April is National Counseling Awareness Month.  One of the practice specialties is integrative mental health counseling.  As discussed in a previous blog, it is a specialty and paradigm that combines conventional counseling approaches with biomedical and complementary treatments for those unfamiliar with integrative mental health. It is a holistic approach to counseling that is individualized for clients.

One area of integrative health I sometimes talk about with clients is the use of supplements as an adjunctive treatment to counseling.  Knowing which supplements to take for mental health support can be overwhelming.  On any stroll through the aisles of a health food store, you will see what may appear to be an unlimited supply of supplements, all making various claims.  The considerable amount of supplements, combined with the latest fads, can make it difficult to know where to begin.  Let me help by providing information about supplements sometimes recommended in integrative mental health.


Not everyone needs a multivitamin, and not all multivitamins are identical.  However, it is common for many individuals to have low levels of vitamin D  and some B vitamins.  This is caused by limited contact with sunlight and dietary restrictions (i.e., vegetarians may have low levels of B12, which is often consumed through the meat).  When taking a multivitamin, look for one that provides adequate amounts across ingredients.

Magnesium (Either Glycinate or Citrate)

Similar to deficiencies in vitamins B and D, some individuals find they have low magnesium levels.  Some studies suggest beneficial effects of magnesium for individuals with anxiety (see 1-3).

Lithium Orotate 

Lithium Orotate is a trace mineral. When taken as a supplement, it is believed that it may mimic the neuroprotective effects experienced by those in areas with high lithium levels in food and water (think natural springs).  Some psychiatry literature suggests that low doses of lithium orotate may support feelings of calmness, reduced mood reactivity, and less reactivity due to distress (see 4) .


Zinc is a mineral often associated with the immune system.  In combination with inflammation, low levels of zinc make it difficult for individuals to recover from stress-related illnesses (e.g., memory impairment, sleep disorders, heart disease, etc.).  Many do not know that zinc is essential to the central nervous system and neurotransmitter synthesis, including serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and GABA.   The brain’s most concentrated zinc levels are often located next to serotonin receptors (see 5).

For more recommendations and education about supplements for mental health, follow along on Instagram.

Below are recommended products by Pure Encapsulations.  If you are interested in purchasing products, visit PureForYou.com or contact me for provider pricing.*

Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. Multivitamin
O.N.E. Multivitamin is vegetarian and provides support for overall wellness with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  This formula may plan an essential role in neuronal function, Vitamin D support, retinal health, cellular health, and overall optimal health (see 6-8).  It contains vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, and other minerals and antioxidants.‡‡

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate

This vegan supplement supports healthy cardiovascular, cognitive, and neuromuscular function (see 9-11).‡‡

Pure Encapsulations Lithium Orotate

Lithium has a large body of research documenting support for healthy mood and behavior (see 12-13).  It has also been found to promote cognitive performance (see 14).‡‡

Pure Encapsulations Zinc

This highly absorbable vegan form supports digestion, metabolism, and the body’s natural defense system.  It also helps with the absorption of B vitamins (see 15).‡‡

  1. Boyle, N. B., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress—a systematic review. Nutrients, 9(5), 429.
  2. Lakhan, S. E., & Vieira, K. F. (2010). Nutritional and herbal supplements for anxiety and anxiety-related disorders: systematic review. Nutrition journal, 9, 1-14.
  3. Martínez-Rodríguez, A., Rubio-Arias, J. Á., Ramos-Campo, D. J., Reche-García, C., Leyva-Vela, B., & Nadal-Nicolás, Y. (2020). Psychological and sleep effects of tryptophan and magnesium-enriched mediterranean diet in women with fibromyalgia. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(7), 2227.
  4. Devadason, P. (2018). Is there a role for lithium orotate in psychiatry?. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52(12), 1107-1108.
  5. Emmons, H. (2010). The chemistry of calm: A powerful, drug-free plan to quiet your fears and overcome your anxiety. Simon and Schuster.
  6. Hossein-Nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013). Influence of vitamin D status and vitamin D3 supplementation on genome wide expression of white blood cells: a randomized double-blind clinical trial. PloS one, 8(3), e58725.
  7. Kim, J. Y., Paik, J. K., Kim, O. Y., Park, H. W., Lee, J. H., Jang, Y., & Lee, J. H. (2011). Effects of lycopene supplementation on oxidative stress and markers of endothelial function in healthy men. Atherosclerosis, 215(1), 189-195.
  8. Knott, V., Bosman, M., Mahoney, C., Ilivitsky, V., & Quirt, K. (1999). Transdermal nicotine: single dose effects on mood, EEG, performance, and event-related potentials. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 63(2), 253-261.
  9. Orchard, T. S., Larson, J. C., Alghothani, N., Bout-Tabaku, S., Cauley, J. A., Chen, Z., … & Jackson, R. D. (2014). Magnezyum alımı, kemik mineral yoğunluğu ve kırıklar: Kadın Sağlığı Girişimi Gözlem Çalışması sonuçları. Am J Clin Nutr, 99(4), 926-33.
  10. Fuentes, J. C., Salmon, A. A., & Silver, M. A. (2006). Acute and chronic oral magnesium supplementation: effects on endothelial function, exercise capacity, and quality of life in patients with symptomatic heart failure. Congestive Heart Failure, 12(1), 9-13.
  11. Hamill-Ruth, R. J., & McGory, R. (1996). Magnesium repletion and its effect on potassium homeostasis in critically ill adults: results of a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Critical care medicine, 24(1), 38-45.
  12. Beaulieu, J. M., Sotnikova, T. D., Yao, W. D., Kockeritz, L., Woodgett, J. R., Gainetdinov, R. R., & Caron, M. G. (2004). Lithium antagonizes dopamine-dependent behaviors mediated by an AKT/glycogen synthase kinase 3 signaling cascade. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101(14), 5099-5104.
  13. Psychiatry Redifined (2019). Finally Focused: Mineral Imbalances & ADHD Part I.  Retrieved from https://www.psychiatryredefined.org/finally-focused-mineral-imbalances-adhd-part-i/
  14. Straten, G., Saur, R., Laske, C., Gasser, T., Annas, P., Basun, H., & Leyhe, T. (2011). Influence of lithium treatment on GDNF serum and CSF concentrations in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer Research, 8(8), 853-859.
  15. Huskisson, E., Maggini, S., & Ruf, M. (2007). The role of vitamins and minerals in energy metabolism and well-being. Journal of international medical research, 35(3), 277-289.
Integrative Mental Health Disclaimer
Integrative mental health is holistically looking at mental health, in that we look at mental health as a window into overall health. This includes thinking about diet and nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, overall stress levels, and relationships. These factors can be reflected in our mental health. Though it is not a prescriptive treatment, we provide psychoeducation and resources on wellness-based content, including but not limited to physical health, diet and nutrition, exercise, sleep health, supplements, complementary therapies, etc.
‡‡Supplement Disclaimer
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
*Pure Ambassador Disclaimer
Dr. Sarah F. Spiegelhoff is a Pure Ambassador.  She is not financially compensated, salaried by, or receives funding from Pure Encapsulation.  She receives products to try and test.