Depression in men could be reduced by 50%

There have been several studies linking folic acid (folate) intake specifically, and all the B vitamin group generally, to improved mood. Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that occurs naturally in food and studies done by scientists at the University of York and Hull York Medical School reported that low levels of it in the body were linked to increased depression overall, but now a new study has made a specific link to depression in men

Researchers from the International Medical Centre of Japan, and the National Institute of Health and Nutrition, undertook a study involving 500 Japanese subjects. Of these, 36% of the men and 37% of the women were found to have symptoms of depression on starting the study. What they found was that the men with the highest average intake (235 micrograms per 100 kcal) of folate were 50% less likely to have depressive symptoms than men with the lowest average intake (119 micrograms per 100 kcal). They also found that increased levels of folic acid did not mean less depression in the women subjects, only in the men.

While it is clear that increased folate intake will help men, either from a dietary supplement or food such as dark leafy greens like spinach, citrus fruit and dried beans and peas, and because of it’s importance in pregnancy, you will find many foods such as breakfast cereals fortified with added folic acid, so check the labels.

It is important for both men and women’s health that there is a good supply of the entire B-complex vitamins in the diet, not just folic acid alone as they work together synergistically to provide the best ‘mood’ protection. If your diet contains dairy, whole grains, omega 3 and 6 oils and lean meats then you are probably getting a good variety. If in doubt, take a good B complex supplement from a reputable source.