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Nootropics for Depression (4 Ingredients to Look Out For)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: January 26, 2023
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I had an interesting conversation with a medical doctor a few weeks ago while discussing different nootropics that I take for mood and brain energy.

And considering how many people suffer from different levels of depression, I decided to spend some more time with this doctor to research the scientific literature on this topic.

As it turns out, there is a lot of medical interest in finding natural ingredients that can help treat depression, but this research has also revealed that many types of nootropics simply don’t work.

Here’s what a couple of weeks of our research revealed.

Quick Summary

  • Nootropics rely on natural herbs, vitamins, and amino acids to improve neurotransmitters and mental focus.
  • Some of these ingredients can also influence serotonin and dopamine, which can have a significant impact on mood and symptoms of depression.
  • It’s important to discuss taking such nootropics with your doctor if you’re taking antidepressants to ensure that there aren’t any negative side effects to expect.

Do Nootropics Improve Signs of Depression?

Haggard person reading nootropics supplement facts

Yes, some nootropics can improve the signs of depression [1].

Researchers have found that there is a significant link between certain herbs, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that can improve brain chemistry and lessen the impact of depression.

One area where new nootropics have emerged in recent years is in the balancing of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

These have a significant impact on your mood, happiness, and motivation [2].

And while antidepressants can have a fast impact on balancing these, nootropics can help to naturally rebalance your body’s own processes to increase these brain chemicals.

“Out of the 178 human placebo-controlled studies with 7,619 experimental group participants on 77 nootropics we've reviewed for our web app, 30 nootropics had a significant improvement on mood.”
- Gary Drevitch, Editor at

Are There Side Effects to Be Aware Of?

Yes, some nootropics can have side effects, but they are typically mild and not serious.

What you do have to consider, though, is what kind of interactions the ingredients might have with prescription medication.

If your doctor has prescribed medication to treat depression and/or anxiety, then make sure you discuss taking nootropics with them.

First of all, you want to make sure that there aren’t any adverse effects.

But you also want to ensure that your doctor knows that something else could be improving your signs of depression and factor that into your medication dosage.

4 Ingredients to Look Out For

Holding nootropics supplement on hand

While researching scientific studies with a doctor, we encounter a few nootropics ingredients with significant support for improving neurotransmitter balances.

1. Phosphatidylserine

Some scientists have classified this as one of the most important brain nutrients, as it can improve blood flow to the brain and naturally boost serotonin levels.

There’s also evidence that it can reduce inflammation [3].

2. Lion’s Mane Mushroom

This is one of the most important mushrooms when it comes to brain health, as it can reduce inflammation and help to balance neurotransmitters.

Scientists also believe that this natural nootropic has a positive impact on levels of depression [4].

3. Acetyl-L-Tyrosine

Skeletal formula of Acetyl L Tyrosine

This amino acid has been linked to improved levels of noradrenaline [5].

This, in turn, can help with improving symptoms of depression and improving overall mood levels.

It’s also a common ingredient in sports performance supplements as it can help with motivation and focus.

4. Cat’s Claw Extract

Studies have looked at how this herbal extract can help with pain by increasing serotonin levels, and they have found a direct positive link [6]. And the same effects can then also increase levels of happiness and lessen the effects of depression.


Can You Take Nootropics With Antidepressants?

Yes, you can take nootropics with antidepressants, but it’s important to discuss this with your doctor before you start taking a natural supplement. There is always a possibility that nootropics could interact with prescription medication.

What Nootropics Increase Dopamine?

L-tyrosine is a nootropic ingredient known to increase dopamine levels [7]. And boosting this neurotransmitter can significantly improve levels of motivation and focus, and it can alleviate some of the symptoms of depressive disorder.

Reduce Signs of Depression With the Right Nootropic

As a personal fitness trainer, I have worked with many clients and their nutritionists to help them improve their physical and mental health.

And in that process, we have encountered several great nootropics that can help with depression.

We have also researched and tested dozens of products to come up with a list of men and women:

If your doctor assessed that your condition doesn’t require prescription medication, order your first nootropic today and see how much of a difference it can make.


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