Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) for depression?

I have to admit that I like trying new supplements.  I think this is because I've found some really helpful supplements (as well as some loosers).

My newest experimental supplement is B-12, in the form of Methylcobalamin.  This one I didn't buy for myself initially.  I bought it for my mother-in-law.  She is about 70 years old and says that it makes a significant difference in giving her more energy.  I bought her the 1000 mcg dosage because I figured that a lower dose is safer.  (They have a 5000 mcg dose available too.)  She sometimes takes it twice a day, which is fine according to the instructions.

Her positive experience made my husband interested in it, for himself, as we as for another relative who complains of feeling tired all of the time.  Some of the reviews indicate that it is really helpful if you feel tired all of the time.  We haven't had the chance yet to give it to this other relative for her opinion, but my husband and I have both taken it when we weren't feeling well. I think it does make him feel better, and I know that it has a very noticeable effect on me.  However, I'm only 26, and I think the effect and dosage required for the effect might differ a lot depending on age.   Or maybe I'm just sensitive to it.  But I wouldn't want to take a higher dose, whereas for other people, a higher dose might be what they need.

I've taken it about 3 times now. Each time I took it I was started to feel a little bit down.  One time it was sort of an irritable down feeling, another time it was sort of a flat tired feeling. Each time I felt better within minutes.  It is a chewable tablet so it is absorbed really fast.  It make my mood feel normal and slightly energized.  When I was feeling tired and flat (and unmotivated), shortly after taking it, I suddenly was motivated and had a couple of different ideas of things to do.  The energy feeling that I felt with the B-12 was just an initial burst of energy, and then after that I felt normal.

Since it might make you feel more energized, I think it would be unwise to take if you are on the "up" side (hypomanic or manic) and definitely something to discuss with your doctor.  All supplements do have risks associated with them.  One of the biggest risks with most supplements that help treat depression is that they can cause you to become manic or increase the rapid cycling of bipolar disorder.

They call B12 the happy pill, and I think I know why.  The Methylcobalamin is supposed to be one of the better forms of it.  As with most of my supplements, I bought it at iherb.com.  If you haven't shopped there before I think you will be impressed by their quick shipping time and low prices, and you can also take advantage of $5 off your first purchase - just enter LIN282 at checkout.

(Disclosure: If you use that code to make a purchase, I will make a little bit of money off of your sale.)


  1. I completely believe that works. I used to work in sales and we would do liquid B vitamin 'shots' at work to stay up and perky so we could sell more. It worked.

    What works for bringing one down? That's the one my son needs ;)

  2. You could try Magnesium. It seems to have a calming effect. If you do try it, I'd recommend the amino acid chelate version, as it seems to have greater bioavailability without the laxative side effect!


  3. Thanks HB. We do regular Epsom Salt baths for the magnesium - I wonder if he can take it orally as well. I'll have to ask his doctor. The baths do help.