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Magnesium: The Safe First Line of Defense for Clinical Depression

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This article was written by Ali Le Vere for Greenmedinfo.com. It’s republished here with their permission. For more information from Greenmedinfo, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

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The science supporting the efficacy of magnesium for major depression and other psychiatric disorders, testing for magnesium deficiency, and which forms and dosages are most effective.

Depression, a life-threatening psychiatric disorder, lies at the confluence of biochemical, hormonal, immunological, and neurodegenerative variables, which intersect to generate the pro-inflammatory state with which depression is associated. A major public health issue, depression is estimated to become one of the top three contributors to the global burden of diseases within a few years. Not only does depression consume a sizable portion of health care expenditures, but it is considered to be an independent risk factor for metabolic, cardiovascular, and neuropsychiatric disorders (1).

Current treatments are predicated upon a misguided serotonin theory of depression, and are accompanied by a laundry list of deleterious side effects ranging from sexual dysfunction to homicidality (2, 3, 4). Antidepressant medications likewise significantly increase the risk of all-cause mortality, or death from any cause, as well as heart disease, leading researchers to deem this class of pharmaceuticals as harmful to the general population (5). This, in combination with data indicating that antidepressants are clinically equivalent to placebo, render them an unfavorable option (6), especially considering that they offer little in the way of resolving the root cause.

Magnesium: The Miracle Mineral

Rather than resorting to psychotropic drugs, it would be prudent to explore whether magnesium (Mg) supplementation improves depression, since this essential mineral is implicated in the pathophysiology of this disorder. Magnesium may be indeed branded as miraculous given its essentiality as a cofactor to over three hundred enzymatic reactions (7). It is second only to potassium in terms of the predominant intracellular cations, or ions residing in cells that harbor a positive charge (7).

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Magnesium is fundamentally involved in protein production, synthesis of nucleic acids, cell growth and division, and maintenance of the delicate electrolyte composition of our cells (7). It also imparts stability to the membranes of the energy factories of our cells called mitochondria (7). As articulated by researchers, “The physiological consequences of these biochemical activities include Mg’s central roles in the control of neuronal activity, cardiac excitability, neuromuscular transmission, muscular contraction, vasomotor tone, and blood pressure” (7).

The biological effects of magnesium are widespread. When deficient, magnesium is correlated with systemic inflammation. Not only does magnesium sufficiency promote cardiovascular health, relaxing the smooth muscles that comprise blood vessels and preventing high levels of vascular resistance that cause hypertension, but it also plays a role in musculoskeletal health and prevents sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures (8). Magnesium is essential to regulation of sleep (9) and vitamin D metabolism (10) as well as neural plasticity and cognitive function.

However, food processing and industrial agriculture, including monoculture crop practices and the use of magnesium-devoid fertilizers, have led to soil erosion and depletion of magnesium content in our food (7). Magnesium is likewise removed from most drinking water supplies, rendering magnesium deficiency an inevitability (11). As such, our daily intake of magnesium has steadily declined from 500 milligrams (mg) per day to 175 mg per day (7). The nutrient-poor, energy-dense dietary patterns which have come to dominate the industrialized landscape are also insufficient in the fiber-rich fruits and vegetables which contain magnesium.

Animal Studies Propose a Role for Magnesium in Depression

Preliminary animal studies pointed to a role of magnesium in depression, as depletion of magnesium in the diet of mice lead to enhanced depression- and anxiety-related behavior such as increased immobility time in the forced swim test (12). In the forced swim test, a common assay for examining depression-like behavior in rodents, the animal is confined to a container filled with water and observed as it attempts to escape. The time in which the animal exhibits immobility is used as a barometer of despair, indicating that the animal has succumbed to a fate of drowning (1).

This model is confirmed by studies showing that administering substances with antidepressant properties such as Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John’s Wort, can significantly decrease the time the animal spends without locomotor activity (12). In addition, the time the animal spends immobilized is influenced by many of the factors that are changed as a consequence of depression in humans, such as drug-withdrawal-induced anhedonia, impaired sleep, and altered food consumption (1).

Human Studies Confirm the Role of Magnesium in Depression

There is a paucity of research on the influence of specific micronutrients in depression and results are inconsistent, but several studies have revealed low serum magnesium in this mood disorder. It is well-documented, for example, that dietary magnesium deficiency in conjunction with stress can lead to neuropathologies and symptoms of psychiatric disorders. Researchers echo this sentiment, stating that, “Dietary deficiencies of magnesium, coupled with excess calcium and stress may cause many cases of other related symptoms including agitation, anxiety, irritability, confusion, asthenia, sleeplessness, headache, delirium, hallucinations and hyperexcitability” (11, p. 362).

The Hordaland Health study in Western Norway illustrated an inverse association between standardized energy-adjusted magnesium intake and depression scores, meaning that people who consumed less magnesium had higher rates of depression (13). When the serum and cerebrospinal fluid of acutely depressed patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder or bipolar patients in a depressive episode were compared to healthy controls, the calcium to magnesium ratio was found to be elevated in the former (14). Calcium and magnesium are minerals which antagonize one another and compete for absorption, since each of these minerals is a divalent cation (a positive ion with a valence of two). Suicidality, one of the primary manifestations of severe depression, is accompanied by low cerebrospinal fluid levels of magnesium despite normal calcium levels, lending credence to the role of magnesium in positive emotionality (15).

Magnesium Effective in Bipolar Disorder, Fibromyalgia, PMS, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A formulation of magnesium aspartate hydrochloride known as Magnesiocard has been shown to invoke mood-stabilizing effects in patients with severe rapid cycling bipolar disorder in one open study label (16). In half of the patients treated, this magnesium preparation had results equivalent to lithium, the standard of care for this patient population, such that the researchers suggested: “The possibility that Magnesiocard could replace or improve the efficacy of lithium as a preventive treatment of manic-depressive illness merits further clinical investigation” (16, p. 171). When used as an adjunctive therapy in severe, therapy-resistant mania, magnesium sulphate infusions significantly reduced the use of lithium, benzodiazepines and neuroleptics, so much so that the researchers concluded that it “may be a useful supplementary therapy for the clinical management of severe manic agitation” (17, p. 239).

In another randomized trial of elderly patients with type 2 diabetes and magnesium deficiency, elemental magnesium administered at 450 mg per day was found to have equivalent efficacy to 50 mg of the antidepressant drug Imipramine in treating depressive symptoms (18). Magnesium citrate taken at 300 mg per day has likewise been shown to decrease depression and other symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia as indicated by significant decreases in the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ) and Beck depression scores (19).

Data also indicate that supplementation with 360 mg of magnesium administered to women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) three times a day in the second half of the cycle is effective for so-called negative affect and other premenstrual-related mood symptoms (20). Lastly, intramuscular magnesium sulphate administered every week for six weeks has been proven to be effective in improving emotional state and other parameters in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (21).

Mechanism of Action for Antidepressant Effects of Magnesium

According to researchers, “Biological systems discussed to be involved in the pathophysiology of affective disorders and the action of mood stabilizing drugs are affected by Mg, such as the activity of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenocortical (HPA) system, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF)-, GABA- and glutamatergic (via NMDA receptors) neurotransmission and several transduction pathways including protein kinase C” (12). Not only that, but magnesium elicits similar effects on nocturnal hormonal secretion and sleep brain waves to lithium salts, which are used as a treatment modality for bipolar disorder, supporting the role of magnesium as a mood stabilizer (22).

Magnesium operates as an agonist, or a stimulatory molecule, for γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (22). GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. By binding to the GABA receptor and replicating the effects of GABA, magnesium may alleviate anxiety. Magnesium may also elicit its antidepressant effects by acting as an inorganic antagonist of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor function (Poleszak et al., 2007). Receptor antagonists are ligands, or substances, which bind to a receptor but inhibit its activity rather than activating it. NMDA receptors, which occur on the surface of nerve cells, are activated in part by glutamate, one of the excitatory amino acids in the brain.

Researchers state that, “Dysfunction of NMDA receptors seems to play a crucial role in the neurobiology of disorders such as Parkinson’s diseaseAlzheimer’s diseaseepilepsy, ischemic stroke, anxiety and depression,” such that, “ligands interacting with different sites of NMDA receptor complex are widely investigated as potential agents for the treatment of a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders” (22). In fact, drug inhibitors at the NMDA receptor complex, such as ketamine, demonstrate antidepressant effects (23, 24), but also induce such severe side effects that their clinical utility is limited (31). Magnesium, on the other hand, may have a similar mechanism of action by interfering with NMDA receptor activation without the adverse consequences of drug-induced NMDA receptor blockade (25).

Recent Study Proves Efficacy of Oral Magnesium for Depression

A recent open-label, randomized, cross-over trial was conducted in outpatient primary care clinics on 126 adults diagnosed with depression (26). During the intervention, 248 mg of elemental magnesium chloride per day, obtained from four 500 mg tablets, was administered for six weeks and compared to six weeks of no treatment, and subjects were evaluated for changes in depressive symptoms (26).

Magnesium administration results in clinically significant improvements in scores on both the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a validated measure of the severity of depression and response to treatment, as well as the Generalized Anxiety Disorders-7 (GAD-7), a sensitive self-reported screening tool for severity of anxiety disorders (26). Impressively, results appeared in as little as two weeks, representing the dramatic improvement that nutrient restoration can facilitate (26). Impressively, however, magnesium exerted anti-depressant effects regardless of baseline magnesium level. It also exhibited efficacy independent of the gender, age, or baseline severity of depression of subjects, as well as their use of antidepressant medications (26). The authors of the study conclude, “Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity” (26).

Populations At Risk for Magnesium Deficiency

Half of the population of the United States was found to consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium when estimated a decade ago (27). Not only is magnesium lost with certain medical conditions, but this mineral is excreted as a consequence of biological activities such as sweating, urinating, and defecating as well as excess production of stress hormones (7, 11). In addition, because low magnesium has been correlated with various disease states, increasing magnesium status may mitigate risk of these diseases.

For instance, researchers note that, “Low magnesium intakes and blood levels have been associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, elevated C-reactive protein, hypertension, atherosclerotic vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, osteoporosis, migraine headache, asthma, and colon cancer” (27, p. 153). In addition, magnesium deficiency at a cellular level “elicits calcium-activated inflammatory cascades independent of injury or pathogens” (27, p. 153). Low magnesium is associated with systemic inflammation, and inflammation is at the root of most chronic and degenerative diseases.

Testing for Magnesium and Food Sources of Magnesium

While the first inclination of some physicians may be to test magnesium levels for an objective parameter of deficiency, the widely used serum or plasma magnesium does not accurately reflect magnesium levels stored in other tissues (28, 29). In addition, both this hematological index of magnesium status, referred to as total magnesium, and the erythrocyte magnesium level, indicative of the levels of magnesium inside red blood cells, are not negatively affected until severe magnesium deprivation has occurred (7). Therefore, these testing methodologies are not accurate enough to catch preliminary or subclinical magnesium deficiency.

Good food sources of magnesium include pumpkin and squash seed kernels, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pine nuts, quinoa, spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, potatoes, artichoke hearts, dates, bananas, coconut milk, prickly pear, black beans, lima beans, soybeans, and seafood sources including halibut, abalone, anchovy, caviar, conch, crab, oyster, scallop, snail, and pollock. However, it is important to note that magnesium can be leeched from vegetables when food is boiled, and that fiber in excess can decrease magnesium absorption by increasing gastrointestinal motility (7).

Most Bioavailable Forms of Magnesium

As elucidated by the researchers, “Over-the-counter magnesium can be offered as an alternative therapy to those patients hesitant to begin antidepressant treatment and is easily accessible without a prescription” (26). Because the soil is no longer enriched in magnesium, supplementation may be warranted. Organic salts of magnesium, including the acetate, ascorbate, aspartate, bicitrate, gluconate, and lactate forms are more soluble and biologically active over the magnesium mineral salts such as magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium sulfate (7).

However, case studies have shown remarkably rapid recovery from major depression, in less than seven days, when magnesium glycinate and magnesium taurinate are administered at dosages of 125 to 300 mg with each meal and at bedtime (11). Magnesium threonate may also be explored as a therapeutic option, as it may have better penetrance of the blood brain barrier and restore neurological levels of magnesium. This form, which is delivered directly to the brain, may improve cerebral signaling pathways and synaptic connections between nerve cells as well as support learning and memory, although the studies have been conducted in animal models (30).

Researchers report that magnesium is usually effective for treating depression in general use, and that comorbid conditions occurring in these case studies, including “traumatic brain injury, headache, suicidal ideation, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, postpartum depression, cocaine, alcohol and tobacco abuse, hypersensitivity to calcium, short-term memory loss and IQ loss were also benefited” by magnesium supplementation (11, p. 362). Barring abnormal kidney function, the Institute of Medicine sets the upper tolerable limit for intake at 350 mg of elemental magnesium per day, but there are few adverse side effects documented unless consumed in inordinate doses (26).

Before changing your medication or nutraceutical regimen, always consult a functional or integrative medical doctor for contraindications. However, given the benign nature of magnesium supplementation and the ubiquity of magnesium insufficiency, depressedpatients should be offered this as a first line strategy alongside a holistic root-cause resolution approach to treating depression (26).

For additional research on magnesium, visit our database on the subject. 

References

1. Yankelevitch-Yahav, R. et al. (2015). The Forced Swim Test as a Model of Depressive-like Behavior. Journal of Visualized Experiments,  97, 52587.

2. Srilakshmi, P., & Versi, L. (2012). Review of sexual dysfunction due to selective serotonin repute inhibitors. AP Journal of Psychological Medicine, 13(1), 28-31.

3. Dording, C.M. et al. (2002). The pharmacologic management of SSRI-induced side effects: a survey of psychiatrists. Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, 14(3), 143-147.

4. Moore, T.J., Glenmullen, J., & Furberg, C.D. (2010). Prescription drugs associated with reports of violence towards others. PLoS One, 5, e15337.

5. Maslej, M.M. et al. (2017). The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 86, 268-282.

6. Antonuccio, D.O., Burns, D.D., & Danton, W.G. (2002). Antidepressants: A Triumph of Marketing Over Science? Prevention & Treatment, Volume 5(25).

7. Newhouse, I., & Finstad, E.W. (2000). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Exercise Performance. Journal of Sports Medicine, 10(3), 195-200.

8. Welch, A.A., Skinner, J., & Hickson, M. (2017). Dietary Magnesium May Be Protective for Aging of Bone and Skeletal Muscle in Middle and Younger Older Age Men and Women: Cross-Sectional Findings from the UK Biobank Cohort. Nutrients, 9(11), E1189. doi: 10.3390/nu9111189.

9. Abbasi, B. et al. (2012). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Research in Medical Science, 17(12), 1161-1169.

10. Mursu, J. et al. (2015). The association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 concentration and risk of disease death in men: modification by magnesium intake. European Journal of Epidemiology, 30(4), 343-347.  doi: 10.1007/s10654-015-0006-9.

11. Eby, G.A., & Eby, K.L. (2006). Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Medical Hypotheses, 67(2), 362-370.

12. Singewald, N. et al. (2004). Magnesium-deficient diet alters depression- and anxiety-related behavior in mice–influence of desipramine and Hypericum perforatum extract. Neuropharmacology, 47(8), 1189-1197.

13. Jacka, F.N. et al. (2009). Association between magnesium intake and depression and anxiety in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health Study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(1), 45-52. doi: 10.1080/00048670802534408.

14. Levine, J. et al. (1999). High serum and cerebrospinal fluid Ca/Mg ratio in recently hospitalized acutely depressed patients. Neuropsychobiology, 39(2), 63-70.

15. Banki, C.M. et al. (1995). Cerebrospinal fluid magnesium and calcium related to amine metabolites, diagnosis, and suicide attempts. Biological Psychiatry, 20, 163-171.

16. Chouinard, D. et al. (1990). A pilot study of magnesium aspartate hydrochloride (Magnesiocard) as a mood stabilizer for rapid cycling bipolar affective disorder patients. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology, Biology, and Psychiatry, 14, 171-180.

17. Heiden, A. et al. (1999). Treatment of severe mania with intravenous magnesium sulphate as a supplementary therapy. Psychiatry Research, 3, 239-246.

18. Barragán-Rodríguez, L., Rodríguez-Morán, M., & Guerrero-Romero, F. (2008). Efficacy and safety of oral magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression in the elderly with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, equivalent trial. Magnesium Research, 21(4), 218-223.

19. Bagis, S. et al. (2013). Is magnesium citrate treatment effective on pain, clinical parameters and functional status in patients with fibromyalgia? Rheumatology International, 33(1), 167-172. doi: 10.1007/s00296-011-2334-8.

20. Facchinetti, F. et al. (1991). Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 78(2), 177-181.

21. Cox, I.M. et al. (1991). Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome. The Lancet, 337(8744), 757-760.

22. Held, K. et al. (2002). Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry, 35(4), 135-143.

23. Zarate, C.A. Jr. et al. (2006). A randomized trial of an N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist in treatment-resistant major depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63, 856-864.

24. Berman, R.M. et al. (2000). Antidepressant effect of ketamine in depressed patients. Biological Psychiatry, 47, 351-354.

25. Poleszak, E. et al. (2007). NMDA/glutamate mechanism of antidepressant-like action of magnesium in forced swim test in mice. Elsevier Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 88(2).

26. Tarleton, E.K. et al. (2017). Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial. PLoS One, 12(6), e0180067. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180067.

27. Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C.M., & Rude, R.K. (2012). Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutrition Reviews, 70(3), 153-164. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00465.x.

28. Altura, B.T. et al. (1994). Characterization of a new ion selective electrode for ionized magnesium in whole blood, plasma, serum, and aqueous samples. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical Lab Investigations, 54(Suppl. 217), 21–36.

29. Weller, E. et al. (1998). Lack of effect of oral Mg-supplementation on Mg in serum, blood cells and calf muscle. Medical Science Sports Exercise, 30, 1584–1591.

30. Slutsky, I. et al. (2010). Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron, 65(2), 165-177. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.12.026.

31. Willetts, J., Balster, R.L., & Leander, J.D. (1990). The behavioral pharmacology of NMDA receptor antagonists. Trends in Pharmacological Science, 11, 423-428.

Ali Le Vere holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Human Biology and Psychology, minors in Health Promotion and in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society, and is a Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine candidate. Having contended with chronic illness, her mission is to educate the public about the transformative potential of therapeutic nutrition and to disseminate information on evidence-based, empirically rooted holistic healing modalities. Read more at @empoweredautoimmune on Instagram and at www.EmpoweredAutoimmune.com: Science-based natural remedies for autoimmune disease, dysautonomia, Lyme disease, and other chronic, inflammatory illnesses.

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Awareness

Updates On The New Coronavirus Vaccine – Are You Going To Take It? Will It Be Mandatory?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple companies have started clinical trials and testing of potential vaccines for the new coronavirus.

  • Reflect On:

    Vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high, will the coronavirus be mandatory, and what will be the penalty for those who refuse?

Special Note To Our Readers: We are concerned that our Facebook Page will be deleted, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list. Thank you. 

The coronavirus is taking the world by storm, and many pharmaceutical companies are in a race to develop the vaccine that will be put into circulation for the public. Obviously, it takes some time to develop a vaccine, usually just over a year, but there have been some initiatives put in place to potentially fast-track the coronavirus vaccine. We will have to wait and see.

As of now, media outlets are reporting on multiple developments. For example, tests in mice of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus have shown that it does indeed induce an immune response against it, at levels that could possibly prevent infection. According to Global News,

A team at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the United States said they were able to move quickly in developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine after working on other coronaviruses that cause Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Forbes is reporting that the second phase of human trials for a new vaccine from Moderna may start this spring. Moderna’s cofounder and chairman Noubar Afeyan told CNBC that, while it’s challenging to put a timetable on the vaccine’s progress, “We expect [phase two trials] to happen in the spring, perhaps early summer.”

The second phase involves expanding to hundreds of people in different groups based on certain characteristics like age and physical health. The third phase is potentially the last with the vaccine being given to thousands of people to test its efficacy and safety. Many vaccines also go through a fourth phase after they’ve been approved and licensed.

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And President Donald Trump had this to say:

We’re working with the best scientists, doctors and researchers anywhere in the world, we’re racing to develop new ways to protect against the virus, as well as therapies, treatments, and ultimately a vaccine and we’re making a lot of progress. (source)

The Big Questions

So, it seems to be coming. The big questions are: When? Will it be mandatory? Will You Take it?

According to organizations like the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy continues to increase among people, parents, and yes, even health professionals and scientists. The latter was a big concern for some high-profile speakers at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit.

No longer a secret, challenging vaccine safety has become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization lists ‘vaccine hesitancy’ as one of the biggest threats to global health security. This is discussed in the introduction of this study (one of many) published in the journal EbioMedicine:

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science (Larson et al., 2011). These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services (Group, 2014,Larson et al., 2014Dubé et al., 2013). VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.

This fact has been emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced by the authors in the study above.At the WHO conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider, and if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

So, the point is, vaccine hesitancy is increasing around the world. Given this fact, it’s safe to say that many people are not going to be interested in taking the coronavirus vaccine. This includes many scientists and doctors. Will it be mandatory as some vaccines are for children to attend public school?

The Greater Good?

The vaccine space right now is truly something else at the moment. Those who wish to maintain their freedom and keep informed consent in place are receiving a harsh backlash from Federal Health regulatory agencies who wish to take this freedom away, it seems, in the name of the ‘greater good.’

Scientists and doctors who are creating awareness and explaining why they don’t believe vaccines should be mandatory, or as safe as they’re marketed to be, receive a large amount of pushback and censorship. Platforms like Collective Evolution are having their social media platform distribution and reach completely cut. Physicians for Informed Consent is another one of many examples.

Because of all of the attacks and censorship of our ability to discuss vaccine safety concerns, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for “censoring vaccine debate.” You can read more about that here.

Again, we ourselves have also received a tremendous amount of backlash, demonitizaton and more as a result of sharing peer-reviewed research and expert opinion that questions the safety of vaccines.  There are many examples, the latest one being presenting the work of Dr. Christopher Exley, a Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University. In our article, we explained why he believes aluminum is playing some sort of role in Autism. And no, he doesn’t mean that aluminum is directly causing autism, we made that quite clear. We also presented multiple other studies questioning the safety of the aluminum adjuvant in some vaccines. You can read that article here.

Why are we being censored for presenting such science? Why are scientists like Exley subjected to so much character assassination when his questions, concerns, and science is solid? This CE article about Exley was flagged by ‘fact-checkers’ as false news, despite the fact that it is scientifically sound and simply presents the opinion and research of multiple scientists and experts.

Since when is science supposed to stop asking certain questions? What was actually ‘false’ about the article cannot be adequately explained, and perhaps this is why Facebook or the fact checkers will not reply to us nor even have a discussion about it. They’ve simply flagged the article, one of many, and greatly reduced the reach of our social media platform without replying to our inquiries. We go into more detail about what we and others are experiencing, in the article Proof: Fact Checkers Are Misleading You.

We are actually worried that Facebook may delete our entire Facebook page, so we are encouraging all those who want to continue to receive and be able to find our content to sign up for our email list.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, I didn’t want to go too deep into the issues that are being brought up with regards to vaccine safety, as much as I wanted to outline that a coronavirus vaccine is coming, while simultaneously pointing out that vaccine hesitancy is still on the rise. This combination no doubt will spark even more controversy and censorship in the near future, when really, there should be full transparency of all sides and the concerns raised.

Terms and  ‘hostile language’ such as “anti-vax” should not be used. Encouraging people to ask questions about vaccine safety is in everyone’s best interest.  After all, it makes sense–in order to make our vaccines safer and more effective, you would think everybody would be on board with constant questioning and examination. That’s just good science.

These times also highlight how much trust the public has lost when it comes to trusting government and federal health regulatory agencies. Perhaps this is not a result of misinformation, but a shift in consciousness and so many examples of lies and deceit. Our world is starting to question measures and actions like it never did before. People are waking, people are thinking, people are becoming much more intelligent, not the other way around.

Articles From Collective Evolution That Go Into More Detail About The New Coronavirus.

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Awareness

The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness & Prescription Medications

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Prescription drug sales and deaths are at an all time high. With side effects and dangers, and a lack of safety testing in some cases, are they always the best and only option for mental health treatment?

  • Reflect On:

    Why are alternative treatments for mental health lacking? Is it because they are not as effective as prescription medication or do not turn a profit?

A worrisome trend has emerged in the last few decades that many physicians are choosing to ignore: As the amount of psychiatric drug prescriptions increase, our mental health declines. It’s time we swallow the hard pill and ask ourselves, are psychiatrists doing more harm than good?

I know that, to some of you, this question seems absurd. Why would licensed medical practitioners purposefully harm their patients? But that isn’t really what’s happening here, as the issue relates more to the over-prescription and misuse of mental health drugs, and the corporately funded miseducation that prompts this behaviour, than any malicious intentions on the part of individual people.

The “Inconvenient Truth” About Mental Illness and Prescriptions

In 2013, approximately 17% of Americans were prescribed at least one mental health drug, in comparison to only 10% in 2011. The amount of people on psychiatric prescription drugs has drastically increased over the past 10 years and now 12% of adult Americans are taking some form of antidepressants alone (source).

It’s not just adults affected by the over-prescription of these drugs; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 were diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. However, the American Psychiatric Association maintains that even though only 5% of American children suffer from the disorder, the diagnosis is actually given to around 15% of American children. This number has been steadily rising, jumping from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007. The simple reason for this increase? Profit.

However, despite the fact that the number of mental health drugs prescribed increases every year, our mental health has actually decreased. The amount of people who are considered to be so disabled by mental illness that they require Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has increased by almost two and a half times between 1987 and 2007, from one in 184 Americans to one in seventy-six. Not surprisingly, the rise in the number of children affected by this is even worse, with a thirty-five-fold increase in that same timeframe (source). So, if the number of prescriptions are increasing, why is our mental health declining?

This phenomenon is what Thomas Insel, former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, refers to as the “inconvenient truth” of mental illness. Suicide rates per 100,000 people have reached a 30-year high and substance abuse, especially with opiates, has become a national epidemic.

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Edmund S. Higgins, MD and Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, explains, “More people are getting treatment and taking medications today than ever before, so what is going on? I would argue that a lack of precision and objectivity in diagnosing and treating mental illness has stalled our progress.” Furthermore, Big Pharma has played a crucial role in creating the mental health drug epidemic.

Big Pharma’s Role in Increasing Prescriptions

This seems to be the general consensus of the North American population: If an advertisement or a misinformed MD says, “There’s a pill for that,” you take it. Our reliance on pharmaceutical drugs didn’t form by accident, however; it was carefully planned and funded by Big Pharma. The pharmaceutical industry manufactured it by heavily advertising drugs, bribing physicians, and funding health studies.

Big Pharma has done an excellent job of feeding the public propaganda through advertisements and education, as the more pills you take, the more money they make. The pharmaceutical industry has played a substantial role in increasing the amount of prescriptions and overall diagnoses of A.D.H.D. in the U.S. (read an article I wrote about this here) and other mental health illnesses. As Dr. Irwin Savodnik of UCLA explains, “The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry.”

Doctors typically use the knowledge from the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to diagnose and treat mental illness. But the DSM has had its fair share of criticism, as it favours the use of pharmaceutical drugs over therapy and other healing modalities. Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Editor-in-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report Daniel J. Carlat, M.D, criticized the DSM, stating, “In psychiatry, many diseases are treated equally well with medication or therapy, but the guidelines tend to be biased toward medication.”

Holistic mental health practitioner Dr. Tyler Woods further explains:

The DSM tends to pathologize normal behaviors. For instance, the label “Anxiety Disorder” can be given as a result of some kinds of normal and rather healthy anxieties but the DSM will have experts view it and treat it as mental illness. In addition simple shyness can be seen and treated as “Social Phobia”, while spirited and strong willed children as “Oppositional Disorder”. Consequently, many psychotherapists, regardless of their theoretical orientations, tend to follow the DSM as instructed. (source)

In fact, Big Pharma has played a significant role in manufacturing our very definitions of mental illnesses and how they form in the first place. For example, the U.S. considers A.D.H.D. a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological disfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain, much like many other mental disorders. However, other countries such as France see these mental disorders, including A.D.H.D., as a social context issue rather than a biological one, with many contributing factors and recommended treatments other than drugs. Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician, author, and the Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, states:

When it was found that psychoactive drugs affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, as evidenced mainly by the levels of their breakdown products in the spinal fluid, the theory arose that the cause of mental illness is an abnormality in the brain’s concentration of these chemicals that is specifically countered by the appropriate drug. For example, because Thorazine was found to lower dopamine levels in the brain, it was postulated that psychoses like schizophrenia are caused by too much dopamine. . . .

That was a great leap in logic . . . It was entirely possible that drugs that affected neurotransmitter levels could relieve symptoms even if neurotransmitters had nothing to do with the illness in the first place (and even possible that they relieved symptoms through some other mode of action entirely).

Why Pills Cannot Solve All of Our Problems

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take prescription medication for mental illness; that’s something that you and your doctor should decide. However, if your doctor fails to address any other means of dealing with your mental health, always choosing pills first rather than as a last or even second resort, then perhaps you should think about finding a doctor who understands the benefits of at least considering alternative options.

It’s important to note that even if prescription drugs are the reason our mental health is worsening, they’re certainly not the only reason. We’ve increased our amount of time spent using technology, staying indoors, and being sedentary, as well as worsened our diets and overall physical health with fast food, chemicals, toxins, animal products, and more — all of which may contribute to this decline in mental health.

However, there’s no denying the fact that Big Pharma has had a tangible and worrisome role in the psychiatric drug epidemic. Medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker addresses this “inconvenient truth” by using depression as an example. Depression used to be considered a self-limiting illness that, even in severe situations where a patient requires hospitalization, could be cured within six to eight months. Very rarely would patients relapse, and if they did it would typically be many years later.

When antidepressants hit the market, our outlook on depression completely shifted. Even though antidepressants may have been created with good intentions, the reality is that patients taking these drugs are relapsing more quickly and more often. Whitaker explains that many patients on antidepressants will only recover partially in comparison to the full recoveries he’s seen in people who never took them in the first place.

In fact, only around 15% of those treated with antidepressants actually go into remission and maintain their mental health long-term. The other 85% are continuously relapsing or experience chronic depression.

It is clear that in many cases, we need to stop looking for outside help when it comes to our mental health. Our mental health is just that — it’s ours. It’s controlled by us, whether we like it or not. Many mental illnesses don’t stem from biological issues, contrary to what Big Pharma wants you to think, but are rather the result of different stressors in our lives. So, if we were able to connect with ourselves on a deeper level and actually get to the root of the problem, perhaps some of these disorders wouldn’t be so severe.

Related CE Content:

Study Finds Turmeric Is As Effective As Prozac For Treating Depression

Almost No Children In France Are Medicated For ADHD: Here’s How They Define & Treat It

Professor Outlines The “Surprisingly Dramatic” Role That Nutrition Plays In Treating & Curing Mental Illness

Picture source. 

 

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Health

Wild Oregano Oil & Black Seed Oil Can Neutralize Inflammatory Cytokines In The Lungs?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Some evidence suggests that wild Oregano Oil & Black Seed Oil Can Neutralize Inflammatory Cytokines In The Lungs, according to Dr. Cass Ingram.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the only solutions to issues prescription medications and other pharmaceutical interventions?

(By Dr. Cass Ingram, D.O.) What an impressive finding it is and highly newsworthy. It is mentioned throughout the news the issue of “cytokine storm” and the danger this poses to people. Yet, incredibly, a mere wild plant and its essential oil are medicinal beyond all drugs, in fact, a litany of them. Wild oregano is a powerhouse for reducing inflammation in the tissues. In a number of studies it has been found to inhibit the source of this condition primarily through its actions on inflammatory markers. Actually, the mechanism is truly profound, because wild oregano acts on the genes that lead to the synthesis of these markers. Repeatedly, it has been shown, oregano oil and its active components, including carvacrol and thymol, have demonstrated great powers against inflammation. In fact, in some studies oregano oil active ingredients were able to drop COX-2 inflammation levels by up to 80%.

Today, there is much concern about the inflammation that results from overwork of the immune system or might it be said, overreactions. In a study on T lymphocytes done via cell culture it was found that the wild oregano oil active ingredients exhibited a specific molecular action even more potent than drugs. Carvacrol and thymol both significantly reduced tissue levels of interleukin-2. In fact, the reduction was massive, two-thirds in the case of carvacrol. This makes it more significant in this regard than any drug. For gamma interferon, the reduction was nearly 30%. This proved that the oregano oil component modified the activity, that is more towards normal, during a crisis event. Correlating this to humans aggressive dosing would likely reduce this further.

In the lungs oregano oil has been found to curb reactive oxygen species or free radicals. This has led to in asthmatic patients a reduction in cytokine overload. Here, it largely shuts off the gene responsible for the immunological storm reaction. Whether in the lungs or the skin—or the rest of the organs—cytokines are no match for the powers of wild oregano.

In another investigation the oil was found to decrease inflammation in skin tissue, once again an action thought to be due to modulating immune function. Specifically, the oil was found to markedly act with actions to block excessive cell growth, known as anti proliferative activity, while also greatly inhibited markers of inflammation. These markers included various cytokines and also gamma interferon. In fact, through the powers of this oil nearly all elements associated with toxic inflammation are greatly reduced, including various collagen-associated molecules, cancer-inducing growth factors, and enzymes—the ones that can do us harm.  “Strongly inhibited” were among the comments made by investigators. As well, it was found to decisively block those specialized genes directly associated with inflammation. This caused them to conclude that oregano oil is a “promising candidate for use” against inflammation and cancerous changes in skin tissues.

Also, to reiterate, according to Iranian investigators oregano compounds were found to reduce all the serious immune modulators. This was through a direct action on the genes. This led to a reduction in the excessive activity of T cells. The various inflammatory cytokines were significantly reduced,  including the highly noxious tumor necrosis factor alpha. This led the researchers to stated that oregano oil would be useful to combat diseases associated with over-activity of immunity.

Wild oregano is far from specific to the skin. It helps reduce inflammation all throughout the body, including within all internal organs. Nothing is an exception to its powers. Consider an investigation in artificially induced colitis in animals. Treatment of the colitis condition with oregano oil decreased levels of all pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha. A moderate dosage of oregano oil, only 1 per 1000, was sufficient to reduce all the key interleukin-based inflammation-promoters. The result was decreased mortality rate, combined with a better weight gain and reduced visible damage to colonic tissue. By influencing the genes, that is the production of the messenger form of RNA, it was concluded, oregano reverses the colitis pathology, a most significant finding.

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In every conceivable animal model oregano proves itself invaluable. For instance, as shown by Chinese investigators oregano-treated pigs had Escherichia coli in the jejunum, ileum, and colon than the control. This was thought to be the result of the greater inactivation of inflammation, once again by curbing inflammatory reactions through a genetic influence. Essentially, the oregano shuts off the potentially dangerous gene, greatly reducing, even eliminating, toxic markers in the intestines. Microscopic analysis proves that the intestinal membranes of oregano-treated pigs were far different from those in controls, far healthier, even healthier than normal. The fact is with the oregano therapy all the inflammatory cytokines, the ones capable of causing severe illness, where fully depressed.

Black seed oil also offers this action. In a study in the Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal it was found to greatly alleviate airway restrictions and inflammation of the airways in bronchial asthma, once again through cytokine modulation. In yet another investigation it acted dramatically against the toxicity of artificially induced airway damage, largely by halting the immune system-provoked cytokine storm. This was to such a degree that black seed was held as a “useful” herbal medicine against inflammation and allergy-related lung conditions, including shortness of breath and asthma. Fennel and cumin were also found to have this action, both of which are found in specialized black seed oil capsules. Clearly, the spices have a most potent action against inflammatory changes in lung tissues.

Thus, when cytokine storm is described and discussed, there is no need for fear. It is just an excessive reaction by a typically compromised immune system. To halt this, even prevent it, wild oregano is the answer. This should be consumed as the wild, whole food, Mediterranean-source oil, the crude herb, ideally with Rhus coriaria, and the juice-essence or hydrosol. All are readily available and make the ideal supplements for daily use and prevention and also for intake to support a healthy, balanced immune response. There is no harm taking such whole food supplements with other formulas or even drugs. Wild oregano is the number one medicine for human health. Take it to your major benefit, and your delight and joy. After all, in Greek “ora-ganos” means “delight of the mountains.”

Sources:

Gholijani, G., et al. 2015. Modulation of Cytokine Production and Transcription Factors Activities in Human Jurkat T Cells by Thymol and Carvacrol. Advanced Pharm. Bulletin. 5(Suppl. 1):653-660.

Gholijani, N., et al. Antiinflammatory, tissue remodeling, immunomodulatory, and anticancer activities of oregano essential oil in a human skin disease model. Biochim Open, 3:4.73-77.

Wang, H., Song, L., et al. 2017. The acute airway inflammation induced by PM2.5 exposure and the treatment of essential oils in Balboas/c mice. Published online, Mar. 9.

Zou, Y. 2016. Morphology and expression of tight junction proteins associated with modulation of selected intestinal bacteria and immune status in pig model. Biomed Res Int. Epub May 29.

https://smw.ch/article/doi/smw.2010.13128

PMC4884216

Dr. Cass Ingram is a nutritional physician who received a B.S. in biology and chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa (1979) and a D.O. from the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA (1984). Dr. Ingram has since written over 25 books on natural healing. He has given answers and hope to millions through lectures on thousands of radio/TV shows. His research and writing have led to countless cures and discoveries. Dr. Cass Ingram presents 100’s of health tips and insights in his many books on health, nutrition, and disease prevention. Dr. Ingram is one of North America’s leading experts on the health benefits and disease fighting properties of wild medicinal spice extracts. A popular media personality, he has appeared on over 5,000 radio and TV shows. He now travels the world promoting perfect health – the natural way.

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