It is widely known that a person’s mood and emotional state are results of situational factors and bodily processes involving elements such as hormones, neurotransmitters, and nutrients. The nutrients Vitamins B1, B6 and B12 have been found to play key roles in keeping a healthy mood as explained by the following:
1. Vitamin B1 keeps the brain active and energized
The brain is considered a metabolically active organ accounting for over 20% of the body’s total energy expenditure. The brain is selective when it comes to its source of energy as it almost exclusively relies on glucose obtained from the carbohydrates that are consumed. The process of converting glucose into energy essentially requires Vitamin B1 or Thiamine. This makes Vitamin B1 a crucial nutrient to keep the brains energized by allowing the conversion of glucose into energy.
2. Vitamin B6 helps the brain to synthesize the neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals responsible for one’s mood and mental function
Neurotransmitters are chemical substances made by the brain that exert an influence over mood and mental function. Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine contributes to a healthy brain function by being an essential cofactor in the production of a number of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), noradrenaline and melatonin. Dopamine plays a role in reactions involved on how pleasure is felt while serotonin contributes to feelings of well-being. GABA is the brain’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter and appropriate levels are needed to regulate or calm brain activity and to help reduce anxiety. Noradrenaline helps in coping with stress and in becoming active while melatonin is important in maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
3. Vitamins B6 and B12 help clear away metabolic by-products linked with depression
Whenever the body processes or metabolizes protein, it produces a substance known as homocysteine. Homocysteine accumulation has been linked to the development of depression. It was reported that up to 30% of depressed patients were found to have elevated homocysteine levels. Thankfully, the body is able to naturally clear away homocysteine through reactions involving Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and Vitamins B12 (Cobalamin). Maintaining healthy levels of Vitamins B6 and B12 may therefore be seen as a way to prevent homocysteine buildup.
4. Deficiencies of B vitamins have been associated with the development of mood problems
Seeing that these B vitamins play numerous roles in keeping a healthy mood, it is no surprise that deficiencies of these B vitamins may lead to mood disorders. The Women’s Health and Aging Study done in 2000 resulted in findings that women with B12 deficiency had twice the risk of severe depression. In another study done in 2008 among older Korean people, it was reported that lower levels of vitamin B12 at baseline were associated with a higher risk of developing depression in 2-3 years. More recently, a study done in 2020 among Japanese yielded the outcome that in middle-aged and elderly women, moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms were associated with a lower dietary intake of vitamin B6.
5. Supplementation with B vitamins has been suggested to support a healthy mood and mental well-being
The results of studies on B-vitamin supplementation to reduce the risk of developing mood disorders have been promising. In a study done in 2010 on 35,053 older adults in the US, it was found out that higher intakes of Vitamin B6 and B12 were associated with a lower risk of developing depressive symptoms by an average of 7.2 years. In another clinical trial done in 2011, participants treated with vitamin B complex for 3 months were found to experience lower levels of perceived personal strain and sad mood compared to those who were not given vitamin B complex.
Vitamins B1, B6 and B12 play numerous key roles in the different brain processes responsible for one’s mood, ranging from generating energy, synthesizing neurotransmitters, and even clearance of harmful substances.
Deficiencies of these vitamins have been linked to mood problems, while supplementation have been found to be supportive of a healthy mood. Click here to learn more about Polynerv 1000.
For individuals feeling symptoms of depression, it is always best to seek professional help or to consult a doctor.
Young LM et al. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2232. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.3390/nu11092232
Stough C et al. The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress Hum Psychopharmacol. 2011;26(7):470-476. doi:10.1002/hup.1229
Kennedy DO. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy -A Review. Nutrients. 2016;8(2):68. Published 2016 Jan 27.doi:10.3390/nu8020068
Seppälä J et al. Association between vitamin b12 levels and melancholic depressive symptoms a Finnish population-based study. BMC Psychiatry. 2013;13:145. Published 2013 May 24. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-145
Sangle P et al. Vitamin B12 Supplementation: Preventing Onset and Improving Prognosis of Depression Cureus. 2020;12(10):e11169. Published 2020 Oct 26. doi:10.7759/cureus.11169