Taking high dose of vitamin B6 regularly regulay reduces anxiety and depression: Study

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DTMT Network

Regularly taking a high-dose of Vitamin B6 tablets helps to reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression, researchers of a new study, the findings of which were published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental recently said.

During the study, researchers from the University of Reading recruited 478 young adults and assessed them on self-reported anxiety and depression.

While 265 participants reported anxiety, 146 had reported depression during the initial assessment stage, the researchers wrote in their paper.

In the current trial, more than 300 participants were randomly assigned either Vitamin B6 as pyroxidine hydrochloride or B12 as methylcobalmin supplements around 50 times the recommended daily intake or a placebo, and they took one tablet a day with food for a month.

“The functioning of the brain relies on a delicate balance between the excitatory neurons that carry information around and inhibitory ones, which prevent runaway activity,” Dr David Field, the corresponding author of the study from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading, said in a statement.

“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,” he further informed.

“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,” he pointed out.

The researchers said that the study showed that though Vitamin B12 had little effect in reducing stress and anxiety among the participants compared to placebo over the trial period, Vitamin B6 made a statistically reliable difference.

The potential role of Vitamins B6, which is known to increase the production of the chemical, which is responsible for blocking impulses between nerve cells and the brain (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid or GABA), was the focus of the study.

Visual tests carried out at the end of the trial confirmed the raised levels of GABA among participants who had taken Vitamin B6 supplements thereby supporting the hypothesis that B6 was responsible for the anxiety reduction.

“Many foods, including tuna, chickpeas and many fruits and vegetables, contain Vitamin B6. However, the high doses used in this trial suggest that supplements would be necessary to have a positive effect on mood,” Dr Field said.

Noting that this was an exploratory study and had certain methodological limitations, including the inability to measure the blood serum level of B6 and B12 both at the start as well as after completion of the course, researchers said that such measurements would verify participant compliance and that the supplements were effective in raising serum vitamin levels.

“To make this a realistic choice, further research is needed to identify other nutrition-based interventions that benefit mental wellbeing, allowing different dietary interventions to be combined in future to provide greater results,” he added.


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