Impact of Vitamin and Herbs on Depression

While modern medicine has an idea of how depression “works,” a definitive cure for depression still eludes doctors and scientists. A variety of factors seem to indicate how likely a person is to develop depression. Environment, genetics, exposure to a traumatic event, increased stress level, hormonal balance, and poor nutrition all influence one’s probability to become depressed. One theory even posits that it is caused by inefficiency in the body’s ability to store vitamin. While these causes are acknowledged, the larger question of how to treat depression for the long-term remains unanswered.

Traditional treatment for depression has evolved somewhat over the years. In the past, extreme measures such as electro-shock and lobotomy were considered acceptable options. Today, although the horror of electro-shock therapy still exists, the majority of people undergo treatment via counseling and sometimes the use of anti-depressants. Interestingly, an infinitely gentler method of using electricity on the brain is being studied with a group of people who are utterly incapacitated by depression and do not respond to drug therapy.

About 50 patients suffering from a depression so severe that they were unable to function in daily life volunteered for an experiment in which the brain was stimulated by a very mild electric current. The procedure, called “deep stimulation,” targets a certain area of the brain with a low level of electricity. Results from the trials conducted in America and Canada have shown positive results for participants. Several patients who were so non-functioning that they could not even work have returned to employment and are leading normal lives.

For those who wish to avoid surgical insertion of electrical stimuli into the brain, there remain other options. Approaching depression as a type of malnourishment created other possible treatments, such as the including supplements, like B vitamins and cheap vitamin C, to the diet. Shifting meal plans away from junk food, eating more fruits and vegetables, and reducing intake of fatty foods and carbohydrates are strategies used. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids, attainable through consumption of foods like fish and flax seed, may improve mood. These amino acids are also available in supplement form. Other trials have shown that taking calcium supplements alleviates the symptoms of depression in 30% of subjects, who felt relief when calcium was added to their diet via supplement. Vitamin D has recently been added to the list of vitamin and herbs that impact mood, especially for those suffering from seasonal depression.

Because conventional drug treatments can have dangerous side effects and cause increased health risks with long-term use, some people are considering other avenues. Options such as behavioral modification, dietary adjustment, light therapy, and meditation have been presented in a certain groundbreaking new book by a doctor seeking other ways to help sufferers of this illness. For those sensitive to medication or experiencing mild depression, the use of discount herbal supplements might be used to treat symptoms economically. In Germany, doctors actually prescribe St. John’s Wort for the illness.

One of the most radical treatments being explored for depression is perhaps the most simple: exercise. Adding a regular fitness regimen to their daily routine improved the moods of 30% of patients in a study about the impact of exercise on mood.

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