Rich sources of folate include
leafy greens, dried beans and peas, fortified cereals and grain products, and
some fruits and vegetables. Click the image for more information about
story to find out more.
Depressed? "B" Sure to Get Enough
Folate By Rosalie Marion Bliss
April 7, 2004
Evidence is mounting of a connection between various stages of
depression and low blood levels of the B vitamin folate, according to research
funded by the Agricultural Research
Epidemiologist Martha Savaria Morris and colleagues studied data
based on a questionnaire given to 3,000 people aged 15 to 39 years. The data
showed that individuals with either major or mild forms of depression had lower
blood levels of folate than did those who had never been depressed. The
researchers noted that low folate levels are known to be common in psychiatric
patients and may hamper the effectiveness of antidepressant therapy.
Morris is with the
Epidemiology Program at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center
(HNRCA) on Aging at
Tufts University in Boston, Mass. The HNRCA
is funded by ARS, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
Folate is actually a family of related compounds that are
naturally present in many foods, such as beef liver, green leafy vegetables and
pinto, kidney and garbanzo beans. Its synthetic form, folic acid, is used by
food processors to fortify enriched grain products, such as breakfast cereals,
bread, pasta, flour and rice.
The recommended dietary allowance for folate is 400 micrograms
daily for adult men and women. Significantly, different folates are absorbed by
the body at different rates, and not all folate consumed is absorbed by the
body. Alcohol, certain medications and anemia can reduce the body's ability to
absorb and use folate.
about this study in the April issue of Agricultural Research