Inflammation affects mood
Today we know from intensive neurobiological research that inflammation seems to play an active role in the development and enhancement of depressive episodes. Thus, neuronal inflammatory processes can influence the way we respond to exogenous stimuli. As the researchers have found, they encourage exaggerated responses to negative information infiltrating people. Also changes in the endogenous reward system and in the manifestation of physical symptoms are associated with inflammation. In contrast, inflammation seems to exert little influence on the cognitive abilities of those affected. In addition, the research of recent years has also given us an idea of how inflammation could be linked to depression at the molecular level. Thus, the slightest inflammation in the brain can disturb the balance of neuronal messengers such as melatonin and serotonin and lead to a deficiency in nerve endings of brain cells. The lack of serotonin in the synaptic ends of brain cells has been shown to be a cause of depression. If the serotonin deficiency is corrected by certain medications, the depression also improves. Following this principle of action, today the most important antidepressants used by doctors are quite successful. However, these medications can not inhibit the underlying inflammation. If that were done, one of the causes of the lack of serotonin and thus a cause for depression would be resolved. So there are also studies to treat depression with anti-inflammatory drugs like diclofenac, ibuprofen and others. However, only with very moderate success. In any case, none of the anti-inflammatory drugs has been approved for the treatment of depression. This would also be problematic because the anti-inflammatory agents usually used as a rheumatism can be quite problematic because of their side effects. It would be much more elegant to influence inflammatory processes in the brain by natural means, especially as they exist.
Food for Mood - Improve food depressed mood
Numerous foods are natural anti-inflammatories that we can use. These include pineapple, lemons, peppers, tomatoes, nuts, vegetable oils, fatty fish and more. Whether they are all equally suitable as natural anti-inflammatories, is still unclear due to lack of studies. As part of a healthy, balanced diet, they are definitely healthy, especially as the quality of the diet decreases, the risk of depression increases as well as that of other illnesses. For a few of these foods, there are already concrete studies that deal with the question of whether they can actually be positively influenced in practice depression. Such studies can then also provide assistance in setting up an anti-inflammatory, anti-depressive nutritional plan. There are such studies for the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids from plant and animal sources. Therefore, good vegetable oils (eg rapeseed oil, linseed oil) and fatty fish (eg salmon, mackerel) are part of a healthy diet, which can also be used to favorably influence mood swings.
The vegetable omega-3 fatty acid ALA is the most widely used vegetable oil in linseed oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil and soybean oil. Sunflower oil and olive oil contain only a small amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Of the edible fish, herring, sardine, tuna, salmon, mackerel and eel contain the most Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Cod and haddock contain little of it.
Gałecki P, Talarowska M. Inflammatory theory of depression. Psychiatrist Pol. 2018 Jun 30; 52 (3): 437-447.
Adzic M et al. Therapeutic Strategies for Treatment of Inflammation-Related Depression. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2018 Jan 30; 16 (2): 176 209.
Larrieu T, Layé S. Food for Mood: Relevance of Nutritional Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Depression and Anxiety. Front Physiol. 2018 Aug 6; 9: 1047.
Deacon G et al. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the treatment of depression; Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2017 Jan 2; 57 (1): 212 223.
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