Supplementing Depression Treatment with Deplin
Depression is a more debilitating illness than most people are aware, and it’s unfortunate that many folks still don’t understand that it’s so much more than ‘feeling blue’ most of the time. It’s like a cloud that never lifts and can incapacitate you if it’s not addressed properly.
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Treating depression in the best way involves combining pharmaceuticals that regulate neurotransmitters in the brain – serotonin and dopamine most specifically – with CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and increased physical exercise. CBT is the science of ‘changing your thoughts’ and the way consistent thought pattern changes can actually rewire the brain and turn on the lights that depression has dimmed.
When discussing medication for depression it’s not uncommon to hear the term ‘Deplin’ suggested as an augment to the medication. So, what is Deplin, and what is Deplin used for? Read on.
Ideal Nutritional Supplementation
To get to the heart of what makes Deplin such a valuable complementary medication for treating depression, we need to first talk about the body’s methylation process, and in particular the BH4 process where tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) converts amino acids into dopamine and serotonin.
An active folate is required to enable BH4 to take amino acids from phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan and make the conversion. Further, anyone with a homozygous A1298C MTHFR gene mutation will take a specific interest in what is Deplin used for as this mutation puts the individual very much at a disadvantage when utilizing folate as part of this essential mood-regulating bio process.
Deplin contains L-Methylfolate, and it is drastically different from any of the folic acid supplements that you’ll find on any pharmacy or health store shelf. That’s because methylfolate is an active form of folate (vitamin B9), as compared to the non-active folate in folic acid. L-methylfolate is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and regulate mood. Pregnant women absolutely should take folic acid to prevent neural tube birth defects, but if you have depression and you’ve been told you need more folic acid – you’ve been given misinformed advice.
Conventional folic acid will do nothing to address folate deficiencies that are contributing to an inhibited BH4 process of methylation.
Only active folate has the constituency needed to function effectively in promoting an effective methylation process in the body, and chronically low levels of active folate in the body may diminish the effectiveness of prescription antidepressant medication.
This is where Deplin comes in, ensuring that your body has sufficient levels of active folate necessary to have a proper methylation process occurring. The way this prescription nutritional supplement for depression is increasingly in demand suggests that it does make antidepressants more effective.
This is because it promotes greater levels of serotonin occurring naturally in the brain, and that means there is more of the neurotransmitter present and being prevented from reuptake by the SSRI medication.
Upping your active folate levels also serves to fortify your defenses against depression returning, and as such it’s often advisable for patients to continue taking Deplin for anywhere from 5 to 8 months after discontinuing antidepressant medication.
Indeed, you can add maintenance of good mental health as another answer to what is Deplin used for, and this is particularly true of anyone who has a defect in their CYP450 enzyme. This enzyme is key for metabolizing many different types of drugs, and having it impaired can mean that many pharmaceuticals are ineffective unless you unless you address methylfolate levels first.
It may be helpful for you to be aware that certain medications are known to lower your folate levels, and these include:
- Birth control pills
- Trexall (methotextrate)
- Drugs containing metformin
- Jantoven or Coumadin (Warfarin)
- Niaspan (niacin)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Seizure medications like Cabatrol, Tegretol, Epitrol, Lamictal, and Depakote
- Acne medications containing isotretinoin
Folate levels can also be lowered by disease, and the most common of these are diabetes, Crohn’s and Colitis, atrophic gastritis, kidney disease, and underactive thyroid.
Guidelines / Precautions
The side effects of Deplin are almost non-existent, and the only possibly adverse reaction people might have to it is an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients. Common signs of an allergic reaction include wheezing, tightness in chest or throat, breathing difficulties, difficulty swallowing, rash, hives, itching, red and swollen skin, or swelling of the mouth, lips, face, tongue, or throat. Some people have reported that Deplin causes their appetite to increase too much.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Deplin because alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to absorb b-vitamins like folate as well as many other essential nutrients. Avoid grapefruit juice as well because it decreases the rate at which the body is able to break down Deplin. In worst cases there could be dangerously high level of Deplin in the blood. Neither will worsen the side effects of Deplin, but will definitely limit the effectiveness of the medication.
One last mention when discussing what is Deplin used for is that it does have a secondary but much less common application in helping people with schizophrenia. That’s because Deplin naturally diminishes homocysteine levels, and homocysteine is sulfuric amino acid that contributes to both neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular disorders when present in high quantities.
It’s often very helpful for folks to learn of the difference between activate biofolate and folic acid. For those with neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain causing psychiatric or mental health issues this information can be very helpful in understanding their medication is not working, or working insufficiently. Deplin is a good choice as a supplement to increase antidepressant effectiveness, but many people do complain about it being expensive. UTC methyl folate can be acquired on its own without a prescription, but it too is not cheap.
The path to optimum mental health wellness is different for each individual, but for some Deplin may be just what they need to be able to move down theirs successfully by allowing the medication to have the effectiveness it’s intended to have.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.