Title

Low intake of B-vitamins is associated with poor adolescent mental health and behaviour

Document Type

Journal Article

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

School

School of Exercise and Health Sciences

RAS ID

14474

Comments

This article was originally published as: Herbison , C., Hickling , S., Allen , K., O'Sullivan, T. , Robinson, M., Bremner, A., Huang, R., Beilin, L., Mori, T., & Oddy, W. (2012). Low intake of B-vitamins is associated with poor adolescent mental health and behaviour. Preventive Medicine, 55(6), 634-638. Original article available here

Abstract

Objective: The current prevalence of mental health problems in Western populations is approximately 20% and half of all adult mental health disorders are estimated to originate in adolescence. Diet plays an important role in modulating psychological wellbeing and B-vitamins are vital for the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. We aimed to examine the relationship between B-group vitamins and adolescent mental health and behaviour. Methods: This is a cross-sectional analysis of the West Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. The 17-year follow-up included collection of a food frequency questionnaire allowing B-vitamin intake calculation. Mental health was assessed using the Youth Self Report (YSR) which measures total, internalising (withdrawn/depressed) and externalising (aggressive/delinquent) behaviour scores. Multiple linear regression was used to analyse associations between B-vitamins and mental health with adjustment for relevant confounders (n=709). Results: Lower intake of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate was associated with higher externalising behaviour scores (p≤ 0.05). Reduced intake of vitamin B6 and folate was associated with higher internalising behaviour scores (p≤ 0.05). Conclusions: Poor nutrition may contribute to the pathogenesis of mental health problems in adolescence. The role of B-vitamins requires further investigation in randomised controlled trials.

DOI

10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.09.014

Access Rights

Not open access

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