There are an estimated 121 million people worldwide currently suffering from depression, and at least 10 percent of U.S. residents will experience this issue at some point in their life. Therefore, it is not surprising that antidepressants have become such a commonplace medication. Although these prescription drugs can help people, there are also many undesirable side effects associated with them such as sexual dysfunction, irritability, dry mouth and insomnia. Nootropics cannot be expected to take the place of an antidepressant for someone who has a serious mental illness, but there are a few natural supplement options available that have been clinically shown to reduce the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety without producing additional complications.
Picking a single nootropic as the best alternative to antidepressants is not easy, so we will provide a list of some of the most popular options instead. After you review the information that has been compiled from medical studies and user reviews, it should be much easier to pick a supplement that has the potential to help you manage depression and anxiety.
- Aniracetam – This member of the racetam family has been studied extensively to help determine its antidepressant and anxiety reducing potential. In one trial, test subjects experienced some of the same positive benefits from Aniracetam that they would receive from an antidepressant. Small doses of this nootropic have also been demonstrated during medical research to offer an increase in social interaction among test subjects that typically exhibit social anxiety.
- L-Theanine – Researchers have turned their attention to L-Theanine as a potential treatment for anxiety, and the results have been promising. In 2011, patients with schizophrenia showcased improvements in many categories, including reduced anxiety and a mood boost. L-Theanine is also believed to offer an enhanced relaxation effect during normal conditions, but it may not be the best nootropic to take if you are dealing with high anxiety situations.
- Coluracetam – This nootropic was originally designed by a pharmaceutical company with the intention of becoming a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Although it was not ultimately put to use for this specific purpose, there have been some very promising clinical trials into Coluracetam’s potential as an antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. In fact, research indicates that test patients with general anxiety disorder and comorbid major depressive disorder reported much higher benefits from Coluracetam than prescription drugs. There also appear to be minimal to no side effects associated with taking this supplement, which makes it an intriguing option for people who have issues taking traditional antidepressants.
- Noopept – If you have more problems with anxiety than depression, you may get the best results from Noopept. Numerous studies verify this nootropic’s ability to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. For example, Noopept was observed reducing postnatal anxiety and general anxiety levels in multiple test subjects.
- Taurine – A very intriguing study was published earlier this year that highlights Taurine’s antidepressant effect on test subjects with diabetes. Although this study was conducted with rats, it does give a good indication that Taurine could potentially be utilized as a naturally occurring antidepressant.
- Citicoline – The effects of this nootropic on depression were studied with test patients who suffer from bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or drug addiction. Within 12 weeks, there was a 28 point improvement among the test group, and this means that Citicoline appears to have the ability to dramatically reduce the symptoms associated with bipolar and major depressive disorder.
Ultimately, the best nootropic for your particular needs will vary based on your chemical makeup and how well you tolerate each supplement. However, based on the research that has already been conducted, there are several options available that could help you with depression and anxiety. Coluracetam appears to be leading the field in regards to its reported ability to combat depression without causing a lot of negative side effects. Citicoline also looks very promising.
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Adding any of these nootropics to your stack may be beneficial, but make sure that you do not ignore your physician’s advice if you have a serious mental illness. People who have occasional or mild issues with anxiety or depression might find that one of these supplements is strong enough to help them avoid taking a traditional antidepressant or they might even be able to use a combination to achieve better results.
Medical Disclaimer: We make no warranty regarding the accuracy of any information provided. This article is provided for informational purpose only. This is not medical advice. Always ask your doctor for any medical treatment.