May Improve Mood And Symptoms Of Depression
Vitamin B12 may improve your mood.
The effect of vitamin B12 on mood is not yet fully understood. However, this vitamin plays a vital role in synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood.
Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood.
Studies support the use of vitamin B12 supplements for improving symptoms of depression in people deficient in this vitamin.
One study in people with depression and low vitamin B12 levels found that those who received both antidepressants and vitamin B12 were more likely to show improved depressive symptoms, compared to those treated with antidepressants alone (
Additionally, high vitamin B12 levels have been linked to better treatment outcomes and an increased probability of recovery from major depressive disorder .
Though vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood and depression in people with a deficiency, research does not currently suggest that they have the same effect in those with normal B12 levels.
Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people with an existing deficiency.
What Are The Side Effects
What happens if you take in too much B12?
Basically, nothing. Here is what the United States Institute for Medicine6 concluded:
” no adverse effects have been associated with excess vitamin B12 intake from food and supplements in healthy individuals”
So, even if you take supplements on top of a diet that provides all you need, you are unlikely to do yourself any damage. To be safe, always stay within the recommended dosage unless advised by your doctor.
How Is A B
If you suspect you have a vitamin deficiency, make an appointment with your doctor. They can do a blood test to check the level of vitamins in your blood. You should also bring a list of the following to your appointment:
- medications and supplements you take
- symptoms youve experienced
- questions for your doctor
Test results shouldnt take more than a week to receive. If you find out you have a vitamin or nutrient deficiency, you can start implementing diet changes. Your doctor may also recommend temporarily taking supplements if the deficiency is severe.
If your blood work comes back normal, you can rule out a B-12 deficiency and look into other treatment options for depression.
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May Prevent Major Birth Defects
Adequate vitamin B12 levels are crucial to a healthy pregnancy.
Studies show that a fetuss brain and nervous system require sufficient B12 levels from the mother to develop properly.
Vitamin B12 deficiency in the beginning stages of pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects. Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or miscarriage .
One study found that women with vitamin B12 levels lower than 250 mg/dL were three times more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects, compared to those with adequate levels .
For women with a vitamin B12 deficiency and levels below 150 mg/dL the risk was five times higher, compared to women with levels above 400 mg/dL .
Appropriate vitamin B12 levels are key to a healthy pregnancy. Theyre important for the prevention of brain and spinal cord birth defects.
B Vitamins That Actually Work For Anxiety
- B-Vitamins are often marketed as a natural treatment for anxiety.
- These vitamins should not be confused for medicine. Anxiety medications are more effective.
- Only some B-vitamins may have an anxiolytic effect.
- Be careful about taking any supplements that have not been substantially researched.
- Other methods of reducing anxiety are likely far more effective.
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How Do You Know If You Have A Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Pale of jaundiced skin:
If you do not have enough B12 in your body, you may notice a pale or yellow tinge to your skin, known as jaundice. This occurs as a result of problems with the bodys red blood cell production.
- Weakness and fatigue:
When your body doesnt have sufficient B12, it is difficult for oxygen to be transported through your body. This causes you to feel overly tired and weak.
- The feeling of pins and needles:
Long-term nerve damage is a more serious effect of B12 deficiency. Typically, this occurs over time, as your body is unable to get enough of the fatty substance myelin, which serves as a protectant of your nerves.
When your deficiency goes untreated, it can result in changes to the way you walk and move. In some cases, it can even impact your balance and coordination. This can be serious for the elderly as it leaves them susceptible to falling.
- Tongue and mouth problems:
An inflamed tongue, also known as glossitis, can occur as a result of a B12 vitamin deficiency. Not only is it painful, it can also impact how you eat and speak. Those with a deficiency may also experience ulcers and a burning sensation in the mouth.
- Shortness of breath and dizziness:
A B12 deficiency can easily lead to anemia. When this happens, your body doesnt have the red blood cells necessary to get enough oxygen to your bodys cellswhich can cause you to feel short of breath and dizzy.
- Blurred vision:
- High body temperature:
How Vitamin B12 Benefits Your Mood
Vitamin B12 has far-reaching effects on your mood and mental health. It is essential to the biosynthesis and metabolism of the chemical neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin has been called the happy hormone, due to its contribution to our well-being and feelings of happiness. It helps with the regulation and stabilization of mood and anxiety.
Folate, otherwise known as folic acid and Vitamin B9, and Vitamin B12 are closely interconnected in several different processes, such as the production of red blood cells, and helping the body effectively utilize iron.
They are also primary cofactors of one-carbon metabolism, which produces the naturally occurring chemical compound of S-adenosylmethionine, or SAMe. This compound is important for healthy neurological functioning, especially when it comes to regulating stress and mood, and possesses strong antidepressant effects.
But how does that work?
The strong antidepressant effects of SAMe come from its key role in the process of methylation.
The process of DNA methylation involves the addition of methyl groups to DNA molecules, and helps change the activity of a DNA segment without changing its sequence. DNA methylation may turn gene transcription, the process of making an RNA copy of a gene sequence, off or on.
Why is this important?
What are these two genes, and what do they do?
For those who dont know:
Lets take a closer look:
So what about the methionine cycle?
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From B12 Deficiency
Once you begin treating your vitamin B12 deficiency, it can take up to six to 12 months to fully recover.
It is also common to not experience any improvement during the first few months of treatment.
If you can, its a good idea to address whats causing the deficiency. In some cases, its possible that you will need to continue using supplementation for the rest of your life, even if your symptoms have improved.
To receive a proper B12 deficiency diagnosis, you should seek medical care as soon as symptoms arise.
The Karachi Study Proof Is In The Pudding
The exciting thing about monoamine hypothesis in relation to vitamin B12 is that it offers an explanation for the long observed but unproven link between B12 and a reduction of those moody blues. The chemical link between how vitamin b12 may help depression is documented globally, recently and notably by researchers in Karachi.3
The researchers studied how vitamin B12 may help depression and found that4:
- Over 45% of depressed patients improved significantly with B12 injections
- Overall HAM-D scores were reduced by 20% with B12 injections
- Study participants presenting vitamin B12 deficiency showed a 50% improvement on their HAM-D scores by the end of the B12 injection protocol 3
Vitamin B12 supplementation with antidepressants significantly improved depressive symptoms3
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Best Vitamins For Depression
B vitamins play an important role in helping the brain produce adequate levels of the chemicals required to manage mood and other functions, according to the Mayo Clinic. If someone has low levels of B-vitamins and in particular B-12, they may be more likely to experience symptoms of depression. B-vitamin deficiencies are often seen in people who have depression.
Even without a specific disorder, it can become increasingly difficult for a persons body to absorb enough vitamin B-12 as they age. Depression can often include symptoms of fatigue, and B-vitamins can help combat that. B-12, in particular, is known for being important to reduce fatigue.
Some of the foods that contain high levels of B-12 include fish, lean meats, eggs, poultry and milk. Certain breakfast cereals may be fortified with B-12 as well. B-12 supplementation can help if someone is a vegan or vegetarian or may not be getting enough of the vitamin for any reason.
Other B vitamins for depression, or vitamins that play a role in brain health include:
Nutrients That Can Lift Your Spirits
Correction: An earlier version of the story misstated the recommended daily allowance of folate for adults. The amount is 400 micrograms, not 400 milligrams. This version has been corrected.
If you want some pep in your step or a dash of good cheer, look no further than the grocery stores shelves. Not only are foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids healthful, but studies show they can also increase happiness, lessen symptoms of depression and quell anxiety.
How can foods improve our moods? It all comes down to the brain. A healthy cognitive system is essential to regulating mood, and certain nutrients have a profound impact on maintaining normal brain function. Researchers have studied the association between foods and the brain and identified 10 nutrients that can combat depression and boost mood: calcium, chromium, folate, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and zinc. Try foods containing these nutrients for a midday pick-me-up, to promote long-term happiness or to ward off the nagging worry that you forgot to lock the front door.
The most abundant mineral in the body, calcium plays an important role in maintaining strong bones and healthy blood vessels, and in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Low levels of calcium may play a role in premenstrual-syndrome-related depression in particular. Calcium deficiency affects more women than men, so women should take special care to meet the daily requirements.
Broccoli : 11 mcg
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How Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Occur
- Inhibited Intrinsic Factor:Intrinsic factor is a substance produced in the stomach that makes it possible for the body to absorb Vitamin B12. Anautoimmune condition called pernicious anemia creates antibodies that impair intrinsic factor from facilitating absorption. Illness or injury to the digestive system can also interfere withintrinsic factor production, leading to poor vitamin B12 absorption.
- Low Dietary Intake: Excess vitamin B12 can be stored in the liver for between three-to-five years, but if ones dietary intake does not replenish its supply, symptoms of vitamin deficiency can develop. Vitamin B12 is commonly found inanimal products, such as beef, pork, salmon, liver, dairy products, eggs, salmon, clams, oysters, tuna, and fortified cereals.
What Makes B12 Shots Effective For Cfs
So what is it that makes Vitamin B12 shots potentially effective for chronic fatigue syndrome? Recently, a group of researchers affiliated with the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at Swedens Gothenburg University published their results from a study attempting to answer to this question. The researchers drew from their 15 years of experience studying CFS patients and treating them with vitamin B12. During this time, they had already determined that CFS patients respond best to the injective form of B12 therapy.
For this study, they examined clinical data from 38 female patients with CFS who had been on B12 injections at least once a week for six months and up to several years, all of whom expressed favorable response, from mild to dramatic. Heres what they found:
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Does Your Brain Go Back To Normal After Antidepressants
The process of healing the brain takes quite a bit longer than recovery from the acute symptoms. In fact, our best estimates are that it takes 6 to 9 months after you are no longer symptomatically depressed for your brain to entirely recover cognitive function and resilience.
Utilize support groups to share mental health and wellness requirements as well as worries affecting your life and also the lives of others. Both can cause harmful side effects with antidepressant medications. Inpsychotherapy, you talk with a qualified therapist or counselor about points that are taking place in your life. The emphasis may be on your ideas can vitamin b12 deficiency cause depression and also beliefs, on things that took place in your past, or on your partnerships. Or the focus may get on your behavior, how its influencing you, as well as what you can do in different ways. Psychiatric therapy normally lasts for a restricted time, such as 8 to 20 visits. They aid enhance the number of chemical messengers in your brain.
What Is Vitamin B
Vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a nutrient that is vital for certain processes in our bodies. Its large and complex nature means that B-12 is only produced by certain bacteria and single-celled organisms, which is why the human body does not produce it on its own and must instead get it from the foods we eat. If you arent eating enough foods rich in B-12, your levels can drop below normal. Many studies have found that people who suffer from depression or anxiety have low B-12 levels, which is thought to happen because your nervous system will malfunction without it. This is what has led to interest in using supplemental B-12 for anxiety and depression symptoms.
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What Are Good Sources
The best source of B12 is offal. 75g of lamb liver can contain as much as much as 60 mcg. Compare that to 18 mcg in 75g of mussels, 2.5 mcg in ground beef and 1.5 mcg in an egg.
Dietitians of Canada have put together an excellent table of good sources5.
While those in the top tier will provide you with a much higher dose of B12, it is not that important. An adult only needs 2.4 mcg per day5. Therefore, only exceptionally poor diets will not achieve this.
Most of the time, a healthy and varied diet is all you need.
Healing B12 Folate And B6 Deficiencies
Folate and B vitamins can be consumed in dark leafy greens, grass-fed meats, and wild-caught fish.
In my clinic, we use methylated B12 and folate in combination with B vitamins such as B6 to avoid problems with conversion that can cause build up of homocysteine and inflammation. One of my favorite ways to supplement these nutrients is a high quality multivitamin.
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Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency You Need To Know
As youve gathered from the title, vitamin B12 deficiency could be one of the root causes of your anxiety and depression. However, other symptoms of low B12 can make you feel crappy at the very least, and at their worst leave you hospitalized or bedridden These include:
- Growth failure and brain injuries in babies
- Brain Atrophy
Looking back on my days as a hospice nurse, I wonder how many of my patients had B12 deficiencies and could have gotten significant relief from a simple supplement.
Instead, what I saw then and see now in my current Functional Medicine patients is the use of pharmaceuticals to treat what I often think are B12 deficiency signs. Furthermore, what most of these drugs do to treat symptoms is mask them, while the root cause ravages on. The longer you remain B12 deficient the worse youll get. Whats particularly worrying is that in some of the most severe cases the damage caused by a lack of B12 is irreversible.
The Benefits Of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is one of the most important B vitamins. It is important for the bodys metabolism, blood cell formation, and brain function. A deficiency in it can cause a wide range of health problems. Heres a short guide to vitamin B12 and its benefits:
Vitamin B12 is essential for the bodys energy production processes. The body needs vitamin B12 to be able to use the proteins and fats in food. It is also important for converting carbohydrates into sugar so that they can provide energy. As a result, fatigue is one of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
B12 is a key nutrient for nervous system health. It is important for producing serotonin and dopamine, which are mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. As a result, vitamin B12 can help to prevent and treat depression and anxiety. It can improve focus and memory as well. B12 is necessary for the production of myelin, which is the insulation for nerve fibers. The myelin sheath around nerves enables faster electrical impulse transmission.
Vitamin B12 protects against cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke. It does this by lowering the levels of an amino acid in the blood called homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are associated with the development of heart disease.
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