The World Health Organization estimates that about 10% of the world population or 615 million people have been diagnosed with clinical anxiety and depression. In fact, 10% is more people than the whole population of Canada and the United States combined.
Namely, going through a break-up or losing someone you love are certain life stressors that could contribute to the emotions of feeling anxious, nervous, lonely, or sad. In case you experience any life event like this, it could take too long to bring yourself back. But, a lot of people experience these feelings every single day without any evident reason.
Moreover, there is a correlation between depression and anxiety, although anxiety is known to be a state of high energy and depression a state of poor motivation and low energy. About half of the people who are diagnosed with any anxiety disorder are also diagnosed with depression.
If you are diagnosed with depression or anxiety, then it will probably get you a prescription for one or more pharmaceuticals. Additionally, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) are antidepressants often used in the treatment of these disorders. These antidepressants are also referred to as Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, and Luvox.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study suggesting that in many cases, these pharmaceutical antidepressants are not effective in treatment of mild or moderate depression or anxiety compared to a placebo pill. The results are quite shocking because millions of people are currently taking any of these medications that could not even be working for them.
However, you can actually support your spirit, body, and mind by taking high-quality supplements. This means that you can fight mild or moderate depression or anxiety without taking any prescription anti-depressants.
Of course, you should consult your doctor before taking any of these supplements.
6 Safer Alternatives to Antidepressants:
You may want to take any of these supplements that have beneficial effects on anxiety and depression:
Taking a high-quality probiotic supplement can boost your immune system and improve digestion. It can also improve your body’s ability to assimilate and absorb essential nutrients.
You may have heard that your gut is your ‘second brain’ since it possesses about 100 million neurons that enable you to “feel” the inner universe of your GI tract.
Specifically, your gut has its own senses and reflexes that have an ability to absorb nutrients, break down food, and get rid of waste products.
What’s more, 90% of your happy hormone known as serotonin (a chemical that serves as a neurotransmitter) is created in your gut. As a result of this, you should keep your gut flora healthy in order to improve your mood, manage stress, and enhance your overall health and well-being.
Many studies have proven that probiotics have a positive effect on depression and anxiety disorders.
As your gut contains thousands of different bacteria strains, you should find the probiotic that works for you. You may want to try Garden of Life Mood+ produced by Dr. Perlmutter, a neurologist, medical doctor, and professional in the human microbiome. Other beneficial types of probiotic supplements include Dr. Ohhiras Fermented Probiotics and Natren Healthy Start System.
– Vitamin B12
Ideally, your vitamin B12 levels should be about 400-500 pg/mL. But, you may already have adequate levels of this vitamin, so you may want to test them via a simple blood test.
In case you are deficient in this vitamin, you could experience low energy, foggy thinking, low mood, and more.
This vitamin is present in various animal products and is created in small quantities during fermentation.
It is always a good idea to consult your doctor to determine which supplementation would be useful for you. A great number of people opt for a sublingual methylcobalamin, available in 5,000 mcg or 1,000 mcg.
That’s not all, you can also consult your naturopathic doctor about B12 injections because they are a quick method for increasing depleted levels. Keep in mind that you can keep healthy levels of this vitamin by taking a high-quality B12 supplement every day.
– Vitamin D
Vitamin D can boost your immune system, improve your teeth and bone health, and enhance your neurotransmitter function. It can significantly improve your mood.
You can do a 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood test to check your levels of this vitamin. Make sure they are lower than 100 ng/ml. However, make sure they are higher than 50 ng/ml. Additionally, research has proven that participants who took 4,000 IU of a vitamin D3 every day managed to maintain optimal levels. Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion 1000 IU is an excellent vitamin D brand.
Also, getting adequate sunlight exposure on a daily basis can optimize your vitamin D levels. Simply get in about twenty minutes of unprotected sunshine daily.
L-Theanine is a unique amino acid present in green tea. Research has found that it can promote relaxed and calm alertness, and does not lead to drowsiness. Therefore, it is useful for fighting anxiety and stress. In case you experience trouble falling asleep, focusing or relaxing, you should take L- Theanine.
It is absorbed in about half an hour and promotes concentration and creates a feeling of “zen”. Furthermore, this amino acid affects the levels of the neurotransmitters GABA, dopamine, and serotonin in your brain, which play a crucial role in regulating your learning capacity, mood, and sleep.
It also inhibits certain actions of the stress hormone called norepinephrine in your central nervous system, thus decreasing your stress levels.
You should take Zen Theanine by AOR. Make sure you take 1 per day for maximum benefits.
– Fish Oil High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil is abundant in essential omega-3 fatty acids that have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Also, the oil can also improve your brain chemistry and support your cognitive health.
The standard American diet includes excess amounts of omega-6 fatty acids present in:
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Vegetable oil
Omega-6 fats are also found in grains, seeds, and nuts. So, you may be getting too much of these fatty acids without being aware of it.
However, taking enough omega-3 fats plays an important role in helping your body transmit nerve signals adequately, thus fighting anxiety and depression. Omega-3 fats are also naturally found in whole foods like Atlantic mackerel, wild salmon, Pollock, freshwater trout, Atlantic haddock, and arctic cod. But, make sure that they are low in mercury for maximum benefits.
Other omega-3 rich foods include seaweeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds.
As your body is not able to create omega fats, you way want to take a high-quality omega-3 supplement, such as New Chapter Wholemega Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, Nordic Naturals Algae Omega, or A Fermented Cod Liver Oil with Butter Oil, for good health.
– Tryptophan & 5-HTP
The human body creates 5-HTP (5-hydroxy tryptophan) from the amino acid known as tryptophan present naturally in eggs, fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, etc.
5-HTP is easily absorbed and can cross your blood-brain barrier, where it is transformed into serotonin. Many clinical trials have found that 5-HTP supplements are useful for fighting panic disorders, binge eating, sleep disorders, and depression. Tryfonia Max by AOR is a great supplement choice.
As mentioned above, as 90% of serotonin is created in your gut, there are actually many cases of 5-HTP supplementation offering little to no improvement. Therefore, first of all, you should improve your gut health.
Plus, there are many other natural supplements like B-Complex Vitamins, BioStrath, Holy Basil, and St. Johns Wort that provide beneficial effects in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Note: You should NOT stop taking any medications before consulting your physician.
- Gershon, Michael. ˮThe Second Brain: A Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestineˮ;
- Jonsson, Bo. ˮThe Vitamin Cure for Depression: How to Prevent and Treat Depression Using Nutrition and Vitamin Supplementationˮ;