Human Research-section" id="supporting-a-healthy-stress-response-mood">Supporting a healthy stress response & moodB vitamins may increase stress and worsen mood.
The B vitamins are essential to overall health. Collectively they provide numerous benefits, including such potential stress-related effects as:
- Supporting mood. B vitamins are involved in regulating mood, brain health, stress response, and other processes that can add up to reduction of stress.
The B vitamins comprise a group of water-soluble nutrients that are vital for extracting energy from food and aiding important metabolic processes.
Each one of these 8 essential vitamins – B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B12, and folic acid – is chemically distinct and serves unique purposes.
Although most diets provide sufficient amounts of B vitamins for healthy living, supplementation has been a popular option for strengthening the immune system and relieving both mental and physical stress.
Here’s a quick look at the roles and recommended intakes of each B vitamin:
|Vitamin||Dietary Reference Intake (DRI)||Brief Description of Benefits|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)||1.5 mg||Boosts the immune system|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||1.7 mg||Antioxidant|
|Vitamin B3 (niacin)||20 mg||Elevates HDL (good) cholesterol|
|Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)||10 mg||Breaks down fats and carbs; manages stress-hormone production|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||2 mg||Regulates mood and sleep via serotonin, melatonin, and norepinephrine|
|Vitamin B7 (biotin)||300 μg||Maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails|
|Vitamin B9 (folate)||400 μg||Combats depression and memory loss|
|Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)||6 μg||Ups energy levels|
How B vitam
How B vitamins May Help With Stress a healthy stress response & mood
The B vitamins are involved in multiple processes essential to a healthy stress response and mood regulation. Most notably, vitamin B5 (sometimes called the “anti-stress” vitamin) is needed for production of stress-related hormones, while vitamins B6 and B9 help regulate mood and overall brain health. 1
B Vitamins B
B Vitamins Benefits & Uses for Stressmplexes are typically taken as a way to increase energy and support overall health. In terms of stress, there is a good amount of research evidence that supplementing with B vitamins can help by:
Nonetheless, as the case with many essential nutrients, it’s important to note that supplementing vitamin B is unlikely to do much for non-deficient individuals.
Studies have found that B vitamins may help improve mood as well as reduce anxiety and mental fatigue. The caveat is that the majority of these clinical studies are funded by vitamin-manufacturing companies and do not assess the participants’ B vitamins status.
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation, the work demands, mood, anxiety, and strain of 60 employees were assessed over a 3-month period while taking 2 types of high dose B multivitamins (B-50, B-100). The groups receiving vitamin B complex treatment were found to have significantly lower personal strain and dejected or depressed mood.
- The study concluded that there are “significant decreases in the experience of workplace stress after 90 day supplementation of a B multivitamin.”5
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation, 200 adults were given either a placebo or Blackmores® Executive B Stress Formula daily for 6 months. Workplace stress and mood measures were reported to have improved in the B vitamins group, based on the Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised (OSI-R), the Profile of Moods Scale (POMS), the Personal Stress Questionnaire (PSQ), and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12).
- The study concluded that “effective strategies reducing occupational stress are urgently required. Dietary supplementation with B group vitamins may be an economically viable and sustainable intervention.”6
In this investigation, a multivitamin (MV) containing high levels of B vitamins was given to 138 adults for a period of 16 weeks. Significant improvements in mood were reported.
- The study concluded that “at-home mobile-phone assessments, where assessments were conducted post-dose, revealed significantly reduced stress, physical fatigue and anxiety in the MV group in comparison to placebo across a number of time points.”7
Dosage for Stress<
Dosage for Stressrd dose of B vitamins in clinical research.
- B-50 complex. 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 mcg folic acid, and 50 mg of other B vitamins
- B-100 complex. 100 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin, 400 mcg folic acid, and 100 mg of other B vitamins.
Supplements in Re
Supplements in Review Says="font-size: 14pt;">B vitamins for stress as a B-50 complex.
If you suspect deficiency, supplementing B vitamins can help with stress. We recommend B vitamins for stress relief, especially if you suspect you may be deficient. Vitamin B supplementation may improve mood and energy levels while also reducing anxiety, strain, and work-related stress.
Start with a B-50 complex. Dosages of B vitamin complexes vary tremendously. We suggest starting with the lower B-50 dosage.
- Schlebusch L, Bosch BA, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, double-centre study of the effects of an oral multivitamin-mineral combination on stress. S. Afr. Med. J. 2000;90:1216-23. ↩
- Kennedy DO, Veasey R, et al. Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Jul;211(1):55-68. ↩
- Long SJ, Benton D. Effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation on stress, mild psychiatric symptoms, and mood in nonclinical samples: a meta-analysis. Psychosom Med. 2013 Feb;75(2):144-53. ↩
- O’Leary F, Samman S. Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2010 Mar; 2(3): 299-316. ↩
- Stough C, Scholey A, et al. The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2011 Oct;26(7):470-6. ↩
- Stough C, Simpson T, et al. Reducing occupational stress with a B-vitamin focussed intervention: a randomized clinical trial: study protocol. Nutr J. 2014; 13: 122. ↩
- Pipingas A, Camfield DA, et al. The effects of multivitamin supplementation on mood and general well-being in healthy young adults. A laboratory and at-home mobile phone assessment. Appetite. 2013 Oct;69:123-36. ↩