Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Folic acid? Really?

Folic acid is one of those things about which I know nothing. I've often seen bottles of it on the dietary supplement shelves in drug stores and grocery stores but I never really bothered to try to figure out its use.

Turns out it might be the solution that some of us depressives are looking for. This doesn't seem to be a widely broadcast aspect of the supplement. I just did a Google news search for folic acid and found articles about it being linked with improved grades among Swedish school children, its importance to pregnant women and its potential for preventing colorectal cancer. No headlines about folic acid and depression.

I wouldn't know about it but for a reader and fellow blogger, Melanie. She sent me an email explaining how she discovered folic acid and that it has done great things for her. She encouraged me to check out her blog and consider trying folic acid. So, I did and, as an atheist I gotta say, there's a whole lot Jesus over there! Melanie an enthusiastic blogger, energetic, engaging and eager to share. If you get something out of my blog then I'd say her Methodical Musings of an Unbalanced Woman is definitely worth checking out.

That aside, she has some very interesting information about folic acid and MTHFR. MTHFR is the problem that folic acid corrects. (By the way, my juvenile mind can't let me look at that acronym without filling in letters to make it a rude, two word phrase.) I'll let you check out the link for a fuller description of the disorder but, basically it's a fairly common genetic variation that blocks the body's ability to extract a particular enzyme from the foods we eat. This shortage has quite a lot of nasty side-effects, depression being one of them. Folic acid corrects the problem.

Melanie had her blood tested and discovered she had this shortage before starting the supplement. But, based on what I've been able to find, taking folic acid is quite safe so I'm skipping the blood test and going straight to the pill. I ordered a bottle yesterday. I'll keep you updated.

I was about to publish this post but, I wanted to add, this is the most optimistic I've been about my depression for quite a while. The anticipation of shedding the dank skin of continual depression has me actually excited about my future and its been very, very long since I've been there.


Melanie said...

Ha ha ha ha ha...we may have a lot of Jesus over here but my husband still can't help laughing at the MTHFR acronym as well. It never occurred to me. Maybe it's because I am just so mature. :) LOL

Remember that it is the ACTIVE form of Folic acid that makes the difference (Methylfolate). Google that or MTHFR and you will get a whole new set of hits.

I'm excited for you to try it. I hope it does for you what it has done for me.

Unknown said...

Found your blog last night and loved it. I'm also exploring natural help for my depression, along with medication and counseling, and this post has given me another option. For that I'm grateful.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog, and I think I'll be a regular. I cannot wait to hear about the Folic Acid. I have been on meds for depression for 14 years- I'm 32 and a mother of three- and I've never liked "having" to be on meds, which never fully help, but it is MUCH worse when I'm not on them. Time to get healthy for myself, my children, and for my endlessly patient husband. Time to start enjoying life. Thanks for giving me a non-depressing place to go to. (MTHFR occurred to me immediately as well, by the way)