Does L-Methylfolate Work?
L-Methylfolate and Depression
Clinical depression, or major depression, is more than just a low mood -- it is a serious medical condition that requires treatment. Some of the symptoms of major depression include:
- A persistent feeling of sadness or a depressed mood
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
- Low energy, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating
- Changes in sleep and appetite
- Restlessness or irritability
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
Depression is thought to occur due to an imbalance of certain brain chemicals, notably serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. All currently available antidepressants affect one or more of these chemicals. L-methylfolate helps the body make these chemicals and may help antidepressants work more effectively.
L-methylfolate is the main active ingredient in Deplin, a medical food used as a nutritional supplement in people with depression and low folate levels. Limited research suggests that L-methylfolate may improve a person's response to their antidepressant. However, L-methylfolate is not an adequate replacement for an antidepressant medication.
Other Benefits of L-Methylfolate
L-methylfolate is also found in birth control pills, such as levomefolate calcium in Beyaz®. It is recommended that women of childbearing age take a folate supplement to help prevent birth defects. Adding folate supplementation to a birth control pill helps to prevent birth defects if a woman becomes pregnant while taking the birth control pill or shortly after stopping it.
Final Thoughts on the Effectiveness of L-Methylfolate
L-methylfolate may be effective for several uses, but more research is needed before it can be recommended for most of them. Many people take the product thinking that it can't hurt and it might help.
Although supplementation is usually safe for most people, high doses can cause side effects or other problems. Therefore, it is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking high-dose L-methylfolate supplementation.