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of the The Nutritional Therapy Institute Clinic

(formerly The Recovery Systems Clinic)

Safe Alternatives to Antidepressants Prove Effective:
Scientific Evidence

The natural alternatives to antidepressants described in the Mood Cure and on this site have been recognized and explored since the 1970's because they quickly and safely raise serotonin levels. Serotonin deficiency is the most common cause of depression and anxiety,
so increasing serotonin is essential for a cure.

Here is a compilation of links to research supporting the effectiveness of the nutritional antidepressants advocated here as well as the effectiveness of exercise and therapeutic 
lights (which should be used along with the nutrients if needed).


A-1. Amino Acid Supplements Are Effective As Antidepressants: Two Amino Acids Raise Levels of the Brains Primary Antidepressant Neurotransmitter Serotonin

A functional-dimensional approach to depression: Serotonin deficiancy as a target syndrome in comparison of 5HTP and fluoxamine

Enhancement in extracellular serotonin levels by 5HTP after administration of WAY 100635 
and fluoxetine

5-Hydroxytryptophan: a review of its antidepressant efficacy and adverse effects.

Use of neurotransmitter precursors for treatment of depression.
Full Text Article

The role of serotonin in human mood and social interaction. Insight from altered tryptophan levels

A-2. The Amino Acid L-Tyrosine Raises Levels of the Brains Secondary Antidepressant Neurotransmitter, Norepinephrine

Plasma levels and membrane transports in red blood cell of tyrosine and tryptophane in depression. Evaluation at baseline and recovery

Tyrosine for depression

Tyrosine loading enhances catecholamine excretion by rats

Neurochemical and behavioral consequences of acute, uncontrollable stress: effects of 
dietary tyrosine

Tyrosine and its potential use as a countermeasure to performance decrement in military sustained operations

B. High Carb, Low Protein, Low Fat, Low Calorie Diets Contribute to Depression

American Psychiatric Association 2004 Annual Meeting-The Application of Nutrition to Psychiatric Illness
**requires acquiring a free login and password to Medscape**

Fish consumption and major depression.

Alterations in mood after changing to a low-fat diet.

Impaired regulation of brain serotonin function during dieting in women recovered from depression

Low dietary protein is associated with an increase in food intake and a decrease in the in 
vitro release of radiolabeled glutamate and *GABA from the lateral hypothalamus.
(*GABA is the primary calming, anti-stress neurotransmitter)

American Psychiatric Association 2004 Effects of dietary tryptophan variations on extracellular serotonin in the dorsal hippocampus of rats.

Effect of amino acid supplementation to low protein diet on brain and plasma levels of tryptophan and brain 5-hydroxyindoles in rats.

The role of nutritional factors on the structure and function of the brain: an update on dietary requirements.

Association of Western and traditional diets with depression and anxiety in women.

C. Amino Acids Benefit Winter Depression

L-tryptophan augmentation of light therapy in patients with seasonal affective disorder.

Current perspectives on the management of seasonal affective disorder

D. Amino acids are routinely combined with antidepressants to improve results in Great Britain

The 'dalhousie serotonin cocktail' for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.
Full Text Article
(autodownloads and displays in PDF format)

Pharmacological choices after one antidepressant fails: a survey of UK psychiatrists.

Management of depression with serotonin precursors.

E. The Herb St. John's wort Is An Effective Antidepressant

Equivalence of St John's wort extract (Ze 117) and fluoxetine: a randomized, controlled study in mild-moderate depression.

Comparison of an extract of hypericum (LI 160) and sertraline in the treatment of depression: a double-blind, randomized pilot study.

Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months.
Full Text Article

Bright morning light reduced depressive symptoms in seasonal affective disorder.

Management of depression with serotonin precursors.

F. Omega-3 Fats Have Potent Antidepressant Effects

A dose-ranging study of the effects of ethyl-eicosapentaenoate in patients with ongoing depression despite apparently adequate treatment with standard drugs.

Addition of omega-3 fatty acid to maintenance medication treatment for recurrent unipolar depressive disorder.

The treatment of depression in general practice: a comparison of L-tryptophan, amitriptyline, and a combination of L-tryptophan and amitriptyline with placebo.

G. Research Review on All of the Above Natural Antidepressant Strategies

Selected integrative medicine treatments for depression: considerations for women.

H. Psychotherapy is an Effective Treatment for Depression

Cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy as a maintenance treatment for chronic depression.

School-based prevention of depressive symptoms in adolescents: a 6-month follow-up

Differential responses to psychotherapy versus pharmacotherapy in patients with chronic forms of major depression and childhood trauma.

I. Exercise and Bright Light Are Effective Antidepressants

Effects of fluoxetine versus bright light in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.

Mood and energy regulation in seasonal and non-seasonal depression before and after midday treatment with physical exercise or bright light.

Exercise treatment for major depression: maintenance of therapeutic benefit at 10 months.
Full Text Article

Bright morning light reduced depressive symptoms in seasonal affective disorder.

Management of depression with serotonin precursors.

J. Some Vitamins Have Powerful Antidepressant Effects

Vitamin D vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.

Folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine in major depressive disorder.

Nutrition and depression: the role of folate.

Alterations in serotonin parameters in brain of thiamine-deficient rats are evident prior to the appearance of neurological symptoms

Management of depression with serotonin precursors.