“B”eat Depression

Posted on Nov. 30, 2015, 6 a.m. in Depression Dietary Supplementation Vitamins

Vitamin B12 and folate may work synergistically with antidepressant medication.

Essential for mental and emotional well-being, B-complex vitamins must be replenished to the body on a daily basis.  Osvaldo Almeida, from the University of Western Australia (Australia), and colleagues enrolled 153 adult residents of Perth, ages 50 years and older, who were experiencing a major depressive episode, to receive an antidepressant medication together with 0.5 mg of vitamin B12, 2 mg of folic acid and 25 mg of vitamin B6 for 52 weeks.  Symptom changes were assessed via standardized rating scales.  Remission of symptoms was achieved by 78.1 and 79.4% of participants treated with placebo and vitamins by week 12, by 76.5 and 85.3% at week 26, and 75.8 and 85.5% at week 52. Further, the risk of relapse was significantly reduced among participants who took the B-vitamins.  The study authors conclude that: “B vitamins did not increase the 12-week efficacy of antidepressant treatment, but enhanced and sustained antidepressant response over 1 year.”

Almeida OP, Ford AH, Hirani V, Singh V, vanBockxmeer FM, McCaul K, Flicker L.  “B vitamins to enhance treatment response to antidepressants in middle-aged and older adults: results from the B-VITAGE randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.”  Br J Psychiatry. 2014 Sep 25. pii: bjp.bp.114.145177.