Many people fighting with their own mental health issues ( probably 50% of us) struggle every day because we still have some issues even when taking medications. The ads on TV for brand name products like Latuda, Abilify or some others look promising and do help many, but sometimes adding a supplement may help you get a better response to your medication, is less costly, and safer on your health long term . Here are a few old and new ones and why they might help. Always proceed cautiously and add only one new one at a time so you can tell if you find it helpful or not, because being broke and sick from too many supplements won’t be helpful!
- L- Methylfolate: concentrated Vit B folate is probably the most important supplement you should take and this is why. About 70% of people with depression and anxiety have these issues because the brain requires this vitamin to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that improves depression and anxiety and they don’t get enough because they have a genetic predisposition to either not being able to absorb this vitamin well, or to overmetabolizing it so that the amounts needed are greated than can be easily absorbed from the normal diet. On top of this, the more upset or stressed you are in your life, the faster you deplete this vitamin which the body does not store. People with this genetic trait will benefit greatly from supplementation. There are branded prescription strength supplements: Deplin, Cerefolin, Enlyte and others your doctor can order for you. Because these are considered food supplementation, insurances other than United Healthcare usually won’t cover the cost of approximately $60 a month. But this vitamin is also necessary for pain regulation and neurological health, so if you have any chronic pain issues, it could also enhance how your medications are working. Your alternative to the branded prescription strengths may be to try Life Extension L-methylfolate which you can purchase in 1000 mcgs 1-2 qam, or more, and may repeat at noon.
- Garden of Life brand “Mood formula” includes Aswaganda.Based on animal studies, inadequate amounts of various bacterias in the gut can contribute to various psychiatric states, as well as poor absorption of vitamins necessary for the production of brain neurotransmitters. That same issue with malabsorption of the B vitamins can affect your gut, and your gut can affect your mood. Some of the bacteria found in mood probiotics can include: Bifidobacte-rium infantis – relieved depression symptoms in animals ; lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1 – relieved memory dysfunction in combination with L. helveticus. Alone it reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Mycobacterium Vaccae – reduced anxiety and improved performance of complex tasks; Bifidobacte-Rium Longum – normalized anxiety like behavior. Combined with Bifido-bacterium and Lactobacillus it stimulated memory formation ; Bacteroides Fragilis reduced socialibility and repetitive behaviors seen in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia; Lactobacillus Helveticus R0052 reduced anxiety related behaviors and alleviated memory dysfunction
Magnesium 200- 400 mg at bedtime: Maintains Nervous System Balance
Receptors are special molecules along our cell membranes that help chemical messages enter and leave our cells. All of the cells in our body have membrane receptors. Among the best studied are receptors found along the membranes of our brain cells. One of these brain cell receptors is referred to as the NMDA receptor. (NMDA stands for N-methyl-d-aspartate.) The NMDA receptor is noted for being the site where some anesthetics and recreational drugs affect our brain function. Magnesium plays a key role in the activity of our NMDA receptors. Research studies have shown that when magnesium in our diet is low, we have increased risk of depression, and this increased risk is likely related to problems with our NMDA receptors. A long history of published evidence demonstrating that treatment with magnesium can have anti-depressant effect—this was first published in 1921—suggests that low magnesium can actually cause depression.
4. D-phenylalanine: is used to relieve pain. L-phenylalanine is used as an appetite suppressant, stimulant and antidepressant. Phenylalanine (F) is an amino acid of tremendous nutritional importance and a known nutritional precursor to the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenaline), epinephrine (adrenaline) and involved in the release of PEA, phenylethylamine which can sensitize endorphin receptors to endorphins. These neurotransmitters strongly support warm feelings of love, pleasure, happiness, alertness, energy, motivation, memory, attention, internal calmness, and sleep to name just a few.*
5. L-Tyrosine 500mg-2000 mg in the morning; this amino acid is the precursor for dopamine production in the brain and can help mental alertness. Doses for stress are much higher – 7 -10 grams daily for adults in the 150 lb range and 9-13 gms for those in the 200 lb range
6. L- Theanine: The properties of L-theanine can be summed up as being a relaxing agent without sedation (relative to something like lemon balm which relaxes but may also sedate), and is also implicated in reducing the perception of stress and slightly improving attention. 100mg -200mg in the morning
7. Curcumin (turmeric) supplements: most effective for Atypical Depression, that is resistant to other treatment; Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties that are currently under study at major medical centers to prevent Alzheimers disease by dissolving the amyloid –beta protein deposits, improve GI disorders such as Ulcerative Colitis, and treatment resistant depression over an 8 week period those who took the Curcumin supplements continued to improve.