Antidepressants (SSRIs) Worsen Vitamin A Toxicity

how antidepressants ssris worsen vitamin a toxicity

Antidepressants (SSRIs) worsen “vitamin” A toxicity by directly inhibiting the breakdown of this toxin. This is a touchy subject given the sensitive nature of discussion surrounding mental health issues. In recent years, depression has become synonymous to one’s identity. Depression has become glorified by the mass media; and psychiatrists are willing to dispense these dangerous drugs like a dealer at a warehouse rave would hand out ecstasy in the early 90s. Aside from the connection between SSRIs and gut issues – with poor gut health being linked to depression – I have linked SSRIs to slowing down detox. 

SSRIs, including Prozac (fluoxetine), increase the toxic activity of “vitamin” A in the nervous system by decreasing its breakdown/detoxification.  This increase in “vitamin” A in the system would also start to explain the weight gain that happens with these medications.

How Antidepressants (SSRIs) Worsen Vitamin A Toxicity

The title on this next paper is pretty straightforward!

Direct inhibition of retinoic acid catabolism by fluoxetine.

Experiments revealed dose-dependent inhibition of synaptosomal RA degradation by fluoxetine along with dose-dependent increases in RA levels in cell cultures. 

Inhibit = to hold back, suppress, restrain
Catabolism = to break down, degrade

I have a theory that the dependence created by SSRIs is also directly related to how they inhibit or even break the proper “vitamin” A detoxification pathways.

Enhancement of Local Retionic Acid Signaling: A Pivotal Mechanism in Fluoxetine’s Pleiotropic Actions

Major depression (MDD) is one of the leading global causes of all non-fatal burden of disease. Involving monoaminergic imbalances, but also hormonal, structural and inflammatory alterations, the underlying pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. 

The antidepressant drug fluoxetine, which may be considered the “prototype” of all selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), appears to affect all of these processes. Interestingly, this is also the case for retinoic acid (RA), the highly potent active metabolite of vitamin A. 

In this review, we discuss RA signaling as a central mechanism of action – and missing link – for the multiple, pleiotropic effects of fluoxetine in the CNS, suggesting that direct inhibition of CYP-450-mediated RA catabolism by fluoxetine results in increased local concentration, and enhanced paracrine RA signaling in the CNS.

And here we have the authors suggesting that the CENTRAL MECHANISM OF ACTION (aka “how SSRIs work”) is directly related to how they impact the liver’s cytochrome (detox) abilities to break down “vitamin” A.  In concert with what I stated above, if this is the mechanism by how they supposedly “work”, then that is also the likely culprit of how they cause dependence and later problems!

In short, Vitamin A toxicity has also been linked to a variety of mental health issues including depression, and hinders the “vitamin” A detox process. Not only do antidepressants damage your gut – also linked to depression – but they also hamper your body’s ability to rid itself of toxic “vitamin” A. By using these medications, a person exposes themselves to TWO processes that can actually CAUSE depression.

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