Researchers examined whether dietary intakes of vitamins B6, folate or vitamin B12 were predictive of depressive symptoms over an average of 7.2 years in a community-based population of older adults.
The study sample consisted of 3503 adults from the Chicago Health and Aging project, an ongoing, population-based, biracial (59% African American) study in adults aged 65 years. Dietary assessment was made by food-frequency questionnaire. Incident depression was measured by the presence of 4 depressive symptoms from the 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale.
The logistic regression models, which used generalized estimating equations, showed that higher total intakes, which included supplementation, of vitamins B6 and B12 were associated with a decreased likelihood of incident depression for up to 12 years of follow-up, after adjustment for age, sex, race, education, income and antidepressant medication use. For example, each 10 additional milligrams of vitamin B6 and 10 additional micrograms of vitamin B12 were associated with 2% lower odds of depressive symptoms per year. There was no association between depressive symptoms and food intakes of these vitamins or folate. These associations remained after adjustment for smoking, alcohol use, widowhood, caregiving status, cognitive function, physical disability and medical conditions.