Vitamin B6 supplements could reduce anxiety and depression: Study

Further research is needed to identify other nutrition-based interventions that benefit mental wellbeing

Scientists at the University of Reading in the UK measured the impact of high doses of Vitamin B6 on young adults and found that they reported feeling less anxious and depressed after taking the supplements every day for a month.

The study, published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, provides valuable evidence to support the use of supplements thought to modify levels of activity in the brain for preventing or treating mood disorders.

Dr David Field, lead author from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading, said: “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.

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.

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 also said that it is important to acknowledge that this research is at an early stage and the effect of Vitamin B6 on anxiety in the study was quite small compared to what you would expect from medication.

image credit- shutterstock

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