“Scientists from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing have published new research which examines the relationship between folate and vitamin B12 status and its associations with greater prevalence of depressive symptoms.” [Source: Medicalexpress.com]
World Health Organization statistics suggest depression affects at least 264 million people worldwide. This number may well be an underestimate, however, as many people don’t report the problem to their doctors. Given the side effects and addictive nature of many of the pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for the condition, effective and safe alternative solutions are urgently needed.
Promisingly, therefore, a study published in 2016 found that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce symptoms of even major depressive disorder. Examining 13 randomized placebo-controlled trials involving 1,233 participants suffering from the condition, the researchers noted that higher doses of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) were especially beneficial.
Other research has linked B vitamin deficiencies with depression. Supplements containing this group of nutrients have been scientifically shown to improve depression outcomes.
A clinical trial published in 2017 found that magnesium supplements are effective in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression. The researchers showed that daily supplementation with magnesium leads to a significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms regardless of a patient’s age, gender, baseline severity of depression, or use of antidepressant drugs. Noting that magnesium works quickly and is well tolerated, the study concluded that it may be a safe over-the-counter alternative to pharmaceutical medication.
To read about research showing that vitamin-rich Mediterranean-style diets may help prevent depression, see this article on our website.