5 All-Natural Supplements That Help With Depression and Anxiety

In the United States, anxiety disorders are the most common of mental illnesses. There are around 40 million adults that suffer (about 1 in 5 people). They develop from a wide array of contributing risk factors, such as brain chemistry, genetics, personality, and life events. Anxiety disorders are treatable, yet only about one-third sufferers seek treatment. Whether it is for financial reasons or they just don’t like going to the doctor, these disorders are left untreated when there are cheaper, natural supplements available. It is extremely common for people with an anxiety disorder or depression to also suffer from the other. Nearly half of sufferers have both. The below list of top five supplements can help with both anxiety and depression:
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is primarily known for its calcium absorption, therefore it is commonly used to maintain healthy teeth and bones. But it does so much more than promoting bone health. A study of 441 adults in Norway, in 2008, showed that it reduced depression symptoms significantly. It seems that the role in improving neurotransmitter function is the reason Vitamin D helps.
4. Theanine
A derivative found in green tea, theanine is an amino acid that has been known to affect GABA. GABA is what activates calming neurotransmitters in the brain. This helps a person to relax and reduce anxiety. The body has a hard time absorbing synthesized GABA supplements. The natural supplement form, theanine, is more easily absorbed, therefore more effective in promoting the levels of GABA.
3. 5-HTP
5-HTP is a natural alternative to increasing serotonin levels. When prescription SSRIs, such as Prozac, do not help, 5-HTP seems to be the way to go. SSRIs block the uptake of serotonin. But this method doesn’t work if there isn’t much serotonin. 5-HTP, however, is converted into serotonin. 5-HTP has been proven to provide just as much relief, if not more, as SSRIS but with less side effects.
2. B-Complex Vitamins
The most common cause of depression is an imbalance of brain chemicals. The neurotransmitters in the brain function as mood enhancers by helping signals transfer between brain cells. Prescription SSRIs focus on serotonin and allows them to remain in the system longer. When you supplement with B vitamins, your body conserves the amino acid tryptophan, therefore converting more into serotonin. A study in 2004 showed that people who had depression also had low levels of B vitamins.
1. Fish Oil
Fish oil is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are a huge contribution to having healthy brain chemistry. Many Americans get plenty omega-6 fatty acids, through foods such as canola oil and nuts, but do not get enough omega-3. The best way to get omega-3 fatty acids is by eating fish. But most Americans do not eat fish on a regular basis. Nerve signals are not transmitted properly without enough omega-3 fatty acids. This increases depression and anxiety. A study in 2009 found that a higher intake of omega-3 helped people feel less anxious and depressed.
People with anxiety and depression are more likely to go to the doctor to get treatment and return for repeat visits. They often don’t find any relief in prescription meds. In fact, side effects from prescription pill often make anxiety or depression symptoms worse. Natural alternatives are more likely to have positive affects on the body and reduce the need to see a doctor.