Folate is a water-soluble B-vitamin necessary for the proper biosynthesis of the monoamine neurotransmitters serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. Epidemiological and biological evidence suggests that low folate appears to be most closely linked to depressive disorders among individuals with epilepsy, people suffering from neurological and psychiatric problems, as well as the elderly. Folic acid influences the rate of synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin and acts as a cofactor in the hydroxylation of phenylalanine and tryptophan. A disturbance of biogenic amine metabolism may lead to various psychiatric disorders. Folic acid deficiency may contribute to pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders such as mental confusion, memory changes, cognitive slowing, and mood disorder. However, since almost all published studies have been conducted with the elderly or with persons with dementia disease, the effects of folate on the mental health of people of reproductive age are not yet known. Findings from this review suggest that low folate status can be a key factor in the expression of depressive symptoms. However, it is difficult to evaluate whether folate deficiency is a substantial contributor to depressive symptoms in reproductive-age women in scan data compared to the numerous data for older women. A critical goal is for women to make behavior changes for good nutritional status before, during, and beyond pregnancy, as this may lead to improved mental and physical health in later life for both themselves and their family members.
Keywords: Folate intake, depressive symptoms, reproductive-age women, water-soluble, B-vitamin, biosynthesis, monoamine neurotransmitters serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine, Epidemiological and biological evidence, depressive disorders, epilepsy
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