News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Dealing With Depression Naturally

7 October 2013

Dealing With Depression Naturally

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of depression in the world with one in 10 people being prescribed antidepressants.

Conventional antidepressant medications have been under the spotlight in recent years with studies showing some have little positive effects and severe side effects.

The proven efficacy and safety of some natural and complementary therapies means that they may be as good as or superior to antidepressant medications for many people with depression according to medical advisor and researcher, Professor Shaun Holt of Victoria University.

“Only around a third of people with major depression respond well to antidepressant medications. Studies show that as some natural therapies work just as well or even better than antidepressant medications in some people and can have fewer side effects, they are potentially a better choice for many people with depression or can be taken in addition to antidepressants, says Prof. Holt.

“The natural health supplements with the best evidence are Omega-3, St John’s Wort, folate, B vitamins and SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine). There is a lot of research evidence on how these supplements, along with exercise and a good diet can improve mood.”

A recent study of 1746 women (aged 30-65 years) undertaken by the National Institute of Health, the University of Delaware and the Eastern Virginia Medical School, USA showed that women with higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had a 49% reduction in risk of depressive symptoms.

Prof Holt said that a growing body of epidemiological and clinical study evidence suggests that low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids are associated with both anxiety and depression.

“An Australasian study found omega-3 fish oil to be more effective than Prozac for patients with severe depression.”

In recent years, St. John’s Wort has been studied extensively as a treatment for depression. Most studies show that St. John's Wort may help treat mild-to-moderate depression, and has fewer side effects than most other prescription antidepressants.

Around 70% of people with major depression are deficient in folate and studies have found that by taking a folate supplement a better response to antidepressants can be achieved by some patients. Bigger studies are needed, but there is other evidence that folate and other B vitamins can reduce symptoms of depression.

According to the Mental Health Foundation one in six New Zealanders will experience a depressive disorder and the World Health Organisation estimates that by the year 2020 depression will be the second most common cause of ill health and premature death worldwide.

Alison Quesnel, executive director of Natural Products NZ says natural health supplements should be taken seriously as a viable treatment for depression.

“We know that antidepressants do not always work and in some cases have highly detrimental side effects. There is ever increasing evidence that low levels of certain nutrients have a very real impact on depression and anxiety and symptoms of depression can be greatly improved by upping levels of these nutrients. In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids and St John’s Wort have long been recognised as beneficial for mental wellbeing. However people who are taking antidepressant medication should consult their health provider before embarking on a programme of health supplements.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

NZ on Air: More Funding For TV Captions To Increase Access

More funding for TV captions to increase access NZ On Air has increased funding to provide more captions and audio description on television programmes for the hearing and sight impaired. More>>

Music: So Laid Back Country China Album Release

On Friday night, So Laid Back Country China held a gig at Meow for the release of their new album With Knees of Honey in Goodbye Canyon. I briefly spoke with Harriet lead vocals, keyboard) and Michael (lead vocals, guitar) before the gig More>>

Art: Wellington Region Celebrates Matariki

Eight Wellington museums and galleries have joined forces to present a major programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Matariki 2015, the Māori New Year. The Wellington Matariki Festival will host more than 60 free events and activities between Saturday ... More>>

Wellington: TEDxWellingtonWomen Speakers Unveiled

The lineup is announced today for the highly anticipated upcoming event TEDxWellingtonWomen. Speakers include local women and men who have lived extraordinary lives and have ideas worth spreading. More>>

Culture: RNZB Showcases NZ Artists With Two World Premieres

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bill Salute - Remembering WW1 which opens on 22 May will showcase the talents of New Zealand artists working at the top of their field. More>>


Books: Witi Ihimaera To Address ‘State Of NZ Literature’at Festival

6 May 2015 MEDIA RELEASE Witi Ihimaera to Address ‘State of NZ Literature’ at Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival The New Zealand Book Council has chosen the 2015 Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival as the stage for its annual address, which ... More>>

Culture: Historic Māori Portraits Travel To The Czech Republic

Image credit: Gottfried Lindauer, Wahanui Reihana Te Huatare, oil on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Mr H E Partridge, 1915 More>>

Art: Something Felt, Something Shared - Enjoy

Gabrielle Amodeo, Ruby Joy Eade, Clare McLean, Kalya Ward Curated by Emma Ng May 7 – 30, 2015 Opening: Wednesday May 6, 5.30pm Strange frequencies are channelled through personal narratives and poetic placeholders in Something felt, something ... More>>

Culture: Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015

Pukeahu Park ANZAC Day Commemoration 2015 Images from New Zealand Defence Force Click for big version A bugler plays The Last Post Click for big version A View from the top of the Carillion Click for big version Faces old and young Click for big ... More>>

Television: MediaWorks Announces Dancing With The Stars Hosts

MediaWorks and BBC Worldwide ANZ are delighted to announce host Dominic Bowden alongside co-host Sharyn Casey for the hit series Dancing with the Stars. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news