So, if you are moody and looking for that missing piece of the puzzle, take a look at your diet. Get to the root of the problem and determine if you have a food sensitivity, excessive sugar intake, leaky gut and/or missing nutrients in your diet. If you feel as though you have the right diet then you might find the boost in mood you need with supplements.
Our understanding of the beneficial bacteria that lives in our intestines is beginning to flourish. There are a variety of different types. Two specific types were studied Lactobicillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum. During a double blind, placebo controlled study, researchers found that these probiotics when taken for as little as two weeks had a beneficial impact on mood. (1) This is not surprising as there are almost as many nerves that go to the gut as there are in the brain! Our guts even have their own chemical messengers, a lot of complex communication occurs there.
In a double-blind placebo controlled study this plant extract improved the participants overall symptoms of depression, insomnia and emotional instability but not self-esteem. (2)
In a meta-analysis of literature the active part of turmeric, curcumin was found to reduce depression in those with major-depressive disorder. (3) This may be due to its powerful anti-inflammatory ability to protect cells of the nervous system.
People with anxiety and depression have been found to be low in a neurotransmitter GABA. (4) There is not extensive evidence that supplementing with GABA can increase the amount in the brain, although some people claim that they get relief from anxiety and depression with supplements.
Green tea provides an amino acid, L-theanine. During a randomized double blind, placebo controlled study researchers determined that participants who drank 197 milligrams of L-theanine in 14.5 ounces had reduction in stress hormone production. This may be due to increase in dopamine, GABA and protective effect on nerve cells. (5)
Magnolia, passionflower extract, lavender among others’ are used to help moderate moodiness. Honor yourself by making mood matter-there are a variety of therapies available, let food be one of them. Plant based nutrients called phytonutrients are found in berries, citrus fruit, green tea, turmeric, rosemary, ginger, sage, garlic and onions and have protective benefits on the cells of our brains because of their powerful ability to help the body detox and repair DNA.
- Messaoudi, M., Lalonde, R., Violle, N., Javelot, H., Desor, D., Nejdi, A., . . . Cazaubiel, J. (2011). Assessment of psychotropic-like properties of a probiotic formulation (Lactobacillus helveticus R0052 and Bifidobacterium longum R0175) in rats and human subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 105(5), 755-764. doi:10.1017/S0007114510004319
- Clinical trial of Rhodiola rosea L. extract SHR-5 in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. Darbinyan, G. Aslanyan, E. Amroyan, E. Gabrielyan, C. Malmström, and A. Panossian. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 61 , Iss. 5,2007
- Al-Karawi, D., Al Mamoori, D. A., and Tayyar, Y. (2016) The Role of Curcumin Administration in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: Mini Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials. Phytother. Res., 30: 175–183. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5524.
- Hanns Möhler, The GABA system in anxiety and depression and its therapeutic potential, Neuropharmacology, Volume 62, Issue 1, 2012, Pages 42-53, ISSN 0028-3908, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.08.040.
- White, D. J., de Klerk, S., Woods, W., Gondalia, S., Noonan, C., & Scholey, A. B. (2016). Anti-Stress, Behavioural and Magnetoencephalography Effects of an l-Theanine-Based Nutrient Drink: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial. Nutrients, 8(1), 53. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8010053