Article

Folate, B12, and life course of depressive illness

Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.25). 05/1989; 25(7):867-72. DOI: 10.1016/0006-3223(89)90266-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Forty-four consecutive, unmedicated outpatients with a major depressive disorder were evaluated to determine the relationships in life course, severity of depressive illness, and serum folate and B12 levels. Duration of current episode was significantly inversely correlated with folate levels. Age at onset of illness was significantly correlated with B12. In a subgroup of recurrent depressives, current age and age at onset of depressive illness were positively correlated with folate. The findings are discussed in light of the current hypotheses regarding the association of folate and mood.

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    • "To date, majority of cross-sectional studies, several prospective studies, and meta-analyses have shown that low levels of serum or red blood cell folate, low levels of serum vitamin B12, low dietary intake of folate and vitamin B12, and high levels of serum homocysteine are associated with an increased risk for depression [9-28]. Low folate levels have also been associated with severe depressive disorders and longer duration of depressive episodes [29]. In addition, depressed people with low serum folate levels are significantly less likely to respond to some antidepressant medications (such as fluoxetine) [30-32] and more likely to relapse during treatment [33]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests that folate deficiency may be causatively linked to depressive symptoms. However, little is known on the status of use of folic acid and vitamin supplements among people with mental disorders. This study examined the prevalence and the likelihood of use of folic acid or vitamin supplements among adults with depression and anxiety in comparison to those without these conditions. Using data from 46, 119 participants (aged ≥ 18 years) in the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, we estimated the adjusted prevalence and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals for taking folic acid and vitamin supplements among those with ever diagnosed depression (n = 8, 019), ever diagnosed anxiety (n = 5, 546) or elevated depressive symptoms (n = 3, 978, defined as having a depression severity score of ≥ 10 on the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 diagnostic algorithm). Overall, women were more likely than men to take folic acid supplements 1-4 times/day (50.2% versus 38.7%, P < 0.001) and vitamin supplements (62.5% versus 49.8%, P < 0.001). After multivariate adjustment, men with ever diagnosed depression or anxiety were 42% and 83%, respectively, more likely to take folic acid supplements < 1 time/day; 44% and 39%, respectively, more likely to take folic acid supplements 1-4 times/day; and 40% and 46%, respectively, more likely to take vitamin supplements compared to men without these conditions (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). Women with ever diagnosed depression were 13% more likely to take folic acid supplements 1-4 times/day and 15% more likely to take vitamin supplements than women without this condition (P < 0.05 for both comparisons). Use of folic acid and vitamin supplements did not differ significantly by elevated depressive symptoms in either sex. The prevalence and the likelihood of taking folic acid and vitamin supplements varied substantially by a history of diagnosed depression among both men and women and by a history of diagnosed anxiety among men, but not by presence of elevated depressive symptoms in either sex.
    Nutrition Journal 09/2011; 10(1, article 102):102. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-10-102 · 2.64 Impact Factor
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    • "There was no association between serum and red cell folate concentrations and endogenicity of depression or the presence of weight loss (Abou-Saleh and Coppen 1989). Another study in the same year found that the duration of the current depressive episode was significantly inversely correlated with folate levels, age at onset of illness was significantly correlated with B12 and in a subgroup of recurrent depressives, current age and age at onset of depressive illness were positively correlated with folate (Levitt and Joffe 1989). Depressed geriatric patients have lower levels of folate than controls and folate supplement can reduce depressive morbidity (Alpert et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Biological markers for depression are of great interest to aid in elucidating the causes of major depression. We assess currently available biological markers to query their validity for aiding in the diagnosis of major depression. We specifically focus on neurotrophic factors, serotonergic markers, biochemical markers, immunological markers, neuroimaging, neurophysiological findings, and neuropsychological markers. We delineate the most robust biological markers of major depression. These include decreased platelet imipramine binding, decreased 5-HT1A receptor expression, increase of soluble interleukin-2 receptor and interleukin-6 in serum, decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor in serum, hypocholesterolemia, low blood folate levels, and impaired suppression of the dexamethasone suppression test. To date, however, none of these markers are sufficiently specific to contribute to the diagnosis of major depression. Thus, with regard to new diagnostic manuals such as DSM-V and ICD-11 which are currently assessing whether biological markers may be included in diagnostic criteria, no biological markers for major depression are currently available for inclusion in the diagnostic criteria.
    The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 02/2007; 8(3):141-74. DOI:10.1080/15622970701263303 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Prospective study of inpatients admitted 24% of pts had SFA <2.5 ng/ml with severe depression Pts with low SFA levels had significantly higher BDI scores Levitt and Joffe, 1989 n ¼ 44 Prospective, non-randomized study of Pearson correlation coefficient À0.33 unmedicated outpatients with a major for folic acid level and duration of depressive disorder current illness Wolfersdorf and König, 1995 n ¼ 27 Case–control ratio of 1:2 (case: control) No significant difference between groups in relation to RCFA or SFA levels Fava et al., 1997 n ¼ 213 Consecutive outpatients with major SFA 1.5–2.5 ng/ml in 17% depression SFA <1.5% in 2% BDI, Beck depression inventory. "
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    ABSTRACT: The associations of folic acid and its derivatives with depressive disorder are reviewed. Derivatives of folic acid such as biopterins and the synthesis of S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) are known either to be associated with improvement or to have a direct therapeutic effect in depressive disorder. Studies investigating plasma and red cell folic acid levels in depressed patients have used differing assay methodologies which make comparison difficult, although there is substantial evidence of the association between depressive disorder (particularly severe depression) and low folic acid levels. The few studies available suggest folic acid has either antidepressant properties or can act as an augmenting agent for standard antidepressant treatment. A recently discovered genetic variant (5,10 MTHFR) leading to altered folic acid metabolism may explain why some individuals are vulnerable to the effects of folic acid deficiency, despite adequate intake. The links of 5,10 MTHFR to the presence of depressive disorder in the community are being investigated.
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