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J Affect Disord. 2015 Aug 1;181:24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2015.04.014. Epub 2015 Apr 13.

A review of nutrient treatments for paediatric depression.

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School of Psychology and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia 6150, Australia. Electronic address:


Paediatric depression is estimated to affect 15-20% of youths prior to adulthood and is associated with significant social, educational and physical impairment. Current treatments comprise moderately efficacious psychological therapies and pharmaceutical antidepressants. However, nutritional therapies are also available and are regularly sought by people with depressive illnesses and parents of depressed youths. In this narrative review, studies examining the antidepressant effects of individual nutritional supplements in child and adolescent populations are appraised. Epidemiological studies examining the relationship between nutritional status and paediatric depression, or depressive symptoms are also reviewed. Nutrients covered in this article include: omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, s-adenosylmethionine, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, iron and B-vitamins. Although several of these nutrients present as promising treatments for paediatric depression, there is a lack of high-quality studies examining the antidepressant effects of all the aforementioned ingredients. Before nutritional treatments are accepted as validated treatments for paediatric depression, further high-quality studies are required.


Childhood depression; Nutraceuticals; Nutrients; Paediatric depression; Review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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