Vitamin B reduces stress | Meta study
According to the supplement industry, supplements containing B vitamins are useful during periods of psychological stress. And that might be true, an Australian review study suggests.
The researchers found 18 previously published scientific studies in which subjects received B vitamins and in which the effects of supplementation on mood were monitored. When they pooled and re-analyzed those studies, the researchers initially saw nothing happening.
The researchers then limited themselves to studies with at-risk subjects with a lot of stress or gluten allergy, residents of nursing homes and subjects with high blood pressure, fatigue and a sedentary lifestyle. A bit of a mixed bag, indeed. The researchers then analyzed the 8 remaining studies that met their tightened criteria.
The researchers received their money from Bayer Healthcare, among others.
Supplementation with B vitamins had no effect on mood as a whole, but it did reduce the stress reported by the subjects.
There was a trend that the B vitamins reduced depression in the groups studied, but this trend was not significant.
The researchers also looked explicitly at the effect of B vitamins on anxiety, but then found nothing at all.
"There is increasing consensus that nutrient status is an important modifiable factor in many neurological and psychiatric conditions", write the researchers. "This present review provides evidence that B group vitamin supplementation (either alone or with a multivitamin) may also benefit mood in healthy and at-risk individuals."
"Further research utilising multiple B vitamins in at-risk groups (with suboptimal nutritional status or subclinical mood disturbances) is warranted."
Nutrients. 2019 Sep 16;11(9):2232.
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