Potential Supplements for Depression

Potential Supplements for Depression

Treatment Options - Potential Supplements

Being depressed can make you feel hopeless. However, there are numerous options for dealing with chronic depression. In addition to therapy and prescription medications, there are also potential supplements you can consider taking. 

Potential supplements for depression are not a replacement for a formal medical diagnosis and more recognized and proven treatment methods. More research is needed to determine which potential supplements are most likely to help and what side effects they might cause. 

A supplement doesn’t always mean that it is something that is safe for you. However, for some people, certain herbal and dietary supplements do seem to work well at treating their depression symptoms, some alone and others in combination with prescription antidepressant medications. 

The research behind the potential supplements for depression varies, which is why it is important to work with your Options MD psychiatrist in order to determine if supplements may be a part of your treatment plan.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a flowering shrub that is native to Europe. The flowers and leaves contain active ingredients, such as hyperforin, available in many supplement forms. 

St. John’s Wort is a herbal remedy for depression that is available without a prescription in the United States. However, it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression. 

St. John’s Wort is recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and is widely licensed and prescribed as a depression treatment in many European countries. 

There have been a number of studies on the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for depression. However, some of those studies have mixed results or are not conclusive, which is why it isn’t an approved depression treatment by the FDA. St. John’s wort also can cause severe side effects and interact with prescription medications. 

Because of these potentially serious side effects, you should always speak with a physician before choosing to take St. John’s Wort. 

Learn More About St. John’s Wort

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish, marine algae, flaxseed, flax oil, walnuts, and other foods. They have been studied for a number of years as a possible depression treatment and for depressive symptoms in people with bipolar disorder.  

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that perform important functions in your body. Your body doesn’t produce them on its own, so you need to get them from the foot you eat. 

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of your cell membranes. They help support interaction between your cells and are highly concentrated in your brain and eyes. They also help support other body systems, such as your cardiovascular and endocrine systems. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids can impact your energy levels. 

Learn More About Omega-3 Fatty Acids


SAMe, known formally as S-adenosylmethionine, is a naturally occurring molecule that is present in all human cells. It is involved in important chemical reactions inside cells that help regulate neurotransmitters, hormones, gene expression, and the energy that powers cells. 

There is a synthetic version of SAMe that you can take as a dietary supplement in the United States. In some European countries, synthetic SAMe is a prescription drug.  It is not FDA-approved in the United States. 

Over 40 different studies, starting in the 1970s, have been conducted on SAMe and its link to treating depression. Several studies have shown that taking SAMe has a positive impact on those with depression, but the overall evidence is not conclusive. It is an option to explore if you strongly prefer an alternative to traditional

Learn More About SAM-e


Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 found in dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables. It is also referred to as folic acid. 

L-methylfolate is the primary active form of folate in your body, and it can be taken as a supplement to treat low levels of folate in your body. It can be used to treat individuals with low folate levels who are already taking mental health medications. 

Scientific studies have shown that the use of L-methylfolate can help decrease depression symptoms, particularly when combined with antidepressant medication.

Learn More About L-methylfolate

Lavender Essentail Oil (Silexan)

Silexan is an extract of lavender oil created by a German pharmaceutical company.

The lavender plant has been used for centuries to promote calmness and relaxation, so it is no surprise that Silexan, a unique lavender oil extract, also has beneficial properties. 

Silexan is most helpful for anxiety, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and can also treat those who have symptoms of both anxiety and depression or anxiety and insomnia. 

Learn More About Lavender Essential Oil (Silexan)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because your body naturally produces it when your skin is exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is also found in different foods that you eat. 

It is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, which are both important components for building and maintaining bone strength. 

Various studies have shown that vitamin D may help reduce inflammation in the body, help control infections, and even may help to reduce cancer cell growth. 

Many of your body’s organs and tissues have receptors for vitamin D, which suggests that the impact of vitamin D on the body goes far beyond bone health and is still being actively investigated by scientists.

Learn More About Vitamin D

Potential Supplements for Depression

Finding the proper treatment when you have treatment-resistant depression can be challenging. Potential supplements are one option you may consider alongside more traditional treatments for depression, such as therapy and prescription medications.

At Options MD, our psychiatrists can discuss the potential risks and benefits of using supplements when putting together a custom plan for your treatment-resistant depression. 

Do you have questions?

Options MD is here to help. Text us to start treatment now. Join our Facebook community to connect with other individuals with treatment-resistant depression.

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