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Does Vitamin C Help With Depression

If Youre Considering Self

4 Key vitamins for depression and anxiety: are you missing these vital nutrients?

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They’re Nothing To Sniffle At

Our brain is a power consumer of vitamin C, the vitamin that cuts your colds short. Brain concentrations of the vitamin are far greater than those in the rest of the body, and long after the body is depleted of the vitamin, the brain maintains its levels. That’s partly because the metabolic furnaces in neurons churn through glucose to power all your thoughts and feelings and movements, and as an antioxidant, the vitamin’s job is to surrender electrons to neutralize rogue oxygen molecules given off in the processfree radicals that damage DNA and generally age your cells. But vitamin C also does more, and some 80 years after its discovery, its additional roles are just coming to light.

Chief among them are actions in the nervous system. Vitamin C plays a role in the differentiation and maturation of neurons and in the formation of the myelin sheath that protects them and speeds impulse transmission, making the vitamin crucial to cognitive performance. It is a cofactor in the synthesis of several neurotransmitters, it’s needed to convert dopamine to serotonin, and it modulates neurotransmitter release in nerve cells. And while it’s long been known that the vitamin is a component of collagen, a stabilizing force for teeth, bones, and blood vessels, only now is its role in ensuring blood vessel integrity seen as a factor in cognitive capacity, especially as we age.

Severe Vitamin C Deficiency

According to Daniel Leger, M.D., one of the most common symptoms of scurvy is depression. Other symptoms are mood changes, fatigue and lethargy. Risk factors for scurvy, or a less severe vitamin C deficiency, are alcoholism or drug abuse, anorexia nervosa, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease. People eating fad diets or who rely on fast food meals with few vegetables and fruits are also at risk. If you have any of these disorders and are feeling depressed, vitamin C supplementation may alleviate your depression.

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What Experts Have To Say

Amy Reed, MS, RD, CSP, LDS, is a pediatric dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She told Healthline its exciting to see research that supports a nutrient, such as vitamin B6, could be used in conjunction with other treatments for depression and anxiety.

The amount of B6 provided in the supplements for the study was 100 mg, which is much higher than the recommended daily average of 1.3 mg, Reed noted. If a dose of 100mg of B6 is needed to see an effect, then it would be difficult to achieve this from food only.

Further research, therefore, would be warranted, she added.

Future studies may want to consider comparing different doses of B6 and its effect on depression and anxiety or examine how B6 supplementation used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy and/or anti-depressants affect symptoms, Reed said.

Amy Sapola, PharmD, a certified wellness coach with a bachelors degree in nutrition, says shes cautious about drawing any conclusions from this particular study due to a relatively small number of participants and a cited error of missing data, which means the end sample size was actually smaller.

Dr. Sapola told Healthline she would have liked to see baseline labs to determine if participants were B6 and/or B12 deficient prior to taking the supplements.

Sapola noted that study participants were 80% young females and 20% young males.

She said that raises the question of why someone may be deficient in vitamin B6 or B12.

Does Vitamin D Help You Feel Better

Semen contains the same amount of Vitamin C as an orange.

According to research, vitamin D may have a significant role in mood regulation and depression prevention. In one study, scientists discovered that persons suffering from depression who took vitamin D supplements saw an improvement in their symptoms. They also found that people at risk for depression should take vitamin D supplements regularly because it can reduce the chances of developing depression.

Other studies have shown that people with seasonal affective disorder , a type of depression that occurs mainly during the winter months when there is less sunlight exposure, tend to have lower levels of vitamin D. However many SAD patients report feeling better after taking vitamin D supplements for a few weeks at a time. It appears that vitamin D helps regulate serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter associated with happiness and sadness.

Vitamin D is also important for healthy bones. But even though most Americans are getting enough vitamin D, many are still at risk for vitamin D deficiency due to limited sun exposure or certain medical conditions such as liver disease or cancer. When this happens, your body can’t break down vitamin D, so it builds up in your blood instead. This excessive amount of vitamin D can cause problems with your heart, muscles, nerves, and immune system. Your doctor can test your vitamin D level. If it’s low, he or she may recommend a supplement for you.

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Vitamin A For Anxiety

Vitamin A is an antioxidant and an essential nutrient that helps support the nervous system and promote normal muscle function and relaxation. The nervous system in turn helps to soothe anxiety and stress in the body and brain, reducing the chances of a panic attack, meaning that its an important vitamin for anxiety.

Vitamin A has also been seen in scientific studies to reduce the risk of anxiety in perimenopausal women, with an inversely associated relationship. Another study also suggested that vitamin A, along with other carotenoids, may help lower the risk of depressive symptoms.

However, if you take vitamin A for anxiety, be careful not to take more than the NRV. As a fat-soluble vitamin, it can build up in your body and potentially cause health issues later on.

NRV for vitamin A

  • Omega 3 DHA and EPA

What Vitamins Are Good For Anxiety And Panic Attacks

According to a 2019 research, a supplement containing the following nutrients substantially reduced anxiety in young adults: B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. According to a 2018 research, multivitamin pills may aid patients who suffer from mood problems such as anxiety. The study also indicated that women who were taking estrogen had better results with regard to anxiety relief if they were also taking a multivitamin daily.

Vitamins play an important role in maintaining health and preventing disease. There is some evidence that certain vitamins can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders. In particular, B vitamins have been linked to lower levels of anxiety and stress. Other studies have shown that people who eat a lot of fish oil may be less likely to develop anxiety disorders or experience less severe symptoms if they already have one. Finally, some research indicates that zinc may also play a role in reducing anxiety symptoms. Although more study is needed, there does not appear to be any reason why anyone would need to take large amounts of individual vitamins to feel better. Rather, it may be useful for individuals who are trying to prevent certain diseases or who are dealing with anxiety or depression to take a high-quality supplement containing all of the vitamins found in healthy food sources.

It’s important to note that many other factors can affect how you experience anxiety symptoms.

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Supplementing With Vitamin C

When it comes to Vitamin C supplements there are a variety of kinds and formulations to choose from. Here are a few good options:

  • Liposomal Sodium Ascorbate: Liposomal turns vitamin C from a water soluble vitamin into a fat soluble one, making it easier for your cells to absorb. Sodium Ascorbate may be better tolerated by those with gastrointestinal issues since it is less acidic.
  • Liposomal Ascorbic Acid: This liposomal version is in pill form, and the traditional ascorbic acid .
  • Camu Camu Powder: Natural form of Vitamin C.
  • Camu Camu Powder: Just a smaller bag

Itâs a good idea to take Vitamin C supplements with food, and since it can give you a boost in energy itâs better to take it earlier in the day â like with breakfast or lunch.

Effect Of Vitamin C On Depression

Do Vitamin C Supplements Help with Anxiety?

Depressionis a main cause of disability and negatively affects the personal behavior andmood. Worldwide, more than 300 millionpeople of all ages suffer from depression. In 2017 it is estimated that 17.3million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. Regardingto negative effect of depression on social and familial character of patientsthere is always a need to care about that. Several anti-depressant medicinesare available but their consumption is also associated with some side effectslike nausea, increased appetite, weight gain, loss of sexual desire and othersexual problems, fatigue and drowsiness.

Thereis a strong believe that anti-oxidant Vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin E haveimportant roles in neurological functions. Vitamin C and E affect the humanmood through their effect on two important neurotransmitters metabolism. Meanwhile, it is obtained from different animal studiesthat the brain is the last organ which is depleted of Vitamin C during thesever cases of Vitamin C deficiency, these studies are indirectly indicating theimportance of Vitamin C in neurological functions. Many studies have suggestedthat oxidative stress may be a trigger of neuropsychological disorders and so,consumption of anti-oxidants like Vitamin C can help preventing such problems.

In aclinical study on hospitalized patients, it was demonstratedthat supplementation with Vitamin C can reduce mood disturbance and psychologicaldistress.



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Whats The Best Herb For Anxiety And Depression

While some herbs, such as rhodiola and chamomile, may be helpful for reducing or managing symptoms in some individuals, there is no best herb for treating anxiety or depression .

Furthermore, even if you find that taking an herbal supplement is helpful, it shouldnt be used in place of a prescribed antidepressant medication.

The Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Group

This review found that the most commonly used supplementation in treating depression was the PUFA group, which was a combination of Docosahexaenoic acid and Eicosapentaenoic acid . Table 2 shows that from the twelve clinical studies that used PUFA supplementation for depression, eight studies showed positive effects in improving depression symptoms and reducing the scale of depression. However, the other four had no significant impact on the scale of depression, meaning that most of the studies agreed that PUFA was beneficial as a treatment for depression.

Table 2 Effects of Using PUFA Supplements for Treating Depression

Figure 2 The proposed mechanism of EPA in inhibiting phospholipase A2 and preventing depression.

Table 3 Effects of Combined PUFA Supplementations for Treating Depression

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The Uncommon Power Of Common Vitamin C

The health benefits of vitamin C in combatting the common cold, improving the immune system, preventing scurvy, strokes, and even preventing and fighting some cancers have been touted for decades. But, vitamin Cs least known and most powerful function may be in preventing and treating depression and anxiety.


A deficiency in vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, can cause neurological damage and the addition of vitamin C to the diet can improve or reverse symptoms of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.

A recent study at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Neuroscience in Nashville, Tennessee and published in the Journal of Neurochemistry deprived mice of vitamin C. The deprivation caused depressive and submissive behaviors as well as an increased preference for sugar. More importantly, there were decreases in dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Low levels of dopamine and serotonin are linked to high levels of anxiety and depression in humans as well as mice.





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A research group identified that shortness of a particular vitamin is common among older people and presents an increased risk of developing depression.

Having deficient levels of vitamin B12 correlated to a 51 percent increased likelihood of developing depressive symptoms across a four year period.

Lead author Dr Eamon Laird said: This study is highly relevant given the high prevalence of incident depression in older adults living in Ireland, and especially following evidence to show that one in eight older adults report high levels of low B12 deficiency rates.

There is a growing momentum to introduce a mandatory food fortification policy of B-vitamins in Europe and the UK, especially since mandatory food fortification with folic acid in the US has showed positive results, with folate deficiency or low status rates of just 1.2 percent in those aged 60 years and older.

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Holistic Mental Health Care At Sage Neuroscience Center

At Sage Neuroscience Center, we understand that mental health is different for everyone. Each individual is unique and deserves custom treatment. Having knowledge and access to a variety of treatment options is crucial, and so is educating yourself about the various lifestyle changes that might positively affect your mental health. To learn more about how vitamins and other natural supplements help improve mental health, contact the team here at Sage Neuroscience Center.

*Editors Note: This post was originally published Published on: Feb 4, 2014 and has been updated Mar 11, 2021

How Should We Treat Depression In Children

Based on the available research, we can conclude with reasonable certainty that there is a definitive link between nutrition and depression in children. Incorporating certain nutrients into a childs diet, specifically folate and B-vitamins, could help to reduce the effects of adolescent depression.

While it can take a lot of time and effort to get kids to eat healthier food, and while it is by no means a quick fix, it may be an option worth exploring with a healthcare provider if your child is experiencing the effects of adolescent depression.

While incorporating more nutrients into a childs diet can be useful in the treatment and prevention of adolescent depression, this is not to say that it should be used as a standalone treatment. It is perhaps more accurate to think of nutrient treatments as a component of a comprehensive and integrative treatment plan that also addresses sleep, exercise, and stress levels and that may also include the use of medications, particularly for moderate and severe depression.

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Sample Size And Study Design

It was an individually matched case-control observational study. To extract dietary patterns, 110 patients with depression and 220 healthy individuals were recruited. The participants included 260 female and 70 male . We selected the depressed patients from psychiatric clinic of Baharloo hospital in district 15, Imam Hossein hospital in district 7 and Tehran University student counseling center in district 6 through non-probable convenience sampling. After adjusting for age and sex, healthy individuals were selected from the area of residence of hospital patients and students of Tehran University. The samples selection and data collection were performed during October 2012 to June 2013.

To measure serum folate, vitamin B12, tHcy, Trp, and Trp/CAA ratio a total of 86 individuals were randomly selected from the participants.

The Vitamin C Dosage For Depression

Vitamin C To Treat Depression and Anxiety?

Depression can rob people of their energy, their sleep, their concentration and their happiness. Because psychiatric medications are expensive and can have unpredictable and uncomfortable side effects, some people opt for natural methods like vitamin supplements. Vitamin C does relieve depression in some people and is also relatively safe and inexpensive. Be aware, though, that few people treat depression successfully with supplements alone and that suddenly withdrawing from psychiatric medications can be dangerous.

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When To Seek Treatment

Knowing what vitamins are good for anxiety can help reduce symptoms in some cases, including feeling nervous, restless, or tense. If youre experiencing high levels of anxiety and its interfering with personal or professional relationships, causing persistent sleep problems, or hampering your ability to concentrate, speak with your doctor. They can order blood tests to determine if you have a true vitamin deficiency.

Children, pregnant women, and seniors are the most common populations to suffer extreme consequences from a lack of proper vitamins and minerals. That said, any person, at any age, can experience higher levels of anxiety and depression, which might be due to prolonged deficits of certain vitamins. However, its also true that many people experience depression and anxiety without any vitamin deficiencies.

Before starting a daily regimen of supplements, its important to talk to your doctor to make sure anything you take wont interfere with other medications or a current medical issue.

For example, both vitamin A and K can have negative interactions with blood thinners, and too much vitamin D can cause a toxic buildup of calcium in the body.

Reviewed On: June 8, 2022

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