Folate status and mood: Is there a relationship?

Journal: Public Health Nutrition. 2007 Jun 13; 1-6 [E-publication ahead of print]

Authors and affiliation: Williams E, Stewart-Knox B, McConville C, Bradbury I, Armstrong NC, McNulty H. Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

PMID: 17565759

Objective: To explore the relationship between subjective mood, folate status and homocysteine in healthy individuals.

Design: Subjective mood assessments were completed twice daily over the course of one week using the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). The PANAS is a validated scale which considers mood state on two distinct continua, one reflecting positive mood and the other negative mood, each requiring response to 10 adjectives on a Likert scale. A blood sample was taken on one occasion at the start of the week during which subjective mood was assessed and analysed for red-blood-cell (RBC) folate, serum folate and plasma homocysteine concentrations.

Subjects: Male volunteers aged 19-47 years (n = 58) were recruited from local industries.

Results: High concentrations of red-blood-cell folate were associated with less variability (lower standard deviation) in negative mood (P = 0.023). Subjective mood, however, was not related to serum folate or homocysteine.

Conclusions: This study appears to be the first to uncover an association between long-term folate status and subjective mood (employing the PANAS) in healthy males. More research is needed to further explore the relationship between nutritional status and mood.

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