| Mental depression is a worldwide problem and in the U.S. alone, one in six people experience a depressive episode during their lifetime, and only 50% of the people who meet the criteria for diagnosis seek treatment for depression.
New medications and therapies show great success in fighting it, but experts are pursuing another possibility: that of exercise to boost the body's natural serotonin levels.
"[Exercise] affects the biology in the brain in the same way that anti-depressant drugs do,"
-- Andrea Dunn, Ph.D., Exercise Psychologist at the Cooper Institute
So rather than taking Prozac, a more natural route may just be to eat more salmon and exercise more.
Depression may be helped by a exercise and a diet rich in salmon and fish oil capsules.
||There are additional beliefs that a diet rich in salmon and fish oil capsules can also boost the natural levels of serotonin. According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone:
"A group was broken in half, half was given the traditional SSRI (Serotonin Specific Reuptake Inhibitor) like Prozac and Paxil, the other half was given salmon every day or fish oil supplements or both.
And the end of 8 weeks with the evaluation, those people in the group eating salmon or taking fish oil capsules had greater elevation of depression than those taking the SSRIs. "
Exercise psychologist Andrea Dunn, Ph.D., of The Cooper Institute in Dallas, says exercise is a viable treatment for depression. "It affects the biology in the brain in the same way that anti-depressant drugs do," she says.
Researchers say a chemical in the brain called serotonin may be the key. Depressed patients have low levels of serotonin, and exercise can boost those levels.
"It is easy to speculate that when you exercise, there is a change of serotonin system in the brain that could be affected and improve symptoms of depression," says psychiatrist Madhukar Trivedi, M.D., of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
Dunn says, "For some people who are reluctant to take drugs, or it's contraindicated, like in pregnant women, this may be a very good alternative treatment."
While it may not work for everyone, for many, exercise may be just what the doctor ordered.
Experts say more than 90 percent of depressed people experience an overwhelming loss of energy. This can cause a person to stop exercising, which just compounds the effects of depression. Lack of exercise often leads to degeneration in physique, strength, and physical well being.
Source: Ivanhoe Broadcast News
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