Anxiety and depression affect far too many 21st century Americans. While prescription antidepressants sometimes help, they come with a long list of contraindications and possible side effects.
Many mild to moderate cases of anxiety and depression respond to non-hormonal supplements including Sam-e, magnesium, amino acids, and pregnenolone. After a thorough medical examination and various tests, skilled doctors will custom tailor supplementation treatment for each patient.
Antidepressant Side Effects
Prescription antidepressants may cause numerous side effects – possibly fatal – not found in natural supplementation therapy. These include:
- Weight gain
- Loss of libido
- Suicide – especially in adolescents
Sam-E helps maintain natural body function, and forms in the body from a reaction to methionine and adenosine triphosphate. The former is an essential amino acid, while the latter is an energy-carrying molecule. Together, they form S-adenosy-L-methionine, or Sam-E.
This compound is the subject of numerous depression studies. It works quickly to lift symptoms of depression, often within days. That is less time than prescription anti-depressants take to work. Sam-E does not work for everyone, but no antidepressant medication or supplement does.
Regarding magnesium, there are six different forms. Most Americans do not receive significant magnesium in their diets. Deficiency of this essential mineral affects various parts of the body, including the brain. Stress causes people to lose magnesium and stressed individuals are often anxious or depressed.
Several times daily magnesium supplementation, along with dietary changes, can help restore sleep and elevate mood. As long as patients have healthy kidneys, magnesium supplementation is not usually an issue. Magnesium glycinate has sedative and calming effects.
The body requires protein for virtually every biological process, and amino acids serve as protein’s building blocks. Low levels of neurotransmitters in the body may lead to depression. This is especially true of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Amino acids in the diet synthesize protein to start the creation of neurotransmitters.
Amino acids useful in treating anxiety and depression include:
- Folic acid – low levels may contribute to depression
- GABA (Gama amino butyric acid) – low levels of this neurotransmitter may result in anxiety, depression, and mood swings. GABA helps calm and relax patients
- L-Theanine – supports GABA and has mood-enhancing properties
- L-Tryptophan – a serotonin precursor, aids in sleep and relieves anxiety and depression
Amino acid treatment has few, if any, side effects. Patients often respond within a week to amino acid therapy for anxiety and depression.
Pregnenolone is a natural hormone, produced by cholesterol. In the body, it is needed to produce any of the steroid hormones. Pregnenolone is useful for sleep enhancement and uplifts mood and relieves stress. However, in some patients, it can have the opposite effect – causing insomnia and making them anxious. It is often a matter of finding the correct dosage, so that patients can benefit from the positive aspects of pregnenolone. Along with mood uplift, pregnenolone aids in memory and cognitive ability and increases libido.
The amount of pregnenolone produced by the body declines with age. Lower levels are also found in people diagnosed with schizophrenia.
It is effective in reducing depression in patients with a prior history of substance abuse. Antidepressant drugs with SSRIs work partly by pregnenolone elevation in the blood and brain.
Talk to Dr. Jacobson Today
If you are interested in non-hormonal supplements to treat anxiety and depression, contact Dr. Edward Jacobson’s office today and arrange an appointment.