Are you considering Supplements for Depression? What to take or avoid!

Are you considering Supplements for Depression? What to take or avoid!

What Anti Depressant Medications do

Depression is a complex disorder with a range of mental and physiological causes and effects—and though many treatments for depression disorders exist, there is no perfect treatment that works for everyone. The use of antidepressant medications is often used to help relieve the distress of depression or anxiety by increasing the activity of certain neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, which are linked to mood and emotion.

Antidepressants help many people. However, they don't always address its causes and may not work for some and/or their benefits can be limited. This is why they're usually used in combination with therapy, support from family and friends and self-care (e.g., regular exercise, a nutritious diet and optimal sleep).

Integrative or naturopathic doctors may suggest using specific supplements to complement prescribed medications. It is important to discuss these options with your health care provider before trying them on your own

Supplements that complement prescribed antidepressants

Ashwagandha (botanical name, Withania somnifera) with antidepressants like SSRIs can be a safe, effective and healthy way of supporting your mental health. This herb can support the body against stress and reduce anxiety levels via its calming effect. Some individuals find improvement in mood by its ability to balance hormones and enhance nervous system function.

Folic Acid is a naturally occurring B vitamin required for the formation of serotonin and norepinephrine. Studies have identified a link between low folate levels & depression. Reach for the active form of folic Acid to see optimal benefits, PURE LAB Bioactive Folic Acid Slow Release . The slow release provides more consistent blood levels to nourish the body and mind.  

B12 – methylcobalamin – Research has identified links between vitamin B12 deficiency and depression. Studies show that Vitamin B12 supplementation with antidepressants significantly improved depressive symptoms in individuals who are deficient in B12. Methylcobalamin is the only form of B12 that can cross the blood-brain barrier without help or conversion, stimulating the creation of serotonin for mood support.

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid found predominantly in fish oil. Research has shown that omega-3 significantly reduces depressive symptoms when combined with antidepressants. Omega-3 augments antidepressant efficacy by promoting modulation, reuptake, degradation, and synthesis of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin—all targeted in depression treatment. It also makes cells healthier by improving the fluidity of the cellular membranes.

Vitamin D receptors are abundant in the prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra—brain areas that play a role in depression. Vitamin D increases healthy activity in these areas of the brain. There are few studies that show that taking vitamin D improves depression or anxiety symptoms.

N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) is a precursor to glutathione, is considered one of the most important antioxidants in your body and is critical for regulating inflammation.   Research shows that people with depression are more likely to have higher levels of inflammatory cytokines. Safe and well tolerated, NAC may help reduce inflammation and ease depressive symptoms

Foundational Supplements – Your Daily MUSTS

A daily Multivitamin is a must for all age groups to ensure you are getting and absorbing essential nutrients. Did you know that suboptimal intake of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and zinc, has been associated with mild psychiatric symptoms and mood disorders in older people? Regardless of age, a multi should be part of your daily diet to ensure optimal mental and physical health.

Probiotics, either taken by themselves or combined with prebiotics, may help to ease depression. The two-way relationship between the brain and digestive tract (gut-brain axis) improving the environment in the gut with good bacteria may benefit mental health.


Probiotics are so important to mental health that some brands formulate their probiotics with mood-supportive supplements such as DR FORMULATED - Probiotics Mood+ 50 billion. And the addition of Ashwagandha is safe to take with other prescribed medications.

Supplements you must avoid if taking antidepressants

Certain supplements are processed and used by the body in the same way (pathway) as antidepressants resulting in competition with one another or an increase or decrease in the effectiveness of one another. Some supplements are so closely related to antidepressants that taking them can result in overdosing on your antidepressant medication. Let's take a look

St John's Wort is one of the supplements most closely related to antidepressant medication, and in some countries, it is actually prescribed as such. St. John's wort can cause a buildup of serotonin in the body when taken with antidepressants. This can result in serotonin syndrome, which causes side effects like anxiety, sweating, confusion, tremors, lack of coordination and an accelerated heart rate.

5HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan is converted by the body to serotonin to increase serotonin levels. When used in combination with antidepressants, there is the potential to cause a buildup of serotonin, resulting in serotonin syndrome, a dangerous condition

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) In multiple studies, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) emerged as a helpful nutraceutical (supplement) for improving the effectiveness of antidepressants but only under the supervision of your physician. . SAMe targets specific neurotransmitters in the brain in a similar way as antidepressants, thus enhancing mood-lifting effects depending on the strength and type of antidepressant you are taking. If taken unsupervised, it could negatively affect your prescribed medication.  

Garcinia Cambogia is found in citrus fruits and high dosages in many diet supplements as an appetite suppressant. This supplement may affect the functionality of your antidepressant. While the mechanisms in animal and human studies are unclear, garcinia may be associated with developing serotonin toxicity symptoms.

Avoid Taking Medications with Grapefruit juice- Did you know you should avoid taking any medication, not only antidepressants, with grapefruit juice? Grapefruit juice binds to an enzyme in your intestinal tract, which reduces the absorption of certain medications. When grapefruit juice blocks the enzyme, it's easier for the medication to pass from your gut to your bloodstream, causing a quick, less managed result

Will Some Foods Interact as well?
Most foods will not interact with your prescribed antidepressants but try to limit your intake of foods rich in the amino acids tyramine, a non-essential amino acid. Tyramine is found in cheeses, beer and other fermented products and, when taken along with your medication, can result in headaches, nausea, anxiety, and an increase in blood pressure.

The Moral?
Don't be afraid to include supporting supplements in your regimen. Most supplements are safe to take with your medications and can enhance your life and overall wellness by supporting the entire body and central nervous system. This is especially true for multivitamins and green food supplements. Check the ingredients of multi-formula supplements to ensure none of the big offenders are in the mix. Consult your health care provider if you are uncertain.



Manage Your Stress Response  -Provide the right nutrients for brain-body balance

Consider re-establishing the brain-body balance by providing your body with nutrients to handle the stress response better and a more balanced way to manage your day. Supplements can help the body better manage the stress response and the hormones associated with the response. For example:

A Vitamin B Complex helps to stabilize the central nervous system and the production of cortisol. B Vitamins help take some of the pressure off the adrenal glands and can improve mood and energy by lowering blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical linked with stress and other health conditions. Take your B vitamins with food to avoid any stomach upset.

Ashwagandha has a historical history in traditional Ayurvedic Medicine. It contains phytochemicals that act as precursors to the hormones that regulate the stress response in the body. Ashwagandha can act as a mood stabilizer and significantly reduce cortisol levels which. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can have a number of undesirable effects on the human body when produced in excessive amounts

GABA is a natural calming agent of the brain. When we become overwhelmed with stress, the brain typically responds by producing more GABA to produce a more relaxed state, decreasing nervousness, scattered thoughts, and hyperactivity. GABA can improve relaxation without drowsiness and enhance mental focus. GABA also controls stress-related eating & food cravings and can facilitate sleep. We love the Natural Factors Gaba supplements because they come in a few different forms. You can take a yummy chewable throughout the day or a capsule on a more scheduled morning and night routine

L-Theanine is a unique amino acid found in green tea. It has been used for centuries to promote relaxation without causing any drowsiness. L- Theanine works by decreasing the excitatory brain chemicals that contribute to stress while increasing the brain chemicals that produce relaxation. It is said to be the "Zen" supplement because it quiets the mind. When taken during the day, it helps to take the edge off so you can focus more clearly, whereas taken at night, it helps to produce a state of chill so you can rest.   Consider supplements such as Natural Factors Mental Calmness chewable L-Theanine for daytime use and brain focus and Pure Lab Vitamins sustained released L-Theanine for an end-of-day chill

Support the Adrenal Glands - Stress triggers the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol ( a long-term stress hormone) and adrenaline (a short-term stress hormone). If the adrenal glands are not functioning properly or overproducing stress hormones, your body cannot properly recover from the stress response.   The long-term effects of adrenal stress can also play havoc on weight management and sleep disturbances. Prairie Naturals Adrenal-Force is a glandular-based product designed to alleviate adrenal fatigue and support overall adrenal function. Reduce symptoms of stress and mental fatigue. Fortified with Rhodiola Extract, L-Tyrosine, and a high potency Activated B Complex, Adrenal-Force is an ideal formula for people who experience chronic stress or mental fatigue as it delivers the necessary nutritional support for healthy adrenal function.

There are number of formulations that combine ingredients to help manage stress. By choosing the right one, you can be sure you get a full dosage of the stress-required supplements in one capsule. A high-end stress formula will help manage all aspects of the stress response. Healthology STRESS FX is formulated to help us maintain our healthy rest state. It helps us alleviate stress by lowering cortisol levels. .it promotes relaxation by boosting our calming hormones, improves mental clarity, anxiety, and memory, and helps us recover more quickly from daily life's physical and mental stressors.

Please consult your health care practitioner prior to taking the above-mentioned supplements if you are on prescribed medications for mental illness, heart, cholesterol or blood pressure. Please follow label description and health warnings. There may be unwanted interactions.

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