Vitamin B May Not Make You Happier

09/01/2008 - News

Vitamin B May Not Make You Happier

By: June Chen, MD


Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

According to new research published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, vitamin B supplementation does not appear to reduce the incidence of depression or depressive symptoms in older men .

Researchers from Australia recruited 299 men aged 75 years or older with a history of high blood pressure who did not have any clinical symptoms of depression. These study participants were randomly assigned to take either a pill containing vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folic acid, or a placebo pill containing no vitamins every morning for 2 years. The researchers used a scale called the Beck Depression Index (BDI) to evaluate for the development of symptoms of depression. Approximately 80% of the study participants completed the 2-year trial.

The researchers found that participants who were treated with the vitamin-containing pill were 24% more likely to remain free of depression. However, the difference between the two treatment groups was not statistically significant. Perhaps vitamin B supplementation could be used as an additional therapy for people with severe depression, but additional studies, including studies involving women, are still needed.


J Clin Psychiatry. 2008;69:1203-1209.

Created on: 09/01/2008
Reviewed on: 09/01/2008

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