I hereby confess that it takes me a half hour each week to fill up my mammoth-sized pill container with the supplements and vitamins I take each week to give my brain every lift I can. It’s expensive, it’s time-consuming, it’s a pain in my arse, but I would rather spend my time organizing fish oil capsules than in front of a therapist explaining why I can’t shut off the negative intrusive thoughts. I’m doing much better today than I was seven months ago, the afternoon I first met with a holistic doctor to determine which supplements could help my depression. I was hoping that they would be able to replace my meds. Not at this point. But adding them to my meds has helped stabilize my mood since the beginning of the year.
There are so many brands out there. It’s hard to know if you’re paying big bucks for a sugar pill or if you’re getting the real stuff. My doctor insisted that anything I take be third-party tested, such as the ones listed by ConsumerLab.com. She recommended the following manufacturers: Prothera, Klaire Labs, Pure Encapsulations, Douglas Labs, Nature Made, Orthomolecular Products, Metagenics, Vital Nutrients, and Carlson Labs.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acid
If I had to choose two supplements that make the most difference, I would vote my Omega-3 capsules and the probiotic that I take. Don’t skimp on those. I spend the big bucks on a quality brand of fish oil, OmegaBrite, because their capsules contain 70 percent EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in a 7:1 ratio of EPA to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). New research has confirmed the positive effects of EPA on mood, even more so than DHA, as it provides a natural balance to Omega-6 Arachidonic acid. I noticed a definite difference in switching from a brand of mostly DHA to mostly EPA. Nordic Naturals is also a reliable brand.