Does Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Depression and Its Treatment

Vitamin B12 is an important kind of B vitamin that is needed for optimum emotional and neurological health. Low levels of vitamin B12 in the bodies can lead to many mental changes and the most common of these changes include mild to severe cases of depression.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression

Below are some facts that are associated with the deficiency of vitamin B12 and its relationship to depression.

  • The vitamin aids in synthesizing chemicals of the brain that are responsible for mood.

  • This kind of vitamin specifically synthesizes S-adenosylmethionine which is considered as a donor of molecules made of methyl to various brain chemicals that includes those that transmit neurons and are responsible for regulation of moods. Good example of these neurotransmitters is serotonin.

  • Due to the deficiency, synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine will not happen and brain chemicals that are considered as mood regulators do not have methyl molecules which can lead to its dysfunction. The dysfunction of these chemicals can eventually cause depression.

  • For those patients that are experiencing depression, are on their golden age, have problems in their gastrointestinal system and have poor eating habits, it is recommended that they take blood tests that would determine their vitamin B12 levels.

  • Besides depression, patients who have deficiencies in vitamin B12 and B vitamins have changes in appetite, mood swings, impaired drug metabolism, sugar craving, and insomnia.

  • It does not only prevent depression, but it can also stop other symptoms that are related to it, which includes anxiety and restlessness.

  • Other mental changes that can be experienced when a patient has low vitamin B12 levels in the body include difficulties in remembering and concentrating, low moods, intense agitation, severe depression, and mental fatigue.

  • When the body cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 that it needs, pernicious anemia will occur, which can lead to brain and nerve damage that is irreversible and dementia.

How To Treat

Below are some tips on treating vitamin B12 deficiency and minimizing symptoms of depression.

  • When patients feel tired and have brain fogs, it is best to take vitamin B12 supplements. A B complex supplement with 500 mcg of vitamin B 12 is recommended.

  • For patients with anxiety and depressions, medical practitioners recommend taking methylcobalamin which is a higher form of vitamin B12. B12 lozenges are also recommended for better and fast absorption.

  • Antacids should be avoided.

  • Administration of vitamin B12 shots or patches to increase levels of the vitamins in the body.

  • Studies have suggested that drinking 2 glasses of milk a day can increase B12 vitamin levels since the body can readily absorb the vitamin from milk than from other sources.

  • A vegetarian diet should be avoided.

  • Taking folic acid and pyridoxine supplements.

  • Eating lean meat from animal sources together with eggs, fish, and dairy products.

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