To Your Health
July, 2024 (Vol. 18, Issue 07)
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B6 for Mental Health

By Editorial Staff

Are you getting enough vitamin B – specifically vitamin B6? If you experience anxiety and/or depression, low vitamin B could be one of the contributing factors; and getting enough vitamin B could be one of the solutions! Let's take a look at what new research suggests about the power of vitamin B6 when it comes to your mental health.

Published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, the study included 300 participants who randomly received vitamin B6 or B12 supplements, or a placebo (an inactive supplement) daily for one month. Anxiety / depression levels were assessed before and after supplementation so researchers could evaluate how the B vitamins impacted symptoms.

Members of the B6 group reported feeling less anxious and depressed after one month, while members of the B12 and placebo groups reported little to no improvement in anxiety / depression. It's important to note that researchers administered high doses of B vitamins for study purposes (approximately 50 times about the recommended daily allowance), so you definitely shouldn't start taking extra vitamin B6 without talking to your doctor first.

Why could vitamin B6 improve anxiety / depression? Per the study, it may be associated with a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Other research suggests people with anxiety and/or depression have lower levels of GABA, and in this study, tests following one month of supplementation confirmed higher levels of GABA in members of the B6 group.