Children low in vitamin B are more likely to have mental health and behavioural problems, a study has shown.
The Australian study is the first to report a direct link between behavioural problems at age 17 and a reduced intake of B vitamins.
It showed children with a diet low in B-vitamins were more likely to experience mental health and behavioural problems than those with a healthier diet rich in B-vitamins.
The vitamins, including B1, B2, B5, B6 and folate, are essential for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, responsible for human behaviour.
Senior author Professor Wendy Oddy, from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, said the results showed diet may help prevent mental health problems.
"Improving what our children eat and ensuring they are getting essential B-vitamins from foods such as nuts, seeds, wholegrains, legumes and fruit and vegetables can have a really positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing," Prof Oddy said.