Depression:Supplements, not drugs

Many depressed people get a boost from taking extra nutrients, such as tyrosine, tryptophan, methionine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e), DHEA, acetylcarnitine, vitamin C, gamma- and alpha-linolenic acid, calcium, magnesium, lithium and zinc.

Other beneficial supplements include:

* B vitamins, especially B12 and folate. These help to regulate our moods, and deficiencies are common among depressed people (Am J Psychiatry, 2002; 159: 2099-101). Folic acid is especially important (Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2003; 2: CD003390), and may be low in as many as 30-40 per cent of depressives. If you are taking oral contraceptives, which are known to deplete the body of vitamin B6, consider supplementing. Daily amounts have varied widely in trials; if in doubt, consult a nutritionist.

* The amino acids D,L-phenylalanine (DLPA) and L-phenylalanine (LPA) are converted in the brain to norepinephrine (noradrenaline), a neurotransmitter that is released (and easily depleted) in times of stress. LPA and especially DLPA are also converted into phenylethylamine, a natural mood-lifting substance that is lacking in some people who are depressed. Studies have found success with 75-200 mg/day of LPA, or with 150-200 mg/day of DLPA.

* Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is abundant in fish oil, can relieve the symptoms of depression in those who don’t respond to antidepressant medication (Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2002; 59: 913-9). Try taking 1 g of EPA daily.

What Doctors Don't Tell You Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

We Humbly Recommend

Get the Healthiest Newsletter!

Get a dose of Healthy delivered straight to your inbox. Each FREE issue features amazing content that will elevate your Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Your data is never shared with 3rd parties


Healthy Shopping

Health and Wellbeing products lovingly curated for you.