Which dietary supplements can help treat depression?

Dietary supplements that may be useful in the treatment of depression include:
  • amino acids and their precursors
  • dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
  • folate
  • S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
Researchers believe that these nutrients may alter the production of neurotransmitters, brain chemicals implicated in mood disorders. While the effectiveness of DHEA and SAMe in the treatment of depression has been scientifically established, further research is warranted for the other dietary supplements mentioned above.

Dietary supplements are sometimes used as a primary treatment for depression. More often, they are helpful as an adjunctive therapy to standard antidepressant medication.

Additional studies on the effects of diet on depression also suggest that elimination of caffeine and sucrose may be associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.