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Is There A Vitamin That Helps With Depression

Bonus Food As Medicine Tip For Anxiety And Depression

Ask Dr. Doreen: Do You Believe that Vitamin D can Help Depression?

Your bonus Food as Medicine tip for anxiety and depression is to try eating 1/2 1 organic banana rolled in Himalayan pink salt with a handful of raw cashews or 1 tablespoon of cashew butter before bed.

Ive been using this powerful combo on clients and myself for years. Bananas are loaded with Vitamin B6, a precursor to serotonin and melatonin, salt is packed with essential trace minerals for nervous system support, and the cashews contain your necessary magnesium hit to make all three ingredients work more synergistically for a peaceful nights sleep and waking with a sense of calm.

Let food be thy medicine. Hippocrates

Eat A Balanced Varied Diet

Vitamin and mineral supplements can help fill any gaps in your diet, but its critical that you start with a wholefood, healthy diet to lay a strong foundation for your mental health.

Unfortunately, researchers say that the standard Western dietfilled with sugar, processed foods, and saturated fatsmay actually be a factor in rising rates of depression.

In a meta-analysis of 21 different studies from 10 countries around the world, scientists found a clear pattern for what to eat if you want improved mental health and a lower risk of depression:

  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables

  • Focus on whole grains

  • Avoid meat, with the exception of fish

  • Cook with olive oil

  • Avoid high-fat dairy

In contrast, the meta-analysis found higher risks of depression if you eat the standard North American and Western European diet of:

  • Red meat

  • Refined and processed grains

  • Sugar

So if youre looking to adjust your diet, these are the best vitamins and nutrients for depression.

Vitamins For Seasonal Depression

Seasonal depression is something many people experience. Also known as seasonal affective disorder , this mental health condition is linked to changes in seasons. Many people will start to experience symptoms of SAD in the fall, and these symptoms may continue through the winter. Someone with SAD may feel moody, fatigued or low in energy.

Some of the reasons a person may experience seasonal depression include low serotonin levels that may be related to reduced exposure to sunlight and changes in a persons biological rhythms that can occur in the fall and winter. If someone has major depression or bipolar disorder, their symptoms may become worse in the fall and winter, and people who live further from the equator may be more likely to have this disorder.

Treatments for seasonal depression can include medication, exposure to light and therapy. Vitamins for seasonal depression can also help alleviate or reduce symptoms. Vitamin D is one vitamin in particular that a doctor may recommend for someone experiencing seasonal depression. Vitamin D is produced by the body after sunlight exposure. During fall and winter months when sunlight exposure may be minimal, supplementing vitamin D can improve mood and reduce the symptoms of SAD.

Along with vitamins, other supplements could be useful to treat symptoms of SAD. These supplements include:

Read Also: How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Daily

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.

Vitamins And Minerals That Help Fight Depression

Vitamin D Supplements Dont Help Depression Patients

04 February, 2020

Depression can be difficult to treat when it becomes chronic or severe, or if the person has already been taking medication for a long period of time. As such, its really important to take action as soon as possible to prevent those feelings of sadness, anxiety and discouragement from becoming persistent, and eventually affecting your day-to-day life.

However, you dont need to wait for things to get worse before you start implementing good lifestyle habits and strategies to help you feel good. Taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally, should be one of your top priorities. You can also use complementary measures alongside any ongoing therapy or treatment youre receiving.

On the other hand, there are many theories about the etiology of depression. For example, its known to be influenced by social, environmental, psychological, genetic, hormonal, immunological and biochemical factors. And while some of these factors are considered irreversible or permanent, you can change some of your lifestyle habits, such as diet and nutrition.

In todays article, we want to talk about some of the vitamins and minerals that can influence brain health and well-being, so that you can start to feel better.

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Impact Of Other Factors On Vitamin D Status

Individuals obtain vitamin D either exogenously, from dietary sources, or endogenously, from activation of a subcutaneous vitamin D precursor by ultraviolet rays . Dietary sources can be obtained through naturally-occurring vitamin D in foods, fortification of foods with vitamin D, and a vitamin D supplement. As vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient, metabolism requires normal digestion and absorption of fat. Subcutaneous synthesis is stimulated by exposure to sunlight though this effect varies based on the amount and duration of exposure, latitude, season, and race .

Optimal vitamin D status is hampered by several factors. The limited number of naturally rich foods with this nutrient causes some groups to be at risk for inadequacy . The optimal daily requirement for various age groups is under scientific debate . The current Adequate Intake , which is part of the Dietary Reference Intakes , is 200 IU/day for both women and men from infancy to age 50 400 IU/day for those between 5170 years and 600 IU/day for those > 70 years . Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended increasing the daily intake of vitamin D to 400 IU/day for all infants, children, and adolescents .

How Should We Treat Depression In Children

Based on the available research, we can conclude with reasonable certainty that there is a definitive link between nutrition and depression in children. Incorporating certain nutrients into a childs diet, specifically folate and B-vitamins, could help to reduce the effects of adolescent depression.

While it can take a lot of time and effort to get kids to eat healthier food, and while it is by no means a quick fix, it may be an option worth exploring with a healthcare provider if your child is experiencing the effects of adolescent depression.

While incorporating more nutrients into a childs diet can be useful in the treatment and prevention of adolescent depression, this is not to say that it should be used as a standalone treatment. It is perhaps more accurate to think of nutrient treatments as a component of a comprehensive and integrative treatment plan that also addresses sleep, exercise, and stress levels and that may also include the use of medications, particularly for moderate and severe depression.

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Whats The Difference Between Supplements For Depression And Vitamins For Depression

Vitamins for depression? Supplements? Whats the difference? The answer is there is no difference. Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbal compounds, enzymes, and more that can improve health.

So, vitamins are supplements but supplements arent always vitamins. There are vitamins and supplements for depression but theres also a spectrum of them to help people get the right amount of nutrients every day.

The Top Herbal Supplements For Depression

Top 5 Supplements For Depression (These Actually Work!)

Herbs have been used traditionally to treat depression in every culture.

Apparently, depression is not just a modern problem.

Heres a look at some of the best herbal supplements those with a long history of safe use that have also been scientifically proven to be effective.

Caution:If you currently take a prescription antidepressant, talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medication.

1. Arctic Root

Arctic root is found mainly in cold Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America.

Its been used since the time of the ancient Greeks to boost overall physical and mental vitality.

This herb is a top-rated adaptogen, a natural substance that increases your resilience to physical and emotional stress.

It works by increasing the activity of brain chemicals that impact your mood such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Arctic root has been shown to reduce depression symptomsfaster than antidepressant medications.

Its particularly useful for depression accompanied by anxiety and fatigue, depression caused by seasonal affective disorder , or when you need results quickly.


Does this sound like you?

Fuzzy thinking, foggy focus, forgetfulness?

Lack of energy and drive?

Struggle to learn and make decisions?

A quality brain supplement can make a big difference.

What makes ashwagandha a standout is its ability to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

3. Chamomile

4. Curcumin

6. Saffron

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Try Vitamin C For Antioxidant Power

Can eating more oranges help with depression? Vitamin C or ascorbic acid treats the common cold and depression. Studies support using vitamin C for the treatment of depression. For instance, students taking Vitamin C versus a placebo revealed an increased mood. Vitamin C students also reduced anxiety and blood pressure. Vitamin C also improves the effectiveness of Prozac. Doctors can help determine if a vitamin C deficiency is causing depression.

The Top Vitamin Supplements For Depression

Vitamin deficiency is not the first thing you think of when considering the underlying causes of depression.

Doctors and psychiatrists rarely recommend vitamins for depression either.

But clearly, your brain cant operate at its peak when essential nutrients are missing.

A healthy brain is the first line of defense against depression and other mood disorders.

Some vitamins are necessary for the formation of mood-boosting neurotransmitters, while others provide energy to brain cells or protect them from damage.

Heres a look at the most important vitamins for depression and their recommended dosages.

1. Vitamin B6 : A Serotonin Cofactor

Serotonin is the main brain chemical responsible for making you feel 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.

You can see that vitamin B6 is used twice in this two-step process, which helps explain the correlation between low blood levels of vitamin B6 and depression.


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Should You Take A Vitamin D Supplement

The ODS recommends that adults age 19 to 70 get 15 micrograms daily. But before you take anything, be sure to speak with your doctor.

I like for people to get a blood test to see where they are before making a recommendation about supplementation, notes Moore. If you do need extra vitamin D, either D2 or D3 will work, and you may need 1,500 to 2,000 IU daily. In cases of extreme deficiency, your doctor may give you a vitamin D injection of 50,000 IU once a week for eight weeks to bring your levels up.

Start by getting more D from sunlight and fortified foods, such as milk alternatives and cereals, if you can. In order for vitamin D to be well absorbed, it needs to be taken with a source of fat, Moore notes.

When it comes to increasing your time in the sun, the ODS says theres no clear answer about how to balance exposure with cancer risk but points out that most people dont need much sunlight exposure to make enough vitamin D. And while sunscreen is essential in helping prevent skin cancer, keep in mind that it also blocks some of the suns UVB rays, which your body needs to make vitamin D.

Herbal Supplements For Depression

Can low levels of vitamin D cause depression? Doctors not yet sure, but ...

St. Johns Wort is one of the best herbs for depression. It is an herbal antidepressant that is prescribed in Germany more commonly than traditional antidepressants. It is an MAOI and helps increase all neurotransmitters in the brain. I took it for a year and it helped me a great deal, although it could sometimes give me anxiety. Quality is important with St. Johns Wort.

Supplements for Depression

Holy basil is an adaptogen that lowers stress. Several studies have shown certain extractions reduce corticosterone. A few readers of this site have noticed a difference in their irritability and depression when taking holy basil and it is one of the supplements I recommend in my sleep post.

Rhodiola Rosea is another adaptogen that has a reputation for stimulating the nervous system, decreasing depression, and increasing energy. Some people have used it to be able to exercise for longer periods of time and increase sexual function.

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Vitamin And Nutrient Treatments For Depression

While depression is often treated with pharmaceutical antidepressants and psychological therapies, it is important to understand that sometimes nutritional therapies can be of great help to depressed children as well.

A review of studies exploring the link between nutrition and depression was conducted and published in 2008. The review examined the following nutrients:


  • Folate

Researchers ultimately found that folate, as well as B-vitamins, appeared to be closely related to depression and their intake seemed to have an impact on the symptoms and development of the disorder. The other nutrients reviewed were not found to be closely related to depression in any significant way, nor did their intake have an apparent effect on depression symptoms or development.

Overall, the studies under review demonstrated that nutritional treatment and supplementation can play a significant role in controlling symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, autism, ADHD, and addiction. It is thought that this kind of nutritional treatment is perhaps especially effective in patients sensitive to side effects because nutritional treatments do not generally come with the side effects that antidepressants and other medications so often do.

Therapy: Another Natural Treatment For Depression

Another way to decrease your depression symptoms naturally is through psychotherapy. Therapy can be beneficial on its own or when combined with medications or supplements for depression. It’s a safe treatment that doesn’t interfere with the medications you take or other medical conditions.

In therapy, you can learn relaxation techniques. You can find out how to stop ruminating over sad or distressing circumstances. You can examine your thoughts and choose more helpful ones through cognitive behavioral therapy.

You can talk to a licensed counselor for convenient, private online therapy at If depression is an ongoing problem for you, starting therapy can be just the help you need to feel better. As your mood improves, you can perform better at work, have more satisfying relationships, and live the life that suits you best.

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Do Supplements Work For Depression

Many dietary supplements are marketed to people with low mood. But is there any evidence that taking them can make you feel better?

Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
20-Feb-20·4 mins read

Take a glance at the supplements and herbal remedies in your local health food shop and you’ll likely come across a number of tablets promising to make you happier. You’d be forgiven for seeing them as tempting alternatives to visiting your GP if you were feeling blue. But can any actually help for depression?

Supplements For Depression And Sleep

How Vitamin D helps fight depression and boost weight loss

Many supplements that also help with sleep have already been mentioned above. If you want a more in depth look at which supplements help sleep, check out one of the most popular articles on this site My Secret Combination of Supplements That Knock You Out.

Holy basil can help with irritability and depression if stress is what is keeping you awake. L-Tryptophan works wonders if you are a Xanax addict. Valerian root is a good short term option. But check out the article above for a more in depth look on what works and what doesnt.

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Effects Of Vitamin D Supplementation On Mental And Physical Well Being

The use of vitamin D supplementation has been examined for its effects on mood outcomes, particularly in healthy persons. In one study , 250 healthy women were randomized to daily vitamin D or a placebo for a period of one year. Both groups received supplemental calcium during the trial. Findings indicated no difference in mood scores between the two groups. In addition, changes in vitamin D levels were not correlated to changes in mood scores. Results suggested that the dose of vitamin D may have been insufficient to cause a significant treatment difference between groups. randomly assigned 44 healthy persons to varying doses of vitamin A plus one of the following: 400 IU of vitamin D/day or 800 IU of vitamin D/day, or a placebo for a period of five days. The Positive and Negative Affect Scale was used to assess mood at the end of the five days. Results showed enhanced positive affect for the vitamin D treatment groups when compared to the placebo group . In addition, although both vitamin D treatment groups experienced a reduction in negative affect when compared to the placebo group, it was not statistically significant. Although the study demonstrated positive benefits in persons who were healthy, the effect on persons with depression or mood problems was not explored.


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