How Complementary and Alternative Medicine Affects Depression

  • Kaitlyn Shults

Abstract

With the prevalence of depression in modern day society, it is no surprise that people are turning to several kinds of treatment. Many people have experienced unpleasant side effects with traditional antidepressants and their disenchantment has led them to explore other methods, specifically alternative and complementary medicine. Interestingly, many depressed individuals have been found to have nutritional deficiencies. This research paper examines three supplements specifically, omega-3 fatty acids, s-adenosylmethionine, and St. John’s Wort. Examination of omega-3 fatty acid found little efficacy for the treatment of depression, but pointed towards a need for more extensive and unbiased research. However, side effects are generally mild. On the other hand s-adenosylmethionine showed positive outcomes in the treatment of depression, but more long-term trials are needed. Side effects for this drug also proved to be fairly mild. Lastly, the efficacy of St. John’s Wort in the treatment of depression also proved to be debatable. Though the trials ran were fairly successful and showed promising outcomes, there was also a large potential of bias due to cultural beliefs. Overall, these three supplements proved to have somewhat positive results and mild side effects, but unveiled a need for more extensive research. The purpose of this research paper is to bring awareness to the different CAM supplements people seek in pursuit of treating depression, including evidence-based outcomes related to efficacy and potential side effects.

Published
2018-05-07
Section
Human Ecology