(Natural News) Depression, a mental health issue characterized by feelings of hopelessness and fatigue, can significantly affect your mood and quality of life.
This condition is very common. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 21 million adults in the U.S. have experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2020 alone.
Western medicine has attempted to treat depression with pharmaceutical drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but this treatment isn’t always effective. Researchers from Harvard University reported that at least 40 to 50 percent of depressed patients don’t achieve an “adequate response” after initial treatment.
Fortunately, things are looking up because research has found that a natural compound called S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e) may help boost your mood naturally.
According to a review published in the journal Annals of General Psychiatry, SAM-e can help uplift the mood of depressed patients whether it is used alone or with other treatments.
Data shows that SAM-e can help activate mood-regulating neurotransmitters. It is produced in the liver from the adenosine triphosphate and the amino acid methionine. SAM-e exists in every cell of the body.
The nutrient triggers many important reactions, such as boosting levels of glutathione, the body’s premier antioxidant and detoxifying enzyme via a process called methylation. SAM-e also helps activate serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that have a role in maintaining a stable mood, effective learning, normal appetite and restful sleep.
However, SAM-e doesn’t work in the same way as SSRIs.
SSRIs are intended to prolong the calming effects of neurotransmitters by blocking their reuptake. But as a methyl donor, SAM-e contributes part of its own chemical makeup to build neurotransmitters.
Data on the mood-boosting effects of SAM-e gained traction after scientists found out that patients with depression seemed to have significantly lower levels of SAM-e in their spinal fluid.
SAM-e may boost effects of pharmaceutical drugs so patients can reduce dosage
During the review, the authors examined eight trials that included data from more than 1,000 participants with major depressive disorder. Results showed that SAM-e appeared to increase the effectiveness of SSRIs, leading to improved scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
SAM-e also seemed to make antidepressants work more quickly, shortening the waiting period that patients must endure before their mood improves. Additionally, SAM-e reduces the dosage needed, which means it can help potentially decrease the adverse effects of common medication for depression.
Whether used alone or in conjunction with other treatments, SAM-e had produced “encouraging and generally positive results,” concluded the researchers.
Dr. Jonathan Alpert, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, also praised the effectiveness of SAM-e.
Alpert said that the nutrient is very useful when used in conjunction with standard SSRI antidepressants in individuals who are not fully responding to the medication. In most cases, there are those who “are more willing to take dietary supplements (than prescription drugs),” concluded Alpert.
SAM-e’s anti-inflammatory properties may help boost joint health
According to data, more than 32.5 million adults in America suffer from osteoarthritis. This degenerative joint condition causes debilitating symptoms like pain, swelling and loss of flexibility.
Many individuals use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) drugs like ibuprofen to relieve the discomfort caused by osteoarthritis, but NSAIDS are often linked to adverse effects such as:
- Greater risk of heart attack or stroke
- Liver damage
- Stomach cramps
SAM-e, which has a strong safety profile, has been shown in studies to work just as well as ibuprofen. Additionally, SAM-e can help relieve pain and improve mobility.
Experts say that SAM-e is a versatile compound that can also help relieve inflammation and promote the growth of new joint cartilage.
If you want to supplement with SAM-e, natural health experts suggest using a high-quality formulation from a trusted brand. (Related: Healthy skin, vision and mood: 3 Lesser-known benefits of taking omega-3 supplements.)
Natural healers recommend amounts ranging from 400 mg to 1,600 mg a day.
If you are unsure, do not take SAM-e to address depression or any medical condition without consulting a qualified health professional. Experts also warned that those with symptoms of mania or bipolar disorder should not take SAM-e unless specifically advised by a doctor.
While SAM-e has a good safety profile, experts say it may also cause side effects like anxiety, digestive upset and nausea. Fortunately, these side effects are infrequent and usually mild.
Other studies are also looking into the potential health benefits of S-adenosyl methionine for liver health and cognitive decline.
Superfoods that can help boost your mood
Fish is a healthy food that can help fight depression.
Research published in January 2014 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that fish has a role in many traditional regional diets, such as the Japanese, Mediterranean and Norwegian diets that have been studied and recommended for their anti-depressive benefits.
You can boost your mood and mental health by eating a three-ounce serving of fish at least two or three times a week.
The results of data analysis published in the journal Nutrition have found that the more fruit you eat, the lower your risk of depression. For the analysis, researchers reviewed research about the link between fruit and vegetable consumption and depression.
Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, making them a great snack if you’re craving something sweet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating at least one and a half cups of fruit daily.
Fruits like bananas are healthy and sweet, and studies suggest that bananas can help boost your mood.
Eat fresh nuts on a daily basis to boost your intake of dietary fiber, protein and healthy fats. But like other foods, you should keep track of calories, which can add up quickly.
Try to consume at least a one-ounce serving of mixed nuts like almonds and walnuts daily. Eat nuts containing omega-3 fatty acids for the greatest long-term benefits.
Include a wide array of vegetables, with lots of leafy greens and high-fiber root vegetables into your regular diet. According to the same research analysis that linked higher fruit intake with reduced depression risk, consuming more vegetables correlates with the same outcome.
If you’re feeling down, whip up a salad to help protect against low mood and depression. Consume at least two to three cups of vegetables every day.
You can boost your brain and overall health by consuming whole grains and high-fiber foods instead of junk food full of refined sugar and flour products.
Doing this also helps keep your blood sugar stable since you’re limiting your intake of sweets or highly refined carbs.
Blood sugar-stabilizing foods like whole grains can help boost your mood by helping regulate brain neurotransmitter secretions. Women need 25 grams of fiber daily, while men need 38 grams.
Visit SupplementsReport.com to learn more about supplements that can help boost your mood and mental health.
Watch the video below to learn how melatonin can help boost your mental health.
This video is from the Holistic Herbalist channel on Brighteon.com.
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