Vitamin B12 supplementation in treating major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial

Open Neurol J. 2013 Nov 15:7:44-8. doi: 10.2174/1874205X01307010044. eCollection 2013.


Background/objective: Recent literature has identified links between vitamin B12 deficiency and depression.We compared the clinical response of SSRI-monotherapy with that of B12-augmentation in a sample of depressed patients with low normal B12 levels who responded inadequately to the first trial with the SSRIs.

Methods: Patients with depression and low normal B12 levels were randomized to a control arm (antidepressant only) or treatment arm (antidepressants and injectable vitamin B12 supplementation).

Results: A total of 199 depressed patients were screened. Out of 73 patients with low normal B12 levels 34 (47%) were randomized to the treatment group while 39 (53%) were randomized to the control arm. At three months follow up 100% of the treatment group showed at least a 20% reduction in HAM-D score, while only 69% in the control arm showed at least a 20% reduction in HAM-D score (p<0.001). The findings remained significant after adjusting for baseline HAM-D score (p=0.001).

Conclusion: Vitamin B12 supplementation with antidepressants significantly improved depressive symptoms in our cohort.

Keywords: Depression; RCT.; antidepressants; vitamin B12.