There is much research evidence available to support the idea that amino acids help depression. The well-known natural health researcher, Dr. Norman Shealy, has said that in his work with depressed people, nearly 100% were deficient in amino acids!
One function of amino acids is the creation of neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system. These transmitters play an important part in helping to regulate mood and processing the proteins that our bodies need to survive.
There are over 20 amino acids that are essential for optimal health, and several of them have been shown to be helpful in treating depression. Some amino acids that help depression are:
Other nutrients that can help with depression are SAM-e, 5 HTP, omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid. A high quality multi-vitamin may include some of these nutrients.
Other Nutrients That Are Helpful for Depression
5 HTP is an amino acid complex that is converted by the body into serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood, appetite, sleep and sexuality. Although it is found in foods, the amount is very low. Dietary habits and the lack of nutrients in the foods that we eat may have caused 5 HTP deficiencies in many people.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential healthy fats. They are necessary for human health, but the body cannot produce them. So, they must be present in the diet. The amount of omega-3s in the typical American diet is very low.
The brain contains a great deal of fat. Of that fat, about 40% is a specific kind of omega-3 called DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid. Low blood levels of DHA are an indicator for depressive disorders.
There are a number of omega-3 natural supplements for depression on the market, but not all of them provide sufficient quantities of DHA. Amounts that have been used in clinical studies approach 500mg per day.
Since amino acids help depression it's obvious that diet has a large impact on the way we feel, both mentally and physically. Eating regular balanced meals should be a priority if you're dealing with issues like anxiety or depression. If your lifestyle makes this hard to do, high quality nutritional supplements can help.