Depression is a fairly common mood disorder in the United States that presents itself in a variety of ways. Generally those who suffer from depression exhibit a loss of interest as well as feelings of sadness and loneliness. Related symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, irrational emotional outbursts, unexplained pain, and changes in appetite. Doctors are still learning the exact causes of depression, but there are a few correlations that have been noted. These include: physical brain differences, chemical imbalances, life changes (loss, trauma, or stress), genetic predisposition (if a family member has been diagnosed, you become more likely), thyroid and hormone imbalances.
Depression can also be linked to various vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This link generally occurs with B-complex vitamins, and most often applies to vitamin B12 and B9. B12 helps red blood cell formation, and a deficiency can lead to anemia and various neurological and psychiatric symptoms. B9 (also called folic acid or folate) aids in the production of DNA and RNA. It also works alongside B12 to help make red blood cells. B1 is a vitamin that can also help with depression as it helps convert glucose into fuel. Without B1 the body rapidly runs out of energy which can lead to depression and its related symptoms. B vitamins cannot be stored in the body, so it is our day to day diet that determines how much we get. Other common vitamins linked with depression include vitamin C, vitamin D, and various minerals (magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, and manganese).
At Nutritionally Yours, we have seen many people get help with depression when they learn about the specific vitamins and minerals their body needs to feel happier. While multivitamins are generally good, it is important to understand the unique needs of your body and give it what it specifically needs. Studies show that 50% of people who take a multivitamin are still functionally deficient in essential nutrients.
Depression is real; it can happen to the best of us… but you do not have to settle for the symptoms of depression when there are easy tools you can use to help yourself feel better and happier in life. The quality of your life matters to us. Vitamins CAN help with depression if the right ones are used to support your body and your mood.
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Hall-Flavin, Daniel. “Vitamin B-12 And Depression: Are They Related? – Mayo Clinic”.Mayoclinic.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Holland, Kimberly. “Herbs, Vitamins, & Supplements For Depression”.Healthline. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Schimelpfening, Nancy. “The Vitamin That Lowers The Risk Of Depression”.About.com Health. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
Webmd.com,. “Common Vitamins And Supplements To Treat Depression”. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.
by Alane Palmer, Naturopath, CNC