Amino Acids

Treating Depression with Amino Acids

We could say that there are three types of depression.

1 – The depression caused by lack of certain nutrients that cause biochemical imbalances. Among them, the most common are due to the lack of certain amino acids which are as follows;

i – Deficiency of Tryptophan

Tryptophan is converted into serotonin, whose deficiency can cause a type of depression characterized by sadness, irritability or aggressive outbursts, anxiety, sleep problems and obsessions.

ii – Tyrosine Deficiency

It is characterized by apathy and lack of energy.

iii – Phenylalanine Deficiency

It produces a deficiency of endorphins that causes a type of depression characterized by hypersensitivity to recover from stress problems that make life become very painful and troublesome.

Amino acids come from protein, mainly of animal origin such as meat, fish, eggs or dairy products. In cases of deficiencies, they can be purchased in health food, although it is important to make a healthy, varied diet rich in protein that allows you to stop taking these amino acids once recovered.

2 – The psychological causes of depression.

3 – Depression due to a general medical condition such as hypothyroidism.

Therefore, the first step, when you feel depressed, should ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs, whether amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, etc.

Many antidepressants such as Prozac operate to produce an increase in brain serotonin.

What they do is to prevent serotonin reuptake, hence are called selective reuptake inhibitors of serotonin or SSRIs, to prevent serotonin that is available to be captured and be destroyed, so it is used over and again in the brain, producing an artificial increase.

The problem is that, among other side effects, Prozac ultimately produces a decrease in serotonin receptors, which would, without the drug, lower your serotonin to dangerous level.

By contrast, the tryptophan makes your body to have has the ‘raw material’ enough to make all your brain needs of serotonin at all times. Tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted into serotonin. Both tryptophan and 5-HTP (and other amino acids) can be purchased in health foods.

Why then doctors prescribe SSRIs instead of 5-HTP or other amino acids?

On the one hand, there is great ignorance among doctors of any treatment other than the drug and are often not trained in nutrition or orthomolecular medicine (one that uses nutrients such as vitamins, amino acids and others in high doses to treat). In medical school, it is also often not given importance to these aspects.

SSRIs, in the hands of the powerful pharmaceutical companies, move a lot of money. They require a prescription for their use and, therefore, prescribed by a doctor and can be patented and owned. By contrast, the tryptophan does not belong to anyone, since it is made by nature, so that cannot be patented, and does not need the intervention of a doctor to be acquired, even go to a pharmacy or a doctor. For more info and health tips, you can visit Mens Weekly.

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