Best Amino Acids for Anxiety & Depression – June, 2018 Reviews & Top Picks

Feeling anxious and depressed makes life less enjoyable and can affect your personal life and even your career. Anxiety and depression can leave you feeling tired and empty, hopeless and pessimistic, disinterested and apathetic, restless and irritable, and with difficulty concentrating, remembering, sleeping, and making decisions.

With all of these side effects, it’s easy to see how much anxiety and depression can make day to day living tresome and difficult. As mental illnesses have no mercy for circumstances, they have no objective feelings for taxing on your job performance, wearing down your relationships, and completely sapping all of your normal energy needed to function.

Why Amino Acids for Anxiety and Depression Might Be Right for You

We understand that not everyone can afford a doctor, that the right medicines may not be covered under your health insurance, waiting lists might be too long, that your location might be too remote or your health too frail, or any other number of circumstances where a doctor’s visit and an expensive prescription just might not be right for you.

Not everyone needs prescription strength medicine to adjust those cerebral chemical imbalances that contribute to these mental health issues. Sometimes certain medications are incompatible due to interactions, allergies, or other compromised body systems.

Some patients simply prefer an alternative medicine route perhaps for religion, personal reasons, ease of access, or cost. As every patient’s body is different, medications don’t always work as prescribed.

That’s where amino acids for anxiety and depression come into play as an alternative to the traditional medication route. You can shop from your own home and decide what works best for you. Particularly for social anxiety, being able to research for oneself which amino acids are best for anxiety online instead of having to go out in public and face the mental illness can be an advantage.

Best Amino Acids for Anxiety & Depression

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Our Favorite
Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength, Burpless, Non-GMO, NSF-Certified, 180 Counts
Highest Rated
LES Labs Mood Boost, Natural Supplement for Stress and Anxiety Relief, Positive Mood & Improved Sleep, 60 Capsules
Highest Quality
Brain Supplement for Memory, Focus, Attention, Mood. Increase Energy, Concentration, Clarity, Alertness. Improve Learning Abilities, Sleep Quality. Neuro Booster with Amino-Acids, Vitamins (90 Count)
Organic Ashwagandha Capsules - 1200mg Ashwagandha Powder with Black Pepper for Enhanced Absorption - Ashwaganda Supplement for Anti Anxiety, Adrenal Support, Cortisol Manager, Stress & Anxiety Relief
Description
For patients who need a small amount of anxiety smoothing, Omega 3 can be an excellent option
This product is manufactured in an industrial country that we trust for its quality and health oversight.
HCF Happy, Calm, & Focused isn’t directly marketed towards amino acids for anxiety and depression.
Ashwagandha is viewed as a general tonic by many and is particularly efficient at helping to relieve stress.
Our Rating
Price
$29.98
$29.99
$39.95
$16.79
Our Favorite
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Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength, Burpless, Non-GMO, NSF-Certified, 180 Counts
Description
For patients who need a small amount of anxiety smoothing, Omega 3 can be an excellent option
Our Rating
Price
$29.98
Highest Rated
Image
LES Labs Mood Boost, Natural Supplement for Stress and Anxiety Relief, Positive Mood & Improved Sleep, 60 Capsules
Description
This product is manufactured in an industrial country that we trust for its quality and health oversight.
Our Rating
Price
$29.99
Highest Quality
Image
Brain Supplement for Memory, Focus, Attention, Mood. Increase Energy, Concentration, Clarity, Alertness. Improve Learning Abilities, Sleep Quality. Neuro Booster with Amino-Acids, Vitamins (90 Count)
Description
HCF Happy, Calm, & Focused isn’t directly marketed towards amino acids for anxiety and depression.
Our Rating
Price
$39.95
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Organic Ashwagandha Capsules - 1200mg Ashwagandha Powder with Black Pepper for Enhanced Absorption - Ashwaganda Supplement for Anti Anxiety, Adrenal Support, Cortisol Manager, Stress & Anxiety Relief
Description
Ashwagandha is viewed as a general tonic by many and is particularly efficient at helping to relieve stress.
Our Rating
Price
$16.79
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Neuro Peak Brain Support Supplement - Memory, Focus & Clarity Formula - Nootropic Scientifically Formulated for Optimal Performance - DMAE, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri, Ginkgo Biloba & More
Doctor's Best SAM-e 400 mg, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Mood and Joint Support, 60 Enteric Coated Tablets
BRI Nutrition 5 HTP 100mg 120 Vegetarian Capsules : Supports Depression & Anxiety Relief/Boosts Serotonin Production/Sleep Aid Supplement
Jarrow Formulas SAM-e, Promotes Joint Strength, Mood and Brain Function, 200 mg, 60 Enteric-Coated tabs
Description
Shou Neuro-Peak is a familiar product as we can compare the listed ingredients to many properties that we already know.
Doctor’s Best SAM-e boasts improvement to joint health and liver function.
The 5-HTP Extra Strength spends a lot of advertisement space in conferring that the product is vegan.
Jarrow’s Formulas Natural SAM-e Full Potency can’t be labeled as a treatment for depression and anxiety as they’re not FDA approved, but the flavor text describes this as their audience.
Our Rating
Price
$20.79
$31.42
$16.88
$22.99
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Neuro Peak Brain Support Supplement - Memory, Focus & Clarity Formula - Nootropic Scientifically Formulated for Optimal Performance - DMAE, Rhodiola Rosea, Bacopa Monnieri, Ginkgo Biloba & More
Product
Description
Shou Neuro-Peak is a familiar product as we can compare the listed ingredients to many properties that we already know.
Our Rating
Price
$20.79
Image
Doctor's Best SAM-e 400 mg, Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Mood and Joint Support, 60 Enteric Coated Tablets
Description
Doctor’s Best SAM-e boasts improvement to joint health and liver function.
Our Rating
Price
$31.42
Image
BRI Nutrition 5 HTP 100mg 120 Vegetarian Capsules : Supports Depression & Anxiety Relief/Boosts Serotonin Production/Sleep Aid Supplement
Description
The 5-HTP Extra Strength spends a lot of advertisement space in conferring that the product is vegan.
Our Rating
Price
$16.88
Image
Jarrow Formulas SAM-e, Promotes Joint Strength, Mood and Brain Function, 200 mg, 60 Enteric-Coated tabs
Description
Jarrow’s Formulas Natural SAM-e Full Potency can’t be labeled as a treatment for depression and anxiety as they’re not FDA approved, but the flavor text describes this as their audience.
Our Rating
Price
$22.99

Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega 3 Fish Oil

We were so very impressed with the level of responsibility that the manufacturing company, Dr. Tobias, takes with their product: from extensive testing on every single batch to using farm-raised fish instead of wild caught. Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega 3 Fish Oil does have a few more ingredients than standard fish oil pills to ensure smooth delivery. They also relieve the fishy aftertaste, bad breath, and gassy burping during the digestion process.

For patients who need a small amount of anxiety smoothing, Omega 3 can be an excellent option. With patients who are taking many medications and side-effects and allergies are an extreme concern, Omega 3 is superior to other products as the effects and interactions of fish oil is widely known.

Some users complained that they received an expired bottle with a foul smell, but this was very rare. There are very few complaints about this product, but they mostly center around diminished burpless and aftertaste features.

Pros and Cons

  • Single active ingredient
  • Burpless
  • NSF-Certified
  • Aids the health of your heart, joints, mood, brain, skin, and hair
  • Doesn’t taste fishy
  • Environmentally responsible: comes from farm-raised fish
  • All batches are tested for toxins, bacteria, potency, and function
  • Made from several types of fish, not just a single kind of fish
  • Not FDA approved
See Product Details on Amazon

LES Labs Mood Boost

In the amino acids for anxiety and depression supplements, we feel there weren’t many supplements that support stress relief directly, and we felt that LES Labs Mood Boost was deserving of a lower spot on our list. LES Labs Mood Boost contains many different ingredients, and this is a cause of suspicion because many other products are ingredient conglomerations with tall claims but are essentially placebos. Some of the ingredients, such as organic rice bran powder, seem to aid in digestion and delivery of the active ingredients.

This product is manufactured in an industrial country that we trust for its quality and health oversight. It is also free of gluten, soy, and dairy products, which can be helpful for patients with lactose intolerance or gluten allergies.

Unfortunately, not all anxiety and depression products work the same, and some users of this product reported bowel upsets, mood swings, and emotional distress as the body tries to adjust to the balance of chemicals. Some patients with extreme cases said that LES Labs Mood Boost worked better than their traditional medications.

Pros and Cons

  • Contains 5-HTP, L-Theanine, and Magnesium
  • Helps stress, anxiety, mood, and sleep quality
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • May aid in preventing midday crashes, and improving focus
  • Contains many different ingredients, some of them seem unrelated
  • Not FDA approved
See Product Details on Amazon

HCF Happy, Calm, & Focused

HCF Happy, Calm, & Focused isn’t directly marketed towards amino acids for anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression aren’t mentioned in the product’s information, nor on the box, nor on the bottle, but the writing is carefully descriptive. It contains some minerals in a traditional multivitamin and is combined with some vitamins that would be found in a traditional energy drink.

We chose HCF Happy, Calm, & Focused as our third favorite because depression and anxiety are physically and emotionally exhausting, and we felt this was the best product for restoring natural energy levels back to normal. We appreciated the basic foundation of the vitamins and minerals that a body needs and can be easily overlooked in a modern, civilized diet, and we felt there is something to be said for mental and physical fatigue caused by vitamin deficiencies.

Some patients may find that this product causes headaches, or does nothing at all. Remember that not every medication will be effective as all bodies are different. Some users reported that the medication caused worsening tiredness and fatigue. Overall, the response for this product has been overwhelmingly positive.

Pros and Cons

  • Active ingredients are amino acids DL-Phenylalanine and L-Glutamine
  • Prompts your brain to release the right neurotransmitters on its own
  • Supports energy levels and focus as well
  • Meets FDA manufacturer's guidelines
  • Not FDA approved
  • The standard dose is three pills every day, which may seem deceptive
  • Mg of vitamins and minerals look low for a product of this category
See Product Details on Amazon

Divine Bounty Pure & Organically Grown Ashwagandha Powder

Not all patients need strong anxiety and antidepressant to treat their illness, and sometimes a single-ingredient item is all that is necessary. We also see the value of this supplement as an emergency, fast-acting option when an upset or panic attack is brewing.

Ashwagandha can be helpful for patients who need to minimize drug interactions or allergies. It may also be useful for patients who already take different anxiety and depression medication, have checked for drug interactions with their health care provider, and need the ashwagandha as an additional boost. We also appreciated the extra ingredients that are designed to aid in the absorption and delivery of the supplement, such as black pepper.

Ashwagandha is viewed as a general tonic by many and is particularly efficient at helping to relieve stress. But some users reported stomach issues, tiredness, and nausea.

Pros and Cons

  • Contains only two ingredients
  • Assists energy production, calmness, brain function, and weight loss
  • May be used for treating chronic fatigue
  • For people with diabetes, it also helps stabilize blood sugar swings and spikes
  • Fast acting
  • Not for use at all for pregnant or nursing mothers
  • Not for use for children under age 18
  • Not FDA approved
See Product Details on Amazon

Zhou Neuro-Peak

Shou Neuro-Peak is a familiar product as we can compare the listed ingredients to many properties that we already know. For example, it contains Ginkgo Biloba, which is commonly known to help memory and healthy brains, as well as St. John’s Wort, a herbal supplement known for easing depression and lifting foul moods. This product addresses memory and brain function more than other supplements as a direct mission, instead of aiding your brain’s health as a mere side-effect of the depression treatment.

For patients who use Adderall or other addictive focus-enhancing medications, this would be a safer and more convenient product. Some users complained of agitation, bowel irritability, and nausea while using this product. Some time ago, a few users also complained of quality control issues, but that seems to be addressed, now.

If you take prescription medications, please inform your doctor as Shou Neuro-Peak contains St. John’s Wort which is known to have many drug interactions with prescription medications. Your doctor can advise you if this product is okay for you to take.

Pros and Cons

  • Marketed primarily as a dietary supplement (Nootropic)
  • For use for better memory, focus, and calmness
  • For use to treat depression, anxiety, menstrual symptoms, and ADD/ADHD
  • Requires physician consultation for pregnant or nursing mothers as it may not be safe
  • Side effects include a headache, nausea, and skin irritation
  • May cause irritability and hunger
  • Not FDA approved
See Product Details on Amazon

Doctor’s Best SAM-e 400 mg

We felt that Doctor’s Best SAM-e had the best research backing out of all the other best amino acids for anxiety. In some studies, the supplement was even compared to a prescription SSRI depression medicine, but more research is needed on optimal dosing.

Doctor’s Best SAM-e boasts improvement to joint health and liver function. The boosted liver function is especially helpful as the liver is the organ that detoxifies the body and would process food and stomach contents. Many medicines are hard on the liver as your body processes the medicine.

For patients who are struggling with poor liver health, many different medicines, and depression, SAM-e could be the perfect medication when the body cannot tolerate much more new medications. SAM-e could also be a viable alternative for patients who cannot take normal depression medicines because of the worsening suicidal tendencies during the ramp-up period.

Pros and Cons

  • Appears in many different research articles
  • Might have added liver benefits
  • Also improves your mood
  • Incompatible with bipolar disease and manic depression
  • May cause bowel discomfort, such as diarrhea or constipation for a small number of people
  • Possible side effects include a headache, nausea, anxiety, sweating, and sleep issues
  • Not FDA approved

 

 

See Product Details on Amazon

5-HTP Extra Strength

The 5-HTP Extra Strength spends a lot of advertisement space in conferring that the product is vegan. However, this is not impressive as most medicines are technically vegan as they are made with chemicals, and not with animal products or animal by-products. We felt uncertain about the rice flour listed as an ingredient, and our best assumption is that it is to aid with digestion and delivery of the active ingredients.

 Depression and anxiety medication can be particularly difficult to broach with traditional antidepressants for patients who have seizures or who are prone to seizures, but 5-HTP Extra Strength may be an acceptable treatment option. This product has some advertising aimed towards weight loss, and while we can see the benefits of the reduced appetite, weight loss tends to be a complex subject so we felt uncertain how much patients would find this product helpful towards their end goals.

Even though the supplement 5-HTP Extra is not FDA approved, the facilities where the supplement is manufactured are FDA approved, and this increases consumer trust. Overall, we felt this was a good, solid product.

Pros and Cons

  • Helps your body produce more serotonin
  • May reduce appetite and food cravings
  • Vegan
  • Some people may be allergic to the rice flour ingredient
  • May not work for everyone
  • Not FDA approved
See Product Details on Amazon

Jarrow Formulas Natural SAM-e Full Potency 200

This is a second (S, S) form of SAM-e, like the one we rated as our top pick. We felt that this product deserved two mentions on the list as different flavors of the same medication can have differences in performance.

Jarrow’s Formulas Natural SAM-e Full Potency can’t be labeled as a treatment for depression and anxiety as they’re not FDA approved, but the flavor text describes this as their audience. Despite this, the educational text that comes with the medication is very well written. Please note that this medication needs to be taken on an empty stomach in the morning, but water is acceptable.

Some patients are allergic to rice flour, and this could be a possible alternative to other medications that do. For patients who know they are allergic to many things and don’t want to find a new allergy, this Jarrow’s Formulas Natural SAM-e Full Potency can be a proper workaround until a patient can afford a full allergy panel testing.

Pros and Cons

  • Taurine, the energy ingredient, is created when SAM-e is broken down
  • Supports the liver, joints, brain, and lifts your mood
  • SAM-e has been in many research studies
  • Safe for pregnant women
  • Side effects of gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Doesn’t work for everyone
  • May cause rapid pulse, irritability, and anxiety for those it doesn’t work for
  • Not FDA approved
See Product Details on Amazon

Choosing your amino acid for anxiety and depression

We understand how much of burden anxiety and depression can be, such as their cultural stigma, cost, fatigue, recovery time, and long reach in other aspects of life.

When choosing which amino acid is right for you, remember to read all of the instructions and ingredients for any allergies that you may have, to check the expiration date, and to follow the onboarding and offboarding instructions provided.

Remember to never cold-turkey off an anxiety or depression medication by merely ceasing to take the medication; instead, wean yourself off slowly using the instructions on the bottle.