More and more evidence about the possible side effects of drugs makes us reach for natural and non chemical alternatives to conventional medications. Medications for depression and anxiety are no different. Overdose could be toxic and long term use of certain medications could cause their own problems. Usually medications for anxiety and depression do need to be taken over a longer duration.
We would wish that a natural, nutrition based solution could help alleviate symptoms without the use of pharmaceuticals and their possible side effects. Another reason for seeking out natural alternatives is the fact that unpleasant side effects often cause a patient to stop taking their medications (noncompliance), which hinders progress.
It can have an element of nutritional deficiency
Very often some of the symptoms that accompany or precede depression are food related. There could be a strong craving for certain foods; there could be appetite changes and so on. Researchers have found that mood, emotions and behaviors are closely linked to nutritional factors.
The deficiency of certain nutrients – minerals, vitamins, amino acids, Omega 3 fatty acids could contribute to depressive symptoms. Researchers have found that deficiency of vitamin B12 and magnesium are seen to be related to depressive symptoms. Even other mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and attention deficit problems could have an element of nutritional deficiencies.
Which nutritional supplements can help?
Researchers have examined the efficacy of various notional supplements for treating anxiety and depression, such as omega-3, folic acid (folate), multivitamins, magnesium supplements, amino acids and so on. There is substantial anecdotal evidence to support the use of nutritional therapies for treating mental disorders.
There is evidence to suggest that amino acid supplements could reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. However there are some experts who contend that the evidence if not conclusive. Many mental health experts do however prescribe nutritional supplements after analyzing their patient’s requirements. The understanding is that even if it doesn’t really work, such treatment is not going to harm the patient.
Ask your doctor about supplements
As to the question about whether amino acid supplements will help to alleviate your depressive or anxiety symptoms, this is a question best answered by your doctor who will take into account your symptoms, personality and environmental factors before prescribing anything. The efficacy of nutritional supplements is seen to be effective in mild to moderate symptoms, and this may not be uniformly effective for everyone.