Friday, December 7, 2007

Folate may reduce depression symptoms for men, says study

Folate may reduce depression symptoms for men, says study -
"Increased intake of folate may reduce the incidence of depression amongst by 50 per cent, suggests a new study of over 500 Japanese subjects.The benefits were not extended to women...The research adds to a growing body of research linking folate and folic acid intake to improved mood, and follows a review by scientists at the University of York and Hull York Medical School of 11 studies and involving 15,315 participants that reported low folate levels were linked to increased depression ...male subjects with the highest average intake (235 micrograms per 100 kcal) were 50 per cent less likely to have depressive symptoms than men with the lowest average intake (119 micrograms per 100 kcal)...No statistically significant links were reported between depressive symptoms and intakes of riboflavin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, and all or individual omega-3 fatty acids, for either sex..."

Although keep in mind that folic acid has been linked to an increase in cancer. Key quote - "Exposure to high intakes of folic acid in early life and young adulthood may provide life-long protection from the tendency for cancer formation in different organs, such as the large intestines, whereas such exposures later in life, when cell damage has occurred, can spur on the advance of the tumor."

So what's the answer? Eat the natural form - folate, in your diet, and skip the supplement Folic acid. "Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin found in a wide variety of foods including liver and green leafy vegetables. Folates are metabolised in the gut, whereas in a paper to be published in the British Journal of Nutrition in October IFR scientists suggest that folic acid is metabolised in the liver. The liver is an easily saturated system, and fortification could lead to significant unmetabolised folic acid entering the blood stream, with the potential to cause a number of health problems."

NIH info sheet on Folate

"Selected Food Sources of Folate and Folic Acid [5]
FoodMicrograms (μg)% DV^
*Breakfast cereals fortified with 100% of the DV, ¾ cup 400100
Beef liver, cooked, braised, 3 ounces18545
Cowpeas (blackeyes), immature, cooked, boiled, ½ cup10525
*Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV, ¾ cup10025
Spinach, frozen, cooked, boiled, ½ cup10025
Great Northern beans, boiled, ½ cup9020
Asparagus, boiled, 4 spears8520
*Rice, white, long-grain, parboiled, enriched, cooked, ½ cup 6515
Vegetarian baked beans, canned, 1 cup6015
Spinach, raw, 1 cup6015
Green peas, frozen, boiled, ½ cup 5015
Broccoli, chopped, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 5015
*Egg noodles, cooked, enriched, ½ cup 5015
Broccoli, raw, 2 spears (each 5 inches long)4510
Avocado, raw, all varieties, sliced, ½ cup sliced4510
Peanuts, all types, dry roasted, 1 ounce4010
Lettuce, Romaine, shredded, ½ cup 4010
Wheat germ, crude, 2 Tablespoons4010
Tomato Juice, canned, 6 ounces3510
Orange juice, chilled, includes concentrate, ¾ cup3510
Turnip greens, frozen, cooked, boiled, ½ cup308
Orange, all commercial varieties, fresh, 1 small308
*Bread, white, 1 slice 256
*Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice 256
Egg, whole, raw, fresh, 1 large256
Cantaloupe, raw, ¼ medium256
Papaya, raw, ½ cup cubes 256
Banana, raw, 1 medium206

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