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Frank Shallenberger’s

Vol. 8, No. 3 March 2009

Why Depression Risk Increases With

Age — And How You Can Stop It
Have you ever wondered why chronic depression would decrease with age, not
depression becomes so common as we age? increase.
On the surface, that fact just doesn’t seem to It’s not that there’s nothing to worry
make much sense. All those trips around the about. It’s just that assuming our health is
block must have taught us a thing or two good, and we’ve done reasonably well in set-
about life. The older we are, the more we ting aside a livable retirement, there’s so
have experienced, and the wiser we become. much less to get upset over. So why is it that
So we should be more secure in our work the incidence of long-term depression and
and relationships. You would think that anxiety so dramatically escalate with age?
The answer comes in two parts. The
first part you have heard me talk about
In this Issue many times — hormones. The older we are,
the lower our hormone levels become. This is
Q How you can treat depression and one of those facts of life.
win ... see how one of my patients
cured it permanently .................. p. 4 And it’s not just a problem for women.
It happens to both men and women. It’s not
Q Why you might not ever need to whether or not you will be hormonally defi-
have a colonoscopy again. New cient — it’s a matter of when.
test might make colonoscopy
obsolete........................................ p. 6 For some, this happens as early as the
30s or 40s. For most, though, it happens in
Q Why you shouldn’t use traditional the 50s and 60s. By now, you probably know
chemotherapy to treat ovarian that it’s this deficiency of hormones that’s
cancer … and what you should primarily responsible for the weakness,
do instead .................................... p. 8
frailty, and an increased risk of disease that
Coming Next Month is the hallmark of aging.
But what you may not fully realize is
• This new treatment gives amazing
how vital hormones are for mental function.
hope for Lou Gehrig’s disease — and it’s
100% natural. It’s now the only known In fact, they’re so vital that some of the most
treatment that slows down the progression common signs of hormonal deficiencies are
of the disease. related directly to the brain — decreased
• A great-tasting way to improve your memory, cognitive function and, yes, depres-
brain function — but you have to take it sion. Because I’ve covered hormone deficien-
this way. cies in great detail, I’m going to focus on the
second cause of age-related depression.
It’s not just hormones genetics, you can give yourself chronic
depression simply by eating too many carbo-
The second cause is another deficiency hydrates. This is an extremely common
— neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters problem with women in particular. Likewise,
are the brain chemicals that allow the brain drinking too much coffee and alcohol lowers
to properly operate. The two neurotransmit- dopamine levels. And, in many men, this is a
ters that are the most important for elevat- common cause of chronic depression.
ing mood and preventing long-term depres-
Another major cause of neurotransmit-
sion are serotonin and dopamine. You may
ter depletion is stress — particularly severe,
have heard of these. Serotonin is the primary
long-term stress. This often occurs with job,
mood neurotransmitter for women, and
health, relationships, legal, or financial
dopamine is the primary one for men.
problems. Stress depletes neurotransmit-
Due to genetic differences, we are all ters directly by forcing the body to use
born with differing amounts of these neuro- them up at a higher rate. But stress also
transmitters. Some are born with the ability causes other lifestyle dysfunctions that fur-
to produce higher levels, and some can pro- ther deplete them. It’s a simple fact that
duce only lower levels. But no matter how many of us, when we’re under stress, resort
much of a given neurotransmitter your to the dietary habits I mentioned above. This
brain is able to produce, you can be sure of only further aggravates the situation. Stress
one thing: also leads to insomnia, and insomnia all by
As you get older, your levels will decline. itself is a major cause of neurotransmitter
If you were born with higher levels,
then you will be much older before you Now that you know what causes most
become deficient than someone who was cases of depression, it's time to fix the prob-
born with low levels. On one end of the lem. Americans take billions of dollars of
spectrum, I see cases of depression from drugs to solve their depression. But these
depleted neurotransmitters occurring as drugs just mask the symptoms. We want a
young as the teen years. And, in other cases, cure. So let's look at how we stop the most
I see people who are 80 years and older who common cause of depression — a serotonin
don’t have the slightest problem. deficiency.

A national pastime? Naturally raising

serotonin levels
Besides age, lifestyle and environmen-
tal factors can also lead to neurotransmitter The natural treatment for serotonin
deficiencies. For example, eating carbohy- deficiency involves taking the amino acid 5-
drates (especially the sugars) lowers sero- hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). You can find 5-
tonin levels. So if you are already starting HTP at any health food store. When taken
out with decreased levels because of your orally, your brain converts 5-HTP directly
into serotonin. The more 5-HPT you take,
the more serotonin you get. Maximum sero-
One Warning Before You Take tonin response occurs when you take the
5-HTP or L-Tryptophan doses between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. and again
If you are taking any prescription at bedtime. Start off with 100 mg taken
drugs, call your pharmacist and find out if twice. If this doesn’t do the job within four
any of them are MAO inhibitors. Do not to six weeks, double the dose to 200 mg.
take 5-HTP or l-tryptophan if you are tak- When I treat my patients, I almost always
ing an MAO inhibitor drug. The combina- start off at the 200 mg dose just to be extra
tion could cause a dangerous condition sure I will get good results in less time.
referred to as serotonin syndrome.
Occasionally, I will find a patient who

can’t take 5-HPT for one of two different 5-HTP (or l-tryptophan), it’s very important
reasons. The first is that it can trigger that you eliminate all high-carbohydrate
migraine headaches in persons who are foods, alcohol, and coffee from your diet
prone to them. It won’t cause migraines, for the first three weeks. This includes all
but it can stimulate them. In this case, low- fruit, fruit juice, sugars and sweets, starches
ering the dose won’t work. The treatment (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.), and grains
just has to be stopped. (flour, bread, corn, rice chips, crackers, etc.).
The second potential problem is that During this time you should limit
in some people, 5-HPT will cause abdomi- your diet to plenty of water, vegetables
nal discomfort. This is often a dose-related (that grow above ground), meats, eggs, and
effect, so reducing the dose will usually dairy products. After this initial three week
stop the problem. However, I have run into “washout” period, you can reintroduce low-
several people who develop abdominal pains glycemic carbohydrates such as berries and
at very low doses. For them, 5-HTP is not beans. You should eat the other carbohy-
an option. drates (the ones mentioned above) only one
day out of every week. Diets with too many
When you can’t take 5-HTP carbohydrates deplete serotonin levels.
If you can’t take 5-HTP, there’s anoth- And if you don’t limit them, it’s unlikely
er natural treatment that will raise your that you will get a hold on your depression.
serotonin levels. It is the amino acid l-tryp- One interesting caveat: For some peo-
tophan. Just like 5-HTP, you can find l-tryp- ple, especially women, both 5-HTP and l-
tophan at any health food store. Your body tryptophan work much better when they
converts 90% of all the l-tryptophan you are taken with some low-glycemic carbohy-
take orally into vitamin B3 (niacin). But drates, such as berries. After the initial
your brain converts 10% of it into 5-HTP, three weeks off carbs, taking a small
which it then converts to serotonin. And amount of berries (strawberries, blue
because l-tryptophan requires two steps to berries, etc.) actually stimulates the 5-HTP
convert to serotonin, it doesn’t stimulate to serotonin conversion.
migraines or abdominal pains. However, since
so much of it gets side tracked into vitamin
B3, you have to take five to ten times as Dr. Shallenberger’s
much. So, typical doses of l-tryptophan are Next Prolozone®
1,000-2,000 mg. Again, take it between 3:00 Seminar Is May 15, 16, 17
and 4:00 p.m. and again at bedtime.
Even if you have been a reader of
You might wonder why I don’t immedi- Real Cures for only a few issues, you
ately use l-tryptophan instead of only using already know how powerful Prolozone
it when 5-HTP can’t be used. The reasons Therapy is. It is the one-stop shopping solu-
are simple. First, 5-HTP is less expensive, tion for almost every kind of painful condi-
the pills are smaller, and it works better. tion in the body. Dr. Shallenberger has
And the truth is that it’s rare to find some- taught hundreds of physicians from all over
one who can’t use it. the world this exciting new technique for
pain and joint reconstruction for over 15
Three more steps that years.
most doctors miss The next seminar is this May in Reno,
Nevada, and those interested can get all the
But correcting deficient serotonin lev- details at If your
els is not usually as simple as just taking 5- doctor has not learned Prolozone therapy
HTP. In addition, you have to address three yet, please give him or her this information.
other factors in order to ensure success. The odds are good that either you or some-
one near to you will need it at some time.
First, at the same time that you start


How a Targeted Approach to

Theresa was 37 years old when I first met Bio-Energy Testing. This is a unique form of
her. She came to the clinic with her mother metabolic testing that I developed to help my
complaining that, as long as she could remem- patients. You can learn more about it at
ber, she had been suffering from symptoms of or at www.bioener-
depression and fatigue. Several other clinics around the
Depression often comes with fatigue world are using it as well.
because of the insomnia and adrenal depletion And the numbers are growing as we
caused by the depressive state. speak. Her Bio-Energy Test revealed that she
When she was six years old, her stepfather was deficient of the thyroid hormones T3 and
molested her. She had always assumed that it T4. In other words, she had hypothyroidism.
was the psychological impact of this trauma Her blood tests did not show this, but blood
that was responsible for her life of misery. She tests miss the diagnosis of hypothyroidism more
started seeing counselors when she was in her often than not. So don’t rely solely on them. I
second year of high school. also checked out her sex hormone levels. She
According to her mother, she often did definitely was deficient of the hormone proges-
nothing but sleep for days. This is a classic terone. The rest of her tests were normal.
symptom of severe depression. So her doctor Based on her symptoms, and the test
started her on antidepressant medications. results, I started her on the following program:
Theresa said, “The medications numbed me. I • topical progesterone cream 4%, 1 cc per day
did not feel sad. I stopped crying. But I did not
• DHEA, 10 mg twice a day (morning and
feel any joy or pleasure either.” This is the sin- noon)
gle most common complaint I hear from people
who take these drugs. • cortisol, 10 mg twice a day (morning and
For the next 23 years, Theresa took the
medications. I calculated that, at this point, she • desiccated thyroid hormones (a mixture of
had spent more than $12,000 on drugs and over T3 and T4), ½ grain twice a day (morning
and noon)
$40,000 on therapy. She was able to work, but
she was still living with her mother, was 20 • regular exercise and no carbohydrates
pounds overweight, and had not been able to • 5-HTP, 200 mg twice a day, between 3:00-
sustain any kind of romantic relationship. She 4:00 p.m. and again at bedtime.
was still suffering, still seeing a counselor, still After two weeks, Theresa’s energy was
spending $1.90 a day on the drug Paxil, and still better. But there was no significant change in
didn’t have any hope for the future. her mood. I then began to slowly taper her off
The first thing I did was to test her with Paxil. Even though doctors use drugs like Paxil

Treat any and all hormone It also includes the thyroid hormones, T3
deficiencies (thyroxine) and T4 (triiodothyronine), and
the adrenal hormones, cortisol, and DHEA.
Hormones activate the receptors in the If you have a deficiency of these hor-
brain that respond to serotonin. Without mones, you will need a doctor to help you
this activation, serotonin cannot have its restore your levels to normal. All of them
full effects. So you have to treat any hor- (except DHEA) are available only by pre-
mone deficiencies. This includes the sex hor- scription. You can find a doctor trained in
mones: estrogen, progesterone, and testos- natural hormone replacement at either
terone for women, and testosterone for men.

l Pearls

Depression Can Work for You

to treat patients with low levels of serotonin, fatigued. So after a little gentle coaxing, she
they actually have the opposite effect. They fur- stopped taking the drug entirely.
ther decrease the serotonin levels to the point I saw her two weeks later. She had a big
that they become dangerously low. smile on her face, and told me that I had saved
Suddenly taking Theresa completely off her life. I hear this a lot, but I know it is never
the drug would have left her with close to no true. And I explained to her that it wasn’t me
serotonin. This can result in death. But the pro- who healed her, it was God. God designed her
gram I had her on now was renewing her levels, body so that it would heal itself. All we have to
it was possible to slowly decrease the dose. do is to help it.
For two weeks, she took one-half of the dose Unfortunately, in this day of so-called
she had been taking. Then, for the next two “modern” medicine, we have all but completely
weeks, she took half again. At this point, she forgotten that simple fact. So instead of working
had been on therapy for a total of six weeks. For with the body’s innate healing power, we go
the next two weeks she took her medication right to drug therapy. Drugs rarely solve prob-
only every third day. I wanted to be absolutely lems like Theresa’s. And most of the time, they
sure that her serotonin levels were increasing up do little more than add more problems to the list.
to the point that she could discontinue the drug. After nine more months of treatment,
At the end of these eight weeks she was Theresa was able to stop all of her supplements.
feeling great. Her moods were “the best they Why? Because, I really meant what I said –
have ever been as long as I can remember.” And given what it needs to do the job, the body will
as an added bonus, because of the metabolic heal itself. The serotonin and the progesterone
enhancing effects of the hormones, and the fat deficiencies were gone. Her thyroid never fully
burning effects of the low carbohydrate diet, she recovered, but this is typical of thyroid glands.
had lost 10 pounds. We were able to get it working better, and I was
At that point, I told her to stop the Paxil able to decrease her dose of the thyroid hormones.
entirely. Like most patients who have been on I still see Theresa every now and then
these drugs all their lives, Theresa was fearful of when she has a minor medical problem. I saw
completely stopping. “I feel so great right now her just the other day for a strained ankle. She
that I don’t want to change anything.” So I has now been free of depression for over eight
explained to her that she no longer needed the years. She stopped seeing counselors long ago.
drug because her serotonin levels were now She’s married, and is now busy taking care of
back to normal. And I also reminded her that her husband and two children. If you suffer
the drug had actually been a large part of why from depression, a program similar to Theresa’s
she had gained weight and had been feeling so can work for you too. or Or you take may end up as melatonin instead

you can call my clinic and make a telephone of building up your serotonin levels. Most
appointment. I can often help you right over people think of melatonin as the “sleep”
the phone. hormone, because it induces the body into
Besides these hormones, it’s also sleep. Chronic insomnia is frequently the
important to take melatonin (if you have a result of a deficiency of melatonin. This why
deficiency). This is because your brain con- many people who are depressed secondary
verts serotonin into melatonin. If you have a to low serotonin levels, also suffer from
deficiency of melatonin, much of the 5-HTP insomnia secondary to low melatonin levels.

If you’re over the age of 50 and your symptoms, that’s a good indicator that you
sleep is not as sound as it used to be, just don’t need it.
assume you have a melatonin deficiency. In
that case, take one to three mg of melatonin The final step
before bed, and that will often take care of The third step is also very important.
the problem. You have to establish a regular exercise pro-
One more thing to remember. As gram. This could be something as simple as
unusual as it sounds, about one in every just taking a 30-minute walk every other
twenty people will actually have worse day. During your walk, break out into a run
sleep after taking melatonin. Another one for 30-45 seconds every 4-5 minutes. Along
in twenty will notice that they are drowsy with hormones, exercise activates the brain
in the morning after taking melatonin. receptors that use serotonin.
These symptoms indicate that either there This total program, as I have outlined
is no melatonin deficiency present, or that it for you, will work in every case of depres-
the dose was too high. If you reduce the sion secondary to serotonin depletion. I have
dose as low as .5 mg and still get these never seen it fail. Q

New Colon Cancer Test Might

Make Colonoscopy Obsolete
Last year, at the age of 60, I was long possible to guarantee that we won’t come
overdue for my regular colon-cancer screen- down with it. So it’s still important to
ing. The guidelines for screening for colon screen for cancer in order to detect it at the
cancer are that each and every person earliest possible stage. Colon cancer is an
should have their first colonoscopy at the especially good case for screening.
age of 50. And if that examination is nor- The problem with colon cancer is that
mal, then repeat screenings should happen it is a very slow growing cancer. It can be
every 10 years. If it reveals polyps, since there for years, and literally spread over the
these are considered to be a sign of entire body before the first symptoms occur.
increased risk, the repeat examination So when I hit my 60th birthday, I decided
should be every five years. But is this really that even though I was 10 years late, the
the best way to screen for colon cancer? time had come to bite the bullet and get the
A targeted prevention and anti-aging colonoscopy.
program can dramatically reduce your I had avoided the procedure because,
chances of getting cancer. But at this point like most people, I was perfectly happy to be
in time, no matter what we do, it’s just not in a state of denial about the possibility of
having cancer. I rationalized my decision
Real Cures (ISSN 1062-4163) is published monthly by based on the fact that there was a 1 in 300
Soundview Publishing, LLC. Publisher: Wallis W. Wood;
Editor: Frank Shallenberger, MD. Subscriptions $49 per chance of colonoscopy causing a perforated
year; foreign addresses add $13 U.S. per year. Send new colon, which would require hospitalization,
subscriptions or changes of address to our Business Office:
P.O. Box 8051, Norcross, GA 30091-8051, 800-728-2288 or and maybe even death!
770-399-5617. Real Cures is a newsletter containing gen-
eral comments on health, nutrition, and medicine. Readers And, years ago, I had a perfectly
are advised to consult with their own physician before healthy 52-year-old patient who went in for
implementing any health idea they read about, whether
here or in any other publication. Copyright © 2009 by
a colonoscopy alive and well, and came out
Soundview Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. dead. He had a reaction to the anesthetic. I
Unauthorized reproduction of this newsletter or its con- never forgot that. But I also realized that
tents by xerography, facsimile, or any other means is illegal.
the risk of death from the procedure was

much less than the risk of dying from colon they found a miss rate of approximately
cancer. So I scheduled the appointment. 10% for large (>5 mm) precancerous polyps.
I’m happy to say that it was your basic This 10% miss rate is identical to what
“walk in the park.” The results were per- other studies have shown.
fect. And other than having dispensed with According to the author of the largest
$2,000 and losing a day’s wages, I was very of these earlier studies, Dr. Douglas Rex,
happy with the information. who is a past president of the American
College of Gastroenterology, “It has been
A new test is easier, safer, and clear for some time that colonoscopy is not a
much less expensive perfect test.” And this 10% miss rate is for
larger cancers. Although it has not been
But now, just one year later, I’m not studied, the miss rate for smaller cancers
sure I will ever have the procedure again. has to be much higher.
That’s because there’s new evidence that
the days of routine colonoscopy may be over. So the stool test misses the cancers
17% of the time, while colonoscopy misses
A new study just published in the them a minimum of 10%. But remember
Journal of Gastroenterology looked at the that the DNA stool test was able to discover
accuracy of a new kind of stool test for colon cancers equally well no matter what size
cancer. A stool test is one in which all you they were. This might make it an even bet-
have to do is send in a stool specimen for ter test than colonoscopy. Not to mention
examination. This isn’t the same stool test safer, easier, and much less expensive.
you’ve probably had done before. That test
simply looked for blood. And it missed colon And here’s another factor. The sensitiv-
cancer as much as 60% of the time. No, this ity of any test is improved with each per-
newer version is very different. formance of the test. This is important,
because colonoscopy is performed only every
The new test doesn’t look for blood at 10 years. You could easily have this stool
all. It looks for the presence of DNA and test performed every year. And that would
gene markers unique to cancers. When equate 10 stool tests with one colonoscopy.
these are present in the colon, this new test As a math major, I would have to conclude
can find them in the stool. that it would be much more likely to discov-
Researchers at the Mount Sinai School er a cancer with the stool test every year
of Medicine in New York looked at 42 than with a colonoscopy every 10 years.
patients with known colon cancer. Each of So, what’s the best way to go? At this
these patients sent in a stool sample to the point in time, you’ll have to stick with
laboratory for the new DNA analysis. colonoscopy. This particular DNA stool test
According to the authors, “The vast majority is not yet available. There are other stool
of cancers were detected regardless of tumor tests on the market, but none of them are as
stage, tumor location, or patient age.” effective as the one used in this study. Once
How accurate is the test? it’s available, you’ll be the first to know.
This is an extremely valuable test that
To be specific, they found a sensitivity should be available soon. Q
of 83% for the test. That means that if you
have colon cancer, this test will show it 83% REFS:

of the time, and miss it 17% of the time. Itzkowitz, S., R. Brand, L. Jandorf, K. Durkee, et al. “A simpli-
fied, noninvasive stool DNA test for colorectal cancer detec-
Now you might be thinking at this point tion.” Am J Gastroenterol., 2008 November;103(11):2862-70.
that this doesn’t sound like a very accurate Epub 2008 August 27.
test. But consider this: Pickhardt, P.J., P.A. Nugent, P.A. Mysliwiec, J.R. Choi, and W.R.
Schindler. “Location of adenomas missed by optical
In 2004, when doctors looked at how colonoscopy.” Ann Intern Med., 2004 September 7;141(5):352-9
often routine colonoscopy missed cancers,

Q. My mother is 79 years old and just Q. Do you have any suggestions for
had a tumor removed from her colon. sciatica problems? — Gloria P., via e-mail
They biopsied the tumor and found it
to be ovarian cancer. She does not Dear Gloria,
want to do chemo. She’s tired and not No, I don’t have a suggestion — I have
up for the fight. Can you suggest some- a cure. I have never seen a case of chronic
one for her to see and/or what she can
sciatica that does not respond to a course of
do on her own? — Lynn H., via e-mail
Prolozone injections. I have written about
Dear Lynn, this treatment several times in this newslet-
ter. You can read all about it on my website:
I can understand why your mom is
“not up for the fight” if the fight involves
chemo. I’m a strong critic of conventional Not only will Prolozone cure sciatica,
chemotherapy. It’s way too strong. It com- but it will also cure most any condition that
pletely knocks out the immune system and causes pain in joints or the spine.
in stage-3 and stage-4 cancers (the kind your Prolozone therapy uses the power
mom has) removes all hope of a cure. The of oxygen to stimulate the body to heal
statistics show that it just doesn’t work, and itself. It is excellent for all forms of muscu-
I’m convinced that it’s a death sentence. loskeletal and joint pain, not just chronic
The only form of chemo that’s effective back and neck pain. I use it regularly for
in these kinds of cancers is a form called arthritic hips and knees, degenerated discs,
insulin potentiation therapy (IPT). I’ll have plantar fasciitis, and even rotator cuff
more on this safe and remarkably gentle ther- injuries.
apy in a future issue. In the meantime, you And keep in mind that Prolozone treat-
can learn about it and find a doctor who per- ments are not just treatments to decrease
forms the therapy at pain. They actually cure the problem that
There are certain nutrients that have caused the pain in the first place.
history of working well in this kind of can- To find one of the doctors that
cer. The first one that comes to mind is the I’ve trained in this technique, go
bioflavonoid quercetin. I would recommend to the doctor referral section of
that she take 400 mg three times daily. The
Another proven vitamin is vitamin C. I doctors with the medical insignia next their
would recommend 1,000 mg three times a day. name are the ones I have trained personally.
Find one of these guys and say goodbye to
Next, one of the easiest things she can your pain forever.
do is to take my Super Immune QuickStart
(800-728-2288). One scoop each morning
along with a teaspoon of my Super Fats
special essential oils is an easy way to keep Got a Question?
her liver detoxed and her immune system
primed. You can order Super Fats by calling Do you have a question for Dr.
775-884-3990. Shallenberger? If so, please send it (typed
only) to him c/o Soundview Publications,
These are the easy things she can do on P.O. Box 8051, Norcross, GA 30091-8051 or
her own. There’s more that I can do if she’s While he
interested. Please contact our clinic and we’ll won’t be able to respond personally, he’ll try
get her started. Give her my best, and let to answer as many questions as he can in
her know that people can live well despite these pages.
ovarian cancer.