By Rajnish Mago, MD (bio)
On another page on this website, I discussed general issues regarding kosher medications, vitamins, and supplements. On this page, I will discuss specific kosher products that mental health clinicians may need to recommend to some of their Jewish patients.
Although I am concerned about the widespread use of melatonin “for sleep,” especially in very high doses (like 10 mg!), there are some legitimate reasons to recommend melatonin. It would be a mistake to think that plant-based or vegan preparations are kosher. Kosher certification has several requirements. Here are some melatonin preparations that are certified as being kosher AND whose quality has been approved by an independent testing agency (consumerlab.com):
Herbatonin® 0.3 mg plant melatonin. This is one good option since 0.3 mg is the recommended dose for delayed sleep phase disorder.
NOW® liquid melatonin 3 mg per 0.9 mL dropper. NOW is a well-known brand.
Solgar® melatonin 5 mg pills. Solgar is a well-known brand with a good reputation but 5 mg is a high dose. I mention it here only to give one more option.
NAC is a potential off-label treatment for excoriation (skin-picking) disorder. For a review of this, see this page. Some clinicians also recommend it for OCD, but for OCD, it has not shown that NAC is effective. For a review, see this page.
NAC preparations that are kosher AND whose quality has been approved by an independent testing agency (consumerlab.com) include:
Solgar® NAC 600 mg tablets. As noted above, Solgar is a well-known brand with a good reputation. These NAC tablets might be the best kosher option because a typical starting dose of NAC is 600 mg twice daily.
NOW® NAC 1000 mg tablets. As noted above, NOW is also a well-known brand.
S-adenosyl methionine is sometimes recommended by mental health clinicians as an adjunct in depressive disorders. For a review of this use, see this page.
I am aware of only one SAM-e preparation that is both kosher and whose quality was approved by consumerlab.com:
Vitacost® SAM-e 400 mg tablets
Mental health clinicians sometimes recommend vitamin D to patients with vitamin D deficiency because vitamin D has an important role not only in bone health but in mental health as well.
Here’s a well-known brand that is both kosher AND whose quality was approved by an independent testing agency (consumerlab.com):
Solgar Vitamin D 5000 IU capsules.
Mental health clinicians sometimes prescribe zinc for the treatment of hair loss associated with valproate though such use is not FDA-approved or supported by randomized clinical trials; see Valproate and hair loss (alopecia).
Kosher zinc products whose quality has been approved by an independent testing agency (consumerlab.com) include:
Shaklee zinc complex (15 mg). This product also has the important advantage of being available in a lower dose–15 mg. Zinc is often irritant to the stomach, so I am surprised that so many other zinc preparations are only available in 50 mg strengths.
NOW® zinc (50 mg). NOW is a well-known brand of supplements and is widely available in the USA.[Optional to read: Here are two more kosher zinc preparations whose quality was approved by an independent testing agency. 1. Garden of Life® Vitamin Code® Raw Zinc (15 mg). 2. Country Life® Zinc (50 mg)]
Like zinc, selenium is also sometimes prescribed by mental health clinicians for hair loss due to valproate.
Selenium products that are both kosher AND whose quality has been approved by an independent testing agency (consumerlab.com) include:
Freeda® Natural Oceanic Selenium 100 mcg tablets.
Solgar Yeast-Free Selenium 200 mcg tablets.
Kosher medications, vitamins, and supplements: General issues
What is N-acetylcysteine (NAC)?
How to prescribe N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
Valproate and hair loss (alopecia)
Vitamin D for depression?
What is vitamin D?
How should vitamin D status be measured?
How should we define vitamin D insufficiency (deficiency)?
How should vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency be treated?
Does vitamin D supplementation increase the risk of kidney stones?
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