Evidence has shown, the manufacture of brain chemicals which play a role in mood is dependent on the presence of essential vitamins. Deficiency of vitamin B is known to prevent the synthesis of these brain chemicals.
However, deficiency of vitamins as a whole is very rare in North America and no correlation has been seen in children with vitamin deficiency and depression. In addition, a number of medications also interfere with vitamin functions in the body.
There are some alternative health care workers who recommend mega-doses of vitamins for individuals with mental disorders. It is well known that several vitamin deficiency disorders are associated with nerve disorders, but a link to mental disorders has not been proven.
These vitamin deficiencies are rare in North America and only seen in strict vegetarians. To date, there is no evidence showing vitamin deficiency can cause mental disorders. In North American society, where food is abundant an obesity is epidemic, it is difficult to justify another nutritional supplement in a population which is already busting at the waist.
Minerals, like vitamins, have been linked to a variety of mental health disorders. Unfortunately, like vitamins, there is no solid scientific evidence to show a link between the two. No doubt certain essential micro-nutrients are essential for daily living and function of the nerves, but their role in depression is lacking.
While there is no harm in taking daily supplements of iron, magnesium or zinc - remember, many of the supplements are made from the orient and counterfeits are plentiful. The best way to get these supplements is to eat fruits - better tasting, cheaper and safer.
Other nutritional agents widely sold as a treatment for depression include Omega-3 fatty acids, tyrosine, tryptophan, chromium, trimethyl-glycine (TMG) and s-adenosyl methionine (SAM). It is difficult to know the benefits of these agents because all reports are anecdotal and testimonials are reported by individuals who actually sell these products. Until proper studies are done, beneficial reports should be taken with a grain of salt.