Buyer’s Guide: The Growing Health Concern of Depression

By Paula Reid

Depression is a growing health problem, and gets much more complicated than being unhappy. Brain chemistry, genetic predisposition, personality, and stress can all lead to effects of depression. The symptoms can range from sleep problems, change of appetite, irritably, trouble concentrating and many more. Given the global burden of depression, awareness of how populations can possibly prevent the development of depression via changes in diet are of potentially great public health significance (Sachez-Villegas, 2009).

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is just one member of the B vitamins are is a and play a key role in supporting the production of red blood cells, protein metabolism and regulation of the nervous system function. Not obtaining enough vitamin B6 can be lead to mental health issues such as depression. Pyridoxal phosphate, which is an active form of vitamin B6 and conducts the same biosynthesis of neurotransmitters—such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid—this means it can flow into the brain easy and conveniently.

EVIDENCE
The link between vitamin B6 and depression has direct correlation to how the brain functions to determine the mood someone is in. According to progressive health Homocysteine is a toxic intermediate of amino acid syntheses, the body requires vitamin B6 to convert homocysteine to the next amino acid or to recycle it back to methionine. Accumulating to much homocysteine can lead to pyridoxine deficieny, which can then lead to damage of the brain and the heart. These impacts have, in turn, been connected to how a person can result in experiencing depression.

The Felsenstein Medical Research Center underwent a study in 2001 that experimented with the anti-depressive effect of pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Nine schizophrenic patients with co-morbid minor depression participated in this study (Shiloh, 2001). Two patients that tested high for symptoms of depression resulted in serious significant improvements in depressive effects.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba have a lifespan of 1,000 years, making it the oldest living tree species. Although Chinese herbal medicine has used both the ginkgo leaf and seed for thousands of years, modern research has focused on the standardized Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Two of the 40 components, flavonoids and terpenoids act as medicine.

EVIDENCE
Since depression is the result of low levels of different neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. Ginkgo biloba is a method that can be used to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. Along with this, gingko biloba improves blood circulation, and incourages oxygen flow in the brain.
In 2000, the journal Human Psycopharmocology: Clinical and Experimental shared a research that experimented with the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on mood and activities of daily life. The study lasted during a 4-month duration, after which they come to the conclusion that there were advantages in mood and sleep in participants. Ultimately linking GBE with the capability to improve someone’s depressive state.