Critical Health News

Serotonin

Serotonin

If you watch the cartoonish commercials on TV about depression and anti-depressants, you would think that that the molecule known as serotonin is a biochemical of bliss and if you’re feeling crappy, you can just take a medicine that bumps up its effects and voilà, you’ll be happy! On the other hand, if you go to websites like “SSRI stories.com,” which is filled with nightmarish tales about violent behavior, assaults, suicides, suicidal thoughts, murders, and school shootings all associated with SSRIs; or if you read the papers and listen to conspiracy theorists, it’s almost impossible not to be impressed by the link between all of this unpleasantness and drugs that affect serotonin levels. Even the package insert that comes with Prozac and Effexor and Zoloft and other SSRIs pharmaceuticals contain warnings from the purveyors of these poisons about side effects of self-harm and savagery that one would never think would be associated with a drug that’s supposed to make you jump for joy.

So which is it, hormone of happy or hormone of horror? If serotonin is indeed the chemical of calm that you hear about on commercials and if SSRI drugs are indeed the glee-inducing, depression-fighting drugs that your doctor tells you they are, why is that Lilly and Pfizer and all the other manufacturers of these substances are warning patients about side effects like suicide and violent and aggressive behavior?

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Old Man’s Disease

Old Man’s Disease

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore…”
-Andre Gide

I love my dad. He gave us kids everything he could: love, money and attention. Most of all, he was always there for us when the chips were down. When I was young, I thought my dad knew everything. Unfortunately, as I got older I realized my dad only thought he knew everything. I used to call this condition of all-knowingness “Old Man’s Disease” (OMD). I defined OMD as the mental condition that causes us to believe that we know everything. Sufferers of Old Man’s Disease know how all things were, are and will be. The victims of this affliction can’t be told anything that will change their minds. Like most OMD patients, my dad knew about health, politics, history and how to handle anything household. In fact, when confronted with a conundrum or a challenge, I don’t think I ever heard him say “I don’t know.”

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Premenstrual Breakouts

Premenstrual Breakouts

As if periods weren’t bad enough with the bleeding, fatigue, and general discomfort (if you google “I hate my period” you get over 38,000,000 hits!), many women also deal with acne-like menstrual breakouts during that time of the month. If this is you, read on; you’ll find that there’s a nutrient you can use that may help eliminate and completely prevent period pimples and at the same time reduce other unpleasantries associated with your monthly cycle.

From a vitamin standpoint, nothing beats the B’s for keeping skin blemish-free, especially Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Vitamin B6 is one of those vitamins that you don’t hear a lot about, which is unfortunate because it’s involved in so many different important biochemical functions. It’s especially significant for the skin; it was discovered by a Hungarian scientist in the 1930’s, who used in to treat skin lesions in rats. It’s important for the production of serotonin levels and has been shown to improve depression, mood, and even helps increase the vividness of dreams. It’s one of the most important nutritional substances for cardiac health along with folic acid, B12, and possibly niacin; it forms an important part of the nutritional protocol for protection against heart disease and other circulatory issues. Along with magnesium, it’s been used to treat autism, and Dr. Abram Hoffer, who is considered one of the fathers of nutritional medicine, used it as part of his protocol for treating schizophrenia.

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