Dietary Supplementation for Symptom Alleviation of Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder, also known as clinical depression, is a mental disorder that is marked by a variety of debilitating symptoms, including feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts or tendencies. MDD is also characterized by its inflammatory properties, and research has shown the presence of vitamin D receptors in the brain. Currently, antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed treatment for symptom alleviation. For these reasons, anti-inflammatory food sources or supplementations can be considered as alternative methods of reducing symptoms related to MDD. This study conducted a systematic review of relevant interventions and found a moderate-to-large effect of supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D for reducing symptoms related to MDD. These dietary supplements were well-tolerated and had fewer side effects than commonly prescribed antidepressants. Use of dietary supplements for symptom alleviation of MDD can also work to improve the overall health of the individual, however, more focused research is necessary to determine optimal dosages and time frames.