Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses and can affect anyone at any age. Characterized by anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), despair, and pessimism, depression has high morbidity and recurrence. Overall, more than 50% of the general population in middle- and high-income countries will suffer from at least one mental disorder at some point in their lives. This is obviously a major public health problem with significant consequences for society. We need clear guidelines as to what does and doesn’t work for treating depression.
“Medicine qua medicine comes into existence when it appropriates knowledge and skills, no matter what their origin, in order to further its healing purposes.” — Edmund Pellegrino
The world population is aging with a rapid increase in the very elderly aged 80 and up. Those who make it to 100 and beyond (centenarians) are considered an exceptional human model of healthy aging and extreme longevity.
In general, centenarians appear to escape—or at least significantly delay—the diseases of aging that normally cause mortality at earlier ages. In an attempt to understand why some people live well beyond what is currently considered to be the ‘normal’ lifespan, gerontologists have identified a variety of factors that centenarians share. These include not smoking, a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoidance of stress, family connectedness, and a positive attitude.
For more than four decades I’ve been involved in the dietary
supplement business, from my humble beginnings working in a natural foods store
to creating my own line of the highest quality supplements available on the
It has been a long, challenging, and educational road. And I understand—from an insider’s viewpoint—just how difficult it is to know whom you can trust when it comes to choosing the most effective dietary supplements.
People love the idea of ‘super foods,’ and I’m commonly asked my thoughts about everything from goji berries to blue-green algae. Some super foods, like chia seeds and coconut oil, are foods that I recommend. Others, like blue-green algae—sourced from a lake polluted by agricultural runoff—are supplements that I obviously do not advise taking.
But even the super foods I like
and recommend don’t compare to the humble potato. The humble potato is nutrient
dense, and not only is it good for you, it’s good for the health of the planet.
Potatoes have gotten a bad rap, with many people thinking that they’re fattening and devoid of nutritional value. But potatoes have a long history of nourishing humankind. In Ireland, people based their diets on nutrient rich potatoes for hundreds of years.
‘There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.’ ~Sherlock Holmes
Over the past 30 years, gluten has become the number one
villain among foods. At one time, an allergy to gluten was rarely seen. Today,
almost 3 million people in the United States have celiac disease, a serious
immune reaction to the protein in wheat, barley, and rye. Another 18 million
people are thought to suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which causes symptoms
similar to celiac disease (including diarrhea, fatigue, and nausea) but does
not damage the lining of the small intestine.
In my blog on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) a couple of weeks ago, I discussed the dangers of these drugs that are commonly prescribed for treating GERD and indigestion. Patients often ask me if there are natural alternatives to PPIs.
I recommend complete digestive support that focuses on safely alleviating
symptoms and restoring digestive tract health. The goals should be to:
Neutralize stomach acid to relieve heartburn, acid
indigestion, bloating, GERD, and upset stomach.
Support digestion and normal gastrointestinal (GI)
health and response.
Support normal GI immune and inflammatory response.
Support normal GI tract healing, provide support and
protection to the mucosal lining, enhance GI permeability health, and address
leaky gut syndrome and immune dis-regulation.
Provide optimal support for the epithelial lining of
the GI tract, esophagus, throat and mouth.
Support nervous system/digestive system connection and
assist the gut, nervous system, and brain network.