Can Vitamin B Stop The Blues?

By Nutritionist, Hannah Norris 

Scientists have shown that diet and nutrition can reduce the risk of depression; a few studies have shown that higher intakes of B vitamins are associated with a lower prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms(1-5)

Overall people who eat a healthier diet, full of nutrient rich foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, dairy and unprocessed meats and fish have a lower incidence of depression6

Whilst it’s inconclusive whether supplementation by itself can improve symptoms in people who already have depression and/or anxiety, research shows that diets rich in B vitamins can reduce risk and therefore help to prevent low mood(1-5)

There’s also evidence to show that a diet rich in B Vitamins combined with Omega 3 DHA help preserve and maintain the health of the brain including reducing the risk of cognitive decline7

Two other crucial roles for B vitamins are helping the body make energy and supporting the liver detoxification process (8-9); if we’ve been exposed to high levels of toxins (cough cough *alcohol over christmas*) we may be feeling a little lethargic, which certainly won’t help our mood. 

B Vitamins are water soluble and therefore not stored easily in the body, and due to the importance of them in our detoxification system they’re regularly flushed out and therefore needed in abundance in our diet to maintain healthy levels (of course there’s a maximum amount you should consume to avoid toxicity!) 

Unfortunately, nutrients don’t work by themselves in isolation. Majority of the health benefits such as better mental health and improved cognition associated with diet, come from what we call the food matrix and requires consuming nutrients as a collection, rather than by themselves in a pill form, so simply taking a multivitamin and/or a B vitamin capsule by itself will not have the same benefits. 

It’s best to ensure a varied diet and to supplement it with fortified foods, drinks and supplements such as Upbeat drinks which have a vitamin B complex including 6 types of B vitamins! See below on how to incorporate a B Vitamin rich diet! 

Where can you get B Vitamins from?


Upbeat 500ml

Where else you can find it

What it does

B1 (Thiamine) 


whole grains, meat, and fish

Thiamine helps to turn food into energy to keep the nervous system healthy, critical for growth, development, and function of cells. 

B2 (Riboflavin)

Mainly meats, eggs and fortified cereals/bread

Keeps skin, eyes and the nervous system healthy, the body releases energy from food.

B3  (Niacin)


Mainly meats, eggs and fortified wheat

Energy production, healthy skin.

B5 (Pantothenic acid)


mushrooms, sunflower seeds, beef, cereals and more

Synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA), essential for fatty acid synthesis and degradation, and a multitude of other anabolic and catabolic processes.

B6 (Pyridoxine)


chickpeas, beef, fish, dark leafy veg, fortified cereals

Supports multiple functions in the body including brain, heart health & immune function.

B7 (Biotin)


eggs, meat, fish, nuts and seeds

Biotin plays a vital role in assisting enzymes to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in food. It also helps to regulate signals sent by cells and the activity of genes. 

B9 (Folate)

dark green leafy veg, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, eggs, seafood and liver

Folate helps to form DNA and RNA and is involved in protein metabolism. Needed to produce healthy red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth, such as during pregnancy and fetal development.


Fish, meat, dairy, eggs, tempeh, nutritional yeast

function of the central nervous system; healthy red blood cell formation; and DNA synthesis 

As you can see, Upbeat contains 50% of your daily requirements for most of your required B vitamins!