Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Anxiety – Stress – Depression ?

As mentioned in one of my previous articles, anxiety is the product of the bodies natural response to stress. The feeling of fear, worry, tension or apprehension towards something that is coming. Often anxiety ( if left untreated treated ) or an anxiety disorder can trigger depression. Some people can even feel anxious and depressed at the same time, this can be quite draining, tiring and debilitating.

When experiencing or suffering from anxiety, stress or depression we always tend to only think of ” the externals “. What is going on in your life, who you surround yourself with, work, home, responsibilities, money ( or more the lack there off ) and so on. What we tend to completely have forgotten, or not even given any thought is what is going on inside of our bodies. We eat, breath, live and survive. Rinse and repeat. People don’t for one minute stop and think ” maybe my body is lacking something, and it could maybe also be why I am feeling like this ? ” Now, I don’t want to discredit the fact that the ” externals ” are not contributing factors, they are too very real. Can Vitamin deficiency cause anxiety – stress or even depression ? Can a combination of Nutrient and Vitamins deficiency cause these debilitating symptoms or conditions ? Well lets have a look at some facts.


From Gut to Brain

For years many different studies have been done regarding depression. Some more recent studies showed the intricate yet simple connection the gut has to the brain. The gut ( being the largest internal organ ) contains Gut to brainbillions of microbiota ( also know as gut flora ), these all include bacteria, viruses, and fungi. All these microbiota are responsible for different processes to take place, such as fermenting dietary fiber Turing it into short-chain fatty acids and in turn being absorbed by our bodies. The gut bacteria synthesizes Vit B and Vit K as well as metabolizes bile acids, sterols and xenobiotics. The gut connects to our brain trough neurotransmitters, hormones, central nervous system, neuroendocrine system, neuroimmune system, automatic nervous system, enteric nervous system and the vagus nerve ( all vital for life ). The gut also contains millions of ” brain cells “, therefore it can (in a way) ” think for itself “. It contains millions of neurons, in actual fact more neurons are located in the gut than our spinal cord.

Unfortunately, due to most of our life styles, antibiotics, pesticides, processed foods and our crops being grown in nutrient depleted soils. Our bodies and more so our gut are not getting the sufficient amount of essential vitamins and nutrients to allow for good healthy microbiota in the gut and in turn increase the amounts of ” bad ” or unhealthy microbiota. This can have detrimental ” complications ” as the gut will not have the ability to adequately absorb and ” transport ” the essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to function optimally.

Depression is not just a mental disorder ” exclusively “. Depression is also a symptom of underlying conditions, such as disturbances in the manufacturing of Cortisol ( stress hormone ), brain dysfunction, imbalanced or compromised immune systems and very importantly the nervous system functioning. These microbiota brain-messagesimbalances may create many conditions associated to depression. imbalances of microbiota can negatively affect the levels of serotonin in the brain as well as decrease the levels of GABA ( chemical messenger in the brain ), which are strongly associated with depression and anxiety. If you go have a look at a person suffering from depression, you will most probably find they have some from of gut issue/s. So, this all boils down to the gut. If the gut is not healthy, your brain will not be healthy either.


Vitamins, Minerals Amino and Fatty Acids

So, now that we understand the role and the importance of the gut and how it can positively or negatively affect our brain ( anxiety, stress and depression ). We can also understand the importance of getting ” all the right stuff ” into our bodies. Unfortunately many believe we can get all of this from just eating healthy ( as organically as possible ). The problem however is that the “quality” of food is just not the same as it was a 100 or more years ago. The soil in which the crops grow require certain minerals, these important minerals are just not present anymore.

Multi Vitamin tablets liquid or powderThink about this for a second. Do you think farmers 100 years ( or more ) ago used additional fertilizers to add to the soil in order to have a good healthy crop ? Well they didn’t. Farmers ( or households ) would have had wood burning fires for cooking etc every day. The ashes from these wood burning fires would then be worked back into the soil. The ashes are what contain minerals for the crops. The crops would “use” these minerals and produce the minerals we as humans and animals need. This is just one of many examples. Farmers today are forced to compete, and the larger the crop the higher the yield. This is what they need to do to survive. The downside is that most of these crops can look the same, maybe even taste the same, however the vitamin and mineral content of the crops are just not what they are supposed to be. The truth of the matter is it has come with sacrifices. Sacrifices to us eating the crops ( human and animal alike).

In order for our bodies to function optimally ( and healthy ) we do require additional input of vitamins, minerals, amino and fatty acids. The following are some of the ones that are related to Anxiety, Stress and Depression ( in no particular order ).

  • Omega 3,6 & 9
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Vit B
  • Amino Acids ( building blocks of protein )
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Iodine
  • Vit D
  • Chromium
  • Litium

There is hope for all of us

VitaminsThe importance of all essential Vitamins, Minerals, Amino and fatty acids are so imperative for all of us. Not just in the case of anxiety, stress or depression but for the function of our entire body. After all, every single bit of our body is in some way connected and if one thing is not “working ” properly then it will have a ripple affect to the rest of our body. No brainer – right ? Understanding these things will allow us to make better choices. In what we eat or drink, and avoiding the ” bad stuff”. Adding in all the essential Vitamins, Minerals, Amino and Fatty acids we do not get from our food should be a priority for every single person. And don’t just go and buy just any Vitamin of the shelve. Look at what is in it and how much of it. Is it Organic, NON GMO, pesticide free ? Does it contain all ( or most ) of the Minerals, Vitamins, Amino and Fatty Acids we need? 60 Minerals, 16 Vitamins, 12 Amino Acids & 3 Fatty Acids. If it checks the boxes, then you good to go !

So can Vitamin deficiency cause anxiety, stress and depression ? My short answers is – YES !

Until next time

Felicity

14 thoughts on “Can Vitamin Deficiency Cause Anxiety – Stress – Depression ?”

  1. Great article. I find this topic really interesting. The best way to lose weight is to start a gut cleanse, resorting the healthy balance to your gut. After you would consume probiotics. Have you ever done this? If so, what type of cleansing is your favorite?

    1. Hello Catherine. I tend to stay away for non-natural cleansing products. I tend to stick to a combination of herbal teas and smoothies for a good cleanse. Adding the probiotic is a must, and not just when doing a colon cleanse. Probiotics also assists with inflammation in the gut, and help you stay regular. This should be included daily. All the best. Felicity

  2. Hi Felicity,

    I think it’s becoming more obvious to many people that what we put into our bodies (or don’t put into our bodies for that matter) can have a detrimental effect on both our physical and emotional wellbeing.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you that “every single bit of our body is connected in some way”.

    I guess some may only think of the physical factors when it comes to a vitmain deficiency, but as you rightly point out, there is definitely an impact when it comes to anxiety, stress and depression.

    Thanks for a great read.
    Partha

  3. Hi Felicity,
    Thanks for the amazing and educational post. You absolutely right that current food products are lacking most of the essential vitamins and minerals due to the depleted soil nutrients and we can’t just go and buy any kind of vitamins without looking the contents because there are so many fake products out there.
    Great post.

    V/r
    Benson

    1. Hello Benson. Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately it’s not just the “fake” products we have to look out for, but also synthetic products ( which I call ” Plastic Vitamins ” ). They really don’t do any good. I’m glad you found my article informative. All the best. Felicity

  4. Hi Felicity,
    I can so relate to your topic here and my answer is also most definitely yes! I personally suffered from this, I mean really suffered, until I fixed my nutrition deficiencies.
    Many thanks for pointing out one of the crucial aspects of my well being, which we are so neglecting these day!

    Kindest Regards
    Rani

    1. Hello Rani. Sometimes we all just get a little bit too busy and forget that our bodies ( mind and soul ) has to ” maintained “. I’m glad my article has reminded you of that. All the best. Felicity

  5. Hi,
    I think your article has good, valid points regarding that today’s foods do not have the same vitamins than years gone by.I do believe that it is important that we do feed our bodies the vitamins that it needs.

    Thank you!

  6. This is fantastic information. I know from personal experience that Vitamin D has such an impact on mood. I don’t realize so many others did as well. Thanks for the information.

  7. Hi Felicity,

    Thanks for the article that explains how our body reacts to vitamin deficiency, and I believe it’s the disease of modern society. Comparing to my grandparent’s generation, they won’t have this issue simply because they didn’t use that much chemical stuff for our agriculture.

    I also agree with what you brought in the last paragraph about things we need to notice when we purchase supplements. I am just like other people only care about the price in the past, after reading your post, I will have more awareness about the way they make it. Quite happy that I learned something new from your post, thanks for sharing.

    Matt

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