28 Nov 2019

SUPPLEMENTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH

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9 EVIDENCE-BASED FACTS ON SUPPLEMENTS IN MENTAL HEALTH

Omega 3

  1. Omega 3 containing more than 50% EPA produces small but significant improvements in depression either as an adjunct to SSRIs or monotherapy. Dose 2200mg EPA per day.
  2. High EPA omega 3 may help reduce ADHD symptoms at a dose of 2500mg EPA per day, but better quality evidence is needed.
  3. Omega 3 does not help with schizophrenia.

Folate-based supplements

  1. High-dose methylfolate of 15mg/day may help in treatment-resistant major depressive disorder. However, only a few small randomised control trials have been done, so more research is needed.
  2. High-dose methylfolate of 15mg/day as an adjunctive treatment in schizophrenia may reduce negative symptoms of the disorder such as lack of affect, apathy and poor social functioning. But more research needed.

NAC

  1. N-acetyl cysteine at 2000mg/day may help with depression and bipolar disorder but evidence is heterogeneous and based on only a few RCTs.

Vitamin D

  1. Vitamin D (50,000 IU per week) adjunctive treatment may help patients with major depression, but effects of sunlight may not have been properly allowed for.

Overall

  1. None of these supplements showed evidence of adverse effects.
  2. All were safe to take as adjuncts of the appropriate psychiatric medications.
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