Over the years, numerous studies have been done on what causes panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. These mental states are often times hard to control, and those suffering from them are provided with medicines.
A new study, however, shows that one specific vitamin, or the deficiency of it, may trigger these conditions.
Vitamin B, which is in fact an umbrella term that includes eight vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, folate and B12, is a group of water-soluble vitamins that play a vital role in maintaining good health.
The link between Vitamin B and mental health isn’t anything new. It was during the early 1990s that it was discovered how low levels of Vitamin B can lead to anxiety and depression.
Most recent studies confirm this knowledge. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2017 found that individuals with panic disorder had significantly lower levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12 than those without panic disorder. Similar study, conducted in 2018 and published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, shows that people with symptoms of major depressive disorder had significantly lower levels of vitamin B12 compared to those who don’t experience depression at any level.
Vitamin B, which cannot be stored in the body, play roles in many organs and bodily systems.
How the Vitamin B is related to the well-being of a person’s mental states has to do with this vitamin’s involvement in the production of neurotransmitters, chemicals that allow nerve cells to communicate with each other and that play a vital role in regulating mood. Having said that, it is understandable why the Vitamin B deficiency can lead to mood swings, and more severe mental disroders.
At the same time, B vitamins help convert food into energy that the body can use. Its deficiency can lead to lack of energy and fatigues.
Additionally, B vitamins help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can cause oxidative stress, linked to several mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.
These essential vitamins can get to our body through diet rich with them.
B vitamins are found in abundance in meat, eggs, and dairy products. Sources for B vitamins also include spinach, legumes (pulses or beans), whole grains, asparagus, potatoes, bananas, chili peppers, breakfast cereals.
- Liver – is particularly rich source of vitamin B12, which is important for brain function and the production of red blood cells.
- Beef – is a good source of several B vitamins, including vitamin B12, thiamine, and riboflavin.
- Chicken – contains several B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
- Salmon – is a good source of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved mental health.
- Tuna – contains vitamin B12 and niacin, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eggs – are a good source of several B vitamins, including vitamin B12, riboflavin, and folate.
- Spinach – is rich with several B vitamins, including folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.
- Broccoli – is a great source of many B-vitamins.
- Almonds – are a great source of vitamin B2 and vitamin E. They are also high in healthy fats and fiber.
- Avocado – is a good source of vitamin B6 and folate.
People who do not consume animal products may need to get vitamin B-12 from supplements or fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast.
Treating and preventing B vitamin deficiencies can be achieved by increasing dietary intake of high-vitamin foods or taking vitamin supplements.
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Love and Peace