Association of folate intake with the occurrence of depressive episodes in middle-aged French men and women
Astorg P, Couthouis A, de Courcy GP, Bertrais S, Arnault N, Meneton P, Galan P, Hercberg S.
Unité Nutrition et Régulation Lipidique des Fonctions Cérébrales (NuRéLiCe),
INRA, Centre de Recherche de Jouy-en-Josas, France.
Br J Nutr. 2008 Jul;100(1):183-7.


A low folate intake or a low folate status have been found to be associated with a higher frequency of depression in populations, but the existence and the direction of a causal link between folate intake or status and depression is still uncertain. The aim of this study was to seek the relation between the habitual folate intake in middle-aged men and women and the occurrence of depressive episodes. In a subsample of 1864 subjects (809 men and 1055 women) from the French SU.VI.MAX cohort, dietary habits have been measured at the beginning of the follow-up (six 24 h records) and declarations of antidepressant prescription, taken as markers of depressive episodes, have been recorded during the 8-year follow-up. No significant association was observed between folate intake and the risk of any depressive episode or of a single depressive episode during the follow-up, in both men and women. In contrast, the risk of experiencing recurrent depressive episodes (two or more) during the follow-up was strongly reduced in men with high folate intake (OR 0.25 (95 % CI 0.06, 0.98) for the highest tertile v. the lowest, P for trend 0.046). This association was not observed in women. These results suggest that a low folate intake may increase the risk of recurrent depression in men.
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