There is a huge antidepressant epidemic in the U.S, but could the answer lie in vitamins?

Millions of Americans take antidepressants every year, as they so easily prescribed by willing doctors.

But there is evidence to suggest that instead of the pills that so many people rely on, taking vitamin supplements could be just as good for your mental health.

A paper published in 2014 by Zeitschrift Fur Psychologie stated:

“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain. Indeed, their supposed effectiveness is the primary evidence for the chemical imbalance theory.

But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …

Even the small statistical difference between antidepressants and placebos may be an enhanced placebo effect, due to the fact that most patients and doctors in clinical trials successfully break blind.”

The way antidepressants work is that they increase serotonin levels in the brain, but while we know depression can be caused by a lack of serotonin, the happy chemical, new evidence suggests that the depressive feeling actually manifest much higher up in the chain of events which occur in the brain.

Results published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that nutrient-packed supplements had a boosting effect on those who took them along with antidepressants.

But the leaders of the study also remarked: 

“more patients in the studies showed an improvement in mood when prescribed omega-3 fish oil, methylfolate, vitamin D and SAMe supplements in combination with antidepressant medication, compared to those who took medication only.” 

Our bodies need vitamins and nutrients to thrive, it only makes sense that upping the amount of vitamins a person gets is going to improve their overall health, both body and mind.