat depression.
This is huge news because antidepressant medication—the current go-to conventional treatment—comes with a host of side effects and doesn’t work for everyone.
However, you can reduce or eliminate chronic inflammation. And you don’t have to wait for targeted pharmaceutical treatment, because powerful, effective, and safe natural anti-inflammatories already exist!
4 Natural Anti-Inflammatories that Help Stop Depression in Its Tracks
Conventional anti-depressants do not cure depression or address potential causes like inflammation—they just treat symptoms and give rise to potential dangerous side effects like weight gain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts.
If you are ready to get rid of this cause of depression, here are 4 of the best, most effective anti-inflammatory nutrients…
1) Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
Omega-3s can reduce both acute and chronic inflammation. More importantly, they have shown great promise against depression.
In a meta-analysis of 13 studies involving 1,233 participants who had major depressive disorder, researchers examined the effect of omega-3 supplementation on depression symptoms. They also wanted to find out what dose and ratio of the two primary fatty acids—DHA and EPA—had the greatest influence on symptoms.
The results showed that the depressed patients who supplemented with omega-3s—and especially in those who took higher doses of EPA—experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. Additionally, omega-3s bolstered the effects of prescription antidepressants in people who took them.2
This compound, found in the Indian spice turmeric, offers powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has shown promise against a host of inflammation-related conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
It has also shown potential as a depression treatment. One meta-analysis found that curcumin, “if added to standard care, might improve depressive and anxiety symptoms in people with depression.”3
Newport Natural Health offers a best-selling curcumin formula. It is a powerful inflammation fighter with Cavacurmin™ which is clinically proven to be up to 40 times stronger than ordinary curcumin. Plus, it includes added antioxidant support with grapeseed extract and resveratrol to help you once again enjoy pain-free joints, a healthy cardiovascular system, a sharp memory and more. You can learn more about this popular product here.
This well-known antioxidant also appears to decrease systemic inflammation. It does so by dampening several of the inflammatory chemicals that flare up during allergic reactions.
4) Alpha Lipoic Acid
Widely regarded as one of the most potent antioxidants, ALA resides in every cell of your body. One of its main jobs is to convert glucose into energy, but it also protects against inflammation, especially in the heart and brain.
The results of a 2018 study concluded there is growing evidence that “ALA is an ideal antioxidant candidate as a promising agent to improve the therapeutics of depressive disorders.”4
Add one, or all, of these natural inflammation fighters, and you are much more likely to get to the root of the problem and feel better sooner. (If you are already on antidepressants, please consult with your doctor first before adding them to your regimen.)
Don’t Discount Physical Activity & Counseling
Finally, if you are dealing with depression, it is a really good idea to adopt two lifestyle habits, if you haven’t already: exercise and professional counseling.
Nearly everyone experiences occasional sadness, but clinical depression is complicated and serious. It is much more than fleeting “blues.” Rather, you feel hopeless, helpless, exhausted, and these feelings last for weeks, months, or even years.
Talk therapy can help you learn to manage your symptoms and work through challenges. Skilled therapists can also provide you with the tools and skills you need to better handle your emotions. Since clinical depression is not something you can just “snap out of,” it is important to open up to a professional who can help.
And exercise is one of the best preventive health behaviors you can engage in. Physical activity helps alleviate general sadness as well as major clinical depression. These benefits come courtesy of endorphins that the body releases during exercise. These “feel-good” chemicals generate positive, optimistic feelings. Exercise also minimizes inflammation.
So, get out there and get moving. It will help you and your entire body in countless ways—and help keep depression away.
Take good care.
- Huckvale S, et al. An association between the inflammatory biomarker GlycA and depressive symptom severity. J Clin Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 17;82(1):20m13245. Last accessed Jan. 20, 2021.
- Mocking RJT, et al. Meta-analysis and meta-regression of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for major depressive disorder. Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Mar 15;6(3):e756. Last accessed Jan. 20, 2021.
- Fusar-Poli L, et al. Curcumin for depression: a meta-analysis. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(15):2643-53. Last accessed Jan. 20, 2021.
Disclaimer: Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Last Updated: May 21, 2021
Originally Published: January 30, 2021