The real truth: antidepressants actually deplete these 3 crucial nutrients for the brain

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I experienced this firsthand.

When I took antidepressants, I felt better initially.

But then something just didn’t feel right.

I started suffering from cognitive decline, something I hadn’t experienced before.

I eventually got fed up with the medication and tried getting off them.

 But then I felt remarkably worse – much worse than I did before starting the medication.

 

Doctors simply told me I was experiencing a relapse of my depression and anxiety.

But that couldn’t be it, because not only were my symptoms much worse, but I also had new symptoms – symptoms I didn’t experience before I went on medication.

So, I did some research and discovered something called “drug-induced nutrient depletion”.

Studies show that pharmaceutical drugs can deplete your body of critical nutrients through multiple mechanisms, including increased excretion of nutrients, and impaired digestion, absorption and storage of nutrients. Over time, nutritional deficiencies can develop. And these deficiencies can cause additional symptoms and increase side effects. In fact, many drug “side effects” are simply nutritional deficiencies.

This is clearly a problem because nutrient deficiencies can be one of the main causes of mental illness. Being prescribed medication that further deplete nutrients from your body will make you worse. It’s an epidemic that seems to be ignored by the conventional medical system.

You may even develop new symptoms or side effects months or years after starting a medication because it takes time for nutrients to be depleted from your body. So both you and your doctor may not make the connection between the original medication and new symptoms.

These additional symptoms and “side effects” are often diagnosed as a new disease, leading to a new prescription, which further depletes nutrients.

So it’s clearly a downward spiral where you could end up being on multiple medications.

At my worst, I was on four psychiatric medications. Thankfully I’m off them all now and very healthy.

This article discusses the three key nutrients that are commonly depleted by psychiatric medication.

Your drug package insert won’t list these deficiencies, and your doctor is likely not aware of them.



Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10 is a molecule found in every cell of your body and plays a key role in the production of energy.

It’s also an antioxidant and protects your body and brain from free radical damage.

Higher levels of CoQ10 have a “significant antidepressant effect” in rats because of its “well-documented antioxidant effect”. This makes sense considering the increasing amount of scientific literature suggesting that oxidative stress contributes to depression.

Unfortunately, studies show that a number of psychiatric medications, including antidepressants and antipsychotics, deplete CoQ10.



Low levels of CoQ10 can cause brain fog, mental fatigue, difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, depression and irritability.

Other deficiency symptoms can include increased blood pressure, muscle cramps, high blood sugar, and shortness of breath.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital mineral that participates in more than 300 biochemical reactions in your body. This includes neurotransmitter, enzyme, and hormonal activity, all of which can have a huge effect on your mood and brain function.

It’s one of the most important nutrients for optimal brain health, and reduces anxiety, depression and irritability. Yet, many people are deficient in magnesium today and may experience the following symptoms because of it:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness, cramps, tremors, and spasms
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Osteoporosis
  • Nausea

Interestingly, these symptoms sound very similar to the list of side effects of some psychiatric medications.

In fact, research has shown that many antidepressants and stimulants do deplete magnesium from your body, increasing the likeliness of developing a deficiency.

Inadequate magnesium levels can then contribute and worsen many neuropsychiatric problems. This includes depression, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, ADHD, pain, schizophrenia, irritability, premenstrual syndrome, drug abuse, and short-term memory and IQ loss. Case studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia or major depression who have attempted suicide had significantly lower levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluid.

So if you have mental health condition, or take medication to deal with it, you should consider supplementing with magnesium.

Also, you should make sure to eat lots of food with magnesium, including avocados, almonds, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, spinach, dark chocolate, halibut and beets.

B Vitamins

A number of B vitamins are also depleted by psychiatric medication, including B2, B6, B12 and folate.

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, plays a key role in energy metabolism throughout your entire body.

As a result, a deficiency can affect the entire body, leading to low energy, weight gain, and skin and thyroid problems.

Antipsychotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers can inhibit the absorption of vitamin B2, increasing your need for supplementation.

Lower levels of vitamin B2 have been found in people with depression, so giving them psychiatric medications can actually make them feel worse in the long run.

Healthy food sources of riboflavin include pastured eggs, leafy vegetables, beef liver, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and almonds.

Vitamin B6 is another key nutrient that boosts mood, deepens sleep, and supports your entire nervous system.

It accomplishes this by playing a key role in the production of many neurotransmitters in your brain, including serotonin, GABA and dopamine.

But since psychiatric medications alter these neurotransmitters, vitamin B6 levels can be affected as well.

When I took antidepressants, multiple functional and integrative doctors suggested I supplement with vitamin B6.

This is because antidepressants and benzodiazepines have been shown to deplete B6.

Symptoms of deficiency include weakness, mental confusion, depression, insomnia and severe PMS symptoms.

Some of the best food sources of B6 include potatoes, bananas and chicken.

Lastly, vitamin B12 and folate are essential B vitamins that play a key role in methylation, one of the most important processes in your body and brain for optimal energy and nervous system function.

If you are depressed, you likely have lower levels of B12 and folate circulating in your blood, and people with low blood folate and B12 are at greater risk for developing depression.

Yet, instead of looking at folate and B12 levels in the blood, doctors often prescribe antidepressants, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers that have been shown to deplete folate and B12.

B12 and folate deficiency can lead to an inability to methylate properly and increased homocysteine levels. This can worsen your depression, irritability, fatigue, confusion and forgetfulness.

Good dietary sources of natural folate include leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries. B12 is found primarily in animal foods, and beef liver is a good source.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the medication that you take to manage your mental health can actually reduce nutrient absorption and rob your body and brain of essential vitamins and minerals. This can lead to unwanted side effects and declining health.

On top of this, vitamin and mineral deficiencies are actually a huge underlying cause of mental health issues to begin with.

Luckily, you can avoid side effects, and even control and overcome chronic mental disease without medication, by restoring these missing nutrients.

Unfortunately, in my case, I was given a prescription that made my underlying deficiencies worse, and dug me into a deeper mental health hole.

If you’re required to take a prescribed drug, you can offset many of the side effects and experience much better health by supplementing with the above nutrients.

So why isn’t this information passed on to patients who are taking psychiatric drugs? Because unfortunately, almost all doctors are unaware that medications can deplete nutritional reserves.

So, for now, you’ll just have to be aware of drug-nutrient depletions yourself.

Sources:

  1. Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook
  2. The Nutritional Cost of Prescription Drugs
  3. The Side Effects Bible: The Dietary Solution to Unwanted Side Effects of Common Medications
  4. A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition: Improve Your Health and Avoid Side Effects When Using Common Medications and Natural Supplements Together
  5. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8219648
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Article Source: http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/antidepressants-side-effects.html

This fantastic article was written by Jordan Fallis, a brain health journalist and biohacker. We encourage you to ckeck out his website here

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More magnesium, more free testosterone

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Men with more magnesium in their blood are likely to have a higher amount of free testosterone in their body. Chemical analysts draw this conclusion in an article published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis.

About sixty percent of the body’s testosterone is attached to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) [spatial structure above]. Androgens bound to SHBG lose their anabolic effect but probably retain their androgenic effect. In the prostate, for example, there are SHBG receptors and they send error signs to the prostate cells if they attach themselves to SHBG with androgens bound to it. Androgen steroid hormones incorporated by SHBG therefore do have undesired effects, but no desirable effects.About two percent of the testosterone in the body is active: it is not attached to binding proteins which prevent testosterone from interacting with its receptor. About forty percent of the body’s testosterone is attached to albumin, a protein that can let go of the hormone. Free testosterone and testosterone attached to albumin are referred to as bio-available testosterone.

As men get older, SHBG sweeps up more and more testosterone. This is also because older men eat less protein. Low protein consumption raises the concentration of SHBG in the blood. A higher protein intake results in more albumin, and that increases the amount of bio-available testosterone. Within limits, of course.

The researchers, linked to the Université de Franche-Comté, extracted SHBG from the blood of young men, and exposed the protein to magnesium ions. Then they measured how fast the testosterone attached itself to SHBG at increasing magnesium concentrations. The higher the magnesium concentration, the lower the attraction.

Although the researchers did not examine whether more magnesium actually leads to more free testosterone in humans, they believe their findings are meaningful at the physiological level.

“The results presented here provide evidence for an Mg2+-mediated variation of the testosterone-SHBG association, suggesting that an increase of the Mg2+-concentration inside the biological concentration range (0.75mM-1.0mM) could lead an enhancement of the bioavailable testosterone”, they write.

Fifteen years ago researchers examined the effect of extremely high – and biologically improbable – magnesium concentrations. These led to a small decline in the testosterone level. [Horm Metab Res. 1993 Jan;25(1):29-33.]

The researchers have announced that they will soon be publishing their findings on the effect of plant substances on the binding of testosterone to SHBG.

Magnesium in food is found in plant products. Good sources are fibre-rich breakfast cereals, spinach, nuts and beans.

Sources:
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2008.10.041

Article Source: http://www.ergo-log.com/magnesiumtest.html

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Magnesium Improves Metabolic Markers

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Dietary magnesium may help to lower elevated glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), elevated systolic blood pressure, and elevated C-reactive protein..

Magnesium is a mineral with a major role in the metabolism of glucose, the production of cellular energy, and the manufacture of protein.   A research team led by Yanni Papanikolaou (France), and colleagues assessed data collected on subjects, ages 20 years and older, enrolled in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2001-2010.  The team determined magnesium intake from foods alone, and from foods plus dietary supplements using the methods from the National Cancer Institute. Adults with adequate intake of magnesium from food had significantly different HOMA-IR – a measure of insulin resistance, systolic blood pressure, and HDL-cholesterol, as compared to subjects with inadequate intake of magnesium from food. Adequate intake of magnesium from food plus dietary supplement had significant differences in waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.  The team observed that a higher dietary intake of magnesium from all sources associated with “significantly reduced odds ratios for elevated glycohemoglobin, metabolic syndrome, obesity, overweight or obesity, elevated waist circumference, elevated systolic blood pressure, reduced HDL and elevated C-reactive protein. The study authors submit that: “there is a beneficial relationship between dietary magnesium intake and diabetes-related physiological outcomes.”

Article Source: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/magnesium-improves-metabolic-markers/

Boston Testosterone is a Testosterone Replacement, Wellness and Preventative Medicine Medical Center that treats and prevents the signs and symptoms associated with Andropause and hormone imbalances.  With affiliates nationally, Boston Testosterone offers hormone replacement therapy, weight loss protocols, erectile dysfunction (ED), Sermorelin-GHRP2 therapy and neutraceutical injectable therapies for men and women.  Their medical facilities offer physician examinations and treatment programs that incorporate the latest in medical science.

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Why Supplement Magnesium?

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Magnesium deficiency is likely an issue for you, as it is for many. Regardless of whether or not you’re eating a high-quality diet and following a flawless stress-free lifestyle.

Unfortunately, magnesium-rich foods don’t provide much magnesium. And generally speaking, we’re lucky to get 15-20% of the daily requirement – 350-450mg.

This is likely why 2006 data from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) found that the majority of North Americans do not satisfy the daily requirement for magnesium from food, with females and those over 70 producing the worst results.  And similarly, why:

A 1995 study found that at least 39% of the population gets less than 70% of the RDA (200mg/day) of magnesium.

An intake that’s likely lower today, with the increase in pesticides, processed foods, and over-farming.

To make matters worse, magnesium is burned up through exercise and during times of stress, and competes with calcium for absorption. Making the need for supplementation even greater.

For instance, when researchers compared the calcium-to-magnesium ratio in the typical modern diet to that of our hunter gatherers ancestors, the ratio was heavily swayed towards calcium. Looking more like a 5:1, as opposed to a 1 or 2:1.

The elderly should be extra aware of their magnesium intake, as they tend to:

  • Have a lower intake overall
  • Absorb less and excrete more
  • Take medication that increases depletion

Blood pressure medication has a significant impact on reducing magnesium levels (1, 2). Which is ironic, considering magnesium is the one mineral that can help prevent heart disease.

Often referred to as the ‘iron of the plant world,’ or the ‘anti-stress mineral,’ magnesium helps relax skeletal, blood vessel, and GI tract muscle, lower blood pressure, and overall stress. Many mention less nervousness, anxiety, insomnia, and depression by adding magnesium to their daily regimen, especially when taken before bed.

Dosages in the literature are varied, with 250mg/day proving effective at lowering heart disease risk, 290mg/day helping prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, and 100mg/day lowering diabetes risk. Although, it’s clear that the risk of ‘too much’ is rare, as the kidneys eliminate any excess in urine; while the risk of deficiency is high, with the minimal amounts in food, and reductions from stress and calcium.

The dosage recommendation of 300-600mg in Live It NOT Diet! are quite conservative compared to the needs of most, and therefore shouldn’t produce diarrhea, cramping, or nausea that can come with heavy doses of magnesium.  However, if you experience any of these symptoms, cut back on your dosage (no harm, no foul).

Always look for a chelated magnesium supplement (ends in ‘ate,’ like magnesium glycinate), as that means it’s blended with an amino acid and better absorbed.  My favorite is UberMag from The Poliquin Group because it’s the only one I’ve found with 4 different forms of magnesium – glycinate, fumarate, taurate, and orotate.

 

Because of magnesium’s calming effect, I suggest taking it before bed.  If looking to calm down in the evening leading up to sleep, try splitting the dose to half after dinner and half 30-60min before bed.

You’ll eventually find your optimal sleep dose, but don’t be afraid to make adjustments on-the-fly based on your daily stress and activity level.

Stay Lean!

Coach Mike

Why Supplement Magnesium?

For more information and appointments, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

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