Monday, 26 November 2012

Vitamin B deficiency linked to depression in Chinese people

Thiamine deficiency linked to three-fold higher risk of depression
by Michael Woodhead 

People with low levels of the vitamin B component thiamine have a three-fold higher risk of depression, Shanghai researchers have shown.
According to researchers from the Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Nutritional Sciences at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, thiamine has been hypothesized to play an important role in mental health; however, few studies have investigated the association between thiamine nutritional status and depression in the Chinese population.
Therefore they conducted a trial to examine levels of thiamine and its phosphate esters [thiamine monophosphate (TMP) and thiamine diphosphate (TDP)] in erythrocytes of 1587 Chinese men and women.
They found that just over 11% of people had depressive symptoms, and that lower concentrations of all three thiamine biomarkers were associated with a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms.  People with the lowest thiamine levels had a 3-3.5 time higher risk of depressive symptoms compared to people with higher levels of thiamine.
"In conclusion, poorer thiamine nutritional status and higher odds of depressive symptoms were associated among older Chinese adults. This finding should be further investigated in prospective or interventional studies," the researchers say.
Read more: Journal of Nutrition

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