The Latest Research Indicates a Link between Depression and Inflammation


Feeling a bit down, mostly since of change or loss, is something most of us have experienced or will in your life times. Others might develop a deeper case of depression, which can become serious and impede on their lives. Nevertheless, researchers have been investing the link between body and mind, and have found some interesting insights into the condition of depression. In fact, there is now evidence that depression is not just psychological, but it involved equal parts of physical and biological health.

More so, it was in a recent research study that has concluded that depression is actually triggered by an allergic reaction to inflammation.

Inflammation is a natural process where our bodies reacts to infections, foreign bodies or even injuries. When the process of inflammation is triggered, your body releases cells and proteins, via the blood stream, to the area or areas that are affected to act as protection for our bodies. Some of the proteins that are released are called cytokines. Cytokines are a class of proteins that facilitate inter-cellular communication. The issue, and the link between these proteins and depression, is that people that are suffering from depression, or are prone to depression, are loaded with these cytokines proteins.

However, inflammation is not just triggered by injury or an infection, but it can also be caused by our own bad eating habits. The unhealthy diets that are high in sugar and trans fats, as well as by obesity, can all lead to inflammation and thus depression or aggravate the condition. Particularly for obesity, there the body fat is normally around the waist and it stores large amounts of cytokines. Besides obesity, stress is another problem. This stress that is linked to social rejection or loneliness. This can also be the cause of inflammation. More so, it can worsen to increased eating, isolation and a chronic state of depression.

Still, the research that has identified that depression is an allergic reaction to inflammation is turning the traditional approach toward depression around. The standard approach to treat depression is by the use of a neurological approach, but this research is indicating that adding the focus to include the treating of inflammatory symptoms of depression could open a new dimension in the fight of this illness that is the second biggest killer in the world.

This means that adding anti-inflammatory medicines to your normal antidepressant medicine could improve the results of the treatment. Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as omega 3 and an extract of turmeric, curcumin, are both available over the counter or any health store. These supplements can be taken with your prescribed treatment, but not as a replacement as there is no research that indicated that, they can be a replacement. But you do not just have to take supplements, since a healthy diet, full of vegetables, fruit, and oily fish like sardines and salmon will keep the cytokines at bay.

The protein, cytokines, dramatically increase during a depression episode.

Previous research studies have already indicated that people without a tendency for depression can develop low mood or slight depression after they are treated with inflammatory vaccine, like for typhoid. There are other clues, too: people with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis are inclined to suffer more than average with depression; cancer patients given a drug called interferon alpha, which boosts their inflammatory response to help fight the cancer, often become depressed as a side effect.

As evidence like these continues to stack up, it’s not surprising that some people have shifted their attention to what might be causing the inflammation in the first place.

There are even thoughts that depression to have it reclassified as an infectious disease.

The research is about five to ten years away from developing a blood test to measure the levels of inflammation in depressed people. Researchers have already come up with a simple finger-prick test that reliably measures inflammation markers in a single drop of blood.

The stigma is still a concern as many feel that depression is a weakness, and therefore avoid seeking help and try to battle it out on their own. But the question now would be, could we shift the blame from the brain to the body? Although these new research in depression has indicted a wider understanding beyond just chemical imbalances, it does not mean that the stigma is still not being reduced, but in fact worsen. As more people open up about their own struggles, the stigma will soften.