Folic acid and depression – we’re complex systems!

I’ve just started working with a patient with severe depression – and conventional medication isn’t shifting her experience.  My process as a “health detective” starts with taking a whole-of-life perspective on the person – and this uncovered a couple of clues:

  • the patient has been prescribed high-dose folic acid long term (post-cancer)
  • the patient has had low vitamin B12 AND active vitamin B12  levels for some time

These clues – in conjunction with the depression – are leading me to question the ongoing need for this dose of folic acid, given the connection between excess folic acid and depression.  Excess folic acid interacts with Vitamin B12 and is known to contribute to mental health issues.

The article “Folic acid: Too much of a good thing?” by the University of California is a good overview of the problem interaction, and the problems that can be caused by not taking a whole-system approach to well-being.

If you’ve got depression that’s not shifting, it could pay off to take a broader view of what’s happening across the board.

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