Which nutrient deficiencies might cause Depression symptoms?
Nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as severity and duration of depression.
Many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during depression. These may include poor appetite, skipping meals, and a dominant desire for sweet foods.
A notable feature of the diets of patients suffering from mental disorders is the severity of deficiency in certain nutrients.
Studies have indicated that daily supplements of vital nutrients are often effective in reducing patients’ symptoms.
Supplements containing amino acids have also been found to reduce symptoms, as they are converted to neurotransmitters which in turn alleviate depression and other mental health problems.
The most common nutritional deficiencies seen in patients with mental disorders are of omega–3 fatty acids, B vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are precursors to neurotransmitters.
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Lets understand nutritional deficiencies common in the people struggling with depression.
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Is your depression due to insufficient omega-3 fatty acids diets?
Accumulating evidence from demographic studies indicates a link between high fish consumption and low incidence of mental disorders; this lower incidence rate being the direct result of omega–3 fatty acid intake.
There are number of studies which shows that omega-3 fatty acids are proving to be very effective against the treatment of major depression disorder and other psychiatric disorders. Studies conclude that depression due to insufficient omega-3 fatty acids diets can be of one type. Those patients who may have depression because of insufficient omega-3 fatty acids can respond well to the diet containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and can show positive signs regarding treatment of depression.
However, for patients who have depression due to factors other than omega-3 fatty acids diet, expecting that type of depression can be treated due to omega-3 fatty acid supplement does not seem reasonable.
Omega-3 fatty acids and the treatment of depression: a review of scientific evidence – conclude that those patients who may have depression because of insufficient omega-3 fatty acids can respond well to the diet containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and can show positive signs regarding treatment of depression.
For major depressive disorder, omega-3 fatty acids have not, so far, proved significant as a monotherapy. An increase in the symptoms of depression is correlated with lower intakes of dietary omega-3 fish oil as revealed by various epidemiological research studies.
In order to combat this problem, some foods are usually recommended. Fish with red flesh such as salmon or mackerel are a good source of omega-3 oils. Omega-3 is also present in small amounts in some plant oils such as flaxseed oil. Omega-3 oils are fatty acids in which EPA and DHA are the two most useful components. The more important is EPA, which is usually considered to provide more health benefits.
Omega-3 oils are approved if a depressed person’s diet appears to be deficient of it. Omega-3 oil pills are used in combination with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and are considered as more standard treatment for depression as recommend by some physicians.
Do you know that Insufficient levels of Vitamin D linked to depression?
Insufficient levels of vitamin D is seen in many individuals. This is also true for persons with depression as well as other mental disorders. This could be due to insufficient dietary intake, lifestyle (e.g., little outdoor exposure to sunshine), or other factors.
Various studies have proven that effective detection and treatment of inadequate vitamin D levels in persons with depression and other mental disorders may be an easy and cost-effective therapy which could improve patients long-term health outcomes as well as their quality of life.
Several studies have examined whether light therapy improved mood. A randomized study on 29 patients (16 with SAD and 13 controls) in a parallel fashion to either one hour or 15 minutes of light therapy in the morning for two weeks in the winter. One hour of light therapy significantly decreased depressive symptoms more so in the group with SAD than the control group.
Study research shows a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and symptoms of depression. However, it remains unclear if low vitamin D levels are the cause or the effect of depression. Although several issues in the relationship between depression and low levels of vitamin D remain controversial and are in need of further studies, the literature is already providing enough data to recommend screening for and treating vitamin D deficiency in subjects with depression, which is easy, cost-effective and may improve depression outcome.