In the last few blogs, we focused on Omega-3 and its potential effects on your mood.*
Especially, EPA Omega-3.
While mood health may be influenced by several non-nutritive factors like trauma or illness, what’s at the tip of your fork can affect the way you feel.
But even if you are diligent about avoiding sugar and processed grains/foods, it may be difficult to get optimal levels of all nutrients if you eat a standard american or western diet.
This is when supplements can help.
And no, a multivitamin does not count as a mood-booster. Also, they may not give you the right kind and quantity of nutrients you need.
- It’s EPA, not DHA, that helps with mood.*
- Take 1000 mg of ‘unopposed EPA’ per day.*
- The mg of EPA minus the mg of DHA is the unopposed EPA in your fish oil pill.*
*Individual results will vary. Nutritional therapy may only help support positive mood if poor nutrition (and associated deficiencies) was a preexisting condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Research suggests that improving omega-3 fat intake from a concentrated source may help support a healthy mood. Some, but not all studies, indicate that 2,000 mg of omega-3 fats daily with a higher concentration of EPA may offer benefit.
The best Omega-3 supplements for mood support:*
|BRAND||mg UNOPPOSED EPA||COST PER PILL|
|OmegaVia EPA 500||500 mg||$0.24/pill|
|Minami MorEPA Platinum||528 mg||$0.53/pill|
|RenewLife EPA 1000||1000 mg||$1.11/pill|
|Nordic Naturals EPA Elite||800 mg||$0.64/pill|
OmegaVia EPA 500 is an EPA-only supplement designed to provide just EPA. Two little pills get you 1000 mg of unopposed EPA.
And more is not necessarily better!
OmegaBrite is good too but it only has 300 mg of unopposed EPA Omega-3 per pill.
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega has 100 mg of unopposed EPA Omega-3. Nordic’s EPA Xtra has 393 mg unopposed EPA.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but eating cold-water fatty fish 3 to 4 times a week is better than any Omega-3 supplement.
Probiotics (and healing your gut)
Probiotics?! Yes, probiotics. The bugs in your gut talk to your brain through the vagus nerve. (We finally have an explanation for the ‘voices!’) In your case, think ‘gut feeling,’ ‘nervous butt,’ etc.
(This should really be at the top of this list because a lot of your neurotransmitters (‘happy chemicals’) are made in the gut. If there is an imbalance of some sort in your gut, you’re probably in trouble. Gluten, dairy, sugar, stress, tylenol, etc. can all interfere with healthy gut function. Simply assume you have gut issues and start to fix it.)
Recent studies have confirmed this head-gut connection and its relevance for mood and behavior.
This new approach is called psychobiotics. Psychiatrists are all abuzz. You’ll hear more about this in the years to come.
Bifidobacterium longum was shown to help modulate behavior in mice. Another mouse study on Lactobacillus rhamnosus recently suggested that probiotics have the potential to affect brain chemistry. A more recent human study done at UCLA proved that probiotics may influence emotion and sensation.
The bugs in your bowels also affect the metabolism of mood-regulating minerals like zinc and magnesium.
We’re just starting to understand how the bugs in our gut affect our feelings. We have a long way to go.
Here is a probiotic supplement that may help with mood. Response to mood-influencing probiotics can vary widely from person to person, depending on severity of gut microbiome disturbance, consistency of product use, availability of fiber in diet, and most importantly – whether the root cause of the mood issue was in the gut.
For now, start with healing your gut – eliminate wheat and fructose from your diet. Eat more fermented foods, vegetables, and only take antibiotics if you doctor feels you must.
Obsessive hand-washing and cleaning with anti-bacterial soap is probably not helping.
Healing your gut requires more than just taking probiotic supplements. Probiotics (and all the other supplements listed here) are only a small part of the puzzle.
It requires some food elimination (see above), stress reduction (exercise/sleep/meditation/yoga etc.) in addition to taking probiotics and prebiotic fermentable fibers. It may also require treatment for infections.
Useful info on leaky gut here, but don’t wing it. Work with a professional.
There is quite a bit of evidence linking low Vitamin D levels to poor mood. More studies on Vitamin D and mood here, and here.
Vitamin D3 stimulates production of serotonin, so this is not surprising.
How much should you take?
Well, I feel pretty comfortable telling people to take 10,000 IU of D3 per day for a couple of days. But I don’t recommend staying at that high dose for more than a week or so.
Your ideal maintenance dose is impossible to guess without actually measuring it – so don’t guess. Talk to your doctor and get it measured. It’s relatively cheap to measure and even cheaper to supplement. Get it to around 50 ng/ml. For most people, ideal dosage to correct deficiency is somewhere between 1000 IU and 5000 IU per day depending on where you live and how much sun you get.
Vitamin D is slow-acting. If your ‘tank was on empty’ for a while, it may take a few months before levels reach acceptable levels. So don’t expect to feel remarkable one day later.
Vitamin D is not exactly a ‘vitamin.’ It is a steroid-like substance. So more isn’t always better. In some people, too much D can increase calcium levels in the blood. So, again, work with your doctor on this.
More about Vitamin D3 at the Vitamin D Council’s page and Dr. Michael Holick’s page.
Favorite brands? None. Most Vitamin D3 supplements are comparable. The raw material ingredient (cholecalciferol) is very inexpensive and you should be able to get a year’s supply for under $20. However, taking large doses of Vitamin D without Vitamin K2, A and E is not a good idea – these fat-soluble vitamins work together.
Oh, here is a brilliant, cheaper (and much better) idea: go outside in the summer, and get 10-15 minutes of upper body and leg exposure to midday sun. No sunscreen – it blocks D3 production. No shades – the bright light will help reset your circadian rhythms and can have a positive effect on mood.
Go ahead – expose yourself shamelessly. Make it awkward for the neighbors!
Unlike supplements, your skin makes D3 Sulfate, which is a superior form of Vitamin D and has benefits that extend far beyond mood. Vit D supplements are poor substitutes for sunshine. This year I got most of my D from the sun. I take a few Vit D pills in the winter.
And finally, this study says combing Prozac with Vitamin D is better than Prozac alone.
Magnesium is often called the original chill pill.
Geek speak: magnesium does a lot of things but it does its best work between brain synapses, where it keeps calcium and glutamate from ‘exciting’ the NMDA receptors too much. Overexcited neurons = tension. Magnesium keeps a lid on this. Not enough magnesium and the neurons will eventually die. Neurons and synapses going kablooey in the brain doesn’t help you stay cheery. Oh, and remember St. John’s Wort from the 1990s? Everyone thought it was a natural alternative to Prozac. Turns out St. John’s Wort was simply good at protecting cells from the dangers of magnesium deficiency.
Too much calcium (yes, even from bone health supplements) and stress can wipe out magnesium. Food and water is where we used to get most of our magnesium.
But processed foods have virtually no magnesium. And they remove magnesium from the tap water to keep pipes clean. Dandy.
All that calcium and very little magnesium can make you pret-tee tense.
Leafy green veggies and nuts are good sources of magnesium. Googling ‘magnesium rich foods’ will turn up beans and whole grains. Ack! Pass on the whole grains – they will spike your glucose, goose your triglycerides, the gluten with mess up our gut and your brain and the phytates will remove valuable nutrients from your body. There is NOTHING present in whole grains that you can’t get from veggies. Nothing. But I digress.
Unlike Vitamin D3, if you decide to supplement with magnesium, it is very easy to buy the wrong product.
Most drug-store magnesium pills are made of magnesium oxide. Even reputable brands like NatureMade use magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is not easily absorbed. You might as well swallow a pebble. Stay away from these products.
You can find lots of Magnesium citrate products online. They’re fine if taken in small doses. I occasionally take Natural Calm powdered magnesium citrate dissolved in a cup of water and/or InnovixLabs Advanced Magnesium.
Jigsaw Health makes a good-but-pricey magnesium product as well. Their pills are small and time-released.
Well-absorbed magnesium salts are not dense – they are fluffy and cannot be compressed into one small pill. You need to take 4 InnovixLabs magnesium pills to get 100% of your daily requirement of magnesium.
Unless you eat a LOT of leafy green vegetables, you probably need to take a magnesium supplement. Even if you don’t have concerns about your mood.
There are lots of studies that link B-vitamin deficiencies to mood imbalance.
Examples here, here, here, and here.
Getting enough Vitamin B12 is a real problem for some people, especially vegetarians. Unless you eat clams, oysters and liver regularly, you may want to think about supplementing.
People used to eat liver. Now they think it is gross. It isn’t. Avoid it at your own risk. Here’s a recipe.
Folate, B6 and B12 help create happy chemicals – dopamine and serotonin. SAM-e is also important here – see more on that below.
As far as supplement recommendations, well, I think these are OK. I’m open to suggestions. Share your thoughts in the comments section below if you know a good brand. I take an occasional chewable B12 but depend mostly on my diet for B-vitamins – egg yolks and grass-fed beef liver.
Watch out for the wrong type of B-vitamin!
Most multivitamins and drug-store variety B-complex contain small amounts of the cheap form of B12 called cyanocobalamin. Not good. Look for the better methylcobalamin form instead.
Same goes for Folic Acid and Folate. Folic acid is cheap, synthetic stuff and found in most multivitamins. You can overdose in Folic acid. You are much better off choosing Folate. Look for Metfolin or Quatrefolic brand Folate.
Jigsaw Health and Jarrow B-Right provide the right type of B-vitamins in their formula. Someone at at these companies has done their homework.
SAM-e levels are low in individuals with mood concerns. And several studies show that it can have a positive effect.
SAM-e (say Sammy) is made by our bodies…but to produce it, you need B-vitamins and methionine. Methionine is an amino acid found in meat. Vegans take note.
Which brand to buy?
The recommended dosage is 400 to 800 mg taken twice a day. This can get very expensive. Most brands of SAM-e are fine. There are only a couple of factories in the world that make this stuff and most brands sell the same raw material – usually Italian made. The Chinese may be getting into the game, in which case, forget what I said! Drugstores and Walmart type stores value cost competitiveness, so the likelihood of finding Chinese ingredients there is high.
Costco has a good deal on NatureMade SAM-e.
SAM-e is generally pretty safe, but taking a lot of it without taking a B-complex or a good multivitamin is not a good idea (long story) but just to be safe, take it with a multi.
Creatine also works in a similar way to SAM-e. But I’m not aware of any comparisons between the two when it comes to efficacy.
In a recent study, people given creatine showed positive mood health.
And creatine has the advantage of being a lot cheaper than SAMe.
Every thyroid molecule in your body has iodine attached to it.
And iodine can only come from your diet. Mostly wild seafood, seaweed and dairy. A little bit comes from iodized salt. But since so many people are cutting back on salt and so many more eat at restaurants where they don’t use iodized salt, iodine deficiency is coming back.
A lot of vegetarians and almost all vegans are deficient in iodine. Notice a trend?
Without enough iodine, you’re likely to have an under active thyroid. And an under active thyroid can make you feel tired and depressed.
My kids and some of my vegan friends like to snack on dried seaweed – the stuff is loaded with iodine. I tried it. Ptoooey!
So now I take LifeExtension’s Sea Iodine.
This is a nutrient that your grandparents probably got enough of.
Glycine is an amino acid (building blocks of proteins) that’s been shown to reduce tension and help with sleep. Glycine is abundant in parts of animals that we no longer eat. American grocery stores have begun selling mostly muscle meats that are low in glycine.
Glycine is found in cartilage and skin – think pork rind, feet, hock, ox-tail, bone broth and chicken feet. Ugh, right? Butchers don’t sell things people are disgusted by.
Pork feet – ’twas what’s for dinner
But our ancestors weren’t disgusted by all this. They ate nose to tail. They scraped stuff off the slaughterhouse floor, put it into intestines and called it haggis. Bad enough that they walked backwards from school in the snow, they got fed pigs feet when they got home! But I bet you they slept better than we do on our memory-tempur-sleep-number-foam things.
Something to think about before you dismiss Paleo diets as fads.
You can talk to your doctor about Glysom, a glycine supplement that’s available through doctors. I have a lot of bone broth at home – I’ll assume that’s out for you. Another option is high quality powdered gelatin like Great Lakes unflavored gelatin from Amazon.com. A couple of tablespoons a day of this tasteless and odorless powder into any beverage will also do the trick.
If you eat oysters and beef regularly, you can skip this one. But zinc deficiency will make you feel low among other things.
Actually, your zinc levels can be a pretty good indicator of your mood. Zinc deficiency in the presence of excess copper can be a strong indicator of behavior.
If you’ve given up meat and have fallen for the ‘healthy whole grains and beans are better for you’ notion, you may have zinc issues. Grains, corn, and legumes have something called phytates that block zinc absorption.
Your body has no way of storing zinc like it can Vitamin D, so you have to eat zinc-rich foods or take a supplement regularly. If you choose the supplement option, do it a couple of times a week, not every day. Choose a gluconate or an amino acid chelate form.
In case you were wondering…
Why didn’t I talk about 5-HTP, Tryptophan, GABA, Theanine or St. John’s Wort? Well, these are band-aids. They don’t address the root cause of the problem – poor nutrition and chronic inflammation. Other than SAM-e, all the other supplements recommended here are actual nutrients that you need on a daily basis.
Once you’ve provided your body’s needs for these nutrients either through your diet or with supplements, then you can start looking at other non-nutritional cause of mood issues with your doctor.
*Individual results will vary. Nutritional therapy may only help support healthy mood if poor nutrition (and associated deficiencies) was a preexisting condition.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Research suggests that improving omega-3 fat intake from a concentrated source may help support a healthy mood. Some, but not all studies, indicate that 2,000 mg of omega-3 fats daily with a higher concentration of EPA may offer benefit.
I have a Jarrow B Vitamin that’s called B-Right.
It has 100 mcg of methylcobalamin B12 and 400 mcg of folate along with
a lot of other B vitamins.
Thanks, Kathy. They have the right KIND of B12 and Folate. That’s great. Yesterday, checked all the B-vitamins at Costco – all the multivitamins and B-complexes. None of them had the right type of B-vitamin! I like the Jarrow formula, but I think 100 mcg is way too low. 500 mcg or 1000 mcg would be much better. Here’s a link to the product: http://www.jarrow.com/product/57/B-Right
The Jigsaw Health formula I mentioned in the blog has 500 mcg. But it has half the Folate of the Jarrow formula.
– Vin Kutty
I have heard that green tea extract is supposed to be good for stress and anxiety. It’s supposed to have L-theanine . I have tried to drink green tea, but it is not in the cards for me. Do you recommend this supplement,& if so, can you suggest a good brand.
Hi Margie – green tea is a great source of antioxidants and polyphenols…but I have not see any studies that suggest it’s good for stress or anxiety. If you’re after theanine, get theanine supplements. Look for Suntheanine brand theanine. It may or may not work for you, but at 200 or 300 mg Theanine, I feel very relaxed and my eyelids get droopy…but not sleepy. You’d have to drink several vats of green tea to get enough theanine to have this effect.
– Vin Kutty
Hi Vin – Just wanted to say thanks for this really interesting and useful info .I’m about to start taking fish oil due to studies showing its potential benefits – I think I will try adding some of the other supplements suggested above. I have never heard or come across Sam- E in the UK but I will shop around for it.
On a point relating to the absorbption of magnesium that may interest you? A study in the UK has shown that soaking in a hot bath with added magnesium is one of the quickest ways to safely increase your magnesium levels. I can testify that adding Epsom salts i.e. magnesium to my bath water is definitely very soothing and does seem to be reducing the aches.
Hi Lesley – magnesium can be absorbed transdermally. Epsom salts in bath or even a soak in the ocean can help. The trouble is, you have no clue how much you’ve absorbed.
– Vin Kutty
wow thanks for the info. i didnt know that epsom salts had magnesium in them. i will have to try that cause i am over the stress limit barometer!
Janet – you burn up nutrients besides magnesium when stressed. Eat liver? If not, consider. Otherwise, consider more exercise, meditation and yoga – all three help with stress.
Hmmm…… due to my lack of knowledge regarding nutritional supplementation I’mhesitant to question your point, but here goes anyway………..) You already made the point about magnesium oxide not being readily absorbed and without measuring bloods/urine how can we know if we are maintaining the optimum level of magnesium through oral supplemetation?
This study indicates that bathing 2/3 times a week in Epson salts enables the body to gradually absorb sufficient magnesium to reach optimum levels , following which less frequent ‘maintenance’ baths will suffice.
Each to their own – but I find bathing in magnesium with a few added drops of essential oils a pleasant, relaxing experience & preferable to establishing a safe i.e. non-laxative , oral dose. Its also surprisingly affordable in 25k sacks!
Hi Lesley – it’s not easy to measure Magnesium sufficiency. I work with the assumption that even those of us who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (generally good sources of Magnesium) are somewhat deficient due to intensive agriculture – soils are depleted and if soils are depleted, there will be less of it in fruits and vegetables. So my response to that is to take about 400 mg of magnesium one of the more absorbable forms – citrare, glycinate etc.
Epsom salt baths may work – my advice would be to be generous while drawing your bath…
– Vin Kutty
I like this article. I have been a big fan of Magnesium since I started taking it last year. I have taken it on and off because I couldn’t find a tablet that was suitable. The problem with magnesium is that you need to have ideal conditions in your stomach in order to break it down and convert it to it’s ionic form as it must be absorbed on a cellular level. Anything that is not converted is not absorbed and is wasted, but causes laxative effects in the process.
I discovered a while ago that there are ionic forms available. The ionic form is a liquid, taken in water or juice once or more daily depending on your condition, is almost tasteless, and causes no laxative effects whatsoever. Because it is ionic and can be readily absorbed into your cells without being broken down or processed, it is much more effective.
There are various companies that make it, I’ve only used ReMag so far, and really like it, but I think I’m going to try Trace Minerals Research as I’m currently putting in an order from iHerb and they sell that and I’d like to see what different brands do for me. It’s all about finding the best one for you, at the right price for you. Shop around!
Thank you, Claire.
I am curious as to what ‘unopposed’ EPA/DHA means? I have recently been taking PurePharma Omega 3..on its label it says Omega 3 fatty acids 2000mg..and below it says EPA 1250mg..DHA 500 mg.
Does unopposed mean I would have to take the EPA/DHA separately to get the better effect? Any thoughts on the Purepharma brand? It directs to take 3 softgels a day..so that would be 6000mg of omega 3 a day? Is that too high?
I also take the Natural VItality Calm Magnesium..it is an amazing product..feel its soothing affect at first sip..cannot recommend this product highly enough and it tastes great (i have the raspbery-lemon flavor..yummy!)
Very glad I discovered this site, very informative..thank you so much!
Hi Susan – I like PurePharma brand. Their quality is good but their potency could be a lot higher. Each capsule has 433 mg of EPA and 173 mg of DHA. So if you took 3 pills, you would get 1820 mg of EPA + DHA. You DO NOT GET 6000 mg of Omega-3. That’s a bit of label smoke-n-mirrors that fish oil marketers use that I disagree with. The supplement facts panel should always tell you how much Omega-3 ONE CAPSULE contains.
So you are not getting 6000 mg – for that, you would need to take almost 10 pills. Very few people need that much Omega-3.
Unopposed EPA is the amount of EPA that is unhindered by DHA. If you have 100 mg of EPA and 100 mg of DHA, then each molecule of EPA is ‘blocked’ by a molecule DHA. For mood health, this would give you no benefits. In your PurePharma example, the unopposed EPA is: 433 minus 173 = 260 mg of unopposed EPA. You need about 1000 mg of unopposed EPA per day for mood health benefits. This means you need to take 4 pills per day to get 1000 mg of unopposed EPA.
Hope this helps.
Thank you very much for the information ..I have placed an order for Omegavia fish oil..very impressed with the extensive information on the website and really appreciate the responses you provide! Looking forward to trying this product, thanks again:)
Thank you, Susan!
I have taken omega 3’s and while yes they do help some, I need something more! I’m considering magnesium but have to do a bit more research to be sure of its “safety” while BF.
I just found this site (excellent info!) and saw your comment regarding magnesium. I just began using a powder called Cenitol by Metagenics. (?) It’s magnesium bisglycinate. So far I have noticed an incredible shift in mood, (much less anxiety/tension/fretting/despair) but it’s also the migraines that I am grateful for it giving me relief from. I’m sure Vin Kutty can elaborate on this form of magnesium, and share his thoughts. Fish oils, less caffeine, Qi Gong and cycling are helping too. Best to you in finding alternatives. I have also weaned off pharmaceuticals – for good. I trust it can be done. 🙂
Hi Larissa – glad it worked well for you. The glycinate/bisglycinate forms are one of the better absorbed forms of Magnesium. It’s too bad that the most common form of magnesium (magnesium oxide) is also one of the least absorbed. There are a lot of people taking mag oxide (from NatureMade brand for example) who will notice few of the benefits you have.
If you had to go on pharmaceuticals due to dietary or lifestyle causes, then addressing those dietary and lifestyle issues will remove the need for drugs. Quite simple.
Thanks for the feedback re: magnesium Mr Kutty! Now I’ve a question regarding creatine. I recall taking it several years back when I was racing mountain bikes, as it was some hyped up performance enhancer and I was young and keen to experiment. When I took it – in juice as recommended – I was speedy and over the top! (Good thing the race was cancelled due to a Grizzly being on the course.) We rode that day elsewhere, and I could climb like never before (not needing too much concentration, just brute strength – so I can see why lifters like this.) but on the technical descents I was a mess. My mind was racing, adrenals were pumping, and I was three steps ahead – not in a good way. I’d love to try creatine again if it’s good for mood, but what form would you say is safe for someone who reacted like this? Is this a common side effect? It was like some kind of excruciating stimulant! Thanks again. Your articles are really great, and your input is much appreciated.
Hi Larissa – this is not a common side effect of creatine, given that you take the right amount. I suggest that if you try creatine, start small. Everything can be harmful in excess. (This doesn’t mean everything is OK in small doses…I’m thinking of gluten here.) Remember the first rule of toxicology: the dose makes the poison. So if you try creatine, start at lower doses than suggested. I’d also recommend sticking with a whole foods only diet, like paleo. Include organ meats in your diet – liver. Ideally from grass-fed beef and lamb.
Hi Sue – sorry to hear about your sinus issues. I have the same problems. Getting rid of sugar and wheat didn’t help me either. Stinks. That just means the problem may have its origins in something other than sugar or wheat, that’s all. When it’s bad, I’ve tried warm saline rinses (several times a day), steaming with my little Vicks steamer that I picked up at CVS. When it’s bad, I steam for a couple of hours while working on my laptop/ipad. I’ve also used Terry Naturally SinusCare – not sure yet how I feel about it.
Instead of telling you which pills to take, how ’bout I suggest you keep a food diary and write down what you eat and how your sinus and mood shifts based on this. I suspect, but have no way to confirm, that you may be histamine intolerant. Read this: http://diagnosisdiet.com/histamine-intolerance/ and also look up Low Histamine Chef.
Hi Theven – if you’re already taking the supplements mentioned in the blog above, this is a question for your doctor since you’re already taking Cymbalta.
I take PlusEPA from Minami Nutrition but I didnt see it on your website
Hi Amanda – PlusEPA is a great product for mood issues. Any high-EPA and low-DHA formula will help if you’re getting enough unopposed EPA.
Hi Eva – since you’re already taking thyroid meds, there is no additional need for iodine supplementation, but please check with your doctor.
Very Helpful. Thanks for this
I have been fighting depression on and off most of my life. Since March of this year I have had an upward battle. What stinks is back in March I had blood work done and my creatinine levels were low and was told not to worry about it. HUMMMMM After reading this I looked into it, could be a reason.
Hi Mary – there could be other reasons for the low creatinine. Please check with your doctor on how to handle this. Despite the title of this blog, taking supplements is not the best way to treat depression or anxiety – the real solution is to fix your diet (eat a whole foods diet) and lifestlyle. If that does not help, then get proper medical help.
Hi Karen – glad you found this useful. Since your daughter is under medical care, have her doctor bless any supplement regimen. Otherwise, none of the supplements I’ve mentioned here are known for safety issues. To my knowledge, they are OK. I take most of them. The only suggestion I would have is to have get get a LOT of sun exposure (without sunscreen!) during the summer and may be take the Vitamin D pills in the winter. Since sunlight is not a supplement, I didn’t mention it here. There are advantages to sunlight exposure to skin that Vitamin D pills do not provide. Not to mention that it helps reset circadian rhythms and improves sleep, assuming she avoids ‘screen time’ after sunset.
Also, make sure neither you nor her is afraid of a healthy fats. Be very generous with olive oil, coconut oil, butter and other healthy fats. Time to get over fat-phobia. That belonged in the 1980s. Get her to eat more eggs yolks and if you convince her, liver. Look into a Paleo diet. Get her used to a wide variety of fermented foods – sauerkraut, kefir, etc. to get her gut flora up to par.
Hello. Could your new product EPA 500 help with memory and mood issues, or would you recommend the original omega via product?
Hi Keynen – Original OmegaVia is an all-purpose Omega-3 supplement. It should help you with mood and memory. EPA 500 is specifically formulated for mood. And also for people who’re concerned that DHA might increase LDL cholesterol. If you are more concerned about mood than memory, then EPA 500 would be better. If you eat a few egg yolks (especially Omega-3 eggs) and seafood a couple of times a week, then you’ll get most of the DHA you need to keep your brain functioning well.
Hi Vin, thanks for all your fabulous information.
Just a question regarding EPA 500 – I have read that the body converts EPA to DHA, but is there any possibility of becoming DHA deficient by just taking EPA 500 for an extended period of time? Or would a meal of fish a week be enough to address this?
Thanks very much.
Hi K – the body is not very good at converting EPA to DHA. It can happen, but at very low levels. You are likely to become DHA deficient if you are a vegetarian or vegan. If you eat eggs or seafood on a regular basis, you will get all the DHA that you need. Remember that a drop of DHA will stay in your body for 2-3 years. The body does not easily get rid of DHA. It only needs small amounts and it hangs on to what it gets. Your brain only needs 3-4 mg of DHA per day. An egg could have 75 to 100 mg of DHA. A meal of fish a week is enough to meet your DHA needs.
Great, thanks Vin – that’s really helpful.
I shall order the EPA 500 with confidence!
Some of my supplements:
Calcium 400 mg
Vit. D 5000 iu
Magnesium 500 mg
Vit. K7 400 mcg
Only Trace Minerals
Co Q 10 200 mg
Vit. B complex
My problem is I don’t know when during the day I should take them.
Which ones counter-act others? Please help!
Hi Elizabeth – nice bone and heart support mix. Glad you’re only taking 400 mg of Calcium. That’s enough. Best to get the rest from food. I’d take all of the above with the biggest meal of the day or the one that contains the most fat. Early in the day is best for most. Some people take their magnesium just before bed to help relax them. I don’t see any that would counter act any of the others. The only thing I want to mention is that increased D and K will leave you somewhat unbalanced if you don’t get adequate A and E. A, D, E and K are the four key fat-soluble vitamins – they run together, so to speak. If you don’t eat much animal fats or dairy fat, it will be difficult to get enough pre-formed Vitamin A. You will need to compensate by eating a lot more carotenoid rich (colorful) fruits and veggies. Look into Vitamin E rich foods as well or may be try a mixed tocopherol/tocotrieneol supplement – LifeExtension has a couple.
Thank you for you reply.
I divide the calcium, magnesium, Vit. K and the CoQ 10 into two times daily (breakfast and dinner). Is this OK? I read that the chromium (in my Only Trace Minerals) might interfere with calcium. Is this correct and if so when should I take the chromium since I divide the calcium? If I supplement with a Vit. A and E, how much should I take?
Hi Elizabeth – large doses of calcium can interact with some other minerals, but you’re not taking a large dose. You’re breaking up your moderate dose into two even smaller doses. I don’t see an issue.
Vit A and E are, as with most nutrients, best obtained from whole foods. If you choose to supplement, take it with a large meal, preferably one that has the most fat – time of day does not matter.
Hi Debbie – I’m sorry to hear about the situation. I can understand how you might feel awful and exhausted.
First, I am neither authorized nor qualified to dispense true medical advice. But I’m happy to provide some nutritional guidance and point you towards some resources that I think will be useful enough to get you functioning and out of the house.
Second, you cannot supplement your way out of this. You will need to address diet first. Lifestyle changes after the diet has started helping you.
I recommend that you get help from a good paleo dietitian. http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/
Why talk to a dietitian? Because most people do paleo the wrong way. One size does not fit all. But I can say with fairly good certainly that everyone will benefit from total avoidance of wheat/gluten, sugar, refined grains and processed foods. In the meantime, start eating more egg yolks and liver. Eat lots of colorful leafy veggies. Cut out all vegetable seed oils.
You will need to address gut health issues, as the gut is where most of your happy chemicals are produced. Poor gut health = poor mood. Read this: http://www.dramymyers.com/2013/01/11/heal-your-gut-heal-yourself/
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALING YOUR GUT!
You will need to address inflammation. Any good diet like Paleo or Zone will help with this.
If I were you, I would take the supplements outlined in this blog, but it really needs to start with your diet. Since you’re already on paleo, you’ve already taken the first step. You will probably need to tweak your diet more. I suspect you will need to go on an elimination diet – your dietitian will walk you thru that. After a month on that, you will begin to feel better.
I can promise that it will be difficult, but totally worth it. Hang in there and keep us posted.
Hi Vin, great info thanks, could you recommend the best 3 daily supplements for mood health? This would be in conjunction with improved diet and lifestyle changes. I have been tying the diet and exercise route but want to support that effort with proper supplements. Looking for your advice on the top 3 to take daily and the dosage recommended. Thanks in advance
Hi James – top three, huh? Well, try Omega-3, magnesium and Vitamin D. But taking this minimalist approach is unlikely to get you where you need to go. These supplements need to be part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you noticed, most of the nutrients I talk about in this blog can be obtained if you eat a whole foods diet…like a Paleo diet. But the other half of the equation is what you AVOID! Just taking these supplements without eliminating inflammatory vegetable seed oils, sugar and flour will not get you the results you seek. Also, most of your ‘happy chemicals’ are secreted in the gut, which means you need to take steps to heal your gut. More here: http://www.dramymyers.com/2013/01/11/heal-your-gut-heal-yourself/
Firstly I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for actually caring enough about your fellow man to pursue solutions for this area of health from the perspective of nutrition rather than the modern “quick fixes”. Your philosophy is inspirational.
I have been trying the nutrient supplementation approach for a few weeks now and I can honestly say that I feel a massive difference already. I actually sleep without complications and I just feel better in general.
I realize that others here have asked you to make decisions for them when comparing products and no doubt you are a busy man, but I would appreciate it no end if you could do the same for me.
I am considering the following Omega-3 compositions and would simply like to know which one you would recommend based on how effective it should be for optimal health (psychologically and physiologically speaking). They are all from the same manufacturer:
Solal Krill Oil Omega-3 (per capsule):
Krill Oil yeilding 500mg Omega-3 fatty acids 110mg of which EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) 60mg, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 27.5mg,
Marine phospholipids 225mg, Astaxanthin (antioxidant) 25μg
Solal Sol-Oil Omega 3 & 6 (per 2 capsules):
Fish oil omega 3 extract (triglyceride form) 1333mg + Borage Oil (Cold Pressed) 667mg. This supplies: Omega 3 fatty acids, namely: EPA 680mg, DHA 120mg, Omega 6 fatty acids, namely: GLA 114mg
Solal Omega-3 Double Strength (per capsule):
Fish oil (concentrate) 1000mg of which: Omega-3 fats: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) 510mg, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 90mg
Solal Flaxseed Oil Omega-3 (per capsule):
Each capsule contains the following as active ingredient: Cold pressed flaxseed oil 850mg Which supplies: ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) omega 3 fatty acid 425mg
Solal Fish Oil Extract Omega-3 (per capsule):
Fish oil extract (triglyceride form) 1000mg of which total Omega 3 fatty acids 300mg: EPA 160mg, DHA 100mg, Vitamin E 12mg
Thank you for your consideration and peace to you and your loved ones.
Hi Vincent – I would go with the Double Strength product. It has the most Omega-3 EPA and DHA per pill.
I take supplements some recommended by my Rolfer/Nutritionist/Acupuncturist, some by my homeopathic MD, some by myself – have ordered OmegaVia 500 today – will run it by both before deciding. I eat bone broth/organic vegs/grass-fed meat or organic chicken daily, (avoiding berries/fruit as I think I may have an overgrowth of yeast in the gut from the holiday ‘binge’). I use coconut and olive oil – and still use some raw grass-fed butter though I’m not using other dairy at this time. I will be tested by Cyrex Labs for cross contamination, etc., soon. Here are my questions.
I’m taking a self-selected supplement that contains:
1. 4oo mgs. microcrystaline hydroxyapatite (from grass-fed, free-range cattle)
2. 400 mgs. magnesium taurate
3. 1000 IU vitamin D from lamb’s wool
4. 3 mgs. magnesium citrate
5. 1 mg. boron citrate
I also take magnesium citrate 50 to 300 mgs. (dose varies per day) in a supplement called Glysen that, with diet, helped me reverse insulin resistance – and 2 Trace Minerals Research Electrolyte Stamina.
I total calcium and magnesium at the end of the day and aim for a higher total of mag than cal – if I need to up the mag, I use magnesium citrate capsules. (calcium usually totals out at 531 mgs., magnesium at 600 – 700.) I have felt better since I began taking more mag than cal.
I also use fermented cod liver oil and take K2, Jarrow B Right, extra B6 and B12-Max (Apex Energetics), 6000 Vit. C in divided doses, zinc, selenium, COQ10, E, alpha lipoic acid, glutathione recycler, Taurine, Turmero, Apex Energetics Repairvite and Strengtia – I just ordered Garden of Life Soil-Based Organisms and plan to vary probios, will run idea of prebios past my docs.
I would appreciate any comments you may have regarding the above. Thanks a lot ~ Shay
Hi Shay – I’m glad you have a group of professionals helping you. I’m sure it is not cheap, but it is worth it, given how long you’ve been enduring this. The autoimmune trigger source needs to be identified, so I’m glad you’re doing the Cyrex test. The results may limit your diet but that’s a small price to pay.
Overall, you seem to be doing a lot of things right based on the limited information here. I don’t see major red flags – assume Vit D level is fine. I’d focus a little less on Calcium assuming diet is dialed in.
My general suggestions are to tackle this from a diet perspective than supplements. Get the yeast/candida under control, heal the gut, get sleep meds under control, get sunlight, move a lot, manage stress, did I mention heal the gut?
I totally agree with you: heal the gut is the most essential aspect to gain control. Healing the gut involves cutting out the sugar sources, drink probiotics such as Kombucha, and definitely omit gluten, grains, dairy, and eggs.
Vin is right: constantly, daily, work to heal the gut and keep it healed. ‘Sugar is killing everybody’ (did you hear that statement in recent national news?), and interestingly, most people don’t know that wheat and other grains raise our blood sugar MEGA times higher than cane sugar does, and those same grains usually aren’t digested well, so they cause our guts to have ‘Leaky gut syndrome’, passing outside of the gut to inflame our thyroid and other parts of the body. Wheat and grains just don’t contain any nutrition.
I’m so excited about Vin’s very professional site here. I have never seen any site that is so accurate and educational to the public. Thanks so much, Vin, for providing help to so many.
Hi Tina – I can really sense the difficulty you’re going thru from just a few sentences.
First, I assume you are working with an endocrinologist to get your thyroid numbers back to normal. This is not easy but can be done. The process of finding the right dose and balance can take a while.
Second, EPA appears to be beneficial for both depression and anxiety, not necessarily because these two conditions have different pathologies or require separate nutrients to be healed, but because EPA is a strong anti-inflammatory and assists in proper nerve function. Even though you’re better off with just EPA for mood issues, I suspect you would have been fine with the Jarrow or Nutrigold items – they are both good products. But you may need to higher dose to get more ‘unopposed’ EPA.
Glad you read this article – I suggest you try these supplements along with working with a dietitian to get your diet 100% on track. I suggest someone on this list: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/
Focus on eliminating sugar, flour and vegetable seed oils for now. Eat fresh veggies, meats, seafood, eggs, nuts and fruits – that’s it. Nothing processed and nothing from a package.
I’d also focus on magnesium and glycine. And may be curcumin as well.
Ultimately, I think the cure lies in diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications. Hope this helps.
just found this page with greast infos concerning Omega3.
At the moment im using Omega product with 300mg epa/200 mg dha per capsule. as i understand for i should take 1000mg epa per day, and therefore i need to subtract the dha from the epa. this means 300-200=100 mg. so i would need to take 10 capsules per day? is that right? sounds a lot!
as im living in germany there is no product available containing only epa. i need to ask in pharmacy tomorrow. otherwise i need to order from UK, or so. i found these “PurePharma Omega-3” – seems i would need to take 3 pills per day, which seems to be much more comfortable as 10 pills!
any other suggestions for germany?
thank you for helping!
Hi Peter – you may be able to get products made by Minami Nutrition. They make a few high-EPA products. They are a Belgian company and have good distribution in EU. In addition, you may be able to order our EPA 500 directly from our website – give it a try if everything fails locally. As I note in the above article, your depression/anxiety may be caused by other factors, including Omega-3 deficiency. But to get true and total relief, you will need to address most of those root causes. You cannot outrun depression and anxiety with supplements alone – you will need to start with a diet change targeting inflammation and then add supplements, lifestyle changes (outdoor activity, stress reduction like yoga/meditation, sleep issues) and professional medical help, either pharmaceutical and/or talk therapy.
Even though people with depression have lower levels of Omega-3 in their bodies, it does not mean that taking Omega-3 will reverse depression. It does in some people, but you may have to address each one of these issues with professional help. Do not rely on supplements alone.
thanks for your quick answer. yes i know about the supplements and i am having a therapy with a psychologist as well. in fact i want to avoid ADs i want to work with these supplements as 5HTP and Omega 3.
Thanks for your advices, but is my calculation correct, and do you think i can use my Omega 3s, although i need to take 10 pills?
and thanks, ill have a look for these high-EPA-products. thank you very much!
Hi Peter – I think you may be able to use your Omega-3 until you find something a little more concentrated or higher in EPA. I don’t think you’ll need 10 pills. How many exactly? I don’t know. Likely less.
hey vin – thanks, ok i will use those O3s i already have. with your calculation (see above) i would need those 10 pills. seems to be the correct amount – sounds a lot… 😉
Thank you for sharing again. I am just starting out with the SAM-E and D3. Do you recommend a Multi Vitamin?
Hi Jessica – a multi doesn’t hurt, but I don’t take one and usually don’t tell others to take it. You’re better off getting these nutrients through food, but if you want to follow the supplement route, I think you’re better off taking the supplements mentioned here individually. That way, you control how much of each you’re getting. You need to approach this from several angles: 1) diet and lifestyle change 2) pharmaceuticals if prescribed 3) professional help to get to the root cause and 4) supplements.
Hi, thank you so very much for all of the info you have shared! I have been taking Omegavia fish oil and plan to switch to the EPA 500 next order. I also would like to start taking Green Pastures High Vitamin Butter Oil with cod liver oil. Will the EPA (15%) and DHA (10%) in that undo the 1000mg unopposed EPA I am striving for?
Also, I don’t think I’ll ever trust myself making homemade sauerkraut just in case I grow the wrong bacteria haha, so is the store bought Kefir and Kombucha I have been enjoying adequate for probiotics?
Hi Sandy – no, the butter oil is great. It will not undo any benefits. In fact, you’ll probably be healthier. Kefir and kombucha is a good start, but you may want to look into mail ordering some sauerkraut! 🙂 You have to use several approaches to get a healthy probiotic colony in your gut.
Thank for your reply! May you be blessed for how much you help all of us! =)
Hi Khali – sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. I strongly suggest that you get in touch with a functional or integrative medicine doctor – there are many MDs who treat hashimotos. I would not be surprised to find out that the root cause of the anxiety and hashimotos are related. The supplements you mentioned cannot hurt, but I would start with a dramatic change in diet – for now, eat only vegetable, fruits, seafood, grass-fed meats, eggs, nuts and some seeds. No sugar, grains, and processed foods.
Hi Msk – since you’re taking Cipralex, I assume you’re under the care of a medical professional. If your doctor is OK with it, I suggest taking the supplements outlined above to see if it makes a difference. The ones listed above are the brands that I recommend.
HI Debbie, I sympathize with you, because I used to be in the same position as you with my Hashimotos a few years ago. I’m not a medical practitioner, but I’ve learned so much from reading Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s thyroid book (from Amazon.com), and finding a naturopath to guide me, along with a conventional GP who listens to my thyroid symptoms, rather than look only at the numbers on the TSH, T3 and T4. With Hashimoto’s, the doctor MUST go by how you feel in order to adjust the dosage on your thyroid hormone, or even whether or not to prescribe you hormone. But, once you have totally applied a lifetime eating style of Paleo, and that includes a gluten-free lifestyle as well, that is first and foremost. I tried for years only taking supplements, and didn’t feel better. But once the diet was clean and kept clean (no dairy, no grains or beans, no eggs, no gluten) and if you still experience anxiety or depression, then the Apex Energetics products called Serotone, Gabatone, will work for you, and just monitor whether you whether or not you need to take them 3 times daily with your meals. With Hashimoto’s eat often, and eat on a regular schedule, so that your anxiety symptoms don’t flare up from being hungry. Hashimoto’s causes anxiety and depression when not managed very very carefully with a gluten free diet and strict Paleo style. Buy the new book, The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, written by a lady who has Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune issue, not just a simple low-thyroid issue. I have Hashimoto’s myself and through the years have learned all of the things I’ve suggested to you. Vit D3 in 2000 to 5000 per day, or sunshine, is vital, as is Vins recommendations above for Fish Oil, EPA. However, avoid iodine supplements ENTIRELY, because with Hashimoto’s, taking iodine is like pouring gasoline on the fire, and will cause a bad flare-up of symptoms and will try to destroy more of your thyroid gland.
Hi Cecilia – thanks for adding your helpful insights. I know so many people who could benefit from reading what you’ve written, not just for Hashimotos, but several other autoimmune disorders. Look for a book by Dr. Amy Myers sometime later this year or early next year. It’s all about autoimmunity and reducing it with diet and lifestyle changes.
Hi Natasha – sounds like you may require additional medical/nutritional/lifestyle support. I suggest you track down an integrative or functional medicine doctor in your area. Many of them are able to offer help through Skype, if there are none near you. The supplements I mentioned can only help if you are deficient in those specific nutrients and that specific nutrient deficiency is causing some or all of your issues. You may also need to talk to a nutritionist about optimizing your diet. See if you can work with one of these: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/
One of the supplements I mentioned is probiotics. This is complex because a lot of your ‘happy’ and ‘calm’ chemicals are produced in your gut. If your gut needs healing, simply taking probiotics will not help – it requires an integrated approach: http://www.dramymyers.com/2013/02/08/how-to-heal-your-gut-naturally/
The point I’m trying to make is that taking a few of these supplements alone may not help. You may require professional nutrition/medical help to get you back on track.
Hi Wanda – you’re probably right that something/s else might be wrong. I strongly suggest you find an integrative or functional MD or practitioner to find the root cause. Regardless, diet and lifestyle fixes should be the first things you address.
I found your post really interesting as I was taking Vit D3 2500 IU daily:
Then as I have begun training 4/5 times a week again I have begun taking Omega 3 dbl strength x 1
Calcium D- Glucarate x 1
Multi vitamin with added vit D x 1
Acidophilus lactobacillus x 1
But found my mood has been a bit low so I started taking Vit D3 as well.
My question is it ok to take D3 with omegas and everything else.
My training diet is very high protein, 5/6 meals a day including 0% total Greek yoghurt at night to balance good bacteria in the gut from the acidity of protein. I also include 4 100g servings of green veg (alkaline) to help acidity in gut.
When I eat so clean & train I find wheat, gluten, alcohol also upset my stomach hugely creating gas and discomfort with this be an intolerance?
Apologies so many questions. It is good to check the supplements I take are in balance with food plan & training. Many thanks interested to hear what you think and where if need, make any changes
Hi Emma – yes, Vitamin D3 may be taken with Omegas and the others. Actually it is better if you take all of the above with a meal that contains some fat.
You may be sensitive to gluten. The only way to tell is to completely go gluten-free for a couple of months and then reintroduce – eat bread at every meal for a few days. Jot down how you feel before and after reintroduction. You may wish to do the same thing with dairy, legumes and anything else you suspect you have issues with.
If you food plan is working well, there is no need to change, but to me, it seems rather rigid, artificial and too low in fat and possibly complex carbs from roots and fruits. My approach would be a simpler, more natural and would include a variety of whole foods.
Can I add from the following post, the above supplements are recommended for me by my trainer – I don’t just take them lol – so for anyone reading this please don’t take lots of supplements together unless seek advise 🙂
Initially I took Vit D3 as I do get low mood, hormonal particularly for 10 or so days at a time. Some anxiety that reduces when training .
Hi, I take Chelated Magnesium 400 mg and it. Made me so relaxed I can’t even get out of bed, is this normal? I have not dare to take it again. I also have Magnesium Chloride but have not dare tried it for fear of a bad reaction like this Chelated one. Any thoughts?
Hi Khali – I’ve never heard of such a reaction to just 400 mg of magnesium.
Hi Khali – you need to take the meds your doctors are prescribing while you tackle it from a diet and lifestyle perspective. A lot of the issues you’re dealing with often have dietary causes. Talk to someone on this list: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/
What may seem like completely unrelated problems may all point to the same issue – a poor diet. If you take the pill route, you may not address the root cause of the problems and if you take the dietary intervention route, it requires you to make and adhere to dramatic lifestyle changes. Either route is not easy, but probably worth it.
Hi Decia – these supplements are all very safe. They may be taken whether you are on or off other drugs. However, since you are on a prescription medication, talk to your doctor as well. Make sure the Vitamin K is the K2 form.
Thank you. How much vit K2 would you recommend while taking vit d 5000 IU daily?
Hi Decia – I recommend 500 to 1000 mcg of MK-4 form and 50 to 100 mcg of MK-7 form of Vitamin K2. Taking Vitamin K2 and D without taking Vitamin A is not a good idea. The fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K should all be ingested together. Taking a lot of one an none of the other will lead to problems. Work with your doctor to get your blood tested to make sure that 5000 IU of D3 is not too much during the summer. For D3, it is best to stop supplementing in the summer and get it from mid-day sun exposure. You cannot get too much D with the sun but you can get an imbalance if you take it with supplements. You will be far healthier and happier if you get Vit A and K from grass-fed animal fats, D from the sun and E from eggs, nuts, and seeds.
Hi Kumar – the brain ‘zap’ symptom is classic for anti-depressant withdrawal. I imagine you don’t feel very good at the moment. My suggestion is to aggressively treat inflammation thru diet and supplements, increase exercise, maintain excellent sleep habits (no TV or screen time 2 hours before bed etc.) in addition to a Paleo type whole foods diet and some of the other supplements mentioned above. Increase your Omega-3 to 3000 mg per day and may be take an aspirin with it. Consider a turmeric supplement.
Hi Connie – sorry to hear about your daughter’s condition. It is very critical that you continue taking her to the psychiatrist/therapist.
In addition, you will need to find a ‘functional medicine’ doctor in your area. Look for them here:
And find a good dietitian from this list or someone like this: http://authoritynutrition.com/11-paleo-low-carb-registered-dietitians-with-blogs/
Relying on meds and supplements alone may not do the trick.
The hard work may involve a dramatic shift in how your entire family looks at food, diet, eating and living.
Hope this is helpful.
Hi Jamaal – I don’t know what might be causing this. The nutrients you’re taking, along with other factors, may be responsible. May be you’re eating better. May be your testosterone level has naturally gone up. May be your aromatase enzyme levels have gone down. Lots of things like age, obesity, high insulin levels from high sugar/carb consumption and even RoundUp weedkiller can increase aromatase levels, which in turn decreases testosterone levels. May be you fixed one of these factors. These are all guesses. But if you’re happy, keep doing what you’re doing.
I had the same shakiness feeling when I was on lexapro, it’s serotonin syndrome for me till the Dr lowered the dosage of lexapro.
Another thing I did was started on sahaja yoga. It’s the one that helped me till now. Hope it helps. Keep us posted and let me know if you need more clarification.
Hi Gandy – if you’re breastfeeding, then you need to take a LOT of Omega-3. Aim for 2000 to 3000 mg of Omega-3 per day. Omega-3 is safe and essential during breast feeding. Find a functional medicine doctor in your area quickly and get to the bottom of why you’re experiencing anxiety.
Hi Frank – yes, you can take most of these things at once but I suggest you take the Vit D and B-complex in the morning and not at night. Look into Magnesium as well. Also, I suggest you find a local functional medicine practitioner to get to the root of the problem.
Thanks Vin, i really appreciate it.
Hi Shell – you haven’t given me much to go off, so I suggest you consult with a functional medicine MD in your area to make sure you are under someone’s care.
Are you getting 1000 to 2000 mg (preferably 2000) mg of Omega-3 per day? Get your Vit D levels checked with your doctor. Get Magnesium – see above. All of the nutrients above can help, but I suspect you need to start with a diet makeover. Start with eliminating sugar, refined grains and processed foods. Find a certified paleo dietitian in your area.
Hi Shell – if you have a serious medical condition, it really needs to be addressed by a doctor, preferably a FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE MD. Secondarily, if you want to get this under control, you will have to take a very critical look at what you eat and how active you are. Skipping these two steps and going straight to pills may seem easier but is unlikely to get you the results you’re looking for. If you just want one tablet to make it all go away, there is no such thing. Sorry. None of the supplements I’ve suggested above are harmful, so you’re welcome to try most of them and see how you feel…but that’s shooting in the dark. There is a REASON/S why you feel this way and a functional medicine doctor will help you get there. A conventional medicine doc may simply send you home with Xanax and/or Prozac, which you may still need (I dont know) but doesn’t get to the root cause of things.
Thanks for your help I have been to the doctors with this problem I’m just looking for something to keep me. Bit calmer that’s all thanks
Hello, can you please tell me what kinds of things I should look for in a good “Functional” doctor. And by the way, what’s a functional doctor? How does one know when one is good and knowledgeable or when one is better at treating patients with depression? thank you.
Hi Connie – this is a tough question to answer because there is no single good definition of functional or integrative medicine. I look at conventional medicine as mostly about treating symptoms whereas I think of functional or integrative medicine as getting to the root cause of illness and treating the root cause with both medications and/or diet/lifestyle changes. More here: http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/12/10/why-functional-medicine/
Here is a perfect example of a brilliant functional/holistic medicine MD who specializes in psychiatry: http://kellybroganmd.com
You should have no problems finding someone from this list: http://primaldocs.com/physician-finder/listingfeatures/california/
Hi Chelly – sorry to hear about how you’re feeling. Sounds like you’re making some progress. Your state of mind could be due to several reasons, but often it is due to poor nutrition/lifestyle status. It really needs to be addressed systematically from the ground up, with the help of a professional. If it is caused by factors other than nutrition or lifestyle, then you need a doctor to identify, diagnose and treat those causes. If there are non-nutritional causes, no amount of diet fixing will fully address the issue. However, fixing your diet, healing your gut and correcting lifestyle factors are all relatively easy to do if you have the right person helping you. Find someone certified from Googling ‘paleo dietitian.’ They’ll most likely remove sugar, grains and vegetable seed oils from your diet. Then they’ll work with you in introducing a lot of fresh, nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods – veggies, seafood, meats, eggs, fruits and nuts. Eat stuff that was alive a few days ago. Healing your gut is very critical because a lot of your happy chemicals are produced in your gut. Healing your gut is also another process – taking probiotic supplements is just small part of it. You’ll need a functional medicine or integrative medicine MD to do this. While you’re working on diet and gut, you’ll need to work on exercise, sun exposure, stress management, sleep correction, and socialization…all of these things affect your mood. It takes a lot to arrive at major anxiety – you’ll need to work on correcting all those things. There is nothing wrong with taking prescription medications while you’re working on fixing all these diet/gut/lifestyle issues.
Why is Phenylethylamine not mentioned here? Great for lifting your mood especially if your drowsy.
Hi Steve – this chemical can work, but I am not comfortable (yet) with its manufacture, history of use and safety profile. Most of the nutrients I’ve mentioned above (not all) point to some nutritional or lifestyle inadequacy that really needs to be addressed. I’d rather we focus on the root cause than reach for band-aids.
Thanks for the reply. but why do u refer to these as band-aids?
I definitely agree on probiotics since the gut has a huge roll in the production of serotonin.
Hi Steve – because not eating nutrient-dense foods, not eating the appropriate foods, confusing ‘products’ with food, not getting enough sun, not being active, taking antibiotics when not necessary, etc are all PREVENTABLE root causes for depression and anxiety. No one ever got depression from not taking fish oil supplements, but many have from not eating fish. Of course, these disorders are also caused by factors that have nothing to do with diet and lifestyle. I know people who suffer from mood disorders as a result of great emotional trauma. Diet-fixing will not heal them. But my focus is diet and lifestyle…so, when you have a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. After you’ve ruled out the potential root causes above, then, by all means, let’s bring on the chemical warfare.
I have just started phenylalaine 500mg in the morning. What is the difference to phenylathylamine? Thanks
Hi Chelly – phenylalanine is a safe amino acid. You can get it from eating protein. Supplementing can help in some cases. Phenethylamine is not the same and not something you should be self-administering. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenethylamine Don’t go down that rabbit hole. You need to be looking at this from a diet/gut/lifestyle perspective first.
The OTC antihistamine, yes, it has some anti-anxiety properties. Used to be more commonly available before PPA was banned as a decongestant, with which it was commonly sold.
This is how they actually found the first antidepressants. I just buy the generic chlorphenamine malate it has snri properties. hell of alot cheaper about 4 bucks and works better than most perscriptoin ssri snri with no withdrawl.
Hi Steve – if you’re taking this approach, please work with a doctor, in case something goes awry. If it were me, I would feel uncomfortable and not want to rely on this compound for long-term mood regulation.
Hi Angie – obviously you are under a doctor’s care…that’s good. I’d suggest working with a psychiatrist or someone who follows a functional or integrative approach to health. http://primaldocs.com/physician-finder-intro/ or here http://paleophysiciansnetwork.com/
If it takes you 10 days to read every article and watch every video on Dr. Brogan’s website, take the time and do it: http://kellybroganmd.com There are lots of mood/depression related articles on this website too that you should read.
Throwing supplements at this is, I think, the wrong approach. If there are other medical issues, those need to be addressed by a professional. If there are nutritional and lifestyle issues, you need to go back a long ways and correct each of those. It all starts with eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones. These changes won’t be easy, but you have to choose which discomfort is more painful.
While you make all these changes, at least begin with elimination of all sugar, wheat and vegetable seed oils. Start eating egg yolks, lots of green leafy veggies, root vegetables, seafood, and grass fed meats. Once you’ve done all this, you can start adding supplements to fill in the gaps. Some people also take the approach of supplements as a crutch to get them motivated to make the diet and lifestyle changes.
You will likely benefit from fixing ‘leaky gut’, recolonizing with a wide selection of probiotics and then eating the right type of starches to feed the good bugs. Most of your happy chemicals come from your gut, not your brain. So fixing the gut is key.
I have social anxiety and genralized anxiety. You should try chlorphenamine malate its an OTC antihistamine that has an S-N-R-I in it though less potent than paxil but cheap 5 bucks. might help you. NO HORRIBLE SIDE EFFECTS EITHER
Though paxil helped me it did have quite a few side effects
Hi Sylvia – I completely understand your desire to take your daughter off the medications/drugs. But by doing that you may be removing the only support system she currently has. In my opinion, you may wean her off the drugs if/when her doctors think it is fine AND after you’ve completely fixed her diet, lifestyle, inflammation, and gut health. Fixing the diet, her lifestyle and the gut are not as simple or easy as you may think. It is a process with specific beginning and intermediate steps. You will need an integrative or functional medicine doctor to walk you through all the steps. Not to mention that she may be very resistant to these changes. After you do all this, you may find that she does not need the drugs or only needs less of it. But don’t reject the drugs before you have explored and fixed all the potential root causes. Of course, it goes without saying that working with a therapist will help.
Wow. The information is overwhelming, but all amazing. I’m just starting out with all of these supplements and having a few problems adjusting. Is there a run of the mill regimen you would recommend? Many of the doctors in my area are not big on vitamins or supplements, so I am having a hard time getting the correct information. Thank you in advance for your help!
Hi Lisa – you need to start with an anti-inflammatory diet like Paleo or Zone. This will get rid of most of the foods that trigger issues. Then, start with Omegas, magnesium and probiotics. Then add the others. If we all had ideal diets, you’d get most of these from food. So these are stop gaps.
Is there a particular brand that has optimal levels of these supplements for kids? We are vegetarian. I am ok with fish oil supplements for kids.
Hi Dee – any of the positively reviewed brands in this blog will do: http://www.omegavia.com/omega-3-kids/ Just stay away from the Gummies – they’re worthless.
Hi Vin 🙂
thanks to you I’m now taking a good magnesium supplement & I changed my diet (paelo) & started eating fermented foods to heal my gut!
Many thanks for your work here!
I’ve a last question for you:
You write that eating 3-4 times fish is better than any Omega 3 supplement for mood (though the EPA isn’t “unopposed” in fish?)
Can you explain this fact to me?
I’d really prefer eating salmon & herring 3 times a week than taking omega-3 supplements, but I’m not sure, if this has an equal effect on my anxiety
Thank you very much in advance
Hi Marco – if you are eating fish 3-4 times a week, you may not need Omega-3 supplements. The concept of ‘unopposed EPA’ is more relevant to people who eat fish less than 1 or 2 times a week. If you diet is excellent, toss the supplements. You may still need stuff like magnesium, D3 and K2 as most people are still deficient in them. Trust me when I say that eating salmon and herring is MUCH BETTER for your mood than supplements.
Hi Abdul – you need to discuss this with your doctor. 300 mg Magnesium should take care of most deficiencies. Assuming you have a good diet, you may not need more Magnesium. Also, taking more magnesium in the citrate form can induce a laxative effect. So if you decide to take more, break up your dosage.
Great article. Recently I have been researching on the appropriate supplementation for general health. I came across some brands like Garden of Life (myKind organics), Garden of life (vitamin code) and synergy company. So on and so forth. They claim that all there vitamins and minerals come from natural sources with most of the co-factors intact. I wonder how beneficial they are and are they supposed to be more bioavailable?
Hi Adeel – good question. I don’t have an answer. It is best to get all your vitamins and minerals from foods. Supplements, regards of the source of ingredients, are an inferior source of nutrients. I have no idea if the claims made by these companies are substantiated and validated.
what is the danger of taking vitamin d3 without k2?
Hi Jennifer – the body uses D3, A and K2 together. You are more likely to experience D3 overdose symptoms when you take it without A and K2. There may be a role for Vit E in there too. Vitamins A, D, E and K are the four fat-soluble vitamins. These nutrients are usually found in fats. When people-started eating low-fat diets and avoiding the sun back in the 80s and 90s is when many of the deficiency symptoms became common. Always take D3 with A and K2…and just to be safe, some E.
Hi Paul – I don’t know anyone who’s taken all of these supplements at once. You’re better off fixing your diet and getting these nutrients from your foods. Still, if you want to try them all, check with your doctor.
Most SAMe products contain mannitol. Some people have issues with it at very high levels. Most dont have issues with the level found in SAMe pills.
Hi – cutting out sugar will help a lot. But won’t solve the problem if the root cause of your depression and anxiety is not addressed.
I haven’t talked about adrenals much on this blog because it’s complicated and I’d rather talk about eating right and managing stress, which will resolve most people’s adrenal issues.
For the most part, I don’t venture too deep into the nutrition pool. This is a pretty basic level review for average joes and janes. And, frankly, most people CAN take a good B-complex if they have methylation issues. If you’re working with an integrative MD, then get your MTHFR status checked. This may be eye opening.
Unless you are diabetic or have high blood triglyceride, you don’t need to cut out bananas and apples…but the most popular fruits are generally high in sugar. It’s best to stick with dark colored berries – they are lower in sugar and pack a nutritional punch.
Sorry forgot to mention, I do take the following other supplements:
1. Vitamin D3
3. PS100 – for cortisol control
4. Dr Mercola’s probiotic supplement
Hi – I’ve listed 10-12 supplements here. But if you take a holistic view, these are all found in a healthy, real food, anti-inflammatory, ancestral type diet. There are many other nutrients that have been correlated to good mood. Inositol may help. Will it help you? I dont know. I suggest you focus on the big picture and tackle this with diet and lifestyle changes. You’re not going to get far with just supplements. Optimize diet, sun exposure, gut health, activity, sleep etc. Then add supplement on top of that to give you a little extra help. If you’re doing it right, you should be able to wean off supplements. At least that should be the goal.
I have no clue how long and if OmegaVia will help you. This is because I have no idea what your starting point is. Or if lack of Omega-3 is even involved in your condition. Anxiety and depression are closely tied to inflammation. And Omega-3s reduce inflammation. Curcumin, probiotics, etc. can also help. Our sister brand InnovixLabs will introduce a couple of strains of probiotics that have been shown to help with mood – look for it in a couple of months on Amazon.com Throw whatever you can at the problem while you work on addressing the root cause.
Hi Jennifer – the scientific evidence is in support of using just EPA or mostly EPA for mood health. Having said that, if you’re not taking fish oil, you can start with ANY good pharma grade fish oil available to you. You can try OmegaVia or the dozen other really good other brands – google IFOS Consumer Reports for a list of third-party tested products.
Hi Jodie – Omega-3, magnesium, probiotics, D3, and B-complex are generally considered acceptable during pregnancy, depending on the dosage. But make sure you check with your OB before you add these to your routine.
Thank you so much for this information! I’m a vegetarian and have looked everywhere for a vegetarian oil that contains 1,000 mg of unopposed EPA. Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Hillary – try this: http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/product/almega-pl-vegetarian-epa/ It’s the only algae-based EPA oil that I like. There may be other brands that sell it – Google Almega PL.
Thank you for the super-fast reply! Those capsules comes in 100 mg. Does that mean I would need to take 10 per day? And is algae a better source than flax?
Hi Hillary – yeah, algae Omega-3s are not very potent. You will probably need at least 5 of those per day. Yes, algae is a much better source. Flax is somewhat useless for making EPA. About 5 to 10% of the ALA Omega-3 gets converted to EPA. And virtually none of it gets converted to DHA.
You’d have to take many spoonfuls of liquid flax seed oil to make enough EPA…but that causes its own set of problems. If you’re an ovo-lacto vegetarian, you may want to consider adding Omega-3 eggs to your diet.
It is difficult to get plenty of Omega-3 if you’re a vegetarian. Not impossible, but difficult. Your need for Omega-3 goes up with your Omega-6 consumption. I would look into that first and see if you can cut out seed oils – they are super high in Omega-6.
Thank you so much! I never knew any of this. I will load up on the supplements you suggested and Omega-3 eggs. I REALLY appreciate your help!
Or this one? http://www.iherb.com/Ovega-3-Omega-3s-DHA-EPA-500-mg-60-Veggie-Softgels/41142#p=1&oos=1&disc=0&lc=en-US&w=epa%20vegan&rc=173&sr=null&ic=5
Yeah, that’s a pretty good one. More here: http://www.omegavia.com/omega-3-options-for-vegans/
You are awesome. Thank you again!
Hi Rita – I can tell that you are serious about your family’s health.
What if I told you:
1) Supplements are not the answer. Food is.
2) Many of the diseases that your family suffers from has a common root cause – inappropriate diet and lifestyle.
Perhaps you’re a bit surprised and not too pleased to hear this. You’ve listed 16 pills that you want guidance with. OmegaVia and our sister company InnovixLabs makes some of them. Will your family be better after taking these pills? May be, may be not. But if you want to truly heal, you need to address the root cause. Start with food and lifestyle. Work in a few supplements AFTER you’ve committed to a 100% change in diet and lifestyle. Without a complete overhaul of diet, supplements will just prop you up briefly…it’s pushing a boulder uphill.
Diet: switch to a whole foods only, ancestral, simple diet. ONLY eat stuff that was alive last week. Lots of fresh veggies, tubers, meats, eggs, seafood, fruits, and nuts. Nothing else. Nothing processed or packaged. Nothing with a UPC code. Nothing with grains or flour. Be generous with olive oil, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter. Learn to love egg yolks and liver. Get rid of all sodas, juices, cereals, wheat, rice, flour, and vegetable seed oils. There is no such thing as healthy whole grains. We’ve all been had by this ‘healthy whole grain’ thing.
Lifestyle: walk several miles during the day, preferably in the sunlight and with people you like talking to. Start a light exercise or yoga program. Your body (especially eyes) need darkness for 8-10 hours. Sleep and darkness is important. And toss your sunglasses during the day. Toss the sunscreen while you’re at it.
Hope you’re not too upset that I have not addressed your list of 16 supplements. But I will say this: stop supplementing with Omega-6.
Hi Mr. Vin, thank you so much for replying back to me, I appreciate it.
Yes, I know that the supplements are not the answer, but the magnesium, B 3, 6, folate ,zinc, Vit C and calcium, are for a member of family ( he eats healthy ,exercises ) that is suffering from the depression, panic attack and others because not the diet / food , but since he saw / was present there when his father suddenly fell down on the store floor and suffering by the first heart attack , and since than the symptoms of my son started, he couldn’t resist to see his father like that. Now he is going for a long vacation (3-4 months ) to his country that you don’t know which food / store to trust , that’s why I need to order this supplements as soon as possible to take with him plus the antidepressant pill (just one), that he takes. It is good for him to change the environment ( homesickness ) . The rest of the supplements are for arthritis and the heart because the statins pills has a lot side effects, even you exercise, eat and drink healthy. The diabetes run in the family from before, long time
Yes, we really eat organic eggs, olive oil ( is the only one), coconut oil just a little mix with hot/cold cocoa powder, goat, beef and lamb meats (from the farm ) . Drink a lot of healthy free caffeine herbal teas and water. Never sodas,vegetable oil, no sugar, no whit four, cereals and juices , but we do eat grains, and basmati rice ( 2-3-4 times monthly), and we don’t eat a lot of sea food, nuts and fruits. We do walk along of shoreline 4-5 times a week. Very rarely packed food.
I’m sorry Mr. Vin , again , we need some important of these supplements to order. We are not using these supplements for a long time , just for sometime, because we really trust on the food/diet, but sometimes it is not easy to get the true, safe food, or to have that amount of money as you need for these healthy food, and the s supplements are not for a long time , not more than one year.
Thank you so much !
God bless you for all you do !
Sincerely and respectfully,
I coming from a pretty intense antibiotics treatment. Do you mind to recommend a good probiotic to recover my gut? I also have IBS and I guess it would be good to take one on a daily basis.
HI Christian – there is no one probiotic that is going to put things back they way it was pre-antibiotic. With each antibiotic treatment, there is some probiotic species extinction. Not all the species that go extinct are available as probiotics for re-seeding the gut. Still, you don’t have a choice at the moment – you have to give it everything you got: several probiotic strains. We make a product with almost 30 strains http://www.amazon.com/Multi-Strain-PROBIOTIC-InnovixLabs-Broad-Spectrum/dp/B00X4U2NDK/ you should probably try Prescript Assist. There is a nice spore-forming bacteria item called Thrive. There are a couple of good products from Garden of Life and RenewLife that might be worth considering. After that, it’s all about fermented foods and prebiotic fibers.
Despite the attention-grabbing contrarian headline of this article, it is worth a read: https://omegavia.com/dont-take-probiotic-supplements/
Since you have IBS, you will need to talk to your doctor about all this before you do anything. You’ll probably need a functional medicine MD or a naturopath specializing in gut health to walk you out of IBS. Some probiotics and most prebiotic cause issues if you have IBS – this is too bad because it prevents a quick fix. It’s a long, strict road to recovery, but it can be done if you’re committed.
Hi Christian – you can…but the issue with taking a bunch of new supplements all at once for the first time is that if you have a negative reaction to anything, you won’t know which one caused it. But if your body is OK with all of them, then yes, take them all together with food. Your IBS may have something to say about eating fermented foods and prebiotic fibers, so go slow and work with your doctor. If anything, I’d add the prebiotic fibers after a couple of days, so you are feeding something. Taking prebiotics and IBS is a dicey thing – you need it desperately, but your low gut flora diversity may cause some discomfort. Again, work with your doctor on how to proceed cautiously.
Am I fine with taking just this? This seems to have almost all of the thing you mentioned above http://www.jigsawhealth.com/supplements/jigsaw-complete/
Hi Ryo – Jigsaw is a good company and this product has a lot of what you need but not all. It’s low on D3, so you’ll need to add that. You’ll need a LOT MORE EPA Omega-3 than what’s in this formula. You’ll need a few probiotics. We recently launched a probiotics that’s been proven to help with mood and anxiety: http://www.amazon.com/PROBIOTIC-InnovixLabs-probiotic-clinically-psychological/dp/B00ZMO7UKW/ You may need extra iodine. You’ll probably need SAM-e. And Glycine.
Which Sam-E product do you reccomend? Also creatine?
Hi Ryo – most SAM-e products are same/similar as there are only a couple of global manufacturers and most brands buy from the same handful of sources. So with SAM-e, it’s OK to buy based on convenience/price. I don’t have a reliable source of Creatine. I’d rather you spend that money on probiotics and/or an anti-inflammatory like Pycnogenol or Resveratrol.
So I’ll be fine with the jigsaw ultimate, + this http://www.lifeextension.com/vitamins-supplements/item01758/vitamin-d3-with-sea-iodine,http://www.amazon.com/Great-Lakes-Unflavored-Gelatin-16-Ounce/dp/B001ELLBJS, http://www.amazon.com/PROBIOTIC-InnovixLabs-probiotic-clinically-psychological/dp/B00ZMO7UKW/, more omega 3 (thinking of omegavia/nutrigold) and SAM-E?
Did I miss anything?
Hi Ryo – all that sounds good. You’re MUCH better off using the OmegaVia EPA 500 in addition to the Jigsaw Omega-3. It’s a better Omega-3 for mood than OmegaVia or Nutrigold.
Hi Jennifer – it’s a good product, but there are two issues with it: 1) there is not enough unopposed EPA. The 1060 mg EPA you mention is for two pills, not one. With one pill, you only get 380 mg unopposed EPA. You will need three pills a day to get to a minimum effective dose of about 1000 mg unopposed EPA per day. If you take 1 pill per day, you will get a subclinical dose that will give you little or no effect and 2) it is expensive at $1.61 per day for 3 pills.
This is why we developed our EPA 500 product – to get the most EPA per pill at the lowest cost. You can get the same amount of EPA from our EPA 500 for $0.48 per day. Here’s the IFOS report: http://www.nutrasource.ca/ifos/files/ifos%20innovix%20omegavia%20epa%20500%20batch%20ov150031.pdf
Hi Luna – I see that you posted from Indonesia (IP address) and that explains some things. I’m not sure what to say about laziness and procrastination. And luminol (in the United States) is a chemiluminescent that is used in crime solving. I do not know if that’s a supplement in Indonesia. Lack of motivation, OCD, and depression, all require medical attention for a thorough diagnosis and cure. However, diet and lifestyle changes will help a lot. Despite the title of this article, it is very difficult to pill your way out of these conditions. You need to start with medication, diet, and lifestyle changes.
Nah, lumonol is this http://www.lumonol.com. planning to get a friend to help me ship this thing to here.
Hi Luna – I would not take that product.
I just recently discovered nootropics and I don’t know whether they have bad effects or not.
Hi Luna – too soon to tell.
Hi JenaLee – since this sounds rather important, I’m going to be blunt. Forgive me.
Quit looking to supplements and potions for help. You need to look to food and lifestyle to pull you out of this. If your doctor has you on Rx meds, then strictly follow his/her prescription.
The supplements you mention and the ones listed in the article above may help. But both ADHD and mood disorders are strongly linked to inflammation and gut microbiome. Given that a healthy microbiome exists in the lower intestines and colon, it is difficult to cultivate a microbiome. These good bugs have an effect on virtually everything you do. Since you cannot change that, you are left with dealing with inflammation. If I were you, I would embark on an epic quest to find and read everything that’s been written about anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. Read it, follow it, become one with it. You don’t have a choice.
And, yes, Omega-3, Curcumin, Vit D, Magnesium, etc. will all help a little with mood.
Well, I have been eating well, exercising at home, and taking 2,000mg a day of net EPA which I picked up at a local vitamin shop along with 600mg of magnesium glycinate for the last 45 days and I can say I have gone from not being able to leave the house and crying over any and everything to being the first in the office and motivated to move forward.
For the three months prior to the above mentioned supplements I was only taking 1,000mg of net EPA and did not notice a change. The move to 2,000mg a day of net EPA made a tremendous difference.
I have struggled with anxiety and depression on and off for years but mid-summer of 2016 it hit me so hard I could hardly function, sleep or get motivated. Anti-depressentats were not working so I started to some research on the internet. I hope the information below can help someone.
– Pray…It works
– 2,000mg per day of unopposed EPA
– 600mg per day of magnesium glycinate
– I try to get 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training in 5 days a week. This was impossible at first because I could not get motivated. Once I found a bit of motivation I made this part of my routing and I feel as if the additional blood flow to my brain and the endorphins released make a noticeable difference. Nobody every feels worse after a workout!
– I talk openly with my wife. This is something that I never did in the past but my depression was so bad I needed to talk to her. It was very helpful. Bottom line, talk to someone. I know it is hard (especially if you are trying to be strong for your family and loved ones) but it is worth it.
Hi Adam – glad to hear that EPA and magnesium are working for you. Talk to your doctor to make sure you are not low on Vitamin D and B vitamins. D is easy to test. Also, while you are motivated, it may be a good time to revisit things in your diet that may be causing inflammation something missing that may be adding to inflammation. You may want to add Curcumin to your regimen, as combining it with Omega-3 has been known to have positive effects on mood. Also, our sister company markets a probiotic that has been clinically shown to have an effect on mood: http://innovixlabs.com/products/mood-probiotic/
Great. I ordered the probiotic and it works amazing.
Hi Jane – sounds like a difficult situation. I noticed that you mentioned a lot of medications and supplements. But nothing about diet. There is no way to outrun this with Rx meds and supplements. You NEED TO go back to square one with a very strict anti-inflammatory or paleo type diet that is very high in veggies, and moderate in seafood and meats. Include eggs, fruits, and nuts as well. Lots of olive oil and grass-fed butter. Water. NOTHING ELSE. Give her ONLY foods that were alive and growing last week. Talk to a dietitian about how to make meal plans. This is absolutely critical. Plenty of direct sun exposure and outside activity is essential.
I can’t speak to what works best with Lamictal. That’s a question for your pharmacist/doctor. But I do know people who take it with Omega-3 without any issues. Still, check with your doctor.
To summarize, please focus on diet and lifestyle changes first. By lifestyle, I mean lots of direct sun exposure, lots of outdoor activity and exercise, 8-10 hours of sleep with no interruption by TV, smart phones, or other screens. Cut down screen time after sunset. This will not be easy with a teenager. But it’s necessary. Only after addressing these things should you focus on optimizing supplements.
Hello thanks for this!
After EPA/oily fish, what would you say are the two best value supplements and two foods worth spending more on for a health-conscious, mostly vegetable-eating middle years adult, who can’t afford everything organic and doesn’t want to take 5 supplements?
(Priority are mood and heart)
Have you checked out out the American gut project and British gut project – do you think pre-biotics have much better evidence base than pro-biotics?
Eating anti-oxidants: is there any evidence that they make it through to peripheral tissues in the same form?
Hi Ray – besides EPA, I’d suggest a combination of probiotics and prebiotics. There are specific strains of bacteria that have been shown to help with mood. Our sister company sells both a Mood Probiotic and a prebiotic:
It is possible that prebiotics (if taken consistently at high doses) may turn out to be more effective than probiotics.
Good question on antioxidants – I don’t have a clear answer. Of the dozens of antioxidants, some probably do.
Debbie, how is your anxiety now? still suffering?
Hi Angie, this is 2015 post. How are you now, has your anxiety left you? Please let me know—I am also suffering from that anxiety devil.
Hi Anna – if you have not already talked to a doctor about this, please do so right away. Please find an integrative medicine MD in your area – they can help you trace the root case of this issue. Spinach, almonds and oranges are fine, but they are just part of a healthy diet and by themselves, cannot reduce anxiety.
Hi Celine – Omega-3 is not a medicine like aspirin. It will not elevate mood in a few hours or even days. It can help address mood issues related to Omega-3 deficiency and also possibly by lowering inflammation. If your mood issues are caused by non-dietary and non-inflammation related issues, no amount of Omega-3 will help.
Barring that, two Omega-3 capsules will be more effective at reducing deficiency than one. As long as you take it with food, you’ll be fine.
Thank you for your reply. Maybe I was desperately hoping my mood issues are because of omega-3 defiency that I make myself believe it. However, I do eat very little fish and vegetables. (Fish maybe once every 2 weeks!)
I just took one capsule after breakfast together with B complex that my Friend recommended. Am eliminating the Biotin and Evening Primrose for the time being and taking only the Fish oil at night. I really hope this will lift my mood and anxiety. It’s hard to live this way.
Hi Ted – I cannot comment on the testosterone or SSRI therapy as they are medical interventions and must be addressed by your doctor. Even if SSRI is appropriate for you, very few people are prescribed the right kind and dosage on the first attempt. Finding the right dosage may be an iterative process, so please talk to your doctor about it. I also don’t know if Kleinfelter’s predisposes one to depression and anxiety. It may not. It may possibly be that some or all of the root causes of your mood are nutrition or inflammation related…if that is the case, I strongly suggest that you sit down with an Integrative Medicine MD in your area to get to the root cause of the issues. I don’t know if you should take ALL of the supplements listed above, but many are deficient in Omega-3, Magnesium and several B vitamins. Addressing inflammation with Curcumin, Pycnogenol, etc. may help as well. Addressing gut health by eliminating gut irritants like gluten, followed by probiotic and prebiotic fiber is another avenue. If you and your doctor decide that you should take all these, don’t do it all at once – phase them in over a few weeks.
I coming from an antidepressed treatment, and specific from Seroxat (paxil), with many problems. Can you suggested any therapy supplements, for withdraw from those “hell” pills.
Hi Yioko – I’m sorry, but supplements do not function as therapy for withdrawal from antidepressants. This needs the attention of an Integrative Medicine MD who specializes in antidepressant tapering. It can be REALLY difficult to stop taking these medications. You’ll feel like ‘hell’ after 4-6 weeks of stopping. So please make sure you are working with a doctor who has helped patients taper. Supplements are not alternatives for antidepressant medications. Having said that, these supplements may help with mood support if taken with a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle (sleep, alcohol, stress, light exposure, socializing etc.) corrections. In that sense, supplements can be supportive, but not corrective.
Already started with magnesium and Omega 3 (moreEPA platinum), after reading your article here in site. I think my mood it’s getting better, or it’s “placebo”. Who knows? I must try anyway.
Thank you for advices. I’ll search for a good doctor whos must believe to the power of nature. Here in my country it’s not easy.
Hi there! Are all the supplements listed safe to take together? If I were to take all the supplements listed should I also be adding a multivitamin to the mix?
Hi Tanja – most people are able to take these supplements together. However, if you are planning on taking all of them, I suggest adding one supplement a week to your routine, so you can tell if/when adding a nutrient to your routine is upsetting to your body. I would not add a multivitamin to the mix because you may end up double dosing some nutrients.
Hello, Love the article. My grandson (12) has been diagnosed with inattentive ADD. I just ordered Barlean’s Omega Swirl for him. Now I am trying to find a vitamin supplement that will provide him with the Zinc, B6, B12, D3, Folate, Creatinine, and Magnesium Citrate. He is not a good pill taker so numerous pills are not an option. Do you have any recommendation?
Hi Thelma – if he’s not a good pill taker, then the first place to start is diet.
I have yet to see a kid with ADD who eats a nutritious diet. Then again, I’ve yet to see a 12 year old voluntarily eat healthy foods. So…you’re between a rock and a hard place.
Zinc: there are several chewable or gummy zinc supplements but none of them have copper. Best sources of copper are liver, oysters, shitake mushrooms, lobster or spirulina…not exactly things 12 year olds like to eat. Nuts and seeds can contain some essential copper. So I don’t have a kid-friendly (chewable or gummy) recommendation for you.
You could try this for the B Vitamins. It’s not a whole-hearted recommendation because tasty chewable B complex formulas will not have enough Bs. And Any chewable B Complex with enough potency and a good formula will not taste good.
There are several Chewable magnesium and D3. Most will work. Just make sure you don’t buy Magnesium oxide – it is poorly absorbed.
Try this for Omegas: https://shop.omegavia.com/products/omegavia-kids-omega-3-chewies
I hate to give you unpleasant advice, but if his diet is poor and he is not a good pill taker, then your options are limited. You have to change one of those two things.
Thanks so much for your response. His parents are vegetarian. Both children eat mainly vegetarian diets (lots of vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, etc.), however, they are given eggs, chicken, turkey, and fish. He is able to take pills but I don’t think he could take a different vitamin for the Zinc, B6, B12, D3, Folate, Creatinine, and Magnesium Citrate. He could take two or three, but not seven. Would there be any better options with this new information? Thank you! Thelma
Hi Thelma – you could break it down in two supplements – one for zinc and the B-vitamins. And another for Magnesium.