Vitamin C Help For Bad Mood

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If you’ve been feeling a little blue lately, maybe you should try boosting your vitamin C levels. A study out of McGill University in Montreal, published in the journal Nutrition, has found that supplementing vitamin C helped to elevate acute-care hospital patients’ moods.

Vitamin C is an often-overlooked antioxidant nutrient that is essential to the proper functioning of the human body. Psychological abnormalities are a known result of vitamin C deficiency and so previous studies on the vitamin had included assessments of mood. That research was criticized, however, for not having proper controls to rule out the placebo effect.

The current study corrected for this by employing a double-blind methodology, so neither the subjects nor the researchers knew who was getting the 1000mg of vitamin C or who was getting the 2000 IU of vitamin D. (Vitamin D was given to the second group as it is known to be commonly deficient in acute-care hospitalizations as well.)

The researchers found vitamin C to be associated with a 34 per cent improvement in mood scores, comparable to a previous “unblind” study. No improvement in mood was found in the vitamin D group “thus making the placebo response an unlikely explanation for the effect of vitamin C,” reported the researchers.

The authors speculate that sub-normal vitamin C concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid may adversely affect brain functions and mood. Therefore, replenishment of vitamin C levels could improve mood. “This looks like a true biological effect. Our finding definitely requires follow up in larger studies in other centers. The treatment is safe, simple and cheap, and could have major clinical practice implications,” added Dr. Hoffer.

, commenting on the study, made a good point: “The entire premise of the study is based on the observation that most people coming into a hospital are vitamin C and D deficient. Common sense will tell you that if you take steps to be adequate in vitamin C and vitamin D then you are less likely to wind up in the hospital with an emergency acute need. I have seen similar research in the past regarding magnesium status.”

In addition to its potential as a mood-booster, vitamin C has numerous health benefits, from aiding in the formation of collagen and thyroid function to possibly even preventing cancer. There are plenty of ways to get vitamin C from food beyond oranges, from rose hips to blackcurrants, but I recommend people supplement with 1000mg of vitamin C daily, particularly in the winter months when colds and flus are abundant.

The Healthy Foodie is Doug DiPasquale, Holistic Nutritionist and trained chef, living in Toronto.

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