Studies have noted that depression can raise the risk of heart disease and can also make recovery from cardiovascular diseases more difficult than normal. Similar bodies of past research have also shown that blood pressure medications themselves may increase the risk of depression.
A new report, however, by the American Heart Association found that this does not seem to be the case.
The new study published in the journal titled Hypertension found that not one of the forty-one leading medications used to treat high blood pressure increased risk of depression. And the study even found that nine of the medications might actually lower the risk of depression in patients.
The authors wrote in the study that both results were “highly surprising.”
Research from 2016 noted that blood pressure meds that we call calcium antagonists and those we call beta-blockers might lead to higher risk of hospital admissions for mood disorders.
The same study reported that angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers might be associated with a lower risk for mood disorders.
The authors of the 2016 study wrote that cardiovascular meds, depending on the medication, might lower or heighten the risk of mood disorders. However, the new researcher seems to suggest only the latter is true.
A new study in Scientific Reports suggests that subjects that received Botox injections for some specific conditions reported depression less often than those subjects who did not receive Botox for similar conditions.
Professionals giving Botox injections have anecdotally reported eased depression in patients for years though until now no formal study had been performed.
The author of the study stated that it was previously thought easing severe frown lines from the forehead interrupts a feedback loop that encourages negative emotions. The study found that this mechanism could be more complex as the location of the injection doesn’t seem to matter.
Other treatment sites included the neck and limbs. Researchers employed a learning algorithm to find substantial statistical differences between subjects who used Botox and those who didn’t for the same condition.
Researchers saw that depression was reported 40% to 88% less often by Botox using patients for 6 of the 8 conditions and injection sites.
More research is needed to know why Botox might be an antidepressant.
Winter brings more health problems than any other time of year. I asked Jody Victor® to give us some tips for staying healthy in the cold weather.
Jody Victor®: Hey, Steve, it’s easier than you might think. Just follow these 10 tips and winter won’t feel so bad.
- Work seasonal foods into your diet. Eat locally. Nutritionists now believe eating locally may be more important than eating organically. The nutritional value of food is degraded the longer it takes to get to your table. Organic food is always a better choice than processed food but pay attention to how far the food has to travel to get to you.
- Set a goal to ban junk food from your pantry. Do it in stages by substituting, for example, low-fat popcorn for potato chips. Dried fruits, such as cranberries and figs, for candies. High-fiber power bars for cookies.
- Your immune system can be more stressed with the additional refined sugar and processed foods in abundance during the winter months. Fill up on lower calorie fruits, vegetables, low-fat dips and reduced-fat chips and snacks first while attending winter holiday parties and big family events. That way you will be full when the desserts are served. Have just a bite, not a slice of dessert.
- To boost your immune system and help ward off colds increase your Vitamin C intake. Add extra fruits and vegetables to your diet. Foods rich in the antioxidants Vitamin C and beta-carotene, such as citrus fruit, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach have immune-boosting power. Add Vitamin C supplements to your regiment. Studies have shown that 1,000 milligrams of C supplements may make colds milder and may shorten the duration of the cold. To fight off infections, increase your intake of zinc as well. Zinc is found in fish, oysters, poultry, eggs, milk, unprocessed grains and cereals.
- Sunshine is the best natural source of Vitamin D. But in winter we get less exposure to the sun. Try to spend a little bit of time every day outdoors. Move your work desk close to a window. Vitamin D can be found in fortified dairy products, fatty fish and egg yolks. You may want to consider taking Vitamin D supplements. Daily supplements of 1000 IU Vitamin D during fall and winter have been shown to reduce the risk of colon, breast and ovarian cancers by as much as 50 percent.
- In winter the lack of sunlight leads to a drop in serotonin (the “feel good” brain chemical). The drop in serotonin causes food cravings and depression. Cravings for high carbohydrate comfort foods are your body’s cries for more serotonin, posing a challenge for healthy eating. Be careful when choosing carbs to boost your serotonin. You can boost your serotonin with healthy carbs such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins, and squashes.
- Include a healthy level of good bacteria in your diet by including yogurt to your daily regiment. Adequate amounts of probiotics or friendly flora is valuable in restoring levels of healthy bacteria in your body to protect you from infections. Yogurt has also been shown to help prevent osteoporosis, reduce risk of high blood pressure and aid in gastrointestinal conditions. Choose low-fat yogurt that contains active cultures and Vitamin D. Check the label for sugar content. Some nutritionists recommend taking a probiotic as a dietary supplement during the winter and especially after antibiotic use.
- Drink more green tea during the winter to help ward off germs. All teas contain polyphenols, especially catechins, which are plant-based antioxidants. Green tea, in particular, is abundant with catechins. Green tea has been shown to stimulate the production and activity of specific cells associated with combating viruses. If you want to sweeten your cup of tea, choose better quality, natural sweeteners such as agave nectar, maple syrup, honey or stevia. For another warm, soothing drink during winter, try substituting a sugar-free hot chocolate with low-fat or fat-free whipped topping for the high calorie options at your local coffee shop when you want a treat.
- Eat plenty of warm, nutritious soups during the winter. Avoid canned soups if possible as they are loaded with extra sodium and fat. Make your own nutritious soup with fresh, natural ingredients. Lentils, peas and dried beans are great additions to winter soups. If the price of fresh vegetables for your homemade soups has risen too high, check the frozen food section. Frozen vegetables are much more nutritious than canned varieties.
- Fight the urge to hibernate and try to keep moving. If you don’t feel like going out in the cold for a walk or a trip to the gym, turn your living room into a gym. For crunches sit on the edge of your couch with your hands gripping the edge at your side, bend your knees, and lift them toward your chest. For leg lifts, sit in the same position but lift your legs straight up. Use two bottles of water or cans of soup for bicep curls. Do sets of jumping jacks during commercial breaks. Sit on an exercise ball while watching TV to strengthen your back. Remember- exercise is a stress releaser. Less stress equals less health problems.
All the Best!