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My teenage son has been suffering from anxiety and depression.

Dear Terry, “My teenage son has been suffering from anxiety and depression. The doctor prescribed a medication and it did seem to help. However, my son decided he didn't like the side effects and stopped it. Are there any “more natural” options out there?” — Joan R., Cedar Rapids, IA

Dear Joan, I do have some options that I believe will make a significant difference. However, I would encourage you to consult with your son’s healthcare practitioner - I think the best health outcomes are achieved when all those involved are in the loop and cooperating.

If you are not doing so already, I highly recommend taking a good look at your son’s diet. It’s critical that he avoids all sugar, grains and carbs.  The ideal diet for him is animal proteins of all kinds, fruits, vegetables and plenty of good quality, healthy fats from olive oil, coconut oil, butter, lard and cream.  For a more advanced type of diet that would be of great benefit go to www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com and www.drperlmutter.com.  I would also recommend reading Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain.

In addition to modifying your son’s diet, there are some natural ingredients that you may want to consider.

I believe your son would benefit greatly by adding a strong, absorbable curcumin to his daily regimen. In a recently published clinical study, curcumin was shown to help ease depression symptoms. I recommend taking 750 mg of high absorption curcumin twice daily. Keep in mind that standard curcumin is very poorly absorbed, so make sure the product you choose features a curcumin with excellent absorption that has been proven in published human studies. The best form I have ever found uses curcumin blended with turmeric essential oils. This curcumin has been shown in published human studies to be better absorbed than standard curcumin.

You may also want to consider St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), which has a long history of use. One of the plant’s key compounds is hypericin, and clinical studies have found that St. John’s wort standardized at 0.3% hypericin has shown the most (and most consistent) benefits. Over 26 clinical studies have found that St. John’s wort is effective for people with mild, moderate, and even severe depression. In most cases, St. John’s wort was far superior to the placebo. In others, it was at least equal to (if not slightly better than) the prescription medication. And it was certainly better tolerated. The most consistent results are seen with 900 mg of St. John’s wort per day.

When it comes to anxiety, I would recommend taking narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia). Researchers have discovered that when taken at the right dosage level, compounds in this unique type of coneflower can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. These compounds have been shown to attach to certain brain receptors, which help to instill a sense of calm and relaxation. I recommend taking 20-40 mg of coneflower extract twice daily. When choosing a formula, make sure you look for a clinically studied, narrow-leaved coneflower root extract that is standardized.

Please be patient, as it may take 30 to 90 days before seeing a difference.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally


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