The Best Amino Acids for Anxiety & Depression

A depressed girl.

If you’re suffering from depression, finding a safe and effective treatment can be a huge challenge. Amino acid supplements are a promising natural option for fighting the low energy and lack of sleep that goes hand in hand with depression.

I’ve taken a close look into the best amino acids for depression and will be sharing everything you need to know. From the most popular brands on the market to choosing the product that’s best for you.

The Perils of Depression

Though sufferers often hide it well, depression is a debilitating illness that costs thousands of hours in lost productivity every year. (source)

It’s more than simply feeling sad. People with chronic depression have a distinct lack energy and enthusiasm for their daily lives. This makes it difficult to muster the energy to be present in the moment and excel both at home and in work.

In the United States, an estimated 15 million people suffer from depression every year. (source) Though many are able to find relief through conventional medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (source), others are disappointed with the results. In addition, many people are reluctant to turn to pharmaceutical drugs as they are not in line with the natural lifestyle that they want to live.

In some cases it’s worth trying something different. Most conventional drugs for treating depression increase the body’s amino acids by transporting them differently. An alternative is to add to the body’s amino acids by taking an oral supplement.

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Doctor's Best SAM-e 400

Doctor's Best

Doctor's Best SAM-e 400

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  • Doctor's Best SAMe Double Strength is proven to enhance mood and promote cognitive health
  • SAMe is essential for the healthy metabolism of the major brain transmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine
  • SAMe has been proven to promote joint comfort and mobility and supports liver health and detoxification
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4.5 out of 5

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BRI Nutrition 5-HTP - 120 Count 100mg 5 HTP Veggie Capsules

BRI Nutrition

BRI Nutrition 5-HTP - 120 Count 100mg 5 HTP Veggie Capsules

4 out of 5

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  • NATURAL MOOD ENHANCER: Serotonin is the hormone responsible for mood, hunger, sleep & social function. Unfortunately, factors...
  • OVERALL RELAXATION: 5-HTP ( hydroxytryptophan ) can help maintain a stable, healthy level of serotonin to keep you feeling...
  • FEEL LIKE YOURSELF AGAIN: BRI Nutrition's 5-HTP tablets can help you achieve calm and serenity through an alternative,...
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4 out of 5

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HCF Happy Calm Focused Brain Supplement

HCF

HCF Happy Calm Focused Brain Supplement

3.5 out of 5

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  • FQ IS DIFFERENT - Like no other brain supplement, HCF Happy, Calm & Focused is fueled by F&Q amino-acids & other 15+ pure &...
  • REGULAR STRENGTH BRAIN SUPPLEMENT - You get 90 easy to swallow vegetable capsules that come in a secure (sealed for your...
  • ENHANCE COGNITION & BOOST MENTAL PERFORMANCE* - Helps enhance focus*, helps increase attention*, helps improve alertness &...
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Jarrow Formulas SAM-e 200 mg

Jarrow Formulas

Jarrow Formulas SAM-e 200 mg

3.5 out of 5

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  • Enteric-Coated
  • Central biochemical building block
  • 68-80% Active S,S Form
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Neuro-Peak Natural Brain Function Support for Memory, Focus & Clarity

Zhou Nutrition

Neuro-Peak Natural Brain Function Support for Memory, Focus & Clarity

3 out of 5

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  • Scientifically formulated. There was great care in combining just the right amount of each ingredient into a premium formula...
  • Memory, focus, clarity. Neuro-peak is a nootropic, meaning that it was formulated to help support memory and cognition. The...
  • Stress & Mood support. Rhodiola has been used for centuries to support performance designed to work with the other premium...
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In the Amino Acids category

Amino Acids: The Facts

As the building blocks of proteins, amino acids (source) are an essential part of life. Protein plays a huge role in maintaining total body health. Amino acids are especially important for building up muscles and brain tissue.

Amino acids are also the precursor to our brain chemicals (called neurotransmitters) such as serotonin. These regulate mood and energy levels. (source) A disruption in neurotransmitters can lead to unwanted symptoms including difficulty concentrating, anxiety, weight gain, memory loss, and in worst cases, chronic depression.

Advantages of Amino Acids for Treating Depression

Normally we get all the amino acids we need through a healthy diet. However, diseases like depression can knock your body out of whack and prevent you from getting the proper amount of amino acids through diet. In these cases, a dietary supplement of amino acids can restore the body’s amino acid levels to normal.

For over three decades, scientific research has shown that there is a correlation between a lack of amino acids and brain symptoms. (source)

Tryptophan especially has been documented as beneficial for increasing the levels of natural serotonin in the brain. Taking amino acid supplements is an easy way to help balance your brain chemistry. You may find feelings of anxiety, fear and panic decrease when your neurotransmitters are restored to healthy levels.

A handful of capsules and some powder.

In many cases amino acid supplements can also treat insomnia by improving REM sleep.

Not only are amino acid supplements milder than commercial drugs, you can easily modify your dosage to fit your needs.

Balanced brain chemistry will allow your brain to do accomplish task better. It’s that simple.

Searching for the Best Amino Acids for Depression

If you are suffering from the symptoms of depression, it might be a good idea to give amino acid supplements a try. However, with so much choice out there, deciding on the brand to take can be tricky. How can you be sure the supplements you take have the right ingredients and won’t make you throw your money down the drain?

Thankfully I’ve done my research and found some of the best brands of amino acids supplements on the market. I’ll talk you through my top choices and show you what’s unique about each of them. I hope this will make it easier for you to make an informed decision about what’s best for your body.

As with any supplement, it’s important that you discuss your choice with a healthcare professional before starting to take amino acids. This is especially important if you’re taking medicines for depression. Never stop taking your prescribed medicines without talking to your doctor first.

Five Amino Acid Supplements Worth Looking Into

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Doctor's Best

Doctor's Best SAM-e 400

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As an all-natural, biological compound that is found throughout the body, SAM-e is derived from the amino acid methionine. Methionine is used for over one hundred biochemical reactions that keep the body functioning properly.
Without adequate amounts of SAM-e in your diet, you might find yourself turning depressive and restless.

Doctor’s Best SAM-e is a cheaper form of this essential compound that has over 40 years of test results proving its effectiveness, though overly positive results aren’t typical.

Pros
Pro Aids the metabolism of dopamine and serotonin
Pro Provides joint relief
Pro 40 years of testing show SAMe's effectiveness
Pro Cheaper form of SAM-e than other leading brands
Pro Non GMO, gluten free, vegan
Cons
Con Might not provide the same results as more expensive products
Con Must be taken on an empty stomach
Con Depression and anxiety can be side effects
 
 

Our #2 Rated
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BRI Nutrition

BRI Nutrition 5-HTP - 120 Count 100mg 5 HTP Veggie Capsules

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5-HTP (a.k.a. 5-Hydroxytryptophan) helps your brain to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for convincing your brain that you are happy and relaxed. Without serotonin, you might find yourself sinking into a depression.

BRI is made from potent ingredients, meaning that a little can go a long way. All the ingredients in BRI are manufactured in the US in regulated facilities, so you can trust the ingredients list on the bottle.

Pros
Pro Can help with seizures
Pro No gelatin
Pro Can work as a sleep aid
Pro Can be taken with food
Pro All ingredients manufactured in the US
Pro Great for balance
Cons
Con 5 out of 400 people develop heart palpitations
Con Some studies can concluded that 5-HTP 'is no better than placebo'
 
 
 
 

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HCF

HCF Happy Calm Focused Brain Supplement

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Sold in one month supplies of 90 vegetable capsules, HCF Brain Supplements are full of amino acids and nutrients to keep your brain running smoothly.

HCF doesn’t contain any preservatives or chemical enhancers. It’s also gluten free, lactose free, and nut-allergy safe.

When used correctly, this product claims to enhance your focus and concentration by alleviating unnecessary anxiety that interferes with your sleep cycle.

For proper use, take the first pill thirty minutes before your first meal of the day, and take as many as five more as the day continues, depending on your mood and energy level.

Pros
Pro All natural
Pro Non-allergenic
Pro Made in FDA-certified laboratories
Pro Similar body response to whole-food proteins
Cons
Con Extreme positive results aren't typical
Con Pills are light enough to get caught in your throat
Con Must be taken on an empty stomach
 

Our #4 Rated
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Jarrow Formulas

Jarrow Formulas SAM-e 200 mg

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Similar to Doctor’s Best, Jarrow Formulas SAM-e is an amino acid supplement with all natural SAM-e.
Made naturally by fermentation, Jarrow Formulas supplements are a little smaller than the other options listed here, so if you have trouble swallowing pills they might be a safe bet.

Because SAM-e reacts with air, regular packaging causes the amino acid to lose its strength before the consumer uses it. Jarrow’s blister packs keep their product safe from both light and air.

Pros
Pro Made naturally by fermentation
Pro Individual blister packs per pill
Pro Smaller than average
Cons
Con Negative side effects can include diarrhea, racing heart, anxiety, anger and severe indigestion
 
 

Our #5 Rated
Our pick our #5 rated

Zhou Nutrition

Neuro-Peak Natural Brain Function Support for Memory, Focus & Clarity

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Formulated by doctors that specialized in anti-aging medication, Neuro-Peak is an all natural “Nootropic” that promotes memory formation and clarity of thinking.

A combination of St. John’s Wort and L-Glutamine work together to fend off stress while helping you to sustain an overall happier mood.

Unlike many other supplements, Neuro-Peak is a once a day dose that provides the benefit of many different medications in just one pill.

Pros
Pro Once daily supplement
Pro Great for focus
Pro Can treat ADD
Pro 60 day money back guarantee
Cons
Con Depression can be a side effect
Con Positive effects can be very mild
Con Not as beneficial as other supplements for treating anxiety
Con St John’s Wort interacts with many other medicines

In Summary

If you are seeking to try an amino acid supplement to treat your depression or anxiety, you can’t go wrong with any of the five options above. However, the one that I recommend the most for a first time user is Doctor’s Best SAM-e.

At less than fifty cents per pill I think that it’s a great deal, and it comes with forty years of conclusive research that SAM-e is beneficial for treating depression. Taking a daily dose of SAM-e will ensure that your brain has the neurological material necessary to be able to produce the levels of serotonin you need to stay healthy.

If you think that depression and anxiety are dragging down your energy levels, it might be time to seek out the best amino acids for depression. You may be shocked at the difference an amino acid supplement can make.

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