Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the UK and worldwide. It is characterised by a low mood that lasts an extended period of time and is associated with feelings of sadness, irritability and low self-esteem.
Depression and related disorders are often treated with medication and psychotherapy, and it is essential to consult your doctor if you are experiencing signs of depression.
There is, however, a growing body of research that suggests some key nutrients have a role in the fight against depression. Before introducing supplements to your diet, it is recommended that you consult a health professional. This blog lists three vitamins and minerals that research has found to be useful.
Another common deficiency in depression patients is magnesium. The mineral has significant roles throughout the body, including acting as the gatekeeper for the brain receptors essential for memory and learning.
Read more: 7 Top Tips To Naturally Boost Your Brain Health
Being deficient in magnesium can reduce serotonin levels, leading some researchers to advise doctors to use magnesium supplements in depression prevention and treatment.
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One placebo-controlled randomised study of participants experiencing mild to moderate depression found that daily magnesium supplements effectively improved symptoms. Furthermore, participants felt the benefits in as little as two weeks – much sooner than the four to six weeks of the most common antidepressants (SSRIs).
Zinc is known for being a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mineral.
Read more: A Guide To How These Nutrients Could Potentially Protect Your Brains Health
Like Vitamin D and magnesium, zinc deficiency is strongly associated with a higher risk of depression. Like Vitamin D, the worse the deficiency, the worse the symptoms.
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A review of four studies noted that zinc supplements could be effective as a standalone treatment and when combined with antidepressant medication.
There are eight B Vitamins, all playing an essential role in the body. Among the most important for the brain are B9 (folate), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin). These are necessary for producing and maintaining neurotransmitters essential for regulating mood, including dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
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Being deficient in Vitamin B9 and B12 could increase your risk of depression. Given the importance of B vitamins on brain health and throughout the body, we recommend a high-quality B complex supplement such as Brain Health Goals.
The nutrients in this article have undergone rigorous research for their potential in treating and preventing depressive disorders. More research is required to conclude that supplementing with these vitamins and minerals can cure depression, but the results appear promising.
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You must not rely on the information on this blog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or therapist. If you have any specific concerns about your mental or physical health, you should consult your doctor and you should not delay seeking medical advice, or treatment for your mental health, because of the information on this blog.