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Study Finds Links Between B Vitamin Levels and Depression

Depression is a psychological disorder, but studies are finding that the immune system may play a role in the development of depression. B vitamins have an influence on the immune system and a recent study suggests that taking vitamin B supplements may help ease symptoms of depression.

For their analysis, researchers examined data from a number of studies. The pooled studies found evidence that there is a correlation between vitamin B deficiency and depression. B vitamins were found to help regulate immune responses and pro-inflammatory responses in people with depression.

In addition, three of eight B vitamins had clinical studies that suggested benefits for people with depression. Seven trials were conducted on vitamin B1, in which researchers found that the vitamin was associated with improvements in depression symptoms. The studies involving vitamin B6 found an association between the vitamin and lower levels of blood plasma homocysteine levels in people with schizophrenia. Blood plasma homocysteine levels are an indicator of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Researchers from the College of Health and Biomedicine at Victoria University, Australia, conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 19, 2016, in the journal Maturitas.

Our bodies do not naturally synthesize B vitamins. However, it is easy to increase your intake by eating more folate- rich foods. Some foods rich in folate include liver, eggs, beans, sunflower seeds, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupes, and other melons. B  vitamin intake also can be bolstered through supplements or fortified foods.

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