A Brighter Future
Such supplements represent the mood and cognitive-health sector’s promise. All the same, headwinds remain. Regulations, Myers says, “make it a challenge to go head-to-head with pharmaceuticals.” And skepticism that the products are “too good to be true,” she adds, “hovers like a ghost in any conversation you have with the public at large.” To contend with that skepticism, she suggests “building trust and talking about research to keep the message strong and reach people who need high-quality natural products that work.”
Supplement users themselves should keep their expectations in check—and be patient. “Consumers need to understand that supplements don’t always work as quickly as prescription medications,” Dolnick points out. “And I think that’s the biggest issue for the consumer.”
That and reluctance to admit the need for help. “I think there is still a lot of stigma about depression and anxiety out there, and it can prevent people from seeking the professional help they need,” Myers says. “I urge anyone to talk to a professional about the concerns they are facing. If you’re dealing with depression or anxiety, it doesn’t just affect you—it affects everyone you love, work with, or meet during the day.”
One thing is clear: there is a need for help. As Sabinsa’s Pande points out, “Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, with 6.7% of people suffering from it every year due to different reasons, according to NIH data. Stress takes its toll, too—on the body, cognitive health, and EQ, or ‘emotional quotient.’” That means we’ll need all the arrows in the mental-health quiver—counseling and pharmaceuticals, yes, but mood-boosting nutritional supplements and the occasional weekend getaway, as well—to help people cope.
- Lopresti AL et al., “Curcumin and major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the potential of peripheral biomarkers to predict treatment response and antidepressant mechanisms of change,” European Neuropsychopharmacology,vol. 25, no. 1 (January 2015): 38-50
- Panahi Y et al., “Investigation of the efficacy of adjunctive therapy with bioavailability-boosted curcuminoids in major depressive disorder,” Phytotherapy Research,vol. 29, no. 1 (January 2015): 17–21
- The New York TimesHealth Guide: Stress and Anxiety, www.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/stress-and-anxiety/possible-complications.html
- The Congressional Prevention Coalition; Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, http://istpp.org/coalition/
- Terburg D et al., “Acute effects of Sceletium tortuosum(Zembrin), a dual 5-HT reuptake and PDE4 inhibitor, in the human amygdala and its connection to the hypothalamus,” Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 38, no. 13 (December 2013): 2708-2716
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Edited by Quinn Williams.