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  • Arcadia Farber, L.Ac.

Is Depression an Inflammatory Disease?

New research is finding links between patients experiencing depression and elevated Cytokine levels. Cytokines are cell signalling molecules that aid cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma. There is some new thought that treating depression with anti- inflammatory supplements or medications, may help in the treatment of depression.

Tim de Chant of NOVA writes: “Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injuries, infections, or foreign compounds. When triggered, the body pumps various cells and proteins to the site through the blood stream, including cytokines, a class of proteins that facilitate intercellular communication. It also happens that people suffering from depression are loaded with cytokines.”

While I believe that the emotional, situational, and chemical components to depression are important to address, it is interesting to look at the role of inflammation, and the possibility that adding in some anti- inflammatory supplements to your treatment plan, like Fish oil and Curcumin, may elevate your brain health and mood, and may play a more significant role in the treatment of depression.

" treating the inflammatory symptoms of depression... researchers and doctors are opening up an exciting new dimension in the fight against what has become a global epidemic. Caroline Williams of The Guardian writes: “The good news is that the few clinical trials done so far have found that adding anti-inflammatory medicines to antidepressants not only improves symptoms, it also increases the proportion of people who respond to treatment, although more trials will be needed to confirm this."

Link to Aticle:

Arcadia Farber- Mill Valley- Acupuncture

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