Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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Natural Treatments for Depression

Thursday, 13 Aug 2009 03:01 PM


Question: My 46-year-old daughter is asking for help. She has been taking Paxil for years and says if she ever goes off it again, her husband would leave her. I guess she is pretty bad. Now she is having terrible hot flashes. Her doctor wants to put her on estrogen. What should she be taking? She drinks a lot of beer. She is not overweight. She also smokes. I don’t believe that beer and smoking are helping her any and would like her to go off Paxil. Isn’t there something else to take for depression and mood swings?


Dr. Brownstein’s Answer:

There is no doubt in my mind that the epidemic of depression is caused, in large part, by eating a poor diet and making poor lifestyle choices. Drinking too much alcohol results in a host of nutritional problems, such as B-vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Reducing alcohol consumption and correcting nutrient deficits can help one suffering with depression. For those who ingest too much alcohol, supplementing with vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B12 are important; 50 mg/day of Vitamin B1 and 1 mg of injectable, natural vitamin B12 (hydroxyl- or methylcobalamine) are effective natural therapies.


These vitamins help alcoholics reduce their cravings and improve their mood. Finally, amino acid therapy can be very helpful for those addicted to alcohol. Taking 5HTP (50 to 100g/day) can be helpful. However, this needs to be done with a nutritionally oriented healthcare provider. Taking 5HTP and Paxil can be tricky. I frequently use 5HTP when tapering someone off an antidepressant medication. The best results come from working with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner.









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