Friday, December 2, 2011

Treating Depression Without Meds

Science Friday NPR aired "Combating Depression with Meditation and Diet" program today click HERE to listen


"FLATOW: Let me go back - we only have a couple of minutes, but you touched on a very interesting topic that we've been talking about for years from a traditional medicine side, and you're now bringing it from another side. And that is the role of inflammation in disease.

WEIL: Now, for years, I've been recommending an anti-inflammatory diet as the best strategy for optimizing health, extending longevity, reducing overall risks of disease, and I have devised an anti-inflammatory diet. You can find this in the book or in my website, It's a version of the Mediterranean diet for which we have great evidence of general health benefits. I've tweaked it to make it even more effective. But the theory here is that all of the major chronic diseases - cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease - begin as inflammatory processes.

And I think most people in our culture go through life in pro-inflammatory states. Many reasons for that - genetics, stress, exposure to environmental toxins. Diet plays a huge role. The mainstream diet, which is heavy in industrialized food-like stuff is strongly pro-inflammatory. It gives us all the wrong things, the wrong fats, the wrong kinds of carbohydrate and it's deficient in all that can protect us from the damage from inflammation. And now, there is this new connection that our emotional health may also be tied here. So that following an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle may offer great protection as well as a new treatment strategy for managing depression."

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