This is the continuation in a series of articles about the profound effect of specific B vitamins in depression treatment.
Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate or folic acid, can benefit people with depression. Folic acid is linked to the production of serotonin and the degree of folic acid deficiency can be directly related to the degree of depression.
For example, a review of 11 studies involving 15,315 participants concluded that there was a significant association between depression and low folic acid levels. A follow-up study by the same team of researchers discovered that people with depression commonly have a gene that causes them to process folic acid less efficiently.
The identification of this gene provides an explanation as to why folic acid supplements help people with depression. Based on these findings, those suffering from depression should consider being screened for folic acid deficiency.
Folic acid can increase the effectiveness of drug therapy for depression. In one study, patients with manic depression reported an improvement in the effects of lithium when folic acid was added. Another study determined that low folic acid levels were associated with a decreased treatment response to antidepressants in patients with major depression and subsequent folic acid supplementation increased the effectiveness of the drugs.
Folic acid deficiency has been found among people with depression and has been linked to poor response to treatment. Folate supplements have been used for enhancing treatment response to antidepressants. Limited research suggests that folic acid may lack effectiveness when compared to standard treatment. Depression should be treated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Folic acid deficiency has been found among people with depression and has been linked to poor response to treatment. Higher blood levels of homocysteine are linked to increased depression in later life. Folate has been used for enhancing treatment response to antidepressants. Further study is needed to determine the effects on bipolar people.