Natural supplements that benefit people suffering from depression are not meant to replace physician-prescribed antidepressants. Still, for many people complementary vitamins, minerals, and herbs help to make life more manageable, with or without the added stress that migraines can contribute to depression.
Please note that you should always consult your doctor before beginning any new treatment, including natural supplements for depression or migraines.
Listed are four popular over-the-counter natural supplements that may help for depression.
B-complex vitamins are some of the most instrumental nutrients for maintaining a healthy nervous system. Many B vitamins, such as vitamin B12 help to protect your nervous system, while also sustaining healthy cognitive functioning. A deficiency in B12 is known to causes mood swings, depression, and anxiety.
Folic acid, or folate, is another essential B-vitamin that is often linked with depression, as researchers at Harvard University discovered a significantly high rate of depression in people with low levels of folate, and have determined that supplementing with the B vitamin folic acid may improve the effectiveness of antidepressants.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are some of the most touted brain nutrients, for good reason. In countless studies, scientists have found that people who suffer from depression have the lowest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which occur naturally in many fish products and certain nuts. Also, in countries where fish is the staple food, rates of depression are noticeably low.
For people with depression or bipolar disorder, many nutritionists recommend supplementing with fish oil supplements, or including more fish meals in your diet.
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St. John’s wort
Though not approved by the FDA for treating depression, this herb is very popular in European countries for its effectiveness at helping people with moderate depression. Consult with your doctor before experimenting with St. John’s wort as a natural supplement for depression, as it can interfere with certain medications, including migraine treatments.
New emerging evidence supports the use of saffron in helping people with depression. The popular red spice, which is found in many middle-eastern dishes, has been used for centuries by many cultures as a natural treatment for depression.
Recently, Iranian placebo-based studies focusing on depression yielded promising results when patients received 30-milligram doses of saffron, even comparing its effectiveness to Prozac.
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S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a natural substance that has a positive effect on neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. In the US, SAMe is sold over-the-counter for treatment of depression, and also insomnia.
Studies have found that people who suffer from depression often have low levels of SAMe, and that injection of this natural supplement may rival the effects of antidepressants.
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