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Elderly may benefit from B vitamins

Category: Bariatric Lab Testing

Given that many elderly people report feelings of persistent sadness, homocysteine testing may help determine if they are vitamin B deficient, a key risk factor for developing depression.

Many seniors develop depression due to the death of loved ones, chronic illnesses and poor nutrition. However, most simply manage the symptoms of the disease rather than taking steps to solve it, according to the National Institute on Aging.

A new study from researchers at Rush University has found that simply adding more B vitamins to the diet of seniors may help support a healthy mood and ward off depressive symptoms.

Kimberly Skarupski, who led the investigation, wrote in her report that more doctors should be aware of the link between B vitamins and depression, and discuss with their elderly patients the potential benefits of supplementing their diets.

"In the assessment and treatment of depressive symptoms in older adults, clinicians and other healthcare professionals should be mindful of the patient's nutritional status in general, and whether there are vitamin insufficiencies in these nutrients before treatment," she wrote.

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