6 Natural Supplements Which May Help Treat Depression

These supplements could replace pills

Depression is a mental illness that is becoming more and more pervasive in our societies. Most medications prescribed to treat the illness are not cures but simply ways to manage the symptoms. Not to mention that these drugs could have serious side effects in the long run. Depending on the underlying cause behind the depression, these natural supplements could reduce symptoms effectively without costing too much.

Supplements That May Help Treat Depression

1. Fish Oil

Omega 3 in fish oil helps the brain function


It’s common knowledge that omega 3s are great for your brain. They’re associated with better cognitive functioning. It is said that omega 3 fatty acids are needed for your neurotransmitters to work properly.1 If you have a deficiency of omega 3, it’s possible that your neurotransmitters not functioning effectively. Some studies have noticed a moderate effect of omega 3 supplementation on mood.2

2. St. John’s Wort

Supplements from this plant may increase serotonin


In the United States, St. John’s Wort is not approved as an official drug by the FDA but it is much more common in Europe to treat depressive symptoms with St. John’s Wort. St. John’s Wort is seen to increase serotonin levels which may help those who have a chemical imbalance in their brain.3

3. SAMe

This compound is seen to help improve mood.


S-adenosyl methionine or SAMe for short is a compound that is produced in the body. SAMe is not naturally available in food. The version made as a supplement is a synthetic version of this compound. A deficiency can occur with different types of health conditions. Initial studies suggest that SAMe is a promising treatment for depression. It seemed as effective if not more effective than prescribed antidepressants.4

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is closely related to mood.


Those with a Vitamin C deficiency are often seen to be fatigued and depressed. So it makes sense that supplementing with Vitamin C may have an effect on mood.5 Try to eat lots of vegetables and fruits with vitamin C in them. Those with the highest content include red bell peppers and oranges. If you choose to supplement, make sure not to exceed the daily limit of 2000 mg.

5. Vitamin B

Vitamin B is associated with lower levels of depression


Researchers have noticed that cultures whose diets contain a lot of folic acid and Vitamin B12 show lower rates of major depression in their lifetimes. Researchers also noticed that lower levels of folate and B12 in the blood were associated with increased levels of depression.6 These studies suggest that it is worth trying out oral supplements of B12 and folic acid.

6. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed for proper brain functioning.


Researchers have noticed that those who are normally seen to have a deficiency include the elderly, adolescents, obese individuals, and those with chronic illnesses. These are also groups that most commonly show symptoms of depression so a correlation between vitamin D and mood is not far fetched.7 Studies show that Vitamin D supplementation could have a considerable effect on depression levels. It’s seen to be almost as effective as anti-depression medication.8

Cautionary Note

  • Do not replace or mix prescribed medication with natural supplements. Some of these supplements will have harmful interactions with anti-depressants.
  • Always talk to your healthcare professional about using supplements.
  • Approach a mental health professional if you think you may be suffering from depression. If left untreated, depression can become worse, do not try to self-treat.

These supplements could be an easy and cost-effective way to treat depression in the near future.