Many studies show an elevated incidence of nutritional deficiency in depressed patients, often about one-third of depressed patients have nutritional deficits. In addition, therapeutic outcomes are worse and relapse rates are higher in nutritionally deficient patients.
B vitamins, such as folic acid, B12, and B6 are absolutely critical for proper neuronal functioning. Depression mechanisms involving B vitamins include acting as co-factors for brain chemical production and metabolism, especially methylation and homocysteine metabolism.
Fatty acids from fish oils, such as EPA and DHA, are also famous for their utility in depression and not coincidentally have major anti-inflammatory activity, in addition to properties such as increased serotonin neurotransmission, increased cerebral blood flow and positive effects on gene expression.
Magnesium affects all elements of the HPA axis. Many studies have shown that magnesium deficiency induces depression and anxiety-like behavior.
Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with mood disorders. Michael Holick, one of the world’s leading experts on vitamin D, recommends using vitamin D as a treatment in depression, and targeting a serum level between 30-60 ng/ml to determine and monitor the dose of vitamin D per patient.
Other nutrients such as zinc, iron, selenium, iodine, tryptophan and tyrosine to name a few have additional significant implications for treatment of the individual with depression.
So how do you know WHICH nutrients to use for WHICH patients, with depression?
Well isn’t that the million-dollar question?! By using a personalized medicine approach, we customize both the evaluation of the underlying causes (including nutritional testing) as well as the treatment plan that is based on biohacking each patient’s real-time biochemical/neurochemical balance.
All done in a day’s work…at Wholistic Medicine Specialists of Atlanta.