The dietary supplement that fights depression

If you suffer serious depression and antidepressants haven’t been much help, researchers at Utah State University have found a supplement that may help you deal with your emotional difficulties.

A study carried on in collaboration with scientists from South Korea shows that taking 5 daily grams of creatine with a daily antidepressant may double the chances of alleviating depression compared to taking an antidepressant on its own. Women taking creatine in the study also responded twice as fast to antidepressant medication.

“If we can get people to feel better more quickly, they’re more likely to stay with treatment and, ultimately, have better outcomes,” says researcher Perry F. Renshaw.

This eight-week study looked at creatine’s benefits for 26 South Korean women, ages 19-65, who were suffering major depressive disorders. All the women were taking the antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram) during the study. After eight weeks, half of the women taking creatine had no signs of depression compared with 25 percent of 26 other women taking the antidepressant without creatine.

Creatine is an amino acid the body produces in the liver, kidneys and pancreas. Meat and fish also contain creatine. It has long been a popular supplement for bodybuilders and athletes who want to add extra muscle.

The researchers are carrying out a larger study to see how other women respond to creatine.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.