Folate & Depression (2004)

This review explored folate & depression. A review of all randomized controlled trials that compared treatment with folic acid or 5′-methyltetrahydrofolic acid to an alternative treatment, for patients with depression. Three randomized trials (247 participants) were included. Two studies assessed the use of folate in addition to other treatment, and found that adding folate reduced Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) scores on average by a further 2.65 points [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38-4.93]. The remaining study found no significant difference when folate alone was compared with trazodone. The limited available evidence suggests folate may have a potential role as a supplement to for depression. It is currently unclear if this is the case both for people with normal folate levels, and for those with folate deficiency.

M J Taylor, ‘Folate for depressive disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.’, J Psychopharmacol., 18(2):251-6, 2004

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