Most anti-depressant drugs supposedly work by boosting serotonin levels. Raising serotonin levels naturally can apparently be achieved by supplementing with the amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan, or 5-HTP. This is sold over the counter in the UK, USA and Canada as a dietary supplement for use as an antidepressant, and it is marketed in many European countries for cases of major depression.
Other amino acids that can make a difference to mood swings include phenylalanine and tyrosine, from which the body makes the neurotransmitter noradrenalin – vital for motivation and drive.
Essential fats and mood
Much has been said on Natural News on the subject of omega 3 fats and the importance of eating oily fish such as wild salmon. Cod liver oil is another rich source of omega 3. Studies have shown that severely depressed individuals consuming a diet high in these fats generally show significant improvement, greater than that reported for antidepressant drugs.
Vitamins B & D
In older people, vitamin B is often missing because this vitamin is not absorbed so well the older one gets. Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid are often recommended for individuals over 50 years of age, particularly with depression or “brain-fog”.
There is a definite correlation between individuals with a vitamin D deficiency and depression. In cold Northern climes, many people feel low, irritable and angry during winter because of the lack of sunshine. Depression levels can be substantially lowered by taking vitamin D supplements or by getting direct sunlight on the skin each day.