Birth control pills deplete several nutrients which increase a woman's risk of depression. Scientific studies report that women taking oral contraceptives have lower levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid and tyrosine. Low levels of any one of these nutrients can cause depression.
Vitamin B6 is required for the synthesis of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter that is known to regulate mood, emotions and sleep. Oral contraceptive-induced depletion of vitamin B6 inhibits a woman's ability to produce serotonin which substantially increases the risk of depression. In one study, 33% of women developed depression within 2 to 5 years after they started taking birth control pills.
The amino acid tyrosine is the precursor for the synthesis of dopamine and studies reveal that women taking oral contraceptives have lower levels of tyrosine compared to non-users. Dopamine is another neurotransmitter that regulates moods and emotions. Thus, both the serotonin and the dopamine metabolic pathways are inhibited in women who take birth control pills.
Numerous studies report that women who take birth control pills also have lower levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 compared to non-users. Low levels of either of these B-vitamins also increases a woman's risk of depression.
My new book The Pill Problem discusses all of the potential side effects from oral contraceptives and provides recommendations that help prevent or correct these probes.