Serotonin hormone produced by vitamin C and Vitamin D from sunlight can help you defeat depression without any side effects.
Most doctors treat depression with drugs... Others prescribe psychotherapy.
But emerging research suggests there's an all-natural solution.
1) It was discovered by Dr. L. John Hoffer. He graduated from M.I.T. with a Ph.D. in nutrition. He is a Professor of Medicine at McGill University and heads up research for the Lady Davis Institute of Medical Research. He's also a clinical investigator.
Vitamin D has long been linked to depression. But Dr. Hoffer's cure is vitamin C.
He put it to the test with a clinical, double-blind study. The results, published in the journal Nutrition, were even better than he expected.
For 7 to 10 days, he gave a group of acutely hospitalized patients vitamin supplements – either vitamin C or vitamin D. He found a significant statistical improvement in the patients taking vitamin C.
They felt happier and more engaged in life. They enjoyed better moods more often... for longer periods of time. They also felt able to deal with their negative emotions if they became depressed.
"This looks like a true biological effect," says Dr. Hoffer. "The treatment is safe, simple, and cheap. And could have major clinical practice implications."
"Earlier studies, both in our hospital and other centers, demonstrated that the majority of acutely hospitalized patients have subnormal levels of vitamins C and D in their blood," adds Dr. Hoffer. "But [they] are rarely given vitamin supplements."
Now, he's convinced that vitamin C offers genuine hope for those with depression.
2) Dr. Hugh Riordan also supports using vitamin C as a treatment for depression. He teaches medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He received the Linus Pauling Award from the American College for Advancement in Medicine. In 1975, he founded the Center for the Improvement of Human Functioning – a world-renowned research facility and lab. He's also authored over 150 scientific papers.
He believes that vitamin C is effective against depression because it increases serotonin production. That's the brain chemical that improves mood and promotes relaxation.
"Medical text books [used] to indicate that one of the most common effects of inadequate vitamin C is depression," says Dr. Riordan. "But we very seldom go to a psychiatrist who measures our vitamin C level."
Dr. Riordan points to other studies that link depression to vitamin C. In one, 40 psychiatric patients were given one gram of ascorbic acid every day. Over the course of the study, researchers recorded major improvements in mood. Depression and manic symptoms decreased greatly. Most patients reported a big improvement in overall well-being.
Dr. Riordan has seen the same effect in his own practice.
One patient had gone to a psychotherapist for three years before coming to him. "[She] was profoundly depressed. She had fatigue. And was barely able to function at all," says Dr. Riordan. "Our testing revealed she had no detectable vitamin C. We gave her 500 mg of vitamin C a day."
Within just two weeks her depression had lifted.
"She thought a miracle had occurred," says Dr. Riordan. "No miracle had occurred. She was low on vitamin C. And depression is the natural consequence of that."
The Natural Way to Combat Depression
You probably know that oranges, strawberries, and kiwi have high concentrations of vitamin C. But the fruit with the most vitamin C – five times as much as an orange – is the guava .
It's native to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. You can eat the entire thing, but the rind is sour. (Careful with the seeds!)
As for me, I prefer acerola cherry.
Vitamin C is also available in supplement form. Just make sure that it's food-based, not synthetic because synthetic is artificial, not genuine and devoid of it's natural ingredients. Dr. Riordan used just 500 mg a day with his depression patients.
Vitamin C can be found in Ultra Greens or Multi-Vitamin. Click on the links to get yours TODAY!
Drugs aren't the only way to deal with depression. They have bad side effects. In some cases, they even lead to more depression.
In my opinion, Vitamin D is equally important as Vitamin C. Why?
Because your body depends on getting enough sunlight every day to function properly. Nature designed you that way. Our ancestors lived outdoors every moment of their lives. They hunted meat, fish and fowl. They ate, worked, gathered, celebrated, worshipped and mourned under the sun. So your cells, organs, bones and tissues evolved to rely on sunlight.
But just before the turn of the 20th century, our living conditions changed. It started with the invention of the light bulb, which gave us an artificial way to generate light. The industrial revolution soon followed, and people started migrating to the cities and working indoors.
This migration indoors combined with modern medical advice has altered our native relationship with the sun forever.
Modern medicine tells you that you need to stay out of the sun at all costs. And what’s worse is that you’re told if you do go outside, you need to layer on sunscreen to “protect” yourself.
So we sit inside all day behind desks at work. Our kids are content playing video games inside instead of running around outside. And we’ve gotten away from the sun ... far away.
If you’re feeling this way, too, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
SAD is a type of depression that can cause:
-weight gain and appetite changes
-anxiety and depression
-lack of energy
-difficulty concentrating and processing information
What causes SAD? The answer is due to shorter, colder days and longer nights of winter. After all, the name is seasonal affective disorder. But if it’s just due to winter, why have studies shown that people in Iceland, which has long, cold winters, are relatively immune to SAD?
And it’s not just Icelanders. Other studies show that Canadians have a lower rate of SAD than Americans who live farther south.
Another study in a Scandinavian journal reports people who live above the Arctic Circle have remarkably low rates of seasonal depression.
The bottom line here is that it’s not the amount of time sunlight is available for each day that makes people depressed. It’s the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to – or not exposed to – that causes SAD.
SAD is rare in people who live in northern climates because they’re more apt to go outside during the few hours it’s sunny, and soak it up. This increases your vitamin D levels – 20 minutes of sunshine can give you as much as 10,000 IU. And vitamin D isn’t just a vitamin, it’s a hormone. You feel better when your levels are highest.
A study of over 3,000 people ages 40-79 found those with higher levels of vitamin D were more active, performed better on tests and were in better moods.
Sunshine also affects the levels of other “feel-good” hormones in your body, like serotonin. But when the sunshine fades, your serotonin levels can drop. However, your melatonin hormone levels increase. This hormone helps you fall asleep, and darkness triggers your body to secrete it. So that’s why you may tend to feel down or less energetic during the cloudy days of winter.
Most doctors will prescribe anti-depressants to relieve SAD symptoms. But you can beat it naturally and without the harmful side effects of drugs by following these simple steps:
1. Light up your life. Since lack of exposure to light is often the trigger for SAD, getting more sunlight is an easy cure. It can be as simple as taking a 20-minute walk a few days a week, or just opening your curtains and blinds when you’re at your house. But if it’s typically cloudy where you live, another option you can consider is light therapy. It involves sitting a few feet from a special light therapy box which gives off bright light that mimics outdoor light.
One Hollins University study assessed the effects of bright light over five years on 73 women suffering from SAD. The women who were exposed to bright light experienced significant reductions in depression compared to those who were treated with placebo therapies.
A dawn/dusk simulator might help you if you have to work at night, or if you spend a lot of time traveling to different time zones. It can simulate sunrise and sunset daylight patterns in your room, so you can wake up to simulated daylight, or sleep with dusk or starlight.
You can ask your doctor to prescribe a light-therapy box or dawn/dusk simulator, or you can find them online or at a local pharmacy. Prices typically vary from $100-$500.
2. Eat foods rich in omega-3s, vitamin B, vitamin C and especially vitamin D. These nutrients can help elevate your mood.
3. Give your metabolism a challenge at least three or four times a week. To challenge your metabolism, you just need to exert yourself to the point where you have to stop and pant. This doesn’t necessarily mean high intensity. You might start by just going for a walk. Whatever you do, you want to exert yourself just a little bit more than you’re used to.
You start at your current fitness level, and gradually, incrementally increase your intensity. The key is to challenge your current rate of metabolic capacity. You do this by keeping the duration brief while you incrementally, progressively – a little bit at a time – further challenge your capacity.
Challenging your metabolism will boost “feel-good” hormones in your body – like serotonin and dopamine – that help you maintain a good mood. Short duration, progressively challenging workouts are all you need to increase your serotonin levels. And it only takes 12 minutes a day.
Other activities like yoga can relieve stress and help you relax. In fact, any activity you do that makes you feel good, and makes you feel self-actualized, is something you should try to get into your day.
4. Balance your breathing. One of the best ways to keep your body in a healthy rhythm even when the clock is springing forward or falling back is to practice breathing exercises.
When you breathe in, you’re exercising your body’s sympathetic (conscious) “fight-or-flight” system, which is over-stimulated in today’s world.
When you breathe out, it’s parasympathetic – relaxing – which is under-stimulated in our modern lives. This relaxation is even in our language. For example, “breathing a sigh of relief” or “waiting to exhale.”
One of the most effective ways to restore balance and stimulate your relaxing, para-sympathetic system is through cadence breathing. What you do is:
- breathe in to a count of four,
- hold your breath to a count of seven, and
- exhale to a count of eight.
If you practice this for a few minutes each day, it will help you “breathe a sigh of relief,” so you can get back the balance nature intended.
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