Doctors Are Using Oysters To Treat Anxiety And Depression

One in 5 Americans have a mental illness. Though that statistic may seem high, it's a low ball estimate, as a lot of Americans have mental illnesses that are undiagnosed.

The public conversation surrounding mental health isn't catered toward a select few— everybody knows and loves someone who is effected by mental illness.

When we talk about mental illness, we're most frequently talking about anxiety and depression.

Unsplash | Sydney Sims

Not only are they pretty common, but they're socially "easier to digest" than a lot of other mental illnesses. Everyone can relate to anxiousness and sadness in some way, even if they aren't directly comparable to anxiety and depression.

As they're frequently diagnosed, there are a lot of varying treatment options out there.

A lot of people go for a combination of medication and therapy, but those options aren't for everyone.

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Not everyone vibes with taking medicine for mental health, which is a perfectly valid choice. Therapy is helpful in the long run, but expensive, so a lot of people are looking for a natural alternative to meds that could help them day to day.

How about an oyster?

Unsplash | Sweet Ice Cream Photography

No, seriously. Columbia University assistant professor and psychiatrist Dr. Drew Ramsey has been prescribing his patients oysters to treat depression and a variety of anxiety disorders.

The secret? Vitamin B12!

Unsplash | Charles Koh

Ramsey connects high vitamin B12 count in oysters to reduced brain shrinkage, as well as a link between omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies and depression.

One patient ate 36 oysters over the course of one weekend.

Unsplash | Paula Borowska

"It's one part of the whole package that helps alleviate my depression and helps me to feel better," the patient told Delish.

But don't worry—you don't have to eat that many.

Ramsey beleives that poor diet is intrinsically connected to mental illness.


The psychiatrist has published a number of books exploring what he calls "food mood connection," including Eat Complete, Fifty Shades of Kale, and The Happiness Diet.

What do you think?

h/t: Delish