Depression linked to vitamin B12 deficiency

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Scientists from Ireland concluded that the risk of developing depressive disorder correlates with vitamin B12 levels. At least when it comes to the elderly.

Depression linked to vitamin B12 deficiency
Depression linked to vitamin B12 deficiency

The causes of depression are many: from polluted air and genetic predisposition to psychological trauma in childhood. Nobody knows for sure about this. Depression should not be confused with so-called major depressive disorder (MDD).

Unlike the first, which is often understood as any bad mood or autumn melancholy, MDD is a real disease that does not imply treatment with “willpower.” As a rule, it needs drug therapy, since otherwise, it tends to gradually worsen – at least in the middle and late stages of the disease.

vitamin B12 deficiency

MDD includes a number of symptoms – both psychological (bad mood, inability to experience vivid emotions, especially positive ones, insomnia or hypersomnia, indecision, forgetfulness, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, thoughts of suicide) to physiological (chronic fatigue, loss of energy, slowing down of mental and physical activity , weight loss or weight gain).

Scientists from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland studied data from the TILDA Longitudinal Study on Aging, which involved 3,849 people aged 50 and over. The condition of the volunteers – both psychological and physical – was monitored for more than four years. People regularly donated blood to check their plasma vitamin levels, and underwent psychological tests to help identify symptoms of depressive disorder. The findings are presented in the British Journal of Nutrition.

It was found that the risk of developing depression in older people who are deficient in vitamin B12 is 51 percent higher than in those whose blood levels of this vitamin are normal. “Every year, the number of older people with B12 deficiency is only growing, and after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there are more people suffering from loneliness and depression. Our research highlights the importance of increasing consumption of foods or vitamin B12 supplements. It may help reduce risk factors for depression in people over 50, ”said lead author Dr. Amon Laird.

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