Folate Therapy

Folate Therapy for Depression & Schizophrenia

Folate such as methyl folate can be an effective stand-alone treatment or adjunctive treatment for depression and schizophrenia. Many practitioners including psychiatric clinics are able to do an MTHFR test for you and a folate test at the cellular level. If done correctly, and you find you have either of these going on with you, folate may be of benefit.

This nutrient can be the cause of many neurological symptoms, and a deficiency in it can really impact one’s health. It can cause a host of problems such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia, and akathisia or a feeling of restlessness within the patient.

A side note that is relevant, it is also a nutrient that can help with restless leg syndrome.

It is advised to start at a recommended daily dosage that is right for you and your body. If you have the MTHFR alone, methyl folate may or may not be of help depending on your methylation status. I have another post about methyl folate and its dos and don’ts. It goes over when it is not helping a patient.

Your practitioner really needs to be aware of the patient’s needs and listen to your concerns and get a second test for undermethylation if you find it is not helping. You can find a nutritionist or psychiatrist online below at mytelemedicine.

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There is also a systematic review of controlled studies that concluded folate augmentation anywhere from 1mg to 15mg a day adjunctively with an antidepressant yielded greater results than the antidepressant alone. Also, People with schizophrenia who take daily folate in the form of methyl folate 15 mg together with an antipsychotic may have fewer positive symptoms such a delusional thinking and hallucinations and fewer negative symptoms such as paucity of thought and social withdrawal.

You can also read this article on a randomized controlled trial on methyl folate and schizophrenia.

There are other studies done with methyl folate as a stand-alone treatment without medication. You can also ask your practitioner about Deplin which is a medical food and a prescription is needed. It is 15mg prescription strength methyl folate.

Also, folate in the form of folic acid or folinic acid is beneficial for those suffering from schizophrenia. 2mg is the standard dosage for folic acid if going by the Walsh approach. Less is needed if supplementing with folinic acid since it converts to methyl folate and crosses the blood-brain barrier effectively.

If going by the Walsh approach for folic acid treatment of schizophrenia or depression, it is advised to select co-factor nutrients that are supportive such as niacinamide.

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