Vitamin B6 supplements 'could reduce anxiety and depression'

·1-min read

Taking vitamin B6 supplements might be the key to reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.

In an experiment, scientists at the University of Reading studied the impact of high doses of the vitamin on a group of young people over the course of a month. The participants reported lower levels of both mood disorders.

"Recent theories have connected mood disorders and some other neuropsychiatric conditions with a disturbance of this balance, often in the direction of raised levels of brain activity," said lead author Dr David Field. "Vitamin B6 helps the body produce a specific chemical messenger that inhibits impulses in the brain, and our study links this calming effect with reduced anxiety among the participants."

Dr Field noted that vitamin B6 is found in foods such as tuna, chickpeas, Marmite, and many fruits and vegetables.

Yet, the high doses used in the trial suggest that supplements would be necessary to have a positive effect on mood.

"It is important to acknowledge that this research is at an early stage and the effect of Vitamin B6 on anxiety in our study was quite small compared to what you would expect from medication," he added. "However, nutrition-based interventions produce far fewer unpleasant side effects than drugs, and so in the future people might prefer them as an intervention."

Full study results have been published in Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental.

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