Mental Health

Depression: 10 proven supplements that improve mood

Like many other diseases, depression, can indirectly cause the death of a person. Either through suicide or self-destructive activities; it’s known as a silent killer. Here, we share a complete analysis of this disease; and the 10 best supplements to combat it.

Depression in one of the most dangerous silent diseases of our era. Because any person, regardless of age, religion or economic status; may suffer it. Being able to identify it is very important and more important is taking action.

Like many other diseases, depression, can indirectly cause the death of a person. Either through suicide or self-destructive activities; it's known as a silent killer. Here, we share a complete analysis of this disease; and the 10 best supplements to combat it.

Biological foundations of depression

"Depression is in the genes" what had once been considered a banality or a joke; Nowadays it has been proven through studies.

Depression is in our genes, specifically on chromosome 10. Patrick Sullivan, geneticist, and psychiatrist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in conjunction with many other scientists; they carried out the study, in which they found the specific mitochondria involved in this mental disorder.

"I feel the MDD, as the type of depression that is more difficult to understand. However, the responsible genes for this disease have already been isolated and identified: SIRT1 and LHPP." said the specialist.

Due to its action in the body, serotonin levels drop drastically; thus affecting, among many other things, the state of the mind.

Psychological symptoms of depression

The psychological symptoms of depression vary greatly, but will always depend on the environment of the patient.

To arrive at an exact diagnostic; it is necessary to analyze not only the person but also the people who lives with them at different levels of their life.

In addition to the loss of mood, inability to feel pleasure, guilt, fatigue, insomnia and many other symptoms; the depressive patient may present other disorders unique to their case.

However, as a constant, there is always a lack of interest in carrying out activities that; at another time it has always been pleasant. And, besides that; the person is depressed and with little vitality.

Antidepressant medications

The antidepressant drugs are the best sellers worldwide. However, many people tend to use them without respecting the medical indications; and this is where we want to emphasize. Antidepressant medications must always be consumed following the psychiatrist indications.

Because it has become of popular knowledge that a person with depression has low serotonin levels; thus, people tend to buy drugs that increase their serotonin levels. Unfortunately, many ignore the side effects of having high serotonin.

For that reason, antidepressant medications act as selective inhibitors of serotonin (SSRI). A clear example of this type of medication is Prozac.

Also, there are others such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI); which doctors could also use, depending on how serious the episodes of depression are in the patient. An example of this type of medication is Effexor XR.

Antidepressant medications versus placebo

Although drug studies in which placebos are involved always indicate that real antidepressants are considerably more efficient. In studies in which active placebos are used; the difference has not been very noticeable.

Active placebos are those that have components capable of slightly causing the side effects of a real antidepressant. People, by taking it for granted that they are taking the actual drug because they suffer the expected side effects; they present an improvement that does not go far away from those people who took the real drug.

In conclusion, the power of antidepressants may be overestimated today. Here, we tell you healthier, more natural and effective alternatives to this type of drug.

Omega 3 supplement for depression

When there are communication problems between our neurons; it is there when the problems of emotional nature appear. From anxiety, anger, panic attacks and; of course, depression.

This is due to the poor condition of the neurotransmitters. Omega 3 fish oil is responsible for protecting these neurotransmitters. That’s why going to the beach has been associated with being relaxed and with a good mood.

A person who has a diet rich in Omega 3 fish oil, is a person who always lives in a good mood; or at least with a stable and pleasant mood.

Depression, by affecting the functioning of our body from a genetic level; it greatly influences the communication of neurons. Protecting neurotransmitters reduces by 30% the probability of falling into a spiral of depression; even if it is a situation that is generally depressing.

SAM-e Supplement for depression

Protecting neurotransmitters is very important, but treating those damaged areas is even more so. And that's exactly what the SAM-e does.

Intervening in the synthesis of connective tissue and preventing the degeneration of neurotransmitters; SAM-e has become an alternative to antidepressant medications.

Not only because of the positive results obtained with it (since it improves the quality of life in other aspects); but because it has no side effects.

Although many people use it to eliminate and fight inflammation of the liver; recently it has been proven that its influence on neurotransmitters is very powerful to be ignored. So it is being implemented more to treat problems such as ADHD and addictions.

Vitamin D for the treatment of depression

Depression is not just a state of mind. As we have already discussed in this article; it has chemical and biological bases that reach our genes.

And just as the levels of serotonin in a person with depression are low; any condition that causes the neurotransmitters or that the levels of dopamine or serotonin to fall; they can induce a state of depression.

For that reason, it is so important to keep our body's vitamin D levels always high.

Having a vitamin D level below 20 ng / mL may increase the risk of depression by 85%, compared to having a vitamin D level greater than 30 ng / mL.

The worst of this is that the depression that appears recurrently because of a deficiency of vitamin D; over the years it can evolve into other types of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's or dementia.

L-methylfolate as a treatment for depression

Although the idea is to consume folic acid and let our body carry out the four stages necessary to convert it into L-methylfolate; people with depression, due to the aforementioned genetic and neuronal deficiencies; processing folic acid may not happen.

Folic acid plays a very important role in cerebrovascular health. In the absence of good communication between neurons, serotonin levels decrease and this can cause depression.

One of the reasons why this good communication between our neurons does not occur is due to circulation problems. By giving to our body L-methylfolate; we are giving it just what it needs to fight those possible causes of depression.

Our whole organism carries out functions that end up becoming a domino effect where, if something fails; it can trigger depression and other diseases.

Dietary supplements that increase serotonin: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

Although antidepressant medications already fulfill this function. You must remember that these also carry a risk of side effects.

Following a calendar and taking the correct dose of medicine; can help us overcome depression and restore mental energy and health.

However, through the food, we can keep our serotonin at an optimal level.

Here is a list of foods you should include in your diet to guarantee your brain a state of depression-proof health:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Bitter chocolate
  • Eggs and
  • Rabbit


Fish oil to improve the mood

Synthesizing serotonin is a job that can be complicated for those who suffer from depression. That's where the fish oil comes in. And specifically the salmon.

Tryptophan is an amino acid necessary to synthesize serotonin in our body and, salmon is rich in Tryptophan. In addition, this fish itself is an activator of serotonin; it stimulates our body to release it.

However, the best of the salmon and for which we recommend it; as well as the other fish that fall into the "blue" category, is its high content of Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); which is directly involved in the synthesis of serotonin.

What gives us, as a result, a food that not only increases the levels of this neurotransmitter; it also helps to protect the communication channels of the neurons and provides synthesizers.

Krill oil as a treatment for depression

The krill, despite being at the base of the food pyramid; it is an animal that provides nutrients of the highest range. Its balance of omega oils is perfect, but it also has a high phospholipid content.

Phospholipids helps communication between neurons when synthesizing neurotransmitters. That is, a person with serotonin deficiency because of the SIRT1 and LHPP genes; you can counteract this situation by eating krill oil.

The great advantage that krill oil has over fish oils and other foods; it is that we are eating a food without heavy metals; we only receive positive nutrients from it. That’s why it is so used in patients with Alzheimer's, dementia and older people with cognitive problems.

Hypericum perforatum for depression

Depression can be classified into several levels according to its severity. A patient with depression whose Hamilton values ​are between 12 and 30; it is a person suffering from mild depression.

For these cases, it is often not advisable to take antidepressant medications. Dealing with side effects (being at this point); it can be counterproductive.

Some people with mild depression do not need to "clean" their body. Many patients with severe depression associate the symptoms of side effects with an "atonement" process; a physically graphic way to get rid of depression.

However, in the case of a mild depression; these symptoms of "disease" can cause a negative effect.

That is why it is better to resort to alternatives such as Hypericum Perforatum; a famous herb.

More effective than any placebo and, without the side effects of antidepressants; this plant can be the solution to all people with mild depression.

Although not yet thoroughly studied in terms of exact dose and regularity with which it should be taken; the fact that there are no side effects, makes it a safe option.

Kava kava, Piper Methysticum

Many times, depression does not come alone; but it is triggered by other diseases or mental conditions, creating a chain effect in which, the next link; it is worse than the previous one.

The Kava Kava plant was discovered as an alternative to treat anxiety. Nevertheless; its action in our body has turned it into a natural option and without risk of side effect for depression.

Many people often turn to alcohol to deal with anxiety or depression; after all, alcohol works as an anxiolytic.

Unfortunately, alcohol is a drug; it may be socially acceptable and easy to acquire. But that does not take away the fact that it is a drug that causes dependence and deadly diseases.

The Piper Methysticum, on the other hand; it does not cause dependence and, in addition to relieving anxiety, it has a sedative effect that helps fight insomnia. Remember that insomnia is one of the many side effects of depression.

Drink Kava Kava infusion ensures emotional stability that is naturally impossible for people with a deficiency in their neurotransmitters.

Treatments with Vitamin B complexes

There are many substances that our brain must produce to help us maintain a healthy mental state. One of those substances is Norepinephrine; whose production is given thanks to the B vitamins in our body.

However, over the years our body tends not to absorb vitamin B correctly from different sources. In addition, vitamin B12 is not something that we can produce ourselves, we must obtain it from animal flesh.

Many vegetarians have vitamin B 12 deficiency due to their diet. On the other hand, chronic diseases such as gastritis or Crohn's disease; indirectly affect the levels of vitamin B12 in our body.

With this deficiency, many things happen. And this is one of the reasons why depression should be taken as a disease. An older person, realized, without worries and; who is living the golden years, may have a depression; all because of a diet low in B vitamins.

It is important that you go to your doctor regularly and follow their advice regarding nutrition. You may have to take vitamin complexes, but it is much better to resort to synthetic vitamins than to antidepressants.

Use of ASHWANGANDH, Indian Ginseng or Withania somniferous

Similar to what happens with the Kava Kava, these plants represent a natural option, free of side effects and economical; to combat depression and its possible appearance. All we have to do is rethink our diet to include them in our tea time.

It is very important that, before beginning to consume these plants or their infusions; consult your doctor and listen to his advice. Due to the vasodilator effect that many have; it is not advisable to take them during pregnancy. They can induce abortion.

Also, people with high blood pressure or other conditions; neither should they consume this type of plants. This is due to its vasodilator effect.

In general, although they do not cause side effects in a healthy person. Maybe, if you suffer from an illness or, if you are in your elder age; you don’t want to take them but resort to another alternative.

Use of St. John's wort for the mood

Known as "the plant of happiness", hypericum is another herb that lacks the side effects of depressants; but that thanks to its high content in Xanthone and Flavonols; it has the ability to improve the mood of people by making it easier for many neurotransmitters to be synthesized.

There are no established doses when drinking this type of infusions, it is not harmful or toxic when taken. However, it is contraindicated in those who take antidepressants, pregnant women and; for people who take anticoagulant medicines.

Supplement for PASSIFLORA INCARNAT

Beyond depression at the neuronal level, many of your physical symptoms can be eliminated by doing small actions. A clear example of this is drinking infusion using passiflora incarnat.

This plant has the ability to combat insomnia thanks to its sedative effect. However, unlike the plants mentioned above; it does have side effects, but only when it is consumed in large doses. From numbness of the body to hallucinations; so you shouldn’t abuse your consumption. It is a great option when it comes to fighting the fatigue and insomnia caused by depression.

It is also a great ally for people suffering from anxiety or PMS.

References:

  1. Depression: Tests, symptoms, causes, and treatment
  2. What is depression
  3. Depression
  4. Signs of Clinical Depression: Symptoms to Watch For
  5. 6 Herbs and Natural Supplements for Depression
  6. Herbal and dietary supplements for depression
  7. Depression | University of Maryland Medical Center
  8. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) | University of Maryland Medical Center
  9. Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine? 
  10. Depression & diet: Can we improve mental health through diet

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