Quick Navigation


Affect mood states such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

Our evidence-based analysis on mood features 82 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jun 10, 2018
Last Updated:

If you want an actionable step-by-step guide that tells you what supplements to take (and which are a waste of time and money), you will find that our Mood Supplements Guides are exactly what you need.

Are you looking to level up your brain?

Stop wasting your money with supplements that don't work

The Supplement Guides give you accurate information on which supplements work and which don’t — all of it backed by science.

Our guides give you step-by-step instructions on what to take, in what dosage, and at what time.

Save time, money, and stress with our unbiased approach to supplements.

To help people improve the exact health goals they care about, we offer specific guides:

Alternatively, you can get the entire bundle of Supplement Guides. For the price of just three guides, you get access to 17 different guides that help you optimize all facets of your cognition (and more!)

Lastly, if you like doing-it-yourself, then you should check out our A-to-Z Supplement Reference. We analyze over 5000 studies on over 300 supplements, and break them down into over 400 different health goals.

If you want to figure out the best way to optimize your brain function, our science-based Guides are the reliable and unbiased solution you need.

Learn which supplements work (and which don’t) to achieve your health goals

Enter your email to get our free mini-course on supplements.

100% backed by science, we take an independent and unbiased approach to figure out what works (and what's a waste of time and money). Arm yourself with the knowledge needed to make the right choices to improve your health.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mood

What is 'roid rage'?
Mostly a myth; testosterone (including injections) can increase impulsivity in some but this does not appear to be reliable (does not affect every person tested), impulsivity might lead to aggression but this is drawing at straws now with the connections
5 nutrients that could lift your mood
Many foods can temporarily boost your mood simply because they’re delicious. But healthy foods also contain certain nutrients that may have a more direct and lasting effect on your well-being.


  1. Bagatell CJ, et al. Metabolic and behavioral effects of high-dose, exogenous testosterone in healthy men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (1994)
  2. Anderson RA, Bancroft J, Wu FC. The effects of exogenous testosterone on sexuality and mood of normal men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (1992)
  3. Alexander GM, et al. Androgen-behavior correlations in hypogonadal men and eugonadal men. I. Mood and response to auditory sexual stimuli. Horm Behav. (1997)
  4. O'Connor DB, et al. Exogenous testosterone, aggression, and mood in eugonadal and hypogonadal men. Physiol Behav. (2002)
  5. Tricker R, et al. The effects of supraphysiological doses of testosterone on angry behavior in healthy eugonadal men--a clinical research center study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. (1996)
  6. Giorgi A, Weatherby RP, Murphy PW. Muscular strength, body composition and health responses to the use of testosterone enanthate: a double blind study. J Sci Med Sport. (1999)
  7. O'Connor DB, et al. Activational effects of testosterone on cognitive function in men. Neuropsychologia. (2001)
  8. Alexander GM, et al. Androgen-behavior correlations in hypogonadal men and eugonadal men. II. Cognitive abilities. Horm Behav. (1998)
  9. Wolf OT, et al. Testosterone and cognition in elderly men: a single testosterone injection blocks the practice effect in verbal fluency, but has no effect on spatial or verbal memory. Biol Psychiatry. (2000)
  10. Maggio M, et al. The Interplay between Magnesium and Testosterone in Modulating Physical Function in Men. Int J Endocrinol. (2014)
  11. Maggio M, et al. Magnesium and anabolic hormones in older men. Int J Androl. (2011)
  12. Rodgers S, et al. Serum testosterone levels and symptom-based depression subtypes in men. Front Psychiatry. (2015)
  13. Johnson JM, Nachtigall LB, Stern TA. The effect of testosterone levels on mood in men: a review. Psychosomatics. (2013)
  14. Bassil N, Alkaade S, Morley JE. The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review. Ther Clin Risk Manag. (2009)
  15. Zarrouf FA, et al. Testosterone and depression: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Psychiatr Pract. (2009)
  16. Davis SR, Wahlin-Jacobsen S. Testosterone in women--the clinical significance. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. (2015)
  17. Martínez-Cengotitabengoa M, González-Pinto A. Nutritional supplements in depressive disorders. Actas Esp Psiquiatr. (2017)
  18. Cortese BM, Phan KL. The role of glutamate in anxiety and related disorders. CNS Spectr. (2005)
  19. Bergink V, van Megen HJ, Westenberg HG. Glutamate and anxiety. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. (2004)
  20. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J Am Board Fam Med. (2015)
  21. Derom ML, et al. Magnesium and depression: a systematic review. Nutr Neurosci. (2013)
  22. Boyle NB, Lawton C, Dye L. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review. Nutrients. (2017)
  23. Fard FE, et al. Effects of zinc and magnesium supplements on postpartum depression and anxiety: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Women Health. (2017)
  24. Phelan D, et al. Magnesium and mood disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BJPsych Open. (2018)
  25. Nielsen FH, Lukaski HC. Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. Magnes Res. (2006)
  26. Costello RB, Moser-Veillon PB. A review of magnesium intake in the elderly. A cause for concern?. Magnes Res. (1992)
  27. Tang YM, et al. Relationships between micronutrient losses in sweat and blood pressure among heat-exposed steelworkers. Ind Health. (2016)
  28. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research; Marriott BM, editor. Washington (DC). Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments, “Influence of Exercise and Heat on Magnesium Metabolism”. National Academies Press (US). (1993)
  29. Consolazio CF, et al. Excretion of sodium, potassium, magnesium and iron in human sweat and the relation of each to balance and requirements. J Nutr. (1963)
  30. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride, page 242.
  31. Yoshimura Y, et al. Pharmacokinetic Studies of Orally Administered Magnesium Oxide in Rats. Yakugaku Zasshi. (2017)
  32. Firoz M, Graber M. Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations. Magnes Res. (2001)
  33. Li Z, et al. Association of total zinc, iron, copper and selenium intakes with depression in the US adults. J Affect Disord. (2018)
  34. Roy A, et al. Higher zinc intake buffers the impact of stress on depressive symptoms in pregnancy. Nutr Res. (2010)
  35. Ranjbar E, et al. Effects of zinc supplementation in patients with major depression: a randomized clinical trial. Iran J Psychiatry. (2013)
  36. Swardfager W, et al. Potential roles of zinc in the pathophysiology and treatment of major depressive disorder. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. (2013)
  37. Nowak G, et al. Effect of zinc supplementation on antidepressant therapy in unipolar depression: a preliminary placebo-controlled study. Pol J Pharmacol. (2003)
  38. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Arch Androl. (1981)
  39. Chang CS, et al. Correlation between serum testosterone level and concentrations of copper and zinc in hair tissue. Biol Trace Elem Res. (2011)
  40. . Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. . ()
  41. Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2011)
  42. Valentiner-Branth P, et al. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of zinc as adjuvant therapy in children 2-35 mo of age with severe or nonsevere pneumonia in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Am J Clin Nutr. (2010)
  43. Willis MS, et al. Zinc-induced copper deficiency: a report of three cases initially recognized on bone marrow examination. Am J Clin Pathol. (2005)
  44. Afrin LB. Fatal copper deficiency from excessive use of zinc-based denture adhesive. Am J Med Sci. (2010)
  45. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc, page 446.
  46. Meunier N, et al. Importance of zinc in the elderly: the ZENITH study. Eur J Clin Nutr. (2005)
  47. Blumberg J. Nutritional needs of seniors. J Am Coll Nutr. (1997)
  48. Tipton K, et al. Zinc loss in sweat of athletes exercising in hot and neutral temperatures. Int J Sport Nutr. (1993)
  49. Parker GB, Brotchie H, Graham RK. Vitamin D and depression. J Affect Disord. (2017)
  50. Allan GM, et al. Vitamin D: A Narrative Review Examining the Evidence for Ten Beliefs. J Gen Intern Med. (2016)
  51. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The "sunshine" vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. (2012)
  52. Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. (2007)
  53. Forrest KY, Stuhldreher WL. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. Nutr Res. (2011)
  54. Melrose S. Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Approaches. Depress Res Treat. (2015)
  55. Kerr DC, et al. Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women. Psychiatry Res. (2015)
  56. O'Hare C, et al. Seasonal and meteorological associations with depressive symptoms in older adults: A geo-epidemiological study. J Affect Disord. (2016)
  57. Golden RN, et al. The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders: a review and meta-analysis of the evidence. Am J Psychiatry. (2005)
  58. Lam RW, et al. The Can-SAD study: a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of light therapy and fluoxetine in patients with winter seasonal affective disorder. Am J Psychiatry. (2006)
  59. Vellekkatt F, Menon V. Efficacy of vitamin D supplementation in major depression: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Postgrad Med. (2018)
  60. Spedding S. Vitamin D and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing studies with and without biological flaws. Nutrients. (2014)
  61. . Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. . ()
  62. Cashman KD, et al. Improved Dietary Guidelines for Vitamin D: Application of Individual Participant Data (IPD)-Level Meta-Regression Analyses. Nutrients. (2017)
  63. Heaney R, et al. Letter to Veugelers, P.J. and Ekwaru, J.P., A statistical error in the estimation of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D. Nutrients 2014, 6, 4472-4475; doi:10.3390/nu6104472. Nutrients. (2015)
  64. Veugelers PJ, Ekwaru JP. A statistical error in the estimation of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D. Nutrients. (2014)
  65. Grosso G, et al. Dietary n-3 PUFA, fish consumption and depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. J Affect Disord. (2016)
  66. Mocking RJ, et al. Meta-analysis and meta-regression of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation for major depressive disorder. Transl Psychiatry. (2016)
  67. Burhani MD, Rasenick MM. Fish oil and depression: The skinny on fats. J Integr Neurosci. (2017)
  68. Bastiaansen JA, et al. The efficacy of fish oil supplements in the treatment of depression: food for thought. Transl Psychiatry. (2016)
  69. Lane K, et al. Bioavailability and potential uses of vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids: a review of the literature. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. (2014)
  70. Hussein N, et al. Long-chain conversion of 13Clinoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid in response to marked changes in their dietary intake in men. J Lipid Res. (2005)
  71. Pawlosky RJ, et al. Physiological compartmental analysis of alpha-linolenic acid metabolism in adult humans. J Lipid Res. (2001)
  72. Fokkema MR, et al. Short-term supplementation of low-dose gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), or GLA plus ALA does not augment LCP omega 3 status of Dutch vegans to an appreciable extent. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. (2000)
  73. Emken EA, Adlof RO, Gulley RM. Dietary linoleic acid influences desaturation and acylation of deuterium-labeled linoleic and linolenic acids in young adult males. Biochim Biophys Acta. (1994)
  74. Protein and Amino Acid Requirements in Human Nutrition, page 245, table 49.
  75. Jenkins TA, et al. Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis. Nutrients. (2016)
  76. Cowen PJ, Browning M. What has serotonin to do with depression?. World Psychiatry. (2015)
  77. Feder A, et al. Tryptophan depletion and emotional processing in healthy volunteers at high risk for depression. Biol Psychiatry. (2011)
  78. Richard DM, et al. L-Tryptophan: Basic Metabolic Functions, Behavioral Research and Therapeutic Indications. Int J Tryptophan Res. (2009)
  79. Young SN, Leyton M. The role of serotonin in human mood and social interaction. Insight from altered tryptophan levels. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (2002)
  80. Lindseth G, Helland B, Caspers J. The effects of dietary tryptophan on affective disorders. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. (2015)
  81. Kroes MC, et al. Food can lift mood by affecting mood-regulating neurocircuits via a serotonergic mechanism. Neuroimage. (2014)
  82. Møller SE, Kirk L, Honoré P. Relationship between plasma ratio of tryptophan to competing amino acids and the response to L-tryptophan treatment in endogenously depressed patients. J Affect Disord. (1980)