2 Supplements Proven to Improve Depression
Depression is one the of the top causes of mental illness in the world and represents a significant problem in many developed and developing countries.
The effect of depression on the individual is huge, with a lower quality of life, increased associated illnesses, increased chance of death and overwhelming feelings of helplessness.
Depression also comes at an economical cost, with treatment and lost revenue running into millions.
While many effective treatments already exists for depression, some can be expensive, inaccessible or might just be ineffective for a particular individual.
With this in mind, Nutritional Mental Health has become increasingly popular and research recently published aimed to identify exactly which nutritional supplements might improve symptoms of depression:
This article reviews the literature investigating these nutritional interventions for the treatment of clinical depression, with a particular focus on pathophysiology, epidemiology, and clinical research.
The researchers considered the evidence surrounding several supplements that have been of interest for some time, the supplements they considered were:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- B-vitamins (folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6)
- S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
The authors thoroughly investigated all of the available literature and past research supporting the use of these supplements in reducing the symptoms of depression and in the end were able to provide support for 2 of the supplements in particular:
Of the supplements reviewed here, omega-3 fatty acids and B-vitamins (folate, B12, and B6) are the most thoroughly researched and have the most promising clinical efficacy.
Omega-3 fatty acids are available naturally in oily fishes such as salmon and tuna as well as nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseeds and soybeans or as supplements.
B-vitamins are also available naturally in fish, meat, eggs, diary products as well as green vegetables, beans and peas or alternatively as a supplement.
Given that both of these supplements are extremely safe and accessible, the article recommends they be considered further for use in combination with more traditional interventions.
While the other supplements proved beneficial in some areas, more research would be needed in order to more clearly understand the benefits and the risks involved advising the use of them for depression.