Deficiency In B Vitamins Linked To Mental Illnesses In Adolescents: Preliminary Study

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: April 18, 2019 18:17 IST

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Deficiency In B Vitamins Linked To Mental Illnesses In Adolescents: Preliminary Study

Deficiency of B vitamins linked to mental illnesses in adolescents

Vitamin B12 is vital nutrient required by the body to perform a number of essential roles. These include helping with red blood cell formation and prevention of anaemia. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause a reduction in red blood cell formation and may prevent them from forming properly. However, the vitamin may be more important than we know it to be. A new study has said that Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B9 deficiency may be linked with mental illnesses in teenagers. The study was conducted by researchers at Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Spain. The results of the research were presented at the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) 2019 Congress.

The researchers retrospectively examined the records of all child and adolescent psychiatric inpatients at their centre, between 2015 and 2017, in order to determine the level of deficiency of two key vitamins in their bodies- Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B9 (folic acid). The research was conducted on the data of some 780 young patients of psychiatric disorders and it found that while 40 per cent of patients were deficient in Vitamin B9 and 20 per cent were deficient in Vitamin B12, some 10 per cent participants were deficient in both. The researchers observed that levels of Vitamin B were significantly lower in those with psychotic symptoms as compared to those without psychotic symptoms.

The researchers also observed that the mean Vitamin B9 levels were lower in females as compared to males. Similarly, adolescents were found to be more deficient in Vitamin B than children. Adolescents were twice as likely to be deficient in Vitamins B9 and B12 as kids, found researchers. However, the results of this study haven't been published in a peer review journal and hence, must not be considered definitive. B vitamins are important for consumption with foods, as they are a class of water-soluble vitamins. It's essential that fulfill their B vitamin requirements through dietary sources.

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