Many people seek alternatives to antidepressant medication when seeking depression treatment. Antidepressant medication can include numerous side effects, such as weight gain, sleep problems, gastrointestinal distress, and decrease in libido and sexual functioning. Although there are many claims about supplements for depression, there are so many supplements available these days that it can be hard to clarify what claims are true and what you should be taking. Supplements for depression might seem like an easy and natural solution to your mental health problems, but there is a lot of debate in the medical field concerning whether or not they are truly effective.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: One of the Many Supplements for Depression
Effectiveness of supplements for depression has been debated in the world of medicine, but the usage of supplements goes back for centuries. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the supplements claimed to treat depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for the development and function of the central nervous system, which is where depression originates. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that can be found naturally, mostly in plants and in marine life. Popular nutritional sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, and certain species of fish, such as salmon and herring. There are two main omega-3 fatty acids that can be eaten or supplemented.
EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid, and it’s the best omega-3 fatty acid for reducing cellular inflammation. EPA is important to support cognitive function and is considered to be more critical in mood enhancement than DHA.
DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is required in children for growth and development. Pregnant women also need DHA to help support growth and development of their baby in the womb. It’s also important to supporting brain function.
Findings for Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Depression
Numerous trials have demonstrated that low Omega-3 fatty acid levels are associated with depression. However, equivocal results have been produced in thorough (randomized placebo-controlled) research trials with about five of these studies being positive (demonstrating a relationships between increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids and reduced symptoms of depression) and six being negative (no significant relationship was found).
- Significant negative correlations between depression and fish consumption have been discovered in a 1998 cross-national study.
- Three 2009 studies on child major depressive disorder, adult major depressive disorder, and bipolar depression, revealed that the majority of patients who took omega-3 fatty acid supplements showed significant improvement when compared to those taking a placebo.
- Increased consumption of seafood and traces of omega-3 fatty acids in mother’s milk showed a negative association with postpartum depression in a 2004 cross-national study.
This research by no means suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can cure depression, but it does suggest increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help with various forms of depression. While some of the research on omega-3 fatty acids is encouraging, it remains unclear just how effective they are and what formulation and combination (i.e. with antidepressants) are most beneficial. More conclusive research is needed on the subject before omega-3 fatty acids can be used as a full depression treatment. However, including omega-3 fatty acids into your regular diet can be beneficial for your overall health, including potentially reducing risk of cardiac disease. Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplements should be discussed with your physician as they can have side effects (such as gastrointestinal distress, headaches and insomnia) and they can also interact with other medications such as anticoagulants (blood thinners) and some high blood pressure medications.
TMS Depression Treatment: An Effective Option
If you or someone you love is looking for a natural and non-invasive treatment for depression, TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) treatment might be a great option. TMS therapy is safe, and depending on the patient, can be used along with antidepressant medication. Alone, TMS therapy has few to no side effects. TMS therapy has been approved by the FDA as an effective and safe treatment for depression since 2008.
Contact Mid City TMS
To learn more about depression, the possibility of using TMS as a safe depression treatment, and TMS services, contact Mid City TMS. Our New York City TMS center is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan on Madison Avenue, and we are open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday. Give us a call at 212-517-1867 or make an appointment today.