I am a big fan of Dr. Daniel Amen MD. He has pioneered the use of technology that scans and takes pictures of the brain. He has been able to pinpoint many useful things in conditions like depression, ADD, bipolar and other brain disorders. While he uses Rx meds in his practice, he also regularly recommends natural supplements like 5-HTP, L-Theanine, Tyrosine and fish oil. His technology can "see" the difference these make. Sometimes they are all someone really needs, avoiding the use of sometimes dangerous medications that have a lot of side effects. Notice I said "sometimes". There is nothing wrong with using Rx meds when you really need them.
The following is a newsletter sent where he talks about these supplements a bit. I thought you might find it useful.
CBS-TV LOOKS AT NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS
If you’ve read any of my books or seen me speak you know I’m a big believer in using natural supplements. They are often very effective, have fewer side effects and people seem to be more willing to take them. And, in most cases they are less expensive. Recently a CBS news crew did a follow up on one of my patients and talked with me about why natural supplements work. If you’d like to view the video click here.
Unfortunately, the growing body of evidence indicates that our Western diets are increasingly unhealthy, both from general and brain-health perspectives. I strongly support the American Medical Association’s recommendation that every one should take a daily multi-vitamin supplement. Additionally, we’ve found that fish oils, amino acids such as l-tyrosine and 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), are very helpful in maximizing brain function, battling depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
One bit of caution – there are differing qualities of natural supplements. I’d advise you to always seek the highest pharmaceutical grade of any natural supplement, as we do for our patients here at Amen Clinics. Your body and brain run on the fuel you feed them - make good nutritional choices and good things will happen. You’ll feel better and your learning, thinking and coping abilities will be sharper.
To Your Brain Health,
Daniel Amen, M.D. CEO, Amen Clinics, Inc. Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association