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New Research Discovers That Depression Is An Allergic Reaction To Inflammation

Could depression actually be caused by what you eat?  Research would indicate that it is because diet is the leading cause of inflammation.

Health Science and the Human Brain (January 6, 2015) noted that new research reveals many cases of depression are actually caused by an allergic reaction to inflammation.  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.”  Inflammation is caused by obesity, high sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, and unhealthy diets in general, and along with stress.

By treating the inflammatory symptoms of depression — rather than the neurological ones — researchers and doctors are opening up an exciting new dimension in the fight against what has become a global epidemic.  There is evidence that omega 3 fatty acids and curcumin, an extract of the spice turmeric, might have similar effects as anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, ginger root, dark red cherries, blueberries, and hibiscus tea fight inflammation.

Eleanor Morgan of VICE adds: “Cytokines skyrocket during depressive episodes and, in those with bipolar disorder. The fact that ‘normal,’ healthy people can become temporarily anxious or depressed after receiving an inflammatory vaccine — like typhoid — lends further credence to the theory. There are even those who think we should re-brand depression altogether as an infectious disease.”1

Food and mood are definitely connected.  Sugar is one of the leading causes of the blues.  In 1975 William Duffy wrote the book Sugar Blues.  He was right on target — and that was back when we didn’t have sugar in just about everything we buy in a package.  Last week I returned a package of sliced organic turkey to the store because, to my utter surprise, I found it contained sugar.  Ever since our nation went on a get-rid-of-all-fat craze, we’ve been dumping sugar in just about everything.  Thus depression is soaring, along with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Many people can eat and drink their way out of depression.  I’ve seen this firsthand as I’ve worked with people to change their diet and change their mood. You just need to know the inflammation causing foods and the ones that are anti-inflammatory.  I highly recommend that you get a copy of my latest book The Anti-Inflammation Diet.


1 You can read much more by visiting The Guardian, VICE, and NOVA.  http://www.feelguide.com/2015/01/06/new-research-discovers-tha-depression-is-an-allergic-reaction-to-inflammation/


  1. My daughter was depressed and I put her on a ayurvedic diet because one of the signs of the dosha kapha being out of balance is depression. It has been one year since we started on this and she is so much better. She can get up in the morning, she is on time, she just volunteered at our church with the youth group, she is active in her diet. It is just great! There are things we still need to work on but we are going in the right direction.

    • Barbara, I’m so glad to hear this. Diet makes a huge difference in healing depression. Make sure she eats no sugar, which is a huge contributor to depression.