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Question: What do you suggest I take for depression. Is there anything more potent than Ginko/Cola, etc.? I would appreciate an answer. ——OB

Answer: If you are clinically depressed, you certainly should be under the care of a knowledgeble physician. There are a number of causes, and a number of potential treatments. As with smart drugs, there is no “magic bullet,” and the theraputic approach is often empirical (i.e. guesswork). First, there are the obvious causes: either environmental (i.e., situational), or medical (e.g., hypothyroidism). Often, depression is caused by a neurotransmitter deficiency lack or imbalance which can be corrected by nutritional or pharmacological manipulation. For example, if there is a deficit of the stimulatory neurotransmitter dopamine, this may be corrected by supplementation with amino acids like tyrosine of phenylalanine (up to 2,000 mg per day). On the other hand, a mild reversible monamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor like Gerovital (see chapter in Smart Drugs & Nutrients), or a MAO type-B inhibitor like deprenyl (see SDN v1n1, v1n6) may help. Improving your sleep patterns using a chrono-regulator like melatonin may improve your sleep and increase your mental and physical energy common symptoms of depression. Finally, drug therapy with anti-depressants like prozac is sometimes required. Again, we strongly advise medical supervision of all anti-depressant therapies. ——WD