Vitamins and depression

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What is the relationship between the Vitamins and Depression? Vitamins are the vital ingredients in our body. There are a variety of vitamin deficiencies that can lead to depression symptoms. It is applicable to your mental health also.

Vitamins can help to fight depression as well because vitamins regulate hormone production in our body. The hormone in turn keeps us emotionally and physically healthy.

Vitamins deficiency leads to sleeplessness, tiredness, confused state of mind and finally into depression.

Vitamin B complex

Vitamin B1 (thiamine): The brain uses this vitamin to help convert glucose, or blood sugar, into fuel, and without it the brain rapidly runs out of energy. This can lead to fatigue, depression, irritability, anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide. Deficiencies can also cause memory problems, loss of appetite, insomnia, and gastrointestinal disorders. The consumption of refined carbohydrates, such as simple sugars, drains the body’s B1 supply.

Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Pellagra-which produces psychosis and dementia, among other symptoms-was eventually found to be caused by niacin deficiency. Many commercial food products now contain niacin, and pellagra has virtually disappeared. However, subclinical deficiencies of vitamin B3 can produce agitation and anxiety, as well as mental and physical slowness.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Symptoms of deficiency are fatigue, chronic stress, and depression. Vitamin B5 is needed for hormone formation and the uptake of amino acids and the brain chemical acetylcholine, which combine to prevent certain types of depression.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
This vitamin aids in the processing of amino acids, which are the building blocks of all proteins and some hormones. It is needed in the manufacture of serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. Vitamin B6 deficiencies, although very rare, cause impaired immunity, skin lesions, and mental confusion. A marginal deficiency sometimes occurs in alcoholics, patients with kidney failure, and women using oral contraceptives. MAOIs, ironically, may also lead to a shortage of this vitamin. Many nutritionally oriented doctors believe that most diets do not provide optimal amounts of this vitamin.
Vitamin B12
Because vitamin B12 is important to red blood cell formation, deficiency leads to an oxygen-transport problem known as pernicious anemia. This disorder can cause mood swings, paranoia, irritability, confusion, dementia, hallucinations, or mania, eventually followed by appetite loss, dizziness, weakness, shortage of breath, heart palpitations, diarrhea, and tingling sensations in the extremities. Deficiencies take a long time to develop, since the body stores a three- to five-year supply in the liver. When shortages do occur, they are often due to a lack of intrinsic factor, an enzyme that allows vitamin B12 to be absorbed in the intestinal tract. Since intrinsic factor diminishes with age, older people are more prone to B12 deficiencies.

Folic acid
This B vitamin is needed for DNA synthesis. It is also necessary for the production of SAM (S-adenosyl methionine). Poor dietary habits contribute to folic acid deficiencies, as do illness, alcoholism, and various drugs, including aspirin, birth control pills, barbiturates, and anticonvulsants. It is usually administered along with vitamin B12, since a B12 deficiency can mask a folic acid deficiency. Pregnant women are often advised to take this vitamin to prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus.

Vitamin C

Subclinical deficiencies can produce depression, which requires the use of supplements. Supplementation is particularly important if you have had surgery or an inflammatory disease. Stress, pregnancy, and lactation also increase the body’s need for vitamin C, while aspirin, tetracycline, and birth control pills can deplete the body’s supply.

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Vitamin B deficiency cause depression

All vitamins play great role for depression. Depression is a disorder that affects your mood, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It is the most common psychiatric ailment in society any given time, and is the second leading cause of long-term disability.
Depression is most often caused by a number of underlying factors, including vitamins and minerals deficiency.
Deficiency of vitamins and minerals in daily diet has influence on brain function and creat preconditions for depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

Relationship between the vitamins B group deficiency and depression

The some researches show link with insufficient vitamin B complex and mood changes, insomnia, changes in appetite, sugar carving and impaired drug metabolism. As a group, the B vitamins play an important role both for depression relief and in relieving the anxiety and restlessness which often accompanies it.

Vitamin B1 is essential for nerve stimulation and for metabolism of carbohydrates to give brain energy as well as body energy. Vitamin B1 deficiency symptoms include mood disorders, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, night terror etc.

Although Vitamin B2 has not directly associate with emotional states, studies have shown that diets restricted only in riboflavin produce adverse personality changes, including aggressive personality alterations.

Vitamin B3 deficiency also has been associated with depression and anxiety. It helps in irritability and other mental disturbances.
Vitamin B5 is active in the formation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which can be involved in some depression. A deficiency can cause depression, fatigue and allergies.

Vitamin B6 is  important for regulation of mood and behavior, deficiency of Pyridoxine leads to irritation and anxiety, insomnia and nervousness. Vitamin B6 supplements helps women to get over with post menopause depression and anxiety.

The mental changes caused by deficiency of Vitamin B12 can rise from difficulty in concentrating or memory, mental fatigue and low moods, to a severe depression, intense agitation etc. People suffering from depression often respond faster to depression medication when they take Vitamin B12 supplements along with it.

The best way to avoid a deficiency of B vitamins and depression is to eat a varied diet of fresh fruit, an abundance of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and other food as desired. Some of these B vitamins can also be made by friendly bacteria in a healthy colon and absorbed into circulation.


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Vitamins that fight with depression, anxiety, and stress

salmon-vitaminVitamin B1 (thiamin) can help alleviate depression and anxiety attacks. Good sources of thiamin are pork, liver, fish, oranges, peas, peanut butter, wheat germ, beans, and whole grains.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is vital to the proper function of the nervous system. Food reached with vitamin B3: meat, chicken, fish, beans, peas, peanut butter, milk, diary products, nuts, whole & enriched grains.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) is a natural tension-reliever. Some pantothenic acid is found in just about every food.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps in the proper production of natural antidepressants such as dopamine and norepinephrine. The best source of pyridoxine in your food is high-quality protein: chicken, pork, beef, fish, milk, dairy products, and eggs.

Vitamin B9 Folic acid (folacin). Deficiencies of folic acid can cause mental illness. Dark-green leafy vegetables, liver, orange juice, beans, avocados, beets are good sources of folate. Other sources include fruit and enriched grains.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) aids relieve irritability, improve concentration, increase energy, and support a healthy nervous system. Only animal foods such as meat, fish, and eggs naturally have cobalamin in them.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is essential for combating stress, anxiety and depression. Oranges and other citrus fruits are a great way to get your vitamin C.

Choline sends nerve impulses to brain and produces a soothing effect.
The best animal sources of choline are eggs, red meat, liver, and caviar. Good vegetable sources are cabbage, cauliflower, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and rice.

Name Your LinkVitamin E (dry form) (alpha-tocopherol) helps brain cells in getting needed oxygen.

Zinc promotes mental alertness and aids in proper brain function.

Name Your LinkMagnesium is anti-stress mineral, necessary for proper nerve functioning
Manganese helps reduce nervous irritability and relief depression.

CalciumCalcium alleviates tension, irritability, and promotes relaxation.

Tyrosine aids increase the rate at which brain neurons produce the antidepressants dopamine and norepinephrine.

TryptophanTryptophan works with vitamin B6, niacin, and magnesium to synthesize the brain chemical serotonin, a natural tranquilizer.

PhenylalaninePhenylalanine needed for the brain’s release of the antidepressants dopamine and norepinephrine.

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Who are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, and is named cobalamin because it has the element cobalt in its structure.

Vitamin B12 maintains healthy nervous system and assists with blood cell formation.

Deficiency of cobalamin may cause eczma, dandruff, hair loss, skin disorders, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, confusion, mental depression, drowsiness, and hallucinations.

Usually bound to protein in foods (as in meat and eggs), cobalamin is released in digestion. Intrinsic Factor, a substance made by cells that line the stomach, binds to cobalamin, and this complex of cobalamin and intrinsic factor is then absorbed in the small intestine.

Some people cannot make enough intrinsic factor to bind with cobalamin, and as a result, they absorb very little vitamin B12 in the digestive tract. Over time, this can develop into a disorder called pernicious anemia.
Pernicious anemia takes time to develop because the liver stores enough vitamin B12 to last.

But if none, or very little vitamin B12, is absorbed through the diet, it will take about a year or so for the liver’s reserves of vitamin B12 to be depleted.

Another way to develop vitamin B12 deficiency is to not take in enough foods that provide vitamin B12. This can occur to strict vegetarians who neglect to supplement their diet with vitamin B12.
It’s important to understand that vegetarians who are thinking about pregnancy need to start vitamin B12 supplementation long before they become pregnant.

Infants of vegetarian moms have limited stores of vitamin B12 and can develop a deficiency within months of birth. So it is important that vegetarian moms who breastfeed their infants take vitamin B12 supplement. Untreated deficiency of vitamin B12 in babies can result in severe and permanent neurological (nerve) damage.

Many older adults are marginally deficient in cobalamin. Smokers, people who have been taking some prescription drug are also at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Most persons that have low levels and diets poor in vitamin B12 would do well to supplement B12 daily.


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