supplements for depression

14 Best Supplements For Depression

Taking supplements for depression should not be considered as a one stop cure. While they can certainly assist brain function and mental illness treatment they are usually used in combination with more traditional treatments.

Personally, I take several supplements from the below list every day and I swear by them, but I do this in combination with a better diet daily exercise and regular psychotherapy.

Although with most supplements not enough research has been done to prove conclusively that they are effective against depression, preliminary studies have shown good signs.

I can tell you for a fact that I certainly feel improved since I started taking supplements, but it should be a discussion you have with your doctor or healthcare professional as to which ones you personally should take. Here is a list, in no particular order, of some of the best supplements for depression.

  • Ashwagandha also known as Indian ginseng. It has been used for hundreds of years in alternative medicine. It is a known stress reliever and several studies have shown it is great for relieving anxiety and improving your mood. It is also known to improve memory function and help with sleep. Other benefits of ashwagandha may include a boost in testosterone and fertility in men, improved athletic performance, reduction in inflammation and a reduction in blood sugar levels. Although this list is not in any order, ashwagandha definitely ranks as my number one supplement that I take every day.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids have been studied for use in people with depression and the results have been very promising. More study is needed for the results to be conclusive, but they have shown great signs in improving the mood of people with depression, bipolar depression and other mood disorders. They have also shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
  • B Vitamins as with most supplements, more research is needed to conclusively determine the benefits. Having a poor diet lacking in B-12 and other B vitamins may be a contributing factor to your ongoing depression. Improving your diet by including plenty of fish, poultry (chicken and turkey) lean meat and fat free milk can help with this, as will taking a B vitamin supplement.
  • Vitamin D simply getting more sunshine, eating foods that contain a lot of vitamin D (such as fish and some dairy products) or taking a vitamin D supplement may help depression sufferers with their overall mood.
  • Zinc not only has a zinc deficiency been shown to negatively impact depression and anxiety, it can also improve the efficacy of antidepressant and mood disorder drugs.
  • Magnesium Studies have shown that taking a magnesium supplement daily or taking it with each meal has improved overall mental health in those suffering from major depression and other mental health disorders.
  • Creatine early clinical trials indicate that taking a creatine supplement can lead to a significant reduction in symptoms of depression. It also helps to supply energy to your muscles during exercise.
  • St John’s wort there have been several studies that support the use of St John’s wort in the treatment of mild to moderate depression, and in some instances it has shown to be just as effective as some antidepressants. A word of caution however – St John’s wort may interact with some antidepressants such as Xanax and Wellbutrin so consult your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking it. If taking it with antidepressants it may cause too much serotonin to be produced.
  • Saffron is high in antioxidants and has shown to be effective for heart health and PMS (premenstrual syndrome). A study has shown some participants who received saffron supplements reported a reduction in their overall depression.
  1. DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone (try pronouncing that. It’s no wonder it has been abbreviated to DHEA!) is produced in the body by the adrenal glands. It helps the body to reduce cortisol levels. It is believed that taking DHEA supplements can improve sex drive, slow down the aging process, build muscle and provide relief to depression sufferers by increasing testosterone blood levels.
  • SAM-e has a longer history of treating depression than most of the supplements on this list. While studies have found it can be as effective as an antidepressant for some people, it also takes a long time to act. Therefore, it is important to take a longer term view with SAM-e supplements and to take them on a daily basis. It has also been found that it can help to treat ADHD for some people, as well as osteoarthritis, liver disease and fibromyalgia.
  • Turmeric Researchers are discovering more and more evidence that the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric may help to reduce the symptoms of depression in older adults, as well as improve memory function. It is also the spice that gives curry its golden color, which means absolutely nothing when it comes to mental illness!
  • Folate Although so far theresearch is not absolutely conclusive, it is thought that a deficiency in folate is linked to depression, and that deficiency also makes it harder to recover from depression.
  • Vitamin C preliminary research has indicated vitamin C may help to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as improve mood and cognitive function.

As time progresses more studies and research is being done on the effectiveness of supplements for depression, anxiety and other disorders. So far the research looks promising, with some supplements now having research and study behind them as proof to their effectiveness, while others are still in the early stages.

For all supplements, it is important to consult your doctor or healthcare professional as there may be interaction issues with other medication you are currently taking, such as antidepressants.

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