The new poster for Amazon’s dystopian sci-fi series called “The Man in the High Castle” is chilling, I tell you, chilling. I suppose the idea is to engender some sort of inverted trigger with this? In the series’ alternate version of the year 1962, the Axis powers have won World War II. They took this from us in the poster and think it’s funny. I actually respect a man more if he takes the time to shave his fucking face.
What else do we have?
– White woman with white man
– White boy not playing video games
– White children, not aborted
– White woman, slim and lack of piercings/tattoos/hair color/fake tans
– White man, trim in Hugo Boss suit and superbly groomed, not a neck beard to be seen
– An actual non-virtue points family
– Dog is a labrador, not a pit bull
– Large dog in an obedient position, not 10 lbs. and yapping 500 times a minute and shitting everywhere
– Little girl … well, to be honest I don’t trust her. Possible infiltrator. Only one not really smiling. She’s up to something. And dressed in red. Commie much?
– Neighborhood where no one locks doors because there is no crime
0/10 SEE ME AFTER CLASS
1962 Berlin, Germania from “High Castle”
Thomas leads the pledge of allegiance in High Castle. Chilling, I tell you, simply chilling. What a blatant cartoon world attempt at inversion and brainwashing.
And off screen, this happened.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the same neuro-implanting is aimed against the AfD.
Intelligence quotient (IQ) scores, which had been rising for decades throughout the 20th century, are now on the decline, and researchers with the Ragnar Frisch Center for Economic Research in Norway set out to determine why. The increasing trend, a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect, peaked in the 1970s and has been falling since. In fact, when the Norwegian researchers analyzed IQ scores from 730,000 men born between 1962 and 1975, IQ scores rose by about 3 percentage points a decade.1
Then, beginning with those born after 1975, they started to decline. IQ scores have often been tied to genetic factors, and it was long believed that people with higher IQs would have children with higher IQs and also that people with lower IQs would have more children (known as the dysgenic fertility theory), leading to an eventual lowering of IQ scores across the population.
But the Norwegian study challenges both of these assumptions, suggesting instead that declining IQ scores have little to do with genetics and everything to do with the environment.
Environmental Factors Are Leading to Lower IQ Scores
What made the study particularly interesting wasn’t only the reveal that IQ scores are on the decline. Because the researchers analyzed IQ scores of brothers, they were able to spot differences in IQ scores among families. Surprisingly, brothers born to the same parents often had significantly different IQ scores, suggesting an environmental factor — not a genetic one — was causing the disparity.
Also revealing, parents with higher IQs tended to have more children than people with lower IQs, challenging the dysgenic fertility theory. Study author Ole Rogeberg said in a news release, “The causes in IQ increases over time and now the decline is due to environmental factors … It’s not that dumb people are having more kids than smart people, to put it crudely. It’s something to do with the environment, because we’re seeing the same differences within families.”2
As for what environmental factors are drawing down IQ scores, this remains to be seen, but access to education likely plays a role, with more education equating to higher IQ scores. Other environmental factors were also mentioned, including changes in nutrition and time spent on the internet or reading.
However, a number of environmental toxins that children are exposed to regularly have also been linked to cognitive effects, including lowered IQ. It could be that these toxic exposures are harming kids’ intelligence — and have been doing so for decades.
Fluoride Exposure Linked to Lower IQ
The featured study didn’t look in-depth into the environmental exposures that could be affecting IQ but other studies have. In the U.S., two-thirds of Americans’ tap water contains fluoride, which is added under the guise of preventing cavities. Water fluoridation continues to occur in the majority of the U.S. even as research stacks up that fluoride is a neurotoxin that can harm brain function. Fluoride also leaches lead out of old pipes, which further magnifies its neurological risks.
A study of Mexican women and children, published in 2017, found that higher exposure to fluoride while in utero is associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in childhood, both at the age of 4 and 6 to 12 years.3
While the children’s fluoride levels at ages 4 and 6 to 12 were not associated with their intelligence, the study found that exposure that occurs prenatally was linked to lower intelligence scores. In fact, women with higher levels of fluoride in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have children with lower intelligence.
Specifically, each 0.5 milligram per liter increase in pregnant women’s fluoride levels was associated with a reduction of 3.15 and 2.5 points on the children’s General Cognitive Index (GCI) and Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) scores, respectively. In 2012, Harvard researchers also revealed that children living in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas4 and suggested high fluoride exposure may have an adverse effect on children’s neurodevelopment.
Then, in 2014, a review in Lancet Neurology classified fluoride as one of only 11 chemicals “known to cause developmental neurotoxicity in human beings,”5 alongside other known neurotoxins such as lead, methylmercury, arsenic and toluene. Among the proposed mechanisms of harm, studies have shown fluoride can:6
Interfere with basic functions of nerve cells in the brain
Reduce nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
Reduce lipid content in the brain
Damage the pineal gland through fluoride accumulation
Impair antioxidant defense systems
Damage the hippocampus
Damage purkinje cells
Increase uptake of aluminum, which has neurotoxic effects
Encourage formation of beta-amyloid plaques (the classic brain abnormality in Alzheimer’s disease)
Exacerbate lesions induced by iodine deficiency
Increase manganese absorption, which has also been linked lower IQ in children
Flame Retardants Associated With Lower Intelligence in Children
Flame retardant chemicals known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are found in everything from furniture and mattresses to electronics and baby toys. Along with being linked to cancer, infertility, hormone disruptions and birth defects, they’re also contributors to neurodevelopmental delays and reduced IQ scores in children. One systematic review and meta-analysis looked into exposures to PBDEs that occurred near conception or during in utero, perinatal or childhood time periods.
Greater exposures to flame retardants during pregnancy were associated with lower intelligence in the child. Specifically, for every tenfold increase in prenatal exposure to PBDEs, there was a 3.7-point decline in IQ test scores in children.7
Past research has also demonstrated that children born to mothers with higher levels of flame retardant chemicals in their body had a 4.5-point average decrease in IQ,8 while exposure in childhood is strongly associated with poor attention span, reduced fine motor coordination and a decrease in cognitive ability.9
While a few-point reduction in IQ may seem small, the widespread exposure to flame retardants makes the decrease especially serious. Study coauthor Tracey Woodruff told Medicine Net, “Even the loss of a few IQ points on a populationwide level means more children who need early interventions, and families who may face personal and economic burdens for the rest of their lives.”10
One way that exposure to flame retardants during pregnancy may harm children’s IQ could be via their influence on thyroid hormones. PBDEs are known to disrupt estrogenic activity as well as thyroid levels and, in one study, women with the highest concentrations of PBDEs in their blood had an increased risk of thyroid disease compared to those with lower concentrations.11
Meanwhile, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) revealed that children aged 7 to 9 who had mothers with untreated hypothyroidism in pregnancy had IQ scores about 7 points lower than youngsters of women without such a deficiency.12
Pesticide Exposure May Lower IQ
Exposure to organophosphate pesticides is another environmental factor linked to lower IQ. In a series of studies published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, women who had higher exposure to pesticides during pregnancy had children with lower IQ scores when they reached school age.13
In one of the studies, children with the highest pesticide exposures had a seven-point lower score on intelligence tests compared to children with the lowest exposures and, as The New York Times reported, “every tenfold increase in organophosphate exposure detected during pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall I.Q. scores.”14
Further, according to estimates by David Bellinger, a professor in the department of environmental health at Harvard Medical School, Americans have lost a total of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphate pesticides. He also cites exposures to lead and methylmercury, via seafood consumption, as other contributing factors to loss of IQ.
Children Are Especially Vulnerable to Chemical Exposures
Part of what makes environmental chemical exposures so damaging is their widespread prevalence, and the fact that children are exposed to multiple chemicals both in utero and after birth. Bellinger wrote:15
“Based on the estimated number of FSIQ [full-scale IQ] points lost, the population burdens associated with environmental chemical exposures of children are surprisingly large — in some cases larger than those estimated for major medical conditions and events [i.e., preterm birth, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, congenital heart disease].
This is attributable not so much to the magnitude of the effect sizes associated with chemicals, but to the prevalence of exposures associated with adverse impacts.”
Children are especially vulnerable, as they experience greater exposure to chemicals pound-for-pound than adults,16 and though the blood-brain barrier is fully formed at birth, its function may be immature, which may allow greater chemical exposures to reach their developing brain.
Children also have lower levels of some chemical-binding proteins, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which allows more of a chemical to reach their organs, while systems that detoxify and excrete chemicals in adults are not fully developed.
These factors, coupled with the fact that a child will be around for 80 years or more, allowing more than enough time for chemicals to do their damage, signals a major challenge for kids born today. Exposure that occurs in utero may be even more problematic, as EWG reported:
“The pace and complexity of growth and development in the womb are unmatched later in life. Three weeks after conception, an embryo, still only 1/100th the size of a water droplet, has nevertheless grown at such an explosive rate that were it not to slow down, it would be born literally the size of a million Earths.
… At no other time in life does a person create so much from so little in so short a time. Industrial chemicals that interrupt this intricate process can, at high levels, wreak havoc in the form of severe birth defects, or at lower levels cause subtle but important changes in development that surface later in childhood as learning or behavioral problems, or in adulthood in the form of certain cancers or perhaps neurodegenerative disease.”
Top Tips for Protecting Intelligence
There are many factors that contribute to a person’s intelligence, but from the standpoint of environmental ones, limiting exposure to the chemicals listed above makes sense. You can do this by:
Filtering Your Water to Remove Fluoride
Fluoride is a very small molecule, making it tremendously difficult to filter out once added to your water supply. Any simple countertop carbon filter, like Brita, will not remove it. Among the more effective filtering systems for fluoride removal are:
Reverse osmosis (RO). The drawback is that it will remove many valuable minerals and trace elements as well. RO systems also need frequent cleaning to avoid bacterial growth. So, use a tankless RO system with a compressor
Water distillation, which, like RO, gets everything out, including beneficial minerals. You then need to restructure the water
Bone char filters and biochar
Clearly, the simplest, most effective, most cost-effective strategy is to not put fluoride in the water to begin with. To learn more about fluoride and how you can help end this harmful practice, I highly recommend getting a copy of “The Case Against Fluoride.” You can also download my free report on water fluoridation, a book by Paul Connett, Ph.D., toxicologist, environmental chemist and former director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Avoiding Flame Retardant Chemicals
These chemicals are widespread in consumer products, but there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure, including these tips from the Green Science Policy Institute:17
Avoid upholstered furniture with a TB117 label. If the label states, “This article meets the flammability requirements of California Bureau of Home Furnishings Technical Bulletin 117 … ” it most likely contains flame retardants. However, even upholstered furniture that’s unlabeled may contain flame retardants.
Furniture products filled with cotton, wool or polyester tend to be safer than chemical-treated foam; some products also state that they are “flame-retardant free.” Organic wool (100 percent) is naturally flame-resistant.
Avoid baby products with foam. Nursing pillows, high chairs, strollers and other products containing polyurethane foam most likely contain flame retardants.
Avoid foam carpet padding. If possible, minimize the use of foam carpet padding, which often contains flame retardants. If removing carpeting, take precautions to avoid exposures. You’ll want to isolate your work area from the rest of your house to avoid spreading it around, and use a HEPA filter vacuum to clean up.
PBDEs are often found in household dust, so clean up with a HEPA-filter vacuum and/or a wet mop often. Washing your hands regularly can also help.
Minimizing Exposure to Pesticides
Research shows that eating organic leads to lower levels of pesticides in your body. In one study, when a family of five switched to an all-organic diet for two weeks, their body levels of pesticides dropped significantly, decreasing by a factor of 6.7.18 If you must choose between which products to purchase organic, I recommend prioritizing organic animal foods first and then using EWG’s Dirty Dozen list for produce.
For the nonorganic produce you consume, washing with a solution of baking soda may help to remove some of the pesticides on the surface of the fruit or vegetable,19 although it won’t remove chemical residues that have penetrated beyond the peel. Peeling is another option to reduce pesticide residue, but this also means you’re removing the healthy compounds contained in the peel (and there can still be residues that have penetrated into the produce flesh).
For these reasons, the best way to avoid pesticide residues in your food is to choose those that haven’t been exposed to them to begin with, i.e., go organic. In addition, avoid spraying pesticides around your home; opt for natural solutions to pest control instead.
Optimizing Your Diet Is Crucial for a Healthy Brain
Nutrition also plays a role in intelligence, and this includes during pregnancy. Omega-3 fats are incredibly important and have been linked to cognitive benefits for children both during pregnancy and in early life.20 When boys were given an omega-3 supplement, there were significant increases in the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex part of the brain.21
This is an area of your brain associated with working memory. They also noticed changes in other parts of the brain, including the occipital cortex (the visual processing center) and the cerebellar cortex (which plays a role in motor control). Small cold-water fish that are rich in animal-based omega-3 fats but have a low risk of contamination are among your best choices for healthy omega-3s. This includes anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring and wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Krill oil is a supplement alternative.
Other important nutrients include choline, found in cruciferous veggies, leafy greens and pastured organic egg yolks. Choline intake during pregnancy “super-charged” the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating that it may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory and even diminish age-related memory decline and the brain’s vulnerability to toxins during childhood, as well as conferring protection later in life.22
In addition, people with higher choline intakes were shown to have better cognitive performance, doing better on tests of verbal and visual memory, than those with low intake.23 Ultimately, protecting the intelligence of future generations will depend on removing known neurotoxins from the environment, but you can also make a difference individually by avoiding chemical exposures, eating right and leading a healthy lifestyle overall.
Burdock (Arctium) is a flowering plant that has been a major part of various cultures for over hundreds of years. In Japan, its root is known as “gobo,” and is used in their cuisine.1 The Iroquois tribe of North America, as well as other Native American groups, dried and preserved burdock for food during the winter.2 In China, burdock is traditionally used to help ease inflammation, as well as promote urination and clear toxic heat.3
Fully grown, burdock can reach a height between 1 and 2 meters (3.2 to 6.5 feet), and produces purple flowers that extend away from its bracts that bloom between June and October. The leaves are large, growing up to 50 centimeters (19.6 inches) in total size and have a whitish underside, making burdock an easy plant to identify.4
Burdock is native throughout Europe and Asia, and was introduced in America during the 1600s by English settlers. This was noted by English traveler John Josselyn, who visited New England in 1672 and discovered burdock throughout the areas he went. During this period, the settlers introduced burdock to the Iroquois, and it became a part of their culture as well.5
A fun fact about burdock: It’s the catalyst for the invention of Velcro. In 1941, Swiss engineer George de Mestral was hiking in the Jura Mountains in Switzerland, when he noticed that his pants and his dog’s fur became covered in burdock seeds. He was curious as to how these seeds stuck to his pants, and he discovered that they were covered in small interlocking hooks that can cling to fabric. He patented this idea, which eventually became Velcro, an invention used in countless products around the world.6
Health Benefits of Burdock Root
Burdock contains a mixture of vitamins, minerals and a unique type of fiber to help promote your health. Research has shown that this root can benefit you in several ways, such as:
• Maintaining blood pressure: A single root (156 grams) of burdock contains an impressive 480 milligrams of potassium,7 a mineral known for its benefits for cardiovascular health. Studies have noted that increased potassium intake helped improve blood pressure levels for those who are affected with high blood pressure.
• Promoting gut flora health: In a study published in Anaerobe, researchers discovered that burdock contains inulin, a unique form of fiber.8 Studies have shown that inulin not only helps boost your good bacteria by serving as fuel,9 but also reduces the number of bad bacteria in your gut.10
• Managing inflammation: Burdock root has been found to be effective in managing inflammation, according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. Researchers noted that the plant helped lower inflammatory markers among patients with knee osteoarthritis.11
• Lowering the risk of cancer: Research has found that a lignan called arctigenin in burdock has anticancer properties, particularly inducing apoptosis in lung adenocarcinoma cells.12
Culinary Uses of Burdock Root
Burdock root’s reputation mostly lies in cooking. It’s used in a variety of dishes, especially in Japanese cuisine. It is an essential ingredient of kinpira, a dish composed of julienned burdock root, carrot, dried chili peppers and soy sauce.13 Aside from this, you can prepare burdock in various ways, such as:
• Stir-fry: The root can be added to stir-fried vegetables for additional flavor and nutrients.14
• Raw: Burdock root can be eaten raw for a quick and nutritious snack. Be sure to clean it thoroughly first and sprinkle with a little Himalayan salt for flavor.15
• Soup: It can be used as a broth for vegetable soups.16
• Pickled: You can pickle burdock in apple cider vinegar to preserve its shelf life. Adding other herbs and spices to the mixture can give it more nutrients and flavor as well.17
Growing Burdock in Your Home
Growing burdock in your own home is quite easy, since it can grow in various environments with very few problems. With proper care and maintenance, you can yield a high-quality harvest. Remember these tips when planting burdock.
Preparing the Soil and Seeds
Your soil must be loamy with a neutral pH level and average water.18 Soak the seeds in water overnight to help them germinate quicker.19
Planting the Seeds
Spread the seeds lightly over your garden bed once the last frost has passed. Afterward, cover them with one-half to three-quarter of an inch of fine garden soil. Tamp down the recently applied top layer, then water lightly.20
Harvesting and Storing the Roots
The seeds can sprout in just four to seven days. Once they appear and grow a few inches, thin them out 3 inches apart in rows that are 2 inches apart. In roughly eight to 12 weeks, you will be able to harvest the burdock roots.21 Use a shovel or a garden fork when harvesting the roots. You can create a small hole right beside the plant to get the root easily. For the best quality, pick roots once they reach a length of 1 to 2 feet.22
Store the roots by placing them in a shallow dish filled with water, or wrap them in damp paper towels or perforated plastic bags. Harvested roots last only four days, so use them right away before they go bad.23
Burdock Root Recipe: Making Burdock Tea
Burdock can be used in a multitude of dishes, but it is mostly known as an ingredient for tea. Follow this procedure:24
Burdock Root Tea Recipe
• One burdock root
• 2 liters water (a little over 2 quarts)
1. Using a scouring pad, gently scrape off the remaining dirt and soil from the root under running water. Afterward, cut the root into thin slices. Do not peel the skin, because that’s where most of the nutrients are found.
2. Spread the slices on a bamboo sieve, then cover with a nylon food cover. Place the sieve under clear, sunny weather for one to two days until the slices are dry and pliable. You can use a dehydrator if the weather is not cooperating.
3. Place the dried slices in a pan. Put the pan under low heat, while stirring the slices for 10 minutes until they are golden brown, crispy and emit a fragrant aroma.
4. Let the slices cool for 10 to 15 minutes. To store them, use an airtight container to prevent moisture from entering.
5. Boil the water in a pot, then add 10 grams (a quarter-ounce) of burdock slices. Let the tea simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
6. If you only want to drink one cup, use five to eight slices only. Pour hot water and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes before drinking.
Note: If you don’t like the taste of burdock tea, you may add raw honey, chrysanthemum, wolf berries or mint leaves for added flavor.
Burdock Can Be Enjoyed as an Essential Oil
Aside from its culinary uses, burdock root can be enjoyed as an essential oil, with benefits mostly associated with the skin and scalp. What makes burdock root oil even better is that you can easily make it in the comfort of your home. To make burdock root oil infusion, all you need are several sticks of dried burdock roots, extra virgin olive oil and a sterile glass jar. Follow this procedure:25
Infused Burdock Oil
• Dried burdock root
• Extra virgin olive oil
1. Chop the roots into tiny pieces, then pound them lightly with a mallet.
2. Place the roots in the jar then add the olive oil. You can decide how much oil you want to pour.
3. Place the jar in a dark cabinet for six weeks to allow the oil to absorb the roots’ nutrients.
4. Open the jar once a week to release any air bubbles.
5. Once the mixture hits the six-week mark, strain and enjoy.
Benefits of Burdock Oil
As mentioned previously, burdock oil is mostly known for its skin and scalp benefits. It contains vitamin A and various essential fatty acids, which help nourish your scalp and promote healthy hair growth. It can also provide relief from infections and irritations caused by dandruff, as it helps keep sebaceous glands and hair follicles healthy.
Beware the Side Effects of Burdock Root
Before you head off to make your own burdock oil or use the root for cooking, you should be aware of its side effects. You may develop severe allergic reactions upon consumption, as well as contact dermatitis when applied topically.26 To check for any topical irritations, you should do a skin patch test by placing a drop of burdock oil on your arm. Lastly, consult with your doctor before using this oil to avoid any other possible health complications.
Enjoy the Varied Uses of Burdock
Clearly, burdock is no slouch when it comes to how you can apply it. In cooking alone, you can already enjoy the plant in a myriad of ways, and making your own oil essential from burdock increases the usefulness tenfold. Just make sure to consult with your doctor first to check if it’s safe to integrate into your daily diet. Moreover, if you’re buying burdock instead of growing it, obtain it from certified organic growers to protect your health.
Historically, conventional science views depression as a side effect of a chemical imbalance in the brain. Most pharmaceutical-oriented solutions for depression still to this day revolve around this theory, even though the serotonin-hypothesis has been largely debunked.1 As noted in a 2014 paper on antidepressants:2
“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain … But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …
Analyzing the data … we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was.
Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were given dummy pills with no active ingredient in them. The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”
Placebo Response Accounts for Most of the Beneficial Response to Antidepressants
The author of that 2014 study, Irving Kirsch, is a psychotherapist who has performed a number of analyses on antidepressants. In 2002, his team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for the trial data provided by drug companies as part of the drug approval process.
The FDA requires drug companies to provide data on all clinical trials they’ve sponsored, including unpublished trials. It turned out nearly half of all clinical trials on antidepressants remained unpublished. When both published and unpublished trials were included, 57 percent showed the drug had no clinical benefit over placebo. What’s more, the placebo response accounted for 82 percent of the beneficial response to antidepressants.
These results were reproduced in a 2008 study3 using another, even larger set of FDA trial data. Indeed, we now know that depression is far more complicated than previously assumed. “Fixing” depression is not as easy as tweaking the levels of chemicals in your brain with an antidepressant drug. Depression can stem from a wide variety of biological, psychological and environmental factors — including other medications.
Hundreds of Commonly Used Drugs Can Cause Depression
With depression,4 anxiety and suicide all on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly crucial to get to the root causes of all this misery. An astounding 1 in 6 Americans are now on psychiatric medication. Among adult women, the ratio is 1 in 4.5 Despite such pervasive antidepressant use, we’ve not seen any improvement at all in depression rates. On the contrary, it just seems to be getting worse.
Part of the problem appears to be antidepressants themselves. As noted by Kirsch, these drugs “induce biological vulnerability” that actually raises your risk of chronic and/or worsening depression. But other nonpsychiatric drugs also play a role, and this is something few are aware of or take into consideration. According to recent research,6,7,8,9,10 38 percent of American adults are on one or more medications that can cause depression as a side effect.
Nearly 10 percent are on three drugs or more known to cause depression. “Importantly, many of the medications associated with depression as a potential side effect include commonly used prescription drugs — some of which are also available over-the-counter without a prescription,” lead author Dima Qato, a pharmacy researcher at the University of Illinois, told Reuters.11
Unfortunately, few ever take the time to investigate the typically long list of potential side effects for each and every drug they take. Fewer still suspect medication as the culprit when their mood takes a nosedive. Doctors are also more likely to simply prescribe an antidepressant than do the detective work required to determine whether the depression might be caused by a drug you’re on.
Is Your Depression the Result of a Drug You’re Taking?
To assess the potential influence of drug use on depression rates, the researchers analyzed the medication use patterns of more than 26,190 adults between 2005 and 2014. Overall, nearly 8 percent reported depression. Seven percent of people who used just one drug associated with depression reported depression.
Among those taking two drugs capable of causing depression, the depression rate was 9 percent. Not surprisingly, those taking three or more drugs known to have depression as a side effect had three times the rate of depression as those who used drugs that did not have depression as a known side effect — 15 percent compared to 5 percent.
Importantly, those who took antidepressants in combination with one or more drugs known to cause depression also had a higher risk of depressive symptoms than antidepressant users who did not take other drugs that have depression as a side effect. This could well be yet another reason for why so few people achieve relief from their antidepressants. Qato told Psypost:12
“The take away message of this study is that polypharmacy can lead to depressive symptoms and that patients and health care providers need to be aware of the risk of depression that comes with all kinds of common prescription drugs — many of which are also available over the counter.
People are not only increasingly using these medicines alone, but are increasingly using them simultaneously, yet very few of these drugs have warning labels, so until we have public or system-level solutions, it is left up to patients and health care professionals to be aware of the risks.
With depression as one of the leading causes of disability and increasing national suicide rates, we need to think innovatively about depression as a public health issue, and this study provides evidence that patterns of medication use should be considered in strategies that seek to eliminate, reduce or minimize the impact of depression in our daily lives.”
More Than 200 Drugs Have Depression as a Side Effect
In all, the team identified more than 200 prescription drugs that have depression as a listed side effect, including:
Proton pump inhibitors, H2 antagonists and antacids used to treat heartburn and ulcers
Beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure
Birth control pills and emergency contraceptives
Interferons used to treat cancer and certain viral infections
Anticonvulsants like gabapentin
Certain allergy medications
Corticosteroids like prednisone
Prescription-strength ibuprofen and other pain medication
Barbara Mintzes, a pharmacy researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia, commented on the study saying:13
“If a person develops depression, especially without being able to pinpoint a clear reason for it, it’s always important to ask their doctor whether any of the medicines they’re taking might cause depression as a side effect. Patients who do develop depression as a drug side effect can often switch to different prescriptions.”
Many Drugs Can Also Trigger Thoughts of Suicide
Disturbingly, many of these drugs also raise your risk of suicidal ideation, and the proportion of adults taking at least one drug where suicide is a potential side effect hit 24 percent as of 2014, up from 17 percent in 2005. Could this be part of the answer as to why suicide rates are at an all-time high as well? Statistics reveal suicide rates rose 28 percent between 1999 and 2015.14 In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans committed suicide, making it the 10th most common cause of death that year.
Along with drug overdoses and Alzheimer’s disease, suicide is one of three leading causes of death that are on the rise. Both depression and suicide has also skyrocketed among children and teens, conveniently mirroring a rapid increase in the use of drugs. This includes antidepressants but also many other drugs identified as high-risk for triggering depression, such as birth control pills and drugs for heartburn, allergies and pain. Even toddlers are receiving psychostimulant drugs such as Ritalin these days.15
Among young girls (aged 10 to 19), the suicide rate rose by 70 percent between 2010 and 2016 alone. Granted, several other depression-inducing factors have also increased in recent years, including the use of social media in lieu of face-to-face contact, and chronic, excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), but rising use of medicines that have depression as a side effect could be a significant contributor or exacerbating factor.
Other Oft-Ignored Underlying Causes of Depression
Aside from drug side effects, other factors known to contribute to depression that are frequently ignored or overlooked include the following (keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list):
A growing number of scientists claim depression results primarily from inflammation. In fact, depressive symptoms may actually be downstream manifestations of inflammation. This is because when cytokines, a group of proteins, trigger inflammation in your body, it causes your brain to go into “sickness mode.”16
George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California, who has spent years studying depression told The Guardian,17 “I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition any more. It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.”
Researchers have also found that certain classes of depression, such as postpartum depression, melancholic depression and bipolar disorder, are linked to elevated cytokine levels, along with decreased cortisol (a stress hormone that protects against inflammation) sensitivity.18
Gut dysfunction and inflammation
Inflammation specifically in the gut has also been linked to depression. It’s believed that a disruption in the gut-brain axis is the main cause of inflammation. Keep in mind that your gut is your second brain, as it is made from the same tissue as your brain during fetal development.
A 2011 scientific review highlights the link between your gut and your brain, stating that,19 “People with gastrointestinal inflammation and autoimmune diseases brought on by chronic low-grade inflammation suffer from depression, and may actually be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome.”
Attenuating pro-inflammatory stimuli, which improve brain function, may help treat gastrointestinal inflammation and may be possible with the help of probiotics and vitamins B and D.
Experiencing a traumatic life event
Losing a loved one, relationship problems, financial issues, tragic accidents and other significantly painful life events can severely affect an individual, and play a role in your risk for both depression and suicide.20 In one study,21 undergoing a traumatic life event was the single biggest determinant of both anxiety and depression. Other factors were secondary, including family history of mental illness.
This really highlights the importance of having effective tools to address emotional distress and conflicts. One of my personal favorites is The Emotional Freedom Techniques, demonstrated below, but there are also many other ways to boost your emotional resiliency, i.e., your ability to “bounce back” from stressful events.
Studies found that having low levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is common among depressed individuals, which suggests BDNF may play an important role. Further research22 confirms that an alteration known as a single nucleotide polymorphism in the BDNF gene may also play a role in a person’s risk for depression and anxiety.
Twenty percent of Americans are said to have this BDNF alteration, which leads to neuron shrinkage in the hippocampus, reducing the connectivity between brain cells. One of the researchers emphasized, “Just like hypertension contributes to the risk for heart disease, the BDNF alteration increases the risk of depression, anxiety and memory disorders — but is not the sole reason why they occur.”
Low vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has been a well-recognized cause of seasonal affective disorder, one of the common types of depression. A 2006 study23 also found that elderly people with vitamin D levels below 20 ng/ml are 11 times more likely to experience depression than those with higher vitamin D levels.
If you’re struggling with depression, I strongly recommend checking your vitamin D level and address any insufficiency. Ideally, you’ll want a level between 60 and 80 ng/ml year-round. The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is through sun exposure, but if that’s not possible, taking a vitamin D3 supplement may be the next best strategy.
Low omega-3 index
The animal-based omega-3 fat DHA is perhaps the single most important nutrient for optimal brain function and prevention of depression. While you can obtain DHA from krill or fish oil, it is far better to obtain it from clean, low-mercury fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies and fish roe.
In addition to getting your vitamin D checked, I recommend getting an omega-3 index test to make sure you’re not deficient. Ideally, you want your omega-3 index to be 8 percent or higher.
You may also want to check your cholesterol to make sure it’s not too low. Low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide, as well as aggression toward others.24 This increased expression of violence toward self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain, which are approximately 30 percent cholesterol by weight.
Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence toward self and others.
Vitamin B deficiency
Low dietary folate is a risk factor for severe depression, raising your risk by as much as 300 percent.25,26 If you’re using a supplement, I suggest methylfolate, as this form of folic acid is the most effective. Other B vitamin deficiencies, including B1, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12 also have the ability to produce symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders. Vitamin B12 deficiency, in particular, can contribute to depression and affects 1 in 4 people.
One study27,28 showing the importance of vitamin deficiencies in depression involved suicidal teens. Most turned out to be deficient in cerebral folate. One of the 33 subjects was also severely deficient in CSF tetrahydrobiopterin, a critical cofactor for monoamine neurotransmitter synthesis.
According to the authors, “All patients with cerebral folate deficiency, including one with low CSF levels of 5-MTHF and tetrahydrobiopterin intermediates, showed improvement in depression symptom inventories after treatment with folinic acid; the patient with low tetrahydrobiopterin also received sapropterin … Treatment with sapropterin, a tetrahydrobiopterin analogue, led to dramatic and long-lasting remission of depression.”
A processed food diet
Three mood-wrecking culprits you’ll automatically avoid when avoiding processed foods are added sugars, artificial sweeteners and processed vegetable oils — harmful fats known to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. A number of studies have linked high-sugar diets to a higher risk of depression.
In one, men consuming more than 67 grams of sugar per day were 23 percent more likely to develop anxiety or depression over the course of five years compared to those whose sugar consumption was less than 40 grams per day.29
Research30 published in 2002, which correlated per capita consumption of sugar with prevalence of major depression in six countries, also found “a highly significant correlation between sugar consumption and the annual rate of depression.” A Spanish study31 published in 2011 linked depression specifically to consumption of baked goods. Those who ate the most baked goods had a 38 percent higher risk of depression than those who ate the least.
Similarly, a 2016 study,32 summarized in the video above, found a strong link between high-sugar diets (high-glycemic foods such as processed foods, sweetened beverages and refined grains) and depression in postmenopausal women. The higher the women’s dietary glycemic index, the higher their risk of depression. A diet high in whole fruit, fiber, vegetables and lactose was associated with lowered odds of depression.
High-sugar diets also promote chronic inflammation and suppress BDNF, both of which are discussed above, and adversely affects dopamine, a neurotransmitter that fuels your brain’s reward system33 (hence sugar’s addictive potential34,35,36) and is known to play a role in mood disorders.37
Studies38,39,40,41,42,43 have also linked artificial sweeteners to depression and compromised emotional functioning, so switching to “diet” products is highly inadvisable.
Lastly, processed foods are a significant source of genetically engineered ingredients and toxic herbicides like Roundup. In addition to being toxic and potentially carcinogenic, glyphosate, the active ingredient, has been shown to preferentially decimate beneficial gut microbes. Many grains need to dry in the field before being harvested, and to speed that process, the fields are doused with glyphosate a couple of weeks before harvest.
As a result of this practice, called desiccation, grain-based products tend to contain rather substantial amounts of glyphosate. This reason alone is enough to warrant a grain-free diet, but if you do choose to eat whole grain products, make sure it’s organic to avoid glyphosate contamination.
Your beverage choices may also need an overhaul, as most people drink very little pure water, relying on sugary beverages like sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks, energy drinks and flavored water for their hydration needs. None of those alternatives will do your mental health any favors.
Gluten and lectins
Gluten also appears to be particularly problematic for many. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, you’d be well-advised to experiment with a gluten-free diet.
Certain types of lectins, especially wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), are also known for their psychiatric side effects. WGA can cross your blood brain barrier44 through a process called “adsorptive endocytosis,” pulling other substances with it. WGA may attach to your myelin sheath45 and is capable of inhibiting nerve growth factor,46 which is important for the growth, maintenance and survival of certain target neurons.
Chronic EMF exposure
Another foundational strategy to prevent or treat depression and anxiety is to limit your exposure to wireless technologies and electric fields. Studies have linked excessive EMF exposure to an increased risk of both depression and suicide.47Addiction to or “high engagement” with mobile devices can also trigger depression and anxiety, according to recent research.48
Research49 by Martin Pall, Ph.D., reveals a previously unknown mechanism of biological harm from microwaves emitted by cellphones and other wireless technologies, which helps explain why these technologies can have such a potent impact on your mental health.
Embedded in your cell membranes are voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are activated by microwaves. When activated, a cascade of biochemical effects occurs that result in the creation of extremely destructive hydroxyl free radicals.
Peroxynitrite produces oxidative stress that decimates mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins. The end result is mitochondrial dysfunction, which we now know is at the heart of most chronic disease. The tissues with the highest density of VGCCs are your brain, the pacemaker in your heart and male testes.
Hence, health problems such as anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, cardiac arrhythmias and infertility can be directly linked to excessive microwave exposure.
So, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technologies. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.
The electric wiring inside your bedroom walls is probably the most important source to address. Your best bet here is to turn off the power to your bedroom at night. This will work if there are no adjacent rooms. If there are, you may need to shut those rooms off also. The only way to know would be to measure the electric fields.
To Cure Depression, Be Sure to Address Root Causes
According to the World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide,50,51 affecting an estimated 322 million people, including more than 16 million Americans. Clearly, something is horribly wrong. I’m convinced diet plays an enormous role, but as you can see, there are many other aggravating factors beyond diet.
Among them is the fact that at least 200 commonly used drugs have depression as a side effect, and that many take more than one such medication. Should you struggle with depression and are taking medication on a regular basis — be it an over-the-counter drug or by prescription — be sure to check and see whether depression is a known side effect. If it is, quitting or swapping out that drug may be enough to get you back on an even keel.
That said, regardless of your drug use, I strongly recommend addressing your diet, paying careful attention to the specifics mentioned above — avoiding sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains, lectins and processed food in general, and making sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, animal-based omega-3, healthy fats and vitamin D. As mentioned, inflammation is a significant culprit, and a healthy diet (low in sugar, high in healthy fats with moderate protein) will go a long way toward quelling the flames of inflammation.
I firmly believe addressing EMFs is an important aspect of depression treatment as well, as is strengthening your emotional resiliency and not allowing daily stress to get out of hand. In the case of a singular traumatic event, such as the end of a marriage or the death of a loved one, seek help to work through it. Remember, in many cases, antidepressants only worsen the situation as they’re associated with an increased risk of suicide, violence and worsened mental health in the long term.
A very illuminating post from Cobra, particularly in light of what my own personal body has gone through this past week. I do believe many of us who have gone through various forms of “near death experiences” are in a process of either “vibrational upgrades” and/or some type of “spirit body replacement” deals.
“In the last few months, there have been drastic shifts in the timelines and significant changes in the plan for the planetary liberation… In May we have shifted from beta timeline to gamma timeline. The new gamma timeline calls for direct physical intervention of the Light Forces in the lives of surface Lightworkers and Lightwarriors, as soon as possible without triggering the toplet bombs.
“Before the Event, some Lightworkers might be physically contacted by the Pleiadians… Some time after initial group, another group might be accepted into the Resistance and they will be able to take their pets with them. This second group will not be integrated into the Resistance society and a special colony is being prepared for them in a certain location underground.
“Until physical intervention happens, the surface society is collapsing in full accordance with the second law of thermodynamics… This… has come to the point that bodies of many Lightworkers can not handle the situation and are collapsing also. There are many incidences of strange illnesses, body function collapses, heart attacks (assisted with directed energy weapons) and unusual near death experiences.
“The Light Forces will need to understand that without physical intervention, the surface collapse will soon become an irreversible process, and they will need to take some risks, exert their free will, and physically intervene… Until… [this[ happens, Lightworkers and Lightwarriors need to hold the Light Grid as much as possible [6 methods are listed]”
In the last few months, there have been drastic shifts in the timelines and significant changes in the plan for the planetary liberation.
Most of those changes need to remain deeply classified, I will reveal here as much as I can.
In May we have shifted from beta timeline to gamma timeline. The new gamma timeline calls for direct physical intervention of the Light Forces in the lives of surface Lightworkers and Lightwarriors, as soon as possible without triggering the toplet bombs.
Before the Event, some Lightworkers might be physically contacted by the Pleiadians according to Contact Dish protocols, and another small group of Lightworkers might be accepted into the Resistance as per Entry protocols. Some time after initial group, another group might be accepted into the Resistance and they will be able to take their pets with them. This second group will not be integrated into the Resistance society and a special colony is being prepared for them in a certain location underground.
At a certain point, Resistance agents might establish physical contact with certain Lightworkers on the surface and offer assistance.
Until physical intervention happens, the surface society is collapsing in full accordance with the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy in closed system is always increasing.
This surface society collapse has come to the point that bodies of many Lightworkers can not handle the situation and are collapsing also. There are many incidences of strange illnesses, body function collapses, heart attacks (assisted with directed energy weapons) and unusual near death experiences.
The Light Forces will need to understand that without physical intervention, the surface collapse will soon become an irreversible process, and they will need to take some risks, exert their free will, and physically intervene.
The will of the surface population about this issue is very clear:
Until physical intervention happens, Lightworkers and Lightwarriors need to hold the Light Grid as much as possible by:
a) building the Cintamani grid
b) building the grid of Tachyon chambers
c) building the Soul Family connections grid
d) building physical Sisterhood of the Rose groups
e) preparing for physical contact with the Light Forces according to inner guidance
f) refraining from interpersonal conflicts by choosing non-reaction and conscious positive action above reaction
(Natural News) Moringa oleifera (commonly known as moringa) is widely known for its numerous health benefits. In fact, a lot of studies have associated the consumption of moringa to the treatment of various health conditions, including diabetes. In a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it has been found that consuming moringa…
(Natural News) Cognitive and mental decline is one of the most worrisome effects of aging. A recent study shows that by supplementing your diet with pomegranate, you can support – and restore – brain function, even following a stroke. As you age, your risk of developing bodily conditions increases. For example, going above the age…
(Zero Hedge) Following a blitz of federal lawsuits filed yesterday by a group of Democratic attorneys general from 17 states and Washington, DC, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that US immigration agents can no longer separate immigrant parents and children caught crossing over the US-Mexico border, and also that the US government is responsible for reuniting families split up in custody, according to Reuters.