B-Complex Vitamins Reduce Work-Related Stress

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Filed Under: Stress Management, General Health
Last Reviewed 02/14/2014

Since the economic downturn, Americans are working longer and harder than ever. Understandably, this means they’re being exposed to more stress and, as a result, are at increased risk of anxiety and depression. The good news is that taking B-complex vitamins can help.

In a clinical trial, Australian researchers randomly divided employees into two groups. For a three-month period, one group received a B-complex multivitamin; the other was given placebo pills.

Before-and-after assessments of mood, personality traits, and work strain and demands revealed that the vitamins significantly reduced workplace stress. The employees taking the B-complex vitamins specifically reported “lower personal strain and a reduction in confusion and depressed/dejected mood.”

These findings aren’t surprising when you consider the role B vitamins, particularly folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, play in mental function. 

Effects of B-Complex Vitamins on the Body and Mind

  • Reduce levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
     
  • Improve mood. This trio of vitamins plays an indirect but critical role in the formation of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Plus, other research has found links between B vitamin deficiencies—as well as high levels of homocysteine—and mood disorders.
     
  • Vitamin B12 is also an excellent energy booster. In fact, a deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause symptoms ranging from mild fatigue to severe exhaustion.

Of course, B-complex vitamins aren’t the only way to manage stress and boost your mood. But given all their other health benefits, such as protection against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and serious eye conditions like macular degeneration (to name just a few), I recommend making sure they’re part of your daily supplement regimen.

Your best bet is to take a multivitamin that contains reasonable doses of these important B-complex vitamins: 800 mcg folic acid, 75 mg vitamin B6 and 150 mcg vitamin B12. Otherwise, look for a separate B-complex vitamin and take as directed.

Now it’s your turn: Do you have any stress management techniques you’d like to share?

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