British researchers has confirmed a link between depression and low levels of folate, a vitamin which comes from vegetables.
The link emerged after a review of 11 previous studies involving 15,315 participants, researchers at the University of York, UK, reported on the science news website of AlphaGalileo.
The research led by Simon Gilbody suggests the introduction of mandatory fortification of either bread or flour with folic acid could help in the fight against depression.
"Although the research does not prove that low folate causes depression, we can now be sure that the two are linked.
Interestingly, there is also some trial evidence that suggests folic acid supplements can benefit people with depression. We recommend that large trials should be carried out to further test this suggestion," Gilbody said.
Another piece of research by the same team proved that people with depression commonly have a gene, which could cause them to process folate less efficiently.
Folate is linked to the production of some of the "feel good" chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, and the identification of this gene provides a plausible explanation as to why folic acid
supplements may help people with depression, according to the researchers.