What A B-Complex Deficiency May Be Doing To Your Mental Health

[fa icon="calendar"] 1/8/16 10:08 AM / by Mark Mathews, MA, LADC

Mark Mathews, MA, LADC

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The B-complex vitamins include 11 vitamins essential to mental and emotional well-being. They cannot be stored in our bodies, so we depend entirely on our daily diet to supply them. B vitamins are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars, nicotine, and caffeine-the very substances that most alcoholics consume almost to the exclusion of everything else. It’s a small wonder that deficiencies develop.

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Here's a rundown of recent findings about the relationship of B-complex vitamins to depression:

  • Vitamin B (thiamine): Deficiencies trigger depression and irritability and can cause neurological and cardiac disorders among alcoholics.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): In 1982 an article published in the British Journal of Psychiatry reported that every one of 172 successive patients admitted to a British psychiatric hospital for treatment of depression was deficient in B2.
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): Depletion causes anxiety, depression, apprehension, and fatigue.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Symptoms of deficiency are fatigue, chronic stress, and depression.
  • Vitamin B5 is needed for hormone formation and the uptake of amino acids and the brain chemical acetylcholine, which combine to prevent certain types of depression.
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Deficiency can disrupt formation of neurotransmitters.
  • Vitamin B6 is a coenzyme needed for conversion of tryptophan to serotonin and phenylalanine and tyrosine to norepinephrine.
  • Vitamin B12: Deficiency will cause depression. Folic acid: Deficiency is a common cause of depression.

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B Vitamin Rich Foods

B-complex vitamins are part of the essential human chemical make up. Your body and brain need these chemicals to function properly. Supplementing or eating foods rich in B vitamins may help your mental or emotional well-being. Some foods high in B-vitamins include leafy greens (like spinach or kale), brown rice, legumes (like black beans), and salmon.

 

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Topics: Mental Health

Mark Mathews, MA, LADC

Written by Mark Mathews, MA, LADC

My work focuses on biochemical repair of the brain using orthomolecular medicine to help people with addictions and mental health disorders. I spend my free time painting and playing guitar.

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