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This is good news for Marmite lovers! According to a study using a bit of Marmite on your morning toast is good for reducing anxiety and stress.

People who regularly eat a yeast-based spread including Marmite, showed lower anxiety and stress scores in a new study by doctors, but it does not help reduce depression.

The study was led by Kathleen Mikkelsen, from the Centre for Chronic Disease at Victoria University in Australia. It was published in the specialist Journal of Functional Foods.

yeast based spread reduces stress
yeast based spread reduces stress / photo credit: aussiecuisine

Study

The secret ingredient is in Vitamin B, which is found in the yeast used for the famous Marmite brand, along with Australian favourites such as Vegemite. The research was carried out by Australian experts, where such spreads are hugely popular.

The brands such as Marmite, in particular, which added B12 to the think gooey mixture are even much better for helping to reduce stress and anxiety levels. This was found after monitoring 520 adult volunteers over their habits, diet and mood symptoms.

Using a psychological questionnaire to make notes regarding their mental state of mind, the study showed that those who were regular consumers of yeast based spreads scored significantly lower on a stress and anxiety scale, and lowest of all in spreads that have added B12.

The spreads are popular as a breakfast staple in Australia where the study was done, which suggests that this may be a good way to generate a better mood for people with a stressful job.

Also, this is a particularly effective and cheap way to increase vitamin B intake among those on a budget, or those on a vegetarian diet for instance.

Vitamin B deficiency has been linked with poor mental health.

While the anxiety and stress levels were reduced for Marmite lovers, depression symptoms remained unchanged. This is despite previous studies suggesting that B vitamins were helpful for depression.

Vitamin B, in particular B6, B9 and B12, help in regulating neurotransmitters that control mood. This is through a process known as methylation, which turns an amino acid called homocysteine into one called methionine.

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