A Shot for Sadness, Sluggishness, and Stroke

Vitamin B12 deficiency linked to lacunar stroke patients with fatigue and depression

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Those recently suffering a lacunar stroke should talk to their health care provider about vitamin supplementation, studies suggest. 

Inadequate B12 levels, a component in the creation of red blood cells, may be contributing to the sadness and sluggishness felt by victims of recent strokes.

A study done through Maastricht University in The Netherlands associates a “vitamin B12 deficiency with fatigue and depression after lacunar stroke.”

"Ask your doctor about supplemental B12 injections."

According to lead investigator on the study Annelien Duits, Ph.D., their team discovered that roughly thirty-percent of lacunar stroke patients lack sufficient levels of B12, compared with ten- to fifteen-percent in a typical elderly population.

Three months after their strokes, 40 lacunar stroke patients, average age 68, took a three-part assessment measuring their B12 and fatigue levels as well as their symptoms of depression.

Out of 40 cases, 13 were found to be deficient in B12, 17 experienced severe fatigue, and 6 demonstrated “clinically depressive symptoms.”  Four of the 6 depressed also lacked B12, and those with vitamin B12 deficiencies also experienced almost twice as many severe fatigue cases.

The National Institute of Health notes that a variety of issues could make it tough for the body to absorb sufficient levels of B12, including alcoholism, anemia, antacids, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, tape worm, and even some surgeries. B12 deficiencies have also been linked to vegetarian lifestyles and poor eating habits.

No current medical studies recommend the incorporation of B12 supplements, so it's important to talk to your doctor before adding it to your daily regime.  

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 24, 2012
Last Updated:
January 30, 2012