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Omega 3, SAMe, Vitamin D supplements found to boost the effects of antidepressant medications

In a recent review1 of the research evidence regarding supplements and depression, the research team at Melbourne University found that taking some nutrient supplements together with antidepressants can enhance the medication’s effects.

The review of the research evidence of over 40 clinical trial evidence found that Omega-3 fish oil, Vitamin D and Denosine Methionine (commonly known as SAMe) supplements increased the effects of antidepressant medication for those with clinical depression.  In fact, Omega 3 fish oil supplements high in the fatty acid EPA, in combination with antidepressants, had the strongest results.  Omega 3 is also been shown to be good for general brain health and improving mood.

Other nutrients that are known to be critical for brain health are Vitamins B, C and minerals such as Zinc and especially Magnesium.

Overall, the review found more patients showed an improvement in mood when prescribed Omega-3 fish oil, Methylfolate, Vitamin D and SAMe supplements in combination with antidepressant medication, compared to those who took medication only. The evidence revealed mixed results for Zinc, Vitamin C and Tryptophan.

In particular, Omega-3 and SAMe, for instance, can alter mood-regulating neurotransmitter levels in the brain in a similar way to certain antidepressant medications.

The review found no major safety concerns in combining many of the nutrient supplements studied with medications, but it is important to stress that supplements can differ in quality.  

Depression needs an integrative approach

It is also important for depression to use an integrative approach, that includes psychological support, supportive lifestyle factors, a good wholefood diet, exercise and sufficient sleep.

They are currently recruiting people for  clinical trial in Melbourne and Brisbane to see if using these nutrients in combination will enhance the effects of antidepressant medication even more.

 

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1 Reference: https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15091228

Suffering depression? New research findings