Reduced plasma, serum, or red blood cell folate is commonly found in major depressive illnesses. Supplementing antidepressant medication with folic acid enhances the therapeutic effect. Although more work is required to confirm these beneficial results, it is suggested that, meanwhile, 2 mg of folic acid should be given during the acute, continuation, and maintenance treatment of depression.
"Vitamin B9 is required to donate one-carbon groups to homocysteine to recycle it to methionine for continued SAM formation. Deficiencies in vitamin B9 lead to accumulation of homocysteine, decreased SAM, and therefore impairment of neurological function [46–49]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depression in students is a major public health problem. Although several risk factors associated with depression have been identified, the cause of depression is still not clear. Several studies have demonstrated that physical activity and nutrient intake, such as increased levels of B vitamins in serum, decrease symptoms of depression. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between physical activity and dietary intake of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 and symptoms of depression among postgraduate students. The results of this study suggest that intake of vitamin B9 may modulate the total score of Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and two subscales of the CES-D including depressive affect and interpersonal difficulties. This study also showed that moderate/high levels of physical activity were inversely and significantly associated with symptoms of depression (total scores) and three subscales of the CES-D including depressive affect, positive affect, and somatic complaints.
"Folic acid (folate) is a water-soluble B-vitamin that has been implicated in depressive disorders    . Several studies regarding its role in the pathophysiology of depression shows that: (a) patients with depression often have a functional folate deficiency    and the severity of such deficiency correlates with depression severity ; (b) low folate is associated with poor antidepressant response ; and (c) folate is required for the synthesis of serotonin and noradrenaline, which are neurotransmitters implicated in the pathogenesis and treatment of depression  . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The opioid system has been implicated in major depression and in the mechanism of action of antidepressants. This study investigated the involvement of the opioid system in the antidepressant-like effect of the water-soluble B-vitamin folic acid in the forced swimming test (FST). The effect of folic acid (10 nmol/site, i.c.v.) was prevented by the pretreatment of mice with naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.p., a nonselective opioid receptor antagonist), naltrindole (3 mg/kg, i.p., a selective delta-opioid receptor antagonist), naloxonazine (10 mg/kg, i.p., a selective mu(1)-opioid receptor antagonist, 24 h before), but not with naloxone methiodide (1 mg/kg, s.c., a peripherally acting opioid receptor antagonist). In addition, a sub-effective dose of folic acid (1 nmol/site, i.c.v.) produced a synergistic antidepressant-like effect in the FST with a sub-effective dose of morphine (1 mg/kg, s.c.). A further approach was designed to investigate the possible relationship between the opioid system and NMDA receptors in the mechanism of action of folic acid in the FST. Pretreatment of the animals with naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.p.) prevented the synergistic antidepressant-like effect of folic acid (1 nmol/site, i.c.v.) and MK-801 (0.001 mg/kg, i.p., a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist). Together the results firstly indicate that the anti-immobility effect of folic acid in the FST is mediated by an interaction with the opioid system (mu(1) and delta), likely dependent on the inhibition of NMDA receptors elicited by folic acid.
Behavioural brain research 02/2009; 200(1):122-7. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2009.01.004 · 3.03 Impact Factor
"Several clinical studies have shown the association between depressive disorder and low folic acid levels (Reynolds, 2002; Paul et al., 2004; Abou-Saleh and Coppen, 2006). Additionally, a deficiency of folate causes elevated homocysteine concentrations , which may contribute to the pathogenesis of major depression (Bottiglieri, 2005; Coppen and Bolander-Gouaille, 2005). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical studies have shown that folic acid plays a role in the pathophysiology of depression. However, very few studies have investigated its effect in behavioral models of depression. Hence, this study tested its effect in the forced swimming test (FST) and the tail suspension test (TST), two models predictive of antidepressant activity, in mice. Folic acid administered by oral route (p.o.) produced a reduction in the immobility time in the FST (50-100mg/kg) and in the TST (10-50mg/kg). The administration of folic acid by i.c.v. route also reduced the immobility time in the FST (10nmol/site) and in the TST (1-10nmol/site). Both folic acid administered by oral and i.c.v. route produced no psychostimulant effect, which indicates that its antidepressant-like effect is specific. Pretreatment of mice with p-chlorophenylalanine methyl ester (PCPA; 100mg/kg, i.p., an inhibitor of serotonin (5-HT) synthesis, for 4 consecutive days), ketanserin (5mg/kg, i.p., a 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor antagonist), prazosin (1mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist) or yohimbine (1mg/kg, i.p., an alpha(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist) prevented the anti-immobility effect of folic acid (50mg/kg, p.o.) in the FST. Moreover, the pretreatment of mice with WAY100635 (0.1mg/kg, s.c., a selective 5-HT(1A) receptor antagonist) blocked the decrease in immobility time in the FST elicited by folic acid (50mg/kg, p.o.), but produced a synergistic effect with a subeffective dose of folic acid (10mg/kg, p.o.). In addition, a subeffective dose of folic acid (10mg/kg, p.o.) produced a synergistic antidepressant-like effect with fluoxetine (10mg/kg, p.o.) in the FST. Overall, the results firstly indicate that folic acid produced an antidepressant-like effect in FST and in TST and that this effect appears to be mediated by an interaction with the serotonergic (5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A/2C) receptors) and noradrenergic (alpha(1)- and alpha(2)-adrenoceptors) systems.
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