Send to

Choose Destination
Australas Psychiatry. 2017 Aug;25(4):369-372. doi: 10.1177/1039856216689533. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

Clinical use of nutraceuticals in the adjunctive treatment of depression in mood disorders.

Author information

Professor of Integrative Mental Health, NICM, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, NSW, and; Principal Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry, The Melbourne Clinic, Professorial Unit, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.



The aim of this paper is to detail a summary of the current evidence in this area, to better inform clinical practice. Our recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses of nutrient pharmacotherapies in the treatment unipolar depression revealed primarily positive results for replicated studies testing S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), methylfolate, omega-3 (EPA or ethyl-EPA), and Vitamin D; with supportive isolated studies found for creatine and an amino acid combination. Mixed results were found for zinc, folic acid, Vitamin C, and tryptophan; and non-significant study results for inositol. In bipolar depression, omega-3 and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) were found to have supportive evidence, with an isolated study using a chelated mineral formula also displaying efficacy. No major adverse effects were noted in the studies (aside from occasional minor digestive disturbances with omega-3 and NAC).


Several clinical considerations are needed when psychiatrists are considering prescribing nutrients, including knowledge of drug interactions, supplement safety and quality issues, individual psychological and biochemical individualities, in addition to cost factors.


N-acetyl cysteine; SAMe; bipolar disorder; depression; folic acid; major depressive disorder; mood; nutraceutical; nutrient; omega 3; supplement


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center