Recent study confirms vitamin B works for depression

170152Substantial scientific evidence to date imply that depression and anxiety symptoms could be relieved by various nutrition supplements, particularly Inositol and S-adenosyl. However, it was long suspected that vitamin B could be among the natural supplements that could ease depression and anxiety. For example, in favor of that position, a study by Sasaki et al. (2006) showed that consuption of vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, may be protective against postpartum depression. Also according to the Finnish Kuopio Heart study, the prevalence of depression could be associated with lack of vitamin B12.

Recent study by Lewis et al. published earlier this year confirmed these assupmtions. In randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study, authors evaluated the efficacy of vitamin B complex nutritional supplement (Max Stress B) for relieving depression and anxiety symptoms. As a measure of depression the authors used Beck depression and anxiety inventaries, but they also measured overall quality of life using SF-36. The participants were all adults diagnosed with major depression or other types of depressive disorders.

Participants recieved Max Stress B for a period of sixty days. Max Stress B, among others, contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Participants were randomly assigned either to experimental condition (recieving real vitamin treatment) or in a placebo condition. All subjects and experimenters were blind to the treatment condition. The results showed that vitamin B caused moderate short-term improvements in depression, anxiety and overall mental health. Although both groups showed significant improvement from the baseline, the real treatment group had more continous decrease of symptoms throughout the study while placebo group showed no improvement after the day 30 of the study. The authors note that their study would probably demonstrate more significant effects of the vitamin B treatment had it been longer. They conclude with the suggestion for future studies to allow for longer time of vitamin B treatment.

Although the results of this study are in accordance with other studies exploring the benefits of natural remedies for depression and anxiety, the main advantage of this study is its methodology. We finally have a quality study which is double-blind and placebo controlled, and thus meets the strict scientific standard, and which allows us to reliably conclude: yes, vitamin B really works!

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