New research reports, patients who were treated for depression responded better if they had a higher level of vitamin B12 in their blood.
An increasing amount of research is looking at the association between vitamin B and depression, but the specifics have not been understood. Researchers conducted a study to look at the relationship of vitamin B12 and the treatment of depression.
The study included 115 patients who suffered from depression. Over a six-month period, researcher grouped them as to how well they responded to treatment including not at all, partially or fully. Investigators also measured the level of vitamin B12 in the patients' blood when they first came to the clinic and again at their six-month check up. Researchers then determined if the level of vitamin B12 played a role in the patients' outcomes.
Researchers report the patients who responded fully to treatment had higher concentrations of vitamin B12 in their blood at the start and end of the study when compared to those who did not respond to treatment. The study also found the association between vitamin B12 and the response to treatment remained even after other factors were considered such as type of treatment received, smoking and drinking habits, and if other family members suffered from depression.
Researchers say, there have been no previous studies that have suggested a positive relationship between vitamin B12 and the treatment outcome in patients with major depressive disorder who have normal or high vitamin B12 levels. However researchers say the new study supports previous research that showed patients responded better to treatment if they took vitamins B1, B2 and B6. These vitamins indirectly increase the level of vitamin B12 in these patients' blood. Therefore, they say it appears taking vitamin B supplements may help people respond positively to antidepressants.