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Best Supplements for Depression and Anxiety -- sad young woman sitting on couch, looking toward the window


A wide variety of natural supplements have shown some benefit in reducing depression and/or anxiety. Certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also cause depression.

Sign in to learn more how the following relate to depression and anxiety: Fish oil, CBD oil, probiotics, curcumin (from turmeric), saffron, 5-HTP, St. John's wort, SAMe, DHEA, Rhodiola rosea, folic acid, L-theanine, ashwagandha, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), melatonin, valerian, kava, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), B vitamins, vitamin D, and magnesium.

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September 29, 2021

I was taking methylfolate for depression (prescribed as Deplin from Brand Direct Health) along with Latuda (for depression) and Depakote (for bipolar) and I had the side effect of nystagmus, so I stopped taking it as recommended by my psychiatrist. It's unfortunate because it was helping with my depression. I have no affiliation or financial interest with any of these products I mentioned or a competing product.

December 12, 2019

Be careful mixing with meds! My daughter-in-law who has bipolar disorder started taking kava and soon afterward was nearly hospitalized. Altho’ it may be a coincidence, she feels the kava could have interfered with her prescription medication.

October 20, 2018

I see that fish oil high in EPA may reduce anxiety. Can you specify what percent EPA would be high and what dose has been shown to be effective?
October 20, 2018

Hi Carol - Please see the "Anxiety" section of the Fish Oil Review ( for details. We've also added a link to this section from the Answer above to make it easier to find.

August 21, 2018

I was taking Ashwaganda for mild depression it caused me to have an arythmia in my heart, felt awful so I came off of it and the arythmia has subsided!
August 23, 2018

Thank you for sharing this Colleen. We now have a CL Answer about the side effects of ashwagandha supplements: and more information can be found in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Ashawagandha Supplements Review:

Susan 16879
June 3, 2018

A relative uses Venetron (150 mg) for depression when needed. It makes a huge difference in lowering what appears to be situational depression. Some capsules sold are 50 mg. However, the manufacturer said 150 mg was best. It doesn't cause sleepiness like other products.

He's also been using SAMe (400 mg) daily for years and takes it about 6 pm. When he awakes in the morning, he is ready to get going for the day. Because there are concerns about SAMe increasing Homeocysteine, he takes a 750 mg capsule of Trimethylglycine daily. Recently, he had his blood tested for the Homeocysteine and the result was within the normal range. In fact, it was on the lower side.

April 18, 2018

My relative has suffered from a severe depression for four years. No prescription medication had any significant effect. During this time she also tried without much success most supplements including 5HTP that claimed to be helpful for such condition. The real relief came when she start taking Seratonin formula [from Allergy Research] and SAMe. The Seratonin formula includes both 5HTP and 5-MTHF. This brought an improvement in about 3 weeks, and helped her to get completely out of the medication [by gradually reducing the dosage] in about four months. At this, she was taking only one Seratonin capsule and one caplet of SAMe, which was about one third of recommended dosages on their labels (there was a concern of taking larger dosages of these supplements simultaneously with an antidepressant).

October 31, 2016

How about CBD from hemp for anxiety/depression?
January 1, 2017

Hi Barry - Please see the CL Answer about CBD here:

October 30, 2016

Lactium, a bioactive milk peptides have since been shown to act on the brain's GABA-A receptors.
October 31, 2016

Hi Richard - This appears to be based on the following study in mice:

September 25, 2016

I use Swanson magnolia bark. I first heard of it from the Dr. Oz. show. Have used it for several years and works pretty good. I used to take Zoloft but had too many side effects. No side effects with the magnolia bark.

October 30, 2016

What side effects do you have, I take itand my balance ism not very good and get dizzy if i turn around too fast?

September 25, 2016

I'm a therapist and work with women. I suggest to all my clients struggling with depression to take a look at the research on Omega3 augmentation (or as a stand alone) and to have their thyroid and D3 levels checked out. I've seen huge changes in my clients disposition when the correct blend and amount of Omega3s are added and their Ds levels are well above the bottom of the range. Choices for D3s and Omega3s have been researched by me on Consumerlab as I want my clients to get the purest and best product for their individual need.

September 25, 2016

I agree, it's important to check both thyroid and D levels before resorting to prescription drugs that often have detrimental side effects. I've been on increased D, probiotics, sam-E, and then added a very low-dose thyroid pill to that mix. I can see an effect. I have more energy, sleep better at night, and am less irritable. And don't overlook the benefits of a good, old-fashioned walk. Exercise is as important for our mental health as our physical health. It's amazing how just going outside and moving can lift one's spirits.

October 30, 2016

I fully agree with all of that, am taking same and have seen a mild but definite improvement.

December 6, 2015

By using NAC nightly I find I sleep much better and have stopped taking Prozac, after many years of use!

September 27, 2016

What is NAC thanks Don
September 28, 2016

Hi Don - NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine) is a synthetically modified form of the amino acid cysteine. There is some evidence it may be helpful for compulsive behavior. You can learn more and see our tests of NAC products in the NAC Supplements Review:

November 29, 2015

Having used all of the above I can say that kava has a far more profound stress reducing effect than any of these.
December 3, 2015

Hi David - Thank you for sharing your experience using kava. We have now added information about this to the answer above.

May 27, 2020

Over the past 5 years, I drink Kava tea on average about once a month when situational anxiety may be high. I do not take it daily. It works very well for me.

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