Research Publications on Vitamin B12 and Folate for Mood

Treatment of depression: time to consider folic acid and vitamin B12; British Association for Psychopharmacology, 2005; Link

The review highlights significant findings linking low levels of folate and vitamin B12 with major depression. Studies indicate that depressive patients often have low serum or red blood cell folate and vitamin B12, a trend also observed in the general population. Interestingly, regions with diets rich in folate, like Hong Kong and Taiwan, show higher serum folate levels even among depressive patients and lower lifetime rates of major depression. Additionally, low folate levels are associated with a poorer response to antidepressants, but supplementation with folic acid can enhance antidepressant efficacy. Similarly, a high vitamin B12 status may lead to a better treatment outcome. The review also mentions the MTHFR C677T polymorphism, which affects homocysteine metabolism and is more common among depressive patients, further strengthening the link between these vitamins and depression. Based on these findings, the review suggests that oral supplementation of folic acid (800 µg daily) and vitamin B12 (1 mg daily) could potentially improve treatment outcomes for depression.