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J Behav Med. 2008 Apr;31(2):157-67.

The efficacy of vitamins for reducing or preventing depression symptoms in healthy individuals: natural remedy or placebo?

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Department of Psychology, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117, USA.


Over-the-counter vitamins have become increasingly popular as a natural remedy for reducing or preventing depression symptoms and enhancing the emotional well-being of healthy individuals in the general population. This placebo-controlled, single-blind trial evaluated the effect of vitamins on depression symptoms experienced by a nonclinical sample of participants. One hundred and fourteen healthy young adults were randomly assigned to multivitamin, B-complex vitamin, placebo vitamin, or no-treatment control conditions. At the end of a 6-week regimen, participants administered vitamins reported significant reductions in depression symptoms as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory compared to those who received no treatment. There was no difference between the multivitamin, the B-vitamin, and the placebo. The effect of each of the vitamin regimens on depression symptoms was partially mediated by response expectancies. The results do not support the efficacy of vitamins as a natural remedy for reducing or preventing depression symptoms among healthy people in the general population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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