Scientist continues to search for effective and natural treatments for depression since medications for it typically do not work and even cause adverse effects. In a new study, it was found that grapes contain natural compounds that can help lessen inflammation in the brain and relieve symptoms of depression.
A group of scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai assessed the potential of these compounds as therapeutic agents for treating depression. In the study, researchers used a mixture made of Concord grape juice, a grape seed extract, and trans-resveratrol called “bioactive dietary polyphenol preparation” (BDPP). Furthermore, the effect of two phytochemicals derived from metabolizing BDPP called dihydrocaffeic acid (DHCA) and malvidin-3′-O-glucoside (Mal-guc) was also evaluated. Then, BDPP was administered to a group of chronically stressed mice.
Results showed that the grape-derived compounds boosted the resilience of mice against stress-induced depression as the BDPP regulated the plasticity of the synapses of the brain and inflammation. DHCA weakened interleukin 6 (IL-6), which is a pro-inflammatory substance produced by T cells and macrophages to prompt an immune response. It epigenetically regulates the non-coding sequence of the IL-6 gene and at the same time, Mal-guc regulated histone acetylation of the Rac1 gene and enabled transcription activators to access the DNA for increased transcription in the brain, which affected the expression of genes accountable for synaptic plasticity.
The lead researcher Giulio Maria Pasinetti stated that:
“The discovery of these new, natural grape-derived polyphenol compounds targeting cellular and molecular pathways associated with inflammation may provide an effective way to treat a subset of people with depression and anxiety, a condition that affects so many people.”
Depression And Its Symptoms
Around the world, more than 300 million people of all ages are affected by depression, which is considered to be a common but serious mental disorder. Severe symptoms of this condition can affect a person’s thinking, feeling, and handling of day-to-day activities like working, sleeping, and eating. A person may be suffering from depression if he/she experiences the following signs and symptoms for at least two weeks:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feeling
- Feelings of guilt, helplessness, or worthlessness
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Sudden changes in appetite and/or weight
- Loss of interest or delight in hobbies and activities
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Having a hard time sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Having difficulty in concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Reduced energy or fatigue
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, cramps, digestive problems, or headaches without a definite physical cause and/or that do not heal even with treatment
Natural Treatments For Depression
There are mood-boosting foods that can help treat depression. Here is the list:
According to a study conducted in Australia, people who suffered from depression and followed a healthy diet had found to display great improvements in their depressive symptoms. The healthy diet included fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats as well as drinking a maximum of two glasses of red wine every day with meals.
Carbs that are high in fiber or contain a low glycemic index, like apple and beans, may help prevent depression since a low-carb diet has been associated with depression symptoms.
A daily consumption of egg yolks and a maximum of three tablespoons of olive oil were linked to lower rates of anxiety and depression.
Gluten-free foods, like sweet potatoes, may help reduce depressive symptoms.
Caffeine may help increase the body’s amount of dopamine thereby helping prevent anxiety and depression. Low levels of dopamine have been linked to depression.
Turkey contains good amounts of tryptophan that is converted to serotonin in the brain. Depression and suicide have been linked to low levels of serotonin.