Bipolar Disorder

Also indexed as:Cyclothymia, Manic Depression
Major mood swings may signal the presence of bipolar disorder. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Fish Oil
Daily omega-3 fatty acids: 9.6 grams for adults, 1,290 to 4,300 mg for children 2 stars[2 stars]
People with depression may have lower blood levels of omega-3s. Taking fish oil, in addition to prescribed medication, improved symptoms in one study.
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementation with L-tryptophan has led to improvement in depression in many studies, though its effect on bipolar disorder needs more study.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with 5-HTP has had antidepressant effects in people with bipolar disorder; the effect was greater when combined with an antidepressant drug (doctor's supervision recommended)
Small amounts of choline are present in many B-complex and multivitamin supplements. 1 star[1 star]
Though controlled trials are still needed to understand the effects of choline in people with bipolar disorder, acetylcholine levels in the brain may affect mood disorders and supplemental choline can increase acetylcholine levels.
Folic Acid
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Folic acid deficiency is associated with both mania and depression. Getting enough folic acid helps the body manufacture serotonin and other neurotransmitters.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Inositol may be useful for treating depression in people with bipolar disorder.
N-Acetyl Cysteine
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In a preliminary trial, depression in patients with bipolar disorder significantly improved after NAC treatment.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
SAMe is an amino acid that has an impact on serotonin levels, it has shown significant antidepressant effects in clinical trials.
Vitamin B12
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with both mania and depression. In one study, these symptoms cleared after treatment with B12 injections.
Vitamin C
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vitamin C helps the body reduce its load of vanadium, a mineral that adversely influences bipolar disorder. It has improved symptoms of depression and mania in some studies.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2024.