Vitamin B crucial to children's mental health, study finds

October 10, 2012
Vitamin B crucial to children's mental health

(Medical Xpress)—A new study has uncovered a significant link between vitamin B levels and the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.

The research led by The University of Western Australia-affiliated Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, and published in the international journal Preventive Medicine, indicated that children with a low in B-vitamins were more likely to experience and than those with a healthier diet rich in B-vitamins.

UWA Researcher Carly Herbison said the study, "Low intake of B-vitamins is associated with poor adolescent mental health and behaviour," is the first to report on a direct link between the prevalence of externalising behaviour problems in adolescents at 17 years and a reduced intake of B1, B2, B5, B6 and .

"B-vitamins are essential for the production of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which modulates behaviour in humans and can contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness," she said.

"Previous studies have shown that externalising mental health and behaviour problems developed during adolescence are related to a higher risk of offending and substance abuse later in life," said Ms Herbison. "What this study looked at was the relationship between diet, specifically B-vitamin intake and the presence of these externalising behaviours."

Report senior author UWA Professor Wendy Oddy, who heads the Institute's nutritional research, said the study reinforces how a can play a key role in improving mental health outcomes for young people.

"There is a great message in this in how diet may help prevent . Improving what our children eat and ensuring they are getting essential B-vitamins from foods such as nuts, seeds, , legumes and fruit and vegetables can have a really positive impact on their mental health and well-being," Professor Oddy said.

The research was funded by the Cardiovascular Disease and Depression Strategic Research Program, a partnership between the Heart Foundation and beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative.

The study used detailed nutritional and mental health data collected from participants in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort, Raine Study.

beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said: "This research reinforces that to have good mental health, you need to have a balanced diet and 30 minutes' regular exercise on most days. It's important to see good mental health as part of your overall mental and physical well-being, especially during growth years."

The study has recommended further research into the link between B-Vitamins and adolescent mental health and well-being.

Scholars who join Clough will be part of an advanced training program, which includes leadership training and executive mentoring.

Explore further: Children with asthma at-risk for mental health issues

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S0091743512004616

Related Stories

Children with asthma at-risk for mental health issues

September 13, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—A new study has found that young children with severe or persistent asthma are at higher risk of developing many common mental health problems.

Poor diet linked to teen mental health problems

September 23, 2011
Adolescents who eat unhealthily are more likely to develop mental health problems than those with good diets, a new study has found.

Self-image and social interaction help to explain the link between exercise and mental health

September 25, 2012
We've heard it time and time again: exercise is good for us. And it's not just good for physical health – research shows that daily physical activity can also boost our mental health. But what actually accounts for the ...

Recommended for you

Babies can learn that hard work pays off

September 21, 2017
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. A new study from MIT reveals that babies as young as 15 months can learn to follow this advice. The researchers found that babies who watched an adult struggle at two different ...

Study links brain inflammation to suicidal thinking in depression

September 21, 2017
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the University of ...

Oxytocin turns up the volume of your social environment

September 20, 2017
Before you shop for the "cuddle" hormone oxytocin to relieve stress and enhance your social life, read this: a new study from the University of California, Davis, suggests that sometimes, blocking the action of oxytocin in ...

Researchers develop new tool to assess individual's level of wisdom

September 20, 2017
Researchers at University of San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new tool called the San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE) to assess an individual's level of wisdom, based upon a conceptualization of wisdom as a trait ...

Alcohol use affects levels of cholesterol regulator through epigenetics

September 20, 2017
In an analysis of the epigenomes of people and mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Institutes of Health report that drinking alcohol may induce changes to a cholesterol-regulating gene.

Self-control may not diminish throughout the day

September 20, 2017
After a long day of work and carefully watching what you eat, you might expect your self-control to slip a little by kicking back and cracking open a bag of potato chips.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.