New research indicates that taking high-dose Vitamin B6 supplements reduces feelings of anxiety and despair. After a month of daily supplementation with Vitamin B6 pills, young adults reported feeling less worried and depressed, according to research conducted at the University of Reading.
According to Dr. David Field, the study’s principal author from the University of Reading’s School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, brain function depends on a fine balance between the excitatory neurons that transport information and the inhibitory neurons that prevent runaway activity.
Recent hypotheses have linked mood disorders and other neuropsychiatric illnesses to a disruption of this equilibrium, frequently in the direction of increased brain activity.
Vitamin B6 helps the body create a specific chemical messenger that suppresses brain impulses, and the study relates this calming impact to decreased anxiety in the subjects.
Although prior research has demonstrated that multivitamins and marmite can reduce stress levels, few studies have examined the specific vitamins responsible for this benefit.
The treatments and results
The new study focuses on the possible effect of Vitamin B6, which is known to promote the body’s production of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), a neurotransmitter-blocking molecule.
478 volunteers were randomly assigned to receive either Vitamin B6 or B12 supplements considerably over the recommended daily consumption (about 50 times the recommended daily amount) or a placebo for a month. The B12 tablets each contained 1000 μg of B12, and the B6 tablets each contained 100 mg of B6.
The study revealed that Vitamin B12 had a minimal effect compared to placebo during the course of the trial, but Vitamin B6 demonstrated a statistically significant difference.
Those who had taken Vitamin B6 supplements had increased levels of GABA, supporting the notion that B6 was responsible for the anxiety decrease. Consistent with regulated levels of brain activity, subtle but innocuous alterations in visual performance were seen.
Some limitations of this study
Many foods contain Vitamin B6, including tuna, chickpeas, and other fruits and vegetables. However, the large doses utilized in this study suggest that additional supplements are required for mood enhancement.
It is crucial to note that this research is in its infancy, and the effect of Vitamin B6 on anxiety in our trial was rather tiny compared to what one would anticipate from medication. Nonetheless, nutrition-based therapies cause considerably fewer negative side effects than pharmaceuticals, and therefore in the future, people may choose them over drugs.
In order to make this a viable option, additional study is required to uncover other nutrition-based therapies that improve mental health, allowing diverse dietary interventions to be integrated in the future for larger outcomes.
Combining Vitamin B6 supplements with talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy could increase its effectiveness.