Vitamin B Supplementation for Mood & Stress

Risa Groux, CN
 | Published: 
February 22, 2021

B vitamins are critical nutrients involved in many metabolic processes that play an important role in brain health. Due to the increasing number of individuals with mental health concerns, researchers are increasingly examining the role of nutrients to help combat this.


Researchers investigated the effects of B vitamin supplementation on mood, depression, anxiety, and stress in a study in Nutrients. This review, which included over 2000 participants over the age of 18, consisted of 18 studies that involved a B vitamin supplement containing at least 3 B vitamins. All of the studies used supplements containing B6 and B12, and all but one study included folate. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5 were included in 16 of the 18 studies. Biotin was the least included and was only in 10 of the studies. Most of the supplements contained twice the recommended daily value of B vitamins. Eleven of these studies demonstrated a positive effect of B vitamins for overall mood. Eight of these studies were in an ‘at-risk’ population and five were found to have a significant benefit on mood. B vitamin supplementation was also shown to have a positive effect on stress.


The research team also examined the effects of B vitamin supplementation on depression and anxiety. They found that a benefit on depressive symptoms did not reach clinical significance and there was no effect on anxiety. Thus, this review demonstrates the benefit of B vitamin supplementation in healthy and at-risk populations on mood and stress, but not for clinical depression or anxiety.


Past research has reported that up to 30% of patients that suffer from depression have elevated homocysteine; therefore, B vitamin supplementation would support lowering these levels and improving mood.


Previous research has also demonstrated that probiotics, specifically multispecies formulations, can have beneficial effects on mood and cognition. There is a strong gut-brain relationship in the body, as the gut and brain communicate through the nervous system, immune system, and hormones. Therefore, the gut microbiome plays a role in supporting brain health and function.


A study published in 2016 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that B vitamins had no effect on cognitive decline in mild cognitive impairment when omega-3 levels are low. However, when omega-3 levels are in an upper normal range, B vitamins help slow cognitive decline and brain atrophy. These findings suggest that a combination of fish oil supplements and B vitamins may help to improve cognition. My B Ultra has 5 methylated B vitamins along with biotin and folate, which is the perfect to combat stress during these trying times.


Source: Lauren M Young, Andrew Pipingas, et al. A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of B Vitamin Supplementation on Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Stress: Effects on Healthy and ‘At-Risk’ Individuals. Nutrients. 16 September 2019, 11(9), 2232.

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