Cheat Aging Prozac

Antidepressants' potency can be topped

Cheat aging Prozac, Healthy Living Magazine

Cheat aging Prozac, Healthy Living Magazine

The flavorful Indian spice saffron may be more effective in treating depression than the current standard drug treatments, say the results of a meta-study. The collection of 16 studies, organized by the New York University Langone Medical Center, explores the effectiveness of saffron in battling a range of health ailments from depression to colon cancer. The most compelling results are found in the studies that focus on using saffron to fight mild to moderate depression where it was found that saffron proves a highly effective alternative to the normally prescribed Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs. The findings with saffron should offer relief to anti-depressant users who fear that these drugs, along anti-anxiety medications, cause premature facial aging including wrinkling. (See the HL report "Antidepressants Add 7 Years to Face.")

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Depression is usually treated with a schedule of drugs that increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil) are two frequently prescribed antidepressants, but usually just one is not enough, and a patient ends up taking a mixture of two or more different drugs in an attempt to get the chemistry just right. The side effects of one anti-depressant drug can be severe, and when mixed with other clinical drugs the anxiety. loss of appetite and severe headaches can become unbearable. Because of these harsh downsides to the drugs, many depression sufferers look for alternative treatments.

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Saffron has been used in traditional Persian medicine for thousands of years, and now there are a multitude of clinical studies which confirm its potency. A small research group in Iran performed five preliminary double-blind studies that treated depression sufferers with a twice daily treatment of 30 mg of saffron. A control group was treated with a twice-daily placebo, and a third group was treated with a current FDA-approved drug. The team found that saffron was more effective by a small margin than the FDA drug, and both were more effective than the placebo. Another study explored the possibility of adverse side effects with a saffron treatment by giving healthy participants a 200 mg daily dosage of saffron. No negative side effects were observed, and it is believed that saffron is safer than current drugs.

REFERENCES

Akhondzadeh S, Tahmacebi-Pour N, Noorbala AA, et al. Crocus sativus L. in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Phytother Res . 2005;19:148–51.

Noorbala AA, Akhondzadeh S, Tahmacebi-Pour N, et al. Hydro-alcoholic extract of Crocus sativus L. versus fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized pilot trial. J Ethnopharmacol . 2005;97:281–4.

Akhondzadeh S, Fallah-Pour H, Afkham K, et al. Comparison of Crocus sativus L. and imipramine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a pilot double-blind randomized trial [ISRCTN45683816]. BMCComplement Altern Med . 2004;4:12.

Escribano J, Alonso GL, Coca-Prados M, et al. Crocin, safranal and picrocrocin from saffron ( Crocus sativus L.) inhibit the growth of human cancer cells in vitro.Cancer Lett . 1996;100:23–30.

Noorbala AA, Akhondzadeh S, Tahmacebi-Pour N, et al. Hydro-alcoholic extract of Crocus sativus L. versus fluoxetine in the treatment of mild to moderate depression: a double-blind, randomized pilot trial. J Ethnopharmacol . 2005;97:281–4.

Moshiri E, Basti AA, Noorbala AA et al. Crocus sativus L. (petal) in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression: A double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine . 2006 Sep 14 [Epub ahead of print]
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