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Folic Acid Deficiency Causes Depression
By Dr. Neil Nedley

         A folic acid (or folate) deficiency can be a direct cause of depression. I have found this a much more common cause of depres­sion in meat-eaten than in vegetarians. (People with an omega-3 deficiency seem to have similar depression rates whether they are meat-eaters or vegetarians). The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for folate is 400 micrograms. As you can see in Figure 11, which lists the folate content of foods, it would require an enor­mous quantity of meat to obtain 400 micrograms. On the other hand, it is very easy to obtain a minimum of 400 micrograms with a diet based on plant foods, as the fig­ure demonstrates.


Patients who are depressed due to a folate deficiency tend not to improve at all with standard antidepressants. The real treat­ment is simple—foods high in folate.

Neil Nedley, M.D.
From the book
Depression, the Way Out,
Nedley Publishing, Ardmore, OK, 2001
Neil Nedley, M.D.,
Nedley Health Solutions
P. O. Box 1565
Ardmore, OK 73402