They say that if you exercise, you may ward off signs of Depression, but why? Recent studies by Dr. Charles Raison at the University of Madison-Wisconsin may have the answer.

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When I was floxed, I used an infrared sauna at the hope that it would help me detoxify my body. As I later learned, the fluoroquinolones were likely not still present in my body months later even if I still had symptoms. Another theory by one of my doctors (I had 13 lol) suggested that fluorine ions may still be present in the brain, which of course, you can’t sweat out.

If that’s the case, why did I feel so much better when I left the sauna each week?

Infrared saunas have less to do with detoxification and more to do with heat shock proteins. These proteins create a positive anti-inflammatory effect in the body that Dr. Raison suggests may also help treat people with Depression. So maybe that sauna session didn’t make me feel physically better, but it made me feel better mentally?

Nope. I actually did have less neuropathic issues and less tendon pain when I used a sauna. Dr. Rhonda Patrick claims that these heat shock proteins have the ability to decrease CRP in a recent study from this year. From her Facebook page:

A new study found that using the sauna was associated with a decrease in a biomarker of inflammation (CRP) in a dose-dependent manner. The more frequent the sauna use…the more robust the effect of lowering inflammation. This study was published early this year from with one of the world’s leading sauna researchers, Dr. Jari Laukkanen.

He has also shown dose-dependent effects with sauna use on cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and Alzheimer’s disease. Using the sauna 2-3 times per week (20 minutes at 174º F) was associated with: 27% lower cardiovascular disease risk, 24% lower all-cause mortality, and a 20% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to men that only used the sauna one time per week. Using the sauna 4-7 times per week (20 minutes at 174º F) was associated with: 50% lower cardiovascular disease risk, 40% lower all-cause mortality, and a 66% lower risk of dementia and a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to men that used the sauna once a week.

Study on sauna and inflammatory biomarkers:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29209938

Dr. Raison was featured in a recent podcast by Dr. Rhonda Patrick, where his studies have suggested:
Dr. Raison, as well as others, have found that inflammatory mediators such as IL-6 and C-Reactive protein (CRP) are higher in depressed individuals independent of other health factors like obesity and can independently predict the subsequent development of depression over a decade or more.
Moreover, the fact that chronic inflammation might not only be predictive but also induce depression is suggested by studies where injection with pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-alpha have been shown to cause depressive symptoms in people. In fact, at high IFN-alpha doses, fully 50% of patients without depression will meet criteria for major depressive disorder within three months. Read Dr. Raison’s review on some of this phenomena.
The podcast goes over so much of Dr. Raison’s research, including information on leaky gut syndrome and other interesting information. Did you know that your body temperature increases every time you eat? Did you know that hyperthermia has antibiotic effects? Did you know that beer contains toxins that could cause leaky gut syndrome? Did you know that depression and inflammation have been linked in evolutionary history? Did you know that hot yoga can be a treatment for depression? If you’re as much of a science junkie-nerd as I am, I highly suggest you check out this podcast and the rest of Dr. Patrick’s incredible work. Here’s the podcast. Enjoy!

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Some of the links in this post are affiliated links and The Barefoot Aya may receive a percentage of the item purchased. This does not mean that any company supports The Barefoot Aya nor does it mean that I do not fully recommend these products. I would never link to a product unless I fully recommend it.

Related Content:
Depression, Death, and Bad Advice | Ramblings of a Mad Artist
Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s website

Photo Credit: Moi


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