More than one in four people with depression are deficient in vitamin B6. Boosting intake, either from food or supplements, often is all it takes to see an improvement in their moods. Vitamin B6 (along with vitamin B12) combined with antidepressant medications even provides a better mood boost than medications alone.
B6 also seems to help people cope better with stress. For example, women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) often feel stressed out and crabby before their periods. Or it might be connected to the form of birth control they choose. Birth control pills partially block vitamin B6 activity in the body, so nerve cells are unable to manufacture adequate amounts of serotonin.
Take a supplement that contains 5 milligrams (but no more than 150 milligrams) of vitamin B6 if you aren’t vigilant in getting several B6-rich foods into your daily diet, such as chicken breast, bananas, fish or whole grains.