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2018's 10 Best

Depression is a disorder that severely impacts a person’s mood. Studies estimate that 16.2 million adults in the United States experience an episode of depression each year. Many people consider depression to simply be feelings of sadness and grief. But this disorder goes well beyond that. Periods of sadness or grief may often last a couple weeks, but then these feelings resolve themselves. A diagnosis of depression comes when these feelings last in excess of two weeks.

The symptoms and severity of depression can vary widely from person to person. The most common symptoms include constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness. Depression can also cause lower energy levels and less drive to do anything, even when it’s something that is usually enjoyed, like a hobby. Weight changes, difficulty sleeping, and oversleeping are also common symptoms that can plague those with depression.

There are many types of depression that you may be affected with. Persistent depressive disorder is depression that lasts for more than two years. The symptoms may vary over time, but they never fully go away. Depression can also occur during or directly after pregnancy, known as postpartum depression. The changing of the weather and seasons during the year can also cause depression, especially during the winter months.

Depression is a serious issue that can affect many areas of your life and the lives of your friends and loved ones as well. Getting symptoms of depression under control is highly important, and supplements can frequently be of help.

How Supplements for Depression Work

The reason that depression occurs in the first place is still widely unknown to doctors. There are a few factors though that can contribute to depression. These factors could be physical changes or deformities in the brain, or the chemicals in the brain could be altered. Depression also may come on due to changes in hormones or in daily life.

Most depression treatments include the use of prescription drugs or therapy sessions. The medications often try to treat chemical imbalances, and therapy sessions can help you cope with difficult life events. But there are also some natural supplements that have been studied for their ability to reduce depression symptoms.

Many supplements for depression work to improve your mood. No matter what the cause of the depression, improving your mood is a good way to reduce the negative effects that you feel. Other supplements serve to rebalance chemicals in the brain. Depression can be caused by having too much or too little of certain chemicals that your brain relies on to function. Some supplements include ingredients that directly affect the levels of these chemicals.

The Health Benefits of Supplements for Depression

While supplements can’t change physical brain deformities, they can still help if depression is caused from chemical imbalances or from certain life events. To address these causes, supplements for depression often work in two ways: balancing chemical levels or improving mood levels.


There are tons of different hormones and chemicals in the brain and body, and all of them serve specific purposes. If these chemicals are not in balance with one another, neurotransmitters could be negatively affected. The amount of each of chemical or hormone that is produced can change because of many things, such as thyroid problems, menopause, and others.

Various studies have found different chemicals and hormones that are linked to depression. They found that those who suffer from depression typically have reduced levels of zinc, acetyl-L-carnitine, or chemicals found in omega-3 supplements.

Many supplements for depression may include these substances to directly increase their levels in the blood. By increasing and making the amounts of these chemicals and hormones more normal, episodes of depression can be reduced or eliminated completely.


Occurrences in daily life, such as relationship or job changes, trauma, or financial problems, can also trigger depression. These situations can be very stressful and can cause major episodes of sadness. When you feel sad and depressed, it can be difficult to get the energy to do much of anything, and improving your mood seems to be even harder.

Many supplements that are made to help with depression contain various ingredients that help to increase levels of the “feel good” hormones in the brain. The most notable of these hormones are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Endorphins are also major players in your happiness. It can sometimes feel weird to think that something as affecting as depression can be caused by something as small as this, but the science is here to back it up. We are chemical beings, and even small changes in that chemistry can have long-lasting effects.

By increasing the amounts of these chemicals and neurotransmitters that your body normally produces, you can increase your happiness and help kick yourself out of the mental state you are in. Once out of that funk, it can become much easier to stay out of it without further supplementation. There are other ways to increase these levels as well, such as exercise and meditation, but a supplement can definitely give you a boost when you need it.

These supplements can also help give you a sense of calm and relieve stress. Depression can often lead to higher stress and anxiety, which can seem to compound with the several other side effects. Increasing endorphin levels and the amounts of the other “feel good” hormones can reduce stress hormones and decrease cortisol levels in the blood.

What to Look for When Buying Supplements for Depression

Supplements for depression may be just a single ingredient, or they can be a mixture of different things. Depending on the effects you are looking for, you should look at all of the ingredients in each supplement to help you pick one.

Some products include ingredients that focus more on regulating hormone and chemical levels. If this is the cause of your depression, these supplements can be a great choice. Other supplements focus on increasing hormone levels in your blood and brain to improve your happiness. There are also some products that contain a mixture of ingredients to help in both of these areas.

There are many ingredients that can be used to cause the desired effect. It may seem difficult to choose a product based off the ingredient list. So here are a few of the most popular ingredients that are used and how they can improve symptoms of depression.


Acetyl-L-carnitine typically helps to control fat metabolism and energy production. It also works in the brain to keep nerve cells from firing too often. Recently, a study was completed on people with moderate to severe depression. They took blood samples and compared them to samples of healthy adults without depression. They found that the levels of acetyl-L-carnitine were much lower in those with depression.

The lower the levels were in the blood, the worse the depression seemed to be. Lower levels were also more common in people who had depression early on in life. In animal studies, taking an acetyl-L-carnitine supplement was able to reverse depression symptoms. This same effect could carry over into humans as well.


St. John’s wort is a plant originally from Europe, Asia, and Africa. This plant is known to increase levels of serotonin in the body and brain. This can help improve your mood and relieve symptoms of depression.


Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as omega-3s, are a healthy type of fat that is found in fish. This supplement is also called fish oil. Omega-3s help increase two main chemicals in the brain: DHA and EPA. Increasing the amount of these chemicals has been tied to reducing symptoms of depression.


B vitamins play an important role in keeping your brain working properly. The most important of the B vitamins are vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6. These vitamins help to improve your mood by increasing levels of other chemicals in the brain.

B vitamins are found in many foods that you eat every day like meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. But if you don’t get enough of it in your diet, it can cause depression and other health issues.


SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine. This amino acid helps create neurotransmitters in the brain. This allows it to act as a synthetic mood booster by increasing the “feel good” hormones in the brain.


Folic acid is a supplement that helps raise levels of folate in the body. This ingredient is known to help increase the effectiveness of antidepressant medications. You can also increase your folate levels by eating foods that include beans, avocados, and leafy greens. Want to know another name for Folic Acid? Vitamin B-9. 🙂 Gotta get those Bs.


Low levels of zinc in the bloodstream have been tied to depression. Taking a zinc supplement is a good way to be sure that your levels are high enough. Zinc can also help make more omega-3 fatty acids available for the body to use.


5-HTP stands for 5-hydroxytrytophan. This amino acid is known to increase serotonin levels because it is a precursor to serotonin. It also helps prevent serotonin from being absorbed as quickly, which keeps it in your blood longer.


Saffron is a spice made from the Crocus sativus flower. This spice has been used in ancient medicine for many centuries. It is known to improve digestion, mood, and relaxation. Because of this, it is often used to help with symptoms of depression. More research is needed to fully prove of disprove the efficacy of this ingredient though.


Vitamin D is best known for its ability to strengthen your bones and teeth by increasing calcium absorption. But this vitamin also may be able to help with depression and anxiety. It has been found that low levels of vitamin D are often found in people with depression.

The exact reason that this vitamin can help with these symptoms is not known, but it may be able to help neurotransmitters to work better.

The Proper Dosing of Supplements for Depression

The amount of a supplement you should take depends on what ingredients it includes. Following the instructions on the label of your supplement is the best way to determine how much you should take and how often. It is good practice to start at the lower range of a recommended dose to make sure you do not have any negative reactions. Here are a few of the recommended doses for some of the more common ingredients:

St. John’s Wort: 900 milligrams per day divided into three doses

Folic Acid: 7.5 to 30 milligrams per day

SAM-e: 200 to 1,000 milligrams per day

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 250 to 500 milligrams per day

B Vitamins: 1.5 milligrams per day of B-6 and 2.5 micrograms of B-12

Possible Side Effects of Supplements for Depression

The majority of supplements for depression carry very few side effects along with them. Many studies have shown that these natural supplements often have fewer side effects than prescription depression medications. Score a point for supplements! Most supplements, including omega-3s and St. John’s wort, do not have any major side effects.

But there are a few minor side effects that can come with certain supplements. Side effects for SAM-e can include dry mouth, diarrhea, or dizziness. Insomnia can also occur. Taking supplements with B vitamins in them can also cause side effects. Most times, this ingredient is quite harmless when taken in the proper dosages. But in rare instances, you could experience diarrhea, blood clots, or itching.

Because many supplements for depression don’t have any major side effects, and the ones that do often only show up in rare cases, most of them are generally considered safe to take. If you have other health conditions or take other medications, it is good to ask your doctor before taking them. Some of these supplements can interact with other medications and cause health issues. Bad interactions may occur with medications like birth control, blood thinners, or chemotherapy.

Also, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it may be best to not take these supplements. These supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Best Supplements for Depression

Our top 10 list of supplements for depression is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All of our top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high-quality supplement for depression. In addition, all the companies represented on our list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping. This ensures that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final dose.


  1. Timothy J. Legg, PhD Depression: Facts, Statistics, and You HealthLine.com
  2. NIMH Depression National Institute of Mental Health
  3. Debra Rose Wilson, PhD Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements for Depression HealthLine.com
  4. Natalie Ragson Study Links Depression to Low Blood Levels of Acetyl-L-Carnitine Stanford Medicine
  5. Nicole Mori, RN Dietary Supplements for Depression: Risks and Potential Benefits Lidner Center of Hope
  6. Debra Rose Wilson, PhD 6 Herbs and Supplements for Depression HealthLine.com
  7. Nicole Galan Eight Herbs and Supplements for Depression MedicalNewsToday.com

#1 - Mood Complex

The Standout: Contains 300mg of St. John’s Wort

Improving your mood and feeling better can be a long complicated process, or it can be a short and relatively easy step. Nutricost’s Mood Complex takes the confusion out of improving mental health by providing you a solid multivitamin chock full of beneficial vitamins and minerals.

  • 90 Capsules Per Bottle
  • Non-GMO and Gluten Free
  • Includes a B vitamin complex
  • 500IU of Vitamin D
  • 90-Day Money Back Guarantee

There aren’t many top notch supplements out there that will provide you with a solid base in improving mood and relieving stress. Nutricost’s mood complex will provide you with essential vitamins and minerals so you can feel better physically and mentally.

Try Nutricost’s Mood Complex risk free today! We guarantee this product with a 90-day money back guarantee.

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#2 - Zhou CALM NOW

The Standout: Herbal Blend for Mood Boosting and Relaxation

There are many situations where a “chill pill” is necessary, especially if you struggle daily with anxiety and depression. Zhou CALM NOW is a cost effective and all natural option that is guaranteed 100% vegan and cruelty free.

  • 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free
  • 60 Capsules per bottle
  • Contains several forms of B Vitamins
  • Reduce anxiety and boost your mood
  • Money Back Guarantee

It can be easier to take on your daily tasks with CALM NOW. Enjoy the relaxing, focus improving effects of this premium blend of quality ingredients. This contains passion flower, ashwagandha, lemon balm, and so much more!

Take care of your mind and body and give it the support it needs to really feel better.

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#3 - Natrol 5-HTP Time Release Tablets

The Standout: Time Release Tablets

If you’re looking for something quick, but effective in boosting serotonin so you can feel better mentally and physically, Natrol 5-HTP Time Release Tablets will provide you the support you need.

  • Better Sleep and Controlled Appetite
  • Feelings of Calm
  • 100% Drug Free
  • Balance Serotonin Levels
  • All Natural

Although mainly to be used to help improve your mood, stress levels, and comfort 5-HTP is a great way to lose weight appropriately. It will curb your appetite and help you stick to a cleaner and healthier diet!

Feeling better can be easy with Natrol 5-HTP.

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#4 - LES Labs Mood Boost

You can cover all your mood boosting bases with this awesome product! LES Labs’ Mood Boost is chock full of 5-HTP, L-Theanine, and magnesium, which are essentials in promoting mental and physical health! You also have great all natural ingredients like passionflower and ashwagandha root!

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#5 - NutraHerbals’ Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder

Ashwagandha root is recommended as a way to reduce stress and improve mood quickly and without side effects. NutraHerbals’ Organic Ashwagandha Root Powder guarantees that you are getting organic ashwagandha root powder with added pepper to improve absorption. Each capsule is extra strength, with 1200MG per serving!

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#6 - NOW Mood Support

NOW Mood Support is a great supplement to bring into your daily regimen. With commonly used and well known ingredients like, St. John’s Wort, B Vitamins, Calcium, and Magnesium. You can work to improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress efficiently with this awesome product!

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#7 - NatureWise 5-HTP Plus+

5-HTP is one of the leading products for boosting serotonin levels and improving mood and mental well-being. NatureWise 5-HTP Plus+ is a brilliant concoction of 5-HTP and Vitamin B6, the leading vitamin in promoting mental health. This product can not only enhance your overall mood, but help manage serotonin levels, appetite, and a solid sleep schedule!

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#8 - Genius Joy

This Genius formula is built to be a natural rival for antidepressants, and don’t let the price shock you! With the inclusion of SAMe, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola 5Plus, Red Panax Red Ginseng, and a Neurofactor, Genius Joy is the proud brainjoy of the Genius Brand. Learn to hack into your system to improve mood and focus daily with a natural product.

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#9 - Arazo Nutrition 5-HTP

This 5-HTP supplement is a great, non-GMO, drug free, and plant based amino acid that has been built to enhance mood, relaxation, and sleep. Arazo Nutrition 5-HTP is a brilliant way to build up serotonin levels so you can try to move past feelings of depression and anxiety!

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#10 - VitaStrength St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is a #1 recommended ingredient for any mood boosting products. VitaStrength St. John’s Wort is created to give you this awesome, all natural substance so you can start to improve your mood and health. St. John’s Wort is a great way to promote healthy brain chemical balancing where needed!

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