(Natural News) Current agricultural techniques have made it virtually impossible for you to gain all the nutrients your body needs from food alone. Even if you were to grow your own food, nutritionists still recommend supplementing your diet with a high-quality multivitamin and mineral formula to guard against nutritional deficiencies. The benefits of supplementing with a multivitamin are endless, but one effect that is not yet well-known is how these vitamins can dramatically improve neurocognitive function.
A relatively recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism concluded that supplementing your diet with a multivitamin can positively impact mood and functional brain activity – in as little as four weeks. These findings suggest not only the efficacy of proper multivitamin supplementation but how quickly the body responds to it.
Fifty-eight healthy adults participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Each participant’s blood biomarkers and brain activity were assessed at baseline and after four weeks of multivitamin supplementation. The researchers observed that after the experiment period, participants who took a multivitamin daily had higher levels of B-vitamins in their system along with a significantly lowered homocysteine count. These measurements are normally indicative of a healthy mental well-being. This was further highlighted when participants scored lower on the depression-dejection subscale of the Profile of Mood States after four weeks.
The authors were likewise astounded that such dramatic effects could be observed after only a month of supplementation. It is hypothesized that continual use would have an enhanced cumulative effect.
Using nutrition to beat the blues
We are only slowly beginning to understand just how important nutrition is to our mental health. What we eat is directly correlated to what we feel. It is no wonder, then, why biting into that chocolate bar immediately boosts our mood. Compounds found in dark chocolate aid in the production of feel-good hormones. It must be recognized that “alternative” medicine (if food indeed can be classified as such) is a safer way to improve your health.
Consider these natural supplements to improve your mental health:
- Folic acid — Studies have shown that folic acid (a B-vitamin) can relieve certain symptoms of depression, particularly women suffering from the post-partum variety.
- S-adenosyl-L-methionine — Known as SAMe, the substance helps regulate mood by allowing for the steady production of several neurotransmitters involved in mental stability.
- Gingko biloba — The herbal supplement has been shown to improve symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown to be useful in alleviating antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.
- Valerian — Unlike benzodiazepines, the herb can relieve anxiety and sleep problems without the associated side effects.
- Omega-3 fatty acids — Data prove the positive interaction between the fatty acid and mental health. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially useful for the elderly and people with multiple medical conditions. This is because the supplement is potent while having limited interaction with other medicines.
- St. John’s Wort — One of the more popular alternative remedies for depression, St. John’s Wort has been shown to help people with mild or moderate symptoms of the mental disorder. It is not recommended for those with severe forms of the disease, however.
- Melatonin — The supplement can improve the sleep quality in people with schizophrenia, major depression, and those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Remember that taking too much of anything is bad for your health. The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned consumers to never combine or abuse supplements. It is best to speak with a healthcare provider before substituting supplements.
Do your research as well! Remember that because these are natural supplements, you may not experience the effect until after a few months. However, the effects are usually longer-lasting.
Read more articles related to supplements at SupplementsReports.news.