Abstract Title:

The relationship of severity of depression with homocysteine, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin D levels in children and adolescents.

Abstract Source:

Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2020 Apr 18. Epub 2020 Apr 18. PMID: 32304285

Abstract Author(s):

Erman Esnafoglu, Deniz Deniz Ozturan

Article Affiliation:

Erman Esnafoglu


BACKGROUND: Depression is a heterogeneous disorder and is thought to develop as a result of complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors. One-carbon metabolism that includes vitamin B12, folic acid, and homocysteine has been investigated in psychiatric disorders like depression. In recent years, vitamin D has also been considered to contribute to psychiatric disorders. In this study, serum levels of folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine related to one-carbon metabolism and vitamin D were investigated in children and adolescents with depression and to assess possible roles in depression pathogenesis.

METHODS: The study included 89 children and adolescents with depression (69 female, 20 male; mean age ± SD = 15.08 ± 1.46) and 43 control subjects (31 female, 12 male; mean age ± SD = 14.41 ± 2.32) without any DSM-5 diagnosis. Each subject completed a sociodemographic form, Childhood Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory 1-2 and measured serum folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine, and 25-OH vitamin D levels.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of folate levels (p = .052). In the patient group, the vitamin B12 and vitamin D levels were clearly low (p values for both levels were<.001), while homocysteine levels were found to be remarkably high (p < .001). In addition, there was a negative correlation between depression severity and vitamin B12 and vitamin D, while a positive correlation was found with homocysteine.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study show that vitamin B12 deficiency or insufficiency and elevated homocysteine may contribute to the etiopathogenesis of depression. Additionally, it was shown that lower vitamin D levels may be associated with depression.

Study Type : Human Study

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