Benefits of Psychotherapy

10 Best Vitamins For Depression

Depression is a serious mood disorder that can negatively affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. While depression is often treated with medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes, some people may also benefit from taking vitamins.

There is some evidence that certain vitamins may help ease symptoms of depression. For example, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to depression, and vitamin B-12 deficiency has been linked to depression and cognitive decline.

While more research is needed to better understand the role of vitamins in depression, taking a multivitamin or vitamin supplement may help some people manage their symptoms.

Here are 10 Best Vitamins For Depression, based on science.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a nutrient that plays a role in many body functions. It is especially important for bone health and immune function.

Some research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to depression. One study found that people with depression were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D (1).

In another study, people with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to experience symptoms of depression (2).

Vitamin D supplements may improve symptoms of depression in people who are deficient in the vitamin. One study found that vitamin D supplementation improved symptoms of depression in people with vitamin D deficiency (3).

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that is essential for health. They can be found in fish, such as salmon, and in some plant-based oils, such as flaxseed oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health. They are thought to play a role in mood and behavior.

Some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may improve symptoms of depression. One study found that people with depression who took omega-3 supplements had a significant improvement in symptoms (4).

Another study found that omega-3 fatty acids may help to prevent depression. The study found that people who had high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood were less likely to develop depression (5).

  1. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

SAMe is a compound that is involved in many biochemical reactions in the body. It is especially important for the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood.

Some research suggests that SAMe may be effective for treating depression. One study found that SAMe was as effective as the antidepressant drug imipramine in improving symptoms of depression (6).

Another study found that SAMe was more effective than a placebo in improving symptoms of depression (7).

  1. Folic Acid

Folic acid is a nutrient that is found in leafy green vegetables, legumes, and nuts. It is important for the production of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Folic acid deficiency has been linked to depression. One study found that people with depression were more likely to be deficient in folic acid (8).

Folic acid supplementation may improve symptoms of depression. One study found that folic acid supplementation improved symptoms of depression in people who were deficient in the nutrient (9).

  1. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a nutrient that is found in meat, poultry, fish, and legumes. It is important for the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters.

Some research suggests that vitamin B6 may be effective for treating depression. One study found that vitamin B6 supplementation improved symptoms of depression in postmenopausal women (10).

Another study found that vitamin B6 supplementation improved symptoms of depression in people who were taking the antidepressant drug fluoxetine (11).

  1. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that is found in meat, poultry, and fish. It is important for the production of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to depression. One study found that people with depression were more likely to be deficient in vitamin B12 (12).

Vitamin B12 supplementation may improve symptoms of depression. One study found that vitamin B12 supplementation improved symptoms of depression in people who were deficient in the vitamin (13).

  1. Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is found in many foods, including green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It is important for many body functions, including muscle function, energy production, and blood sugar control.

Some research suggests that magnesium may be effective for treating depression. One study found that magnesium supplementation improved symptoms of depression in people with magnesium deficiency (14).

Another study found that magnesium supplementation improved symptoms of depression in people with type 2 diabetes (15).

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that are found in yogurt and other fermented foods. They are also available in supplement form.

Probiotics are thought to have several health benefits, including improving gut health. Some research suggests that probiotics may also be effective for treating depression.

One study found that people with depression who took probiotics had a significant improvement in symptoms (16).

Another study found that people with depression who took probiotics had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms (17).

  1. St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is a plant that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions. It is available in supplement form.

St. John’s wort is thought to be effective for treating depression. One study found that St. John’s wort was as effective as the antidepressant drug fluoxetine in improving symptoms of depression (18).

Another study found that St. John’s wort was more effective than a placebo in improving symptoms of depression (19).

  1. Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is found in meat, poultry, seafood, and legumes. It is important for many body functions, including immune function and wound healing.

Zinc deficiency has been linked to depression. One study found that people with depression were more likely to be deficient in zinc (20).

Zinc supplementation may improve symptoms of depression. One study found that zinc supplementation improved symptoms of depression in people who were deficient in the mineral (21).

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for depression, certain vitamins and supplements may offer some relief. If you are considering taking any of these nutrients, be sure to speak with your doctor first.

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