According to the results of a recent British study, high doses of vitamin B6 can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. An inexpensive and well-tolerated nutritional supplement could become part of future treatments.
Detailed understanding of how depression and anxiety disorders arise and what underpins them – the science is still far from it. One thing is for sure: environmental toxins, bleak future prospects, and rising income inequality are at play and cause a global increase. And last but not least, depression is almost always a sign of an imbalance in brain chemistry. Researchers at the University of Reading have now discovered that the nutrient vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) can relieve depression in high doses. The noticeable effect occurs after only a month.
Marmite spread brought the guide
Director of Studies Dr. A few years ago, David Field participated in a study that found that people who ate Marmite (a type of yeast popular in Australia) every day had higher-than-average levels of GABA in their brain. The neurotransmitter is our body’s own tranquilizer, and therefore the most effective antidote to feelings of anxiety. Conversely, people with depression and anxiety disorders have low levels of GABA.
With our friends from TRAVELBOOK you can read: I tried Marmite for the first time – and was surprised
“I wanted to know what individual ingredients in Marmite drive the effects, and B6 and B12 were the most accepted candidates,” Field said in an interview with News Medical.1 So the scientist launched a new study to get to the core of the mechanism behind it. The results were recently published in the “Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental” journal.
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Vitamin B6 or Vitamin B12 – which one helps treat depression better?
Field and his team recruited 300 people who were randomly assigned to take more vitamin B6 or B12 supplements in excess of the recommended daily amount (about 50 times the amount) or a placebo daily for one month. The study showed that vitamin B12 had little effect compared to placebo during the trial period, but vitamin B6 made a statistically reliable difference. For example, participants who received vitamin B6 reported less anxiety or depression. Key: Your GABA levels increased significantly over the four weeks. So the field is certain: the vitamin B6 present in Marmite is the reason for the positive effect on brain chemistry.
By the way: Vitamin B12 does not appear to be completely ineffective. Although nutrients can no longer do much in the case of current depression, they reduce the risk of developing it in old age. Therefore, an adequate supply of vitamin B12 is especially important at a young age (FITBOOK reported).
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How Vitamin B6 Rebalances the Brain
Mental illnesses are usually associated with increased brain activity. So there is literally a thunderstorm in your head. GABA brings necessary relief to the system and this in turn is formed with the help of Vitamin B6. The motto here is “a lot helps a lot.” “Vitamin B6 helps the body produce this important chemical transporter, which explains the calming effects and reduces anxiety in participants,” Field said in a university statement.3
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What is important to note quantity
Vitamin B6 is considered an “anti-stress vitamin” that regulates metabolic processes by helping the body convert proteins and carbohydrates into energy. It naturally contains tuna, chickpeas and many fruits and vegetables. The daily requirement for adults is about 1.5 milligrams. “However, the higher doses used in this study suggest that the supplement is necessary to achieve a beneficial effect on mood,” says Field. Its 70 milligrams are considered safe, but a daily dose of 200 milligrams or more can lead to persistent numbness in the arms and legs. Therefore, caution should be exercised when self-treating depression with vitamin B6.
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Will Vitamin B6 Replace Antidepressants Soon?
For Field and his team, vitamin B6 could be an important part of treating depression and anxiety disorders in the future. But there is still a long way to go until then. “We are at an early stage in this regard. For example, the effect of vitamin B6 on anxiety in our study was very small compared to what one might expect from medication.” But he also acknowledges that the nutrient has far fewer unpleasant side effects, prompting some sufferers to To choose vitamin B6 and prefer antidepressants. “More research is needed to make this a realistic choice. One possible option is to combine vitamin B6 supplementation with talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy to enhance their effects.”