Narang RL, Gupta, KR: Levels of copper and zinc in depression. Indian J of Physiol Pharmacol 1991;35(4):272-4. Review of a study undertaken to estimate blood copper and zinc levels in depressed patients. Results of the study indicated that copper levels in depressed patients were significantly higher prior to recovery. Zinc levels in depressed patients were also shown to be higher prior to recovery.

McLoughlin IJ, Hodge JS: Zinc in depressive disorder. Acta Psychiatr Scand1990; 82(6):451-3. Zinc levels in blood plasma were measured in patients with depressive disorder on admission to the hospital for treatment. When measured against a control group of age and gender matched individuals, significant increase in the levels of zinc were detected.

Miller HL, et al.: Acute tryptophan depletion: a method of studying antidepressant action. J Clin Psychiatry 1992; 53 Suppl: 28-35. A study undertaken by Yale University provides information on the role of tryptophan, an amino acid, and depression. Depressed patients in the study, after having been in clinical remission, experienced a relapse during depletion of tryptophan. Further study showed an improvement of their mood upon a return to normal tryptophan intake.

Boman B: L-tryptophan: A rational anti-depressant and a natural hypnotic? Aust N Z J Psychiatry 1988; 22(1)83-97. A paper that examines the essential amino acid, L-tryptophan, and the role it plays in the biochemistry of sleep. It suggests that tryptophan may be a useful treatment in mild cases of depression and in cases of bipolar disorder resistant to standard treatment. The article includes a review of clinical trials conducted using tryptophan with beneficial results.

Levine J, Stein D: High serum and cerebrospinal fluid Ca/Mg ratio in recently hospitalized acutely depressed patients. Neuropsychobiology 1999; 39(2):63-70. To support evidence that high calcium and low levels of magnesium are associated with depression, a study was undertaken to measure levels of these elements in both depressed patients and a control group. Results provided information showing elevated levels of calcium and magnesium in the depressed patients compared with the control group members.

Birkmayer JGD, Birkmayer W: The coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) as a biological antidepressive agent. New Trends in Clinical Neuropharmacology 1992; 6:1-7. To determine whether supplementation with the coenzyme NADH may be of some benefit in the treatment of depression, 200 patients with various clinical symptoms were studied. The patients with all forms of depression responded positively to the supplement, some to a greater degree than others.

Hibbeln JR, et al.: Do plasma polyunsaturates predict hostility and violence? World Rev Nutr Diet 1996; 82:175-86. Focusing on low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood, this study predicted that low concentrations of these essential acids are strongly associated with depression and suicide. Supplementation is suggested to be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms.

Fugh-Berman A, Cott JM: Dietary supplements and natural products as psychotherapeutic agents. Psychosom Med 1999; 61(5):712-28. A study which supports evidence that vitamins and amino acids, when used with conventional antidepressants, enhances their effectiveness. The mood stabilizing effect of omega-3, especially docosahexaenoic acid, is also suggested as therapeutic supplement which is worthy of further investigation for the prevention and treatment of various psychiatric disorders.

Young SN: The use of diet and dietary components in the study of factors controlling affect in humans: a review. J Psychiatry Neurosci 1993; 18(5):235-44. An examination of a lengthy study undertaken at McGill University. The review focuses on a number of factors influencing mood and depression, among them the direct effect of tryptophan and folic acid deficiency in treating the symptoms of depression. The review also supports evidence that proper nutrition, the content of meals in terms of protein and carbohydrate content, has a definite effect on mood and performance in humans.

Kagan BL, et. al.: Oral S-adenosylmethionine in depression: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Psychiatry 1990; 147(5):591-5. The authors report that their study suggest that oral S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) is a safe, effective antidepressant with few side effects and rapid action. Comments are made regarding the benefits of the use of SAM on patients who are unable to tolerate the effects of tricyclic anti-depressants.

Horrocks LA, Yeo YK: Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Pharmacol Res 1999; 40(3)211-25. DHA is an essential element for the growth and development of the brain of infants and is also a requirement for the maintenance of normal brain function in adults. Deficiencies are linked to learning problems, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and unipolar depression. The connection of DHA deficiency to depression is the reason for the strong association between depression and heart problems, especially myocardial infarction. Supplementing the diet with DHA can positively effect both physical and mental functioning.

Dept. of Gastroenterology, University of Naples, Italy: Depressive symptoms in adult celiac disease. Scand J Gastroenterol 1998; 33(3):247-50. This study explored depression experienced by adult sufferers of celiac disease (CD). Results showed that depressive symptoms are a feature of celiac disease, and are present in both childhood and adulthood diagnosed CD. Nutritional and vitamin supplementation to diet can be an effective method of treatment for CD, and can result in both physical and psychological improvement of the symptoms of the disease.