Vitamin B Supplementation: What's the Right Choice for Your Patients?

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2017 Jul 1;55(7):7-11. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20170619-02.


As many patients turn to vitamins and supplements to enhance energy, relieve fatigue, or generally feel better, it is important to understand the connection between the B vitamins and psychiatric symptomatology. Vitamins B6, B8, and B12 have been shown not only to reduce psychiatric symptoms but also shorten the duration of illness. Vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, has also been associated with psychiatric symptoms. However, when patients lack a specific genetic enzyme, which converts folate/folic acid to its most usable form, L-methylfolate, the neuroprotective and neuropsychiatric benefits are lost. L-methylfolate allows for the synthesis of the three major neurochemicals-serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine-across the blood-brain barrier. Exploring the conversion of folate/folic acid into L-methylfolate and the various polymorphisms of the MTHFR gene and examining the B vitamins associated with the treatment of psychiatric symptoms will further allow nurses to comprehensively treat their patients with the appropriate B vitamins. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 55(7), 7-11.].

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dopamine
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Norepinephrine
  • Vitamin B 12 / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin B 6 / therapeutic use
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin B 6
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine