Supplements for Bipolar Disorder

The word “supplement” can cover a wide range of products, from pills and tablets to dietary and health aids. It can also refer to basic daily multivitamins and fish oil tablets, or more exotic things like ginkgo and kava.

Some supplements can be useful for boosting daily nutrition. Others, like St. John’s wort, kava, and ginkgo, have been marketed as antidepressants. Still others are believed to help with the function of the brain and the nervous system.

How do supplements fit into bipolar treatment?

There’s no consensus on the usefulness of supplements in the direct treatment of bipolar disorder. Some see them as an option, while others think they’re a waste of time and money.

For instance, while there’s some evidence that St. John’s wort may have some effect on minor or moderate depression, there’s little that supports its usefulness for major depression.

How do supplements work?

Some supplements, like multivitamins and fish oil capsules, are meant to prevent deficiencies of certain substances in the body. Links have been made between mood swings and deficiencies in necessary substances like B vitamins.

Others are marketed as antidepressants or sleep aids, but there are mixed opinions on their effectiveness and safety. Because of this, it’s important to let your doctor know before you start taking any kind of supplement.

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