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Antidepressants; nutritional

There are two amino acids: "DLPA (DL-phenylalanine)", which increases levels of noradrenaline and Dopamine in the brain, and "GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is gaining popularity for its anti-anxiety effects. The latter is derived in the body from glutamic acid and acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter - that is, it slows down the frantic activity of the nerve cells in the brain"s lymbic system, which is the body"s emotional alarm bell.

Calcium is a well known calming mineral which can even alleviate insomnia if taken at bedtime at doses of 500mg.

Other helpful vitamins for treating stress and depression are vitamin C and the B vitamins, especially B1, niacin and pantothenic acid.

Benefitial herbs include hawthorn, linden, St. John"s wort and valerian. A new product called "Relora" (available from Victoria Health) is said to be a good replacement for the out of favour "Kava Kava" which was thought to cause liver damage by research in Germany.

Caffeine should be avoided in excess, as should alcohol - which should ideally be completely cut out, as its cheering efforts are transitory and can be replaced by a deeper gloom. See Alternative Medicine

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