nutrition

  1. Psychotherapy as good as antidepressant drugs

    Beat depression without drugs

    I'm not always impressed by studies that find a depression treatment works as well as antidepressant drugs because the drugs themselves often can't beat placebos in many studies.

    And if the drug can't beat a placebo, then any treatment that works "as well" as that drug is also, at the end of the day, only about as good as a placebo.

    So bear that in mind when you read about a new study that finds psychotherapy works -- because the review of 198 published studies finds that it works about as well as many common (ineffective) antidepressant drugs.

    Supposedly, seven different forms of psychotherapy -- including both group sessions and face-to-face sessions -- all work equally well, although some may be better for certain patients than others.

    The study also finds that these treatments are equally effective in younger patients, older patients, and even new mothers battling the baby blues.

    Now, while any form of psychotherapy is certainly preferable to drugs in most cases, neither treatment -- talk therapy or medication -- will do anything to address the real roots of depression.

    And that's why patients who rely on either drugs or psychotherapy never really get cured -- not for long, anyway, which is why they often end up back in therapy or back on drugs.

    You might even know a few people who've been in and out of therapy or on and off of drugs over the years.

    I prefer to address the roots of depression -- and when depression is not caused by an obvious life event such as the loss of a loved one, it's usually caused by nutritional deficiencies and/or hormonal imbalances.

    Drugs won't fix that, and neither will psychotherapy.

    A holistic physician can run some tests to determine what's causing your depression -- and once you know the cause, you can work on the cure with either natural hormonal supplementation or brain-friendly nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.

    PS: When it seems like no one can help ease your depression, remember that there is always someone who can -- and He makes house calls whenever you ask. Prayer is some of the strongest medicine around, so don't be afraid to give it a try when you need it most.

  2. Judge rules in favor of POM Wonderful's health claims about pomegranates

    Speech isn't always free if it's about nutrition

    Free speech is one of the nation's most basic rights -- but it doesn't apply equally… or to everyone.

    If you make or sell vitamins, or even healthy food products, and become successful, the feds will come after you if you try to discuss the benefits of your product -- even actual scientifically proven benefits established from "gold standard" studies.

    Just ask POM Wonderful, makers of pomegranate juice drinks and other products.

    The company has funded numerous studies on pomegranate and pomegranate juice, including dozens that have been published in top-notch peer-reviewed journals.

    But when it used some of the results of those studies in its ads, the Federal Trade Commission went after them.

    Well, the judge has spoken -- and while he ruled that some of POM's ads crossed the line, he also told the feds they would have to allow the company to make health claims about its juices as long as there's "competent and reliable scientific evidence" to back that claim, especially since pomegranates are actually healthy.

    That's a huge slap at the feds -- and that wasn't the only one. The judge also rejected the FTC's demand that all future POM health claims be sent to the FDA for preapproval first.

    That would effectively mean the company could never make claims about its products, since the FDA rejects nearly all natural health claims as a matter of course. Between 1999 and 2010, the agency approved only a dozen.

    In other words, don't even think about it.

    It's hard to say what this will mean in the long run since both sides can appeal and the feds have never been known to let a little thing like a judge's order stand in their way of trying to crush natural health products.

    But at the same time, it's reassuring to know that at least one judge agrees with two very basic principles: That pomegranates are healthy, and that the government doesn't have a right to stop anyone from speaking the truth.

  3. How supplements can save you from cancer

    I was just about to celebrate the American Cancer Society's new common sense guidelines for disease survivors on the role of exercise and nutrition in preventing a recurrence -- until they started taking potshots at supplements.
  4. Easy and inexpensive ways to boost your brainpower

    Want to be smart? Follow your mother's advice and don't forget to take your vitamins -- because even the basics can deliver noticeable and almost immediate benefits.
  5. Bad eating habits, courtesy of mom and dad

    Good dietary habits begin at home, according to a new study from the University of California at Los Angeles. And if you don't eat well, don't expect your kids to, either.

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