Antidepressant medications are sending people to an early grave, according to new a new study from Canada’s McMaster University.
Researchers there examined the results of 17 previous studies that included nearly 380,000 participants. Their analysis found that antidepressant users had a whopping 33% higher risk of death from any cause than non-users. It also showed that antidepressant users had a 14% higher risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.1 2
The study has massive implications. That’s because antidepressants are some of the most popular drugs in the U.S. About 13% of Americans over 12 take them. That’s a 65% increase since 1999.3 4
Dr. Paul Andrews is an associate professor at McMaster University. He led the research team. “We are very concerned by these results,” he said. “They suggest that we shouldn’t be taking antidepressant drugs without understanding precisely how they interact with the body.”5
Antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro increase brain levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin. But these drugs also block the absorption of serotonin by all the body’s other major organs. These include the heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver.
The researchers warn that this could increase the risk of death by preventing multiple organs from functioning properly.
The Big Antidepressant Problem
Antidepressants are often prescribed by family doctors without a formal diagnosis of depression. They assume the drugs are safe. And since depression itself can be deadly, many physicians believe antidepressants are a sensible treatment.
“Our findings are important because they undermine this assumption,” says McMaster researcher and study co-author Marta Maslej. “I think people would be much less willing to take these drugs if they were aware how little is known about their impact outside of the brain. What we do know points to an increased risk of death.”
The study was published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
In people with severe depression, antidepressants can be life-saving. But for most people with mild-to-moderate depression, there’s little evidence that these drugs are effective.
Groundbreaking research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people with moderate depressive symptoms did no better with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or older-generation tricyclic antidepressants than they did with placebo pills.6
4 Natural Ways to Beat Depression
Antidepressants aren’t the only way to beat depression… Talk to your doctor about trying a natural remedy. You can find these four depression solutions at most health food or drug stores:7
St. John’s wort. This herb is proven to treat depression. It naturally balances the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. Take it twice a day for a total dosage of 900 to 1,800 mg a day.
Saffron extract. Studies have found extracts of this cooking spice work better than the drugs Prozac and Tofranil. It is high in carotenoids and B vitamins. These nutrients enhance mood. Take 15 mg twice a day.
5-Hydroxytrptophan (5-HTP). This amino acid works well with depression that is combined with anxiety. It boosts the body’s natural production of serotonin. It has also been found effective against insomnia. Suggested dosages are 100-200 mg taken twice per day.
SAMe. This naturally occurring amino acid-based chemical facilitates healthy nerve connections and boosts neurotransmitters. Some holistic doctors recommend it for older patients. This is because it has beneficial effects on arthritis and joint pain as well. Dosages typically start at 200 mg twice daily.
Editor’s Note: Antidepressants are far from the only risky “solution” peddled by Big Pharma. We list the others in our special report, The Top 10 Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs—And Their Natural Alternatives. It’s an important read for you and your family.
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