Women with major depression may benefit from taking the dietary supplement creatine, new research suggests.
Creatine is sometimes used as an athletic aid to increase high-intensity performance.
Researchers at the University of Utah, alongside colleagues in South Korea, studied 52 women with major depressive disorder over an eight-week period.
Participants were all taking the antidepressant escitalopram (brand name Lexapro) and half of the women also took 5g creatine supplements each day, while the others were given a placebo (dummy treatment).
Of the 39 women who completed the trial, those using creatine showed greater improvements in depressive symptoms.
Half of creatine users showed no signs of depression after eight weeks, compared with just a quarter of those in the placebo group.
Commenting on the findings, which are published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, senior author Dr Perry Renshaw said: 'If we can get people to feel better more quickly, they're more likely to stay with treatment and, ultimately, have better outcomes.'