Folic Acid: Nature’s Blues Buster

As many as one in every three Americans doesn’t get enough folic acid, the B vitamin important in making sure your brain cells multiply correctly, in boosting levels of the brain-building omega-3 fat DHA and in ensuring your brain makes enough of the feel-good chemicals serotonin and SAM-e. Low intake of this B vitamin alone increases the risk for being depressed by up to 67%.

People who are serious about getting enough folic acid are the ones most likely to be happy, mentally sharp and at low risk for dementia, depression and Alzheimer’s. If they are depressed, increasing their folic acid speeds recovery. Better yet, folic acid is better absorbed from supplements than from food, so you can rest assured you are getting enough when you take it in pill form.

A word of caution: large doses of supplemental folic acid can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, so to be on the safe side, take extra B12 if you are supplementing daily with more than 400 micrograms of folic acid.

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