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10 Best Supplements for Depression

Friday, 12 Nov 2010 04:30 PM

The treatment options for depression are numerous and often vary, depending upon the severity of the illness. Some of the most popular treatments for depression include therapy, medications, exercise, and support groups in addition to natural supplements. The following are the ten best supplements for depression.
1. Folic acid / Folate (Vitamin B9)
The synthetic form of folate, vitamin B9, is found in fruits, asparagus, leafy vegetables, and other foods. Most people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies; therefore, folates are one of the best supplements for depression and anxiety.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids
Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 (found in fish such as salmon and tuna), and omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn and soybean oils) play a crucial role in the function of serotonin and dopamine. Regularly eating foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can be the best supplements for depression.
3. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1, otherwise known as thiamine, converts glucose into energy. Deficiency of this natural supplement can cause depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
4. Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3, otherwise known as niacin, is another good natural supplement that helps fight depression. Deficiency in niacin produces anxiety along with fatigue and overall slowness.
5. Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5, otherwise known as pantothenic acid, is considered to be a good supplement for depression. Deficiency in pantothenic acid may cause fatigue and depression.
6. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, otherwise known as pyridoxine, is a source of serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. Its deficiency can cause mental confusion. Many dieticians believe that most diets do not provide sufficient amounts of this vitamin.
7. St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort has consistently been considered a good herbal supplement for depression. However, St. John's Wort is not appropriate for severe depression or bipolar disorder.
8. Saffron
Saffron is a spice that is used in cooking and also in traditional Persian medicine as a natural supplement for depression. However, it has only been effective in mild cases of depression.
9. S-Adenosinemethionine (SAMe)
Some studies suggest that the dietary supplement SAMe may be effective as a supplement for depression because it appears to boost serotonin levels in the brain. Although research studies appear promising, you should not use SAMe in conjunction with other antidepressants.
10. Inositol
People consume around one gram of inositol a day by eating fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grains, and other foods. However, most medical experts are against using this as a supplement for cases of severe depression.

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