By Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News Editor

Dr. Taya Varteresian, a board certified psychiatrist working for the Veterans Administration, is the lead publisher in an article to appear in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports titled: “Natural products and supplements for geriatric depression and cognitive disorders: an evaluation of the research.”

According to the abstract, more and more elderly people are starting to use “Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for late-life mood and cognitive disorders.” This obviously concerns psychiatrists, since their main remedies for “cognitive disorders” are powerful anti-psychotic drugs. They are not trained in natural supplements, therefore they apparently felt the need to educate other psychiatrists about the “side effects and indications for various natural products” so that psychiatrists could “protect their patients.”

Unfortunately, the patients probably need protection against the powerful arsenal of psychiatric drugs more than they do against harmless natural supplements and foods!

This is particularly true regarding anti-psychotic drugs prescribed to veterans, where the rate of suicide is far above the rate among the general population. More service members die by suicide than in combat, with 22 veterans killing themselves every single day. Obviously our pharma-based mental health system is not helping veterans, as suicide is a side effect of many anti-psychotic drugs.

So what are these dangerous supplements and “CAM products” that the field of psychiatry feels the need to warn fellow doctors about? According to the abstract they are: “omega-3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba, SAMe, St John’s wort, B vitamins and vitamin D, huperzine, caprylidene, and coconut oil.” If these supplements are bringing about positive changes in the lives of elderly folks, it is not surprising that they are competing with Big Pharma drugs, which have a multitude of side effects, and little or no effect on cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, Medicare and insurance companies will cover the toxic drugs, which the medical system admits kill over 100,000 people a year (not including suicides or other secondary deaths), but they will not cover natural products that have few or no side effects, but are often far more effective.

If this list is indicative of natural remedies that are effective and present competition to Big Pharma, it might be well worth the time to do your own research into each one rather than trust a doctor who has been trained by Big Pharma-funded psychiatrists to advise you on natural supplements and foods. The largest criminal convictions in modern times are against the pharmaceutical companies selling these powerful drugs through the pseudo-science of psychiatry, often through deception and “off label” prescriptions for conditions the drugs were never tested against. (See: Pharmaceutical companies now among largest corporate criminals in the world: no better than white-collar drug dealers.) Their list of “dangerous” natural products might be unwittingly tipping you off to the most successful natural products to combat mental disease.

We have often reported here at Health Impact News on the testimonials of families who have successfully incorporated coconut oil and a high-fat diet into the lives of seniors suffering from mental illness with great success. (See: New Alzheimer’s Drugs Continue to Fail Where Coconut Oil Shines)

Don’t be fooled by dire warnings made against natural products such as coconut oil by Big Pharma and Big Pharma-funded mainstream media. The scare tactics usually look like this:

1. There is no science to support health claims of natural products like coconut oil.

FALSE. There are plenty of scientific studies regarding coconut oil, the high-fat ketogenic diet, and natural supplements. It is true that rigorous and costly studies as are spent by drug companies to get their products FDA approved will seldom be funded or conducted on natural products. This is because they cannot be patented to obtain a return on such an investment as the lucrative FDA-approved products can provide. However, natural products also do not need such extensive research, since they are not toxic and they are not killing people like pharmaceutical products are. Coconut oil, for example, has been nourishing billions of people around the world for thousands of years.

2. Natural products like coconut oil are dangerous because they are not regulated or approved by the FDA.

FALSE. Just the opposite is true. Nobody is dying from the toxic side effects of natural foods and supplements, but over 100,000 people a year die from prescription drugs.

There is actually one claim made against natural supplements that is generally true: their interaction with prescription drugs is unknown and potentially dangerous. However, this is true because pharmaceutical drugs are inherently dangerous, even without interactions with other products.

Of course we would disagree with the medical community’s suggested solution regarding potential dangerous drug interactions, which would be to forgo natural treatments in favor of “approved” drugs. Instead, one might want to skip the “approved” drugs and try the natural products first.

But that would put a lot of people out of business, wouldn’t it? If people found natural products to be more effective for mental illness, they might never return to the toxic drugs. It is not likely that  Big Pharma will allow that to happen.


Natural products and supplements for geriatric depression and cognitive disorders: an evaluation of the research. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Aug;16(8):456.

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