[Paleopsych] inner judges calmed by fishes

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. ljohnson at solution-consulting.com
Fri Dec 17 04:31:56 UTC 2004

The ALA in flaxseed will convert to EPA in the body. I am told by 
physiologists that not much converts (ca. 10%), but I have seen some 
good results with flaxseed oil in depressed patients. I grind flax seed 
in a coffee grinder in the AM and sprinkle it over my raw oatmeal, soak 
in milk and eat. I do that to reduce my blood pressure (family history 
is positive) and it seems to work very well. I am now low on bp and low 
in cholesteral.

I have one woman with a long history of rapid-cycle bipolar who is 
stable on fish oil alone, and in the face of severe environmental 
stressors which in the past triggered depressive cycles. So I am quite 
impressed with the fish oil.

Steve Hovland wrote:

>I do take essential fatty acids on the form of flaxseed oil,
>and find it has an immediate calming effect.
>I tried SAMe for awhile.  After a few days I was spouting
>witticisms non-stop so I gave it up :-)
>My seasonal effects go from depression at the winter solstice
>to a somewhat manic state at spring solstice.  I've fiddled with
>this for a number of years and now I think that in the spring and
>summer I will take extra Tryptophan and during fall and winter
>go the Phenyl/Tyrosine route.
>Steve Hovland
>-----Original Message-----
>From:	Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D. [SMTP:ljohnson at solution-consulting.com]
>Sent:	Thursday, December 16, 2004 7:09 AM
>To:	The new improved paleopsych list
>Subject:	Re: [Paleopsych] inner judges on the rampage
>Your comment reminded me of the studies suggesting that the hippocampus 
>atrophies secondary to long depression. Thus the depressed person cannot 
>recall good experiences and is unable to make decisions. Psychotherapy 
>or anti-depressants will prevent that atrophy.
>Also, there is substantial evidence that fish oil, likely the EPA in 
>fish oil, is a preventative of depression. Population studies (Iceland, 
>Japan) show very low levels of depression among those who eat fish. The 
>EPA seems to prevent inflammation, so clearly the body is attacking 
>itself during depression.
>DHEA is converted by the body from pregnenalone, but so is cortisol. 
>Parasympathetic arousal produces DHEA, while sympathetic arousal 
>produces cortisol. Cortisol is elevated in depressed persons and may be 
>the agent causing the hippocampus artophy. Long-term cortisol elevation 
>is damaging to the body. 90 mgs q day of DHEA was shown to reverse 
>SAMe seems to treat depression well and there are some studies about it 
>also helps slow arthritis, so the inflammation / self-attack notion 
>seems to hold up there. If I were prone to depression, I would take it. 
>Since I have osteoarthritis and a family history of heart attacks, I 
>take fish oil and flax seed / walnuts, and they seem to help. I am 
>planning on adding SAMe to keep my knees working until I am 70.
>Ross' idea about two depressions is intriguing, and I would like to 
>learn more about that.
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