St. John's wort

  1. How depression can speed aging

    The common disease that will age you on the inside

    It's what's inside that counts, right?

    This isn't just the feel-good baloney we say to friends when those first gray hairs and wrinkles appear. It's SCIENCE -- because while those outward signs of aging won't hurt you, aging on the inside is what will ultimately kill you.

    There are plenty of ways you can get old fast, but there's one condition in particular that can cause your internal clock to run far too fast -- and it's a condition we all face at some point: depression.

    Cutting-edge new research shows how depression can speed aging on a cellular level by shrinking your telomeres.

    Those are the little caps that sit on the ends of your chromosomes. As you get older, they get shorter. And as they get shorter, your risk of the so-called diseases of aging grows -- including cancer, dementia, heart disease and even death.

    And while age alone is the main reason for that shrink, depression will do the trick, too -- and severe or chronic depression can shrink your telomeres by about as much as SIX YEARS of aging, according to the new study.

    Now, the one caveat here is that study doesn't show if the telomere shrink is caused by the depression itself... or the drugs often given to treat it.

    I'd say that's an area ripe for more research, if anyone has the nerve to take on Big Pharma.

    But either way, don't let serious depression go unchecked -- because this so-called mental condition can hurt more than just your mood. Depression can increase inflammation throughout your body and boost the production of damaging free radicals -- making it a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and death from heart attack.

    Less serious cases of depression will go away on their own over time, but severe or chronic depression will need a little more work.

    Start with a good multivitamin from a maker you trust and St. Johns wort -- but if those don't do the trick, you may need hormonal treatments from an experienced naturopathic physician.

    I recommend a member of the American College for Advancement in Medicine.

  2. Herbal depression treatment under attack

    Pharmacists try to pull the plug on St. John's wort

    It's time to put grapefruit behind the counter.

    If you want a ruby red, Rio star, or just an ordinary white grapefruit, you'll have to speak with a pharmacist first. Together, you can go over your medical history, discuss any drugs you're taking, and then decide if grapefruit is right for you.

    If that sounds nuts, that's because it IS nuts -- yet that's exactly the same logic pharmacists are using in a new push to put St. John's wort behind the counter.

    St. John's wort, of course, is a safe and natural antidepressant (among other things). It's been shown to be as effective as many common drugs and comes with pretty much none of the risks.

    But since -- like grapefruit -- it can interact with some prescription meds, pharmacists want to have it pulled from store shelves.

    The Pharmacists Planning Service has filed a petition demanding that the herbal remedy be put behind the counter, where you can only get it after consulting with a pharmacist.

    But this isn't REALLY about protecting you from the vague (and largely overblown) threat of a St. John's wort interaction.

    It's about pharmacists protecting their paychecks (of course).

    As the Alliance for Natural Health points out, antidepressants are the second most common prescription drug dispensed by pharmacists. But when people take a safe over-the-counter alternative, they don't need those drugs.

    And when they don't need those drugs, they don't need the pharmacists who dole them out.

    So there's an inherent conflict of interest here -- pharmacists lobbying to have St. John's wort moved behind the counter is like bank tellers lobbying against ATMs or librarians lobbying against e-books.

    There's a much simpler solution, one that works whether it's St. John's wort, grapefruit, or anything else -- and that's plain old common sense.

    If you're on a med, ask your doctor about what it might interact with. Better yet, ask him about your alternatives.

    And if you're already on meds and want to add a supplement, do some homework and speak with your doctor.

    In the meantime, you can fight back against this overreach by contacting the FDA with your own response to the pharmacists' petition. Learn more on the Web site of the Alliance for Natural Health.

  3. Antidepressants boost heart risk

    Common SSRI antidepressant drugs can slow the heart and increase the risk of serious problems.
  4. Antidepressants can cause stroke

    Some of the most commonly used meds in the nation -- SSRI antidepressants -- can increase the risk of a stroke by up to 50 percent.
  5. Big Media gets it right on antidepressants

    The psychiatric industry is screaming bloody murder over a recent "60 Minutes" report on how placebos routinely match or beat antidepressants in drug trials.
  6. Would you pay $12 billion for this?

    The 30 million Americans who take antidepressants are facing a serious mental disorder, that's for sure -- but it's not depression. It's the mass delusion that causes them to waste $12 billion a year on meds scientifically proven time and again NOT to work. The latest research confirms that these drugs are nothing more than a lie with side effects.
  7. Electromagnets for depression

    Researchers say repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, or rTMS, can cure some cases of depression when drugs have failed.
  8. Common drugs increase risk of stroke and death

    Reasons #47 and #48 to avoid antidepressants: They increase your risk of stroke and death.
  9. New study's goal: to get you on meds

    It's funny how Big Pharma is always looking for ways not to cure the highest number of patients, but to get the most people on drugs.
  10. Big Pharma protects its profits by attacking your rights

    Big Pharma protects its profits by attacking your rights.

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