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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Aug;16(8):456. doi: 10.1007/s11920-014-0456-x.

Natural products and supplements for geriatric depression and cognitive disorders: an evaluation of the research.

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VA Long Beach Health Care System, 5901 East 7th Street, Long Beach, CA, 90822, USA,


Numerous geriatric patients are using Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for late-life mood and cognitive disorders. Natural products and supplements are a common CAM intervention which have risks and benefits of which patients should be appropriately advised. The data for omega-3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba, SAMe, St John's wort, B vitamins and vitamin D, huperzine, caprylidene, and coconut oil will be evaluated. Since the evidence basis for natural products and supplements is limited, especially for the geriatric population, studies involving the general adult population are included to infer effects in the aging population. Despite the data available, more rigorous studies with larger sample sizes over longer periods of time are still needed. Regardless of a physician's preference to recommend various natural supplements and products, a physician could protect their patients by having an understanding of the side effects and indications for various natural products.

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