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Using Nutraceuticals to Support Mood with Functional Medicine from Toronto


Did you know that wellness supplements can be supportive for managing mood? Health strategies like these can be uncovered when you become a new patient at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC). 

Every individual has a unique expression of health. When it comes to mental health, 

Each individual may encounter effective treatments that suit them, but may not be suitable for others. Nutraceuticals, however, have been gaining attention for fostering optimal wellness, as they’re not only used for maintaining nutrient levels, but they also show promise in aiding brain health. 

According to a Nutrients article, nutraceuticals “… are foods or a part of foods that are beneficial in providing various health benefits including the treatment and/or prevention of the disease.” In addition to practicing healthy lifestyle factors and taking other integrative and functional medicine therapies, in this blog post, the TFMC illuminates the link between nutrition and mood, highlighting the potential adjunctive role of these components in enhancing mental health, as well as nutraceuticals worth exploring , and how we tailor your clinical experience.  

How mood and nutrition are linked

Research has shown that what you eat can impact mental health. According to Harvard Health Publishing, it’s been suggested that both the Mediterranean and Japanese diets – which embrace plant-based items – can lead to a reduced risk of getting depressed. 

The Western diet tends to contain processed foods, which lack the much-needed amounts of nutrients we need for optimal function. Eating only these types of foods can impede immune function, blood sugar levels, as well as the status of your current gut health. Take a look at what can happen from regular consumption of  refined carbs, such as pastries, white flour, or additional sugars; these have a “high glycaemic load”, confirms an article from BMJ, and in studies, these foods were demonstrated to exacerbate symptoms of depression, overall mood disturbance, and fatigue in healthy participants.

Nutritional deficiencies can form when a diet isn’t focused on wholesome, fresh choices. 

These shortcomings can hinder the nervous system and brain from functioning properly, and accordingly, they can trigger depression. Nutrition truly plays a role in the state of our mood. If you were to visit us at the TFMC for mood help, we would introduce you to our functional medicine approach to health care. This would include implementing functional lab tests and potentially recommending nutraceuticals as additional aids.  

Core tests and supportive nutraceuticals for mood support

Individuality should be recognized when addressing health issues. For targeting mood-related health goals, we would likely discuss implementing core tests to scrutinize your biology:

    • Metabolomics test: This urine test quantifies nutritional biomarkers and is used to help us diagnose nutrient deficiencies. The results would help us understand how to tailor your mood-related treatments, such as holistic nutrition, oral or IV supplementation, etc. 
    • Omega-3 Index: This measures your body’s levels of omega-3s and additional fatty acids. We may consider these numbers for treating mood concerns, as research insinuates “…that nutrition-deficient diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids are associated with higher risks of compromised mental health,” explains the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

As functional medicine providers, we use these lab results to individualize a treatment plan that caters to your needs. We can add nutraceuticals to your personal plan for additional help in relieving depressive symptoms, and some of the following may be discussed: 


What it does for mood

Omega-3 fatty acids

Contributes to alleviating EPA and DHA deficiencies, and may potentially impact mood. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics explains that omega-3 fatty acids show promise in promoting positive results on patients with bipolar depression compared to placebos. 


Found in an Indian spice called turmeric, this compound may contribute to activating certain pathways linked to the amygdala, hippocampus, or prefrontal cortex, which are all components related to mood.  


Compared to placebos in studies, this spice extract may have potential in reducing mild-to-moderate depression. It is rich in antioxidants, so it could help reduce any oxidative damage that’s hindering brain health. 


Also called S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe), Studies have shown that it can enhance the conversion of both dopamine and serotonin in the central nervous system.

Keep in mind that nutraceuticals should not be your only tool for improving mood – there are other factors that should be explored, such as sleep hygiene, exercise, hormonal balance, stress-related conditions, and more. It’s also advisable to speak to a functional medicine practitioner before trying new supplements, as medication interactions can occur. Contact us today to personalize a treatment plan for your needs. 

How the TFMC guides you towards optimal wellness

Our clinic adheres to a patient-centered, systems-oriented approach to health using the integrative functional medicine model. We use principles from this system to tailor clinic services, which allows us to educate and inspire patients to take control of their wellness.  

At the TFMC, we personalize treatments for various health concerns, such as digestive disorders, insulin resistance, irregular periods, inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, sexual health issues, cardiovascular disorders, and chronic fatigue. We also take ample time to explain how to implement treatments for relieving individual symptoms and promoting chronic disease prevention. We find that when patients can comprehend why therapies are recommended and how to use them, there may be a high likelihood of sticking to a healthy lifestyle. So, imagine your treatment plan as a storage box full of custom-made treatments and dosages! We can adapt various therapies, including conventional medicine, naturopathic medicine, holistic nutrition, hormone optimization programs, herbal medicines, intravenous therapy, among others. Check out our previous post on our functional medicine guide to using herbal medicines for parasitic infections.

IV therapy is administered in our IV Lounge, and dosages are also adapted with functional medicine principles. We keep safety in mind at all times – intravenous sessions are supervised by our wellness team, which includes medical and naturopathic doctors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses. 

Our compassionate health team can address your mental health needs with a personalized approach to wellness! Untangle your potential to improve your mood for optimal function – click here to request a DISCOVERY session from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. You should always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of information you have read from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre website or other affiliate media. 



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