Popular Articles

6 Supplements That Might Really Work

in General on March 22, 2013 .

 

If you have a little extra room in your daily pill case and want to make the most of it, trying some supplements might be the thing to do. The tricky thing about supplements is that no one particular manufacturer owns the rights to them, so no one wants to pay to prove that they actually work. Why? Because if they are proven to work, and your company paid for it, a competitor can just swoop in and reap the rewards. This isn't the case if you discover a NEW medication, though, because you can patent it. We at PillContainers.Com think that Sharing is Caring and we've looked to Harvard Health Publications to bring you 6 secret supplements that really do the trick. Some might even work better than their extremely expensive cousins!

 

1. Folic Acid - Buy Folic Acid Here from Amazon

 

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and fortified breads and cereals.

 

It’s for Depression. Folic acid supplements can boost symptom relief when combined with prescription depression regimens—especially in women. Federal guidelines recommend 400 micrograms (mcg) per day of folic acid for adults. This is the amount in a standard multiple vitamin. Some research suggests that women of childbearing age should take 800 mcg per day. This amount can be achieved through a healthy diet and a daily multivitamin. The usual dosage of L-methylfolate is 15 milligrams (mg) per day when combined with antidepressants.

 

Folic acid supplements won’t work as a stand-alone treatment for depression. Do not take more than the safe upper limit of 1,000 mcg of folic acid per day.

 

2. SAMe - Buy SAMe Here from Amazon

 

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a substance made naturally in the body that boosts production of several neurotransmitters—chemical messengers in the brain—involved in regulation of mood.

 

It’s for Depression. Used on its own, SAMe works as well as older tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). As an add-on treatment, it can boost the effectiveness of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI).

 

Adults may benefit from 400 to 1,600 mg per day, although some people will need to take 3,000 mg per day to alleviate symptoms.

 

Combining SAMe with an antidepressant is safe, for the most part, but in very rare cases may cause serotonin syndrome—a potentially deadly complication that causes agitation, anxiety, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and palpitations. SAMe can also trigger mania in people with bipolar disorder.

 

3. Valerian - Buy Valerian Here from Drugstore.Com

 

This herb is derived form the root of a pink flower, Valeriana officinalis.

 

It’s for Anxiety and sleep problems. Valerian may be an option for older adults, as it does not cause as many memory and thinking problems as benzodiazepines (sedative medications) do. Valerian may also help children who have problems falling asleep and may reduce anxiety and improve sleep in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 

Adults can take 450 to 600 mg per day. Check with a doctor about dosing for children.

 

Valerian often causes headaches and upset stomach. It is not clear whether this herb is safe to use during pregnancy, as it has not been studied for this use. Valerian takes a while to work, so it is not a quick fix for insomnia.

 

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Buy Omega-3 Here from Drugstore.Com

 

These naturally occurring fatty acids are most abundant in cold-water sea creatures such as salmon, sardines, krill and anchovies. People who can’t eat fish can also obtain them in fish oil capsules. Look for supplements that contain both EPA and DHA.

 

It’s for Bipolar depression and major depression. Omega-3 supplements may boost the effectiveness of antidepressants. These supplements may provide a stand-alone treatment option for people concerned about side effects of antidepressants, such as older adults, people with multiple medical conditions, and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. In people with bipolar disorder, omega-3 fats may be helpful for treating depression, but can trigger mania, so it’s important to take these supplements along with a mood stabilizer.

 

Like the American Heart Association (which recommends omega-3 fats as a good way to protect against heart disease), the American Psychiatric Association recommends that all adults consume fish at least twice a week. Individuals with mood, impulse control, or psychotic disorders should take a daily 1- to 2-gram supplement containing both EPA and DHA.

 

Additional omega-3 fatty acid supplements may be helpful for people with depression, but don’t exceed 3 grams per day, as this increases risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and stomach upset.

 

5. St. John's Wort - Buy St. John's Wort Here from Puritan.Com

 

This herbal supplement is produced from an extract of the plant Hypericum perforatum.

 

It’s for Depression. Used on its own, St. John’s wort may help people with mild or moderate symptoms of depression, but is unlikely to help those with severe symptoms. St. John’s wort may also be an alternative to medication for children and adolescents.

 

Adults can take 900 to 1,800 mg in a 24-hour period, ideally by taking two or three capsules over the course of a day.

 

St. John’s wort can reduce the effectiveness of many drugs, so check with your doctor before using it. Do not take with an antidepressant, as the combination can cause serotonin syndrome—a rare but potentially deadly complication that causes agitation, anxiety, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and palpitations.

 

6. Melatonin - Buy Melatonin Here from Puritan.Com

 

This naturally occurring substance regulates circadian rhythms in the body, such as the sleep/wake cycle.

 

It’s for Sleep problems. Melatonin improves sleep quality in people with schizophrenia, major depression, and seasonal affective disorder. This supplement may be an alternative to drugs, especially for children and the elderly.

 

Dosages of 0.25 to 0.3 mg per day can improve sleep.

 

Begin with low doses of Melatonin, as taking too much can cause daytime sleepiness or confusion. Read product labels, as some preparations contain as much as 5 mg of melatonin per pill.