It has now been 1 year since I was diagnosed with depression and have largely come out of it. I want to talk about what I did and what I currently do.
I was diagnosed with depression around June of 2018. Its hard to say if it was mild or severe as it was my first time with it. I was put on an antidepressant, Flunil, which is a class of drugs called an S.S.R.I., similar to Prozac in USA. Though it went great at first I very soon started having all the side effects possible for this drug. My mood was also not perfect : I became good at home but stopped caring about work !
WHAT I DISCOVERED :
The side effects got me going on research. What is an S.S.R.I. ?
Turns out these drugs helps increase the Serotonin level in my brain, where 10% of the body's Serotonin lies. However, with a lot of other research I also discovered that 90% of the body's Serotonin resides in the human gut. It is produced by eating certain types of foods. So I started eating these foods. I also stopped flunil and switched to a natural SSRI called St. John's Wort*.
WHAT I DO FOR DEPRESSION TODAY :
I feel really good. I don't take the St. John's wort everyday, but whenever I remember to. With all my intermittent fasting and other experiments I can't always take this with breakfast like I used to. However there is one thing I do take religiously - my probiotics. In particular - KEFIR
Turns out that Serotonin is made from a amino acid called Tryptophan. What has one of the highest concentrations of Tryptophan?
It is KEFIR, a probiotic drink with roots in Turkey and Central Asia. Though there is no scientific measure, as with all things natural, you just have to try. I take about 200ml everyday. I feel really good and I'd have to say that Kefir is a part of that. As with all probiotics it also boosts my immunity so I am wondering if I'll catch a cold this winter :)
RESEARCH PAPERS AND DISCLAIMERS :
I want to point out that this is cutting edge nutrition science. This is not yet accepted by mainstream doctors. There are research studies on this as of now and that's why this is called "cutting edge".
I am listing here some articles and research papers you might find interesting :
HOW YOUR BELLY COULD HEAL YOUR BRAIN - BBC Article
MICROBES HELP PRODUCE SEROTONIN IN GUT - Caltech
HOW TO INCREASE SEROTONIN IN THE HUMAN BRAIN WITHOUT DRUGS - Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience
* St. JOHN'S WORT
Please note that the only negative about St. John's wort is that it has a lot of drug interactions. But since I am on no other drugs I went ahead and took it. In case you are on other drugs whether it be for diabetes or blood pressure or any other symptom then I would strongly advise you to be very very precautious.
Junior Gupta is the founder & Chief Research Officer of Life Healing Food. He has spent over 9 years of research of food, nutrition and diseases.