Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gimme the Folate....Keep the Bread

Alrighty now here we go again. In their infinite round about way of thinking, some so called "scientists" aka nutritionists, believe adding a great vitamin to a poor excuse for a "food", read food product here, is the way to go for a persons health.

Take a look at this article, Adding Folic Acid To Bread Could Help In The Fight Against Depression, found on ScienceDaily.com.

The Food Standards Agency recommended to UK Health Ministers the introduction of mandatory fortification of either bread or flour with folic acid to prevent neural tube defects, which can result in miscarriage, neonatal death or lifelong disability. The York study suggests that the measure may also help in the fight against depression.

Dr Gilbody said: "Our study is unique in that for the first time all the relevant evidence in this controversial area has been brought together. 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."

Recent research from the same team published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has also proved that people with depression commonly have a gene that means that they process folate less efficiently. Folate is linked to the production of some of the 'feel good' chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin. The identification of this gene provides a plausible explanation as to why folic acid supplements may help people with depression.

Okay, I'm all for anything that will help those battling serious depression. Since folate is known to do this, I'm all for people increasing their consumption of it. But why bread of all things. Eating a carb laden food can certainly increase your mood when depressed but it only a quick fix. More than often sending you on a binge cycle of needing more and more carbs. I know of this from first hand knowledge.

It amazes me how the food industry believes in fortifying unhealthy foods instead of just eating the foods where things occur naturally. Folate can be found in healthy foods such as green leafy veggies(spinach, turnip greens, etc), citrus fruits(which I don't recommend) and legumes. I'm not real keen on legumes either in my eating plan. I do partake of them on rare occasions. Hey this IS the south, we love our dried beans. But dried beans without cornbread is just unsouthern. Having a large helping of spinach makes more sense to me than eating a bowl of fortified cereal or a slice of bread. Even going to the extreme of having an orange---your blood sugar will hate you for it---is better than loading up on processed food.

So to all of my mental health friends out there, folate is a good thing for any mood disorder. Please include it in your diet each and everyday. But you don't have to eat fortified food products to do it. Just go for the real deal.


Anonymous said...

It's all about money; these huge food producing corporations will do anything to give people the illusion their poison isn't that bad after all. Here's the irony; do you know how much folic acid it takes to have any good effect on your homocysteine levels? I don't. But I take approx 3200mcgs/daily--and I'm sure if I ate a whole loaf of Wonderbread I still wouldn't come close to getting what I need to keep my arteries protected. :-)