What is the effect of vitamin B6 on depression?


Quick Answer

Low levels of vitamin B6 may cause depression, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. These low concentrations of vitamin B6 are usually linked to low levels of other vitamin B complexes including vitamin B12 but having inadequate amounts of vitamin B6 alone is rare.

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Full Answer

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is available in foods such as beans, eggs, meat, vegetables and liver, explains WebMD. The vitamin helps to develop different areas of the body and vital organs including the brain, skin and nerves. Vitamin B6 is helpful in stopping pregnancy-related depression and may subside symptoms of depression in postmenopausal women. However, there is inadequate evidence the vitamin aids the general public.

Adequate amounts of vital vitamin B complexes such as vitamin B6 are available in multivitamin dietary supplements, notes Healthline. Doctors can test for vitamin B deficiencies with a blood test. Raising levels of vitamin B6 is feasible by consuming vitamin B-rich foods such as fish. Additional supplements are also available to increase levels; recommended doses to aid in reducing depression include a daily intake of 2.4 micrograms of the supplement for adults more than 14 years old. Doses of this supplement can also range between 1 and 25 micrograms.

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