Vitamins for Depression

Maybe it sounds odd taking vitamins for depression, but it helps very often. There are a wide range of mental symptoms caused by deficiency of different vitamins.

Research shows that both depression and anxiety can be eased by taking certain vitamins. Which are these depression vitamins?

Read about cause and symptoms of depression...


The B-Complex Vitamins

brown breadThey can not be stored in our bodies, so we are absolutely dependent on our daily diet to supply them. B vitamins are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugar, nicotine and caffeine, so it no surprise that many people may be deficient in them.
B vitamins are inevitable for our mental-emotional balance.
B-complex deficiency is particularly common in the elderly, since absorption of nutrition's is often incomplete in older age.

Find here a short summary about the relationship of B vitamins to depression:

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Deficiency may cause:
The intake of large amounts of refined carbohydrates, like sugar, drains the body's B1 supply.
Recommended dosage treating deficiency: 100mg/day

Vitamin B3 (niacin)

Deficiency virtually does not exist, since many commercial food products contain niacin, but subclinical deficiencies of vitamin B3 can produce:
Recommended dosage treating deficiency: 50mg/day

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine plays a key role in manufacturing serotonin, which is a brain chemical important for regulating your mood.
One person volunteered to eat a pyridoxine-free diet for 55 days. The result was severe depression, which was alleviated soon by administering the vitamin.
Severe vitamin B6 deficiency is rare. But many people are slightly low on this vitamin, which can cause:

Alcohol and many drugs as oral contraceptives can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B6. This may be the cause why some women experience depression after starting oral contraceptives or hormonal replacement therapy. Vitamin B6 may be particularly helpful for women on the Pill.
Many nutritional specialists think that most diets do not provide optimal amounts of this vitamin.
Recommended dosage treating deficiency: 200mg/day

Vitamin B9 (folic acid)

Folic acid is inevitable for DNA synthesis, new cell formation (like red blood cells) and for the development and proper function of the central nervous system. Poor diet, alcoholism, excessive stress, various drugs, including birth control pills, aspirin, anticonvulsants can result folic acid deficiency. The main mental symptoms of low folic acid level are:
Many physical symptoms include: anemia, gingivitis, tongue inflammation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, hair loss, poor growth in children.
Some research show that depressed patients had significantly lower blood folic acid levels than mentally healthy patients. Findings suggest, that folic acid deficiency can be a contributing factor in depression.
Minor deficiencies are very common, many people are low in folic acid, especially those eating mainly highly processed food.
Recommended dosage: 1mg/day

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system. The deficiency is generally due to impaired absorption from the intestine rather than low dietary intake. However, a strict vegetarian diet lacking in eggs or diary products is likely to be deficient in vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 deficiency usually develops over months or years - the liver can store up a 3-4 year supply. Deficiency leads to

When shortages do occur, they are often due to lack of intrinsic factor, a special substance produced by the stomach, that normally combines with the vitamin so that it can be taken up in the gut. Since intrinsic factor diminishes with age, older people are more prone to B12 deficiencies. Over the age of 50 deficiency becomes more common.
In depressed patients with documented vitamin B12 deficiency, intravenous vitamin B12 has resulted a dramatic improvement. It also produced a rapid resolution of postpartum psychosis in eight women.
Recommended dosage treating deficiency: 25mcg/day

Some researchers suggest that the B vitamins are even more effective when taken as a group

The safest, most convenient way to get all of your vitamin Bs is to invest in a B-complex supplement. Look for a supplement that contains at least 10mgs each of thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine and 0.5mg of folic acid and 20mcg of cobalamin. Take it twice a day.

Read about Herbs for Depression, Fish Oil for Depression, Magnesium for Depression...

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

vitamins for depressionVitamin C  plays an important role in the production of serotonin, it catalyzes the manufacturing of serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical, a neurotransmitter, responsible for your mood. Vitamin C is therefore valuable for patients with depression associated with low level of serotonin. In one study 40 chronic psychiatric inpatients received 1g/day ascorbic acid. Significant improvements were seen in depressive and manic symptoms as well as in overall well-being.
Symptoms of a mild ascorbic acid deficiency include fatigue, irritability and depressive mood disorder. More severe deficiency leads to scurvy symptoms.
Real scurvy is relatively rare in developed countries, but minor vitamin C deficiencies are common and they affect your mental health.
Vitamin C supplementation is particularly important if you have had surgery or inflammatory disease. Pregnancy, breast feeding and stress increase the body's need for ascorbic acid.
There is a wide variety in the recommended dosage, but an effective and safe intake lies between 1g up to 3g vitamin C a day. Excess vitamin C is excreted in the urine. If you experience diarrhea from this dose cut back your intake. Take your vitamin C supplement early, in the morning or at lunch, since some people might have difficulty falling asleep if they take the supplements later in the day.

Read more about Depression Help...

Vitamin D  (calciferol)

Recent studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation can relieve depression, especially seasonal affective disorder. During the winter months the lack of sunshine can lead to or worsen mood disorders. Vitamin D is produced in the skin under the influence of sunlight, so the vitamin D level in the body is higher during the summer months and lower in the winter. In many seasonal depressed patients vitamin D blood level is normal in the summer but too low in the winter. This discovery gave the idea of vitamin D supplementation during winter months. In a surprisingly high daily dose of 4000IU of vitamin D during the winter 90% of the winter depressed patients experienced improvement of their mood.
"The study suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be an explanation for depression, and that boosting vitamin D levels may help prevent or ease symptoms." "But how much vitamin D you need depends on several factors, such as the environment you live in, what time of year it is, your skin type, and sun exposure." (John Cannell MD, WebMD)

Related pages to Depression help in this site:

Symptom of Depression
More and more people right across the world are reporting to suffer from the symptom of depression. More and more people are seeking for information on depression.

Herbs for Depression
Mother nature provides us a lovely range of herbs for depression, which are a real natural cure for depression.

Magnesium for Depression
Magnesium for depression? Yes, and magnesium for anxiety, forgetfulness and fatigue, as well. Learn more about magnesium.

Fish Oil for Depression
It may sound weird, but there is a strong connection between the daily fish consumption and depression.

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