Increasingly it is becoming evident, even to the sometimes single minded scientific community that natural supplements, vitamins and herbs can significantly help an individual who may be suffering from symptoms associated with Depression.
Our research team has put together this comprehensive list. If you have any other supplements you would like us to research just email firstname.lastname@example.org
While we are not Doctors or Nutritionists, if you are confused about what supplements you should take, reach out to us via the email above or you can join our Facebook Support Group, Through the Mind.
Vitamin K a fat-soluble vitamin which exists in many structurally similar forms. The main sources of vitamin K are meat, poultry and dairy. Vitamin K is believed to have a positive role in the management of depression. According to the research rats were divided into four groups. First group was given normal rat diet. The second group was given high fat diet. The third group was given vitamin K and the fourth group was of the rats with the symptoms of anxiety and depression treated with vitamin K. Anxiety was measured by social interaction whereas depression was studied by pursuit test. According to the research, it was observed that the rats that were given vitamin K showed decreased anxiety and depression.
Vitamin K decreases the symptoms of depression and further human studies are needed to know the exact mechanism of action and the dose required.
Zinc is a mineral. It is called essential mineral because it is not produced by human body and therefore needs to be taken in the food. The main sources of Zinc are red meat, poultry and fish. Zinc is important for various metabolic functions of body. There is an important role of zinc in certain neurological conditions of human, the most important of which is depression. Zinc is concerned with the production of brain derived neurotrophic factor which is involved in stimulation of the production of neurons and excitation of neurons in central and peripheral nervous system. According to a research 1643 patients of depression and 804 controlled patients there was deficiency of zinc the in the patients of depression.
Studies have found that addition of zinc in the diet of the patients of depression treated with antidepressants benefit more as compare to the patients given antidepressants alone. Zinc has a positive role in the management of depression. Although further human studies are needed to assess the exacts mechanism of action and dose required.
Probiotics are living organisms that are believed to cause health benefits by increasing number or activity of gut flora. Probiotics are taken in the diet in the form of fermented products and pickled vegetables. Probiotics have a controversial role in the management of depression. According to the research it is noted that probiotics has bidirectional role in brain and gut. When fecal bacteria and symptoms of depression were studied it was observed that the addition of certain bacteria caused decrease in the symptoms of depression. According to another study it was noticed that gut flora increased the level of tryptophan and decreased level of serotonin thus causes the decrease in the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Above studies support the role of probiotics in reducing the risks of depression. Further studies on large scales and RCT’s are needed to determine whether probiotics significantly reduce the overall risks of depression.
Turmeric is a flowering plant, the roots of which are used in cooking. The active ingredient of turmeric as curcumin. It as an essential part of food in South Asia. Turmeric is believed to have been associated with many anti-psychotic effects According to the research it is observed that curcumin in combination with black pepper has beneficial role in the management of mild cases of depression. Furthermore, it is also seen that when curcumin is used in combination with fluoxetine in the management of depression the results are better as compared to use of fluoxetine alone.
According to available studies it is seen that turmeric decreases the symptoms of depression but further human studies are needed to know the exact mechanism, dose and side effects in the human patients.
Folic acid is a type of Vitamin B12. Major sources are beans, peas, lentils, dry fruits, broccoli and liver. Folic acid is used in synthesis and maturation of red blood cells in the human body. In some studies, folic acid is seen to decrease the incidence of certain neuropsychiatric disorders particularly depression. In some recent studies, folic acid deficiency has been seen to be associated with increases the incidence of depression with additional symptoms of decrease appetite and folate levels. Folic acid levels are directly related to CSF levels of serotonin. In patients with decrease levels of folic acid leads to decreased level of CSF serotonin that is the main neurotransmitter used in mood enhancement. Folic acid metabolism provides methyl group to methyl homocysteine to form the serotonin.
In view of the studies conducted it is perceived that addition of supplemented folic acid in addition to dietary folic acid may decrease the incidence or augment the therapy for depression. However, more human trails are required to give the further opinion.
Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid is a water-soluble enzyme that is an important part of metabolism. It is richly found in citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables. In addition to its role in immune system and metabolism it is also noted to have an important role in psychiatric disorders like Anxiety and depression. Vitamin C acts as a Coenzyme in many enzymatic functions in body. The most important is the conversion of Dopamine into Norepinephrine which is pivotal in maintaining mood. In a study conducted on mice it was seen that addition of vitamin C in the diet leads to increase in mood stabilization and combating depression. In another study a continuous stress was given to mice and its response was seen after giving the mice Vitamin C and Fluoxetine. It was observed that the mice had the same positive response to Vitamin C in treating depression as with the Fluoxetine. In another study conducted in a mental hospital it was seen that the patients of depression and anxiety had low levels of Vitamin A, C and E as compared to the Normal Healthy Patients.
Vitamin C plays and important role in the management of Depression. However Exact mechanism and dose calculation needs further human testing.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 is a water-soluble vitamin essential in many metabolic and homeostatic functions in human body. The rich sources of the vitamin are cereals, beans, liver, poultry and eggs. The purpose of the article is to elaborate role of vitamin B3 in the management of depression. According to the studies and researches conducted to establish any association between vitamin B3 and its role in treating depression it is observed that there is no definitive role of the vitamin in the treatment of depression. However, some personnel experiences do tell the beneficial effects of the vitamin in the treatment of depression. The possible mechanism of action is as a part of metabolism converting tryptophan into serotonin which is the main neurotransmitter involved in the stabilization of mood.
Studies conducted concludes that there is no direct documented role of vitamin B3 in the treatment of depression. However further human studies are required to know the role of the vitamin and its dose required in the treatment of depression.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble enzyme needed for various metabolic functions of human body. The main sources of the vitamin are cereals, beans, liver, meat and eggs. The purpose of the article is to summarize the effects of vitamin B6 in the management of depression. According to the studies conducted to ascertain the role of vitamin B6 in the management of depression it was seen that there was no exact role of the vitamin B6 was seen in the treatment of depression but it was seen that there is positive role the vitamin the management of premenstrual syndrome. The exact mechanism of action is not known but it is believed to have some role in the metabolism of certain neurotransmitter.
There is no direct role of the vitamin B6 in the treatment of depression but there is some association in the treatment of depression associated with premenstrual syndrome. Further study of the vitamin B6 alone or adjuvant therapy in the management of depression in women is indicated.
Magnesium is one of most important minerals found in human body. The main source of magnesium is nuts, seeds and dark chocolate. In many studies conducted it has been seen that magnesium is associated with the management of depression. A study was conducted where 6 weeks trial of magnesium supplements was given to the patients with varying degrees of the symptoms of depression. The study includes the anxiety, adherence to medication and use of magnesium supplements in the future. Results were observed at two weeks interval showing that there was significant reduction in symptoms of depression. The mechanism of action of magnesium in the management is unknown but it is the part of many hormonal, enzymatic and neurotransmitters.It acts as calcium antagonist and voltage dependent blocker of N-methyl-aspartate. Low levels of magnesium cause synaptic dysregulation.
There is significant role of magnesium in the management of depression both as alone and in combination with SSRI. Further human studies are required to know the exact mechanism of action and safer dose required in the management of depression.
Lavandula also called lavender is one of the family members of mint family which is used in food as flavoring agents. It is also used in the treatment of many diseases. Lavender is believed to have curative role in the management of depression. Lavender either in oral form or as aromatherapy is seen to play beneficial role in the management of anxiety and depression. The mechanism of action in vitro is by potentiating the expression of GABA-A receptors. The antidepressant drugs like imipramine has far better results when given in combination with lavender as compared to when given alone.
Lavender has beneficial role in the management of depression. 20-80 mg of Lavender extracts is advised daily for the effective treatment of depression.
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant native to America and Europe. It is used as flavoring agent in food and as an herbal medicine for various psychotic diseases. Valerian is said to have beneficial role in the management of anxiety, depression and sleep disorder. According to NCCAM the valerian is used for the treatment of anxiety, depression and sleep disorder. Although there is no scientific evidence that the valerian works well for anxiety and depression but studies have shown that 4 to 6 weeks of treatment can be given. According to the mayo clinic valerian has no side effects but it is associated with headache, dizziness and gastrointestinal upset.
Valerian is useful in the management of anxiety and depression but further human testing is required to inquire about the mechanism of action and side effects. The researchers are not clear about the mechanism of action but 200 mg of valerian 2 to 3 times a day are beneficial for anxiety, depression and sleep disorder.
Lemon balm is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to mint family. It is used in many foods as flavoring agent and also has various other health benefits. It is believed to have role in sleep disorder and allaying the symptoms of depression. In a study conducted it was seen that the Rosmarinus acid which is the main ingredient of Lemon balm is effective against the symptoms of anxiety, sleep disorders and depression as compare to the placebo group.
Lemon balm is useful in the management of depression although further human studies are needed to comment on the exact mechanism of action and dose required.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in vivo by pineal gland of human body. This hormone is involved in internal circadian rhythm which regulates the sleep wake cycle. This article is intended to establish and conclude any role of melatonin the management of depression. Melatonin is produced by pineal gland from serotonin. Serotonin is the main neurotransmitter involved in happiness and feeling of joy. Melatonin creates the sleep wake cycle and thus has a positive role in the treatment of depression but it also decreases the energy level of body and may exaggerate the depression in some individuals. Melatonin is used and benefited mostly by people suffering from seasonal affective disorder due to lack of exposure to sunlight.
It is concluded that melatonin has a beneficial role in treating the depression but its use must be cautious and needs further human testing as it may cause and exaggerate the depression in some individuals.
Dehydroepiandrosterone is the most abundant endogenous steroid hormone of the body. It is formed by adrenals, gonads and brain. The objective of this review is to establish the role of Dehydroepiandrosterone in the management of depression. According to the National institute of mental health Dehydroepiandrosterone hormonal replacement plays an effective role in the management of mild to moderate depression in the midlife. According to a study 50 percent of the patients had decreased symptoms of depression with the use of DHEA. This hormonal replacement can be used in those patients who do not respond to the first line treatment of depression or do not want to take traditional medication.
Dehydroepiandrosterone can be used in the management of depression. Further human studies are needed to give the mechanism of action and the dose required.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the Phyto cannabinoid discovered in 1940. Testing in animal models provide some evidence that Cannabidiol is beneficial in the management of depression. According to some studies in 2014 it is suggested that CBD helps relieving the anxiety and depression. In the reviews of 2018, it is again suggested that CBD is used both as short term and long term in the management of anxiety and depression. The only mechanism of action understood is by interacting with serotonin and endocannabinoids in the central nervous system.
Cannabidiol is supported by animal models to have beneficial role in the management of depression. Further human studies are required to give exact mechanism of action and dose required.
Calcium in an important mineral and is the major part of bones and teeth. The main source of calcium is dairy products, kale, broccoli, citrus fruits and canned fish. Calcium is believed to be have an important role in the management of psychological condition such as anxiety and depression. In a study it was seen that addition of calcium supplements in the diet of patients of depression with varying symptoms had a positive impact in alleviating the stress and depression. Calcium is also associated with the management and reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. The exact mechanism of action of calcium is not known but it is believed to be part of calcium/calmodulin protein kinase system in the hippocampus that is associated with long term depression. Moreover, the calcium in the extracellular fluid is associated with nerve conduction and that is how is related to mania and irritability.
Calcium has a beneficial role in the management of depression but the exact mechanism of action needs further human testing conducted under control environment.
Anise also called as aniseed is a flowering plant that is used as a flavoring agent in many foods and alcoholic beverages. Anise is said to have a beneficial role in the management of depression. In a study conducted on mice the anise seed extract shows high benefits in the management of depression as any other commonly use antidepressant. In another study 107 patients were given 3 grams of aniseed extracts 2 times a day reduced the symptoms of depression. In another study 120 patients were given 200 mg capsule of anise oil two times a day and it also showed beneficial effects for depression as any other antidepressant available.
According to the studies conducted on human and animals, anise has proven to be useful in the management of depression.
Caffeine is a Central Nervous System stimulant that is used to treat many psychogenic disorders worldwide. Caffeine acts as a reversible inhibitor of adenosine at its receptor and thus reduces the onset of drowsiness. Depression is a psychiatric disorder affecting a large number of people in the world. Depression is treated by many psychiatric therapies and medications. Studies suggest that Caffeine plays a beneficial role in the patients of depression. According to a research it has been seen that Caffeine reduces the risks of depression but in another study, it is seen that there is no connection between risks of depression and use of non-caffeinated drinks. Caffeinated drinks have been seen to reduce the rate of suicide in the patients suffering from depression but this depends on the age of the patients as well because in another study caffeine has been seen to increase the incidence of depression in the students of grade five to ten. There is also an indirect role of caffeine and depression as the caffeine decrease the sleep induction that may lead to increase incidence of depression.
According to studies conducted it seems that caffeine decrease the symptoms of depression but it may also worsen it. More human studies are needed to see the impact of caffeine on depression and other mood disorders.
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)
Pantothenic acid is widely distributed in foods with the richest source coming from meat (liver, heart), avocado, broccoli and some yeasts. Higher levels of nutrient intake, including pantothenic acid, results in better mental health scores, as based on the global assessment of functioning scores and the Hamilton depression rating scale. It is sometimes called the "anti-stress" vitamin, but there is no concrete evidence whether it helps the body withstand stress. Because pantothenic acid is found so readily in many foods, its deficiency is rare. Pantothenic acid deficiency has been observed only in severely malnourished patients and in patients treated with an antagonist of pantothenic acid—omega-methyl pantothenic acid. These patients experienced burning sensations of the feet, insomnia, weakness, and depression.
Vitamin B5 is one of the most important vitamins for human life. It’s necessary for making blood cells, and it helps you convert the food you eat into energy. Further studies are required to determine whether pantothenic acid plays a role in mental health disorders, including depression.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is found in tea leaves. it is a water-soluble, non-protein amino acid commonly found in green tea and some mushrooms, has been widely studied for its ability to encourage wakeful relaxation without sedation. It was identified in tea by Japanese scientists in 1949. While tea is the most common dietary source for L-theanine, this compound is also found in some types of mushrooms. In foods, particularly green tea, L-theanine is thought to be a source of umami, the savory, brothy taste. L-theanine is what’s known as an anxiolytic—it works to reduce anxiety. Some anxiolytics, such as valerian and hops, have sedative effects. L-theanine, on the other hand, promotes relaxation and stress reduction without sedating. L-theanine can help foster a state of calm, attentive wakefulness.
L-theanine has positive effects on both the mental and physical symptoms of stress, including lowering heart rate and blood pressure. In patients with major depressive disorder, the supplement ameliorated symptoms of anxiety and depression and improved sleep quality and cognitive function.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in fish oil and certain marine algae. Two omega-3 fatty acids — eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — are thought to have the most potential to benefit people with mood disorders. Because depression appears less common in nations where people eat large amounts of fish, scientists have investigated whether fish oils may prevent and/or treat depression and other mood disorders. Omega-3 can easily travel through the brain cell membrane and interact with mood-related molecules inside the brain. They also have anti-inflammatory actions that may help relieve depression. Recent work at Massachusetts General Hospital and Emory University suggests that depressed individuals who are overweight and have elevated inflammatory activity may be particularly good candidates for EPA treatment.
Children and adolescents with depression may also benefit from omega-3 supplementation. At Harvard, there is a large study underway examining whether omega-3 supplementation (alone or in combination with vitamin D) can prevent depression in healthy older adults.
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians. Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. Vitamin B-12 play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Low levels of B-12 and folate may be linked to depression. Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and contains the mineral cobalt, so compounds with vitamin B12 activity are collectively called “cobalamins”. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.
The vitamin B12 level and the probability of recovery from major depression may be positively associated. Nevertheless, further studies are suggested to confirm this finding. If you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, taking a daily supplement that includes vitamin B-12 may help your body get the nutrients it needs. But study results have been mixed and questionable on whether vitamin B-12 supplements can help reduce the risk of depression. Because B-12 and other vitamin supplements can interact with some medications, especially in high doses.
Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble nutrient. It helps keep bones healthy and strong, helps cell growth, and benefits immune function. Human body absorbs vitamin D primarily through sun exposure, although dietary supplements and certain foods are also sources of the nutrient. Vitamin D deficiency occurs when your body doesn't absorb the recommend levels. Insufficient vitamin D levels can cause your bones to become misshapen, brittle, or thin. Studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Researchers behind a 2013 meta-analysis noticed that study participants with depression also had low vitamin D levels. The same analysis found that, statistically, people with low vitamin D were at a much greater risk of depression.
The researchers believe that because vitamin D is important to brain function, insufficient nutrient levels may play a role in depression and other mental illnesses. An earlier 2005 study Trusted Source identified vitamin D receptors in the same areas of the brain associated with depression.
Saffron is a spice made from the stigmas of the fall-flowering plant Crocus sativus, a member of the iris family. Saffron threads are fine and have a yellow tendril on one end and a flute on the other. Saffron contains chemicals that alter mood, kill cancer cells, decrease swelling, and act like antioxidants. Research shows that taking saffron or saffron extract by mouth for 6-12 weeks improves symptoms of major depression. Some studies show that saffron might be as effective as taking a prescription antidepressant, such as fluoxetine, imipramine, or citalopram. Early research in patients already taking an antidepressant shows that taking crocin, a chemical found in saffron, for 4 weeks reduces symptoms of depression more than taking the antidepressant alone.
While results of increased mental wellness coupled with good short-term basic safety profile recommend saffron may be an exceedingly efficient alternative approach for the treating depression. It is at present unidentified that the positive results of saffron obtained during preliminary trials will proceeds in long-term health benefits until well-controlled and longer-term research are achieved.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid, which is a building block of protein that occurs naturally in the body. L-Tyrosine can also be found in certain foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, oats, and wheat. It produces important brain chemicals that help nerve cells communicate and may even regulate mood. Tyrosine has also been said to help with depression. Depression is thought to occur when the neurotransmitters in your brain become unbalanced. Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to help realign and balance them. Because tyrosine can increase the production of neurotransmitters, it’s claimed to act as an antidepressant. L-tyrosine is a precursor of more than one of the neurotransmitters affected by depression. Even though setbacks of monoamines precursors include high doses and low efficiency, many studies have suggested using L-tyrosine as antidepressant.
The effects of L-tyrosine administration on the cerebral levels of tyrosine hydroxylase and corticotropin-releasing factor should be further investigated. Acute tryptophan depletion continues to provide a research tool for investigating the relevance of serotonin to depression onset. There is limited evidence that tryptophan loading is effective as a treatment for depression through its action of increasing serotonin production. The evidence for tyrosine loading promoting catecholamine production as a possible treatment for depression appears even less promising, and depletion studies less informative.
Glutamine is an important amino acid with many functions in the body. It is a building block of protein and critical part of the immune system. L-glutamine can be produced naturally in your body. In fact, it is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and other body fluids It has been found that l-Gln supplementation showed antidepressant properties on adult study participants suffering from depression. Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. It is required for learning and memory. Low levels can lead to tiredness and poor brain activity. Increased levels of glutamate can cause death to the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain, a symptom of this would be memory loss. Dysfunction in glutamate levels are involved in many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Tourette's. High levels also contribute to Depression, OCD, and Autism.
Glutamine has been used in the treatment of depression, but there are no studies examining whether it is any more effective than placebos. Glutamate is also a precursor to the ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter GABA. GABA works by preventing neural signaling in over-excited neurons caused by glutamate that could result in anxiety and depression. Researchers shows that neuronal deficiency of L-glutamine causes depression. There is presently no good evidence that glutamine is an effective treatment for depression.
St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a flowering plant. The flowers are used to make liquid extracts, pills, and teas. The popular herbal therapy is often used to ease symptoms of depression. People have been using St. John’s wort for centuries. John's wort is most commonly used for "the blues" or depression and symptoms that sometimes go along with mood such as nervousness, tiredness, poor appetite, and trouble sleeping. There is some strong scientific evidence that it is effective for mild to moderate depression. Combining St. John’s wort and certain antidepressants can lead to a potentially life-threatening increase in your body’s levels of serotonin, a chemical produced by nerve cells.
For a long time, scientists thought a chemical in St. John's wort called hypericin was responsible for its effects on improving mood. More recent information suggests other chemicals like hyperforin may play a larger role. These chemicals act on messengers in the nervous system that regulate mood.
S-Adenosyl-L-methionine is a chemical that is found naturally in the body. It’s made in the body from methionine, an amino acid found in foods. It has been found to regulate key functions in living cells. Abnormal levels of SAMe in the body have been reported in liver diseases and depression. Research has evaluated several potential uses of SAMe, and a substantial number of studies on depression and liver diseases have been completed. However, some of the studies used injected SAMe, which may not have the same effects as SAMe taken as a dietary supplement.
SAMe has been studied primarily for depression, osteoarthritis, and liver diseases. Although there are hints that it might be helpful for these conditions, the evidence is not conclusive.
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, temperature, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases the synthesis of serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and many other conditions. One study concluded that 5-HTP shouldn't be given by itself because it's not very effective and it may actually deplete neurotransmitters in your brain like dopamine and norepinephrine, which can make your depression worse. Instead, the researchers noted, 5-HTP should be given with dopamine or serotonin amino acid precursors in order to minimize side effects, prevent neurotransmitter depletion, and to get the most efficacy from 5-HTP. However, these supplemental amino acids need to be kept in careful balance or there's a risk of depression symptoms becoming worse due to neurotransmitter depletion.
Available evidence does suggest these substances are better than placebo at alleviating depression. Further studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 5-HTP and tryptophan before their widespread use can be recommended. Some clinical research shows that taking 5-HTP by mouth might be as beneficial as certain prescription antidepressant drugs for improving depression symptoms. Overall, the clinical trials published to date indicate that 5-HTP may be effective in treating depression symptoms, both on its own and when used in conjunction with prescription antidepressants. However, better quality studies are needed to firmly establish its effectiveness, especially since they have only been done in small groups of people.
Kava kava is a medicinal shrub that has been used since ancient times to stimulate neurotransmitter production in people that suffer from anxiety or depression. The primary active ingredient in kava root is kavalactone. Kavalactones are a class of lactone compounds that are thought to have psychotropic effects in the human brain. Kava affects the brain and other parts of the central nervous system. The kava-lactones in kava are believed to be responsible for its effects. It is widely accepted that kava kava is similar in structure to GABA, a natural neurotransmitter. The herb is frequently recommended by alternative medicine practitioners for the treatment of depression.
Kava root supplements and medications may offer hope for those suffering from temporary anxiety caused by the uncertainty of daily life. Kava seems to have the ability to reduce feelings of stress and depression.
L-tryptophan is an amino acid. It is called an "essential" amino acid because the body can't make it on its own. It must be acquired from food. People use L-tryptophan for severe PMS symptoms (premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD) and quitting smoking. It is also used for athletic performance, depression, insomnia, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses. Early research suggests that L-tryptophan might improve the effectiveness of common medications for depression. Because serotonin is involved in the regulation of mood and anxiety, low brain serotonin levels may contribute to increased anxiety and depression. Tryptophan depletion showed decreased mood states in participants with major depressive disorders, with a family history of depressive disorders, or with major depressive disorders in remission. Study results indicated that depression and stress were reduced and mood was significantly enhanced (p < .05) after consumption of the high tryptophan food.
Increasing dietary intake of tryptophan may affect depression and mood scores of healthy participants resulting in less depressive symptoms and better mood states when more tryptophan was present in their diet. Few clinical studies have addressed the effects of dietary tryptophan consumption on affective disorders such as mood, depression and anxiety in healthy individuals, further research is recommended.
Patients with depression can experience sleep disorder. Current treatments for depression, such as duloxetine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, not only have a slow onset of action but also are associated with side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, and ataxia. The main active ingredient of cordyceps sinensis, cordycepin, may have antidepressant effects, as well as pro-immunity, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-fatigue, and anti-viral properties.
Cordyceps sinensis combined with duloxetine can effectively improve sleep symptoms of depression. Researchers has investigated the safety and effectiveness of cordyceps sinensis (containing approximately 1.0% cordycepin) in combination with duloxetine in treating sleep disorder in patients with depression.
Salix alba (SA), commonly known as white willow, is a plant used in folk medicine for the treatment of chronic and acute inflammation, infection, pain, and fever. The phytochemical characterization of the bark extract of this plant indicated that its main component is salicin, a precursor of the anti-inflammatory agent acetylsalicylic acid. The bark of the stately white willow tree (Salix alba) has been used in China for centuries as a medicine because of its ability to relieve pain and lower fever. Early settlers to America found Native Americans gathering bark from indigenous willow trees for similar purposes. Relieve acute and chronic pain, including headache, back and neck pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. The effectiveness of white willow bark for easing these and other types of discomforts results from its power to lower prostaglandin levels. Control arthritis discomforts. Some arthritis sufferers taking white willow bark have experienced reduced swelling and inflammation, and eventually increased mobility, in the back, knees, hips, and other joints.
Salix Alba does not play any role in treatment of depression. It is only use in treatment of pain and fever.
Guarana was also shown to improve attention speed, sustained attention performance, working and explicit memory. Longer treatment periods did not produce any significant mood effects in healthy individuals or in individuals undergoing radiation therapy. However, 1 study reported that 50 mg of guarana administered twice daily for 21 days improved ratings of fatigue and tiredness without influencing anxiety or depression in individuals undergoing systemic chemotherapy. Additional concern comes from the observation that potential uses include mood enhancement as well as treatment of depression, together with the suggestion that guarana may increase feelings of well-being.
The reports show that guarana displays countless health benefits in cognitive disorders, such as depression and panic disorder or Alzheimer. Also, it is very promising as an antibacterial for oral diseases, such as plaque and periodontal diseases, and against bacterial species associated with cariogenic activity. Thus, the pharmacological activities should be fully explored with in-depth in vitro and in vivo tests, and, ultimately, clinical trials to prove these activities in humans.
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