Nutritional supplements enhance effect of antidepressants: Study

Nutritional supplements enhance effect of antidepressants: Study

The chemical reactions taking place in the stomach have far-reaching effects on the mind. No wonder that certain foods are considered good for a healthy mind. Similarly, certain food types may also influence the rate and extent of absorption of drugs by the body.

A study by the universities of Melbourne and Harvard revealed the link between certain nutritional supplements and the efficacy of antidepressants meant for treating depression. Foods like Omega 3 fish oils, S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), methylfolate (bioactive form of folate) and Vitamin D work in tandem with medications to expedite the recovery phase, the study said.

Omega-3 with antidepressants show positive effects

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in April 2016, elaborated on the benefits of taking omega-3s in combination with antidepressants. It is a known fact that omega-3s help strengthen general brain health and uplift one’s mood.

The study highlighted that supplements like methylfolate, Vitamin D and SAMe when used with an antidepressant drug can boost the mood of a depressed person. As part of the study, the researchers analyzed nearly 40 clinical trials that took place at a global level. They thoroughly reviewed the interactions between nutrient supplements and antidepressants such as SSRIs, SNRIs and tricyclics and their overall impact on a patient’s neurological symptoms. It was observed that patients who took both antidepressants and omega-3 showed better results than those who received only placebo.

This can be a safe, result-oriented approach that can become a part of mainstream treatment since most depression patients don’t achieve the desired results even after taking antidepressants for a long period.

Until now, caregivers didn’t find enough evidence showing the benefits of combining “nutraceuticals” with antidepressants, but with the latest study, healthcare practitioners have enough reasons to prescribe omega-3, along with medications, to patients grappling with depression.  

“This is an exciting finding because here we have a safe, evidence-based approach that could be considered a mainstream treatment,” said Dr. Jerome Sarris, head of the ARCADIA Mental Health Research Group at the University of Melbourne.

Depression: A debilitating mental disease

If the mind is not active, the body acts weak. Depression is a mental health condition that plays havoc on this mind-body synchronization. A persistent feeling of sadness in adolescents can be detrimental for the development of their brain. Under the influence of an extreme depression condition, a patient is unable to complete even everyday chores. It starts with a constant worry or the feeling that something is not right that eventually transforms into a serious mental ailment. Depression exhibits innumerable symptoms, but the most visible ones are:

  • persistent sadness and pessimism with feelings of guilt and helplessness
  • loss of interest in pleasurable activities, such as hobbies or games
  • frequent thoughts of suicide or death

According to a 2014 survey by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly 15.7 million adults (6.7 percent) in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in a year prior to the survey. And surprisingly, about half of the Americans feeling low with depression don’t seek treatment for it.

Path to recovery

Many a times, teens diagnosed with clinical depression don’t adhere to the advice of caregivers and stop their medications even before any effect can be seen. In such a scenario, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can go a long way in helping people get rid of depression without the pain of popping innumerable sedatives and anxiety pills.

It is saddening to live with depression. Emotional health is as important as physical health. If your loved one is suffering from depression, you must seek professional help. To know about depression treatments, you may contact the Sovereign Mental Health Services helpline. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-954-0529 or chat online to find out about our facilities which are among the best depression rehab centers in Florida and some other states.

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