A couple weeks ago, I showed you how depression is linked to Parkinson's disease. I've also told you in the past about the amazing amino acid treatment that can help treat Parkinson's disease. So, naturally, you have to wonder if amino acids can treat depression. And, not surprisingly, the answer is absolutely.
As you may know, your neurotransmitters are heavily involved in your brain function. Amino acids are precursors to your neurotransmitters. So you could surmise that lower levels of amino acids would lead to depleted neurotransmitter function. And that would lead to depression. It sounds logical, but is that how it works?
Back in 1997, a group of researchers wanted to find out. So they studied 15 women who had suffered recurrent episodes of major depression but had recovered. None of the participants were on drug treatment at the time of the study. The researchers gave the patients one of two mixtures in a double-blind crossover design.
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One of the mixtures contained the amino acid tryptophan. The other mixture was identical except it contained no tryptophan. They scored the participants on the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) before and seven hours after drinking each mixture. They also had the women complete hourly self-rated measures of mood during this period. And they took blood samples at baseline and several hours after drinking the mixtures to measure plasma levels of tryptophan.
The researchers found that with the women taking the tryptophan-free mixture, their blood levels of the amino acid were 75% lower than the other group. And, amazingly, 10 of the 15 women experienced temporary but clinically significant symptoms of depression. Their average HAMD scores were significantly higher as well. And those taking the tryptophan mixture didn't experience any changes in mood at all.
The authors of the study said: "We conclude that rapid lowering of brain serotonin function can precipitate clinical depressive symptoms in well, untreated individuals who are vulnerable to major depressive disorder."
So if you struggle with depression at all, it's vital you take steps to support your brain with amino acids. Don't just take tryptophan, as other amino acids help the brain as well. The best formula to do so is Perfect Amino. This is the formulation found to be very effective at treating Parkinson's disease. And these same amino acids are great for protecting your brain against depression and other brain disorders as well.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND
Smith KA, Fairburn CG, Cowen PJ. Relapse of depression after rapid depletion of tryptophan. Lancet 1997;349(9056):915-19.