12 doctors weighed in:

Will nutrition and supplements reduce my depression?

12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Certain foods contain serotonin like st.
Johns wart. Also, many manic patients had low lithium levels. That is why lithium helps many patients with manic depression. Other foods like chocolate and caffeine can raise your endorphin levels making you feel happier.

In brief: Yes

Certain foods contain serotonin like st.
Johns wart. Also, many manic patients had low lithium levels. That is why lithium helps many patients with manic depression. Other foods like chocolate and caffeine can raise your endorphin levels making you feel happier.
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
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Dr. Maureen Nash
Psychiatry - Geriatric
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

In general, the illness of major depressive disorder is not helped by nutrition directly but good nutrition is important for general health and can contribute to certain symptoms seen in people with and without depression.
Some supplements are actually drugs, for example st johns wort and same. These medications can treat major depressive disorder. Most supplements have no direct effect.

In brief: No

In general, the illness of major depressive disorder is not helped by nutrition directly but good nutrition is important for general health and can contribute to certain symptoms seen in people with and without depression.
Some supplements are actually drugs, for example st johns wort and same. These medications can treat major depressive disorder. Most supplements have no direct effect.
Dr. Maureen Nash
Dr. Maureen Nash
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2 comments
Dr. Sarab Alfata
Agree with above , I can add as well that there is a move recently toward vit D and its affect on mood in general, in current practice we check vit D level, recommend supplement for people with depression, light therapy used in the past for depression management and this may have something to do with boosting vit D levels.
Dr. Sherry Broadwell
Also, supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so quality and purity cannot be guaranteed, and many, such as St John's Wort have potentially dangerous interactions with other medications. Always consult your physician before taking any supplement. Depression is best treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. In addition, 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise can be quite beneficial.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Useful adjuncts

There's no magic.
Serious depression usually requires some talk / insight / learning new behaviors and attitudes, and often some medication. General health measures are important. Intensive exercise is a wonderful gift to give yourself. Saint John's Wort is an evidence-based nutritional supplement for depression. If you know an evidence-based holist in your community, get with him/her.

In brief: Useful adjuncts

There's no magic.
Serious depression usually requires some talk / insight / learning new behaviors and attitudes, and often some medication. General health measures are important. Intensive exercise is a wonderful gift to give yourself. Saint John's Wort is an evidence-based nutritional supplement for depression. If you know an evidence-based holist in your community, get with him/her.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
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Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes

Many supplements have been proven to help depression, with benefits comparable to drugs.
I have had great success with fish oil, 5-htp & same. Herbs like st. John's wort & ashwagandha can help, as can b vits. & low-dose lithium. Avoiding unhealthy foods & food allergens may help (for example, gluten allergy can cause depression). Nothing works for everyone & professional guidance may be helpful.

In brief: Yes

Many supplements have been proven to help depression, with benefits comparable to drugs.
I have had great success with fish oil, 5-htp & same. Herbs like st. John's wort & ashwagandha can help, as can b vits. & low-dose lithium. Avoiding unhealthy foods & food allergens may help (for example, gluten allergy can cause depression). Nothing works for everyone & professional guidance may be helpful.
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker
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Dr. Jason Campbell
Family Medicine

In brief: Yes

If your depression is possibly caused by a nutritional deficiency or related to de-conditioning from malnutrition, then proper nutrition and supplements may help with depressive symptoms.
It would be wise to correct any nutritive issues and consider supplements but remember that true depressive syndrome should be addressed by a medical professional and/or therapist as well.

In brief: Yes

If your depression is possibly caused by a nutritional deficiency or related to de-conditioning from malnutrition, then proper nutrition and supplements may help with depressive symptoms.
It would be wise to correct any nutritive issues and consider supplements but remember that true depressive syndrome should be addressed by a medical professional and/or therapist as well.
Dr. Jason Campbell
Dr. Jason Campbell
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Dr. Jack Hinkle
Family Medicine

In brief: Yes

The answer is yes, if there is a nutritional relationship to the depression.
The body's ability to make neuro- transmitters is also related to a adequate balanced diet. Adequate b vitamins, minerals and Amino Acids can be of some benefit and can be part of a more comprehensive program to address this concern.

In brief: Yes

The answer is yes, if there is a nutritional relationship to the depression.
The body's ability to make neuro- transmitters is also related to a adequate balanced diet. Adequate b vitamins, minerals and Amino Acids can be of some benefit and can be part of a more comprehensive program to address this concern.
Dr. Jack Hinkle
Dr. Jack Hinkle
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