Deficiencies can lead to behavioral issues, Australian researchers find
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/10/2012 -- Vitamin B is important for children’s mental health and can help prevent behavioral problems, an Australian study says.
Vitamin B comes from dairy products, fish, poultry, meat, leafy green vegetables and beans. Blood cell production and brain function need vitamin B12.
Children with low levels of vitamin B tended to have more behavioral problems and slower mental growth, according to the study, which was led by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. The researchers looked at levels of vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6 and folate and their effect on behavior, said Carly Herbison, who worked on the study.
“B-vitamins are essential for the production of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which modulates behavior in humans and can contribute to feelings of wellbeing and happiness,” Herbison told Medical Daily.
The study, reported in Preventive Medicine, examined medical records of participants in an earlier Australian study that looked at diet and behavioral assessments.
“Previous studies have shown that externalizing mental health and behavior problems developed during adolescence are related to a higher risk of offending and substance abuse later in life,” Herbison said. “What this study looked at was the relationship between diet, specifically B-vitamin intake and the presence of these externalizing behaviors.”
The study shows that diet can help prevent mental health problems, said the study’s senior author, professor Wendy Oddy.
“Improving what our children eat and ensuring they are getting essential B-vitamins from foods such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and fruit and vegetables can have a really positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing,” Oddy said.
VitaminBDeficiency.net (http://www.vitaminbdeficiency.net/) is an online resource with information about vitamin B deficiency. Readers can learn more about the importance of the B-vitamins, symptoms of deficiencies and their effects on the body. People can find out more about B-vitamins and those who are most at risk of deficiencies at VitaminBDeficiency.net.
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