Mood disorders are the most common type of mental illness, affecting over 5% of the Canadian population every year. One in seven adult Canadians will suffer a depressive episode in their lifetime. A new, long-term study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that higher intakes of vitamin B6 and B12 may help protect against depressive episodes.
The study included 3500 individuals aged 65 or older, and examined the relationship between vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid intake and the incidence of depression. The results indicated that higher intakes of vitamin B6 and B12 (including supplementation) was linked to a reduced risk of depression for up to 12 years of follow-up. There was no relationship between depression and folic acid intake. The researchers found that for every additional 10mg of each vitamin there was a 2% reduced risk of depressive symptoms per year.
These results highlight the importance of adequate B vitamin intake, and suggest that increased B vitamin intake can help protect older adults from depressive episodes.
For more information see Advanced B Complex, Methylcobalamin or P-5-P
Skarupski KA, Tangney C, Li H, et al. Longitudinal association of vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin B-12 with depressive symptoms among older adults over time. Am J Clin Nutr. Jun2010.