Vitamin B staves off depression22nd June 2010
Older adults whose intake of B vitamins is low risk developing depression, according to a recent US study.
The researchers found that, when older adults' vitamin B6 intake was increased by just 10 micrograms, their risk of getting depressed decreased by 2%.
Lead researcher Kimberly Skarupski, an associate professor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said that the recent study followed its subjects for over 12 years, giving it good statistical significance.
She said that the people who got more B vitamins may have also had healthier lifestyles than those who did not.
Vitamin B6 is found in many foods, and plants that have it include potatoes, beans, bananas, and peanuts.
Meat also contains vitamin B6, as well as certain fish, such as salmon and tuna.
For the study, the researchers followed about 3,500 people aged 65 and older over a period of more than 12 years.
During that time, the researchers estimated the amount of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 that the subjects ate per day, as well as assessing their depression.
The researchers found that up to 14% of the subjects had symptoms of clinical depression at some point during the study.
They found that subjects who ate more vitamin B6 and B12 were less likely to be depressed, even when they filtered the results to account for race, education, income, lifestyle habits, and antidepressant use.
Skarupski said that, although her study did not discover a cause linking vitamin B deficiency and depression, she wanted older adults to make sure they ate well-balanced diets.
Other studies have showed that there is a link between vitamin deficiency and depression risk, and some have linked folate deficiency to depression, although Skarupski's study did not.
The researchers said that, since vitamin B6 and B12 were involved in healthy nervous system function, problems with thinking and memory could arise from vitamin B12 deficiency.
They said that the body required vitamin B6 in order to make serotonin, which plays a key role in depression and anxiety.
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Title: Vitamin B staves off depression
Author: Luisetta Mudie
Article Id: 15246
Date Added: 22nd Jun 2010