Vitamin B6—B6 levels are typically low in depression, especially in women who take birth control or are on hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms. Considering the many functions that B6 performs in the brain—it’s absolutely essential in the manufacture of dopamine and serotonin—it is likely that a B6 deficiency contributes to many cases of depression.
Vitamin D—New research shows that low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with clinically significant symptoms of depression in otherwise healthy individuals.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid—Folic acid, vitamin B12, and SAM-e function as methyl donors. That is, they carry and donate methyl molecules to important brain compounds including the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. One of the key brain compounds that is dependent on methylation is tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). This compound functions as an essential coenzyme in the activation of enzymes that manufacture serotonin and dopamine. BH4 synthesis is stimulated by folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.
A recent cross-cultural study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry linked refined sugar consumption to mental illness.
Sugar suppresses the activity of a key growth hormone in the brain called brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This hormone promotes the health and maintenance of neurons in the brain, and it plays a vital role in memory and learning.
BDNF levels are critically low in people with depression and schizophrenia, which explains why both syndromes often lead to shrinkage of key brain regions over time.
1 Bio Nutrition Saffron Extract contains a standardized form of the spice. Use one capsule daily with meals.
Postpartum depression (PPD) affects 1.3 million mothers each year. Fortunately, there are steps women can take to help improve their physical, emotional, and mental health, says Shoshana Bennett, PhD, author of Beyond the Baby Blues: Six Powerful Tips from Dr. Shoshana Bennett to Support Body, Mind and Emotions during Pregnancy and Postpartum—and a sufferer of PPD herself after two pregnancies. Bennett advises all moms-to-be (including adoptive moms) to have a plan in place before the baby joins the family. This plan should include: