Some of the most common questions we are asked by email relate to which supplement to begin with as a treatment for mild or moderate depression. Although the only way to know for certain is by trial and error, some generalizations can be made. 5-HTP, a nutrient that converts into serotonin, is helpful in those whose depression is associated with anxiety, overeating, or difficulty sleeping. Dosages range from 50 mg to 200 mg daily, taken on an empty stomach. You can begin with a 50 mg pill 20 minutes to half an hour before dinner. A drawback to 5-HTP is that, similar to Prozac and other SSRI medications, it can reduce sex drive. St. John's wort herb is of benefit to many people with low mood and the effects often begin within a few days. A dose of 300 mg in the morning before breakfast is reasonable although some people may require a second pill midday. High dosages can lead to insomnia. SAM-e is very potent. Some people notice the mood lift within a day or two. However, this nutrient is not recommended to those who have a tendency for mania or those whose depression is associated with anxiety and insomnia. A starting dose is 200 mg taken before or with breakfast but the dose should be reduced to half as much once benefits are noticed. All the above can be taken with a few fish oil pills daily.

See for further information. Some people find a combination of St. John's wort and 5-HTP, or SAM-e and 5-HTP to be helpful, but before combining make sure you learn how each one effects you by itself. Required dosages are likely to vary over time.

Disclaimer: People should be taking the least amount of prescription drugs that provide adequate treatment, and to regularly monitor and review what is being taken and how much. This applies to most supplements, too. Please do not make any changes in your treatment without first discussing it with your health care provider. Statements made, or products sold through this website, have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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