1. New concerns of suicidal ideation and antidepressants

    Antidepressants can lead to suicide in kids

    It's one of the most irresponsible studies I've ever seen -- because it could convince doctors and parents alike to make a decision with fatal consequences.

    And that's the decision to give antidepressant drugs to a child.

    You know the score with these meds. In many patients, they do nothing at all. But for some, especially kids and teens, the drugs can actually cause suicidal ideation. One drug, fluoxetine (Prozac), can even double the risk of suicidal ideation in children -- and that number comes right from the FDA's own data.

    So you have to question anyone who claims otherwise -- like Dr. Robert Gibbons, a University of Chicago researcher who says, in essence, forget those FDA numbers.

    Trust the numbers from him and his team instead -- because their new look at data on fluoxetine and venlafaxine (Effexor) finds absolutely no evidence the drugs increase the risk of suicide or suicidal ideation.

    But there's a huge problem with his study, and I'm not the only one who spotted it. Researchers from Harvard University noticed that Dr. Gibbons used a form of analysis that's open to bias.

    It's called mediation analysis, and even when it was used the study actually found that the drugs did increase the risk of suicide and suicidal ideation in kids -- but since it didn't reach statistical significance, at first glance it looks like a win for the meds.

    The FDA's numbers show otherwise.

    And that's not the only serious question here, because Dr. Robert Gibbons has served as an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice, and Wyeth in cases related to antidepressants and anticonvulsants and suicide.

    Wyeth is the original maker of Effexor, which is now part of Pfizer.

    I think that's a huge conflict of interest, so I'm not going to start recommending these drugs for kids based on this study. Besides, even if the drugs were safe for kids -- and they're clearly not -- there are much better ways to treat and beat depression.

    I know, because I've not only seen the science that backs these all-natural mood boosters, I also see the results in my own clinic every single day.

    And they work for adults as well as kids.

  2. SSRI drugs can increase stroke risk

    Antidepressants linked to stroke -- again

    If there's anything worse than an ineffective drug, it's a dangerous one -- and antidepressants win on both counts. They often fail to beat placebos in studies, and they come with more risks than most people realize.

    Now, new research confirms one of the worst of those risks: SSRI drugs -- including common antidepressants such as Lexapro, Prozac, and Zoloft -- can boost your risk of strokes referred to as intracranial hemorrhages or intracerebral hemorrhages by up to 50 percent.

    I've seen this link made before, and a number of studies have found that women in particular face a higher risk of stroke while on antidepressants. One study in 2010 even found that the stroke risk shoots up by 45 percent in post-menopausal women who take those same SSRI drugs.

    The new look at 16 studies involving more than 500,000 patients goes further, showing how the risk extends to everyone -- men and women -- leading to 10 extra strokes in every 100,000 patients who take SSRI drugs.

    That number may sound low, but the risk of this type of stroke is fairly low in the first place. Even without the SSRI drugs, just 25 in 100,000 people can expect to suffer one.

    Adding 10 more to that toll is a major increase, especially when you consider that close to 30 million Americans take antidepressants. This could add up to nearly 3,000 extra strokes per year, all linked to the meds, according to the study in Neurology.

    And if that's not enough risk for you, antidepressants can cause sexual dysfunction, bleeding problems, hyponatremia, and more. Some recent studies have even shown that seniors on these drugs have higher risk of death.

    But all of those risks are completely unnecessary.

    Depression is a condition that can almost always be beaten naturally with the help of homeopathic remedies, B vitamins, and/or serotonin-boosting nutraceuticals.

    Many cases of depression are also caused or worsened by low levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for proper brain function. Studies have shown that fish oil supplements can improve or even cure the condition, and I'll bring you more on that later in the week.

    And if you're still having trouble shaking off your own blues, don't visit a shrink who'll offer you those dangerous SSRI drugs -- visit a holistic doctor like me instead.

    Coming up next, more on stroke -- including a delicious way to slash your risk.

    Keep reading!

  3. Autism linked to toxins in the water

    New research shows that common drug residues found in drinking water may cause autism in at-risk kids.
  4. Take two chickens and call me in the morning

    It's the Buy-One-Get-One-Free special stores don't advertise: Buy some chicken, get some meds for free. And just to make it more convenient for everyone, the drugs aren't in their own package -- they're already inside the chicken.
  5. Antidepressants boost women's stroke risk

    Would you rather suffer from depression or from a stroke? If you're taking antidepressants, you might not have a choice. The answer could be both.

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