Supplements For Bipolar Depression
Lithium Orotate Can Curb Mania and Help Bipolar Depression
Treatment for bipolar disorder is a little more complex than just depression. Manic depression has two dangerous sides on the one end you swing into depression and on the other end you swing into mania. 5-HTP and other supplements can help with being depressed, but sometimes can produce too much mania.
The main thing with bipolar is eliminating substances like sugar, coffee, and stimulants that can promote a manic episode and taking some of the supplements above to help with depression.
Research shows that high amounts of fish oil is clinically significant in helping people overcome bipolar. If you suffer from bipolar symptoms and arent eating any fish or taking fish oil, start now!
Lecithin has been found to stabilize moods and has been effective in getting rid of a manic episode. Some people find that it stabilizes mood while others have found that it can depress them.
Lithium orotate has been found to help many people manage their bipolar disorder. There is some conflicting evidence that taking it long term might not be the best option, but hundreds and hundreds of people still take it everyday. If youve struggled for years with bipolar, are taking fish oil and vitamins/minerals, have your diet under control and have checked to see if you are sensitive to sugar, Id suggest trying lithium orotate among other natural remedies for bipolar and seeing how it affects you.
Does Vitamin D Help With Sad
Medical professionals often prescribe vitamin D to help with seasonal affective disorder . Studies show that it might be as effective as light therapy. Since the 1980s, light therapy is one of the main forms of treatment for this type of depression. People with SAD typically have a vitamin D deficiency.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that people get during certain seasons. They tend to get depressed during the fall from the winter months when there is less sunlight, but it can happen during spring and summer as well. This rarer kind of SAD is summer-pattern SAD or summer depression.
Other forms of treatment for SAD include:
- Difficulty making decisions
Can A Dietary Supplement Help Ease Your Depression
It’s not clear that supplements are effective, but some evidence is encouraging.
Some people are wary of taking antidepressants to treat their mild or moderate depression. They may not want to deal with the hassle of prescriptions, the costs, the potential side effects , or the worry that medication treatment could mean an endless commitment.
But what about over-the-counter supplements are they a safe choice to ease depression symptoms?
“Supplements are usually not high-risk, but anyone giving them a try should take a careful approach,” says Dr. Michael Craig Miller, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Supplements to ease depression
Some supplements are commonly used to help ease the symptoms of depression. Any of the following may provide some relief:
Fish oil. Oily fish like salmon and sardines are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids. “Omega-3 fatty acids are a basic building block of nerve cell membranes. They are essential for healthy nervous system function and may combat inflammation,” Dr. Miller says. If you don’t think you’re getting enough in your diet, you can supplement your intake with a fish oil pill.
Methylfolate. A form of the B vitamin folate, methylfolate helps break down the amino acid homocysteine. High blood levels of homocysteine are associated with depression . Folate deficiencies are also associated with depression in some studies.
Not so simple
What you should do
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Can I Take Enough Vitamin D From Dietary Sources
Unfortunately, we cant depend on food for taking adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Only a few foods contain vitamin D, actually. Cod liver oil, salmon, trout, mackerel, and tuna are the only good sources of vitamin D. Vegans can take vitamin D from certain mushrooms and fortified foods. See the whole list here.
Certainly, sun exposure and vitamin D supplements are the best ways to boost vitamin D intake. Vitamin D supplements are cheap. Compare prices on Amazon.
Taking Vitamin D For Depression
Taking vitamin D for depression may help cheer you up especially if vitamin D levels in your body are low. However if you do suffer from depression it’s important to see a qualified health care provider in addition to getting plenty of vitamin D.
Vitamin D for depression
While getting enough vitamin D isn’t a guarantee that you’ll avoid depression it may significantly reduce your risk of depressive symptoms. Low concentrations of vitamin D in your body are associated with depression and the lower your vitamin D levels the higher your risk according to a review published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. The widespread distribution of vitamin D receptors in the brain may play a role in vitamin D’s effects on your mood.
Vitamin D deficiency
Many people in the United States get too little vitamin D including people with depression and other mental disorders according to an article in Issues in Mental Health and Nursing. The article suggests that specific groups of people are at particular risk of developing vitamin D deficiency and depression including teenagers the elderly people who are obese and individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes.
Ways to boost vitamin D
For more information or if you have concerns about depression visit Reid Psychiatric Services for more information or call 983-3050.
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Amino Acid Supplements For Depression
Amino acids are effective supplements for depression. They are the natural building blocks for the creation of neurotransmitters. Instead of taking antidepressant drugs, you can take amino acids and get the same results. What causes depression in a lot of cases can just be a lack of neurotransmitters in the brain. Taking amino acids restores them naturally.
Serotonin Supplements for Depression and Anxiety
5-HTP Capsules in my Hand
5-HTP is made from an African bean and works for most people who take it. Your body makes 5-HT by converting tryptophan into 5-HTP and then into 5-HT. If you have enough tryptophan and B Vitamins for the conversion to take place, you should have enough serotonin. However, if you are depressed, you can take 5-HTP and skip the first half of the serotonin production process and often feel better within minutes.
- Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP High quality 5-HTP that will work.
- Click here to see my review of Jarrow Formulas 5-HTP and its comparison to Natrol 5-HTP and NOW Foods 5-HTP
For some people, 5-HTP doesnt work very well and L-Tryptophan works better. I am one of those people. Make sure you have enough B Vitamins in your system because your body uses tryptophan for other things and will convert tryptophan into niacin if you need more niacin.
Tyrosine and Phenylalanine Natural Supplements for Depression and Fatigue
Herbal Supplements For Depression
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.
- Gaia Herbs St. Johns Wort Liquid Phyto-Capsules Gaia Herbs is known for high quality. These come from a Certified Organic agricultural center.
- NOW Foods Mood Support This combines St. Johns Wort with B Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and herbs in an antidepressant formula.
- Click here to see my review on NOW Foods Mood Support
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.
- Organic India Tulsi Holy Basil Good brand, comes in a glass bottle, and helps fight stress and promote relaxation.
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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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 .
Vitamin D Deficiency And Depression
Vitamin D is probably best-known for facilitating calcium absorption to help maintain healthy bones. However, it also has a role in nervous system function, making it an important nutrient for mental wellbeing.
There is a high concentration of vitamin D receptors in the brain. Experts believe the nutrient is responsible for protecting nerve cells from damage and assisting brain development and function.
Vitamin D also affects neurotransmitter production, including serotonin and dopamine. It is widely accepted that these chemicals play a role in mental health and disorders like depression.
Finally, vitamin D appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is relevant because there is mounting evidence that chronic inflammation is involved in the development of depression.
Therefore, many scientists have hypothesized that vitamin D deficiency could lead to mood disorders. There is also plenty of research to support this idea.
For example, a 2013 review of papers on vitamin D deficiency and depression included 14 studies and 31,434 participants. It concluded that people with depression tend to have lower vitamin D levels than non-depressed controls.
It seems there is also a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and anxiety, although this area is not as well studied.
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Treating Vitamin D Deficiency
The best way to treat vitamin D deficiency is to:
- Increase your exposure to the sun
- Increase your intake of food fortified with vitamin D
- Take supplements
Your doctor may also give you antidepressants to treat depression. You can take them separately or with dietary supplements. Join a support group, exercise regularly and practice proper sleeping habits.
Preventing Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D is as vital for mental health as it’s essential for physical health. There is sufficient research to show that not having enough of the vitamin can lead to depression-like symptoms. People with depression have higher chances of having vitamin D deficiency. Prevent this from happening by adding food rich in Vitamin D to your diet and getting adequate sun exposure.
Who Suffers From Depression
Whether youre feeling a little blue or are unable to get out of bed in the morning, youre not alone. Depression is a major public health issue worldwide, impacting more than 264 million people, according to the World Health Organization.
In the U.S., the statistics are just as staggering. The governments National Institute of Mental Health says that more than 17 million U.S. adultsover 7% of all adultshad at least one major depressive episode in 2017. For adult women, the prevalence of major depressive episode was nearly 9% versus just over 5% for men. Those individuals in the 18-25 age range experienced the highest level of a major depressive episode.
And thats not even taking into account mild or moderate depression.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites these 2019 statistics from the National Health Interview Survey:
And those statistics are prior to COVID-19. According to one study published in September 2020 in JAMA, depression symptoms in the U.S. tripled during COVID-19 compared to prior to the pandemic.
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A new report from Mental Health America , a community-based non-profit organization, claims over 47 million American adults experience mental illness, ranging from mild to serious, with 57% of those adults not receiving treatment.
Here are few more key findings from the MHA report.
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Vitamin D Supplements ‘do Not Reduce Depression’
Past studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may lead to depression. In response, other studies propose that increasing vitamin D levels with supplements may reduce depressive symptoms. But new research, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, has found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduce depression.
The research team, led by Dr. Jonathan A. Schaffer of the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, conducted a systematic review of clinical trials that looked at how vitamin D supplementation affected depression.
The team identified seven trials involving 3,191 participants that looked at the effects of vitamin D supplementation against depression and compared this with no vitamin D supplementation.
The investigators say that almost all trials were characterized by methodological limitations and only two studies included participants who had clinical depression at study baseline.
The researchers found that vitamin D supplementation itself had no overall impact on depression.
However, further investigation revealed that for patients with clinical depression, particularly those who were taking standard antidepressant medication, vitamin D supplementation may help reduce depressive symptoms.
But Dr. Schaffer says that before this association can be confirmed, new trials that monitor the effects of vitamin D supplements in these patients need to be conducted.
Dr. Schaffer adds:
Spend More Time Outside
Every person has vitamin D receptor cells. These receptors convert cholesterol in the skin after its exposed to the ultraviolet B rays from the sun. In turn, it produces vitamin D3. Too much sun can damage skin and lead to cancer. Yet, its still important to get regular amounts of sunlight.
Some medical professionals recommend getting around 15-30 minutes of direct sunlight each day . People with darker skin will need to spend more time in the sun than those with pale complexions. Apply sunscreen right after to avoid a sunburn or serious health complications in the future.
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What Does The New Study On Vitamin D And Depression Tell Us
Earlier in this blog, we referenced a new study published in June in Nutrients that sought to determine whether the relationship between depression and Vitamin D is moderated or mediated by inflammation.
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In other words, the researchers were hoping to determine the mechanisms by which Vitamin D might impact inflammation and in turn modify depression.
The study was conducted out of Germany, using a community sample of over 7,100 adults from the LIFE-Adult Study for whom depressive symptoms were assessed by using the German version of the CES-D scale and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D D) levels and three inflammatory markers .
A quick translation: the CES-D scale stands for the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, a self-report depression scale for research in the general population to assess depression.
Serum levels of Vitamin D refer to blood levels of the nutrient.
Some background: The three markers selected have been previously linked to inflammation , and depression itself is linked to systematic inflammation .
Further, Vitamin D has been found to play an important role in modulating the immune/inflammation system and previous studies have also found that low Vitamin D levels are associated with increased inflammation. It is important to note that while a causative effect on the influence of Vitamin D on inflammation continues to be explored, that kind of relationship has not yet been determined.
Depression And Vitamin D Deficiency: Causality Assessment And Clinical Practice Implications
Alessandro Cuomo1,*, Nicola Giordano2, Arianna Goracci1 and Andrea Fagiolini11Department of Mental Health and Molecular Medicine, University of Siena Medical Center and University of Siena School of Medicine, Siena, Italy2Department of Medical, Surgical and Neurological Sciences, University of Siena Medical Center and University of Siena School of Medicine, Siena, Italy
- Corresponding Author:
- Division of Psychiatry, University of Siena, Viale Bracci 1, 53100 Siena, ItalyTel: +39- 0577-586275Fax: +39-0577-233451
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Gaps In Understanding Of The Relationship Between Vitamin D And Depression
Gaps in understanding of the association between vitamin D and depression
Much of the evidence linking vitamin D with depression in adults comes from cross-sectional studies. Cohort or case-control studies are few and RCTs, considered superior for establishing causality, are even fewer.
As the bulk of the literature is from observational studies, several questions remain. Chief among them is the issue of small and unrepresentative samples, varying measures of depression , and the potential problem of reverse causality. Given that two of the important negative studies came from China and Hong Kong, the issue of latitude moderating the association between vitamin D and depression needs further examination.
Owing to several sources of bias in existing studies and the danger of publication bias impacting the literature on vitamin D and depression, the possibility of a meta-analysis answering this question with finality remains bleak. More RCTs are therefore needed to examine the efficacy of supplemental vitamin D on prevention and treatment of depression.
Knowledge gaps in biological underpinnings between vitamin D and depression
Gaps in understanding the effect of vitamin D supplementation in depression