One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem over the course of a year . Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, with the World Health Organisation estimating that around 350 million people worldwide experience it at any one time . Major depression is also thought to be the second leading cause of disability globally . A common question for those experiencing depression, as well as those who treat them, is how symptoms can be successfully alleviated. Could a new approach to supplements help?
What is depression?
Everyone experiences periods of low mood at some time or another in their lives, through major life events such as bereavement, illness, relationship breakdown, amongst other strains and stresses of life. Depression is characterised by a period of sustained low mood that has an effect on everyday life. Thought to stem from a complex mix of social, biological and psychological factors, there are also numerous complicated interrelationships between physical and mental health, where having a physical condition may contribute to the symptoms of depression, and vice versa.
Still the subject of huge amounts of ongoing research, recognised treatments for depression vary widely. Healthcare providers may offer a range of psychological treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) and antidepressant medication (including the commonly known selective serotonin repute inhibitors - or SSRIs). When they are used, healthcare professionals must strike a fine balance between the use of antidepressants and their side effects.
How do SSRIs work?
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are one of the most widely used types of antidepressant medication. Mainly prescribed to treat persistent or particularly severe depression, they are also commonly used alongside a talking therapy like CBT. They generally have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressant, hence their widespread use.
SSRIs are thought to work by boosting the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter - a chemical go-between that carries signals between different nerve cells in the brain - which influences your mood, emotion and sleep. Once a message has been carried, serotonin is normally reabsorbed by nerve cells, a process known as "reuptake". SSRIs block this process of reabsorption so that more serotonin is available to transmit further messages between nerve cells close by. While research continues to emphasise that there are other factors to consider alongside low sevels of serotonin when examining what causes depression, increasing serotonin in the brain can improve the symptoms many people experience and contribute to the effectiveness of other types of treatment.
Does 5-htp work?
5-htp (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a pre-cursor to serotonin (otherwise known chemically as 5-HT). Put simply, when taken as a supplement, it interacts with an enzyme which strips off part of the molecule to leave behind serotonin. Several clinical research studies have identified that taking 5-htp as a dietary supplement can improve the symptoms of depression, even suggesting that it may be as effective as conventional antidepressants for some people .
we use 102.5mg of 100% naturally derived 5-htp, packed into each tablet without using unnecessary bulking agents. At brain feed, your health and wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do. We believe in natural, safe, functional nutrients and herbal medicines that are grounded in scientific data. Our products are the highest quality extracts, taken from sustainable sources – in this case, from griffonia seeds. We have a complete audit trail to validate strength, volume and best before dates to provide reliable and consistent products every time.
Used clinically to treat depression for over 30 years, 5-htp is effective because it works to boost the amount of serotonin in the brain which is thought to in turn improve the way the brain processes emotion, mood and sleep , as acknowleged by celebrities including Hollywood actor Jim Carey. brain feed's market-leading premium 5-htp supplements are twice the strength of the high-street favourites Holland & Barrett and MyProtein, helping you to boost your mood in an easy-to-swallow, naturally derived tablet.
The UK’s premium supplier, brain feed put your health and wellbeing front and centre of product design, using 100% naturally derived ingredients to drive results grounded in science. Made from the highest quality extracts taken from sustainable sources – in this case, from griffonia seeds.
5-htp works on the serotonergic pathway which regulates sleep, appetite and stress so it is more than simply an option for a depressed mood. It’s great for those wishing to maintain health and enhance performance. To find out more about 5-htp click here.
 Iovieno, N., Dalton, E. D., Fava, M., and Mischoulon, D. Second-tier natural antidepressants: review and critique. J Affect.Disord. 2011;130(3):343-357.
 Nolen, W. A., van de Putte, J. J., Dijken, W. A., Kamp, J. S., Blansjaar, B. A., Kramer, H. J., and Haffmans, J. Treatment strategy in depression. II. MAO inhibitors in depression resistant to cyclic antidepressants: two controlled crossover studies with tranylcypromine versus L-5-hydroxytryptophan and nomifensine. Acta Psychiatr.Scand 1988;78(6):676-683.
 Quadbeck, H., Lehmann, E., and Tegeler, J. Comparison of the antidepressant action of tryptophan, tryptophan/5- hydroxytryptophan combination and nomifensine. Neuropsychobiology 1984;11(2):111-115.