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Numerous medications are available to treat depression, yet many patients do not achieve remission or recovery of their symptoms with traditional therapies alone. Folate supplementation has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of depression when used in addition to traditional prescription therapy. A literature review was conducted to determine the effect of low folate levels on depression and if supplementation with either folic acid or L-methylfolate benefits this patient population. Key search terms including folate, folate deficiency, methylfolate, nutrition, and depression were used to perform searches of multiple databases and journals including PubMed, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and the American Journal of Psychiatry. Studies such as the one conducted by Loria-Kohen et al. (2013), demonstrated benefit in the use of folic acid supplementation in lowering depression scores. Researchers including Zajecka et al. (2016) have shown that due to its ability to cross the blood brain barrier, L-methylfolate is the better option in the treatment of depression. Medical providers must determine the best treatment plan based on an individuals personalized needs while also considering the risks, benefits, testing options, and cost of treatment.
Physician Assistant Studies
Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)
Antidepressive Agents -- therapeutic use; Complementary Therapies; Depressive Disorder, Major -- drug therapy; Folic Acid -- therapeutic use
Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Psychiatric and Mental Health
McFarland, Katherine, "Folate as an Adjunctive Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression" (2017). Physician Assistant Scholarly Project Posters. 46.