The British Journal of Psychiatry
Folate Deficiency in Depressive Illness
E. H. REYNOLDS, J. M. PREECE, J. BAILEY, ALEC COPPEN

Abstract

Serum folate and vitamin B12 levels have been measured in 101 patients with depressive illness. Subnormal folate levels (2.5 ng./ml. or less) were found in 24 per cent and subnormal vitamin B12 levels (150 pg./ml. or less) in 2.2 per cent of patients. Thirteen patients(14.4 per cent) had low vitamin B12 levels (200 pg./ml. or less). Patients with subnormal folate levels were found to have significantly higher depressive scores, and significantly lower validity scores on the Marke-Nyman Temperament Scale, both on admission and on discharge. Subnormal folate levels could be a consequence of dietary deficiency or could possibly be causal of depression through interference with tyrosine or tryptophan hydroxylation.