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Nutraceuticals Can Boost Antidepressants

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An international review of 40 clinical trials worldwide has found that some nutritional supplements can increase the effectiveness of antidepressants for people with clinical depression.

“The strongest finding from our review was that omega-3 fish oil, in combination with antidepressants, had a statistically significant effect over a placebo,” said Dr Jerome Sarris of the ARCADIA Mental Health Research Group at The University of Melbourne, who led the meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. “Many studies have shown omega-3s are very good for general brain health and improving mood, but this is the first analysis of studies that looks at using them in combination with antidepressant medication.

“The difference for patients taking both antidepressants and omega-3, compared to a placebo, was highly significant. This is an exciting finding because here we have a safe, evidence-based approach that could be considered a mainstream treatment.”

The review also found good evidence for methylfolate (the bioactive form of folate), vitamin D and S-adenosylmethionine as a mood-enhancing therapy when taken with antidepressants. It reported mixed results for zinc, vitamin C and the amino acid tryptophan. Folic acid didn’t work particularly well, nor did inositol.

“A large proportion of people who have depression do not reach remission...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.