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A note on supplements

Before trying any new supplements for bipolar disorder, it’s important that you speak with a healthcare professional about potential medication interactions or other safety concerns.

Further, although the supplements in this list may improve certain symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, they do not cure or treat the condition. These supplements should not take the place of any prescribed medications.

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Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme shifts in mood. Symptoms include episodes of mania and depression.

The condition may be managed through:

  • prescription medication
  • psychotherapy
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • psychoeducation
  • certain supplements

The word “supplement” covers a wide range of products, including pills or tonics. Examples include daily multivitamins, fish oil tablets, ginkgo, or kava.

Some supplements are used to increase your daily nutrient intake. Others, like St. John’s wort, kava, and ginkgo, have been marketed as antidepressants. Certain supplements are even touted to improve the function of your brain and the nervous system.

That said, evidence on these benefits is of varying quality, so it’s important to stay vigilant of claims that sound too good to be true.

The supplements on this list include vitamins and health supplements, some of which are natural or herbal.

Each supplement has been researched and medically reviewed in relation to the management of bipolar disorder.

While we have suggested some brands of supplements as a way to help alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder, other brands of supplements could be more suitable to you depending on your body and any other medication you may be taking.

We recommend consulting with a medical professional before using any supplements to address bipolar disorder.

Our brand, content, and integrity team have also vetted all products to ensure they’re appropriate for those with bipolar disorder.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. Note that prices may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide:

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20
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Nature Made Triple Omega-3-6-9

Price: $$

What it’s good for: may help prevent heart disease and stroke and control eczema and rheumatoid arthritis

Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids for cell growth, muscle activity, eye health, and more. Because your body doesn’t produce omega-3s on its own, you need to get them from food or supplements. Good food sources include fatty fish like salmon, pecans, and chia seeds.

Omega-3 and fish oil are commonly taken by those with heart disease, high blood pressure, or arthritis. What’s more, some evidence suggests that they may help stabilize mood over time in people with bipolar disorder. They may also lessen depressive symptoms.

For instance, a 2016 review found that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent and improve depressive symptoms. It also suggested that combining omega-3 with prescription medication might benefit those with bipolar disorder.

A 2020 review examined how certain nutrient supplements may target the neurological pathways that are disturbed in bipolar disorder. Omega-3 fatty acids revealed some promising results, though it was highlighted that more research is needed on any possible benefits.


  • Affordable and widely available: Omega-3 and fish oil are affordable and available at many chemists and drugstores.
  • Supports many parts of your body: In addition to providing possible mental health benefits, omega-3s boast additional perks like the potential for improved eye, heart, and brain health.
  • You can purchase combined omega tablets: Omega-3, -6, and -9 are all important for overall health. For instance, omega-6 and 9 support proper inflammatory processes. This supplement from Nature Made contains all three omegas.


  • May cause side effects: If taken in higher doses, some people may experience diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, and abdominal pain.
  • Some people can be allergic: Because some omega supplements are derived from fish, some people may be allergic. In such cases, omega supplements made from algae or nuts may be a better option.
  • May interact with prescription drugs: Always consult a medical professional when combining supplements and medication.
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NOW Supplements Vitamin B1

Price: $

What it’s good for: enables your body to use carbohydrates as energy

Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble vitamin, found in yeast, beef, pork, nuts, whole grains, and pulses.

Also known as thiamine, vitamin B1 helps prevent complications in the nervous system, intestines, brain, heart, muscles, and stomach. It’s also involved in the flow of electrolytes into and out of muscle and nerve cells.

Thiamine deficiency is associated with beriberi and involves disorders of the heart, nerves, and digestive system.

One 2021 study of over 7,000 adults found that vitamin B1 can help ease the anxiety that can accompany bipolar disorder. Still, more research is warranted to better understand how B1 may help manage the condition.


  • Also used to treat inflammation: Vitamin B1 (thiamine) can be used to treat peripheral neuritis, a condition characterized by numb or painful limbs.
  • A good supplement for athletes: Some athletes used thiamine to improve their performance, as it’s not a prohibited substance for athletes in the United States.


  • Harder to absorb with some foods and liquids: Tea, coffee, shellfish, and fish are examples of foods that may restrict thiamine absorption in your body.
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Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12

Price: $$

What is it good for: promotes red blood cell formation, prevents anemia, and supports bone health

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is a vitamin your body doesn’t produce on its own. It’s found in animal products, certain fortified foods, and oral supplements.

Vitamin B12 has many roles in your body, like supporting the normal functioning of your nerve cells. It’s also needed for red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis.

While there is no proven correlation between someone’s vitamin B12 deficiency and bipolar disorder, the vitamin is known for its energy-boosting benefits. Thus, it may be a beneficial addition to the supplement regimen of those with the condition.

For instance, a review from 2020 found that vitamin B12 is important for brain function and that taking a supplement version of the vitamin may help those with bipolar disorder.

According to a 2019 study, Vitamin B12 can also play a role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, the chemical responsible for regulating your mood. Thus, being deficient in vitamin B12 may lead to decreased serotonin production and a depressed mood.


  • Supports red blood cell formation and helps prevent anemia: Your body needs vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells.
  • Improves mood and symptoms of depression: Vitamin B12 may improve low or depressive moods as it’s needed for the production of serotonin.
  • Supports healthy hair, skin, and nails: Vitamin B12 affects cell production, so adequate levels promote healthy hair, skin, and nails.


  • High doses can cause side effects: Side effects include headaches, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and tingling in the hands and feet.
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Horbaach Ashwagandha Capsules

Price: $

What it’s good for: may help reduce stress and alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions

Ashwagandha is an herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional form of alternative Indian medicine. “Ashwagandha” is Sanskrit for “smell of the horse,” which refers to both the herb’s scent and its touted ability to increase strength.

It’s been promoted as a way to reduce stress. Thus, some people with depression and anxiety have taken ashwagandha in addition to their medication to relieve their symptoms.

In one older, smaller study from 2013, individuals with bipolar disorder took ashwagandha for 8 weeks. Afterward, it was found that they performed significantly better in a test called “the digit span backward test,” which measures working memory.

A newer review from 2019 found that ashwagandha had the potential to curb cognitive dysfunction in those with bipolar disorder.

Still, more research on the possible benefits of this herb is needed before it can be confidently recommended as a suitable supplement for the management of bipolar disorder.


  • Many possible health benefits to ashwagandha: Some benefits include reduced blood sugar levels, reduced inflammation, and improved sleep.
  • Relatively inexpensive: Ashwagandha is generally inexpensive, with some options costing less than $10.
  • Can be taken in many ways: It can be taken in supplement or powdered form, both with food or on an empty stomach.


  • It takes a while to work: Any possible effects of ashwagandha are not immediate. It may take several months before you notice any effects.
  • Dosage recommendations vary: Doses can range from 250–1,250 milligrams per day and often depend on why you’re taking it. It’s recommended that you talk with a healthcare professional to learn more about ashwagandha dosage.
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Herb Pharm Lemon Balm

Price: $$

What it’s good for: relieving stress, reducing anxiety, and boosting cognitive function

Lemon balm is a lemon-scented herb from the same plant family as mint. Grown around the world, it’s traditionally used to improve mood and cognitive function. It is also known as Melissa officinalis.

In traditional medicine, it’s been used as an astringent to cleanse pores and manage nervous headaches. Further, lemon balm has been used to improve memory function in people with bipolar disorder.

A 2018 trial found that individuals receiving Melissa officinalis in capsule form had a significant reduction in scores of depression, anxiety, stress, and total sleep disturbance compared with a placebo group.

Additionally, a 2022 study found that lemon balm could provide relief for mild symptoms of mental stress and act as a sleep aid.

While the effectiveness of lemon balm is not well-studied, it also has the potential to treat mild anxiety and insomnia in those with bipolar disorder.


  • Herb Pharm’s Lemon Balm is certified organic: Not all lemon balm is certified organic.
  • May aid menstrual cramps: Some studies propose that lemon balm may reduce the intensity of period cramps.


  • Like the other supplements on this list, lemon balm may only be suitable as a complementary treatment: It cannot replace any medical treatment.
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A comparison of supplements for bipolar disorder

SupplementPriceWhy we chose itHealth considerations
Nature Made Triple Omega-3-6-9$$all three omegas in one supplement, affordable and easy to procurePeople with clotting or bleeding disorders should consult a healthcare professional before taking it.
Qunol 100mg Ubiquinol Powerful Antioxidant$$$benefits many parts of the body, easily absorbableThose with chronic illnesses should discuss the supplement with their healthcare provider.
NOW Supplements Vitamin B1$can also help treat inflammation and prevent complications in the nervous systemAvoid it if you are allergic.
Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 $$helps form red blood cells and prevent anemia May not be suitable for those with sensitivities or allergies to cobalt.
Horbaach Ashwagandha Capsules $can reduce blood sugar levels and inflammation and improve sleep, can be taken in both powdered and capsule formNot suitable for pregnant people and those with autoimmune conditions.
Herb Pharm Lemon Balm$$easily applied, and with other possible benefits like reduced menstrual crampsShould be avoided at least 2 weeks before surgery and by those who have thyroid disease.

How to choose

If you’re interested in taking supplements for bipolar disorder, it’s important that you first speak with your healthcare professional. They can help ensure that the supplements are safe, suitable, and won’t affect any other medication you may be taking.

When shopping for supplements, always purchase products from reputable manufacturers.

Look for supplements that are certified by third-party organizations like National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International and United States Pharmacopeia (USP). These organizations test supplements for contaminants, potency, and more, to ensure consumers receive a safe, quality product.

Frequently asked questions

What helps with bipolar disorder naturally?

In addition to taking certain supplements, you can also try some natural techniques to improve your symptoms, like:

  • meditation techniques
  • light therapy
  • other forms of therapy, like cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavioral therapy

Still, it’s recommended that you discuss these techniques with your health professional before trying them.

Is bipolar disorder caused by a vitamin deficiency?

Even older research from 1998 suggests that specific protein deficiencies might be linked to the onset of bipolar disorder symptoms.

Still, more research is needed to better identify or understand any potential causes or contributing factors to the condition.

Regardless, eating a balanced diet centered around whole foods is a good way to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

How can I help my bipolar without medication?

Some nonmedicated ways to support bipolar disorder include:

  • getting enough sleep
  • eating a well-balanced diet
  • exercising regularly
  • regular sessions with a therapist or psychiatrist

If you’re interested in learning more about how to manage bipolar disorder, it’s best that you speak to a medical professional.


Should supplements ever be used as a stand-alone treatment for bipolar disorder? Why or why not?

A Healthline Reader


Supplements should never be used as a stand-alone treatment for bipolar. The reason for this is because of the conflicting evidence associated with such treatments. One study may suggest that a particular supplement improves the symptoms of bipolar, whereas another study will contradict it. Additionally, very little is known about supplement-supplement or supplement-prescribed medication interactions. Discussions about supplements should be had with your doctor to achieve maximal effect and safety in your medication regimen.

Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PMHNP-BCAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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Certain supplements may help manage some of the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder.

Regardless, it’s always important that you discuss any treatments with a medical professional before trying them.

It’s also essential that you discuss any feelings of depression, anxiety, lack of energy, or a loss of interest in everyday activities with a health professional who will be able to direct you toward the best treatment path.