Vitamin B12 is a crucial ingredient for the healthy running of one’s body, as it’s needed to make red blood cells. Signs of a deficiency can develop very slowly and could affect a range of body parts and even your mood. Could your depression, low mood or anxiety be related to having low levels of the essential vitamin?
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, treatment of depression with vitamin B12 was investigated.
Both low folate and low vitamin B12 status have been found in studies of depressive patients, and an association between depression and low levels of the two vitamins is found in studies of the general population, noted the study.
It added: “Low plasma or serum folate has also been found in patients with recurrent mood disorders treated by lithium.
“On the basis of current data, we suggest that oral doses of both folic acid (800 microg daily) and vitamin B12 (1 mg daily) should be tried to improve treatment outcome in depression.”
Another possible connection between low mood and B12 deficiency could lie in the effect of B12 on the levels of serotonin in the brain, in addition to other chemicals.
Serotonin helps to regulate a person’s mood.
Low levels of serotonin may be linked to depression.
However, some studies have suggested that serotonin may play a smaller role in depression than previously thought.
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products.
That means people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet may have trouble getting enough B12.
Some foods like cereal have B12 added to them.
That can help people who consume little, or no animal protein get enough B12.
You can also take a vitamin supplement to help improve mood and other symptoms.