Adolescent Depression And Nutrition
In order to best determine how exactly diet and nutrition might affect depression in children, a large-scale review of the relevant literature was conducted and published in 2015. Studies were included if they examined the antidepressant effects of nutritional supplements in the adolescent and child population or if they looked at the relationship between pediatric depression and nutritional status. Studies examined the following nutrients:
Upon analysis, researchers of the review concluded that diets high in B vitamins, especially folate and vitamin B-6, are associated with a reduced prevalence of depression and depression-related symptoms in childhood and early adolescence.
While folate and B-vitamins were identified as being the most effective, preliminary support was also given for other nutrients in the treatment of pediatric depression. As an example, patients taking vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc supplements were shown to experience a higher sense of well-being and a reduced severity of depression symptoms. The problem when it comes to drawing a definitive link between these other nutrients and depression is a lack of conclusive evidence due to poor study design and small sample size across studies. More well designed, larger- scale studies are needed in order to evaluate the effect of other nutrients on adolescent depression.
What Are The Risk Factors For A Vitamin B
Some people are at an increased risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency. The highest sources of vitamin B-12 are animal products, like meat, fish, or diary. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet are at an increased risk for B-12 deficiency and may need to add a B-12 supplement to their daily diet. Some foods are fortified with B-12. So if you have a mostly plant-based diet, check food labels and pick grain products that are fortified with B-12.
You may also have an increased risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency if you:
- recently had weight loss surgery, because the operation interferes with your bodys ability to extract B-12 from food
- have been diagnosed with Crohns or celiac disease, conditions that can affect the way your body absorbs nutrients
- are over the age of 50, because the stomach beings to produce less acid as you age, and this acid helps with B-12 absorption
- take prescribed heartburn drugs, which reduce acid production in your stomach and may affect B-12 absorption
Whats The Difference Between Stress And Anxiety
Because the symptoms of stress and anxiety are so similar, many people use the terms interchangeably. It is useful to understand the difference as many vitamins help both but the definition is different. Shared symptoms between the two conditions include:
A hard time concentrating on tasks, conversations, etc.
Mood swings or mood changes, such as irritability
Chronic fatigue and loss of motivation
However, while stress is a response to a short-term trigger , anxiety is a persistent feeling that never goes away.
Whether youre experiencing long-term anxiety or short-term stress, psychologists point out that both are emotional responses within your brain and nervous system. And an ever-expanding body of research is investigating how the foods you eat affect how you feel, and whether specific vitamins and minerals can help your brain to better moderate your emotional responses to lifes difficulties.
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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Increases Risk Of Depression
Scientists from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing have published new research which examines the relationship between folate and vitamin B12 status and its associations with greater prevalence of depressive symptoms in a group of community-dwelling older adults. The study, published in the prestigious British Journal of Nutrition, shows that low vitamin B12 status is linked to depressive symptoms, but shows that folate is not associated with depression. The findings reveal pertinent information for older adults, public health and policymakers to better understand how to identify risk and adopt protective measures to enhance health outcomes for persons aged 50 and over.
Vitamin B status in Ireland
Deficiency and low status of the B-vitamins such as folate and vitamin B12 are highly present in older people. In Ireland, one in eight older adults are reported to have low B12 status, while low dietary intake and low blood status have been reported throughout all age groups in the Irish population. Some of the negative consequences of low B12 status can include megaloblastic anemia, impaired cognitive function, or damage to the protective covering that surrounds the nerve fibers of the brain. Understanding the link between folate or low B12 status and depression in later life is important as depression is a risk factor for functional decline, admission to residential care and early death.
Key findings of the study
Dr Dawn Harper On Signs Of Vitamin B12 And Vitamin D Deficiency
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A research group identified that shortness of a particular vitamin is common among older people and presents an increased risk of developing depression.
Having deficient levels of vitamin B12 correlated to a 51 percent increased likelihood of developing depressive symptoms across a four year period.
Lead author Dr Eamon Laird said: This study is highly relevant given the high prevalence of incident depression in older adults living in Ireland, and especially following evidence to show that one in eight older adults report high levels of low B12 deficiency rates.
There is a growing momentum to introduce a mandatory food fortification policy of B-vitamins in Europe and the UK, especially since mandatory food fortification with folic acid in the US has showed positive results, with folate deficiency or low status rates of just 1.2 percent in those aged 60 years and older.
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Research On Magnesium For Depression
While promising, the exact effects of dietary magnesium on depression are not yet well understood. There is research that supports the potential use of magnesium supplementation for depression:
- A 2015 study found a significant link between low magnesium intake and depression in adults.
- A 2017 randomized clinical trial published in the journal PLoS One found that supplementation with magnesium chloride resulted in significant improvements in depressive symptoms. The study also found that the participants who were taking an antidepressant experienced stronger benefits when taking magnesium, which suggests that it might be useful when used in conjunction with antidepressant medications.
- A 2019 study found that low serum magnesium levels were associated with depressive symptoms. Such findings suggest that measuring magnesium levels may be useful as a way to identify people who might respond best to magnesium supplementation.
One benefit of magnesium as a treatment option is that it is relatively affordable, fast-acting, and well-tolerated by most people.
Vitamin And Nutrient Treatments For Depression
While depression is often treated with pharmaceutical antidepressants and psychological therapies, it is important to understand that sometimes nutritional therapies can be of great help to depressed children as well.
A review of studies exploring the link between nutrition and depression was conducted and published in 2008. The review examined the following nutrients:
Researchers ultimately found that folate, as well as B-vitamins, appeared to be closely related to depression and their intake seemed to have an impact on the symptoms and development of the disorder. The other nutrients reviewed were not found to be closely related to depression in any significant way, nor did their intake have an apparent effect on depression symptoms or development.
Overall, the studies under review demonstrated that nutritional treatment and supplementation can play a significant role in controlling symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, autism, ADHD, and addiction. It is thought that this kind of nutritional treatment is perhaps especially effective in patients sensitive to side effects because nutritional treatments do not generally come with the side effects that antidepressants and other medications so often do.
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No : Vitamin B For Anxiety
Helpful vitamins for anxiety can be a number of B vitamins. The B vitamin deficiencies most often linked to panic attacks, anxiety and depression are B6, B9, and B12. Food sources of these B vitamins for anxiety include:
- B12: Wild salmon, halibut and shrimp, grass-fed beef , lamb, venison, eggs and yogurt.
- B6 : Chicken, turkey, tuna, shrimp, beef liver, cheese, beans, spinach, carrots, brown rice and sunflower seeds.
- B9 : Spinach and other green, leafy vegetables, asparagus, turnips, beets, Brussels sprouts, avocadoes, beans, beef liver, salmon, and orange juice.
How to take B vitamins for anxiety and stress:
B12:B12 can be given as an injection or as a nasal spray by an integrative physician. Doctors typically administer injections in doses of 1,000 micrograms. Initially, an injection cycle of eight to 10 administrations over the first two to three months is recommended, followed by a decrease in the frequency once you have achieved a therapeutic effect.
If you object to injections, oral supplementation with vitamin B12 is safe, efficient, and inexpensive. Most multivitamin pills contain 100 to 200 micrograms of the cyanocobalamin form of B12. This must be converted to methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin before it can be used by the body.
Since B12 is so important yet hard for the body to absorb in the digestive track, many alert consumers take a sublingual B12 along with their regular B complex supplement.
Magnesium And The Brain
In the brain, magnesium helps to regulate the actions of N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors. These receptors are believed to play an important role in memory formation and learning.
Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is important for normal function in the brain. In excess, however, it can cause cells to become overstimulated. This overexcitation of cells ultimately leads to cell death and is linked to conditions such as seizures, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis .
In addition to contributing to these neurological conditions, excessive glutamate activity is also linked to depression and anxiety.
Magnesium blocks the actions of glutamate in the NMDA receptors. If your body is magnesium deficient, it means that few of the NMDA receptors are blocked. This may lead to overexcitation and cell damage. Because of this, it is possible that magnesium may be useful in the treatment and prevention of depression.
Since magnesium plays such an important role in health, a deficiency in this important nutrient could potentially predispose people to a number of different health problems, including depression.
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Sample Size And Study Design
It was an individually matched case-control observational study. To extract dietary patterns, 110 patients with depression and 220 healthy individuals were recruited. The participants included 260 female and 70 male . We selected the depressed patients from psychiatric clinic of Baharloo hospital in district 15, Imam Hossein hospital in district 7 and Tehran University student counseling center in district 6 through non-probable convenience sampling. After adjusting for age and sex, healthy individuals were selected from the area of residence of hospital patients and students of Tehran University. The samples selection and data collection were performed during October 2012 to June 2013.
To measure serum folate, vitamin B12, tHcy, Trp, and Trp/CAA ratio a total of 86 individuals were randomly selected from the participants.
Can Super B Complex Cause Increased Anxiety And Panic Attacks
I am wondering if B Complex vitamins can cause someone with anxiety and panic disorders to actually get increased symptoms from this? Along with having the anxiety disorders, I am also B12 deficient, so I take a B12 Vitamin every day. I found a new B12 that I wanted to try, but it also has Super B Complex in it. I took it for 4 days and my anxiety and panic levels shot through the roof, and made me have heart palpitations. This did not happen to me when I took the Vitamin B12 alone. I’m wondering if this has anything to do with adding in the B Complex since it didn’t start until I added that in? I have not taken the vitamins for 2 days now, and it seems to be getting a little better, but how long will it take for the jitters and stuff to go away now? It feels like my anxiety med is not even working right now, that’s how bad it is!
Added 22 Jan 2014:
Just wanted to update quick: As I was searching for the answer to this question on the web last night, I came across this post by someone and copied it. Hopefully it will help some other “unsuspecting” person that suffers from anxiety disorders, that thinks “Oh, it’s just a vitamin, it can’t hurt.”
Vitamin B reduces stress. However, Vitamin B3 in the B complex may cause some anxiety. Its always best to take time release niacin.
Okay thank you for that, its so good to know!!
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Deficiencies Used To Recognize Psychiatric Disorders
For the other B vitamins, the researchers did not elaborate studies on how supplementation may improve depression symptoms. However, the pooled studies showed clear evidence between deficiencies in B vitamins and depression.
In particular, vitamins B1, B3, B6, B9, and B12 are essential for neuronal function and deficiencies have been linked to depression, they wrote.
For example, with B12 , a deficiency of it is quite often noted in patients presenting with depression and higher levels of B12 correlates with improved treatment outcomes, they argued. However, although there is a clear link between depression and vitamin B12, more studies are necessary to establish the direct effects of vitamin B12 in depression.
They also found evidence of B vitamins playing a role in regulating immune responses and, in patients with depression, pro-inflammatory responses, hence, there is an inter-linked relationship between vitamin B, the immune system, inflammation and depression.
Published online ahead of print,
The effects of vitamin B on the immune/cytokine network and theirinvolvement in depression
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How Should We Treat Depression In Children
Based on the available research, we can conclude with reasonable certainty that there is a definitive link between nutrition and depression in children. Incorporating certain nutrients into a childs diet, specifically folate and B-vitamins, could help to reduce the effects of adolescent depression.
While it can take a lot of time and effort to get kids to eat healthier food, and while it is by no means a quick fix, it may be an option worth exploring with a healthcare provider if your child is experiencing the effects of adolescent depression.
While incorporating more nutrients into a childs diet can be useful in the treatment and prevention of adolescent depression, this is not to say that it should be used as a standalone treatment. It is perhaps more accurate to think of nutrient treatments as a component of a comprehensive and integrative treatment plan that also addresses sleep, exercise, and stress levels and that may also include the use of medications, particularly for moderate and severe depression.
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How Homocysteine May Affect Depression
Previously, we mentioned a connection between high levels of homocysteine and the development of cerebral vascular disease and/or neurotransmitter deficiency, which cause depression.
Lets dive deeper into that.
The dangers of high levels of homocysteine come from its toxicity to blood vessels and neurons. Additionally, homocysteine may lead to breakage of DNA strands, as well as oxidative stress and apoptosis, which is programmed cell death.
But where does homocysteine come from?
SAMe is an intermediary of the methionine-homocysteine metabolic pathway. It is along this pathway that methyl groups are produced for the synthesis of catecholamines and DNA.
Catecholamines help the body respond to stress or fright, prepare it for fight-or-flight reactions, and regulate the heartbeat, breathing rate, as well as other physiological functions. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine are catecholamines.
Back to homocysteine:
This amino acid is synthesized from methionine obtained through your diet using the process of demethylation, or the removal of a methyl group from a molecule. Homocysteine can be re-methylated back to methionine, in which folate and Vitamin B12 act as cofactors of the process. It can also go through the process of transsulfuration to become cysteine and glutathione, which requires Vitamins B6 and B12 to act as cofactors.
Vitamins And Treatment Of Mental Illnesses
Healthcare practitioners support the therapeutic value of dietary intervention in addressing depression and other psychological disorders. Although vitamin deficiency has been linked to mental health problems, it is important to note that vitamin supplements cannot replace mental illness treatment medication.
Maintaining a healthy diet may help you avoid nutritional deficiencies that cause mental health problems. It can be quite hard trying to stay on a healthy diet plan. Reducing or avoiding alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, refined sugars, and caffeine may help to maintain good mental health. Consult with a professional before taking vitamin supplements if you are concerned with your mental health.
You should consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplements. If you have any mental health issues, seek help from a professional. Always check with your doctor about the supplements you can take along with prescribed medication for your condition. This can minimize the risk of developing other health issues.
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