Essential Nutrients to Support Individuals with Depression and Anxiety.


Essential Nutrients to Support Individuals with Depression and Anxiety

Depression is not a Prozac deficiency.

Anxiety is not a deficiency of any pharmaceutical anxiolytic agent.

Personal issues certainly cloud the equation, but psychotherapy is ill-suited to get at the physiological underpinnings of depression or anxiety.

Both disorders are commonly the product of a vicious cycle that becomes self-perpetuating and colors the lens through which life is experienced.

It is a substantially tainted lens. Legitimate life issues become entangled, exacerbated, and confused by what can only be termed physiological dysregulation.

Improved diet, improved digestion, and nutrient repletion are everything to these populations.

Neurofeedback can sometimes dramatically help restore healthy timing and better self-regulation, but it is a diet that ultimately corrects the underlying biochemistry.

The brain simply needs certain raw materials to work with; it also needs to be able to get other things that don’t belong there out of the way.

Although all this might sound very complex, the basic foundational formula and dietary approach are quite simple.

Here are some nutritional supports that might help;


  • Very low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and sufficient fat intake as needed to satisfy appetite, including supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and GLA (black currant seed oil).
  • Eat as many fibrous vegetables and greens (raw and lightly cooked) as desired for bulk and antioxidant


  • Test for gluten sensitivity and/or simply avoid all gluten-containing foods.


  • Adequate hydration and B-complex vitamin


  • Trace Mineral Drops or use of full-spectrum (Celtic or Himalayan) sea salt. Magnesium (600–800 mg per day)
  • Magnesium glycinate is a highly bioavailable
  • Liquid ionic forms may be better used by people with impaired digestion and can also reach intracellular levels more


  • Liquid ionic magnesium can also be effective at much smaller doses.


  • Zinc (either ionic form or amino acid chelated).


  • L-tryptophan (comes in 500 mg caps):
  • May be useful for both anxiety and depression symptoms and is a direct precursor to serotonin.
  • A widely available metabolite, 5-HTP, can also be helpful but can additionally raise cortisol levels, which may not be desirable for some people, especially if sleep is an issue.
  • A commonly recommended approach to taking L-tryptophan involves starting with one capsule of L-tryptophan on an empty stomach,
  • Noticing how one is feeling, and if no enhanced sense of well-being is noticed after twenty to thirty minutes, another capsule is taken, and so on.
  • When a positive shift is experienced, that is considered the effective dosage.
  • Do not take L-tryptophan if you are also taking antidepressants unless you are under careful, qualified medical supervision.


  • For anxiety coupled with mind racing and physical tension, theanine, an amino acid, can be wonderful.
  • Again, one widely used protocol involves starting with a low dose (on an empty stomach) and working up in dosage the same way as with L-tryptophan, taking only what is needed to achieve better relaxation (for many, this is somewhere between roughly 200 and 400 mg per day).
  • Theanine is found in green and black tea, and it can serve to enhance the activity of the body’s primary inhibitory or calming neurotransmitter, GABA, which can also be used supplementally.
  • Theanine also has known positive effects on serotonin and dopamine levels.
  • Smaller doses can be mildly stimulating, while larger doses tend to be quite calming.
  • It has also been shown to lower high blood pressure.
  • It readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and can be significantly neuroprotective, especially for people with impaired cerebral circulation.


  • GABA is both an amino acid and an inhibitory or calming neurotransmitter.
  • It can be successfully used for issues concerning anxiety, racing thoughts, and physical
  • Though oral GABA cannot normally cross the healthy, intact blood-brain barrier, the wide-ranging benefit is often reported with GABA supplementation.
  • Be warned, however, that if GABA supplementation helps you, the bigger problem may be a leaky blood-brain


  • Taurine is another amino acid that is very useful for anxiety-related issues and instabilities.
  • Taurine is the end product of sulfur metabolism and is an antioxidant.
  • It is a constituent of healthy bile and can help support biliary function as well.
  • Taurine has its highest concentrations in electrically conductive tissue such as the brain, the heart, and the nervous system.
  • It greatly helps curb excitatory activity and nervousness without being sedating, and it functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter.
  • Also, high concentrations of taurine occur naturally within the retina of the
  • There is no known toxicity.
  • Taurine typically comes in 500 to 1,000 mg capsules and can be taken similarly to the other amino
  • Usually, 1,000 to 2,000 mg does the trick, but some people need more or less.
  • Very high doses, more than 5,000 mg, can result in a diuretic effect (but one that spares electrolytes).
  • Taurine tends to be very safe and is well-tolerated by most people.


  • L-tyrosine is a precursor to norepinephrine and dopamine, two neurotransmitters commonly associated with some forms of depression.
  • L- tyrosine comes in 500 mg capsules and is typically taken the same way as the other amino acids.
  • It has a stimulant effect and may be inappropriate for people in active or acute stress responses (it can worsen or cause agitation).
  • Also, don’t use L-tyrosine if you have malignant melanoma (it is a precursor to melanin).
  • Don’t use it if anxiety is a significant part of the problem for you.


  • DL-phenylalanine (also known as DLPA) is yet another amino acid precursor to L-tyrosine, norepinephrine, and dopamine, and it also helps to enhance the activity of beta-endorphins.
  • The same restrictions apply to L-tyrosine.
  • The D-fraction may be especially useful when there is pain or a tendency toward “addiction to pleasure-seeking stimuli,” as it helps specifically enhance the function of endorphins by functioning as an endorphinase inhibitor.


  • Light, after all, is decidedly a nutrient
  • When seasonal affective disorder issues are present, these light boxes, which emit up to 10,000 lux, can be extremely useful and transformative of mood and circadian rhythms.
  • Use for fifteen to thirty minutes in the morning to shut down undesirable, chronic, inappropriate melatonin
  • This can help lessen fatigue or depression during the day and can significantly enhance serotonin production.
  • If staying asleep at night is a significant problem, using the lightbox later in the afternoon or early evening (at least two hours before bedtime) can improve sleep quality, too.
  • Spending some time outdoors at around noontime daily (an hour or so if possible) is another natural means of getting adequate “light ”
  • Avoid sunscreens or even sunglasses if possible.
  • Being in the shade is okay.


  • Vitamin D deficiency has also been identified in people with seasonal affective disorder and other forms of mood dysregulation, and supplementation should be considered.


About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *