Are There Supplements that Help Mental Health?
Many people are looking for natural options to help their mental health, and nutrition as well as nutritional supplements (or dietary supplements or food supplements) have been proven to have a positive influence on mental health - if done prudently and in the right way.
When it comes to buying the best supplements for mental health, with the goal to help your own or your loved one's mental health issues, it is often seems like the wild west out there. Buyer beware!
I created a sister website, Supplements for Mental Health, to help you to sort through the fluff and make an informed decision.
We will help you to understand:
- The benefits and risks of natural supplements, like vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids, enzymes, herbs, spices, essential oils, homeopathic preparations and others
- How to use supplements for mental health safely and efficiently
- How to assess if a certain supplement works for you (or if it really has no effect or harmful side effects for you)
- What ingredients work or won't work for mental health issues and a bit about the basic bio-chemistry of supplements
- How to read and understand supplement labels and what additives are harmless and what may cause issues for you
- Why and how they work (or don't work), what chemical form you need
- What the usual dosage is and what amount or dosage may be right for you
- The correct way to combine different nutritional supplements,
- When fixed combinations are good to use (and when better to combine single nutrients)
- What supplements to take - or not to take - with certain foods, drinks or medications
- How to create your own "nutrient orchestra", based on your bio-individual nutrient needs, genetic predisposition and body composition
- How the purchase price of supplements on the market relates (or doesn't) to the possible effects and benefits
- How supplements can work with or against pharmaceutical drugs
- How to safely reduce pharmaceutical drugs and/or replace them with nutritional supplements (if that's what you want to do)
- How to assess your genetic makeover and brain metabolism so you know what supplements may be beneficial and which ones are probably a waste of money
- Where you can turn if you run into road blocks
- How to make your personal supplement plan and stick to it
- How to remember taking your supplements,
- how to travel with supplements
The Best Supplements for Mental Health
How to Help Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Stress, Sleep
We are starting by writing about the best supplements for people with depression, but over time, we will add more helpful content for people with anxiety, ADHD, stress and sleep issues as well as add lists, worksheets and courses to help you make better decisions around supplements to support your own or your loved one's mental health.
Subscribe to their newsletter today and get all news and updates about supplements and mental health as well as special offers and coupons as soon as they come out, as well as a country-specific list of the 10 most reputable brands and websites that provide good quality supplements - and information for mental health issues - personally reviewed by Dr. Christine Sauer.
What is a supplement?
In the Cambridge Dictionary, the basic definition of the word: "supplement" is:
"something that is added to something else in order to improve it or complete it; something extra"
We will not mention here the meaning in business, or marketing, but focus on its meaning for mental health and health generally.
For the health area, when we talk about a supplement, it means:
"Something that you (or others) add to your food to complete it or to improve it to better your health. These are also called dietary/nutritional/food supplements"
Mostly, we are talking about the addition of certain selected
- Amino Acids (Parts of Proteins)
- Herbs and Phytochemicals (Plant chemicals)
Supplements can be administered or taken in different ways:
- by mouth (orally), as capsules, pills, tablets, liquids
- via the skin as creams, oils, addition to bath water or patches
- by inhalation (via influencing the brain directly through the sense of smell or by absorption in the lungs)
- rectally (via an enema or suppositories)
- by injection
How do you identify the best supplement brands?
Supplements for sale are mostly produced from natural ingredients, plants, foods, herbs, animals, their parts or from other sources. In some cases, other ways of production are used, especially when producing mineral supplements, but also for vitamins.
Is natural always better?
Not necessarily. Generally, whether derived from natural sources or produced, the natural form of supplements is better absorbed and tolerated in our body. That doesn't mean they can't have harmful side effects. The most potent poisons come from all-natural sources. On top of it, natural sources can be very contaminated nowadays (e.g. some fish) and products derived from them benefit from purification. So, it has to be taken with "a grain of salt" , reason and common sense.
The chemical form matters
Whether from a natural source or otherwise produced, the chemical form matters in supplements. For example "Magnesium" supplement come in different chemical forms. Some (like oxide) are very laxative, whereas others (glycinate) are better absorbed and others (e.g. threonate) reach the brain better through the blood-brain barrier.
In the articles about the individual supplements, we will break this down for you so you can make the best decision for you and/or your loved ones.
The dosage matters
The right dosage of a supplement for you is crucial for your success in using it. But beware: More is not necessarily better.
As Paracelsus said, "The dosage makes the poison". Small dosages sometimes work better for some people than others.
Large dosages of certain supplements have effects that can be similar (or better) than some medications, but there are similar precautions to take and you need to be aware of possible side effects and overdosages to know what to do.
Not all supplements should be taken long-term, and some are only effective in certain stages of illness. Others, given our modern nutrition situation, are beneficial to take long-term (in the correct dosage) for most people.
We will help you find out the best way to determine how to find your best dosage and when and how long to take which supplement.
Does the Brand matter?
Yes and no. Government regulations prevents in most countries major issues with supplement products. But the best supplement manufacturers not only provide additional product education, but also do extensive testing of their raw ingredients, their finished products to make sure they are safe and effective to take when taken as directed and actually contain what is on the label.
Does higher price mean better quality?
Not necessarily. I have seen brands with questionable ingredients that through aggressive advertising and marketing sell for a price that in my opinion is not justified for the actual effects you receive.
That said, good brands will often cost a bit more because they do all the testing, education and safety studies mentioned above.
Over time, on our partner website, we will add more helpful content and lists to help you make a good decision for your own or your loved one's mental health supplements.
Red Flags to Avoid when Choosing your Best Supplements for Mental Health
Watch for these 5 major warning signs when buying supplements. These should prompt you to do more research or ask your doctor or healthcare provider or someone very knowledgeable about supplements for advice.
- They want you to buy right now or you can never get this supplement again
- They claim benefits that are too good to be true (heals cancer, heals depression, never again suffer...)
- The price seems unreasonably high
- A "friend" told you about something that worked "miracles" for him/her
- You read about it on social media
Top 10 Supplement - Websites for Mental Health
These are country-specific because certain supplements are only available in a certain country or geographic area.
Practical Tips for Supplement Choices
- Do your own research. This website and our partner website is a good place to start (and end)
- Ask your naturopath, pharmacist, doctor or other natural health provider for advice. Then do what seems right to you, based on your experience, knowledge, budget and preferences.
- For an individualized supplement plan, based on a detailed health, nutrition and lifestyle assessment, book a free call with Dr. Christine Sauer and talk about your options.
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