Low levels of folate and vitamin B12 linked to depression

According to Medical News Today, a recent study that analyzed nearly 3,000 middle-aged and senior citizen Finnish adults found that low levels of vitamin B12 and folate may be linked to melancholic depression.

The results of the research, which will be published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, showed that individuals with the highest folate intake were 50 percent less likely to display melancholic depression symptoms compared to the subjects with the lowest intake. Also, subjects with the highest levels of vitamin B12 intake were three times less likely to display symptoms of the condition than those with the lowest intake of B12.

Jussi Seppälä, M.D., chief of the Department of Psychiatry of the Hospital District of Southern Savo, noted that the study demonstrates that further analysis is needed to uncover the correlation between diet and melancholic depression.

Folate
According to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that is in foods like lentils, rice, avocado, cantaloupe, bananas and spinach. Folate helps create and sustain new cells, and it may also play a vital role in rapid cell division, which occurs during infancy and pregnancy. The ODS notes that folate may also assist in preventing cancer and anemia and it is crucial for red blood cell production.

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps maintain the health of nerve and blood cells and it also assists in DNA production, reports the ODS. The nutrient can help ward off ailments like anemia and megaloblastic anemia, which usually cause tiredness and weakness. In order to absorb vitamin B12, the body must first detach it from the protein it is bound to using hydrochloric acids in the stomach. It is then attached to another protein that is produced in the stomach, called intrinsic factor.

B12 can be found in fortified cereals and nutritional yeast, as well as a Sublingual B-12 Advantage supplement from Dr. Newton’s Naturals.

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