As you know there are many things you can do for depression as seen in the last post. I saved these sections for last as they are extensive and needed special consideration.
1.Nutrition is the key!
Incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet has also been show to improve depression (7). Choose foods rich in antioxidants and phyonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber, minerals, vitamins, healthy lean meats and whole grains. You can enjoy healthy foods and improve your mood at the same time. Studies have linked green tea’s theanine to relaxing the body, producing less cortisol than coffee and elevating the mood naturally, same goes with dark chocolate 70% or greater. So enjoy your favorite healthy foods and slowly watch as depressive symptoms start to decrease.
2. Supplements to try
Again, I highly encourage you to discuss these with your primary care provider before you start any supplement programs. Not all supplements are suitable for everyone and some interact with other medications.
Methylated B complex- This includes menthylated folate. Many people who have a positive family history of depression also possess the MTHFR gene in which they are poor methylators. Adding a Methylated B complex as well as Methylated folate helps the body metabolize and methylate better improving signs and symptoms of depression. Talk to your doctor about Deplin, it’s a methylated folate prescribed for people with depression and many people experience positive results.
5htp- The body actually uses 5htp to make serotonin so taking this supplement helps the body make more serotonin. The problem is taking this medication with other antidepressants; a combination of these can cause serious medical problems. Studies have shown that 5htp is equivalent to reducing depressive symptoms as any other antidepressant without the side effects. Doses are 100-300mg up to 3x/day.
omega 3- This is a stable on my regimen list, mainly because essentially fatty acids not only help the body metabolically but also for the anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits they possess. An additional mood booster is merely a plus! A recent published in JAMA psychiatry linked inflammation with depression (7). So, decreasing inflammation in the body will improve depression. Make sure you’re getting a good quality fish oil without added preservatives and chemical for beneficial results.
SAM-E- Numerous studies show the improvement of depression with SAM-E; it is more effective then placebo in many trials. It takes less time to start working than conventional antidepressants and can also be used in conjunction with other antidepressants. The side effect profile also is not as bad as some of the other medications making it more favorable for me to recommend them to patients.
Vitamin D- Vit D defiency has been linked to depression, dementia and diabetes according to VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam (5). Many studies show that levels low in Vitamin D especially during winter months can attribute to feelings of sadness and hopelessness(6). A good healthy dose is 2000IU daily for Vitamin D3 (cholicalciferol). I will caution to please have your vitamin D level checked first as too high levels can cause other problems like kidney stones.
St. John’s wort- Everyone know about St. John’s wart. However I’m personally not a fan of this weed. There are many side effects and interactions with this medication so it’s not one I highly recommend. It is one that is common and many are familiar with it. Please be sure to mention this to your doctor when you are discussing your health with them.
1. MAURER, DOUGLAS M., DO, MPH. “Screening for Depression.” – Am Fam Physician. 2012 Jan 15;85(2):139-144
2. DAVID NORRIS, MD, and MOLLY S. CLARK, PhD, “Evaluation And Treatment of the Suicidal patient”Am Fam Physician. 2012 Mar 15;85(6):602-605.
3. Sharma, M, Rush, SE. “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review” J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2014 Oct;19(4):271-86 epub 2014 Jul 22.
4. Hull A, Reinhard M, McCarron K, Allen N, Jecmen MC, Akhter J, Duncan A, Soltes K.
Sharma M Rush SE Acupuncture and meditation for military veterans: first steps of quality management and future program development.Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Jul;3(4):27-31.
5. Metro Creative Connection. “Vitamin D Might Help Fight Symptoms of Depression.” Timesonline. 9 May 2014. Web. 20 Aug. 2014
6. Gloth FM 3rd, Alam W, Hollis BVitamin D vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging
7. Golam M. Khandaker, PhD, Rebecca M. Pearson, PhD; Stanley Zammit, PhD; Glyn Lewis, PhD, Peter B. Jones, PhD Association of Serum Interleukin 6 and C-Reactive Protein in Childhood With Depression and Psychosis in Young Adult Life A Population-Based Longitudinal Study. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online August 13, 2014
8. O’Neal, Heather A.; Dunn, Andrea L.; Martinsen, Egil W. “Depression and exercise” International Journal of Sport Psychology, Vol 31(2), Apr-Jun 2000, 110-135.