There are research studies showing that vitamins and nutritional supplements specially targeted for depression are just as effective as prescription anti-depressants for some people. There are many natural health care providers who rely on this approach.
Admittedly, a natural approach to depression and anxiety treatment is not the "mainstream" strategy in the U.S., although acceptance of this approach is growing. This is not the case for many countries in Europe, where herbs, vitamins and other nutrients are often recommended to help ease the symptoms of depression.
If you're experiencing depression and have not found relief by using prescription anti-depressants, there are natural options available. It is now known that nutritional deficiencies are many times at least part of the cause of both physical as well as mental and emotional symptoms. This is why simple diet changes along with vitamins and nutrients can often provide depression relief.
Research has shown these vitamins and supplements for depression to be the most effective at this time;
* The nutrient SAMe is naturally found in abundance in the body, but levels tend to decline with age. There are many important processes in the body that involve SAMe, and current neurological research suggests that it plays an especially important role in brain and nervous system function.
* Although fats have gotten a bad rap in the last several decades, there are healthy fats which are essential for optimal health. These fats are called Omega-3 fatty acids. Dietary sources of Omega-3 fats include oily fish like salmon and flax products (seeds, meal, oil). For deficiencies severe enough to produce depression, stress or anxiety, supplementation is a good alternative.
* The African plant griffonia simplicifolia provides the important nutrient 5-HTP, which is being used successfully to address issues such as migraine and tension-type headaches, as well as anxiety and depression. It has been noted that some people with so-called "treatment resistant depression" have had positive results with 5-HTP.
* It has been known for decades that B vitamins play a large role in nervous system and brain function. Deficiencies occur sometimes for various reasons such as in alcoholism and poor diet. B vitamins cannot be stored in our bodies, so we depend entirely on our daily diet to supply them.
There is some variability in the quality of nutritional supplements. For effective results, it pays to seek out manufacturers who use the highest quality ingredients and production methods. Certain nutrients are very fragile and can easily be destroyed if special care is not taken during production.
An enteric coating is often used by the companies which produce the highest quality supplements. The enteric coating protects the fragile nutrients from being destroyed by stomach acids, and ensures that they are released in the small intestine where they will be better absorbed.
Since depression and anxiety symptoms involve both the mind and body, it's important to pay attention to dietary choices. After making healthy diet adjustments, vitamins and supplements for depression can help to provide additional benefits which can help to make up for any gaps in dietary nutrients.