Supplements for Depression (13+)

By the time people try to use natural methods to take care of their health. Thus, complementary treatment becomes widely used and popular.

In this article, we will present some supplements for depression treatment.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental disorder whose main symptoms are a decreased mood and a decrease or loss in the ability to have fun.

Additional symptoms of depression may include decreased self-esteem, inadequate guilt, pessimism, impaired concentration, sleep and appetite disorders, and suicidal tendencies.

Severe forms of depression are characterized by the so-called “depressive triad”: a decrease in mood, inhibition of thinking, and motor inhibition.

There are various ways to deal with depression; one of the recommended treatments are supplements for depression.

Supplements for Depression Treatment

According to some studies, there are different supplements for depression treatment. Below are some of them:

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

St. John’s wort is one of the most popular herbs in folk medicine. It is known as a plant from 99 diseases.

It has been used as a remedy since ancient times. Ancient healers, such as Avicenna, Hippocrates, and Galen, mention St. John’s wort in their works.

It is used in the treatment of diseases of the liver and biliary tract, gastrointestinal tract, colds, headaches, and to eliminate bad breath.

St. John’s wort plant extract is used for purulent wounds, severe burns, acute catarrh of the respiratory tract, with phlegmon, abscess, mastitis. They also use it as a component for herbal preparations.

Besides, it is also known as one of the supplements for depression, that is used for depressive disorders.

Note that it can only be used in cases of mild and moderate depressive states.

It was first used as an antidepressant by Nicholas Culpeper, a herbalist, and astrologer, in 1652.

With the appearance of pharmaceutical antidepressants, hypericum began to be prescribed for depression treatment.

It received the most significant popularity as a psychotropic drug, especially for European doctors.

According to medical research, Hypericum perforatum contains many chemical elements that can ease the general condition during a depressive disorder.

Pharmacists explain this effect, saying that the compounds that make up a herbaceous plant prevent brain cells from reabsorbing a neurotransmitter such as serotonin, which is also called the hormone of happiness.

Studies of the properties of St. John’s wort showed that the components hypericin and hyperforin, which are part of the plant, have a positive effect on the normalization of the central nervous system.

During the study of the qualities of the plant, scientists found that it is not inferior in effectiveness to the standard antidepressants used in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.

However, they note that the plant as an antidepressant will be of little use in the treatment of clinical depression.

St. John’s wort can be recommended as one of the supplements for depression treatment and as an alternative to prescription antidepressants in the treatment of mild forms of depressive disorder, which can be purchased without a prescription.

Nevertheless, a group of psychiatrists believes that the properties of St. John’s wort as an antidepressant are excessively exaggerated.

Vitamin B 

The most potent vitamins that are used as supplements for depression are B vitamins.

They have beneficial effects on nerve cells, strengthen the immune system and the health of the cardiovascular system, help in the absorption of nutrients, and take part in the synthesis of vital compounds.

The group of B vitamins consists of 8 elements that complement each other.

That is why vitamin complexes for depression contain all eight components of this group:

  • B1 or thiamine
  • AT 2
  • B3 or niacin
  • B5 or pantothenic acid
  • B6 or pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B7 (in some sources vitamin H), known as biotin
  • B9 or folic acid
  • B12 or cyanocobalamin.

The organism gets B vitamins only from the outside; they are not synthesized inside the body.

Vitamins of this group are found in large quantities in liveries (liver and kidneys), chicken, flounder and eggs, nuts, potatoes, bananas, legumes, fish, bread, greens, pepper, squid, dairy products, beef liver, mackerel, cod, swordfish, sunflower seeds, and brown rice.

Research about the relation of vitamin B9 and depression (folic acid)

In a recent study, scientists at Tufts University in Boston and the School of Public Health at Harvard Medical School observed nearly 3,000 Americans between the ages of 15 and 39, found a relation between folic acid (B9) and depression.

They found that patients with depression of folic acid in serum concentrations and red blood cells were significantly less than those who did not suffer from depression.

The authors note that low folic acid levels are a characteristic of patients who have also recently recovered from depression.

In this regard, they suggest taking folic acid supplements for a year after leaving the state of depression in order to stabilize their emotional state.

Omega-3 in fish oil for depression

Omega-3 fatty acids are also one of the supplements for depression treatment and are found in excess in oily marine fish and pharmacy fish oil.

Studies confirm that omega-3 fatty acids can help in the fight against depressive disorders, but further research is needed to understand the mechanism of their effects on the brain.

Russian and Norwegian scientists, in particular from the University of Bergen and the Hockland Hospital in Norway, note that in patients who regularly took fish oil for two weeks, symptoms of onset and chronic depression disappeared, such as:

  • Depressed mental state and a feeling of weakness, including seasonal;
  • A decreased social activity and the development of chronic fatigue syndrome;
  • Mood swings;
  • Anxiety,
  • Sleep disorders: drowsiness and insomnia;
  • Hormonal disorders, which are manifested, for example, in women, in violation of the cycle;
  • Other manifestations of depression, resulting in exacerbation of other neurotic disorders.

5-HTP

Studies show that using 5-HTP for depression can relieve symptoms of depression.

5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid that our body produces from dietary amino acids called L-tryptophan.

It can be converted into a mood-regulating neurotransmitter called serotonin, as well as a hormone that causes sleep, known as melatonin. 5-HTP can also be synthesized in laboratories, extracted from seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia plants.

In general, the clinical trials published to date show that 5-HTP can be useful in treating symptoms of depression, either alone or used in combination with prescribed antidepressants.

Nevertheless, better research is needed to firmly establish its effectiveness, primarily since they were conducted only with small groups of people.

A study found that 5-HTP should not be prescribed on its own, because it is not very useful and can deplete neurotransmitters in your brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which can aggravate depression.

Instead, researchers noted, 5-HTP should be given with dopamine or serotonin amino acid precursors to minimize side effects, prevent the depletion of neurotransmitters, and maximize the effectiveness of 5-HTP.

However, these additional amino acids must be kept in balance, or there is a risk of worsening symptoms of depression due to the depletion of the neurotransmitter.

SAMe

SAMe is one of the supplements for depression treatment.

It is formed in the organism by combining the essential amino acid methionine with adenosyl triphosphate (ATP).

B12 and folic acid are also involved in SAMe’s production, so a deficit of these nutrients can lead to insufficient SAMe production.

Based on the results of clinical studies, it can be assumed that SAMe is perhaps the most effective natural antidepressant.

Indeed, in these studies, SAMe performed better than conventional antidepressants and caused less side effects.

In addition to counteracting generalized depression, SAMe also quite effectively eliminates postpartum depression (after pregnancy), reduces anxiety, and alleviates depression associated with detoxification and post-drug rehabilitation.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

It is believed that taking SAMe in patients with depression can improve mood due to the following properties of this substance:

  • Increasing levels of serotonin, dopamine, and phosphatidylserine;
  • Improving the binding of neurotransmitters to receptor sites, which leads to an increase in serotonin levels and dopamine activity;
  • Increasing fluidity of the membranes and improving the functioning of brain cells.

Recommended books and sources

  1. Best Depression Supplement – Natural Antidepressant Supplement – Depression Pills – 5-HTP – 3 Month Supply – Herbal Supplement for Depression
  2. HFNE “Depression Cake”
  3. HFNE “Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale”
  4. Stop Depression Now
  5. The Vitamin Cure for Depression: How to Prevent and Treat Depression Using Nutrition and Vitamin Supplementation

FAQs about the topic “Supplements for Depression.”

What is the safest antidepressant?

According to research, the safest antidepressants are those that cause less bothering side effects than other antidepressants.

Some of them are sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), and fluoxetine (Prozac).

What antidepressant has the least side effects?

Some antidepressants have less side effects, such as Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Remeron (mirtazapine), Wellbutrin (bupropion), and Paxil (paroxetine).

Is folic acid good for depression?

Folic acid is good for depression.

Researchers found that patients with depression of folic acid in serum concentrations and red blood cells were significantly less than those who did not suffer from depression.

The authors note that low folic acid levels are a characteristic of patients who have also recently recovered from depression.

In this regard, they suggest taking folic acid supplements for a year after leaving the state of depression in order to stabilize their emotional state.

What are natural antidepressants?

Some natural antidepressants are St. John’s wort, Vitamin B, SAMe, 5-HTP, Omega-3 fatty acids, and some natural herbs (for example, saffron, lavender, ginseng, and chamomile).

What natural antidepressant is best?

It is hard to recommend the best antidepressant, as there are more than one.

Some of the best antidepressants are:

– St. John’s wort,

– Valerian,

– Saffron,

– Dog-rose,

– Hop,

– Juniper,

– Peppermint,

– Melissa and others.

How long should you stay on antidepressants?

There is no consensus on how long you should stay on antidepressants.

Some doctors suggest three-, four-, six- or even nine-month courses of therapy.

The World Health Organization recommends to give a full dose of antidepressants for two, three, or four months, and then for some more months, the patient takes a half dose.

However, this approach requires further study and observation.

Conclusion

Concluding the article, titled “Supplements for depression,” we can depression is a mental disorder whose main symptoms are a decreased mood and a decrease or loss in the ability to have fun.

Additional symptoms of depression may include decreased self-esteem, inadequate guilt, pessimism, impaired concentration, sleep and appetite disorders, and suicidal tendencies.

There are different ways to treat depression.

However, supplements for depression treatment, such as St. John’s wort, SAMe, 5-HTP, Vitamin B, Omega-3 fatty acids, and some herbs are beneficial.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

  1. Herbs and Supplements for Depression
  2. Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements for Depression

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