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.


Exercise for Depression

Monday, 13 June 2011 11:25 AM

Question: Can depression be treated with simple exercise rather than antidepressant medication?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

I strongly advocate exercise to treat depression instead of medication. Antidepressant medications are overprescribed and associated with a multitude of adverse effects.

Consider a case-crossover study published in the March 15, 2011, issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry. It examined 24,214 patients who had suffered a stroke to see whether there was a relationship between prior antidepressant use and the development of stroke. Antidepressant use in the two weeks before the stroke was associated with a 48 percent higher stroke risk.

Antidepressant medications have never been shown to be a superior treatment compared to simple exercise. In fact, there are multiple studies showing exercise beats antidepressant medications in treating depression.

Depression usually can be treated effectively with a holistic approach that encompasses balancing the hormonal system, as well as correcting nutrient imbalances. This approach includes eating a healthier diet and maintaining adequate hydration.

More information on antidepressant drugs can be found in my book, "Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do."

© HealthDay

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