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vitamins and depression

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Is it possible for taking vitamins to make depression worse? I got my vitamin D level tested, and I'm deficient. I've started taking a mega dose of vitamin D along with a B-complex vitamin. It's only been a week and a half, but it feels like the depression is worse. It's been a long time since I've been weepy for no reason, but I'm on the verge of crying for no reason right now. Is this a it-gets-worse-before-it-gets-better vitamin issue? Should I stop the B-complex (my B levels weren't tested, but my doctor recommended them)? Prior to starting the vitamins, my anti-depressant has made the depression manageable where I'm melancholy sometimes, but not depressed to the point of affecting my daily function.

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it could be revealing something else is going on.

have you had your thyroid AND your adrenals checked?

thyroid should include FREE t3 and FREE t4.  don't take "they're normal" for an answer, get the raw numbers and compare them. (I have to get the raw numbers from dudeling dr.)

as thyroid improves - it can reveal there is an adrenal problem.

adrenal should be the 24 hour saliva test (it's a 4x throughout the day spit test.  read what you should stay away from first.)

stress and depression can be very hard on the adrenals - and hypoadrenals can make you weepy.

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Are you nearing your period? 

In general, with PTSD--not depression--I can tell you that I got *much* worse before I started to get better, once I was on the path (which includes supplements) that helped me get as good as I could be. iykwim

Also, is "weepy" synonymous with "depression" for you? Many of my people with depression are completely non-emotional while in depressive states, and weepiness/a sadness they can not readily explain would constitute an improvement. It;s a huge ymmv situation, though, I know.

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Have you ever done genetic testing for MTHFR mutations? I ask because MTHFR mutations are strongly correlated with depression and they also affect what forms of B vitamins you can tolerate. Generally, folic acid is not good for those with MTHFR mutations, they should take L-methylfolate instead. Certain forms of B12 can cause problems, too — methylcobalamin is often recommended, but some people with MTHFR mutations don't tolerate that very well either (I do much better with hydroxycobalamin & adenosylcobalamin). Try going off the B-vitamins and keep going with the D3 and see if that helps.

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I think points made above are good.

Also I wonder if you could be having a bad reaction to the exact form of D or B that you are taking?  Or not have some cofactors needed to process it well?

 

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Yup, you need to check for MTHFR and other methylation defects. They'll show up with 23andme testing if you run the raw data through an engine like at knowyourgenetics.com  You could have a VDR (vitamin D receptor gene) defect driving your D low *and* MTHFR defects. Also look at the TPH2 gene which converts tryptophan to 5HTP which then converts to melatonin and serotonin.

The vitamin D slurps up methyls, so if you have a methylation defect it can drop them so low you feel worse, yes. How much are you taking??? Are you taking like a 50k IU bomb or maybe more like 5-10k IU a day?

Fwiw, taking the vitamin B can actually make you feel worse if you have methylation defects. I would drop to just the vitamin D, make sure the dose is sensible (5-10k IU a day, no more) and wait on the B complex till you get genetics. Meanwhile, google for some foods that are high in methyls and eat them to see if you perk up. I think spinach and chocolate are on the list. Orange juice is a big one. Try a glass of orange juice. It's enough methyls to set off people who don't tolerate methyls well (COMT defects), so it might be enough to help. 

Edited by PeterPan

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My TSH and free T4 have been tested, but not my free T3. The TSH and T4 were normal (numbers given, in normal range). My adrenal hasn't been tested.

I just finished my period, so it's not that. My depression has had hormonal fluctuations in the past, and I'm at a point in my cycle where I'm typically OK. As for being weepy, it's at a point on my personal depression scale that is worse that I have been, but not my recent worst. Before I started medication, I was worse than weepy, where the depression was affecting my day to day functioning.

I have had MTHFR testing, don't have it. If something was missed, the vitamin I'm taking is this one, which is supposed to be OK for MTHFR. I've been on this form of D before, and it didn't cause issues then. It's a 50k D, twice a week. 

Edited by silver
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Is the D you are taking D2 or D3?

and are you taking any K with it?

 

I have gotten extremely weird symptoms from B6 .  

 

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1 minute ago, silver said:

I have had MTHFR testing, don't have it. If something was missed, the vitamin I'm taking is this one, which is supposed to be OK for MTHFR. I've been on this form of D before, and it didn't cause issues then. It's a 50k D, twice a week. 

That's an astonishing amount of vitamin D. Are you taking it with K2? I take quite a bit of D because I have the genetic defect and need it, but taking bombs like that would make me sick as a dog. You're crashing the methyls your body needs for making 5HTP work. How did you do the MTHFR testing? There are tons of genes involved. You might want to run the raw data through knowyourgenetics.com and check it for yourself. If the person who read your results was only looking at a couple genes, there's more. And the VDR gene and TPH2 can be looked at.

I would try drinking some orange juice to up your methyls and see what happens.

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I’ve taken B-right without symptoms other than burping.  But everyone is different.  Maybe stop it for a couple days and see if you feel better.  

50k D usually means Ergocalciferol—and I think mood changes (negative ones) can be an uncommon side effect.

 I have had to take that when very low D, but do much better with D3 — in lower amounts taken more regularly. 

D is involved with hormones and neurotransmitters, so the mega dosed D could have an effect on your mood.  

 

How is your potassium?

 

Edited by Pen

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I think putting in a call to doctor tomorrow might be a good idea. If you are having side effects something else might happen.

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Magnesium? 

Are you low D due to no sun? Or would you have possible absorption or other problems such that you may be low in a lot of vitamins, minerals, perhaps fatty acids, amino acids....?

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I'm taking the large dose of D to get my levels up. The plan after that is to take more frequent smaller doses. I'm in an area of the country where it's likely I'm low on D due to lack of sun. No vitamin K.

The MTHFR testing was by my doctor many years ago by my doctor. I think there was only one gene tested?

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

I think points made above are good.

Also I wonder if you could be having a bad reaction to the exact form of D or B that you are taking?  Or not have some cofactors needed to process it well?

 

the only form of d you should be taking is d3.  there are other forms out there - and any dr recommending them needs to be fired, as they won't raise your levels long term.

the most absorbable from is drops (usually an olive oil base) with vitamin k.  mthf status can affect d3 levels.  (what is your d3 level?) one woman tried and tried to raise her d3 levels, and they just wouldn't come up. she was treated for mthf - and the d3 levels came up by themselves.

50k 2x per week is an astounding amount.  even my daughter only took 10K 5x per week and her d3 level was 10 (for comparison: scurvy starts at 7, and minimum is now considered a d3 level of 50.)

56 minutes ago, silver said:

My TSH and free T4 have been tested, but not my free T3. The TSH and T4 were normal (numbers given, in normal range). My adrenal hasn't been tested.

I just finished my period, so it's not that. My depression has had hormonal fluctuations in the past, and I'm at a point in my cycle where I'm typically OK. As for being weepy, it's at a point on my personal depression scale that is worse that I have been, but not my recent worst. Before I started medication, I was worse than weepy, where the depression was affecting my day to day functioning.

I have had MTHFR testing, don't have it. If something was missed, the vitamin I'm taking is this one, which is supposed to be OK for MTHFR. I've been on this form of D before, and it didn't cause issues then. It's a 50k D, twice a week. 

define "normal"?  did you compare them to the range chart?  or did your dr?

who did the mthfr testing?  my dd (homozygous 1298) had testing done by an ARNP - who told her it didn't matter and completely ignored it.

I've used that b-complex before, and despite trying it at different times, have never liked it.  I am homozygous (two copies of the defective gene) for 1298 mthf.  (by far my favorite is emerald labs, and I have noticeable improvement when I use it.)

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My D level is 16. The last time I had taken this dose, eight weeks brought my D up by 20 from where it was, so I know this form and dose works for me.

My MTHFR result was homozygous normal, no mutation on either copy of the gene. For T4, they gave me both the free T4 number and the range, and mine was in the range.

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12 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

by far my favorite is emerald labs, and I have noticeable improvement when I use it.)

 

I am also currently taking Emerald labs B-Healthy...   sometimes I take Country Life coenzymated B vitamins.  They have slightly different components.  

And also extra B vitamins that help Mitochondria function (Thiamine, B1) and possibly help decrease migraines (Riboflavin, B2).  

Niacin B3 (or no flush versions) has been found helpful for depression by some othomolecular doctors, and is low in the B-Right.  And there is probably a depression and Mitochondria dysfunction relationship.  It’s hard to have no energy from Mitochondria problems which could be situational depression, but there may also be biochemical aspects.  

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44 minutes ago, silver said:

My D level is 16. The last time I had taken this dose, eight weeks brought my D up by 20 from where it was, so I know this form and dose works for me.

 

I still think you should let your doctor know your symptoms.  

What was true in past may not be same now. 

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6 minutes ago, silver said:

It won't let me see the article without a login. What is it about?

 

The difference between D2 and D3.  Including:

 
  • “Vitamin D3 may be less toxic than D2 because higher concentrations of D2 circulate in the blood when consumed (compared to vitamin D3). It does not bind as well to the receptors in the human tissues compared to vitamin D3.”

your blood levels could test as if D level  has been raised to a normal range, but you might not be getting the benefits in terms of body and brain functions because of not binding to receptors in your tissues.

 

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2 hours ago, silver said:

I'm taking the large dose of D to get my levels up. The plan after that is to take more frequent smaller doses. I'm in an area of the country where it's likely I'm low on D due to lack of sun. No vitamin K.

The MTHFR testing was by my doctor many years ago by my doctor. I think there was only one gene tested?

Well knowledge is progressing by light years. If you can get that data and run it through an engine you might find more things. Hospital testing tends to be pretty tight, where with a service like 23andme you can get data from 10,000 SNPs (bits of genes), run it through engines, and boom. So yes, you'll probably find out more if you run things yourself and run it through an engine.

The D needs vitamin K to absorb properly. Your gut is supposed to make it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DNJ8WPF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Here's a chart showing the relationship between that Vitamin D bomb you're taking and everything else. So VDR=vitamin D Receptor gene. That's what is supposed to convert sunshine to vitamin D. The D slurps up methyls while doing it's gig with the B vitamins. So if the D is stupid crazy high, it slurps up so many methyls that some other things (tryptophan to 5HTP to serotonin) don't work as well (because that process requires methyls) and your mood gets tanked. I'm not an expert, just saying look at the chart. Some people really are that sensitive. https://www.knowyourgenetics.com/media/pdf/Yasko Methylation Cycle.pdf

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

 

I am also currently taking Emerald labs B-Healthy...   sometimes I take Country Life coenzymated B vitamins.  They have slightly different components.  

And also extra B vitamins that help Mitochondria function (Thiamine, B1) and possibly help decrease migraines (Riboflavin, B2).  

Niacin B3 (or no flush versions) has been found helpful for depression by some othomolecular doctors, and is low in the B-Right.  And there is probably a depression and Mitochondria dysfunction relationship.  It’s hard to have no energy from Mitochondria problems which could be situational depression, but there may also be biochemical aspects.  

I saw a blurb somewhere, that one reason mthf becomes an issue is a lack of riboflavin.  not sure of all the details, but it was an interesting premise to increase it along with the other.

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10 hours ago, OKBud said:

Are you nearing your period? 

In general, with PTSD--not depression--I can tell you that I got *much* worse before I started to get better, once I was on the path (which includes supplements) that helped me get as good as I could be. iykwim

Also, is "weepy" synonymous with "depression" for you? Many of my people with depression are completely non-emotional while in depressive states, and weepiness/a sadness they can not readily explain would constitute an improvement. It;s a huge ymmv situation, though, I know.

Yes this was my thoughts.  It could be that you are depressed to the point of not feeling things and the vit b is bringing you up to a level of being able to deal with the emotion.

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You should work with someone on optimizing the Bs.  One symptom of low B12 is depression....but in post one it was stated your B12 level hasn't been measured. That's the starting point, then figure out cause.  There are some things that need to be ruled out; you GP can do this.  

  I found the B complex was making me weepy and anxious, so I just take B12 by itself and avoid folic acid containing grain products.  What your body needs is going to depend on your genetics, how your body is functioning, and what you are getting with your diet.  You may not have an MTHFR variation, but an MTTR or something else that affects the methylation cycle; it would be worthwhile to get some more info here. 

The D level recommended is 50 ng/ml.  Don't stop at 30, that's the level for survive, while 50 is the level for thrive -- yes that's controversial. For me, I feel good around 70.  Have you figured out why you have low D? Your genetic results should show if you have VDR mutations.  Also consider getting screened for breast and colon cancer if you have low D....discuss the risk with the doctor. 

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So let's say that I do have some undetected genetic issue that can cause B vitamin issues. Isn't the B-right formula one that would be ok with that? 

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2 hours ago, silver said:

So let's say that I do have some undetected genetic issue that can cause B vitamin issues. Isn't the B-right formula one that would be ok with that? 

 

The B-right you linked contains B12 in the form of methylcobalamin.  That form of B12 works for some genetic variations doesn't work for others.

I started with cobalamin, which made my B12 level go up to the normal range (measured via bloodwork), but did nothing for me.  I went to methylcobalamin and that eliminated my symptoms. 

You don't want too much B12, so its wise to get measured and then figure out what you need to do.

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2 hours ago, silver said:

So let's say that I do have some undetected genetic issue that can cause B vitamin issues. Isn't the B-right formula one that would be ok with that? 

 

Read the two and three star customer comments.  Some speak to this issue.

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I talked to my doctor, and she's good with me switching from 50k D twice a week to two 5000 every day to see if that improves my symptoms. What brands do people recommend for 5000 IU D3?

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Are you taking them at different times of day? I could see taking mega vitamins interfering with med absorption, depending on the medication of course.

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8 hours ago, silver said:

I talked to my doctor, and she's good with me switching from 50k D twice a week to two 5000 every day to see if that improves my symptoms. What brands do people recommend for 5000 IU D3?

 

I like Carlson’s Solar D gems which come in a 4000iu — they include some cod liver oil thus also vitamin A and fish oil omega fatty acids.  

There are plain D3 from Carlson’s also where you could make up the extra 2000iu separately.  

This 

 

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17 hours ago, silver said:

I talked to my doctor, and she's good with me switching from 50k D twice a week to two 5000 every day to see if that improves my symptoms. What brands do people recommend for 5000 IU D3?

I take 15000 a day during the winter right now, so I'm taking a 10000 and a 5000 of this brand                                             NOW Supplements, Vitamin D-3 5000 IU, 240 Softgels                                     

If you just want to take the 10,000 iu straight, this is what I use. It's stupid cheap.                                             Now Vitamin D-3 10,000 IU,120 Softgels                                     

I would probably start with the 5000 one a day, give that 2-3 days to make sure you're ok, then go to the 10,000 a day. I take 15000 a day in the winter, so even that 10,000 wouldn't be enough for me. I radically feel it if I drop like that. But yeah, starting with the 5000 size would let you be flexible to play with it.

Don't forget you NEED the K2 for it to work well. Your gut is supposed to produce the k2, but that varies with the person. I must have a really bad but, because I seem to need more than some people. When I was only taking a little bit, I started getting some funky symptoms (calcium in my inner ears making me dizzy, etc.). I'm taking 4 capsules of the K2 a day right now along with my 15000 IU. I have my ds on 3 capsules with his 10,000 IU.                                             Now Vitamin K-2 100 mcg,250 Veg Capsules                                     

Amazon will get you those in a hot flash. The D is in an oil base softgel and the K2 is just normal, not anything weird. I've used a combo product, but I find the oil-based d works better for me. 

As far as labs, I feel great when my D is at the top end of the normal range, ready to peak out. We tried dropping it because it was at the top, and I was TOTALLY CRAP within days. So don't let them say well you're here in the middle, stop. 

Also, you might start saving for mid-winter trips to some place with sun. They make a HUGE difference. 

Edited by PeterPan

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21 hours ago, silver said:

So let's say that I do have some undetected genetic issue that can cause B vitamin issues. Isn't the B-right formula one that would be ok with that? 

You need to get genetics done and look at the whole picture. I have an MTHFR defect on top of the VDR and COMT defects. If I take methylated products I feel worse. If you take a methylated vitamin and don't need it you increase your cancer risk. I would want to see the genes to decide. You have no clue what your mix is till you actually run the genetics. I would never have anticipated my contradictory mix of genes and it explains why I'm so prone to funky reactions. 

If 23andme is running a sale, it wouldn't be very expensive. 

Btw, did you try the orange juice? It's a crazy good methyl donor, and so is spinach. And did your doc run baseline levels on your b vits and check your homocysteine?

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20 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

 

Also, you might start saving for mid-winter trips to some place with sun. They make a HUGE difference. 

 

I get a rise of 20 with 6 weeks, 2 hrs outside, if vacationing in a sunny destination where I can wear shorts.

Another thing that needs to be said is that if you are carrying extra weight, work with a nutritionist and get to normal.  The extra fat takes in vitamin D rather than allowing it to circulate.  You don't want to starve your bones of D, calcium, C, K2 etc as you work toward that goal, so planning meals is necessary.

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1 hour ago, HeighHo said:

Another thing that needs to be said is that if you are carrying extra weight, work with a nutritionist and get to normal.  The extra fat takes in vitamin D rather than allowing it to circulate.

Oh that's interesting. Hadn't heard that, but it makes sense that it could happen. Might explain why I need so much. I'm probably 30 pounds overweight for my frame. I need to go do the %fat body scale thing and see. 

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https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321851.php 

I think there is chicken/egg here too....in my case I became overweight when I wasn't able to get enough D from diet due to the genetics on the VDR mutation plus pregnancy and the introduction of folic acid into the grain supply plus the prenatal  (talk about overload -  my MTTR genetic variations couldn't handle the folic acid poisoning) and I kept eating, trying to satisfy my nutritional hunger while I developed anemia (which they tested for an didn't want to do anything more than tell me I was obviously eating junk food and denying it).  Its really annoying, if the standard of care was to do the correct bloodwork rather than assume people eat poorly, it would be helpful. Same with knowing that a large part of the population is Vit D deficient, and not helping them by screening for  vit D before anything serious happens. Its $50 for the vit d lab test here in NY where the home kits can't be sold.  Talk about penny wise, pound foolish. 

Edited by HeighHo

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Don't forget you NEED the K2 for it to work well. Your gut is supposed to produce the k2, but that varies with the person. I must have a really bad but, because I seem to need more than some people. When I was only taking a little bit, I started getting some funky symptoms (calcium in my inner ears making me dizzy, etc.). I'm taking 4 capsules of the K2 a day right now along with my 15000 IU. I have my ds on 3 capsules with his 10,000 IU.                                             Now Vitamin K-2 100 mcg,250 Veg Capsules                                     

 

 

I use this K:  Life Extension Super K with Advanced K2 Complex 90 Softgels https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765ND4FK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_FGqKCbQNNVV3G

which has 1500mcg K1 and 1100mcg K2 per soft gel.  With, usually, 4-8000iu of D3 as the solar gems...  

The solar gems also have A which in some things I’ve read is also synergistic.  

 

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If you want to take a vitamin to help with depression, I suggest niacin (B3). Not the "no flush" kind. It will make you flush and maybe a little itchy at first until you get used to taking it. I take vitamin D3 with K2 and multivitamins. If you were already taking an antidepressant, you should talk to your doctor about stopping and moving toward a more natural remedy first. Some antidepressants need to have the doses tapered down until weaned, or they can cause untoward side effects. Meditation and exercise can also help.

Here are  a couple links about niacin and depression.

http://www.doctoryourself.com/niacinreviews.html

https://www.foodmatters.com/article/how-to-take-niacin-vitamin-b3-for-depression-and-anxiety

 

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