Depression is a very serious issue. It's a mental condition that effects millions of people around the world.
Depression causes us to feel extremely down and pessimistic with life's outlook. With severe cases often leading to suicidal thoughts or self-harm. Most mental health therapists would generally prescribe SSRI and anti-depressent drugs to help with the symptoms of depression. This is a practice that I would generally advise against because a lot of those medications have extremely bad side effects.
There has been quite a lot of studies and research performed on natural remedies for beating off a bout of the blues.
Today, we'll be focusing on two powerful and natural depression remedies.
First, we'll focus our attention on L-Tryptophan, this important amino acid is required in our bodies for the synthesis of Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine / 5-HT) which is the neurochemical involved in the regulation of mood, muscle contractions, appetite and sleep.
It's understood that low levels of serotonin has many debilitating effects on the body (such as mood swings, aggression, psychotic episodes, seizures, anxiety and insomnia) Tryptophan can help with these symptoms and reduce depression because it converts into serotonin in the body and has a great uptake profile. The secret is to have adequate levels of serotonin - this will allow you to feel good and help you to maintain a positive attitude in life.
By supplementing your diet with adequate levels of L-Tryptophan you can give your body a natural positive boost (provided you should also have a well balanced diet). Reason why is because your body will be able to produce adequate levels of serotonin and this in turn will brighten up your mood, naturally without the use of any drugs.
Another supplement that's good for treating depression is 5-HTP. Some people who are already taking this supplement, don't feel that it's quite as effective as L-Tryptophan. The reason why is because 5-HTP can get converted into serotonin within the liver (before it reaches the brain) if this happens then it will not effectively pass the blood-brain barrier, rendering it only semi-effective. Not only that but 5-HTP has the tendency to accumulate in areas (such as the stomach's GI tract and heart - which can lead to other serious health complications) doses should range from 50-100mg of 5-HTP per day. No more is neccessary for even the most severest cases of depression. You should also cycle the intake of 5-HTP (i.e 3 weeks daily use / 1 week off or taken for a few days and given a rest for a few days etc.)
L-Tryptophan is the usually preffered supplement because it allows serotonin synthesis to occur naturally (and all of it passes through the blood-brain barrier making it more effective than 5-HTP). If you are thinking of taking 5-HTP I would advise you try supplementing with Tryptophan first as it's much gentler and safer on the body. If you have no results with tryptophan then try using 5-HTP.
If you're on anti-depressants or MAOIs already I would consult your GP/Doctor before taking these supplements just in case they interact with your meds. It's always better to be safe, than sorry.
At night time the excess serotonin in your brain gets converted to melatonin through the pineal gland. This is what allows us to fall asleep at night (because the darkness triggers your pineal gland to secrete melatonin which then causes us to fall asleep).
It's also important to note that it is possible to overdose on too much serotonin (it's not hard to OD on serotonin when you use 5-HTP as there's no regulation to control how much 5-HTP will get converted into serotonin). Serotonin syndrome causes negative autonomic, cognitive and somatic effects. This can be the result of improper supplementation, drug abuse, natural genetics and abnormal diets can also contribute to this.
If you have depression; these 2 supplements can have you feeling much better in a short amount of time (I'd say about 1 week to feel some positive results). I would advise against taking both supplements together as this can likely cause serotonin syndrome (only take one or the other and my recommendation is to start with L-Tryptophan first)