Researchers are increasingly recognising that depression is a condition rooted in chronic inflammation. Inflammation occurs throughout the body as a result of unmanaged stress, activation of fight-or-flight thoughts and feelings, and inflammatory foods and other substances. Certain cytokines and other inflammatory messengers, such as CRP, IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, are predictive of and correlated with depression. Mercola writes: "For example, in melancholic depression, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, white blood cells called monocytes express pro-inflammatory genes that cause cytokine secretion." Sensitivity to cortisol then decreases, but cortisol is a stress hormone that protects against inflammation. "Together," notes Mercola, "these inflammatory agents transfer information to your nervous system, usually by stimulating your vagus nerve, which connects your gut and your brain." This is important because the vagus nerve plays a central role in the health of digestive organs and the heart, particularly in the production of serotonin.
Researchers believe that at least a third of depressed patients have high levels of inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to favourably modify the neurochemical pathways involved in depression. However, there are natural anti-inflammatory agents, notably curcumin (from turmeric) and boswellia. Nutritional ketosis also reduces inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids of animal origin (salmon, fish oil) and vitamin D3 are also important anti-inflammatory nutrients. In addition, yoga and deep breathing relax the sympathetic nervous system and, in turn, calm the vagus nerve.
Adapted from "Depression Linked to Inflammation Gains Strength," by Joseph Mercola, DO, at https://articles.mercola.com. A general list of anti-inflammatory agents available at https://greenmedinfo.com/pharmacological-action/anti-inflammatory-agents.https://articles.mercola.com. Une liste générale des agents anti-inflammatoires disponibles sur https://greenmedinfo.com/pharmacological-action/anti-inflammatory-agents.