You’ve all heard the expression “you are what you eat”right? Modern nutrition is beginning to realise that getting enough vitamins and minerals can affect not only our physical health, but our mental health too.
Depression is one mental health condition that many believe can be improved through the use of vitamins. At the very least, providing vitamins that nourish your brain won’t make depression symptoms any worse.
We’ll go over the best supplement stack for depression here, and I’ll let you in on why the individual components may help support sufferers.
HCF Happy Calm Focused Brain SupplementClick for price
- 100% NO HERBAL STIMULANTS / INHIBITORS - While most focus supplements rely on plant-based stimulants or inhibitors to get you...
- NUTRIENT SYNERGY - By combining 1350mg of foundational FQ (F=DL-Phenylalanine / Q=L-Glutamine) key amino acids with 89mg of...
- CLEAN LABEL - Clean Product. Clean Conscience. No compromises. For your safety, HCF Happy Calm Focused brain supplement is...
Brain Boost by BioScience NutritionClick for price
- Scientifically formulated; we carefully combined just the right amount of 41 ingredients into a premium formula designed to...
- Focus, memory & clarity; Brain Plus is an all-natural nootropic, formulated to help support memory and cognition; the perfect...
- Stress & mood support; designed to increase your mental performance, promote positive mood, increase natural energy and ramp...
BoostMood Natural Mood SupportClick for price
- Strongest natural mood, anxiety and stress support supplement.
- Maximum strength natural ingredients. Increase and regulate your serotonin and GABA naturally.
- The highest dosage of all the ingredients than any other mood formula.
Mood Boost by LES LabsClick for price
- NATURAL CALMING MOOD SUPPLEMENT. Mood Boost's natural formula helps relieve occasional stress & anxiety quickly.
- PROMOTES POSITIVE MOOD. 5-HTP naturally promotes positive mood. L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine help to relieve stress and anxiety....
- STRESS RELIEVING HERBAL BLEND. Passion flower, ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, and chamomile extracts are packed into Mood Boost...
What is Depression?
Depression is a common mood disorder that is characterized by feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness. Other symptoms may include irritability, restlessness, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, fatigue and body pains. (source)
The clinical requirements for the diagnosis of depression is experiencing some or all of the above symptoms every day for two weeks or more.
What Causes Depression?
The cause of depression is thought to be a combination of environmental factors and imbalances in brain chemistry. It’s important to note that depression doesn’t look or feel the same for every person. Part of that is that there are several types of depression.
Some depression is potentially caused by hormonal imbalances or fluctuations, including pregnancy. Some illnesses such as thyroid disorders or medications may also contribute to depression symptoms.
Who Experiences this Condition?
Anyone can suffer from depression. Young or old, male or female, people from all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds may experience depression. No one is immune to depression.
There are people who are at a higher risk of experiencing depression. People with a family history or who have been diagnosed with depression before are at a higher risk. Those experiencing major life changes and upsets are also at risk.
Which Vitamins or Supplements May Help?
There are several vitamins that are thought to help with depression, with various levels of evidence to support them. We’ll go over some of the supplements that have been studied and have been proven to be effective for those with depression.
B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc are all thought to be effective on some level. It’s crucial to note that vitamins and supplements are not a replacement for depression medications and therapies.
How Can B Vitamins Help?
B Vitamins like B12 and folate play a significant role in the production of many chemicals that work in the brain, including some that affect mood. (source) Low folate and B12 levels have been found in patients who exhibit signs of depression. While results aren’t totally conclusive, there’s evidence to suggest it works.
What Makes Fish Oil Good for Depression?
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are important to the health of your brain. They also cannot be synthesized in the body. If you don’t eat much fish, fish oil supplements are ideal for supplying the DHA and EPA omega-3s you need. While fish oil is not an approved treatment for depression, it won’t hurt. (source)
How Does Vitamin D Help?
Studies have shown that people who have depression are also deficient in vitamin D. This suggests that it may be at least partially behind depressive symptoms. (source) Vitamin D affects hormones and other brain chemicals. Our bodies can synthesize vitamin D so long as we are exposed to enough sunlight.
Can Magnesium Be Used for Depression?
Modern diets are often lacking in magnesium, so supplementing this mineral might be a good idea. There is some evidence to suggest that supplementing magnesium may help to stabilize moods, and since most Americans are deficient anyways, there’s likely no harm.
This mineral is often found in topical forms of supplementation, as well. It has long been known as a great supplement for mood support, so if you must pick one ingredient to look for in a mood enhancing supplement, this is probably the one.
What Makes Zinc Good for Depression?
At least one study has shown that zinc supplementation may also aid in the improvement of depressive symptoms, alongside antidepressant medications. Once again, most American diets are deficient in zinc, so supplementing won’t hurt and might just help improve symptoms.
Warnings About Vitamins for Depression
First and foremost, if you believe you are suffering from depression, contact your doctor and make an appointment. Regardless of whether you want to try the best vitamin stack for depression, it’s important that you are under the care of a physician.
Make sure that you tell your doctor about any vitamins or supplements you’re taking as well. This is important in their ability to treat you. An accurate record of all over-the-counter meds, supplements, or herbal remedies you’re using can prevent drug interactions or other issues.
If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, please, do not hesitate to get help immediately. Go to any emergency room, call 1-800-273-8255 to speak to a professional and receive emotional support, or you can even get help by text. Send the word START to 741741.
As we’ve already mentioned, none of these supplements are a substitute for conventional care. Do not stop taking any medications without your doctor’s approval, and continue seeing your healthcare provider and mental health specialist. It can be dangerous to suddenly stop medications which influence the brain chemistry.
Finding the Best Supplement Stack for Depression
A good candidate for the best vitamin stack for depression should contain many, if not all, of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients listed above. Look for supplements made by a reputable company who has their product third party tested for purity.
Check out our picks for the best vitamin stacks for depression below. This supplement contains all of the vitamins and minerals listed above except fish oil, plus amino acids that may also help depression sufferers. It is manufactured in a GMP (good manufacturing practice for pharmaceuticals) certified facility and comes in a capsule form. This supplement, while aimed at overall brain health and function, contains many of the ingredients we’re looking for in a vitamin stack for depression. It uses a 41 ingredient formula. This supplement claims to enhance your mood by boosting serotonin levels. Made by a socially conscious company, this combination of B vitamins and amino acids is intended to help calm the mood. This supplement contains herbal supplements and vitamin B12 to help improve mood. It claims to increase energy and promote the production of serotonin. Mood Boost contains many of the vitamins and minerals discussed above, as well as some unique herbal ingredients like passion flower. The combined effect of these substances is intended to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety and to improve overall mood.
Many depression-fighting ingredients
Also promotes sleep
Amino acids targeting brain function
May cause heartburn in some users
At least 3 capsules a day
Capsules difficult to take
Some users do not notice any improvement
Made in FDA and GMP certified facility
Free from major allergens
Contains many questionable herbal ingredients
Lower vitamin dosages than idea
Some ingredients may cause headaches
Requires a couple weeks to be effective
Third party tested
Doesn’t make user feel tired
May cause indigestion
May cause stomach upset
Not effective for some users
Contains mood-boosting amino acids
Herbal mood boosters
Aimed at improving serotonin production
Formulation may have changed
Difficult to swallow
May cause changes in appetite
Lacks vitamin and mineral support
All natural ingredients
Made in the US
Two capsules per day
Amino acids to improve mood
Contains largely untested herbal ingredients
May negatively affect libido
May make some users sleepy
May cause mood swings
This supplement contains all of the vitamins and minerals listed above except fish oil, plus amino acids that may also help depression sufferers. It is manufactured in a GMP (good manufacturing practice for pharmaceuticals) certified facility and comes in a capsule form.
This supplement, while aimed at overall brain health and function, contains many of the ingredients we’re looking for in a vitamin stack for depression. It uses a 41 ingredient formula.
This supplement claims to enhance your mood by boosting serotonin levels. Made by a socially conscious company, this combination of B vitamins and amino acids is intended to help calm the mood.
This supplement contains herbal supplements and vitamin B12 to help improve mood. It claims to increase energy and promote the production of serotonin.
Mood Boost contains many of the vitamins and minerals discussed above, as well as some unique herbal ingredients like passion flower. The combined effect of these substances is intended to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety and to improve overall mood.
The clear winner here of the best supplement stack for depression for us is the HCF Happy Calm Focused supplement. Though it is a relatively expensive solution, it takes a more scientific approach to aid in the treatment of depression and improve overall mood. Rather than herbs that may cause more problems than they solve, it uses vitamins and minerals that have been found to potentially help depressive patients.
Do you have any other questions about which vitamins, minerals, or other remedies might be good for depression? Don’t hesitate to ask! We’ll do our best to provide you with the facts.