Supplements To Use For Treating Depression

July 22 20095 Commented

Categorized Under: Healthy lifestyle

Having experienced depression myself, I know 1st hand how over absorbing the feelings of doom and gloom can be.  When I was depressed, everything was a problem.  I thought the worst about all situations and I found it incredibly difficult to feel positive about anything.  Basically I was a misery guts.

How to treat Depression using Supplements.

Illustration of the effect Depression can have

Illustration of the effect Depression can have

Thank goodness I recognised what was happening and supplemented myself with the key nutrients I needed and was quickly able to come through this.  For others though, I can imagine how terrible a path this is, especially when they are not aware that there are natural alternatives to anti depressant drugs.

Today I wanted to go over the natural products we offer to help treat depression, as well as the lifestyle changes that need to be considered too. We are going to make this into 2 videos.  1 for the supplements used and the 2nd for the lifestyle recommendations.

Important……..All of the recommendations I am going to make are for those people who are depressed and NOT already taking pharmaceutical medication.

The first important supplement to consider is 5 HTP.  5 HTP is the direct precursor of the brain chemicals serotonin and melatonin.

Serotonin is a word often associated with the use of substances like E &  P  as taking these recreational drugs depletes this vital brain chemical.  Prolonged stress, as well as a high protein, very low carb diet will also contribute to low brain levels, so party animals, dieters and body builders, be warned!

In the winter months many people suffer with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called the Winter Blues, which is linked to light deprivation.

Studies show that the seasonal variations in natural light alter levels of the hormone melatonin, which subsequently causes reduced levels of serotonin.

Working in enclosed spaces without natural light can cause the same kind of problem, creating a wide range of serotonin deficiency symptoms.

Many people experience mild to moderate depression at some stage in their life & they seem to cope, leading a “normal” lifestyle.  But a serotonin deficiency can be different as you feel really withdrawn, loose your sense of humour & start to take everything personally.

You are “in your head” with thoughts racing at a million miles an hour.  Comments, glances, & situations are viewed personally & negatively.  If someone speaks to you, it irritates you.  If they don’t speak, you become angry & feel ignored.

Supplementation with 5 HTP can assist in the management of depression, primary insomnia, panic disorders, appetite disorders such as those leading to obesity and excessive aggression.

I love 5 HTP.  When I started taking 5 HTP I could not believe how very quickly I was able to snap out of the depression.  I went from doom and gloom, to hey, its not so bad after all.

At Ideal Health we stock a lot of different 5 HTP supplements, ranging in strength from 5 HTP 50mg right up to 5 HTP  120mg.

5 HTP can be sedating for some people, so taking this in the evening is best, once you are home for the evening and can relax.    Depending on your body weight, most people start with a dosage of 100mg.  Personally, I took 2 capsules of the 120mg.  It is important to take this away from food and especially protein.  I usually suggest 1-2 hours before bed. Take with Vitamin C rich liquid, so a squeeze of lemon juice in water is good.  Do remember though, you Cannot take 5 HTP if you are also taking antidepressant medication.

Taking a good calcium and magnesium supplement to support your nervous system nutritionally would be good too.  Symptoms of low levels of these essential minerals include muscle spasms and twitches, cramps, restless legs, being unable to unclutter your head of racing thoughts to fall asleep or to sleep soundly, jumping at sudden sounds, an intolerance to loud noises, such as the radio being on.   Generally your nerves will feel on edge and you will not be able to relax properly.

If your problem is more nerve related – so jumpy and nervy, then the Radiance Mineral power would be the better choice

If your problem is more muscular related, then the Xcel Health Superior Magnesium would be the better choice.

These minerals are usually taken at night, as calcium is best absorbed at night time, away from food.

As NZ adults, we all need a minimum of 800mg of calcium each and every day.  Usually we would take 400mg of Mg, to go with this, however some people need more.  Do not take more than 2000mg of calcium in a day and do not take more than 1000mg of Mg in a day, without professional advice.

As a women, another contributor to depression could be that your iron levels are low.   It is not common for men to have low iron, in fact a lot of men have high or very high iron.  This is caused by having poor liver function.

Other symptoms of low iron include breathlessness and breathing problems, headaches, dizziness or a light headed feeling, fatigue, low appetite and an inability to shut your brain off at night time to go to sleep.

I believe one of the most common causes of post natal depression is low iron.  So many pregnant women have iron issues that are not properly evaluated, let alone addressed to correct this.  If you are pregnant, your iron levels fall twice during pregnancy – at 12 and 32 weeks.  My suggestion is getting iron levels tested before these times and drops, so that correct supplementation can be undertaken.   The iron supplement i recommend is our Xcel Health Superior Iron, which contains the form of iron bisglycinate, a non constipating form.

Taking a good assortment of B Vitamins is also important for those with depression.  I like the really strong Supreme B125, which is a time release B Vitamin.  Petite women (and perhaps small men) may not be able to handle this strength though and may have to take a smaller amount of B vitamins, such as in the Radiance B50.

There has been a lot of research into Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), such as those found in fish oil and in its use or effect in depression.  It has been found that DHA (which is naturally occurring in fish oil) levels are low in people with depression.  As well as this, it has been found to be vital for those with any neurological disorder, with studies showing fish oil combination’s containing EPA and DHA have been shown to benefit attention/deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia and aggression.  We obviously stock a lot of fish oil supplements.  I like the Go Healthy Fish Oil 1200mg, as the EPA & DHA levels are higher than a usual 1000mg capsule.

S- Adenosyl Methionine or SAMe is something else we recommend for depression.  Samme occurs naturally in every living cell.  It helps our bodies make and regulate hormones, cell membranes and the neurotransmitters that affect mood.  Sammie promotes emotional well being   It has many other benefits in the body too, such as with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, liver disease and migraine headaches.

Herbally, we all hear about St Johns wort for depression.  But is it really helpful?  The simple answer is YES it is.  The official German Commission Monograph states that people suffering from mild to moderate depressive states, fear & nervous disturbances may benefit from taking St johns wort.

We obviously stock a lot of different St Johns wort products, but my favourite is the Remotiv, from Flordis.  There are only 2 St Johns wort products that I know of, that have had been properly researched and the Flordis Remotiv is one of those.  You can do a search for Remotiv on the internet.  If you type in Ze 117 you will be able to read about the clinical trials that have been done on this product.  If you would like to order this product, just call us and speak to one of the naturopaths here, as we are unable to list this product on our web site, but would be happy to recommend it to you, if appropriate.

Remotiv has been studied in over 2000 patients in clinical trials.  The low side effects and interactions reported have been confirmed in clinical practice, where over 500 million tablets of Remotiv have been sold world wide, which is equivalent to 6 million treated patients.  Another benefit of this product, in comparison to other St Johns Wort products is it is able to be taken while also taking the contraceptive pill.  This is not the case with other St J Wort, but is the case with Remotiv.

So these are the main supplements I suggest.  There are plenty of other available, but I tend to stick to these.

5 responses to “Supplements To Use For Treating Depression”

  1. Wendy R says:

    An excellent informative video thanks Leanne. I admire the way that you are prepared to share your own personal stories to help clients. This breaks down the barriers that can occur between clients and practitioners. Am sure that I could benefit from a number of the products mentioned for sure. Will check the prices and check the budget! Kind regards and thanks. Wendy

  2. Jacque says:

    Unfortunately, I am unable to view the video on my computer but the information above was excellent. I reached into my drawer and took my flax seed oil and fish oil capsules straight away. I am not very good at taking pills so your email gave me the push I need to remember to take my supplements regularly. Thank you for this information.



  3. chase andrews says:

    It’s hard to come by decent info on the web now thanks for this.

  4. Lance Fraint says:

    I by and large don’t post in Blogs. But, your blog forced me to! Awesome job.. Keep it coming! Regards!

  5. Emma Green says:

    Hi Leanne, just wanted to say thanks for your great blog and all this info on depression – it would be great to pop some of this info into our newsletter for new mums coping with new babies and struggling with PND. Thanks so much and I will definitely be referring women to your services, best wishes, Emma

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