Does St Johns Wort Work
At least 30 studies on more than 1,700 patients show that St Johns wort can be an effective remedy for mild- to-moderate depression without the side effects of more conventional anti-depressants. It is thought to help prolong the action of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin a deficiency of which can result in depression.
St Johns Wort can be found in KarmaMood , a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and mild anxiety, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label before starting any herbal remedy.
The Impact Of Sunlight On Vitamin D Status
Assessment of vitamin D status will need consideration of other factors, such as light therapy and sun exposure. Exposure to sunlight accounts for over 90% of the vitamin D requirement for most individuals . Amount of exposure to ultraviolet B radiation is affected by latitude, season, and time of the day. It has been reported that sun exposure is greatest in spring to early fall and during sunlight hours . Although places closer to the equator have greater sun exposure , recently it has been reported that in even in these areas vitamin D insufficiency persists . Since it is possible that persons who are outdoors may be more physically active, it is important to consider whether sunshine alone or in combination with physical activity is related to improved mood.
Mind, a charity group in the United Kingdom, has recommend Ecotherapy as a treatment to depression. Ecotherapy involves exercising outdoors instead of inside a facility. A research study was done with 20 people each walked outside and at an indoor shopping center . Participants then rated their feelings of self-esteem, depression, and tension after both walks. Improvements were greater when walking outdoors as compared to walking indoors . Lack of information regarding specific measurements and methods used for data collection are significant limitations of this report.
Natural Antidepressants: Best Vitamins For Energy And Depression
- B Vitamins
Ample evidence suggests that B vitamins can help with depression. B vitamins control and produce important chemicals in your brain that impact depression and mood regulation. As Healthline explains: folate , B12, and B6, are needed for the production and regulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid , and dopamine. Further, research suggests that deficiencies in these vitamins may increase the risk of depression, and that treatment with folate and/or vitamin B12 reduces depression scale scores, increases remission, and prevents the onset of clinically significant symptoms of depression in people at risk.
So when youre looking for vitamins that help with depression, B vitamins are well worth discussing with your provider.
Zinc is a naturally occurring mineral that, in the words of Healthline, is critical to brain health and the regulation of neurotransmitter pathways. It also boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. More importantly, it is a mineral that has been closely linked to depression.
Dr. Emily Deans, in Psychology Today, has tracked research on the relationship between Zinc and depression. Some key findings include:
The more depressed someone is, the lower the zinc level.
Zinc supplementation has been shown to have antidepressant effects in humans.
Successful treatment with antidepressants will increase serum zinc levels.
- Vitamin D
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Can Supplements Really Help With Depression Or Anxiety
Heres what the evidence says about what works .
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St. Johns wort promotes a positive mood. Valerian root reduces levels of anxiety and stress. Lavender oil is calming for body and mind.
If you are among the tens of millions of people in the United States who suffer from depression or anxiety, it is easy to be captivated by the promise of mood-boosting supplements. Take these pills daily, their marketing suggests, and soon youll be happily bouncing through verdant, sun-soaked fields, no prescription required.
But, while experts say that some mood-lifting supplements are better studied than others, the wider evidence on their effectiveness is shaky at best. Im not saying that theres evidence that these things arent useful, said Dr. Gerard Sanacora, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and the director of the Yale Depression Research Program. Its more that the quality of the evidence isnt to the level that we can really have much confidence in.
And when compared with other treatments such as traditional medications or psychotherapy, the experts said, supplements fall short. Here is what we know about some of the most common supplements that are marketed for mental health.
Vitamin B: A Serotonin Cofactor
Serotonin is the main brain chemical responsible for feeling happy, relaxed, and confident.
It also plays an important role in sleep, sex drive, and digestive health.
The most prevalent theory of depression is that its caused by a lack of serotonin.
This is why the most commonly prescribed antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors which work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
Normally, serotonin is created in the brain and body from tryptophan, an amino acid commonly found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products.
Tryptophan provides the basic building blocks used to synthesize serotonin, but certain cofactors vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin C, iron , magnesium , calcium , and zinc must be present for this reaction to take place.
You can see that vitamin B6 is used twice in this two-step conversion process, which helps explain the correlation between low blood levels of vitamin B6 and depression.
Vitamin B6 is also needed to make dopamine, another neurotransmitter associated with depression.
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Theres a growing body of evidence that chronic brain inflammation may be a root cause of depression.
Vitamin B6 Supplement Dosages
The RDA for vitamin B6 is 1.3 mg daily for most adults.
Pregnant women need more as do seniors .
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What Is The Difference Between Depression And Low Mood
Life has its ups and its down and it is perfectly natural to experience low mood from time to time. Often when someone experiences low mood, they describe their symptoms as feeling depressed. Whilst this is a useful shorthand, there is a big difference between feeling low and actually being depressed.
Perhaps youve had a bad day at work. Perhaps youve had a row with your partner, or just broken up with someone. Most of the time we describe these low mood feelings as being depressed. Rest assured these are normal but temporary feelings of sadness, frustration, anxiety and stress.
You are most likely experiencing low mood if you are:
Most of these feelings should go away over time, especially if you make changes to the situation that youre in.
However a low mood that lasts for weeks and wont go away can be a sign of depression.
Youre more likely to be experiencing depression if you are:
- Continually sad
- Irritable and intolerant of others
- Experiencing low self-esteem
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
If you are experiencing low mood for extended periods of time and are experiencing some of the feelings described above, its worthwhile seeking professional help as they are signs that you may be depressed. Speak to your doctor, GP or the Samaritans for support and advice.
Assessment And Groups At Risk For Low Vitamin D
The signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency vary depending on the age and severity. For children, there has been a reappearance of rickets from vitamin D deficiency. Symptoms of rickets can vary and may include bone pain, delayed tooth eruption, and poor growth . Deficient adults may experience muscle weakness, bone pain, difficulty walking, and frequent falls . Persons more at risk for vitamin D include those with malabsorption syndromes such as inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and chronic diarrhea .
Other factors may influence the availability and metabolism of this nutrient. Thus, various population groups have been identified as high risk for vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Those with limited sun exposure, due to being homebound, living in latitudes > 34° north or south, and/or clothing that covers most of the body, are at risk for vitamin D deficiency . Similarly, older adults are often at risk of vitamin D inadequacy. This is due to reduced subcutaneous production and intestinal absorption . When coupled with limited sun exposure, which is the case for many older adults, the risk increases .
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Whats The Best Herb For Anxiety And Depression
While some herbs, such as rhodiola and chamomile, may be helpful for reducing or managing symptoms in some individuals, there is no best herb for treating anxiety or depression .
Furthermore, even if you find that taking an herbal supplement is helpful, it shouldnt be used in place of a prescribed antidepressant medication.
A Note On Supplements
Before trying any new supplements for depression, its important to ask a trusted healthcare professional about potential medication interactions or safety concerns.
While supplements may be helpful in managing depression, they are not a cure for the condition. Therefore, when selecting supplements, be wary of products that claim to treat or cure depression.
There are a ton of dietary supplements on the market, but not all of them are safe and effective.
For this article, we chose supplements based on the following criteria:
- Evidence-based: The supplements on this list have research supporting their use in depression.
- Testing: We chose brands whose products are tested regularly throughout the manufacturing process, ideally by a third-party organization.
- Ingredients: We selected products from brands that prioritize the use of high quality ingredients and easily absorbed forms of vitamins and minerals. The brands below also avoid or limit the use of artificial flavors, fillers, and preservatives.
- Price: While the supplements included vary in price, they provide a good value.
- Vetting: All brands and products listed below have been vetted and approved by our team of experts, who evaluate companies based on medical credibility and business practices.
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When Combined With Evidence
Depression is a mood disorder, and its one of the most common mental health conditions that people experience. Different terms used to refer to depression include major depressive disorder and clinical depression. While many people require clinical treatment and perhaps pharmaceutical medications to treat the symptoms of depression, there are also certain vitamins that can be helpful for depression. Along with vitamins for depression, there are also natural supplements for anxiety and depression that can be helpful for treating symptoms of these co-occurring disorders.
Symptoms of depression include significant changes in feelings, thoughts and behaviors, including loss of interest in activities that a person previously enjoyed and an ongoing, persistent feeling of sadness. Depending on the severity of the depression, a person may experience different physical and emotional problems related to the disorder.
Best Supplements To Help Depression Conclusion
Depression is, no doubt, quite a pain to deal with. It comes up randomly, drains you of all energy and motivation, and even leaves you feeling alone and unwanted. It is a serious disorder and should be treated so.
The first thing to know is to realize that you are not alone. There are so many hotlines, online communities, and medical help available for you. You can always ask for help and create your own safe space.
There is nothing wrong with having depression, neither is there anything wrong with asking for help. As soon as a doctor gives you a diagnosis, you can start your medications which will help you feel a lot better.
You need your newfound energy to turn your life back around one step at a time. Best supplements to help depression are one of those steps. Heres to a healthier and happier you!
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The Great 8 Mood Support Supplements
Prescription antidepressants may raise levels of both norepinephrine and serotonin. However, they also come with a long list of nasty side effects such as weight gain, constipation, and dry mouth. Turning to natural supplements to support mood may be a better option for many. As always, speak with your doctor before making any changes to your medications or supplement regimen.
Mood is more than psychological it affects your entire body and well-being. Regardless of what is at the root of your mood imbalances, there are natural ways you can overcome them. These 8 supplements are a great place to start. Peace of mind and a positive outlook can be yours once again! Just remember to always consult with your doctor before adding supplements to your regimen, especially if you are currently taking any medications. I wish you all the best in your journey to optimal health!
Talk With Your Doctor First
If you think you may have depression, you should first consult with a mental health professional, like a psychiatrist, or reach out to your primary care provider. A doctor can evaluate your symptoms and discuss treatment options, ranging from supplements that may help manage your mood to lifestyle changes or medication.
In some cases, supplements can interfere with other medications, or even worsen symptoms in some people, so you should always consult with a doctor, and never attempt to treat your depression entirely on your own.
In most cases, alternative treatment options like herbs and supplements are best suited for those with mild depressive symptoms, characterized by short periods of low moods. While they may be enough to help someone with mild depression manage their mood, these options may not be effective for those with more severe depressive symptoms.
“The challenge is figuring out what works for you and when, if necessary, to switch to the more traditional treatments because the symptoms are interfering with your life,” says Kevin Gilliland, Psy. D, a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of Innovation360, an outpatient counseling service that serves people with mental health and substance abuse issues.
While supplements are not regulated by the FDA, third-party laboratories, like Consumer Lab, do test supplements for potency and accuracy, so you can check to see if a supplement has been tested before you buy one.
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Is There Any Harm In Trying Them
Some might think that taking a supplement for their depression or anxiety could not hurt, so why not try it? But the experts cautioned that there could be potential risks and downsides. Supplements can be expensive and may cause side effects or adverse drug interactions. And supplements are not as rigorously regulated as F.D.A.-approved drugs and over-the-counter medications are, and they do not have to be proved safe and effective before they can be sold. Theres not nearly as much oversight compared to traditional pharmaceuticals, which require pills be manufactured in a consistent way, with consistent dosing, said Dr. Paul Nestadt, a co-director of the Johns Hopkins Anxiety Disorders Clinic and an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Another potential risk of supplements is a paradoxical one: They could exacerbate a mental health condition. Dr. Nestadt said that theres some evidence, for instance, that St. Johns wort can potentially induce a manic episode in people with bipolar disorder.
Perhaps one of the biggest dangers is that people may take a supplement instead of seeking a proven treatment for their anxiety or depression. Im not so worried that someone is going to try lavender or chamomile, Dr. Sanacora said. Im much more worried about the risks associated with delaying an effective treatment.
Dopamine Supplements To Boost Your Mood
Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that plays a role in the regulation of cognition, memory, motivation, mood, attention and learning.
It also aids in decision making and sleep regulation .
Under normal circumstances, dopamine production is managed effectively by your bodys nervous system. However, there are various lifestyle factors and medical conditions that can cause dopamine levels to plummet.
Symptoms of low dopamine levels include loss of pleasure in things that you once found enjoyable, lack of motivation and apathy (
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What More Do We Need To Know
There is still so much more we need to understand about how certain nutrients can affect our mental health.
“Whilst we have a good idea about what happens to mental health and mood when we are lacking foods, we still don’t really understand the impact that including specific foods might have. And a lot of the research that links diet and mental health comes from population studies using diet recall so it isn’t as accurate as we might like,” points out Dempsey.
She says there is emerging research into gut bacteria and mental health. But it’s really too early to suggest probiotics would be useful for depression.
Instead of wasting money on supplements, Dempsey recommends first exploring whether you’re getting the right nutrition from what you’re eating. She suggests the Mediterranean diet – which she believes has shown the most compelling evidence for helping mental health. But she does stress that if you think you might be depressed, it’s still best to see a qualified health professional.
“All mental health conditions are multi-faceted and it’s important to consult your GP who can help guide you towards the most relevant treatment,” agrees Mehta.
The Facts Behind 5 Supplements
Collagen.Collagen, is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and helps form our skin, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. As we age, we naturally start reducing its production. Some studies show that taking collagen supplements can reduce signs of aging, increase bone density and improve joint, back and knee pain. But many of these studies are small and funded by the companies behind such products, increasing the opportunity for bias. Certain products also have flaws that reduce the likelihood of their efficacy: Topical creams, for example, are unlikely to make it into the deeper level of the skin where collagen is produced.
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