When you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, it will be with you for life. This is a situation which many people will find upsetting. Depression is a very common problem and so is Type 2 diabetes.
Depression is unfortunately a frequent problem in diabetic patients. Researchers in the Department of Psychiatry of the South Savo Hospital District in Mikkeli, Finland, looked at folate and depression as part of the Finnish Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program.
This particular study was published in February 2011 in the Journal of Affective Disorders, and included 4500 participants between the ages of 45 and 74 selected at random from the National Population Register.
It was found the participants with a high folate intake had slightly over half the risk of depression as those with low levels of folate intake.
Folate, or folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is a water-soluble vitamin, which means your body cannot store it in fat tissues. Your body can become low in folate after a few weeks of an inadequate intake. Other causes of folic acid deficiency include:
- Crohn's disease or sprue, which inhibits absorption,
- drinking too much alcohol,
- overcooking food, and
- medications such as the anti-epilepitc drug Dilantin, and the antibiotic bactrim.
Folate is important for cell division and growth, and helps to prevent anemia and neurological birth defects. It works with vitamins B12 and C to help the body break down old proteins and build new ones, as well as aiding in the building of DNA, the genetic molecule.
Signs and symptoms of folate deficiency include:
- prematurely gray hair,
- oral sores,
- poor growth, and
- a swollen tongue.
Deficiency of the vitamin can be diagnosed with a blood test.
The US Food and Drug Administration recommends a daily intake of:
- 400 micrograms per day for adults, and
- 600 micrograms per day for pregnant women.
The name "folate" is related to the word "foliage" and the vitamin is found in many green leafy vegetables and asparagus...
- 1/2 cup of cooked spinach contains 131 micrograms of folate.
- a cup of kale has about 19 micrograms of the vitamin.
- 2 cups of Romaine lettuce provide 128 micrograms, and
- a cup of asparagus provides 234 micrograms.
Whole grains, citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe and fortified cereals also contain folate. Total cereal provides 100 per cent of the recommended daily requirement of folic acid in 3/4 of a cup. A cup of cantaloupe balls supplies about 37 micrograms of folate, and a cup of raw strawberries supplies about 36 micrograms.
The website Simplycook.wordpress recommends making a salad with Romaine lettuce, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and citrus vinaigrette that sounds like a tasty way to get your folate. Another website UrbanOrganicGardener offers a recipe for salad made with kale, lemon, onion, garlic, and honey.