Study: food may not give us enough brain nutrients

Irish researchers recently published a study in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society indicating that food alone may not be providing the B vitamins in the quantities we need to maintain good mental health, particularly for older adults.

In their study, the researchers indicated that 4 B vitamins are required for normal brain function, and as such may protect against depression. These 4 vitamins are:

  1. B2 (riboflavin)
  2. B6
  3. B9 (folate or folic acid)
  4. B12

The researchers analyzed data from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture (TUDA) Ageing cohort study, which detailed the health and lifestyle of over 5,000 older adults.

What they found was that as TUDA participants increased their consumption of foods fortified with B vitamins, their B-vitamin biomarkers increased significantly. Conversely, they discovered that participants who didn’t consume fortified food or supplements, but relied on B vitamins coming exclusively from food, had the lowest biomarker levels. In fact, at the lowest biomarker levels, depression risk rose by as much as 78%.

They concluded that food alone isn’t enough for our bodies to get the B vitamin levels we need for optimal mental health:

Natural food sources alone appear to be insufficient in achieving a biomarker concentration of B-vitamins associated with lowest risk of depression, while regular consumption of fortified foods or supplements appear to be associated with biomarker concentrations that may protect mental health in ageing.

If you maintain a healthy diet as part of caring for your mental health, please be sure to include a supplement that contains high quality B vitamins, such as Truehope EMPowerplus. EMPowerplus is an all-natural combination of 36 vitamins (including the 4 mentioned above), minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants specifically formulated for physical and mental well being.

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