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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item D'anci, Kristen
item Rosenberg, Irwin

Submitted to: Nutrition in Clinical Care
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2005
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: D'Anci, K.E., Rosenberg, I.H. 2005. B vitamins and the brain: depression. Nutrition in Clinical Care. 8(4):143-8.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Depression is a common psychological disorder that affects people of all ages, and is more commonly diagnosed in women than in men. It has significant comorbidity with other psychological disorders and medical problems, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Pharmacological management with serotonin reuptake blockers and other antidepressants provide some symptom relief, but some patients are resistant to antidepressant treatment. There is mounting evidence that low levels of vitamins B6, B12, and/or folate are associated with symptom severity in depression. Some patients who are resistant to antidepressant treatment have low blood levels of B12 or folate. Although there is no evidence to support the use of vitamin supplementation in the prevention of depression, some research suggests that the administration of vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid and/or folacin may improve treatment outcome in depressed patients.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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