Vitamin B12: Can It Make You Feel Less Anxious?
Anxiety is a serious problem for many people. For some, it is an occasional episode of anxiety over an important meeting or event.
However, millions of people in the US and throughout the world are feeling anxious frequently. Worrying too much about things that don’t require plenty of attention is a problem that many people cannot control.
That is why many of them are looking for supplements that could provide anxiety relief.
It is a popular belief that vitamin B12 can assist in making you less anxious and promoting a positive mood.
Have you ever wondered what science has to say about that?
It turns out that there is scientific evidence vitamin B12 can play a role in fighting anxiety, depression, and symptoms related to these disorders. Here is an overview of the studies that describe this effectiveness!
What You Should Know About Vitamin B12
For starters, let’s get to know the basics about vitamin B12.
As the name suggests, it is one of the vitamins that belong to the “B” category, which indicates it is water-soluble.
It is interesting to note that cobalt is a mineral found in vitamin B12. That is why many also call these compounds cobalamins. Cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin are some of the forms of this vitamin.
The human body needs vitamin B12 for various reasons.
It plays a role in synthesizing DNA, neurological functions, and the formation of red blood cells.
Once we consume food containing vitamin C, gastric protease, and hydrochloric acid release it. There is no need for this step in supplements because they already contain a free form of vitamin B12.
What Is the Recommended Intake of Vitamin B12?
Male and female adults over 14 years old should have at least 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day.
Clams seem to be the best source of vitamin B12 in nature. Consuming them or beef liver (no need to combine them) could secure the required daily value in a single serving. Salmon, rainbow trout, light tuna, haddock, but also, cheese, yogurt, and milk, are other sources with a decent value of vitamin B12.
Here is a table overviewing daily dietary allowances based on the person’s age:
Recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B12 (https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/#h3)
The crucial thing to note is that no upper tolerable levels were set. That is because vitamin B12 has an extremely low toxicity risk. Science supports that claim since a study from 2006 confirmed it.
In that study, the participants took 1 milligram of vitamin B12 for approximately five years. No one reported any adverse side effects.
Whether you are dealing with vitamin B12 deficiency or looking to use it to treat a medical condition, a generous quantity won’t harm you. Furthermore, it can only ensure that you experience the effectiveness of this vitamin faster and better.
You can find various sources indicating the importance of vitamin B12 for physical and mental health.
Many studies confirm that vitamin B12 is closely connected to folate (vitamin B9). These two nutrients could work together to improve the effectiveness it has on human health. Vitamin B12 can augment folate benefits, as well as assist in reducing the risk of neural tube defects and chronic diseases.
What Does Science Say About Vitamin B12 Relating to Anxiety?
Research Study 1 (Vitamin B12 & Anxiety & Depression)
A large study that involved 4,126 participants in Denmark confirmed that a vitamin B12 deficiency could be related to increased risk of developing depression and anxiety symptoms.
The researchers used weighed allele scores and the checklist or doctor diagnosis for anxiety and depression confirmation.
The result showed that increased levels of vitamin B12 could assist in reducing the risk of a high score on the depression measurement scale.
Cobalamin is mentioned as one of the nutrients that could cause anxiety and depression. To be precise, the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine explains that this vitamin is in connection with depression, which implies its deficiency could lead to depression-like symptoms.
Research Study 2 (Vitamin B12 & Depression & Anxiety)
An interesting study was conducted in India, and the results were published in 2018.
The focus of the study was the indigenous Bhil population in this country. They exhibited anxiety and depression disorder caused by hyperhomocysteinemia.
The reason why they were dealing with that condition was the deficiency of vitamin B12. The study showed that deficiency in vitamin B12 increased the risk of anxiety and depression disorders.
That doesn’t mean vitamin B12 directly helps to deal with anxiety. However, it shows that this nutrient is helpful in dealing with the medical conditions that could cause these mental disorders.
Research Study 3 (Vitamin B12 & Depression)
In 2005, the Journal of Psychopharmacology indicated that considering vitamin B12 and folate in treating depression is worthwhile.
The study concluded that patients dealing with depression showed a low level of vitamin B12 in their organism.
The same research indicated that including B12 in the treatment may improve the chances of dealing with depression.
The study came to the same conclusion as the previous one. One of the causes of depression could be elevated levels of plasma homocysteine. The researchers indicate improving vitamin B12 intake enhances odds for a positive treatment outcome.
Research Study 4 (Vitamin B12 & Depression)
Finally, a cohort study conducted in 2009 offered a cross-sectional review of 9,670 participants.
The researchers used a questionnaire to analyze the relation of vitamin B12, B6, and folate with depression-like symptoms.
The results indicated that a low level of vitamin B12 among females could be connected to depression.
Vitamin B12 evidently has numerous studies backing its ability to help relieve anxiety and depression.